Courtney knew that the most important aspect of her wedding day would be ensuring that Christ was at the center of the ceremony just as they want Him to be the center of their marriage. Not everyone has that type of focus, but she did. He certainly was there, from the foot washing ceremony (representing service and Christ's sacrifice and dedication to others) to the vows themselves. Meet Courtney Parrish. She defined the day from the beginning.
Courtney is our upcoming BT Billboard Bride and we're thrilled to have this self-proclaimed "hippy at heart" represent us. To note: she mentioned that one of her special moments during the ceremony occurred when she didn't hand her bouquet off after reaching Woody at the alter, but held on to it. When a butterfly landed on it, she had the presence of mind and heart to take note. It takes that type of attention and heart and Courtney has both. Her intentions for this big day in her life were quite clear though, as stated before: Keep Christ front and center. Here's she is in her own words:
"Our ceremony was outside in a field, something I had always dreamed of for my wedding. The weather was gorgeous and we could not have asked for a more perfect day! We had precious flower girls who did not throw out a single petal from their baskets, but it didn't matter because they stole the show with how adorable they were.
We started our ceremony with a worship song and then had a foot washing ceremony. One of the most precious moments of our ceremony to me was when our wedding party of bridesmaids and groomsmen gathered around us, laid on hands and prayed for us and for our marriage. It was so empowering to hear so many people we love surrounding us and praying for us and praising God for us. We have so many people who have been such a huge encouragement and blessing in our lives that we couldn't imagine spending this most important day without them around us and worshiping with us."
This couple wanted people to mingle and talk to each other so instead of a formal situation, they had quilts and cocktail tables and chose foods that were there personal favorites like pizza bagels (Woody! the groom) and chicken nuggets (our BT bride) and the fruits and veggies for those who want to watch their figures.
These two met on a summer project for The Summit Church and began the crush stages of their relationship. They moved on from there to share their interests in and love for the show One Tree Hill, dressed up as characters, sent each other in-jokes and worked through college roommates, friends and family until finally Woody asked how many dates it would take to make Courtney his girlfriend. Their growing endearment, shared interests and relationship, ears for God's wishes for them, and time with family secured it and Woody proposed to Courtney on the beach in cool March temps and the rest is history.
We love a love story and their's is pretty great. We also love her dress and that she chose to buy it from our boutique! Courtney, like most of us, did not want to break the bank when it came to dress budget. Listen up ladies!! It's doable. Look how gorgeous she is and she had her specifics the way all brides do:
"I did not want anything over-the-top or super-sparkly and I am not a big fan of the mermaid style or anything poofy. I wanted 'natural beauty meets princess.'"
We had it. Flowy, chic and with the lace that Courtney was keen on. What she found was more her than anything that she'd pinned on Pinterest was one of our gowns that captured the bohemian, care-free vibe she was going for. "It was also timeless and just absolutely beautiful and had the 'flowiness' that I was looking for, but was more princess than I dreamed of finding!"
Courtney told us she wanted a dress that would be perfect in a field of wildflowers - like her ceremony... something between Blake Lively and Vanessa Hudgens - classic and bohemian. We loved being able to give it to her! She loved how her dress felt like two dresses in one with fit and flair and the pearl necklace she chose that hung down in the back completed the look. All of it made her feel special and that makes us so happy too!
"Kelly made sure that I had the attention I needed to select a dress. She told me that as long as I loved the dress that everything else wouldn't matter. The venue and all else would fall into place, because I would feel beautiful. She gave me her honest opinion and paid attention to my reactions. Her suggestions were helpful, and even through my indecisiveness, she was patient and kind."
We love Courtney and Woody and wish them only the best on their journey. Keep your focus on your values and each other. We at BT love you both!
Sweet Savannah Brinegar (nee Woodie) is next in our new tradition of promoting and lovin' up our BT brides and both she and her gown were picture perfect on July 15th when she married Michael on a mountaintop. These are something we in this area have access to for hiking, exploring and gorgeous weddings. At Old Orchard Creek Farm, they assembled outside with what Savannah referred to as “perfect weather” and no rain plan.
