1. Speak with the couple about the wedding theme. The wedding could be formal, semi-formal or casual - either way, knowing the theme will help make it easier to choose the appropriate dress for the mother.
2. Know the wedding motif and theme. This will make it easier for you to pick mother of the bride dresses that will not only fit into the wedding motif but also in the theme. Is it a formal, semi-formal or casual event? These factors will impact the style of dress you choose.
3. Do this in advance. Make sure you give yourself at least 6 months of preparation to give enough time to choose a dress, schedule fittings and make any adjustments to the fit (where necessary). Don't wait at the last miute.
4. Consider your own personal style. Even though it is your daughter's or son's big day, do not allow yourself to feel uncomfortable just so you can fit in. Choose a style that reflect your personality and are comfortable with.
Now that you know the basics to shopping for mother of the bride dresses, the next step is to go shopping. I've picked out a few product recommendations from TBDress.com but you can also shop your choices here: http://www.tbdress.com/Cheap-Mother-Of-The-Bride-Dresses-73/
Which of these dresses do you like most?