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Morgan Barnette and Austin Staley were married in late September this year at The Barn at Blueberry Hill in Elkin, North Carolina. They met in Middle School, began dating in High School and have been together since. These two, under the marriage counseling advice of their officiant, wrote why they wanted to marry the other. While the couple exchanged private letters the morning of their wedding, the officiant read the purposeful paragraphs aloud during the ceremony. According to the bride and to others who attended the ceremony, it was one of the most memorable moments of the day.
"We had the best vendors! My kindergarten teacher, Jennifer Holman, was my wedding coordinator. When I say I could not have functioned without her, I mean it! The Scarlet Hen catered our reception - it was delicious and the presentation was beautiful! My Maid-of-Honor’s mother, Stephanie Austin, did our wedding cake/cupcakes. SO many people have told me it was the best cupcake they have ever eaten. One of my childhood best friends, Hailey Johnson, did mine and my bridesmaids’ hair, and my former college teammate and friend, Aubrey Mangum, did our makeup. They both made us feel so beautiful! Ashley Swofford photographed the entire day and Dillon Mangum of Three 5 Films was our videographer. Sandra from the Barn at Blueberry Hill was an absolute dream to work with and made the entire planning process a breeze. Austin and I were so blessed by our vendors. We are so thankful for everything they did to make our day so special!"
Morgan actually saw her dress on our Instagram feed and called to book her appointment. The dress was not in stock when she called, so she had to wait a few weeks, but once she tried it on, she was done. She told us it was the easiest shopping experience imaginable. First dress she tried on, she bought. And she looked like a Hollywood starlet in it. It fit her beautifully!
"I loved the low back of the dress and the fact that it was form-fitting while still being elegant. I also adored my veil, because the beading on the edges matched the beading on my dress perfectly."
CONGRATULATIONS to this sweet couple and best wishes on many happy years as husband and wife.
Photo cred: Ashley Swofford Photography
Oh, my goodness.... SIGH .... we just love veils. Think about the last time you wore a veil. Pretty much every Wednesday, right? Yeah, NO! They're ethereal, they're gorgeous, they are expansive, classy, elegant and they signal that the person wearing the veil is special. For centuries upon centuries, a woman in a veil cast a spell - whether she was a fictional heroine, a royal princess or a family member getting married. Veils are just special, so here's a little love up to The Bridal Veil - blog style.
Why Bother adding a Veil
First, let's have a quick review of why brides wore them in the first place. There's no reason this can't be educational AND fun, people.
One reason from ages (and AGES) ago was that they protected the bride from evil spirits that could besiege her if she were uncovered. It's similar to why we said and still say "Bless You" when someone sneezes: evil spirits could come in through your mouth while sneezing, so companions would say, "Bless You" to break any curse. The veil was protection.
Second, brides wore veils as a kind of "big reveal" in arranged marriages. We have reality shows now that do something similar, but we're not going there.
Veils were, and sometimes still are, worn as a sign of purity. They represented being untouched and unblemished by life and by menfolk. Finally, brides wear them because tradition dictates it and sometimes we just want to embrace traditions rather than flout them. We have lots of options for our weddings these days, and we have overturned so many of them. But for a wedding day, brides often like to go old school. And why not?
The bride above not only showcased her choice of veils by holding it out in photos, you can see that it adds to her overall silhouette. Veils complete a look in a way that a belt or hair piece can, but are certainly more traditional and dazzling.
Lots of Veil Choices
The most classic and common veil style is a U shaped veil that is gathered up into a comb. Some extend halfway down the gown or below the knew, like a waltz veil, some to the floor to mimic the length of the dress and train, and some are even longer, like the cathedral veil. A cathedral veil usually measures between 108 to 120 inches and tends to be the most formal and dramatic.
A "blusher" is the part that covers the bride's face and is lifted when the vows are completed or when the father of the bride "gives her away" or presents her to her spouse.
