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Mothers of Bride and Groom Dress Appropriately


Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

My daughter is getting married next summer, and I plan to wear a nice skirt suit to the church. However, the mother in-law wants to wear an evening gown for the wedding. My daughter thinks the MIL being more formal than me is fine, but I disagree.


Dressed down

Dear Dressed down,

Mothers of the bride and groom do not have to have identical attire. However, their dresses or skirt suits should complement each other as well as the wedding party in formality and color. For example, if the bridesmaids will be wearing casual dresses in light colors for a summer afternoon wedding, then the mothers should avoid formal floor length gowns or dark deep colors that would clash with the wedding colors.

Generally, the mother of the groom dress should not be obviously more formal than the mother of the bride's dress. It would be fine if the mothers would discuss and come to an agreement on the types of outfits that they would like to wear to the wedding

If the wedding is formal, then both the mother of the bride and mother of the groom should have a formal floor length gown. If the wedding is semi-formal, then a floor length or shorter dress length is appropriate.