Schedule Appointment 215-491-8500

A Thank You To Our Team

Nearly eight years ago, Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo jumped into the wedding  scene. We opened our doors and intended to serve people by doing three things basically learned in Kindergarten:

1) Have a clean store (clean up after yourself!)

2) Be kind (like we need to explain that one!)

3) Don’t lie (well, again, do we really need to explain?)

This may sound strange but some did not learn those values in kindergarten, or ever. Before we started our business, we searched for the biggest complaints at bridal stores based on a variety of online reviews throughout the country. Those were the three most common complaints in the reviews.

We didn’t set out to “change” in this industry, only to do it better and authentically. We hire our staff based on kindness and personality. To this day we advertise any new positions at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo requesting “no experience preferred”. We will teach you our way! We look for kind, genuine people who fit our culture. And now? Now there are a whole lot of stores working hard to be like us, but trying to be someone else isn’t authentic and people see through that.

We know that if we take care of our team, they will take care of the customers. And nearly eight years into this fun business and thousands of brides, grooms, bridesmaids, groomsmen, mothers and fathers later, we can confidently say that our approach is working! Read our reviews, we are so proud. Voted Best of Bucks/Mont every year since opening. This is because of our employees a/k/a our team, our friends, our extended family.

Being a family business, we’ve established a lot of “family policies”. One of those policies that we instituted from the beginning is that we are closed on ALL major holidays, no exceptions. That kicks off with Thanksgiving AND Black Friday.

We’ve taken a lot of heat for not being open on Black Friday. Once a very emotional caller told us she “has NEVER heard of a retail store being closed on Black Friday”! Well, we are. Sorry, not sorry.

Our staff deserves time off with family and friends. The team here works incredibly hard. Anyone who has been to our store knows how crowded it gets and our employees rarely get a moment to sit down when they are here serving customers. The days are intense, fun, and often physically exhausting.

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo's manager of tuxedos laying on the floor after a very busy day helping grooms and groomsmen choose their suits and tuxedos.
Joe, Tuxedo Manager, at the close of a typical Sunday

As with every year, and hopefully every day, we would like to express our gratitude our team for the immense effort they put into Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo and of course the dedication they show our brides and grooms. Especially this year – one of the most trying years on record.

Our industry is high emotion under normal circumstances, but the stress thrown at our couples in 2020 was way too much. We tried our best to help where we could and found that simply being nice was exactly what was needed, offering small acts of kindness to make it easier to cope.

In that spirit, we hope you will take some time to relax, reflect, and enjoy entering this holiday season.

As owners, we are committed to serving you whether the store is open or not. Our website permits an online chat directly with us. More conveniently, you can text our store telephone number at 215-491-8500 and we will personally respond to you, wherever we are. If you need us, reach out!

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo owners taking a Christmas vacation in the historic center of Rome, Italy.
This is us: Wendy, Franco, Daria, & Deanna in our favorite place last Christmas – ROME!

We know that the holiday season is the most popular time of year for getting engaged. If an engagement ring is in your future, you can also make an online appointment with us even when we are closed. We keep adding and changing to stay fresh and fun, and can’t wait to show you!

Joe, Suzanne, Tori S, Shannon, Tori M, Jess, Marissa, Jenna, Courtney, and our Daria, THANK YOU. We wouldn’t be who we are or where we are without you.

Happy Thanksgiving to all and thank you for helping us survive this unusual year!

With gratitude, Wendy, Franco, Daria, & Deanna

Eight Wedding Dress Fabrics

The hunt for a wedding gown usually starts online with Pinterest, designer websites, Google searches… and chances are good you are saving different styles. Chances are also good that you have different fabrics, too.

Do you know what is better for warm weather or what keeps that ball gown skirt fluffed to the max? Do you wonder about which wedding dress fabrics will show off what you love and hide what you don’t?

Let’s get into it and talk about eight common wedding dress fabrics: crepe, chiffon, satin, charmeuse, organza, silk, tulle, and English net.

CREPE

This is a crepe fabric wedding dress is made by Australian wedding dress designer Madi Lane Bridal.  This dress is called Fallon.
Madi Lane Fallon dress in crepe fabric

Crepe is a beautiful and formfitting fabric. It is very clean, has a matte finish (not shiny) and is very easy and comfortable to wear. There are very few if any embellishments on most crepe dresses, aside from perhaps a detachable train or a hint of lace here or there. It may have a lace or beaded bodice with a plain crepe skirt. The most common embellishment on a full crepe dress would be buttons down the back. It will stretch with you as you move, dance, or sit, but it definitely clings.

