Choosing A Mother of the Bride Rehearsal Dinner Dresses Your Ultimate Guide

Choosing A Mother Of The Bride Rehearsal Dinner Dresses: Your Ultimate Guide

The mother of the bride is a hugely important role in any wedding; you will be responsible for making sure that everything runs smoothly and your daughter looks stunning on her big day, and expect to be the center of attention as your little girl starts her new life as a wife.

The mother of the bride should always look absolutely beautiful, so it’s essential to find the perfect dress for this special occasion – and this includes the rehearsal dinner!

To help, we have put together some top tips on finding the perfect rehearsal dinner dress for the mother of the bride, so that you can ensure that you look spectacular at every stage of your daughter’s big day.

What Is A Rehearsal Dinner?

A rehearsal dinner is a party held before the wedding ceremony which takes place later in the evening. It is usually held after the wedding breakfast but before the reception begins.

This is where friends and family come together to celebrate with the couple and their guests.

Rehearsals are often held in the same venue as the wedding itself, although they may take place elsewhere if there isn’t enough space. They are also known as “rehearsal dinners” or “pre-wedding parties”.

It is important for a mother of the bride to really look sensational at the rehearsal dinner; this is your chance to show off all of your hard work and make sure everyone knows how much you love your daughter while enjoying the chance to have everyone come together for a special day.

How To Choose The Right Mother Of The Bride Outfit For The Rehearsal Dinner

So, just how do you go about choosing a look that is flattering, elegant, and stylish? Well, read on to discover our top tips on choosing the right dress for the rehearsal dinner:

Choose Something That Flatters Your Figure

This is perhaps one of the most important factors in choosing the right outfit for your rehearsal dinner; you need to ensure that you are comfortable, as well as looking great.

If you feel uncomfortable in something, then no amount of makeup or hair styling will hide that fact.

If you’re worried about being too thin, then opt for a dress that flatters your figure by showing off your best assets. This will look different for different figures and body shapes, and we have put together some more advice on this below.

The most flattering look for you will depend on your body shape and figure, and some of the main ones include:


This is a classic silhouette that shows off your waist and hips, giving you a slimming effect.

You’ll want to choose a dress that shows off your curves without drawing attention to them, but women with an hourglass figure are often considered to be very lucky; you will be able to wear dresses that fit perfectly around your waist and flatter your figure, and most styles will look sensational on you.


Women with pear-shaped figures tend to have a wider bottom half than the top half – in other words, your hips and butt will be larger than your boobs.

This means that you will want to avoid dresses that draw attention to your stomach area, as this will only emphasize your larger size.

Instead, opt for a dress that highlights and balances you out, rather than focusing on one particular area.


Apple figures are those who tend to carry weight around their waist and middle and can be quite tricky to dress in an elegant way.

As such, you will still want to avoid dresses that accentuate your stomach area, as these will only highlight your wider waist, and instead opt for a dress that draws attention away from it.

Try loose, flowy fabrics or dresses with ruffles or pleats that give you a slimmer look.


Rectangles are those who tend to carry weight evenly across their body, meaning that they don’t have any particular areas that stand out.

See also  40 Beautiful Mexican Wedding Dress Ideas

However, they can sometimes struggle when it comes to finding dresses that suit their figure, as they can appear to be either swamped or poorly fitted.

To help rectangles find dresses that suit their figure better, try wearing dresses that fall loosely over your body, or dresses with sleeves that cover up your arms to really balance out the overall look.


If you are petite, then you may not always find yourself in the ideal situation when it comes to finding the perfect formal dress.

Petite women tend to have smaller waists and shorter legs, which makes it harder to find dresses that work for them.

Opt for something that ends just below the knee or at the mid-calf point rather than a full-length gown; the latter can drown you and hide your slim figure.

Make Sure You Feel Comfortable

This is another super important consideration; if you don’t feel comfortable, you will not be able to look your best.

Make sure that your chosen gown fits well and feels good, and you will instantly look a million dollars, as well as be able to really enjoy the event without worrying about your dress or outfit.

Consider Your Personality

You should also consider what kind of personality you want to project through your dress. Do you prefer something simple and understated? Or do you like to show off your style?

Think about how you would like to be perceived, and make sure that your dress reflects this – this relates heavily to making sure that you feel great; if you don’t truly feel like yourself, you will find it harder to have fun and enjoy the day.

Mothers Of The Bride Dresses: What To Look For

There are many factors to consider when selecting a mother of the bride’s wedding dress. These include budget, style, fabric, color, length, shape, neckline, sleeve type, waistband/belt details, lining, hemline, undergarments, bustle, train, veil, etc.


