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Category Archives: Guest Blogger

Real Bride Jacqueline Milczarski

We are happy to feature another very special bride who first visited us in the Spring of 2021. We are always excited to meet new brides because they are all so unique with amazing stories and life paths, and Jacqueline was no exception.

Some may not know her by her given name, but you will by her handle. She is the Bucks County Mama, local blogger and influencer, with a healthy following and an even healthier lifestyle.

Bride Jacqueline Milczarski, a/k/a/ the Bucks County Mama, looks lovely and content on her wedding day in Montana wearing a beaded Casablanca bridal wedding dress.
The beautiful bride, Jacki, on her wedding day

We did not know this at the time she came in and truth be told, I’m glad we didn’t. Our appointment was authentic and genuine. She mentioned a few details that she wanted which were so sweet (“flowy and girly” – love!) and that her wedding was in Montana in October (double love!). She also said she was “very decisive” which is helpful for a bride not only in dress shopping, but also for wedding planning in general!

After that, we were fortunate enough to meet her equally kind fiancee David, and their family members they were blending together to create their own.

You can tell immediately there is a deep connection with Jacki and David, perhaps it is a mutual understanding of life’s bumps and bruises, and a mutual appreciation for its twists and turns. They are each other’s soft place.

Let’s get into their love story, as written by the Bucks County Mama herself!

The Meeting:

We met for coffee in Peddler’s Village 5 years ago. We were both divorced, single parents, and card holders of the “Never Again” club lol. We both, but separately, were dedicating our lives to healing emotionally and spiritually, growing, committed to our children.

We said yes to just coffee… he greeted me with a big bouquet of flowers, and a kind smile.

Years later he told me he heard a voice whisper to him, “That’s her”.

We said “yes” to dating – laughing, friendship, hope, kindness, trust, and love. We both realized that a life alone would be safe, but this was truly living.

I watched what a good father he was, & his thoughtfulness was something I never experienced. He loves seafood & hence is nicknamed the “sea otter” because he has childlike joy whenever he eats it.

The Proposal:

Years later, he brought me back to Peddler’s Village, to the same spot we first met. This time our five children were there, my family, and God. We all said “yes” to getting married…seven souls who chose love.

The Dress:

Being the Owner of Bucks County Blog, Bucks County Mama, I had heard the buzz that Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo was “the” place to get a wedding dress. Small, boutique, family owned & operated, local, with personal service. My dress was “Andi” from the Beloved Collection of Casablanca Bridal.

Wedding dress Andi from Casablanca and Beloved with a beaded halter top a keyhole back and a tiered bottom was perfect for Jackie's Montana wedding. She paired it with a cathedral veil with butterflies on it!
Andi dress from Casablanca Bridal’s Beloved collection, and a lovely cathedral veil with butterflies

The Venue:

We looked at Odette’s & Aldie Manson, both stunning, but Covid restrictions, with an undercurrent of fear, uncertainty, and anxiety with booking either during a global pandemic. We got quiet and followed our authentic vision of what our wedding should be. Gone are the days of “shoulding” all over ourselves.

Jackie and her new husband David, David is wearing a gray tuxedo by Michael Kors
Jacki and her new husband David look stunning under the big sky

We picked our #1 bucket list destination of Montana. Under the big sky, just us in a rented ranch with our blended family of children. We got married outside, with God present as always, with elk bugling, soft clouds overhead. We all said “yes” to forever.

The bride added a lovely touch to her flowers, small photos in a sweet chain frame of some special people who were not in attendance
A beautiful touch added to Jacki’s flowers of some very special people

The Celebration:

That evening was the most spectacular sunset, with a large heart cloud. We had our first dances with the mountains behind us, wise old trees, and wildlife witnessing our vows. Our Bucks County love story is filled with faith, hope, family, true love.

Bride and groom in spectacular Montana with a heart cloud clearly overhead
There is something magical about the heart cloud in this spectacular setting

A beautiful bride, her soul mate groom, and their beautiful children make up this brand new family moving into a brand new year. We wish nothing but joy, happiness, and laughter and are so grateful to have met them… and now they are part of our family, too!

Bride and son dancing outdoors in Montana
Jackie dancing with her son in breathtaking surroundings
The bride and her sons wearing Michael Kors gray tuxedos
The bride and her boys, looking so handsome in Michael Kors gray!

You can follow the Bucks County Mama on Instagram for all things Bucks!

Featured Couple: Sarah Novack & Dan Holmes

All weddings have some really great photos, but I only had to see one to know that I wanted Sarah & Dan to be a featured couple.

This is that photo. It’s Sarah’s band, Vixen77, leaning against Sarah’s car, a 1955 Chevy Nomad.

