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I Want To ReOpen

I really do. My role will change somewhat for a time until I’m all healed up and the new Covid-19 procedures need to be strictly adhered to for the safety and protection of all, but still, I’m ready to reopen. Whenever that is…

Our bridal store is relatively young when we compare this industry. Before we came along we researched local stores and stores across the country to get an idea of what wasn’t working for brides.

The show “Say Yes To the Dress” set a precedent for bridal stores to step it up and put more emphasis on the excitement of being engaged, planning a wedding, and finding the perfect dress. When we opened in 2013, our focus was (and continues to be) on excitement.

Which brings me to today’s thought – why I can’t wait to reopen: I miss the excitement of the bridal appointment.

Having a packed schedule makes us feel so privileged and grateful! Watching the brides filter in (usually full of nervous energy) is so fun, I can’t wait to welcome everyone and put them at ease. Letting brides and their guests “shop” for dresses along with their consultant allows everyone to be part of that excitement. We have had so many brides tell us that they loved being able to see and choose the dresses they tried on as they were unable to pick their own from other stores.

Sometimes we have brides who find their dress but feel they still need to keep looking. We tell them, “When you’re ready to say yes to this dress, come back and let us celebrate with you!” Now with the virus changing the way we interact, you need to be really smart about shopping. It’s not in anyone’s best interest for a bride and her family to keep going from store to store trying on over and over with multiple people. When you find a dress you love, say yes.

If you have been in our store when a bride says “yes!”, you know firsthand that the entire store erupts in cheers and claps – from our staff, the bride’s family, customers who never met you, even from the guys in the tuxedo area!

There is nothing quite like saying “yes!” and joining the Darianna family. We can help you with maids and of course suits and tuxedos!

I know our different approach (be kind, don’t lie, don’t high pressure sell, keep store and dresses clean, etc.) changed up the vibe in our area. We have had numerous owners and employees from other local stores wander into the store ‘undercover’ (one even made an appointment) to see why brides love the Darianna experience. The answer is simple: our staff is equally as excited as brides and grooms about their wedding day. That is something that cannot be taught in training.

Our staff isn’t only there for a paycheck, watching the clock to leave. We know who’s coming in for the first time and we know who’s coming back in the store again, we know whose weddings are coming up quickly and we know the excitement of each one. There is nothing phony or judgmental at our store. When our brides send their fiancees for tuxedos, we then get to meet everyone – family and friends – right up to a few days before the wedding. We share in it and it never gets old!

We are excited to reopen and reunite our Darianna family! If your wedding is postponed, hang in there! You’re not alone. Call or text us anytime with questions 215-491-8500. If you are ready to make your appointment,  Can’t wait to see you!

The Bridal Registry: What To Ask For

Have you started your registry for your wedding?

I have some advice for you and it comes from a good place because after our Deanna was born (and before our store opened), I wanted a part-time job so guess what I did? I went to Bed Bath & Beyond and became one of their Wedding Registry Specialists!

Yep, I worked with brides and grooms helping them choose the best items for their registries!

When I say “best” I don’t mean most expensive, I mean the best for the couple. If the couple is into cooking, then yes, register the cookware that you want even if it is expensive. If you love to entertain, then get a complete and really good barware set, a great grill, or outdoor furniture!

There are many stores to register with and at the end of this blog I have included a link to a comparison of the most popular.  Today the #1 registry site is Amazon which makes sense because many couples are already set with their household needs and will register for items they want versus duplicates of what they already have.

Other popular registry stores are Target, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and Crate and Barrel. Zola is another online option. Some couples register for money toward their honeymoon. A great idea to have the experience!

It has been a while since my registry days but I remember them well and quite fondly.  Let me take you through the process:

China: This was always first because traditionally, you HAD to have a set of china. You might get pressure to register these pieces but if you are not interested, do not bother. Don’t put gifts on that you don’t want and aren’t going to use. If you do want china, however, there are gorgeous patterns and you can register all the pieces!

Bone china dinnerware sets - Bone china products exporter and supplier

Cookwear: This is another area that can put some expensive gifts on your list. As I said, if this is your thing and you always wanted a certain brand, DO IT. Guests may go in on gifts and be excited to get it for you! If it’s not a big deal, my advice was – and still is – don’t go for the least expensive, look for a reputable brand that is reasonably priced but will last.

The best cookware sets of 2019: Cuisinart, All-Clad, T-Fal ...

Flatware: Ahh, aside from picking china patterns, this was my favorite. Choosing the daily forks and spoons… no one cared much and would always pick the cheapest ones, I never knew why. They would blow off this section, until I got to do my demo. I would take a spoon out of the package they wanted to register and bend it right in half with no effort. “That’s what you get with this brand.” It was so funny to see the reactions! If you are in the position of purchasing or registering flatware, give the bend test a try, and think of me 😉  You should NOT be able to easily bend a spoon in half. You can’t eat ice cream that way for heaven’s sake!