As a general rule, the higher the price tag, the better the quality and women have been following this rule for generations! However, this isn’t always the case, as some cheap dresses can be made cheaply and still look good.

You should definitely avoid spending too much money on a dress, as you don’t want to regret it later on – always have a budget in mind, and don’t be afraid to stick to this. Remember, the wedding itself is the most important thing.


Your dress is an amazing chance to express your personal style.

Whether you like vintage-inspired styles, modern designs, or anything else in between, you can create a unique outfit by mixing and matching pieces from various designers.

There’s nothing wrong with wearing a traditional dress if this is your style, but you can also add a touch of glamor with a glamorous evening clutch bag, or pair a classic suit with a statement necklace.

The most important thing is to be comfortable, and express your style through your outfit.


It’s important to select a material that feels comfortable against your skin.

You shouldn’t feel restricted while wearing the dress, and you should be able to move around freely without worrying about snagging the fabric. This is particularly important if you plan on dancing throughout the night.


If you love bright colors, then you should definitely go for a bolder option.

If you prefer pastel shades, then opt for a soft pink or light blue. Don’t worry about choosing a particular shade, as you can change the color at any time during the day.


The neckline of the dress is another important factor; remember, a rehearsal dinner is a fairly formal, elegant occasion, so you should wear something that flatters your body, without being too revealing; there is a time and a place for a low neckline!

Avoid plunging necklines, which tend to show cleavage, and instead, opt for a V-neckline or scooped neckline.


A mother-of-the-bride dress should ideally come with a lining, as this will help keep you warm and ensure that you avoid any unwanted slips that could be embarrassing.

Some mothers of the bride dresses come with a separate slip underneath the dress, whereas others come with a built-in slip.

Sleeve Type

You may wish to wear a sleeveless dress, but you need to make sure that you’re not going to get cold.

A sleeved dress will provide more warmth than a sleeveless one, and you’ll be able to stay stylishly dressed without compromising on comfort or warmth.


If you are looking to narrow your waist and help create a smaller outline. You should choose a dress that has a belt, as this will give you a slimming effect and accentuate your figure.

It’s best to avoid a wide belt, as this will make your waist appear wider.

Factors That May Impact Your Choice of Dress

There are a number of factors that can impact the dress a mother of the bride chooses for the rehearsal dinner, and this may include:

The Season Of The Wedding

The season that the wedding is being held in is likely to have a significant impact on the dress that you choose – a summer wedding will call for lighter colors, while winter weddings require more warmth.

See also  The Ultimate Guide to Selling Your Used Wedding Dress

Weddings that take place in the colder months can also benefit from a coat or jacket to keep you warm, and you are likely to need a warmer material.

The Location Of The Wedding

The place in which the wedding takes place will also have an impact on the dress you choose.

If the wedding is taking place at a country house, then you may want to go for something a bit more formal, while a boho beach wedding will allow you to wear something a little less formal.

As a rule, the style and tone of the wedding will set the tone of the rehearsal dinner, and so will have an impact on the dress you choose to wear.

The Theme Of The Wedding

A theme wedding is likely to influence the type of dress you choose. For example, a black tie wedding requires a different dress code to a garden party.

A themed wedding will often involve specific colors and patterns, such as red roses, so you may want to stick to these during the rehearsal dinner – this is often seen as a continuation of the main event, and so you should dress accordingly.

How To Buy A Mother Of The Bride Dress

Once you’ve decided on the type of dress that you want, it’s time to start shopping! There are many different places where you can buy mother-of-the-bride dresses online, so take some time to browse around and see what suits you best.

Mothers Of The Bride Dresses: What To Look For When Buying Online

When purchasing a mother-of-the-bride dress from an online retailer, you will usually be given a number of choices to select from.

This means that you can easily compare prices and styles, and you won’t have to worry about having to try things on before deciding.

It can, however, be hard to see what things really look like, how they hang, the cut and weight of the material, and the overall effect of the dress with your hair, makeup, shoes, and accessories.

When choosing a website to purchase your mother-of-the-bride dresses, make sure that you check their return policy.

Some retailers will allow you to return items within 30 days of receiving them, while others will offer more generous terms of returns within 60 days.

Make sure that you read the terms and conditions carefully, and that you understand what happens if you decide to return the item – there is a high chance that you may need to try a few dresses to find the perfect fit, and the last thing that you need is to be inundated with dresses you no longer need!

If you’re planning on ordering a mother-of-the-bride gown online, you may want to think about getting a size up than you normally wear, as well as your standard size and a size down.

