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A Thank You to Our Employees

This time of year is very special for Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo. As a family-owned small business, we cherish our employees. They are like family, and it is our job to protect them, take care of them, and ensure that they have what they need.

One strategic aspect of our bridal and tuxedo store when we founded it was to always be closed on major holidays and we have never made an exception since day one. This is important to us because for anyone who has visited us, you know how busy we are and how hard our employees work. We want them to be home with family and friends during the holidays. In fact, since our founding, we have always been closed on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. Yes, you read that correctly! Black Friday! We are okay with zero sales on Black Friday for the sake of taking care of our most valued resources: our employees.

This year ends a little over a year and a half of challenges and triumphs in the wedding industry, mostly from the effects of COVID. Some of our brides and grooms have had the misfortune of having to reschedule their wedding dates 4 to 5 times.

Certainly, the stress of coordinating and rescheduling weddings has only added to the challenges of wedding planning. Congratulations to all of you who made it through these challenging times and were able to celebrate your nuptials!

That meant, however, many weddings that were scheduled in 2020 were rescheduled to 2021. On top of that, we had to manage the weddings that were originally scheduled for 2021.

Basically, more than double the weddings when you count the growth of our business! WOW, that was intense!

As for our amazing employees, we have the best. Customers tell us that all the time, that they are “nicer”, “more fun”, “honest”, “friendlier”… we know they are. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts from Wendy, Franco, and Daria:

Courtney:  You’re a delight to have in the family (no matter whose shirt you wear), adorable and happy, and your brides love you so much. Thank you for always supplying me with all the fun photos! We love being part of your wedding and planning, and that you brought us your fiancee, too!

Fola: You bring the best perspective to the store, youthful yet so worldly. You have handled the tuxedos quite well, and we know you will be amazing (and love it) in prom!

Joe: We had to get you back, there was no other way. Everyone here likes you far too much for you to be anywhere else. You can organize a chaotic weekend by Monday at noon and make hundreds of tuxedos every week look like child’s play (maybe Grant and Harper want in?).

Kaitlyn: Moving you to bridal was a great choice and you make it look so easy. Your sense of humor is amazing (I know where it comes from) and we are so proud to have you back in bridal, Tik Toking, manifesting, and reading Tarot cards!

Maria: You caught on so fast and your brides love your kindness, guidance and advice. We are lucky and so happy to have you in the family!

Marissa: Wise beyond your years and such a star. You do it all! We have loved watching you grow and hope we can keep you for at least little while longer. I live for your bridal notes.

Paul: A harder worker we have yet to meet, you are constantly doing something to help improve the flow of things. Your humor doesn’t hurt either!

Rob: We cannot wait to see the impact you will have full-time! Your connection with the grooms is incredible, it’s as though every one of them is your friend within 5 minutes. We are lucky and proud to have you (and your adorable fiancee).

Sarah: We didn’t know what we were missing until you came on board. Now we don’t know what we would do without you! Your brides absolutely love you and so do we. You’re stuck with us, sorry not sorry.

Shannon: You really are like one of ours, no matter what name anyone calls you. Jennifer, Cheyanne, whoever. From that first day in prom to married with a master’s degree, watching you over these years has been truly special. You have grown exponentially and we always want you on our team!

Suzanne: I have come to rely on you, your intuition, and your sense of humor. You are also THE best gift giver. We are grateful for you and your friendship, not to mention the impact you have on our Moms and brides. Thank you. Thank you also for letting me know where “sympathy” is in the dictionary.

Tori M: From prom girl to bridal, from Miss Mengel to Mrs. Vilk, we are so proud to have you with us still. You are one of the kindest souls out there and the world would be so much better if there were more like you.

Tori S: If we could only clone you. Losing you to school was the worst, we were grieving and having you back even just a few days is like a reward. You still hold the record for the youngest person left in charge of the store and we never worried once.

