Formal Mother of the Bride {or Groom} Dress

It’s almost June, and that means wedding season is upon us!

I believe I’ve mentioned that I have several weddings to attend in the next few months, so what to wear has been at the forefront of my mind.

It’s funny how things have shifted as I’ve been in my 40s. It used to be my friends and my cousins getting married, and now it’s my friends’ children and my nieces and nephews getting married.

And you know what that means… it won’t be long until my own kids are planning their nuptials. *cue tears*

Okay, in reality, I think I have some time before it’s my turn… my oldest is only 19.

But many of you are in that situation or have been recently, so I was super excited when Bloomingdale’s reached out to me about partnering on a wedding fashion post.

Bloomingdale’s has long been my go-to retailer for denim, but they also have a large selection of special occasion dresses at a wide range of price points.

If you’re going to be the mother of the bride or groom sometime soon… or if  you’re a wedding guest or a bridesmaid looking for a dress, you’ll definitely want to take a look at what they have to offer.

I started perusing their website, imaging what I might wear if I were going to be the mother of the bride or groom this year, and I landed on this navy blue Adrianna Papell Embellished Illusion Gown.

Navy blue is an excellent color choice for a mother of the bride or groom dress because it’s elegant, slimming, and flattering on almost everyone.

I love how this dress has a semi-sheer yoke and sleeves for those who don’t care to bare a lot of skin, and the bead and sequin embellishments make it perfect for an evening event.

It skims the body without clinging and is fitted through the waist for a flattering fit, then the fluted godet skirt adds just a hint of drama.

The sizing notes on the website suggest sizing down, and I would agree. I’m wearing the 8, my usual size in Adrianna Papell dresses, and this is slightly big on me. I’m 5’5″ and 140# for reference.

It would also need to be hemmed, but that’s to be expected with a floor-length dress, and it’s an easy alteration.

This dress has a lot going on so I kept my accessories minimal with a pair of blingy earrings and a sequined bag, and I simply wore a pair of sparkly metallic ankle strap sandals. The bracelet-length sleeves allow you to wear a piece of jewelry if you wish, but it isn’t necessary.

I love how this dress is sophisticated yet modern, and the length and embellishments make it perfect for the most formal wedding celebrations.

More Mother of the Bride/Groom Dresses from Bloomingdale’s:

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photos: Alison Cornell

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47 Responses

  1. Well last Saturday I was a very proud mother of the bride. I didn’t want to look like the typical mother of the bride wearing a dress that was so heavy I couldn’t move or accompanied by a jacket that ages me 10 years  lol… so I opted for a fun flirty dress that hit just a bit above my ankle ( yeah no length issues as I’m only 5’3) it had a high ruffled neck and ruffled  cap sleeves and the dress had several layers that fell giving it a lovely flow when I walked. The dress was so light weight I felt like I was wearing nothing. The color was navy with a thin eyelet navy trim on each layer. I wore a blush ankle strap shoe( block heel yes comfortable) with small blush and gold flowers across the straps. It was purchased at a local boutique where we live and I carried a small gold clutch that matched the flowers in the shoe… This dress is absolutely beautiful on you.. just a bit dressy for what I had been looking for.. it was also the nicest warmest day we have had so far topping close to 80 so glad I was dressed for it:) congratulations to any other future mother of the bride or grooms. It truly is an amazing day with lots of tears.

  2. I keep saying navy blue is your color and this dress is beautiful on you!! Love it!

  3. You look absolutely stunning!!  Great info for those looking for a gown!  The navy looks like the perfect color for you!  For me, one daughter has been married 13 years now & the other 8 years, #wheredidthetimego!  After numerous fittings for my gown (from a bridal shop) for the first daughters wedding, I wanted something “off the rack” for the second one. Just as nice, half the price & less stressful!  You covered a lot of great options!  

  4. That gown is stunning on you! My MOG gown was navy when our son got married 6 years ago. I feel it’s current enough that I would still wear it today if it was the proper occasion. I had to smile when you said your oldest was only 19 so you  don’t have to think about your child getting married for some time.  That’s how old I was when I got married many years ago! Lol!

  5. You look absolutely gorgeous. This is a dress I would definitely consider as the mother of a bride, depending on the time of year and the weather. My daughter is in her last year of college so no wedding plans but my step daughter is engaged and getting married next spring. Since her dad will give her away I’m sure he will be dressed in a tux but I haven’t been given any guidance on what to wear. Which could be a good thing because I happen to find a beautiful lace full length dress in navy. It’s sleeveless (I would have preferred sleeves) but it was on sale and fit me to a tee which is hard since I’m petite. I’m saving it in hopes I can wear it to her wedding but if she has other plans for me I will have to find somewhere else to wear it 😉

  6. I was a proud mother of the groom just this past Sunday. I went with a navy blue knee length dress. The wedding was slightly casual, with an outdoor setting. Thankfully, there was some indoor coverage with opening to the outdoor part of the venue. The wedding was in Texas- and it was quite warm. I think your dress is gorgeous. Navy blue seems to be a great color for mother of the groom dresses. I love your posts!

  7. Beautiful dress. I wore a navy Adrianna Papell to my son’s wedding and felt good in it. The dress was lace, knee length, and a more casual look for an outside wedding. Now, I’m in search of a burgundy dress for my daughter’s fall wedding. Yikes! The only thing I can find is navy.

  8. This dress is gorgeous! Looks amazing on you, and very reasonably priced! Hopefully my Daughters will get married one day, LOL. They are in their mid twenties and have no interest! Thanks for the post!

  9. What a beautiful dress, and you look gorgeous. The other options were stunning too. My daughter was only 19 and in college when she got married. Her husband was 4 years older and already working as a professional. We told them we’d pay for the wedding or the remainder of her college, not both, unless she waited to get married after she graduated. They opted to get married and she went on to get her degree and started a family immediately. They just celebrated 18 years of marriage and she is expecting her 10th child. She has always done things her way, and always wanted a big family, but I never expected this!  Anyway, I wore a similar dress from Nordstrom, long , navy blue,  beaded but sleeveless, with a jacket I could remove if I wanted, especially for the reception. Obviously, this post brought back lots of memories. 

  10. Ok that is just gorgeous on you….you would upstage the 
    Took your advice this past fall and my dress was perfect
    for my daughters wedding!
    I love navy!

  11. You look amazing in this dress!! Just beautiful! I’m definitely heading to Bloomingdale’s website if I ever need a dress for the grandkids. Thanks!

  12. Well won’t you make a gorgeous MOG/MOB when the time comes. My son and his wife celebrated their first anniversary Sunday, so this time last year we had just wrapped up all things wedding. Finding the perfect MOG dress is no joke. You want to look stylish and not frumpy. This is a gorgeous dress. I did a Finding the MOG dress post after the wedding was over with “the dress” and ALL THE MISSES… whoa, there were a lot of frogs before getting to the prince, as it were. LOL

    1. I’ll bet! I was thinking how much harder it will be to choose a dress when it’s the “real” one, but this one would definitely be a contender if the level of formality was appropriate.

  13. Beautiful dress!  And you look amazing in it!  I love the floor length and the sheer sleeves.  Neither of my kids are engaged, so it will be awhile, but I’m storing all these ideas away for the future.

  14. You just look beautiful in this dress.  So pretty.  The background for the pictures is so nice too.  I agree, you could probably get by with one size smaller.  To bad you don’t have a child getting married. 🙂 LOL  No need to rush it. We married off our last of 3, last June, so were are done.  I love all the mates each my children(2 girls and 1 boy) married, so we are really blessed.  Now my 2nd daughter is due with our first grandchild(girl) in Sept.  We are soooooo excited.  Time is really flying by.  

  15. Beautiful!!! What about for these new country barn themed weddings? What to wear? Son is getting married in the fall. My stars the time has flown! 

  16. You look gorgeous!! I love the dress!!! I have two dresses from this designer!! I love them both!!!. Thanks for this post!! My daughter is not getting married as of this year but for the future!!! I now know to shop at Bloomingdale’s!!! Awesome idea!!!😊 
    I hope you are having an amazing weekend!!!

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