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Where Will You Honeymoon in 2020-2021?

The wedding is over, enter the honeymoon phase! After the planning madness and the whirlwind of your best day ever, you get to  enjoy  ALONE time with your spouse.  What a Cloud 9 feeling to close your eyes and picture this!

Have you put thought into your honeymoon yet?

Do you need the advice of a travel agent, complete with tours and packages? Maybe you’re a do-it-yourselfer, just get somewhere and wing it.  There are so many things you can do that you must talk about how you want to spend your honeymoon.

Which one are you, calm and peaceful?

Or daring and extreme?

Or both? Tell your travel agent to find what activities you want (or don’t want).

What about food? Are you an American fare, steak and potato type?

Or have a more international palette?

Or both? Again, tell your travel agent and get your perfect trip booked!

Before we get to the current popular destinations, let’s list some other questions to answer and ideas to ponder.

  • Do you want to stay domestic or travel abroad?
  • Do you like all-inclusive packages with food and drink?
  • Do you want to relax or pack in the activities?
  • Do you want to be surrounded by people or more excluded?
  • Are you stressed at the thought of travel, afraid to fly, etc?
  • Would you consider a cruise?
  • How much do you want to spend on your honeymoon?
  • Do you want to get married at your destination location?

If you’re thinking of traveling abroad, there are some amazing places like Italy’s Amalfi Coast (pictured below), Santorini and Mykonos in Greece, Figi, Bali, Tahiti, and Bora Bora to name just a few.

While we are on the subject of traveling abroad, please take note of your passport! If you change your name but it doesn’t appear on your passport, you’re not leaving the country. It takes some time to change your passport and other documents over so make sure you have that in place well in advance of your trip.

Domestically, the top choice is always the Hawaiian Islands. Oahu, Maui, and Molokai are beautiful places to honeymoon. Also popular are places like California Wine Country (Sonoma Valley pictured above), Miami and Orlando in Florida, Jackson Hole, WY and Park City, UT (skiing, anyone?), or any of the incredible National Parks. Fall weddings can consider Vermont for breathtaking scenery.

Cruising is also a popular option and can take you to a number of great places for you to experience in one trip. Consider cruising the Greek Islands, Australia, the Mediterranean including Spain, France, and Italy, or perhaps Alaska.  There are always good packages and specials running for cruises and some offer special bonuses for honeymooners. Some cruise ships can hold over 5,000 guests so if you and your sweetheart are people-people, this could be ideal for you!

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is always vetting the best partners in the business, and we have recently added Helen Baxter-Amelsberg with Dream Vacations in Furlong, PA. She is a well-seasoned traveler, both domestically and internationally, and can lead you to the most perfect honeymoon to celebrate your new life together, or arrange the most perfect destination wedding and honeymoon in one. She’s also super friendly and fun and will make the process exciting for you.

Whether it’s peace and quiet or extreme action and adventure, anywhere on the globe, Helen can exceed expectations. Watch our social for the next in-store event with Helen coming in March! As a Darianna Bride herself just last year, she’ll have special presents for you!

 

 

 

What If I Don’t Want To Wear A Veil?

You’re not alone if you are feeling on the fence, or just flat-out don’t want to wear a veil.  It’s okay! We believe the only way to go wrong on your wedding day look is to agree to something that isn’t right for you!

We’ve done blogs on veils, the styles, lace and beaded edges, lengths, etc., but what if it’s just not your thing?  Does that blusher piece over the face makes you cringe thinking of walking down the aisle like that?

Maybe you have tried them on and while you may appreciate the look on other brides and perhaps even seen your own look come together while veiled and standing in your own mirror, but something is amiss. It’s just not you.

Can you still feel like a bride sans that oh-so-traditional accessory?

Of course you can!  Here are some tried and true options and suggestions.

How about a headband, a small metal piece with a bit of sparkle? This lovely addition stays pinned in your hair all evening. There are many different varieties of the headband.

Some can be pinned into your hair or you can find beautiful ones that tie in the back under your hair, leaving pretty ribbons flowing down the back. Add colored ribbons or gemstones for a personal touch.

Perhaps a larger piece like a thicker band or a tiara to add lots of formality and fun for the Princess on her day!

Outdoor ceremony? A flower crown (or even flowers woven into the hair) is a gorgeous, earthy option that lends softness and romance. Add greenery, color, berries, sparkle, whatever you love! You can add ribbons to crowns as well to take it up a boho notch.

