the Wedding Day
Taylor Gentry and Johnathon Bumgarner were married at The Barn at Blueberry Hill in Elkin, NC on April 6 of this year. Theirs is a sweet story, that was born in middle school when they met and became best friends. By the time they were in high school, they realized they were probably more than best friends. They started dating and when Taylor left to attend college at Western Carolina University, they took the plunge and became a "long-distance relationship." Anyone can tell you (and will if you ask, we've found) that these types of relationships are not only not easy, they test your faith and trust. But these two learned to be great communicators and when Johnathon surprised Taylor 6 years after they started dating with a marriage proposal, she said absolutely.
The bridesmaids wore mulberry wine colored dresses that they chose themselves and the fellas wore matching ties and grey 3-piece suits on that spring day in a barn decorated with baby's breath, burgundy carnations and tons of twinkly white lights. The day, the crew and the place were bright and fresh and exactly what you'd expect of a spring wedding.
These two are both in medical professions. Taylor is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and works at Wilkes Medical Center and Johnathon is a Radiologic Technologist and is also certified in Computed Tomography. He works for Alleghany Memorial Hospital. As serious and important as those jobs are, the couple knows how to tease. On their wedding day, Taylor and Johnathon exchanged letters and after sending her long and heart-felt letter to him, Taylor opened the one from Johnathon. It contained a single sentence about how he hoped they would have a nice wedding day. Only later did he send her the actual letter he'd written her. Pranked on her big day! She said she went from disappointment to tears in a matter of minutes.
Taylor knew that she wanted an A-line dress with some bling and some lace, and that she wanted to stay within her budget of around $1,000. She found a gown she loved at BT and we helped her remove some of the "poofiness" and layers, transforming it from more of a ball gown to an A-line dress. The lace and beading at the straps and hemline give it an extra bit of style and sparkle. We also added a belt.
"Kelly was absolutely wonderful and knew to console me and give me advice when I became overwhelmed with choices and opinions. She asked what was holding me back from saying yes to the dress that I was wearing - and that I wanted - and I told her it was way too “puffy” for me. She immediately called the factory to see if they could take out some of the layers, and they did! She then added a sparkly belt to give it right amount of bling that it was missing and topped it with a beautiful veil that perfectly matched my gown. I had the bride moment I had been waiting for and said ‘yes.’ There is no other store that would have taken the time to be that personal with me and ensure what I was picking was exactly what I wanted."
Comments like these are music to our ears!
Congratulations Taylor and Johnathon! Cheers to you and here's to many years of laughter, pranking and love.
This spring, Bridal Traditions took part in a coordinated wedding photo shoot with creatives and other wedding vendors. Some of the goals were to showcase the venue, but also to collaborate, create and capture images promoting some new trends for summer weddings with Bohemian vibes. BT loved contributing to this shoot by providing dresses and suits from our boutique.
Let's start with location where all of these shot were taken by Beasley's Rustic Photography. The Emerald Hill is a lovely wedding venue in Hiddenite, North Carolina where multiple scenic outdoor spots make weddings and receptions even more special.
The floral arrangements were provided by Edenhouse and all the props and catering were coordinated by Embellished Events for You. We love how the setups came together and matched perfectly with the style chosen for this shoot. It had elements of earthy and boho, while retaining classic elegance.
Finally, our contribution - the bride's gown and accessories and the groom's attire. For model Bailey Goforth, this spring/summer shoot required something slightly bohemian, slightly frothy and extremely youthful. The layers in the gown's skirt are airy and angelic and allow for other details to shine as well - like her head piece and wreath/bouquet.
For the groom, a navy 3-piece worked for the outdoor wedding scheme and model Matthew Williams looks dapper, crisp and comfortable as well. Comfort is key for the guys, and this was the perfect solution.
If you're interested in learning more about all of the collaborators, they are listed below. And if you are scheduling a photo shoot and would like to include our expertise and input and/or the attire we sell, please contact us.
Attire - Bridal Traditions Wedding & Prom Attire
Florals - Edenhouse
Photography - Beasley's Rustic Photography
Coordinating - Embellished Events for You
Beauty - Beauty by Andrea Mesimer
Models - Matthew Williams + Bailey Goforth
Venue - The Emerald Hill
Amber and Brandon were married in November of 2018 in front of nearly 200 of their nearest and dearest. It was a celebration, for sure. Theirs was a traditional wedding at the Deep Creek Friends Meeting, where bride Amber has been an going since childhood and where her parents were also married. The only thing that wasn't traditional about the ceremony was that they had "a first look", and spent time before the ceremony with friends and family who'd come a long way for the big day.
Note to brides-to-be: This decision to see people before the ceremony was, for them, a perfect choice. It relaxed everyone; no one felt rushed, and Amber shared that once she and Brandon saw each other, they were certain that it was going to be a great day.
"I think the most memorable part of the day was our "first look." It was such an incredible moment that just the two of use shared. At the end of the day, we were really glad we decided to do our day this way, because we were able to enjoy time with our guests and they didn’t have to wait forever on us to do our pictures."
