Candice Martinez and Austin Stanley met after they both ended long relationships with others. They became friends, talked off and on for a couple of years and then realized that there was more to their friendship than getting over others.
On October 5th of 2019, the couple was married at Williams Farm in Roaring River, NC.
There wedding was rustic, with elegant touches. Candice shared that her favorite moment was seeing Austin and the moment he saw her. "His expression was so sweet."
"I honestly had NO idea what style of dress I wanted. I didn’t even have any specific inspirations to go with. I walked in [to Bridal Traditions] one day and there was a dress and my mother said 'that’s it, Can!'
I looked at it and said, 'mom, that’s too much dress! I don’t want anything with that much going on.' Turns out, that was THE ONE. I tried on so many different styles and had multiple options, and Kelly made this so so easy for me. But I felt so comfortable in my first and last option that I went with it. "
Candice loved the details of her gown and her bridesmaids purchased their gowns and the guys their suits from us as well.
They are such a sweet couple and she looked gorgeous! Congratulations to Candice and Austin Stanley! All the best from BT.
A couple of months ago, we shared Part One of our look at those Wedding Mistakes Brides Make when planning or executing their weddings. You will find Mistakes 1 - 3 in that blog.
Today, we continue with Part Two!
Mistake 4: You Announce Your Engagement Too Soon
Announce that you are engaged on social media - absolutely - and especially if you have lots of folks who will want to know that you don't see often. BUT BEFORE THAT - call, Skype, Facetime, visit if you can, those closest to you. For starters, they are closest to you for a reason. They are friends and family and they will want to celebrate with you, see the ring, hear about the proposal and tell you how loved you are.
Secondly, these same people will more than likely be in the wedding, be your support system and will be hurt if you leave them out. They are going remain close to you LOOOOOOONG after the ceremony. Don't tell the entire world before you inform your favorite people.
Mistake 5: You include your registry on your Save the Date or Invitation
In the South, we hate tacky and putting your registry info on your invitation or save the date is a wee bit on the tacky side. Tell your inner circle (see Mistake 4 above for confirmation of who they are) and let them disseminate that info for you. If you've set up a web page, you can share it there, but old fashioned as it sounds, word of mouth is still the best way to loop people in about where you are registered.
Mistake 6: You Crash Diet
There is nothing wrong with wanting to look your best on your wedding day, but drastically changing your diet to become a completely new person won't work. You should be you and look like you. Don't make yourself sick by trying to go from a size 14 to a size 2. If you want to adopt a healthier lifestyle before your wedding, good for you! We encourage that. But start a new regimen at least 6 months before your wedding date.
Mistake 7: There is too much time between the ceremony and the reception
Believe us: you've thought about this as a wedding guest: the time between the sweetest I Dos you've ever seen and the time when the drinks flow, dancing begins and toasts are made is way too long.
"Why don't we just sneak away? We can say something happened and we had to run off. There's a cool new restaurant 5 blocks from here and we're already dressed up! The bride won't notice!"
Well if you've thought about it then others have too. Too much time between the ceremony and the reception is a foul. Have an activity. Serve drinks. Let the band start playing fun music. Line folks up for signing the guest book while hors d'oeuvres are passed. You'll be glad you did.
Mistake 8: You feel that you HAVE to try an Up-Do.
Brides look angelic with their hair piled up and covered with a veil, but if it doesn't suit your face, don't do it. Princess Grace of Monoco - hair up. Princess Kate of Britain - hair down. Try it out before and see if it looks as amazing as you'd hoped. But it's YOUR DAY. The last thing you want is an Up-Don't.
More to come! If you are taking notes, stay tuned!
Bridal Traditions held our annual Wedding Expo in early March of this year and we were happy to see a gathering of great vendors and brides, grooms, parents and their pals eager to learn and make notes. This year Kelli Rodriquez of Embellished Events for You was our event Co-Sponsor.
Exhibitors in 2020 included wedding photographers like Cynthia Viola and Nicole Huffman, wedding venues like The Emerald Hill, Winding Creek Wedding Barn and Chapman Farmstead, A&J Rentals, Rustic Flair, Bliss Vacations, The Pearl & The Petal and Indulged Baked Goods, among many others.
