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Bridal Myths: Exposed!

We’ve all heard urban myths and legends. Some are funny like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. Some are creepy like Bloody Mary; the Woman in White and Area 51. Yet, even though we know these myths are based on nothing more than rumor and exaggeration, they still persist.

Like any other segment of society, the bridal world has its own share of myths, like:

“I will cry when I find my perfect dress;” “I will know my perfect dress as soon as I see it;” or “It’s best to bring everyone with me to my bridal appointments.”

Well, much like Bigfoot and the Woman in White, not all tales are true, especially in the bridal world.  Here are a few of the tales I’ve heard over the years.

  • I will cry when I find my perfect dress

Not always!  When you know it’s your dress, we call that “the Moment”.  Many brides do have the Moment with tears! Some completely break down as the reality hits (OMG, I’m getting MARRIED!)  Some experience a combination of a laugh-cry type thing.  Others light up, smile ear to ear and say YES with a cheer! And then there are brides who simply know and confidently say, I love it.  This is my dress, this is the one.

We love the brides who say, “I’m sure I won’t cry, I’m not like that.”  When those tears come, whoa boy.  It’s for real and there is no denying she found the ONE.

You may not cry, but you WILL have your Moment.  Trust that process.  You’ll know.  Not a myth.

  • I will know my dress as soon as I see it

Myth. As any experienced Consultant will tell you, there is a process to finding your dream dress. It’s not a matter of just finding the prettiest gown in the shop and calling it a day. There are many factors that should go into finding the dress for your special day:

What silhouette flatters your figure most? Where is the wedding taking place? What fabrics are you most comfortable in? What type of wedding are you having? Indoor or outdoor? Day or evening? Huge celebration or an intimate affair? How much detail work are you looking for? Do you want to deal with a train or would you rather have a cathedral veil for drama? What price point are you comfortable with?

All these answers are to be found in one dress and that requires a thoughtful plan of action. You will no doubt put on numerous dresses that are breathtaking and fulfill your vision. But, does it check off all your “must haves”?

Consistently, we have brides end an appointment with TWO favorite dresses which they need to weigh against each to make that final choice. While it does occasionally happen that a bride will click with her gown right away, more times than not, there isn’t a definitive “ta-dah” moment until the bride gives it much consideration against the others.

This is why we will encourage you to try different styles, silhouettes, and fabrics during your appointment. Our goal is to guide and support you as you navigate through a sea of white and ivory to find the gown of your dreams. Just don’t be disheartened if you don’t know your dress based on a first look.

  • To find my perfect dress, I will drive to dozens of places and try everything on to be confident in my decision.

Myth.  While this sounds like an excellent research plan, I can tell you from experience that this will leave a bride stressed and frustrated. The much-anticipated, incredibly exciting “Say Yes” moment becomes a chore.

With the Internet’s assistance, you will find thousands of dresses with similar silhouettes, features and colors that you will be trying to cram into your brain. Even the most detail-oriented bride will buckle under the weight of all the information being thrown at her by Google, her friends and the Consultants she encounters at each place she visits near and far.

Brides come in to see me with endless photos of gowns they’ve tried. Constant refrains are:

“Wait, why did we keep this picture?” “I don’t remember what was on the skirt/bodice that we liked…” “Was this the one Mom liked?” “Is this the same dress we tried on at the other place?”  And our very favorite: “Wait, didn’t we all hate this dress?”

Short story: I personally worked with a Bride who visited 12 different salons across the Tri-State area. She couldn’t say whether or not she liked the dresses she was trying on with me.  Every time she came out in a dress, she was riddled with questions and information:  “The other one was better on your figure.” “Now, do you like the beading on this one or this one (showing her a photo).” “Show her how this bustles.” “Let’s put a veil on and see how you feel.”  “Maybe you should try something plain, you liked a plain one at the other store last week.”  “Let me go pull another one I saw for you.”

She just broke down crying because after trying on literally over one hundred dresses, she was miserable. She didn’t like anything anymore.  The constant questions comparing every dress to something else she tried on previously had her too stressed her out to continue. There were TOO MANY.  Let your Consultant curate a beautiful selection for you and start from there.

Keep it simple.  Find a couple reputable stores who will make you a priority. Visit their websites, research the lines they carry and price points.  Read their reviews. (Read our reviews here!)  Make your appointment and try on gowns that you know will work both aesthetically and financially for your wedding. There is enough stress involved in wedding planning, be strategic in your dress search.

  • The more expensive the dress, the better it is

Myth Myth Myth Myth and Myth.

In my years as a Consultant, I have been privileged to work in different parts of the country and at different salons. I have worked with many top of the line designers as well as median designers. While it is true that most gowns are priced according to the quality of fabric, lace and embroidery used in a design, it is also true that you are paying for the privilege of wearing a specific designer’s creation.

There is absolutely no reason for a bride to overpay for a beautifully designed and well constructed gown. Today’s textiles are being manufactured with specific purpose and your comfort in mind. And, thankfully, these fabrics are not as expensive as their predecessors! Silk jersey and matte satins are being utilized by bridal gown manufacturers for more wrinkle free wear and lighter weight gowns. Many times, these modern fabrics provide a lower price point for the consumer.

Although there are still designers that command a premium price due to name recognition, I guarantee that no one will know if the appliques on your dress were sewn on by hand or if they were machine stitched.

  • The Consultant will try to push higher priced dresses to boost her commission

While I would love to qualify this as a total falsehood, I can’t.  If a store works on commission, this is true.