These two met at a fundraiser where they flirted with each other when they got bored. That sort of silly fun appears to have followed them into their marriage. During the exchanging of rings, Brandon kept curling his finger so that Amber couldn't get it completely on, cracking her and everyone else up for a full minute.
"Brandon and I decided to do the pouring of the sand instead of the unity candle. So when it came time to pour the sand, we walked over to the vase and started pouring. However, the vase we used had a TINY opening, so I poured more sand out of the vase than inside it. It was the funniest thing, neither of us could stop laughing, and the preacher was laughing right along with us."
"When I found out that Bridal Traditions had dresses that were around $1000 - more or less - I just knew I had to go there and look, and I am SO glad I did. My parents knew that I wasn't going to want an outrageously expensive dress. When looking for my dress I wasn’t sure what I wanted exactly, I just thought I wanted something with lace and sleeves. At the end of that first
day, though, I realized that I hated the way sleeves looked on me and I hated how they felt. I just wanted to try on different styles to see what I liked."
As many brides will tell you, finding the right gown is usually not a one shopping trip situation. This was certainly true for Amber. Once she realized that what she thought she wanted was in fact NOT what she wanted, she got a little discouraged.
"Kelly suggested to call it a day and come back. A few days later Kelly sent me a picture of a dress she thought I might like. I thought, 'Man oh man it's beautiful,' and I couldn’t wait for it to arrive at Bridal Traditions so that I could try it on. When I finally did try it on, it was beyond perfect. It honestly looked like it was made for me. Once I stepped into that dress and it was zipped up, I looked at my mom and she was already crying. We then opened the curtain
and I saw myself in the mirror, and I knew right then I had found the one. I finally
had the bridal moment. Everyone in the store was in tears."
"Bridal Traditions was beyond amazing. From the moment I walked in, Kelly treated me like family, and that’s something I’ll never forget. Kelly made me feel beautiful and confident and she was so reassuring when I was doubtful about something. Kelly went above and beyond to help me find my gown. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without her. I’m telling y’all, she was a Godsend. She was so kind and beyond helpful, she bent over backwards helping me find my perfect dress. There really aren’t enough “thank yous” and words to describe how phenomenal Kelly and Bridal Traditions are."
"It was honestly the best day of my life and it couldn’t have been more perfect. Everything - and I mean everything - fell into place just like it was supposed to."
Photo Cred: Kathy Casstevens, Terry Vestal, and Hunter Welborn
As the summer wedding season is about to shoot itself right out of a cannon, let's celebrate some memorable wedding gowns from the public (read: celebrity) realm. Why not? Inspiration comes from a million directions. [If you are a bride-to-be: try to let inspiration come from no more than a dozen directions. Just sayin....]
These are gowns that we've noted, tilted our heads to the side like a Lab puppy (and let's face it - DIED LAUGHING AT) more than once as a culture ,,,, and rightfully so. If you are under the age of 30, consider this part of your education in pop culture. You may need to Google some of these folks.
Katie Holmes was Tom Cruise's third wife and she was 16 years his junior .... still is, if math holds up, and we believe it does. He was 54 and she was studying for her finals in college. Kidding. The gown was gorgeous, designed and hand made by Armani.
This dress is amazing in that it is a completely original idea - or at least a take on a very old idea. Brides, especially royal brides, use symbolism in their gowns and veils to show family heritage. They sew in family crests, elements that represent their battles, triumphs, wealth, property, etc. While this post will contain no images of royals, I'll mention that Meghan Markle's veil in her wedding to Prince Harry had representations of all the flowers from each of the states in the royal commonwealth - a nod to the family she was joining.
When Angelina Jolie married Brad Pitt, she had their children's favorite drawings embroidered into her gown and veil so that they were all joined together that day. Regardless of how you feel about them and their breakup, the sentiment on that day is pretty sweet.
We included this dress, because of the scale of the entire outfit. There is ... just. so. much. to look at! Celine Dion (here's her wiki page, kids) wore everything but the kitchen sink. She reminds us of an ice princess with all of those crystals and diamonds and fur. Underneath, though, is one heckuva singer.
By contrast, here is former supermodel, Kate Moss. She wore a particularly lacy and clingy gown for her marriage in 2011. Designed by her longtime friend and designer John Galliano (pictured with her), her gown is sort of the definition of gossamer. Delicate and sheer, it appears to be a reference to her fame as a waif when she was most famous in the 1980s.
Jada Pinkett Smith wore velvet and silk. That lady sparkles, but our guess is that she was burning up in that thing. What else can you say. The marriage has lasted nearly 22 years, but the dress ... well, you make your own judgements.
The beautiful Carolyn Bessette Kennedy sadly passed away, along with her American royalty husband John F. Kennedy, Jr., before we would see her really become someone. This July will be 20 years since their small plane went down. She was known for her style and her wedding gown is the proof that she had an eye for cuts that worked for her.
