Why we love her: Dominique is the definition of a show-stopper! She gives major Cinderella vibes, in the best way possible. She has a striking ball gown silhouette that brides looking to feel like a princess will love. She is made of layer upon layer of delicate tulle and sparkle tulle, with dazzling, beaded applique on top. She is glitzy, she is bold, and she is romantic.
She has the classic ball gown silhouette; her sheer bodice is supported with slimming boning until the waistline, then it’s all volume! Gorgeous embroidered, floral applique drips down from her bodice onto her skirt, where it gently fades out. The applique picks back up on the bottom of the skirt– perfect for twirling the night away on the dance floor! Fear not: when bustling Dominique’s mesmerizing cathedral-length train, the applique will still be visible!
The strapless sweetheart neckline comes with a fun twist: sparkle tulle over her plunge! The glittery, dazzling tulle that’s found throughout her bodice and skirt continues into the neckline with a seamless transition. Buttons on the back of the bodice add a sweet touch to this bold, glamorous gown. Dominique, like any show-stopping main character, is accompanied by the perfect sidekick– or in this case, accessory. Gauntlet sleeves made of the same beaded, embroidered applique make an elegant and unique statement. Don’t like the look of sleeves?
There are so many creative ways to incorporate this extra lace into your big day!
What she’s great for: Making brides feel like a princess! The combination of the silhouette, the sparkle, and the beaded applique creates a royal and classic look. Add a tiara and a glittery veil, and you will rival Cinderella at the ball. Dominique is perfect for elegant and traditional venues like churches and ballrooms.
What makes her special: Dominique effortlessly blends classic elegance with modern romance. Her classic features like her ball gown silhouette and sweetheart neckline give her a timeless and regal look; she will never go out of style. Her modern features, such as her exposed boning, floral embellishment, and Morilee’s new style of sparkle tulle take her to the next level. Additionally- and obviously- the’s gauntlet sleeves are simply quite stunning!
Dominique is available in gorgeous Ivory/Almond/Honey and sparkling Ivory/Porcelain.
Madeline Gardner loves every second of the work she does to make women of all ages feel beautiful on their special day, and she cherishes the constant flow of notes and photos she receives from blushing new brides gushing with gratitude. Characteristic of her dresses is the generous use of rich fabrics, the meticulously detailed beadwork, the innovative partnering of traditional styling with more fashion forward influences. She is known for her obsession with perfect fit, believing that how a dress makes you feel is as important as how it makes you look.
Sutton is the definition of simple, romantic, and stunning! She truly demonstrates how less can be more when it comes to detailing. Sutton has a stunning natural a-line silhouette that perfectly flows and flatters from all angles! Her skirt consists of a very lightweight and flexible tulle that will move with the bride. She is perfect for a bride who wants the look of an a-line without all the weight and layers!
Sutton’s bodice is the highlight of this dress! She has a perfectly sculpted plunge neckline with a nude illusion piece that blends perfectly with multiple skin tones and thick illusion straps that give extra support. This plunging neckline gives the sexiness appeal, while also allowing the bride to feel comfortable dancing all night long! When it comes to sparkle in the bodice, Sutton has it! She has not only one, but two layers of a mix of iridescent, white, and silver beading lining the bodice. She will twinkle in every lighting! Her bodice is then completed with a dainty beaded bow belt that adds some subtle drama.
The best part about her beaded detail is that it continues to her back and even cascades down her skirt, while also being broken up directly below the arms with another mesh insert so that the beading does not irritate a bride’s skin! Sutton has a deep V-backline that goes all the way down to her waistline, making for a very sexy look on any bride. Her long lightweight train consists of tulle that is pleated together in order to keep the perfect appearance for the cameras, and a hassle free bustle!
She can be sold in two different colors. For a bride that loves the two-toned trend or hates the look of a bright white, Sutton is available in an ivory/light nude edition that will show off all of the white beading (shown in the pictures). For a more traditional look, she can come in an all ivory color that will make the silver sparkle shine. Both variations have the option to have a lined or unlined bodice as well which is great for offering a more conservative look!
She’s Great For:
Because of her lightweight character, Sutton is great for weddings of all types! Her sparkle detailing can fit right into any season and venue without looking out of place! Based on the vibe of the wedding, Sutton can appear to be whimsical, flirty, romantic, or elegant!