Vixen77 band from Philadelphia, PA
All-girl band Vixen77 (L-R)
Caitlin Walker, Elizabeth Cartwright, Sarah Novack, Jazman Dobson, Samantha Chonski

Have you seen a cooler photo of a bride than this? If you have please send it my way.

What follows is a feature on Sarah, Dan, and their amazing family and friends. Enjoy this love story, written by Sarah!

The Beginning: Dan saw me for the first time at a bar called Artie’s 3 & 1/2 years ago. He was too scared to talk to me so he asked one of his friends who then messaged me on Facebook a week later.

Our first date was at Longhorn Steakhouse. Dan was a little shy at first, but once I started asking him about racing he opened right up! He’s a huge auto racing fan – Nascar, sprint cars, Indy cars, you name it he loves it! We hit it off after that moment. At the end of the night we officially exchanged numbers (we had been communicating through Facebook messenger up until that point). It was so refreshing to go on a date with such a sweet guy!

I love that Dan has the ability to literally fix anything, from tractors to plumbing to even fixing one of my necklaces, he’s a genius! I also love how sweet he is to me, he is so caring & thoughtful. He knows just when I’m in need of a hug, kiss, or even someone to make me laugh! He’s truly my best friend.

The Proposal: It was completely a surprise! It was his birthday and I was giving him his birthday presents before we went to work at 6:45am. After I was done giving him his presents, he said, “I actually have a present for you. Will you marry me?” He brought out a tiny white box with my engagement ring in it! I was shocked and so happy!

The Planning: Wedding planning was a bit stressful as I feel it always is for a bride, especially since I didn’t have a wedding planner, I did it all myself.

Ring bearer pillow for sarah and Dan's autumn 2021 wedding
Ring Bearer pillow in rustic autumn colors

I really have to thank my mom for helping me with so much of the decor shopping. We came up with so many cute ideas for decor & had so much fun shopping around for the perfect decorations!

Featured couple Sarah and Dan said I do at Razberries in Frenchtown, NJ. Bride is wearing a ruffled a-line dress by Madi Lane Bridal
Sarah said I Do! in Aubrey by Madi Lane

Dress shopping was DEFINITELY one of my favorite parts of the wedding planning process! Fashion is one of my favorite things, so trying on the dresses was so much fun for me. My maid of honor and my mom came with me and it was such a blast to walk around with my maid of honor pulling dresses off the racks for me to try on.

My maid of honor was actually the one to pick out my dress off the rack! I knew as soon as I tried mine on, I had that “yes!” moment! The staff at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo really made it special for me, they were just as excited as I was when I found my dress!

Bride Sarah and her girls on the way to get married
Sarah and her gorgeous crew Rachel & Sara in front, Megan & Laura in back

The Wedding Party: My wedding party certainly was a great group of people. My bridesmaids included my best friend since high school Sara Dalen, along with my other close friend from high school Megan Reinhart, my awesome sister in law Laura Stanfill, and my brother’s girlfriend Rachel Baransky.

Dan had his best friend Lewis Moore, along with his other friends CJ Townes, Dave English, & Gary Magyar, Dan’s brother TJ Holmes, my brother Nick Novack, and Dan’s brother-in-law, Bryan Stanfill.

My flower girl was my cousin’s daughter, Izzy Mercer, and my ring bearer was Dan’s nephew, Cruz Stanfill.

Bride Sarah and her best friend and maid of honor Sara at her bridal shower at Alfresco's Italian restaurant in NJ
Best Friends Sarah and Sara

My maid of honor was my best friend Sara Dalen. We have been inseparable since freshman year of high school. She is a super talented musician, she sings, and plays saxophone, guitar, piano, and violin! She was such a huge help to me with helping organize my bridal shower and bachelorette party, & helping my other bridesmaids with makeup and last minute dress fixes! Not to mention her speech at my wedding was absolutely beautiful.

She was one of my biggest supporters with planning this wedding. I couldn’t have had a fabulous wedding without her!

Groom Dan gets some help with his tuxedo jacket from his best man Lowis
Dan and his Best Man Lewis

Dan’s best man was his childhood friend Lewis Moore. They grew up next door to each other, and have made memories to last a lifetime. Lewis is also a firefighter on multiple fire squads, and is an EMS first responder! We have super high respect for him and all he does for the community.

Sarah and her group at the wine and paint bachelorette party at Pinot's Palette in NJ
Sara and the girls at her bachelorette party at Pinot’s Palette

The Batchelorette Party & Shower: My bachelorette party was SO much fun! My MOH organized the whole thing: we did a wine & paint session at Pinot’s Palette, then went to dinner at a local hibachi restaurant! It was super fun & memorable.