The reality is that commissions are incentives to sell, whether it’s a higher priced dress, or old stock they want to move out. Unfortunately, this can lead to high pressure sales tactics and even outright lies.

Yes, in the past, I have seen commission driven Consultants skirt the truth in order to close a sale. Sadly, these Consultants were poorly compensated and to make up for the unfair pay scale, a Consultant was forced to boost their compensation with commission. So, while I cannot entirely dismiss commission boosting as a total fabrication in the bridal industry, I can tell you how the Consultants at Darianna Bridal differ from them.

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is a family-run, community based business. We are invested personally and professionally in the area. Our Consultants are compensated for their expertise, knowledge and professionalism allowing us to forego the problematic commission based sales paradigm. Our families live and work in the community that we serve. We are invested in our neighbors and want their experience here at Darianna to be a joyous one.

Whether you say yes to a brand new dress or a marked down bargain, we are thrilled to be part of your wedding… and the consultant makes the same amount of money. There is – and never will be – a commission structure in our store.

  • A Bridal Salon will order the dress too big so that they can make money off of the alterations

This is another one that cannot be completely disputed.

Brides need not be confined to an overpriced alteration “package” (or “flat fee”) for the sake of convenience. We allow the Bride to choose from several different seamstresses in the area who are extremely skilled and talented in bridal and formal wear alterations. These alteration providers are independently owned and operated, small businesses. They set their own pricing scale based on the intricacy of the work to be performed.

Alterations are necessary but time consuming. Sizing in the bridal industry is extremely different from any other piece of clothing you will ever wear or order.  Read our blog on sizing and how we try to get the RIGHT size!

As Consultants, we can offer you our considerable knowledge and guidance. Speak up and always let your thoughts be known about sizing.

  • Bridal salons are overpriced and have HUGE marked-up prices. Buying a gown on-line will save me hundreds of dollars.

MYTH!!!!  MYTH!!!! MYTH!!!!

The Amazon model of internet sales is revolutionary in terms of convenience, product choice and price comparison. Who doesn’t like hitting a button and having a package show up the next day fulfilling your need. And as much as my Amazon Prime account makes my life easier, it can’t always fulfill every niche. As the old adage says, if it’s too good to be true, it usually is.

Take for example on-line wedding gown vendors. We’ve all seen the Memes of the “knock-off” dresses.  That is not a myth either – those knock offs actually do look that bad.  Scarily, some even smell terrible, like chemicals or something burned.

Recently, we had a young lady rush into Darianna on a Friday afternoon clutching a gown, desperately looking for a replacement. The gown she was holding was an internet purchase. It was only $30. A total bargain, right?  Wrong. The dress construction was absurd (the bra cups were almost at her shoulders), the lining was entirely too small, and the lace bodice was completely off-color. Thankfully, we found her a great substitute that she wore to fulfill her Maid of Honor duties.  She paid a fair MSRP price on a quality dress, and spent an extra $30 on a dress she threw out.

Delivery of that bargain dress was delayed over a month due to its shipping origination in China. The site she purchased from had no customer service representative to speak with and no remedy for her situation. She purchased the dress from a picture and provided her credit card information to an unknown business entity in a foreign country.

At Darianna Bridal and Tuxedo, this is an untruth that we work to dismiss. We know our modern couple needs to be price conscious and we know they have other monetary considerations for their wedding day. Today’s Bride and Groom are graduating from college and entering the work force with incurred educational and life debts. We, as well as our manufacturers, are aware of this fact. We actively adhere to suggested manufacturer pricing guidelines so you can be assured of the best pricing available for the highest quality dresses.

Also, being a family run business, we have family and employees carrying educational and life debt. We know the importance of a budget. Our goal is to make your special day a reality, not to put you in debt.

  • My Bridal Squad is planning a party while I try on wedding dresses! Champagne, treats, and hours of fun for everyone! This is a great way to find my dress.

No one likes to have fun at a Bridal appointment more than the Consultants at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo. This appointment is meant to be a memorable and joyous experience! We are always excited to meet you and your guests. But, as with most things, there are considerations…

While it is sparkling good fun to bring in champagne for your crew to sip while you view, it does not make for good decision making skills.

We love to celebrate the final “YES!” with a champagne toast, but drinking alcohol is not a good idea throughout the appointment. You and your Squad should approach this decision with the contemplative attitude the task requires, then go celebrate properly at brunch or dinner!

And, while we love a gregarious group, when the attention strays from the bride, attention is diverted from the goal of finding her dress. It makes for good Instagram posts, but it is not helping the bride.

Short story: We had a very large group several years ago who brought boxed wine and a full spread of cheese and crackers. Rules were set at the start and everyone was on board. While it was fun in the beginning, it didn’t last. It turned chaotic with dresses being pulled “for fun”, silly photos being taken, and as the drinking continued, arguments started. The appointment was ruined and bride got nowhere.  The appointment was shut down after the scheduled 90 minutes and the group was upset that they didn’t have enough time to see the bride in all the dresses they pulled (“for fun”).

A bride will never find her dress this way and we learned a lot from that group (including NO outside alcohol).  We privately arranged to have the bride return with just her mother for the experience she deserved, where she was able to say yes and have a champagne toast on us.

Have a question or a myth you’d like answered?  Let us know in a comment! We’d love to confirm or debunk for you 🙂

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is so proud to continue to curate the best dress and tuxedo selections for our couples at great prices. It is exciting to continue to add new dress designers (stay tuned for Morilee and MADI LANE Bridal!!) and carry the newest tuxedo styles! It’s a great time to be engaged!

