Hearing these bride's stories has been so much fun so far and we just started a month ago. What we're learning - more than anything - is the measure of kindness and patience and preparation we at BT provide (WE LOVE YOU TOO) and the amount of hope our brides bring with them. So many have an idea or a loose plan and then, with listening and an open mind, they choose a gown that didn't necessarily fit their initial vision.
Lovely Kayla Hayes Dowell represents that profile. Curve balls in finding your mate and finding your dress are a real thing.
These two had several connections through family and school, but didn't really find each other until Andrew made an impression on Kayla and her parents at a restaurant. She made a mental note and months later reached out to him. The rest is history.
"All along I had asked him what he thought my dress would look like and he always described it with sleeves. Probably because that was my original plan but my mind was quickly changed when I tried on my dress. He was shocked but absolutely loved it. After the initial walk down the aisle with a few tears shed by both of us we could not stop grinning and laughing. We were so happy and giddy."
"We decided we wanted a small private wedding with just close friends and family and then a larger reception for extended family and friends to attend. The wedding ceremony was in a hayfield with hay bales as seats. We had a beautiful arch in the middle of the field that was built by Andrew and his dad. The officiant of our wedding is the same officiant that married my mom and dad."
Kayla did not stick with her original plan, but instead went with an "almost strapless" dress. Sleeves SHMLESSVES!! She choose a dress with spaghetti straps, lace and more beading than she thought she wanted originally and with lovely tulle.
"Once I tried it on I knew it was the dress. I wanted something that was flattering, and would be beautiful and work at an outside wedding. The weather was cooler of course, a November wedding, but I only got cold as the sun went down. I had so many layers of tulle that my legs stayed warm on top of the adrenaline and nervousness, so I was fine."
Bridal Traditions sold Kayla's sister her wedding dress last year and they are two of the sweetest girls we've ever worked with. Their family was also so kind and involved and most of them truly seemed to want Kayla to have the dress that SHE wanted ... not many pushy opinions in that bunch - always refreshing.
One of the things we love about working with brides is making sure that they do get what they want and feel supported. We're confident that this was true for Kayla. She not only looked beautiful, but is surrounded by LOVE!!
Love. Faith. Comic moments and tender touches. Spring and spring flowers....These are the major themes of the wedding of Sarah Palacio (nee Leonall)) to Steven Palacio in Charlotte, NC in April of 2017. As Sarah told us, "it was perfect in every way!"
Sarah was surrounded by her beloved sisters and parents who made the preparations on the wedding day special. This bride gave her father a special tie when he came to see her in her gown - the "first look" moment. The two are very close, so perhaps her gift was a kinder answer to a more comic gesture on his part at the rehearsal. Here's the back story:
"When my parents got married my father came to the rehearsal with a ball and chain attached to his leg. My father joked that he was going to get it and change the date to the date of our wedding and I honestly thought he had forgotten about it until the church doors opened and I saw it attached to my groom’s leg. I burst out laughing!!"
Sarah and Steven met at a college event - Christmas caroling to be specific - when she decided that she wanted to be more active with the Christian groups at school. Even though they were both interested in other people, they became and stayed friends.
The "non-couple" (hee!) eventually ended up attending a Christian Conference called "Passion" in December of 2015. At the event, Sarah said she was clueless that Steven was going out of his way to spend time around her but her girlfriend's kept telling her that he liked her. They were right. He called her a month later and asked her out. That was their beginning. They are now planning a life together, with Steven finishing up a degree in athletic training and Sarah completing her ambulatory pharmacy residency at Campbell University.
We, of course, loved hearing that Sarah was happy with her experience at BT. She was living in Charlotte and made the drive to our shop because she'd heard good things about us from her best friend who'd purchased her gown and the bridesmaids dresses at BT. Our goal is always to be prepared, helpful, and to make clients feel at home. No judgement! We're here to serve, empower and make the experience fun. Brides have enough stress. We LOVED working with Sarah and cracked up A LOT with her. She has a great sense of humor and each time she visited there was plenty of laughter. That show of faith, her making the drive to us, meant so much, so we were ready to help her find the right gown based on her answers to our pre-meeting questions and her short list of musts.
Sarah knew that she wanted a strapless gown with a sweetheart neckline, but didn't have any specific models, dresses or inspirations as guidelines. In the past for proms and big formal occasions, she's purchased more ball gowns with large flowing skirts. She told us that when she saw this dress, tried it on and "felt like a bride" she knew it was the one. It met her must haves, looked amazing on her and was a decisive change-up.
"When picking bridesmaids' dresses for my best friends wedding, I noticed that every time we visited the store, the staff was friendly and helpful. To me that was everything. When I went for my dress I wanted to go to a place that felt that way. So even though I lived in Charlotte at the time, I drove up to Bridal Traditions because I knew I would have a great experience there.
