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Even More Frequently Asked Wedding Dress Questions

Every day when we go into the store we are asked any number of wedding dress questions that we realize has been asked several times. We did a  “What Do I Do If?” blog not too long ago and thought we would do another with a few more questions!

How many sizes can a dress be taken in?

This is very tricky and there is no one answer for this question. I personally have seen a size 12 strapless ballgown taken down to a size 0. Would I ever recommend this? Never. The bride who took the chance on this fell in love with a dress that was discontinued and it was her only option. She found one of our amazing seamstresses who worked with her and made this dress perfect!

Having said that we would not recommend sizing a dress down more than two sizes. This depends if it can even be done at all. If a dress has sleeves, a high mesh back, or ornate beading, this is definitely on a case by case basis meeting directly with a seamstress who sees you in the dress.

In many cases it can be done, but there are always costs associated and should be considered carefully. Perhaps ordering a new dress in your size would be less expensive than a sample needing a great deal of work.

How many sizes can a dress be let out?

Again there are a number of answers to this however we start by explaining something called seam allowance. Seam allowance is the extra fabric available inside a dress where the seams are sewn together. Sometimes you are able to get as much as an inch out of each seam allowance, other times there is nothing to use.

There is another option called a gusset. A gusset is when fabric is added to the same and can widen the dress significantly, but it will add another seam.

The lace up back is an option when asked the wedding dress questions of how to make a dress bigger
Lace up back

And finally an option is to remove the zipper and make the dress into a lace up back. We have done this a number of times when a bride and/or bridesmaid is pregnant and needs extra room.

What is a bustle and how much does it cost?

A bustle for your wedding dress is when hooks and or buttons are added to the back of your skirt to pull the train up to floor length. This is done prior to your reception so you are able to dance and move about without tripping on your train.

Bustles are typically not expensive, however depending on the length of your train, the fullness of your skirt, and how many hooks/buttons you will need factors into the cost. There are always multiple ways to do a bustle and your seamstress can show you those and price them out with you. However to give an answer, a one hook or button bustle can be s little as $30 when having your dress alterations and pressing done together!

What size do I choose if I measure between sizes?

It is definitely rare that a bride measures to a perfect size on a size chart. When we take measurements we then look at the designers sizing and put much thought into what size to get. Some things to consider are the largest measurement you have and the style of the dress.

Let’s say you fall in love with a mermaid dress. Mermaid dresses fit tight all over. If your largest measurement is your hip, then that is the size you need to order and here is why. When you have a dress that is tight on your hips you must be able to stand without it wrinkling and pulling, as well as sit down. Trying to let a mermaid dress out to fit the hip is not advised. Can it be done? Probably, however fit the hip in an instance like this.

How/where to measure for a dress
How to measure bust/waist/hip

Now if your largest measurement is your hip and you choose an A-line or a ball gown, you may not necessarily need to order for that measurement. There are any number of scenarios when it comes to measuring and your dress size and our stylists will explain and best advise you.

I am going to lose weight, can I order a smaller size?

It only takes one time where this goes wrong for us to say absolutely not. The best way to handle this is to wait until much closer to the wedding, get remeasured, and then order the size you are fitting into.

Our store refuses to order a size that a bride hopes to be. We will advise to order the size that you measure to that day, and if you lose you can take in. If you don’t lose, the dress will fit. Either way it works. Or better yet, come back closer to the wedding date when we must place the order and we can remeasure then. We will never order dresses too small in the hopes that a bride will lose weight and fit in it. It does not motivate anyone, it is an enormous stress knowing it won’t fit.

How should I hem my dress if I want to wear heels for the ceremony and flats for the reception?

This is another one of the wedding dress questions we get asked. When you him the dress ideally it should just skim the floor. You don’t want to trip down the aisle for sure! And if you are wearing heels it will skim the floor wearing those. If you take them off it will be too long. So what do you do?

