In honor of Mother’s Day this month, we wanted to take a moment in the wedding season to highlight the mothers in the ceremony.

There was once a time when mothers of the bride and groom felt compelled to wear more plain or “matronly” dresses or dress wear that did not speak to their role in the occasion, nor to their elegance and natural beauty. Dress colors were generally beiges or pastels set in ordinary, bland fabrics and average, one-size-fits-all traditional cuts. While tradition isn’t bad, there are ways to spice it up and look beautiful, unique, and feel like you’re a part of the ceremony, rather than blending into the wedding venue walls.

The best rule of thumb is to take a hint from the bride regarding style, color, and how formal you should make it. If it’s a beach wedding with casual, flowy fabrics and bright colors, you have your lead; if it’s a rustic country wedding, where everyone is wearing boots, well…take that cue. It’s their day, but you also deserve your honorary part in it–with your personal flare woven throughout. Ultimately, the dress should complement the wedding colors, so if the bridesmaids are wearing dark purple, choose a color that will, in a sense, harmonize with theirs.

Popular mother of the bride/groom dress colors right now include iridescent hues, navy blue, nudes, blushes, dark purples, and golds. As for style, go with a classy and intricately embroidered salwar set, matched with the right accessories. Sheer long sleeves with a soft, gentle overlay across the chest makes for an elegant look, while the kurta can be long and worn over whimsical and rich churidar or sharara pants. This look is trendy, classy, and can be formal and casual.

Length and stitching are big focal points when it comes to special occasion dresses for the mothers of the bride and groom. Long and short caftan dresses with Kantha stitch along with embroideries and floral patterns are perfect options to wear for your daughter or son’s big day. The traditional silk or chiffon saree is always a solid choice, especially if it fits right, is pleated, and has the right contrast between the dress garment and the drape. Similarly, having bright, shimmery contrast between jeweled embroidery and the fabric, no matter what style you’re going for, can make all the difference.

For an extra layer of elegance and grace, add a delicate bolero jacket and a shawl, where underneath may be hidden pretty lace-capped sleeves. Also, mothers are allowed to have dresses with showstopping backs, too. Lace cut-outs or buttons tapered down the spine give the dress a signature, drawing eyes to an unique and often underrated part of the dress.

Things might need to be switched up a bit for the evening or cocktail mother of the bride/groom dress. Something simple, soft, and smooth is ideal–so, maybe not too much heavy layering, but rather lighter, gentler layers in sheer or silk. Necklines, however, are universal and most can be worn whether it’s morning, day, or evening. Neckline options include sweetheart, high collar, rounded, U neckline, broad round, square, V-neckline, Paan/ Betel leaf shaped, boat, and more. Sweetheart, V-neckline, and sweetheart with sheer neckline tend to be more formal and popular choices. Heels or embroidered flats made of luxurious fabrics would work with any of these styles.

Traditionally, the mother of the bride takes her dress cues from the bride, while the mother of the groom takes her cue from the mother of the bride, making sure to complement each other’s styles and colors in the right way.

A wedding is about whimsy and dressing up in honor of two people you love, who love each other. Dress how you feel, not how society thinks you should dress.