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How To Take Your Perfect Picture

In the age of selfies and filters, it’s easy to take your perfect picture. When someone else takes your picture, it’s a whole different story.

I had the idea for this blog at a Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce Women In Business networking meeting, which is where I met Amy McDermott of Heart and Soul Portraits. Amy was the photographer of our meeting and asked me to be in a shot.

Right before snapping the pic, she said, “Wendy, stick your nose out.”

I only had a second or two to figure out what that meant, and I found myself wiggling my nose like I was about to sneeze. Amy helped me  (without laughing at me) and said, “Push your face out.”  OOHHH Oh oh I got it, so no double chin action!

And it dawned on me that I should ask Amy to be a guest blogger with some basic and must-know tips on how to look great in photos that aren’t selfies!

Amy is the owner and photographer of Heart and Soul Portraits for over 17 years. Heart and Soul Portraits specializes in family/newborn portrait sessions, corporate events, professional head shots, and engagement photos.  After taking that many pictures, she has some easy and helpful tips for you to look your best in photos.  Read on, aspiring models!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amy McDermott, Owner, Heart and Soul Portraits

I am happy to share with you some of my suggestions for taking your best photograph.

Most importantly, if you are hiring a photographer you must choose a one you love. You need to really “get”  his or her personality and vice versa.  An experienced, professional photographer can bring out your best and the person you hire should be able to get you to relax and laugh easily.  A natural smile is always better than a fake one.

It is best to have an engagement photo session with your photographer to be sure you love his/her style before the big day.  This helps build your relationship with the photographer which is incredibly important because you will be spending your big day with that person.

To make sure you get those must-have photos, have a trusted guest as a contact person at your wedding for your photographer. That person can point out key people in your family that you want included.

And  now:  How To Look Your Best

  • Eyes always closed in photos?  Close your eyes right before the picture is taken.  Ask the photographer to count 1.2.3 and then open your eyes on 3.  Don’t forget to smile!
  • The dreaded double chin.  To avoid a double chin, elongate your neck up and push your face forward a bit (or “stick your nose out”).
  • Remember the song Walk Like An Egyptian?  Ever see that dance?  That’s the way you do it.  Will it feel awkward?  Yep.  Will is look great?  Absolutely!  Practice this in the mirror to see how to make it work best for you.
  • Want a slimmer pose?  How you stand can do wonders.  Put your hand on your hip and angle your body to the side, and turn your head towards the camera. It may be cliché, but it really does help you look slimmer.
  • The arms.  Putting your hand on your hip keeps your arm from pressing against your body and widening out.  If you don’t want to put your hand on your hip, then keep a little “air in your armpit” so it isn’t pressing against your body.  Keep your arm just enough off of your body that there is a small gap of air in your armpit.
  • It can be helpful to have your photographer stand above you on a step stool. The higher elevation will instantly slim your face and be very flattering.
  • What not to wear.  Steer away from the loud patterns/bold prints and stripes.  They can make you appear larger. Instead, choose clothes in simple tones.  For your engagement session, make sure you both stay in the same color families.

We hope you remember these when someone has a camera on you, and I personally hope you remember to “stick your nose out”.   And after the wedding, should any mini-yous arrive, give Amy a call for a family session at 215-356-7408 or visit her website.

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo was just named 2018 Pick of the Knot, 2018 Wedding Wire Couples’ Choice Award, and has been named Best of Bucks Bridal Store for five consecutive years.  Located in Warrington, Bucks County and serving Bucks as well as surrounding counties of Montgomery and Philadelphia. www.dariannabridal.com

 

Notes From A Handsome Tuxedo Consultant

Nick Griffin is a Tuxedo Consultant here at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, who wrote a great blog for us on relationships from his perspective.  He also had no trouble coming up with a title for his blog.

Our store takes great pride in providing outstanding service in a fun (rather amusing) and professional way. We love to hear thoughts from our employees and Nick is a special one to us.  Enjoy, it’s a good read, and very insightful for a 20 year old.

