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What Do Bridal Store Owners Wear to Black Tie Galas?

Franco and I are so fortunate to own Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, because a family business is something we always wanted.  We are also fortunate to be invited to many black tie galas and formal affairs because of this business.

It’s usually easy for us to choose our formal wear attire, however I think it’s easier for Franco. I would say that, right?  He has 56 tuxedos from which to choose – our entire inventory is open to him and they are all so gorgeous he can’t go wrong.  Plus with all the color accessories he can switch it up to any theme.  He’s worn so many and all have looked incredibly sharp!

I absolutely love the ivory tuxedo jacket with black shawl lapel with black pants.  Love love love this look!

He’s worn the navy tuxedo (amazing with his blue eyes), cranberry tuxedo (perfect for the holidays), and the checkered tuxedo (ultra class).  He looks so handsome in the charcoal grey with a peak lapel and a fun bow tie with patching floral pocket square:

There is nothing as gorgeous as when he does classic black tuxedo with a black bow tie.  He wore my new favorite on November 9th, called Chandler by Ike Behar (below).  It is a gorgeous black tuxedo with satin shawl lapel.  Here is a model in the tux and below is my guy in the same tux but wearing a black “teardrop” bowtie, white flower lapel pin, and black onyx studs and cufflinks:

We both found that we prefer the Ike Behar collection to any other name. The fit and quality is superior, even to the Michael Kors tuxedos. Yep, I said it. I love how it looks, Franco appreciates the look as well as the feel of it.

For shoes, I’m a fan of the black wing tip, too. Since he doesn’t care what shoe, he wears the black wing tip (wink wink).

For me, of course I find it more difficult. I’m not “young” but I’m not “old” – I’m in that basic mother of bride age group and we all say that.  If you’re in your 20s-30s, you think of 50 as being ancient but believe me, once you get here you realize you’re not ancient. So many women my age are working out in the gym, pilates, yoga, running, lifting, etc., and feeling great, but there are still some styles that are inappropriate for mothers. I get that.

I have an advantage of basically an enormous inventory of dresses.  While I really love most of our dresses, it doesn’t mean I would wear all of them.  Some are definitely for “Mothers” in that they look very much like they belong at a wedding, not as a “guest of” or a “black tie” event. We have tons of prom dresses that are gorgeous but they are for prom goers, not someone’s mom.

In the past, I have worn Tony Bowls, Jovani, and Jonathan Kayne. I have also worn Bill Levkoff twice (yes, bridesmaid!) in black lace sequin that was super pretty and a high neck black chiffon that were absolutely perfect for the events.

Sometimes I feel guilty about buying new dresses – especially when Franco just rents – so I have also worn dresses in my closet from years ago.  I have not rented a dress. I am a fan of buying more classic style dresses so they don’t go out of style and as long as they still fit I’m good to go!

For our most recent event, I chose this exact dress from the Christina Wu Celebrations collection:

My dress was like a disco ball!  Aside from the sequins being very scratchy under my arms, it was just perfect! This is how we turned out:

With the holiday season just a blink away, maybe we will have a few more opportunities to get all fancy. If you need help putting something special together, give us a call!

Our bridesmaid and special occasion off the rack dresses are all marked down and we are offering a $50 discount on all our full tux packages! Call or text us at 215-491-8500! Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

 

Beyond Yes To The Dress

In my opinion, there are no coincidences. Things happen that defy logic, like deja vu, karma, or even signs from beyond that make us profoundly sad, yet simultaneously grateful and connected.

In this blog, we tell some powerful stories from our brides in our store, that show when you are saying Yes, there may be divine intervention…

My favorite story happened about two years ago. A bride came to us after numerous shopping trips. Her mother told me privately that she was so disappointed that she wasn’t finding anything she liked. The process had become a chore and to add to it, her mother – the bride’s grandmother – had recently passed away and they were very very emotional. Grandmom was going to buy her dress and they spoke often of how much fun they would have when the time came to go dress shopping. The time arrived, but they were not having any fun at all.

The bride did not want to shop anymore, yet agreed – on Mom’s urging – to go to one more store.  We were well over an hour away, Mom “randomly” chose to come to us.

With that knowledge, I went about the appointment quite differently.

I told the bride I understood it hadn’t been fun and she wasn’t into it, but since she was here, let’s pick out a few dresses you think are “crazy”.  Ones you would never wear. Let’s start with ones you wouldn’t consider and see how you feel.  No pressure.

She agreed and said it is much easier to find ones she didn’t like. After looking through every dress, she chose three.  The first 2 we laughed and took pictures and she had a little fun.  The 3rd dress she said she purposely saved for last.  She said, “I don’t understand this one. I’d never pick this out otherwise, it’s totally not me, but I am drawn to it.”  I said, “Let’s put it on.”

“Mom, I like this one,” said bride. “It’s has nothing I want, but I really like it. I don’t want to take it off and I haven’t felt good in any dress but this.”

Mom said, “I’m glad you said that, because as soon as you came out I loved it on you!”

Bride was looking for a plain, simple dress, no “frills or bedazzle” she said. She said she wanted a dress that was “quiet” but pretty.

This dress she connected to was a fully beaded fit to flare with a beaded illusion back and cap sleeve – it was almost the exact opposite of what she was looking for.

“I actually really like this one.  How did this happen?” She laughed and the mood completely changed. “Mom, this is my dress, I can’t believe it, I absolutely love this dress and I have no idea why!”

“The dress is named ‘Aster’,” I said.