Truly, get something of quality, you use these multiple times daily. You can get a second, even more formal set as well (especially if you get a set of china), and if you do, make sure to get the beautiful box to store it!

Flatware & Silverware Sets | Gold Flatware Sets | Bed Bath & BeyondVintage Rosepoint by Wallace Sterling Silver 90 Piece Silverware ...

Bedding: Another favorite of mine. GET THE GOOD SHEETS. Wherever you register, ask for or read the comparisons between the different fabrics and once you select that, make sure you get a high thread count. It makes a big difference.

Dinnerware: Or “everyday plates” – this can be tricky. Couples would fall for a great pattern that wasn’t inexpensive, but the material it was made from was cheap. While I could get away with bending spoons, I wasn’t always able to demonstrate how easy it was to knock a chunk out of the rim of a plate. Some I could tap on a shelf and a piece would fall off, it was that easy. Ask what it’s made of. A very strong material you should look for is bone china which is actually a porcelain made with cow bone ash. If you want an everyday set that will last a long time and not chip, go for bone china.

Barware: Tons of options here, from full bar sets to crystal wine glasses and decanters, this deserves some thought. Maybe you’re more into beer and want separate pilsner and lager glasses and if so, register them! This section is very popular for guests and many times one of the first sections completed on the registry.

Amazon.com | Riedel Crystal Cabernet Wine Decanter and 4 Crystal ...Beer Glassware Guide: Beer Glass Types and Uses

Bath: Your bath and hand towels are personal choice and usually are chosen by color.  Make sure to register a bath mat, shower curtain, and any accessories that match like tissue box, soap dispenser, candle holder, etc. Guests can purchase two or three of those for you and have a great gift that you want and stay in their budget!

Other points to consider:

Your fiance may not be interested in parts of this process. It can take hours to complete. It works best when you get the big pieces done first and then return at another time for the smaller things like kitchen gadgets, everyday glasses, picture frames, candles and holders, etc.

Amazon.com: Kitchen Utensil Set - 23 Nylon Cooking Utensils ...

Some helpful advice before you begin:

  • Discuss before you go what you want to get registered first so you don’t waste time and energy.
  • Eat before you go.
  • Don’t bring children.
  • Make sure to register gifts in a variety of price ranges.

Choosing your registry should be an exciting experience that symbolizes the start of your life together as you pick what you both want. Click the link below to compare options before you go:

https://www.businessinsider.com/best-wedding-registry

Do You Want Sleeves On Your Wedding Dress?

At the beginning of May, usually that winter chill is out of the air. I should be happily in a tee shirt right now but instead it’s a sweatshirt and my hands are freezing. This made me think of brides searching for their perfect dress and whether it has sleeves!

MEADOW | Madi Lane Bridal

Meadow by Madi Lane

Sleeves on wedding dresses are gorgeous. There are many different versions now, too, like off the shoulder, detachable, illusion, illusion with lace and buttons, full lace, etc.  Look at your Pinterest board – even if you aren’t considering sleeves I’ll bet you have one pinned.

Trying on dresses with sleeves is very interesting. Some brides know that’s what they want and do not try any on without them.

Others think they want them but when they try on they find them restricting of movement, itchy, irritating, or all three, and they move on to others perhaps with a cap sleeve or smaller strap.

Then there is the bride who never considered them who tries on and falls in love! It’s one of the “game changers” in dress hunting that we love!

With sleeves you will want to consider:

– Will you be married in the heat? If you are getting married outside in the sun or on the beach, these may not be for you. Think of your ceremony, play that out in your head, does it make sense? You can always try a dress like this, Lennon by Beloved Bridal with removable sleeves:

Style BL300 Lennon | Beloved By Casablanca Bridal

– Do you have sensitive skin? If a dress bothers you at all during the trying on phase, that is not your dress! This applies to all aspects, not just sleeves. You will be in it for hours, it needs to feel comfortable all around.

– Are you a “throw your hands in the air” type dancer? If so, unless you have detachable sleeves, you wont be throwing them very high. Isabella by Kitty Chen is an absolutely gorgeous show stopper, but you’re not going to raise your arms too high in this dress:

ISABELLA – Wedding Dresses | Bridal Gowns | KITTYCHEN COUTURE

– Is your wedding in the winter or a colder location? Sleeves are perfect for you, but they will not keep you “warm”. Unless you have a heavier lined sleeve – which further diminishes mobility – you may still need a fur wrap or cape if your ceremony is outdoors or for outside pictures.

For the best of both worlds, ask us for options like detachable on many dresses, or a pretty sheer matching jacket. Or we can have them made by our seamstresses at your fitting if you order the dress you love without them but are still undecided. We have capes, jackets, and fur wraps as well to customize your perfect look! Make your appointment with us here!