And don’t forget, when you need a tuxedo, think of us (and handsome Nick, of course).

Hello! My name is Nick Griffin and I’ve been a tuxedo consultant at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo for two and a half years now. I am twenty years old, so I have done a lot of growing up during my time in the store.

Being able to work in the exciting bridal sphere as a teenager has taught me a lot of different things about fashion, weddings, marriage, relationships, the working world, working with the public, and life in general. Working at a bridal store is really a privilege for someone my age.

A tuxedo consultant is a super interesting job for anyone, let alone someone my age.  While most twenty year olds are flipping burgers or working as a cashier, I get the opportunity to make a positive impact for couples on the most important day of their lives. From the hundreds of couples that I have worked with over the years, here is what I have learned about relationships.

Being around grooms when choosing what they will be wearing on their big day can be exhilarating. Men are more fashion-forward than ever, so the pride they take in the way they look makes my job that much more interesting.

Much like when a bride tries on the gown that is “the one” for her, when a groom tries on the tuxedo he will wear on his wedding day, you can see it on his face.

No one notices this faster than their fiancee, who calls out when he loves something right away. Once she spots the glimmer in his eye or the smirk on his face, oftentimes the bride will say, “You love this one, I can tell.”

This is a small, yet special moment that I have seen over and over again, and to me it says a lot about couples. It shows me that when two people know each other so well, they can immediately spot the emotions of each other and can almost read each other’s minds.

When a groom does his “Groom Try-on” (an amazing service we provide to our grooms) and pieces together the outfit that fits his style and personality the best, something clicks with the both of them. This connection that engaged couples have is really something special to see.

Not many people get the opportunity to see a real spark between couples in the way that I do, and the fact that I get to aid in their elation during these appointments fills me with bliss. Spending an hour with these couples as they communicate with one another has shown me a lot of happy moments, because when people love the way they look their confidence skyrockets.

Some new looks for 2018!

This boost that the groom gets from looking so fresh in turn makes the bride happy, and it is those kind of special moments that are so precious.

I never take viewing these moments for granted, because they have taught me so much, and it is so touching to even have a small part in that shared joy these couples experience.  I’ve even had the honor of being named in some of our online reviews (5-star, of course).  Come in and visit us and me!  Call or text 215-491-8500 or find us at www.DariannaBridal.com.  We can’t wait to help you out, too!

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is an award-winning bridal store in Warrington, Bucks County serving brides and grooms in Bucks, Montgomery, and Philadelphia. 

A Disney Fairy Tale Wedding

Your Happiest Day on Earth At the Happiest Place on Earth

Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons

I cannot think of a better team to emulate than the Wedding Consultants at Walt Disney World.

“At Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons we have couples who come to us from around the globe because they know that we are committed to delivering the wedding of their dreams.”

That statement made by the Disney Wedding Consultant we met with last week at Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons in Lake Buena Vista, Florida really resonated with us because of how committed we are at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo on delivering great service.

It was a real privilege to meet with one of their Wedding Consultants, part of a group that plans and manages over one thousand weddings every year.

We were given two hours of time answering questions, touring the incredibly beautiful Wedding Pavilion.  We learned how having your wedding with them is not only a great choice, but easy to plan. Like everything else in Disney, it is all about the guest experience and no details are left to chance.

Upon entering “Franck’s Bridal Studio” next to Disney’s Wedding Pavilion, that Disney enchanting feeling was everywhere with bright sunlight shining through beautiful stained glass windows, towering cakes with sparkling toppers, bright and elaborate flower arrangements, gorgeous photo albums, and smiling faces.