 

Say Yes! To The Right Accessory!

If you’ve said yes to your dress already, then you know this to be the case: the right accessory can completely transform a great dress into THE dress.

If you’re just starting out, picture this:

There you are on the pedestal in a beautiful wedding dress.  You really like it.  You look amazing and it’s giving you all the feels… This could be the one!

You can’t stop staring at yourself in it because you absolutely love the dress, yet you keep tilting your head, turning to the side… you don’t want to take it off, this is it, but you can’t say yes. What’s wrong?

When you work with an experienced bridal stylist like ours at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, she reads that body language.  She will  subtly bring over a little sparkly belt, a satin sash with a perfectly tied bow, that blush and ivory flower placed just so on the side… and all of a sudden, TEARS!  It’s a definite YES!

A good bridal stylist will be able to guide you to your perfect dress style, including shape, neckline, and fabrics.  A great bridal stylist, like ours at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, will listen, watch your reactions, and read your expressions to take your look to the next level, without breaking the budget!

When you have that dress on that we know checks all the right boxes, but you’re still stuck, we will help you check that last box with the right accessory!  Let the fun continue!

Accessories come in all shapes and sizes.  From thick crystal and pearl, to an accent piece worn a bit to the side, to an organza or satin sash tied in a beautiful bow in the back, there is an accessory for every dress.

 

A veil can also completely transform a dress.  You have a lace one on and love it, then your stylist has you try on a pretty crystal beaded one just for fun.  Whoa.  Didn’t think you wanted a veil but that cathedral length… imagine those pictures of it blowing in the wind… Ahh!  Who knew you could look so gorgeous?!

Veils vary in length from the birdcage, shoulder, fingertip, chapel, cathedral, and royal (an incredible 120″ long!).  From simple chic to glam to dramatic elegance, it’s all about your style – and your dress.

A classic crepe or satin dress can be transformed into a work of art with the right cathedral veil edged in lace.  A mermaid can be perfectly framed with a fingertip length veil ending right at the skirt flare! Let your stylist show you the options!

Perhaps a beautiful bolero jacket to match your gown, or a gorgeous cape adorned with beading and embroidery?   These pieces are definitely not to be overlooked when thinking of accessories.

Completely transform your dress with detachable straps, cap, or even long sleeves!  Consider a detachable train to turn a sleek fitted dress into a ballgown in an instant and get two dresses in one!

Note:  You do not want any one accessory to be the focal point.  These are completer pieces that pull your bridal look together.  Your veil, belt, jewelry, shoes – all are accessories that need to be tried on with your dress to see what looks best.

The perfect look is the one where every piece is right and you’re feeling it. Whether it’s minimalist accessories with just the right hair piece, or a blinged-out beauty with sparkle head to toe, let your stylist guide you and go with that voice inside to create your vision!

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is an award-winning bridal and tuxedo store in Warrington, PA.  With an outstanding reputation and partnering with some of the best vendors in the wedding industry, you can visit us at www.dariannabridal.com, call or text 215-491-8500.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Help! What Dress Size Am I?!

Have you shopped for your wedding dress and been shocked at the size? You’re not alone. The fashion world is all over the place with sizing these days! Manufacturers are changing their cutting scales so now you could fit into a size much smaller than your “usual”, but this is not the case in a wedding dress.

While each designer cuts on his/her own scale, the sizing can be very confusing. Your measurements might fit into a 4 in one designer and an 8 in another. Your measurements could also fall into three different sizes.

Most of the time, whatever size you “usually” are, it is a larger size in bridal. Do not be discouraged! That number is meaningless – the FIT is what matters!

This is why it is so important to get the measurements right. Alterations can be costly, and multiple alterations are not good for the dress.

Some designers will offer custom measurements for a fee. This is a great option if a bride has a large bust and smaller hips, or vice versa. Ordering for the largest measurement is not the best option if you can get custom.

The drawback of custom is that you need to stay about the same size until your wedding day.

If you are intent on losing weight before your wedding, consider ordering your dress closer to your wedding date and getting measured just before ordering.

If custom is not available in the dress you choose or you’re not interested in going that route, your stylist will consult with you on sizing. Together you will look at your measurements, the size chart, the dress silhouette and features (is it a ballgown or a mermaid, full back with buttons or backless, etc.) and be confident with why a particular size is chosen.

Our stylists want the best for you! Be confident that we will make suggestions and offer ideas for consideration. While there are stores notorious for ordering larger sizes, ours is definitely not one. We want our brides to have minimal alterations, not only for your wallet, but also for the integrity of the dress!

Many designers also offer custom length and petite cuts as well. IF you commit to the shoes and get measured, you can have it made in your length! If you’re under 5’4″, ask about what a petite cut would look like in the dress you love.

We have had many brides come to try on their dresses and needed nothing but a bustle. How gratifying is that?! That is our goal and when our sizing and measurements hit the mark perfectly it’s a joy knowing that dress came directly from the designer and not one detail was changed!

We have also had brides lose up to 40 pounds (have you seen our TLC Say Yes: Wedding SOS episode?) and 4 sizes. We have had brides change medications and gain inches to where they needed significant alterations to fit properly.

Be realistic. If you know you lost or gained significant weight, be aware that the size ordered is then not your size anymore. If that happens, your stylist and seamstress will assist in the best solution! Do not panic and do not put off your try on. Go in as soon as your dress arrives so a plan can be made in plenty of time.

