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Five Years In

I could start as Once Upon A Time, but then it wouldn’t be real. Sometimes it really doesn’t seem real that we are five years into a business that we dreamed up and executed, but anyone who has ever started or owned a business knows the feelings. Franco and I have lived and breathed Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo every minute of every day since signing that lease in 2012.

We opened in January 2013 in that adorable little old house on Easton Road. “Next to the Candy Shop,” we used to tell customers who weren’t familiar with the address. How do I convey just how much I loved that store – and how much I cherish the feelings I have when I think of those original days?  It just makes me so happy.  And proud.

I clearly remember one evening just a few months after we opened, standing behind the desk with our little Deanna hanging on my leg like a koala bear, a store full of people, and thinking, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.” It was simultaneously thrilling and petrifying. Just the way entrepreneurship is: thrilling and petrifying.

So while we went and got ourselves a bigger boat, we decided to keep the original location and made it all about Prom! For two years, we opened seasonally for our prom customers and it was so much fun to have a “junior” version of Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo.

With every new year comes changes and decisions to be made and this one is no different. Our biggest decision for 2018 was hard: Do we keep the original store as prom or do we combine them?

As owners, our main goal is customer service and how we can make the shopping experience fun, offer great style options, assist with alterations, and make new friends while doing it. A list of pros and cons came down to one thing – having the owners present in the store. We couldn’t be at both places at once and that is too important for us to ignore.

We made the decision to combine them and we are thrilled to be all under one roof again – in a bigger boat!

 

Our little store turned into something pretty big. Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo is in the middle of major stores like Red Robin, Buffalo Wild Wings, Pet Valu, VisionWorks, Hair Cuttery, and GNC. Our sign is in the same sign cabinet as Walmart. Talk about not seeming real! This store offers so much more space with the same great service, same great selection of dresses and tuxedos (this year some amazing prom prices, too!), same convenient 7 day/week store hours, owners and managers on site, and the same fun-filled environment.

 

While I am a little crushed to say goodbye to our original Darianna baby, it needs to happen. One of my favorite photos ever taken is the Love sign over the original Darianna Bridal sign (thank you Sophia Yanik!) – a sweet and lovely little picture, just like that store, just like all our girls who worked there. Our very first prom staff (Class of 2013) is now a year out of college – Gabi, Dani, Jenn, Sophia, Brit, Nicole, and of course Daria! I taught them how to steam dresses and they taught me things like NEVER text back “K”. All those laughs I will keep.

Most decisions aren’t as difficult as this, but the right decision is rarely easy. Like with all babies, at some point, you have to let them go…

We can’t wait to see all of you for bridal and prom seasons in 2018!

The Seamstress

The dress of your dreams can turn into the stuff of nightmares with the wrong Seamstress.  Read on for tips to ensure your spot-on, perfectly-fitted dress!

In the weeks leading up to your wedding day, you will be meeting with your seamstress for any necessary alterations to make your gown fit like a glove.  These can be anything from a hem, bustle, take in, let out, and strap adjustments, to additional work to personalize your dress such as sewing in a handkerchief or other sentimental piece, adding buttons, changing the neckline shape, and more.

Some bridal stores charge a flat fee.  This is okay if you need lots of work done and multiple fittings, but definitely not great if you only need a few  changes.

Whatever alterations your wedding dress requires, there are some very important things to do prior to starting them.

  1. First fitting.  Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo recommends scheduling this 4-5 weeks before your wedding because you are closest to your wedding shape and weight.  You will put your dress on and consult with the seamstress on adjustments.  The communication must be clear and you must feel confident that she cares about you.  She will pin areas where the work will be done.  Also, bring your shoes for hemming and bustling purposes.
  2. Find out an estimate of costs prior to having the work done.  Hemming dresses with numerous layers, doing beadwork, removing/replacing appliques, these can add up so find out approximate cost first.  (If your bridal store charges a flat fee, reconfirm there are no additional fees involved.)
  3. If you feel like that particular seamstress is not a good fit for you, find another one.  Recommendations from other brides, community groups, and online searches/reviews can lead you to another who may provide you the peace of mind and confidence required.
  4. At your last fitting, make sure to take someone along for bustle instructions.  The bustle is the lifting of the train of your gown (using buttons or hooks) that is done prior to the reception, allowing you to dance and move about without stepping on your train.  You may even want to take a video of it, just in case a few glasses of champagne get in the way of remembering…

An idea to consider is to schedule your hair/make up trial just before your fitting, so you can see your look come together!

Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo has trusted and experienced seamstresses doing fittings both in-store and in-studio.  We also have relationships with numerous others who may be more of a fit for difficult schedules, locations, etc.

In addition, we work with bridal vendors who will do custom sizing, changes, petite cuts,  custom lengths, and various other changes directly to your dress as it is being made and this can lead to real savings in your alterations costs.

The outstanding women we work with – our bridal consultants and our seamstress partners – are committed to making your dress perfect so you feel beautiful and confident on one of the most special days of your life.  From the dressing room to the aisle, make your bridal appointment with us, find your dream dress, and let us take 5-star care of you.

 

 

Featured Darianna Bridal Bride: Jessica Carter-Rudnet

Jessica Chose the Jordan gown by Enzoani. Jim chose the Parker tuxedo by Ike Behar. Attire by Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, Warrington PA.
Jessica Chose the Jordan gown by Enzoani. Jim chose the Parker tuxedo by Ike Behar. Attire by Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo, Warrington PA.

Jessica called Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo after spotting one of our Enzoani Jordan bridal gowns.  As soon as she tried it on, she knew this was the dress she’d wear when she would marry her best friend, Jim Rudnet.  We invited Jessica to tell her love story here.

Our Meeting:  Jim and I met working together at Longhorn Steakhouse during college in Warrington, PA.  He was a bartender and I was a hostess.

bridal gowns
The ring, courtesy of Pennsylvania First Precious Metals, Warrington PA

The Proposal:  During our first vacation together in the Bahamas, Jim proposed to me on the balcony of our hotel room overlooking the beach.  I was completely shocked, I didn’t even know he was looking for rings!  We spent the next 5 days in the Bahamas celebrating.

Our Ceremony: We wanted a Catholic ceremony without the difficulty of going back and forth from church to reception. We found St. Miriam Church which allows a shortened Catholic ceremony outside of an actual church.  We met Father Joe and he was exactly what we wanted, humorous, kind, and easy going, while also still incorporating Catholic beliefs. Continue reading "Featured Darianna Bridal Bride: Jessica Carter-Rudnet"

We’re thrilled to introduce our new bridal shop!

Just six months after we opened our bridal shop in January 2013, we knew we bridal shopneeded to expand. Our brides and their families were so incredibly supportive and the word of mouth spread like crazy around Bucks and Montgomery counties and the Philadelphia area.

While it took more than a year to find and build our location in Warrington, it was so worth it!  Our new store now features more than 3,000 square feet with a private bridal lounge and viewing area, along with room for hundreds of bridal gowns, a great tuxedo area, and a special section for moms too.

Continue reading "We’re thrilled to introduce our new bridal shop!"