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Some Highs and Lows of Being a Bridal Consultant

Rob, Paul, Courtney, Tori S., and Tori V.
all modeling headpieces after a long Saturday

Working as a bridal consultant part-time or full-time is a great experience! It truly is one of the best jobs a girl could ask for. What girl would not want to work in a store full of wedding dresses!?

While working in a bridal store has all its perks and positive qualities, there are also some difficult situations that a consultant is faced with. Similarly to working at any retail store, a bridal consultant faces many positive and negative situations throughout her working experience. Here are some prime examples:

High: It’s a fun job!

To start off, being a bridal consultant is one of the best jobs out there! To be able to try on wedding dresses whenever I want, be in a happy atmosphere filled with love and excitement, and completing projects all revolving around weddings is a dream come true! Seriously, who wouldn’t want to do that for a living!

From the moment I became a bridal consultant, I was filled with joy, but my expectations have been greatly surpassed as the years have passed. The Darianna team is the most close-knit and supportive working environment that someone could ask to be a part of! Everyone is always there for each other and welcoming with any questions or concerns that both coworkers and customers have.

Low: Getting blamed for stuff that is not our fault


One of the not-so-fun parts of being a bridal consultant is getting blamed for things that are not our fault. For example, shipping dates and delays, not having every dress in every size and color, size changes, alteration mishaps, etc. Our store is big, but we do not have enough room to house every dress from every designer that we carry. Therefore, we have to place orders and rely on designer manufacturers to provide us with special order dresses. If they have factory and shipping delays, we have no way of fixing that. If the dress comes in and the bride has lost/gained weight, or if bride told the seamstress she was wearing flat shoes but then decided to wear 5″ heels instead and now the dress was hemmed too short, that wasn’t our decision.

Madi Lane's Elora wedding dress in two colors and two different sizes on bridal consultant Courtney and Tori
Madi Lane’s Elora wedding dress in two colors and two different sizes on Courtney and Tori

As a bridal store, we do our best to order a variety of different sizes, colors, designers, and style dresses for our inventory. However, in some instances, when a bride comes in looking for a specific dress, we may not have all of the details aligning with her complexion and specific vision. We do try our best to accommodate brides by adding different color fabrics underneath dresses, and clipping dresses to fit, but some brides cannot visualize the full picture.

High: Working with a joyful and supportive group


A supportive group is everything! Moms, bridesmaids, friends, other family members; it is crucial for everyone to be on the same page and have a positive attitude. When they are, the whole experience is magical for the bride! It will be filled with laughter, smiles, and maybe even some happy tears. This is a day that brides only anticipate happening once in their lives, so they will remember it forever, and if you are one of the lucky people that she chooses to accompany her on this day, then your opinion and attitude means everything to her!

And the fun does not have to stop after the appointment either! Most of our brides who bride groups with them follow up their appointment with a celebratory lunch/dinner and cocktails! Nothing like celebrating this very special moment with their closest friends/family and a glass of champagne!

Low: When opinions sway the bride


On the contrary to having an amazing group, in some cases, a group (or even one person in the group) can ruin a whole experience for a bride. This normally occurs when the group is very opinionated and brutally judges every dress the bride puts on. This can then lead to the bride being scared to express what she truly likes and creates an overall negative vibe for the appointment.

Seeing this as a bridal consultant is very disappointing because what was supposed to be a happy and enjoyable experience turns into an awkward and sometimes hostile environment. We will watch the smile slowly get drained from a bride’s face when her family says that they do not like the dress that she loved in the dressing room. Like I said before, a bride brings people to get honest opinions; however, there is a difference between constructive criticism and being harsh.

High: Knowing the impact that we play on a bride’s life


As I touched on this before, a definite plus to being a bridal consultant is knowing and seeing the impact that we play on a bride’s life! Shopping for wedding dresses is an experience that most brides will only do once in their lives. It is something that will be memorable not only during the wedding planning, but will last forever. Every bride remembers the day they said “yes to their dress,” and being a part of that day brings joy to a bridal consultant’s face!

