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Category Archives: wedding planning

How To Say Yes When You Won’t Stop Looking

Have you asked any of these questions:

“Do brides say yes on the first time out?’

“Do brides really buy the first dress they tried on?”

“Do brides ever buy without going to other stores?”

“Do brides buy without asking all their friends what they think?”

The answer to all of these is yes. In this blog we will discuss the bride who can’t say yes and if it resonates with you, hopefully our advice will help you through saying yes with confidence.

The most challenging bride is the one who cannot stop looking. She brings with her a group of eight on a Saturday morning, tries on 15 dresses, finds one she loves. She cries, everyone loves it… and then the question: “Are you saying yes to this dress?” She looks completely confused and says, “No, I can’t buy yet/at the first store/until I sleep on it/without my grandmother/without looking elsewhere.”

Aren’t you looking to say yes? Why did you bring this group to give so much attention and love to you and then say no when you are crying and they are so supportive?

Bride continues to shop all day, ending exhausted and confused with a list of maybes and one she really loves. She makes more appointments at other stores.

This bride refuses to say yes for months.

She finally makes a return appointment to retry the dress on that she loves, the one that made her cry, the one she can’t stop thinking about. She obsesses over photos, looks at it online, gets opinions of strangers on wedding websites.

She brings her group back again, although fewer attend. She still loves the dress.

“I really think maybe this is it, but did you get any new ones in that I haven’t tried?”

I ask, “How many stores have you been to? How many dresses have you tried on?”

Some brides tell me they’ve gone to 10-12 stores, even some in different states. That is at least 100 dresses tried on.  One hundred wedding dresses and a bride still can’t pull the trigger. Not only that, her group is tired (“Just get it already!”) and the bride is stressed out (“Don’t push me into making this decision!”)  It has become a chore. Instead of that first perfect moment to say yes with the emotion and the hugs and the support, it is now a frustrating disappointment because you are over a month into looking and still can’t say yes to the dress you came back to.

Why?

“I’m not getting the reaction I want.”  – But you did the first time and ignored it…

“I don’t know if my fiance will like it.” – Your fiance loves you, and will love you in whatever dress you choose…

“What if I don’t like it later?” – You loved it the first time and you still do…

“I’m worried I might find something I like better.” – After 100 dresses, you think #105 will be the one when you’re back in the original dress?

“I don’t make decisions quickly.” – You immediately knew the venue, your bridal party, and you immediately said yes to the marriage proposal…

At some point, you need to be confident in your dress decision and move on with the planning. It’s your day and you will be radiant in the dress you choose!

The dress should make you feel gorgeous, you never want to take it off.  You want to wear it to work, out to lunch, everywhere. When you find that dress, SAY YES. Stop looking because you won’t find one to beat it. If there is a dress you compare all others to, that’s the one. It doesn’t matter if your to-be sister in law didn’t react the way you wanted, it’s not her wedding or her dress.

You now must also consider the health implications of going to so many stores.

Our advice is always the same to brides who call themselves “indecisive” but made many decisions already with no problem:

1. Don’t bring a large group. If you want to show them, bring them to your try on, or plan a reveal to show them what YOU chose. They will cry when they see you in it! Many stores now limit the number of guests due to social distancing so that decision could be made for you.

2. Limit the choices. It’s like going to a restaurant with a 10-page menu… you went in wanting the steak but now you might want something else, because it might taste better, even though you really want the steak…

3. Be your unique self. Don’t buy a dress that others love on you but you don’t, one that reminds you of everyone else’s, or because it’s trendy now. Find unique designers or ones you can customize if needed.

4. Trust yourself. The dress you love is the right one and everyone will love you in it.

5. Buy from a reputable store. Read reviews! Are they known for great customer service, responsiveness, and truthfulness? Do they adhere to new laws and regulations? (WE ARE, AND WE DO!)

Yes, brides do say yes on the first day out, at the first store, to the first dress, without dozens of opinions from the people with them. You can, too! Let us help you enjoy the bridal appointment process and trust yourself!

The Bridal Registry: What To Ask For

Have you started your registry for your wedding?

I have some advice for you and it comes from a good place because after our Deanna was born (and before our store opened), I wanted a part-time job so guess what I did? I went to Bed Bath & Beyond and became one of their Wedding Registry Specialists!

Yep, I worked with brides and grooms helping them choose the best items for their registries!

When I say “best” I don’t mean most expensive, I mean the best for the couple. If the couple is into cooking, then yes, register the cookware that you want even if it is expensive. If you love to entertain, then get a complete and really good barware set, a great grill, or outdoor furniture!

There are many stores to register with and at the end of this blog I have included a link to a comparison of the most popular.  Today the #1 registry site is Amazon which makes sense because many couples are already set with their household needs and will register for items they want versus duplicates of what they already have.

Other popular registry stores are Target, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and Crate and Barrel. Zola is another online option. Some couples register for money toward their honeymoon. A great idea to have the experience!

It has been a while since my registry days but I remember them well and quite fondly.  Let me take you through the process:

China: This was always first because traditionally, you HAD to have a set of china. You might get pressure to register these pieces but if you are not interested, do not bother. Don’t put gifts on that you don’t want and aren’t going to use. If you do want china, however, there are gorgeous patterns and you can register all the pieces!