Remember, sizes are not standard. Every designer has their own. Do not worry or obsess over a number! They don’t mean anything anymore and it’s not about the size, it’s about the DRESS! Come on in and let us find that perfect one for you!

Our Staff Picks: Favorite Wedding Dresses

Our bridal consultants hear it often, “These dresses are all so beautiful, how can anyone pick one?” It’s true, we do carry fashionably savvy designers who make our job carrying their lines enjoyable because every wedding gown in our store is beautiful for varying reasons.

Often brides will ask for the opinions of our consultants and because this is what we do (and what we love to do, I might add), it’s easy for us because we work with brides every day and, therefore know our selection and inventory quite well. This works in our favor to help find the perfect dress for our discerning brides.

There are dresses that work on certain body types, and then there are dresses that work on every body, and truth be told: when a bride thinks she can’t wear a certain style dress, and we put it on her and she realizes she can – well in our store there is really no better feeling. We know she will feel as beautiful as she hopes to feel and it is our job to show her that.

However, all of that being said, each of our consultants has a couple of gowns that are their favorites. Just like a bride, we know what we like. So for this blog, we decided to have some fun and go behind the scenes in our bridal gallery and find out from our consultants which gown is their favorite.

Wendy’s Pick

Let’s start with shop owner, Wendy. Wendy started this business over six years ago with her husband, Franco, so, as the owner, she makes the final selections for our bridal gallery.  We consultants always get to choose our favorite new ones, but since we cannot bring all of them in, she has the final vote! In all of the years, and thousands of gowns later, Wendy’s top pick is Jayda by Kitty Chen.

“To me, this dress is perfection. It’s a classic style, an A-line with a full skirt, perfectly shaped and flattering sweetheart neckline, dreamy layered lace, a little sparkle… it’s so full of romance and joy. When I see a bride try this on, I can picture her with flowers, walking down that aisle, I actually see her as a bride.”

Of all the dresses Wendy’s daughter Daria has modeled  over the years, this is the one that made her cry (and it was only to take a photo!).  “That’s Daria’s dress.  At least for me, that’s it.  In the blush color.  We put her in Jayda and a veil, I just lost it. I’ll let you know if something ever beats it.”

Daria’s Pick

Daria has been working in the family business since opening in 2013  (it is named partly after her!) and, like her mom, she too has seen thousands of dresses and worked with hundreds of brides. Every bride is unique and so is every dress. Daria’s favorite is Sedona by Casablanca Bridal.

“The delicate lace is very classy and timeless, but still really fun with the royal train and the right amount of sparkle. The fit is gorgeous and works so beautifully on every bride.”

Daria said she also loves Jayda, but she prefers it in the ivory color… like Mother, like Daughter

Suzanne’s Pick

Suzanne joined Darianna as a bridal consultant with over 20 years in the industry. She’s seen the change from the age of the 90’s brides into the early 2000’s and now closing in on 2020. Working with thousands of brides, she’s also seen thousands of bridal dresses, yet even with all of that, her favorite wedding dress is the 1975 by Casablanca.

“This dress has everything. Lace and beaded applique, fit and flare with sweep train.  The built in corset is not only slimming but emphasizes the waist and curves and brides of all sizes look gorgeous in it. It is also equally appropriate for a boho chic wedding or a formal ballroom wedding.  Colors available to suit all skin tones, lightweight and easy to wear, it is definitely a go-to for me.”

 

Shannon’s Pick

Shannon has been a part of the Darianna family for over a year now, and her youthfulness and fun personality have certainly brought energy to the bridesmaids and brides. Not only that, she seems to know everybody!  Jumping into the bridal world can be overwhelming and new inventory comes quickly.  Shannon’s current favorite dress is the brand new December by Jessica Morgan.

“This dress is so elegant and with color options can be versatile to fit the venue.  The back is open, great neckline, pretty sparkle, and to top all that off, it’s light weight and more comfortable than most of the fuller dresses.”

 

Esther’s Pick

Esther is our most recent addition to the consultant floor and she loves working with our brides and spotting the perfect dress for each individual’s shape, personality and style. Her favorite gown was one she saw before she ever joined us. She was here helping her niece, Kirsten, find the perfect dress and her niece just happened to choose Esther’s pick (without even knowing it). Even as new styles come in, Esther still loves Casablanca’s Amber (#2289).

“I love the traditional elements of the lace over chiffon, the timeless elegance of the dress along with the illusion cap sleeve and back. However, my favorite part of this dress is the underlining of full sparkle that reminds me of fresh fallen snow.” Every time a bride says yes to this dress, we think of Esther and, of course, her niece who wore it just a couple of months ago in her winter wedding (and she customized it to have long sleeves).

Those are our picks and we’d love to help you find yours! It’s so much fun working with brides and hearing their stories of how they found their life mate. We love what we do and it shows.  Helping you find your dress is incredibly special and joyful. It’s a memory that will last a lifetime and we are proud to continue adding so many beautiful brides to our family!

Schedule your appointment and find your favorite today!

 

 

 

Satin, Organza, Chiffon: What Does It Mean?

Brides-to-be should take their time deciding which wedding dress is perfect for them, but that can be tricky without a familiarity with the most popular bridal fabrics. Here’s a breakdown of the most common wedding dress fabrics.