Glam wedding? Try a bird cage or a fascinator, add some color if you want. An amazing way to throw your look back to a time of gilded sophistication and pomp!

Considering an up-do on your day? What about a bridal comb to top it off:

Or a beautiful set of hair pins:

Maybe you’re not into anything at all in your hair.  Perhaps you’d like a wrap, a jacket, detachable sleeves, a cape, an accessory other than a veil.

Do not wear anything that feels like a costume or phony.  You need to feel beautiful and confident so you shine as your authentic self. Try on all these different pieces with your dress and see what feels right.

Remember: the only way you can go wrong on your day is if you agree to something you know isn’t right for you. Don’t just choose a veil (or any piece!) because you feel you have to, because everyone else does it, because tradition says so.

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo has all of these accessory pieces and more! Make your appointment and let our consultants show you different looks to make your vision come to life.

Bride Tribe: How to Choose Your Wedding Party

Choosing your wedding party is another exciting part of being a bride to be! Who is standing by your side when you say, “I do” is a  personal choice and we have some advice for you to consider.

When we say personal, it is very personal.  Your closest and most trusted persons should be by your side. Blood is thicker than water in many cases, but not all. Do not ask someone because you are “expected” to. This is your day and you want all good and positive vibes.

Talk to your fiancee first and make sure you are on the same page about the following:

  • Size of wedding: Are you having a small wedding with 25 guests? A bash with 400? This is helpful in either pairing down the party or extending it out.
  •  Reciprocity: Were you a maid/MOH in other weddings? Do not feel that you must have someone in your wedding party just because you were in theirs.
  • The future: Can you see this person by your side if you have children, being in your life still in 20+ years? Do not ask someone simply because you need more people or feel obligated.
  • Consider their financial/logistical position: Saying yes to a maid/man role comes with a cost, and it may cause financial pressure for that person.  Does he/she live out of state and will incur extra travel costs? Are they between jobs, or in school? He/she could wind up dropping out and causing anxiety on both sides.
  • Equal number: Do not stress over this. It does not have to be equal on both sides.
  • Do not worry about traditions or opinions. Do what feels right, it’s your day. If there is someone you think you should ask out of obligation but you foresee drama, do yourself (and the rest of your party) a favor and give that person a different role in your wedding.
  • If the thought of a large wedding party causes you anxiety, then make it simple! Have one or two people who are closest to you.

Consider these people carefully. They play a pivotal role in your day and you will want to be surrounded by supportive and reliable people to help you.  Make a list of those you are thinking of asking and then assign the roles.

Maid/Matron/Man of Honor

Your maid of honor, matron of honor (if she’s already married), or man of honor (MOH) will be your right-hand person both before and during the big day.

Your MOH will be in charge of delegating tasks to the other bridesmaids, assisting with dress selection and fittings, organizing and hosting special events like your shower, bachelorette party, and other important milestones with you. She’ll also be the go-to contact on the day for any emergency issues that might arise.

This person should be supportive, organized, and positive, someone you trust completely, who knows you better than anyone.

Bridesmaids/Bridesmen

Your bridesmaids/men will play a huge part in the preparation and planning of your big day! They’ll help the MOH organize your pre-wedding celebrations and help with DIY projects.

You will also spend the morning of your wedding with them getting prepared for the big day. You’ll want to surround yourself with people that you can truly relax and have fun with.

Best Man/Woman

The best man/woman will be your groom’s number one sidekick in the lead up to the wedding day.  This person needs to be reliable in order to take these responsibilities on board. He/She should also be somebody that keeps cool under pressure and can take control of group situations like formal attire measurements and fittings, and the bachelor party.

Groomsmen/maids

Your groomsmen/maids will be there to support the groom in any way possible and complete any tasks delegated to them by the best man/woman.

This group will greet and mingle with guests on the day by welcoming them to the ceremony, sometimes accompanying guests to their seats. Your chosen groomsmen/maids should be dependable and friendly.

Once someone has accepted their role, you should give a thank you gift as a sign of your appreciation.  These gifts show your gratitude for the place they have in your day. Some of our favorites for the maids are jewelry, matching robes, champagne, gift box with chocolates and coffee, Bride Tribe tee shirts, a spa day, etc.  For the guys, we love the engraved flasks, good liquor, tickets to a game, etc.

You can see why it is important for many reasons to choose the right people to be in your wedding party. It’s a super exciting time in your life and you want those around you who feel that, too!

