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Category Archives: wedding planning

Hiring The Right Entertainment/DJ For Your Wedding

We recently asked brides “What are you most worried about for your wedding?”

We received so many different answers – many said rain which we blogged about earlier, but several said they worried about the entertainment, that no one would dance and their guests would be bored.

We got some quick advice in that blog, but there is so much more to say so let’s get into it! Introducing our friend and guest blogger Art Armani of Armani Entertainment to give you the best advice for the reception you want.

Art Armani of Armani Entertainment
Art Armani, Armani Entertainment

Before hiring a band or DJ, ask yourself if you can remember the flowers or linens at the last wedding you attended? Most likely not. 

You will remember the bride’s dress, the food, and the entertainment.  Prioritize your budget in that that order and you will most likely have the wedding you dreamed of!

As an entertainer of 20 plus years and owner of Armani Entertainment I can tell you from a DJ’s POV that there are many factors that can affect the outcome of a wedding reception’s success. I want to share this knowledge with you.

Use these factors below to set your dance floor expectations:

  • The Bride and The 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.
  • Day of week and time of reception.  If the wedding is an early one and on a Sunday we usually see less activity on the floor as people are used to the party / dance atmosphere in the evenings and on a Friday or Saturday night.  So if your party is in the middle of the week, early in the day or on a Sunday evening when most people have to get back to work on Monday, the guests may take it a little easier than they do on a Friday or Saturday night.
  • The venue itself.  We have been at a few venues where the room was too small, not well ventilated and the party was spread out between multiple rooms and even outdoors.  Having a situation like this can also hinder a dance floor.  If it’s too hot, people tend to go outside for fresh air or where it’s cooler thus making it harder to keep a dance floor full.  We often see this in the barn venues and historic house venues.
  • Too many formalities and breaks in the flow.  These days we are seeing longer dance times and fuller floors when there are less breaks such as formal cake cuttings, garter and bouquet tosses, parents dances, sparkler sendoffs that happen too early and end the party too soon.  Get the formalities out of the way as soon as you can including the introductions, parent dances and toasts so that those are out of the way and you can get to dancing right after dinner. 

Give the DJ an idea of the age groups and types of music your guests may like.  Giving this information to the DJ can help them prepare the right entertainment for your guests ahead of time. Include a note in the invitation asking for one song that would make them get up and dance.  Then compile these for the DJ and present at your final planning meeting.

Don’t have a Must Play list over 25 songs – doing this can make the DJ part seem staged and confines the DJ to not be able to have some creative freedom.  Instead hand over a few must plays and describe the styles / decades of music that the guests are into.  Dictating too much of a playlist, you might be better off just hooking up an iPod.

Along the same lines, don’t have a huge Do Not Play List.  Doing so handicaps the DJ and leaves less room to play the hits that your guests will want to hear. 

One thing I tell my couples is that the dance part is a way to thank the guests for taking the time to attend, book hotel rooms, travel etc.  Thank them by allowing them to hear the music that makes them dance.

Definitely warn us if Uncle Joe has a habit of requesting the ‘odd unknown B side track from a 70s album’. We know how to handle that and sometimes fit it in at an appropriate time as to not disrupt a dance floor.  If Uncle Joe comes up later and requests that song later in the evening while the dance floor is packed, we know how to curb it politely.

Hire a DJ that knows how to read a crowd and notice what is working and can build on that, and one who knows how to seamlessly mix out of a song that isn’t working.  A good DJ should be able to end a song early if it’s not working and mix into another one to keep testing until people are on the dance floor. 

If the floor is completely empty and the DJ lets the track play until the end.. you hired the wrong DJ.

Don’t panic during the coffee / desert time if the dance floor is less.  Let them eat cake and refuel for the final hour/s of the reception.  That time is actually a great time to fit in a snippet of Uncle Joe’s oddball song request!

Just because people are not dancing does not mean they are not enjoying the music or aren’t having a good time!  Sometimes guests are very content with a laid back reception dance floor.

Hire a DJ that knows when to and when not to jump on the microphone.  The DJ doesn’t always have to be yelling into the microphone… let the music speak for itself.

Hire a DJ that knows how to control the sound volumes so that it’s not so loud that people don’t want to get near the dance floor.  The volume should be at a point where people want to move to the dance floor to feel the music, and feel safe at their tables to get away, relax and chat etc.  Creating that safe buffer zone works wonders.

Have a question about the entertainment for your wedding? Let us know – or contact Art directly through his website! He is an entertainment professional with over 20 years experience, 5-star google ratings and a consistent winner of the Happenings Lists!

7 Simple Ways to Improve Your Tuxedo Rental or Purchase Experience

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is pleased to offer these 7 simple ways to improve your tuxedo or suit rental or purchase experience!