"I love the beading on my gown, the sweat-heart neckline, the corset, the silhouette, the lace that peeked out at the bottom. I also loved that Bridal Traditions asked me questions about my wedding before my appointment and had dress options waiting for me when I got there. Everyone was so great and made my dress buying experience perfect. It was like buying my dress from a family member instead of a store. I also liked the little signs that they had for my family to vote for the dress they liked. I was also so glad that they were able to fit me in as my little sister was only in town for a few short days."
As with all of our BT brides, we're so happy for her and her husband and so proud to have been a part of their day and look forward to hearing how their lives grow together over the years. Nothing but love to you guys and your families!
Dear Clients, Friends and Members of our community:
Like all of you, we are looking forward to the holiday break and to sharing real downtime with those we love. It sounds cliché, but this season is one of reflecting on our blessings in life and the blessings of 2017. The Bridal Traditions family counts each of you as one of those blessings and I would just like to say a heart-felt thanks to you for the patronage, support, laughs and for letting us be a part of one of life's greatest milestones.
Here is to the year behind us and the year ahead! And to gorgeous weddings, happy brides and bridal parties and a continued sense of community and how much we matter to each other and how much we truly affect each other's lives in loving, powerful and meaningful ways.
A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS & BLESSINGS TO YOU ALL!
This love story started in middle school when Michelle developed - developed as in "worked at it", < grin > - a crush on Randy Sparks, who was a boy 4 and half years her senior (he still is for those of you bad at math). They grew up on neighboring farms and despite the fact that both sets of parents tried to arrange situations where they might meet, they didn't until they were adults. Michelle: "Randy has a strong faith and believes that everything happens for a reason. and at the exact right time, and said that we were not supposed to meet until later in life, when we did."
They went on a first date and chatted about how they shared farm life, both loved riding 4-wheelers, went to the same hairdresser and how both have a strong faith in God. Michelle said they both sort of knew. She's a funny girl and cracked him up and now will for life. Pretty sweet, huh?
Michelle and Randy got married in October of this year at Cody Creek in Dobson, NC.
"Our wedding ceremony was outside at 4:30 in the afternoon with approximately 200 guests. We choose the venue because it was right near our first date and the adjacent banquet hall included a waterfall and a wonderful archway for our backdrop.
We did have a couple of goofs as the preacher tried to give my husband his ring to give to me and then I tried to take the preacher's ring from his hand to give to my husband. We had some good laughs throughout the ceremony including some tears in the beginning from my husband and my mom. We finished off with another good laugh when I almost tripped over my dress walking out of the ceremony but luckily my husband caught me."
"We thoroughly enjoyed the entire wedding weekend experience. Everything required a lot of hard work but in the end the decorations and venue turned out amazing and we could not have asked for better weather as the sun came out right at the end of our ceremony. This made for some awesome pictures. It was great seeing two families become one and everyone working together to ensure that our wedding day was the greatest day of our lives."
Michelle came to Bridal Traditions knowing that she didn't want anything that was covered in lace, but she did want a gown that had a sense of the romantic and wanted a sort of Cinderella flair at the bottom. She ended up with a slightly different version, but the design sense was the same: allow her to feel like a princess.
The time of year also played a part in their wedding day because they both love pumpkins, autumn, cool temps, mums, hay bales, etc., so the combination of farm, fall and the great outdoors were all included in the wedding color palate. The orange wraps on the bridesmaids were a genius touch with their deep blue dresses. The day of the wedding, it was 75 degrees, so Michelle was grateful for the cap sleeves and that she didn't need the white shawl she's chosen just in case.
Michelle was drawn to the gown she chose because of those sleeves, the sequins at the top and the overall style. She went with an off-white color so that it could be more fall-like. "The sequins all over at the top gave it a great sparkle and I thought that was perfect for the greatest day of my life! And my favorite accessory was my garter, made from the excess fabric from my gown."
"BT played a major part in the selection; they helped me order the gown in the off-white color that was not in stock. Kelly was awesome to work with and made an effort to get to know me and others in my bridal party personally throughout the whole process."
At BT, we want this experience of buying and for the day itself for every bride who chooses gowns, dresses, and accessories from us. It's always so gratifying when we hear that the day was what our bride envisioned. We sort of celebrate along with them.
Thanks to other vendors!
Whitney Goddard with Purple Moon Cakes for the wedding cake and cupcakes.
Jeremy and Debbie Deal with LunahZon Photography "did an excellent job capturing all the major and minor moments of our wedding day for us and we want to give a special shout-out to Misty and Ryan Case of Pixels On Paper as they started the journey with us very early on but due to special circumstances (birth of their son!) were not able to be with us on our wedding day.
Michelle also wanted to thank Laurie Horton for doing an amazing job on all the girl’s hair on our wedding day.
