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Category Archives: Darianna News

Partner Spotlight: Moments With Mihika

We always love to feature our partners! Meet a smart and delightful woman with her own business, Mihika Patel. She started her business Moments With Mihika after doing what many only dream about, leaving the corporate world of 15 years behind to pursue what she loves. Her passion is health and wellness, and her products – all natural and with five ingredients or less – reflect her values.

Mihika Patel
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Deanna Joins The Prom Team!

Can time really pass by this quickly?


When our store opened in January 2013, Daria was 17 and Deanna was 5.

Daria graduated CB South that year, spent four years at James Madison University and a year at the Walt Disney Company. She came back to us in a full-time role in 2018. We were 3/4 of the way there… but little Deanna was still only 10.

Now I know time goes fast, but wow. Our store is now ten years old and “little” Deanna is 15 and working with us in prom. I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to work with my whole family, nor can I properly convey the stress of getting to this point.

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A Decade of Bridal Success

On January 7, 2023, Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo will be 10 years old! A true milestone and marker of success.

A decade of running a family bridal business. All of the memories, people, experiences, the highs and lows, too many to list.

I did some reflecting as I looked over old calendars, journals, photos, and posts and thought I would share my perspective on a decade of business, success, and life.

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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!