You all helped Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo and our brides and grooms get through one of the most intense and challenging years. It wasn’t always easy but you did it with grace, patience and zest. We are forever grateful for your kindness, dedication and know-how. We appreciate and love you!

Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday at home with your family and friends!

Eco-Friendly Wedding Flower Ideas

Coming off of an unprecedented 18+ months where weddings were canceled and businesses shut down, couples were forced to reschedule and even DIY parts of their wedding. One of those areas was flowers and some really great ideas became more mainstream, and others were newly born!

Because sustainability has really come to the forefront, Millennials and Gen Zers are more concerned than ever about being eco-friendly wherever possible and that includes wedding planning. No doubt with pesticides, plastics, shipping, etc. it can seem irresponsible. Here are ideas to use for inspiration!

Beautiful sola wood flower arrangement by The Paisley Moon on Etsy
Flower arrangement made of sola wood by
The Paisley Moon on Etsy

The above photo shows a bouquet made of sola wood, which comes from the tapioca plant root. It is also known as arrowroot and grows in tropical climates. You can purchase ready to use or DIY it with tutorials. Easy to dye as well for any color combo!

Succulents are eco-friendly wedding flowers
Succulents and greenery make a beautiful bouquet

A real favorite right now is the succulant. Requiring little water and coming in many shapes, sizes, and colors, these beauties are gorgeous in bouquets and table centerpieces.

wildflowers in vintage colored glass bottles
Wild flowers in vintage bottles make a sweet centerpiece

Have you thought of wild flowers? The popularity of the boho wedding lends perfectly to these natural beauties with none of the environmental effects. There are florists who are able to source wild flowers so consider this option for a truly earthy and romantic addition. Use for centerpieces as well!

Table runner with ruscus, lanterns, and candles - along with a few gold felt flowers - is eco-friendly
Table runner using greenery and lanterns

When thinking of “going green” – really GO green! In-season and locally grown greenery can be just as dramatic! Create a gorgeous table runner with ruscus or olive branches, lanterns, and candles, or the suspended drapey ivy vines with pretty blooms or evergreens. So many options available with greenery from Queen Anne’s lace to palm fronds – all eco-friendly!

Dried flowers are another option that regained popularity during the 2020 shut down and has remained a popular option today. Easily incorporate out of season flowers this way.

Others to consider are fabric, felt, and paper blooms. These will last for years, use in a vase at home, or you can reuse – use them instead of bows for gift toppers! Etsy stores have gorgeous options here, or check Insta and Pinterest!

If you want to be creative, think of items like jewelry and feathers to use/add to your bouquet.

We look forward to seeing the creative ways our couples incorporate flowers of any type into their wedding day! If you used any of these eco-friendly ideas, we would love to see your photos and share with our couples in the planning stages!

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.

What Should a Ring Bearer Wear to a Wedding?

Are you curious how you should be dressing the ring bearer for your wedding? You’re not alone! Many brides and grooms ask us this question. In this wedding planning blog, we will guide you with some ideas and common practices that we see on dressing ring bearers for weddings.

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo bride Maggie in a wedding dress by Paloma Blanca alongside her ring bearer in suspenders and bow tie
Bride Maggie with her little man!

Common Ring Bearer Attire

In general, there are three or four approaches to dressing your ring bearer.  The first and most common method we see is that the ring bearer wears the same exact suit or tuxedo that the groom is wearing.  He essentially becomes a mini-groom.  This includes the ring bearer wearing a miniature version of the same exact tuxedo jacket, pants, vest, shirt, shoes, bow tie or long tie, pocket square, studs and cufflinks.  This allows the ring bearer to look different than the groomsmen and simultaneously tie into the groom.  We see this method of dressing the ring bearer in 75% of all our weddings.

I Just Want to Be One of the Guys!

