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Getting Wedding Ready – Your Fitness Goals

“Order me one size smaller because I’m going to lose weight before the wedding.”

Oh how many times we have heard this. Sometimes they do sometimes they don’t but regardless, everyone wants to look their best for their wedding day and a fitness plan often finds its way into the planning mix. So how do you really get wedding ready?

There are so many “fitness” options today, depending on your goals. There are the chain gyms, the niche gyms for power lifting, barre, or yoga, online communities for weight loss/work out “challenges”, diet-specific cooking classes on Tik Tok, home delivery meals – the list goes on.

Everyone is different, and while a big box gym might work for someone, it may be intimidating to another. Someone may really catch on to cooking for themselves while someone else may not have any interest at all in doing that.

I think most of us are somewhere in the middle, wanting a small group setting that isn’t intimidating where you can make friends with others who may not be looking to enter a competition, rather just get in shape to feel better, more confident, and healthier. A good place to do this is right in Horsham called Remix Fitness!

Trisha Goodman and Mary Cate Wampler are the co-founders of Remix Fitness. This is important to us as a small business, because we know how much passion is required. We know the twist and turns necessary to stand out and apart. This is definitely not your stereotypical gym, they are there to make it fun and help you achieve your fitness goals!

They offer in person classes and live stream all of them. They offer child care as well. If you take a class online you must sign up because they will hold you accountable! The class sizes are just right with like-minded individuals working hard to improve themselves and cheering you on as you do the same.

THE OFFER:

Remix is offering a free week of classes with no strings attached to see if Remix is a fit for you!

Maybe you want to get in shape and wedding ready with your fiancé? Maybe you and your mom would like to try it out? Maybe your parents, you and your MOH? They are open to anyone being referred from our store! Don’t wait until January to make your resolution, start now and see where you could be in January!

HOW TO REDEEM:

Text the code “FreeWeek” to 215-770-0364 and you will get just that! Follow them on Instagram at Remix_Fit and find their website at remix-fitness.com. Meet them and learn more on YouTube here.

We are proud to partner with Trisha and Mary Cate and know they have the same commitment to their customers as we have to ours. Here’s to getting wedding ready for the big day!

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

Wedding Dress Designer Spotlight: Eddy K

As owners of a bridal store, it is most important that what we offer for sale in our store is of the best quality and value, and that the designer cares about his/her product and partners.

Nicolina dress by Eddy K

We have had the pleasure of meeting designers/owners Kevin Lu from Casablanca Bridal, Kitty Chen of Kitty Chen Couture and Ivoire, and now we can add Eddy K to our list.

Wedding dress designer Kitty Chen at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo with a real bride. Bride said yes to a dress named "Daria" and was thrilled to meet the designer in person!
Designer Kitty Chen with our bride Kaitlyn who said yes to the “Daria” dress!

We met “Mr. Eddy” at his office in Milan, Italy earlier this month. It was an amazing experience to tour the facility, show rooms, and shipping areas, as well as meet many of his staff members. We also saw the gardens where many of the early photo shoots used to take place.

The runway and ordering area in Milan
The runway and ordering area in Milan

What was immediately evident was something we didn’t expect. How personal he was! He did not begin with business, he began with the personal – asking questions about us, our children, where we lived in the US, and our backgrounds. I felt like I was meeting a family member I never knew and it was such a nice surprise.

During a lovely lunch, we learned so much about this man. And to say he is a family man is an understatement. His wife, children, in-laws, grandchildren, siblings, and even his friends are what gives him the greatest joy. An incredibly successful business aside, he lit up speaking of his family – especially the “countdown” to see his grandchildren again.

His staff is also like family and have been with him for years. We can relate to that because our staff is like family as well.

We quickly realized that we have a partner who puts people and their feelings way before business and profits. I believe that is the reason he has been so incredibly successful over his lifetime.

Presently there are three Eddy K bridal collections called Italia, Milano, and Dreams. New styles are always on display in the showroom. We have some of these on display in our store right now!

Eddy K show room in Milan Italy displaying new wedding dresses on manikins for viewing and ordering
The show room in Milan with new dresses on display

Because he started out doing bridal photography, Eddy is a master knowing what dresses will look like in the wedding photos. This allows him to design with that in mind – especially knowing first hand that brides are not all one size! This is a real edge for these collections.

Another thing we like about Eddy and his company is that he stands by his work 100%. If there is an issue, or a quality defect, they will replace the dress with no questions asked. It is rare that something is missed in quality control, but it does happen on occasion and knowing it will be fixed immediately is a stress reliever to us!

Franco and Wendy Salerno with wedding dress designer Eddy K at the design facility in Milan Italy
This is us with Eddy K!

There was something inspiring and motivational about listening to him and his travels and life experiences.

It was an incredibly wonderful afternoon with a genuinely kind man. He treated us like family from the moment we arrived and we were reminded how important and memorable it is to be treated that way. We are sure we made the right decision in carrying lines supplied and designed by such a delightful and caring person.

