Hannah and Austin married in September of 2018, almost exactly 4 years after meeting at a friend's Labor Day celebration. They drove back and forth to each other (living 2 towns apart) before Austin asked her to be his girlfriend and later his wife. They are now settled in Virginia.
The ceremony was held outside at the River Retreat in Saltville, Virginia and Hannah shared that the river and barn setting - despite the heat - were a perfect spot for saying their I Dos in front of the closest friends and family. Her father even provided a last minute "something old" in the form of a penny from 1945 and she plans to treasure it forever.
Hannah is like many brides we see enter our shop: she may have a vague sense of what she does and does not want, but hasn't ripped out a single page and carried it around for months.
"Being from a small area with only a handful of wedding dress shops we decided to venture out a little and ended up in North Wilkesboro NC at Bridal Traditions! I am such an indecisive person and have a hard time making up my mind. I went once and tried on some dresses, and one dress ended up staying in the back of my mind. Luckily Kelly was getting a shipment of new dresses in a couple weeks. So we waited and went back. I tried on the dress I had in the back of my mind and then another one that just had come in. I ended up falling in love with the newer of the two. It was just exactly what I was dreaming of, but not necessarily what I had originally thought of in the beginning."
And that's how it happens, ladies. Have a sense of what you think you'd like and keep an open mind. I always say that you don't need to try on more than 10, but you do have to be open to the possibilities out there.
"Everyone was so helpful in helping me find the perfect dress. Because we had to travel a bit, my mom and cousin were the only ones able to come with me, but the staff at BT made up for my friends/ family who couldn’t make it! I’m so thankful that BT had a big part in my wedding day."
[side note: When Hannah's dress arrived we needed to add a corset and keyhole to allow it to fit better. Julie with Sew Fitting Alterations made the adjustments and no one could tell that the dress wasn’t originally designed that way.]
Congratulations to Hannah and Austin on their beautiful day and the best of luck for many happy years of marriage.
So prom is sort of the evening of escaping school, .... except that you do it with the very people you sit with in class. It's an event within the context of school, so at the risk of making this a history lesson, let's have a quick look at the origin, and dare we say, HISTORY of prom.
The word prom comes from "promenade" and the students at Concord High School up north are doing just that (see below): parading passed family, friends, teachers and neighbors. It's a big deal every year to this day, but prom is actually older than sliced bread (seriously) and started with Ivy League schools in the Northeast of the US during the mid to late 1800s.
"The prom can be traced back to the simple co-ed banquets that 19th century American universities held for each year's graduating class. A growing teenage culture pushed proms younger, and by the 1940s the adolescent dance we know today had almost entirely taken hold.
In the 1950s, a thriving postwar economy allowed high schools to eschew the traditional gymnasium in favor of proms held in hotels or at country clubs. President Kennedy rescheduled a 1963 $1,000-a-plate fundraiser at the Beverly Hilton to accommodate a local school whose prom had been booked for the same time.
In 1975, President Ford's daughter Susan held her high school's senior prom at possibly the best prom location ever: the White House."
Prom is for everyone and perhaps the reason for this is a middle class response to the debutante balls that were thrown for people of means. Everyone wants to get dressed up, dance and celebrate - be the end of a school year, a coming of age or being together when you're young and have energy. Regardless, proms continue to be an annual event. That, at least, is consistent.
What is not consistent are the style. As we've been sharing the gowns for 2019, it's also fun to check out how far we've come in the last 70 years. At BT, we'd be interested to hear what YOU think of these styles.
The 1930s meant your best suit and your prettiest dress. Add a corsage and a ribbon belt and off you go. Girls tended to wear white to mimic the debutant style of Coming Out into polite society. This is how girls met future husbands.
In the 1940s, the dresses were still long and demure, but they started showing off a girl's figure with pulled in waists and fitted bodices.
Hellllooooooo Hoop Skirts. These skirt enhancers allowed young teens to go from the girl in the third row to Scarlett O'Hara for an evening.
The '60s were about big hair and tan skin. The dresses were full, Jockie Kennedy inspired and in the Easter colors that made a spring break tan shine.
It's hard to know how to describe the prom wear of the 1970s and even if we did know what to say, you wouldn't be able to hear it over those outfits.
Everything was BIG in the 80s. The hair was big and sprayed within an inch of its life, it was teased or more likely permed (maybe both), and there was plenty of fabric below the waist, poofy sleeves or strapless tops and all to showcase tan skin.
While the prom dresses of 1990s still showed off some of the loud, big oomph of the '80s gowns, this decade was the very first inkling of making prom gowns less like the proms of the past and more like fashion that was "grown up."
Finally, today. We are sneaking up on 20 years into the 21st century and gowns are more decorative, more elaborate, more sophisticated than ever. They are still fun. This we know from the ones that come in daily to our shop.
We hope you'll come have a look at our amazing selection as the spring sneaks up on all of us and prom history is made again.
... and our prom going ladies are going to shine too. The word "brilliant" in its true definition comes to mind when describing the styles this year: bright, dazzling, blazing, lustrous, luminescent, radiant, and incandescent. Several months ago, the ladies of BT and some of our pals went to see what was in store for Prom 2019 and there was a definite theme: sparkle and shine. The Prom Market in Atlanta did not disappoint and now the dresses are coming in to BT.
The palette for prom gowns is frankly just about every color that you can think of so we have options for those ladies with an idea in mind. Textures are, thankfully, all over the place too, which means you can choose satin, shine, sparkle, sequins, gauzy and sheer or deep and velvety. Many dresses have a combination of textures, structure and flow. Add a belt to accessorize and you're done.
Necklines? I'm so glad you asked. They are as varied as the sweet girls who come in to BT ready to try something new. Sweetheart, deep V, halter, with Illusion, lace, spaghetti straps, off the shoulder, keyhole, we have them.
And the patterns are AH-mazing too. Florals, laces, washes of color, panels of brocade and little nods to the 4th of July. These are NOT those dresses from way back that were cut from a single bolt of a demure pink fabric that made a girl's corsage do all the work. These dresses are bold, truly interesting, cut in a variety of shapes and sizes, flattering and yell "FUN" when you put them on. They'll make the flower around your wrist sit back and take the night off.
And finally, back to sparkle and shine.... I hope you noticed as you've been reading this blog the overwhelming number of dresses with sequins and sheen, those that give the effect of crystalized sugar, or a fiery shine peeping through lace, or in folds of satin. Sunglasses need to be purchased by any young man escorting a girl in one of these gowns.
Friends: they are leaving our boutique as fast as they are coming in, so we encourage you to plan a time to come in to view our selection, try on some that take your breath away and get ready. Do not wait until the last minute.
See you soon!!
This gorgeous bride barfed on her wedding day.
Yup. How's that for a grabber headline. Don't worry; she's ok. In fact she and her brand new husband, who was with her. both just burst out laughing.
More about that in a moment. The day actually turned out to be pretty perfect.
The Wedding Day
Emma and Tanner were married in October of 2018 at Mt. Pleasant Church in Tanglewood Park and it's a very spare and beautiful chapel for a wedding. We've never seen photos taken there that aren't exceptionally pretty. These two got ready at the bride's parents' home - in separate spaces of course - and during the ceremony complete with fall colors and beloved family and friends, they said their I Dos. We love how her parents turned her bedroom into a bridal suite for her and her bridesmaids.
Emma (a talented hairdresser) and Tanner (who's been in the Navy for 8 years) met through a pal of Emma's who's also in the Navy and once introduced, they became inseparable. We're thrilled that they found each other and that Emma found her dress from us.
"I know that a lot of people when faced with a lot of stress get nauseous but I am one of the few that actually stress vomit. Isn't that fun?! So we have had our photo-op first look and are just sitting together and talking about our days and how we are feeling and the next thing I know Tanner is standing in the doorway of the bathroom while I hold my hair and veil back over the toilet. Once I’m done I expect to look up and see him look all concerned about me but instead we both just laughed and agreed that it was part of the day we would laugh and joke about for the rest of our lives together."
Emma knew that she didn't want anything too heavy and that she didn't want a mermaid style. She chose a thin strapped gown that was the second dress she tried on. She told us that she knew immediately that it was "the one." "When the veil was added it was just the cherry on top!"
"My whole experience with BT was absolutely perfect. It was such a relaxed environment, I loved that everyone was very hands on with helping me pick the perfect dress. The fact that there weren't lots of other brides searching for their dress at the same time as me was great. I loved the one on one experience throughout the whole process, from choosing to fitting it was everything i could have hoped for!"
BT LOVED being a part of your day, Emma and Tanner! Good luck in everything and come visit us soon!
Photos courtesy of: Kristin Deavers Photography