They both shot me the strangest look and trust me, it was awkward. Really awkward. Mom put her hands over her face and sobbed.  Bride stood there not moving.  All I could say was, “I’m so sorry” because I couldn’t imagine what just happened.

Turns out, Grandmom loved flowers but there was one flower in particular that was everywhere – in her yard, paintings in her house, painted on dishwear, needle-pointed pillows – everywhere.  Her favorite flower was Aster. It was Grandmom showing she was dress shopping with them after all. Lead them to a “random” store, lead Bride to pick a dress that she’d “never consider wearing” named after her favorite flower.  Talk about a strong connection.

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Another bride came in just a few months ago.  She was so on edge and was talking so fast about not wanting to try on and not wanting to be “in this position”.  I asked her if something had happened recently and how could I help make the experience easier for her.  She said, “My mother just passed. I am very scattered and emotional and I know I don’t look good so when people tell me I look beautiful in dresses I think they’re just trying to make a sale. I need a sign, Mom send me a sign…” and she closed her eyes.  Truth be told, I had to hold back tears.

I told her we would take very good care of her as her consultant – who had not heard any of this conversation – came to the front to introduce herself.  Our consultant gave her a big smile and said, “Hi, I’m Sharon and I’m so happy to meet you.”  The bride started crying and hugged ME.  She found her sign.  Her mother’s name was Sharon.

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One of our brides purchased a dress and it fit her perfectly at try on.  She then lost a lot of weight before the wedding. She went for her fitting and was told it was impossible to alter it down to her new size and her wedding was only 3 weeks away.  She came in the store and said, “I know the answer is no, but the girls at work told me to just ask.  Can I swap this dress for a smaller one or is there anything you can do?” One of our consultants said, “Isn’t that the misordered dress in the back?”  It was indeed the same dress.  We pulled it out – brand new and FOUR sizes smaller – it fit like a glove.  She said, “You’d do this for me?!”  I told her, “Of course. It was ordered last year by mistake and it’s not doing us any good hanging here,” and I showed her the ticket.  Her eyes got huge.  “Oh my gosh, it was ordered it on my birthday!”  Well, that was meant to be! 🙂

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We had a bride in several years ago whose sister passed away.  She brought in a large support group and it was emotional for them because her sister would have been Maid of Honor.  She found her perfect dress and was super excited, and we needed to find the perfect belt for it.  We tried and tried and found some that were really nice and looked great, but not quite right.  Remembering one on display on a mannequin, we took that one off and brought it over.  It was perfect!  It totally transformed the dress into perfection! When she looked closer, she said, “No way,” and got very still.  “It’s a butterfly.” The perfect belt was a crystal and pearl butterfly design. The butterfly was their symbol for her late sister.  We all stayed quiet for a few minutes to take in the emotions.  We went through over 30 belts to find the perfect one, and the perfect one turned out to be incredibly meaningful and truly a sign.

These are just some of our beyond Yes stories. Maybe you have a Beyond story that you want to share? We’d love to hear it!

Dress Shopping For Brides With Chronic Illness or Mobility Impairment

In this blog, we focus on helping brides with specific needs for chronic illness or mobility impairment.

Choosing a bridal gown is a fun, exciting, and sometimes daunting task. Every bride deserves the day, and the gown, of her dreams! To make the most of your bridal appointment, think about any features of your gown that will allow you to focus on having a wonderful time with your loved ones on the day.

For brides who will be using a wheelchair:

Ask the bridal store if there are stairs or any obstacles that would be difficult for a wheelchair to move about.  When you try on dresses, you want room to maneuver so you can get a feel for the movement each dress provides.

Consider which silhouette will match your vision and also be comfortable.

What are the day to day struggles with your disability? Is a tight-fitting dress going to cause pain? Will a layered, poofy dress cause body temperature issues? Tell your stylist what your specific concerns are so she can guide you.

If you find the perfect “feeling” dress but think something is missing, consider adding a sparkly belt and jewelry accessories that would work for you.

Note:  Some of the headbands and tiaras are so beautiful and tight fitting.  These can easily cause headaches and migraines. Make sure if you have a head piece that you wear it before the wedding to test that out.

Also, you have choice in fabrics. Silks and satins are unforgiving and can be uncomfortably restricting. Many designers offer what’s called a “perfecting satin” which is a smooth fabric with a stretch. Lightweight, super comfortable, and ultra pretty, these are dresses you’ll love in various colors, silhouettes, and details.

Some beading and laces can cause skin reactions, or just be uncomfortable and scratchy. Make sure to note this and if you like the look, tell your stylist who can pull a different type of lace or one with beading that doesn’t come into contact with your skin directly.

While many gowns are easier to step into, consider whether you’d prefer a gown that you could put on over your head.

For brides who will be using a walker or cane:

Perhaps a gown with a detachable overskirt or train would work. That way, you get to keep the volume down the aisle with worrying about tripping or catching the front of your gown and then take it off for a light and easy look during your reception

For brides with hemiplegia/paresis or difficulty with manual dexterity, consider changing a lace-up corset back (or one with buttons and loops) to a hidden zipper, or even one with snaps. A good bridal seamstress can do this for you.

For brides with generalized movement difficulty (e.g., myasthenia gravis) or who may fatigue more easily:

Those who fatigue easily can often be more sensitive to temperature. The solution may be… layers! Add bolero jacket with sleeves to a strapless gown .


Or, add detachable sleeves to a gown with straps.

The bridal store you choose should have a good seamstress they work with,  one that knows construction and can offer you options to make your dress even more perfect for you. It will bring you more peace of mind and keep you feeling great and your stress level low.