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

Our Gown-On-Loan Program

Did you know that Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo offers a gown-on-loan program to try on at our store? We do, and it is something our brides love! Here is how it works and why it’s so great.

Perhaps you are looking at one of our amazing designers and find a dress you would love to try on. You call and find out that it isn’t one in the store and you don’t want to wait for the next trunk show to try it on. That is where the gown-on-loan program comes in!

For a $75 charge that covers shipping, we will bring in up to two dresses from a designer that we carry for you to try. While we cannot guarantee what size or color they may have to loan, most dresses are available in at least two sizes that work for almost every bride!

That $75 is then credited to a new dress purchase! And it doesn’t have to be one of the loaner dresses, it can be any new wedding dress 🙂

The Mila dress from Madi Lane Bridal  in ivory/mocha was brought in for a bride as a gown-on-loan
Mila from Madi Lane brought in as a gown-on-loan

This works so well for several reasons. First is the obvious when you see something online on a model and fall in love! You can’t wait to try it on and you search everywhere for it with no luck. We bring it in for you and you get to see for yourself if it looks as amazing in person as it did online. And then the real test: does it look and feel as amazing on you?

It also allows a bride to see a dress in person rather than buying it sight unseen without a way to return it. Special order dresses are not able to be canceled or returned so getting a dress on loan is a perfect solution!

Another reason brides love our gown-on-loan program is because there is no pressure to purchase. We never treat brides that way. We want you to be 100% sure, obsessed, over the moon in love with the dress you choose, and a high-pressure situation never allows for that. A bride knows her dress when it’s on!

If you decide to purchase, you are not buying that dress that has been loaned out. The loaner dress gets returned to the designer. We order you a brand new dress in your size and color choice.

An interesting fact about this program is that 66% of the brides who take advantage of this program purchase the dress they brought in. Meaning two out of every three brides who brought in a dress they fell in love with online said Yes to it!

Over half of the gown-on-loan brides knew their dress from a photo, that is amazing!

But other times it turned out not to be the one. Sometimes it just looks different in person. Other times it doesn’t work for her height, body shape, or even the venue. When that happens it’s not a bad thing because we then know what styles to introduce that she will love!

The gown-on-loan program is not a trunk show! You can read about trunk shows here for more information. While you can wait for a trunk show to try on a particular dress, they do not always include the dress(es) you want. The show may be a different collection and may not contain what you are looking for. If you are attending a trunk show and there is a specific dress you want, make sure to call to ensure it will be part of the show.

To make a request for this program, call or chat at 215-491-8500 and let us know what dress you are interested in. We can then get the details to you regarding timing and sizes available, and get an appointment set up for you. We look forward to seeing you!

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

All In the Family 2021

I know I am biased, but she’s our daughter and it’s time for some professional recognition.

Most everyone knows that our family business is named after our two daughters, Daria and Deanna. Deanna is now 13 and getting closer to potentially and hopefully joining us in the store. Daria has been full time with us since graduating from James Madison University.

Three years ago we brought her on as Director of Communications to increase our brand awareness. Three years later, some the events, changes, and growth – in our business, our family, and in her – are surreal and immeasurable.

She came on in June 2018 and for Daria’s second half of the year she became involved with industry organizations such as the Southeastern PA chapters of NACE (National Association of Catering and Events) and ILEA (International Live Events Association). Joining these groups afforded new partnerships and friendships that last through to today!

The next year included involvement in both the Lower Bucks and Central Bucks Chambers of Commerce, as well as an amazing partnership with Visit Bucks County. Daria is a 2019 graduate of the Leadership Program provided by the Lower Bucks Chamber and is looking forward to being a mentor in the 2021 program.

Daria Capaldi speaking at the Leadership Program for the Lower Bucks County Chamber of Commerce in 2019
Daria presenting at the Leadership program

The partnership with Visit Bucks County afforded our company to be introduced to so many beautiful wedding venues and… we were offered the Premier spot in the Wedding Show held at Delaware Valley University. Our store was featured as the sole bridal, tuxedo, mother, and bridesmaid attire store and we put on a great fashion show!

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo Bridal models taking their final walk at the visit bucks county wedding show held at Delaware Valley University in March 2019
Bridal Models at the Visit Bucks County Wedding Show, 2019

In addition, we were selected by ILEA and Bruleé catering to do a fashion show at a venue called Moulin in Philadelphia at their wedding show!

Fashion show for Bruleé Catering at Moulin in Philadelphia
Bruleé Catering fashion show at Moulin, 2019

We were approached by Peddler’s Village to participate in a photo shoot to highlight and advertise their wedding accommodations which we gladly did!

Peddler's  Village edding photo shoot
Wedding photo shoot for Peddler’s Village

During this time, Daria personally became a wish grantor for the Make-A-Wish foundation. This is a very special and important position to her and we are proud of her for it.

