It would be more accurate for us to say: "Dreamers Encouraged" at our Expo on March 10.
There's this beautiful scene in "Pride and Prejudice" (2005, with Keira Knightley) where the key character - Miss Elizabeth Bennett - is stuck between any number of unappealing options with regard to society and marriage. She sits on a rope swing and spins around and then let's herself be swung back in the opposite direction. Maybe you remember doing that from childhood. As she does, what she sees changes slightly and the seasons do too, but not the scenery. It's a reminder that she's caught in that place we all have been: where you do the same activities day after day, season after season and the world goes on spinning with very little recognizable difference to your life. So you day dream..
Sure enough, this little blue marble we live on has continued to spin since the Wedding Expo of 2018 and we are, once again, preparing for vendors and brides-to-be to gather at Wilkes Community College for a day of meeting, celebrating, researching, viewing and excitement. We hope that the brides-to-be coming to the Expo this year will still have some of that "dreaming" and imagination in them as they take in all of vendors and ideas.
Don't worry, though - those of you who are more organized than dreaming at this point. You too can gather information like a boss and check off boxes on your list of to-dos. We'll have vendors ready to answer questions, offer suggestions and learn about your Big Day Plans. This expo attracts some of the most experienced, fun and inventive, local pros in the business - be it food, photography, music or decorations. If you haven't registered yet, click below and consider attending.
Are you in the professional wedding game? We would love to have you join us and meet prospective brides and their entourage of family and best friends. You also can network and do a little bit of exploring, idea generation and dreaming of your own!
The details for the Expo this year:
Sunday, March 10, 2019
at The John A. Walker Center
from 1:00pm until 4:00pm
Admission per Person
(every member attending with the bride pays the same price)
$5.00 when the bride registers online
$8.00 when the bride registers at the door
$10.00 for guests not attending with a bride
John A. Walker Center
at Wilkes Community College
1328 S. Collegiate Drive,
Wilkesboro, NC 28697
So if you're a bride-to-be who is, for now in the dreaming stages for your wedding, JOIN US!
OR! If you are a bride-to-be who has an organized and color-coded 3-ring binder the size of a Lincoln Town Car, JOIN US!
BT's Expo is about weddings, but it will provide you planners and vendors with so much more. The price is small, but the inspiration is priceless. Come do a little dreaming with us this year.
See you there!
If you own a bridal boutique and don't have as much a love of romance as you do for business (and problem solving!) then you may be in the wrong arena. We do love romance, especially when it's a little daffy, a little comic and ends well. The story of bride Laurel and Andrew - married in July of 2018 - fits that bill. Before we get to their wedding and her beautiful gown from BT, we have to tell you a little about their story. Actually, we'll let Laurel do it:
"We met in May 2016. We both worked at Tweetsie Railroad in Blowing Rock operating rides. It was a summer job for us both. One day at the end of the day we were on trash duty together how romantic! - and began talking and realized we had a lot in common. Over the next couple of weeks, we got to know each other better and since Tweetsie was only open to the public on weekends at this point, we had time to talk while we worked. During the week, we would go in and paint rides and fences and arrows on the ground, burn off old numbers and patch up the chairs on the chairlift, etc. We were put together the first day, and then we chose to pair up some of the other days (whenever they let us choose). Soon we began hanging out after work and grabbing dinner together. It was not long before we started dating, and once we did, we fell fast and hard for each other."
We don't know about you guys, but if that isn't a Hollywood "meet cute" then ... I don't think they exist. The couple returned to Tweetsie the following summer and that's when Andrew proposed, getting down on one knee and presenting her with a diamond ring.
Theirs was simple, pretty and sweet. Laurel and Andrew were surrounded by family and friends in their church, said the vows, had a small snafu with the rings (the Best Man nested them and hers bounced out and rolled down the stairs during the vows) and then made it to the reception. Andrew is in a blue grass band "Uncle Joe and the Shady Rest" that played the reception and everyone had fun catching up and celebrating the couple. They went on their honeymoon the next day at Ocean Isle Beach. A perfect summer wedding.