We'd be remiss if we didn't thank our dear friends and tireless compatriots Misty and Ryan Case of Pixels on Paper for capturing photos of the Expo this year as in years passed.
BT is celebrating our 20th anniversary and it's time to pass the torch, after 13 years of hosting this massive event. When I started the Wedding Expo in 2007, it was a way to truly showcase what the vendors in our industry and our area could offer brides and grooms and the vendor list has always been impressive.
Now, we're happy to announce that Kelli and Embellished Events for You will be taking over as the event sponsor. We could not be more excited to see what she will do with this event. Good Luck, Kelli!
Yes, we're still celebrating 20 years in business and probably will continue to for some time. Two decades flew by and yet here we are still chugging along and loving what we do at BT. What I shared in the 20th Anniversary - Part 1 blog was a bit of the history - the Origin Story, if you will, and our growth, and commitment to community outreach and connection. That trip down memory lane was, well, …. a trip. I loved going through old images and remembering the specifics of those moments, days, celebrations and hard work. It reminded me for the thousandth time that no one person does something alone. It also reaffirmed that a girl with a dream can be unstoppable.
For this blog, I want briefly to touch on the more personal gains and revelations I've had from starting and owning my own business for 20 years.
Friendship & Teamwork
You know who you are. My support system consists of smart and funny friends, collaborators who make me better at what I do, my sisters in life and "mother confessors" and some fellow wedding vendors, sales reps and business-minded others who help me stay at the top of my game. I love these people to bits. They work with me, they laugh and cry with me, challenge me, lift me up, remind me of my priorities and have made me a better friend, wife and business owner. If you are just starting a business, I suggest having a team around you of those who love you and whom you trust.
There are friendships, collaborations and dreams fulfilled to be sure thanks to my friends, co-workers and family. Cold evenings getting ready for parades, many many late nights planning for the Wedding Expo, being a part of community events, reviewing and purchasing inventory, and helping brides and prom-goers find what they need are just a few of the things this tribe has helped me with, and all the while laughing. And yes, my dog Lexi is a member of the team.
As the owner of a bridal boutique, one of the biggest take-aways from my job over these two decades is the knowledge that there is a dress for every woman and we are all amazing, regardless of "shape."
Girls: listen to me. You are beautiful and so is your figure. You matter. You are loved. Of course we want to look our best, especially on our wedding day, and most women have a body issue they are dealing with.
I too have struggled with body image over the years, but I have also gained insight and wisdom, and I try to apply it when helping guests in my boutique. So I say - with conviction - when you come into BT, you are seen as a beautiful creature who deserves an amazing gown. Period. If you want to wear a dress that you love, a dress that makes you happy, you should! I love seeing girls try on something that they don't think will work - or society has told them is off limits - only to find out that they love it. It gives me a lump in my throat just remembering even a handful of those times, and there have been many. Supporting women in this way has been one of the greatest gifts in my professional life.
and trust yourself. If you are a little girl out there I hope you'll know that, for me, this has always been about more than gowns. I love them, don't get me wrong, but it has also been about following a path. As you learn who you are, you can begin to trust that knowledge. I want you to know that you can do it.
I'll say it again.
YOU CAN DO IT.
You who are wondering what you're made of...
You who love something but aren't sure that you can make a career out of it...
You who are just finding or developing your passion....
You who sees the hurdles might outweigh the positives....
I put one foot in the front of the other, day after day, year after year. I reached out to others, I prayed for discernment and I worked my buns off. I promise that no matter what, during the process of challenging yourself, you'll find that inner toughness and spark that comes not from some bolt out of the blue but from perseverance, faith and hard work. Even when I felt like I knew what I wanted but was unsure of getting it, I kept going, I kept trying, I kept asking questions. There's taking a chance and there are calculated risks. I like the calculated risk, but I also took chances. I just kept learning and the more I did, the better I was and that turned my passion into my livelihood. The girl who loved playing with Barbie's in evening gowns was suddenly a small business success story.
So I'll say it again: 20 years of business is a big milestone that I am so proud of, so humbled by and so grateful for. Thanks to every single one of you who have been a part of this journey and for all of you I cannot wait to meet and serve in the future. And to all the girls out there wondering: I believe in you.