Sometimes the bride and groom want the groom to look different than everyone else, including the ring bearer.  In that particular case, the bride and groom will often choose to have the ring bearer wear the same exact tuxedo or suit and accessories as the groomsmen.  He just becomes a miniature version of the groomsmen!  In many cases, the groomsmen’s accessories, long tie, bow tie and pocket square, match the color of the bridesmaids dresses.  This is also a great choice and will allow the ring bearer to feel like “one of the guys” if he is dressed like them.  We see this method of dressing the ring bearer 20% of the time.

A perfect fit on this ring bearer! He is a mini-groom
Look at this handsome little man!

Matching the Guys

What should you do if the same exact styles are not available in children’s sizes?  Most of the 73 tuxedos and suits that we offer for rent are available from a 3 year old size up to a size 66 jacket.  Not every designer makes all suits and tuxedos in children’s sizing. 

Oftentimes you can dress the ring bearer in a very similar style and it will be hard to tell the difference.  However, we highly recommend that you ask your retailer, before everything is ordered, if they offer the same suits, tuxedos and accessories in children’s sizes.  This will prevent a lot of scrambling to find alternatives for the little guy.

What if the ring bearer is too small for a tuxedo?

Most tuxedo and suit rental sizes start at about a 3 year old’s size.  This of course depends how large the child is relative to other 3 year olds.  In some cases, we’ve seen large two year olds that looked perfectly fine in a 3B tuxedo jacket. 

If the child is too small for a three year old attire, there are usually two choices: the first one is to see if he can wear just the pants, a shirt, a little bow tie, suspenders and little shoes.  Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo has adjustable pants for children and we can often hem the pants to the proper length and make the little guy look cute as can be.  Our only advice is to have the child try on fitting clothes at our store to make sure it will look proper. 

The other choice is to purchase a toddler’s tuxedo with matching shoes!  They typically come in age ranges: 6 – 12 months, 12 – 18 months, etc.  Keep in mind this is a purchase and is not a rental.  While purchasing a toddler’s tuxedo is a choice, we can honestly say that we have not seen many brides and grooms doing that for their weddings.  We estimate about 1-2% of wedding parties purchase a tuxedo for the toddler ring bearer.  The main reason is that it is challenging to manage a toddler to carry out his ring bearer duties! The other reason is the same reason many ring bearers rent their tuxedos or suits: because they grow so quickly that it will not fit them in two weeks!

A ring bearer gets his bowtie adjusted at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo
His tie was a bit too tight, Franco makes the adjustment

When Should the Ring Bearer Get Measured?

And that brings us to another matter.  Should you include a ring bearer in your wedding party and he is still at an age that he is growing, we highly recommend not to have him get measured more than 3 – 4 weeks before the wedding.  Even being measured 3 – 4 weeks before the wedding, we’ve seen ring bearers grow an inch or two!  That is no problem, because all we do is either re-hem the pants to a proper length or if he went through a complete growth spurt, we give the young man a new tuxedo in his new, proper size.

Another option for dressing a ring bearer that we’ve seen about 2 – 5% of the time is that the ring bearer wears something different than everyone.  The bride and groom will choose a completely different tuxedo or suit being worn by both the groom and groomsmen.  They want the ring bearer to stand out beyond just his size!

Can’t wait to show everyone!

Must I have a Ring Bearer in My Wedding?

Finally, we do have about 15% of our wedding parties with no ring bearer at all.  This is either a personal choice by the bride and groom or there is no one in the families of ring bearer age.  Again, this is completely a personal choice.  It’s your wedding and you are not required to have a ring bearer.

Brothers and ring bearers are dressed for the wedding in suspenders and bowties
Too cute!

Make Some Memories

No matter how you dress the ring bearer, we must tell you that he, and the flower girl, often steal the show!  So either way, choosing to include children in your bridal party will allow you to savor those photos for the rest of your lives!

Other Men’s Formal Wear Advice for Weddings

Are you contemplating how to dress the fathers of the bride and groom for the wedding?  Then read one of our other popular blogs on how to dress the fathers:

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.

