Madeline Gardner is the brilliantly talented designer behind the Morilee bridal and MGNY social occasion dress lines. She is also very often finding ways to give back to the community – those less fortunate, military couples, and in this latest contest to healthcare workers on the front lines of Covid.
We were notified of this by bride Lexi Rafanello. She booked an appointment at our store and said she had been chosen as one of the winners of this latest contest!
We were so excited to be a part of this as well! We got Lexi in to try on, working around a gruling work schedule. Once she was in it didn’t take her long to find the one. Even more exciting, it wasn’t the one she thought she’d say yes to!
Read Lexi’s story below:
My mom nominated me for the Morilee giveaway because of how much I was in love with Madeline Gardner’s wedding dresses. I already knew the dress I would choose would be one of hers, even months before COVID-19 was an issue in the United States or this giveaway existed.
During the peak of the pandemic I worked on our COVID-19 cluster unit regularly. It was a very high-stress, devastating, and risky environment to be in. It took a toll on our hospital and staff, both financially and mentally, to the point that we are still feeling the effects of the pandemic.
When I found out I won a Morilee dress, I was ecstatic and felt so blessed to have my dream dress given to me. It was the beginning of some light peeking through after being in a very dark tunnel for months.
I would love to thank Madeline Gardner personally for bringing some light and positivity into the world for those who put their own lives at risk for the sake of caring for other human beings. She is one example of humanity coming together in a time of crisis by performing an act of kindness for others. I am truly honored and proud to be wearing one of her dresses on my wedding day.
We appreciate what she and many others health care workers have sacrificed during this time. Thank you to Madeline Gardner for such a thoughtful gesture.
Lexi’s wedding is scheduled for next summer and we are thrilled to be a part of it. There will be lots of details and decisions to be made, but with dress in hand she is well on her way!
It’s so fun when a bride tries on different wedding dresses and realizes she looks and feels amazing in certain silhouettes and necklines more than others.
Finding the right wedding dress means finding the one that fits your style andbody type. Get started by learning the variations of necklines and how to best wear them!
This neckline sits just below the shoulders with sleeves draping over the upper arm and is flattering on nearly all body types. Super pretty and shows off the collarbone with straps that rest at the top of your arms. You can have off the shoulder straps added to any strapless wedding dress.
The sweetheart is shaped like the top half of a heart, dipping down in the front center and looks beautiful on all dress silhouettes. Many ballgowns are made with a sweetheart because of how romantic it is! Sweetheart dips can vary, some are more pronounced and dip lower than others.
For those who aren’t shy, the plunging neckline is a super sexy option. This neckline is a slit that extends down the center of your chest past your, ribs or even farther, for a statement-making look. Most plunges are actually a sheer illusion tulle panel that connects the two sides of the bodice. Plunge looks very flattering on tall brides.
The halter neckline wraps around the neck, exposing the shoulders and upper back beautifully. It will typically button or have a hook closure at the back of the neck and is very flattering on a large bust or anyone wanting to show off her arms.
Also known as a boatneck, the bateau neckline stops at your collarbone and features a wider opening that skims the tops of your shoulders. Very classic, sophisticated, and demure, this neckline goes beautifully with every silhouette.
This neckline dips down in the front into the shape of a “V.” It is flattering on petite and narrow frames, but also on a larger bust when fitted properly. They are usually made with a low coordinating V in the back of the dress, but also look beautiful with a full illusion back.
A square neckline extends from the shoulder straps to form a straight across line in the center. Similar to the scoop but it affords a little more coverage for a more conservative look. Very chic and modern.
This neckline has sheer fabric along the top neckline of the bodice. It gives the “illusion” of a strapless dress, but it offers more coverage and support. Illusions are gorgeous with long sleeve gowns. A dress can have illusion in the front, the back, or both.
The scoop is rounded in the front creating a flattering, feminine effect. It does not dip to a point like the sweetheart so it affords a little more coverage and is very flattering on a larger bust, and also on a petite frame.
This neckline has a Grecian flair by draping over one shoulder. The shoulder can be covered with a short or long sleeve, a long drape, bow, or by a single strap.