At our store, we encounter the bride’s appreciation and excitement constantly! Whether it’s through emails, phone calls, reviews, and sometimes even thank you cards. Receiving those positive messages is what makes us love our job!

Low: When circumstances prevent the bride from finding her dress


Every so often we have a rare situation when different circumstances prevent a bride from finding her perfect dress. These situations typically revolve around time restraints, dress availability, and budgets. When this happens, it can be heartbreaking for both the bride and consultant.

Although it may seem like in these tough situations we are the ones that are standing in the way of your dress, we truly DO want to be included in your wedding experience and help you find your perfect dress! Helping brides find their dresses is our job, and we want it to be a pleasant experience for everyone!

High: The Moment!


THE MOMENT is what every bride looks forward to! It is when the anticipation rises, and all the attention is on the bride. The bride is all done up with veils, headpieces, belts, flower bouquets, and anything else that she can think of in order to make this moment special! Pictures will be taken, happy tears will be shed, and the bride will begin to nod that this is her dress. The instant this decision is made and the bride says “YES”, the entire mood will enlighten and a feeling of relief will flood the bride!

From a consultant’s point of view, this is super exciting! All of our hard work throughout the appointment built up to this moment. The bride found exactly what she was looking for, and all spirits are high! Our work is done! The bride is one step closer to her big day, and now we wait until the dress comes in and we get pictures from their wedding day!

As you can see, a bridal consultant is an AWESOME job to have! Even with all the ups and downs that we may face, I would not trade this job for anything. The Darianna Family is truly an amazing team to work for, and I am so happy that I was able to spend the last couple years working with them!

Tori Scavillo is a successful bridal consultant at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo. Her dedication to her co-workers and her brides defies her young age. She connects with everyone – from junior bridesmaids to Fathers of the Bride and everyone in between – with kindness and compassion while truly wanting to help. Tori has many 5-star reviews citing her friendliness, knowledge of bridal gowns, and patience being most appreciated in such an emotional and exciting time. Super-smart, grounded, and real, Tori is a very important and much-loved part of our family! Over her career as a bridal consultant, she has helped hundreds of brides find their perfect wedding dress. Meet Tori in her short introductory video here.

6 Things To Know Before Your Trip To Italy

I have just returned from my fourth trip to Italy and it sounds like many of our brides and grooms are planning trips to Italy for their honeymoon! It is incredibly exciting and I love talking about it and showing pictures.

Castel Del Piano, Tuscany
Castel Del Piano, Tuscany

In a previous blog I included photos of a family trip to Rome and Florence at Christmas time and made some of the best memories of my life. I will admit it is easier, I think, because my husband is fluent in Italian. Most everyone there knows English, however having him able to speak directly is clearly an advantage. He also lived there for several years and already knew the ins and outs of the culture.

Before I get into the six things that I feel are most important, I need to preface with this. There is definitely a sense of pride to be of Italian descent! However, because you are of Italian descent does not mean you are “Italian”. If you tell an actual Italian that you are Italian (in English no less), they will stare at you in disbelief. You are Italian-American. Even my husband who is fluent and lived there is not considered an Italian! You will realize this right away – as I did – and here are the six things that I think are most important to know to make your trip that much better!

The Regions of Italy
The Regions of Italy

I. Focus On One or Two Areas

I know this is very hard because it’s not as though you visit Italy every day and you want to see as much as possible. We are fortunate to have gone a number of times and still have trouble with this advice.

Italy is a large country with spectacular sites, cuisine, and qualities in every region. There are places everyone wants to see such as Venice, Milan, Rome, Florence, Amalfi Coast, Naples, Capri, Sicily, etc. The thing is, you probably don’t have three months off. Chances are you have 7-10 days, 14 if you’re lucky and at least 2 will be traveling there and back. Packing in every tourist spot you can is not good idea and you will spend too much time traveling and not enough time enjoying.