CHIFFON

Morilee by Madeline Gardner makes this chiffon fabric wedding dress.  The dress is shown in ivory and is called Raelynn.
Morilee Raelynn dress in chiffon fabric

Chiffon is a wonderful choice for a warm wedding setting. It is lightweight and very flowy, with a clean look that falls beautifully. It does not cling and is a popular choice for those who want to dance the night away. Chiffon can have embellishments such as beading or lace, usually at the bottom back of the train, however, many chiffon dresses have a more embellished bodice and a plain chiffon skirt as shown in the photo above. While chiffon can wrinkle if left in the dress bag, a quick steam out does the trick and you will be good all day!

SATIN

Casablanca Bridal designed and made this wedding dress.  The beautiful ivory dress is made with embellished satin and shows ornate details from the bodice to the train.
Casablanca dress 2055 in embellished satin

Satin has a shine to it making it a more formal fabric. It is heavier than other plain fabrics, and is often embellished with beading, embroidery, or both. Many ball gowns are made in a satin fabric due to the formality of that shape. Because it is a thicker fabric, it will hold a full skirt easily over a crinoline underneath. Satin is a good choice if you are having a very formal wedding and/or a winter wedding. It does have a tendency to wrinkle, but a press out will make it perfect. Because of the heaviness, it is a wonderful choice if you want to really cinch in the bodice

CHARMEUSE

Madi Lane Bridal charmeuse fabric wedding dress is dreamy with floral patterns all over, even on the detachable sleeves.  Elora is the name of this bridal gown and very popular for outdoor weddings.
Elora by Madi Lane in charmeuse with sheer overlay

Charmeuse is a middle ground between chiffon and satin. It is very soft like chiffon, but has a shine like satin. It gives a little formality to what may otherwise look like a less formal dress. Usually there is a sheer tulle layer over the charmeuse adding a pretty, more voluminous bridal affect. The shine of the charmeuse fabric underneath creates a depth and sets off the lace in front beautifully. This is a very comfortable fabric, and works perfectly if you prefer a little shine but do not want the stiffness of satin.

ORGANZA

This wedding dress by designer Stella York is a mermaid dress with an organza tiered skirt.  This is a very fitted and ornate top with a full and fluffy skirt.
Stella York mermaid dress with an organza tiered skirt

Organza is a softer version of tulle, made from silk so still keeps a good shape, very light and airy. Many tiered skirts are made of organza because of the beautiful way it falls, often given volume and waves by adding a thick horsehair edge. Because it is so light, it is very difficult to embellish without causing damage. Mostly wrinkle free, easy to steam.

SILK

A pure ivory silk dupioni dress made by wedding dress designer Justin Alexander.
A silk dupioni dress by Justin Alexander

Silk is a very tightly woven fabric and that gives it a beautiful, glimmering effect. Silk dresses rarely have embellishments aside from buttons and bows. There are different types of silks, such as dupioni, mikado, and shantung, and all are produced from natural fibers. Silk has the same luster and is as thickness as satin, however satin is a man-made fabric and costs much less than silk. Very rich with a classic, beautiful fit.

TULLE

This Blue by Enzoani wedding dress has layers of tulle with lace appliques.  The dress is called Natsuko.
Natsuko by Enzoani has layers of tulle with lace appliques

Tulle is a mesh fabric, made mainly from a silk-rayon combination that gives it a lightweight airiness with the strength to add lace or beaded embellishments. Tulle is typically layered over itself or over other fabrics due to its transparency and is one of the most widely used wedding dress fabrics. Most veils are made of tulle as well.

English Net

This Italian designed wedding dress by designer Eddy K has an English net skirt.
Alana by Eddy K has an English net skirt.

English net is a mesh fabric that is similar to tulle however it is heavier and therefore has a beautiful bridal look. It gives volume without being too wide or puffy, it does a perfect twirl and goes right back to its shape. Softer than tulle as well. A beautiful choice for a warmer, outdoor affair.

We hope this gives you some helpful tips on wedding dress fabrics that may be more appealing to you now that you read about them! Come in and see for yourself the differences, make your appointment here!

Black Tie Optional Invitation… So What Now?!

So you just received a black tie optional invitation for a formal event. Maybe it’s your friends New Year’s Eve wedding, maybe you are attending a formal corporate event or a charity event. What does this mean?!

First off, don’t panic. Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is going to guide you through traditional etiquette for a formal event and even share acceptable trends that we are seeing in the Philadelphia region.

What is a Black Tie Event

A black tie event is considered one of the most formal of events. Traditionally, a black tie event requires you to wear a tuxedo. Usually a dark jacket with satin on the lapel. The jacket does not have to be black. It can be a darker color like navy or dark grey. In summer months, you can also consider an ivory jacket with a back lapel. We often only recommend white jackets during summer months and in tropical regions but trends we have been seeing lately have relaxed the true traditional etiquette of colors. We will dive deeper into different color options and trends that we have been seeing a bit later.

