In the most traditional wedding circles, it's customary for the mother of the bride (MOB) to purchase her dress first. Her choice of color, cut, and length are meant to subtly dictate what the mother of the groom (MOG) will wear (the MOG, in turn, chooses a dress style and color that compliments the MOB's -- their dresses shouldn't match). We think this approach is fine as far as it goes, but it's a little old-fashioned, not to mention a little unrealistic. There's always the delinquent MOB who prefers to shop at the last minute, the shop-a-holic MOG who snatched up her dress at a sale last winter, uncooperative families who refuse to communicate with each other, and other factors that make abiding by tradition a lost cause. Just play it by ear, and try to be flexible. It's not a competition.
Mother of the Bride Dresses