We don't throw around the word perfect, because weddings - much like gown shopping - have elements of the unexpected and can be fraught with problems, indecision and lots of changing your mind. That said, this lovely person and bride we're featuring - Sequoia - told us her wedding was a close to perfect as she imagined.
Sequioa and Wendal met in college at UNC-Greensboro in 2012 and became fast friends while living in the Honors Dorm. It was not long before they were going out together in groups and then just the two of them. During their junior year, they had the opportunity to study abroad and took advantage of it, with Sequoia in Northern Ireland and Wendel in Scotland. During that year, they were able to visit each other in the UK and also travel to France, Spain and all over England as well.
After graduation, they started three years of a long distance relationship when Wendel moved to Connecticut to work for Traveler's Insurance. Now, they are located in Charlotte, with Wendel at Traveler's and Sequoia training to be a Registered Dietician.
Sequoia chose burgundy and gold as her colors and coordinated the gowns, men's accessories and decorations accordingly. Everything was sleek, streamlined and elegant for the 90 or so attending friends and family. The couple were married in June of this year at The Colonnade at Revolution Mill. It was lovely, intimate and rustic.
"I walked down the aisle to Always & Forever (by Kevin Simm) and Wendel and I chose to have a sand ceremony. Honestly, I got nervous right before walking down the aisle, but once I did that, I could breathe. When I started walking down, my now-husband began tearing up and he almost made me cry! I can’t wait to get my video back so I can rewatch that moment."
that looks like it was made for her. We lost count of how many people commented to us that her dress looked as though she were the only bride for it. Slim, capped lace sleeves, elegant with the right amount of sheen. Sequoia is a goddess in that dress!
This bride came to us knowing that she wanted satin, no sleeves, but not strapless and a dress that she could dance in that was both fitted and flattering but not heavy. She wasn't interested in lace for the same reason some girls don't want it. They think that it's too old-fashioned. Ladies, those days are over. The right lace on the right dress can be an absolute game-changer and we have story upon story of brides who've changed their mind about an idea after trying on a gown.
"My gown was the second one I tried on, and when I did, all my close girlfriends (who I brought with me) had “the gasp”. “The gasp” means that dress was the ONE. I felt beautiful in it and their reaction told me that it was perfect! I also love the diamond brooch in the middle of the dress near the belly button, but I also love the satin. Satin is one of my favorite types of fabric, it’s just so smooth and flattering!"
Congratulations to Sequoia and Wendel and all the best in your new adventure in life together!
We would like to interrupt your previously scheduled time allotted for gown shopping, venue searching, DJ vetting, hors d'oeuvre tasting and Pinterest pinning to show you what could possibly be your wedding, yes YOUR WEDDING, if you so choose.
All it takes is imagination, will power, convincing your parents (or paying yourself), and a penchant for going your own way. These folks did and so could you.
We'll start with the completely expected outdoor Star Wars wedding, where super villain Darth Vader officiates the ceremony. The bride and groom are adorable and the storm trooper look ready to pounce on anyone who cuts the buffet line.
But seriously, Darth Vader gets to say, "man and wife." With a show of hands - who saw that coming?
We're not sure which volume from Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings this is from, but the Wizard Gandalf not only marries Aragorn and Arwen in The Return of the King, but apparently he also hitches Elfin Lady Galadriel and Hobbit Frodo.
You have to love this one. Shrek and Fiona! If we had a nickel for every time a bride came into Bridal Traditions and wanted to know more about green face paint, we'd have ...... exactly no nickels. #GUTSY
When Zombies Attack, ... or The Walking Wed. We're not sure we get this one, but for Halloween, yes! Here's the little secret: if you're going to do it - commit totally.
Above - the over-the-top Baroque era. Think of Versailles and the French Revolution .... right before the lower classes rose up and beheaded them all. Nothing says "wedding" like excess... and a guillotine. Seriously though, these two look pretty amazing.
Below - inspired by David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly in the 1986 movie Labyrinth. We'll just call it fantasy and leave it at that.
When it comes to themed weddings, Disney has nearly cornered the market. The Little Mermaid below, complete with shocking red hair, mermaid style gown and groom holding a trident.
Comic books, Comicon festivals and conventions, ... say what you will, but graphic novels and comics have taken over theaters and our imagination. If you feel heroic, just go ahead and embrace your comic spirit animal, like Captain America.