We can’t wait to meet you and your wedding party! Make your appointment so we can show you great looks for the bride, maids, and men!

 

Making Your Wedding Dress Your Own

From the moment a bride steps into our store, it is our job to help her envision herself up at the altar in her dress on her big day. The questions of “how are you going to do your hair” or “what kind of jewelry are you going to wear” always arise when the bride gets close to saying “yes!” to her dress. These questions help the bride develop her sense of self and highlight her own unique style.

 

If you are a bride struggling to find a bridal look that feels like “yours”, we have some tips for you!
 
  • DRESS
While some brides will come in and find many dresses that they love, we do encounter some brides who have been searching to no avail, or brides who can’t commit and have become frustrated with the process. This is when we try to help the bride construct the dress that she has been dreaming of!
One such way is by adding straps. We have seen an increase in the number of brides who do not want strapless dresses, but try one on and think it would be the one if only it had straps. We have all kinds of detached straps (from spaghetti to full on long sleeves) that we love to play with to help brides determine which kind they like best! From cap illusion with lace and beading to match the dress, to simple plain or beaded straps, to the dreamy off shoulder romantic boho look, being able to customize the straps gives brides the ability to create a one-of-a-kind dress that is all her own.
Another addition that can really make a dress unique to its owner is adding a detachable skirt. This option is perfect for the bride who is in love with both fuller and fitted skirts and does not want to compromise. It really lets the bride make a statement with her dress while allowing more of her style to shine.  Keep it fitted underneath the princess skirt overtop!
  • BELTS
Adorning your dress with a belt is another way to help your personality shine through on your dress! Brides who like some sparkle have plenty of options when it comes to beaded belts. Many belts also tie in pearls which gives you flexibility in the jewelry you have to choose from, as well.
There is also the option to add a belt that does not have as much sparkle, but floral elements instead. Floral belts are perfect for the brides who are having an outdoor wedding and want the elements of nature to be tied into her look! For brides who have a color scheme they love, adding a colored sash to the waist of their dress might be a great option.
Whether you choose a color to match the bridal party or want to accent your ivory dress with a touch of champagne, this is the perfect way to have your personality shine through on your big day.
  • JEWELRY
Jewelry is a very personal touch with an incredible power to make brides feel like their style is all there. Many brides will use pieces of jewelry that was passed down by relatives as their “something old”. This familial tie-in brings in a sense of belonging when being in a wedding dress can feel a little unnatural.
Some brides will begin to picture themselves with their hair all done and consider the different kinds of earrings, necklaces, or bracelets they might want to wear with the dress they love. When a bride feels like her dress alone may not be enough to fit her style, the flexibility with jewelry can often times complete and personalize the overall look.
  • SHOES
Once the bride feels like herself in the dress, the next option is shoes! Many brides tell us that their need to be comfortable on their wedding day is a top priority and will opt for flat shoes or some with a small heel. We have seen many brides who even choose bridal sneakers! Kate Spade and Keds are two brands that have gorgeous sparkly sneakers with silky laces and are guaranteed to be comfortable while the happy couple dances the night away.
Some of our awesome edgy brides have even chosen Doc Marten’s or combat boots as their wedding day shoe!
For our girls who have a country or rustic theme, cowboy boots are a great way to tie the theme into their style. Shoes are also a great way to tie colors into the look. We have had brides who have used their shoes at their “something blue” or as an accent to their color scheme, and it looks great!
Like most accessories, there are plenty of shoes to choose from that will allow a bride to express her individuality through her wedding attire. Just a word of advice… go for comfort…
  • VEIL / HEADPIECE
The easiest way to add to a bridal look is with a veil. If you’re a bride looking for a little spunk or old Hollywood glam, a birdcage veil might be a great option for you!
For a bride saying yes to a dress that is a little more on the simple side, dressing it up with a cathedral veil (photo above) with a lace trim border can add a bit of drama without the commitment of having so much detail. There are hundreds of veil options to choose from between the length and detail (lace, beading, corded edge) that can help bring your vision to life.
For those brides who do not want a veil, you still have plenty of options! Our bohemian brides love to tie aspects of flowers into their style. We have seen numerous brides opt for flower crowns or weave flowers into their hair. Some ballroom or Disney weddings call for a sparkly tiara or a blingy headband!

