With sun-drenched days and ample vacation time, it makes sense that summer would be a popular season to say "I do." And if your son or daughter is getting married during the warmer months, you're probably working together to check off all the to-dos before the big day. We think one very important task item that deserves special recognition is what you—as a guest of honor—will wear to the celebration. While searching for a summer mother of the bride or groom dress might feel overwhelming, we don't think it has it be. In fact, the choices are what make the search half the fun!
Between bright colors, airy fabrics, and shorter options, summer fashion is naturally a little more laid back than the cooler months. This means more opportunities to let your personal style shine, whether that’s with a playful midi you can dance in or an embellished number that’ll turn heads. Whichever route you choose, staying comfortable is essential, especially if the event is taking place outdoors. That’s why keeping the venue and expected temperature in mind as you shop is crucial. The last thing you want is to overheat at such a milestone event.
To help, we’ve rounded up 22 of the best summer mother of the bride or groom dresses sourced from our favorite sellers, to keep you feeling—and looking—cool as you celebrate your child’s love story.
Best Empire: Azazie Edelin MBD Dress
Size: 0-30, custom size | Materials: Mesh, lace | Length: Floor-length
Ultra flattering empire waist silhouettes look fantastic on all body types, which is why this highly-rated design from Azazie continues to be a standout. The hand-pleating bodice pulls the eyes up, while the cascading draped skirt elongates for an effortlessly elegant aesthetic.
Favorite Blue Hue: BHLDN Leila Satin Charmeuse Maxi Dress
Size: 0-26 | Materials: Satin, polyester | Length: Floor-length
We love an airy hue for summer celebrations, and BHLDN definitely delivers with the Leila gown in dusty blue. The style comes in 10 other colors and with a draped bodice, soft sleeves, and flowy skirt, it's a vision in any hue.
Cheeriest Style: Mac Duggal Floral Empire Waist Gown
Size: 0-16 | Materials: Polyester | Length: Floor-length
Add an extra pop of color to the celebration with this sunny sundress from Mac Duggal. Between the bright yellow shade, the tiered ruffle skirt, and the all-over floral pattern, it's a happy look that'll match your day-of mood.
Chiffon Favorite: Revelry Becca Gown
Size: 0-32 | Materials: Chiffon | Length: Floor-length
Chiffon is a wedding classic thanks to its light and flowy feel, and Revelry's Becca dress turns the traditional fabric into something special with its flattering A-line skirt and sheer scoop neck. Bonus: The style comes in close to 50 colors so you can easily match your look to the day-of vision.
For an Elegant Event: Alex Evenings Glitter Mesh Gown
Size: 4-18 | Materials: Polyester, mesh | Length: Floor-length
Black dresses are a formal wedding favorite no matter the season, but this Alex Evenings option gets the summer seal of approval from us. The glitter mesh fabric allows airflow while the square neckline, skirt slit, and cold shoulder cap sleeves keep you secure without feeling stuffy.
Best Asymmetrical Neckline: Adrianna Papell Satin Crepe One-Shoulder Ruffled Long Gown
Size: 0-20 | Materials: Satin, polyester | Length: Floor-length
Feminine and flirty, this lightweight satin crepe gown from Adrianna Papell feels fresh and fun for summer events. Coming in a soft toffee color, the ruffled neckline and one-shoulder silhouette add a charming twist to the classic A-line style.
Best LBD: Amsale Metallic Tea Length Dress
Size: 00-28 | Materials: Cloque| Length: Midi-length
Little black dresses are essential for special events, but this unique number from Amsale adds some summer flare to the wardrobe staple. Warm shades of yellow, red, and orange make up a festive floral pattern along the hem, and you can even get the matching shawl or opera coat to wear again at chillier events.
Best Beadwork: Adrianna Papell Hand Beaded Floral Godet Gown
Size: 0-26 | Materials: Polyester, beading | Length: Floor-length
Delicate floral beadwork dances down the bodice of this whimsical Adrianna Papell godet gown. The streamlined silhouette—complete with cap sleeves and a zip-up back—comes in six different colors if the blush hue isn't for you.
Best Caped Dress: Talbot Runhof Cape-Effect Draped Dégradé Metallic Voile Gown
Size: 2-16 | Materials: Polyester | Length: Floor-length
Between the fresh green hue, the subtle metallic sheen, and the asymmetrical square neckline, there's so much to love about this Talbot Runhof dress. Our favorite feature, though, is the light-as-air cape that provides ample arm coverage and plenty of intrigue to your day-of look.
For a Tropical Wedding: Adrianna Papell Chiffon Floral Print Gown
Size: 0-30 | Materials: Polyester | Length: Floor-length
Bring on the beach vibes with this vacation-worthy dress from Adrianna Papell. Between the lightweight tropical print, the formal bateau neckline, the and playful flutter sleeves, you'll feel ready to celebrate with your toes in the sand.
Best Sheer Sleeves: Betsy & Adam Mock Neck Long Illusion Sleeve Ruffle Stretch Gown
Size: 4-16 | Materials: Polyester, spandex | Length: Floor-length
Long sleeves and summer don't exactly go hand-in-hand, but if you're craving some full arm coverage, this Betsy & Adam design might just be the key. The mock halter neckline gives way to mesh sleeves that allow plenty of airflow to stay cool on hot summer nights.
For a Casual Wedding: Azazie Olivia MBD Dress
Size: 0-30, custom size | Materials: Chiffon | Length: Knee-length
Even less formal celebrations deserve a noteworthy dress, and Azazie's Olivia provides plenty of standout touches without feeling too fancy. Hitting at knee-length, the ruffle detailing and crystal brooch elevate the design while still keeping it understated. Pair it with the included jacket if the A/C is blasting in the venue.
