Your child’s getting married! Whether you’re the mother of the bride or the mother of the groom, it’s a big day. And your outfit is probably at the forefront of your mind right now.

If you’re the mother of the bride, you’ve probably found plenty of options to browse already. But if you’re the mother of the groom, guidelines can be a little less clear.

But what is the difference between mother of the bride and mother of the groom dresses?

To try and make your wedding outfit shopping a little easier, we’ve put together some highlights that might help.

Shopping Schedules

Lots of mother of the bride (MOB) and mother of groom (MOG) dresses are very similar. Plus, the formality of the wedding will dictate how dressy you decide to go. However, one main difference between MOB and MOG shopping is timing.

Tradition states that the mother of the bride should choose first. We say, just keep communication open. As soon as you start to think about shopping, get together for a chat – or at least a phone call – and discuss your ideas. This way, you can both be considerate and make choices that will complement the bridal party AND one another.  Or even better why not make arrangements to go shopping together?

Coordinate Colour & Formality

Unless requested by the bride, you don’t want to match colours or match with the bridesmaids but coordination is key for chic photographs. Again, this will be something worth talking to the bride about. Maybe she envisions everyone in neutral tones. Maybe she’d prefer bold and bright. This should help to guide you.

Coordinating in formality is also important. If the mother of the bride chooses a very casual and relaxed look – no doubt approved by the bride – you probably don’t want to then choose something very formal and sparkly as the mother of the groom. Open communication will help to guide here – as well as the venue and time of year.

Can the mother of the groom wear a short dress if the mother of the bride wears long?

In short, yes. If the mother of the bride decides to wear long, this doesn’t mean you have to. Especially if you’re not comfortable in a full-length dress or outfit. However, make sure you choose something that coordinates with the formality of a long dress so that you don’t feel too casual.

What about Step-Mother of the Bride or Groom?

If you’re a stepmother of either the bride or the groom, you are equally an important part of the wedding party. You will likely wear a similar style and formality of dress as the mothers. If you can, communicate with the mothers in terms of styles, colours and formality.

And if this is difficult, ask for a little help from the bride when it comes to guidance.

Mother of The Groom Etiquette

If it’s your son’s big day and you’re not sure on the mother of the groom etiquette when it comes to dresses, these quick tips should help.

  • Traditional etiquette says to let the mother of the bride choose her outfit first. At least call for a chat before you start to shop so you can discuss colours, brands, etc.

  • Compliment but don’t match the bridesmaids and the mother of the bride.

  • Simple is often better.

  • Check with the bride if in doubt.

Mother of the bride dresses and mother of the groom dresses and outfits are the same, it's all down to individual style. Whether it’s a black-tie or a casual affair, the style rules for wedding party guest outfits are similar.

To ensure your shopping and styling experience runs smoothly, it’s best to keep both parties in the know. And grab a little advice from the bride if you’re not sure.

You’ll find our mother of the bride and groom dresses and outfits edited together in our latest collection.