Sarah and some of her family at her bridal shower
Sarah and some of her family at her bridal shower at Alfresco’s

My bridal shower was a total blast. We had it at a local Italian restaurant, Alfresco‘s. It was definitely a great kickoff to the wedding celebrations. We all had fun taking pictures together, and playing the typical shower games, like “Who knows the bride best?” “What’s in your purse?” I handed out rose gold/burgundy pens with my shower date on them, & handed out candles from a local Bucks County candle shop, “Libellule candle” as prizes for the games.

Fortunately, Covid did not really impact anything! The only thing was we couldn’t do a traditional cake tasting: the baker dropped off some sample cupcakes for Dan & me to try instead.

The bride and groom sneak a kiss after tying the knot at Razberry's in Frenchtown New Jersey
Sara and Dan after saying I Do at Razberry’s in Frenchtown

The Vendor Team: I decided to pick Razberry‘s in Frenchtown, NJ as my venue because it is a local place & I wanted to support local businesses! Being local was so convenient; if I forgot anything it was super easy to run back & forth. It is also a beautiful place, with a water fountain in the back, and a huge reception room. You also get a great deal on food, alcohol, etc. for the price!

Our florist was Gather Flower Shop in Frenchtown, NJ, Photographer was Corbin Payne, DJ was John from Simply DJs, Cake was from Storybook Cakes in Lambertville, NJ, Seamstress Renee Sopko in Milford, NJ, Hair/makeup: Anna Scelfo

Sarah with her 1955 turquoise blue Chevy nomad, perfectly detailed by her friend Derek, owner of Precision Care Detailing
Sarah in her Chevy, beautifully detailed by Precision Care Detailing

Special Memories: Something that really meant a lot to me is that the classic car in my pictures is my 1955 Chevy Nomad – my dad & I restored it together. My friend, Derek Frey, has a detailing business “Precision Care Detailing” and as his wedding gift to me he spent 4 days detailing my car for me for my special day. He even came the day of the wedding to make finishing touches on it. My car has never looked so good. He went above & beyond for me & I am forever grateful.

Sarah gets a hug from her dad at her bridal shower
Sarah at her shower gets a hug from her biggest fan, Dad!

Another great moment was my dad totally rocking out to my band playing! He’s always been my biggest/most animated fan.

Sarah the bride playing the drums in her wedding dress at her reception
Sarah playing the drums at her reception!

Vixen77: We are an all girl, punk rock band from Philly! I joined them in January of 2021, it would’ve been sooner as I had been talking with them since June of 2020, but due to Covid rehearsal spaces weren’t open at the time. I was SO excited to be a part of the band! It has been my dream ever since I started drumming at 11 years old to be in an all girl band. I’m so thankful to be surrounded by these talented ladies! We are cutting an album in the beginning of December, then going to really start rocking out & playing live shows once the album is released!

Band members: Samantha Chonski: lead vocals; Caitlin Walker: lead guitar; Elizabeth Cartwright: rhythm guitar; Jazman Dobson: bass guitar; and of course me on drums!

Bride in her wedding dress playing the drums, Sarah is the drummer in the Philadelphia band Vixen77
Sarah on drums, back shot!

Sarah and Dan definitely have a special bond between them and are the very best of friends. Our family wishes them a lifetime of joy and happiness as they start this new chapter together.

We love being able to feature our couples! If you are a Darianna bride and would like to be a featured couple, please let us know by texting our store at 215-491-8500.


Dan the Fireman Intern; Week 2

Details, Details, Details… Week 2 of my bridal industry experience has shown me that details are what these dresses and tuxedos are really about.

Monday was a productive day as we delved deeper into the marketing strategies used to make Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo so popular. I won’t bore you all with the details since it is far more interesting to see with your own eyes than read about a program written by an intern who still has only a brief understanding of it himself…

What I will say is that after all of the learning about the marketing programs, Franco told me to take a couple of pictures around the store and “see what you can see”.

Now, I have been in this store three times and I was thinking to myself “They have been here for 5 years what am I going to find that they haven’t?” I walked out of the room and immediately inspiration hit me like a train.

Photos of brides when they said yes to their wedding dress, hung on string and displayed in the back hallway of our bridal store
Hall of Brides

I don’t know if many people know this but at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, the back hallway in the office area is covered in pictures of brides in their wedding dresses with their name on the bottom of the picture. They are all hanging by pieces of string and it proved to me how much the staff at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo really care about their brides. They ran out of wall space and now fill photo albums! So… I took a panorama of it and hopefully you can all see it.