Needless to say our brand awareness and partnerships were growing steadily! 2019 was an amazing year for us and we celebrated by taking a family vacation to Italy for three weeks in December! We celebrated our wins and were full of gratitude as we wandered the streets of Rome and Florence at Christmas time. In my life, I have never been more content.

Our family at the Vatican at Christmas 2019
This is us, Christmastime at the Vatican 2019

As I personally look back on that trip, it means more and more every day. 2020 was about to happen and change everything.

Word of advice: Take the vacations.

January and February were solid months as we planned our 2nd Annual Visit Bucks County Wedding Show scheduled for early March. We were holding events of our own in the store and excited to begin offering dresses for our moms again. We had so many plans…

On March 5th, the first wave hit. A fever caused me to lose consciousness and fall. I would not be back home for five weeks while I re-learned basic functions of walking, dressing, using my hands… basically how to recover from and live with a severe spinal cord injury.

The second wave hit on March 19th. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all nonessential businesses to close. We had to lay off our employees. Our store would not open again until June 5th.

Ordering the shutdown 3/19/20

Daria moved back home in April. As a family we needed to be together to stay afloat, cope, and plan for what was to be – even though we had no idea what was to be.

We knew her position was going to shift immensely due to my condition and the needs of the store in the short term. There was so much uncertainty, but we had customers depending on us whether we were open or closed. Daria took over with communications and planning. Bridal and tuxedo video appointments were done while closed!

Owner Franco Salerno videos Daria Capaldi for an online bridal appointment during the company's forced shut down due to Covid-19 in May 2020
Owner Franco Salerno videos for an online bridal appointment

When the store did reopen in June almost exactly one year ago, she was in charge of organizing shipments backed up from 3+ months, communicating with designers, and reassuring frightened brides and grooms – these were enormous tasks but she handled them without a hitch.

By the end of August, she had us caught up. Not only caught up but had a staff hired that was incredible, and a schedule that was packed every weekend. A year back in and we are so strong, as a business and as a family.

Daria Capaldi and Shannon Mullen-Kelly, bridal consultant and Darianna Bride whose wedding was postponed due to Covid-19
Daria and Shannon, like sisters

On a personal note, it was incredibly exciting to me to see her take over with little assistance. As a parent, this is your job. Prepare them to be successful on their own. Let go of the rope and watch them fly.

Also as a parent, one of the most special memories is when your child takes his or her first steps to you. It was definitely a role reversal as some of my first steps, unassisted, were taken to her.

Since the beginning of 2021, we have held 12 trunk shows, added two new Bridal lines, added more to our mother dresses, were super happy to welcome prom back, and increased our tuxedo offerings. We have 12 more shows scheduled for the second half of the year, new Mom dresses coming this summer, and our text and chat communication options are customer favorites! Looking forward to expanding our family with new customers and staff members and jumping on any new opportunities that will pop up.

Live chat on our website

We celebrated our 8th year on January 7th and more than once we wondered what we would look like on that date. Well, we came out stronger on the other side, more compassionate, appreciative and grateful for what could have happened but fortunately did not. Through all of it, we continue to enjoy a 4.9 customer rating across platforms like Google, the Knot, Wedding Wire, and the Better Business Bureau. And we have been voted Best of Bucks Bridal 2013-2020.

Rating across all platforms!

As for Daria, to say I am glad she’s on our team doesn’t cut it. But I am. I am a proud and grateful momma. I cannot wait to see where we go as a company… and where that next family vacation will be… but you can be sure: we WILL take it!

Thank you so much for the support for our family business. <3 We can’t wait to meet our new brides and grooms and welcome them to the family!

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

What Do I Do If… Q&As

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A New Designer Addition: L’Amour by Calla Blanche

One of the great perks about working in a bridal store is seeing all of the dresses from all of the designers. One of the difficult tasks is choosing which dresses from which designer to include! We want to bring all of them in, but there simply isn’t space to do that.

We are so excited to announce that we are adding the line L’Amour by designer Calla Blanche to our inventory this fall! Dresses will be in by the end of the summer and we cannot wait to get them on display and on our brides!

Calla Blanche has four lines that retail in the United States and all over the world. With a fashion-forward approach to creating unique wedding dresses, you won’t find the basic, traditional wedding dresses that look like a million others that you have seen before.

L’Amour designer dresses apply new and inventive elements to classic designs including using color, textures, and luxurious fabrics and textiles. And that is a main reason we chose them! We want to offer the most unique designs to our brides, in the perfect price points – starting at $1,150!

Let’s feature two of our favorites that literally stopped us in our tracks when we saw them at New York Bridal market. The first one is Maisie:

Maisie dress by designer Calla Blanche from the L'Amour collection, this wedding dress has a lace bodice with a plunge neckline and off the shoulder lace sleeves, a satin belted waist and a beautiful chiffon skirt with a slit
Maisie by L’Amour

Such an on trend dress is Maisie with a much sought after chiffon skirt, as well as the slit and the satin banded waist. Combined with a lace bodice, this dress works for any venue. The plunge neck is held tight by nude mesh, and the beautiful lace off the shoulder sleeves give it the romance that every bride is looking for. Lightweight, clean, and elegant. A gorgeous choice that will stand the test of time without being dated or “traditional”.