Classic Black Tie look

Do you really have to wear an actual black tie? Not really but we’ll discuss the long tie and bow tie issues in more detail later in our blog.

Does Optional Really Mean Optional?

The invitation says black tie optional, so do I need to wear a tuxedo? Several years ago, we had a customer come into our store with the wedding invitation in hand. The invitation stated “Black Tie Optional”. His humorous comment to us was that “you will be a fool if you show up without a tuxedo on; you’ll be the only one”! While his comment made us chuckle, it is only partially true.

We do believe it’s always better to be smartly dressed. It is not common to stick out at an event in a bad way when you are dressed better than others. So wearing a nice fitted, classic tuxedo never makes you look bad! Some guests choose to forego the tuxedo and just wear one of their suits. Why do they do this? Reasons typically include that they want to save the expense of renting a tuxedo or they are not comfortable wearing something that formal.

Ike Behar Charcoal Peak Lapel Tuxedo

Black Tie Requested

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo has over 70 different styles of tuxedos and suits available for rent. We have full formal attire for you that will not break the bank. If you are a guest of the wedding, you don’t need to go overboard. No need to rent a Michael Kor’s tuxedo. We’ll help you find the correct attire in the budget you need.

If the invitation indicates that it is a black tie event, then etiquette is that you wear a tuxedo. We recommend not straying from that request out of the respect for the individuals making the request and to stick with tradition.

Allure Men Black Velvet

Tuxedo Trends and Traditions

So let’s start with tradition. The most traditional look is a black or dark tuxedo jacket with a black satin bow tie, vest, matching tuxedo pants and patent leather shoes. Another long-time tradition is wearing a velvet tuxedo jacket. Although we don’t see many velvet tuxedo jackets at formal events, it is an option that will allow you to stay with tradition and stand out in a classy way. You do have the option of wearing a cummerbund instead of a vest however, trend-wise, we’ve seen far more vests than cummerbunds. We personally like vests because you can match your tuxedo jacket with the same exact fabric and color with the vest, giving it a clean and cohesive look. As an example, if you wear our Ike Behar Charcoal gray tuxedo, you can wear the matching charcoal gray vest.

Ike Behar Charcoal Gray Notch Lapel

We love tradition, however with so many different color tuxedos available for rent now, we have seen very varied looks and trends. Navy and cobalt blue have been very popular for over five years now. Varying shades of gray have also been very popular for events. We have very light gray tuxedos all the way to gray tuxedos that are so dark that they almost look black.

Ike Behar Navy Tuxedo

Accessories

While you can’t really go wrong with a black satin bow tie, we have a few ideas for you. If you are attending the event with someone, you can certainly wear a bow or long tie that matches the color of her dress. Further, you can accent the color with a pocket square that matches the bow tie color as well. This is a really nice way to tie the couple together and still look formal.

Of course, we prefer bow ties, however, we have seen people wear both bow ties and long ties to black tie events. While long ties are not overly traditional for such events, it has become acceptable to wear them. Some men are just not comfortable in bow ties and prefer long ties. In addition, there is one practical reason we have seen when guys do not want to wear a bow tie. If they have a longer beard, you cannot even see the bow tie because the beard covers it. In this particular case, guys will choose a long tie and pocket square.

Long black tie and a red pocket square look sharp

The Most Formal of Events – White Tie

If you are attending the most formal event, then a black waistcoat (often known as a tailcoat or tails) with a white pique bow tie, vest and shirt are in order. Patent leather shoes are a must for this tuxedo and matching black tuxedo pants. We usually finish off the look with white and gold studs and cufflinks and a white pocket square. If you want to stick to true tradition, white gloves would be appropriate but not necessary.

The most formal – White Tie

So when is it the most formal event? Usually the invitation will say “white tie” event or waistcoat or tailcoat requested. Common events that require this type of attire are debutante balls, very formal weddings or one of the better known events in the Philadelphia region is the annual Concert and Ball at the Academy of Music. Every year many sponsors and attendees of the Academy Ball come to Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo to rent a very formal tuxedo for the event. This is a fine Philadelphia tradition that has been going on for over 163 years and is a benefit to maintain and restore the Academy of Music located at 240 S Broad Street in Philadelphia.

Play It Safe

So if you are lucky enough to be invited to a black tie affair, your best bet is to stick with a black or navy tuxedo with satin black bow tie. However with so many variations available today, stop by Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo and we will suggest just the right tuxedo and accessories at the right price. Do you have a question about black tie affairs? Text our store telephone number and we will give you personal advice: 215-491-8500.