Three Things To Love About Crepe Wedding Dresses

Whether it’s a body-hugging mermaid or a romantic A-line, crepe dresses are sophisticated and timeless. No doubt you’ve heard about (and pinned) a few dresses in this amazing fabric, so in this blog we will go into more detail.

Crepe is a fabric that was traditionally made from silk or wool which is what gives some their “bumpy” appearance, but can now can be made from almost any fiber. Crepe georgette is very popular in dresses now because the georgette adds elasticity.

Crepe types vary from thin and lightweight to thick and heavyweight. Wedding dresses typically fall somewhere in between. They definitely aren’t thick and heavy because they would lose their beautiful drape and flow, however, they are not thin because then the dress could be somewhat see-through.

Wedding dresses in this fabric are not always lined underneath, but if they are it is usually with a satin or a charmeuse therefore need to have some thickness for proper structure and draping. A little thickness is also what gives crepe our first thing we love:

  1. Hug Those Curves! You work hard to keep that body of yours in shape and it shows at every angle in a dress like Fallon by Madi Lane below, a stunning crepe dress with buttons down the back accentuating the assets! The incredible fit with a little mix of a georgette fabric gives not only the perfect silhouette but also allows the stretch needed to sit, walk, and do those perfect dance moves. Not to mention it will knock your fiance out all night long. FALLON | Madi Lane Bridal
  2. Smooth and Comfortable. Are there any two better adjectives to describe a wedding dress? Besides the ones already used above? Smooth always looks classic and sophisticated, clean and timeless. Comfortable is not always easy to get in a dress. When a dress has lace and/or beading, multiple layers of crinoline, a fitted high structured satin, it can be a long day wearing it. Scratchy, heavy, tight – none of these describe crepe. This fabric is ideal for sensitive skin as well.
  3. The Color. Whether you choose white or ivory, the richness in this fabric is like no other. The whites are clean and bright with none of the “harshness” of other fabrics, the ivories are creamy and warm. Some crepe dresses are only made in one color so ask your consultant if there are swatches.

Here are some other crepe dresses in our store that brides love:

Madi Lane Finley

FINLEY | Madi Lane Bridal
 
FANTASY – Wedding Dresses | Bridal Gowns | KITTYCHEN COUTURE
 
Morilee Saskia
Saskia Wedding Dress | Morilee
 
Madi Lane Ferne
FERNE | Madi Lane Bridal
 
Beloved by Casablanca Honor
Style BL307 Honor | Beloved By Casablanca Bridal
 
Jessica Morgan MARCH, J1990 Wedding Dress | The Knot
Make your appointment here to see these and many more! We can’t wait to meet you!

 

Real Brides Advice For Replanning Your Wedding

Are you a bride forced to reschedule and replan because your wedding has been postponed? You are not alone. Spring is a huge season for weddings and replanning is not easy for you, the venues, or your vendors.

While most of our brides were able to reschedule, some are trying to get deposits back, some decided to get married at home with a few family members present, others are still in limbo whether to reschedule or not.

If you need help or advice, this is for you! We reached out to some of our brides going through the replanning and asked what they did and how they feel about it, and we asked our Shannon how she is feeling not knowing if she has to reschedule yet or not.

First, we asked our bride Hope. Her original wedding date was 5/8/2020 at Star Barn.  Her new date is 5/8/2021. Read her advice:

Dealing with the delay / Moving the date:
Get ahead of it all! At first, when we were still hopeful for our May 8, 2020 date, we emailed our vendors to let them know we were still planning on moving forward as planned and would let them know about Easter time if there would be any changes. As we moved in to the making changes stage we selected key vendors we did not want to lose and ran all possible dates by them.
Make sure to ask your venue for all dates, including days different than when you were originally scheduled for. If I had not asked, we would have never known that May 8, 2021 was available because it was a Saturday, which meant there would be an upcharge, so they did not mention this at first to us.
Your family and friends will all offer their opinions and thoughts on a new date and when they think will be safe. There will be a ton of articles you’ll read and all of them will leave you feeling confused. Ultimately, you and your partner need to be on the same page, make your decision, and most importantly DO NOT LOOK BACK!
As with most things in life, making the decision to move your date is the hardest part. Once we officially had everything moved over, there was a sense of relief that our day would now be free from this whole pandemic. We spent about a week going back and forth with dates in different seasons, but finally said we need to be realistic and we do not want to have to move this twice. For us, rescheduling until 2021 gave us some hope that this would be behind us at that point.
Make sure you email all of your vendors right away with your new date, print new contracts, and get yourself re-organized with new payment dates and what not.
Still do something to make your original date special! We are planning to possibly go horse back riding at our venue and get a nice take-out dinner after. Luckily for us, we have the same date, just pushed back one year. So while there is some sadness that will surround May 8, 2020, I know that one year from then this day will have a whole new feeling!

