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 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.