Satin

Satin dress by Jessica Morgan with box pleats and jeweled belt

Although many mistake satin for a type of fiber, it actually refers to the finish of the dress, as is the case for many fabrics. Satin can be made of fibers such as silk, nylon, or rayon, but still be satin because of its finish. Satin is a tried-and-true wedding fabric that has been popular across the ages for its smooth finish and durability. Because of its body, it can be easily shaped for structured bridal gowns as well. Very formal (meaning very “bridal”), this fabric is a perfect choice for a formal affair and, if the affair is outdoors, it is best worn in cooler temperatures. Beaded satin dresses are very glamorous and incredibly classic.

Charmeuse

Charmeuse dress by Beloved with lace overlay

Charmeuse, while similar to satin, is much lighter, making it great for dresses that drape, slink, and flow. This fabric is high-end and has a sophisticated sheen and has a slight stretch quality to it. It is exceptionally comfortable, silky, and lightweight. These dresses are great for destination events, they pack and travel easily yet still look rich and beautiful.

Chiffon

Chiffon is a lightweight, woven fabric that is sheer and flowing. Because it is sheer, it is layered over itself or another fabric with more body. It is common in both bride and bridesmaid dresses. Although its lightness does lead it to snag easily, a well-made chiffon dress can create an ethereal, fairy-tale look for a bride’s big day.  Bride’s looking for a more simple and less formal wedding dress lean toward chiffon. Chiffon dresses also work well for destination or warm summer events.

Organza

Beaded organza tiered skirt on this Casablanca dress

Similar to chiffon, organza is a relatively sheer and lightweight woven fabric. However, unlike chiffon, organza has a stiffness that makes it a more natural choice for structured gowns with more shape. Like chiffon, organza is quite delicate. Beaded organza and appliques look incredibly pretty and shimmery on this fabric. Organza is often used with layered or tiered skirts as a softer and less “pouffy” alternative to tulle.

Tulle

Layered tulle skirt with horsehair trim on this Justin Alexander dress

Tulle is a slightly stiff, netted fabric that is often used in ballerina tutus and veils. Often incorporating lace, tulle is a great fabric for structured dresses or to give a dress with heavier fabric some lighter accents. Like chiffon and organza, it’s important to be careful with tulle, as it can snag or tear easily.  Tulle is often used in ball gowns to create the dramatic and voluminous skirts and is lovely when layered or tiered with a horsehair trim.

Lace

Ornately beaded lace and applique on this Kitty Chen Couture dress

Standing the test of time, lace has been a popular feature in wedding gowns for centuries. Lace is normally used as an overlay atop another fabric, giving it a highly detailed accent that is perfect for a sophisticated wedding gown. Lace styles are normally named after the city in which they originated, with Chantilly, Alençon, Brussels, and Venice among the most popular types in modern wedding trends.

Lace can be incorporated onto your dress as beaded applique, or pieces of lace hand sewn on, or can be layered over other fabrics or even other lace patterns.

Floral lace pattern on a new Spring 2019 Casablanca Bridal dress

Although being educated about fabric types is important for any bride choosing her gown, it’s also helpful to see a variety of dresses in person to become familiar with the characteristics of different fabrics. To familiarize yourself with different types of gowns, view our gallery of real brides and our Pinterest boards, then call Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo at 215-491-8500 for an appointment today. We can’t wait to meet you!

Shape Shifting: Your Wedding Dress Silhouette

One of the most frequently asked questions a bridal consultant is asked usually revolves around what silhouette looks best on a specific body type. While there are no hard and fast rules regarding what will highlight a bride’s personal attributes, there are some general guidelines that may help you through the process of finding that perfect dress when you start your gown search.

First thing is that you need a caring consultant, equipped with the desire and experience to helping you. You are unique! Our team of stylists care about the individuality of each and every bride and know that there are many factors to consider when purchasing the most important and meaningful garment of your life.

Petite Brides 

Petite sized brides tend to measure under 5’3 in height. They require a more proportional fit in clothing to accommodate their smaller frames. Sadly for petite brides, most manufacturers cut their gowns for women who are 5’8 and above. (The idea being that it’s easier to cut and hem a gown rather than try to add more to the hemline.) And, while many manufacturers offer a gown length measurement for petite brides, gown length services may come with additional charges attached. While a perfectly petite stature may require some consideration when choosing a gown, it doesn’t have to be an obstacle.

A particular consideration for the petite bride is silhouette choice. Ball gowns, drop-waisted, full skirts and mermaid gowns tend to use layers of material to achieve a voluminous look. The petite bride will want to be discerning when choosing one of these silhouettes since sometimes the bigger gowns with tulle, lace and crinoline underskirts may overwhelm a smaller frame.

The petite bride may want to consider a sheath, fit and flare or a modified mermaid. These gowns give the illusion of an elongated frame. Trying to avoid a gown with heavy hem lace or horsehair finish also goes a long way toward lengthening your appearance. These types of finishes on a gown tend to give a definitive end point to the gown, which draws the eye. Fit and flare or mermaid gowns can be worn with confidence by a petite bride as long as the volume of the skirt is held to a minimum. This bride may also want to consider an empire waist or v-neckline. Both these design elements further enhance the illusion of an elongated frame.

The Curvy Bride

For the longest time in the bridal industry, it seemed that curvy brides were relegated to search among the back racks of a salon looking for their perfect dress. Rarely were they able to try on samples that actually fit let alone be given any kind of color or style choice. Thankfully, those days have been thrown to the wayside along with the corset, white gloves and pill box hat. The bridal industry has not only taken notice of your glorious curves, but they are now catering specifically to your needs. As a consultant at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, I am always thrilled when I can just grab a dozen different gorgeous dresses from our gallery in all different silhouettes for my curvy bride to consider during her appointment.

