Top Designer Mother Of The Bride Dresses

When shopping for a mother of the bride dress, there are a number of trusted designers that you can always turn to. The best designer brands for mother of the bride outfits, such as John Charles, Rosa Clara or Gill Harvey, have years of experience in the wedding industry. As well as outstanding choice, selection and quality, they also feature designs that are suitable for every style of wedding, and in any season. 

Here are some of the top designer mother of the bride dresses to try if you don’t know where to start. We’ve picked out different styles, ranging from classic to more contemporary dresses, and a range of silhouettes to choose from. 

John Charles Monochrome Dress and Jacket (26859)

From the latest John Charles 2020 Spring Summer Collection, this dress and jacket combo is a classic style and a great one to try first if you’re not sure what suits you. 

The soft monochrome print is modern yet elegant, the illusion neckline adds a feminine touch, and the textured fabric looks and feels luxurious for the special day. Finished with a matching jacket, this conservative outfit is perfect for formal weddings and will keep you warm outdoors. 

Gill Harvey Sparkly Disc Dress (5025 N)

If you are looking for a dress with some added sparkle or something for an evening wedding, this Gill Harvey Sparkly Disc Dress is a stylish option. The navy colour makes it super flattering for all shapes and skin tones, and it works well for winter wedding venues. 

The below-the-knee length makes it conservative for all ages, but the V neck adds a nice modern touch. 

Carla Ruiz Modern Pastel Dress (96534)

For a more modern look, we recommend trying this floaty dress from the Carla Ruiz collection. The soft pastel print makes it stunning for summer, but the ¾ sleeves mean that it’s also suitable for transitional weather. From destination weddings to weddings in the UK, this outfit offers so much versatility. Visit our online hat shop to create a more formal look, or keep it simple for relaxed ceremonies. 

Rosa Clara Couture Club Texture A-Line Dress

A timeless A-line dress is perfect if you want something flattering for your waistline. This beautiful dress from the Couture Club collection by Rosa Clara combines elegant pink with shirt-style collar finish. The finished look is feminine juxtaposed with an element of masculinity, making it a stylish choice for mums who prefer androgynous fashion. 

Teresa Ripoll Dress with Bow (3539 S)

The Teresa Ripoll Dress with Bow is a show-stopping mother of the bride dress for formal weddings and grand venues. If you are looking for an outfit to help you stand out, yet doesn’t take attention away from the bride, this dress is a good one to add to your list. It combines a simple, classic cut with a beautiful bow feature. 

The designer has trained in French fashion houses such as Jean Patou and Pierre Cardin, so the collections promise unbeatable designer quality. 

For more dress inspiration, take a look at our lookbook for the top designer mother of the bride dresses.

Wedding Corsages For Mothers of the Bride and Groom

While wedding etiquette is much more relaxed than it used to be, many couples still feel that it’s important to follow certain customs on their special day. This is especially true if their ceremony is very traditional, or if their families are particularly fond of these customs. 

One of these well-known customs is the offering boutonnieres (buttonholes) and corsages to the wedding party. This will usually include family members such as parents, and the bridesmaids and groomsmen. While matching flowers with bridesmaids and groomsmen outfits should be relatively easy, finding a corsage for both mothers can be trickier. The mother of the bride or groom will likely spend a lot of time and effort choosing her outfit, so finding corsages that can complement their look is key. 

Here are some tips for choosing the best wedding corsages for mothers of the bride and groom. 

Choosing the right colour 

Traditionally, boutonnieres are given to fathers and grandfathers and corsages are given to mothers and grandmothers. As these floral pieces will usually match (or at least coordinate) for the wedding party, choosing a colour that looks good with everyone’s outfits is important. But if you want your corsages and boutonnieres to all be different, that’s just as acceptable. Flowers can be a very personal thing, and you may find that different floral designs work better for your wedding party.

Simple white flowers with green foliage are a good way to keep it timeless, classy and simple. Or bold flowers can be wonderful for expressing personality and making a statement. 