Bone china dinnerware sets - Bone china products exporter and supplier

Cookwear: This is another area that can put some expensive gifts on your list. As I said, if this is your thing and you always wanted a certain brand, DO IT. Guests may go in on gifts and be excited to get it for you! If it’s not a big deal, my advice was – and still is – don’t go for the least expensive, look for a reputable brand that is reasonably priced but will last.

The best cookware sets of 2019: Cuisinart, All-Clad, T-Fal ...

Flatware: Ahh, aside from picking china patterns, this was my favorite. Choosing the daily forks and spoons… no one cared much and would always pick the cheapest ones, I never knew why. They would blow off this section, until I got to do my demo. I would take a spoon out of the package they wanted to register and bend it right in half with no effort. “That’s what you get with this brand.” It was so funny to see the reactions! If you are in the position of purchasing or registering flatware, give the bend test a try, and think of me 😉  You should NOT be able to easily bend a spoon in half. You can’t eat ice cream that way for heaven’s sake!

Truly, get something of quality, you use these multiple times daily. You can get a second, even more formal set as well (especially if you get a set of china), and if you do, make sure to get the beautiful box to store it!

Flatware & Silverware Sets | Gold Flatware Sets | Bed Bath & BeyondVintage Rosepoint by Wallace Sterling Silver 90 Piece Silverware ...

Bedding: Another favorite of mine. GET THE GOOD SHEETS. Wherever you register, ask for or read the comparisons between the different fabrics and once you select that, make sure you get a high thread count. It makes a big difference.

Dinnerware: Or “everyday plates” – this can be tricky. Couples would fall for a great pattern that wasn’t inexpensive, but the material it was made from was cheap. While I could get away with bending spoons, I wasn’t always able to demonstrate how easy it was to knock a chunk out of the rim of a plate. Some I could tap on a shelf and a piece would fall off, it was that easy. Ask what it’s made of. A very strong material you should look for is bone china which is actually a porcelain made with cow bone ash. If you want an everyday set that will last a long time and not chip, go for bone china.

Barware: Tons of options here, from full bar sets to crystal wine glasses and decanters, this deserves some thought. Maybe you’re more into beer and want separate pilsner and lager glasses and if so, register them! This section is very popular for guests and many times one of the first sections completed on the registry.

Amazon.com | Riedel Crystal Cabernet Wine Decanter and 4 Crystal ...Beer Glassware Guide: Beer Glass Types and Uses

Bath: Your bath and hand towels are personal choice and usually are chosen by color.  Make sure to register a bath mat, shower curtain, and any accessories that match like tissue box, soap dispenser, candle holder, etc. Guests can purchase two or three of those for you and have a great gift that you want and stay in their budget!

Other points to consider:

Your fiance may not be interested in parts of this process. It can take hours to complete. It works best when you get the big pieces done first and then return at another time for the smaller things like kitchen gadgets, everyday glasses, picture frames, candles and holders, etc.

Amazon.com: Kitchen Utensil Set - 23 Nylon Cooking Utensils ...

Some helpful advice before you begin:

  • Discuss before you go what you want to get registered first so you don’t waste time and energy.
  • Eat before you go.
  • Don’t bring children.
  • Make sure to register gifts in a variety of price ranges.

Choosing your registry should be an exciting experience that symbolizes the start of your life together as you pick what you both want. Click the link below to compare options before you go:

https://www.businessinsider.com/best-wedding-registry

Real Brides Advice For Replanning Your Wedding

Are you a bride forced to reschedule and replan because your wedding has been postponed? You are not alone. Spring is a huge season for weddings and replanning is not easy for you, the venues, or your vendors.

While most of our brides were able to reschedule, some are trying to get deposits back, some decided to get married at home with a few family members present, others are still in limbo whether to reschedule or not.

If you need help or advice, this is for you! We reached out to some of our brides going through the replanning and asked what they did and how they feel about it, and we asked our Shannon how she is feeling not knowing if she has to reschedule yet or not.

First, we asked our bride Hope. Her original wedding date was 5/8/2020 at Star Barn.  Her new date is 5/8/2021. Read her advice:

Dealing with the delay / Moving the date:
Get ahead of it all! At first, when we were still hopeful for our May 8, 2020 date, we emailed our vendors to let them know we were still planning on moving forward as planned and would let them know about Easter time if there would be any changes. As we moved in to the making changes stage we selected key vendors we did not want to lose and ran all possible dates by them.
Make sure to ask your venue for all dates, including days different than when you were originally scheduled for. If I had not asked, we would have never known that May 8, 2021 was available because it was a Saturday, which meant there would be an upcharge, so they did not mention this at first to us.
Your family and friends will all offer their opinions and thoughts on a new date and when they think will be safe. There will be a ton of articles you’ll read and all of them will leave you feeling confused. Ultimately, you and your partner need to be on the same page, make your decision, and most importantly DO NOT LOOK BACK!
As with most things in life, making the decision to move your date is the hardest part. Once we officially had everything moved over, there was a sense of relief that our day would now be free from this whole pandemic. We spent about a week going back and forth with dates in different seasons, but finally said we need to be realistic and we do not want to have to move this twice. For us, rescheduling until 2021 gave us some hope that this would be behind us at that point.
Make sure you email all of your vendors right away with your new date, print new contracts, and get yourself re-organized with new payment dates and what not.
Still do something to make your original date special! We are planning to possibly go horse back riding at our venue and get a nice take-out dinner after. Luckily for us, we have the same date, just pushed back one year. So while there is some sadness that will surround May 8, 2020, I know that one year from then this day will have a whole new feeling!