The first thing we advise is to reconsider! Perhaps a comfortable pair of wedges would work for both the ceremony and reception, or a lower heel would work for both as well. If a bride is intent on two very different heel heights and one dress, we advise choosing one length, end it will usually be to make sure you do not trip walking down the aisle. Your first look and family photos will be taken before the ceremony and therefore the dress length will look best hemmed to the higher heel shoe.

Sure your dress will be too long at the reception and the bottom will get dirty, but that is what cleaning and preservation is for! You will be dancing the night away and will simply need to be careful in your dress that may be a tad too long.

Have wedding dress questions for us? Text us at 215-491-8500 and we will answer right away! For a great dress shopping experience and sound, honest advice, make you appointment here!

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

What Is A Trunk Show?

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? A Trunk Show can call up many images! Clearly it is a “show” of some sort, but what exactly is in the “trunk”?

For purposes of this blog we are going to talk about wedding dress trunk shows, but the term “trunk show” was simply coined for the fashion industry to show their latest designs that were transported in trunks! The designer would be on hand with his or her newest creations to show prospective buyers and customers, take orders, and get feedback for future designs.

Now we don’t receive dresses in trunks however, they are carefully packed and shipped in boxes!

Let’s first talk about a regular dress shopping experience. You are engaged (woo hoo!!) and ready to shop for your wedding dress, which in our opinion is THE BEST part of the planning process! The normal experience is to make an appointment with us and allow your bridal stylist to guide you in selecting the perfect dresses to try on based on your season, venue, theme, body, and features/styles/fabrics you love. Our gallery is full of hand-picked, beautifully curated dresses from the designers we carry.

Wedding dresses in rows from Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo's wedding dress gallery
Our wedding dress gallery

Because the designers produce new collections twice a year, it is simply not possible for us – or any store – to carry every dress from every designer from every season. While most of us would love the opportunity, it is simply not possible. Buyers like us select dresses we feel best represent our brides, our market, and budgets! This is not an easy task when we want all of them.

Enter the trunk show!

Opening and displaying trunk show wedding dresses from designer Morilee with lace and tulle in ivory and blush colors
Opening and displaying trunk show dresses by Morilee

Designers offer trunk shows with their newest collection – unavailable to the public for months! You get first look and first dibs on dresses that may never even be seen on another bride! While this is amazing because you are seeing them before everyone else, there are other types of shows, too. We host trunk shows specific to plus-sized/curvy cut brides which we love to bring in, as well as best sellers, destination wedding dresses, and more!

Usually a trunk show will last one weekend and then the dresses are shipped to another location, but sometimes they can last as long as a week or two.

A trunk show can have anywhere from a dozen dresses to as many as 40! This means when you come during a trunk show there are that many more dresses to peek through and try on.

Planning and Researching!

You may find yourself looking online and pinning dresses that may be very similar in style and shape, and sometimes you will find the style of one or two designers to be very attractive to you. This is when you want to investigate which store carries those designers and when they will have their next show.

Our Events Page is full of trunk shows, for brides and Moms!

Gray and pewter mother of the bride dresses with lace and sparkle, sleeves in the long and short links, crêpe, chiffon, and satin fabrics
A few of our Mother of the Bride/Groom dresses

It is the perfect opportunity for you to see all of the options and it gets even better… If you say yes to a trunk show dress, usually there will be some type of incentive to purchase at the show whether it is a discount on the dress or an accessory piece or even a drawing to win a prize!!

Now what bride do you know that wouldn’t want that?! Check out our designers, our calendar of events, and make your appointment! Say Yes and become part of our ever-growing, awesome Darianna family!

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

Ten Dresses, Same Body

Did you ever wonder what makes one dress look better on your body than others?

Sometimes there are such subtle differences that change the look entirely. We took ten dresses, two of the same style with tiny differences, and put them on the same body. Take a look, it is very interesting!