Being a curvy bride can come with pitfalls much like their petite bride counterparts. Rather than being vertically challenged, curvy brides may be challenged with generous bust lines or rounded hips paired with smaller waist lines. Curvy brides navigate between wanting to perhaps slim down certain aspects of their silhouettes while enhancing others. This can be achieved without compromising on the beauty of a gown.

Generally, curvy brides will gravitate toward A-line gowns. The waist is well-defined and the overall hour glass silhouette complements the figure. While A-line gowns are beautiful and well suited to a curvier body type, there are many more choices available to this bride.

The Fit and Flare silhouette are fabulous for highlighting a curvy bride’s assets to the fullest! The body hugging nature of a fit and flare accentuates a smaller waistline while putting those curves on display. Modifying the skirt volume so that it doesn’t overwhelm your frame is key to this look.

A basque waistline (waistline drops well below the hip line) is also a marvelous choice for this bride. Once again, it defines the hourglass nature of the body. Usually a basque-wasited dress will be paired with a tulle or English net skirt to complete the silhouette. Also, never underestimate belt accessories as an addition to any bridal look. Belts and colored ribbon are always a great way to add a little sparkle or color to a gown but also act as a focal point to the bride’s smaller waist.

Gown types that may not be as figure-friendly to our curvy bride would be a sheath, mermaid or massive ball gown bottoms. The sheath and mermaid gowns can sometimes appear to be overly restrictive on the figure and accentuate a look that you’d prefer to avoid. Voluminous skirts, while thought to have a concealing effect several decades ago, actually may do the opposite to a curvy or fuller-figured bride.

Another consideration for our curvy bride when choosing a gown is to consider her bust proportions. The best gown will define the bust line and accommodate your bust size rather than make you look and feel uncovered. When your breasts are not properly supported in your gown, it throws off the silhouette of your gown.

With designers now intentionally designing gowns for the curvy girl rather than just making bigger sized versions of their basic line, they have tackled this problem by incorporating better foundation structure in their gowns. You may now see more corset boning in the gown to help support the bust line or possibly elastic bands sewn into the bodice to help provide support and stability where it’s most needed.

Specific necklines will also help those who may need a little extra support. A jewel, bateau (boat), Queen Anne or tank neckline will always provide more support and structure for those who have fuller bust lines and need more structure. V-necks are perfect (and very flattering!) way to keep everything in place. Strapless is still a beautiful and viable option as long as the bra cup within the dress is large enough to accommodate your breasts. Also, never be afraid to employ fashion tape to keep everything where it should be. It is a translucent adhesive tape designed to adhere your dress to your body.

The Long and Lean Bride

Much like her counterpart brides, the long and lean bride has some unique needs as well. Oftentimes these brides are well above the average 5’4 woman which means they may require extra length added to their dresses. While it is true that manufacturers cut a gown for a 5’8 tall woman, if that bride wishes to wear a heel at her wedding that will put her over the industry standard. Contrary to her curvy counterpart, the lean bride tends to be less endowed in the bust area, which may lead to less definition in her gown’s bodice. These statuesque brides may wish to create the illusion of more curves and a fuller bust line to their look. As with our other clients, we can address these concerns with specific gown design.

While it may be true that the long and lean bride can wear a larger variety of silhouettes, there are still some styles that should possibly be left out of the mix. A fit and flare or mermaid style are designed to highlight body contours which our long and lean brides may not possess in abundant measure. Also, while a sheath helps elongate the frame, that may not be the goal of our taller ladies. And, conversely of the petite bride, hem lace or horsehair finishes at the bottom of your gown can work in your favor.

An excellent silhouette to consider for those lean brides may be a full-on ball gown. Their overall height enhances the overall effect of a ball gown and also boosts the illusion of a fuller hip line. Many ball gowns are designed with strapless bodices or with spaghetti straps, which work well for those girls who don’t struggle for control over their bust lines. Natural waisted gowns with body contour embellishments such as curved vertical laces or beading will give the impression of a fuller figure.

Unlike their curvy counterparts, the long and lean bride doesn’t necessarily need to focus on foundational support for her bust. Rather, she needs to highlight and define her bust line. This can be easily accomplished with the use of cups sewn into the dress or body sculpting adhesive push up cups.

All things considered, your gown should be as unique as the love between you and your fiancé. The guidelines I’ve provided you with are just that….general. You will have so many beautiful gowns from which to choose. Your ultimate goal is to find that gown that compliments your personality, aesthetic and body type. It also needs to be comfortable and not restrictive to movement as your wedding day will be long.

There will also be varying opinions and consultation with your support squad, but in the end it truly only comes down to your thoughts and feelings about the dress. You and your soul mate will be taking that wedding album out every year on your anniversary, it is a day that will never fade from your consciousness. As a consultant, I have seen so many phenomenal gowns, but I never associate a right or wrong choice when I’m working with a bride. To me it’s like choosing a rose. The flower is inherently beautiful. You just need to find the one that best expresses your unique beauty.

Reflections on 2018 and Wishes for 2019

 

At this time of the year, we want to take time to reflect on the thousands of brides who said YES to their dress at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo! It’s been our great privilege and honor to help our brides feel like they not only found their dress, but that they were served with love and knowledge from our kind-hearted team.