As I moved further through the store I found myself attracted to the small things on the shelves and on the clothes.

Three Sparkly belts in different patterns on display caught Dan's eye during his Week 2 walk-through
Sparkly belts on display caught Dan’s eye during Week 2

I found that the embroidery on dresses was far more intricate than I would have imagined. I always thought that dresses were white and that’s about it, why look closer? Well, a closer look proved me wrong and I was continuously proven wrong moving about the store.

Tuxedo shoes in black brown and gray displayed for customers in sizes for adults as well as a pair of tiny black patent leather ring bearer shoes
Shoes are part of the package, even for the little guys

I took this picture of shoes… When I tell you, it is my favorite picture I took I am completely serious, I don’t know why but I love it for no discernible reason. The point is that you can walk into Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo and see just a bunch of white dresses and suits, but open up your eyes a little bit and look a little more closely and you will begin to understand why finding the perfect dress of the perfect tux is important and so much fun.

The next time you are here I urge you whether you really wanted to look at the dresses or you need to find the perfect tux, I urge you to just take a look around. You may even find beauty in the strangest things, like a bunch of randomly placed shoes. Thank you for reading about my bridal and tuxedo Week 2, follow and learn with me along my journey!

About the author: Dan Pfeiffer is Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo’s marketing intern from Temple University’s Lew Klein College of Media and Communications. In order to receive his degree in Communications and Social Influence and Strategic Communications, Temple University requires its students to complete an internship in their field of study. Originally from Plumsteadville PA, Dan lives in Philadelphia while completing his degree. He is also an Emergency Medical Technician for Temple University and a volunteer fire fighter for the Plumsteadville Fire Department. Dan is versed in many aspects of social media including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok and is helping Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo offer great social media content. Read more about Dan here.

Our New Marketing Intern: Dan Pfeiffer

Recently we had the good fortune of hiring a marketing intern from Temple University’s Lew Klein College of Media and Communications, Dan Pfeiffer. We hope to give him an appreciation of a world he knows nothing about while we learn from him, too! Fresh eyes are the best to learn what can be improved or implemented, especially with someone with no knowledge of the industry.

Stay tuned to Follow the Fireman’s journey into the bridal & tuxedo biz!

My First Week in the Bridal Business

Who would have guessed that a 21-year-old firefighter would find his way working in a bridal and tuxedo store!

I never expected that one day I would be working with Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo as a marketing intern. I thought maybe I would be working for FEMA or some other emergency organization. What can a Bridal store offer me? Turns out they can offer quite a LOT!

One day my mom posted that I was looking for an internship on Facebook and Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo responded. I was concerned that the field was so different but it was an opportunity none-the-less so I scheduled an Interview with them. However, an issue arose in my mind. THEY WILL KNOW IF MY CLOTHES ARE CHEAP! Alarm bells rang in my mind and I shot straight to the nearest store to buy my impromptu suit. The issue is COVID shut down the dressing rooms and I may have gained some weight at home… The day comes and my clothes feel a bit snug. Anyways, I did my hair, shaved my face, and I put on my impromptu suit.

As I walked in the door I quickly relaxed as I was met with a smile from the staff members. No confused looks or judgement of my clothing.

I then had the interview which I believed went very well with Franco and on the way out he introduced me to the staff as the “New Intern”. On the several interviews I had been on, it was always “Thanks we will let you know” followed by a rejection letter. It wasn’t like that here, you could tell why so many people are attracted to this store.

The building is gorgeous and the staff treat you like family. I got the same feeling of being taken care of like when I would walk into my mom’s room asking her if my nice clothes looked good (or if I was wearing them correctly… usually I wasn’t). That’s where I stopped my internship search. I did not care what type of business it was anymore, but I knew that Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo knew what they were doing and that I could learn more than just marketing and communications here.

Fast forward a week and now I am writing this blog on their website as well as familiarizing myself with how their social media accounts look. I am baffled by the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes in the bridal industry. As a firefighter, we do a lot of sitting around and waiting for a call. At Darianna there is always something new and fresh to work towards. I know nothing about dresses and tuxedos but I did learn how dresses were named this week. I am sure in a few weeks I will have a good amount of the lingo down. Maybe I’ll even be good enough to help one of my family or friends say, “yes to the dress.”

About the author: Dan Pfeiffer is Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo’s marketing intern from Temple University’s Lew Klein College of Media and Communications. In order to receive his degree in Communications and Social Influence and Strategic Communications, Temple University requires its students to complete an internship in their field of study. Originally from Plumsteadville PA, Dan lives in Philadelphia while completing his degree. He is also an Emergency Medical Technician for Temple University and a volunteer fire fighter for the Plumsteadville Fire Department. Dan is versed in many aspects of social media including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok and is helping Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo offer great social media content. Read more about Dan here.

