Her mom is wearing purple, her bridesmaids will be in pink, but if you’re the stepmom of the bride, your dress choice is a little less obvious. As a bonus mom, finding a dress that suits you can be challenging, so we’ve outlined a few things to take into consideration and rounded up the most stunning “stepmom dresses” out there.
What should a stepmother of a bride wear?
Long or short? Dark or light? Formal or more casual? To start, ask your stepdaughter what your role is in the wedding. Some stepmothers stand in place of biological moms at weddings, while others are considered to be more like honorary guests. Many traditional weddings seat stepparents a row or two behind the couple’s biological parents. But with modern times, anything goes, so it’s best to inquire first.
If you’re a part of the wedding party, shopping for a more formal dress is the best way to go. If you’re a guest, then you have a handful of other options depending on the following factors.
In what season does the wedding take place? Winter and fall nuptials usually call for warmer attire, whether that’s a faux fur cape for winter ceremonies or just longer length sleeves and skirts. If it’s taking place during spring and summer, cocktail dresses that hit at the knee or calf are appropriate. Longer gowns with simple details are also acceptable picks.
How formal is the wedding? Ceremonies and receptions have come a long way from the traditional church gatherings followed by a banquet dinner. While many couples still go this route, outdoor weddings and laid-back ceremonies are becoming more popular. Perhaps your stepdaughter decided on a boho chic or rustic theme. In this case, taffeta might feel too formal, but a drapey, chiffon sundress might do. If she’s sticking to a black tie affair, then be sure to dress accordingly. Remember, it’s always better to err on the side of elegance!
What is the wedding color scheme, and what are others wearing? Matching the bridesmaids isn’t the best idea, so finding out what colors the women will be wearing will help you decide which colors to avoid. If the bridesmaids are wearing sky blue and you want to stick to the blue color scheme, go for a navy or deep aqua to match the wedding theme. White, cream, and ivory are often no-gos for weddings unless it’s specified in your invitation.
Keep scrolling to shop FIRST‘s picks for the best stepmom of the bride dresses, so you can celebrate the bride without worrying about your attire.
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Pretty Stepmom Wedding Dresses
1. Best Stepmom of the Bride Lace Dress
Lace will never go out of style, and it's the perfect touch of class for a wedding. This knee-length, plus-size Kiyonna Mademoiselle lace dress is modest but will still accentuate your curves. The three-quarter sleeves will keep out the chill when the temperature drops at night but are breathable enough to wear to a warm spring wedding.
Where to buy: $148, Amazon
Best Stepmom Of The Bride Dresses
2. Best Stepmom of the Bride Wrap Dress
This gorgeous Alex Evenings ruched dress is wrapped and sealed with a dazzling brooch. The bright fuchsia pink is the perfect hue for spring and summer weddings when you're looking to break free from neutrals and dark colors. (This dress comes in more than a dozen hues if you're looking for a more subdued shade.) The fabric is both smoothing and slimming, and the dress transitions beautifully from the ceremony right into cocktail hour.
Where to buy: $34.99-$374.34, Amazon
Stepmother Of The Bride Dress
3. Best Mother of the Bride Dress
If you're part of the wedding rather than just a guest, this Adrianna Papell sequin gown is a beautiful take a on a traditional mother of the bride dress. Its eye-catching sparkle is muted enough to keep attention on the bride, but simply stunning in its own right. While it provides plenty of coverage, the V-neck adds a little bit of spice to your look.
Where to buy: $279, Nordstrom
Chiffon Dress For Stepmom
4. Best Summer Dress for Stepmom of the Bride
Light and airy dresses are a must for any outdoor wedding. No matter if you're under a canopy for the reception or sitting in direct sunlight for the ceremony, weddings taking place from June to August will be hot. This flouncy, belted chiffon dress from Zeagoo is elegant and feminine, but it won't leave you melting in your seat. You'll be pleased with the variety of colors available, whether you're a fan of bright yellow or prefer dusty rose.
Where to buy: $6.99-$29.99, Amazon
Stepmom Wedding Jumpsuit
5. Best Wedding Jumpsuit for Stepmom of the Bride
We're not all dress lovers, and there's nothing wrong with that! For a wedding-appropriate jumpsuit that wows, look no further than this sleek, navy option from Chelsea28. You'll feel confident being able to wear pants and feel anything but underdressed thanks to the sharp cut and high fashion bows. Because the suit is simple, you'll have fun picking out accessories to pair with it. Try dressing it up with some luminous jewelry or a bright, colorful pair of heels.
Where to buy: $149, Nordstrom
Best Dress For Stepmom Wedding
6. Best Cap Sleeve Dress for Stepmom of the Bride
Nicole Miller's Beckett Stretch Linen dress is a stunning little number that offers maximum comfort throughout the night. Its soft fabric is made up of a flexible linen-spandex blend. Any body type will appreciate the flattering ruched panel on the front. With a dress this fabulous, you'll be on the dance floor until dawn!
Where to buy: $129.52-$290, Amazon
Dress Ideas For Stepmom Wedding
7. Best Floral Dress for Weddings
Floral is emblematic of spring and summer, so a pretty midi like this one from Keepsake the Label is a stunning piece to wear to a wedding. It has a cowl-neck halter front and wraps up in a chic bow or knot to the side. We love that it’s stylish enough to wear to a wedding but casual enough for a dinner date or girls’ night out. With this versatile frock, you won't have to worry about adding another dress you're never going to wear to the growing pile in your closet.
Where to buy: $69-$199.02, Amazon
Stepmom Of The Bride Dress Examples
8. Best Gown for Stepmother of the Bride
This airy tulle dress is a stunning choice for any wedding. With its high neckline and striking scalloped beading, this gorgeous piece draws just the right amount of attention without stealing the show. This glamorous gown is available in extended sizes so all stepmoms can feel like a queen while wearing it.
Where to buy: $199, BHLDN
Best Stepmom Of The Bride Dress
9. Best Knee-Length Dress for Weddings
We adore the ruffles on this lovely coral Eliza J Ruffle Sheath Dress dress. It's the perfect statement for a wedding without feeling too over the top. Its mock neck and hidden zipper give it a sleek finish that's modest with a hint of sexy. For those summer weddings that take place during the week, you can simply wear this sheath to work and head to the party directly after without anyone batting an eye.
Where to buy: $138, Nordstrom
Best Dresses For Stepmom
10. Best Cocktail Dress for Stepmom of the Bride
Cocktail dresses can be interpreted in many different ways, and what you wear to happy hour might not necessarily be what you'd want to wear to a wedding. This MissMay Vintage Lace Swing dress is the best of both worlds with a flattering, waist-hugging silhouette that's sophisticated enough for your stepdaughter's ceremony. The deep red wine hue will never go out of style, and you can wear it during the summer or have it ready to go for an upcoming autumn wedding.
Where to buy: $36.99, Amazon
Stepmother Dress For Wedding
11. Best Quality Stepmom of the Bride Dress
You can't get more opulent than a 100 percent silk dress. Yumi Kim's Prince Street dress is a luxurious closet staple that will work its way into any fancy occasion. It wraps shut with a tie closure and its floral A-line skirt is the icing on the cake. You'll be twirling and whirling all night, feeling beautiful and basking in nothing but love.
Where to buy: $268-$278, Amazon