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
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.