My advice is to pick your must-see city first. You will want to spend several days there to really experience it and visit the sites that drew you to it. Once you choose and know what you want to see, then perhaps you can add another depending on the distance and how much time you have. Can you get there by train or will you have to fly? Will you have a car and are you comfortable driving unfamiliar roads with signs in Italian? All of this adds not only to the cost but takes a lot of time. You can put another region or two on your bucket list for your next trip!

Which leads me to #2 which will help you choose your location!

2. Italy Is Not Spaghetti and Meatballs

Dinner at Osteria degli Argini, our favorite hands-down in Parma
Dinner at Osteria degli Argini, our favorite hands-down near Parma!

Before I went to Italy, I thought all Italians ate spaghetti and meatballs. You know why? Because I am American. It is so laughable now that I cringe when I think about it.

I don’t think I saw the words ‘spaghetti’ or ‘meatballs’ on any menu I’ve ever read.

We went to a town called Bolzano so far north on the Austrian border that they spoke both Italian and German and have traveled throughout all the way down to Sicily. Nowhere was I offered a plate of spaghetti and meatballs. Cuisine is regional and they all have their specialties.

This is very important because if you have preferences, dietary restrictions, allergies, etc., you will want to factor that in to your visit. For example, Sicily is an island and fish is served on the menu more than a city like Parma which specializes in stuffed pastas (my personal favorite!), Florence and their infamous Bistecca steaks and wild boar, or Milan with their incredibly delicious risottos and polenta. And while you can get delicious pizza anywhere in Italy, it originated in Naples so guess who has the best pizza?!

If you have an allergy to seafood or you are a vegetarian, this may affect where you visit. Although each city will have an offering of everything (pastas, meats, fish), research the specialties in each area.

Tordelli bolognese in Lucca
Tordelli bolognese in Lucca

I’m sure you can find spaghetti and meatballs somewhere, but really, just get a local pasta with a bolognese sauce. **Special note: Do Not use or ask for a spoon to twirl pasta. They do not do this and neither should you.

3. Eating Times

Eating is completely different there on several levels. They do not eat a ‘breakfast’ like you are used to. Some of the hotels will offer something close, but it is not a bagels, eggs, and pancakes kind of thing.

In the morning before 10 AM, you would enjoy a cappuccino and a brioche or pastry. You never ask for a cappuccino after 10 AM – there are a number of other coffees available so do not ask for cappuccino. (Speaking of coffee, espresso does not get filled to the top of demitasse cup, only about halfway.)

Lunch is served typically between 12-2 PM. Most restaurants close at 3 PM and if you missed it, you missed it. You may be able to find a McDonald’s in a touristy area, but you will not get into any decent restaurant after that time.

And if you do miss it, dinner will be at 7 PM or later. It also lasts a long time. When you reserve a table, it is yours for the night and you may be there for several hours. Some will make dinner reservations as late as 9 PM and there is nothing abnormal about that to them.

The food, as you would imagine and as everyone will attest to, is out of this world and not nearly as expensive as here.

4. Time change

A trip to Italy will usually take 7 to 8 hours from Philadelphia or New York to Milan or Rome. And once you land, it will be six hours ahead of Eastern standard time. You will be exhausted from the trip and want to immediately go to sleep. Unless it is actually in the evening when you arrive (which it probably will not be) do not go to sleep.

If you wind up sleeping during the day you arrive, you will never get used to the time change and it will definitely affect the quality of your trip.

5. Beaches

Italy has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. They are not what you are used to. You don’t just show up to the beach with your chairs and blanket!

These beaches have chairs and umbrellas, some have lounges as well, that you rent. You can look up the local beach(es) and find the website or phone number to rent your space. Most have their own restaurant and bathroom facilities as well.

6. Attire

There is so much to see in Italy and you will most likely walk more than you ever have. No matter what part you visit, you will definitely walk. Most tourists are fine wearing shorts and sneakers, but if you are going to tour churches check the rules – some require your shoulders and/or knees are covered. When you are heading out to a restaurant, dress nicely. Even when we toured the amazing city of Lucca and during the afternoon most of the women had sundresses, hats, and sandals on. They do not wear sweatpants, leggings, or sloppy-looking outfits.