It is here that guests come to do a face-to-face planning session and although we weren’t there to plan a wedding, already they exceeded expectations I didn’t even realize I had.  I can only imagine how a bride feels walking in those doors.  Princess-like comes to mind…

We were delighted by the friendliness and excitement of the consultants, and amazed at Disney’s Wedding Pavilion itself.  It offers a lovely bridal suite and separate comfortable groomsmen room, perfect for spending a few minutes calming those bridal nerves, but when those doors opened – just WOW.

It was referred to as the “crown jewel” and it surely was.  A long and mesmerizing aisle leads to a wall of windows overlooking the lake to a direct view of Cinderella’s Castle. It truly was the stuff of little girls’ dreams come true with a happily ever after.

It was suggested to begin your planning on their website.  It allows for basic planning on the numerous options they have, from simple vow renewals to full-on galas.

For example, plan an intimate ceremony for two guests, or invite 200 to the Contemporary Ballroom, or gather 1,000 of your family and closest friends at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort.  Theme parks are available as well for an even more personalized and memorable day.

Once you have an idea of particulars, you will be contacted to dig into the planning and that’s where these professionals jump right into action, helping you put together your perfectly magical wedding!

Want to get married on the deep blue sea? They have a group who will help you plan your event on the Disney Cruise Line!  California dreaming? They will take care of arranging the details at the Disneyland Resort in California. It’s Disney. It’s what they do.

It is suggested to begin your planning approximately 16 months prior to your preferred wedding date with a selection of your top three times and locations.  Remember, they do over a thousand weddings every year… booking early is definitely recommended to get your top choice.

Our couple, Vicki and Steve, are planning their April wedding through Disney Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons.  We asked for their experience so far and in Vicki’s own words:

“Certain details of our wedding were absolutely a no-brainer, such as Disney’s Wedding Pavilion and Cinderella’s Carriage, and we ultimately chose the Grand Floridian Ballroom for our reception for roughly 75 guests. We visited Franck’s Bridal Studio for our tasting. This was so much fun and our planner made sure everything was perfect. If we could make this decision again, we would have decided on a Disney Wedding much quicker instead of spending hours touring local venues. I can honestly say that a Disney Wedding is 100% easy to plan because the Wedding Consultants take care of everything imaginable.  I have yet to stress about any aspect of our wedding!”  Here are Vicki and Steve in front of Franck’s Bridal Studio in December, 2016 for their tasting!

Also, our own beautiful and super-fun bride Amanda Rainear and her handsome groom Jamie were just married at Walt Disney World on December 2nd.  About her wedding in Disney, Amanda said:

“There is no wedding venue anywhere in the world that compares to Walt Disney World.  Honestly, there isn’t even a comparison to make. Disney World really is the most magical place on earth.  They have blended their guest-focused culture with the hyper-emotional nature of weddings and the experience is second to none. On my wedding day, I truly felt like a princess in my dress from Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo and I even had a few children ask if I was a Disney character!  As a lifelong Disney fan, there is nothing that will ever top that.”

With so many perfect places for photos, one of their favorites was Disney’s Boardwalk.

We wish to thank the professionals from Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons for their time and hospitality. We will always remember our visit, along with being “committed to the wedding of your dreams.”  When you go, you will feel the magic!

When you come to Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, you will feel our magic, too!

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is an award-winning bridal and tuxedo store in Warrington, PA, catering to brides and grooms in Bucks County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia.  www.DariannaBridal.com

 

Wedding vs. Venue Coordinator

Contributing today is Galina Nemstov Wohl of Deserve Your Time, LLC.  We met her through the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce and found her professionalism and aura just wonderful.   Galina is a professional Certified Wedding Planner/Wedding Coordinator and also offers  Special Occasion Planning and Concierge services.  She has been a popular spotlight vendor at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo and we will be proud to have her in the store again this year.

In this blog, she reveals the differences you will find between a Wedding Coordinator and a Venue Coordinator – and there are some very important differences.  Don’t find out too late that what you thought was covered by one actually isn’t!  Read on to see which one you need at your wedding.

by Galina Nemstov Wohl

Wedding coordinator and venue coordinator, the two names sound very similar, but they differ in their responsibilities to the bride and groom.