The Wedding Gown - a surprise even to the bride
So Laurel knew that she did not want poofy, did not want a mermaid style, did not want strapless, a long train or too much lace, and her gown needed to be white. The price needed to be between $500 and $1,000.
You never know, sweet ladies out there planning your weddings!
Again, here's Laurel:
"I ended up with a poofy ball gown style that had a relatively long train and a lot of layers. Not what I expected at all! It was ivory, which looks white, so I was fine with that. It was mostly tulle but had a lace overlay. The bodice was flowery and had pearls sewn onto it. I also got a hoop skirt to go under the dress. This shaped the dress and made it look better, and it actually made it easier to walk since it kept the dress out and away from my legs/feet. I think my favorite thing about the dress was that the whole thing was sparkly!"
See! You never know when your choices will shift and you'll "say YES" to a completely different dress.
"Kelly told me to keep an open mind. She said many brides go in with an idea of what they want, and then walk out with something totally different. That is what happened to me. She was also really kind, courteous, and friendly. She did not try to push anything on me. She helped me find dresses to try on that were what I envisioned. She also helped my bridesmaids choose their dresses. And Julie McNeil, who did the alterations, was fantastic to work with, as well! She is incredibly talented, and she made sure she got the alterations exactly the way I wanted/needed. We had multiple fittings to ensure my satisfaction. I also liked that I was able to have my dress cleaned through Bridal Traditions."
Laurel's bridesmaids all purchased their gowns from BT and Laurel also purchased her earrings for the big day from us too. We love watching brides find what they want and facilitating what could be a stressful process and making sure it's memorable and easy. Laurel was prepared, so even though she ended up with a different gown, the process for getting the dress ready and her entire wedding day ended up being a walk in the park.
Congratulations to both Laurel and Andrew!!
The Day - Fall Beauty
For the first BT Bridal Profile of the Year, we'll let the bride speak for herself to get us started:
"Our wedding was outside in a shelter at Stone Mountain. It was a very small, simple wedding with only a few friends and family attending, maybe 50 people. Our theme was very sentimental and also very rustic and every part of our wedding memorialized a passed family member in some way. I took my engagement pictures on my grandma's handmade quilt, my grandfather's watch was in my bouquet, my great uncle's deer horns were incorporated in the wedding, etc. My great uncle played his banjo and we had a gospel singer, and another banjo played the wedding march as I walked down the aisle. The wedding may not have been 100% perfect but it was definitely very family orientated."
The weather and gorgeous setting played their roles, but there were a couple of snafus on this special day. Hannah's wedding band was left behind in the car by the Best Man, so right before the preacher began, her aunt slipped Hannah her own band to use for the ceremony. But that was not all.
Hannah: "Everyone was late for the rehearsal dinner. The preacher couldn’t find the shelter/spot because he doesn’t travel to Stone Mountain often, my car overheated and upon putting water in it I lost the water cap (took us close to 45 minutes of crawling underneath the car to find it) and David was just late, because he’s David and he rode with the best man. Also, my maid of honor rode with me so we were all late."
This bride knew what she wanted and stuck with it. She told us that because her wedding was rustic, she wanted no poof, no sparkle, but plenty of lace, long sleeves and for the dress to be fitted. "I wanted something that was completely old-fashioned, not something that made me look like a princess."
Hannah: we think you looked AMAZING in your dress and we loved being a part of making your day special.
Before you think: why in the WORLD would I care what happened to brides and grooms in the 1600s, remember that not everything that is trendy is contemporary. Your great-great-great-greats found their way to each other and none of them had a Save the Date website. The rituals - some of which are worth reviving (maybe) - all had their meaning. To us, as we gear up for a new year of weddings, looking back can be a fun way of looking ahead.
For the lower classes during the 17th century, a coin, broken in half with one half kept by each person, was enough to signify an engagement. The couple would make oaths to each other and say prayers over the coins, giving them significance. These tokens were considered both promises and talismans against evil spirits.
While at BT we help brides find gorgeous gowns on a budget, back in the 17th century, brides often did not buy a wedding gown and the dress really had no significance. It was simply the nicest dress a girl owned, maybe the one she wore to church or one with extra frill or embellishments.