I hope you found this information helpful! If you have questions or need advice, we would love to help you. We have been all over and know many amazing restaurants and sites to see. Reach out to us anytime!

Time to Preserve Your Wedding Dress

If you are a Fall 2021-Winter 2022 bride, it’s time to preserve your gorgeous wedding dress!

Preserve your wedding dress, kits and pick-ups at Darianna Bridal  Tuxedo
Dress Preservation kits and pick-ups at our store

Why preserve?

A wedding dress is the single most important piece of clothing there is by many women. It’s no wonder there is such concern regarding preserving these gowns, whether it’s to keep as a memory of your best day ever or to pass on to another. One thing is for sure – you can’t leave her stuffed in a bag in the closet!

Unfortunately, many brides don’t realize the importance of wedding dress preservation until many months or even years after their wedding. Wedding dress preservation should be the first step one attends to after returning from a honeymoon.

Wedding dresses come in different styles, colors, and fabrics, all of which may need special attention. Lace will require a different cleaning method than silk, and the same goes for cleaning a wine stain versus a sweat stain. Beading is especially tricky to properly clean. Check the tag or label on the dress to determine if it has special care instructions related to dry cleaning or the type of chemicals that may be used on the dress.

Be cautious of going to a standard dry cleaner even if they say they can clean wedding dresses. As a rule of thumb, it is best to research and then choose a professional cleaner or preservationist who specializes in cleaning wedding gowns.

Fortunately, your research does not have to take you far! Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo uses a company that has been preserving wedding gowns for over a hundred years. They are so good and trustworthy at providing this service that we use them to clean our sample gowns in our store! They are returned to us looking like new.

The dress is organically cleaned, pressed, and preserved. It is placed in a beautiful display box and comes with a handy carrying case. The service also includes 3 basic accessories (veil, jacket, garter, gloves, etc.) for preservation at no extra charge. Include a program, hanger, or special memento for inclusion and display through the oval window.

Wedding dress preservation is also a thoughtful gift idea. If you know a bride recently married or soon to be married, call or come in for a gift card for her to use for this wonderful service. This is a great gift for bridal parties to present to their bride as well.

Darianna Brides get a special discount, too!

Don’t let that beauty that made you cry happy tears sit in the closet! Preserve her and get excited all over again! No appointment necessary! Just stop in and drop it off and it will be returned in 4-6 weeks ready to be reunited with you again. Call or text with any questions 215-491-8500!

Wedding Dress Wednesday: Alanna from Casablanca Bridal’s Beloved

Meet Alanna!

Designer: Beloved by Casablanca

Alanna From Beloved by Casablanca
Alanna From Beloved by Casablanca

Why We Love Her: Alanna is a dream dress for every bride! Her romantic sweetheart neckline is the perfect shape that will look flattering on any bride. It will show the ideal amount of skin without being too scandalous or uncomfortable. She has a beautiful natural a-line shape that will perfectly flow and move with the bride.

Alanna's sheer bodice with layers of lace and corset boning
Alanna’s sheer bodice with layers of lace and corset boning

Her bodice consists of strong corset boning that extends to a drop waist silhouette to ensure that it hits the perfect spot and compliments every bride that puts her on!

Alanna’s intricate detailing doesn’t stop with the shape; she has gorgeous floral and various natural viney lace detailing that is the central focal point and gradually cascades throughout the skirt! In between all the viney appliques, there are small delicate petals that add dimension and uniqueness!

Looking for sparkle? Alanna will not disappoint! On top of all the leafy appliques, she has iridescent sequins that will sparkle and shine. She even has a delicate layer of glitter tulle underneath the appliques that will glimmer in every lighting, both inside and outside, making her perfect for all weather!

Alanna's Leafy lace pattern is perfect for outdoor summer weddings
Leafy lace pattern is perfect for outdoor summer weddings

This beauty is available in six different colors, allowing the bride to have many different options to choose from! The colors are Ivory, White, Champagne/Nude, Champagne/Ivory, Ivory/Sorbet, and Ivory/Nude (shown in the photos). With all of these color options available, it will ensure that she will showcase all the detail and match all wedding vibes!

