Mother of the Bride

What Does the Mother Of The Groom Wear?

mother of the groom
photo: make-up Beke Beau

Everyone talks about what the Mother of the Bride should wear, but what about the Mother of the Groom Dresses? What should you wear, and is it any different from what the mother of the bride would wear?

The answer is simple. You wear something that coordinates with the wedding party and the mother of the bride’s dress.

It may sound a little old-fashioned, but the proper wedding etiquette is that the groom’s mother waits to hear what the mother of the bride is wearing before she selects her outfit. The problem is, what if the mother of the bride can’t decide or doesn’t tell you.

Don’t worry; it’s perfectly fine to call her up and have a chat about it. After all, you want to make sure you find a dress in plenty of time before the wedding, and it does take some work to look for one. Keep these tips in mind.

1. The mother of the groom’s dresses should coordinate with the bridesmaids and mother of the bride’s dress in terms of color, style, and length. For example, if the bridesmaids are wearing pastel pink and the bride’s mother is wearing pastel yellow, don’t wear bright red. You will stick out like a sore thumb and ruin the photographs.

2. Don’t go for a twin look and wear matching pastel yellow like the bride’s mother. You’ll need to have your own look.  In this case,  lavender or pale blue, or mint green or peach would work well.

3. Don’t wear white or off-white– you don’t want to take away from the bride.

4. Wear black, only if it is o.k. with the bride.  For the mother of the groom dress, black can be a chic choice but not surprise the bride and buy the dress without speaking with her. Remember, a bride has likely been planning her wedding day in her head all her life, and she may have a certain look or feel she is trying to achieve. Black may not be in this picture.

5. Check about patterns- There are more and more patterned dresses these days, and I would advise you to check with the bride about that too. It can be a modern choice, but if a bride is very traditional, she may not like the idea of stripes or flowers stealing the spotlight in the photos.

6. Keep it conservative- Remember, all eyes should be on the bride. This is not the time or place for a low-cut gown with lots of cleavages or a very short skirt that shows off a little too much leg.

7. For black and white weddings, which are getting more and more popular, consider a subtle metallic like pewter, gold, or silver for mother of the groom dress. These are a great alternative to black or white and can be a classy, timeless addition.

Need More Ideas?

Do you have a wedding coming up? What are you planning to wear? If you need a little help deciding on which mother of the bride dresses (or mother of the groom dresses) might be best for you, be sure to check out my bestselling book Tweak Your Chic – Mother of the Bride. It will tell you everything you need to know on one of the most important and cherished days of your life.

Join the Conversation

27 thoughts on “What Does the Mother Of The Groom Wear?

  1. Is it ok for a mother of groom to wear spaghetti strap dress with a wrap? Outdoor, summer wedding on a small family farm

    1. Hi April, It sounds like an informal setting so yes that would be fine with a wrap, so long as the dress is not too casual. ( like a sundress for ex.) All the best.

  2. I’m mother of the groom. Bridesmaids are wearing long dresses. Mother of the bride is wearing a hi-lo dress. What length should wear?

    1. Hi Kaye, Good question. What time of day is the wedding and where? How formal is the high low? If it is semi-formal or formal, then you are o.k. in a long dress if that is what you like. I think in this case it depends more on the type of wedding you are having. Check with the bride and see how she feels. I bet she has an opinion!

  3. Hello, I am the mother of the groom. The bride’s mom is wearing navy blue, the girls are wearing purple. What should I wear

  4. I am the mother of the groom. The bridesmaids are wearing navy blue, groomsmen and fathers are wearing charcoal gray and the mother of the bride is wearing steel grey. Any suggestions for a color for my dress? I need something to wow for the mother son dance. Thanks

  5. I am having trouble figuring out what to wear. I am a 35 year old mother of the groom who is 19. The wedding colors are vibrant purple and white. The mother of the bride does not have a clue what she’s wearing and stated she was just wearing something simple. Could you please help??