Letting guests know:
We first called our family to let them know that we had secured a new date. Many of them had been our sounding board throughout the week of debating. We also told our bridal party about the new date.
As soon as we finalized a new date, I ordered new save the dates and we had them mailed out to all of our guests.
We made sure to contact everyone who had already booked at the hotel to let them know their reservations would be transferred over to our new block.
We made a post on Facebook.

Biggest takeaways:
Everyone is going to be positive and tell you that your new day will be fantastic, but sometimes you will want to hear that it sucks – and that is okay.
Look for any and all positives. For example, we had to get two hotels for our original date. Now, we are able to reserve the whole hotel and have everyone in the same place. Small things like that will help to ease some of the pain.
Do not look to what everyone else is doing – this is your journey. We know some people who are getting married in a backyard and having a reception at a later date. We knew we wanted our family and friends with us when we got married, and it did not make sense to have such an expensive party months after being married. But that is us, some people like it that way. This is not one size fits all!

The thing I want brides and couples going through this to remember is that this is your day. If you are like us, you waited and planned for this day for quite some time. And while there is no such thing as a perfect event and day, you deserve it to be as close to perfect as you can get it. Know that when you are able to celebrate your love, with all of your friends and family, it will be even more special after this whole ordeal. I personally have struggled because pushing back our wedding means pushing back our other future plans, like having a family. But I have to trust that there is a plan bigger than the one I had made, and that it will be even better than I could have imagined. While there is a huge part of me that wants next week to come and go quickly (the week that would have been my wedding week), I have to remember to focus on the positives, remember what is most important, and look forward to our new date. The health and wellbeing of us, our family, and our friends remains our number one priority. So start the new countdown, and look forward to one hell of a party on your new day. How amazing will it feel when everyone can be safely together again?

Such great advice!

Next we asked our bride Marisa who decided to reschedule from her original wedding date 7/17/2020 at Holly Hedge. Her new date is 7/30/2021:

We went back and forth A TON and for the longest time tried to hold out hope that we could have our wedding this summer. We even changed the date from July to August, thinking it would allow some time for the circumstances to potentially improve. I think our biggest motivation at that point was that our wedding would be something joyful and a sort of silver lining during all of this that we and our loved ones could look forward to. However, the unknowns and uncertainties just kept piling up. The vendors and venue were phenomenal and accommodating (as much as they could be), but there is no way to tell what the regulations and limits could be at that time. For example, we have a guest list of 200 people…do we cut that down to 50? 75? Then how do we inform those that received save the dates that they were no longer abe to attend or what if we invite 50 then the number increases to 75 after we’ve already sent out a second round of invitations?

Really, the biggest thing is that we want our friends and family to be able to comfortably and safely experience the “full joy” of this once in a lifetime moment. The thought of masks, social distancing, be weary of hugging and kissing helped us to realize that this would not be the special day we had dreamed of. When we think of our wedding, we think of a PARTY with joy, love and laughter everywhere! And selfishly, as the bride I want to enjoy and soak in every moment of the crazy months leading up to the big day. Right now, all of the ‘wedding things’ and planning I should be doing 3 months before the wedding are completely on hold and I don’t want to miss out on that experience. The hair/makeup trials, bridal shower, bachelor/bachelorette parties….I want to remember these moments with all of my friends and family; healthy and stress free.
Since we have made the final decision, a weight as been lifted from our shoulders. No more having to worry and try to plan for the unknown. We reached out to our vendors ASAP and reserved our new date and all payments simply moved with us, which was a blessing! We even got to book live musicians that we desperately wanted for our wedding this year, but they were booked. So this was absolutely a silver lining of moving our date! (: The invitations were also complete, but not ordered. The company will hold the order for 9 months then we will order – personally I’m glad that process is done and I won’t have to stress over that this year! We are in the process of picking our “change the date” cards and trying to make a creative/funny video to post on our wedding website as well to inform our guests of the change!
On a final note, I think of it this way – it is just 1 year. 1 more year of planning, prepping, and getting excited for the big day with all of the people who are so excited to celebrate with us. All of the big planning is done, so now I can take the time to enjoy this year and spend more time on the little details and maybe even get creative! Everyone has been so, so supportive, loving and appreciative of our decision.
I feel for all of the couples going through this decision process- it is not an easy one! But trust your gut feeling…this is YOUR big day and it should be perfect in every way and everything you dreamed it would be.
More great advice!

Read on from our Shannon whose current wedding date is 8/21 at Manufacturers Country Club…

As of today, my wedding day is 106 days away. On April 6th, I went to bed and cried my eyes out. That day it hit me, we might not have our wedding with all of our friends and family!