Alanna's Dramatic and beautiful details all around
Dramatic and beautiful details all around

She’s Great For: The bride that wants a traditional shape with a nontraditional feel! Her floral and leafy appliques will steal the spotlight any time of the year and at any type of venue. Some ideal venues for Alanna would be outside in a garden scene or in a rustic barn. She is even the perfect dress for destination weddings as well due to her lightweight and airy characteristics!

Alanna's Removable lace sleeve can be worn on or off the shoulder, or not at all
Removable lace sleeve

What Makes Her Special: What makes Alanna special is her unique detachable off the shoulder straps! When attached, they give the perfect romantic look with an extra touch of bohemian detail that every dress needs! And when the party starts and the dancing begins, they can pop right off! Beloved by Casablanca allows for custom changes as well to make a dress like this unique to you!

Have a dress from one of our designers that you would like featured? Let us know and we can tag you in a WDW Blog!

Online Chat and Text Chat Etiquette

Have you ever done an online chat with a company? How about texting a company’s telephone number to communicate with it? Super helpful to get immediate service, right?

Six years ago, Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo added the ability to do an online chat with us. In addition, we set up our actual store telephone number to be able to receive text messages from customers! A few years ago, our service provider added the ability for us to initiate a text chat with customers directly.

We always knew about online chat systems but when we realized that our store’s landline could send and receive text messages, we were convinced this would be the best service on earth.  And we were correct!  We send and receive thousands of text messages to and from our customers every month.  The system is on about 16 – 17 hours a day and we the owners and founders actually answer all chats and text messages, even when the store is not open!  Yes, this is a commitment timewise, however we see how convenient and important this service is.  Our brides and grooms tell us how much they love the ease of communicating with us and we love being able to provide immediate answers to you.

So with thousands of text messages and chats each month, we’ve learned a thing or two about how to make this service more efficient for you.  In addition, we’ve received some interesting text messages and chats over the years, to say the least!

The following blog will help you communicate more efficiently with your bridal and tuxedo store.  Our advice and tips are purely from what we learned over the years with customers attempting to text or chat with us.

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo has an online chat function on our website for immediate assistance!
Click the chat button on our website and be connected to the owners directly!

Our Chat and Text System is NOT a Google Search!

Every month, we receive text messages from customers as if the person is trying to do a Google search.  Here’s an actual example of a text message sent to us: “mother of the bride dresses near me”.  When texting or chatting with us, you are actually communicating directly with the owners and our daughter, in real time! We don’t use computers or bots to answer, you are actually speaking to a person when you text or initiate an online chat with us.

If you type in your text message or the chat box words that you would normally type in a search engine, we will most likely ask you to clarify what you are asking or what you are looking for.  We read every text message and chat and will be able to have a conversation with you as if you are talking to a friend or family member, it’s that simple!

So our advice is to be very clear about what you are looking for.

Text Chat Advice

If you initiate a text chat with us, be specific and tell us how we can help you.  Tell us your name, what you are looking for and how we can help you. 

If you send a picture, please tell us what the photo is and how we can help you with it.  Random photos that are delivered to our text chat system don’t help us help you without adequate explanation.  Are you looking for the dress you sent us?  Are you looking for a similar tuxedo to the one you sent in the photo?  Giving us your name allows us to be more personal with you.  If you are looking for our hours, it’s very efficient to text or chat us by writing: “Hi, my name is Lisa.  Can you  tell me your hours”?  You’ll receive an immediate response with the exact information you are looking for, thus saving yourself time.

When you start a text chat with us, all we can see is a phone number and nothing else.  Your name and what you are looking for would help you receive a quicker and more complete response.  Oftentimes, a customer will text us “did my dress arrive?”.  If all we can see is your phone number, we unfortunately don’t know who you are and what kind of dress you purchased.  If you give us your name and / or tell us that you purchased a wedding dress, we will be able to more quickly look up the information for you.