Choosing a bridal gown is a fun, exciting, and sometimes daunting task. Don’t let anything get in your way, including needing a little help getting down the aisle.  Visit us at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo!

The Wedding Experience: From A Guest Perspective

We recently had the good fortune to be guests at several weddings of friends of ours.  Working in the wedding industry doesn’t always afford us the opportunity to see the end result and it was really fun to be a guest and not just a vendor!

We thought a great blog would be to tell you some of the feedback we hear from the guests when the wedding is over (returning tuxedos, preserving the dress, etc.),  as well as some of our own thoughts on how to make sure your guests have a great experience.

The Ceremony:

All of these weddings were lovely.  Not only a beautiful locations, but they all started ON TIME.  That was amazing! Loved that! Please don’t be fashionably late on your wedding.

After your ceremony, is there a delay until the reception?  If there is, how long is it?  If it is more than a couple of hours, consider having something for your guests to do, or a place to go to wait and have some food.  The delay we experienced was hours long and hard to fill.

Cocktail Hour:

How many guests are coming – and what will cocktail hour look like? What kind of layout is there, and will the lines be long? How much food is there, will they run low or out?

At two of the weddings, the food was everywhere! At another one, they ran out very quickly at cocktail hour (the unhappiest guests are the unfed ones).

Are there tables or enough seating areas? Standing to eat, along with a drink in hand, is impossible.  Make sure your guests have plenty of places to put their plates and drinks down.

Is the bar open? How many bartenders will you have?  Make sure there are enough to eliminate long lines.

Is there a photo op area? Or a photobooth? This is a fun way for your guests to capture the day. One of the weddings we went to had a flower wall that was a really neat backdrop!

The Reception:

Place Cards – You may think the tiny, scripted font looks beautiful, but it is exceptionally hard for some guests to read. (My personal experience at one wedding: I walked around a circular table three times picking up cards to see what letter we were at. I thought the S was a J so I walked around to the other side to find the F that I thought was a T so back to the other side… it was awful.)  Please, consider a more readable font, especially if you have a large number of guests.

For other seating arrangements, do this task with the mindset of how to make it easy for your guests to find their place.

Music – Consider doing a sound check for the toasting and dinner portions. Read that again and give it even more consideration.

One wedding I felt was somewhat ruined by the noise level, and I know I wasn’t the only one feeling that way.  The emcee was shouting into the microphone to introduce the wedding party, and we still couldn’t hear anything because the band was playing so loud. It was just yelling over incredibly loud music and none of the guests could understand or hear the names and many guests had their hands covering their ears. Make sure the band understands the acoustics of the room and does a sound check!

Toasts – Advice to anyone at your wedding giving a toast:   speak slowly and speak up.  These speeches are amusing for sure, but filled with “inside jokes” that most of your guests don’t understand so while the toast giver may be nervous, it is a definite plus if they can be heard and understood.  Also…

Limit the speeches. We were at one where there were six.  Not only did we not understand any of them because we couldn’t hear, it took forever. We noticed even the wait staff seemed frustrated because they didn’t know when to start serving. Perhaps do some at the rehearsal dinner if you have that many.

Dinner – Whatever the food, please consider dinner music.  In the background.  Please.  When the band blares during dinner, none of your guests can talk to each other. After dinner, heck yes turn up the volume! But during dinner when guests are trying to speak with each other, consider having the music at a level that encourages that.

Personal note: One of the events we attended had lovely dinner music and it really set a nice tone to the evening and we were able to speak to many of the guests. Getting to know them definitely added to the fun once the music did get turned up and the party was fantastic!

Greetings – Depending on the size of  your wedding, speaking to everyone at length may not be possible, but definitely make a point to go to each table and greet ALL of your guests.  Also, if the bride or groom has never met someone at your wedding, be sure to make the introduction!

Favors – Personally, I have mixed feelings on favors. While I love the idea and some are so creative and special, many are left on the tables. I always feel bad when I think someone went to the trouble and so many are just thrown away.  If someone has a better idea  other than favors, or a favor no one would leave behind, I’d love to hear it.

Thank You Notes – Etiquette says that your guests have a year to send a gift and I am one of those people who actually sends one after the wedding.  It’s hard to wait a year to send a thank you note, however, give a little bit of time (maybe a few months?) to see if something will arrive from a guest who did not bring a gift on your day. Maybe something will show up at your home from your registry or even a personalized gift 🙂

Your wedding is the biggest party you will throw and you want to make sure your guests remember it for the great parts. Ask friends and co-workers about weddings they have gone to where something could have been done better or what was great about it – you could gain some more insight to wow your guests! Hopefully this blog was a good start!

 

Say Hello to Madi Lane Bridal!

Wondering where to find those romantic, lace dresses that you’ve been saving to your wedding board on Pinterest? Look no further. Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is thrilled to announce that we are the exclusive retailers of Madi Lane Bridal in the entire Philadelphia region!

The Elora gown has been taking the internet by storm – so much so that we’ve been receiving phone calls from up and down the east coast searching for it – and beginning this August, Elora and a number of other breathtaking gowns will be in our store, like Haven shown here:

Madi Lane is an Australian-based bridal line that places a high emphasis on elegance and individuality. The intricate lace and sophisticated designs exude pure romance that speaks to every bride. These gowns are for the bride who has a sense of herself and wants her dress to reflect her personality. We’ll let the pictures speak for themselves!

TRUNK SHOW!

September 5-8, 2019, we will be hosting a Madi Lane Trunk Show!

In addition to the gorgeous dresses normally in store, we will be bringing even more of her dresses into the store for one weekend only. Appointments are required for the Trunk Show – availability is limited!