Jack and I have been very hopeful we can have our big wedding on August 21, 2020. If not, we will have a 10 person wedding in his parents backyard. Jack told me he doesn’t want to wait to marry me. For that, I am blessed. We booked a soft hold date on June 25. 2021.
All of our vendors and our venue have been amazing! They are all willing to work with us if we have to postpone, at no charge.
This is a scary and hard time. My emotions have been all over the place, I am constantly reading the news and Facebook posts from other brides both in PA and in other states. I am very fortunate to have Jack by my side, dealing with my range of emotions and my Maid of Honor, Cyndi for making sure that I can still have an amazing wedding along with everything that goes along with it.
Such an emotional and stressful time for brides! Keep your besties nearby for all the support… and allow yourself that space to cry it out if needed!

For consideration:

Storing Your Dress: If you have your dress, keep it stored in the bag, away from dampness and out of any direct sunlight. A seamstress or cleaner will press/steam your dress so do not worry about wrinkles.

Rescheduling Tuxes: Not a problem, no charges or fees! Let us know your new date and we will take care of the rest. Need a video call? We do those, too!

Reminder: Do not forget to reapply for you marriage license, PA licenses are valid for 60 days before you must reapply.

On-A-Budget? Consider Off-the-Rack

Very rarely does a bride come to us with “no budget”.  Most every bride prepares her budget first and makes her choices staying within.

Our policy at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is to choose dresses at or under the bride’s budget, however, we also let the bride and her party choose dresses as well. When a dress is chosen over budget – sometimes significantly over – we get the “Just let her try it on for fun” comment. It’s never “fun” when a bride falls in love with a dress over budget.

We make sure everyone knows before the bride tries on a dress over budget! Let’s say bride wants to stay at or under $1,000, but Aunt Karen picked a $2,000 dress “for fun”. When bride tries it on, she understands the difference in quality, structure, and fit of a $2,000 dress. It looks and feels amazing. Now she goes back to $1,000 or less and guess what? She doesn’t like them. They don’t feel the same, the beading doesn’t sparkle as much, the lace is scratchy…. things she would never have noticed otherwise. Not much fun. So bride either ups her budget or Aunt Karen needs to open her wallet.

There is one other option, however… an off-the-rack purchase.

This simply means you can buy the dress you tried on at a discount!  You are buying the sample dress. Depending on the dress, that discount could be substantial. Say that $2,000 dress was off-the-rack at $1,350… would that be worth it? Is it close to your size and not needing much in alterations? Did you look it over, check underneath, find it in great condition and clean? Grab that discount and claim that dress and take her home!

We have sold many dresses off-the-rack and given brides the dress of their dreams – one they never thought they could afford.  Or, let’s say the dress ordered new is $1,000 but the off-the-rack discount is $750, that’s a deal!

Almost every active sample dress we have is available at an off-the-rack discount. All of our discontinued dresses (meaning they are not able to be ordered) are heavily discounted every day. Brides on a serious budget love our discontinued sample section! We have discounted veils and belts, too.

Sometimes it doesn’t pay to do off the rack if alterations are going to eat up that savings. If the dress is a 16 and bride is an 8, my suggestion would be to pay for a new one that will fit. If the dress is a 16 and you are 12/14/16, then say yes for less!

Brides also benefit from our “sample sales”. We hold these several times per year to help clear out inventory and make room. These prices can go much lower and definitely deserve consideration.

A sample sale is not a trunk show, those are when the designer has an additional 12-24 dresses in the store for a few days only. You cannot purchase a trunk show dress off the rack.

We will always have brides who will want/need to order a new dress, whether for size, color, customizations, etc., but we are not like other stores pushing you up in budget and then pressuring/scaring you to buy. Brides tell us what consultants at other stores have said and it is outrageous the lies that are told to get your money. Our staff is not on commission and therefore always works to get you exactly what you want regardless of your budget. Make sure to visit us and make your appointment here!

Hardship & Kindness

We have all faced hardship at some point in our lives. No one is spared from life’s difficult lessons. Thing is, you usually can’t plan for them and they hit out of nowhere.  Then you find your support, your strength, your true friends, and your grit.

Dealing with the virus certainly hit us all, some far worse than others. As of this writing, I know of only two people personally who have had it, I know no one who passed from it. I am incredibly fortunate in that regard.

Others are not only dealing with the quarantine, but have illnesses of their own, compromised immune systems, chemo treatments, therapies, etc., who are struggling even harder. Many are out of work now because of it and struggling to make ends meet.

We are all going through this hard time together – some worse than others – and we will get through and hopefully find better, kinder versions of ourselves on the other side.

I wasn’t going to write this. I hoped I could heal before our store reopened and no one would know, but maybe it will help someone going through a different hardship right now.

