What Makes Us . . . Us
We have several things that make us different than other bridal shops you may visit, if you are looking for swanky and posh then we are most likely NOT the bridal shop for you, BUT if you are looking for gorgeous dresses, at affordable prices, in a casual atmosphere then we may be a match made in heaven!
The first and most obviously unique thing about our store is that we are housed in a remodeled drive-in restaurant. Yes, you read that correctly. Why did we choose an old drive-in for our location? Because we love love the unexpected! It's so much fun mixing elements that don't "normally" go together, then seeing them transform into something amazingly beautiful! Kinda like that opposites attract relationship. Secretly though, the best part of being a remodeled drive-in is we still have some covered parking!
Our bridal style is pretty eclectic, but overall the best way to describe our gowns is mix of classic, romantic, and rustic chic . . . with a touch of whimsy thrown in now and again. We favor softer styles that are not overly beaded in a range of silhouettes including; fit and flare, A-line, ball gown, dropped waist, sheath, etc. You can check our Facebook & Instagram pages for new arrivals that we post regularly to get a better idea on the types of dresses we carry.
We DON'T have a lot of rules when trying on dresses. You want help in the dressing room we're here to help, you want a little privacy, we're cool with that too. All we ask is that you be respectful of the dresses and please do ask for help when you need it. We are happy to give advice and opinions when needed!
Lexi the office dog is in the store most days, but rest assured she is not allowed to roam the sales floor, nor does she get a commission. She's tried, but we're sticking with treats!
We care a great deal about our customers and getting them in the right dress for the right price. We believe every bride, deserves a beautiful dress that they feel amazing in, even if she doesn't have $2k+ to spend on a dress. That's why we work VERY hard to have a great selection of dresses in the $600 - $800 price range, and all of our dresses are under $1K. Others say we're crazy for "leaving so much $$$ on the table", but for us that's where our heart is and will remain for as long as God allows us to continue on this journey.
So, if all of the quirkiness appeals to you, we invite you to reserve a fitting room or just drop by, we're happy to see you either way!
Beginnings . . .
Bridal Traditions was founded by, Wilkes County, native Kelly K. Shumate at just 20 years of age. She opened her first store front in April of 2000, and worked the business part-time while working another full-time job. She used a portion of each paycheck to buy inventory, and pay the other startup expenses for the business. Although is was a slow process, Kelly was able to build the business without having to go into debt for anything other than the building that houses Bridal Traditions and beYoutiful Prom Boutique. It was very important to her not to have a cloud of debt hanging over her as she was growing the business. After a few years she was able to downgrade her full-time job to part-time so that she could spend more time in the shop, then in 2008 Kelly left her "real" job in retail behind to operate Bridal Traditions full-time! "I had so much help in those first years from my parents and friends, that put in a LOT of volunteer hours to help me build a dream. I am so grateful for everyone of them, because there is no way that I could have done this on my own!"
Kelly works hard seeking out quality merchandise that can be offered at reasonable prices. Everything in the store is brand new from reputable designers and manufacturers; Bridal Traditions does not sell used or consignment merchandise, and you will not find multiples of the same dress. "I love to offer a variety of styles so our customers can have a unique dress that fits their unique style and personality." says, Kelly.
Since opening her doors, Kelly has helped hundreds of women and girls find “the” dress for their special event. "What I enjoy the absolute most is being able to put a dress on a girl who thinks, "nothing will look good on me", and being there when she sees herself as beautiful! That big smile is EVERYTHING!"
Kelly also feels that it is very important to give back to the community and the world in which she lives, so a portion of all Bridal Traditions gross profits are donated to local, national, and international charities.