To see all of these beautiful necklines on hundreds of dresses, make your appointment to come see us. New dresses in monthly and new designers added seasonally!
I can’t stand that term “plus size”. Fortunately it seems to be on its way out in favor of the new descriptor “curvy” which I love because you then picture a beautiful bride, perfectly filling out her dress.
There are brides who know they are in this category. Some will inquire ahead of time asking if we carry plus size wedding dresses. Typically plus means sizes 18 and up.
There are also brides who are very surprised to find their size in bridal falls into plus, due to wedding dresses running 1-2 sizes smaller than regular sizing. Let’s talk about this.
So let’s say your normal size is a 14, and you come in and try on wedding dress in a size 14 and it’s not even close to zipping. This is a very real situation and has nothing to do with you not being a size 14. You try a 16 and still no… but you have never been an 18 in anything – what is happening?
Nothing. That is simply the way bridal sizing runs. Designers size charts are easily available to look at online and they clearly do not represent accurate sizing consistent with the times. Since that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon, it’s something to know and more importantly, not care about.
“Here’s to all of us who aren’t size 6.”
My new favorite quote from our bridal stylist Jess. She said it while taking this pic knowing, girls in the 18+ sizes would love this dress. Jess loves working with our curvy brides most because she knows there are dresses that will make them look and feel beautiful.
Read on for some genuine words from her to help you get started on your search:
This is written from a curvy bride to a curvy bride. Really no matter what size you are we all want the same thing, to look incredible on our wedding day.
It took me a while to realize it but it’s not your size that determines this, it’s your confidence. When you feel amazing in a dress, your beauty just radiates. You have a certain glow that can not be denied.
I am excited to be back in bridal and helping to choose the most beautiful dresses to bring into the store for my curvy brides. We have some of the top designers and are bringing in their new and best dresses in sizes up to 30!
It’s important to try different things because curves don’t lie (haha!) but seriously certain bodies look amazing in certain styles. Try a few and see how you feel. You’ll know your style soon enough!
It’s such an amazing feeling when I get a bride in a dress and she just knows… that’s the one. To all my curvy brides out there: do not settle, your dress is out there and hopefully you can come let me help you find it!
We are delighted to have Jess back with us again! And with dresses in all sizes from all of our designers, there is no reason you have to be anxious or search all over for your yes dress! Make your appointment here and if you want, request Jess! Her research (constantly trying on and evaluating the curvy dresses) will be of immense benefit to you!
Keeping you updated with the latest from our store and all around the wedding world.
IT’S A MAJOR SCORE!
We are super excited to announce a new addition to our bridal lines: ENZOANI BLUE!
Enzoani is no stranger to us. We carried this line when we first opened in 2013 and loved it! The designs were amazing and the fit was so good!
After a few years, the creative direction was not going in the direction of what our brides wanted, so we sat them out for a bit. This season they deserve another look.
WOW!! Blue’s new creative designers came from another well-known, very popular, but hugely saturated line. Looking for a new outlet, they found a perfect fit with the Enzoani family.
These dresses will be in the store late fall with an intro trunk show to follow. In the meantime, enjoy these:
What’s Going On? A Whole Bunch!
We are always updating our events calendar. Check below for rescheduled dates and upcoming events in the works!
Remember: Our Trunk Shows always offer the best possible pricing and incentives so come ready to say YES!
REMINDER: Due to COVID-19 and distancing protocols, we must limit the number of guests a bride may bring to her bridal appointment to three (3) and no children under 13 (unless being fitted for a tuxedo).
WiFi is available to have additional join you by video! Read our new procedures here.
* MORILEE TRUNK SHOW July 31-August 2, 2020 The fantastic Madeline Gardner has done it again with her Morilee Spring 2020 lines and some of her very best designs from previous collections will be on display and ready for try on! Make your appointment to see Morilee, Blu, and Voyage dresses, and be prepared to be wowed and to say YES! Save 10% on your Morilee dress at the trunk show!
