Mother of the bride gowns for the wedding day

Lenia Queen, 40 from Conewago Township, wears a Jovani silk taffeta dress with jacket, $440, from Simone’s Unlimited: Day Spa and Bridal in Hanover. Her outfit is paired with a Cristal D’Or earrings set, $59. Photo by Ashley May

Your son or daughter will be saying “I do” before the end of the year. You’ll have a front row seat for all the festivities. It’s an exciting time, and your child’s big day requires a special outfit.

You don’t want a frumpy department store gown that makes you look like a house. But you don’t want to look like you are going to a high school prom, either. You want something mature, classic, attractive, flattering and comfortable.

We hear you.

Our solution: Head to a local bridal boutique. Tell the stylists what you are looking for and allow time to try on gowns of varying length, style and color. Most boutiques have designer gowns specifically for the mother of the bride (or groom) — and they can be altered to fit any size, shape or height.

We spent a day at Simone’s Unlimited: Day Spa and Bridal in Hanover dressing Smart models Sue Walters and Lenia Queen in glamorous gowns. Owner Simone Hostetter revealed a wide selection of gowns that will look stunning in all the family photographs.

Left to right, Sue Walters, 55 from West Manchester Township, models La Femme nude chiffon dress with beaded bodice, $495, paired with jewelry from Mariell — necklace and earrings set, $36; bracelet, $39. Simone, owner of Simone’s Unlimited: Day Spa and Bridal takes measurements. Photo by Ashley May



About the models

Sue Walters, 55 from West Manchester Township, models a La Perle chiffon, mermaid-style dress with jacket, $407, from Simone’s Unlimited: Day Spa and Bridal March 5, 2013. Photo by Ashley May

Sue Walters

Age: 55

Lives in: West Manchester Township

Family: Husband, Bill; son, Mark, 25; son, Adam, 27, and his girlfriend, Sabrina, 28; grandchildren: Liam, 7, and Kellen, 10 months

Job: Registered nurse at the Margaret E. Moul Home

Lenia Queen

Age: 40

Lives in: Conewago Township

Family: Husband, Jonathan; children: Tramayne, 23; Jonathan II, 22; Jonee, 22; Jazmine, 19; Cheyenne, 17; Mekhi, 12

Job: Human Resources Generalist, Capital Blue Cross

Budget

Lenia Queen, 40 from Conewago Township, models VM by Morrie Lee lace and silky taffeta dress, $416, paired with jewelry by Liza Kim — the necklace and earrings set, $112; bracelet, $79; ring, $27. The purse shown is by Fusion, $120. All products are from Simone’s Unlimited: Day Spa and Bridal in Hanover. Photo by Ashley

Know your limits before shopping. Your price point will dictate what brands and styles you should look for.

Here are a few recommendations:

$500 to $1,000: Montage by Mon Cheri, La Feme. A mother of the bride line from La Feme will be available at Simone’s Unlimited in October.

“La Femme has been a prom collection and it flies out the door,” Hostetter said. “Their design is strong, well-made and flattering on every figure.”

$350 to $550: VM by Mori Lee, Lavelle. Hostetter said Lavelle is a great option for plus-sized women. Montage by Mon Cheri also works well for women with a bigger budget.

$220 to $500: La Perle, Victoria. Price usually dictates fabric quality. Lower-priced gowns usually will not have strong corsets or as many layers of fabric as a high-end gown. Also, price also means the difference between silk and polyester. With that said, La Perle or Victoria gowns work well for women that want a more relaxed or casual fit.

Smart tip

Purse by Fusion, $195, at Simone’s Unlimited: Day Spa and Bridal in Hanover. Photo by Ashley May

If you are looking for a higher-end gown for a cheaper price, ask the boutique to see discontinued styles that might have been in stock for a couple of seasons. Boutique owners will often discount these styles.

What to avoid

Don’t wear: boxy-pant-suits, plunging necklines, princess-full skirts or head-to-toe sequins

Do wear: bolero jackets or sheer wraps, sweetheart necklines, a bodice full of beadwork or moveable fabrics

About the location

Lenia Queen, 40 from Conewago Township, models La Femme fully beaded bodice dress with chiffon skirt, $548, paired with jewelry by Cristal D’Or — necklace and earrings set, $29; bracelet, $32. All products are from Simone’s Unlimited: Day Spa and Bridal in Hanover. Photo by Ashley May

Simone’s Unlimited: Day Spa and Bridal 332 E. Middle St., Hanover; 717-630-0990; simonesunlimited.com

Store Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Friday; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; by appointment only Monday; closed Sunday.

Simone’s Unlimited has been serving the Hanover area since 1997. The store offers a variety of bridal, prom, pageant, mother-of-bride, bridesmaid, cocktail and flower-girl styles. The store also carries jewelry, shoes, undergarments and other accessories to complete the ensemble.

Ashley May

FlipSide editor. York County native. Fashion enthusiast. Social media junkie. I take my lattes with soy and whip. Follow me on Twitter @ashleymaytweets.

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