Feel Confident That Our Bridal and Tuxedo Store Is CLEAN and SAFE

Soon the restrictions will be lifted and we will all venture back out into the world. When I do, I personally expect that every establishment I enter knows how to clean in the age of COVID-19 and is committed to keeping me and their other customers safe.

But just how do we know that a store that looks clean actually is? Let’s take our own store as an example.

Our family owns and operates Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo and prior to the mandatory shutdown, we spent more time in the store than our own home. Since opening in 2013 we have always had store cleanliness as one of our top 3 priorities. We have used the same cleaning company for years: Bugajewski Facility Services.

We were introduced to this company when the owner, Ben Bugajewski, was the featured speaker at a Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce meeting. I didn’t think I would enjoy listening to a speech about cleaning, but when Ben started talking I was weirdly fascinated.

Ben and his company clean a number of medical facilities in the area and beyond, including both Pavillions at Doylestown Hospital. They have done this for years, and have always had a focus on exactly what “clean” means. If they didn’t keep medical facilities clean, then they weren’t safe.

I perked up a little bit after hearing this introduction. It only got better from there.

His knowledge of bacteria and germicides was incredible. He knew what bad guys made us sick and what chemicals killed them. He knew which chemicals were safe for humans and which chemicals required humans to stay away for a few hours.

Ben so easily pronounced names of bacteria, most of which had way too many letters, and I knew he was going to clean our store.

We could not be more proud to have Ben and his company continuing to not only clean our store, but also training us and giving us the products we need to make sure that you and your family are just as safe as we are when you enter our doors. There are products we use once daily and others we use throughout the day.

To that end, Ben sent us the certification he earned this month taking an online training course administered by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council regarding proper cleaning and disinfecting techniques with an emphasis on SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19. I can’t be sure of other stores, but we are prepared and ready to reopen!

Cleaning Certification for COVID-19

How has Ben’s cleaning procedures changed with the onset of COVID-19?

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, the EPA released a listing of  Products with Emerging Viral Pathogens AND Human Coronavirus claims for use against SARS-CoV-2 . “We began to use 2 additional RTU germicidal detergents with a 2 minute contact time against the virus compared to a 10 minute contact period. Due to the significant time period for delivery of these products we have sourced them directly from the two different manufacturers to maintain adequate inventory levels.”

In addition, he says, “We also are doing more frequent cleaning and disinfection of high touch surfaces, have used color coded micro fiber cleaning cloths for years, and have spent significant funds in the latest available cleaning equipment to assist our staff in removing soil prior to the disinfection process.

Since I started the company in 2004 we have always used two EPA registered quaternary hospital grade germicidal detergents for disinfection. One was an acidic based product and the other was an alkaline based product.

We used another EPA registered product which is based on free available chlorine Hypochlorous acid which is 4x more disinfection power that the hypochlorite ion. It is more active in the presence of organic loads and has a longer shelf life. It also has a label claim against c difficile spores which are extremely difficult to eliminate in a health care setting.

We are also doing additional education with our client base making sure that they are using compatible cleaning chemistries during the day for their internal cleaning.”

Now that you know our store is cleaned like a hospital, be confident we are ready for you!

Let’s get back to how do you know if a store is actually clean?

Ben published an article in 2005 in Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association that ranked store cleanliness as the most important attribute that a consumer was seeking. “A consumer in a retail clothing location focuses on the cleanliness of the front entrance, fitting room areas, cash check out areas and the store restrooms. There should be no visible soil in these areas of the store,” Ben wrote.

I then asked him how can someone feel confident that an establishment is clean? What does he look for when entering a store or restaurant? Of course, the all areas of the store need to look and smell clean, but beyond that he also looks for the following:

Are the employees wearing clean uniforms or clothing?
Are the employees taking any special precautions between clients/customers?
Are there adequate hand washing facilities available? (Hopefully they are not topping off their hand soap dispensers!)

Ben also intends on reviewing more frequently local health department inspection reports. GOOD idea!

We hope you enjoyed reading this blog. It was fantastic for me to write this as I have a renewed appreciation and confidence in Bugajewski Facility Services, and the cleanliness of our store!

We can’t wait to welcome you back – make your appointment here!

How About Some Custom Wedding Decor?!

 

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is excited to feature another awesome vendor – this one makes the coolest custom wedding decor from cake toppers to table numbers to signage, and more!

