Annie Allen Smith - Featured Bride
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!
Alyssa Johnson - Featured Bride
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.
Featured Bride - Star Burton
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.