Many brides mistakenly think that if their selected wedding venue offers an in-house coordinator, they wouldn’t need the services of a wedding planner at all, but there is a good chance that the bride could end up stressed out and facing a disaster on her wedding day, when the venue coordinator will not “perform” the duties of a wedding planner.

Unfortunately it is often assumed that the venue coordinator is going to help set up all your décor, manage and coordinate all third party vendors and generally oversee everything that needs to be done in order for your special day to run smoothly.

Do not be fooled when a venue coordinator will say to you, “I will take care of everything on the day of your wedding, making sure the day will run smoothly.”

Although the venue coordinator will offer her/his assistance with emergencies if you need it, that is totally a different thing from taking responsibility for running the entire wedding. To clear up the confusion between the duties of a wedding planner and a venue coordinator, here is a short checklist to help you remember what you can expect in most cases:

Wedding Coordinator’s Responsibilities:

*They will make sure all the vendors get to the venue on time
*They will communicate with the vendors in case there is an issue
*They will help to set up décor, flowers, candles to bring the bride’s vision to life
*They will stay at the venue until the end of your wedding
*They will run the wedding day according to the timeline that you or the wedding planner help you create

Venue Coordinator’s Responsibilities:

*They are responsible for the venue
*They will protect the interests of the venue
*They will make sure all the vendors have liability insurance
*They will ensure the food and drinks are served in the timely manner
*They will ensure basic set up of tables and chairs as it states in your contract

Now that we have some clarity on the difference between the wedding coordinator and the venue coordinator, you can avoid quite a bit of frustration and unmet expectations.   A wedding planner/coordinator can save you time, money and offer wedding planning services to make sure your special day is stress-free.

Call us today for a complimentary consultation! 267-968-1210.

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo in Warrington is proud to feature guest bloggers whom we know and trust.  Galina and Deserve Your Time, LLC offers multiple (and very affordable!) packages to fit your needs and to ensure the best day of your life really is!

Thoughts From A New Bridal Consultant

Our newest Bridal Consultant, Jessica Hill, asked if she could blog about her position with Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo because she gets so many questions about working here.  She sent it over and said if I “didn’t like it” it wouldn’t hurt her feelings.

Franco and I speak often about how much we appreciate our staff, but hearing it from a brand new employee who is in her second month with us was the best feeling.  When the employees feel like family, they take care of our brides and grooms like family.  It is not just a sale here, or just a job, it’s a connection for a lifetime.

Jessica mentioned she always wanted a position like this, and we think she is perfect for it!  Read Jessica’s (unprompted!) blog below.

To me, Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is a hidden gem. Popular with many but still undiscovered by some. Since starting two months ago I’ve been asked, “Hey how is it there?” and many similar questions.  Well I will be happy to tell you.

First, let me start by saying I am married and many of my best friends are married. I have said yes to a dress and I have watched them say yes to many dresses, so my experience is coming from both points of view. I remember how we were treated from those “bigger box stores”. It was great saying yes to the dress but what many do not realize is the process does not end there. You go back for alterations, bridesmaids and groomsmen and the list continues. What I have found is after you say yes to the dress in the bigger chain stores you are then a number, a sale and that caring consultant has moved on to the next one.

The customer service at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is unlike any place I have honestly have ever seen. The minute you walk in you become a part of the family. The best part you ask? Well you stay in that family even after you say yes and even after you are married! The sole purpose is to make everyone feel welcomed and have a great experience from the minute you walk in the door to the minute you walk down the aisle. By the way, the amazing and beautiful dress selections also make it easy for everyone to try on all different shapes and styles, making sure we cover all bases before saying yes.

Another amazing benefit to all brides and even potentially new customers is that you can call or text the store. The texting feature is amazing because if you have anything weighing on your mind it can be answered quickly and ease those worries. I’d say that would be a great feature for when the store is closed but Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is open seven days a week to accommodate everyone’s schedule.