So pleased to feature Lexi Eveleth of Everlaser, a fellow NACE member and a business professional to customize your wedding decor in one of the most unique ways we’ve seen yet!

Lexi Eveleth, Everlaser

 

Starting Out

With her background in graphic design, she began taking classes to learn how to use a laser cutter so she could make the décor for her own wedding including a cake topper, table numbers, an engraved seating chart, a guest book, and table décor.

Shortly after her wedding, she decided to pursue laser cutting as a business!

She created an Instagram account showcasing her designs and as her following grew, so did her business. She has designs that span between bridal, businesses, homes, and events.

Everlaser has gained so much attention and popularity that she had the amazing opportunity to work with big brands and make logo signs for Louis Vuitton for a flower wall and sale signs for Free People!

Products

When choosing your décor from Everlaser, you have the option to choose from available designs or work with Lexi on custom creations.

She likes to make her products out of natural material like 1/8th and 1/4th inch Birch wood that is stained or painted. She also uses different colored acrylics, paper, and leather depending on the product or preference.

The signage options for your wedding or bridal shower are endless, like:

  • invitations
  • table numbers
  • cake toppers
  • chair signs
  • directional signage
  • dessert bar signs
  • quotes
  • monograms
  • last name
  • ceremony backdrops
  • guest books

Everlaser also features adorable décor for little ones!  She offers shower and nursery signage as well as sweet mirror signs you can hang near their crib.

Check out the “kids” section of her website for a full selection (and to see her sweet little girl help promote).

Contact Lexi at Everlaser today to start designing your wedding decor!  On Instagram: @everlaser

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is proud to partner with some of the best vendors in the wedding industry.  As members of NACE and the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce, we are thrilled to have built relationships with so many professional and unique vendors.  Top professionals working together provide the ultimate experience in customized, stress-free weddings. Visit us today! Make your bridal appointment or call/text us at 215-491-8500 and let us recommend other outstanding vendors to help bring your vision to life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blended Organization: How To Create an Organized Home

Today’s blog will help you organize your home and your “stuff” before moving in together.  I am excited to publish this blog because it is something most people don’t think about until it’s a little too late.

If you are about to move in with your partner, this is very important and practical information that needs to be considered before the move to help create an organized and harmonious blending of lives.

For the best advice, we tapped a 4-time Bucks Happening winner, fellow Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce Women In Business member, and a true professional in this field.  So proud to have as our guest blogger Audrey Cupo, professional organizer and owner of A Better Space in Bucks County to get you organized and off to a happy start!

How To Create An Organized Home

Audrey Cupo, Professional Organizer and Owner of A Better Space

Are you recently engaged to be married?  Have you recently “tied the knot”?  Congratulations!

The prospect of a new life together can be very exciting. However, it can bring challenges. One of them being blending two people – or families – into one.

As a professional organizer, I am often contacted by people  who have recently married or have moved in together and are now struggling with trying to fit two households into one.

As we all know, we can’t keep everything we own and still have room for someone else. It takes compromise, a concept we become so familiar with when in a relationship.

Just how do we make it all work?

  • Communication is key. You need to discuss what is going to stay and what is going to go. You cannot expect that one person is to give up everything in order to move into the other person’s home. It requires “blended organization”.
  • Avoid duplication. You might have double the furniture. You have to decide which sets of furniture will stay and which will go. Will they be sold, given to other family members or friends or perhaps donated?  NOTE: I discourage using a storage unit long term to solve this problem. It is an expense we don’t need to incur if we make some decisions.
  • The kitchen is a very common area in which blended organization comes into play.  Double the dishes and cook wear, this must be sorted through prior to the move.
  • Closet space.   It is possible that you might both need to weed out your wardrobe to reduce its contents to make it fit into the designated area.
  • Just too much stuff. You might have lots of artwork, nick knacks, collectibles. Do you have enough room to incorporate all of it? Does some of it need to be eliminated? I find that if someone is that passionate about something, you should do whatever you can to keep the collection in tact, but within reason. If it’s a large collection, it just might need to be downsized in order to make it fit into the home. Discuss solutions that work for everyone involved.

Remember, we need to own our possessions, not have our possessions own us!

The bottom line is that when you are combining households, you need to be sure to take the time to communicate about how each other’s possessions will fit into the living space.

It might mean eliminating things altogether or it might mean reducing the amount.

The other factor that comes into play is how each of you function, but that is a discussion for another day. (Be sure to read my next blog entitled “Why Is My Partner Causing Clutter?”)

