Mother of the Bride and Groom Dresses for afternoon and evening

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?

Barb's Mother of the Groom outfit for the ceremony

Barb’s Mother of the Groom outfit for the ceremony

The answer in this situation is, either is acceptable.

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.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.

Barb at the reception

Barb at the reception

After the ceremony and  during 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.
What did I wear? I went for two outfits too. I wore my favorite cream colored summer suit by Ross Mayer to the church. To the reception I wore this espresso sparkly teardrop dressy by Milly that made me feel like dancing. It’s available at Nordstrom.In this very casual dress world we live in, isn’t it nice to have the chance to go to a wedding so you can play dress-up sometimes? Picture 091

Mother Of The Bride ebookFor more great ideas on what to wear as Mother of the Bride or Groom check out my ebook Tweak Your Chic-Mother of the Bride!



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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