Some veils have lace, beading, both and others showcase an extremely thin line of stitching, peals, sequins or other embellishment. All should make the bride feel gorgeous and add to the silhouette or the entire gown and ensemble.
Lifting the Veil or a First Look
Brides and grooms are incorporating a "First Look" into their pre-ceremony routine more and more these days. Even if they cover their faces with a veil later during the ceremony, the first look allows for a precious moment. Below is a gorgeous example of a first look complete with veil.
If you want to see some of the veils we have at Bridal Traditions, here's a short clip.
Even better, we would love for you to stop by to chat with us about your engagement, your ideas for your gown and how a veil might complete your look.
Don't miss the opportunity to include a veil on your wedding day. They really are special.
Megan and Nathan Joplin were married in August of this year at her grandmother's house. She wore a crown and why not? What bride doesn't deserve one? Their outdoor ceremony was hot for sure (August in the South is no joke), but it was also colorful, private, and filled with lots of laughter and fun.
The couple met at work after being set up. Both Megan and Nathan are in property management and after their first date, they were both goners. When you know, you know.
What we love about the images from their wedding day was how small they kept the gathering and how much summer color they surrounded themselves with. So many blues, pinks, yellow and green made her champagne gown pop. These two prove that you don't need half the town and all the pomp of a parade to have a beautiful wedding.
Megan's mother-in-law to be at the time suggested that she come to us at Bridal Traditions to search for her gown and we're so happy that she did. Her only criteria were that it not be white and she thought she wanted sleeves. Oh how things change when you start trying on dresses.
She chose a strapless mermaid style gown, with lace and tulle at the bottom and said that when she put it on, she loved it instantly. [Side note: we at BT are more than happy to coax you if we think you're open to something you might not normally like. Sometimes, it completely flips the script!]
Megan also bought her veil and belt from BT to complete the look. She loved the sweetheart neckline and we agree that it's gorgeous on her. There's something about a shimmery champagne gown, a Duke University Blue Devils blue themed wedding (Nathan's a big fan) and a glass of champagne in a bride's hand that is magic.
Congratulations you two!! We wish you nothing but many years of joy in marriage and in life.
No matter how many times we see a photo like the one above, we're always moved. The veil that covers them both like a prayer after they've said their vows is not only symbolic, but beautiful.
These two are Laken Shelton (nee Brindle) and her new husband Tyler Shelton and Bridal Traditions loved being a part of their big day - as the bride's gown provider.
The Wedding Day
The wedding day was at The Barn at Heritage Farm - which Laken refers to as her dream venue - and it was about friends, family, a rustic barn feel and lots of sunflowers. They kept the wedding indoors, since the June heat was a bit much, and spent the reception enjoying their family. These two not only had a wedding cake, they set up a pound cake bar - truly cool - with cakes made by members of both families. We at BT wholly approve of this idea, for those of you looking for a dessert twist.
The Wedding Gown
Brides-to-be out there: take comfort. Laken only knew one thing when she started gown shopping. She wanted to look and feel good in her wedding gown. Sleeves, lace, cut, style, trend? She had no preference. She told us that what helped her the most was knowing that after she tried on several, and got a sense of what she liked, we were able to help her take her choice to the next level. "Kelly was able to help me turn this already beautiful dress into my absolute dream dress and I honestly couldn't be more thankful for that."
Her strapless gown for a summer wedding made perfect sense and she looked stunning in it. The flowing tulle and ballgown style, along with lace at the hem and rose gold accessories made her look light and frothy, like the young sunlit bride she was. Laken specifically loved the length of her train and her veil.
"BT played the biggest part in making the selection of my wedding dress. Kelly helped me find an already beautiful dress and then helped me envision the dress redesigned/changed to what I wanted in order to make it absolutely perfect. I got to customize my dress into the dress of my dreams thanks to her. This made my experience 10x’s better than I expected.
I honestly can’t find enough positive things to say about my experience with BT in finding my wedding dress. Kelly went above and beyond in helping me make my wedding dress dreams come true."