Wedding Dress Colors for Mothers

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Brides can place almost as much emphasis on attire for their bridal parties and family members as they do on their own dresses. Wedding dresses for mothers in particular, either of the bride or the groom, should complement the attire of the rest of the bridal party in color and formality. In part the time of day, time of year and geographic location, will help determine what color the mothers wear on the big day.

Classic Colors

If the bride or the wedding is conservative, stick with classic yet elegant colors. Shades of purple and blue usually work well, as do apricots or pinks. These colors complement a daytime wedding that is less formal. Coordinate your shoes to finish off your outfit.

Formal Affairs

For a more formal or evening wedding, dress up. Color adds a more formal touch, especially traditionally formal colors such as silver or gold. Copper and bronze work well, especially for fall weddings. Royal colors such as burgundy, royal blue and emerald green also work well. Add bling, shimmer or shine to your outfit to step up your look. Kick up the formality a notch by accessorizing the outfit with a glitzy wrap or shawl.


The mother of the bride traditionally calls the mother of the groom after she chooses her dress. She tells the mother of the groom about her dress so that conflicts can be avoided, such as completely different dress styles or colors that don't work together. The mother of the groom can also gauge her dress color by what the bride wears. When in doubt, ask the bride.


Tradition insists on avoiding certain colors for either the mother of the bride or the mother of the groom. First and foremost, white and ivory should be avoided. You don't want to be seen as competing with the bride. Black can bring to mind a funeral, although more contemporary thought sees it as appropriate, especially if the bridesmaids wear black. Traditionally, mothers also avoid red, which is considered too flashy. The final decision rests with the bride.

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