On March 5, I wasn’t feeling well and wound up fainting early in the morning. When I came to I was bleeding from the head, could not sit up, nor move at all from the waist down.

After a two hour emergency surgery we were told I had a 50/50 chance of walking again. I badly injured C6 on my spinal cord. I fractured my neck.

I was a perfectly normal functioning woman with a family and a great business. A few days prior, my husband and I were featured speakers at a Chamber of Commerce meeting. We were helping our brides and grooms whose weddings were being postponed due to COVID-19.  I was reading with my youngest and welcoming my eldest’s new puppy into the family.

In an instant, I was in the intensive care unit with staples in my head and paralyzed from the chest down.

Fortunately, I believe the very strong medications I was on kept me from panicking for the first week. In addition, it was determined that my injury was “incomplete” meaning there was a better chance I would be able to walk again.  I was moved to a rehabilitation center for the next month.

At rehab it was determined that all the pathways were getting signals from my brain, a very positive sign! Now came the hard part – relearning everything.

I heard people say that before, that they had to “re-learn” how to do something very basic and I always wondered what that meant.  I understand 100% now and it is exactly that. My injury affected everything from chest down, but C6 is responsible for wrist and hands. While I was fortunate to have some control of my left hand, my right was completely numb and would not work at all. I couldn’t hold a spoon to feed myself. Brushing my teeth was near impossible, brushing my hair was impossible, as was everything else from normal bodily functions to getting dressed or even sitting up.

Unable to do most everything, learning it all over was an extremely large and bitter pill on it’s own, but just one day into rehab I was fed a larger and more bitter one. I was told that visitors were not allowed due to the Coronavirus. I wasn’t going to be able to see my family.

At first I felt like I couldn’t breathe, but I remembered reading about the Corona patients who couldn’t see or speak with their families, and the families of the victims who passed away that couldn’t have a proper funeral. I felt fortunate not to have the virus and grateful to be able to speak with my family over the phone. Others were in far worse places.

I will spare you the rehab details but tell you I worked my ass off to the point of tears almost daily.  I purposely watched no television or social media, I focused solely on getting better. In fact, I was reprimanded numerous times for exercising in my room alone (not allowed because I was a fall risk) and overheard a nurse refer to me as “cocky” for continuing to do it.

Because of my progress (score 1 for the cocky girl), I was able to come home early to continue my physical – and mental – therapy with my loves. Home Sweet Home.

The accident was two months ago. I can walk, my hands are improving, and I’m off all but two of the (ridiculous) 13 medications they had me on.  I feel physically stronger every day and mentally, well, I’m getting there, too.  My family is incredible, celebrating my ups (I love hearing, “Good job, Mommy!”) and encouraging me through the downs.

Franco has been by my side every minute, walking with me, pushing me farther, making sure I’m properly fed, and safe and sound. My beautiful girls help with my hand exercises, cheering me on, and keep me laughing! The addition of adorable puppy Eva (look at that face omg) completes the family and was the perfect addition, especially while I was away. It is a very long road ahead as recovery lasts up to a year, but this is my life and part of my story.  I am no different from anyone facing hardship. We all have our cross to bear, some heavier than others.

Having the right support, attitude, determination, and grit is determining my outcome and I believe I will be a better person on the inside for this. I hope when the world reopens we will all be a little kinder, softer, and understanding.

Everyone will face hardship in their life, some are going through very difficult times right now. Please be kind and you will help their journey without knowing you made that difference. When it happens to you, you will appreciate that smile or the kind words.

The fact that we are shut down during my recovery has been an incredible blessing and coincidence (are there really any coincidences?) but I can’t wait to get the green light to reopen! I miss being open! While I may not be able to do appointments right away, I will be there helping and cheering when you say YES!

Thank you for reading and sharing in my story. I’d love to hear yours.

 

 

The Strapless Dress: What To Consider

A few years ago, the strapless dress is all you saw. Typically it was a strapless fit and flare that looked great on all figures. As styles and trends change, so have the necklines, but strapless remains a very popular choice.

There are, however, details to be considered before saying “yes!” to a strapless dress. Most brides (and their guests) will agree it is not ideal for your dress to be falling down during your wedding. This is the main complaint of a strapless dress. This is able to be solved by the following:

