Can a Mother of the Bride Wear White to the Wedding?

Stone Cold Fox

 Photo by Joey Willis

Despite the abundance of colorful wedding dresses donned by celebrity brides, a white wedding gown is traditionally what brides wear on their wedding day. But what happens when the mother of the bride wishes to wear white, as well? Our etiquette experts weigh in on the topic of appropriate shades for the mother of the bride to sport at her daughter's nuptials.

Traditionally, neither the mother of the bride—nor any of the other wedding guests—are encouraged to wear shades of white at the wedding in deference to the bride herself. By sporting a white gown when all of the other attendees are dressed in other colors simultaneously focuses attention on the bride and customarily alludes to the bride's virtue. However, this depends entirely upon the bride's preferences.

If you are amenable to the idea, by all means, encourage your mom to wear white. While the wedding is your special day, your mother is also a VIP guest and therefore should don what makes her feel comfortable. The choice to wear white alongside your mother is also a wonderful way to honor your family.

Alternatively, if you plan to wear pure white to your wedding, your mother might be better suited to a gown in cream, eggshell, or ivory. If you don't want her to match your own gown, make sure that the shade, silhouette, and detailing are markedly different between the two designs. For instance, if you have chosen a beaded silk column, you can gently suggest to your mom that she choose a tea-length style in lace or satin. Regardless of your final choice, the most important thing is that both you and your mom are happy on the wedding day.

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