Try to Finish the Conversation

Whether you’re doing an online chat or a text chat, try to stay with the conversation.  We often have someone text us or write to us through the chat system and then they stop communicating in the middle of the conversation.  Eventually the system times out and the conversation automatically ends.  Texting us is not like texting your friend who looks at his or her phone throughout the day and can pick up with the conversation later in the day. 

For your privacy, our system will end the chat when there is inactivity for a certain period of time.  We understand that you may get side tracked or you may be at work, so a starting new conversation later is no problem.  However, the systems are designed to end the text or online chat after there is no activity after several minutes.

We Aren’t keeping Your Information

As we mentioned before, we receive and send thousands of messages every month.  We don’t have the time to look back at your phone number or chat information, other than to answer your questions, set an appointment or say hello.  If we could post a day’s worth of chat in the blog, it would go on for a hundred pages!  Your information is safe with us.  As a family owned business, the most precious thing we have, other than our employees, is our time.  We just don’t have time to go back to your phone number or chat information.  Your information is also automatically purged from the system to help with privacy.

Online Chats

Online chats work a little differently.   When initiating an online chat, you are requested to fill out your name and email address so that we can communicate with you in a more personal manner.  Again, you are talking to a live person when you chat Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo.  Our goal is to answer your questions as quickly and thoroughly as possible.  The more information you give us, the better we will be able to answer your question.  If we don’t have an immediate answer, we will tell you that we will text or email you later.  This often happens when the staff is busy with other customers or if we are texting or chatting with you outside of business hours.  We may need to answer your questions when we are in the store again.

We Are Available About 16 Hours a Day!

We leave the chat and text system on for about 16 hours a day.  We will answer you virtually immediately.  If our system is turned off for the night, you will receive an immediate message that we are offline. However, when we turn on our phones or our computers, we will see your message and be able to answer you.  No messages are lost and we will get right back to you.

Be Patient

When we receive an online chat request or text message, we are often responding from our iPhones.  We typically respond very quickly but sometimes we need a minute to grab our phones or open the system on a computer.  We promise, we will answer you pretty quickly but sometimes we are at the gym (yes, we have the chat system with us no matter where we are!) or finishing up with a customer.

Changes are Coming

It is not often that you see a small family business, like ours, offer live chat or text chat.  While online or live chat has been around for a long time, being able to text a company’s telephone number is relatively new.  Text chats are not as common and we don’t think everyone is perfectly comfortable with it yet, but with the substantial increase in volume of text messages we send and receive every month, we feel that text chatting will become more common in the next two years.  Obviously, this hasn’t stopped our millennial brides and grooms from texting us!  They love using the service and we love providing it.

Go Ahead and Try Texting or Chatting with Us!

Now that you can initiate an online chat or text the owners of Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, why don’t you give it a try!  Our phone number is 215-491-8500.  Or click on our chat button and Wendy, Franco and Daria will be at your service!

Staff Appreciation Spotlight: Courtney Malland

It’s crazy how much I love writing about our team members. In this blog I am really excited to feature Courtney Malland.

Courtney started with us in our tuxedo department almost 2 years ago and while she was very good at helping couples bring their vision for the guys to life, we quickly learned we would need to rehire for that position. This girl was drawn like a magnet to wedding dresses. She would get sucked into the dress gallery whenever possible. Sparkles to plain, lace to satin, ballgown to mermaid, she loves ALL of them. Because she is engaged herself it certainly made sense, so she moved into bridal and connected immediately to brides on every level of wedding planning and the dress search.

Wedding dress consultant Courtney models the Dior dress by Madi Lane bridal
Courtney in Dior by Madi Lane

She is pretty much instantaneously best friends with every bride she works with. They follow her like the Pied Piper and I know part of the reason is her enthusiasm to show off our dresses since she has literally (and I’m using that word correctly here) tried on every single dress from our own inventory and every dress from every single trunk show. It doesn’t matter what size, she tries on everything. This girl knows wedding dresses.