Letting guests know:
We first called our family to let them know that we had secured a new date. Many of them had been our sounding board throughout the week of debating. We also told our bridal party about the new date.
As soon as we finalized a new date, I ordered new save the dates and we had them mailed out to all of our guests.
We made sure to contact everyone who had already booked at the hotel to let them know their reservations would be transferred over to our new block.
We made a post on Facebook.

Biggest takeaways:
Everyone is going to be positive and tell you that your new day will be fantastic, but sometimes you will want to hear that it sucks – and that is okay.
Look for any and all positives. For example, we had to get two hotels for our original date. Now, we are able to reserve the whole hotel and have everyone in the same place. Small things like that will help to ease some of the pain.
Do not look to what everyone else is doing – this is your journey. We know some people who are getting married in a backyard and having a reception at a later date. We knew we wanted our family and friends with us when we got married, and it did not make sense to have such an expensive party months after being married. But that is us, some people like it that way. This is not one size fits all!

The thing I want brides and couples going through this to remember is that this is your day. If you are like us, you waited and planned for this day for quite some time. And while there is no such thing as a perfect event and day, you deserve it to be as close to perfect as you can get it. Know that when you are able to celebrate your love, with all of your friends and family, it will be even more special after this whole ordeal. I personally have struggled because pushing back our wedding means pushing back our other future plans, like having a family. But I have to trust that there is a plan bigger than the one I had made, and that it will be even better than I could have imagined. While there is a huge part of me that wants next week to come and go quickly (the week that would have been my wedding week), I have to remember to focus on the positives, remember what is most important, and look forward to our new date. The health and wellbeing of us, our family, and our friends remains our number one priority. So start the new countdown, and look forward to one hell of a party on your new day. How amazing will it feel when everyone can be safely together again?

Such great advice!

Next we asked our bride Marisa who decided to reschedule from her original wedding date 7/17/2020 at Holly Hedge. Her new date is 7/30/2021:

We went back and forth A TON and for the longest time tried to hold out hope that we could have our wedding this summer. We even changed the date from July to August, thinking it would allow some time for the circumstances to potentially improve. I think our biggest motivation at that point was that our wedding would be something joyful and a sort of silver lining during all of this that we and our loved ones could look forward to. However, the unknowns and uncertainties just kept piling up. The vendors and venue were phenomenal and accommodating (as much as they could be), but there is no way to tell what the regulations and limits could be at that time. For example, we have a guest list of 200 people…do we cut that down to 50? 75? Then how do we inform those that received save the dates that they were no longer abe to attend or what if we invite 50 then the number increases to 75 after we’ve already sent out a second round of invitations?

Really, the biggest thing is that we want our friends and family to be able to comfortably and safely experience the “full joy” of this once in a lifetime moment. The thought of masks, social distancing, be weary of hugging and kissing helped us to realize that this would not be the special day we had dreamed of. When we think of our wedding, we think of a PARTY with joy, love and laughter everywhere! And selfishly, as the bride I want to enjoy and soak in every moment of the crazy months leading up to the big day. Right now, all of the ‘wedding things’ and planning I should be doing 3 months before the wedding are completely on hold and I don’t want to miss out on that experience. The hair/makeup trials, bridal shower, bachelor/bachelorette parties….I want to remember these moments with all of my friends and family; healthy and stress free.
Since we have made the final decision, a weight as been lifted from our shoulders. No more having to worry and try to plan for the unknown. We reached out to our vendors ASAP and reserved our new date and all payments simply moved with us, which was a blessing! We even got to book live musicians that we desperately wanted for our wedding this year, but they were booked. So this was absolutely a silver lining of moving our date! (: The invitations were also complete, but not ordered. The company will hold the order for 9 months then we will order – personally I’m glad that process is done and I won’t have to stress over that this year! We are in the process of picking our “change the date” cards and trying to make a creative/funny video to post on our wedding website as well to inform our guests of the change!
On a final note, I think of it this way – it is just 1 year. 1 more year of planning, prepping, and getting excited for the big day with all of the people who are so excited to celebrate with us. All of the big planning is done, so now I can take the time to enjoy this year and spend more time on the little details and maybe even get creative! Everyone has been so, so supportive, loving and appreciative of our decision.
I feel for all of the couples going through this decision process- it is not an easy one! But trust your gut feeling…this is YOUR big day and it should be perfect in every way and everything you dreamed it would be.
More great advice!

Read on from our Shannon whose current wedding date is 8/21 at Manufacturers Country Club…

As of today, my wedding day is 106 days away. On April 6th, I went to bed and cried my eyes out. That day it hit me, we might not have our wedding with all of our friends and family!

Jack and I have been very hopeful we can have our big wedding on August 21, 2020. If not, we will have a 10 person wedding in his parents backyard. Jack told me he doesn’t want to wait to marry me. For that, I am blessed. We booked a soft hold date on June 25. 2021.
All of our vendors and our venue have been amazing! They are all willing to work with us if we have to postpone, at no charge.
This is a scary and hard time. My emotions have been all over the place, I am constantly reading the news and Facebook posts from other brides both in PA and in other states. I am very fortunate to have Jack by my side, dealing with my range of emotions and my Maid of Honor, Cyndi for making sure that I can still have an amazing wedding along with everything that goes along with it.
Such an emotional and stressful time for brides! Keep your besties nearby for all the support… and allow yourself that space to cry it out if needed!

