Mother of the Bride Dresses For An Afternoon/Evening Wedding

What do you wear when you are the Mother of the Bride or Groom and the wedding is early afternoon, but the reception is not until the evening?

Is a dressy suit more appropriate or an evening gown? The answer in this situation is, either is acceptable.However, some choose to play it both ways, like my friend Barbara.

Barb’s son Andrew got married a few weeks ago and she decided she would wear one outfit to the ceremony and another to the party. She’s a fashionista!!

mother of the bride dress

Pink for the church.

Here’s Barb at 1:00 in the afternoon at the church in a black skirt and stunning fuschia jacket.  She’s a summer and the color was spectacular on her.

After the ceremony for the photo taking she changed into this dramatic black number (which she had made) and wore it to the 5:00 P.M. reception  held at a posh supper club.

black mother of the bride dress

Barbara wore this to the reception.

As you can see this dress is black. Black is quite accceptable to wear to a wedding as mother of the bride, but Barb felt more comfortable in the pink at the church. Both dresses are very practical.

mother of the bride ebookThe suit is perfect some other dressy occasion like a christening or charity event, and the black dress would be great for any kind of formal dinner/dance or even New Years’s Eve.

For more great ideas on what to wear as Mother of the Bride or Groom pick up a copy of my popular ebook: Tweak Your Chic – What to Wear as Mother of the Bride.

This book is packed full of suggestions for how to look fabulous on this very special moment. It’s once in a lifetime so why not look absolutely fabulous?

You can also see more mother of the bride dresses on some on my readers here.  



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  1. former MOB says:

    As a former MOB who lucked out with her shopping I can see the idea behind wearing 2 dresses & would probably do so again if I were to be MOB again. I felt totally appropriate and comfortable in a MOB dress coordinated with the wedding party for the ceremony and photographs (I walked my daughter down the aisle & bought from the same line the bridesmaids did), but at the reception occasionally felt out of place as I was not dressed in just a fancy version of my usual style (there was no MOG). My MOB bride dress was more formal than what most of the guests were wearing.

  2. What a great idea is the Mother of the Bride e-book. There are lots of things to be said about the role, things to prepare and of source how to look one’s best.

    • Hi Brian,
      I think so too. After all, your child’s wedding day will be captured forever in a gorgeous family photo that often hangs on the wall for years and then is passed down through the generations, so you want to look as fabulous as you can be! It’s a important day in your life as well as theirs. Enjoy.

  3. Wow, I love the espresso teardrop dress.

  4. Love the pink and black number for the church!

    Cheers,
    Cate