Fun Stats of Brides & Grooms

Do you ever wonder how you fit in with other brides and grooms with wedding planning?

“Does anyone else… ?”  “Do other brides/grooms… ?”  “Are we too… ?”

This blog will answer some of those questions and the “fun stats” come directly from a sample of over 1,000 of our brides and grooms from this year! If you find yourself wondering what “everyone else is doing”, have a read and see where you fit in.

The question we get most often as a bridal store is, “When do brides buy a dress?”

Fun stats: most brides by their address between 6 and 12 months prior to their wedding date

We recommend approximately 9-12 months ideally. Shopping too early can lead to dress regret because new dresses come out every 6 months and you will want to see the newest designs before committing.

We recommend reading these blogs when starting your dress search:

Let’s move onto scheduling an appointment! Ever wondered what months are busier than others in the store?

What is the busiest month for bridal appointments?

Chart shows the busiest month for bridal appointments in our store is July followed closely by January

This makes for an interesting study. Because of the number of engagements over the winter holidays, it makes sense that January would be a busy month! However, it also makes sense for those buying 6-12 months out, which puts them into the wedding months of June, September, and October.

July is always a very busy month for bridal in the store and one interesting trend we have noticed is that there are many in the teaching profession who are engaged and have that month to plan as much as possible for their weddings/honeymoons that will also be in the summer – their off time!

What is the busiest month for tuxedo appointments?

Chart shows tuxedo appointments by month with July being the busiest

July is on top again, but tuxedo appointments are pretty even throughout the year, save for the December holiday season!

What is the best day of the week to visit? Well, that depends on your schedule and whether you don’t mind a crowd or thrive in a louder and busier atmosphere:

Fun stats: Saturdays are the busiest day for bridal appointments not only at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, but throughout the industry

Over one-third of our bridal appointments are on Saturdays. If you don’t want a crowd, consider during the week!

Curious what month held the most weddings in 2021?

October 2021 saw the most weddings followed by September

This is hard to compare because of the 2020 weddings that were postponed, considering the date 10/10/2020 was one of, if not the most popular date booked for 2020.

Another fun stat: Comparing to 2019, October came in a close second place to the winning month of September!

And the venues chosen? A backyard, university campus, zoo, formal country club, or even another country, couples tie the knot anywhere they want!

Formal wedding venues were the most popular by a large margin in 2021

Half of our couples chose a formal venue such as a country club, historic property, museum, etc. Many of the “undecideds” were brides shopping over 12 months out for their dress – they found the dress before committing to a venue.

Our destination couples ranged from Montana, Colorado, Florida, Arizona, Hawaii, Bermuda, Mexico, Italy, Israel, and more!

How many are in a wedding party? It is up to you how many attendants you wish, some have zero and others have over 20!

The number of attendants in the wedding party is very evenly split between small, medium, and large parties

It is certainly pretty even with the divisions here. Who you want by your side and helping you plan is very personal and a decision you should give much thought to early on in the planning process! Here is a great blog on choosing your bride tribe to help think this through.

We hope you enjoyed our fun stats. We look forward to seeing if these trends continue over 2022 and maybe we will have you included in our sample!

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.

Featured Couple: Sarah Novack & Dan Holmes

All weddings have some really great photos, but I only had to see one to know that I wanted Sarah & Dan to be a featured couple.

This is that photo. It’s Sarah’s band, Vixen77, leaning against Sarah’s car, a 1955 Chevy Nomad.

Vixen77 band from Philadelphia, PA
All-girl band Vixen77 (L-R)
Caitlin Walker, Elizabeth Cartwright, Sarah Novack, Jazman Dobson, Samantha Chonski

Have you seen a cooler photo of a bride than this? If you have please send it my way.

What follows is a feature on Sarah, Dan, and their amazing family and friends. Enjoy this love story, written by Sarah!

The Beginning: Dan saw me for the first time at a bar called Artie’s 3 & 1/2 years ago. He was too scared to talk to me so he asked one of his friends who then messaged me on Facebook a week later.

Our first date was at Longhorn Steakhouse. Dan was a little shy at first, but once I started asking him about racing he opened right up! He’s a huge auto racing fan – Nascar, sprint cars, Indy cars, you name it he loves it! We hit it off after that moment. At the end of the night we officially exchanged numbers (we had been communicating through Facebook messenger up until that point). It was so refreshing to go on a date with such a sweet guy!

I love that Dan has the ability to literally fix anything, from tractors to plumbing to even fixing one of my necklaces, he’s a genius! I also love how sweet he is to me, he is so caring & thoughtful. He knows just when I’m in need of a hug, kiss, or even someone to make me laugh! He’s truly my best friend.

The Proposal: It was completely a surprise! It was his birthday and I was giving him his birthday presents before we went to work at 6:45am. After I was done giving him his presents, he said, “I actually have a present for you. Will you marry me?” He brought out a tiny white box with my engagement ring in it! I was shocked and so happy!

The Planning: Wedding planning was a bit stressful as I feel it always is for a bride, especially since I didn’t have a wedding planner, I did it all myself.

Ring bearer pillow for sarah and Dan's autumn 2021 wedding
Ring Bearer pillow in rustic autumn colors

I really have to thank my mom for helping me with so much of the decor shopping. We came up with so many cute ideas for decor & had so much fun shopping around for the perfect decorations!

Featured couple Sarah and Dan said I do at Razberries in Frenchtown, NJ. Bride is wearing a ruffled a-line dress by Madi Lane Bridal
Sarah said I Do! in Aubrey by Madi Lane

Dress shopping was DEFINITELY one of my favorite parts of the wedding planning process! Fashion is one of my favorite things, so trying on the dresses was so much fun for me. My maid of honor and my mom came with me and it was such a blast to walk around with my maid of honor pulling dresses off the racks for me to try on.

My maid of honor was actually the one to pick out my dress off the rack! I knew as soon as I tried mine on, I had that “yes!” moment! The staff at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo really made it special for me, they were just as excited as I was when I found my dress!

Bride Sarah and her girls on the way to get married
Sarah and her gorgeous crew Rachel & Sara in front, Megan & Laura in back

The Wedding Party: My wedding party certainly was a great group of people. My bridesmaids included my best friend since high school Sara Dalen, along with my other close friend from high school Megan Reinhart, my awesome sister in law Laura Stanfill, and my brother’s girlfriend Rachel Baransky.

Dan had his best friend Lewis Moore, along with his other friends CJ Townes, Dave English, & Gary Magyar, Dan’s brother TJ Holmes, my brother Nick Novack, and Dan’s brother-in-law, Bryan Stanfill.

My flower girl was my cousin’s daughter, Izzy Mercer, and my ring bearer was Dan’s nephew, Cruz Stanfill.

Bride Sarah and her best friend and maid of honor Sara at her bridal shower at Alfresco's Italian restaurant in NJ
Best Friends Sarah and Sara

My maid of honor was my best friend Sara Dalen. We have been inseparable since freshman year of high school. She is a super talented musician, she sings, and plays saxophone, guitar, piano, and violin! She was such a huge help to me with helping organize my bridal shower and bachelorette party, & helping my other bridesmaids with makeup and last minute dress fixes! Not to mention her speech at my wedding was absolutely beautiful.

She was one of my biggest supporters with planning this wedding. I couldn’t have had a fabulous wedding without her!

Groom Dan gets some help with his tuxedo jacket from his best man Lowis
Dan and his Best Man Lewis

Dan’s best man was his childhood friend Lewis Moore. They grew up next door to each other, and have made memories to last a lifetime. Lewis is also a firefighter on multiple fire squads, and is an EMS first responder! We have super high respect for him and all he does for the community.

Sarah and her group at the wine and paint bachelorette party at Pinot's Palette in NJ
Sara and the girls at her bachelorette party at Pinot’s Palette

The Batchelorette Party & Shower: My bachelorette party was SO much fun! My MOH organized the whole thing: we did a wine & paint session at Pinot’s Palette, then went to dinner at a local hibachi restaurant! It was super fun & memorable.

Sarah and some of her family at her bridal shower
Sarah and some of her family at her bridal shower at Alfresco’s

My bridal shower was a total blast. We had it at a local Italian restaurant, Alfresco‘s. It was definitely a great kickoff to the wedding celebrations. We all had fun taking pictures together, and playing the typical shower games, like “Who knows the bride best?” “What’s in your purse?” I handed out rose gold/burgundy pens with my shower date on them, & handed out candles from a local Bucks County candle shop, “Libellule candle” as prizes for the games.

Fortunately, Covid did not really impact anything! The only thing was we couldn’t do a traditional cake tasting: the baker dropped off some sample cupcakes for Dan & me to try instead.

The bride and groom sneak a kiss after tying the knot at Razberry's in Frenchtown New Jersey
Sara and Dan after saying I Do at Razberry’s in Frenchtown

The Vendor Team: I decided to pick Razberry‘s in Frenchtown, NJ as my venue because it is a local place & I wanted to support local businesses! Being local was so convenient; if I forgot anything it was super easy to run back & forth. It is also a beautiful place, with a water fountain in the back, and a huge reception room. You also get a great deal on food, alcohol, etc. for the price!

Our florist was Gather Flower Shop in Frenchtown, NJ, Photographer was Corbin Payne, DJ was John from Simply DJs, Cake was from Storybook Cakes in Lambertville, NJ, Seamstress Renee Sopko in Milford, NJ, Hair/makeup: Anna Scelfo

Sarah with her 1955 turquoise blue Chevy nomad, perfectly detailed by her friend Derek, owner of Precision Care Detailing
Sarah in her Chevy, beautifully detailed by Precision Care Detailing

Special Memories: Something that really meant a lot to me is that the classic car in my pictures is my 1955 Chevy Nomad – my dad & I restored it together. My friend, Derek Frey, has a detailing business “Precision Care Detailing” and as his wedding gift to me he spent 4 days detailing my car for me for my special day. He even came the day of the wedding to make finishing touches on it. My car has never looked so good. He went above & beyond for me & I am forever grateful.

Sarah gets a hug from her dad at her bridal shower
Sarah at her shower gets a hug from her biggest fan, Dad!

Another great moment was my dad totally rocking out to my band playing! He’s always been my biggest/most animated fan.

Sarah the bride playing the drums in her wedding dress at her reception
Sarah playing the drums at her reception!

Vixen77: We are an all girl, punk rock band from Philly! I joined them in January of 2021, it would’ve been sooner as I had been talking with them since June of 2020, but due to Covid rehearsal spaces weren’t open at the time. I was SO excited to be a part of the band! It has been my dream ever since I started drumming at 11 years old to be in an all girl band. I’m so thankful to be surrounded by these talented ladies! We are cutting an album in the beginning of December, then going to really start rocking out & playing live shows once the album is released!

Band members: Samantha Chonski: lead vocals; Caitlin Walker: lead guitar; Elizabeth Cartwright: rhythm guitar; Jazman Dobson: bass guitar; and of course me on drums!

Bride in her wedding dress playing the drums, Sarah is the drummer in the Philadelphia band Vixen77
Sarah on drums, back shot!

Sarah and Dan definitely have a special bond between them and are the very best of friends. Our family wishes them a lifetime of joy and happiness as they start this new chapter together.

We love being able to feature our couples! If you are a Darianna bride and would like to be a featured couple, please let us know by texting our store at 215-491-8500.