Mother of the Bride Dresses to Look Chic at the Best Price

Are you going to become a mother of the bride soon? Here are some savvy tips and tricks on how to look chic at the best price regardless of your style or budget.

How to Be a Chic Mother of the Bride at the Best Price

With my oldest daughter getting married in August, I am dedicating quite a bit of effort into figuring out how to be a chic mother of the bride at the best price. I’ve garnered quite a few tips and tricks to share about shopping for a MOB, so here goes!

What is your MOB style?

A narrowed search on your favorite online retailer~i.e. Saks, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus~will bring up dresses that are typical and appropriate for any MOB.  If you are like I am, you’ll have to look outside the MOB search box and find something that fits your style but stays appropriate and chic for your daughter’s wedding.

How to Be a Chic Mother of the Bride at the Best Price

Saks Fifth Avenue

My Favorite Designers for MOB Dress Styles

After shopping for a few days, I quickly learned which designers to plug into the search engine on each site. You too will learn which designers’ styles best suit your tastes.

My faves are Halston Heritage, Badgley Mischka, Teri Jon by Riki Freeman, Likely, and Adrianna Papell. Surprisingly, Adrianna Papell is the least expensive brand and the one that is my current #1 choice. Check it out below and let me know what you think! It is a high low and super streamlined, but I just love it!

Tips for Choosing a MOB Dress

Thankfully, if you are a Mother of the Bride to be, you can still be chic and appropriately styled for your daughter’s wedding without sticking to the MOB drop-down search:-). Below are some tips and guidelines I’ve been trying to follow.

  • Let the bride help decide. Before choosing your dress, ask your daughter’s opinion. Since it is her day, this just makes sense. I’m texting my daughter pics of all dresses before ordering them. If she says no, I remove them from my shopping cart. I have every other day of the year to dress exactly how I choose; her wedding day is not one of those days (and I am fine with this:-)
  • Complement the wedding party color scheme. My daughter chose bridesmaids’ dresses fairly early (and also chose navy for groomsmen), so I kept this in mind when choosing the color of my dress. It is good to complement the colors of the wedding party attire. It looks better in person and in photos.
  • Think “family Christmas card.” Whether you do a yearly Christmas card or not, you’ll have plenty of lovely photos from the wedding. Choose a dress color that will go especially well with what your family will be wearing.
  • Suit the season. No matter how beautiful a dress is, make sure it will fit the likely temperature of the wedding date. For our August wedding (in Alabama), I am going sleeveless all the way.
  •  Consider accessories. Keep in mind you can tweak the level of formality up or down when accessorizing the dress. Your choice of shoes and earrings can make a huge difference in one direction or another.

How to Get the Best Price for a MOB Dress

Although I have and still am looking locally at dresses, the bulk of my shopping is being done online. It is easier to get a MOB dress for less online by following a few guidelines.

  • Shop with Ebates. Y’all, I cannot stress enough how much I have earned in cash back by shopping with Ebates. If you want to sign up, go here.  You can also visit this blog post where I share my tips for using Ebates. Some of my favorite retailers~Saks, Neiman Marcus, and Bloomingdales~offer 10% or more Ebates cash back.
  • Sign up for email discounts. If you sign up as a new subscriber, most retailers will offer a nice discount off of your first purchase.  It pays to wait until you have some items you want to purchase before you use the one time discount.
  • Consider the card. If you plan to buy a hunk of new clothing for the wedding, opening a store card and paying it off at the end of the month (never pay interest on a credit card) can reap dividends. This makes sense IF you plan to buy most of the outfits you’ll need from the store where you open the card.
  • Look in unlikely places. You don’t have to shop high-end retailers to find great MOB dresses. Check out the gorgeous Badgley Mischka gowns I found on  Zappos and amazon.
  • Borrow or shop consignment. There is no shame in borrowing (I’ve had several friends offer to let me wear their MOB dresses:-). Consignment stores area also hidden gems for MOB dresses, some worn once and some with tags still attached (likely purchased, never worn, and never returned for some reason).