Let’s start with a slim A-line. Same banded, defined waist and a V-neck line. These two dresses are very similar in silhouette, yet one features a tighter bodice fit and tank straps while the other a more relaxed, boho feel with a deep plunge and cap sleeves. Notice how the banded waist is very flattering at defining this area of the body!

Sincerity wedding dress with a beaded V-neck bodice and banded waist on the left, Enzoani Blue Lilium dress on the right with a plunge V-neck and cap sleeves
Sincerity Bridal wedding dress on left; Lillium by Enzoani Blue on right

Now let’s look at two similar A-line dresses with halter neck lines. Halters are perfect for framing and featuring the shoulders and upper back and when filled in also provide more coverage than a V-neck or strapless dress. There are halter dresses that are not filled in, but the straps still fasten around the neck while leaving the chest area open. One dress has a beaded bodice and tiered skier with horsehair trim, the other a soft lace bodice with a tulle skirt and lace applique.

Casablanca's Andi wedding dress with a beaded halter top and a tiered skirt on the left, and Morilee's Analeise on the right with a halter lace bodice and lace appliqué on the tulle skirt
Beloved by Casablanca wedding dress Andi on the left, Morilee’s Analeise on the right

Ahh the strapless fit and flare! If you have a curvy body at all, this is a shape for you to try on for sure. Very similar dresses, one with a bit of a plunge neck, the other with a true sweetheart and a little more flare on the skirt. Such a feminine silhouette!

Great dresses for a curvy body! The Enzoani Nesta wedding dress has all over lace with a strapless neckline and a plunge neck, while Casablanca's Angelina has a strapless sweetheart with no plunge and a bit more flare in the skirt
Enzoani’s Nesta wedding dress on the left, Casablanca’s Angelina on the right

How about a long sleeve ballgown? These two dresses are hard to tell apart at first, but one is a bit off the shoulder where the other one has more coverage. One also has more and larger lace appliqué on the skirt, where the other is less adorned. Both of these dresses could be worn with a belt or a sash at the waist.

The Ambrosia dress by Morilee has long sleeves and is a bit off the shoulder with a ball gown silhouette, with a very similar dress called Analeigh by Kitty Chen with more coverage on the shoulder and less lace on the skirt
Ambrosia by Morilee on the left, Analeigh by KittyChen on the right

One of my favorite dress comparisons is this one of the mermaids. Each has thin beaded straps, lace, and a plunge neckline. The difference in the tulle skirt versus the tiered skirt changes the entire vibe between them!

The Nonee dress by Enzoani Blue is a mermaid with a lace bodice and a tulle skirt, next to Anisa by KittyChen with the same mermaid silhouette but a tiered skirt
Nonee by Enzoani on the left, Anisa by Kitty Chen on the right

So after seeing our gorgeous model in all these dresses, I chose one for her body that I felt showed off her best features: Tatiana by Casablanca Bridal! This dress has an open neckline with a bit of a deep V (youthful and romantic), double thin, beaded halter straps (frames her perfectly), a banded and defined waist (tastefully shows off bust line, shows her curves, and elongates her torso), with an A-line skirt with a layer of sparkle underneath a beautiful and feminine embroidered lace. What do you think?

Tatiana dress by Casablanca has a layer of sparkle underneath the embroidered lace pattern, double beaded straps that can be worn straight or as shown as halter, and a perfect a line shape for her body
Tatiana by Casablanca Bridal

If you were wondering what dresses will look best on your body type, come in and try some on. Take pictures and compare, and listen to your consultant. She can point out subtle differences that you may not even be aware of or suggest dresses you never thought possible for you. You don’t know until you start trying on, and we are sure we can lead you to your yes dress! The ideal time to purchase your dress is 9-12 months prior to your wedding. Make an appointment today!

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

A New Designer Addition: L’Amour by Calla Blanche

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The second dress is Amber:

Amber by L’Amour

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

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

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

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

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

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

Embracing Some Color In Your Bridal Look

Have you ever seen bride photos with color incorporated into her look and wondered how you could pull that off? Maybe you have never been the type to buck “tradition” and don’t think that your wedding day is the time to start?