Come in and say “yes!” to your perfect Madi Lane dress! Fun specials and vendors TBA!  Click here to schedule your appointment or call/text us at 215-491-8500.

India by Madi Lane
Harper by Madi Lane

 

 

Izadore by Madi Lane
Fleur by Madi Lane

 

We are thrilled to be able to bring this designer to the Philly market.  With all of the unique and special venues in Bucks, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties as well as destination weddings, a bride deserves a perfectly matched dress for her choice.  Adding Madi Lane to our current designers of Morilee, Kitty Chen Couture & Ivoire, Casablanca Bridal, Beloved, Sincerity by Justin Alexander, Jessica Morgan, Blu by Morilee, and Moonlight assures that Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo has the most perfectly curated – and most affordable – designers in the entire region.

Our gorgeous dresses range new from $800-$3,000, with select off-the-rack dresses from $350-$999.

It’s always great time to be engaged at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo!

The Bridal Glossary – What Does It Mean?

Wedding dress shopping is one of the most exciting parts of planning your wedding! While researching styles and shops, you may encounter some terms that you have never heard before.

To best prepare you for your shopping experience, we have created a Wedding Dress Glossary! Impress your entourage by being able to identify all the styles and details you come across.

ABOUT THE DRESSES

Appliqué: In terms of bridal gowns, applique are pieces of fabric made of lace or have been intricately beaded that are sewn on to a dress. Example of lace appliqué:

Bodice: The upper part of the dress covering the chest and back

Bustle: Buttons or hooks and eyes that gather the train on a dress. A bustle is done so that the bride can move around easily and not worry about guests stepping on her dress. The maid of honor, bridesmaids, or mother of the bride typically are responsible for helping the bride bustle her gown after pictures/the ceremony.

Crinoline: A stiff, netted-like fabric that keeps the shape of the skirt.

Detachable Train: This is a piece that hooks or buttons at the waist and provides a long and/or elaborate train that can be removed to reveal more fitted dress underneath.

Illusion: A mesh, see-through component of a wedding dress. An illusion neckline refers to the mesh that holds the neckline together. An illusion back refers to a back that appears open but typically has buttons that line up in the center of the back. An example of an illusion neckline is below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scalloping: This is a series of curves that resemble the shape of scallop shells, typically found at the hemline of a dress.  Below is an example of a scalloped hemline:

Train: This is the bottom back of the skirt that gets bustled at the reception. There are varying lengths of trains as well (see below for lengths).

 

TRAIN AND VEIL LENGTHS

Birdcage Veil: A type of short veil that covers part of the face or frames the face.

Blusher: The part of a veil that covers the bride’s face. The father of the bride typically flips the blusher over bride’s head to reveal her face after walking her down the aisle.

Cathedral Veil: A veil that is 108”-120” (nine to ten feet) long. These veils extend past the train on the bride’s dress and create a dramatic effect as she walks down the aisle.

Chapel Train: One of the more popular train options, a chapel train extends 36-48″ (three to four feet) from the waistline.

Court Train: The court train extends 24″ (two feet) from where the fabric hits the floor —one foot beyond the sweep train.

Elbow Veil: A veil that is about 25″ long usually ending at or around the elbow.

Eyelash Lace: Delicate threading that lines the neckline or hem. It is called eyelash lace because it imitates the look of eyelashes.

Fingertip Veil: A veil that is approximately 36”. It is called fingertip length because the veil extends to around where the bride’s fingertips are

Monarch Train: Also known as “royal” train, this very formal style flows 144″ (12 feet) or more from the waist.

Shoulder Veil: A veil that is about 15-20″ (1-1.5 feet) long that extends to at our about the shoulder.

Sweep Train: Also known as a “brush,” this train extends 12″ or less from where the fabric hits the floor. A sweep train is subtle, yet romantic.

Waltz Veil: A veil that is about 54″ (about 4.5 feet) long and ends at or about the knee.

Watteau: Attaching to the shoulders, this train style falls loosely to the hem of the dress. It creates a dramatic cape-like effect.

 

OTHER TERMS TO KNOW

Discontinued Style: This means that the designer has decided not to make that style any longer.

Sample (or Stock) Dresses: These are the dresses that are in the store for try on purposes. They are “samples” and can be ordered for size, color, or customizations.

Sample Sale: An event hosted by the bridal store where they sell the sample gowns off the rack. These dresses are typically marked down and are a great way for brides to find gorgeous dresses at an amazing price.

Trunk Show: An event hosted by the bridal store where additional gowns from a certain designer are brought in for a short period of time. The trunk show dresses are typically ones that the store does not normally have in shop or brand new features. These shows are a  way to showcase the collection of the designers that they carry and offer more style variety to brides.

Now that you’re prepared with the terminology, make your appointment with us to see it all in action!

How To Get Your Marriage License in PA

To obtain a marriage license in Pennsylvania, just read the special instructions, gather your documents, and then follow these steps!

AGE:

To be married in Pennsylvania, you must be 18 years old with a valid, US-issued government photo ID.  You can be married as young as 15 in PA, but the underage person must have his/her original birth certificate, written parental consent, and written consent of a judge from the Orphans Court.

DOCUMENTS TO PROVIDE:

NOTE: If you do not have these documents, your application will not be accepted:

Current and Valid Photo ID:

  • Driver’s License
  • State I.D.
  • International Driver’s License
  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Military I.D.
  • Resident Alien Card
  • Consulate Card

AND a Social Security card or any other form of I.D. issued by an official entity which reflects the applicant’s Social Security number

  • W-2 form
  • Income Tax Return
  • Prescription Card
  • Access Card
  • If an applicant does NOT possess a Social Security number he/she must produce a Secondary I.D. in the form of a birth certificate (officially translated, if appropriate); or any other form of I.D. issued by an official entity, in addition to the above-noted current, valid photo I.D.  Documents in a language other than English must be an original accompanied by a notarized English translation.
  • If an applicant does not speak English, you must bring an interpreter.