Most women tend to underestimate their sizes, which can lead to disappointment later on in the process – having all of the options to hand gives you plenty of choices; as mentioned above, just remember to check the returns policy!

Buying In Person

You could go to a high street store, but there are often very limited options available – especially if you are on the hunt for something a little different from the rest.

A great alternative is to head to a boutique shop, where you’ll get more choices and probably a much higher quality product.

If you’re looking for something specific, then you might need to visit a bridal salon, where you can talk to someone about your requirements and ask questions – they will be used to helping mothers for a range of occasions, and so will be able to offer experienced advice.

This can also be a great bonding activity for the who;e bridal party; why not head out with the bride and bridesmaids to choose your rehearsal dinner outfits together, and make the most of the exciting experience?

The most important thing to remember when buying a mother-of-the-bride dress is that you should never compromise on quality.

It doesn’t matter whether you choose a high street store or a boutique shop, as long as you know exactly what you want and you are happy with the end result.

What Should I Avoid When Buying A Mother Of The Bride Dress?

There are some things that you should avoid when shopping for a mother-of-the-bride wedding dress:

Cheap Materials

It’s tempting to buy a cheap dress because you don’t want to spend too much money, but this isn’t always the best option.

You may feel like you’ve saved money by going for a cheaper dress, but you may regret it later on.

Quality materials mean that you will be wearing a dress that lasts for years, rather than one that needs replacing every year.

Too Short

While you may love the idea of showing off your legs, the rehearsal dinner may not be the best place for this. There is a risk that could give the wrong impression, as well as draw attention away from the bride.

See also  Navigating the No-Gift Bridal Shower: Mindful Ideas and Expert Tips

You may also feel uncomfortable in a dress that is too short; this is an event that allows you to enjoy an elegant, sophisticated look, so try and make the most of it.

Too Long

Again, this is another area where you may want to consider the environment before making your decision.

While you may look amazing in a floor-length dress, you may find this a little uncomfortable if you are not used to dresses of this length. Depending on the weather, you may also feel too warm in a dress that is too long.

Too Tight

In the same sense that a too-short dress can give the wrong impression, the same can be true of a dress that is too tight. While it is understandable that you may want to show off your figure, the rehearsal dinner may not be the most suitable occasion for this.

Unsuitable Colors

If you have chosen a color that clashes with your skin tone, you may find that you look washed out. Make sure that you match your skin tone perfectly, otherwise, you may find yourself feeling self-conscious throughout the evening.

You should also avoid white or cream – this is a major no-no when it comes to dressing for a wedding, or another wedding-related event.

What To Wear With Your Dress

You may want to think about what accessories you would like to wear with your dress. There are a few key areas to cover here:


After your dress, the shoes you wear are among the most important considerations to bear in mind, and these will be largely affected by the same factors discussed above – the location, type, theme, and season of the wedding – as well as the type of dress that you choose.

Different types of dresses work well with different types of shoes; for example, strapless styles tend to go better with flat sandals, while fitted, more formal dresses often look great with heels.

If you’re unsure which style to choose, then you might want to ask someone who has bought a similar dress to help you decide, or make sure that you take your dress with you when buying shoes to get a better idea of the whole picture.

When choosing shoes, you need to keep in mind the following points:


Color is very important. The color of your shoes should complement your dress, and the colors should be complementary to each other.

For example, if you choose a bright red dress, you could select matching red shoes to create a cohesive outfit, or opt for plain nude shoes to help the dress really stand out.


The design of your shoes should complement the style of your dress. If you choose a simple, classic style, then you should stick to basic designs such as pumps, loafers, wedges, and ballet flats.

However, if you prefer something more quirky, then you may want to experiment with fun shapes and patterns.


The size of your shoes should fit comfortably but not restrict your movement. It’s always worth trying on a pair of shoes at home first, especially if they are new to you.

This way, you’ll know exactly how they fit, and whether they are comfortable enough to wear during an extended period of time.


Your choice of accessories depends on the type of dress you’ve selected. For example, if your dress is fairly casual, then you may want a simple necklace or bracelet.

On the other hand, if you’ve opted for a more formal dress, then you may want something more elaborate, such as a statement ring or brooch.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are many things to consider when selecting your mother of the bride rehearsal dinner attire.

In addition to the dress itself, you should also think about the location, the weather, the season, and the type of occasion.

By taking all of these into account, you can ensure that you pick the perfect dress for the right occasion, and match your accessories perfectly for an elegant, sophisticated overall look.

Lisa Plaitt