If you have questions about how to blend your home to accommodate each other, don’t hesitate to contact me at A Better Space at (215) 491-5193 or visit my website at https://www.4abetterspace.com.  I would be happy to show you how you can achieve the home you envision for you and your special someone.
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Audrey Cupo is a full-time Professional Organizer and the sole proprietor of A BETTER SPACE based in Bucks County, PA. She specializes in residential organizing and focuses her business on helping people eliminate clutter, get organized and stay organized with her in-home services. Audrey is the creator of the “U Can Do It” information product line, writes blogs, articles, and guest blogs.  Her public speaking and workshops throughout the Bucks and Montgomery County areas focus on various topics including eliminating clutter, residential organizing, time management, paper management and household budgeting. To learn more about what A BETTER SPACE can do for you and to sign up for her free monthly newsletter “Organizing News You Can Use”, visit https://www.4abetterspace.com/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Take Your Perfect Picture

In the age of selfies and filters, it’s easy to take your perfect picture. When someone else takes your picture, it’s a whole different story.

I had the idea for this blog at a Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce Women In Business networking meeting, which is where I met Amy McDermott of Heart and Soul Portraits. Amy was the photographer of our meeting and asked me to be in a shot.

Right before snapping the pic, she said, “Wendy, stick your nose out.”

I only had a second or two to figure out what that meant, and I found myself wiggling my nose like I was about to sneeze. Amy helped me  (without laughing at me) and said, “Push your face out.”  OOHHH Oh oh I got it, so no double chin action!

And it dawned on me that I should ask Amy to be a guest blogger with some basic and must-know tips on how to look great in photos that aren’t selfies!

Amy is the owner and photographer of Heart and Soul Portraits for over 17 years. Heart and Soul Portraits specializes in family/newborn portrait sessions, corporate events, professional head shots, and engagement photos.  After taking that many pictures, she has some easy and helpful tips for you to look your best in photos.  Read on, aspiring models!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amy McDermott, Owner, Heart and Soul Portraits

I am happy to share with you some of my suggestions for taking your best photograph.

Most importantly, if you are hiring a photographer you must choose a one you love. You need to really “get”  his or her personality and vice versa.  An experienced, professional photographer can bring out your best and the person you hire should be able to get you to relax and laugh easily.  A natural smile is always better than a fake one.

It is best to have an engagement photo session with your photographer to be sure you love his/her style before the big day.  This helps build your relationship with the photographer which is incredibly important because you will be spending your big day with that person.

To make sure you get those must-have photos, have a trusted guest as a contact person at your wedding for your photographer. That person can point out key people in your family that you want included.

And  now:  How To Look Your Best

  • Eyes always closed in photos?  Close your eyes right before the picture is taken.  Ask the photographer to count 1.2.3 and then open your eyes on 3.  Don’t forget to smile!
  • The dreaded double chin.  To avoid a double chin, elongate your neck up and push your face forward a bit (or “stick your nose out”).
  • Remember the song Walk Like An Egyptian?  Ever see that dance?  That’s the way you do it.  Will it feel awkward?  Yep.  Will is look great?  Absolutely!  Practice this in the mirror to see how to make it work best for you.
  • Want a slimmer pose?  How you stand can do wonders.  Put your hand on your hip and angle your body to the side, and turn your head towards the camera. It may be cliché, but it really does help you look slimmer.
  • The arms.  Putting your hand on your hip keeps your arm from pressing against your body and widening out.  If you don’t want to put your hand on your hip, then keep a little “air in your armpit” so it isn’t pressing against your body.  Keep your arm just enough off of your body that there is a small gap of air in your armpit.
  • It can be helpful to have your photographer stand above you on a step stool. The higher elevation will instantly slim your face and be very flattering.
  • What not to wear.  Steer away from the loud patterns/bold prints and stripes.  They can make you appear larger. Instead, choose clothes in simple tones.  For your engagement session, make sure you both stay in the same color families.

We hope you remember these when someone has a camera on you, and I personally hope you remember to “stick your nose out”.   And after the wedding, should any mini-yous arrive, give Amy a call for a family session at 215-356-7408 or visit her website.

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo was just named 2018 Pick of the Knot, 2018 Wedding Wire Couples’ Choice Award, and has been named Best of Bucks Bridal Store for five consecutive years.  Located in Warrington, Bucks County and serving Bucks as well as surrounding counties of Montgomery and Philadelphia. www.dariannabridal.com

 

Wedding vs. Venue Coordinator

Contributing today is Galina Nemstov Wohl of Deserve Your Time, LLC.  We met her through the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce and found her professionalism and aura just wonderful.   Galina is a professional Certified Wedding Planner/Wedding Coordinator and also offers  Special Occasion Planning and Concierge services.  She has been a popular spotlight vendor at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo and we will be proud to have her in the store again this year.