Tradition means something different to everyone, in different cultures, religions, and even simply personal preference. If you are toying with the idea, read on for easy ways to do it!

Color In Your Dress

For a number of years, designers have used color in the dress to highlight lace patterns. The darker the underneath, the more you can see the gorgeous lace design on the outside. The lace is always an ivory or white, but underneath can be colors such as candlelight, latte, champagne, mocha, blush, and even blue, red, and black!

Photo shows the same dress in two different colors. One color is Ivory with mocha underneath, the other is ivory with ivory underneath. You can really see a difference in the lace pattern when the mocha is beneath it.
Elora by Madi Lane, shown in ivory/mocha and all ivory

A trend we are seeing lately is designers using embroidery to include color. Pretty flowers and detailing are done in colors from pastel to bold and even metallics. A lesser expensive way to get this look is to have the pattern already in the fabric.

Color On Your Dress

So let’s say your dress is all white or ivory and you are thinking of a pop of color somehow. How do we do this? You can consider a sash, a thin strip of color at the waist, or a bow that could coordinate perfectly with your flowers or your bridesmaid dresses. You could add a belt with a colored flower, or a jeweled belt with sapphire, emerald, or ruby colored stones! If you like metallic, go for a dazzling rose gold belt to add a warm and subtle pop.

Photo shows a wedding dress with a pink sash at the waist with beading and pearls, and blush colored flowers on the side.
Blush sash with beading and flowers

Color In Your Shoes

If you are shy about adding color on the outside, consider doing it on your feet! Your shoes are an amazing way of showing a little bit of personality without it being “obvious”. And, it definitely makes for some great pictures and conversation!

Photo is a pair of light blue high-heeled wedding shoes that have beading on the back and wrapped around the heel, and dyed purple and yellow to match the wedding colors.
Dyed shoes to match the wedding colors

Our brides have done everything from Tiffany blue to navy blue, from pale pink to Ruby slippers, golden wedges, multi-colored cowboy boots, black Converse, Uggs, beaded Keds and Toms, we have seen it all! Even the ones pictured in multi.

Color In Your Hair

Have you thought of your hair accessories? Your veil can have rose gold, pink, gold, or silver threading. You can have a barrette, clips, or a comb that has gemstones. What about flowers woven in your hair done by your stylist, or a flower crown?

A new trend for 2021 that we are excited about is spray-painted flowers, one of the most widely used is baby’s breath. Baby’s breath is often woven into a bridal braid, or an updo which would be delightful!

Photo shows berry and peach colored flowers woven into brides hair
Berry and peach colored flowers woven into brides hair

Color In Your Jewelry

Perhaps you just want to add some jewelry. This is a beautiful way to express a color that may be very meaningful to you. A particular gem indicating a birthstone of yourself, your fiancé, or someone special to you would be not only a wonderful way to add color, but also to honor someone special.

It could even be your something blue!

Pearls are a gorgeous addition, and always appropriate, so consider adding some colored pearls for a real glam look!

Photo shows a strand of pearls that are multi colored, mainly pastel, but include pink light blue lemon, and sage green. Also shown are a matching pair of drop earrings
Gorgeous multi-colored pearl strand

Don’t be afraid to experiment. When you make your appointment for your dress try on, play and see what you think. This is your wedding, and your day to show your personality. If color is your thing, go for it!

Eight Wedding Dress Fabrics

The hunt for a wedding gown usually starts online with Pinterest, designer websites, Google searches… and chances are good you are saving different styles. Chances are also good that you have different fabrics, too.

Do you know what is better for warm weather or what keeps that ball gown skirt fluffed to the max? Do you wonder about which wedding dress fabrics will show off what you love and hide what you don’t?