Budget for other clothing and accessories. 

As mother of the bride, you’ll be attending showers as well as the rehearsal dinner. Keep this in mind when allocating the amount you’ll spend on the Mother of the Bride dress. I frankly am glad that my #1 MOB choice so far is VERY inexpensive. This leaves me margin for a nicer dress or outfit (depending upon formality) for the rehearsal.

Family Savvy’s Opinion on MOB Dress Style.

  • Wear black or a print if your daughter/bride is fine with it. I do think it best to wear touches of black or go ombre so that you don’t look too stark.
  • White is reserved for the bride UNLESS she desires all white (I did that in my wedding). Again, it is her choice.
  • Bright colors are fine IF your bride agrees. My daughter didn’t want me to wear a pink one I loved (in the link below) because it would clash with her bridesmaids.
  • Sleeveless, halter, and not-so-typical MOB silhouettes are fine if they are modest. I typically wear either long sleeves or sleeveless, and I’ve found some lovely gown options (see them below).
  • Your daughter’s wedding is not the time or place to #bringsexyback. Save that for another day LOL.
  • Ask friends’ opinions before you buy (or keep) a MOB dress. I have a few friends who’ve helped me narrow down my final choices. I was surprised at a few things that I loved that all of them said “no” to immediately.

Note: The MOB dress will likely NEVER be worn again (unless you loan it to someone). Unless you frequent balls or soirees more than most, this dress will be a #onetrickpony dress in your closet. So for this reason alone, it pays to shop wisely and find something chic and lovely at a reasonable price.

I link below to some of my favorite potential MOB dresses. I’d LOVE to hear from any of you with your opinion. Do you spot one that is a standout fave? Let me hear from you; I’d love your vote 😘. As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!

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  1. What a lovely venue you all have planned! My advice is to go online and search high end stores like Saks and put in “long” for length. You can easily narrow down by color, style, neckline, length, etc…If you have a local boutique, that might be an option as well. Best to you and yours!!!

  2. My daughter is having her wedding ceremony at Eden’s State Park in front of a big tree then her reception t Grayson Beach Florida ‘s Monet Monet in May 2023. She having a garden themed wedding . She has said I can wear anything as long as it’s floor length and within the guidelines of the theme. This includes her bridesmaids. Any suggestions?

  3. Hi Lou, those are very good points. I am awaiting the pure elegance from Anthropologie, so I will definitely see how it looks! The wedding is 4:30 at Pursell Farms, a lovely venue but an “outdoor feel” nonetheless. It throws a bit of a more casual vibe to it, but I still need to be fastidious about choosing the right dress. I’ll keep you all posted!!! XoXo

  4. My vote is for the “Pure Elegance” from Anthropologie as well. To me, fabric and styling is of the utmost importance with a MOB dress–much more so than with dresses worn for other occasions. All of these choices you have selected are gorgeous dresses, but to me the shiny, satiny fabrics look too much like fabric that might be used in a bridesmaid dress. Also, too much in the way of ruffles or sequins makes the garment look like a party dress.

    Congratulations on this exciting event–I know that your family is thrilled!

  5. You’re welcome! I was thinking the high low style will be so cute and easier for walking and dancing. I always need petite length and this length may keep you from needing alterations to length too.
    Take Care!

  6. oh my goodness! I love your choices! I love navy as well and I think number 1 will be beautiful! I also love the silver saks fifth avenue dress! I’m excited for you and your family!

  7. Melinda, thank you for your feedback!!! I think I”ll order the “pure elegance” from Anthro and try it on. I love both blue ruffle dresses; the high low is my pick due to price and the high low hem. It is a 4:30 wedding, so I can go a bit more casual. Anyway, I am so grateful for your opinions! XoXo

  8. “Pure elegance” is my absolute favorite! The one that is sold out in blue is perfect. Your 2nd fav is my second favorite and beautiful as well. You have some great choices!

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