What is the wedding dress code for the MOB? Does the mother-of-the-bride wear a long dress for a 4 p.m. wedding?
About wedding dress code for the MOB. The mother-of-the-bride along with the wedding couple determine the style of the wedding. The hight of elegance is consistency and from the start your daughter’s wedding should reflect one style: very formal (white tie and evening dresses), formal (tuxedos or dinner jackets and long or short dresses), less formal (business suits and cocktail dresses), or informal.
Having one style throughout — from the invitation and wedding dress code to the wedding toasts and thank-you note — will simplify the whole decision making process.
The earlier in the day the wedding, the less formal the dress code. The later in the day, the dressier the attire.
Traditionally, a four o’clock wedding is not formal. Even when the bridal party are in tuxedos and long dresses, it doesn’t necessarily mean you ask guests to dress as formally.
Especially nowadays when more guests than before will be traveling from afar, tuxedos and evening gowns can be tricky to transport and who is going to iron them when the guest arrives at their destination?
The MOB picks the dress style that suits her best. If she doesn’t feel she will be comfortable traipsing around in a long chiffon evening dress from two in the afternoon (when she’ll have to get dressed) until midnight (when she finally gets to bed), then she opts for a more comfortable knee-length cocktail dress, a sheath with a coordinating jacket, or a dressy dinner suit (often called an opera suit).
Often when there is an early afternoon ceremony and a dinner wedding, the MOB will wear a knee-length dress to the ceremony and change into an evening dress for the dinner dance reception.
Personally, I would prefer a well-designed, thick, silk, knee-length dinner suit with 3/4-quarter-length sleeves. You have to think about the season, the climate, as well as the venue of the wedding, and the wedding colors; again, based on the overall formality. A hipster or rustic barn-style wedding is different style from a preppy seaside or country club wedding, a hotel ballroom wedding is more formal than a destination wedding on a dude ranch or in your backyard (see “Father of the Bride”).
A trim, buff and younger MOB might be more confident showing a lot of skin and wearing a dress that accentuates her curves, whereas an older, more solid MOB might prefer to be covered from head to tow.
As the MOB sets the dress code for her generation of mothers (groom’s mother, aunts, grandmothers, godmothers, stepmothers), she needs to consider a style that they are comfortable with as well, style-wise and price-wise.
Keep in mind that some churches and other houses of worship require women to cover their arms and/or heads before entering.
We are happy to assist you further, however, we would need to know more about the MOB and her daughter’s wedding to give our best answer.
To start, here are more dresses (scroll down) from the current Neiman Marcus website under Mother-of-the-Bride.
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