About the author: Franco Salerno is co-founder and co-owner of Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, now in their eighth year in business. In that time, he built the tuxedo department into a force rivaling big box stores by providing expertise, caring service, and beautiful, quality formal wear. Personally invested in every transaction, Mr. Salerno provides customers with the utmost trust and confidence, assuring their wedding or formal event attire will be perfect. A native of Philadelphia, he currently resides in Warrington, Bucks County with his wife and store co-founder/co-owner Wendy, and their two daughters for whom the store was named, Daria and Deanna.

The Emotions of a Bridal Appointment

You are finally engaged! You have waited so long for this and here you are a bride to be planning your wedding. This is one of the most exciting times in your life! You may find your emotions are all over the place as you begin the task of planning your wedding.

You are also about to embark on the search for the most meaningful garment you will ever wear.

Getting started in the dress gallery

We have done thousands of bridal appointments over the years and there are so many emotions that a bride may experience during an appointment. If you have never looked for a wedding dress, this will definitely help if you experience them during your search!

More dresses throughout the store

Anxiety. Most often we find brides have anywhere from a slight nervousness to almost panic when starting out. We do our best before the appointment even begins to put every bride at ease, and most of the time the anxiety disappears quickly and turns into excitement. If it does not, some of the changes we make are easy ones such as offering mom or sister to help in the dressing room, and/or moving the bride to a more private/quiet area. These usually do the trick and allow the bride the space she needs to breathe and think calmly.

Excitement. You have thought about being a bride for so long and the dress search is incredibly exciting! Chances are you have a Pinterest board full of dresses and cannot wait to start trying on!

Wonder/Insecurity. Will it be as amazing for you as the brides on TV make it out to be? Or as great as your friends? Will anything look good? Will you find what you love in your budget? Will you know when its the right dress? How many stores will you need to visit? How many dresses should you try on? Will you cry? Will you have your “moment”?

Shock and Awe. This is a big one. Make no mistake about it, trying on a wedding dress is like nothing you have ever experienced. This is not like trying on a pair of jeans or a jacket. Wedding dresses are magic and you will be shocked at how incredibly special you feel in them! Also, this is the time that the gravity of the situation hits… “Holy sh*t, I’m getting married!!”

Confusion. This happens for a number of reasons. The most common is when you won’t stop looking and you have tried on so many that you don’t know what you want anymore. Another reason is that you have not chosen what silhouette you want and now you have multiple favorites that are completely different and don’t know which to pick. Or, you have started looking over your budget and you don’t like anything in budget anymore. You may be confused with regard to sizing of wedding dresses (they run 1-2 sizes small). This also occurs when you are given conflicting information from multiple stores, and you don’t know the truth. (Just ask us, we are known for our honesty even if it does cost us a sale.)

Overwhelm. This also can happen for a number of reasons. First as mentioned above, you may have gone to too many stores, or perhaps been given conflicting information, and/or tried on too many dresses. But another one we see often is too many people in a group. The search for opinions and approval, lots of pictures, you find the one but you’re told to “sleep on it”, all of these can lead to an overwhelming experience for you. (When a bride hits this stage, we will often suggest the she take a break from shopping for several days and/or return with a smaller group.) Covid has forced us to limit the number of guests allowed in the store, however Facetime calls are unlimited guests.

Saying Yes with A Little Bubbly

The Moment. If there was a word for this… priceless? But priceless doesn’t even cover it. You can’t stage, plan, or recreate it. When the moment happens, brides react in ways that surprise themselves. The bride who says, “I doubt I’ll cry when I find my dress,” is often the one who does. On the other side, we’ve had shy brides announce, “This is it, this is my dress,” with absolute confidence and a big smile. Regardless of the reaction, this is a life moment to be embraced and celebrated! You will always remember your moment.

Deflate. You’re in the moment, relishing it as well as the dress you can see yourself walking down the aisle in!! And then someone says, “You can’t say yes today, you have to sleep on it.” You are forced into two places, disappointment (“But, I came out to find my dress?!”) and confusion (they don’t like it, I look bad, I’m making the wrong choice, etc.). While you can still have a great memory saying yes to the dress at a later time, you will never recreate the moment.

Nervous. You get the call that your dress is in! You waited months for your dress, will you still like it? Will it fit? Will it be as amazing as you you remember? (Yes, yes, and even better!)

Anticipation. You LOVE your dress! You have your perfect accessories. You have the perfect hairstyle and your make up trial was flawless. Now you have to wait for your best day ever!

Picking up your dress is so exciting!
The stylist team at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo

You could experience any or all of these emotions while you search for your perfect wedding dress! If you do, they are all normal, and you are not the first bride to experience them. We know how to make your bridal appointment fun and we have dresses for every bride! Make your appointment with us!