Routinely and randomly I get a photo dump of 30+ pictures of Courtney in wedding dresses. I love it because I use most all of them in our social media and also because she is doing her job. It’s research. She can tell brides exactly what these dresses are, why they should try, and what they will like about each one.

The other reason why brides love Courtney is because she is a sweetheart. Now that’s not to say she doesn’t have a sassy side – which is actually quite amusing – but her genuine style is very much from her heart. She has a great aura, a joyful spirit, and an infectious giggle, who wouldn’t want to be around that?

And… getting back to her leaving her tuxedo post and us needing to rehire… long story short: her fiancé Rob replaced her, took that part-time job to a full-time one, and we are delighted! Our family business has little families inside! I feel so blessed because I feel like a Mama to all of them!

Here’s what some of her other team members have to say about her:

Sarah: Courtney is such a sweetheart, and she makes me laugh every time I talk to her. She bonds super quickly with all her brides, and her knowledge of our gowns helps her brides find their dream dresses without stress!

Daria: Courtney is so easygoing, happy, and fun! She’s so helpful with navigating our crazy packed weekends and does it with ease.

Suzanne: Courtney always has an upbeat, positive attitude that puts our brides immediately at ease. She is genuinely excited and invested in each bride that she works with.

Franco: Courtney is kind, compassionate, and intuitive. She connects right away with anyone she works with, in bridal AND tux!

Sunday Squad L-R Daria, Shannon, Rob, Paul, Saharrah, Molly, Sarah, and Courtney

So Courtney, our spirited girl with the cutest hair styles and the best nails, a Jersey girl not to be tangled with, and a beautiful soul with a burden I wish I could lift, we are truly grateful you are part of us. Thanks for giving us Rob, too. And keep jumping in those dresses and dumping the photos on me. We can’t wait for your 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.

Being A Bridal Stylist: A Six Month Reflection

There’s no denying it: 2020 sucked, and 2021 wasn’t a real winner either. There’s been chaos in our world, in our country, and in most of our personal lives.

At the start of 2021 tragedy hit my life, and I kind of went into a tailspin. My job as a social worker for refugee kids in foster care, which I am passionate about, became a burden. There was too much happening in my life for me to be able to fully invest the effort and attention needed to that job.

I was losing sleep, losing my appetite, and I spent 90% of my day worrying about work. It took only a few weeks of feeling like that to know enough was enough – I needed a new job while I worked on healing myself.

My friends and family were taken aback when I told them I was leaving social work. I spent six years and thousands of dollars learning how to be a social worker; how could I leave it behind for something I had no experience with? Truth is, it was easy.

Now let me be clear: I do not have a ‘dream job’. I do not dream of labor. I dream of sunbathing on an island with a fruity, frozen cocktail and a great book. But alas, I was not born a hotel heiress or a celebrity, so I will spend my days working. However, I am a firm believer that if I have to do something for 40 hours per week, I better freakin’ enjoy it. And I really, really enjoy working at Darianna Bridal and Tuxedo.

Working in a bridal store is just as incredible as you’d expect it to be. Most of the time, it doesn’t even feel like work. The energy is always positive, the space is filled with beautiful things to look at, and people are genuinely happy to be here.

From groomsmen excited about standing next to their friend, to moms looking for a perfect dress of their own, to high schoolers shopping for prom dresses, to our gorgeous brides and their maids, we see a little bit of everything and everyone. And it’s the everyone that I enjoy the most.

In my first six months here, I’ve sold dresses to brides that I know from other jobs, high school, college, church, and my kindergarten class! I had even met Daria at a party once in 2009 or something crazy. Growing up locally means knowing the clientele and finding common ground to build relationships on.

Even though being at Darianna is totally a different line of work from social work, I was surprised at how much my social work skills have come into play here. Between analyzing body language and facial expressions to gauge how my brides actually feel, to practicing active listening to fully understand my brides’ visions, and even mediating a few disputes between brides and their groups, there is definitely a lot of overlap.