In this blog, she reveals the differences you will find between a Wedding Coordinator and a Venue Coordinator – and there are some very important differences.  Don’t find out too late that what you thought was covered by one actually isn’t!  Read on to see which one you need at your wedding.

by Galina Nemstov Wohl

Wedding coordinator and venue coordinator, the two names sound very similar, but they differ in their responsibilities to the bride and groom.

Many brides mistakenly think that if their selected wedding venue offers an in-house coordinator, they wouldn’t need the services of a wedding planner at all, but there is a good chance that the bride could end up stressed out and facing a disaster on her wedding day, when the venue coordinator will not “perform” the duties of a wedding planner.

Unfortunately it is often assumed that the venue coordinator is going to help set up all your décor, manage and coordinate all third party vendors and generally oversee everything that needs to be done in order for your special day to run smoothly.

Do not be fooled when a venue coordinator will say to you, “I will take care of everything on the day of your wedding, making sure the day will run smoothly.”

Although the venue coordinator will offer her/his assistance with emergencies if you need it, that is totally a different thing from taking responsibility for running the entire wedding. To clear up the confusion between the duties of a wedding planner and a venue coordinator, here is a short checklist to help you remember what you can expect in most cases:

Wedding Coordinator’s Responsibilities:

*They will make sure all the vendors get to the venue on time
*They will communicate with the vendors in case there is an issue
*They will help to set up décor, flowers, candles to bring the bride’s vision to life
*They will stay at the venue until the end of your wedding
*They will run the wedding day according to the timeline that you or the wedding planner help you create

Venue Coordinator’s Responsibilities:

*They are responsible for the venue
*They will protect the interests of the venue
*They will make sure all the vendors have liability insurance
*They will ensure the food and drinks are served in the timely manner
*They will ensure basic set up of tables and chairs as it states in your contract

Now that we have some clarity on the difference between the wedding coordinator and the venue coordinator, you can avoid quite a bit of frustration and unmet expectations.   A wedding planner/coordinator can save you time, money and offer wedding planning services to make sure your special day is stress-free.

Call us today for a complimentary consultation! 267-968-1210.

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo in Warrington is proud to feature guest bloggers whom we know and trust.  Galina and Deserve Your Time, LLC offers multiple (and very affordable!) packages to fit your needs and to ensure the best day of your life really is!

Thoughts From A New Bridal Consultant

Our newest Bridal Consultant, Jessica Hill, asked if she could blog about her position with Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo because she gets so many questions about working here.  She sent it over and said if I “didn’t like it” it wouldn’t hurt her feelings.

Franco and I speak often about how much we appreciate our staff, but hearing it from a brand new employee who is in her second month with us was the best feeling.  When the employees feel like family, they take care of our brides and grooms like family.  It is not just a sale here, or just a job, it’s a connection for a lifetime.

Jessica mentioned she always wanted a position like this, and we think she is perfect for it!  Read Jessica’s (unprompted!) blog below.

To me, Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is a hidden gem. Popular with many but still undiscovered by some. Since starting two months ago I’ve been asked, “Hey how is it there?” and many similar questions.  Well I will be happy to tell you.

First, let me start by saying I am married and many of my best friends are married. I have said yes to a dress and I have watched them say yes to many dresses, so my experience is coming from both points of view. I remember how we were treated from those “bigger box stores”. It was great saying yes to the dress but what many do not realize is the process does not end there. You go back for alterations, bridesmaids and groomsmen and the list continues. What I have found is after you say yes to the dress in the bigger chain stores you are then a number, a sale and that caring consultant has moved on to the next one.

The customer service at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is unlike any place I have honestly have ever seen. The minute you walk in you become a part of the family. The best part you ask? Well you stay in that family even after you say yes and even after you are married! The sole purpose is to make everyone feel welcomed and have a great experience from the minute you walk in the door to the minute you walk down the aisle. By the way, the amazing and beautiful dress selections also make it easy for everyone to try on all different shapes and styles, making sure we cover all bases before saying yes.

Another amazing benefit to all brides and even potentially new customers is that you can call or text the store. The texting feature is amazing because if you have anything weighing on your mind it can be answered quickly and ease those worries. I’d say that would be a great feature for when the store is closed but Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is open seven days a week to accommodate everyone’s schedule.

The kind, caring, and compassionate staff is what really sets them apart. Every time you enter the store you will see a familiar face. The owners Wendy and Franco are some of the nicest most hard working people I have ever encountered. They make sure everyone and everything is taken care of.

So hopefully I have answered some of your questions. I could go on and on but I think the best way for you to understand it is to come in and experience the Darianna difference.