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What Do I Do If… Q&As

We get so many questions last minute when plans or details change, especially in the age of Covid. Call these some frequently asked “What do I do if” questions specific to these times!

The most frequently asked question over the last 14 or so months has been, without a doubt, “I have gained weight, what do I do?”

The pandemic has coined not only the term “mimimony“, but also borrowed a phrase from the well-known “Freshman 15” (which describes the 15 pounds that freshman typically gain during their first year in college). We now have the “COVID-19”. When everything was closed – including and especially gyms – weight gains were rampant. Everyone stayed home and the result was a more “sedentary lifestyle” …

So what do you do if you have gained weight? If you have rented a tuxedo, you can simply come back and get remeasured! Not a big deal for the tuxedo. It can be a bit more complicated when it comes to a wedding dress.

We have had brides do their try ons and their dress fit beautifully, but their wedding was then postponed and when they tried it back on it did not fit. We would then get frantic phone calls asking what to do. Some would say they wanted to exchange for a larger size, which is not usually possible unless they are swapping with the sample in the store. Wedding dresses are not returnable and therefore not exchangeable. The chances of swapping with the sample are slim, because the sample size would need to fit you better than the one you purchased – but it has happened and we have done it!

Perhaps you ordered your dress and it hasn’t come in yet, but you know yoursize has changed. When your dress comes in, tell us you think your size has changed! Don’t be afraid to come in and try on, it may not be as bad as you think and that way you can be prepared for any adjustments! We are happy to take new measurements in case that will help put your mind at ease.

Depending on how much the size has changed, there is an option to do a lace up back where the zipper is removed and loops and a ribbon are added to the back. It will accommodate several sizes in the waist and bust area, and there are many dresses that are designed that way already!

What do I do? Wedding dress with a lace up back that is a great option when your dress is too small
Example of a wedding dress with the zipper removed and loops and ribbon added

If your dress happens to be fitted in the hips and you can no longer sit down or move in it, there is an option to let out a bit or add fabric to the side seams. Some of these alterations can get costly and stressful and there are times when it is simply in a bride’s best interest to purchase another dress that fits and sell the one that no longer does.

Our seamstresses do everything they can to make dresses fit perfectly. The advice we have is to discuss the options calmly and make a plan from there. Understand you are not the only one in this position.

It is the same thing with bridesmaids. We have had parties where maids have all gained some weight. Several have swapped dresses while others have had to order new ones completely.

Another question is “What do I do if my dress arrived, but my wedding was postponed 12 months?”

Bridal stores have different policies, some depending on the size of the store, some depending on business practices. Our policy is that we require the dress to be tried on and taken from the store when it arrives. Storing wedding dresses is very difficult for us, due to space restrictions, as we learned through the pandemic. Dresses that were in the store during our lock down made brides panic that they would never get them. Dresses that were on order that couldn’t be shipped to our store during lock down made brides panic. When lock down was lifted and the shipping started, we had hundreds of dresses arrive but not the space to store all of them! We do not want this kind of situation again, and the best way to make sure it doesn’t happen is to have brides in possession of their wedding dress as soon as possible.

If your dress arrives and your wedding is postponed. You should still come in, try your dress on, make sure that you know what alterations will be needed, assuming your size stays the same, and take it home with you. Any accessories will be included with the dress and should be kept together.

Dresses can be stored in our gown bags in a closet or lying flat under a bed, (assuming there are no animals in the home of course!) with no issues. Do not store a dress in a damp basement or in direct sunlight. Do not allow a dress to hang by its straps or sleeves, make sure it is hung up by the sewn in hanger straps. This way there will be no stretching of the sleeve and the integrity of the fabric and/or beading will remain perfectly intact.

How about, “I already bought my dress but I have changed my venue and I want a different dress, what do I do?” This is a very unfortunate circumstance. Once your dress is ordered, there is no stopping it. We cannot change the style, size, nor color, what you ordered and what was confirmed is what is coming in. Changing a venue does not allow us to change your dress with the designer.

Our advice is to choose the venue first. If you think there is a chance you may change it, do not order your dress. Bridal stores are not responsible for changes like this, so make sure you understand when you sign for a dress, that is your dress. If you decide you need a different one, you can sell the one you have and purchase a different one, but there are no exchanges or refunds.

If you find yourself in a position thinking “What do I do?” – reach out to us! We can help answer any of your questions and help lower your stress level 🙂 Whatever your situation, we are here to help as best we can!

About the author: Wendy Ianieri-Salerno is co-founder and co-owner of Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, now in its eighth year in business. In that time the store has grown from a small bridal boutique to a full-service bridal store serving not only Bucks County, PA but the surrounding counties and even border states. With the customer experience in mind, Wendy steers the company by offering the best designers and wedding attire while creating a caring, family atmosphere. A life-long Bucks County native, she currently resides in Warrington with her husband and co-founder/co-owner Franco Salerno, and their two daughters for whom the store was named, Daria and Deanna.