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mother of the bride

Mother of the Bride Dress: 6 Essential Shopping Tips

Mom, stop obsessing over the bride's wedding gown -- you've got some dress shopping to do yourself! Here's our advice for moms on how to find your mother of the bride dress.

Photo: Manuel Llaneras

Whether you're the mother of the bride or the mother of the groom, you'll have many special moments on the wedding day. All eyes will be on you as you walk into the ceremony and when you're announced at the reception. And what about all those pictures? You may not have shopped for a dress this important since your own wedding, so here are some tips to get you going.

Communication Is Key

Talk to the bride. Get a sense of her vision for the day. Think of the wedding as a big production -- you have one of the leading roles. Find out from the bride (the director) how to dress your part.

Think of the wedding as a big production in which you have one of the leading roles

Get Going

Start shopping as early as possible, but not until the bride has chosen her wedding gown and the bridesmaid dresses -- then it's time for you to begin your own Mother of the Bride dress search.

Make a Match

Look at what the bride and the bridal party are wearing and follow their lead as far as formality.

Find Your Hue

Decide what color you want to wear. Start looking with several color preferences in mind -- but stay away from white, cream or ivory (you don't want to look like you're trying to steal the spotlight). The best Mother of the Groom and Mother of the Bride dresses compliment the mom's coloring and don't clash with the wedding colors (no, the dress doesn't have to match the bridesmaids').

Compromise with the Bride

A good idea is to have the bride send you magazine pictures to get an idea of what style she has in mind. If she'd like you to wear a style you're not happy wearing, let her know and do your best to compromise. It's her day, but you have to feel comfortable.

Talk to the Mother of the Groom

The Mother of the Bride should consult with the Mother of the Groom when she's selected her dress, informing her of color and formality. The groom's mother doesn't have to buy something in the same shade, but it should echo the skirt and sleeve length.

-- Cindy Hobson

See More: Bridal Party Fashion , Basics for Moms