Different ways to wear  

Giving mothers and grandmothers a corsage is a wonderful gesture and a lovely tradition, but remember that the wearer has to be comfortable. If you want everyone to follow this custom, make sure you offer different ways to wear the corsage. Not everyone has to match, and being able to choose a wrist or pin corsage will give your wedding party an opportunity to have a bit more control over their appearance. 

Consider hats and fascinators 

When choosing wedding corsages for mothers of the bride and groom, be sure to ask them about their outfits. If they are wearing a hat or fascinator, they may already have a lot going on with their ensemble. In some cases, corsages may not be necessary. If you are accompanying your mother or mother-in-law for dress shopping, you can get an idea together of how a corsage might look. For inspiration, download our free mother of the bride and groom lookbook.  

Tradition isn’t for everyone  

If you’re still unsure about whether you want wedding corsages for mothers and female family members, remember that tradition isn’t final. You don’t have to follow customs if they make your wedding party uncomfortable, or if it doesn’t fit with your wedding theme. 

Some people really dislike wearing corsages as it doesn’t always complement what they’re wearing. Having boutonnieres just for men can be an option, giving female family members a bit more freedom to choose. 

It’s also understandable if mothers decide to remove their corsage later in the day, but you should ask everyone to keep them on for the wedding pictures if that’s what you want.

6 Tips for Choosing Plus Size Mother of the Bride or Groom Outfits

Today, there are dresses for every shape and size, and plus size shopping is much easier than it used to be. But outfits for the mother of the bride or groom require careful consideration, as there may be rules or certain wedding etiquette to adhere to. This means that some mothers or grandmothers may not be able to select their usual go-to styles. That doesn’t mean that options are slim though – it’s just about selecting the right cut, colour, fabric and silhouette.  

There are many plus size mother of the bride dresses or mother of the groom outfits that can make you feel beautiful, stylish and radiant. Most dresses are designed to be flattering on all figures. Here are some tips on choosing the right one for you. 

1. Go for sharp tailoring 

Tailored pieces pack a lot of power. In an instant, they can make you feel confident, no matter your size or shape. Consider a trouser suit if dresses really aren’t for you, and don’t forget the importance of finding the right pair of shoes to match – adding height and completing your look. 

2. Choose the right dress length

Knee length and midi length dresses are the most common styles for the mother of the bride, both of which work well on different body shapes. They provide enough coverage while still looking feminine, but it’s important to choose the correct length for your height. Elongate your body with a shorter dress cut if you are 5’4″ or shorter. However, this doesn’t rule out midi dresses for shorter ladies, just as long as you can create balance – and you can always choose a higher heel if you need. 

3. Find the right pattern

Avoiding patterns and prints when you’re plus size is a common misconception that many are told in the world of fashion. The truth is there are so many different prints out there, and it’s about finding the right one for you. Vertical stripes can elongate, geometric prints can create movement, and floral prints can add texture. It’s also important to consider the placement of the print, as some patterns may work wonders for drawing attention to your best bits and covering the areas you’re most self-conscious about. 

4.Wear a hat for balance

Large hats can be great for creating balance in your look, and also for achieving an eye-catching look. Draw attention away from other areas, add some height to your body, and arrive at the venue with show-stopping drama. If you’re worried about your legs being on show, a hat is the perfect diversion. For inspiration on complete plus size mother of the bride outfits with hats/fascinator ideas, download our free lookbook

5. Don’t forget a jacket 

One of our best style tips for plus size ladies is to opt for a jacket or coat to complete your look. Don’t treat your outerwear as an afterthought. Instead, design your entire ensemble with a suitable jacket in mind from the start. Not only are jackets and blazers good for coverage, but they add depth and dimension to your look too. 

6. Avoid trends  

If you’re really struggling to find plus size mother of the bride outfits that flatter your shape, avoid current trends – especially for in-season colours and prints. It’s important to choose the colourings that work best with your skintone. Stick with the tried-and-tested colour palettes for your figure, while still having fun with different looks.