The kind, caring, and compassionate staff is what really sets them apart. Every time you enter the store you will see a familiar face. The owners Wendy and Franco are some of the nicest most hard working people I have ever encountered. They make sure everyone and everything is taken care of.

So hopefully I have answered some of your questions. I could go on and on but I think the best way for you to understand it is to come in and experience the Darianna difference.

 

Five Years In

I could start as Once Upon A Time, but then it wouldn’t be real. Sometimes it really doesn’t seem real that we are five years into a business that we dreamed up and executed, but anyone who has ever started or owned a business knows the feelings. Franco and I have lived and breathed Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo every minute of every day since signing that lease in 2012.

We opened in January 2013 in that adorable little old house on Easton Road. “Next to the Candy Shop,” we used to tell customers who weren’t familiar with the address. How do I convey just how much I loved that store – and how much I cherish the feelings I have when I think of those original days?  It just makes me so happy.  And proud.

I clearly remember one evening just a few months after we opened, standing behind the desk with our little Deanna hanging on my leg like a koala bear, a store full of people, and thinking, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.” It was simultaneously thrilling and petrifying. Just the way entrepreneurship is: thrilling and petrifying.

So while we went and got ourselves a bigger boat, we decided to keep the original location and made it all about Prom! For two years, we opened seasonally for our prom customers and it was so much fun to have a “junior” version of Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo.

With every new year comes changes and decisions to be made and this one is no different. Our biggest decision for 2018 was hard: Do we keep the original store as prom or do we combine them?

As owners, our main goal is customer service and how we can make the shopping experience fun, offer great style options, assist with alterations, and make new friends while doing it. A list of pros and cons came down to one thing – having the owners present in the store. We couldn’t be at both places at once and that is too important for us to ignore.

We made the decision to combine them and we are thrilled to be all under one roof again – in a bigger boat!

 

Our little store turned into something pretty big. Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is in the middle of major stores like Red Robin, Buffalo Wild Wings, Pet Valu, VisionWorks, Hair Cuttery, and GNC. Our sign is in the same sign cabinet as Walmart. Talk about not seeming real! This store offers so much more space with the same great service, same great selection of dresses and tuxedos (this year some amazing prom prices, too!), same convenient 7 day/week store hours, owners and managers on site, and the same fun-filled environment.

 

While I am a little crushed to say goodbye to our original Darianna baby, it needs to happen. One of my favorite photos ever taken is the Love sign over the original Darianna Bridal sign (thank you Sophia Yanik!) – a sweet and lovely little picture, just like that store, just like all our girls who worked there. Our very first prom staff (Class of 2013) is now a year out of college – Gabi, Dani, Jenn, Sophia, Brit, Nicole, and of course Daria! I taught them how to steam dresses and they taught me things like NEVER text back “K”. All those laughs I will keep.

Most decisions aren’t as difficult as this, but the right decision is rarely easy. Like with all babies, at some point, you have to let them go…

We can’t wait to see all of you for bridal and prom seasons in 2018!

The Seamstress

The dress of your dreams can turn into the stuff of nightmares with the wrong Seamstress.  Read on for tips to ensure your spot-on, perfectly-fitted dress!

In the weeks leading up to your wedding day, you will be meeting with your seamstress for any necessary alterations to make your gown fit like a glove.  These can be anything from a hem, bustle, take in, let out, and strap adjustments, to additional work to personalize your dress such as sewing in a handkerchief or other sentimental piece, adding buttons, changing the neckline shape, and more.

Some bridal stores charge a flat fee.  This is okay if you need lots of work done and multiple fittings, but definitely not great if you only need a few  changes.

Whatever alterations your wedding dress requires, there are some very important things to do prior to starting them.