What follows is a summary of what our bridal and tuxedo store is experiencing with weddings this year, and a few procedures you can follow to help grooms and groomsmen look their best for your wedding.

2022 Weddings Are on the Rise

According to The Wedding Report, the United States will see 25% more weddings this year.  That’s more weddings we’ve seen since 1984! This is certainly going to affect your wedding vendors and how they serve you.

We are experiencing a noticeable increase in the number of weddings this year, much more than the predicted 25% increase.  Whether it’s increased demand from delays from COVID or just overall demand from demographics, we are certainly seeing many more brides, bridesmaids, grooms and groomsmen coming through our store.

You want your wedding party to look their best. So do we! Those wedding photos will last forever and we want to help you manage this process to capture those moments that will be seen for years to come.  While there is a lot more involved with renting a tuxedo or suit than the items that follow, these are the 7 simple ways to improve your rental experience:

  1. Start Shopping Early

Given the higher demand for tuxedo and suit rentals and purchases, we suggest that you start shopping for your mens’ attire six months before your wedding.  There are a lot of choices out there and it may take you some time to decide on how you want to dress your groom, groomsmen and fathers.  As an example, we have over 70 different styles of suits and tuxedos for rent and about 35 available for purchase.  In addition, there are many different styles and colors of vests, long ties, bow ties and pocket squares. 

Sorting all of this out with the proper professional advice is not that complex, however, we advise starting the process early so that you can make your choices with the time you need to decide.

In addition, the sooner you choose your attire and place those orders, the less likely you will find yourself unable to acquire the choices you made.  Remember, there are 25% more weddings in the United States this year and that is translating into more pressure on inventories of certain tuxedo and suit shops who are not prepared for the extra volume.

2021 proved to be a challenging year as well because of all of the weddings postponed in 2020 from COVID and the already planned weddings for 2021.  We remember having a bride and groom come to us who said their original tuxedo supplier could not accommodate all of their requests: all of the tuxedos were not available because the company was out of the styles and they could only provide half of the vests requested!  Fortunately, we were able to provide them all of their tuxedos for their wedding day without a problem, however this may be a recurring issue in 2022 due to the increase in the number of weddings so starting your shopping and ordering of tuxedo and suit rentals early, could alleviate this problem.

Fitting clothes it sure the perfect fit and getting measured early is one of the 7 simple ways to improve your rental experience
Our fitting clothes ensure a perfect fit
  1. Have Your Guys Get Measured in a Timely Fashion

Getting your guys to get measured for their tuxedo or suit in a timely manner is one of the biggest challenges.  At Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, we suggest having everyone measured and initial payments made at least 3 to 4 weeks before the wedding.  This will make sure the inventory can be reserved for you and your wedding party and we have enough time to start working on the orders.

Do we really need 3 – 4 weeks?  No we do not.  We can prepare a tuxedo or suit rental in less time, but this will ensure there is adequate time for any changes in sizes or choices and will reduce the probability of inventory not being available.

We understand everyone is busy, but this is an important day for your wedding and we try to explain that to the groomsmen.  Our procedures provide for us to call or text the guys to remind them to come in and get measured.  If they are out-of-town guests where we’ve arranged for them to get measured out-of-state, it is equally important for them to submit their measurements to us on our online portal in a timely manner.

* This is where the bride and groom can help: we call and text groomsmen many times to remind them to get measured.  Sometimes, they are not very responsive to our communications.  When that is the case, we will reach out to the bride and groom to nudge the guys to come and get measured.  Oftentimes, the bride and groom will send out a group text message and euphemistically state: ‘any of you who haven’t been to Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo to get measured for your tuxedo, need to do so ASAP!’.  Of course even those who have been measured are included in the text message so not to shame the ones who have not completed this task!

Our suggestion to you is to follow up with the guys via text message and ask them if they’ve been able to order their tuxedo.  We find that they tend to be more responsive to the bride and groom.

Getting measured only takes about 10 minutes.

  1. Make Your Tuxedo Payment on Time

Paying for your rental may sound like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many times we have to make multiple requests to groomsmen to either make their initial payment or pay for the entire rental if we are shipping it to them. 

We have had to explain more than once that amazon.com will not process your order without payment… and neither can we. If you are picking up in our store, we require an initial payment at measuring and the balance of the rental fee can be paid on pick up. If we are shipping you the tuxedo, we do require full payment before the rental ships out.

Check with your tuxedo and suit retailer as to what their payment requirements are.  Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo tries to make the payment process very simple.  We accept all credit cards, offer ApplePay and GooglePay and even can send electronic invoices by text message or email.  Not making a payment for your suit or tuxedo rental halts the processing of the order.