Long vs Short Mother of the Bride and Groom Dresses

Choosing the right outfit as the mother of the bride or groom is such an important decision. With the pressures of wedding party etiquette, a need for all day comfort, and the influx of modern trends, finding the right style can be tricky. When it comes to dress length, many women struggle to know what fits them well. 

So what is the most suitable length for your son or daughter’s wedding? Both short and long dresses can be stylish and appropriate. The key is selecting a silhouette that complements the aesthetic of the bride and groom, as well as their venue. Here’s a guide to shopping for long and short mother of the bride dresses

What’s the right length? 

For mother of the bride and groom dresses, long vs. short is a common conundrum. But there are many different lengths to consider for the big day. 

  • Short/mini 

Mini length dresses are sometimes considered unsuitable for the mother of the bride/groom. You won’t find many styles like this in wedding outfit shops and bridalwear shops. However, every wedding is different and there are many that don’t like to follow formal traditions. The most important thing is that both you and the bride and groom are comfortable. If you are considering a mini length dress, be sure to check the dress code in advance.  

  • Knee length

If you like short mother of the bride dresses, knee length is perhaps the most suitable style to choose. It’s a classic length that works well with all ages and is flattering on many body types. The extra coverage also fits in with any formal occasion and gives you a bit more freedom with baring shoulders and arms. 

  • Midi length

Midi length dresses can also be incredibly elegant and the beauty of them is that they fit differently on everyone depending on height and leg length. Some midis fall below the knee, whilst other dresses may graze the ankle. For dresses that fall too long on you, they can be easily and affordably altered by a seamstress. 

Trying long and short mother of the bride and groom dresses 

When trying on mother of the bride outfits, bring a pair of shoes that are the same or a similar style/height to what you would wear on the day. It may also be useful to bring your son or daughter with you so they can give you their feedback. 

The most important advice is to never upstage the bride. For instance, some brides may not want you to wear cream dresses and colours too similar to her own dress, while others may want to match or look tonally similar. 

Mothers may instinctively know what their own daughter or son deems appropriate for their wedding day. But if in doubt, just ask. As any bride or groom would attest, they would much rather you checked if you’re unsure about anything. 

For more advice on what to wear, read our mother of the bride style tips online. 

A Guide to Mother of the Bride & Groom Hairstyles

Whether you’re the mother of the bride or mother of the groom, hairstyles play a big part in making your look complete. Hair is often the last consideration when building your outfit, but the right hairstyle can elevate your dress instantly. A neat bun can transform your look with simple elegance. A curly updo can add height and texture. And a slick ponytail can inject a youthful edge to your ensemble. 

When shopping for the perfect dress, it’s important to think about how you’ll be styling your hair on the day. Here’s a guide to choosing the right mother of the bride hairstyles to match your wardrobe.

Short mother of the bride hairstyles

Short hair looks great with many dress styles and works well with a range of wedding hats or fascinators. A simple bob is the perfect complement to a tailored knee length or midi dress, and a professional blow-dry can give you added volume and shine. Very short cuts can also be lifted with soft curls, waves or light feathering. To add dimension, gentle highlights or balayage can also work very well. 

If you feel that your outfit would be better complemented by an updo, hairpieces can be fantastic. Finding the right shade to match you hair is key though – this ensures a seamless finish. 

Styles for mid-length and long hair 

If you have mid-length to long hair, you can get creative with your hairstyle. There are endless options when it comes to down and updos. For hair that’s particularly long, an updo is usually considered the most suitable as it can give you a polished appearance. Updos also help to keep your hair in place, which is useful for outdoor photographs in windy settings. 

