6 Mother-of-the-Bride Outfits For a Summer Wedding and Beyond

The second most important person in any wedding celebration is the mother-of-the-bride. Naturally, she must be suitably dressed for the occasion which calls for her to be an image of elegance, dignity but also of quiet authority.

While she is often found in the wings as bride and her maids take centre stage, enter a banquet hall and chances are, you’ll be able to pick out the mother-of-the-bride. Her attire is of such importance – ranking right up there after wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses – most bridal retailers have cultivated an entire category dedicated to mom.

However, over the years, the MOB category has solidify into a certain fashion image – one that has come to mean matronly and perhaps a bit too stately with the dress-and-matching-jacket combo. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with that look – if that’s what you’re looking for – perhaps it’s time to consider alternatives that suits your style and the celebration.

While most brides and their planners might stand their ground on rules and regulations regarding dress attire on the wedding day, the mother-of-the-bride should be allowed to adhere to her own personal style sensibilities, but with a nod to the central theme of the wedding. If it’s a destination wedding and held on a beach, obviously, she should not be swanning down a sandy path in a ball gown.

Here are a few style pointers to consider when helping mom select her outfit for the Big Day.

Regardless if there are 1001 staff on hand to help out on the wedding day, the mother-of-the-bride is always on the ready to roll up her sleeves and help out should an emergency arise. Her comfort level should be taken into account in her dress selection. Will she be on her feet all day, will there be much running around and is she in a single outfit that has to take her from church to photo session to banquet hall dinner and party? If that is the scenario, the less fussy the outfit, chances are, she will look fresh, calm and composed.

Is she prone to fluctuating body temperatures? Perhaps, a jacket or shawl, should be part of her outfit. The bride and her planners should share any colour schemes, decor details or pictures of the venue with her so she can visualize how she may look in the surroundings.

And unlike the bride or even the bridesmaids, why should her outfit be fit just for one day? And perhaps this is one of the most over-looked details when choosing a MOB outfit, but there is no reason why the mother-of-the-bride attire should not be worn again and again at a variety of functions.

With this in mind, we round up a few selections suitable for a wide variety of summer weddings celebrations and beyond. But while they might be targeted at the number two lady of the Big Day, these outfits can also work for wedding guests.



If you’re a mother-of-the-bride heading to a destination wedding in the tropics or on a cruise ship, why not pay homage to the sun and sea with a nautical-inspired one-shoulder dress? Easy and breezy but with a sophisticated twist at the shoulder, this winning number can be be played down extra-casual by pairing with dressing sandals for nuptials on a beach or a pair of heels for a dressier cocktail vibe if vows are being exchanged on cruise liner.

One-shoulder Bow Striped Dress, $148, Banana Republic and bananarepublic.com


These big botanicals are a classic and perfect for a sunny summer wedding in a church and the celebrations that follow later in the evening. The two piece suit is always a great option for such an occasion since it conveys a touch of formality but lightens the mood with this oversized floral print. You can also take a style cue from recent mother-of-the-bride, Carole Middleton, and add a great chapeau to your suit.

Metallic Floral Jacquard skirt, $395 and matching jacket, $495, Pink Tartan and pinktartan.ca



If the wedding procession is a no-frills event at City Hall, this sleek yet understated dress can take you down the drab office corridors without making you feel overtly over-dressed. However, it is also polished and sophisticated enough for heading to a chic bar or restaurant for a toast or celebratory dinner.

The Rafferty Peacock Blue Off-The-Shoulder dress, $330, Reiss and reiss.com


The wedding is in one of the top hotels in the city with a formal catered dinner, therefore your look should be one of elegance and sophistication and nothing beats the classic combo of black and white. But this gown, with fine pleating bodice and stretchy jersey fabric, also offers ease and comfort for an evening that calls for much dancing.

Cleo Neck Contrast Gown, $268, melanielyne.com


If the happy couple is hosting their wedding in special environment like an art gallery or museum or an ultra-modern event space with striking architectural details, this strikingly simple yet artfully pleated midi dress is an elegant choice for mom. Pair with beautiful metallic sandals and accessorize with perhaps oversized cuffs and an envelope clutch bag.

Asymmetric folded knit dress, $175, available at COS. 


Set in a lush garden or in a swanky glass tent – a la Pippa Middleton’s recent wedding reception – opt for a floral pantsuit instead of a dress. It’s unexpected and has all the comfort and ease of pyjamas. Possibly just what you need on a night of much eating, drinking and dancing.

Flowing double-breasted blazer, $89.90 with matching pant, $49.90, Zara.com