  1. Respond to the Tuxedo Shops Questions
Groomsmen ready to go!

At Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, we do a lot of quality control with our tuxedo and suit rental orders.

There are a lot of moving parts to renting a suit or tuxedo.  There is the actual tuxedo style, color and designer, the type of shirt, color of vest, bow tie or long tie choices, cufflink and stud choices, shoe choice, and of course pocket square choice.  Add on top of that, measurements and sizing for most of the items just mentioned.  We review files every week for accuracy and completeness. 

This year, we anticipate renting about 7,000 tuxedos and suits!  That’s a lot of quality control and a lot of telephone calls and text messages to our customers.  Our suggestion, no matter where you are renting or purchasing your suit or tuxedo, is to return the call or text message of the retailer in a timely manner so that you can answer their questions. This expedites the ordering of your attire and ensures everything is accurate. Given that we see 7,000 measurements a year, we often can spot inconsistencies and fix them with a quick phone call.

We make communicating with us really easy, including the ability to text our store’s telephone number.

Groomsmen trying on their navy tuxedos for the store manager to inspect
A wedding party trying on their tuxes!

5. Pick Up and Try on Your Tuxedo

It’s always a good idea to ask your retailer about when the suit or tuxedo rental will be available for pick up.  Every store has a different policy.  Our policy is, in general, that the rental will be ready for pick up 4 to 10 days before your event.  The good news is we do not charge extra by allowing you to pick up the tuxedo a week before the wedding.  This allows you to try it on and make sure everything fits properly.  We call every single renter to let him know his rental is ready for pick up.  If you do not have voicemail, we are actually able to text you from our store’s telephone number.

Our suggestion is to pick up the suit or tuxedo rental as soon as you are notified or as soon as you can.  You want to allow adequate time to make changes if necessary.  As an example, we had a groomsman who was measured in March.  When he came to pick up his tuxedo in August, he had lost 15 pounds because he is a landscaper, worked outside and lost weight due to the extreme heat.  This was not a problem, because he came to pick up his tuxedo a week before the wedding.  The next day, we had the correct size for him.

On another note, if you lost or gained weight, it’s a good idea to return to the store to get re-measured.  Every tuxedo store has different procedures, but we put everyone in a pair of pants, a jacket, shirt, vest and shoes. The fitting items that you try on with us are true to size and are quite accurate, unless, of course, you lose 15 pounds!

If you were measured out-of-state and are having your tuxedo or suit rental shipped to you, we highly recommend trying it on immediately.  Remember you were not measured by us and where you went to get measured may not have the same tried and true measuring procedures that we have.  Inform your tuxedo retailer immediately if something does not fit properly.  With adequate notification, you should be able to have that situation remedied quickly.  The bride and groom will appreciate you for this!

6. Sizing and Tightness

We often hear from groomsmen that their suit or tuxedo ‘feels a little tight’.  This doesn’t happen often but when it does, our experience is that many guys are not used to wearing suits or tuxedos.  Let’s face it, most workplaces allow casual attire or people work from home.  If a suit or tuxedo is perfectly comfortable (read: feels like you are wearing a sweatshirt and sweatpants), then we can guarantee it looks terrible! 

Some guys put their arms out in front of them and say, “It’s so tight!” or “Look how short the arms are!” Are you going to walk around like a zombie at the wedding? No, because that is not a normal stance. When your arms are straight down at your side it should look and feel fitted.

A suit or tuxedo should be relatively fitted and look almost like it was made for you. It should not be baggy.  If you are not used to wearing formal attire, after wearing it for 10-15 minutes, you will get used to the tighter feel.  It is best to try your tuxedo on in the retailer’s location.  This way a professional, who is used to seeing thousands of people in tuxedos, can help you determine if the fit is correct.  If you had your tuxedo shipped to you, we’ve even done FaceTime or video calls with guys so we could see what it looks like on them! This helps us determine if anything needs to be changed.

So the bottom line is if you are not used to wearing formal attire, then that slight tight feeling from the tuxedo or suit may still be the proper size for you.  A formal wear professional will help you determine that and even allow you to try on the next size up to see how it looks and feels.

7. Return On Time!

This is a big one that can cause real problems. Because there is a strain on inventory, suit and tuxedo retailers are depending on returns to be prompt. If you do not return your tuxedo there of course or late fees associated, but you are also causing problems for someone else. Yours could be delayed because someone else didn’t return on time. Please return your tuxedo as per the terms of your retailer. You can read more about the importance of prompt returns here!

We Hope This Helps

Although not all wedding parties are experiencing all of these issues, we are finding that these are the 7 simple ways to improve the tuxedo and suit rental or purchase process! Simply being aware of these potential issues will help streamline dressing your wedding party.

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.