The second dress is Amber:

Amber by L’Amour

Harkening back to decades past with it’s gorgeous bell sleeves and BoHo lace, the Amber dress was a must for our store. Light weight and a pretty lace pattern combine beautifully with a modern deep plunge neck and low back. We can picture brides getting married in the garden with nature elements surrounding them in a dress like this. The perfect flower crown accessory would complete this look perfectly.

There are dresses we have also chosen that are too new for us to even feature yet! We hope you will all keep an eye on our Instagram for these new beauties… And if you remember any dress name, remember Sutton… because it was the dress that made us grab the line.

There are always new dresses coming out and our focus is to keep them unique, ensure the quality of the fabrics and the construction, allow for proper ship dates, and in the right price points. There is nothing worse than a bride that goes from store to store seeing the same thing over and over. When they gets to us, they are excited again to start trying on! Or a bride who finds a dress at double the budget for half the quality. We have done that research already and can verify our designers are top-of-the-line without breaking the budget!

Generally you should purchase your wedding dress 9 to 12 months prior to your wedding date. Coming out to early means you will miss the latest season of designer dresses, coming out too late can put you at risk for rush fees or the inability to order the dress you want in time.

And the best part is the introductory trunk show event is scheduled for June 11 through June 13! We cannot wait to have these dresses on display for our brides to try!! Make your appointment with us here. We can’t wait to help you find your YES!

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

3 Things To Consider For Your Bridal Appointment

The appointment to find your Bridal gown may fill you with more anxiety than expected. It’s normal! We have several blogs to help make it easier, and this is another to add to the list. We found there are three easy choices to make before you shop!

  1. Shapewear – yes/no
  2. Shoes – high/low
  3. Hair – up/down

The first decision is whether to wear a bra and/or shape wear. Very personal, so here is what to consider before making your decision. First, the bra. Depending on your figure you may feel there is no choice, but there is. Remember, these are bridal gowns and made much differently that any other dress you’ve had on. This isn’t prom or bridesmaid – they are much more expensive because they are constructed far better.

If you have a large bust, there are certain necklines that look amazing (like V-neck or Halter) and will hold you up and in without the need for an additional support piece. If you are considering a strapless dress, the bodice will have corsetting/boning inside to help hold you up. Do make sure the top comes up high enough and gets fitted properly under the arms to keep you in.

Lace V-neck dress on two brides into different sizes. Featured is the Rosa dress by Morilee in a size 6 and a size 18. Dress has lace straps, a double banded waist, and a layered tulle skirt
V-neck Morilee dress in two sizes
Lace bridal dress with a halter neck line, sparkles, a line, tulle skirt
Halter neckline

You may still want to wear one and you can! If you feel more secure definitely bring one to your bridal appointment.

If you have a smaller bust and feel you need more to fill out the top, cups can easily be sewn in that look natural and will alleviate the need for a push up bra or extra padding. Sometimes that extra layer can make it more difficult to alter the dress around it.

Again, if you feel better wearing one, bring along! You can always try a dress with and without to see the difference.

Remember: Your bridal seamstress will be able to make custom fits to you. No two bodies are the same and a few tweaks will make it perfect to yours.

Along these lines is shape wear. We have had brides spend a small fortune on shape wear only to find the dress looks and fits better without it! Depending on your dress, shape wear may look good in one area (waist) while making another area look bad (under the arms, in the back).

In addition, it adds a layer underneath, can show under certain fabrics (like crepe), and is generally not necessary. If shape wear is a must for you, then definitely wear it to the appointment.

Next let’s talk about shoes. Your height and the height of your shoes makes a big difference in the look of your dress.

For instance, let’s say you are five feet tall and intend to wear flats… a standard mermaid dress may not the best option for you. If you are a petite in stature and want a mermaid dress, definitely bring a pair of heels to your bridal appointment to see what this silhouette will look like with and without them. You will see that wearing flats will require even more of the skirt to be hemmed off and you will lose much of the shape.

Even a small heel makes a difference in the look of any skirt. Most of the time, brides will need to get a hem of some length. Your skirt should skim the floor when you walk. You should not feel like you have to pull it up by your hands in the front. If you do, it is too long. If you have a hemline that has scalloping, the longest piece should skim the floor.

ivpory colored alencon lace with beads and a scalloped shape
Scalloped lace should skim the floor with a proper hem

While you don’t necessarily need to bring a pair of shoes to your bridal appointment, it is a very good idea if you are intending to wear heels of any height.

You will need the exact shoes you intend to wear when you attend your fittings with the seamstress!

Now to another choice that wont necessarily have to be made at this time but should be considered is how you will wear your hair. This may depend somewhat on the dress you choose, however if you are not one who typically wears your hair up, your wedding day may not be the day to start.

There is a good chance you will have a hair trial prior to your wedding and your stylist will want to see photos of the front and back of your dress to come up with the perfect look to show off your features as well as those of your dress. If your dress has pretty illusion lace, beading, and/or buttons up the back, having your hair up (or to the side) shows that off beautifully. If you have a low open back, wearing your hair up or down looks equally lovely either way!

Back of a lace wedding dress with illusion lace, buttons, lace straps, organza skirt
A beautiful lace illusion back with buttons

If your hair is long, you may want to bring a hair tie or clip to your bridal appointment to put it up so you can easily see details of the back of the dress.

These are a few things you can think about before coming to your bridal appointment. There is no wrong answer, it is what is right for you! Have a question? Leave us a comment or text us at 215-491-8500 we will be happy to answer! And as always make your appointment here!

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

Chicago Pop-Up Bridal Market

After a year of cancellations and virtual runway shows, Bridal Market is back in a brand new, safer environment!

For those not in the wedding industry, Bridal Market is essentially a convention where designers come together under one roof to show stores their newest collection in person. Due to COVID-19, designers are requiring appointments to reduce the amount of people who can be in their booth at one time.

I was one of the lucky ones who was able to attend the Chicago Bridal Market Pop Up Show this past weekend, and it was a blast! I am here to report back on some of the newest trends for our 2021 brides to keep an eye out for.

Some dresses have not been shown to the public yet so we can’t either, but watch our social media and you’ll be the first!

Casablanca
While Bridal Market runs over the course of a few days, I packed all of my designers into one day starting with Casablanca Bridal. Casablanca and Beloved Bridal is a line that our brides have loved for a long time! We walked into a room with tables spaced appropriately to allow for social distancing and a small runway for models to walk down.

lace A-line wedding dress, cap sleeves, deep V-neckline, large lace applique, and a chapel train
Nicolette by Casablanca Bridal

The show kicked off with the newest collection from Beloved, and it did NOT disappoint. Brides looking for unique florals, exposed boning, off-the-shoulder sleeves, and sparkle should absolutely keep their eye out for this new collection.

lace fit and flare wedding dress, cap sleeves, plunge neck, champagne underlay, ivory lace over, light tulle train
Beloved Bridal

There are some killer fit and flare gowns with unique, geometric patterns, boho a-lines with delicate floral lace, and a sparkly ballgown that is to die for. We are so excited to get some of these beauties into the store for our brides to make theirs!

Madi Lane
Our next appointment was with our ever-popular Madi Lane Bridal line! When I tell you that there is NOTHING like a Madi Lane dress, there is seriously nothing like the beauty and detail of a Madi Lane dress. There is a dress for every bride in this new collection!

lace wedding dress harkening back to the 1970s with long sheer sleeves, flowy and light tulle skirt, fully open back, scattered vine patterned lace
Bea by Madi Lane

If you are a bride who likes a more simple and sophisticated look, be on the lookout for one of their newest fit and flares that we are obsessing over! For brides who like the bold and boho dresses of collections past, there is no shortage of their signature floral laces. It is truly amazing how their founder and head designer, Liz Young, can create dress after dress that is so unique and gorgeous without looking the same as past collections. We are even introducing a few of our favorites in new colors and sizes, so stay tuned!

Evie Young
If you have yet to hear of Evie Young, this is definitely a designer you want to remember. Evie Young is Madi Lane’s sister label, created and designed by Liz Young, that features the most unique patterns and exquisite fabrics on the market. If your style is bold and you want a dress that is uniquely yours, the new Evie Young collection is for you!

wedding dress with lace bodice and light plain net skirt
Lake by Evie Young

Evie Young takes bohemian to the next level with geometric patterns and divine laces. For the bride who may want to don a few different looks on her big day, the detachable sleeve and cape options that many of the new Evie gowns feature may be up your alley! There are even gowns in the collection that are a bit more simple and relaxed for those who prefer a more classic look over the bohemian feel. This is a line that you will not want to miss so stay tuned for your opportunity to try these beauties on as soon as they get here!

Morilee
Brides of all tastes are going to be thrilled to see the newest collections from Morilee by Madeline Gardner! There is a dress for every bride and we cannot even wait to get our hands on these. From ballroom brides to beach brides and beyond, you will adore these new dresses.

Halter neck lace bodice wedding dress with center plunge, banded waist and chiffon skirt with slit
Bonnie by Morilee

There are plenty of simple gowns for the classic and elegant themes, leafy and floral laces for the rustic or boho weddings, and lightweight and shimmery for brides who want to celebrate on the beach after a year in lockdown. We cannot wait to freshen up our gallery with some of these stunning new pieces!

Accessories
I would be lying if I said accessories weren’t as much fun to look at as dresses.

silver and gold beaded bridal belts in leaf and flower patterns
Bridal belts

The sparkle and design of belts and headpieces gets me every time! And yes, many of these accessories will be showing up over the next several weeks :

wide pearl and crystal beaded bridal belts along with lace garters with blue and ivory bows displayed at bridal market
Bridal belts and garters

MOB/MOG
Don’t think we forgot about the Mommas out there too – the new MGNY Mother of the Bride and Groom line is INCREDIBLE. Madeline Gardner designs these gowns with every mom in mind and offers an incredible variety for women of all shapes, sizes, and styles! Her beaded beauties shimmer like no other and the long sleeve laces are comfortable and on trend. This new collection (and entire line) is for all of the moms who have said “I don’t want to look matronly” in regards to their dress for their son or daughter’s big day! These dresses will be arriving late summer so be sure to check them out – you won’t be disappointed.

Don’t forget to check our events page for upcoming trunk shows just for moms!

These designers are just a few of the amazing collections that we carry here in store. While we haven’t had the chance to see some of the new gowns from designers like Kitty Chen, Stella York, or Eddy K at bridal market, we are confident that this new season is going to be the best yet!

Follow us on social media to see these new arrivals as they hit the store, and make your appointment to say yes to the dress of your dreams here at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo.

About the author: Daria Capaldi is the manager of Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo and one-half of its namesake. On the cusp of the Millennial/Gen Z divide, she is uniquely suited for understanding the wedding industry both from a business perspective and a bride’s planning perspective. A graduate of James Madison University and a participant in the Disney Internship Program, Ms. Capaldi upholds the customer experience as key. A Warrington, Bucks County native, she resides in Huntingdon Valley with her boyfriend Jeff and her adorable pup Eva.

Confessions of a Bridal Consultant

After nearly a decade of being a bridal consultant, I can safely say that I have THE best job ever. Working with brides who have been envisioning this day since childhood bring that vision to life is absolutely incredible.

No two brides are the same and, even now, each one teaches me something new that allows me to help other brides. With so many newly engaged brides reading our blogs to begin their research, I want to best prepare you to start searching for the dress of your dreams!

Here are confessions from a bridal consultant:

Honesty is KEY

Honesty is THE most important policy when it comes to bridal gown shopping.

Being honest with yourself is crucial when planning your wedding and, specifically, dress shopping. Many brides who are beginning the process decide that they want to include their entire squad in the process. If you are a bride who is a little more timid or can become overwhelmed easily, the best advice I can give you is to go shopping either by yourself or with a trusted loved one who will support you so you can be honest with yourself about what YOU like versus your group. Find out what YOU love rather than your family or friends. Listen to your gut, stand your ground, and do not feel bad about hurting feelings. You can bring the whole group back to reveal YOUR dress!

The next person to be honest with is us – your consultants! If you feel that you need to go out shopping alone first and then come back with your group, let us know prior to coming in. We have worked with a number of amazing solo brides and then scheduled another appointment for them to come with their group and acted like we had yet to meet the bride! At Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, your consultant only wants what is best for you and your day, so make sure to tell us what it is that will best help you.

If you come into our store with a dress to beat, tell us and show us a picture! Do you have no idea what style you want? Tell us! Knowing where you stand from the beginning only allows us to target your appointment that much better. Pictures and Pinterest boards give us amazing places to start to discover your style or to allow you to try on more of the styles you have been loving! Don’t be afraid to be upfront with us – it only benefits you in the long run.

We understand your insecurities

Every woman in the world has insecurities – even your trusted consultant! If you are a bride who has been dreading dress shopping for whatever reason, tell us. We want to know if you are worried about how you may look or if there is something you would not like showing. We have tried on EVERY dress in this store and we know how they fit or what can be done in alterations to make the dress uniquely yours. We know which dresses we love based on our own insecurities, too. We have heard brides tell us countless times how we helped them feel incredible when they never thought they would. Let us help you, too!

We know these dresses like the back of our hands

Tori in a Madi Lane fit and flare lace dress taking a selfie in the mirror at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo
We try on EVERY dress, our #mirrorselfies are popular!

As mentioned before, there is no dress in this store that one of our consultants hasn’t tried on! Some of these dresses even belong to our consultants for their own special days. We can’t sell what we haven’t tried for ourselves! If you have seen our Instagram, Tik Toks, or YouTube channel, you have likely seen us twirling around the store in them, but more importantly, accessorizing them. We will add belts, tuck or add straps, play with veils, and create new looks to figure out what you can do with every dress to help brides make their very own look! Trust your consultant if they pull something that you wouldn’t choose yourself – we have spent enough time in these dresses to know if we can make a dress fit your vision.

The bride is ALWAYS right

Amazing news, right brides? This is your day and what you say goes! But sometimes you will have a well-meaning relative or friend who makes you second guess your decision. Every now and then, we will see a bride who is ready to celebrate her “yes to the dress” moment until someone says “you should really sleep on it” or “this is only your first time out” and you see the sparkle in her eye go out. When you know, you know. If you know in your heart that you found your dress, don’t let someone take that moment from you! If you have doubts, keep looking.

We have THE best job

Four Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo Consultant Jess, Shannon, Courtney and Caitlyn, holding the I Said Yes To the Dress sign, ready for brides to find their wedding dress on a Sunday Funday
Consultants and friends – Jess, Shannon, Courtney, and Caitlin ready for Sunday Funday! The latter 3 are Darianna Brides!

If you have ever been in our store, you can tell that our team absolutely loves what we do! Most of our consultants are actually Darianna brides turned employees, and we even have staff that we hired on for prom who have come back to us years later as bridal consultants. The entire staff at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is a tight-knit group, and we will often work together during appointments to provide the best experience possible for our customers! If you have yet to come into the store, follow our social media to see our staff in action. We have a ton of fun in here which creates a pleasant and fun atmosphere in the store – you can feel it as soon as you walk in!

Bride holding up the I Said Yes To the Dress sign at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo
Our bride super happy after saying Yes to the Dress!

Our brides are the best brides and become our friends, too. It’s amazing to put on that sash and have brides hold up that sign – what a memory! We really do take care of every one of our customers 🙂

Experience us for yourself! Make your bridal or tuxedo appointment here or call/text us at 215-491-8500.

About the author: Daria Capaldi is the manager of Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo and one-half of its namesake. On the cusp of the Millennial/Gen Z divide, she is uniquely suited for understanding the wedding industry both from a business perspective and a bride’s planning perspective. A graduate of James Madison University and a participant in the Disney Internship Program, Ms. Capaldi upholds the customer experience as key. A Warrington, Bucks County native, she resides in Huntingdon Valley with her boyfriend Jeff and her adorable pup Eva.

Wedding Dress Shopping: Guest Etiquette

Congratulations! You are one of the lucky ones the bride has decided to bring dress shopping with her. As dramatic as this may sound, it is an honor when the bride includes you as a guest in her dress shopping process. This means that you are a trusted loved one whose feedback is important to her!

You may think that your job is just to go and tell the bride what you think of each dress, but there is much more to your job than that. We are here to give you tips and tricks to be the best guest with constructive feedback!

Let the bride speak first

This may be the most important piece of advice we can offer. You may be very eager to tell the bride exactly what you think of each dress, and why wouldn’t you? That’s why she brought you, right? That is correct to an extent, but picture this:

The bride puts on a dress and it is love at first sight. She tells her consultant in the dressing room that it is everything she wants and she can see herself walking down the aisle in it. She thinks this could be the one, she’s got that feeling, and she can’t wait to show you! She walks onto the platform and a guest says “I don’t like that one at all!” before she even has a chance to tell you she loves it.

We know you didn’t mean to hurt her feelings, she is someone you deeply care about. But you just told her the dress she loves and thinks is “the one” couldn’t possibly be it. We have seen this exact scenario play out in front of us.

Once the bride admits her feelings, the recovery can be extremely awkward and she is then insecure about herself and her dress vision. Let the bride tell you what she thinks first before you give your opinion. If the bride tells you she doesn’t like it, by all means, share your feelings with her! But keep it centered on the dress itself rather than the dress on her. Keep her happiness and vision in mind as you formulate your feedback.

Be gentle with your words

This falls hand in hand with the last tip. Know your bride and how she responds to criticism before you go into appointments with her! If you have a bride who is a bit more sensitive, saying things like “that’s ugly” or “that looks awful” can make her shut down and even question if you will be chosen to accompany her at any future appointments. There are ways to say what you want to say that are delicate and constructive without hurting feelings!

You may not realize that what you want to say would be something that she would take personally, but comments about body shape or features that the bride cannot change should be thought about prior to being spoken.

If you have a self conscious bride, focusing comments on the dress rather than how the dress looks on her is typically a great way to avoid any hurt feelings. For example, “that dress is cut boxy” rather than “that dress makes you look boxy” is a very easy way to tell her that there are dresses that are more flattering without her feeling insecure about her shape.

Some brides are very direct and genuinely want feedback like “that makes you look boxy”. This is absolutely fine to say if that is the type of comment the bride really wants to hear. There is nothing wrong with brutal honesty ONLY if the bride asks for it and is proven to handle criticism well. Being gentle with your words is really personal to each bride and the dynamic you have with her. Stay in tune to her attitude and emotions during the appointment and adjust your feedback from there!

The bride guides the appointment

Bridal gown shopping is an extremely exciting time and we love when the bride’s guests are equally as excited for her! Sometimes this well-meaning excitement can lead to a little bit of overstepping and the appointment stops being directed by the bride. Your bride and her consultant should be the ones who determine what styles she wants to try, her budget, and the small details of her dress.

Every so often, we will have an excited guest who will pull a dress for her to try that is over budget or completely out of the realm of what she is looking for without the bride’s consent. There are also guests who want to take part in dressing her up with veils and belts, even after she has expressed “I don’t want to wear a veil”, is not looking for a belt, or doesn’t like the dress she has on. If there is something you think the bride should consider, ask her first.

Most suggestions can be formulated into questions to plant the idea you have but to give the bride control over it. For example, rather than saying “try on a mermaid dress just for fun!”, ask her “have you considered trying on a mermaid dress to be sure that isn’t what you want?” This shows the bride that you are interested in helping her find “the one” rather than overwhelming her with the idea that she needs to try on dresses that she didn’t ask for.

As far as pulling something over budget goes, we recommend steering clear of that unless you discuss with the bride. We do not suggest trying on a dress that is out of budget because if she falls in love with it, the dress can be hard to forget about or she will end up spending outside of her means.

This doesn’t mean to hold back from suggestions that may help her – you know her better than her consultant does! Dress shopping, along with every step of the wedding planning process, can be extremely overwhelming for the bride. Be receptive to see if the bride is looking for guidance or just some extra feedback to support what she feels.  Let her make the decisions and evaluate what she needs from there! Just remember to frame all suggestions and feedback in a way where the bride keeps the control of her appointment. This is her time.

A smiling bride at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo holding the "I said yes to the dress" sign over her head and wearing a Darianna Bride sash after choosing her wedding dress

Do not be the one to steal her moment from her

After an amazing appointment where the bride has successfully narrowed down styles, she is now standing in her favorite dress and is head over heels in love! She feels confident, beautiful, and ready to say “yes!” to the most meaningful dress she will ever wear. Everyone is telling her that this is her dress, but before she can soak up her moment, one well-meaning guest says, “You can’t say yes now, you have to sleep on it!”

Nothing pops a bride’s balloon like this.

There are few moments in life like this one. A memory of saying yes to her wedding dress is huge. She has the group that she loves around her and she wants to be celebrated. She is so ready to make that memory and savor it forever …

“You have to sleep on it” makes the bride feels as though it’s the wrong dress and that she should second guess the dress she is in love with. Her “yes” moment is gone, replaced with confusion and stress because she feels she’s incapable of choosing. She wanted validation but got the opposite.

What the bride can expect after saying “yes” to her dress is basically exactly what you see on TV. The excitement of her family and friends, maybe some tears, all kinds of goodies, and pictures so she can post on Instagram to tell the world that she said yes to the most perfect dress! Now she can finally envision herself in her dress at her venue – everything falls easily into place after these two major factors are set in stone. She will be over the moon excited and have another check mark on her wedding planning checklist! But now that moment is gone.

Could she come back later to say “yes”? Absolutely! But it’s not the same. The excitement of finding the dress after a great appointment of narrowing down isn’t there. Her reward after a day of uncertainty and hard decisions was prolonged. She will still love the dress and get all of the goodies and pictures, but the entire energy from the initial appointment is different. She brought you there to celebrate with her, but now there is a return trip involved and it’s never the same as saying yes in her moment.

Now I’m not saying that the bride should not sleep on it if she wants to. Every bride is different and some need the time to process! But that is not a guest’s decision to make for her. You may be someone who needs to sleep on things, but this bride might be ready to commit and start celebrating. Most brides know what they want and are not afraid to commit to it when they see it! Don’t take the moment from her, celebrate with her.

A smiling bride with her guest holding the I said yes to the dress sign and wearing her Dariana bride sash after saying yes to her wedding dress

Phrases to avoid

After doing eight years worth of bridal appointments, we have heard so many beautiful statements of love and encouragement said to brides! The guest support can be amazing, positive, and helpful. We have also heard statements that have hurt brides more than they have helped. Here are some phrases/comments we recommend staying away from:

“You look fat/pregnant”
“That looks horrible on you”
“I don’t like anything you have tried on”
“I always pictured you in a _____ dress so it’s hard for me to like anything else”
“I am paying for the dress so I get a say in what you pick”
“You will need to lose weight to wear that”
“Are you serious? You like that one?”
“Why would you want to wear THAT?”
“Your partner will hate that”

Helpful phrases to use

You are almost ready to be the best guest of all the rest!  Here are some great phrases to support your bride through her dress shopping process:

“How do you like/How do you feel in this one compared to some of the other ones you have tried?”
“You look beautiful in this dress! I think some of your other favorites flatter your body better, though”
“Out of your favorites, my personal favorite is _____, but you will be a beautiful bride in any of the ones you have picked!”
“I think the other dress would really fit your venue/theme/color pallet, too!”
“I want you to be happy in whatever dress you choose, and (fiancee) will love whatever you pick!”
“I like some of your other choices better”
“Do you know in your heart that this is your dress?”

Now you know how to be the best guest ever and can share in one of the most magical and memorable moments in a bride’s life!

Click here to make a bridal or tuxedo appointment online or call/text 215-491-8500.

About the author: Daria Capaldi is the manager of Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo and one-half of its namesake. On the cusp of the Millennial/Gen Z divide, she is uniquely suited for understanding the wedding industry both from a business perspective and a bride’s planning perspective. A graduate of James Madison University and a participant in the Disney Internship Program, Ms. Capaldi upholds the customer experience as key. A Warrington, Bucks County native, she resides in Huntingdon Valley with her boyfriend Jeff and her adorable pup Eva.