Below, in the same vein are video games and these two chose a wedding based on the World of Warcraft. And let's face it: they both look like they won.
Finally, nothing puts the fantasy in a themed wedding like Lewis Carroll and his iconic, if not trippy "children's" novel, Alice in Wonderland. This couple nailed it, from the hats, to the clock and flowers to the mushrooms. As The Queen says, sometimes, you have to "believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast" to make magic.
For your wedding, you decide if a theme is impossible or a dream!
Welcome to El Morro in Old San Juan, where this gorgeous couple below became Emily and Kyle Weatherman in late June of this year. Their wedding pictures are beautiful and we couldn't be more excited to celebrate their marriage and highlight bride Emily.
El Morro is a National Monument that protects over 2,000 inscriptions and petroglyphs, as well as Ancestral Puebloan ruins. They chose this spot because of its beauty and since it is a national monument, with a fort and tons of eucalyptus, there was no need for decor or a theme. The place spoke for itself.
"We got married at 8:30 AM- the fort is now a government park which opens to the public at 9Am so we got married before hours for more privacy. I was told by the park ranger we were the first and only couple he knew of to get married before hours, which I thought was pretty neat. Most people get married after hours but I wanted us all to beat the heat and humidity and also for our guests to have the rest of the day to enjoy their time in PR. We had a small brunch reception to follow back at the Caribe Hilton (where we were all staying) and when we finished with our reception we all met at the pool and spent the rest of the afternoon celebrating."
Brides-to-be: take note! If you don't want a fully traditional wedding where the day or evening is dominating by a schedule, this is the way to go!
The spot is gorgeous and so was the music. As Emily walked down the aisle, her best friend, Michaela Cockerham sang, “I can’t help falling in love with you” and "made the guests tear up and have cold chills." Apparently, several people thought it was a recording until they noticed her up front singing. Emily shared that this was one of her favorite moments from the ceremony. The other was when her new husband tried to "dip her" for the first kiss at the alter and almost fell over with her. The preacher ran over to assist and all ended well, but the crowd thought this was hilarious.
These two met in the 7th grade and shared mutual friends and moved through high school together. After graduation, Kyle joined the navy and was stationed in Jacksonville FL. while Emily attended college. An out of the blue FB message reunited them in 2013 and they turned a few messages into an ongoing conversation. In December of that same year, Kyle returned home and asked Emily to be his girl friend. 3 weeks later he was deployed for 7 months but they have been together since.
Emily came to Bridal Traditions with a specific style of gown and tried on that style multiple times before she told us she realized that it was not the style that fit her the best. Owner Kelly actually recommended the dress that ended up being the one she chose. "Kelly has a great eye for what would look best on someone! I really didn’t factor in my location for the dress I wanted, but luckily my dress traveled well on the airplane, and didn’t hold wrinkles! It was pretty heavy, but I loved it and it was totally worth it!
"I purchased a second dress that was on sale and I plan to wear it for the reception we are having on Aug 3rd. Kyle purchased a linen suit for the wedding and looked about as chill and place appropriate as possible. This couple has style.
Many happy returns you guys and much love from the gang at BT!
and anyone who says otherwise, beloved reader, is trying to sell you a lie. Math doesn't lie. Nor should a dress size mess with your head.
Consider this a Bridal Traditions pep talk disguised as a blog.
Have you ever felt amazing wearing something "ready to wear" or off the rack only to find out that the size was not your usual size? You look fab. You feel beautiful. So here's the big question: what do you care about the label? Seriously. Sit with that for a second. Is it your personality? Is that number you sense of style, your ability to show empathy, your love of family, your intelligence, your loyalty to friends? Nope. Ladies: it's just a number.
Brides often get freaked out about their gown size because at some point, they end up in a dress they love and that dress has a number on it. That number can bring a sense of ratification or mortification, and frankly it shouldn't provide either. It is just a number that the fashion and bridal industry - or some sub-set of the industry - decided was a "size." That size was assigned. It is not who you are.
At BT, what we want brides - and women everywhere - to hear is that an inch is an inch. Some dress manufacturers decide that a 32 inch waist means you are a size 6. Some say that a 32 inch waist makes you a size 12. If you purchased clothes in another country, your head would explode if you saw sizes in the 40s, but there they are. And extraordinarily chic French and Italian ladies don dresses that say 40 and 46 every day and leave their homes with their heads held high.
See this lady above? In Europe, her size is in the 40s. No kidding.