  • The Construction of the Bodice – In order for a strapless dress to stay fitted, it must have a corset and/or boning throughout. The weight of the dress needs to stay on the ribs and hips, and the boning will keep the top stiff and in place.
  • The Cups – You must have the appropriate fitting cups. Too small will flatten and push you up and out. Too large will cause gapping. Neither are desired. Your seamstress will be able to assist you with this! If you are large busted, it is advised to go up in size in order for the appropriate cups to be sewn in and then taken in where necessary to ensure a tight fit.
  • The Neckline – Strapless dresses have several different neckline shapes: sweetheart, scoop, or straight across. Consider your bust size when choosing. If you are large busted and choose a sweetheart, make sure the dip is not too low and the sweetheart comes up high enough and goes just under your arm. You may want to consider something more modest such as a scoop which will give you additional support. Same if you are small busted as a sweetheart tends to have extra room between you and the dress. Alterations can usually fix this but it comes at a cost.
  • Strapless with Low or Illusion Back – These dresses are beautiful and can be a real “WOW”, yet are the most difficult we have seen to fit properly. A low back has no support at all and is nearly impossible to stay in place as you twist and move. An illusion back gives very little support, leaving the front to be fitted by itself. Consider having the back lined or you probably will be pulling it up regardless of alterations. There are undergarments that can help with these dresses, however it adds an additional layer between you and the dress that will require additional alterations.

Your wedding dress is the most important garment you will ever buy. It should be memorable and reflect your personality! You do not want your photos or your guests reminding you of dress malfunctions. Trust your stylist if she’s giving you advice or suggestions… We often have brides who fall in love with a dress that we know may cause problems or cost hundreds in alterations because of an ill-fitting top. Don’t be afraid to speak up! There are many ways to make the dress of your dreams fit your vision and flatter your figure to the fullest.

The State of the Industry: What’s Next?

As a nation, we did not see this coming. The year 2020 was going to be amazing and full of excitement and progress, but here we are together in a mandatory quarantine.
We are a business in the wedding industry, one of the most emotional industries out there and the last thing a bride needs is additional stress . This virus has caused just that on so many levels.  We are constantly looking to a future that changes day by day. Lets take a look at the last two months…
What Happened?
Our brides and grooms who booked for Spring weddings were literally shut down. If you are one of them, know you are not alone. Hundreds and hundreds of couples are in the same position of trying to find a new date and vendors while keeping the excitement over disappointment. Many couples were able to book a new date only to find their preferred vendors already booked. Vendors we know are trying to help – if they are booked, they will refer trusted partners. We are all in this together and pulling together for the best outcome is crucial to our industry.
What’s Happening?
While our brides already have their dresses (many already altered to fit), we are easily able to reschedule tuxedo and formal wear needs to future dates with no additional out-of-pocket fees! We have begun video appointments with our couples and are able to arrange groom try ons when we are able to open for regular business again. 
We are in constant contact with our designers to track existing orders and ensure a timely delivery. All designers’ factories (including bridesmaids) are open and meeting quoted delivery times. Brides, grooms, and members of the bridal party can always get in contact with us via email, live chat on our website, or texting our store telephone number at any time! Our customers love having direct and immediate access to the owners, especially during a time that requires quick answers and decisions, and Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is proud to be the only bridal and tuxedo store in the area that offers this service.
What’s Next?
These forced closures have impacted businesses in a way that no one could have predicted. Through the chaos, our business and many others have found unique ways to adapt to the newfound challenges. Our video appointments have become such a hit with our couples that we are excited to begin offering them after the closures as well! We have found that not only is this convenient in the age of social distancing, but we have many out-of-town couples who choose to host their wedding in the Bucks County and Philadelphia areas who will greatly benefit from the option to plan from home.
We’ve also added the ability to do your free groom try on of your suits and tuxedos in the comfort of your own home.  Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo can now ship to your home the suits, tuxedos and accessories you choose to try on to help you decide the best look for your wedding day.  We will even provide you with a live video consultation to help you decide on the best look for your wedding day.
For any couples who are in the process of re-planning your wedding and find yourself in need of new vendors, we are always available to help! We work with some of the best in the business and would love to help point you in the right direction.
In order to best protect our customers and staff, we are in the process of developing new protocols for our reopening. Please check our website and social media for these new procedures for when you visit our store.
The Governor has given a date of May 8th for some businesses to reopen, and we expect to reopen not long after that. We are currently accepting appointments for the end of May and June. To make an appointment, click here or text 215-491-8500. We will all get through this together!

What To Know Before Planning a Walt Disney World Wedding

The Disney Chapel

After spending 10 months working for the mouse, I can easily say that I’ve seen some pretty cool wedding related things when it comes to Walt Disney World: wedding pictures on the steps in the Grand Floridian, couples celebrating their honeymoon with a few rides down Splash Mountain, and more engagements in front of the castle than I can count. We even had the opportunity to meet with one of the Wedding Consultants at Franck’s Bridal Studio and tour some of their on-site venues! Although I spent my time working there outside of the bridal world, I learned so much about the ins and outs of planning a Disney wedding. If you are newly engaged and considering tying the knot in Disney World, here are some important things to know!