    1. Hi Virginia, I understand how this can be frustrating for you as the MOG usually takes her dressing cues from the MOB. You two should be co-ordinated in the sense that is she is wearing something simple, you should be too. I would wait a bit until she decides on her color and style and then decide. If time is running out perhaps you can ask the bride her thoughts on what she would like to see you both wear, to get the ball rolling. If the colors are purple and white then perhaps, a lighter lilc or blue color would be nice.

  6. I’m the mother of the groom. Bridesmaids are in red and mother of the bride is wearing navy blue. What colors will work well with that color combination? Wedding is in October.

  7. I am the groom’s mother. The bridesmaids are wearing navy and the mother of the groom is wearing a light grey dress. Groomsmen are wearing charcoal and dad’s are wearing black. As the mother of the groom, I have a beautiful navy dress. Can I wear the same color as the bridesmaids? Would it clash with my husband wearing black?

  8. I am the mother of groom. I have no idea the color I should wear.( My son and future daughter in law s wedding will be in July) Their wedding (color) is teal

  9. My daughter is getting married next April her bridesmaid are wearing cadbury purple, what colour should I wear?

    1. Hi Maggie, Cadbury purple is rich and regal. You could wear silver, gold, pink is always pretty or a lighter warmer purple would also complement darker Cadbury purple. Sometimes even green or blue can work.

  10. The bridesmaid are wearinging red , maid of honor black and my son is wearing a red jacket with black lapels. I’m in love with a black gown with sparkle in the sleeves. I’m a big woman and it is flattering. The bride likes it too .

  11. Brides maids are wearing burgundy or maroon color dress and mother of bride is in blue. Can I wear a silver color dress or is that to light. Also I saw a dress that is pretty and it’s lilac. Would that clash and any suggestions are welcome.my future daughter in law said any color other than maroon or blue.ceremony in May outside evening with reception to follow

    1. Hi Melissa, There are no hard, fast rules. What color are the bridesmaids wearing. Find a color that co-ordinates with the bridesmaids and mother of the bride. Imagine all of you lined up in a photo. You want to blend in, not stick out.

      1. My son is getting married in Hawaii. The mother of the bride is wearing slate blue, midlength. The bridesmaids are wearing different styles and colors ranging from gold to tan, blush. I found a dress that I love on me and it slims me. The color is navy blue and it is long. Would that be ok?

        1. Hi Joan, The mother of the groom should not wear the same color as the bridesmaids or mother of the bride. You should wear a color that complements the colors they have selected. It sounds like your navy dress is not the same shade as the slate mob dress, and that they might co-ordinate well? If this is true, you should be fine. As for length, the mothers do not have to wear dresses of equal length, although many do, feeling that it creates a more harmonious look, especially in wedding photos. I would discuss this with the bride and see how she feels. I get the feeling the bride would be open to this dress as you mentioned all her bridesmaids are wearing different styles and colors. This sounds like a nice laid back Hawaiian wedding. I hope everything works out and you have a wonderful time. Cheers, Deborah

  12. This dress is similar to the one my mom wore on my sister’s wedding two weeks ago. She is a bit healthy but when she wore her shape looked absolutely stunning; I am not over-exaggerating but may be it is because of the over aLl gown which makes one look slimmer. In fact, everyone at the wedding reception really liked my mom over al look plus the jewelry and shows she wore along with the dress which enhanced her whole appearance. You can check their whole collection here http://www.johncharles.co.uk/

  13. Don’t make the same mistake as I did. As a 52 year old mother of the bride, I feel I am in very good shape physically. I work out four times a week and try to eat well. I did not want to look frumpy or dowdy at my daughter’s wedding. I ended up choosing a dress that was charcoal gray, (it looks black in the pictures), form fitting and too low cut, and now I cannot get over the feeling of shame. Every time I look at the wedding pictures, I get upset all over again. If I could do it all over again, I would wear a simple sleeveless sheath in a light blue (the bridesmaids wore navy blue). Oh, if I could only do it over again!!!

    Strangely enough, my daughter approved my choice of this dress. My good friend also approved it prior to the wedding. Now, when I tell them how remorseful I am with this choice, they don’t want to talk about it.

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