Let’s get into it and talk about eight common wedding dress fabrics: crepe, chiffon, satin, charmeuse, organza, silk, tulle, and English net.

CREPE

This is a crepe fabric wedding dress is made by Australian wedding dress designer Madi Lane Bridal.  This dress is called Fallon.
Madi Lane Fallon dress in crepe fabric

Crepe is a beautiful and formfitting fabric. It is very clean, has a matte finish (not shiny) and is very easy and comfortable to wear. There are very few if any embellishments on most crepe dresses, aside from perhaps a detachable train or a hint of lace here or there. It may have a lace or beaded bodice with a plain crepe skirt. The most common embellishment on a full crepe dress would be buttons down the back. It will stretch with you as you move, dance, or sit, but it definitely clings.

CHIFFON

Morilee by Madeline Gardner makes this chiffon fabric wedding dress.  The dress is shown in ivory and is called Raelynn.
Morilee Raelynn dress in chiffon fabric

Chiffon is a wonderful choice for a warm wedding setting. It is lightweight and very flowy, with a clean look that falls beautifully. It does not cling and is a popular choice for those who want to dance the night away. Chiffon can have embellishments such as beading or lace, usually at the bottom back of the train, however, many chiffon dresses have a more embellished bodice and a plain chiffon skirt as shown in the photo above. While chiffon can wrinkle if left in the dress bag, a quick steam out does the trick and you will be good all day!

SATIN

Casablanca Bridal designed and made this wedding dress.  The beautiful ivory dress is made with embellished satin and shows ornate details from the bodice to the train.
Casablanca dress 2055 in embellished satin

Satin has a shine to it making it a more formal fabric. It is heavier than other plain fabrics, and is often embellished with beading, embroidery, or both. Many ball gowns are made in a satin fabric due to the formality of that shape. Because it is a thicker fabric, it will hold a full skirt easily over a crinoline underneath. Satin is a good choice if you are having a very formal wedding and/or a winter wedding. It does have a tendency to wrinkle, but a press out will make it perfect. Because of the heaviness, it is a wonderful choice if you want to really cinch in the bodice

CHARMEUSE

Madi Lane Bridal charmeuse fabric wedding dress is dreamy with floral patterns all over, even on the detachable sleeves.  Elora is the name of this bridal gown and very popular for outdoor weddings.
Elora by Madi Lane in charmeuse with sheer overlay

Charmeuse is a middle ground between chiffon and satin. It is very soft like chiffon, but has a shine like satin. It gives a little formality to what may otherwise look like a less formal dress. Usually there is a sheer tulle layer over the charmeuse adding a pretty, more voluminous bridal affect. The shine of the charmeuse fabric underneath creates a depth and sets off the lace in front beautifully. This is a very comfortable fabric, and works perfectly if you prefer a little shine but do not want the stiffness of satin.

ORGANZA

This wedding dress by designer Stella York is a mermaid dress with an organza tiered skirt.  This is a very fitted and ornate top with a full and fluffy skirt.
Stella York mermaid dress with an organza tiered skirt

Organza is a softer version of tulle, made from silk so still keeps a good shape, very light and airy. Many tiered skirts are made of organza because of the beautiful way it falls, often given volume and waves by adding a thick horsehair edge. Because it is so light, it is very difficult to embellish without causing damage. Mostly wrinkle free, easy to steam.

SILK

A pure ivory silk dupioni dress made by wedding dress designer Justin Alexander.
A silk dupioni dress by Justin Alexander

Silk is a very tightly woven fabric and that gives it a beautiful, glimmering effect. Silk dresses rarely have embellishments aside from buttons and bows. There are different types of silks, such as dupioni, mikado, and shantung, and all are produced from natural fibers. Silk has the same luster and is as thickness as satin, however satin is a man-made fabric and costs much less than silk. Very rich with a classic, beautiful fit.

