Sarah Kale looks like a horse whisperer in this first image - this first gorgeous image, thanks to photographer Sarah Loudermilk of Laze L Photography. This lady and her new husband Cody Fox are now farmers like their parents, in Taylorsville. Sarah also owns and loves horses; they are one of her passions: "I rodeo, competing in barrel racing, breakaway roping, and team roping."
This couple stays busy on their farm with beef calves and lots of chickens (Sarah shared that her husband's hobby is "working constantly") but before their wedding in September of 2018, they had to fall for each other.
Sarah and Cody have known each other since middle school and even dated for 3 years, but broke up after high school to go their separate ways. Sarah assumed that they had moved on, but Cody never gave up on her. In 2017, she posted to Facebook that she was going to Texas to pick up a horse and was planning to fill the trailer (empty on the way down) with supplies for the survivors of Hurricane Harvey.
As donations poured in for her to haul south, Cody's mom had some items to be collected so Sarah went to get them. Cody was there and that began their rekindling. After some time to think and make some personal decisions, they started dating again and in March of 2018, he proposed while they were feeding calves. "We both knew it was right and that the timing was finally right. We first started dating on September 9, 2010, so we set the date of September 8 - almost exactly 8 years later. It seemed perfect."
The Wedding Day
The wedding was a beautiful rustic farm affair with the couple marrying in a barn surrounded by about 20 groomsmen and bridesmaids. Rain was predicted, but they prayed that away and the entire day was fantastic. They decorated the barn, danced, ate burgers and hotdogs in a casual atmosphere and enjoyed themselves. Sarah told us that it was exactly what she hoped it would be.
At BT, we think that Sarah, on a horse, with a mountain view in one direction and a forest and barn in the other could probably have worn a Hefty Lawn and Leaf bag and still been dazzling. Thank Goodness she came to us instead!
Sarah: "I didn’t know exactly what I wanted in terms of style, except that it have a sense of flow and not be tight-fitted. I am pretty simple and easy to please. I didn’t want it to cost my daddy an arm and a leg, either. I remembered shopping for my prom dress and everyone saying that it's important to try on, so that was what I kept in mind. I tried on dresses at one other place and then came to Bridal Traditions and found my perfect dress."
Sarah's gown had an open back, fitted waist and all of the flow necessary for her to walk, dance and even ride a horse. Her veil complemented it perfectly and the combination of it all made her look like an absolute princess.
"I loved how Kelly told me to just look and pull whatever I liked and then to let her know and she would help if I needed anything. There was no pushiness or hovering while I looked, but when I needed her, she was there."
When the dress and the girl go together, we call that success. When the girl who loves horses can sit comfortably on her horse and look like something out of myth, even better.
Congratulations to Sarah and Cody! Many, many happy returns!
We're at a point in the history of weddings, and civilization for that matter, where certain traditions are being left behind. Some of them are because they are just considered silly holdovers from a forgotten time and others because creativity and new ways of thinking about ceremonies have changed. We'll leave the decisions up to the brides and grooms themselves, but here is a sampling from your pals at Bridal Traditions.
Bouquet and Garter Toss
Long ago, guests tore off a piece of the bride's gown in order to take a little luck with them. She became tired of being attacked and her dress ruined, so she started tossing her bouquet (catching her flowers is a sign of luck) to distract guests and make a run for it.
This evolved - or devolved based on how you look at it - into a bouquet and garter toss. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, guests became tired of jumping to catch something they really don't care about. They especially hated being singled out as, well, SINGLE. Couples are opting to skip this portion of the program for more fun on the dance floor with their closest friends and loved ones. If you decide to go for it, keep it clean and don't have the DJ calling for "all the single ladies" to form a circle. They are not fans of this concept.
It's pretty cute, ... right up until it's not. Brides have all but decided that the cake smash needs to be agreed upon before the day and either she doesn't care about her gown and make-up or she and her husband decide to forego it entirely. Just tastefully grab a bite like a civilized human. They make for great images, though, and show a lot of devil may care attitude. It's your call, ladies!
A Diamond is Forever
But not necessarily as an engagement ring. Sapphires, rubies, emeralds and custom designed patterns with reset family jewels are seen as much as diamond solitaires are these days. Certain cuts and stones and designs rise to the forefront, but more important than size and stone is that the girl who's going to wear it, adores it.
