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Is it proper for the mother dress to cost more than the bride dress?

The value of the dresses will be a thing of concern only to the two women involved. No one else will be pondering it, unless some very large extremes are gone to.

As to the propriety of it, there is nothing wrong with the mother dressing in her best, so long as the dress does not obviously outshine the bride, or otherwise draw attention from her. It is "the Bride's day", after all.

On the other hand, mothers are as mothers are, and informally speaking, many weddings have become the "mother's day". This is where the mother - no doubt upset about her own mother upstaging her wedding in the past - chooses to pass on the favor to her daughter.

The daughter may then do the same to her daughter.

Frankly, this is not polite or appropriate, and the cycle should be broken.
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