Some stunning updos include:

  • Low bun – a low bun is simple and chic. Perfect for a dress with clean lines and a smooth, plain fabric. It’s also a lovely contrast for lace or beading
  • Curly bun – if you want something glamorous, a curly bun is ideal. Great for longer dresses, but be sure to test the style with your hat/fascinator. 
  • Ponytail – ponytails are often overlooked, but when styled in the right way they can be stunning on the mother of the bride or groom. Soft waves can give you a polished finish and a pearl or crystal hair clip can add a sense of refinement. 
  • Bouffant – there are many ways to achieve the bouffant in a fresh, modern way. This style of hair is good for adding height to your outfit and works well with low heels

Wedding hair accessories 

When creating mother of bride hairstyles or mother of groom hairstyles, be sure to check that it is suitable for the wedding theme and venue. Find out the dress code to get an idea of how formal the day is going to be. While big wedding hats are traditional for mothers and grandmothers, some couples opt for more laidback ceremonies. 

If your son or daughter’s wedding is very relaxed, a small hatinator or fascinator may be more appropriate. Whatever your choice of hair accessory, make sure it’s comfortable and style your hair to look just as great when you need to take it off. 
Get tips for choosing the right wedding hat for the mother of the bride or groom.

Rosa Clara Cocktail Dresses

Over time, Rosa Clará has become an almost equal force to be reckoned with in occasion gowns. The collection for mothers of the bride and event goers is soon to come to the London and Manchester boutiques of Nigel Rayment, but across Europe and Latin America these super-glamorous gowns are already very well known. Brand ambassadors such as Mexican actress and entrepreneur Paulina Rubio and America’s Eva Longoria have been among many distinguished wearers on the red carpet. “As with our bridal collection,” says Rosa Clará, “we aim to create designs to meet the needs of real women. We offer a huge variety of designs and silhouettes and dress women of all ages. I would say we have had the good fortune to dress women with a lot of style – the kind of women who set trends and understand the value of a good gown.”1U237_1

How To Wear A Hat To A Wedding

Buying the Ideal Wedding Hat

There are many designs and styles of wedding hats that will match what you wear. You can wear hats tilted to the side, to the front or the back and it is essentially what works for you and your outfit. Ladies want to feel special with the hat on; they want to look different and unique. They want to stand out in the crowd, and make a personal, lasting statement.

Wedding Hats for the Mother of the Bride and Groom

The wedding hats & fascinator market is growing in popularity, especially with the fashionable women. These accessories are not only meant for weddings. They are also a great accessory for any festive occasions ranging from the casual to the formal. There is no reason why your wardrobe should not comprise of any, given the simplicity and elegance of wearing one.
A stylish Wedding Hat can add so much to an outfit. They are an excellent way to add drama and flair to mother of the bride or groom outfits. Hats are also a perfect way to express your personal style. If you are uncertain about how to wear a hat, so as to show your personality, take a look at some pictures of British women: they know how to pull off any hat!

A hat is ideal for the finishing touch to a wedding outfit as it will not only look great but will also protect you from the glare of camera flash or sun. Look for a hat with a wide brim in ivory or pastel color. A wedding hat should be festively decorated; it should not resemble anything that you would wear for gardening. You can either choose a hat that comes furnished or add your embellishments to a simple portrait hat.
Wedding hats are a worthy investment as they can be used and reused at second weddings and even at other events. There is a wide choice of other wedding accessories that could go with it and also the very popular wedding hats and fascinators. The bottom line is, regardless of when you are wearing your wedding hat, that you are ensuring that you are not upstaging the bride. You want to be fashionable but do it without appearing as though you might be trying to steal the attention from the bride.

Wedding Outfits For Mature Brides

Not all wedding dresses need to have a train and not all brides need to wear a veil. There isn’t a rulebook that brides need to stick to, and here at Nigel Rayment we like to help brides of every type find the perfect outfit. Many of our customers marry later in life, and others are second time brides, who simply don’t want the fuss of a big wedding. 

Love in later years is a wonderful thing, and quite often, smaller, intimate ceremonies are desirable. Many of our occasionwear looks make ideal wedding outfits for mature brides who don’t want a dramatic dress to walk down the aisle. 