Here at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, we have tons of accessories! An amazing selection of veils, belts, headbands, combs, and clips for brides to choose from to fit their individual style. And our stylists are phenomenal at offering options that you may have not considered yourself. Make your appointment and let’s make your dress YOUR dress!

Planning Thoughts For the Newly Engaged

The holiday season is the most popular for engagements and if that rock all of a sudden appears on your finger, chances are good you have already been planning and dreaming about your wedding day and the magic it will bring.

Much goes into the planning, first is usually determining the budget. Typically – but not always – the first things secured are the date and venue.  This will begin to set the tone for your day!

After that… comes the dress! We love helping brides find their perfect dress match! It’s so fun to talk about their ideas – theme, colors, and what special touches they want. The real question we want answered to guide them to the perfect dress, however, is:  What’s the vibe?

Some articulate it to us perfectly. I can see the bride envisioning it as she tells me and she smiles, looks off as she describes it – it’s so cool!  I can watch her as she sees her day come to life.

Sometimes, however, it may not be that easy.  Sometimes, just behind her meticulously curated wedding Pinterest boards, we find a very stressed bride who can’t keep her arms around it.

Too many voices offering their “friendly advice” and pulling her away from her original ideas.

Perhaps you should consider hiring a planner.

In my experience, brides with planners are far less stressed and find  many great additions, money savers, and perks that brides never would find on their own.

Also, your planner does what YOU want. Your planner doesn’t care what so-and-so thinks would be better.  She cares about what you want and stays on track with your vision and suggestions to next-level it.

Another thing we find with brides who do not use planners is that for some reason, many brides feel the need to visit every venue, even when it doesn’t fit with their vision and/or budget. Why?

Sometimes it’s the excitement of being in the initial planning stage and wanting to see everything or getting ideas on a theme.  It makes no sense when you already have an idea of the type of wedding you want. Visiting every venue simply starts the planning off with way too much unnecessary information, and expended unnecessary energy.

Brides do it with dresses, too. There are some brides that must visit every store they’ve ever heard of, trying on literally hundreds dresses, most of which hold no interest to them at all. By the end, their entourage is tired, the stylists can’t guide her anymore because she is trying dresses on that do not match anything she’s asked for, and it becomes an unproductive day with no dress selected.

Going to see venues – or trying on dresses – for fun is not the way to plan your wedding. It causes confusion by muddying up your original intentions and that is when the stress really begins… and you have many months to go.

For more clarity, we connected with wedding and event planner Brianne Elaine, owner of Oh The Details, Darling in Bucks County.  She has seen this many times and knows that too much information will lead the bride to an overwhelming amount of confusion. Planners know the best venues for what you want, the best vendors to work with, and the best for your budget, too.  Brianne summed it up well here:

Hiring a planner is not the first thought a bride has. Many think budget, then venue, and then let the planning begin. The bride and/or groom hit the ground running, flowing with ideas, possible vendors, and a vision with many moving parts. Many times, there are more parts than they realize and find they no longer have time to manage everything, let alone be the point person for the day of the wedding. Additionally, there are often too many people involved trying to be helpful but aren’t.  This is where a Planner becomes your best friend,” says Brianne.  “We have done this before with different venues and vendors and we are familiar with the demand of many moving parts and the extra opinions.”

“We thrive in multi-tasking and love seeing nothing more than your vision – with you right in the middle of it dancing with your love – surrounded by friends and family. This is why you hire a planner, so your wedding day can come to life the way you envisioned it, and enjoy every minute without wearing a watch.”

Brianne has some really good advice even if you do not hire a planner:

Create a budget that is within your financial comfort zone and create your timeline.

Do not stress yourself out with expectations and venues that do not fit the style or budget. Narrow down your search prior to scheduling visits. (Many mistakes that couples make is seeing too many venues and then losing the date or month of choice.)

Your friend doesn’t have all the answers because she was recently married. This day is yours fully to make all of your own decisions. Which color linen, which floral design, which bridesmaid dress and color you want is up to you.

Wedding planning can be a lot, but if you stick to what you like then you will never be disappointed. 

Brianne Elaine can be found on her website at https://www.ohthedetailsdarling.com/ or on Instagram @ohthedetailsdarling.

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo has bridal and tuxedo stylists who are skilled at tapping into your vision and helping you pull that look together perfectly. Make your appointment now! It’s a great time to be engaged – Spring 2020 dresses arriving daily AND just wait until you see the new tuxedo additions!

 

 

What Do Bridal Store Owners Wear to Black Tie Galas?