PROOF OF DISSOLUTION OF PREVIOUS MARRIAGES:

If either applicant was previously married, proof of dissolution of the latest marriage must be submitted at the time of application.

  • A widowed applicant must submit a certified copy of the death certificate of the deceased spouse.
  • A divorced applicant must provide a certified copy of the most recent divorce decree.
  • If either of the foregoing documents is not written in English it must be translated to English and the translation must be certified to be correct.

FEES:

  • Marriage license fees in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania vary from county to county. Please call the county in which you will be applying for their fees and other requirements.
  • In Pennsylvania, you do not need a marriage ceremony. You can apply for a Quaker/Self-Uniting License, and the fee varies by county. If you want this type of license, you need to inform the clerk before you begin the application process.

WAITING PERIOD:

  • There is a three (3) day waiting period from the completion of the application process to the issuance of the license.
  • The license will be given to you at the time of your application.
  • It cannot be used until the date of issuance, which is three (3) days later.
  • The issuance date appears on the license.
  • The three (3) day waiting period begins after both applicants appear in person together at the Marriage License Bureau.

WEDDING OFFICIANTS –  WHO CAN MARRY YOU?:

  • Any ordained minister, priest or rabbi of any regularly established church or congregation
  • Judges and Justices of Peace may perform wedding ceremonies. Mayors of cities and boroughs are also authorized to perform marriage ceremonies.

The officiant performing the marriage ceremony must complete and file the marriage return – the bottom portion of the marriage license – with the marriage license office that issued the license within ten (10) days of the date of the ceremony.

A marriage record will not exist if the officiant who performs the marriage fails to file this document.

EXPIRATION DATE:

  • A marriage license is valid for 60 days from date it is issued.
  • The marriage license can be used in any county in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

GET TO THE COURTHOUSE – IN A NUTSHELL:

  • Applicants that wish to be legally married in the state of Pennsylvania must first apply for a marriage license application at their nearest Marriage License Bureau of the Register of Wills and complete the application process.
  • Applicants should take the necessary steps to obtain a Marriage License 2 to 3 weeks before the scheduled date of their marriage ceremony.
  • Both applicants seeking a marriage license must appear together in person at the Marriage License Bureau of the Register of Wills office to complete the process.
  • Photo identification is required in PA
  • Marriage license fees vary from county to county. Please call or visit the website of the county Register of Wills in which you will be applying for their fees and other requirements.
  • There is a three (3) day waiting period from the completion of the application process to the issuance of the license.
  • A marriage license is valid for 60 days from date it is issued.
  • Be sure to contact your Local Marriage License Bureau well in advance of the wedding to find out on what days and during what hours the clerk will be in the office. Some locales will require an appointment.
  • An independent translator must accompany the applicants for any non-English speakers.

 

Imperfect Wedding Planning Is Normal!

A perfect wedding planning experience is definitely not normal. You’re not alone if you feel like pulling your hair out…

This Wedding Wire blog repost addresses this!  This blog creates awareness of some of the things that undoubtedly go wrong along the way, and how to adjust your expectations.  Don’t worry, also included is great advice to calm your nerves during an intensely stressful time!

1. Differences of Opinions

Planning a wedding is an emotional process that usually involves an abundance of opinions from yourself, your fiancé, and your friends and family. There’s bound to be a difference of opinion on some topics that come up during the planning process.

While this can be frustrating, it should be expected. It’s important to prepare yourself for these differences and to think through how you will handle these conversations, whether they’re with your fiancé, your parents, in-laws, or wedding party. It can certainly be uncomfortable navigating these waters, but it’s important to hear everyone out and let everyone know their thoughts and support is important to you during this process.

2. Vendor Issues

A lot of wedding planning relies on choosing vendors and working with them to create your perfect day. What you may not realize, however, is that working seamlessly with your vendors is not a guarantee. In fact, just the process of getting in touch with vendors that you’re interested in can be tricky. You’d be surprised how many vendors can be hard to nail down or communicate with. You also may end up disappointed by the availability or pricing of some vendors on your wish list. But don’t be discouraged—the process may just take longer and require more research than you originally anticipated.

On the flip side, make yourself available when your vendors contact you. If they are having trouble getting in touch with you, that can also put a real strain on things! You get what you pay for so make sure to research reputable vendors with abundant reviews who won’t cause you additional anxiety.

3. Heightened Emotions

As mentioned above, planning a wedding encompasses a wide range of emotions throughout the entirety of the process. While (hopefully) the majority of these emotions will be happy ones, there will of course be some low moments. It’s completely normal to end up in little fights and disagreements with your fiancé, to end up frustrated, or to find yourself overwhelmed throughout this process. Do not react in the moment, as hard as that may be. Know your limits and indulge yourself in these emotional moments. Ask for help when  needed and remember your day is going to be beautiful and one of the best days of your life. Sometimes the little things become big things for no reason – it’s just wedding nerves!

4. The Planning Timeline

Many brides think that everything about planning a wedding runs on a specific schedule, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. There is a general guideline and timeline, but everyone has a different experience. While you may expect your cake tasting to occur at a certain time or you may hope to get your invitations stamped and mailed by a certain date, things rarely go exactly according to plan. This could be due to hiccups in your own schedule or vendors running behind. Don’t let this get the best of you; remember that everything will work out and you’re the only one that will know if things don’t run exactly aligned with the timeline you set.