At BT, we hope you'll find a gown that you look beautiful in, that makes you feel like your best self and then buy it. Forget the tag. Forget what society says sizing means. It's meaningless. Size is irrelevant, my dears, and YOU are not.
"Our wedding day was the most magical day of my life. Our ceremony was in a beautiful open chapel with a breathtaking view. We wanted our wedding to be traditional and simple. The night before our wedding, during the rehearsal, the weather was horrible! It was foggy, the wind was blowing really hard and it was freezing! But the next day, when I was heading up the mountain, it was a whole different weather change and I couldn’t have been more thankful."
And so it begins. You wonder if you've planned for something that won't happen and things change for the best. We're so glad that they did for Cassie Mathis and Wesley Johnson who had a gorgeous spring wedding on April 6 of this year at Camp Cheerio Chapel (also known as Pretty Place) and High Meadows Country Club. The photos (from Waterhouse Studios) tell the story of the day and it was indeed spectacular.
These have known each other since they were little kids, but didn't start becoming aware of the other enough to start talking until high school. It's always fascinating to see the shift that occurs when teenagers mature and begin to notice people "for the first time." Wesley's father sells cars and when Cassie found one she liked, she messaged Wesley about it and their lifelong conversation started. They began dating on June 12 of 2011 and exactly one year later, to the day, he asked her to marry him. This teaching assistant and young car dealer now live in Hays, NC with their English Coonhound, Waylon. When they aren't working or at church they are playing outdoors, fishing and hanging with their family and friends.
Cassie shared that during the wedding ceremony, while their song “This is it” by Scotty McCreery was playing, the sun came out completely and everyone felt the moment. "It was like God blessing us and several people told me at the reception that it gave them goosebumps."
Like lots of brides, Cassie had a sense of what she wanted and had seen several options on Pinterest, but she also wanted to try on some dresses just to get a better idea about what she truly liked and might look good in. She know she liked the fit and flare style and after trying on a couple of gowns in that style, her desire to wear that type of gown down the aisle was confirmed. What surprised her was that she chose a v-neck and rarely wears that style in anything else. You never know, ladies!
Lace sleeves looked lovely on her, but due to the location and season, she stuck with the vision.
"I loved the lace detailing on my dress, especially around the bottom and on the train. It was beautiful and I couldn’t have been happier with it! Bridal Traditions was amazing in helping me find my dress. Kelly went through the dresses and pulled out exactly what I was looking for. I made a few changes to my dress and everything was very stress free and she was so helpful to making my dress exactly the way I wanted it. She picked out the perfect veil to go with my dress and helped me complete my bridal look. I had the best experience there and couldn’t be more thankful for all of the help I received."
Cassie and crew also rented all the men's tuxes from BT.
We too are thrilled with how lovely a bride she made, how gloriously their day turned out, and we wish Cassie and Wesley nothing but years of happiness, fun and complete sunshine.
At BT, we joked that this could be the shortest blog ever in the history of blogs about weddings, about fashion or about men wearing formal wear. We want to be clear. We want to show respect. We want to be careful and supportive and loving, but we also want to be honest.
So here goes, as succinctly as possible:
Pull your pants up.
Gentlemen, we are all for you wearing what you want for your wedding day as much as we advocate for the brides to wear what they want, but if you are indeed going to wear a suit or tux please wear it the way it's intended to fit because it's formal wear. You can start by pulling your pants up. Seriously.
It's your wedding day.
It's important - to us at least - to say that this is not about which generation you belong to, your race or ethnicity, which trends you embrace in your day-to-day life, your socioeconomic status, what is currently in style or even the theme of your wedding. It's about the day.
On your wedding day "the sag" has no place when you're standing next to a woman in a gown in front of the pastor or justice of the peace. It's a sacred moment and a sagging suit will not speak well of you in photos one week after the wedding or 20 years later. We promise. You'll regret not looking sharp because you thought you can sling your formal pants on your hips like you do your jeans.
It's all about the rise. Jeans have a shorter rise so they can be worn lower, but if you try to wear a higher rise pant in the same place, it just ends up looking super slouchy.
Quick example: right now, jeans with shredded knees are back and we're seeing them on both girls and guys on weekends, at restaurants for dinner, on date nights and when running errands. They are edgy and fun and in this summer heat, maybe even a little cooler. But no one is getting married in shredded denim. You with us?