Walt Disney’s Wedding Pavillion

You can get married virtually anywhere on property
If you have spent every summer vacationing at Disney World, you may have seen some of the unique (and gorgeous) spots where you can host your wedding on property. Whether you are having just a few close friends and relatives or a 200 person event, they have the perfect space for you to say “I do!”. 
Many resorts have multiple areas that transform into absolutely magical wedding venues including the Boardwalk Inn, Coronado Springs, the Polynesian, Yacht & Beach Club, the Contemporary, and Port Orleans! From my experience, the Grand Floridian was an incredibly popular spot for Disney weddings as it is close to the ever popular Wedding Pavilion – a gorgeous space with a view that overlooks Cinderella’s Castle! The ballrooms at the Grand Floridian also act as a neutral space that allows you to customize just how much Disney you would like to incorporate in your ceremony and reception. My pick, however, would be the beach at the Polynesian! From private patios to pavilions to ballrooms and more, there is a space at these resorts for every couple.
A lesser known option for your Disney wedding is to host in a restaurant in Disney Springs! This is typically a better option for more intimate weddings due to space constrictions and the fact that this is a free space that is open to the public. One of our brides tied the knot right at Paddlefish and took photos at Port Orleans resort. 
When most people think of a Disney wedding, their mind typically goes straight to weddings in the parks. There are a plethora of spaces in the parks that also double as ceremony and reception venues. In Animal Kingdom, you have the option to dance the night away on Harambe Street, experience the charm of the Tamu Tamu Courtyard, or say yes to forever in front of the Tree of Life. And I can’t think of a more perfect space to host a Halloween wedding than in the courtyard of the Tower of Terror in Hollywood Studios! 
Epcot is home to the most incredible venue spaces: the American Adventure Rotunda where you can dine with the presidents, the Living Seas Salon that allows you to party with the fish, and tucked away spots in all of the countries! Lastly, of course, are the straight-out-of-fairytale Magic Kingdom venues. If you know you are royalty and want your wedding to reflect it, you have the option of the East Plaza Garden, the Walt Disney World Railroad station, or directly on Main Street (all of which offer incredible up close and personal views of the castle). You really can’t go wrong with any of these amazing spots, but something to take into consideration is…
Most weddings in the park have to take place before or after park hours
If your dream venue is right in front of the castle on Main Street, you are going to have an extremely early morning or a very late night! Most, if not all, of the spaces in the parks require off-hour events as these are also highly trafficked areas during the day. You also don’t want to have wedding crashers at your big day! The benefit to having an early ceremony is that you and your guests have the rest of the day to spend at the parks, rest, or continue the festivities. Many newlyweds create an itinerary that they share with their guests to let them know what their plan is for the day if they would like to join them. If you have a night wedding, you have all day to prepare and can spend the morning hitting up restaurants and even the spa with your bridal party! Talk to your wedding planner and see how other couples have structured their big day around the timing.
You don’t have to break the bank to have a Disney wedding.
One of the biggest misconceptions about having a Disney wedding is that it is unrealistically expensive. Like any wedding, the more you add on to your day, the higher the cost will be. The Disney Fairytale Wedding packages start at $3,500 for a celebration with four guest while bigger celebrations start at $12,000. The price can start to add up when you choose special a la carte options like a ride in Cinderella’s carriage or having Minnie & Mickey show up to your reception, but they have some pretty awesome extras that you might find are totally worth splurging!

Sample Disney Flowers

Disney provides most of your vendors

When we spoke to the Wedding Consultant at Franck’s Bridal Studio, she told us that many couples choose to have a Disney wedding simply because of how easy it is to plan! The stress free experience is a highly desirable aspect for many couple, especially for the majority who are coming to Disney from other states or countries. This saves much of the hassle of having to coordinate vendors in the Orlando area when you are miles away! Disney weddings are basically full service providing services like catering, photography, videography, entertainment, floral, transportation, and more. Some services that they do not provide are officiants, hair and make up, invitations, and wedding attire (so make your appointment at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo!).

Your wedding does not have to include any elements of Disney
It sounds weird to have a wedding at Disney that doesn’t have much of a tie in to Disney itself. As stated before, the ease in which couples can plan their wedding in a “one stop shop” type of environment is one of the perks of hosting your wedding there. The variety of venues also lend themselves to be flexible in the kind of theme that you are going for and what you would like to incorporate into it. If you want a formal wedding with no trace of mice or princesses, any of the ballrooms or even the countries at Epcot would be perfect for you! How much Disney you would like to include in your big day is completely left up to you. You can always chat with one of their Wedding Consultants to determine what your wedding day will look like!

Disney Wedding Cake

Whether you decide to go with a Disney wedding or not, we are confident that your big day is going to be perfect! Let us be a small part of your wedding memories and choose Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo for your bridal gown, tuxedos, and bridesmaid dresses. Call or text 215-491-8500 or click here to make an appointment