For consideration:

Storing Your Dress: If you have your dress, keep it stored in the bag, away from dampness and out of any direct sunlight. A seamstress or cleaner will press/steam your dress so do not worry about wrinkles.

Rescheduling Tuxes: Not a problem, no charges or fees! Let us know your new date and we will take care of the rest. Need a video call? We do those, too!

Reminder: Do not forget to reapply for you marriage license, PA licenses are valid for 60 days before you must reapply.

The State of the Industry: What’s Next?

As a nation, we did not see this coming. The year 2020 was going to be amazing and full of excitement and progress, but here we are together in a mandatory quarantine.
We are a business in the wedding industry, one of the most emotional industries out there and the last thing a bride needs is additional stress . This virus has caused just that on so many levels.  We are constantly looking to a future that changes day by day. Lets take a look at the last two months…
What Happened?
Our brides and grooms who booked for Spring weddings were literally shut down. If you are one of them, know you are not alone. Hundreds and hundreds of couples are in the same position of trying to find a new date and vendors while keeping the excitement over disappointment. Many couples were able to book a new date only to find their preferred vendors already booked. Vendors we know are trying to help – if they are booked, they will refer trusted partners. We are all in this together and pulling together for the best outcome is crucial to our industry.
What’s Happening?
While our brides already have their dresses (many already altered to fit), we are easily able to reschedule tuxedo and formal wear needs to future dates with no additional out-of-pocket fees! We have begun video appointments with our couples and are able to arrange groom try ons when we are able to open for regular business again. 
We are in constant contact with our designers to track existing orders and ensure a timely delivery. All designers’ factories (including bridesmaids) are open and meeting quoted delivery times. Brides, grooms, and members of the bridal party can always get in contact with us via email, live chat on our website, or texting our store telephone number at any time! Our customers love having direct and immediate access to the owners, especially during a time that requires quick answers and decisions, and Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is proud to be the only bridal and tuxedo store in the area that offers this service.
What’s Next?
These forced closures have impacted businesses in a way that no one could have predicted. Through the chaos, our business and many others have found unique ways to adapt to the newfound challenges. Our video appointments have become such a hit with our couples that we are excited to begin offering them after the closures as well! We have found that not only is this convenient in the age of social distancing, but we have many out-of-town couples who choose to host their wedding in the Bucks County and Philadelphia areas who will greatly benefit from the option to plan from home.
We’ve also added the ability to do your free groom try on of your suits and tuxedos in the comfort of your own home.  Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo can now ship to your home the suits, tuxedos and accessories you choose to try on to help you decide the best look for your wedding day.  We will even provide you with a live video consultation to help you decide on the best look for your wedding day.
For any couples who are in the process of re-planning your wedding and find yourself in need of new vendors, we are always available to help! We work with some of the best in the business and would love to help point you in the right direction.
In order to best protect our customers and staff, we are in the process of developing new protocols for our reopening. Please check our website and social media for these new procedures for when you visit our store.
The Governor has given a date of May 8th for some businesses to reopen, and we expect to reopen not long after that. We are currently accepting appointments for the end of May and June. To make an appointment, click here or text 215-491-8500. We will all get through this together!

What To Know Before Planning a Walt Disney World Wedding

The Disney Chapel

After spending 10 months working for the mouse, I can easily say that I’ve seen some pretty cool wedding related things when it comes to Walt Disney World: wedding pictures on the steps in the Grand Floridian, couples celebrating their honeymoon with a few rides down Splash Mountain, and more engagements in front of the castle than I can count. We even had the opportunity to meet with one of the Wedding Consultants at Franck’s Bridal Studio and tour some of their on-site venues! Although I spent my time working there outside of the bridal world, I learned so much about the ins and outs of planning a Disney wedding. If you are newly engaged and considering tying the knot in Disney World, here are some important things to know!

