Here's Your Official Mother of the Groom Dress Rundown

You should probably send this to her before she does any shopping.
by The Knot
Groom and his mother
photo by Hudson Nichols Photography

Both you and your partner's moms should feel special and amazing on your wedding day—they're arguably just as excited (if not more) than you probably are for the festivities. So you should make sure the mother of the groom looks and feels her very best by starting with this quick attire rundown—and feel free to send this to her now, just to be safe. 

The mother of the bride usually gets her dress first, and the mother of the groom can go from there. 

Traditionally, the mother of the bride purchases her dress first. Her choice is meant to subtly dictate what the mother of the groom will wear and set the tone of the attire. This may seem a bit old-fashioned, but these days, it should be more of a conversation than anything. The mother of the groom should get a sense of what she's wearing (length, color, style), and then find something similar that she's comfortable wearing. 

Avoid clashing colors or overdressing.

By coordinating the dresses together, the mother of the bride and mother of the groom can avoid picking clashing colors or one dressing far more or less casually than the other. If they don't have a one-on-one phone call, you and your partner should be the line of communication between them. 

Give her guidance on what to wear. 

It depends on your wedding style, but for an evening wedding, it's safe to say a formal dress or a dress suit is the right idea. Mother of the bride and mother of the groom dresses get a bad rap for being "matronly," but there are so many elegant, formal options that are both appropriate and chic. When it comes to color choices, navy's an always popular hue, followed by blush and shades of nude. Overall, you can give her ideas on style, length, formality and color and point her in the right direction, but try to respect her vision for her outfit as well so she finds something she's comfortable in. 

She should customarily run it by you. 

There's no denying she should look and feel amazing on the wedding day. But kindly ask her to run it by you before making any final decisions, just so you're in the loop about what the colors will look like together for wedding photos. 

If the groom has a stepmom, protocol is a little different. 

Traditionally, the mother of the bride will typically only involve the mother of the groom in the "mom dress discussion," but situations can vary. You and your partner can provide guidelines and let any stepmoms involved know what's appropriate. 

The mother of the groom should start dress shopping around the six-month mark. 

That way, she has plenty of stress-free time to have alterations made and fittings scheduled, if necessary. 

Up Next
Bride and her mother
Mother of the Bride: Attire Etiquette Q&A
For your daughter's wedding, you're going to need a gorgeous dress. Here are the mother of the bride attire etiquette dos and don'ts.
by Amy Elliott5 min read