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Category Archives: wedding dresses

On-A-Budget? Consider Off-the-Rack

Very rarely does a bride come to us with “no budget”.  Most every bride prepares her budget first and makes her choices staying within.

Our policy at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is to choose dresses at or under the bride’s budget, however, we also let the bride and her party choose dresses as well. When a dress is chosen over budget – sometimes significantly over – we get the “Just let her try it on for fun” comment. It’s never “fun” when a bride falls in love with a dress over budget.

We make sure everyone knows before the bride tries on a dress over budget! Let’s say bride wants to stay at or under $1,000, but Aunt Karen picked a $2,000 dress “for fun”. When bride tries it on, she understands the difference in quality, structure, and fit of a $2,000 dress. It looks and feels amazing. Now she goes back to $1,000 or less and guess what? She doesn’t like them. They don’t feel the same, the beading doesn’t sparkle as much, the lace is scratchy…. things she would never have noticed otherwise. Not much fun. So bride either ups her budget or Aunt Karen needs to open her wallet.

There is one other option, however… an off-the-rack purchase.

This simply means you can buy the dress you tried on at a discount!  You are buying the sample dress. Depending on the dress, that discount could be substantial. Say that $2,000 dress was off-the-rack at $1,350… would that be worth it? Is it close to your size and not needing much in alterations? Did you look it over, check underneath, find it in great condition and clean? Grab that discount and claim that dress and take her home!

We have sold many dresses off-the-rack and given brides the dress of their dreams – one they never thought they could afford.  Or, let’s say the dress ordered new is $1,000 but the off-the-rack discount is $750, that’s a deal!

Almost every active sample dress we have is available at an off-the-rack discount. All of our discontinued dresses (meaning they are not able to be ordered) are heavily discounted every day. Brides on a serious budget love our discontinued sample section! We have discounted veils and belts, too.

Sometimes it doesn’t pay to do off the rack if alterations are going to eat up that savings. If the dress is a 16 and bride is an 8, my suggestion would be to pay for a new one that will fit. If the dress is a 16 and you are 12/14/16, then say yes for less!

Brides also benefit from our “sample sales”. We hold these several times per year to help clear out inventory and make room. These prices can go much lower and definitely deserve consideration.

A sample sale is not a trunk show, those are when the designer has an additional 12-24 dresses in the store for a few days only. You cannot purchase a trunk show dress off the rack.

We will always have brides who will want/need to order a new dress, whether for size, color, customizations, etc., but we are not like other stores pushing you up in budget and then pressuring/scaring you to buy. Brides tell us what consultants at other stores have said and it is outrageous the lies that are told to get your money. Our staff is not on commission and therefore always works to get you exactly what you want regardless of your budget. Make sure to visit us and make your appointment here!

The Strapless Dress: What To Consider

A few years ago, the strapless dress is all you saw. Typically it was a strapless fit and flare that looked great on all figures. As styles and trends change, so have the necklines, but strapless remains a very popular choice.

There are, however, details to be considered before saying “yes!” to a strapless dress. Most brides (and their guests) will agree it is not ideal for your dress to be falling down during your wedding. This is the main complaint of a strapless dress. This is able to be solved by the following:

  • The Construction of the Bodice – In order for a strapless dress to stay fitted, it must have a corset and/or boning throughout. The weight of the dress needs to stay on the ribs and hips, and the boning will keep the top stiff and in place.
  • The Cups – You must have the appropriate fitting cups. Too small will flatten and push you up and out. Too large will cause gapping. Neither are desired. Your seamstress will be able to assist you with this! If you are large busted, it is advised to go up in size in order for the appropriate cups to be sewn in and then taken in where necessary to ensure a tight fit.
  • The Neckline – Strapless dresses have several different neckline shapes: sweetheart, scoop, or straight across. Consider your bust size when choosing. If you are large busted and choose a sweetheart, make sure the dip is not too low and the sweetheart comes up high enough and goes just under your arm. You may want to consider something more modest such as a scoop which will give you additional support. Same if you are small busted as a sweetheart tends to have extra room between you and the dress. Alterations can usually fix this but it comes at a cost.
  • Strapless with Low or Illusion Back – These dresses are beautiful and can be a real “WOW”, yet are the most difficult we have seen to fit properly. A low back has no support at all and is nearly impossible to stay in place as you twist and move. An illusion back gives very little support, leaving the front to be fitted by itself. Consider having the back lined or you probably will be pulling it up regardless of alterations. There are undergarments that can help with these dresses, however it adds an additional layer between you and the dress that will require additional alterations.