To the brides and grooms of 2018:  Thank you for entrusting us to be a part of one of the biggest events in your lifetime. Working with each one of you has made our mission of offering high quality bridal wear and top notch service worthwhile and enjoyable. We wish all our brides and grooms of 2018 a lifetime filled with happiness and good health.

To the brides and grooms of 2019: January kicks off a brand new bridal season, and we are preparing for the newly engaged couples who we will be meeting in the New Year. If you’ve been recently engaged, then you will be in full planning mode within the first couple of months of 2019, and we hope you include an appointment at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo. A few of our hand-picked designers include Casablanca, Kitty Chen, Sincerity, Moonlight, Jessica Morgan, and more. We are excited to see who we will get to meet and help prepare for your wedding day. Be sure to call or text our store telephone number at 215-491-8500 to make your bridal or tuxedo appointment as soon as possible as our calendar is already filling up..   Of course, you can always make your appointment online by clicking here.

To all our lovelies who have already said yes with us for your 2019 wedding, welcome to the family! We will take amazing care of you,  Most of you already know that you can text our store telephone number with any questions.  The owners will personally answer your texts whether the store is open or not!

We offer over a hundred varieties and styles of tuxedos featuring Michael Kors, Ike Behar, Allure, and others. Grooms and groomsmen will look their best in the latest tuxedo colors, styles and fashion. Our specially-trained tuxedo specialists are ready to help you suit up in style. Enjoy your complimentary Groom Try On to see the look in  person and fitted to you. Even more new styles at always amazing prices for 2019.

To the Prom Goers of 2019: January also kicks off the season for prom planning. Come on in and check out our beautiful prom gowns featuring the latest colors and styles from Jovani, Faviana, Clarisse, Primavera, and more! We have already received our first shipments of Prom wear and our Prom Consultants are ready to help guide you to your perfect dress! Also, we offer excellent options and discounts for the young men who will be attending prom.

As we prepare to ring in the New Year, we thank all who have supported us over the last six years and made Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo a multi award-winning small business in Warrington, PA Bucks County.  Cheers to a wonderful, healthy, and joyous 2019!

Happy New Year from our family to yours.

 

 

A Wedding Dress Shopping Story

by Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo’s Lead Stylist Suzanne Ardite

Congratulations ~ You’re engaged! You are about to embark on one of the most joyous and daunting journeys of your life… planning your wedding. There are so many things that will require your attention and planning skills in the next few months. You will hear and read so much advice on wedding planning that your brain may overload. And, one of the most anticipated and heralded moments in your journey will be finding THE perfect dress.

But, before you start pinning those dresses on Pinterest and making those appointments, you may need to contemplate what kind of bridal appointment you wish to have that will help you accomplish your goal. This blog tells an actual story of one of my recent brides so settle in.

Who Am I?

My name is Suzanne Ardite and I’ve been fortunate enough to work as a Bridal Consultant for many years and in many states before finding my newest home at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo. I have seen attitudes toward fashion and function change with regard to the bride’s gown and the nature of bridal appointments has changed along with it.

Not that long ago, bridal gown shopping was exclusive to the bride-to-be, her mother or grandmother. Perhaps a Godmother or sister would attend the appointment. It was this core group that joined the bride and offered their opinions. Now, with the advent of popular reality shows like, “Say Yes to the Dress”, appointment dynamics have really changed.

Many appointments are a full bridal party event, bringing very large groups and some complete with alcohol. Some guests wander off during the appointment, pull dresses that the bride has no interest in (“Oh just try it on for fun!”), is over budget (“Just try it, it’s so gorgeous!”), or they attempt to accessorize dresses the bride doesn’t like (“Try a veil with that one!”)

This is not how you initially shop for the most special garment of your life.

Let’s Talk About The Search

Your dress is more than just a garment to be worn on your wedding day. The “modern” bridal gown is imbued with a traditional mystique that harkens back to Victorian England. This creation of silk, tulle or lace has the power to convey your identity and personality to all gathered. It creates ambience and whispers of the overall theme of your day. It speaks of sophistication and elegance. It shares your sense of whimsy and fun, all while flattering your silhouette and inspiring awe. That is a lot to ask from a dress.

It’s with these thoughts in mind that we, as bridal consultants, do our very best to provide you with our undivided attention, knowledge, and expertise to help guide you to the one particular dress that will make heads turn, remain in your guests memories, and most importantly, be the one in which you go from Miss to Mrs.

Case In Point

One of my recent brides, Carly, was married in November to her wonderful fiancé, Jim. She looked absolutely phenomenal in a gorgeous, customized, ivory-colored Casablanca tulle and re-embroidered lace gown. But, she was only able to find her dream dress after readjusting her appointment priorities and focusing on her objective.

Carly is an admitted people pleaser by nature and one of the nicest people you could meet. Wanting to make sure everyone felt included, she brought her entire bridal party to her initial appointment at a big box store. What she expected would be a magical day turned into a huge disappointment which left her full of confusion.

Her group was trying to be helpful of course and she didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings so she continued trying on gowns pulled and suggested for her that she knew she would never consider for her special day with Jim.  Carly tried to ask her stylist for help in what would look best, but the consultant was working with multiple brides and could not focus on her. She continued trying on dresses that others liked, waited for mirror space and the consultant’s attention.  Feeling overwhelmed, Carly decided that if she were to find the gown of her dreams – the gown she wanted Jim to see her in as his bride – she needed to rethink her appointment parameters.