The Bride's Parents Pay
It's a custom that the bride's parents or family pay for the wedding and it has been for centuries. The bride's parents pick up the cost of her gown, the venue, the food, music, flowers, veil. The groom's family pay for the rehearsal dinner and sometimes help with the honeymoon. These days, it's all up for grabs. As couples marry later in life, sometimes the couple bears the burden or families will split the cost if one can contribute more than the others. The good news is that paying has become more open and collaborative so that the couple who wants a wedding celebration can still have one. Want to skip the discussion entirely? Elope. But that may mean skipping Thanksgiving too, because you're going to hear about it.
Seeing each other before the wedding
This one is tough, because we've all seen the groom's face when he first sees his bride coming down the aisle. It's pretty wonderful. Couples these day have about decided that it's just too much pressure and maybe a "first look" would allow them to breathe. Some couples meet on either side of a door to pray together, hold hands or read the other a letter. Between the BT crew and you and the lamppost, brides and grooms should do what they want, but if you've come this far, what's the harm in NOT seeing each other until she's coming down the aisle? I mean, c'mon!
Not so much anymore. Bridesmaids are wearing the same color with different styles, necklines and hem lengths. Brides are also just setting a scheme or palette and letting the bridesmaids choose. We're also seeing both genders on both sides of the aisle. Your friends are your friends no matter their gender, so men are now standing up for the bride and women are finding themselves playing Best Girl.
Do what makes you happy; that's what we say. Unless you are seriously hurting someone's feelings, it is YOUR DAY.
The BIG 80s were just that. Everything was oversized. For those of you who were born in the 80s and too young to remember, or those of you born in the 90s, who never had a chance to use 9 cans of hairspray to create your "do" for a single evening, well..... you missed out. Here was the hairstyle that dominated that decade.
Yup, huge. These are class photos, and this style covered every socio-economic class, every region of the country and every personality type. (There was a competing style in the 1980s, Preppy - and we'll save that for another blog.) If you liked metal bands, this was your hair. If you liked Prince, same. If you liked Madonna, Davie Bowie, The Steve Miller Band, Rush, Duran Duran, it didn't matter. You got up early, you sprayed your hair out into orbit and made it to first period looking...…….. like this. And it wasn't just the girls. For those of you keeping score at home, everyone in this image below is a dude.
But I digress. The 80s weren't just about hair and MTV and rock-n-roll. Google "the 1980s" and when you emerge in a month, pale and hungry and humming U2 songs, you'll never be the same.
Meanwhile, wedding dresses were like everything else in the 80s - enormous. Certainly one of the most famous wedding gowns of that era was worn by Princess Diana when she married Prince Charles at St. Paul's Cathedral in London. For non-royal watchers, royal weddings are usually held at Westminster Abbey or smaller venues like Windsor Chapel. St Paul's is, wait for it, HUGE. Diana chose it because she wanted as many of her friends like Elton John and other non-royals inside, and as many common people as possible outside to feel included, effectively inaugurating her reign as "The People's Princess."
She became a princess bride on July 29th, 1981 and she looked like one. Her ball gown was nearly 6 feet in diameter, her train was 25 feet long, the gown's sleeves were large and puffy, and the veil was 153 yards of tulle. Her bouquet was 42 inches of white gardenias, orchids, freesias and lilies. That's nearly 4 feet of flowering going on. She looked like Cinderella, and women everywhere lost their minds. The 80s wedding gown style after that was destined to be over the top, with big hair pieces wrapped in tulle and satin, and gowns with tons of fabric, lots of beading, sequins and lace and the bigger, the better.
The grooms never have "as much" to do with regard to what they wear and that was certainly true then. Grooms basically needed a shower, the tux to fit, in some cases a mustache comb,,,, and of course, hairspray.
Notice the work-out type headband situation on both brides above? "An heirloom comb with fresh flowers and some tulle for your hair, Me-Lady?" Nope. "Let's make me look like a workout poster for Jamie Lee Curtis or Olivia Newton-John on the biggest day of my life."
And Lord help them, there were no breaks for the bridesmaids. In fact, I believe that the gorgeous options for the 21st century bridesmaid are a direct reaction to the dresses they were made to wear in the 80s. Poooooofy sleeves, balloon skirts that are essentially mullets if you look closely and by golly, if the bride is wearing a satin wrapped tennis headband, then so are you!!
Dresses for 80s weddings were Disney, if you know what I mean. Guests often forgot they were at the joining of two lives and two families to witness vows, but rather had stepped through a looking glass. When the bride made her entrance, there was no missing her in some understated frock.