TULLE

This Blue by Enzoani wedding dress has layers of tulle with lace appliques.  The dress is called Natsuko.
Natsuko by Enzoani has layers of tulle with lace appliques

Tulle is a mesh fabric, made mainly from a silk-rayon combination that gives it a lightweight airiness with the strength to add lace or beaded embellishments. Tulle is typically layered over itself or over other fabrics due to its transparency and is one of the most widely used wedding dress fabrics. Most veils are made of tulle as well.

English Net

This Italian designed wedding dress by designer Eddy K has an English net skirt.
Alana by Eddy K has an English net skirt.

English net is a mesh fabric that is similar to tulle however it is heavier and therefore has a beautiful bridal look. It gives volume without being too wide or puffy, it does a perfect twirl and goes right back to its shape. Softer than tulle as well. A beautiful choice for a warmer, outdoor affair.

We hope this gives you some helpful tips on wedding dress fabrics that may be more appealing to you now that you read about them! Come in and see for yourself the differences, make your appointment here!

Bridal “Research” – How Do We Learn About Dresses?

With so many wedding dresses out in the market, what research do you need to do to learn what distinguishes one from another? Why would one dress be $250 and another dress be $10,000 or more? Here is some information that can help you!

A row of beautiful Ballgowns

As a leading bridal store in the Philadelphia region, we do extensive amounts of research on the designers and the lines that we bring in. A particular designer may design several lines, for instance: we carry the designer Kitty Chen. She designs a line called Couture, another called Ivoire, and she also designs a line called Jessica Morgan. We happen to carry all of the lines, because of the uniqueness and the price points.

It is the same with designer Madeline Gardner, also known as Morilee. She has seven lines for bridal, one dedicated to curvy brides, one is a higher end couture line, another one is a very simple less expensive line.

“The Other White Dress” collection by Madeline Gardner

How do you know what is best for you? How do you know what you need?

It’s not easy – especially when you are all over Pinterest. There are brides who show us their Pinterest board and it’s full of dresses that are way out of budget. They can be very disappointed and confused. Why would a dress that looks so “affordable” be so expensive? And what do we have that looks like that in her price range?

We have also had the opposite. We have had brides try on dresses and fall in love and when they see the price, they think something must be wrong with it. Why would she fall in love with a dress so under budget? As an experiment, we offered a dress to a bride that was exactly what she asked for but was well under budget. She loved it until she saw the price, then she didn’t. She said the fabric “looked like plastic”. We then gave her a dress by a different designer that was over budget – in the exact same fabric. She tried to convince us of how much better the fabric looked then the “cheaper dress”. The only difference was the label inside.

It is similar to purchasing a car. Certain cars, based on the make, will be more expensive than others. I think it is safe to say most people know a certain make of car will be more expensive than others. They both do the same thing and they have the same main parts, but one goes a little farther for the luxury. If you are not knowledgeable about cars, you could just go and pick out the one you like best based on the look. When you find out the price is usually when you would decide yes or no.

A great choice if you love the look of satin but have a wedding in a warmer location or in the summer months

Now picture shopping for your wedding dress in the same way. If you don’t have a budget, you will find the prettiest ones, try them on, and make your decision. What makes one dress cost more than another would be the same concept, that is mainly the name of the designer. Other things considered are: the fabrics used, the beading/beadwork, how it is constructed, perhaps additional accessories, etc. The bottom line, however, is the name on the label.

The research that we do allows us to find who we feel are the best designers, in affordable price ranges, who offer a wide range of styles and sizes. In addition, we want to make sure we carry unique designers, not ones that are found in every single store. There is nothing better than when a bride tells us she’s been everywhere and is shown the same dresses over and over. We get to wow the brides, which is really what she is looking for!

Satin and sleeves, perfect for a formal event in chillier months

Research for you should also include thinking about the season of your wedding and the fabric that would make sense. If you are getting married in the winter on the East Coast, a heavier satin, sleeves, or layered lace would be more appropriate than a strapless chiffon for example. If you are getting married on a beach, a heavy satin wouldn’t make any sense, but lightweight chiffon would be perfect!