Michelle and Randy: we wish you nothing but joy and those crack ups, walks along the farm, and harmony for the rest of your lives!
... and scams to your right. Every catalog, every website, every store front puts its best foot forward in promotions, but the proof really is in the pudding. You order or buy and see what arrives. Sometimes that pudding has the fine film of scum on top.
You with me? It looks amazing; in fact is looks too good to be true because it is.
Photo credit and credit for the rather disappointing news that scammers are EVERYWHERE goes to Bridalbeware.com. You owe it to yourself to visit their site as you choose your dress and make your own smart moves..
This..... above..... will make a grown woman cry.
Here's an excerpt from a BridalWire.com article:
When Aiste Ray found her dream dress, which usually retailed for $1,300, for sale online for only $320, she jumped at the chance to save hundreds of dollars. But as she told ABC News, the dress that arrived looked nothing like she expected – the wrong beading and the wrong color.
“It looked like a high school project,” she said.
First, although these discount websites may include photos of real designer dresses, the photos were likely stolen off the designers’ websites. Customers are led to believe they’ll be receiving an exact copy of the dress in the picture, without realizing the photos don’t depict the gown the manufacturer will create.
What you actually receive can be scary. ....the lace, beading, and even color can be completely different than the original design. It’s often not even sewn together properly. The dresses are usually manufactured in China and cannot be returned for a refund or for alterations. “Once you give them your credit card, I don’t even know if the credit card company will stand behind you,”
Things to consider and red flags to look for:
– There’s no money back guarantee. There might not even be any contact information or return policy listed on the website; or, if there is, the website may not actually respond or honor returns. Seek out customer reviews of the website to see what other shoppers’ experiences have been like.
– The company doesn’t have an alterations department or brick-and-mortar store you can visit to see the dresses in person. If you buy online from a legitimate seller, like BHLDN or J. Crew, you can always go to the store if you have problems or complaints.
– The website isn’t listed on the designer’s website as an authorized retailer. Authorized retailers are the only stores allowed to sell a designer’s gowns. Anyone else claiming to sell them is likely selling counterfeits.
– The price sounds too good to be true. A $3,000 dress for $400? It’s probably not the real thing! Read the entire article....
Our team at BT can help you avoid buying cheap and buying knockoff. We offer gowns and dresses that are less expensive because the creators and distributors have decided not to spend hundreds of thousands on advertising. They make excellent and well-made products and deliver them to boutiques like ours where we can help clients like you find the perfect fit.
We welcome the opportunity to show you the difference and help you navigate until you find the right gown.
This is only the first in the Knock Off series. Stay tuned, ladies!
is Faith Church.
How's that for a great name?
This young woman is our Miss beYOUtiful 2017 and we're thrilled.. She is already a young woman of vision, of service, is working on her education and planning next steps, and she is no where near ready to stop. Her faith, love of family, community and animals guide her and ground her.
Faith is 17 years old and a Senior at North Wilkesboro High School and, according to the photos below - CRAZY about cats.
Faith is also a varsity cheerleader, swimmer and the Captain of the Golf team. We assume she finds time to sleep between school, extracurriculars and horses. She's also a member of too many clubs to count, but they do include the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Beta Club, Latin Club, the National Technical Honor Society and National Society of High School Scholars.
Finally, she has won honors and been an intern with businesses associated with her love of animals.
This is our 4th year of crowning a Miss beYOUtiful and part of being our representative is having all of those attributes that Faith clearly has and is NOT based on her looks, shape, size or any other ethnic or cultural characteristics. Faith chose a dress to wear for the annual Christmas parade (we let her borrow it for the day) and she gets a crown and sash to keep as her reminder of the day and the honor. This year, the parade was Saturday, December 2nd and it was CHILLY. Faith and the maids who flanked her bundled up under their gowns and were gorgeous troopers.
Faith's attendants were Stacie Shumate (pale blue) and Erica Walker (royal blue). They too were wearing layers and dresses from our shop and were such sports.
The amazing local photographers, Misty and Ryan Case of Pixels on Paper invited the ladies into their studio in Wilkesboro to capture them in all of their glory and the photos don't disappoint. Hair for Faith and Stacie was made extravagant by Claire Rhoades at Bliss Salon and a thank you goes to Champion Towing for use of their truck for the parade. Thanks to everyone else who helped us with what we anticipate will be a long running annual event for BT.
We look forward to watching this marvelous young woman take on the world in the years to come and thank her for representing Bridal Traditions as Miss beYOUtiful 2017.
Store owner, Kelly has been in the bridal industry since 2000, when at the ripe old age of 20 she opened her first little store front on a wing and a prayer. She is a certified wedding planner (no, she does not plan weddings), and everything she knows about bridal and formal wear has come from, gut instinct, trial and error, and watching LOTS of What Not to Wear.