What WAS important was the garter! Two garters were worn, were usually blue and worn just above the knee. The evening of the wedding, before the bride and groom were left alone to start their lives together, two of the groomsmen would remove the garters from the brides legs and then pin them to their hats as a reward. One wonders if this was like catching the bouquet and marked these fellows as potential future grooms. Or...….. perhaps they just got teased a lot at the pub afterwards.
Flowers back then were as important as they are now and loads of wildflowers and fresh flowers would be collected and carried while others were pinned to the bride's hat. Lower classes did not have access to hot house flowers and blooms from bulbs and formal gardens, so herbs like rosemary were used, orange blooms from nearby orchards and groves and any bright field flowers were perfect.
After the ceremony, people threw wheat at the couple for fertility - a sort of precursor to confetti or rice. Honestly, they may have had it right back then since we now throw bird seed (NOT a symbol of fertility). Imagine what they would have thought of our use of sparklers to send off newlyweds.
Cake!! We all love it and they did back in the day as well. While we're into frosting and multiple tiers, back then they were more interested in breaking the cake over the bride's head for fertility and fortune. Yep. You heard us. The community contributed all sorts of food, meat, drinks and sweets, but the wedding cake itself was gently broken over the bride's head for luck for her and the groom. Pieces gathered up by others were said to be lucky too. It's also a great way to stay thin - just break the cake instead of eating it.
Finally, the 17th century wedding night: We send our couples off with cheers, cans tied to bumpers and other fanfare and happily return to the party. These early modern couples did too, but not until the bride and groom were escorted to their chambers. The bridesmaids would help the bride get out of her gown, removing any pins that might create havoc later and waited by the bed with her. The groom and his entourage would then show up and the couple were surrounded, given well wishes and finally left alone. AWK-WARD!! We don't know any current modern couple who would want their entire wedding party encircling their marital bed, but we're modest that way.
Regardless of tradition or theme, twists on century-old marriage rituals are pretty stinking fun! Enjoy planning, brides out there!
Before we run into all that 2019 may promise, we wanted to give you Part 2 of our year-end recap of 2018. This time, we focus on the gorgeous women who were our Bridal Profiles. This just passed year brought so many lovely and amazing brides to BT and we loved helping each of them.
Here are just a sampling of the highlights and no, there were no low-lights. Cheers to you all!
Their wedding was a perfect balance of warmth, earthiness, elegance, tradition and fun. It's not always easy to pull off, but this girl did it. more
North Carolineans Destiny and Samuel Swanner were married in Panama City, Florida in July on this year - right on the beach. Their wedding was filled with fun and unexpected moments, funny mishaps and an unconventional day, more
"Everything was perfect, despite the heat - from getting ready with my girls, to walking down the aisle, to saying I do to my handsome groom, to taking over 400 pictures, and loving every minute of the most wonderful day of my life." more
Samantha - or Sam to Kelly and crew at BT - is not only a friend, but we joke that she's our Executive VP of Marketing, because you can literally bump into her and she'll start singing our praises. We love this girl and appreciate her enthusiasm for our business. Sam also made an absolutely gorgeous bride and this bridal profile is one we've been looking forward to since we started this series. more
Reina Branch married her love Dewey Kilby at 16 Hands Farm in a gloriously rustic country ceremony this passed fall 2017. The bride described it as "mason jars, burlap and lace." It was also incredibly well thought out, more
These two met in middle school when they were introduced by a friend of theirs. Dillon sat in front of Makayla and we can only assume that she did what most of us do in middle school: stared at the back of his neck and thinking "well, he's cute." They became friends and stayed there until their senior year when they officially started dating and fell in love. more
Hannah Jolly and Yancey Simmons were surprised at the turnout for their wedding, because of the threat of a little storm called Irma that wreaked havoc on coastlines between August 30 and September 16. Their wedding was at Holden Beach on September 9th and clearly the Wedding Gods were shining down on them. more
Focusing on the brides who let us serve them was one of our favorite occupations this last year and we have many others already in the works for 2019! Happy Anniversary to you all in advance.