Walt Disney’s Wedding Pavillion

You can get married virtually anywhere on property
If you have spent every summer vacationing at Disney World, you may have seen some of the unique (and gorgeous) spots where you can host your wedding on property. Whether you are having just a few close friends and relatives or a 200 person event, they have the perfect space for you to say “I do!”. 
Many resorts have multiple areas that transform into absolutely magical wedding venues including the Boardwalk Inn, Coronado Springs, the Polynesian, Yacht & Beach Club, the Contemporary, and Port Orleans! From my experience, the Grand Floridian was an incredibly popular spot for Disney weddings as it is close to the ever popular Wedding Pavilion – a gorgeous space with a view that overlooks Cinderella’s Castle! The ballrooms at the Grand Floridian also act as a neutral space that allows you to customize just how much Disney you would like to incorporate in your ceremony and reception. My pick, however, would be the beach at the Polynesian! From private patios to pavilions to ballrooms and more, there is a space at these resorts for every couple.
A lesser known option for your Disney wedding is to host in a restaurant in Disney Springs! This is typically a better option for more intimate weddings due to space constrictions and the fact that this is a free space that is open to the public. One of our brides tied the knot right at Paddlefish and took photos at Port Orleans resort. 
When most people think of a Disney wedding, their mind typically goes straight to weddings in the parks. There are a plethora of spaces in the parks that also double as ceremony and reception venues. In Animal Kingdom, you have the option to dance the night away on Harambe Street, experience the charm of the Tamu Tamu Courtyard, or say yes to forever in front of the Tree of Life. And I can’t think of a more perfect space to host a Halloween wedding than in the courtyard of the Tower of Terror in Hollywood Studios! 
Epcot is home to the most incredible venue spaces: the American Adventure Rotunda where you can dine with the presidents, the Living Seas Salon that allows you to party with the fish, and tucked away spots in all of the countries! Lastly, of course, are the straight-out-of-fairytale Magic Kingdom venues. If you know you are royalty and want your wedding to reflect it, you have the option of the East Plaza Garden, the Walt Disney World Railroad station, or directly on Main Street (all of which offer incredible up close and personal views of the castle). You really can’t go wrong with any of these amazing spots, but something to take into consideration is…
Most weddings in the park have to take place before or after park hours
If your dream venue is right in front of the castle on Main Street, you are going to have an extremely early morning or a very late night! Most, if not all, of the spaces in the parks require off-hour events as these are also highly trafficked areas during the day. You also don’t want to have wedding crashers at your big day! The benefit to having an early ceremony is that you and your guests have the rest of the day to spend at the parks, rest, or continue the festivities. Many newlyweds create an itinerary that they share with their guests to let them know what their plan is for the day if they would like to join them. If you have a night wedding, you have all day to prepare and can spend the morning hitting up restaurants and even the spa with your bridal party! Talk to your wedding planner and see how other couples have structured their big day around the timing.
You don’t have to break the bank to have a Disney wedding.
One of the biggest misconceptions about having a Disney wedding is that it is unrealistically expensive. Like any wedding, the more you add on to your day, the higher the cost will be. The Disney Fairytale Wedding packages start at $3,500 for a celebration with four guest while bigger celebrations start at $12,000. The price can start to add up when you choose special a la carte options like a ride in Cinderella’s carriage or having Minnie & Mickey show up to your reception, but they have some pretty awesome extras that you might find are totally worth splurging!

Sample Disney Flowers

Disney provides most of your vendors

When we spoke to the Wedding Consultant at Franck’s Bridal Studio, she told us that many couples choose to have a Disney wedding simply because of how easy it is to plan! The stress free experience is a highly desirable aspect for many couple, especially for the majority who are coming to Disney from other states or countries. This saves much of the hassle of having to coordinate vendors in the Orlando area when you are miles away! Disney weddings are basically full service providing services like catering, photography, videography, entertainment, floral, transportation, and more. Some services that they do not provide are officiants, hair and make up, invitations, and wedding attire (so make your appointment at Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo!).

Your wedding does not have to include any elements of Disney
It sounds weird to have a wedding at Disney that doesn’t have much of a tie in to Disney itself. As stated before, the ease in which couples can plan their wedding in a “one stop shop” type of environment is one of the perks of hosting your wedding there. The variety of venues also lend themselves to be flexible in the kind of theme that you are going for and what you would like to incorporate into it. If you want a formal wedding with no trace of mice or princesses, any of the ballrooms or even the countries at Epcot would be perfect for you! How much Disney you would like to include in your big day is completely left up to you. You can always chat with one of their Wedding Consultants to determine what your wedding day will look like!

Disney Wedding Cake

Whether you decide to go with a Disney wedding or not, we are confident that your big day is going to be perfect! Let us be a small part of your wedding memories and choose Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo for your bridal gown, tuxedos, and bridesmaid dresses. Call or text 215-491-8500 or click here to make an appointment

What If I Don’t Want To Wear A Veil?

You’re not alone if you are feeling on the fence, or just flat-out don’t want to wear a veil.  It’s okay! We believe the only way to go wrong on your wedding day look is to agree to something that isn’t right for you!

We’ve done blogs on veils, the styles, lace and beaded edges, lengths, etc., but what if it’s just not your thing?  Does that blusher piece over the face makes you cringe thinking of walking down the aisle like that?

Maybe you have tried them on and while you may appreciate the look on other brides and perhaps even seen your own look come together while veiled and standing in your own mirror, but something is amiss. It’s just not you.

Can you still feel like a bride sans that oh-so-traditional accessory?

Of course you can!  Here are some tried and true options and suggestions.

How about a headband, a small metal piece with a bit of sparkle? This lovely addition stays pinned in your hair all evening. There are many different varieties of the headband.

Some can be pinned into your hair or you can find beautiful ones that tie in the back under your hair, leaving pretty ribbons flowing down the back. Add colored ribbons or gemstones for a personal touch.

Perhaps a larger piece like a thicker band or a tiara to add lots of formality and fun for the Princess on her day!

Outdoor ceremony? A flower crown (or even flowers woven into the hair) is a gorgeous, earthy option that lends softness and romance. Add greenery, color, berries, sparkle, whatever you love! You can add ribbons to crowns as well to take it up a boho notch.

Glam wedding? Try a bird cage or a fascinator, add some color if you want. An amazing way to throw your look back to a time of gilded sophistication and pomp!

Considering an up-do on your day? What about a bridal comb to top it off:

Or a beautiful set of hair pins:

Maybe you’re not into anything at all in your hair.  Perhaps you’d like a wrap, a jacket, detachable sleeves, a cape, an accessory other than a veil.

Do not wear anything that feels like a costume or phony.  You need to feel beautiful and confident so you shine as your authentic self. Try on all these different pieces with your dress and see what feels right.

Remember: the only way you can go wrong on your day is if you agree to something you know isn’t right for you. Don’t just choose a veil (or any piece!) because you feel you have to, because everyone else does it, because tradition says so.

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo has all of these accessory pieces and more! Make your appointment and let our consultants show you different looks to make your vision come to life.

Bride Tribe: How to Choose Your Wedding Party

Choosing your wedding party is another exciting part of being a bride to be! Who is standing by your side when you say, “I do” is a  personal choice and we have some advice for you to consider.

When we say personal, it is very personal.  Your closest and most trusted persons should be by your side. Blood is thicker than water in many cases, but not all. Do not ask someone because you are “expected” to. This is your day and you want all good and positive vibes.

Talk to your fiancee first and make sure you are on the same page about the following:

  • Size of wedding: Are you having a small wedding with 25 guests? A bash with 400? This is helpful in either pairing down the party or extending it out.
  •  Reciprocity: Were you a maid/MOH in other weddings? Do not feel that you must have someone in your wedding party just because you were in theirs.
  • The future: Can you see this person by your side if you have children, being in your life still in 20+ years? Do not ask someone simply because you need more people or feel obligated.
  • Consider their financial/logistical position: Saying yes to a maid/man role comes with a cost, and it may cause financial pressure for that person.  Does he/she live out of state and will incur extra travel costs? Are they between jobs, or in school? He/she could wind up dropping out and causing anxiety on both sides.
  • Equal number: Do not stress over this. It does not have to be equal on both sides.
  • Do not worry about traditions or opinions. Do what feels right, it’s your day. If there is someone you think you should ask out of obligation but you foresee drama, do yourself (and the rest of your party) a favor and give that person a different role in your wedding.
  • If the thought of a large wedding party causes you anxiety, then make it simple! Have one or two people who are closest to you.

Consider these people carefully. They play a pivotal role in your day and you will want to be surrounded by supportive and reliable people to help you.  Make a list of those you are thinking of asking and then assign the roles.

Maid/Matron/Man of Honor

Your maid of honor, matron of honor (if she’s already married), or man of honor (MOH) will be your right-hand person both before and during the big day.

Your MOH will be in charge of delegating tasks to the other bridesmaids, assisting with dress selection and fittings, organizing and hosting special events like your shower, bachelorette party, and other important milestones with you. She’ll also be the go-to contact on the day for any emergency issues that might arise.

This person should be supportive, organized, and positive, someone you trust completely, who knows you better than anyone.

Bridesmaids/Bridesmen

Your bridesmaids/men will play a huge part in the preparation and planning of your big day! They’ll help the MOH organize your pre-wedding celebrations and help with DIY projects.

You will also spend the morning of your wedding with them getting prepared for the big day. You’ll want to surround yourself with people that you can truly relax and have fun with.

Best Man/Woman

The best man/woman will be your groom’s number one sidekick in the lead up to the wedding day.  This person needs to be reliable in order to take these responsibilities on board. He/She should also be somebody that keeps cool under pressure and can take control of group situations like formal attire measurements and fittings, and the bachelor party.

Groomsmen/maids

Your groomsmen/maids will be there to support the groom in any way possible and complete any tasks delegated to them by the best man/woman.

This group will greet and mingle with guests on the day by welcoming them to the ceremony, sometimes accompanying guests to their seats. Your chosen groomsmen/maids should be dependable and friendly.

Once someone has accepted their role, you should give a thank you gift as a sign of your appreciation.  These gifts show your gratitude for the place they have in your day. Some of our favorites for the maids are jewelry, matching robes, champagne, gift box with chocolates and coffee, Bride Tribe tee shirts, a spa day, etc.  For the guys, we love the engraved flasks, good liquor, tickets to a game, etc.

You can see why it is important for many reasons to choose the right people to be in your wedding party. It’s a super exciting time in your life and you want those around you who feel that, too!

We can’t wait to meet you and your wedding party! Make your appointment so we can show you great looks for the bride, maids, and men!

 

Planning Thoughts For the Newly Engaged

The holiday season is the most popular for engagements and if that rock all of a sudden appears on your finger, chances are good you have already been planning and dreaming about your wedding day and the magic it will bring.

Much goes into the planning, first is usually determining the budget. Typically – but not always – the first things secured are the date and venue.  This will begin to set the tone for your day!

After that… comes the dress! We love helping brides find their perfect dress match! It’s so fun to talk about their ideas – theme, colors, and what special touches they want. The real question we want answered to guide them to the perfect dress, however, is:  What’s the vibe?

Some articulate it to us perfectly. I can see the bride envisioning it as she tells me and she smiles, looks off as she describes it – it’s so cool!  I can watch her as she sees her day come to life.

Sometimes, however, it may not be that easy.  Sometimes, just behind her meticulously curated wedding Pinterest boards, we find a very stressed bride who can’t keep her arms around it.

Too many voices offering their “friendly advice” and pulling her away from her original ideas.

Perhaps you should consider hiring a planner.

In my experience, brides with planners are far less stressed and find  many great additions, money savers, and perks that brides never would find on their own.

Also, your planner does what YOU want. Your planner doesn’t care what so-and-so thinks would be better.  She cares about what you want and stays on track with your vision and suggestions to next-level it.

Another thing we find with brides who do not use planners is that for some reason, many brides feel the need to visit every venue, even when it doesn’t fit with their vision and/or budget. Why?

Sometimes it’s the excitement of being in the initial planning stage and wanting to see everything or getting ideas on a theme.  It makes no sense when you already have an idea of the type of wedding you want. Visiting every venue simply starts the planning off with way too much unnecessary information, and expended unnecessary energy.

Brides do it with dresses, too. There are some brides that must visit every store they’ve ever heard of, trying on literally hundreds dresses, most of which hold no interest to them at all. By the end, their entourage is tired, the stylists can’t guide her anymore because she is trying dresses on that do not match anything she’s asked for, and it becomes an unproductive day with no dress selected.

Going to see venues – or trying on dresses – for fun is not the way to plan your wedding. It causes confusion by muddying up your original intentions and that is when the stress really begins… and you have many months to go.

For more clarity, we connected with wedding and event planner Brianne Elaine, owner of Oh The Details, Darling in Bucks County.  She has seen this many times and knows that too much information will lead the bride to an overwhelming amount of confusion. Planners know the best venues for what you want, the best vendors to work with, and the best for your budget, too.  Brianne summed it up well here:

Hiring a planner is not the first thought a bride has. Many think budget, then venue, and then let the planning begin. The bride and/or groom hit the ground running, flowing with ideas, possible vendors, and a vision with many moving parts. Many times, there are more parts than they realize and find they no longer have time to manage everything, let alone be the point person for the day of the wedding. Additionally, there are often too many people involved trying to be helpful but aren’t.  This is where a Planner becomes your best friend,” says Brianne.  “We have done this before with different venues and vendors and we are familiar with the demand of many moving parts and the extra opinions.”

“We thrive in multi-tasking and love seeing nothing more than your vision – with you right in the middle of it dancing with your love – surrounded by friends and family. This is why you hire a planner, so your wedding day can come to life the way you envisioned it, and enjoy every minute without wearing a watch.”

Brianne has some really good advice even if you do not hire a planner:

Create a budget that is within your financial comfort zone and create your timeline.

Do not stress yourself out with expectations and venues that do not fit the style or budget. Narrow down your search prior to scheduling visits. (Many mistakes that couples make is seeing too many venues and then losing the date or month of choice.)

Your friend doesn’t have all the answers because she was recently married. This day is yours fully to make all of your own decisions. Which color linen, which floral design, which bridesmaid dress and color you want is up to you.

Wedding planning can be a lot, but if you stick to what you like then you will never be disappointed. 

Brianne Elaine can be found on her website at https://www.ohthedetailsdarling.com/ or on Instagram @ohthedetailsdarling.

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo has bridal and tuxedo stylists who are skilled at tapping into your vision and helping you pull that look together perfectly. Make your appointment now! It’s a great time to be engaged – Spring 2020 dresses arriving daily AND just wait until you see the new tuxedo additions!

 

 

The Wedding Experience: From A Guest Perspective

We recently had the good fortune to be guests at several weddings of friends of ours.  Working in the wedding industry doesn’t always afford us the opportunity to see the end result and it was really fun to be a guest and not just a vendor!

We thought a great blog would be to tell you some of the feedback we hear from the guests when the wedding is over (returning tuxedos, preserving the dress, etc.),  as well as some of our own thoughts on how to make sure your guests have a great experience.

The Ceremony:

All of these weddings were lovely.  Not only a beautiful locations, but they all started ON TIME.  That was amazing! Loved that! Please don’t be fashionably late on your wedding.

After your ceremony, is there a delay until the reception?  If there is, how long is it?  If it is more than a couple of hours, consider having something for your guests to do, or a place to go to wait and have some food.  The delay we experienced was hours long and hard to fill.

Cocktail Hour:

How many guests are coming – and what will cocktail hour look like? What kind of layout is there, and will the lines be long? How much food is there, will they run low or out?

At two of the weddings, the food was everywhere! At another one, they ran out very quickly at cocktail hour (the unhappiest guests are the unfed ones).

Are there tables or enough seating areas? Standing to eat, along with a drink in hand, is impossible.  Make sure your guests have plenty of places to put their plates and drinks down.

Is the bar open? How many bartenders will you have?  Make sure there are enough to eliminate long lines.

Is there a photo op area? Or a photobooth? This is a fun way for your guests to capture the day. One of the weddings we went to had a flower wall that was a really neat backdrop!

The Reception:

Place Cards – You may think the tiny, scripted font looks beautiful, but it is exceptionally hard for some guests to read. (My personal experience at one wedding: I walked around a circular table three times picking up cards to see what letter we were at. I thought the S was a J so I walked around to the other side to find the F that I thought was a T so back to the other side… it was awful.)  Please, consider a more readable font, especially if you have a large number of guests.

For other seating arrangements, do this task with the mindset of how to make it easy for your guests to find their place.

Music – Consider doing a sound check for the toasting and dinner portions. Read that again and give it even more consideration.

One wedding I felt was somewhat ruined by the noise level, and I know I wasn’t the only one feeling that way.  The emcee was shouting into the microphone to introduce the wedding party, and we still couldn’t hear anything because the band was playing so loud. It was just yelling over incredibly loud music and none of the guests could understand or hear the names and many guests had their hands covering their ears. Make sure the band understands the acoustics of the room and does a sound check!

Toasts – Advice to anyone at your wedding giving a toast:   speak slowly and speak up.  These speeches are amusing for sure, but filled with “inside jokes” that most of your guests don’t understand so while the toast giver may be nervous, it is a definite plus if they can be heard and understood.  Also…

Limit the speeches. We were at one where there were six.  Not only did we not understand any of them because we couldn’t hear, it took forever. We noticed even the wait staff seemed frustrated because they didn’t know when to start serving. Perhaps do some at the rehearsal dinner if you have that many.