But that was then, right? We've come a long way since then, 30 years in fact, and we've left all of that behind. I mean, fashion is cyclical and all but we wouldn't REALLY get back to this type of look...….. would we?
Well, we did it.
And we lived to tell the tale.
We say that like tired pilgrims, home from the promised land, but the truth is that The Wilkes Wedding Expo on March 10th was a hit and we couldn't be more proud, more gratified and more excited to have people turn out year after year. And yes, we're glad to have the rest of the year to recover and plan. This sucker doesn't happen by itself, but it does happen and between the curious brides and wedding vendors, we all get that little buzz that comes from being in the wedding industry. It's pretty hard to beat.
The Expo Vendors
Our vendors for 2019 included Roush Video Production, Bliss Vacations, The Emerald Hill, A&J Rental, Wisteria Vine Bakery, Winding Creek Wedding Barn, Waterhouse Studios, Rustic Rentals, Carolina Weight & Wellness, Pixels on Paper Photography, Cooks, Inc., DJ Grooves, Mary Kay and more. Check out the complete list.
This year we hosted 118 guests at the Expo. We had 42 brides and their supportive companions, 38 vendors and lots of fun. We're happy to share that through admission fees, BT raised over $650 for a local charity. And congratulations to Sanders Ridge for winning the $50 cash prize for best booth!
The greatest compliment we received this year came from a mother of a bride to be who said, "I thought we already had everything figured out, but this has given us a lot more to think about." If you came to the event and have questions for us at BT, we would be happy to answer them and assist you in any way possible. Here's to another big wedding season.
We defy you not to fall in love with this couple: Elissa Yoder and Shonn Conner. Theirs is a story that could easily go in the once-in-a-lifetime category (right place, right time) and they are incredibly sweet, both as individuals and as a couple. You know the phrase heart-warming? It was invented to describe them.
So, here's a little bit of their backstory. Elissa is originally from the midwest - Indiana to be precise - and moved to the great state of North Carolina for a music internship. This lady is right-brained, for sure: musician, poet, and artist. She took a part-time job at a diner and one night waited on a family. The parents just happened to be neighbors of hers and their son, Shonn, was in town from Texas. Imagine if they had missed the chance? But they kept in touch after she provided what we can only assume was exceptional service and they fell in love. Shonn manages an office, loves to be outdoors or in his shop fixing things and the pair love to hike together. The fact that this outdoorsy hunter and poet/musician came together is proof that timing and proximity make all the difference in the world.
They held their wedding at Christmastime just last year so that they could have all of their loved ones with them, and enjoy a season that already brings with it so much joy, happiness and grace.
Elissa: "It was very special, and so wonderful to see how supportive and loving our family and friends were. So many people were willing to help out, and show love by giving gifts and words of wisdom."
The Dress & Tux
Like many brides, Elissa wasn't sure where to start other than to try to get ideas. She came into Bridal Traditions not expecting to buy anything, but knowing that she preferred a dress more traditional and classic than one with an open back and "a lot of gauze." She also knew that she wanted the price to be reasonable. Elissa told us that while she knew that she was having her wedding a couple of days after Christmas, she didn't expect her gown to turn out to be more winter-y. But it is. It just worked out that way, and she looked absolutely gorgeous in it.
"I ended up choosing the gown because of the lace on the back of the dress. I loved the bead work and the style of neckline as well. It was the first dress I tried on at the shop and I fell in love with it immediately."
"When I went in to Bridal Traditions, I was a little intimidated. I didn’t know any of the terminology about dress styles. Kelly was very helpful and asked me a few basic questions. It was a very low-stress experience and I actually ended up enjoying the process. Julie was very helpful with alterations, as well. She took her time and we met several times before I took the dress home. She made sure I was happy."
At BT, we love hearing this. We are a boutique, not a wedding dress warehouse. While "boutique" may throw people off or persuade them that we're too pricey or don't have variety or a large enough selection, in fact, it's not the case. Our gowns are reasonably priced, our selection is both traditional and on-trend, with lots of styles to choose from and our small staff is dialed in and focused. We listen, ask questions, try to put everyone at ease and work closely with each client to ensure that they're happy. This is our business. It's not a mega-store and it's not a side hustle. We love what we do.
Shonn rented his tux from BT as well and looked fabulous. Elissa shared that he too was impressed with Kelly and the BT team. We wish these newlyweds nothing but happiness, laughter and love for many decades to come.
Photos courtesy of: