From the Top
of your head.....
Bridal Traditions knows that it's not just about the gown, although that purchase is significant in terms of emotion if nothing else. Our gowns are affordable and well-made. We do not order or carry items that can be found in the dark corners of a shop or the dark corners of the web. But after the gown is purchased, then what?
You need accessories and we relish adding new ones to our inventory and helping brides find just the right next level bling to complete a look.
Hair bands, pieces and accents
One thing that all of these hair pieces have in common is that they appear to float on the bride's head. They are ethereal, delicate and from another era, while being dreamy and modern too. We say, find one that makes you swoon and try it!
Belts with Bling
Since bridal belts were designed and became mainstream a decade or so ago, there has been no turning back. They accentuate the waistline if necessary; they add a special touch to more understated gowns, and they just look gorgeous. In accompaniment with other jewels, headpieces and accessories, a blingy belt can make a huge difference.
Our selection of earrings and necklaces is well curated. Come in to see what we have to go with any gown, but most especially your wedding gown. These make amazing gifts too.
Ultimately, the veil can make the bride. Once positioned on her head, whether she chooses to cover her face or not, she's transformed. We love the moment when a bride has found her gown and then adds the perfect veil. If there are tears in the mix, that's often when we see them. All hail the veil!!
Coco Chanel said that women should look in the mirror before leaving the house and remove one item or element, ... in other words - less is more. We agree. But you can choose wisely when it comes to accessories and make your look absolutely unforgettable.
We love to profile our brides when we can, but sometimes we only have lovely notes and images that are shared with us. These are worth more to us than we can say, because each one represents time we spent with a girl who comes in a shopper and leaves as a bride-to-be.
We thought we'd share a few as summer comes into full flower .... much like these ladies!
Congratulations to these gorgeous new wives and to the lucky guys who won them!
Yes, garters are still a thing. Some bridal and wedding traditions hold up and wearing a garter and having your groom toss the garter is often still a part of the day and the reception.
What's the Story?
In medieval times, (this is true! look it up!) wedding guests would tear the bride's clothes off (we hope in preparation for the bridal bed, because that's a bit weird), as part of the bride and groom send off. After that became a bit much, brides began wearing garter so that she could just throw a single item into the crowd to keep rowdies at bay while escaping with the groom. Today, the garter toss mostly symbolizes the passage from a single life to married life for the bride and groom.
At BT, we carry an array of garters to keep and to toss. It's your call.
The Garter Choice
A garter can be worn on either leg, but if you toss one (or your husband does to the crowd), then you'll need to wear two and let him take the first and leave one for you to keep. The man who catches the garter is considered the same as the girl who catches the bouquet: he'll be the next to get married.
What to Consider
Brides and grooms decide the order of their reception "duties" but the garter toss, like the bouquet, is still a loved custom. If you have a slim fitted gown, but want to send a frilly garter into the crowd, brides will wear one for themselves (and their husbands) and sneak away before the toss to don the more frilly one. The last thing you want (besides rain, and missing rings, and unhappy guests, a food poisoning, etc) is to have a poofy lump in your skirt caused by your garter. Keep it in a bag and put it on at the last second to be hurled into the crowd.
Where to Wear
As mentioned, you can wear the garter on either leg, but it should be worn just above the knee. Garters can cost between $15 and $125 of more if they are ornate. The garters we carry are typically under $50, and we have them available in singles and sets, so choose one you love to keep and if you're tossing one, you can scale back. A little side note; our garters are handcrafted in Salisbury, NC!
As summer weddings approach, we are restocking not only gowns but accessories and we'll be featuring more and reminding you of why each item in a bride's look has an origin story.
You heard us right! Your favorite gowns are back in stock. Scan this blog to remind yourselves, but then schedule time to pop by or make an appointment to visit us and try on!
As these beauties arrived, we remembered WHY you love these gowns so much.
The Romantic Skirts
Gauzy, handkerchief and gorgeous, the hemlines and skirts we've restocked are popular because they float and look beautiful on brides of all sizes. In blush, taupe, or cream, these overlays look amazing.
The Lace Details
The Pooled Hemlines
These gowns combine the most feminine lace, lovely necklines and bodices with the hemlines we mentioned above. The result is a dreamy silhouette.
Brides-to-be: Would you like to see if one of these is The One? Come to Bridal Traditions and we'll take sweet care of you. Just remember what's here today may be gone tomorrow.
Courtney Shew married Justin Cleary in February of this year and even though the pandemic has been a backdrop to many weddings in the last 15 months, theirs was a wonderful celebration. As for the pair themselves, a friend tried to set them up on a double date or blind date many times, but Courtney was stubborn. After Justin messaged her on Facebook and they talked until the wee hours of a morning, they met and started dating. She told us that it was love at first site for them both.
Courtney: "It was the most perfect, intimate day. We only had 30 people for in person attendance but had over 500 watching via live stream. Our colors were dusty blue and navy. One thing that I will always remember is, literally 5 minutes
before I was to walk down the aisle, I heard someone racing down the stairs. I looked up and my assistant director was breathless and said “WHERE IS JUSTIN’S RING???” I nearly had a heart attack. Thankfully it was located on a table and she grabbed it and raced back up the stairs while I calmed my nerves!"
The most memorable part of the day for the bride was when Justin sang the song he wrote for Courtney. He wrote it just after they were engaged, and she only heard it for the first time on their wedding day. There was not a dry eye in the place.
Courtney was not a bride who dreamed of her wedding or her gown. She simply felt that she would know when she'd found it. And she did, after trying on a few with us at Bridal Traditions. The sweetheart neckline and overlay, lace and shape were perfect. "I felt like a princess and never wanted to take it off. Like seriously, I wanted to prance around town in it because I loved it so much!"
"The BT workers are seriously the best! I kept handing them dresses for me to try on and they were so patient with this incredibly indecisive girl! They were ready for any questions I had and honest opinions. They treated my day like it was their own and was just as excited as I was"
Congratulations to the new Clearys! We're so glad to have been a part of making your day special.
Photo Credit: TiHP - Trusting in Him Photography
Many brides and grooms are feeling like the pandemic is in the rearview and we hope so too. It's time to get out, get hitched and breathe the air. That said, there are still some hoops you'll need to remember to jump through since everything went sideways last year. Here are the top things to keep in mind as you plan your post Covid wedding day.
Secure Your Vendors
You are not the only one who postposed your wedding, so make sure that you get contracts in place for all of your vendors now. Most especially, consider a wedding planner and book him or her first. Wedding planners take the stress level down and can coordinate the unpredictable. It's what they do for a living. Last year taught us that we have to be nimble, so get a planner and/or get those vendors locked down for your date.
Keep Guests in the Loop
Everyone has lost the plot on what's next on planet earth, you know? Re-opening may be as confusing as locking down was 15 months ago. Date changes, location shifts and other alteration to your wedding will affect your guests too. Make sure that your guests know. Don't assume that just because they love you, they've kept up. They're busy trying to kickstart their lives as well. Keep everyone informed.
Check in with Vendors Consistently
Just as you read your contracts carefully, make sure that each of your vendors knows the restrictions and rules that will be in place for your wedding. Those in hospitality are still juggling what we can and cannot do and there needs to be compliance. Again, don't assume that vendors automatically know the details just because they are in the wedding business. Go over the rules with your caterer, band, decorators, bartenders, and everyone else involved directly.
Consider Your Guest List
Not everyone will be vaccinated or have a high tolerance for risk. Consider a hybrid wedding where some can Zoom or Skype in to and others can gather responsibly to celebrate with you. Some receptions are planned as rotating groups of guests who come through in :30 minute increments to eat, drink, toast and dance and then move on.
Coordinate Venue's Covid Restrictions
Finally, and most importantly, make sure you are completely clear on all the restrictions and rules yourself and that everyone involved not only knows but can choose clever ways to work within those guidelines. Not every restriction is a "NO" or a "Don't." There are opportunities to try a new way of serving, dancing, gathering and celebrating and we promise that wedding pros have spent the last year navigating and still being creative.
Enjoy your day! Yes, it's possible and it's what everyone wants for you. CELEBRATE!
You've overheard the conversations - and participated in them, no doubt - about bridesmaids dresses. Over the decades, dresses have gone from horrible to truly chic, but they are still "of a kind." When will you wear it again? What other events are appropriate? How do I recoup my money? Well, this is not an exhaustive list, but you are not stuck, we promise.
Consign or Sell It
It's that simple. Auction sites like eBay are perfect, but online is certainly the place to start. Sell it to someone who needs a prom gown, event or galla gown or collects them. Consignment shops will also take it off your hands and send you a percentage of the profits when it sells. Might as well get back a little for giving it up.
Cut it in Half
We are not nuts. Depending on the dress, a tailor can create two separate pieces for you to wear and mix into your wardrobe. Does the dress have a handkerchief hemline? Make a new skirt from the waist down. Before deciding that the gown is a goner, see what can be done to create either a top, a bottom or both.
More often than not, longer bridesmaids' gowns are hemmed to create a more casual version of the original design, and it makes sense. Rarely will you need a dress that goes all the way to the floor, but cut to a shorter, cocktail length can make it perfectly new.
Accessorize or Dye It
Once you've modified your gown (and even before) think of adding an embellishment to the neck, waist, or hemline or dress it up or down with non-wedding-esque jewelry and you'll look amazing. If it's a light color that can be dyed, go for it. Swap blush for black. When people ask you where you got it, you can just turn on your heel, shrug and wink.
There are girls in your community who need gowns. Whether it's for a dinner, another wedding, a prom, consider giving it to a non-profit or charitable organization. They can use it or sell it to add to their coffers.
Finally, you can always have it professionally cleaned and wrapped for storage. Some gowns are timeless and other trends come back into fashion later. Hanging onto a gown for these reasons can be a very smart move and return on your investment.
Whatever you do, don't assume that your bridesmaid's dress has only one life. That's not always the case. Be creative!
Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge, Chapman Farmstead is a wonderful venue with lots of indoor and outdoor spots for weddings and other events. For this styled photo shoot, our couple of models played the roles of bride and groom on a beautiful early spring day. Bridal Traditions was happy to provide clothes.
The I Dos
The Gown from Bridal Traditions
Kallie Blackburn and Camon Bryan
Let's face it: there are many gifts given and received around a wedding day and wedding couple, and this is a place where everyone wants to do a well. How good does it feels to give a great gift? The dollar store will not suffice, as if it were a little party in need of favors. You want to show your feelings and gratitude, so here's a little encouragement for those getting married with some tips on what to give their support teams.
For the Bridesmaids & Maid of Honor
Shops are filled with custom items for nearly every type of person. Attendants were chosen for their years of friendship and commitment, shared memories and history, trust and affection. You know these people!!
Buy with those personal details in mind, be it for the ladies or gents.
Monogramming is still big, if not bigger than ever. Candles, towels, necklaces and lockets, luggage tags, tote and make up bags - the sky is the limit. If your tribe has a funny in-joke or mantra, add that as a reminder of this special time in your lives.
Ring dishes for jewelry lovers, cutting boards for kitchen wizards, special charms for charm bracelets that can act as talismans also make wonderful keepsakes.
Framed portraits are always a good idea. We don't care who says otherwise. Put a pic in it or just choose a frame that is gorgeous and tell her you want to make a date to grab a new special memory. Go with a digital frame if that's more suitable.
Phone cases, tumblers for coffee/water/smoothies, jade rollers, sleep masks and other more practical and/or self-care items work too.
For the Groomsmen
It has been The Thing since the dawn of man to give drinking related gifts to groomsmen. We get it. A whiskey and a cigar make the man in some circles. Flasks in monogrammed leather cases, decanters and cocktail shakers all still make great gifts. Double Old Fashioned glasses, beer steins and pilsner glasses do too. You're graduating from solo cups at parties to "real life." It's time to upgrade and these are great gifts for that reason or no reason at all.
There are also subscriptions to whiskey, wine, coffee and food clubs that will allow your mates to expand their interests. Consider those gifts that keep on giviing.
If your bridesmaid or groomsman loves to travel, give them something useful or inspiring. Yes, you can buy them a globe, but you may also find maps of places they've been and pinpoint a city or street that is particularly significant. If they love books or sports, get them a subscription to Audible or a bookstore, or subscribe to an online service that will feed this hunger all year long. If they appreciate art, think about something custom that will show them how much you appreciate that side of them.
Rather than something tangible, consider giving them an experience. Go zip-lining (with a reputable team), rent a cabin, hike part of the Appalachian Trail, go fishing, go to a theme park to act like kids again. Spending time with your nearest and dearest pals does count.
You can also give the experience of a service. Maids and Matrons of Honor and Best Men help carry the load as your day approaches and planning gets hectic. Think of giving a massage or spa day and a gift certificate for a lovely dinner out with the love of THEIR life.
Know Your Recipient
When all is said and done with a wedding, the most important thing that needs to have happened is a celebration. This means that the greatest gift you can give is your gratitude and love. We know that COVID is still an obstacle, but as you can: give hugs generously to those who've dug in when there were too many errands to knock out yourself.
Write Thank You cards.
Call people. It doesn't have to be a marathon, but a text isn't enough. Say Thank You like it was going to be the last thing you get to say to that person.
Generosity of spirit lasts so much longer than a saucer to hold your jewelry. If you can't decide on a hug, an experience or a simple gift, try to do all three within reason. These are your people. Show them you adore them.
Hello Brides to Be! Your friendly neighborhood bridal experts at BT are here with a PSLU (Public Service Love-Up). WE ARE ON YOUR TEAM. This means that occasionally we have to throw down some serious words of caution, as well as our customary encouragement. We want all of our brides to be success stories, and to understand that it's just as important to educate yourself and set the right expectations for your gown shopping as it is crucial that you avoid scams.
Misconceptions & Knock-Offs
Over the last decade or more, online only bridal shops have sprung up like weeds. While most brides are savvy enough to understand that a photograph is not a gown, they can fall for the glamour of a gown in an image, become dazzled by the price and potential savings, and take the leap. If you like a Vera Wang gown that costs $5000 and find a knockoff for $500, we can almost promise you that you will not be getting the dress you hope for. Often when gowns from these sites arrive, the workmanship is average at best. If the Wang gown had lace and beads, you'll find that your knock off has inferior substitutions, fewer beads, cheaper lace, different structure, etc. Time and time again, we see disenchanted brides come into Bridal Traditions after they've been burned.
Setting Your Expectations
Before purchasing a gown, brides research styles they love, think about their theme if there is one, consider the season and month, whether the event is indoors or outside, and what looks good on them. What many brides fail to do is research is what you get for various price points.
> Do you want a simple gown with minimal frill and not a ton of fabric?
> Do you want lots of custom lace or beading?
> Are you going to add embellishments like a belt, a veil, a train, etc?
The more sewing, the more fabric, and the more elements a gown has, the more you can expect to spend.
Ask us when you come into our boutique and we can show you why some gowns are less expensive than others and adjust your tastes to your budget. At Bt we strive to give you a bang for your buck, and work very hard finding collections that offer the style and detail that brides want for a reasonable price they can afford.
Dresses for $450 - $750
The gowns above in this price range are beautiful, well-made and have both overall style and specific details. If your budget falls in the "no more than $500" range, you definitely have options, so don't dispair.
$800 - $1000
For a little more money, you obviously get more. BT does not buy gowns with poor workmanship. PERIOD. So with a little more expenditure what you get is the same great tailoring, but a little more design and flair, maybe more fabric and details, and certainly more embellishments.
There are brides out there with enormous budgets who are ready to spend in the thousands for their wedding gowns. If you are not that bride, fret not. Often there are gowns sold on clearance racks that are no longer in season or are from a previous collection and you can snap them up for a fraction of the cost.
Remember that knockoffs are not guaranteed to be of a high quality and that scammers are out there and they don't provide a way to recover your costs. Do your homework and come see us! We are here to help!