5. The Budget

Everyone goes into a wedding with an idea of what their budget is for the event as a whole. However, things rarely cost exactly what you expect them to. While some aspects of your wedding may come in under budget, others may be more expensive than you anticipated. There will also be unexpected expenses that arise associated with your festivities. Be prepared to be a little bit flexible on your budget or have contingency plans in place, allowing for sacrifices that might need to be made in order to account for these unforeseen expenses.

6. Your Groom’s Opinions

Many brides find that while they thought their groom wouldn’t have strong opinions about certain things pertaining to the wedding day, they couldn’t have been more wrong. Be prepared to hear out your groom’s opinions and stances on all things wedding planning. It’s a big day for him, too, so you want to be sensitive to letting him have a seat at the planning table.

This is especially true when it comes to his attire. It is a day for him to show his best self and style so be sure to search out a vendor (like Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo!) that will offer him over 60 different suit and tuxedo options, help style everyone, match the color pallet, and take good care of him and his party.

 

One of our grooms and his men, toasting the big day after choosing their attire!

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Last-Minute Chaos

Even if you’re the most proactive bride out there, there’s bound to be last-minute chaos in the days leading up to your event. Something will go wrong or you’ll end up frantic over some kind of detail, especially things like final fitting schedules, deliveries, even the weather. Again, this is normal and pretty much unavoidable.

Go into the week of your wedding expecting minor hiccups and going by the mantra that you’re not going to let anything ruin your big moment.

8. RSVP Issues

Every couple experiences the dreaded invitation RSVP issues, finding that guests aren’t prompt or on time in letting you know whether they’ll attend the event. To counter that, some guests will ask to come (after replying no) at the last minute while other guests will be unexpectedly unable to make it. Remember that the guest list will even itself out and try to go with the flow of these (sometimes annoying) delays in communication or last-minute adds.

Remember to number your rsvp cards to correspond to the guest list in case a guest forgets to put his/her name on the reply card… that way you can look up the number and see who it is!

Even with things going differently than you probably expected, planning your wedding should still be an exciting and exhilarating process. You’ll remember this time for the rest of your life and it’ll be over before you know it, so soak up every moment—even when things turn out differently than you envisioned.

We always love Wedding Wire’s blogs and insights and the opportunity to add our input. Let us know if we can help you in planning your day. As a highly respected bridal and tuxedo store in Bucks County and partnering with some of the best vendors in the business, we can help not only dress you and your wedding party, but assist you with top notch vendors to help lessen your stress and make your planning much easier!

Bridal Myths: Exposed!

We’ve all heard urban myths and legends. Some are funny like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. Some are creepy like Bloody Mary; the Woman in White and Area 51. Yet, even though we know these myths are based on nothing more than rumor and exaggeration, they still persist.

Like any other segment of society, the bridal world has its own share of myths, like:

“I will cry when I find my perfect dress;” “I will know my perfect dress as soon as I see it;” or “It’s best to bring everyone with me to my bridal appointments.”

Well, much like Bigfoot and the Woman in White, not all tales are true, especially in the bridal world.  Here are a few of the tales I’ve heard over the years.

  • I will cry when I find my perfect dress

Not always!  When you know it’s your dress, we call that “the Moment”.  Many brides do have the Moment with tears! Some completely break down as the reality hits (OMG, I’m getting MARRIED!)  Some experience a combination of a laugh-cry type thing.  Others light up, smile ear to ear and say YES with a cheer! And then there are brides who simply know and confidently say, I love it.  This is my dress, this is the one.

We love the brides who say, “I’m sure I won’t cry, I’m not like that.”  When those tears come, whoa boy.  It’s for real and there is no denying she found the ONE.

You may not cry, but you WILL have your Moment.  Trust that process.  You’ll know.  Not a myth.

  • I will know my dress as soon as I see it

Myth. As any experienced Consultant will tell you, there is a process to finding your dream dress. It’s not a matter of just finding the prettiest gown in the shop and calling it a day. There are many factors that should go into finding the dress for your special day:

What silhouette flatters your figure most? Where is the wedding taking place? What fabrics are you most comfortable in? What type of wedding are you having? Indoor or outdoor? Day or evening? Huge celebration or an intimate affair? How much detail work are you looking for? Do you want to deal with a train or would you rather have a cathedral veil for drama? What price point are you comfortable with?

All these answers are to be found in one dress and that requires a thoughtful plan of action. You will no doubt put on numerous dresses that are breathtaking and fulfill your vision. But, does it check off all your “must haves”?

Consistently, we have brides end an appointment with TWO favorite dresses which they need to weigh against each to make that final choice. While it does occasionally happen that a bride will click with her gown right away, more times than not, there isn’t a definitive “ta-dah” moment until the bride gives it much consideration against the others.

This is why we will encourage you to try different styles, silhouettes, and fabrics during your appointment. Our goal is to guide and support you as you navigate through a sea of white and ivory to find the gown of your dreams. Just don’t be disheartened if you don’t know your dress based on a first look.

  • To find my perfect dress, I will drive to dozens of places and try everything on to be confident in my decision.

Myth.  While this sounds like an excellent research plan, I can tell you from experience that this will leave a bride stressed and frustrated. The much-anticipated, incredibly exciting “Say Yes” moment becomes a chore.