“If it rained, we were just going to buy 200 umbrellas and dance in the rain.” You love her already, right? So do we! The couple and their family and friends enjoyed not only the scenery of the mountain views, but especially the reception where everyone did indeed dance and had a blast celebrating a new partnership.
:Savannah was one of those brides who made her plan with specific considerations in mind; she thought beyond “what looks good on me?” The wedding location was important and being swathed in layers and layers of taffeta or a big puffy skirt wasn’t going to work. She ended up choosing a gown that was mountaintop appropriate, comfortable and still true to her personality.
"I was not about to walk across the top of a mountain in a huge white dress that's just not what I wanted. I was dress shopping with my aunt when I found my dress, I sent my mom pictures and she was not crazy about it, I convinced her we had to make the drive to Wilkes so she could see it in person. I knew it was the one! She will admit on the day of my bridal pictures that she was wrong and the dress was perfect. I was comfortable and it fit my personality perfectly and I loved the lace details on my dress and the color.
No one at BT ever gave up on trying to find me the right dress even after trying on so many different ones, and everyone helped me choose when I knew it was the dress I wanted. The dress was also unique and unlike dresses I had looked at in other stores."
Other vendor shout outs go to:
Studio Roxie Photography - "They perfectly captured every angle of my wedding and made taking the photos so much fun."
Old Orchard Creek Farm - "They gave me the perfect location to celebrate and dance the night away. I was the perfect setting for my country wedding."
Our Sidewalk Sale in July - remember the outdoor version?? - was a success and we loved being able to provide discounts deals for ladies looking for a gorgeous gown or dresses, accessories and more.
So, we're hosting an indoor Winter version of this event. November the 18th
10 am to 2 pm
This is a cash & carry event, so grab your trusted besties & come prepared to view & purchase.
One Day Only - Cash Only
Clearance Bridal Gowns | $100 and UNDER
Clearance Formal/Prom Gowns | $50 and UNDER
Current Bridal Gowns | 15%-25% off
Other Prom/Formal | $100 - $200
Accessories: Bras, Jewelry, Shoes, Headpieces, Men's Vests, etc. | $10 and UNDER
First come first serve, no holds or layaways, selection and prices will vary. Only select merchandise will be on sale at the prices listed.
What makes Bridal Traditions different from other bridal shops, either online or in bricks and mortar boutiques? We're glad you asked, because these key differences, we believe, make us the best place to shop for one of the biggest days of your life.
For starters, BT provides private label gowns and dresses to our clients so that they can enjoy the same quality while saving money. Private label gowns are typically 40%-50% less than advertised gowns. BT gowns are not advertised, and by that we mean ANYWHERE. Advertising is expensive and the mark-up is passed along to the customer.
BT offers the same quality as brand name designers. The gowns we curate and sell are made with quality materials and structure, like boning, a built-in bra, and 1-2 linings in the bodice for coverage and fully-lined to the length of the dress. Some gowns need 3-4 linings for structure and support and we sell those as well.
Finally, our gowns are extremely well-designed, creative, and gorgeous. I sometimes think an engineering degree must be a part of designing wedding gowns, because the gowns and dresses we carry are consistently amazing in both design and fit. They are made in the same factories as the more expensive gowns and with the same designs, unlike "knockoffs" which, sadly, are often made in sweatshops, using child labor and substandard materials.
We've been reaching out to brides lately to get their thoughts about their gowns and the experience of working with us and there is nothing more pleasing than seeing approvals come through email.
"The staff at Bridal Traditions is so knowledgeable about gowns and so friendly. I feel like it is very important to have that welcome feeling when you walk into a store, and that is exactly how I felt when I went into BT. All the questions I had were quickly answered. I felt like they were in the hunt with me."
We hope you'll join us this weekend to shop our gowns, save some money and let us serve you. It would be our pleasure!