Franco and I are so fortunate to own Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, because a family business is something we always wanted.  We are also fortunate to be invited to many black tie galas and formal affairs because of this business.

It’s usually easy for us to choose our formal wear attire, however I think it’s easier for Franco. I would say that, right?  He has 56 tuxedos from which to choose – our entire inventory is open to him and they are all so gorgeous he can’t go wrong.  Plus with all the color accessories he can switch it up to any theme.  He’s worn so many and all have looked incredibly sharp!

I absolutely love the ivory tuxedo jacket with black shawl lapel with black pants.  Love love love this look!

He’s worn the navy tuxedo (amazing with his blue eyes), cranberry tuxedo (perfect for the holidays), and the checkered tuxedo (ultra class).  He looks so handsome in the charcoal grey with a peak lapel and a fun bow tie with patching floral pocket square:

There is nothing as gorgeous as when he does classic black tuxedo with a black bow tie.  He wore my new favorite on November 9th, called Chandler by Ike Behar (below).  It is a gorgeous black tuxedo with satin shawl lapel.  Here is a model in the tux and below is my guy in the same tux but wearing a black “teardrop” bowtie, white flower lapel pin, and black onyx studs and cufflinks:

We both found that we prefer the Ike Behar collection to any other name. The fit and quality is superior, even to the Michael Kors tuxedos. Yep, I said it. I love how it looks, Franco appreciates the look as well as the feel of it.

For shoes, I’m a fan of the black wing tip, too. Since he doesn’t care what shoe, he wears the black wing tip (wink wink).

For me, of course I find it more difficult. I’m not “young” but I’m not “old” – I’m in that basic mother of bride age group and we all say that.  If you’re in your 20s-30s, you think of 50 as being ancient but believe me, once you get here you realize you’re not ancient. So many women my age are working out in the gym, pilates, yoga, running, lifting, etc., and feeling great, but there are still some styles that are inappropriate for mothers. I get that.

I have an advantage of basically an enormous inventory of dresses.  While I really love most of our dresses, it doesn’t mean I would wear all of them.  Some are definitely for “Mothers” in that they look very much like they belong at a wedding, not as a “guest of” or a “black tie” event. We have tons of prom dresses that are gorgeous but they are for prom goers, not someone’s mom.

In the past, I have worn Tony Bowls, Jovani, and Jonathan Kayne. I have also worn Bill Levkoff twice (yes, bridesmaid!) in black lace sequin that was super pretty and a high neck black chiffon that were absolutely perfect for the events.

Sometimes I feel guilty about buying new dresses – especially when Franco just rents – so I have also worn dresses in my closet from years ago.  I have not rented a dress. I am a fan of buying more classic style dresses so they don’t go out of style and as long as they still fit I’m good to go!

For our most recent event, I chose this exact dress from the Christina Wu Celebrations collection:

My dress was like a disco ball!  Aside from the sequins being very scratchy under my arms, it was just perfect! This is how we turned out:

With the holiday season just a blink away, maybe we will have a few more opportunities to get all fancy. If you need help putting something special together, give us a call!

Our bridesmaid and special occasion off the rack dresses are all marked down and we are offering a $50 discount on all our full tux packages! Call or text us at 215-491-8500! Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

 

Beyond Yes To The Dress

In my opinion, there are no coincidences. Things happen that defy logic, like deja vu, karma, or even signs from beyond that make us profoundly sad, yet simultaneously grateful and connected.

In this blog, we tell some powerful stories from our brides in our store, that show when you are saying Yes, there may be divine intervention…

My favorite story happened about two years ago. A bride came to us after numerous shopping trips. Her mother told me privately that she was so disappointed that she wasn’t finding anything she liked. The process had become a chore and to add to it, her mother – the bride’s grandmother – had recently passed away and they were very very emotional. Grandmom was going to buy her dress and they spoke often of how much fun they would have when the time came to go dress shopping. The time arrived, but they were not having any fun at all.

The bride did not want to shop anymore, yet agreed – on Mom’s urging – to go to one more store.  We were well over an hour away, Mom “randomly” chose to come to us.

With that knowledge, I went about the appointment quite differently.

I told the bride I understood it hadn’t been fun and she wasn’t into it, but since she was here, let’s pick out a few dresses you think are “crazy”.  Ones you would never wear. Let’s start with ones you wouldn’t consider and see how you feel.  No pressure.