With the Internet’s assistance, you will find thousands of dresses with similar silhouettes, features and colors that you will be trying to cram into your brain. Even the most detail-oriented bride will buckle under the weight of all the information being thrown at her by Google, her friends and the Consultants she encounters at each place she visits near and far.

Brides come in to see me with endless photos of gowns they’ve tried. Constant refrains are:

“Wait, why did we keep this picture?” “I don’t remember what was on the skirt/bodice that we liked…” “Was this the one Mom liked?” “Is this the same dress we tried on at the other place?”  And our very favorite: “Wait, didn’t we all hate this dress?”

Short story: I personally worked with a Bride who visited 12 different salons across the Tri-State area. She couldn’t say whether or not she liked the dresses she was trying on with me.  Every time she came out in a dress, she was riddled with questions and information:  “The other one was better on your figure.” “Now, do you like the beading on this one or this one (showing her a photo).” “Show her how this bustles.” “Let’s put a veil on and see how you feel.”  “Maybe you should try something plain, you liked a plain one at the other store last week.”  “Let me go pull another one I saw for you.”

She just broke down crying because after trying on literally over one hundred dresses, she was miserable. She didn’t like anything anymore.  The constant questions comparing every dress to something else she tried on previously had her too stressed her out to continue. There were TOO MANY.  Let your Consultant curate a beautiful selection for you and start from there.

Keep it simple.  Find a couple reputable stores who will make you a priority. Visit their websites, research the lines they carry and price points.  Read their reviews. (Read our reviews here!)  Make your appointment and try on gowns that you know will work both aesthetically and financially for your wedding. There is enough stress involved in wedding planning, be strategic in your dress search.

  • The more expensive the dress, the better it is

Myth Myth Myth Myth and Myth.

In my years as a Consultant, I have been privileged to work in different parts of the country and at different salons. I have worked with many top of the line designers as well as median designers. While it is true that most gowns are priced according to the quality of fabric, lace and embroidery used in a design, it is also true that you are paying for the privilege of wearing a specific designer’s creation.

There is absolutely no reason for a bride to overpay for a beautifully designed and well constructed gown. Today’s textiles are being manufactured with specific purpose and your comfort in mind. And, thankfully, these fabrics are not as expensive as their predecessors! Silk jersey and matte satins are being utilized by bridal gown manufacturers for more wrinkle free wear and lighter weight gowns. Many times, these modern fabrics provide a lower price point for the consumer.

Although there are still designers that command a premium price due to name recognition, I guarantee that no one will know if the appliques on your dress were sewn on by hand or if they were machine stitched.

  • The Consultant will try to push higher priced dresses to boost her commission

While I would love to qualify this as a total falsehood, I can’t.  If a store works on commission, this is true.

The reality is that commissions are incentives to sell, whether it’s a higher priced dress, or old stock they want to move out. Unfortunately, this can lead to high pressure sales tactics and even outright lies.

Yes, in the past, I have seen commission driven Consultants skirt the truth in order to close a sale. Sadly, these Consultants were poorly compensated and to make up for the unfair pay scale, a Consultant was forced to boost their compensation with commission. So, while I cannot entirely dismiss commission boosting as a total fabrication in the bridal industry, I can tell you how the Consultants at Darianna Bridal differ from them.

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is a family-run, community based business. We are invested personally and professionally in the area. Our Consultants are compensated for their expertise, knowledge and professionalism allowing us to forego the problematic commission based sales paradigm. Our families live and work in the community that we serve. We are invested in our neighbors and want their experience here at Darianna to be a joyous one.

Whether you say yes to a brand new dress or a marked down bargain, we are thrilled to be part of your wedding… and the consultant makes the same amount of money. There is – and never will be – a commission structure in our store.

  • A Bridal Salon will order the dress too big so that they can make money off of the alterations

This is another one that cannot be completely disputed.

Brides need not be confined to an overpriced alteration “package” (or “flat fee”) for the sake of convenience. We allow the Bride to choose from several different seamstresses in the area who are extremely skilled and talented in bridal and formal wear alterations. These alteration providers are independently owned and operated, small businesses. They set their own pricing scale based on the intricacy of the work to be performed.

Alterations are necessary but time consuming. Sizing in the bridal industry is extremely different from any other piece of clothing you will ever wear or order.  Read our blog on sizing and how we try to get the RIGHT size!

As Consultants, we can offer you our considerable knowledge and guidance. Speak up and always let your thoughts be known about sizing.

  • Bridal salons are overpriced and have HUGE marked-up prices. Buying a gown on-line will save me hundreds of dollars.

MYTH!!!!  MYTH!!!! MYTH!!!!

The Amazon model of internet sales is revolutionary in terms of convenience, product choice and price comparison. Who doesn’t like hitting a button and having a package show up the next day fulfilling your need. And as much as my Amazon Prime account makes my life easier, it can’t always fulfill every niche. As the old adage says, if it’s too good to be true, it usually is.

Take for example on-line wedding gown vendors. We’ve all seen the Memes of the “knock-off” dresses.  That is not a myth either – those knock offs actually do look that bad.  Scarily, some even smell terrible, like chemicals or something burned.

Recently, we had a young lady rush into Darianna on a Friday afternoon clutching a gown, desperately looking for a replacement. The gown she was holding was an internet purchase. It was only $30. A total bargain, right?  Wrong. The dress construction was absurd (the bra cups were almost at her shoulders), the lining was entirely too small, and the lace bodice was completely off-color. Thankfully, we found her a great substitute that she wore to fulfill her Maid of Honor duties.  She paid a fair MSRP price on a quality dress, and spent an extra $30 on a dress she threw out.