At BT, we stock styles of tuxes and suits and take you guys through an entire process to make sure that what you're wearing actually fits and makes you look your best when you say "I Do." We dedicated a blog in March of this year to what happens when you come to us for a tux or suit. Check it out.
Bottom line: look your best. On your wedding day, you're going to shower, shave or if you're sporting a beard - give it a comb, put on clean socks, tie your shoes or polish your boots, get the knot tied perfectly and wear your suit or tux like a man. Stand up straight, and pull your pants up. ;)
A Week of Wow & Savings
is coming, ladies - so mark your calendars.
From Saturday to Saturday, July 20 - 27 Bridal Traditions hosts an annual sale that is targeted and big: the National Bridal Sale Event is our biggest sale of the year.
Saturday, July 20 / 10a-4p
Reservations are Required for Brides on 7/20 , with a 1 Hour Time Limit
Go here to reserve your fitting room!
Buy More Save More
On Saturday, July 20th, purchase a dress, veil and one other accessory item of your choice and receive an additional $50 discount!
(Excludes Closeout Purchases)
Tuesday, July 23 - Friday, July 26 / 10a - 6p
by walk-in or reservation
Saturday, July 27
10a - 2p by walk-in or reservation
2p - 4p by reservation only
The Sales - Get the Details
Closeouts (Cash Only) - Starting at $100 = Savings up to $795
Current Styles Including New Arrivals - up to 50% off = Savings up to $475
Special Orders 10% off regular price = Savings up to $100
Closeouts (Cash Only) - $10-$50 = Savings up to 90%
All Other Prom Dresses 25% - 40% off = Savings up to $200
Closeouts (Cash Only) - $1 - $25
Regular price veils, headpieces, jewelry, and men's accessories 15% off
All Sales Final - No Holds or Layaways
Some restrictions & exclusions apply - See store associate for details
See a sampling of sale dresses and prices on our event page!
Bridesmaid dresses are not included in the sale.
Reservations for July 20 are limited to 1 hour time slots.
*Dress selection subject to availability at time of sale.* Grab your girlfriends and we'll see you there!
Does this pontoon boat go with my lace?
This blog is about encouraging brides to buy a wedding gown with their hearts and not their heads and believe it or not, this is becoming an epidemic in our industry: the immediate second guessing of your choice of gown.
So, picture this:
The bride-to-be is in a wedding gown she loves. She has stars in her eyes. She's gazing at herself in the mirror. She looks flushed, happy, gorgeous and ready to say yes.
Then, like a needle on a vinyl record, her brain - with all of the details and facts she's gathered on her hunt for the right gown - begins to elbow in to disrupt all of the joy and excitement of that moment.
And she processes.
And she considers place, season and people.
And she weighs the expectations of others.
And she asks her team for their input.
And then she deflates.
At BT, we think this stinks.
If we've seen it once, we've seen it a hundred times.
And we hate it, because it's just not necessary.
"I can't wear this gown, because it's strapless and I'm getting married in November." WRONG.
"I can't wear this gown, because it's bohemian chic and more casual and I'm getting married in my home church." WRONG.
"It's not formal enough for a wedding." WRONG.
"My mom, grandmother, great-grandmother and female relatives all wore long sleeves. I love this dress, but it has cap sleeves. I can't get married in it." WRONG.
Ladies: listen up. There is nothing wrong with your dreams for your wedding day and there is nothing wrong with your instincts. What is wrong is getting a case of Second Guessing sydrome and talking yourself out of a gown that is going to make you truly happy on one of the biggest days of your life.
If there is a place to be cautious, then it's price and with BT, we help with that. Our gowns are under $1000. We promise to speak up gently to guide you if we think you're going to do something you'll TRULY regret. The only thing wrong is you believing these little deceptive lies that you're telling yourself.
Here are times to use your head:
Don't get in a car with someone you don't know or someone who has been drinking alcohol.
Pay your bills on time to keep your credit score up and respectable.
Show up at least 10 minutes early to a job interview.
Stay late at work to finish what you started.
Don't interfere in other people's business.
When it comes to your wedding gown, don't give the season, the theme and (not to anger anyone out there, but...) ESPECIALLY don't give your decision away to the posse who's come with you. Take their council, but remember that it is YOUR DAY. Find your dream gown and wear it.