*MADI LANE TRUNK SHOW August 21-23, 2020
Our incredibly popular Madi Lane show is back! This books up WELL in advance so do not hold off on this one! Proud to be the exclusive retailer in the Philadelphia region of this one of a kind designer out of Australia. Dresses starting at $1600 and include everything from off-the-shoulder whimsical lace to body hugging crêpe, Madi has you covered and because we are exclusive, you won’t be wearing everyone else’s dress! **Super exciting promotion: buy a new dress at this show and be entered to win a prize you won’t believe!
*DESTINATION TRUNK SHOW September 18-20, 2020
Planning an island or a getaway wedding? You need the right dress and we have lots of them! Sparkle in the afternoon sun in the sand or twirl the night away on a romantic sea cruise, come in and try on gorgeous options to fit whatever you dream about. Buy at this show for exclusive travel swag and coupons!
* KITTY CHEN TRUNK SHOW October 16-18, 2020
So good we booked another one! We had so many brides say yes at our last kitty show, if you missed it make your appointment for this one! Fitted dresses through ballgowns, intricate lace designs, breathtaking trains, and gorgeous beading… if this sounds like you, Kitty is your designer and this is your show! High fashion, sleek, and sexy, you will surely say YES to a Kitty dress!
* JULIETTA By MORILEE TRUNK SHOW November 6-8, 2020
A celebration of curves! Sizes 18-32, all silhouettes, fabrics, and necklines! Morilee’s Julietta line of plus sizes dresses is exactly what you are looking for. Perhaps a little extra coverage but a little deeper plunge, a bit comfortable yet curve hugging, you will get it all with this line! If you’re anxious to try on or had a bad experience because the store you went to only offered up to size 12, make your appointment with us for this show!
* INTRODUCING: ENZOANI BLUE TRUNK SHOW January 22-24, 2021
If you are looking for a couture, modern, and breathtaking dress, consider Enzoani Blue. From the most dramatic mermaids to the most show stopping ballgowns, the details on these dresses are not to be missed. Unique yet timeless, you will fall in love with these designs!
* HOLIDAY SAMPLE SALE November 28-December 31, 2020
Let’s say goodbye to a year we never expected and hello to a new one full of joy and promise! While we can’t promise a great 2021, we can promise great markdowns on ALL designers! There will be weekend sweet treats to get us on the right track, too! A must have for a holiday sample sale!
Keep up to date with our events page by clicking here. Call or text 215-491-8500 or Make your appointment now online.
TUXEDO & SUIT NEWS
Minimony and Micro Weddings
By now you may have seen our blog on the minimony. When the pandemic first hit, the term minimony was circulating and describing smaller weddings occurring this year so that the bride and groom could get married and still respect social distancing rules. The larger, bigger bash, is usually planned for later in the year or next year when it is safer for everyone to get together. Now that we have many minimonies under our belt, we’d like to talk about what are the guys wearing for the minimony (also sometimes called the micro wedding).
So what are the guys doing for their minimony or micro wedding? We are seeing three trends:
1) Entire wedding party (groom and groomsmen, etc.) wearing what they originally chose for the wedding (most common).
2) Groom and just close family members are wearing a different tuxedo or suit (than the originally one chosen) for the micro wedding. Brides and grooms want to save the original attire they chose for the big wedding next year. In this case, the groomsmen are not matching or coordinating with the groom or his family members (second most common choice).
3) Groom is choosing a more casual look for the minimony by wearing pants, shirt and vest and no jacket (not as common but still happening).
Do You Have Out of State Groomsmen?
Out of state wedding guests and groomsmen are no problem for us! We can arrange to get your guys measured for free anywhere in the country. In addition, we can ship their tuxedo to their front door. It’s that easy! You can even submit your measurements on our website and make online payments for the tuxedo and suit rentals and purchases. Let us take care of your entire wedding party.
We Do Video Appointments too!
Did you know we can arrange a video appointment for you to discuss suits and tuxedos? We do them every week and our brides and grooms love them. Learn all about our tuxedos and suits in the comfort of your own home.
Questions? Text us at 215-491-8500!
Learn more about our tuxedos and suit rentals here. Make your appointment online to speak to one of our formal wear experts!
DIAMONDS ARE A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND… AFTER HER FIANCEÉ, OF COURSE! Is that ring in your future or someone you know? Read our blog to give you a quick education on diamonds!