I am new to the wonderful world of weddings, but I have a working understanding of psychology and human behavior; I feel like both my brides and I benefit from that. And it’s nice knowing my education isn’t going to waste.

There is something truly special and rewarding about working for a family business, too. I went from a nation-wide organization operating in 43 states with a couple hundred branches to working for a local family at one single location. Here, the owners know me and care about me. I feel valued, I feel heard, and I feel genuinely welcomed into the family.

All of my stress and anxieties of my old job have disappeared; I even stopped biting my nails! I am healing. When it really comes down to it, working at Darianna Bridal and Tuxedo is the best decision I’ve made in a long, long time. And you will find me here for a long, long time to come.

Morilee Daniella wedding dress modeled by Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo Stylist Sarah Kline
Sarah modeling a new wedding dress: Daniella by Morilee


Staff Appreciation Spotlight: Suzanne Ardite

It is important to us as a family business that we take care of our staff. Part of taking care of them, I believe, is to highlight how special they are.

All too quickly the days turn into months and it is easy to wonder if those around us even notice our contributions. WE DO. We notice and appreciate that our staff gives 100% all year long and while it isn’t always “easy”, they make it look easy. It isn’t always “fun”, but they do have fun together.

Today I am excited to start our series of Staff Appreciation with Suzanne Ardite.

Suzanne is our Mother of the Bride/Groom Department Manager and made after my own heart.

She runs a tight ship, is controlling as hell over the department (LOVE!), and has a wicked knowledge of brands, fabrics, colors, prices, deliveries, alterations, and pretty much anything related to bridal/MOB. We love this about her.

She also has a wicked sense of humor that I personally have come to depend on.

She is a devoted wife and mother of two (her daughter Kaitlyn is also part of the Darianna team!) which keeps her busy enough, but she is also an active member in the local community theaters.  She still has so much energy in the store – I am not sure how she does it.

A very loyal, incredibly generous, and thoughtful soul, she has become a true friend. We even persuaded Suzanne and her equally wonderful hubby Frank to join the Chaîne de Rôtisseurs, a dining group that we are proud to belong to!

Socializing outside of the store is delightful and having Suzanne and Frank as friends has enriched our lives.

Inside the store, I am able to observe the way she interacts with her moms and brides. It is truly something I know other stores wish they had. She is honest above everything which is really what we are all about. She is not pushy and wants her moms to be truly happy with their choice. And in that regard, she will introduce dresses that they never thought they could wear. When their faces light up I can see how proud Suzanne is.

She is also proud to tell them the price and that they don’t have to “remortgage the house” or “sell a kidney” in order to buy it. She does her research constantly  and brings in beautiful pieces in very good price points.

Also inside the store: Getting along with your staff (I don’t really care for that word, it seems so generic) – team members is critical for a good business! Here is what some some of her fellow team members have to say about her:

Daria: I have learned so much from Suz just from listening to her in the store! She knows everything about bridal (and a lot about everything else) and I’m always so grateful for her expertise and humor.

Sarah: Suzanne not only knows everything about gowns, she generously shares her wisdom with all of us! She can brighten the craziest of days with her humor, and I love that she brings us snacks.

Courtney: I truly love her sense of humor, I feel like I need her in my back pocket to make me laugh throughout the day! I also love how knowledgeable she is about everything, whenever I have a question she’s always there to help out! Love Mama Suz!

Tori: Suzanne is always incredibly helpful, organized, friendly, and understanding. If you ever have a question, relating to bridal or even the outside world, Suzanne is the person to go to!

Joe: Supportive, fiery, and always ready for battle, Suzanne is an amazing coworker and a phenomenal friend. Anyone would be lucky to know her.

So to my fellow Gen Xer, July/Cancer girl, and lover of a good Cabernet, THE BEST gift-giver, hashtagger, and one-liner deliverer, thank you for another year with us, for turning my boring group chats into meme-fests, and for letting me know that “sympathy” is between shit and syphilis in the dictionary.

I love you, we love you, and THANK YOU for being part of our lives!

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 Thank You to Our Employees

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.