She agreed and said it is much easier to find ones she didn’t like. After looking through every dress, she chose three.  The first 2 we laughed and took pictures and she had a little fun.  The 3rd dress she said she purposely saved for last.  She said, “I don’t understand this one. I’d never pick this out otherwise, it’s totally not me, but I am drawn to it.”  I said, “Let’s put it on.”

“Mom, I like this one,” said bride. “It’s has nothing I want, but I really like it. I don’t want to take it off and I haven’t felt good in any dress but this.”

Mom said, “I’m glad you said that, because as soon as you came out I loved it on you!”

Bride was looking for a plain, simple dress, no “frills or bedazzle” she said. She said she wanted a dress that was “quiet” but pretty.

This dress she connected to was a fully beaded fit to flare with a beaded illusion back and cap sleeve – it was almost the exact opposite of what she was looking for.

“I actually really like this one.  How did this happen?” She laughed and the mood completely changed. “Mom, this is my dress, I can’t believe it, I absolutely love this dress and I have no idea why!”

“The dress is named ‘Aster’,” I said.

They both shot me the strangest look and trust me, it was awkward. Really awkward. Mom put her hands over her face and sobbed.  Bride stood there not moving.  All I could say was, “I’m so sorry” because I couldn’t imagine what just happened.

Turns out, Grandmom loved flowers but there was one flower in particular that was everywhere – in her yard, paintings in her house, painted on dishwear, needle-pointed pillows – everywhere.  Her favorite flower was Aster. It was Grandmom showing she was dress shopping with them after all. Lead them to a “random” store, lead Bride to pick a dress that she’d “never consider wearing” named after her favorite flower.  Talk about a strong connection.

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Another bride came in just a few months ago.  She was so on edge and was talking so fast about not wanting to try on and not wanting to be “in this position”.  I asked her if something had happened recently and how could I help make the experience easier for her.  She said, “My mother just passed. I am very scattered and emotional and I know I don’t look good so when people tell me I look beautiful in dresses I think they’re just trying to make a sale. I need a sign, Mom send me a sign…” and she closed her eyes.  Truth be told, I had to hold back tears.

I told her we would take very good care of her as her consultant – who had not heard any of this conversation – came to the front to introduce herself.  Our consultant gave her a big smile and said, “Hi, I’m Sharon and I’m so happy to meet you.”  The bride started crying and hugged ME.  She found her sign.  Her mother’s name was Sharon.

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One of our brides purchased a dress and it fit her perfectly at try on.  She then lost a lot of weight before the wedding. She went for her fitting and was told it was impossible to alter it down to her new size and her wedding was only 3 weeks away.  She came in the store and said, “I know the answer is no, but the girls at work told me to just ask.  Can I swap this dress for a smaller one or is there anything you can do?” One of our consultants said, “Isn’t that the misordered dress in the back?”  It was indeed the same dress.  We pulled it out – brand new and FOUR sizes smaller – it fit like a glove.  She said, “You’d do this for me?!”  I told her, “Of course. It was ordered last year by mistake and it’s not doing us any good hanging here,” and I showed her the ticket.  Her eyes got huge.  “Oh my gosh, it was ordered it on my birthday!”  Well, that was meant to be! 🙂

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We had a bride in several years ago whose sister passed away.  She brought in a large support group and it was emotional for them because her sister would have been Maid of Honor.  She found her perfect dress and was super excited, and we needed to find the perfect belt for it.  We tried and tried and found some that were really nice and looked great, but not quite right.  Remembering one on display on a mannequin, we took that one off and brought it over.  It was perfect!  It totally transformed the dress into perfection! When she looked closer, she said, “No way,” and got very still.  “It’s a butterfly.” The perfect belt was a crystal and pearl butterfly design. The butterfly was their symbol for her late sister.  We all stayed quiet for a few minutes to take in the emotions.  We went through over 30 belts to find the perfect one, and the perfect one turned out to be incredibly meaningful and truly a sign.

These are just some of our beyond Yes stories. Maybe you have a Beyond story that you want to share? We’d love to hear it!

Dress Shopping For Brides With Chronic Illness or Mobility Impairment

In this blog, we focus on helping brides with specific needs for chronic illness or mobility impairment.

Choosing a bridal gown is a fun, exciting, and sometimes daunting task. Every bride deserves the day, and the gown, of her dreams! To make the most of your bridal appointment, think about any features of your gown that will allow you to focus on having a wonderful time with your loved ones on the day.

For brides who will be using a wheelchair:

Ask the bridal store if there are stairs or any obstacles that would be difficult for a wheelchair to move about.  When you try on dresses, you want room to maneuver so you can get a feel for the movement each dress provides.

Consider which silhouette will match your vision and also be comfortable.

What are the day to day struggles with your disability? Is a tight-fitting dress going to cause pain? Will a layered, poofy dress cause body temperature issues? Tell your stylist what your specific concerns are so she can guide you.

If you find the perfect “feeling” dress but think something is missing, consider adding a sparkly belt and jewelry accessories that would work for you.

Note:  Some of the headbands and tiaras are so beautiful and tight fitting.  These can easily cause headaches and migraines. Make sure if you have a head piece that you wear it before the wedding to test that out.

Also, you have choice in fabrics. Silks and satins are unforgiving and can be uncomfortably restricting. Many designers offer what’s called a “perfecting satin” which is a smooth fabric with a stretch. Lightweight, super comfortable, and ultra pretty, these are dresses you’ll love in various colors, silhouettes, and details.

Some beading and laces can cause skin reactions, or just be uncomfortable and scratchy. Make sure to note this and if you like the look, tell your stylist who can pull a different type of lace or one with beading that doesn’t come into contact with your skin directly.

While many gowns are easier to step into, consider whether you’d prefer a gown that you could put on over your head.

For brides who will be using a walker or cane:

Perhaps a gown with a detachable overskirt or train would work. That way, you get to keep the volume down the aisle with worrying about tripping or catching the front of your gown and then take it off for a light and easy look during your reception

For brides with hemiplegia/paresis or difficulty with manual dexterity, consider changing a lace-up corset back (or one with buttons and loops) to a hidden zipper, or even one with snaps. A good bridal seamstress can do this for you.

For brides with generalized movement difficulty (e.g., myasthenia gravis) or who may fatigue more easily:

Those who fatigue easily can often be more sensitive to temperature. The solution may be… layers! Add bolero jacket with sleeves to a strapless gown .


Or, add detachable sleeves to a gown with straps.

The bridal store you choose should have a good seamstress they work with,  one that knows construction and can offer you options to make your dress even more perfect for you. It will bring you more peace of mind and keep you feeling great and your stress level low.

Choosing a bridal gown is a fun, exciting, and sometimes daunting task. Don’t let anything get in your way, including needing a little help getting down the aisle.  Visit us at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo!

The Wedding Experience: From A Guest Perspective

We recently had the good fortune to be guests at several weddings of friends of ours.  Working in the wedding industry doesn’t always afford us the opportunity to see the end result and it was really fun to be a guest and not just a vendor!

We thought a great blog would be to tell you some of the feedback we hear from the guests when the wedding is over (returning tuxedos, preserving the dress, etc.),  as well as some of our own thoughts on how to make sure your guests have a great experience.

The Ceremony:

All of these weddings were lovely.  Not only a beautiful locations, but they all started ON TIME.  That was amazing! Loved that! Please don’t be fashionably late on your wedding.

After your ceremony, is there a delay until the reception?  If there is, how long is it?  If it is more than a couple of hours, consider having something for your guests to do, or a place to go to wait and have some food.  The delay we experienced was hours long and hard to fill.

Cocktail Hour:

How many guests are coming – and what will cocktail hour look like? What kind of layout is there, and will the lines be long? How much food is there, will they run low or out?

At two of the weddings, the food was everywhere! At another one, they ran out very quickly at cocktail hour (the unhappiest guests are the unfed ones).

Are there tables or enough seating areas? Standing to eat, along with a drink in hand, is impossible.  Make sure your guests have plenty of places to put their plates and drinks down.

Is the bar open? How many bartenders will you have?  Make sure there are enough to eliminate long lines.

Is there a photo op area? Or a photobooth? This is a fun way for your guests to capture the day. One of the weddings we went to had a flower wall that was a really neat backdrop!

The Reception:

Place Cards – You may think the tiny, scripted font looks beautiful, but it is exceptionally hard for some guests to read. (My personal experience at one wedding: I walked around a circular table three times picking up cards to see what letter we were at. I thought the S was a J so I walked around to the other side to find the F that I thought was a T so back to the other side… it was awful.)  Please, consider a more readable font, especially if you have a large number of guests.

For other seating arrangements, do this task with the mindset of how to make it easy for your guests to find their place.