An Appointment With Intention and Focus

For her appointment with me at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, she chose to limit her audience to her amazing mother, Petrina. During our quiet, intimate appointment, we were able to target what Carly truly wanted in her dress.

We discussed her wedding venue, theme, color pallet, and the overall aesthetic of the day. We narrowed down the most flattering silhouettes to compliment her figure. After we accomplished this, we were able to narrow down her choices further. Could she dance in it? Would she be comfortable in the gown for her long day? What dress color would compliment her skin tone best and photograph well? Would she need foundation garments or special alterations to customize the dress to her specifically? Could we make custom changes to make it absolutely perfect for her? These are all critical topics that needed to be addressed with intention and focus, with every bride.

At the end of our 90 minutes together, Carly was able, confident, and delighted to say “YES” to her dress… and enjoy a champagne toast and shed a few very happy tears!  For a stylist, sharing this moment is incredibly special.

A Better Way – The “Reveal”

You may find as a bride that you are sometimes put in a precarious position of having to meet other peoples’ expectations even though it is your special day. Some brides feel obliged to acquiesce to others on dress choice, but placating other people does not always translate to your satisfaction or happiness.

Of course you want everyone to have a special part in seeing you transition from daughter, sister, cousin or friend to bride. This can be accomplished with minimal effort and will satisfy everyone’s desire to have a part in your big day.

After you have said “YES” to your dress and the gown arrives from the designer, we will schedule you for your Bridal Gown Try-On Appointment. This is a very special appointment at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo because you are trying on your dress. We refer to this appointment as The Reveal!

During your Reveal appointment we encourage you to bring in your bridal group!  You can finally share with everyone your dream dress and your vision for your big day. It is a wonderful way for your nearest and dearest friends and family to participate in choosing the finishing touches to complete your wedding day ensemble. It is at this appointment where you may find that incredibly special “something old” or “something borrowed”! Everyone gets to participate in your final touches, take pictures, and see you transition to a bride in YOUR dress, that you chose, and your party will see it is the perfect dress for you!

How Many Should I Try On?

Are you indecisive? The more you try the harder it will be.  Are you shopping too early? You may wish you had waited for the newest inventory.  When you find a dress you love, that checks all the boxes, say yes with confidence.

“Oh, but you can’t say yes yet!”

Why? If you found a dress you love that checks all the boxes, everyone loves it, and one person says, “You can’t say yes yet, you need to sleep on it.”  Why would that one person tell you not to say yes and put doubt in your mind?  Because he or she doesn’t like it?  Because you aren’t capable of making the right decision, after you and your stylist found the exact dress you described?

Now you leave, confused and disappointed, thinking you must not know what you’re doing (why didn’t she like it, I loved it) or you must have looked bad (she thinks I’m in the wrong style). Our stylists would never pull dresses that don’t flatter you. Bring a smaller group of those whose opinions you trust, trust your stylist, and ultimately, trust yourself!

The Moral

You know when you know. You will have that moment, you will get chills, you just might start to cry. Your smaller group of loved ones will support you completely. When you know, say YES! Once you do, all of your other details will fall perfectly into place and your vision will become clearer.  Now it’s time to move onto a bridesmaid appointment and there you can kick back and enjoy being a bride-to-be!

Make your appointment with Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo online.  Our family-owned Warrington PA bridal & tuxedo shop will take personal care of you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Tips for Preserving Your Wedding Dress

A wedding dress is considered to be 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 memorabilia or to pass down. For those who have big days coming up, these are simple ways to ensure a gorgeous dress stands the test of time.

Act Quickly

The shoulder of a lace wedding dress

Unfortunately, many brides don’t realize the importance of wedding dress preservation until months or years after their wedding. Wedding dress preservation should be the first step one attends to after returning from a honeymoon. After six weeks, stains have already set into a wedding dress, making it particularly difficult to address them with professional cleaning services. It’s best to do research well before the wedding to find a professional cleaner or preservationist, and then assign a bridesmaid with the task of taking the dress to them the day after the wedding. We’ve also had mom and dad take care of the wedding gown preservation.

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo Can Help

Fortunately, your research should not have to take you far! Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo provides a fully organic dry cleaning, pressing, and preserving service for your wedding dress. We use 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.

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.

Be Informed

Boxes to preserve wedding dresses

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. If in doubt, contact the dress vendor for more details about proper cleaning and preservation.

Be cautious of going to a standard dry cleaner, even if they say they can clean wedding dresses. As a rule of thumb, if the dry cleaner doesn’t clean at least 100 wedding dresses in a year, then it’s better to opt for a professional cleaner or preservationist who has the experience in cleaning gowns.

Check pricing, too. We have, and our pricing is hard to beat. Plus, Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo brides get a special discount!

Store It Right

Even if a wedding dress looked pristine when it went into storage 30 years ago, keeping a dress in the wrong conditions can be ruinous. Be sure to store the dress out of direct sunlight, which can fade the dress or even turn it yellow as time passes. Remove it from the hanger and store it in an airtight preservation box or wedding chest—many preservationists will provide this as part of their cleaning. Avoid using plastic zip-up bags to store the dress, as they can misshape the gown over time or possibly trap moisture.

A wedding dress is an investment that will hold a lifetime of memories. For more information about wedding dress preservation or to begin searching for your perfect dress today, call Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo at 215-491-8500 to schedule an appointment today. We’ll work one-on-one with you to help you find the perfect dress for your big day.

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.