As a mother of the bride, helping out with the wedding planning is stressful enough, but picking out your outfit for said wedding takes the cake. Thankfully, beach weddings have the perfect lax dress code that any mother of the bride can enjoy. Just because you shouldn't upstage the happy couple doesn't mean you can't shine in those wedding photos. You're a cool mom, and you deserve to exude those cool mom vibes. But with all the potential looks out there, we narrowed down the most coveted beachy dresses — and jumpsuits — for you.
8 Beach Wedding Wear Ideas for Mothers of the Bride
The devil's in the details, and that's 100% true when you're picking out the perfect mother of the bride outfit. From formal to casual, sequinned to simply chic — these beachy looks are showstoppers that'll make guests wonder if you're actually the bride's older sister.
An off-the-shoulder dress — whether it's only one shoulder or both — is a stunning option for mothers of the bride. It adds a bit of drama and elegance to an otherwise pretty informal event. Let your sun-kissed skin shine with a dress that puts your elegant neckline on display. And if your shoulders are your favorite asset, pull your hair back to show them off even more.
Outfits With Sequin Embellishments
If you're going to be standing outside in the shimmering sun, then sequins — which will reflect that shine — are a must-have. Just because you're a mom doesn't mean you don't know how to be the life of the party. Grab a glass and get ready, because when the sun sets, this style will have you shimmering on the dancefloor like a radiant disco ball.
Go with subtle sequin trim or embellishments if you love the look but want to take it down a notch. Glittery fabrics will also deliver the same kind of oomph.
Pantsuits with deep v-necklines and puff sleeves are the stuff fashion dreams are made of. If you choose a classic two-piece, wear it with a silky cami underneath. We love its sexy sophistication, and it's oh-so-perfect for mamas who prefer pants.
Make sure to check the suit's label for its fabric content. Stick with lightweight choices like linen and cotton and avoid sweat-inducing fabrics like synthetic blends or wools.
Floral Print Dresses
Being barefoot in the sand and wearing a flowy floral dress gives off major boho vibes. If this style makes your heart sing, it's the perfect look for your daughter's destination wedding. We love everything about this free-loving style from dresses with bold, tropical florals to vintage flower prints. Embrace the location's adventurous spirit with a fabulous floral ensemble.
Dresses That Boast Some Ruffles
Dresses with ruffling are perfect for a windy location like the beach. These ruffles that spill over your curves will blow delicately in the wind and add to the romantic ambiance. Look for a dress with flutter sleeves, silky fabrics, and tiered layers in the skirt so it elegantly moves as you walk. When it's your time to walk down the aisle ahead of your baby, you'll look and feel like you're floating in a dream.
If you're a fashionista, then you're already clued into the fact that cape dresses are having a major comeback. It doesn't matter the color or the cut; cape dresses evoke power and strength and are perfect for a proud mother of the bride.
You can also get in on that reception reveal action with a detachable cape. These dresses look amazing whether they're floor-length and flowy or cocktail-length and structured. Chiffon or silky overlays can give this style a formal but loose vibe.
If you love the look of a cape dress but can't find one that suits you, look for a cape that matches a dress you love and pair them together on the big day.
Sometimes even the simplest dress packs the biggest punch, and this couldn't be truer for the timeless slip dress. We love this look in a solid midi length worn with layers of unique jewelry, like anklets and chokers. For daytime, you can stick with light pastels, sages, and peaches, but if the wedding's scheduled for after sunset stick with black or rich gemstone hues.
Above-the-Knee A-Line Dresses
Mini without being eye-raisingly short, this A-line style elevates your typical skater-type dress. If you love your legs, this is your sign to show them off. Find an above-the-knee A-line style with strappy sleeves, a sweetheart neckline, or a cap-sleeved little number. We love them all, but you should choose the cut and color that feels best for you. And if you're still feeling like it's not quite wedding-ready, pair it with a silky shawl to complete the look.
6 Questions to Ask Before Picking Out Your Dress
Consulting with your daughter — or better yet, having a shopping trip together — is a solid place to start when looking for your mother of the bride dress. But with all the details running through her mind, you may have to rely on your own guidance to get you through.
- What is the wedding party wearing? You may want to avoid anything that looks too similar to what the wedding party is wearing.
- What is the wedding's color scheme? Some couples want their parents to dress in the wedding color scheme, so it's important to know what palette your daughter's settled on.
- What time of year is it? It can get chilly on the beach at night, even in summer. But it also can be scorching hot in the afternoon. Knowing the time will help you pick the right fabrics so you stay comfortable.
- Will the reception be held outside or inside? Air-conditioned indoor receptions provide a different environment than outdoors, so you may need to bring a shawl or light jacket to keep you from freezing the night away.
- Is there a high chance of wind? Super lightweight fabrics may blow in the breeze and give wedding guests something else to remember beside the happy couple's vows. We love a wrap dress, but a windy day might be the time to avoid it.
- Are you allowed to be barefoot? High heels, while so many of us love them, might not be ideal if you're spending time in the sand. Bring a pair of beach-friendly shoes so you have an option if you don't want to be barefoot.
The Best Beachside Wedding Outfit Is the One You Love
Thankfully, those days when mother of the bride outfits were extra matronly are long gone. Whether you're feeling glamorous or chic, let your personal style shine through. Experiment with unique details and colors and keep in mind the different fabric choices at your fingertips. Though it might take a while and several trips to the dressing room, you'll know it's the right dress when you try it on — just like your daughter did before you.