View Our Website Want your wedding featured? Email email@example.com, tell your love story, send photos, and let us blog about it to the world! Tell us your vendors so we can shout them out, too. Maybe you’ll be featured on the designer’s social media pages!
We at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo do not believe you should have to give a bridal shop your credit or debit card to secure a bridal appointment.
That’s why when you make an online appointment, request an appointment by text message, Google Messaging, Facebook Messenger, Instagram Messenger or by calling us, you will not be asked for your credit card. We are a family business and want to treat you the way we would want our own daughters to be treated. Our store’s name, Darianna, is the combination of their names: Daria and Deanna.
What Do Brides Like You Think?
Many members of our team are currently engaged or were recently married this summer and went through what brides are going through right now. We asked them their feeings about giving their credit card to reserve a bridal appointment.
While most of our team associated the policy with a doctors office or a fine dining establishment, they all said not for dress shopping. Although all of our team understands that the store doesn’t want you to buy from someone else, none agreed with being “forced” to show up – especially if you found your dress and wanted to go celebrate!
Everyone felt it was distasteful to be charged to cancel, even if someone in the party was ill or another emergency.
Is My Credit Card Information Safe?
In addition, there were legitimate security questions. All wanted to know how and where is the credit card information being held, for instance, is it hand written somewhere for somebody else to see (or steal)? Is there a list of them? Is there a signature or contract for used for authorization? What happens to the card info after the bride leave? If saved to a computer system, does it stay there indefinitely? What if the store’s system is hacked? So many questions to ask if someone wants your card…
We know first-hand how important wedding dress shopping is and we have created a pleasant, pressure-free wedding dress shopping environment. Our designers are not only gorgeous, but in what we feel is the right price range. We add new designers to the mix every year! You will have lots of fun with us, share some laughs and will make plenty of memories.
Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, since it’s founding, does things a little differently:
We allow you and your guests to take pictures of you in the wedding dresses (we want you to make memories!).
We choose dresses for you based on your preferences and we let you “shop” as well, in case something catches your eye!
You can text our store telephone number before, during, and after business hours. You’ll be texting directly with the owners, no bots, no outsourcing of the text communications!
We have an online chat feature on our website. Again, you’ll be chatting with the owners.
And finally, we do not take your credit card to make an appointment and charge you if you are unable to make it.
We personally don’t think it’s fair to charge you if you can’t make a bridal appointment. There are other stores who feel the way we do and do not use this policy to force brides in. In addition, we do not think it is prudent to have your credit card number for security reasons and in fact, it is not legal to hold someone’s credit card information without proper written consent.
Fortunately, very few brides cannot make their appointment with us but we understand if you can’t and/or need to reschedule. If you can’t make your appointment, all that we ask is that you call or text us and let us know: 215-491-8500. We keep a list of brides who can come to us last minute and we can give another bride the opportunity to experience us and say yes! And we will happily rebook you for another time 🙂
If you are looking for a pleasant, fun place with a family feel to shop for your wedding dress, come to Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo!
Update to This Blog on February 18, 2021
Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, like many businesses in the Philadelpia region, has had to close the store several days due to heavy snow this winter. We thought of this wedding planning blog just yesterday when another large snow storm was approaching the region. A bride texted our store’s telephone number, during the snow storm and told us her parent’s flight was canceled for tomorrow morning, the day of her bridal appointment. She, of course, would like her parents to be there for her yes to the dress moment. With two daughers ourselves, we comepletely understand this. She told us she already lost two appointment deposits with other bridal stores for canceling her appointments. In fact, many of our brides have had to reschedule their appointments due to snow in just the last two and a half weeks. When you book with Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, you will not lose any money for having to change or cancel a bridal appointment. We are easily accessible, day or night by online chat, text message, Instagram Messenger, Facebook Messenger, and Google Messaging. We’ve been closed 3 days so far this year due to the snow. We happlily reshceduled all of our brides to help find their dream wedding dress and there was no financial penalty involved! Let our family bridal and tuxedo store take personal care of you. You’ll have a lot less to worry about!
Owning a bridal and tuxedo store that is open 7 days a week, we don’t get out much. One of our favorite hobbies though is (good) food so we try to enjoy some as often as possible.