  1. First fitting.  Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo recommends scheduling this 4-5 weeks before your wedding because you are closest to your wedding shape and weight.  You will put your dress on and consult with the seamstress on adjustments.  The communication must be clear and you must feel confident that she cares about you.  She will pin areas where the work will be done.  Also, bring your shoes for hemming and bustling purposes.
  2. Find out an estimate of costs prior to having the work done.  Hemming dresses with numerous layers, doing beadwork, removing/replacing appliques, these can add up so find out approximate cost first.  (If your bridal store charges a flat fee, reconfirm there are no additional fees involved.)
  3. If you feel like that particular seamstress is not a good fit for you, find another one.  Recommendations from other brides, community groups, and online searches/reviews can lead you to another who may provide you the peace of mind and confidence required.
  4. At your last fitting, make sure to take someone along for bustle instructions.  The bustle is the lifting of the train of your gown (using buttons or hooks) that is done prior to the reception, allowing you to dance and move about without stepping on your train.  You may even want to take a video of it, just in case a few glasses of champagne get in the way of remembering…

An idea to consider is to schedule your hair/make up trial just before your fitting, so you can see your look come together!

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo has trusted and experienced seamstresses doing fittings both in-store and in-studio.  We also have relationships with numerous others who may be more of a fit for difficult schedules, locations, etc.

In addition, we work with bridal vendors who will do custom sizing, changes, petite cuts,  custom lengths, and various other changes directly to your dress as it is being made and this can lead to real savings in your alterations costs.

The outstanding women we work with – our bridal consultants and our seamstress partners – are committed to making your dress perfect so you feel beautiful and confident on one of the most special days of your life.  From the dressing room to the aisle, make your bridal appointment with us, find your dream dress, and let us take 5-star care of you.

 

 

Featured Blogger: Kathleen Smith, Consultant at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo

Part 4: Tips for Your Wedding Registry

Our bride-to-be Kathleen is back with some more great advice, this time on the wedding registry!  Have you thought about this step yet or did you learn anything along the way that would help another bride?  Share your tip here!

Wedding Registry: Bridal Shop in Bucks County

Continue reading "Featured Blogger: Kathleen Smith, Consultant at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo"

Guest Blogger: Photo Booth for Your Wedding Reception

Armani EntertainmentThinking of a Photo Booth for your reception?  We spoke with Art Armani from Armani Entertainment to get more info on his business which also includes DJs, Karaoke, and Trivia services!  A great package to consider for the ultimate in guest entertainment.

One of the most fun ideas you can incorporate into your wedding reception – or any event – is the Photo Booth.  Consider at a wedding not everyone may want to dance and a photo booth offers an entertainment option for those guests as well as those who do like to dance.

Continue reading "Guest Blogger: Photo Booth for Your Wedding Reception"

Everything You Need to Know About Prom Flowers

Courtesy of Blue Violet Flowers and Gifts, Warrington PA

prom flowers from Blue Violet Flowers & GIfts

This week’s guest bloggers are Val and Cindy from the Blue Violet Flowers & Gifts shop in Warrington!

Many pass this adorable store on Route 611 at Bristol Road, but have you stopped in?  Known primarily for their incredible bridal and prom flowers, they also have adorable and unique gifts for every occasion!   Recently I went in for flowers and came out with not only the flowers but the most darling set of baby socks (which saved me a separate gift run) and a delicious bag of gourmet popcorn (cause why not treat myself?).  The store is displayed perfectly and each section sucks you farther in.  Definitely stop by – you will love it and you will not leave empty handed!

If you have prom goers in the Bucks County area, chances are you’ve heard that THE place to order from is Blue Violet.  Known to have the best, most up-to-date, and just downright perfect prom flowers, we tapped their expertise this week!  We had to get it now because with the tsunami of spring bridal and prom orders speeding their way they won’t have much time for blogging…

Read on to find out what you need to know!

Continue reading "Everything You Need to Know About Prom Flowers"