Dinner – Whatever the food, please consider dinner music.  In the background.  Please.  When the band blares during dinner, none of your guests can talk to each other. After dinner, heck yes turn up the volume! But during dinner when guests are trying to speak with each other, consider having the music at a level that encourages that.

Personal note: One of the events we attended had lovely dinner music and it really set a nice tone to the evening and we were able to speak to many of the guests. Getting to know them definitely added to the fun once the music did get turned up and the party was fantastic!

Greetings – Depending on the size of  your wedding, speaking to everyone at length may not be possible, but definitely make a point to go to each table and greet ALL of your guests.  Also, if the bride or groom has never met someone at your wedding, be sure to make the introduction!

Favors – Personally, I have mixed feelings on favors. While I love the idea and some are so creative and special, many are left on the tables. I always feel bad when I think someone went to the trouble and so many are just thrown away.  If someone has a better idea  other than favors, or a favor no one would leave behind, I’d love to hear it.

Thank You Notes – Etiquette says that your guests have a year to send a gift and I am one of those people who actually sends one after the wedding.  It’s hard to wait a year to send a thank you note, however, give a little bit of time (maybe a few months?) to see if something will arrive from a guest who did not bring a gift on your day. Maybe something will show up at your home from your registry or even a personalized gift 🙂

Your wedding is the biggest party you will throw and you want to make sure your guests remember it for the great parts. Ask friends and co-workers about weddings they have gone to where something could have been done better or what was great about it – you could gain some more insight to wow your guests! Hopefully this blog was a good start!

 

How To Get Your Marriage License in PA

To obtain a marriage license in Pennsylvania, just read the special instructions, gather your documents, and then follow these steps!

AGE:

To be married in Pennsylvania, you must be 18 years old with a valid, US-issued government photo ID.  You can be married as young as 15 in PA, but the underage person must have his/her original birth certificate, written parental consent, and written consent of a judge from the Orphans Court.

DOCUMENTS TO PROVIDE:

NOTE: If you do not have these documents, your application will not be accepted:

Current and Valid Photo ID:

  • Driver’s License
  • State I.D.
  • International Driver’s License
  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Military I.D.
  • Resident Alien Card
  • Consulate Card

AND a Social Security card or any other form of I.D. issued by an official entity which reflects the applicant’s Social Security number

  • W-2 form
  • Income Tax Return
  • Prescription Card
  • Access Card
  • If an applicant does NOT possess a Social Security number he/she must produce a Secondary I.D. in the form of a birth certificate (officially translated, if appropriate); or any other form of I.D. issued by an official entity, in addition to the above-noted current, valid photo I.D.  Documents in a language other than English must be an original accompanied by a notarized English translation.
  • If an applicant does not speak English, you must bring an interpreter.

PROOF OF DISSOLUTION OF PREVIOUS MARRIAGES:

If either applicant was previously married, proof of dissolution of the latest marriage must be submitted at the time of application.

  • A widowed applicant must submit a certified copy of the death certificate of the deceased spouse.
  • A divorced applicant must provide a certified copy of the most recent divorce decree.
  • If either of the foregoing documents is not written in English it must be translated to English and the translation must be certified to be correct.

FEES:

  • Marriage license fees in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania vary from county to county. Please call the county in which you will be applying for their fees and other requirements.
  • In Pennsylvania, you do not need a marriage ceremony. You can apply for a Quaker/Self-Uniting License, and the fee varies by county. If you want this type of license, you need to inform the clerk before you begin the application process.

WAITING PERIOD:

  • There is a three (3) day waiting period from the completion of the application process to the issuance of the license.
  • The license will be given to you at the time of your application.
  • It cannot be used until the date of issuance, which is three (3) days later.
  • The issuance date appears on the license.
  • The three (3) day waiting period begins after both applicants appear in person together at the Marriage License Bureau.

WEDDING OFFICIANTS –  WHO CAN MARRY YOU?:

  • Any ordained minister, priest or rabbi of any regularly established church or congregation
  • Judges and Justices of Peace may perform wedding ceremonies. Mayors of cities and boroughs are also authorized to perform marriage ceremonies.

The officiant performing the marriage ceremony must complete and file the marriage return – the bottom portion of the marriage license – with the marriage license office that issued the license within ten (10) days of the date of the ceremony.

A marriage record will not exist if the officiant who performs the marriage fails to file this document.

EXPIRATION DATE:

  • A marriage license is valid for 60 days from date it is issued.
  • The marriage license can be used in any county in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

GET TO THE COURTHOUSE – IN A NUTSHELL:

  • Applicants that wish to be legally married in the state of Pennsylvania must first apply for a marriage license application at their nearest Marriage License Bureau of the Register of Wills and complete the application process.
  • Applicants should take the necessary steps to obtain a Marriage License 2 to 3 weeks before the scheduled date of their marriage ceremony.
  • Both applicants seeking a marriage license must appear together in person at the Marriage License Bureau of the Register of Wills office to complete the process.
  • Photo identification is required in PA
  • Marriage license fees vary from county to county. Please call or visit the website of the county Register of Wills in which you will be applying for their fees and other requirements.
  • There is a three (3) day waiting period from the completion of the application process to the issuance of the license.
  • A marriage license is valid for 60 days from date it is issued.
  • Be sure to contact your Local Marriage License Bureau well in advance of the wedding to find out on what days and during what hours the clerk will be in the office. Some locales will require an appointment.
  • An independent translator must accompany the applicants for any non-English speakers.