If you’re one of these brides, here’s our guide to smart, stylish mature bride outfits for your special day. 

Shopping for mature bride outfits 

At our Nigel Rayment boutiques in London and Manchester, we help plenty of brides find a suitable dress for their ceremony. For the more mature bride, we have a vast range of designer mother of the bride outfits that are perfect for your special day. Whether your wedding is small and intimate at a stunning hotel, or something bigger at a luxury venue, our mother of the bride dresses will help you look your best. 

If you want to stay quite covered but still turn heads, our dress and jacket co-ords are a classy and elegant option. Many of these come in white, ivory and cream, as well as other lovely colours for brides who aren’t very traditional. A lot of our dresses also have sleeves, giving you added coverage and confidence, even when it comes to removing your jacket for the wedding breakfast and evening. 

When it comes to wedding outfits for mature brides, a lot of the advice for mother of the bride outfits are applicable. Shop for your shape, avoid the common mistakes, choose something comfortable and you’ll be on the right track. 

Second time bride outfits 

Another reason for not wanting a ball gown style dress on your wedding day is if you are getting married for a second or even third time. Intimate weddings are a great way of celebrating love, and not everyone wants to go through the same experience (or bear the cost) again. 

Many of our designers, like Ronald Joyce by Veni Infantino, Condici or John Charles, have created outfits with this in mind, offering brides of every kind and every age an opportunity to look great without the fuss of big gowns, long trains and dramatic veils. 

A luxury design house such as John Charles, which is world renowned for mother of the bride outfits, is the perfect label for those who prefer modern trends. Founded in 1959 and designed exclusively in London for over half a century, the collections are only available in top independent boutiques in the UK and Europe. Clothes from this brand come with a signature fit, perfectly accentuating the natural female figure. So we highly recommend John Charles for mature brides. 

Book an appointment at Nigel Rayment  

As well as John Charles,  Ronald Joyce and Condici, we also have many other designers to choose from for mature and second time brides. Many of our dresses, and dress and jacket co-ords, are available in size 6-24; so we can find the right wedding outfit for every size and shape. 


Get in touch today to book your appointment.

Rosa Clara Cocktail for Mothers of the Bride & Groom London-Manchester

Over time, Rosa Clará has become an almost equal force to be reckoned with in occasion gowns. The collection for mothers of the bride and event goers is soon to come to the London and Manchester boutiques of Nigel Rayment, but across Europe and Latin America these super-glamorous gowns are already very well known. Brand ambassadors such as Mexican actress and entrepreneur Paulina Rubio and America’s Eva Longoria have been among many distinguished wearers on the red carpet. “As with our bridal collection,” says Rosa Clará, “we aim to create designs to meet the needs of real women. We offer a huge variety of designs and silhouettes and dress women of all ages. I would say we have had the good fortune to dress women with a lot of style – the kind of women who set trends and understand the value of a good gown.”

Gina Bacconi Spring Sumer 2017 London-Manchester

snn7136_sim_50A leading British name in occasion wear founded in 1913, Shubette Group remains a London-based family business. Its flagship Gina Bacconi label is defined by beautiful fabrics and sharp but feminine designs that retain a youthful and confident profile – perfect for high-summer and international weddings where style and cool comfort are the order of the day.
The core of the Gina Bacconi occasion collection is lightweight luxury dresses paired with softer cover-ups and capes – rather than the traditional tailored jacket. These designs offer a flattering and feminine profile, with all the style a mother of the bride or groom is looking for on such an important day. Gina Bacconi’s clever design elements – including lace over-tops, shifts and coats – can also be removed at day-into-evening celebrations to add comfort and versatility to the outfits.
The latest collection includes a range of co-ordinating silken wraps and headpieces to complete your glamorous wedding look and Nigel Rayment boutiques London & Manchester offer a fabulous selection of shoes and bags that can be dyed to match your outfit perfectly