We are members of Chaine des Rotisseurs which is the oldest and largest food and wine society in the world. We cherish the friends we have made and experiences from these events. Our local chapter is called Delaware Valley Chaine.
Getting together with our Chaine friends has certainly been challenging under COVID-19. The group has gotten creative and one evening, we had a Zoom wine tasting and dinner. During more informal discussions at the end of dinner, we were chatting with Chef Joseph Koye, a Delaware Valley Chaine professional member, and learned more about his catering business.
His company is called Wild Blue Creative Catering, Inc. and is located in King of Prussia, PA.
We receive a lot of requests for recommendations for caterers and restaurants from brides and grooms for their weddings, rehearsals dinners and bridal showers. We have experienced Chef Koye’s wonderful cooking at several Chaine events and we can say his flavors and execution are phenomenal.
These are especially challenging times for everyone. The restaurant and catering industries have been hit especially hard by the pandemic, making it very difficult for many to earn a living.
The spring and summer canceled most every wedding we had booked. Some couples moved their date out to 2021, some opted for the “minimony” at home with just a few guests. Some did both. Either way, our industry was hit very hard.
The autumn wedding season is typically much busier than summer, and it looks like some who chose to ride this out with their fingers crossed may just have their day… although that could easily come crashing down last minute as we experienced over the spring and summer.
If you find yourself in a ‘pickle’, Chef Koye is the one to call. Wild Blue can go full mobile operations off site with refrigerated trucks, convection ovens, fryers, portable sink units, tents, power supplies, etc. and they travel!
When we learned what Chef Koye was doing to help others, we felt compelled to feature him in one of our blogs. His creativity, generosity, and kindness struck us – especially when many were simply trying to figure out how to survive during the pandemic. He was out there making a difference.
His catering company is ready to serve your wedding or special events and has the experience and facilities to do so.
Enjoy this intimate interview we did with Chef Koye and please support your local chefs, caterers and restaurants when you can.
How did you get into the catering business?
As a Chef, I worked in many different aspects of the food service industry, restaurants and country clubs. I then moved over to the food industry giants, Nestle & Unilever, as a chef/sales consultant. After a while, the kitchen life was calling me back, but rather than a restaurant I chose catering to have more quality time with my young family versus the constant grind of a restaurant operation.
Where is your facility located and tell us a little bit about your location?
Our location is considered a commissary kitchen, which is an exceptionally large commercial kitchen without a dining room. Social distancing is no problem in this kitchen. We can and have handled events from a family of 4 to over 10,000 from our kitchen. Wild Blue can go full mobile operations off site with refrigerated trucks, convection ovens, fryers, portable sink units, tents, power supplies, etc.
What type of events do you cater?
We cater whatever the client wishes. We focused on larger events such as corporate and club outings, weddings, grand openings and events at the King of Prussia Mall. We are willing to travel for our clients, which leads to many events in unique locations at the Jersey Shore, the Chesapeake and elsewhere. For us – anything goes.
Tell us about some fun or interesting weddings that you have catered?
Some of the styles of events and meals we have created have included: food action stations as a tour of the bride & groom’s travels of the world, vegan & carnivore stations, and plated meals onto family’s heirloom china.
We’ve also created some intriguing themed events and meals: Boardwalk Empire, beer centric, wine focused, Jamaican barefoot pool party, cowboy chuckwagon BBQ, pig roasts, brunch, circus themes and many more.
Some of the most interesting have been unusual blended family menus: Kenyan/Ukrainian, Southern/French, British/Thai, Argentinian/Moroccan, Cajun/Kansas City.
Some of our catering locations have included: weddings on the beach, yacht clubs, on boats, farms, rodeo arena, armory, breweries, parks, country clubs, Boathouse Row, backyards, office buildings, historic sites, and museums.
Do you have advice for a bride and groom on devising a menu for their reception?
I always advise to have some of the foods your family loves to share with your friends. Let the menu reflect your personality. If you love fine dining or casual comfort foods, we can make it for you. I don’t want anyone feeling locked into any menu items on your special day. You like what you like. Think whether you like Coke vs Pepsi, Dr Pepper, Sprite, Fanta, Fresca, Club Soda, Fresh squeezed Juice to drink.
