You've heard the phrase "stuck between a rock and a hard place," right? Well, this situation is not that dire. Call off the dogs. It's cold. It's dreary and currently we're stuck between post-Valentine's Day and Spring, and that is merely a place of musing and limbo. It DOES mean however that it's time to think about wedding prep for spring and summer weddings. So let's do that, shall we?
In the late fall, we posted a blog titled April Flowers and it showcased some ideas for spring and summer weddings in the arenas of decorations and floral arrangements. There are so many ways to accent your overall theme or complement your dress - or even emphasize the season. Think about plates and plating, table-scapes and the flowers that go with those. A bride who walks into her reception and appears to be the crowning jewel of a well decorated space is a thoughtful winner that day. And you DON'T have to overdo it.
Gowns for Spring
We have so many vintage inspired gowns at Bridal Traditions, as well as designs that feel entirely new and fresh. Below are a few examples, but to see even more, revisit this blog about our New Collections.
Indoor vs Outdoor Weddings
Weather is a factor during transitional months, and April, May and June can be incredibly dodgy in terms of precipitation worries and vendor choices. Do you go indoor for the ceremony and reception? Do you choose outdoors for spring with a backup plan? There are pros on either side with regard to setting, dress, photographer and guests. We discuss a bit of this in our blog about the Indoor vs Outdoor Wedding agenda. Read more to get informed!
Consider a Micro-vibe
In the South, we don't call this a micro-wedding, we call it "small with family and friends." To keep costs down though, couples have chosen to have intimate gatherings to say their vows and these don't include every school teacher you loved, plus your pastor's family, your camp bunk mates and best friends since 10th grade. Choose those you love who will show up, and then treat them well. You'll save money and the intimacy and memories created won't feel exclusive; they will feel special. You can always have a cook-out or casual party later and invite the rest of the world. Clink beers vs. serving scallops, if you know what we mean.
Are you getting ready for a Spring or Summer wedding? Stop by Bridal Traditions to see what we have and stay tuned for another blog about the trends for seasonal weddings. We have more to share beyond dresses.
Thalia Villarosa is a traveling photographer who loves celebrating beauty, and most especially the beauty found in love matches, playfulness, marriage in all of its eccentric variations, and especially watching love unfold in nature. Bridal Traditions was happy to add our expertise and attire to outfit models for a styled photo shoot with Thalia.
The look for this shoot was contemporary chic, hipster, and mountain vibe rolled into one. The model wore a gown we selected especially for the occasion and it is stunning and oh-so-cool. From the Metropolitan collection - part of Demetrios Bridal - this dress is covered in lace, has ruffled sleeves, and a gauzy, flowing effect. It is both demure and other-worldly.
The braided and flowing hair, fresh flowers, white roses with wild notes of color, and a bucolic surrounding made this a dreamy photo shoot.
The setting could be Colorado, Georgia, Vancouver or the Blue Ridge Mountains. We love the green pasture, the barn, the cows and the old world feeling of a couple saying their vows in the middle of the earth God gave us. Gritty and bohemian and deep cool and this couple fit in perfectly.
If you would like to see more of the Metropolitan Collection of Demetrios Bridal, start here and then give us a call.
Place settings: @missmatchrentals
Chair and Table rentals: @abushelandapeckvintagerental
Hair and Make up: @devinxhair
Bolo tie: @semplicedesigns
Bouquet and flowers: @boozeandbouquets
Dress: Bridal Traditions
The Day - Forgotten Items and Tears
Charity and Aaron had a pretty wonderful wedding day thanks to a venue committed to getting their place ready in time, friends who adore the bride, a father ready to make a run "for it," and pretty gorgeous weather.
These two were married in a June wedding last year at Big R Orchards, a new venue and the place turned out to be perfect for a summer event.
"Our wedding day was truly the most beautiful day we could have ever asked for! God truly blessed us and it was so evident that his hands were on us and our venue the entire day. We got married at a brand new venue, Big R Orchards, which sits on an apple orchard on Brushy Mountain. The venue consists of a barn that overlooks a pond and has incredible mountain scenery. The construction for Big R started in August of 2018 and the owner Scott Robinson and his entire team worked tirelessly to make sure that venue was finished and ready for us on our big day. We could not be more grateful."
Charity has some pretty special people in her life. Her mom and mom's friends made sure that a wedding day breakfast was ready for the bride and her bridesmaids. The girls enjoyed relaxing, getting their dresses laid out and chatting. It was during this time that Charity realized that - even though she'd arrived at the orchard well in advance, she'd actually forgotten her wedding gown.
"I could not believe I forgot one of the most important items for the biggest day of my life, BUT anyone who knows me knows that this is SO typical of me. Luckily my dad was able to quickly bring my dress to me, so all was well."
Another particularly sweet moment came from the bridesmaids, who created a keepsake book with images of Charity with each of them and other special moments provided by Charity's family and friends. "It was the most thoughtful, gorgeous scrapbook that not only had pictures of me with all of my bridesmaids but also my parents, sisters, my in-laws, and my fiancé. On top of that, each one of them had hand-written a heartfelt note. It was easily one of the most meaningful gifts I have ever received and such a special moment from our day"
The Couple and Back Story
Charity and Aaron have been an "us" for a while. They are actually high school sweethearts and she told us that after they said their vows, they had a moment to walk back to the lake before the reception and make sure that it was all actually real.
They met in high school chorus and after she marshaled the courage to ask him out with some other friends, they started dating. She was a sophomore and he was a senior and he has proclaimed it was the "worst first date" (not because of Charity, though). Magically, eight years evaporated as they made the long distance thing work, and suddenly they were standing next to a lake together as husband and wife.
Charity wanted a ballgown and wasn't interested in any gown that was fitted. She felt that the gowns were wearing her as she started trying them on. We switched it up and she left with a fitted, sparkly gown that was not only perfect for her figure and the month of her wedding, but it had details that she did not anticipate. The corseted back, lace and beading added some magic and focus. Charity's ensemble is a great example of how a veil and an eye to your personality, an outdoor wedding and being open to something unexpected can all come together. Everything about her wedding day attire was complimentary.
"I chose my gown because it was the first one I truly felt bridal in. In others, I felt beautiful, but I didn’t feel like a bride. My whole demeanor changed as soon as I put on my dress and I knew it was the one. I absolutely loved the delicate beading and lace on my dress. It was so unique to other dresses I had seen before, which is another reason I fell in love with it. I also loved my belt and veil. They didn’t come with the dress but matched perfectly, as if they were meant to go together."
"BT was so kind and patient with me when I tried on what felt like 20 different dresses. With each dress they gave great feedback and when they could tell I wasn’t loving the style of dress I thought I wanted, they suggested other styles which brought me to the dress of my dreams."
We loved working with Charity and Aaron -- the gentlemen rented their tuxes from us too! -- and we hope that they are happy! Anniversary number 1 will be here before they know it!
Well, let us help!
Prom-going Ladies: WELCOME TO FEBRUARY. Yes, it's a bit coolish, but we have found that if you hold your hands next to any of these dresses, the heat is undeniable. In the last couple of weeks, we've been warming up to some of the most gorgeous, sparkly, WHOA-inducing prom gowns we've seen in years.
You may recall that we travelled to the big prom market last year to see what was coming and were blown away. We found amazing options for the BeYOUtiful Prom girl, so here's a little sampling of what has come into the boutique and some key info to get you ready to shop when the time comes.
Some Key Prom Info from BT. . .
Gowns, gowns, gowns and Glammmmm!
The colors range from muted to jewel tone. The beading and sparkle is over the top on some gowns, and artfully placed on others, but Bridal Traditions and BeYOUtiful Prom has a selection we are so very proud of.
Tuxedo Teaser for the Guys - New for 2020
For the prom-going gentlemen who are looking to buy their prom looks, we have some new additions available to order in velvets, colors, patterns and textures, plus great accessories too.
For the prom-going man who is planning to rent his tux or suit, we have the goods for you too!
If you aren't following us on social media, please start! We update our accounts with images, and videos daily. And as the gowns come in, if you want to get your hands on one you've been eyeing, you'll want to strike while the iron is hot! What posts today may be gone tomorrow!
These accounts are dedicated solely to prom!
Featured Bride blogs tend to start with "The Day," but there wouldn't even be one without the dress. This sweet bride literally wanted to go to the courthouse or elope, but when Annie found her gown at Bridal Traditions, she decided that a wedding was in order. She and Dylan attend Little River Baptist Church and so eloping became a wedding and a wedding became a church wedding.
Annie: "We decided to do a wedding at our church because it is a special place for us and we also loved the idea of a church wedding since no one does those anymore. I stressed about every little detail of my wedding, but I used my dress as motivation throughout my wedding planning to keep going. I was excited for the day and excited to wear my dress and allow my future hubby to finally see it! Our wedding day was the best day ever. It was so filled with love, support, and happiness."
According to the bride, doing a "first look" was a good idea. She and Dylan took the opportunity to chat privately and when she asked if the gown was what he expected her to choose, he announced it was even better. Well done, Dylan! She did look beautiful and her bridesmaids and the groomsmen all wore complimentary pinks, beiges and mauve - all perfect for an August wedding.
The couple's beginnings have a similar flavor (and twist) as the decision to go from eloping to church wedding. They knew each other in high school and run into each other occasionally at the community college they both attended, but when Dylan finally asked Annie out, she thought, "no! I'm too nervous." Meanwhile, on that first day, she told us that it felt like their 100th date.
Annie: "I felt like we had known each other forever and we began a relationship that allowed us to grow closer and closer. I knew within the first couple of months if not sooner that Dylan was the man I wanted to marry, and I prayed that if Dylan was the man for me that I would be certain. Dylan was saved on June 10th, 2018. It was important to both of us for us to both be saved and have our relationship with God first before we were married. (Thank you God for answering our prayers!) We were engaged on July 8th, 2018. We are both so happy to finally be Mr. & Mrs. Smith and starting this new chapter in our lives."
So this is the dress that caused the plan to pivot. Annie wasn't planning on shopping for a gown, but thought why not and she's seen enough in magazines and doing a little research that she knew what her preferences were. She wanted sparkle and sleeves and that is what she got. Her skirt was more full than she originally wanted, but it ended up being part of what she liked the most about her dress. Brides tell us they want to feel comfortable and beautiful and those two things should always be goals. Annie got both!
"When I came out in my dress my mom got tears in her eyes and told me how much she loved it. That was a special moment between us. I felt so beautiful and confident in it. Kelly told me to look at the mirror in the dressing room and told me that what I was seeing would be the view that Dylan would see of me on our wedding day. That made me love the dress even more! My three favorite things about my dress were the sleeves, lace, and sparkles!"
So here is the biggee for our team at BT: (well.... this and the fact that a dress from us spawned a whole wedding!) Annie felt like a bride while she was in our midst. "My mother and I felt so welcomed by Kelly when we came into the store for the first time. We felt no pressure to buy anything from her. It was a very comfortable and enjoyable dress shopping experience. I always imagined feeling self-conscious when I went to try on wedding dresses, but Kelly never made me feel that way. She and her staff were so helpful, sweet and kind to us during the whole process. We highly recommend her to anyone shopping for a wedding dress."
Annie's Matron of Honor, bridesmaids, and mom all purchased their dresses for the wedding from BT as well as her wedding day jewelry. Her new husband, his groomsmen, her stepdad, her father-in-law and grandfather all purchased their suits from us as well. [Aside: gentlemen: a good summer suit will serve you well, long after a wedding. Just saying.]
The Big Send-Off
Congratulations to you both, Annie and Dylan! The team at Bridal Traditions could not be happier that a gown you found from us created a wedding day you'll remember for the rest of your lives. We love you!
To be loved . . .
We don't know about you guys, but when a bride and groom "narrow it down" to a wedding party of 22, if you count the couple themselves and other attendants, it tells us at least one key thing: you are loved. YOU love a lot of people and want them by your side and A LOT of people love you. The image above says it all: Alyssa Johnson and her groom Dustin Triplett are clearly adored.
These two were married in early September of 2019 at Miller's Creek United Methodist Church in a traditional church wedding while 250+ friends and family watched excitedly. The couple met in 2014 at a Christmas party and saw each other every year for that event, but rarely got time together or were in other relationships. Finally, they began dating when her sister and one of Dustin's childhood friends fell in love. The two started dating in the fall of 2017, were engaged a year later and married another year after that. All in good time, ladies out there!
Alyssa: "The day was perfect. Dustin and I were able to pray before the ceremony to start things off right (he was blindfolded). The music played and I anxiously waited for a chance to see my groom. The door swung open and it was perfect. He stood on the stage under a beautiful wooden arch that he built for us. When our eyes met he cried - everyone knew he would. He has an amazing heart and our photographers caught it all. Our rehearsal dinner followed the ceremony and we were able to dance and enjoy the company of our friends and family. We rode off in a beautifully restored blue truck and headed to Puerto Rico."
Initially, this bride wanted a curve-hugging, fit and flare gown with 3/4 sleeves. After trying on nearly every gown that fit that description, she realized that she hated them on her. When she returned to Bridal Traditions in December, she chose a huge ballgown with a lace top and fell in love with it.
Alyssa: "When I came back in January that gown was still there, waiting for me. After I tried everything on that fit my preferences, I decided to put that 'Big Gown' back on. I cried, my mom cried, my step mom cried, the grandmas cried. IT WAS MY DRESS. This gown is extremely detailed and has top-to-bottom lace and beading. My height allowed me to keep every inch. I wouldn't have changed a thing."
We were happy not only to accommodate all of the family that Alyssa brought with her (she thanked us for allowing her to focus on herself and the search that day in January), but really loved seeing her move from the idea of what she wanted to the dress she described as "making me feel beautiful and comfortable" on her wedding day. She was! We also supplied all of the tuxes for the groomsmen, who looked amazing too!
All the best to Alyssa and Dustin this coming year and thank you for choosing Bridal Traditions to be your boutique of choice.
The Wedding Ceremony - Rustic & Chic
Star Burton married her sweetheart Andrew in September of 2019 at The Barn at Heritage Farm. In front of the gorgeous span of windows and 200+ of their closest friends, neighbors and families, they said their I Dos. First the pastor had to retrieve his Bible and notes from his locked car (yep!), but after that, it was smooth sailing.
Star: "One of the most memorable moments for me was seeing Andrew as I walked down the aisle. He became emotional and even shed a few tears."
On this absolutely gorgeous early fall day, their photographers from Desilu Photography took amazing images of the wedding party outside wandering the freshly mown grounds, and yes - climbing up on hay bales. Of course they had help, but Star shared that guests were gasping when they saw the bride, groom, bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl and ring bearer all towering on the bales. It was pretty epic and made for a fantastic shot. The blue gowns and blue sky, fresh flowers and grass all came together perfectly.
Sweet Star is just that. She loves to model and it shows in her selection of gown and how well she wore it. It was the one she loved immediately when visiting Bridal Traditions and told us that she knew as soon as she saw it on in the mirror.
"I loved the top of my dress and all of the layers and details and also how the ballgown shape looked on. The only thing we needed was to take up the hem so that I wouldn't step on it and add a bustle. I just loved everything about it."
Star's grandmother also purchased her dress for the wedding at BT.
We love her in the corseted back, slim sparkly straps and loads of flowing gauzy layers that created movement whenever she walked, turned or moved. It was the perfect gown for her.
Happily Ever After
We wish this couple from Dobson, NC nothing but love, good health, and joy this first year of marriage and every year for the next 75! Congratulations and best wishes to you both. Bridal Traditions loved being a part of your special day.
In 2020, we start a new decade with an eye to the old, tried and true, some revisions to favorites and an introduction to new ways of thinking about what a bride should be and how SHE wants to project herself. Keep in mind that some of these decisions and options are universal and others entirely regional, generational and idiosyncratic. It’s a complex world, but the tie that binds us: wedding gown shopping is FUN.
So let’s begin with gowns…
While some brides are always going to want to wear white - high gloss, virginal and traditional white - softer colors are now forever in the mainstream. Buff is elbowing blush out as a more neutral option and designers are giving it life with interesting cuts, lots of textured fabrics or by adding accessories. Do not despair if you consider this daunting. For some, it’s merely a name change. And, you’ll still see gowns with names like champagne, bubbly, gold, mocha, ginger and now alabaster - a more bluish and moody version of off-white.
Let's Talk Color. . .
If color is really your thing, you'll have options that are muted but still elegant. Dusty blue and Victorian Lilac have joined the option table and now meet Pistachio. Yes, green, but it's deliciously understated and all of these colors are earthy. No loud jewel tones and if you love the color, you may be able to find its muted sibling out there. If it’s in nature, it can be present on your wedding day.
Silhouettes & Shapes. . .
If volume is your thing, the ballgown is still possible, but has given way to fabric that is used generously and cut strategically to be big and dramatic without making the bride look like a debutante during the Civil War. Think frothy, floaty and dreamy dresses, gowns with tiered skirts that use more willowy lace and fabrics that literally float around the bride when she moves. The effect is an absolute fantasy brought to life.
In 2020, you'll see more full coverage in gowns. [Moms of brides: hold your enthusiasm, because it is still possible to be covered head to toe in unlined, super-sheer fabric.] Gowns will have high necklines, long skirts, long sleeves and with lace elements throughout. The long sleeves are fitted and sleek, so don't worry that we've made a complete return to the 1980s where a wedding dress wasn’t a wedding dress unless someone used “poofy” to describe it. Full coverage provides a sense of drama, but leaves something to the imagination, even with the use of lace, a sheer bodice and transparent long sleeves. And finally on the full coverage tip: the coat dress has made its way into bridal and can have the impact of a synched waist and full skirt/train. Formal and structured are two adjectives who already know each other.
For the minimalist bride, you're covered as well, but not in fabric, beading or lace. The minimalist silhouette is evergreen and spare, often like a column. Straight, no volume, no embellishments, no sparkle, these gowns are eloquent. They are the poem that is a haiku: trim but making a distinct and lovely point.
Did someone say lace?
It's not going anywhere, but it may not look like your grandma's lace or even the lace we've seen in the last several decades. The options are the doily reconfigured, the bolder pattern rethought; some feel outdoorsy and floral and others more geometric. If you don't think you want lace, consider these before giving your absolute no.
Tiers and scallops are also going to be en vogue. We've seen tiered skirts, but the tiered skirt in tulle with a tiered lace bodice is spectacular for the bride who doesn't want minimalism and understands that texture can be elegant. And scalloped lace at the collarbone, on sleeves, at the hemline or even as part of a gowns’ tiers is headed our way in this new decade.
Bridesmaids will follow suit with muted, soft and earthy colors, watercolor prints, side slits, long or floaty caplet sleeves and a sense of freedom.
Finally, but not underrated or overlooked, are the accessories. We particular love that not only are the dress cuts edgier and more modern, so are the accents. Gloves are back and in varying lengths and fabrics: wrist, elbow length or to the bicep, gloves feel retro and, with the right gown, undeniably cool. You may also see capes, providing a subtle layer of coverage and certainly a lot of movement. With or without a hood or used in place of a veil, these are an old look with a new feel when worn with a bridal gown. Belts, tiaras, hairpieces and veils will still be a part of the mix, but that is for another day.
Do you want to see even more? Stop by our boutique! We would love to show you what we have and what we expect to have this coming year.
April of 2020 will mark 20 years in this business for me. I can hardly wrap my mind around it. When it came up recently in conversation, I thought, "oh yeah..... it has been nearly 20 years." How do you even describe that journey?
Well, I will do it briefly and with a heart filled with gratitude and humility. You don't do it alone, I can tell you that.
When I first started Bridal Traditions I hoped to help brides-to-be and prom-goers find gowns that made them feel beautiful, but without a financial set-back. As it turns out, that was possible. There was a market for affordable, but gorgeous dresses and before long, we were on our way. We sold gowns and accessories, rented tuxes and outfitted teenagers for prom year after year and we became part of the community. We were trusted to provide quality and we still do. I cannot begin to tell you how satisfying that is.
In the spring of 2015, I remember thinking "This marks 15 years I'm going to give it 5 more years and then I'm out." 20 is a nice round number and I figured that I would be ready for the next thing. And yet here we are.
Honestly, something shifted during these last 5 years. Owning and running Bridal Traditions was never about making big profits - affordable gowns with small margins don't allow for huge profits and that's fine. But providing gowns for everyone, no matter their budget, does provide something: an unbelievable amount of joy. That joy extends beyond customers and covers me too. Every day, I have the opportunity to make someone really happy. Girls leave our shop and the happiness, the excitement, the pure joy is palpable. How many people can say: "I'm in the business of making women feel beautiful and happy on one of the biggest days of their lives"? What a privilege that is!
Owning this business has allowed us to participate in, support and engage in our community and I'm extremely grateful for that. We've supported St. Jude's and we've hosted hundreds of wedding professionals, and brides-to-be at our annual Wilkes Wedding Expo.
In the last 5 years, I've realized how satisfying it is to be where God wants me, how learning patience has altered me and how good it feels to be truly contented exactly where I am. Right now, this still feels like God's will for me and when that changes, I will make a change. But for now, dear friends and clients - I am ready to celebrate 20 years with an eye to keep going. Bridal Traditions makes me and so many others happy and for now, that is more than enough.
Here's to the new year, a new decade and to many more girls leaving my little boutique filled with joy and feeling beautiful.
All my best,
Wesley and Abby met at North Iredell Middle School in 2007. Wesley’s mom and Abby’s dad both worked at this school while their kids were there and still do. Wesley and Abby dated in 8th and 9th grades, and then reconnected their senior year of high school in 2013.
After the college year and a 5 hour driving distance, Wesley proposed to Abby on March 2, 2018 in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
The couple said their I Dos at Danner Farms in a ceremony that was set off with a rustic autumn theme. The day began with rain (good luck, by the way ladies!), but then cleared up and turned hot. While the ceremony was outside and in the sunny weather, the bride chose autumnal colors of burgundy and navy and everything came together beautifully.
With nearly 180 guests in attendance, 6 bridesmaids and 5 groomsmen, this couple made it official. A very special element was that Abby’s grandfather, Pastor Brian Sipes officiated the ceremony. And the groom teared up. He may deny it, but there were the 180 aforemented witnesses.
The reception was inside the barn and there was BBQ, dancing and a glow stick send off with a fire truck as the get-away vehicle.
Abby: "I stuck with my original vision, I knew I wanted a sleeveless ball gown and that is exactly what I got. I loved everything about this dress. I loved how it made me look and feel. I really knew it was the one when I put the veil on with it. The belt at the waist and lace at the bottom were two of my favorite things as well."
Abby: "BT went above and beyond helping me find my perfect dress. Kelly and her associates made sure we felt welcome and made finding my dress that much better. They were there to help put dresses on, add accessories, and were never short on compliments and confidence boosters. Everything about my BT experience was everything I dreamed and more."
The couple now live in Olin, NC where Abby is a Medical Social Worker and Wesley works at the family cabinet shop and is a volunteer fireman.
Congratulations and love to you both!