The Couple & The Day
Haley Richardson and Brandon Bell were married in July this year at The Barn at Heritage Farm. It was a rustic, simple and elegant and the couple invited 150 people to celebrate with them. They both come from huge families and have tons of friends, so while it was not a big wedding, everyone they loved was able to be there.
Haley: "One of the funniest moments I recall from the wedding day was when our nephew Houston walked off during the portrait-taking after the wedding and said 'Pictures suck!; He got fussed at by his mommy for this and brought back over to the picture scene where Brandon said 'We are almost done buddy' to which Houston replied 'Oh yeah, sure!' in the most sarcastic 5 year old voice possible!!"
The bride also shared a particularly poignant moment during her walk down the aisle. Brandon saw her started to cry and then, "the whole wedding party, and everyone attending, just lost it. In our wedding video everyone is wiping their eyes during my entrance! It was truly the sweetest moment I have had this far in my life. I will never forget that moment as long as I live."
Brandon and Haley have a fairly typical love story that began 5 years ago with a friendship, a relationship, a break-up and then finding their way back to each other. The second time was the charm and they've been inseparable since. What is NOT typical is the proposal. These two love the Atlanta Braves and at a Braves game, he proposed and she was blown away. They are still baseball fans and basketball lovers as well. Brandon is a teacher and basketball coach and Haley is an administrative assistant. They live at the top of a property in Windy Gap with incredible views. "We are so lucky and happy to be where we are!"
Haley is in that special group of women who knew what she wanted, found her dress and never wavered. She wanted it to be fitted and for her chest to be covered and once she found her dress, she stuck with it. She told us that even if she'd had a winter wedding, this would have been her dress. When it works, it works, y'all.
"It was love at first sight! I tried on maybe two other dresses while I was at Bridal Traditions, but I knew my dress was my dress the first time I saw it. We added lace on the back and around the side to take some of the razor cut off the gown. It was perfect and made me feel so much more comfortable."
At BT, we are happy to talk through what is and isn't possible when customizing a dress and we have a list of reputable alterations specialists we can refer brides to. Haley told us that the customization really made it "hers" and that she also appreciated that we reassured her that it wasn’t too early to buy the dress and have it altered to fit.
All of the wedding party attire was purchased or rented from Bridal Traditions including tuxes and the clothes for the flower girl and ring bearer. Obviously we appreciate it when we can be the sole provider, but it also allows the bride to know that everything is consistent and her vision for the wedding party will be realized.
This sweet bride left us with a bit of parting wisdom to share with all of you brides-to-be out there and it's worth repeating: "You don't realize how quickly it's going to all be over. Try to soak up your special day moment by moment, no matter how hard it is because it goes by so FAST!"
Photo Cred: Pyatt’s Photography
While we feel pretty confident in the arenas of wedding and prom fashion, men's suits and tuxedos, the cuts, trends, dos and don'ts around wedding day wardrobe, we can't put a stake in the ground and say, "We Also Own the Marriage Advice Field." In fact, we wouldn't dream of it. We know what we know from our own lives and those of wise people close to us.
It's in that spirit that we offering some gentle, but extremely savvy counsel we've found, heard and learned from personal experience.
Keep it Simple
Wrapping up the planning and execution of a wedding, reception and honeymoon will leave you feeling like you might be able to pull off a Super Bowl halftime ceremony. You and your mate may want to buy and fix up a house, start a brand new business based on a half-baked idea, adopt 3 puppies from the "pound", decide overnight to become full time missionaries, .... you see where we're going? Pace yourselves.
Keep it simple.
You will be amazed at how much you'll still need to learn about each other, about each other's habits, whims, talents and failings and you can't do the most important thing in a marriage - BEING A COUPLE - if you're scurrying around chasing things that can be put on hold.
Deal with Your Own Family
This one almost doesn't need to be explained in this age of confessional social media posts and evolution of self-help books, blogs, podcasts and pre-marital counseling. But it's important, and family interference can cause friction in your own marriage.
Some families are meddlers and eager advice-givers, gossips, and the like. They may assume that you're up at 3 am hoping they'll call to tell you how to run your marriage, life, finances and pantry. Other families are so contained and quiet your mate may wonder if they care at all. Regardless, if YOUR family ruffles his or her feathers, speak directly to your family and smooth things over. If they need to apologize to your beloved, ask them to. It's a brave new world of openness and we all need to get along. Plus, YOUR marriage is ultimately none of THEIR business.
Watch Your Budget
It's that simple and it's THAT HARD. Create a budget. Live within your means. Communicate about what you want to prioritize into your lives and what can wait.
Now say that out loud and send this to your spouse.
People break up over money. It's a serious thing, so be arm and arm about it. Be a team.
Put Respect for Each Other Above All Else
How you treat each other in private is a thing, and how you treat each other in group settings is a BIG thing. Tread lightly and think before you speak when you're hanging with friends, even those you've known for a while, but maybe your spouse is new to.
Treat each other the way you want to be treated. Sometimes wanting to have fun or get your way may mean making your mate feel unheard or misunderstood. If you communicate and show respect for your spouse's wishes and values, you won't find yourself arguing and apologizing later.
And if you need to say something a little "pointed" to your mate: do it in private. Being disrespectful in public is embarrassing and those in your company will not remember the argument, but how poorly you treated your soulmate.
Learn How To Fight with Grace
Learn how to fight with grace AND with an eye to the goal of keeping yourselves strong as a team. Tearing down your partner to win a single argument when you hope to have a lifetime together is a bad idea. (Ask anyone who's been married more than a decade.) You're playing the long game. Put your ego aside. Don't be a bully. AND! Don't be a doormat. Think about what would hurt you and refrain from saying that to your mate. And demand that they do the same. "We love each other! Let's act like it!"
You'll learn this over time, but there are very few "hills to die on." Pick your battles and fight when it's a real issue that matters. Spoiler alert: NOT EVERY ISSUE MATTERS. If you fight about new napkin rings, brands of dryer sheets, whether or not you're taller or whose version of the story is accurate, then when you really want to take a stand about something of substance, you'll just sound like The Crabby One who must always win.
Don't be The Crabby One.
Spend Time Together & Apart
We know those people who want to spend every waking moment hip to hip in a booth sipping from the same shake with two different straws. Time together to download your day and confab is important.
Time apart is incredibly important too. Have you heard the phrase "familiarity breeds contempt"? Well.... it happens. Sometimes too much time together creates unnecessary friction. This can also apply to in-laws, and that's all we'll say about that.
Do Not Take Each Other for Granted
It sounds trite, but remember why you fell in love and why you got married. You will have moments when you think you've moved away from each other because you've gotten distracted by work or you're constantly changing as a human being.
Remember that you're a team and that you're both contributing to this marriage thing. If you take your partner for granted, it says two things: (1) your priorities are skewed and (2) you're ok with your mate feeling neglected, unappreciated, invisible, or irrelevant.
Acknowledge each other! Say Thank You when a small service, like emptying the dishwasher, has been rendered. Understand that those small and large efforts to make the marriage strong are done in love and show appreciation for them..
Ask for Counsel
Find a couple who've been married a long time and befriend them. To tell you the truth, it's better if they are NOT family. Couples who don't have an agenda, but have tons of wisdom and life experience would love to share their thoughts and advice about what is on your heart.
If you need to unpack an issue, argument or tough decision, these couples make great sounding boards and they have no skin in the game. You're someone else's family! Plus - looking to and learning from other generations just makes sense. If you're going through it...... they've already arrived on the other side and can point out the land mines.
Finally, focus on what you have more than what you don't have. All things happen in good time.
Big News for the Guys...
We are not just about rentals anymore.
We now have the top trending suits for retail sale! More grooms want to own their suits, and men do indeed get more use than just their wedding day. So BT decided to meet the demand and we have brought 13 different style samples into the store to make ordering easier!
As an authorized Jim's Formal Wear retailer we are able to offer you access to a quality line of tuxedos, suits and accessories for purchase, in-store and online. Find ensembles ideal for your wedding, destination wedding, prom, homecoming, black tie event or any occasion where a tux or suit is appropriate.
We also have an assortment of bow ties, pocket squares, vests and suspenders available to order or take home that day!
How it works!
You can order suits either in-store or through the online order portal.We stock one sample of the top trending suits in the collection. Sample coat sizes range from 36-50, and pants from 30-44, making it easy to see the color, fabric, and size options firsthand. (Other sizes are available for order although not all are stocked in-store.) Once you have decided on your size, style and color preference we will place your order with the warehouse. Orders typically take 3 days to arrive, as long as the suit is not on back order. We recommend ordering sooner rather than later, just in case.
These two met in neighboring cribs. Kidding, but it's close. They were in daycare together and they still love to joke that their story began when they were first learning to talk. Actually Brittney and Jeremy met via a mutual friend in high school and began dating after a series of effortless conversations. Once Brittney started college however, it was easier to be friends and they settled for that instead.
Flash forward to several years later when they reunited and began talking again. They went on
their second first date on August 5, 2016. It was as if we picked up where we left off. Jeremy proposed on October 10, 2017, which is the anniversary of when I had to have open heart surgery as a child. That day has always been a special day that my family and I celebrate. When Jeremy proposed he said, “Even though they fixed your heart years ago, I want to be the one who takes care of it and protects it forever.” And she said yes, of course! They couple were married at the Gambill Estate in May of 2019.
The Wedding Day
Brittney: "We both love the outdoors. From the time I started thinking about my wedding day when I was a little girl, I always imagined it outside. We found a venue in Roaring River called Gambill Estate, and one of their locations for a ceremony was on a beautiful hillside next to a tree that is over 100 years old and the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background as far as you could see. This was the location we picked.
On our tour day when we booked, Gambill Estate was starting new construction on what would become a beautiful wooden pavilion with recessed lighting and decorative iron railings. This was where we could accommodate extra guests, so the plan was to have indoor and outdoor seating for our reception, but due to the increased chances of rain on wedding day, we chose to have the ceremony at the pavilion. This way we could have the best of both worlds. Our ceremony was still outdoors, but it was covered. We chose to have a rustic/country theme.
I loved the trend of rustic/barn weddings and it was really beautiful."
Brittney watched the weather like a trained meteorologist for weeks and even spent several days before the wedding on a massive search for clear umbrellas (which they ended up using for photos). Ladies who plan an outdoor wedding know that the struggle is real, the actual day started with rain but it ceased in time for the ceremony. You never know! Plan for the worst and expect good things.
"When I started looking for my wedding dress, I thought I wanted something with a lot of lace or all lace and more form fitting and not too “poofy.” Since I wanted an outdoor wedding, I didn’t think I wanted a dress with a train or a veil. I wanted it to be white, not ivory or any other color. I knew I didn’t want a strapless dress, and I wasn’t a big fan of the mermaid or trumpet style dresses on myself. My goal was to try to spend $1,000 or less.
But, I did not stick with my original vision of my dress. There was a dress that I tried on that was all lace and form fitting. I had seen it online, and I knew this was going to be the one. I tried it on and hated it! Then, my mom picked out an ivory A-line style that had a good amount of lace detail, a belt made into it, a short train, and several layers to it that gave it a little “poof” but not
much. She insisted that I try it on, and I fell in love!"
Brittney was certain that she didn't want a veil, but we encouraged her to try one before leaving our boutique. She told us that once it was on, and she saw that the lace matched her dress and where it hit her at the hip, she "felt like a bride." BT also stored the gown for her. She purchased it in January of 2018, but married 16 months later. We're happy to do this when brides need us to.
Brittney's bridesmaids robes and dresses came from Bridal Traditions as did Brittney's jewelry and the Groom and groomsmen's suits, minus the jeans ;)
This Registered Nurse at Wake Forest Baptist Health-Wilkes Medical Center and Site Coordinator for Communities in Schools at North Wilkesboro live in Miller's Creek and love going to movies, concerts, taking walks with our little beagle, Snoopy, and spending time with friends and family.
Congratulations to this lovely couple on their future together and we're so happy that we were a part of their day.