Bridal Traditions is starting a new tradition that we’re extremely excited about: we’re profiling our beloved clients who’ve said yes to a gown and have agreed to share a bit about their big day with us.
On paper, Bridal Traditions is about retail sales, right? In real life, we believe that we’re about service and dream fulfillment and occasionally mind-reading, but that’s another blog. We act as advocates, cheerleaders, (sometimes enablers), but more than anything, we listen, show care and provide the best service. Thank God our clients think so too. I hope it goes without saying that we LOVE our brides and their tribes and are honored to be part of their wedding prep and experience..
Our inaugural profile is of a bride who’s now a friend and we’re such fans of her style, class, sweetness and authenticity. Allison Blackburn – we adore you, girl!
Allison and Kenneth were married on June 10th of this year at the Barn at Blueberry Hill in Elkin, NC in what was both an elegant and rustic ceremony. Some people can pull it off with the dress and details and Allison is one of those ladies. While it was outside in the summertime and the scenery played a role, this wedding also maintained elements of the traditional, the tender and deeply personal.
Allison’s nephews gave her away and her first dance, in the absence of her father, was with her mom. She shared that one of her favorite moments from the wedding was seeing her husband begin to cry when he first saw her. Those moments are always touching, but when your husband-to-be is not known for being emotional, it’s particularly memorable and sweet.
This couple is outdoorsy – Kenny’s an avid and occasional competitive cyclist and Allison is a runner working toward the next half-marathon – and they spend as much time as they can outside exploring, exercising or playing with their 3 dogs - and you KNOW how much we love dogs. Allison wanted their wedding to have that same outdoor, relaxed and charming feel, and it did. She, of course, was gorgeous in her gown and that’s where we came in.
When it was time to buy her dress, we were so happy Allison came to Bridal Traditions. She’d purchased bridesmaid dresses from us before and her sister was a BT Bride a few years ago. (Did we mention we’re in love with this whole family?) This time she came to us armed with some ideas she’d seen in magazines – the patented bride-to-be’s habit – and her team, made up of her two sisters, her mom, her mother-in-law-to-be and her friend Katie. While some brides have a specific inspiration or a governing “must,” Allison said she had more of a vision in her mind.
“I wanted something very classy and elegant. I knew I wanted a lacey and detailed dress with an open back. And I knew I wanted to be comfortable in the dress. Originally, I wanted something very simple and country, but when I laid eyes on the dress I ended up with, I knew it was the one! It was absolutely gorgeous and very detailed, but I loved the back of the dress most. The lace and other details made it really eye-catching. I wouldn’t have gone with anything else.”
Because of the summer season, the setting and her specific ideas for the dress, no sleeves and no back were a no-brainer. Everything came together and we always want that for clients. No one wants to say, I picked the best of several ‘OK’ options and just settled.
“I bought my gown at BT mainly because of Kelly’s expertise. She is so knowledgeable about gowns and is so friendly. I feel like it is very important to have that welcome feeling when you walk into a store, and that is exactly how I felt when I went into BT. I’ve bought bridesmaids dresses from her before, so I knew how great she was to work with. Everyone that works at BT is so friendly and willing to help in any way they can. All the questions I had were quickly answered. I also loved the fact that I could send an email and receive a prompt response. I have a very busy job and email always works best for me, so that was really nice to have that option available.”
We loved seeing the wedding photos from Allison and Kenny’s wedding, so much so that she ended up being our summer billboard featured bride this year as well. We’re also beyond happy that we could help not only give her the dress she wanted, but work to take her vision and make it a tangible reality.
[We had to include this shot of a spider crawling up Allison's dress, spooking her and startling the guys. Well, except for the gentleman second from the left. He seems fine.]
Allison and Kenny: we wish you guys nothing but happiness, laughter, adventure, fast bike rides, personal bests during half-marathons, and many decades of happy marriage.
Photos: Danielle Flake Photography