This article appears in Bride 2018 magazine.

As mother of the bride or groom, you’ve done your part to get your son or daughter ready for the life that lies ahead. On the wedding day, your dress should be fabulous and flattering, because you are a big part of this milestone moment.

When shopping, it’s customary to consider what the bride and groom’s vision is for the event so that you will blend in. Additionally, great fit makes all the difference.

“Being able to have fun and dance and not being constrained by an uncomfortable dress is key. You want to look and feel your best,” said Stephanie Mahoney, spokeswoman for SimplyDresses.com.

Traditionally for the mother of the bride, black is shunned and red deemed too flashy, but really there are no hard-and-fast rules. These days, there is no typical mother of the bride dress, Mahoney said.

“I think the main rule is to stay away from ivory and white and any styling that may resemble bridal,” said Mahoney. “Keeping the dress age-appropriate is definitely important and knowing what works best for your body, because yes, the bride is the star of the day, but mothers of the bride are also very important and they should feel special and beautiful.

“Styling for mothers has evolved so much over the last few years that now there is so much more to choose from depending on your personal style. We used to think of the classic taffeta jacket dress when it came to mothers of the bride, but now sleeves, beading and lace are very on trend. ... Sleeves are the biggest trend in this category. This can range from cap sleeves to long sleeves and still give that elegant yet age-appropriate feel,” Mahoney said.

Moms should not feel that they need to be too conservative, either, Mahoney said. If you’ve got a great figure, show it off, as long as it compliments the wedding’s vibe. Be yourself and be confident.

“An off-the-shoulder or sleeveless fitted gown with some embellishments or lace would be a great choice for a mom that has a terrific figure,” Mahoney said. Cinched waistlines, cross-over bodices and see-through bateau necklines all flatter a woman’s body, while sleeves in a variety of styles like three-quarter, full length, flutter or statement are all about drawing attention (and hiding what you want hidden).

As for necklines, stay on trend with a boat neck, high neck, V neck or off-the-shoulder, Mahoney said. Steer clear of halter-style necklines, which are more dated.

Avoid stand-out colors and vibrant prints, “but at the same time it’s a personal preference, and it also depends on the bride and her expectations. Some brides love when the mother of the bride coordinates with the bridal party, so they may choose to blend the colors or prints in with the bridesmaids. It is all personal preference of both the mother and of the bride,” Mahoney said.