Your wedding dress is the most important garment you will ever buy. It should be memorable and reflect your personality! You do not want your photos or your guests reminding you of dress malfunctions. Trust your stylist if she’s giving you advice or suggestions… We often have brides who fall in love with a dress that we know may cause problems or cost hundreds in alterations because of an ill-fitting top. Don’t be afraid to speak up! There are many ways to make the dress of your dreams fit your vision and flatter your figure to the fullest.

Making Your Wedding Dress Your Own

From the moment a bride steps into our store, it is our job to help her envision herself up at the altar in her dress on her big day. The questions of “how are you going to do your hair” or “what kind of jewelry are you going to wear” always arise when the bride gets close to saying “yes!” to her dress. These questions help the bride develop her sense of self and highlight her own unique style.

 

If you are a bride struggling to find a bridal look that feels like “yours”, we have some tips for you!
 
  • DRESS
While some brides will come in and find many dresses that they love, we do encounter some brides who have been searching to no avail, or brides who can’t commit and have become frustrated with the process. This is when we try to help the bride construct the dress that she has been dreaming of!
One such way is by adding straps. We have seen an increase in the number of brides who do not want strapless dresses, but try one on and think it would be the one if only it had straps. We have all kinds of detached straps (from spaghetti to full on long sleeves) that we love to play with to help brides determine which kind they like best! From cap illusion with lace and beading to match the dress, to simple plain or beaded straps, to the dreamy off shoulder romantic boho look, being able to customize the straps gives brides the ability to create a one-of-a-kind dress that is all her own.
Another addition that can really make a dress unique to its owner is adding a detachable skirt. This option is perfect for the bride who is in love with both fuller and fitted skirts and does not want to compromise. It really lets the bride make a statement with her dress while allowing more of her style to shine.  Keep it fitted underneath the princess skirt overtop!
  • BELTS
Adorning your dress with a belt is another way to help your personality shine through on your dress! Brides who like some sparkle have plenty of options when it comes to beaded belts. Many belts also tie in pearls which gives you flexibility in the jewelry you have to choose from, as well.
There is also the option to add a belt that does not have as much sparkle, but floral elements instead. Floral belts are perfect for the brides who are having an outdoor wedding and want the elements of nature to be tied into her look! For brides who have a color scheme they love, adding a colored sash to the waist of their dress might be a great option.
Whether you choose a color to match the bridal party or want to accent your ivory dress with a touch of champagne, this is the perfect way to have your personality shine through on your big day.
  • JEWELRY
Jewelry is a very personal touch with an incredible power to make brides feel like their style is all there. Many brides will use pieces of jewelry that was passed down by relatives as their “something old”. This familial tie-in brings in a sense of belonging when being in a wedding dress can feel a little unnatural.
Some brides will begin to picture themselves with their hair all done and consider the different kinds of earrings, necklaces, or bracelets they might want to wear with the dress they love. When a bride feels like her dress alone may not be enough to fit her style, the flexibility with jewelry can often times complete and personalize the overall look.
  • SHOES
Once the bride feels like herself in the dress, the next option is shoes! Many brides tell us that their need to be comfortable on their wedding day is a top priority and will opt for flat shoes or some with a small heel. We have seen many brides who even choose bridal sneakers! Kate Spade and Keds are two brands that have gorgeous sparkly sneakers with silky laces and are guaranteed to be comfortable while the happy couple dances the night away.
Some of our awesome edgy brides have even chosen Doc Marten’s or combat boots as their wedding day shoe!
For our girls who have a country or rustic theme, cowboy boots are a great way to tie the theme into their style. Shoes are also a great way to tie colors into the look. We have had brides who have used their shoes at their “something blue” or as an accent to their color scheme, and it looks great!
Like most accessories, there are plenty of shoes to choose from that will allow a bride to express her individuality through her wedding attire. Just a word of advice… go for comfort…
  • VEIL / HEADPIECE
The easiest way to add to a bridal look is with a veil. If you’re a bride looking for a little spunk or old Hollywood glam, a birdcage veil might be a great option for you!
For a bride saying yes to a dress that is a little more on the simple side, dressing it up with a cathedral veil (photo above) with a lace trim border can add a bit of drama without the commitment of having so much detail. There are hundreds of veil options to choose from between the length and detail (lace, beading, corded edge) that can help bring your vision to life.
For those brides who do not want a veil, you still have plenty of options! Our bohemian brides love to tie aspects of flowers into their style. We have seen numerous brides opt for flower crowns or weave flowers into their hair. Some ballroom or Disney weddings call for a sparkly tiara or a blingy headband!

Here at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, we have tons of accessories! An amazing selection of veils, belts, headbands, combs, and clips for brides to choose from to fit their individual style. And our stylists are phenomenal at offering options that you may have not considered yourself. Make your appointment and let’s make your dress YOUR dress!

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 are inundated with dresses: styles, shapes, details, and fabrics. So many fabrics! What is the difference and what does it mean when it comes to your wedding dress?

There’s a big difference between fabrics and it has a lot to do with your dress as far as a season, a venue, comfort, and personal preference. In addition, many people have sensory issues and some fabrics can be triggers.

Here’s a breakdown of the most common wedding dress fabrics.

SATIN

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. Beaded satin dresses are very glamorous and incredibly classic.

CHARMEUSE

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, very silky, and lightweight. These dresses are great for destination events, they pack and travel easily yet still look rich and beautiful. Most often, charmeuse dresses have an overlay of light tulle with lace appliques.

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.  Brides looking for a more simple wedding dress lean toward chiffon, although chiffon dresses can also have splits in the skirt that lend a peek-a-boo quality! Chiffon dresses also work well for destination or warm summer events.

ORGANZA

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.

CREPE

Crepe is a fabric that was traditionally made from silk or wool which is what gives some their “bumpy” appearance, but can now can be made from almost any fiber. Crepe georgette is very popular in dresses now because the georgette adds elasticity while still keeping a great shape. It is soft, clean, and comfortable. Wedding dresses in crepe tend to be smooth, body-hugging and sexy.

TULLE

Tulle is a slightly stiff, netted fabric that is often used in ballerina tutus and veils. 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.  It can be a bit scratchy for those with sensitive skin.

Tulle is often used in ball gowns to create the dramatic and voluminous skirts with tiers or layered with horsehair trim, and is just as lovely with a glitter effect, sequined, or adorned with lace appliques.

SILK

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 that are all produced from natural fibers, such as dupioni, shantung, mikado.

LACE

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 (such as charmeuse or stretch jersey) giving it a highly detailed accent that is perfect for a sophisticated wedding gown.

Boho Lace over Stretch Jersey

Lace styles are normally named after the city in which they originated, with Chantilly, Alençon, Brussels, and Venice among the most popular types, however, the patterns today are even more extraordinary. The details in these designs lend different vibes and can also be layered, beaded, sequined, or plain.

Although being educated about fabric types is important for any bride choosing her gown, it’s also important to try a variety of dresses on to see how they not only look, but feel on 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.