For a Black-Tie Wedding: Pinko Two-Tone Halter Dress
Size: XXS-XL | Materials: Polyester | Length: Floor-length
When it comes to extremely formal celebrations, only the best will do, and this sleeveless PINKO dress checks off all the boxes with its halter tie neckline and a two-tone design. Style the gown with some matching statement shoes and earrings to add to the vibrant summer vibes.
Boldest Hue: Show Me Your Mumu Greta Dress
Size: XS-XXL | Materials: Polyester, spandex | Length: Midi-length
Why not feel pretty in pink on the big day? This vibrant shade is elevated further by a formal square neckline, side slit, and ruffles down the skirt. If you love the style but want something a little more understated, the design also comes in a gorgeous green sage hue.
Ruffled Favorite: Needle & Thread Valentine Gown
Size: 0-16 | Materials: Recycled tulle, polyester | Length: Floor-length
Even though ruffles are a popular dress detail for warm weather events, Needle & Thread somehow makes them even more romantic with its Valentine gown. Coming in five different colors, the tulle design showcases layers upon layers of soft ruffles that give a dreamy, ethereal effect to the textured dress.
Best Party Dress: Oleg Cassini Metallic A-Line Dress
Size: 2-24 | Materials: Metallic polyester | Length: Midi-length
Break out your best dance moves because this shimmering midi tank dress from Oleg Cassini was made to bust a move in. The flattering A-line silhouette comes complete with pockets, and the waist embellishment gives an additional touch of sparkle to the outstanding look.
Best Satin Gown: Jenny Yoo Calla Dress
Size: 0-26 | Materials: Satin | Length: Midi
If you love the idea of satin but don't want something slinky and strapless, Jenny Yoo's Calla dress likely provides the style you crave. The one-shoulder design is balanced by the wrap silhouette for an appropriate and contemporary twist on the popular summer fabric.
Formal Floral Print: Ralph Lauren Collection Kitra Gown
Size: 2-12 | Materials: Viscose, mulberry silk| Length: Floor-length
Floral prints typically boast bright hues, but the Kitra gown from Ralph Lauren Collection turns flowers even fancier by swapping colors for black and white. The elegant pattern is elevated further with a sweetheart neckline and asymmetric shoulder strap.
For Something Blue: Chiara Boni La Petite Robe Gudrum Sleeveless Mermaid Gown
Size: 2-16 | Materials: Polyamide, elastane | Length: Floor-length
Be the bride's something blue in this gorgeous gown. The gathered structured side bow and mermaid silhouette will certainly stun in photos for years to come.
For a Glitzy Wedding: Tadashi Shoji Odette Sequin Dress
Size: 0-18 | Materials: Polyester, viscose | Length: Floor-length
A sparkling soirée is the opportunity to wear a shimmering look of your own, like this sequined statement dress from Tadashi Shoji. Coming in silver or gold, the intricate pattern and cap sleeves give a timeless feel worthy of such an important wedding.
For a Floral-Filled Event: Marchesa Notte Plunging Floral Sequin Tiered Gown
Size: 2-12 | Materials: Polyester | Length: Floor-length
Stand out amongst the blooms in this terrific tiered gown from Marchesa Notte. In addition to the all-over festive floral print, the entire dress boasts sequins for a subtle shine that makes the design pop. Wear simple accessories to really allow this look to dazzle.
High-Low Favorite: Amsale Taffeta High Low Dress
Size: 00-28 | Materials: Taffeta | Length: Floor-length, high-low
High-low hemlines are perfect for keeping cool and navigating the day without worrying about tripping over your skirt. The taffeta material, open back, and bright cobalt-blue hue makes this design suitable for your son or daughter's special celebration.
What to Look for in Summer Mother of the Bride or Groom Dresses
When shopping for a summer wedding, you'll want to really take the time to think about the forecast. Some locations can be extremely warm, and overheating is a real possibility. Consider whether or not the celebration is indoors or outdoors to help guide your outfit choice. As for the style, shorter sleeves and lighter fabrics—such as cotton, polyester, and lace—are best. If you feel uncomfortable about shorter sleeves or hemlines, pairing a short or sleeveless dress with a light jacket is a great solution to keep you cool and confident.
No matter the season, selecting your mother of the bride or groom dress is a big deal. As a parent, you hold an extremely special role in the celebration. It's a good idea to chat with the couple of honor to see if there are any dress styles or colors they'd like you to stick to. Some brides and grooms like to have their parents dress in coordinating colors or fabrics, so checking in is a smart idea before falling in love with a specific style or shade.
Why type of dress should I wear to a summer wedding?
Cool, lightweight fabrics are best for warmer weather celebrations. As you're searching, adhering to cotton, polyester, lace, or satin will keep you comfortable as the temperatures rise.
What colors are popular for summer weddings?
Can I wear long sleeves to a summer wedding?
Typically, long sleeves and summer weddings don't mix due to the heat. That said, if the event is strictly indoors (with A/C!), longer sleeves could be an option if that's what you feel most comfortable with. In that case, it's a good idea to look for styles with sheer, mesh, or lace sleeves that allow airflow while providing coverage.
Why Trust Us
Contributing Expert Writer Rachel Varina is a full-time freelancer with over 10 years of editorial experience and six years of experience in the wedding industry. Her work has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, Elite Daily, Betches, Zola, and more.