What have you been doing during the COVID-19 lockdown?
We have been cleaning and organizing during the downtime. In addition, Wild Blue’s Team is the Culinary 911 team for many assisted living facilities in the area. We took over a facility that had many staff go down with C-19 and had to quarantine the rest for 18 days. We came in, sanitized the space, and picked up while their team recovered. We then had to lockdown and quarantine ourselves for two weeks afterwards. We understood there was a definite risk present but wanted to assist. We are still on call for other facilities.
Tell us about your “Ghost” Restaurant concept and what it involves
We have started a “Ghost” Restaurant, which is a restaurant kitchen that does takeout only, no dining room. We are working with Philadelphia area chef friends who have other restaurants that have distinct challenges of their own during the coronavirus. One that is in the works is June BYOB, from Passyunk Avenue in Philadelphia. They are a young couple. He’s the chef and she’s a sommelier. They just opened in August 2019. We are going to have them do a pop up in King of Prussia as their launching point for food, maybe even do a Chaîne event where we deliver the food and wine. We will provide cooking and heating instruction for a virtual event.
Tell us about Wild Blue Creative Catering’s collaboration with Slurp Ramen.
Slurp Ramen is a food truck where they can pull up and park outside and people can pick up or get deliveries from here at Wild Blue. We are collaborating with Chef Dru Scheidell who has a world class pedigree as well cooking at Commander’s Palace, Hotel Del Coronado, Ritz Carlton, The Fountaine Bleu and as Eric Ripert’s Chef de Cuisine.
What are your plans for this Fall and beyond?
We are adding some very special Fall comfort food to our lineup. We are adding southern comfort food to our Ghost Kitchen with BBQ from our ole Hickory BBQ pit. In addition, we are offering other autumn comfort foods such as mac & cheese, elevated meatloaf, braised beef short rib, boursin mashed potatoes, and Keto cauliflower low carb “potato” salad.
Chef Koye has us really excited for what he is creating and offering during these unusual times. Please support him and his staff and let him cater your special event.
With his added pick up and take out service, there are plenty of reasons to give Wild Blue Creative Catering a try.
Chef Koye and his staff can be reached for all of your wedding and special event catering needs at:
Put simply, your wedding dress bustle is when the beautiful train of your dress is buttoned up to floor length when you enter your reception. This is done so you can dance and move about freely without it getting stuck or caught, or stepped on!
In our bridal appointments we often have girls ask, “How does this dress bustle?” Depending on the dress, the fabric, the length of the train, etc., there are a number of different ways to do this.
This is a very important part of your dress alterations because for your entire reception the back of the dress will be pulled up and secured. It may be fastened by hooks/eyes, buttons, ribbons, or a combination of them.
Many bustles look beautiful when done properly, but others can look messy or even fall out if done incorrectly. You must know what your options are when having your final fittings done.
Let’s look at the different types!
The most common is the the ‘over bustle’. This one will use hooks or buttons either at the waist line of the dress or at the start of the skirt flare on a fitted dress. Depending on the length of your train and fullness of the skirt, you may only need one hook or button, or you may need many to keep it up and floor length the whole way around.
Next is the French bustle. This is buttoned underneath forming “pick ups” or tiers to the skirt. It also should be done when the skirt is plain, satin, silk, crepe, etc., or the button/hook will be visible on the outside of the skirt. (See photo above.)
Watch this quick and informative Bustle video by our own Suzanne who will illustrate and explain these two further!
You can also skip the buttoning altogether and use a wrist loop as the bustle. This is simply a band around your wrist that holds your train up as you twirl the night away! This works best on simple trains, chapel or sweep length, and fewer layers.
Lastly, if you are not a fan of the train or bustling concept, consider buying a dress with a short (or no) train or have it altered to floor length. Add a dramatic cathedral or royal length veil to give you the incredible drama for the aisle walk and photos, and remove it for the reception! No extra buttoning or hooking needed! See photo below:
When you say yes to your dress, make sure you know your bustle options! Your stylist will show you the various ways and your seamstress will pin them so you can see before committing to the one you want!