A lovely fitted lace dress, perfect for an indoor
or outdoor affair

Also the venue makes a difference in what type of dress. A formal church wedding followed by a formal reception would dictate a more formal type dress, rather than if you are getting married outside in the garden in a casual type setting.

Having a budget for your dress will make a big difference in making your choice. You can research various lines and find those in budget that have styles you love. If you are a bargain hunter, you can always look for sample sales which is when the dress in the store is marked way down for a faster sale. It is that dress, as is, and has been tried on, but it’s never been worn and you can save a lot of money at a sample sale if that’s your thing! We hold sample sale events several times a year and they are very popular with many brides!

Our dresses new start at $1000 and our selection in various price ranges is outstanding. Make your appointment today to see all that we have to offer!

Ten Different Wedding Dress Necklines

It’s so fun when a bride tries on different wedding dresses and realizes she looks and feels amazing in certain silhouettes and necklines more than others.

Finding the right wedding dress means finding the one that fits your style and body type. Get started by learning the variations of necklines and how to best wear them!

Off-the-Shoulder

Amalie by Madi Land showing an off the shoulder neckline

This neckline sits just below the shoulders with sleeves draping over the upper arm and is flattering on nearly all body types. Super pretty and shows off the collarbone with straps that rest at the top of your arms. You can have off the shoulder straps added to any strapless wedding dress.

Sweetheart

Tamara by Kitty Chen showing a sweetheart neckline

The sweetheart is shaped like the top half of a heart, dipping down in the front center and looks beautiful on all dress silhouettes. Many ballgowns are made with a sweetheart because of how romantic it is! Sweetheart dips can vary, some are more pronounced and dip lower than others.

Plunge

Harley by Casablanca showing the plunge neckline

For those who aren’t shy, the plunging neckline is a super sexy option. This neckline is a slit that extends down the center of your chest past your, ribs or even farther, for a statement-making look. Most plunges are actually a sheer illusion tulle panel that connects the two sides of the bodice. Plunge looks very flattering on tall brides.

Halter

Renee by Morilee showing a halter neckline

The halter neckline wraps around the neck, exposing the shoulders and upper back beautifully. It will typically button or have a hook closure at the back of the neck and is very flattering on a large bust or anyone wanting to show off her arms.

Bateau

Sincerity Bridal 3987 showing the bateau neckline

Also known as a boatneck, the bateau neckline stops at your collarbone and features a wider opening that skims the tops of your shoulders. Very classic, sophisticated, and demure, this neckline goes beautifully with every silhouette.

V-Neck

Halani by Madi Lane showing a V neckline

This neckline dips down in the front into the shape of a “V.” It is flattering on petite and narrow frames, but also on a larger bust when fitted properly. They are usually made with a low coordinating V in the back of the dress, but also look beautiful with a full illusion back.

Square

Aiden by Madi Lane showing a square neckline

A square neckline extends from the shoulder straps to form a straight across line in the center. Similar to the scoop but it affords a little more coverage for a more conservative look. Very chic and modern.

Illusion

Karlee by Morilee showing an illusion neckline

This neckline has sheer fabric along the top neckline of the bodice. It gives the “illusion” of a strapless dress, but it offers more coverage and support. Illusions are gorgeous with long sleeve gowns. A dress can have illusion in the front, the back, or both.

Scoop

Aspen by Madi Lane showing the scoop neckline

The scoop is rounded in the front creating a flattering, feminine effect. It does not dip to a point like the sweetheart so it affords a little more coverage and is very flattering on a larger bust, and also on a petite frame.

One Shoulder

Maddox by Madi Lane showing a one shoulder neck line

This neckline has a Grecian flair by draping over one shoulder. The shoulder can be covered with a short or long sleeve, a long drape, bow, or by a single strap.

To see all of these beautiful necklines on hundreds of dresses, make your appointment to come see us. New dresses in monthly and new designers added seasonally!

What Is A Wedding Dress Bustle?

Put simply, your wedding dress bustle is when the beautiful train of your dress is buttoned up to floor length when you enter your reception.

In our bridal appointments we often have girls ask, “How will the dress bustle?” Depending on the dress, the fabric, the length of the train, etc., there are a number of different ways to do this.

This is a very important part of your dress alterations because for your entire reception the back of the dress will be pulled up and secured so that you can dance in freely move around. It may be secured by hooks, buttons, ribbons, or a combination of them. Many bustles look beautiful when done properly, but others can look messy or even fall out if done incorrectly. You must know what your options are when having your final fittings done.

Let’s look at the different types!

The most common is the American bustle, also called the ‘over bustle’. This one will use hooks or buttons either at the waist line of the dress or at the start of the skirt flare on a fitted dress. This bustle is used on ballgowns and fitted dresses that are made of lace. Depending on the length of your train and fullness of the skirt, you may only need one hook or button, or you may need many to keep it up and floor length the whole way around.

“American” or “Over bustle” done two ways, lower at the flare of skirt and higher up at the waist
Ballgown with over bustle at waistline
You do not want the over bustle on a plain skirt – hooks are visible when train is fanned and walking down the aisle

Next is the French bustle. This is buttoned underneath forming “pick ups” or tiers to the skirt. It also should be done when the skirt is plain, satin, silk, crepe, etc., or the button/hook will be visible on the outside of the skirt. See photo above.

French bustle buttoning underneath for beautiful tiers and volume on A-line or ballgown
5-point bustle on a mermaid dress

You can also skip the buttoning altogether and use the wrist loop as the bustle. This is simply a band around your wrist that holds your train up as you twirl the night away! This works best on simple trains, chapel or sweep length, and fewer layers.

Wrist loop simply goes around your wrist to hold up the train.

Lastly, if you are not a fan of the bustle, consider this: buy a dress with a short (or no) train or have it altered to floor length. Add a dramatic cathedral or royal length veil to give you the incredible drama for the aisle walk and photos, and remove it for the reception! No extra buttoning or hooking needed! See photo below:

Cathedral veils can add all the drama needed if you decide not to have a bustle

When you say yes to your dress, make sure you know your bustle options! Your stylist will show you the various ways and your seamstress will pin them so you can see before committing to the one you want!

What Is A Sample Dress?

Do the words “sample dress” or “bridal sample sale” make you wonder what it means? Stock piece, sample dress, off the rack – they are all the same thing:

It is simply a dress in our store that has been tried on by brides! Never worn or altered, just tried on.

That is why it is a discounted price, because it is not new from the designer.

Our customers are able to purchase a sample dress right off of the rack, meaning that exact dress you purchase and take home! Sample gowns are excellent for a bride that’s on a budget, they are fantastic for a minimony, and a dress change for the ceremony or reception!

They are also great for brides in a time crunch or a shorter engagement, since they are purchased right off the rack instead of waiting for the dress to come in months from the designer. It allows our brides to get a designer dress at a discounted cost, and hey, who doesn’t like to save money where they can… especially when planning a wedding!

Sample Madi Lane lace dress with detachable flutter sleeves and a champagne undertone
Sample Madi Lane dress

We take excellent care of our sample gowns, and they are just as good as new. Of course, like any dress you are able to take it to a seamstress for alterations to allow it to fit like a glove.

Morilee fitted lace dress with open back and beaded straps, cathedral train
Sample Morilee dress

Most (not all) of our sample dresses are available all year for discounted off the rack purchase. We have scheduled week-long sales events throughout the year offering a large choice of dresses from which to choose, and flash sales that are only several hours long (but with much bigger discounts!) and announced much closer to the event.

Make an appointment to come in and try on many of our sample sale dresses or call or text 215-491-8500. We look forward to meeting you and welcoming you to the Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo family!