What Makes Her Special:
What makes Sutton special is her pleated-like tulle skirt! This type of skirt allows the bride to have the voluminous look of any other a-line dress without the heavyweight material that typically comes with it. Sutton will be comfortable to wear for the entirety of the wedding without needing any outfit change (unless the bride wants one, of course!)
L’amour by Calla Blanche showcases fun and contemporary designs that embody the new woman. This affordable and inclusive collection features sexy and edgy pieces that provide a modern twist for a fun and flirty bride. L’amour by Calla Blanche demonstrates a fashion-forward, unique approach to design while never compromising quality and attention to detail.
Yes, we did. We took the plunge, tied the knot, got hitched. Whatever you call it, after 20 years Franco and I decided to make it official! I always knew we would someday…
Someday was December 17, 2021.
As owners of a bridal and tuxedo store, we have met so many people – and vendors. We celebrated our 9th anniversary of Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo this month, the store that we opened out of thin air.
I thought it appropriate to do a blog highlighting who we chose for our wedding and why. This is not to say anyone is “better than” or “less expensive” or anything like that. Our wedding was exactly what WE wanted, and that isn’t what anyone else may want. As you read you will find out exactly the reasons we chose who we chose!
Free advice before we begin: It really is your day. YOURS. Just because someone else throws their opinion in doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Any sentence that begins with “You should” is one to hear and most likely discard because you already know what you should do.
THE VENUE: BLACK BASS HOTEL
If I could convey how much I love this property you probably wouldn’t believe me but I feel like I could live there. It is historic, cozy, warm, on the river, for me absolute perfection. I will tell you a very personal story as to choosing this venue.
As some of you may know, back in 2020 I suffered a severe spinal cord injury. I popped C6 out of alignment and was paralyzed from the chest down. The injury was considered “incomplete” – meaning it was up to me to get back whatever I could. The biggest thing for me of course was to walk again.
Because of Covid, there was no rehab available once I got home 5 weeks later. Franco was at my side every minute helping me… my trainer, my cheerleader, my therapist, my chef, my best friend.
One of the amazing things he did was taking me to the Stockton Bridge where there is a wide and sturdy railing on one side and he was on my other side. He walked with me every day, back and forth, six times.
It took forever to get to one end and then I had to turn around and go back. It was devastating how hard it was – and how slow, unsteady, and afraid I was. There were times I cried the entire time out of pure frustration. And oh my God did I swear. A LOT.
Note: If you are ever in a hurry and you are behind elderly people who are slow or someone who has trouble walking, please don’t angry, take your time and be grateful that you have the ability.
Anyhoo, one day later in the summer he decided to take me to a different bridge for a change of scenery, the Lumberville-Raven Rock Bridge a/k/a the Lumberville Foot Bridge.
I remember how hot it was and when I made it to the Jersey side, I turned around and saw people dining outside at the Black Bass. It looked so inviting and sweet! I also remember thinking I wanted to be sitting there with them, drinking myself into oblivion. Instead I simply asked Franco if we could eat there one day.
When we decided to get married, I knew it would be at Black Bass.
We met with Fiona and I encourage you to as well if you are considering this delightful location.
They had such sweet ceremony decor with blankets on the chairs for guests and heat lamps, plus the lights and garland for Christmas.
We got married outside at 4:30pm, and when I tell you it was perfect, it was literally perfect. The weather was outstanding, 50° and clear. The sun was beginning to set. The lights were on and fire pits going!
We had a quick ceremony and then cocktail hour and as the sun went down an almost full moon came up over the river, the Christmas lights went on, and it sounds cliché but it truly was magical. I could not have asked for anything more.
We had indoor-outdoor cocktail hour with delicious stations, and the gorgeous bar has a fireplace and plenty of seating. The dining room overlooks the Delaware. The dinners were outstanding, the service was fantastic.
While we had a very small and intimate affair with 30 people, it was casual yet still formal, and so special. They even offer valet parking! It was truly everything we wanted.
THE DRESS: MADI LANE IZADORE
I knew the minute I saw this pic in May 2019 this was my dress. You know when you know, right? No question this was my dress before I even saw it in person. Before I even tried it on.
Before I even had a wedding date. lol
Like I said, I knew it would happen someday and there was never a dress that hit me like this… and I’ve seen thousands of dresses.
I brought it into the store in my size… and fell in love even more.
THE SEAMSTRESS: DESIGN STUDIO BY IRINA
The above picture was taken pre-accident. As you can see, the dress at that time only needed a few tweaks and a hem. By the time we got married at the end of 2021, I was 15 pounds lighter. This dress needed significant and major alterations.
When I put it on prior to my first fitting, I didn’t think it had a chance of working out. The top was enormous, the sleeves baggy, and there was almost no shape at all. I texted Irina. She said bring it over.
When I say she is a master, that’s exactly what she is. She told me not to worry and that she’d make it perfect. Six inches in the top, take in sleeves, three inches in the waist and hip, remove the train, and hem.
One fitting. Boom. My dress fit like a glove and I didn’t want to take it off.
For Consideration: Remove the train from your dress. I did because it was too stressful for me to worry about walking with a train. So much easier! A cathedral veil will give the same effect and the same drama on entrance, but is taken off at the reception. I was thrilled that I did not have to deal with a bustle all night and my dress looked pretty from the front AND back!
GROOM’S TUXEDO: IKE BEHAR
When we go to a formal event, Franco always asks me what color tux I want him to wear. Because we have so many, there is always something different to pick from! This time I left it his choice. He knows I’m partial to classic black though. Good Lord, a black tuxedo is so sexy.
I knew he would choose an Ike Behar though, even if it wasn’t black. The fit on the Ike is perfect every time.
He chose black. 🙂 After 20 years, I’m still smitten.
MAIDS OF HONOR DRESSES: CLARISSE
Unsure, right up to the last minute. Daria and Deanna were sending pictures of dresses back and forth, just like all bridesmaids do. Again I only gave them a few guidelines and let them pick. I loved the hunter green satin for Christmas, and then they each picked their style. These dresses came from Clarisse, were in stock, and fit so well they only needed a hem!
It was amazing that the day was mild enough not to wear jackets, however we did get them fur wraps to wear for the ceremony. The colors could not have been more perfect, in my opinion!
HAIR & MAKE UP: DANEENE JENSEN & ASSOCIATES
I met Daneene when we first opened our store nine years ago. I didn’t know anyone in the wedding industry and was eager to get to know as many people as I could. I had no idea that Daneene was one of the highest rated hair and make up artists in the entire region. She was so interested in meeting us and our new little store, that when I realized exactly who she was it spoke volumes to her character.
She did not need us, she was already successful. She wanted to know us. There’s a big difference.
Since that first meeting she has done so many of our brides and bridal parties with nothing but five star, glowing reviews. She and her team are kind, reliable, and perfectionists. If you are looking for hair and make up, she is my go-to every time.
THE FLOWERS: NEWTOWN FLOWER COMPANY/REEANNE SIRAVO
Reeanne used to work at our store in bridal, but her talents were far beyond just that. I would watch her design and decorate our display windows, make flower girl baskets and ring boxes, draw flowers and designs on our welcome board, repurpose things that no one else could have possibly re-purposed. She’s genuine, fun, and I’m so proud she’s my friend. So when I needed flowers I thought of her and it just so happens her sister Denise owns the Newtown Flower Company. #score
Because our affair was small and the Black Bass offered candles as centerpieces, I only needed three bouquets and a boutonniere. I sent her two pictures for inspiration, and told her I didn’t want them this big:
That was all I gave her. That was all she needed. She perfectly combined the two to give me this:
I am still so in love with these flowers every time I see pictures!
THE OFFICIANT: ARIEL CLAUS
We met Ariel at Peddler’s Village when she was doing corporate events for them. She took a group of us on a tour and she was as delightful as she looks – fun, smart and bubbly.
Not long after, we met again at another networking event and then it became routine to see her. I always enjoyed talking and giggling with her.
Now when it came time to find an officiant, I realized I was at a loss. I knew no one so I started searching, to no real avail. And then, poof! A Facebook post of Ariel, saying she had officiated a wedding.
Could my wedding get any better? I sent her a Facebook message and that was that. She asked what was important to us, what kind of ceremony we wanted, etc. all the questions to make sure she did what we wanted.
Because Franco and I had been together for so long, we didn’t need all the vows or traditional stuff. We didn’t want too much along the religious lines. We already wore rings for 14 years, we didn’t need a ring exchange.
Instead, we wrote something up – our “story” – and she read that for our guests. It was cute, sweet, heartfelt, silly; it was us and maybe 10 minutes start to finish.
It was perfect. And being married by a friend was so incredibly special. And as fate would have it, as I am writing this, our marriage license just arrived from the courthouse!
THE PHOTOGRAPHER: NICOLE GOSS PHOTOGRAPHY
Like Ariel, Nicole is just my style. We met through networking as well and I gravitate towards the fun ones. She is so easy going! Eager to do the best job and she definitely did.
Because we had such a small and rather non-traditional wedding/reception (it was just a dinner with a great playlist of music), I did not need what others require. I did not need formal “getting ready”, extended family photos, or reception shots. We wanted candid and fun pics from pre-ceremony up to dinner.
She laughed with us as she caught things I didn’t know would happen – like this one – sort of a reverse first-look when I saw Franco coming across the street.
Or this great one of us taking a selfie to send to our friends in Italy who could not attend due to Covid restrictions:
Nicole is wonderful and qualified for so much more than the small affair we had, yet she took it as seriously as a much bigger wedding and even got fantastic shots of our guests throughout cocktail hour. I cannot stop looking through all these pictures!!
And that’s a wrap! Franco and I are so pleased at how everything turned out exactly as we hoped – and actually it was even better. If you need a referral for your wedding, feel free to ask! We know so many amazing and talented vendors and can find one that would be perfect for the wedding YOU want!
Why we love her: Stella York 7404 is classic and romantic with the perfect touch of glitz. She’s the traditional a-line shape; she’s flowy without swallowing the bride up. This dress is lightweight, so she’s easy to wear all day long! She has modern, large floral appliqué on her top layer and a floral-patterned glitter tulle layer underneath. Clear sequins in the appliqué add more sparkle and help this beautiful gown shine from all directions. She photographs like a dream!
She has gorgeous, delicate beaded straps. These provide support and security to brides who want to dance all night long without worrying about a wardrobe malfunction. The straps are lined with pearls and clear beads, making accessorizing easy. There are so many options! The straps connect to a sweetheart neckline with a modest plunge. Her bodice is slightly sheer; the floral appliqué is concentrated on the bodice and becomes more spaced out on the skirt.
The back of the dress is just as stunning as the front, making it perfect for walking down the aisle. There are 8 buttons at the top, which hit in about the middle of the bride’s
back. Amazingly, the buttons are decoration only, so brides won’t have to use precious time on their wedding morning getting buttoned into their dress.
7404 has a chapel-length train. There’s enough train that the dress is captivating coming down the aisle, but not so much train that the dress becomes unmanageable. An easy bustle on this will have the bride dancing all night long! The appliqué and sparkle tulle continue the length of the train.
She is available in ivory/biscotti, ivory/ivory, and white.
She’s great for: all body types, especially plus-sized brides! She is supportive and
flattering without overpowering the bride. She fits right in at any venue, such as refinished barns, ballrooms, and outdoor settings.
What makes her special: Her layer of glitter tulle! The glitter is placed on the tulle in a big, leafy, floral pattern. This layer adds dimension and depth while making a unique statement. The intricate design will make brides feel elegant, beautiful, and romantic on their big day!
Stella York bridal gowns are imagined and handcrafted with stunning detail. Each gown is constructed to provide an exceptional fit and give the body perfect form. Dressed in spectacular beading, glamorous laces and enchanting fabrics, the Stella bride is assured to be the center of elegance and attention. Whether in soft organza, chiffon, and charmeuse or romantic satin and crepe, this collection is extraordinary.
Why We Love Her: Olana is a statement dress with a mix of sexy, romantic, dramatic, and modern features throughout. Her fit and flare silhouette allows her to show off all curves, making for a very flattering look. She has a very thin delicate layer of chantilly lace beneath the top tulle layer of floral and leafy applique, making her detail show from every angle. On top of the floral lace are sparkly sequins and iridescent beading that will shimmer all day long!
Her bodice consists of a lovely plunge neckline that is covered with lace appliques to keep a modest look while also creating a gorgeous lace edging neckline, eliminating the sharp and straight cut lines. Her unlined bodice with unique dipped cutout sides enhances the perfect hourglass look on any body shape! She is finished with flawless thin beaded spaghetti straps that allow for perfect transition into the illusion scoop back.
Olana’s back is a jaw-dropping feature that will make hearts melt. Her low illusion lace scoop back is the perfect way to show some skin without being too scandalous! The lining and chantilly lace layers in the train are cut to floor length, while the beautiful applique lacing and sequins extend out, creating a gorgeous lace illusion! She even has buttons, and who doesn’t love those!
Olana is available in four different colors. Shown in the pictures, the ivory/nude color allows for all lace detailing, even the delicate chantilly lace, to be seen from a distance. If that color is too dark, then Olana is also available in an ivory/sand look which still keeps the two-toned effect while also looking slightly brighter. The all ivory editions of this dress can come in two options that affect the illusion mesh color, located on the plunge and back illusion; either an ivory mesh that will match dress more or a nude mesh that blends with skin tones better. In both versions of ivory, the main focus will be the sparkle, which will light up the room!
She’s Great For: Olana is perfect for weddings of all types! Because of her lightweight fit and astonishing detail, Olana can fit right into any outdoor or indoor venue that is in the Spring or Summer. Her floral appliques will complement all greenery and flowers, and her sparkle will shimmer in every lighting!
What Makes Her Special: What makes Olana special is her two piece split detachable cape. This cape is unique, dramatic, outstanding, and glamorous! It is the perfect replacement for a bride who does not want to wear a veil, or a bride that wants a show stopping dress. It attaches onto Olana like off the shoulder straps, and it extends the train even further in length, with even more detail! It is the perfect addition to a dramatic entrance into the ceremony, and an easy accessory to drop when the party starts!
Enzoani has world-renowned designers and highly-experienced pattern-makers and beaders who work tirelessly to keep them at the cutting edge of bridal design. They produce gowns that fit perfectly, utilize the latest and most premium materials available – the highest grade fabrics and Swarovski crystals – to make each bride feel beautiful. There is no compromise when it comes to quality and construction. Each wedding dress produced by Enzoani is custom designed and custom made. The dresses are hand-beaded, and most dresses require several hundred hours to create!
Why we love her: Dahla is as romantic as it gets. Her delicate floral applique is enhanced by sequins sewn throughout the detailing and a thin layer of sparkle tulle. She shimmers and shines at all angles! Her thin straps are overlaid with intricate applique, making a seamless transition into the bodice of the dress, as well as seamlessly transitioning into an illusion back. With her sheath silhouette, she’s flowy without being poofy; she shows off your figure without being restricting.
Dahla’s train is absolutely exquisite. The dress lining doesn’t extend the whole length of the train, creating a stunning illusion. The hem is lined with beautiful floral applique, and the sparkles continue throughout the length of the train. While walking down the aisle, she slays from every angle and is guaranteed to make jaws drop.
Dahla is available in mocha with ivory lace overlay; the mocha contrast makes the lace stand out wonderfully in photographs. She’s also available in all ivory; this makes her sequins and sparkle tulle shine like the stars. Her bodice can be lined (as shown in video) or unlined (as shown in photo below), which can add a little spice to this very sweet dress. With all of these options, there is a perfect combination for everyone!
She’s great for: Outdoor weddings in spring and summer! She will glow in the sun, and her design will fit right in at a country club, a garden, or any other romantic outdoor space.
What makes her special: Her cape! Because it’s detachable, the cape can make a statement at your ceremony and add drama to your pictures, but once it’s time to party it pops right off! The applique at the top of the cape matches the dress exactly, and her V-shape highlights the illusion back without clashing or covering it up. This is perfect for brides who do not want a veil but still want to add something special for the ceremony.
Madi Lane gowns are both aspirational and attainable, exclusive pieces that look, feel and read modern contemporary couture. Each and every Madi Lane creation features delicate appliqué and embellishments, artfully placed on high quality fabrics and polished in every detail. With personality and personalization in mind, each gown embodies a fierce femininity, fitting individual body as well as it does the individual spirit.