Delivery of that bargain dress was delayed over a month due to its shipping origination in China. The site she purchased from had no customer service representative to speak with and no remedy for her situation. She purchased the dress from a picture and provided her credit card information to an unknown business entity in a foreign country.

At Darianna Bridal and Tuxedo, this is an untruth that we work to dismiss. We know our modern couple needs to be price conscious and we know they have other monetary considerations for their wedding day. Today’s Bride and Groom are graduating from college and entering the work force with incurred educational and life debts. We, as well as our manufacturers, are aware of this fact. We actively adhere to suggested manufacturer pricing guidelines so you can be assured of the best pricing available for the highest quality dresses.

Also, being a family run business, we have family and employees carrying educational and life debt. We know the importance of a budget. Our goal is to make your special day a reality, not to put you in debt.

  • My Bridal Squad is planning a party while I try on wedding dresses! Champagne, treats, and hours of fun for everyone! This is a great way to find my dress.

No one likes to have fun at a Bridal appointment more than the Consultants at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo. This appointment is meant to be a memorable and joyous experience! We are always excited to meet you and your guests. But, as with most things, there are considerations…

While it is sparkling good fun to bring in champagne for your crew to sip while you view, it does not make for good decision making skills.

We love to celebrate the final “YES!” with a champagne toast, but drinking alcohol is not a good idea throughout the appointment. You and your Squad should approach this decision with the contemplative attitude the task requires, then go celebrate properly at brunch or dinner!

And, while we love a gregarious group, when the attention strays from the bride, attention is diverted from the goal of finding her dress. It makes for good Instagram posts, but it is not helping the bride.

Short story: We had a very large group several years ago who brought boxed wine and a full spread of cheese and crackers. Rules were set at the start and everyone was on board. While it was fun in the beginning, it didn’t last. It turned chaotic with dresses being pulled “for fun”, silly photos being taken, and as the drinking continued, arguments started. The appointment was ruined and bride got nowhere.  The appointment was shut down after the scheduled 90 minutes and the group was upset that they didn’t have enough time to see the bride in all the dresses they pulled (“for fun”).

A bride will never find her dress this way and we learned a lot from that group (including NO outside alcohol).  We privately arranged to have the bride return with just her mother for the experience she deserved, where she was able to say yes and have a champagne toast on us.

Have a question or a myth you’d like answered?  Let us know in a comment! We’d love to confirm or debunk for you 🙂

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is so proud to continue to curate the best dress and tuxedo selections for our couples at great prices. It is exciting to continue to add new dress designers (stay tuned for Morilee and MADI LANE Bridal!!) and carry the newest tuxedo styles! It’s a great time to be engaged!

 

Say Yes! To The Right Accessory!

If you’ve said yes to your dress already, then you know this to be the case: the right accessory can completely transform a great dress into THE dress.

If you’re just starting out, picture this:

There you are on the pedestal in a beautiful wedding dress.  You really like it.  You look amazing and it’s giving you all the feels… This could be the one!

You can’t stop staring at yourself in it because you absolutely love the dress, yet you keep tilting your head, turning to the side… you don’t want to take it off, this is it, but you can’t say yes. What’s wrong?

When you work with an experienced bridal stylist like ours at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, she reads that body language.  She will  subtly bring over a little sparkly belt, a satin sash with a perfectly tied bow, that blush and ivory flower placed just so on the side… and all of a sudden, TEARS!  It’s a definite YES!

A good bridal stylist will be able to guide you to your perfect dress style, including shape, neckline, and fabrics.  A great bridal stylist, like ours at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, will listen, watch your reactions, and read your expressions to take your look to the next level, without breaking the budget!

When you have that dress on that we know checks all the right boxes, but you’re still stuck, we will help you check that last box with the right accessory!  Let the fun continue!

Accessories come in all shapes and sizes.  From thick crystal and pearl, to an accent piece worn a bit to the side, to an organza or satin sash tied in a beautiful bow in the back, there is an accessory for every dress.

 

A veil can also completely transform a dress.  You have a lace one on and love it, then your stylist has you try on a pretty crystal beaded one just for fun.  Whoa.  Didn’t think you wanted a veil but that cathedral length… imagine those pictures of it blowing in the wind… Ahh!  Who knew you could look so gorgeous?!

Veils vary in length from the birdcage, shoulder, fingertip, chapel, cathedral, and royal (an incredible 120″ long!).  From simple chic to glam to dramatic elegance, it’s all about your style – and your dress.

A classic crepe or satin dress can be transformed into a work of art with the right cathedral veil edged in lace.  A mermaid can be perfectly framed with a fingertip length veil ending right at the skirt flare! Let your stylist show you the options!

Perhaps a beautiful bolero jacket to match your gown, or a gorgeous cape adorned with beading and embroidery?   These pieces are definitely not to be overlooked when thinking of accessories.

Completely transform your dress with detachable straps, cap, or even long sleeves!  Consider a detachable train to turn a sleek fitted dress into a ballgown in an instant and get two dresses in one!

Note:  You do not want any one accessory to be the focal point.  These are completer pieces that pull your bridal look together.  Your veil, belt, jewelry, shoes – all are accessories that need to be tried on with your dress to see what looks best.

The perfect look is the one where every piece is right and you’re feeling it. Whether it’s minimalist accessories with just the right hair piece, or a blinged-out beauty with sparkle head to toe, let your stylist guide you and go with that voice inside to create your vision!

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is an award-winning bridal and tuxedo store in Warrington, PA.  With an outstanding reputation and partnering with some of the best vendors in the wedding industry, you can visit us at www.dariannabridal.com, call or text 215-491-8500.