Mother of the Bride: Hairstyles, Makeup and Nails

Mother of the LDS bride, photo by Burnt Exposure photography,
Photo Courtesy of Burnt Exposure Photography

Mother of the Bride: Wedding Hair

We all know that the bride and groom are the center of attention on their wedding day, but as the ones who brought them into the world in the first place, you deserve to look your best! After your dress and shoes have been purchased, you need to start thinking ahead to how you plan on doing your hair, makeup, and nails for the big day.

There are three basic hairstyles: letting your hair down, pulling the top half up while the bottom hangs loose, or a full updo pulled into a bun or similar coiffure. Mothers with short hair or those attending a more informal wedding can get away without doing very much to their hair, but more formal affairs often require the assistance of a professional hairdresser.

Mother of the bride nails, makeup and hair
Photo Courtesy of Carly Daniel Photography

When deciding on the best hairstyle for your daughter’s wedding, a stylist can be your best friend. Finding the most flattering hairstyle for each face and body type is their specialty.

The key is to use your hairstyle to create balance. So if you have a tall, broad forehead, you should choose a style that minimizes it by having some hair drape across the forehead. If you have a narrow face, choose a style where the fullness frames the face to visually “widen” it rather than piling hair on top of your head to elongate it further.

Mother of the LDS bride hair, makeup, nails
Photo Courtesy of Lindsey Hale Photography

When doing your hair, it’s also important to take your cues from the bride. Don’t let your fancy updo outshine hers at her own wedding. A tastefully chosen hair accessory is appropriate – provided it doesn’t draw attention away from the bride on her big day.

Mother of the Bride: Wedding Makeup

An LDS bride and her mother
Photo Courtesy of

As far as makeup, you’ll want to begin taking better care of your skin several months before the wedding. Moisturize daily. In the weeks leading up to the wedding, visit a spa for a facial or mask – by then you’ll probably need to decompress from all the stress of helping with wedding planning, anyway!

Some mothers of the bride do their makeup at home themselves, and that is always an option. But be careful: nothing would be worse than getting the wedding proofs back and realizing that you had embarrassing “pancake face” or crooked eyeliner in all the family pictures!

Whether you use a professional or do your wedding day makeup yourself, avoid the temptation to cake it on in an effort to hide blemishes or signs of aging. There are two reasons for this: for one, you want to look like yourself in the pictures. Two, by the end of the long wedding day the makeup will settle into the lines in your face and make you look older than you really are. When it comes to makeup, less is often more.

LDS weddings, photo by Paxman photography,
Photo Courtesy of Paxman Photography

It goes without saying that you want to use only the highest quality beauty products on your child’s wedding day. This makeup has got to last and stay looking beautiful all day, and you often get what you pay for. Choose waterproof mascara and eye makeup – even if you think you’ll be totally composed during the wedding, on your child’s big day you never know what emotions will unexpectedly overtake you!

Mother of the Bride: Wedding Nails

A final consideration is what to do with your nails. A day or two before the wedding, visit a salon or give yourself a manicure (and pedicure, if your toes will be showing!) at home. Give yourself enough time to correct any disasters, but not long enough that the polish will start chipping, flaking, or cracking by the wedding.

Choose a neutral nail color. A French manicure is one of the best, most natural nail looks for your child’s wedding day. If you choose to paint your nails in color, stay in the pink or red family. Avoid bright colors, especially any that clash with the wedding colors.

With the perfect dress, shoes, hair, makeup, and nails, you’ll be ready for anything on your daughter’s wedding day. As the mother of the bride you should pamper yourself a little, so you can look your best.

♥ Jenny Evans
Exclusively for
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26 comments on “Mother of the Bride: Hairstyles, Makeup and Nails”

  1. I am mother of groom. Gown is heather gray with silver beaded bodice and jacket. Earrings, bracelet are rhinestones, shoes and bag are silverfish/gray. Bridal party and mother of bride are in purple. What color nail polish is best? Pink, lavender? Please advise.

    • Hi Denise,

      Congratulations on your son’s wedding day!

      With soft grays and silvers, I would suggest a French manicure. Perhaps with an overlay of slivery glitter if you choose to pick up some of your rhinestone influence. Don’t worry about matching the others in the bridal party. Match yourself and feel fabulous.

      The only ones who really should have matching nail color would be the bridal party.

      Here’s to happy memories.


    • Hi Tammy, I would do a French manicure (you can never go wrong with the classics), or wear a soft pearly white nail finish (if you like more pizzazz). Here’s to a beautiful wedding filled with happy memories! Rose

  2. Mother of Groom- garnet/silver jewelry, perriewinkle dress with a bit of silver in bodice – silver, open toed shoes. I am more of a classic color person – usually go neutral nails – what do I suggest for color and should I match hand color to toes?

    • Hi Patti,

      Your colors sound amazing! I’d love for you to send over some pics after the wedding :0)
      Stay true to your classics (you can never go wrong). My suggestion would be to get a French manicure, or see if there is a soft white color (that looks good with your skin tone) that has a little opal essence or touch of silver. I would match my toes, but you may want to consider choosing a color for your toes in the periwinkle family. Let me know how you decide. Here’s to a beautiful wedding.


  3. Hi Rose, I’m a mother of the groom and have been asked by the bride to match the wedding colours so I’m wearing a soft pink dress with pearl and golden accents, matching soft pink shoes and a rose gold clutch. I’m thinking either French manicure or soft pink on hands. Do you have a different idea and what would you suggest for the toes?

    • Hi Dorothy,

      Are the bride’s color soft pink? If so, since she asked you to match, I’d do the soft pink on your hands and toes. Your ensemble sound incredibly lovely. I’d love to see pictures. :0)


    • Hi Cheryl, I apologize, my husband was in the hospital, and I missed your comment until now. On your toes, it would depend on your personality. If you like more understated, a nice red with blue undertones would be lovely. If your more fun loving and want to make a statement, go for a blue that matches your gown. That’s what the young girls would do. :0) Rose

  4. My daughters wedding is in August and her colors are Champaign, pink and safe green. I’m hoping to wear and black and white formal dress. What color nail polish would you recommend?

    • Hi Cindy, I apologize, my husband was in the hospital, and I missed your comment until now. With a black and white formal gown, I would choose a French manicure. Understated elegance. The wonderful thing about being the mother of the bride, is you can choose any color you like. You’re not a bridesmaid. P.S. I hope the wedding was as lovely as you’d hoped it would be. :0) Rose

  5. My daughter and I had acrylic french tips on our nails with a matching french pedicure with acrylic tips on our toes, it was so beautiful. I think you can’t go wrong with french because it goes with everything and looks so pristine.

  6. I’m the mother of the groom. I’m wearing a burgundy dress with some silver rhinestone accents. I plan to have a French manicure. What should I do for a pedicure? I don’t think I want french on them as they aren’t the most beautiful toenails. Thanks for your advice.

    • Hi Nancy, on your toes, a nice burgundy that matches your gown would be lovely. That’s what the young girls would do. And don’t worry. People will just notice your happy mother-of-the- bride smile. No one will be judging your toes. :0) Rose

  7. Hi,
    I am wearing a light grey monsoon dress with pale and bright pink flowers embroidered on it, I have ordered pale pink shoes, bag and fascinator and had my hair bobbed. I would have preferred the bright pink but everything has been hard to find with the pandemic as shops seem to have limited choice. Do I go for grey or pink nail polish please?

    • Hi Barbara, if you can get the pink, I’d go with that. Grey, depending on the shade, may made your hands look older than they are. Pink is a younger shade. And pearl is always a good choice. It’ll reflect both the grey and the pink and add a little bling. Your outfit sounds lovely. I’d love to see pictures :0) Rose

    • Hi Margaret, I like French too. But you may want to consider a pearl color. Choose one with a hint of blue undertones. That way you have the classic look of French with the bling you want, but it’ll still look great with your navy-blue dress. I’d love to see pictures. :0) Rose

  8. I am wearing a Alexander Daymor black gown accented with black and crystal jewlery, what color nails and pedicure, this is for my grandson’s wedding?

    Thank you!

  9. Hi—am am MOB and wearing a burgundy dress with yellow gold/diamond jewelry. I would generally choose French manicure but was thinking of matching my dress color and adding subtle gold design on ring fingers. It is a black tie affair. Any thoughts? Thank you!

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