Music – Consider doing a sound check for the toasting and dinner portions. Read that again and give it even more consideration.

One wedding I felt was somewhat ruined by the noise level, and I know I wasn’t the only one feeling that way.  The emcee was shouting into the microphone to introduce the wedding party, and we still couldn’t hear anything because the band was playing so loud. It was just yelling over incredibly loud music and none of the guests could understand or hear the names and many guests had their hands covering their ears. Make sure the band understands the acoustics of the room and does a sound check!

Toasts – Advice to anyone at your wedding giving a toast:   speak slowly and speak up.  These speeches are amusing for sure, but filled with “inside jokes” that most of your guests don’t understand so while the toast giver may be nervous, it is a definite plus if they can be heard and understood.  Also…

Limit the speeches. We were at one where there were six.  Not only did we not understand any of them because we couldn’t hear, it took forever. We noticed even the wait staff seemed frustrated because they didn’t know when to start serving. Perhaps do some at the rehearsal dinner if you have that many.

Dinner – Whatever the food, please consider dinner music.  In the background.  Please.  When the band blares during dinner, none of your guests can talk to each other. After dinner, heck yes turn up the volume! But during dinner when guests are trying to speak with each other, consider having the music at a level that encourages that.

Personal note: One of the events we attended had lovely dinner music and it really set a nice tone to the evening and we were able to speak to many of the guests. Getting to know them definitely added to the fun once the music did get turned up and the party was fantastic!

Greetings – Depending on the size of  your wedding, speaking to everyone at length may not be possible, but definitely make a point to go to each table and greet ALL of your guests.  Also, if the bride or groom has never met someone at your wedding, be sure to make the introduction!

Favors – Personally, I have mixed feelings on favors. While I love the idea and some are so creative and special, many are left on the tables. I always feel bad when I think someone went to the trouble and so many are just thrown away.  If someone has a better idea  other than favors, or a favor no one would leave behind, I’d love to hear it.

Thank You Notes – Etiquette says that your guests have a year to send a gift and I am one of those people who actually sends one after the wedding.  It’s hard to wait a year to send a thank you note, however, give a little bit of time (maybe a few months?) to see if something will arrive from a guest who did not bring a gift on your day. Maybe something will show up at your home from your registry or even a personalized gift 🙂

Your wedding is the biggest party you will throw and you want to make sure your guests remember it for the great parts. Ask friends and co-workers about weddings they have gone to where something could have been done better or what was great about it – you could gain some more insight to wow your guests! Hopefully this blog was a good start!

 

Say Hello to Madi Lane Bridal!

Wondering where to find those romantic, lace dresses that you’ve been saving to your wedding board on Pinterest? Look no further. Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is thrilled to announce that we are the exclusive retailers of Madi Lane Bridal in the entire Philadelphia region!

The Elora gown has been taking the internet by storm – so much so that we’ve been receiving phone calls from up and down the east coast searching for it – and beginning this August, Elora and a number of other breathtaking gowns will be in our store, like Haven shown here:

Madi Lane is an Australian-based bridal line that places a high emphasis on elegance and individuality. The intricate lace and sophisticated designs exude pure romance that speaks to every bride. These gowns are for the bride who has a sense of herself and wants her dress to reflect her personality. We’ll let the pictures speak for themselves!

TRUNK SHOW!

September 5-8, 2019, we will be hosting a Madi Lane Trunk Show!

In addition to the gorgeous dresses normally in store, we will be bringing even more of her dresses into the store for one weekend only. Appointments are required for the Trunk Show – availability is limited!

Come in and say “yes!” to your perfect Madi Lane dress! Fun specials and vendors TBA!  Click here to schedule your appointment or call/text us at 215-491-8500.

India by Madi Lane
Harper by Madi Lane

 

 

Izadore by Madi Lane
Fleur by Madi Lane

 

We are thrilled to be able to bring this designer to the Philly market.  With all of the unique and special venues in Bucks, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties as well as destination weddings, a bride deserves a perfectly matched dress for her choice.  Adding Madi Lane to our current designers of Morilee, Kitty Chen Couture & Ivoire, Casablanca Bridal, Beloved, Sincerity by Justin Alexander, Jessica Morgan, Blu by Morilee, and Moonlight assures that Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo has the most perfectly curated – and most affordable – designers in the entire region.

Our gorgeous dresses range new from $800-$3,000, with select off-the-rack dresses from $350-$999.

It’s always great time to be engaged at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo!