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Category Archives: wedding planning

What Are You Worried About?

We posed this question for two days on our Instagram story. We really wanted to know what brides are worried about as they plan their wedding. Some of these were mentioned multiple times so if you fit into any of these, know you are not alone!

Here is what you said you are most worried about, and our response and advice for each.

1. I won’t find the perfect dress.

Some brides need to go to every store they can find and try on hundreds of dresses, others are overwhelmed with the thought of one store.

If you are a bride that needs to try on every single dress from every possible store, our experience in discussing it with brides who have done this said it was a mistake. It was confusing, stressful, and wasn’t even fun anymore. By the end there wasn’t even a dress that they were excited about, since the excitement stopped after about the third store.

The story was the same: they cried happy tears but ignored it because they thought an even better dress was at the next store, and the next store, and the next store. By the time they went back to put the dress on that made them cry, it was just a dress. They all seemed alike. The magic was gone.

For a bridal stylist, this is an incredibly difficult appointment. This bride has no idea what she likes or wants because she likes something from every style – beading but also plain, fitted but also volume, low backs but also the detail on an illusion back, a skirt with tiers but also no tiers, long sleeve but also strapless, and we have no idea how to even begin. She is also bored and frustrated from the get-go. We pull our most unique pieces that she hasn’t seen to see if anything will wow her. And when this bride says yes, it isn’t at all what it was with the dress that made her cry.

Advice: When you find a dress that makes you emotional – you don’t want to take it off, and you can see yourself walking down the aisle in it – that’s your dress. Say yes and be so happy in your decision and celebrate with those who are there with you! Limit your search to a few stores with good reputations and designers that you love. You will know when you find one, and don’t keep trying to top it. That is when it’s not a magical experience anymore.

2. That no one is dancing and it’s boring.

Inviting your family and closest friends to celebrate is exciting and fun! Why wouldn’t they dance?! Hmmm, but what if they don’t? Yikes! Never fear – we asked a pro for this one. The advice and information given is worthy of a guest blog post on this as well on how to hire the right entertainment company – watch for this blog coming out soon with SO much more info!

Enter Art Armani from Armani Entertainment who has been in the business for 20 years and worked hundreds of weddings and events:

Advice: There are many things that can affect the dancing – or lack of dancing – at a reception, such as the time of day (an afternoon brunch), the type and set up of a venue (size, ventilation, multi-floor, etc.), the time of year (hot/humid). If the reception is a Friday/Saturday night, and the venue has a large dance floor, Art says, “The Bride and Groom’s involvement is the biggest factor to success.  The focus of the reception itself is always on the Bride and Groom! Guests will follow them around the whole night so if the bride and groom are outside taking breaks, people will follow them outside.  If the bride and groom don’t hit the dance floor, the chances of a full dance floor for the whole evening is decreased.  So we always encourage at a minimum, the Bride to get out there and dance.”

Also, Art says that just because people are not dancing, does not mean they didn’t enjoy the music or didn’t have a good time. “Sometimes guests are very content with a laid back reception dance floor.”

3. Rain.

So many answered that they are most worried about rain and of course right? Even a song lyric references the ‘irony’, “It’s like rain on your wedding day.”

Advice: Now because you are not the first to express this fear, we did a blog years ago on it and you can and should read it here! Planning in advance goes a long way to alleviate this worry and (spoiler alert:) – your photographer can get some of the most beautiful and creative photos in the rain… and this lighting (not direct sunlight) makes for some gorgeous ones!

4. I will spill something on my dress.

Ahhh, the red wine is flowing and those pesky hors d’oeuvres … how dare they get near your dress?! But they will and accidents happen. Not only food can cause stains, dropping a lipstick, leaning on a counter, brushing up against a railing – anything can cause smudges or downright blotches. You must be extremely careful, but also prepared.

Advice: First, separate the layers, if possible, so it doesn’t spread through. For a dirt stain, use a dry cloth and lightly brush. For a food or wine stain, use a white towel underneath and a Q-tip with dish soap and water, or peroxide, and gently blot from the underneath. Lipstick stains are the most difficult to remove so do your best to have that applied before you put your dress on, or lean out and have a towel underneath so it does not hit your dress if it drops. Ask your makeup person what chemicals are in the lipstick and what to use on it in an emergency, and make sure that is available. MOH, MOB/G, your wedding planner or coordinator needs to make sure that on-hand is everything you need for stains including: Q-tips, small bottles of a dish soap/water mix or peroxide, make up removers, bleach pens, stain stick, white hand towels.

5. That I trip and fall.

We’ve all seen the videos, had the nightmares, envisioned ourselves falling in our dress. While there isn’t anyone that can make sure this doesn’t happen except for you, you can take obvious measures to make it less probable.

Advice: First is your shoes. Not saying you have to wear sneakers or flats, but if you aren’t used to wearing high heels, your wedding day isn’t the day to try out those 5″ high beaded ones. Even if you are used to wearing them, you definitely aren’t used to wearing them in a wedding dress with multiple layers that will catch on anything even remotely pointy. Wear shoes that are comfortable that you feel confident walking in. Make sure your dress is hemmed to floor length and that you do not need to lift it to walk. Beyond that: take your time! Take your time on the stairs, in and out of cars/limos, doors, walking down the aisle, take your time all day long!

6. Everyone looking at me/saying our vows.

All eyes will be on you, you are the Bride. There’s no place else they want to look but at you. That’s just the way it is and you know from any wedding you’ve gone to, you look directly at the bride as much as possible.

If you are not comfortable with this you have two choices, you can elope with just your fiancé or you can accept the fact and deal with it. My guess is most of you are going to accept the fact and deal with it, in which case we offer you the following:

Advice: Breathe. You are about to marry your best friend and those are the only eyes that matter. Focus on your fiancee not everyone else! When those doors open and you are confronted with a room full of people staring at you, obviously it can be a little overwhelming. However you are there to marry one person, not the entire room, and that person should be your sole focus. And really, let them stare at you, you have never looked so beautiful, and they love you! It is a day to make endless memories, not be worried about saying or doing the ‘wrong’ thing.

The vows however can be tricky. Many people are worried about speaking in public. There are ways to get around this! If you are really worried about speaking your vows (like I was!), then eliminate this and have the officiant say them. You don’t need to read, memorize, or speak anything other than “I do”. This can eliminate SO much stress and anxiety from both parties knowing they don’t have to read or remember anything!.

If you still prefer to speak your own vows, make sure they are written largely and clearly so there is very little room to get mixed up. Maybe add a little humor in there because the laughter can really lessen your nerves. And don’t forget to speak up so everyone can hear them.

7. How my dress will fit.

We saved this one for last. This one is not one you should even worry about! Your alterations will be done 4 to 6 weeks prior to the wedding. You will go back for a final fit approximately two weeks before, where any last minute adjustments will be made. The chances of you changing sizes in two weeks is virtually impossible, so your dress will fit you perfectly. There is always the risk of a strap breaking while dancing or a rip somehow, and it is something you can be prepared for, just like a stain on the dress!

Advice. If you are worried about changing sizes, make your final fitting 5 to 7 days prior to your wedding where there is no chance that you will change sizes. With our seamstresses, you will not leave your final fitting until you are completely satisfied with the dress. What you see at the seamstress is what you will see at your wedding. There is no need to worry about the fit. Some brides have dresses that are much bigger in the skirt and require a more elaborate bustle. If you have this, we recommend taking several people to your final fit to show them exactly how to bustle the dress. They can even video it so there is no room for error! In an emergency, the dress can always be pinned up using safety pins if necessary. If you are worried about how your wedding dress will fit, discuss your specific concerns ahead of time with your seamstress and she will make sure your dress fits like a glove! Safety pins will easily fix most minor dress issues so make sure they are on hand. In addition, a needle and thread must be nearby and ready to go (with the pins and stain removers) to quickly stitch up any rips or holes!

We hope this helped address those issues you are most worried about! We would love your feedback or any additional advice you need!

Dress Shopping… Alone

Wedding dress shopping is often an event that takes on a life of its own: hundreds of pinned photos, an overwhelming number of options, so many stores, and the opinions from large groups. Some brides relish it all, but others want a simple trip solo.

We received a letter for our series that definitely needs to be read whether you are a bride to be, or have been asked to join her dress shopping. It goes nicely with our Guest Etiquette blog regarding the positive comments, although this takes it a step further.

Don’t be insulted if you are not asked to join her.

Dear family and friends,

You know that I love you and I’m thrilled that you guys are so excited to be part of my wedding plans! Your encouragement and support in a time so special means the world to me. I have been enjoying sharing the planning process with you all, so please don’t take it the wrong way when I tell you that wedding dress shopping is something I need to do by myself.

It is no secret that I’m a little self conscious so it should come as no surprise that putting on dresses and standing on a pedestal for your opinions and judgements sounds like a recipe for disaster for my self esteem. These dresses are not all my size and will not be altered to me which leads me to think I will need some extra time and peace to clearly process my thoughts on each dress.

When my sister went dress shopping, I heard the comments that mom, grandmom, and everyone else made during the process. I know they all came from a good place and she handled it fine, but I don’t think I could have a productive appointment knowing that I am being subjected to such judgment from those I love.

I also watched as she was forced into ballgowns and blingy dresses “for fun” – dresses she didn’t even want to try. You all meant well and were just having fun, but that is a nightmare situation for me.

Pictures were being taken of every single dress from every angle and I was horrified imagining myself in that position someday. Now it is my turn and I just cannot go through it.

For these reasons, those initial appointments will be between me and my consultant. I trust that they will help guide me in the right direction and pull dresses for me that I may not have considered for myself without distracting or confusing me! I am confident that I will be able to find a dress I love with their help.

Maybe if I find a couple I am torn between, I will bring you back to help me make the final decision! If I do find and commit to “the one” without you all there, I will bring you all in to see it when the dress comes in my correct size and color. I would love your help with veils, jewelry, shoes, and other accessories that would complement the dress! I know that you all will have great ideas to make my vision come to life even more than I could have thought of.

Please don’t take this as me trying to exclude you from dress shopping with me. I know most brides love to have their crew alongside them when they say yes to the dress. As much as I would love to, this is a huge decision that I need to make alone without feeling self-conscious. I want to make sure that I am getting exactly what I want and feel beautiful and confident in. I love you all dearly and can’t wait to have the big reveal!

Love,

The Lone Bride

Rain… On Your Wedding Day

Your wedding is coming and how many times a day are you checking that weather map for rain? Oh no, it looks like rain… on your wedding day.

Did you know that rain is the number one fear of brides-to-be when planning a wedding?

Is rain really that terrible?

Just Married umbrella
A sweet cover for the newlyweds

It certainly can be tricky to say the least if you have an entirely outdoor wedding planned, however there are arrangements that you and your venue can make in advance just in case!

We’ve had couples get married in blizzards, under threats of hurricane, through ferocious winds, torrential downpours, hail, and lightening. It happens, it’s weather, and there is no sense stressing out over something which you have zero control. You plan for it ahead of time, instead!

Indoor Ceremony Space

If your venue has indoor space, make sure it is large enough to accommodate all of your guests. Find out the details on room set up, views, aisle, and make sure that there is room for the photographer(s) and videographer. 

If you have decor such as an arbor, columns, flowers, lanterns, and the like, can they be incorporated into an indoor ceremony? Who will set up? If you know these details in advance it will take off the pressure.

If there is no indoor space, discuss options for inclement weather such as tenting (does it have sides to block out wind and rain?), portable heaters, a walkway that won’t involve guests walking through wet grass? Chances are good your venue has been through this before and has a great Plan B option for you.

Photos

Ask your photographer/videographer about his/her experience shooting in inclement weather. What is some of their advice on how to get the best photos? Have you seen some of the adorable bride/groom shots under pretty umbrellas and holding hands and cuddling in the rain?

The softer lighting and mist can create incredibly emotional backdrops that photographers are unable to replicate in the sunshine. And, what if you get that rainbow?!

Double rainbow wedding pic
Double rainbow!

Cover Up & Rain Accessories

Don’t stop at the umbrellas! Consider a wrap or jacket to match your dress to keep you dry and warm, and don’t forget shoes! Pretty rain boots might be just the right accessory for you and your wedding party, or consider other options like cute sneakers with no-slip soles. Put some thought into it regarding matching your colors, perhaps customizing the umbrellas with their names and be ready to launch the order if the weather looks iffy!

Bridal wedding rain boots, in white and "something blue"
Something Blue wedding rain boots!

When it comes to those umbrellas, make sure there are plenty of extras for your guests.

Umbrellas ready for the guests in case of rain
Umbrellas ready for the guests

Let It Go!

If you are upset, acknowledge that and then let it go. Breathe and be present. This is the day you are marrying your best friend – for better or worse, through sunshine or rain – and when your day is over you will start your new married life after having had the time of your life.

Now go, plan ahead, and get married!

Wedding Dress Wednesday: Alanna from Casablanca Bridal’s Beloved

Meet Alanna!

Designer: Beloved by Casablanca

Alanna From Beloved by Casablanca
Alanna From Beloved by Casablanca

Why We Love Her: Alanna is a dream dress for every bride! Her romantic sweetheart neckline is the perfect shape that will look flattering on any bride. It will show the ideal amount of skin without being too scandalous or uncomfortable. She has a beautiful natural a-line shape that will perfectly flow and move with the bride.

Alanna's sheer bodice with layers of lace and corset boning
Alanna’s sheer bodice with layers of lace and corset boning

Her bodice consists of strong corset boning that extends to a drop waist silhouette to ensure that it hits the perfect spot and compliments every bride that puts her on!

Alanna’s intricate detailing doesn’t stop with the shape; she has gorgeous floral and various natural viney lace detailing that is the central focal point and gradually cascades throughout the skirt! In between all the viney appliques, there are small delicate petals that add dimension and uniqueness!

Looking for sparkle? Alanna will not disappoint! On top of all the leafy appliques, she has iridescent sequins that will sparkle and shine. She even has a delicate layer of glitter tulle underneath the appliques that will glimmer in every lighting, both inside and outside, making her perfect for all weather!

Alanna's Leafy lace pattern is perfect for outdoor summer weddings
Leafy lace pattern is perfect for outdoor summer weddings

This beauty is available in six different colors, allowing the bride to have many different options to choose from! The colors are Ivory, White, Champagne/Nude, Champagne/Ivory, Ivory/Sorbet, and Ivory/Nude (shown in the photos). With all of these color options available, it will ensure that she will showcase all the detail and match all wedding vibes!

Alanna's Dramatic and beautiful details all around
Dramatic and beautiful details all around

She’s Great For: The bride that wants a traditional shape with a nontraditional feel! Her floral and leafy appliques will steal the spotlight any time of the year and at any type of venue. Some ideal venues for Alanna would be outside in a garden scene or in a rustic barn. She is even the perfect dress for destination weddings as well due to her lightweight and airy characteristics!

Alanna's Removable lace sleeve can be worn on or off the shoulder, or not at all
Removable lace sleeve

What Makes Her Special: What makes Alanna special is her unique detachable off the shoulder straps! When attached, they give the perfect romantic look with an extra touch of bohemian detail that every dress needs! And when the party starts and the dancing begins, they can pop right off! Beloved by Casablanca allows for custom changes as well to make a dress like this unique to you!

Have a dress from one of our designers that you would like featured? Let us know and we can tag you in a WDW Blog!

Dear Future Mother-In-Law

Dear Future Mother-In-Law,

I cannot wait to marry your son. I love him with my whole heart. Since getting engaged I have been on Cloud 9 and it’s been a whirlwind of exciting decisions and appointments, many of which we have been fortunate to have your opinion and knowledge to help guide us.

We are grateful that you are involved in our wedding planning and want you to continue to be, however, I need you to understand that ultimately this is our wedding and some details are not up for debate. One of them is that you do not get to choose what your son wears when he marries me.

You have mentioned on numerous occasions that you know him best and how he always looks so handsome in this particular color. I think he looks handsome in any color, but the one you continue to insist he wears does not go with our color palette.

This detail already seems to be causing drama in the family. I prefer not to have this stress, but please understand he will be wearing what we have already agreed on. You can choose whatever you would like my future Father-In-Law to wear! We want him to feel great on that day so all options are open. Your son, my groom, is going to wear what we have already decided. Again, I ask you to please respect our decision.

I hope we can move forward with this understanding and look forward to more planning together with you for our wedding day!

With thanks,
Your future Daughter-In-Law

This has been such an interesting series! Brides are writing in to us with some great advice, stories, and wishes. We just started a few weeks ago, and you can read the last one here!

Words Of Wisdom From A Bride: The Flowers

Pink peony wedding flowers in a bridal bouquet

Our wedding day was everything we could have imagined! I just wish we had put someone in charge of being responsible for our flowers the day of.

Our gorgeous flower bouquets arrived in two large boxes to the bridesmaids getting-ready location. There was my bouquet and 10 bouquets for my maids. Our photographer took out my bridal bouquet to take some gorgeously posed, story telling shots.

We loaded the boxes of bouquets onto the shuttle bus and departed for the bridesmaids photo location. No one realized that we had left my bridal bouquet behind.

As we got positioned for bridesmaids portraits it was evident that a very important bouquet – MINE – was missing! This certainly added unnecessary stress to the day as I pictured having to walk down the aisle with one of my maid’s bouquets… fortunately that wasn’t the case because my grandparents found it and came to the rescue to bring me my bouquet!

I do have a few “flowerless bridesmaid photos” as a keepsake to remember this hiccup.

BUT no, this wasn’t the only flower glitch.

After the ceremony my bridesmaids and I tried to stay organized and put all of our bouquets back into the boxes after they were no longer needed to safely bring them back with us to the hotel and take them home. We weren’t going to lose any a second time!

Well, we did. To this day it’s a mystery what happened to those two boxes. We contacted the venue, shuttle, and friends and family that helped clean up the bridal suite – and they have never been found. Eleven bouquets, neatly packed away in two boxes, disappeared without a trace. I had planned to preserve mine, they were the most gorgeous flowers I have ever seen and I was in love with them. I am still kicking myself for this avoidable mistake, and hopefully someone can learn from mine!

Words of Wisdom: Put someone in charge of your flowers the day of the wedding!

Do you have Words of Wisdom for a bride-to-be? Something you want wedding guests to know? Chat with us 215-491-8500 and let us know!

Wedding Dress Wednesday: Abigail by Madi Lane

Meet Abigail!

Designer: Madi Lane

Gorgeous Abigail by Madi Lane is a bride favorite
Abigail by Madi Lane is a bride favorite

Why We Love Her: Abigail is the ideal combination of fun, glamorous, and sexy for all brides! Her natural a-line silhouette complements all body types by flawlessly cinching at the smallest part of the waist, making for a very flattering look on everyone. She has a single layer of glitter tulle that lays under the applique lace layer to make the whole dress subtly sparkle from all angles and perfectly complements the appliques on top! The florals are the unique mix of leaves, vines, and flowers throughout, and they even have clusters of iridescent sequins to add even more glitz!

Abigail by Madi Lane has a Low scooped back with illusion lace and buttons
Low scooped back with illusion lace and buttons

Her bodice consists of a gorgeous deep, yet not too revealing, plunge neckline that is ever so slightly covered with the petals of the appliques. She also has a slight ruching tulle layer that softly lays beneath the lace and creates an enhanced slimming illusion. She is finished with thin delicate mesh spaghetti straps that lead into the even more glorious back.

Deep plunge with illusion tulle and ruching
Deep plunge with illusion tulle and ruching

Abigail’s back is a statement by itself. She has a perfect low scoop shape that gives even more of a sexy appeal by allowing the bride to show some skin! The thin straps lead down to a gorgeous illusion lace back that is closed with buttons (yes, another bonus detail!). Going further down the back, Abigail has a long stunning train with a leaf-edged hem lace that allows the train to lay perfectly shaped!

Dramatic and romantic cathedral train perfectly edged in lace
Romantic and dramatic train perfectly edged in lace

Abigail is available in three stunning colors: ivory/mocha (shown in photos), all ivory, and all white. The ivory/mocha version of this dress shows off Madi Lane‘s signature color while also enhancing all the lace detailing, making sure the lace can be seen up close and far away! The all ivory and all white versions show off the sparkle of the dress, while also keeping the more traditional look on this bohemian lace dress.

Leaves, vines, and shimmery floral lace appliques really pop over the mocha charmeusse lining
Leaves, vines, and shimmery floral lace appliques really pop over the mocha charmeusse lining

She’s Great For: Abigail is great for spring and summer weddings! Her floral and leaf applique perfectly fits the warm weather while her sequins and glitter will shimmer in the bright sunlight. Despite all her glamorous detail, she can keep a light and airy composure that will be comfortable in all levels of heat!

What Makes Her Special: What makes Abigail special is her unique detachable bubble sleeves! Those sleeves can completely transform her look by adding the perfect touch of fun! They further add to the complete bohemian uniqueness of the dress , and they serve as the perfect “WOW” factor that will leave the guests stunned!

Darianna Bridal & Tuxeedo's "I Said Yes To the Dress" sign on Abigail's gorgeous lace train
Our “I Said Yes” sign on Abigail!

Top 5 Wedding Tuxedo and Suit Rentals 2021

Every year, we like to see what were the most popular tuxedo and suit rentals for the entire year. Last year, we saw an abundance of formal event activity: proms came back, although not fully, galas started to creep back and of course weddings were incredibly popular.

We generally can see what is trending in the men’s fashion area because we rent so many tuxedos and suits.  However, when we run reports from our rental system, we are sometimes surprised what makes it into the top 5 category!

With many 2020 weddings postponed due to COVID-19 and even some 2021 weddings delayed, we saw an immense number of weddings in 2021.  So what were our top 5 tuxedo and suit rentals during 2021? Let’s not waste any more time and get to our list!

TUXEDOS

  1. Ike Behar classic black tuxedo with notch lapel
  2. Ike Behar full navy tuxedo with notch lapel
  3. Michael Kors light gray tuxedo with notch lapel
  4. Ike Behar navy tuxedo with black peak lapel
  5. Allure Men cobalt blue tuxedo with notch lapel

# 5 Allure Men Cobalt Blue Tuxedo

At the beginning of the year, we did not expect this tuxedo to be so popular.  However when you look at the vibrant and beautiful blue fabric of this tuxedo, we should have known better!  The tuxedo has no satin on it, rather a border stitching on the notch lapel to emulate a satin border and fabric buttons.  This was the perfect tuxedo for grooms who wanted a modern and striking blue color that went well with our brown shoes.

Cobalt Blue Tuxedo with Bow Tie
Allure Men Cobalt Blue Tuxedo

# 4 Ike Behar Navy Tuxedo With Black Peak Lapel

This tuxedo is the same exact fabric and style of our full navy Ike Behar tuxedo with notch lapel.  The only difference is a black peak lapel and black buttons to match that lapel.  Often, brides and grooms want to help distinguish the groom from the bridal party and fathers.  One of the most common things we saw during 2021 was the groom wearing this tuxedo and the groomsmen wore the full navy tuxedo.  This was a great choice to help dress the groom a little differently and help distinguish him further from the groomsmen.

Navy Tuxedo Blake by Ike Behar with Black Peak Lapel
Ike Behar Navy Tuxedo “Blake” With Black Peak Lapel

# 3 Michael Kors Light Gray Tuxedo with Notch Lapel

Even we were surprised by this ranking!  This light gray tuxedo with the thinnest of satin running down the notch lapel was popular with our spring and summer weddings.  Although when we set out to rank our most popular wedding tuxedo rentals, we had no idea this one was number three, or even made the top 5 list!  Part of its popularity, we think, is because of the Michael Kors name, the light gray color goes very well with warmer weather weddings and events, and it goes beautifully with most every bridesmaid color!  We can say though, that the fabric is quite comfortable and luxurious and that could have swayed our brides and grooms.  Nonetheless, a great tuxedo choice for a wedding.

Light Gray Tuxedo with Gray Long Tie
Michael Kors Light Gray Tuxedo

# 2 Ike Behar Full Navy Tuxedo with Notch Lapel

Before we ran the numbers in our tuxedo and suit rental ordering system, the staff at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo was trying to guess the most popular tuxedos rented by our wedding parties.  We all guessed this tuxedo to be the most popular one.  We were close but this tuxedo came in second.  We can say, though, that it’s by far our most pinned tuxedo on our Pinterest page.  This is a very handsome navy color with very luxurious fabric that provides all day comfort for grooms, groomsmen and fathers.

Ike Behar "Sebastian" Full Navy Tuxedo with Notch Lapel
Ike Behar “Sebastian” Full Navy Tuxedo with Notch Lapel

# 1 Ike Behar Classic Black Tuxedo With Notch Lapel

There is no surprise at the popularity of this fine tuxedo.  However, when we were trying to guess the top tuxedo rentals, we had no idea that it was our most popular wedding rental in 2021.  We knew it would make the top 5 list but had no idea it would be number 1!  The classic, timeless look, luxurious fabric and perfect fit have always made this a favorite for just about anyone for any occasion.  We found that brides and grooms who were interested in creating a timeless look tend to choose this tuxedo.  We always advise that it’s a good idea to keep your wedding photos timeless so in 25 years you don’t question what you wore for your wedding!  This tuxedo would certainly help you with that goal.

Ike Behar Classic Black Tuxedo with Black Bow Tie
Ike Behar Classic Black Tuxedo with Black Bow Tie

TOP 5 WEDDING SUIT RENTALS

In some instances, brides and grooms prefer to dress the groom and groomsmen in suits rather than tuxedos.  That approach is evident in the number of suits we rent every year for weddings.

  1. Erik Lawrence steel gray suit
  2. Ike Behar navy suit
  3. Erik Lawrence black suit
  4. Erik Lawrence french blue suit
  5. Ike Behar light gray suit with peak lapel

Okay, first things first: we were REALLY surprised that the Ike Behar Yale blue suit did not make it into the top 5!  It was number 6.  It seemed that so many wedding parties wore this suit in 2021 but I guess when you are doing thousands of tuxedo and suit rentals, it can be challenging to keep track of which is precisely more popular.  In addition, we all thought that the Ike Behar navy suit would have come out on top.  In fact, it came in as the number 2 most popular suit rental for weddings.

# 5 Ike Behar Light Gray Suit

Brides and grooms who wanted a gray suit for a warmer weather wedding, tended to choose this suit.  The fabric was soft, light and comfortable.  And of course, as with all Ike Behar suits and tuxedos, it fits perfectly every time.  The peak lapel on this suit adds a bit of style and flair to the look.  Some wore it with the scoop vest, others did without the vest and may have added suspenders.  We saw most rentals for this suit for Spring and Summer weddings.

Ike Behar Light Gray Suit With Peak Lapel
Ike Behar Light Gray Suit With Peak Lapel

# 4 Eric Lawrence French Blue Suit

Coming in at number 4 is our French blue suit.  Again, before compiling our totals, we thought this one would have been in the top 3.  We were close!   The striking bright yet dark blue color of this suit is what attracts most of our brides and grooms to it.  Wedding photos come out vibrant and defined when the wedding party is dressed in this suit.  We predict this will be a popular suit for many years to come.

A bright French blue suit with notch lapel, matching French blue vest and pants, lavender floral long tie and matching pocket square and white shirt.
French blue suit with notch lapel, matching French blue vest and pants, lavender floral long tie and matching pocket square and white shirt.

# 3 Ike Erik Lawrence Black Suit

Okay, this is somewhat of a surprise to us!  Why?  We didn’t think a black suit would have made it into the top 5 suits rented for weddings.  Given the extreme popularity of the various shades of blues and grays that we rent and sell, we thought that those colors would have outpaced the black suit rentals.  However, that’s why we run reports that summarize the thousands of rentals we do every year to see who are the clear winners!  This is a very handsome, timeless suit.  The trim fit jacket, slim fit pants and matching vest all create a very professional and modern look.  In addition, the pants are both adjustable and have belt loops for grooms and groomsmen who like to wear a belt.

Black Dress Suit by Eric Lawrence
Erick Lawrence Black Suit

#2 Ike Behar Navy Blue Suit

Again, no surprise here, even though we thought this would have been the number 1 most rented suit in 2021.  Instead, it came in at number 2.  Many of our brides and grooms love our Ike Behar full navy tuxedo but do not want any satin.  This suit solves the problem by replicating the navy tuxedo without satin.  The slim fit and classic dark blue color make this a favorite for our wedding parties.  I personally love this suit and have ordered one for myself.  Many of our grooms purchased this suit while the remaining groomsmen rented it.  The sheer number of groom purchases of this suit alone is a testimonial of how great it is!

This was definitely the suit for a bride and groom who wanted a different kind of blue.  This blue shade is very pleasing and that’s before we get to the fact that it’s an Ike Behar.  The fabric is super luxurious, very comfortable and fits like a custom suit.

Classic Navy Dress Suit
Ike Behar Navy Suit

# 1 Erik Lawrence Steel Gray Suit

This darker gray suit was very popular with many of our wedding parties.  We found that brides and grooms were choosing this suit no matter what season it was.  This is a very professional looking suit that has both style and comfort.  The gray color is a true dark gray and is not mistaken for black.  The matching trim fit jacket, slim fit pants and vest make great attire for your wedding party.  We also found that many grooms purchased this suit rather than rented it.  Grooms have told us that they like the suit so much that they would rather be able to keep this suit for future use.  More frequently, the groomsmen rented the suit rather than purchased it.

Erick Lawrence Steel Gray Dress Suit
Erick Lawrence Steel Gray Suit

So what was more popular for weddings, tuxedos or suits?  We can say that last year, more tuxedos were rented than suits.  70% of our rentals were tuxedos and 30% were suits.  It seemed that brides and grooms were going for a more formal look, thus choosing tuxedos more frequently for their wedding.  That’s not to say that suits do not look formal.  In fact, some of our suit rentals look more formal than certain tuxedos.  However, our best advice to you is choose a style that you like and are comfortable with, regardless of whether it’s a suit or tuxedo. 

Another thing to consider is to try to match the feel and look of the bridal gown.  If the wedding dress is very formal, you may want to choose tuxedos for the wedding party.  If the bridal gown is less formal, perhaps a suit is more appropriate.

So there you have it!  Our Top 5 wedding tuxedo and suit rentals for 2021.  With 9 new tuxedo and suit styles being added to our 60 or so already on offer, we are curious what will make the top 5 list for 2022.  I guess we will have to wait and see!

Are you curious what father’s should wear to the wedding. Read our blog with advice on dressing father for your wedding.

About the author: Franco Salerno is co-founder and co-owner of Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, now in their ninth year in business. In that time, he built the tuxedo department into a force rivaling big box stores by providing expertise, caring service, and beautiful, quality formal wear. Personally invested in every transaction, Mr. Salerno provides customers with the utmost trust and confidence, assuring their wedding or formal event attire will be perfect. A native of Philadelphia with extensive international business experience, he currently resides in Warrington, Bucks County with his wife and store co-founder/co-owner Wendy, and their two daughters for whom the store was named, Daria and Deanna.

We Got Married! Our Wedding Vendors

Yes, we did. We took the plunge, tied the knot, got hitched. Whatever you call it, after 20 years Franco and I decided to make it official! I always knew we would someday…

Someday was December 17, 2021.

As owners of a bridal and tuxedo store, we have met so many people – and vendors. We celebrated our 9th anniversary of Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo this month, the store that we opened out of thin air.

I thought it appropriate to do a blog highlighting who we chose for our wedding and why. This is not to say anyone is “better than” or “less expensive” or anything like that. Our wedding was exactly what WE wanted, and that isn’t what anyone else may want. As you read you will find out exactly the reasons we chose who we chose!

Free advice before we begin: It really is your day. YOURS. Just because someone else throws their opinion in doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Any sentence that begins with “You should” is one to hear and most likely discard because you already know what you should do.

THE VENUE: BLACK BASS HOTEL

Bride and groom in front of the black bass hotel decorated for Christmas
Our wedding day December 17, 2021

If I could convey how much I love this property you probably wouldn’t believe me but I feel like I could live there. It is historic, cozy, warm, on the river, for me absolute perfection. I will tell you a very personal story as to choosing this venue.

As some of you may know, back in 2020 I suffered a severe spinal cord injury. I popped C6 out of alignment and was paralyzed from the chest down. The injury was considered “incomplete” – meaning it was up to me to get back whatever I could. The biggest thing for me of course was to walk again.

Because of Covid, there was no rehab available once I got home 5 weeks later. Franco was at my side every minute helping me… my trainer, my cheerleader, my therapist, my chef, my best friend.

One of the amazing things he did was taking me to the Stockton Bridge where there is a wide and sturdy railing on one side and he was on my other side. He walked with me every day, back and forth, six times.

It took forever to get to one end and then I had to turn around and go back. It was devastating how hard it was – and how slow, unsteady, and afraid I was. There were times I cried the entire time out of pure frustration. And oh my God did I swear. A LOT.

Note: If you are ever in a hurry and you are behind elderly people who are slow or someone who has trouble walking, please don’t angry, take your time and be grateful that you have the ability.

Anyhoo, one day later in the summer he decided to take me to a different bridge for a change of scenery, the Lumberville-Raven Rock Bridge a/k/a the Lumberville Foot Bridge.

I remember how hot it was and when I made it to the Jersey side, I turned around and saw people dining outside at the Black Bass. It looked so inviting and sweet! I also remember thinking I wanted to be sitting there with them, drinking myself into oblivion. Instead I simply asked Franco if we could eat there one day.

When we decided to get married, I knew it would be at Black Bass.

Bride and groom with their daughters on the Lumberville PA foot bridge
Deanna, Franco, Wendy, & Daria on the Lumberville Foot Bridge

We met with Fiona and I encourage you to as well if you are considering this delightful location.

They had such sweet ceremony decor with blankets on the chairs for guests and heat lamps, plus the lights and garland for Christmas.

Ceremony set up before guests arrive with heat lamps and chairs with plaid blankets draped over the backs
Cozy blankets for guests

We got married outside at 4:30pm, and when I tell you it was perfect, it was literally perfect. The weather was outstanding, 50° and clear. The sun was beginning to set. The lights were on and fire pits going!

Bride and groom share a hug as they are announced husband and wife
Married 🙂

We had a quick ceremony and then cocktail hour and as the sun went down an almost full moon came up over the river, the Christmas lights went on, and it sounds cliché but it truly was magical. I could not have asked for anything more.

Bride and groom with champagne after ceremony by the river with a full moon reflecting on the water
Cocktail hour with the moon lighting up the river

We had indoor-outdoor cocktail hour with delicious stations, and the gorgeous bar has a fireplace and plenty of seating. The dining room overlooks the Delaware. The dinners were outstanding, the service was fantastic.

Riverside at the black bass hotel featuring heat lamps, fire pits, chairs with cozy blankets decorated for Christmas
This picture makes me want to do it all over again!

While we had a very small and intimate affair with 30 people, it was casual yet still formal, and so special. They even offer valet parking! It was truly everything we wanted.

THE DRESS: MADI LANE IZADORE

I knew the minute I saw this pic in May 2019 this was my dress. You know when you know, right? No question this was my dress before I even saw it in person. Before I even tried it on.

Before I even had a wedding date. lol

Like I said, I knew it would happen someday and there was never a dress that hit me like this… and I’ve seen thousands of dresses.

Madi Lane Izadore wedding dress with layers of shimmery lace, a conservative plunge neckline, illusion back, and long sleeves
Madi Lane Izadore dress

I brought it into the store in my size… and fell in love even more.

Bride trying on her dress pre-alterations
Trying on in the store in 2019 – no wedding date,
but this was the dress 🙂

THE SEAMSTRESS: DESIGN STUDIO BY IRINA

The above picture was taken pre-accident. As you can see, the dress at that time only needed a few tweaks and a hem. By the time we got married at the end of 2021, I was 15 pounds lighter. This dress needed significant and major alterations.

When I put it on prior to my first fitting, I didn’t think it had a chance of working out. The top was enormous, the sleeves baggy, and there was almost no shape at all. I texted Irina. She said bring it over.

When I say she is a master, that’s exactly what she is. She told me not to worry and that she’d make it perfect. Six inches in the top, take in sleeves, three inches in the waist and hip, remove the train, and hem.

One fitting. Boom. My dress fit like a glove and I didn’t want to take it off.

For Consideration: Remove the train from your dress. I did because it was too stressful for me to worry about walking with a train. So much easier! A cathedral veil will give the same effect and the same drama on entrance, but is taken off at the reception. I was thrilled that I did not have to deal with a bustle all night and my dress looked pretty from the front AND back!

GROOM’S TUXEDO: IKE BEHAR

Groom getting ready before wedding
Getting ready

When we go to a formal event, Franco always asks me what color tux I want him to wear. Because we have so many, there is always something different to pick from! This time I left it his choice. He knows I’m partial to classic black though. Good Lord, a black tuxedo is so sexy.

I knew he would choose an Ike Behar though, even if it wasn’t black. The fit on the Ike is perfect every time.

Bride in Madi Lane with Groom in Black tuxedo by Ike Behar walking in front of the black bass hotel in lumberville PA
Twenty years and still this excited

He chose black. 🙂 After 20 years, I’m still smitten.

MAIDS OF HONOR DRESSES: CLARISSE

Unsure, right up to the last minute. Daria and Deanna were sending pictures of dresses back and forth, just like all bridesmaids do. Again I only gave them a few guidelines and let them pick. I loved the hunter green satin for Christmas, and then they each picked their style. These dresses came from Clarisse, were in stock, and fit so well they only needed a hem!

Maids of honor wearing hunter green satin dresses by Clarisse
Maids of Honor Deanna (L) and Daria (R)

It was amazing that the day was mild enough not to wear jackets, however we did get them fur wraps to wear for the ceremony. The colors could not have been more perfect, in my opinion!

HAIR & MAKE UP: DANEENE JENSEN & ASSOCIATES

I met Daneene when we first opened our store nine years ago. I didn’t know anyone in the wedding industry and was eager to get to know as many people as I could. I had no idea that Daneene was one of the highest rated hair and make up artists in the entire region. She was so interested in meeting us and our new little store, that when I realized exactly who she was it spoke volumes to her character.

She did not need us, she was already successful. She wanted to know us. There’s a big difference.

Groom with his two daughters pre-ceremony
Franco with our girls looking lovely after Daneene’s work!

Since that first meeting she has done so many of our brides and bridal parties with nothing but five star, glowing reviews. She and her team are kind, reliable, and perfectionists. If you are looking for hair and make up, she is my go-to every time.

THE FLOWERS: NEWTOWN FLOWER COMPANY/REEANNE SIRAVO

Reeanne used to work at our store in bridal, but her talents were far beyond just that. I would watch her design and decorate our display windows, make flower girl baskets and ring boxes, draw flowers and designs on our welcome board, repurpose things that no one else could have possibly re-purposed. She’s genuine, fun, and I’m so proud she’s my friend. So when I needed flowers I thought of her and it just so happens her sister Denise owns the Newtown Flower Company. #score

A getting ready toast in the bridal suite at the black bass hotel
A getting ready toast with my dear friend Ree and her sister Denise of the Newtown Flower Company (Deanna had water!)

Because our affair was small and the Black Bass offered candles as centerpieces, I only needed three bouquets and a boutonniere. I sent her two pictures for inspiration, and told her I didn’t want them this big:

Inspo pic #1
Brides wedding bouquet with white and blush roses, lilies, wine colored fleur-de-lis, eucalyptus and other greenery
Inspo pic #2

That was all I gave her. That was all she needed. She perfectly combined the two to give me this:

My flower bouquet doubled as a centerpiece with the candles on our sweetheart table

I am still so in love with these flowers every time I see pictures!

THE OFFICIANT: ARIEL CLAUS

The officiant waiting for the couple to
Ariel entertains while waiting for us

We met Ariel at Peddler’s Village when she was doing corporate events for them. She took a group of us on a tour and she was as delightful as she looks – fun, smart and bubbly.

Not long after, we met again at another networking event and then it became routine to see her. I always enjoyed talking and giggling with her.

Now when it came time to find an officiant, I realized I was at a loss. I knew no one so I started searching, to no real avail. And then, poof! A Facebook post of Ariel, saying she had officiated a wedding.

Could my wedding get any better? I sent her a Facebook message and that was that. She asked what was important to us, what kind of ceremony we wanted, etc. all the questions to make sure she did what we wanted.

Because Franco and I had been together for so long, we didn’t need all the vows or traditional stuff. We didn’t want too much along the religious lines. We already wore rings for 14 years, we didn’t need a ring exchange.

Instead, we wrote something up – our “story” – and she read that for our guests. It was cute, sweet, heartfelt, silly; it was us and maybe 10 minutes start to finish.

Being married by your friend is definitely recommended!

It was perfect. And being married by a friend was so incredibly special. And as fate would have it, as I am writing this, our marriage license just arrived from the courthouse!

Ceremony outdoors at the black bass hotel with the Lumberville bridge in the background
It was “official”!

THE PHOTOGRAPHER: NICOLE GOSS PHOTOGRAPHY

Like Ariel, Nicole is just my style. We met through networking as well and I gravitate towards the fun ones. She is so easy going! Eager to do the best job and she definitely did.

Because we had such a small and rather non-traditional wedding/reception (it was just a dinner with a great playlist of music), I did not need what others require. I did not need formal “getting ready”, extended family photos, or reception shots. We wanted candid and fun pics from pre-ceremony up to dinner.

She laughed with us as she caught things I didn’t know would happen – like this one – sort of a reverse first-look when I saw Franco coming across the street.

Just a little excited

Or this great one of us taking a selfie to send to our friends in Italy who could not attend due to Covid restrictions:

Nicole took a picture of us taking a picture of ourselves!

Nicole is wonderful and qualified for so much more than the small affair we had, yet she took it as seriously as a much bigger wedding and even got fantastic shots of our guests throughout cocktail hour. I cannot stop looking through all these pictures!!

And that’s a wrap! Franco and I are so pleased at how everything turned out exactly as we hoped – and actually it was even better. If you need a referral for your wedding, feel free to ask! We know so many amazing and talented vendors and can find one that would be perfect for the wedding YOU want!

Eco-Friendly Wedding Flower Ideas

Coming off of an unprecedented 18+ months where weddings were canceled and businesses shut down, couples were forced to reschedule and even DIY parts of their wedding. One of those areas was flowers and some really great ideas became more mainstream, and others were newly born!

Because sustainability has really come to the forefront, Millennials and Gen Zers are more concerned than ever about being eco-friendly wherever possible and that includes wedding planning. No doubt with pesticides, plastics, shipping, etc. it can seem irresponsible. Here are ideas to use for inspiration!

Beautiful sola wood flower arrangement by The Paisley Moon on Etsy
Flower arrangement made of sola wood by
The Paisley Moon on Etsy

The above photo shows a bouquet made of sola wood, which comes from the tapioca plant root. It is also known as arrowroot and grows in tropical climates. You can purchase ready to use or DIY it with tutorials. Easy to dye as well for any color combo!

Succulents are eco-friendly wedding flowers
Succulents and greenery make a beautiful bouquet

A real favorite right now is the succulant. Requiring little water and coming in many shapes, sizes, and colors, these beauties are gorgeous in bouquets and table centerpieces.

wildflowers in vintage colored glass bottles
Wild flowers in vintage bottles make a sweet centerpiece

Have you thought of wild flowers? The popularity of the boho wedding lends perfectly to these natural beauties with none of the environmental effects. There are florists who are able to source wild flowers so consider this option for a truly earthy and romantic addition. Use for centerpieces as well!

Table runner with ruscus, lanterns, and candles - along with a few gold felt flowers - is eco-friendly
Table runner using greenery and lanterns

When thinking of “going green” – really GO green! In-season and locally grown greenery can be just as dramatic! Create a gorgeous table runner with ruscus or olive branches, lanterns, and candles, or the suspended drapey ivy vines with pretty blooms or evergreens. So many options available with greenery from Queen Anne’s lace to palm fronds – all eco-friendly!

Dried flowers are another option that regained popularity during the 2020 shut down and has remained a popular option today. Easily incorporate out of season flowers this way.

Others to consider are fabric, felt, and paper blooms. These will last for years, use in a vase at home, or you can reuse – use them instead of bows for gift toppers! Etsy stores have gorgeous options here, or check Insta and Pinterest!

If you want to be creative, think of items like jewelry and feathers to use/add to your bouquet.

We look forward to seeing the creative ways our couples incorporate flowers of any type into their wedding day! If you used any of these eco-friendly ideas, we would love to see your photos and share with our couples in the planning stages!

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.