Although a wedding is the bride's day, all family members play an important role in the event, particularly mothers of the groom. Coordinating dress colour with the bride's mother may seem unimportant while planning a wedding, but can cause embarrassment or ruffled feathers when ignored. Colours complementary to the wedding party and the mother of the bride's dress are ideal.
The goal with dress colour is to blend in, rather than stand out or match. Solid hues and small or subtle prints are very appropriate. Look for soft or medium colours, like blues, greens, peaches and yellows. Find something that goes well with your hair colour and skin tone in a style that flatters your body. Avoid red and strong, flamboyant colours that attract attention. Large or busy prints and plaids should be saved for another day.
Traditionally, the mother of the groom should wait until the bride's mother has chosen her dress, then see it or view pictures. This will prevent matching or clashing dresses. By coordinating colours and styles they create a flawless bridge between the two sides of the new family. The groom's mother should not wear the same colour as the bride's mother, but try to find a dress of similar length and formality.
For traditionalists, black is taboo. For the modern woman, however, it is considered stylish for evening or more formal weddings. Black is appropriate to wear if the bride does not object. Beige, sometimes seen as a means to blend into the background so as not to upstage the bride or her mother, is more often considered bland and unimaginative.
Weather, date and wedding location also play an important role in finding the right colour. Some colours do not match well with certain seasons. For example, pale pink would not be suitable for an autumn wedding any more than a rust-coloured gown would be in June.
One colour guideline never seems to change: Don't wear white. No longer the automatic choice of the bride, that door is still closed to the groom's mother. Practically speaking, it is also a poor choice because it shows spots and stains easily, making surviving the ceremony and reception without spilling, dripping or smudging a challenge. Instead of white, try a subtle silver or gold.