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The Best Mother of the Bride Dresses to Buy Right Now

Plus, we share the top places to shop for a look you'll love.
sarah hanlon assistant editor the knot
by Sarah Hanlon
sarah hanlon assistant editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
Assistant Editor, Digital
  • Sarah is an Assistant Digital Editor for The Knot, with special focuses in fashion, pop culture and wedding trends.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Sarah was a contributing writer for Bravo at NBC Universal.
  • Sarah has a degree in journalism and resides in New York City.
Updated Aug 28, 2020
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Browsing mother of the bride dresses may seem overwhelming, but there are plenty of ways to ease the process. Before you start shopping (around the six- to eight-month mark), brush up on mother of the bride attire etiquette. The formality, season and venue of the wedding can help you narrow down options. A mother of the bride dress should be flattering and fabulous—and you shouldn't feel confined to just matronly styles. (The same can be said for grandmother of the bride dresses too!) There are plenty of modern mother of the bride dresses on the market, from off-the-shoulder gowns to sequined jumpsuits. 

When browsing mother of the bride dresses, keep an open dialogue with the bride. Having her input is vital for finding a look you both love. To help you find a stunning mother of the bride dress, we share the best places to shop for wedding-worthy looks. Plus, we've also rounded up the best mother of the bride dresses of 2020, which you can shop right here. 

Where to Buy Mother of the Bride Dresses

Not sure where to shop for mother of the bride dresses? Don't sweat. With so many retailers on the market, it can be hard to narrow down the best places to find mother of the bride dresses. Here, we share our favorite stores to shop for a wedding day outfit you (and the bride) will love. 

Nordstrom—If you're a Nordstrom regular, you'll be pleased to know the beloved retailer has an extensive collection of mother of the bride dresses. With over 300 locations across the United States, you can easily shop in person if browsing online isn't your ideal way to shop. Nordstrom offers a variety of styles, from traditional mother of the bride dresses to modern, trendy options for moms who want to show off their fashion sense. 

Rent the Runway—You don't have to purchase a mother of the bride dress if the thought of it sitting untouched in your closet after the big day is unappealing. Instead, turn to a rental service like Rent the Runway. You'll have access to hundreds of top designers and runway-worthy styles—and by renting your look, you'll save money without sacrificing style. 

BHLDN—Yep, Anthropologie's wedding brand has mother of the bride dresses. You might associate BHLDN with their romantic, boho wedding dresses and exclusive designer partnerships, but the retailer also has plenty of mom-worthy gowns too. Browse an extensive collection of embroidered frocks, elegant evening gowns and complementary accessories to complete your wedding look. 

David's Bridal—If you're shopping for a sparkly, beaded dress or a sleek pantsuit, David's Bridal is the retailer for you. The brand's collection of mother of the bride dresses has plenty of mom-appropriate styles at great prices too. 

NET-A-PORTER—If your motto is "I'm not a regular mom, I'm a cool mom," shop for your mother of the bride dress at NET-A-PORTER. The high-end retailer sells plenty of coveted luxury brands like Gucci, Balenciaga, Prada, Stella McCartney and more. If you're looking to splurge on a mother of the bride dress, you'll find plenty of glam options here. 

The Best Mother of the Bride Dresses to Shop Now 

Need even more inspiration? Below, we've rounded up the best mother of the bride dresses you can shop right now. Browse our top selections, and even buy your favorite right on the spot.

Alfred Sung classic mother of the bride dress

Sometimes, you just want something timeless. Try this classic mother of the bride gown for a look that will never go out of style.

Alfred Sung sateen gown in Hunter, $229, Nordstrom.com 

Black and navy evening dress with wrap front

You might not think to pair navy and black together, but this sleek gown is an exception. With a draped satin bodice and oversized bow at the waist, this look is just as flattering as it is trendy. 

Sachin & Babi Laurana dress in Navy/Black, $345, BHLDN.com

Black off-the-shoulder column dress

A sleek black evening gown is a no-fail option for any mom. This chic one-shoulder neckline leads into an expertly-draped bodice and modern column skirt. 

Badgley Mischka off-shoulder gown in Black, $695, 11Honore.com

Gold wrap front dress with 3/4 length sleeves

Go for the gold in this standout dress. With three-quarter length sleeves and a flattering wrap front, you'll never want to take this sheath off. 

Alex Evenings sequin ¾ sleeve wrap front dress with twist in Gold, $200, DavidsBridal.com 

Fitted blue lace midi dress with tie sleeves

A bateau neckline is super flattering, so you'll feel as confident as ever in this tea-length dress. Intricate lace motifs across the bodice are complemented by lace-trimmed sleeves as well.

Tadashi Shoji Bobek lace tea-length dress in Midnight/Nude, $288, TadashiShoji.com 

Royal blue dress with cape-like back and embellished neckline

You'll look like a vision in this royally elegant gown from Marchesa Notte. The floor-length design has a modern cape-like back, and blue embellishments along the sheer neckline add a luxurious finishing touch.  

Marchesa Notte cape-effect embellished tulle and crepe gown in Royal Blue, $1,165, NET-A-PORTER.com


Badgley Mischka sequin mother of the bride dress

It's your night to shine a little too, so consider silver and gold mother of the bride dresses. This sequined gown will let you do just that.

Badgley Mischka Night at the Oscars gown, from $120 for a 4-day rental, RenttheRunway.com

Pink textured off-the-shoulder dress with high-low skirt

You'll make quite the entrance in this blush off-the-shoulder gown. With a high-low skirt and textured fabric, your look will embody timeless elegance.

Adrianna Papell off-the-shoulder textured jacquard gown in Blush, $249, AdriannaPapell.com

Black tulle dress with intricate embellishments and beading

This unique mother of the bride dress exudes romance and whimsy. Cut from embroidered tulle, this A-line design also has a vintage accordion ruffle neckline and sheer ruffled sleeves. 

Needle & Thread Anaïs embroidered tulle dress in Black/White, $620, ModaOperandi.com

Silver evening gown with cold shoulders and allover beading

If you're all about beading, this dress is for you. The sleek sheath silhouette has flattering cold-shoulder flutter sleeves, but it's the intricate crosshatch beading that really stands out. 

Pisarro Nights beaded cold shoulder ankle-length plus size dress in Silver, $250, DavidsBridal.com

Emerald green caftan dress with 3/4 length sleeves

Yep, you can wear a caftan to a wedding—especially when it's as glam as this design from Reem Acra. This roomy pullover will be extra comfortable to wear for mingling and dancing. And with a striking emerald hue, your look will be anything but boring. 

Reem Acra Burnout velvet caftan in Hunter Green, $2,710, 11Honore.com

Silver evening dress with rosette embroidery

An embroidered rosette pattern is a great alternative for moms who aren't totally sold on a floral print. Woven sequins add a pop of shimmer to this striking mother of the bride dress. 

Alex Evenings rosette lace short sleeve A-line gown in Navy, $259, Nordstrom.com 

Fitted blue column dress with angular neckline

This flattering gown will fit your body in the best way. With an angular neckline and a crystal-embellished draped back, this gown stuns from every direction. 

Safiyaa Graciela crystal-embellished heave crepe gown in Blue, $2,310, ModaOperandi.com

Cream mini dress with black and metallic beading and embroidery

Mother of the bride dresses don't need to have long skirts. This modern mini dress is an exceptionally stunning mother of the bride look thanks to its intricate beading and pretty sheer overlay.  

BHLDN Boswell dress in Cream, $265, BHLDN.com  

Blue three-piece mother of the bride suit with lace trim

If you'd rather go for a suit instead of a dress, this three-piece option has sequin-accented trim along the top and cuffs for a sparkly pop. 

Le Bos Georgette lace-detailed plus size suit in Blue, $140, DavidsBridal.com

Evening gown with portrait neckline and embroidered lace

An elegant portrait neckline gracefully complements this soft trumpet skirt—perfect for a mom who wants a timeless look.

La Femme portrait neckline lace gown in Coca, $438, Nordstrom.com

Fitted blue lace midi dress

This blue cap-sleeved dress is beautifully sophisticated for a semi-formal affair.

Shoshanna Jessalyn dress in Blue, from $40 for a 4-day rental, RenttheRunway.com

Wrap metallic gold evening dress

This shimmering wrap gown looks like it belongs on a red carpet—but a wedding is just as appropriate. If you're searching for a serious showstopper, consider this wrap-front dress. The shimmering voile fabric will dazzle from all angles. 

Talbot Runhof Bologne wrap-effect metallic voile gown in Gold, $1,995, NET-A-PORTER.com

Blue evening gown with illusion neckline and shimmer paillettes

Show off your stellar style with this eye-catching navy gown. The illusion neckline has cascading paillettes across the top and down the sleeves, which enhance the fitted crepe skirt. 

Tadashi Shoji Zelter asymmetric plus size floral gown in Navy, $468, TadashiShoji.com

Black off-the-shoulder gown with pink 3D applique flowers

Looking for an unforgettable mother of the bride dress? Consider this multi-color gown, which has an off-the-shoulder neckline and bold three-dimensional flowers on the skirt. 

Marchesa Notte Adelzia dress in Blush, $1,905, BHLDN.com 

Red lace evening gown

You can't go wrong with a lace evening gown. While we love the romantic red shade, this dress comes in three other colors to help you craft the perfect look.

Kiyonna Leona lace evening gown in Pinot Noir, $228, Nordstrom.com 

Pink and blue floral dress

Looking for a fun color pattern? Consider this pink-and-blue floral dress, which has sheer cap sleeves and a satin ribbon tie in the front. 

Adrianna Papell short sleeve floral embroidered gown with ribbon tie waist in Midnight Multi/Nude, from $229, AdriannaPapell.com

Black velvet one-shoulder evening gown with bow on shoulder

Velvet gowns are perfect for formal winter weddings. This one-shoulder neckline stands out thanks to the oversized bow draped elegantly across the top. 

Eliza J bow one-shoulder velvet gown in Black, $198, Nordstrom.com 

Navy formal dress with cap sleeves and intricate beading

This pretty mother of the bride dress is all about the details. A godet skirt, intricate beading and sheer cap sleeves make this a total knockout. 

RM Richards short-sleeve sequined illusion plus size dress in Navy, $210, DavidsBridal.com

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