Beach Wedding Attire for the Mother of the Bride

Crystal Schwanke
Mother of the bride
Brides want their moms to look great, too!

Picking out an appropriate mother of the bride beach wedding dress can be difficult for any mom. After all, you want to look your best on your daughter's big day in an age appropriate, lightweight and stylish mother of the bride gown.

Mother of the Bride Beach Wedding Dress Options

Formal Beach Dress Options

A formal wedding in the evening or late afternoon still calls for an elegant evening dress. Look for ones with a flowy feel to them, which are styled towards a summer occasion versus a holiday party.

  • Montage by Mon Cheri 114904: Available in peacock, aqua, bronze or black, this sleeveless taffeta and lace dress has a ruched bodice with a flowing skirt. A jacket is included, perfect for cooler evenings.
  • Montage by Mon Cheri 215902: An illusion panel top with a sweetheart neckline and ruched bodice helps hide any tummy flaws while providing elegance with a slightly flowing skirt. The dress comes in pewter, black, blue and eggplant.
  • Andrew Adela 3017: This silver one-shoulder dress with a tea-length A-line skirt is perfect for the mother of the bride who loves to have a good time.
  • Daymor Couture 3001 Petal Chiffon: The casual silhouette of this pink dress, paired w make this a good choice for a beach wedding without going too informal.
beach wedding

Semi-Formal Gown Choices

A semi-formal gown for the mother of the bride can range from short cocktail style dresses to long gowns with simple styling.

  • Scala Silk Beaded Dress with Bolero Jacket: This lovely beaded dress hits just below the knee and offers an airy feel to the wedding attire.
  • Beaded Lace Dress with Jacket: This is an ankle-length dress available in champagne or blush. There's beading along the bodice and matching jacket while the chiffon skirt hangs loosely to the ankles.
  • Sheer Lace Cape Evening Gown by Lara: If you're looking for something semi-formal that's a bit more fun, this floor-length dress will fit the bill. A white gown lays underneath a sheer lace overlay. The lace is adorned with asymmetrical flowers. The dress comes in black or plum.
  • Cameron Blake Dress 13675: This is a delicate mixture of soft tones, lace, and beads that features a tiered skirt and jacket.
  • Montage by Mon Cheri 29980: This is a completely romantic look with a skirt that touches the floor, mid-length lace sleeves, and a low V-neck. It's available in black, mauve, midnight, and sand.

Informal or Casual Dresses

Though guests may wear country club casual attire to an informal wedding, as the mother of the bride, you should take that level up a notch or two in your dress. You can still be casual but elegant at an informal wedding. Simple patterns or more flamboyant detailing may be appropriate, depending on your daughter's wedding style.

  • Bow Detail Georgette and Lace Dress: This cute pastel number is something you can wear again and again, long after the wedding is over. The bodice is sleeveless, with bows at each shoulder. The skirt is peated and lace and falls just at the knees. It's perfect for an easy beach wedding.
  • Jason Wu Watercolor Print Dress: This knee-length silk dress features a print showcasing gorgeous flowers. The fabric will flow in the breeze of an outdoor beach wedding.
  • Narcisco Rodriguez Curvilinear Dart Crepe Dress: This cute little number features an asymmetrical hemline and stitching that draws the eye to the side, making your waist look more slim.
  • Stella McCartney Gathered Scoop Neck Trapeze Gown: Perfect for an outdoor beach wedding, this long, flowing gown will turn heads. Featuring a scoop neck with gathered material, the dress hangs freely from the neck.
  • Dolce & Gabbana Chiffon Maxi Dress: If whimsical paired with bright color is your signature look, you'll love this long, flirty style. If you have great arms, even better; this dress will put them on display.
casual wedding attire

The Right Dress for the Occasion

Body and Age Appropriate Dresses

As the 21st century continues, the old "rules" for dressing mothers of the bride and groom seem to be disappearing. As mature women often look better and better the older they get, there is no need for them to cover their arms or not show their knees just because they hit a particular age.

That being said, you should still wear body and age appropriate clothing that accentuates a single best feature. A knee-skimming sheath with bolero jack will show off great gams, while an off-the shoulder neckline will highlight great shoulders and collarbone. Save any miniskirts and plunging necklines, even if you can pull them off, for another occasion.

Complementary Colors

Colors should be complementary to the bridal party. An accent color found in the wedding flowers is a great option for your dress color. Light colors, like pastel blues, greens and pinks, and beiges are great options. Avoid dresses in all white, ivory and off-white. Black, navy or deep purple are appropriate for elegant evening weddings, though you may want to check with your daughter to be sure.

Gown Considerations

Choosing a mother of the bride dress usually means taking into consideration the color and cut of the bridesmaid dresses and the overall feel of the wedding itself. Beach weddings, however, pose a few extra questions that you will need to find the answers to before purchasing that special dress:

  • What time of year is it? Sometimes beaches can get chilly in the evenings, especially at receptions later in the night. Conversely, afternoon weddings in the heat of the summer sun will be hot and possibly humid.
  • Will the reception be held outside or inside? Air conditioned indoor receptions provide a different environment than outdoors.
  • Is there a lot of wind off the particular waters at the destination beach? Super lightweight fabrics may blow in the breeze, revealing more than you intended.
  • What is the formality of the wedding/wedding party? Although a beach wedding might sound informal or even casual, many are swanky black-tie affairs.

Your gown should not only compliment the style of the day but also your husband or significant other's fashion. If he is not wearing a tuxedo, have him choose a silk shirt for a beach wedding that matches the color of your ensemble. Color coordination will look elegant in photographs, regardless of the formality of the wedding.

Shopping Tips for Beach Wedding Dresses

Before you pick out your mother of the bride beach wedding dress, ask to see your daughter's dress and the beach bridesmaid dress styles. Remember to complement, but not copy, their color and design. Other tips include:

  • Visit a number of stores, from boutiques to wedding dress shops to department stores, for the best selection.
  • Buying a dress from the same salon as your daughter may end up getting you a discount.
  • Ask your daughter to help you shop. If that is not possible, keep the tags and receipts until you get her final approval.
  • Accessorize with a bolero jacket, shawl or scarf in a neutral or matching color.
  • Wear low heels or flats if the wedding is in the sand. Switch to heels for professional photographs and/or the reception.
  • Buy the dress in the size you are now. Though you may plan to lose weight before the wedding, you want to be sure the dress will fit.
  • Waiting until the last minute is a recipe for disaster - but shopping too early can lead to regrets or multiple gowns purchased that go out of style or are no longer in your taste.

Mothers of the bride who are close to mothers of the grooms may want to shop together to find complementary styles. If nothing else, let your daughter and her fiancé know your dress color and design in a timely manner, so his mom can begin her search for the perfect wedding dress.

Beautiful Beach Gowns for Mom

Plenty of beautiful gowns for mothers of the bride are available to choose amongst, from formal gowns to casual dresses, that will fit whatever beach style your daughter has chosen. Picking out a beautiful gown for your daughter's beach wedding is an exciting shopping trip, as you want to be sure you look your best, too.

Beach Wedding Attire for the Mother of the Bride