The Theme & Photo Shoot Elements
When asked to participate in styled photo shoots, like the one we contributed to recently at Emerald Hill, we are happy to say to "yes to the dresses" - and suits - needed for whatever theme or goal. For this latest photo shoot at Chapman Farmstead, we provided the bride's dress and groom's attire, in appreciation of the vision. Where the Emerald Hill shoot was boho chic and youthful, the Chapman Farmstead shoot evokes memories and images of weddings with an anachronistic feel, sort of out of another time, ... but with modern elements like a photo booth bus!
The antique look and feel of this shoot is both elegant and familiar and the designer did a great job setting the stage and tone for the day. The signs were made by Blossom Barn Event Decor, the overall decor is from Country Sheek Wedding Rentals and the party favors of candles are by Emily's Creations. It's all cohesive and each item compliments the others.
Bridal Traditions provided the bride and groom's clothing and choosing more traditional, classic and formal items was a natural for a theme that included antique dishes, a farm sink for well-wishes, and plenty of lace touches. Our model bride's gown also had long lace sleeves, an open, but not revealing neckline, and plenty of fabric in the skirt. When she walked, there was a trail of satin and chiffon following her. A simple hair piece that resembles a natural garland finished the look.
Because this shoot had a wistful, bygone era feel, a tux for the groom was out of the question. His navy 3 piece suit, taupe tie and crisp white shirt were perfect.
If you're interested in looking into the vendors who participated in this styled photo shoot, here's the list.
Attire: Bridal Traditions Wedding & Prom Attire
Venue: Chapman Farmstead
Photography: Little Wagon Photography
Videography: Our Story Video Creations, LLC
Flowers: Brookside Flowers
Decor: Country Sheek Wedding Rentals
Cake: Audrianna Alexandria
Signs: Blossom Barn Event Decor
Photo Booth: The Little Blue Photo Bus
Favors: Emilyʼs Creations
Makeup: Morgan Cockerham
Hair: Hannah Chapman
the Wedding Day
Taylor Gentry and Johnathon Bumgarner were married at The Barn at Blueberry Hill in Elkin, NC on April 6 of this year. Theirs is a sweet story, that was born in middle school when they met and became best friends. By the time they were in high school, they realized they were probably more than best friends. They started dating and when Taylor left to attend college at Western Carolina University, they took the plunge and became a "long-distance relationship." Anyone can tell you (and will if you ask, we've found) that these types of relationships are not only not easy, they test your faith and trust. But these two learned to be great communicators and when Johnathon surprised Taylor 6 years after they started dating with a marriage proposal, she said absolutely.
The bridesmaids wore mulberry wine colored dresses that they chose themselves and the fellas wore matching ties and grey 3-piece suits on that spring day in a barn decorated with baby's breath, burgundy carnations and tons of twinkly white lights. The day, the crew and the place were bright and fresh and exactly what you'd expect of a spring wedding.
These two are both in medical professions. Taylor is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and works at Wilkes Medical Center and Johnathon is a Radiologic Technologist and is also certified in Computed Tomography. He works for Alleghany Memorial Hospital. As serious and important as those jobs are, the couple knows how to tease. On their wedding day, Taylor and Johnathon exchanged letters and after sending her long and heart-felt letter to him, Taylor opened the one from Johnathon. It contained a single sentence about how he hoped they would have a nice wedding day. Only later did he send her the actual letter he'd written her. Pranked on her big day! She said she went from disappointment to tears in a matter of minutes.
Taylor knew that she wanted an A-line dress with some bling and some lace, and that she wanted to stay within her budget of around $1,000. She found a gown she loved at BT and we helped her remove some of the "poofiness" and layers, transforming it from more of a ball gown to an A-line dress. The lace and beading at the straps and hemline give it an extra bit of style and sparkle. We also added a belt.
"Kelly was absolutely wonderful and knew to console me and give me advice when I became overwhelmed with choices and opinions. She asked what was holding me back from saying yes to the dress that I was wearing - and that I wanted - and I told her it was way too “puffy” for me. She immediately called the factory to see if they could take out some of the layers, and they did! She then added a sparkly belt to give it right amount of bling that it was missing and topped it with a beautiful veil that perfectly matched my gown. I had the bride moment I had been waiting for and said ‘yes.’ There is no other store that would have taken the time to be that personal with me and ensure what I was picking was exactly what I wanted."
Comments like these are music to our ears!
Congratulations Taylor and Johnathon! Cheers to you and here's to many years of laughter, pranking and love.