Kim K was covered on her wedding day, in tons of figure-hugging fabric and lace. If you get married in Italy and can have 47 million blooms shipped in (we made up that number), you can wear whatever you like. Her first gown showed more skin, but this looks downright virginal.
Kaley Cuoco, of The Big Bang Theory fame got the job done in a lace pant suit. It's non-traditional and fun, if not for everyone. She looks happy!!
Pretty Woman, Julia Roberts, was once married to singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett and above is what she wore. Yup, she was barefoot and in a casual sheath dress. The marriage lasted 2 years, but the look has appeared on beaches everywhere. Keep it simple.
Whether you are going for princess, beach bunny, classic or over-the-top, our recommendation is that brides stay true to who they are and wear something that makes them look and feel amazing.
At Bridal Traditions, we have worked a long time trying to find the right suppliers and designers to work with in order to provide gorgeous dresses for prices that don't make brides wring their hands and settle for less. Or run screaming into traffic. Both bad options.
Just recently, we made it official: ALL of our current wedding dresses are priced under $1,000 and we actually have some under $200 that will bliss you out too. In today’s market, this is extremely difficult for boutiques like ours to do, so we could not be prouder.
So much of what we do at BT is about helping ladies "know thyself." If you know who you are and what you want, then the scope narrows to a select few things:
- cut of the dress;
- season when you marry;
- theme of your wedding;
- time of day for your ceremony;
- and cost.
If you order online or from a large retailer, you may get a lower price, but you don't get our time, our team and our dedication to your vision and so much of that is in those 5 items above. We are so excited to be able to offer all price ranges to our brides AND these gowns are elegant, fun and worthy of the occasion. Here is just a sampling.
Above: Designed to be artistic, add the V-neck front and embroidery, this dress is not a dress - it's a gown. Architectural in design but not structure. So think comfort and elegance.
Below: To sleeve or not to sleeve...... Some ladies love them, and they can create a classic look (think: Grace Kelly and Meghan Markle).
This gown, below, has a plunging neckline and fitted shape that will showoff the bride's figure, but it also has an interesting tiered skirt with lace details. It looks expensive and like a thoughtful girl chose it. It just doesn't happen to be $5K. Again, it's under $1,000.
All of these gowns are affordable and elevated in how they are constructed and designed, AND how they look on brides.
Above: This dress is perfect for a beach wedding or a casual summer outdoor wedding. It is under $200 and absolutely lovely. Beautiful fabric and cut and with a belt, it is bohemian too. Add freesia as part of a headpiece or garland for her hair or create a bouquet of wildflowers, put on Grecian sandals and you're ready.
Elements of mid-century modern, the Empire State building and fine art deco. This dress is The Great Gatsby. Beyond elegance.
Brides who wear a gown under $1,000 have money for the rest of their wedding, their honeymoon and their future.
Ladies: come in and see for yourselves. We are so proud of this collection of dresses.
The dress is the show-stopper at any wedding. Right? It just is. Unless you have The Rolling Stones or the Avett Brothers or Willie Nelson or ..... you get the idea ..... opening for your wedding, then the bride walking down the aisle in her gown is the show-stopper. It kicks off the wedding as an event. At BT, we focus on getting that right with our clients. In fact, sometimes, the dress - plus heels..... or decorated flip-flops, cowboy boots, Chuck Taylor's, glass slippers, etc - is all a girl needs. Hand her some flowers, point her toward the officiant and her future husband, gently push and say grace that everything else will go well.
But there is more, dear friends. Veils! The veils we get and sell at our boutique are so delicate, intricate, and exquisite that they will transport you back to Paris or a place where princesses were wrapped in elegance. As an accessory, they can make a dress into a bride's ensemble. All that to say: we have veils and our brides love completing their gown and look with a veil that doesn't compete, but enhances.
Bridal Headbands and Head pieces
More and more, we are seeing bride's who want to add a little something special to their locks after the stylist has had his or her way with them. Used with a veil or alone in a bohemian chic style, earthy lose braids or an elegant up-do, these head pieces are defining and gorgeous. Be they blossoms and floral designs with accompanying beads, groupings of flowers in gold, silver and sequins, there isn't a girl we've seen try these on who isn't instantly transformed from girl-to-be-married to woman and wife.
Necklaces, earrings and belts
These items clearly speak for themselves, but pulling together the right combination takes some thought and guidance. Big hair, big dress, big earrings, large belts, huge bouquet...... see where we're going? If big is your goal - go for it. But mostly, these items just accentuate the totality of your wedding ensemble. Sometimes less is more. This does not mean you don't need a belt, earrings or head pieces; but it does mean that you should pull the entire bridal look together. Brides who pull off all the elements in coordination with each other, without overdoing any, achieve the best photographs, feel the most comfortable and look spectacular. More on that at the end!
At BT, lace is everywhere, but often specific lace is chosen for veils and incorporated into a bride's theme or part of the family history she hopes to show on her big day. If there is a type of lace or pattern that you want added as an accessory, ask us and we'll work with you and our creative seamstress and other vendors to try to accommodate that request.
Whether a bride chooses to keep this part of her wedding day private and for her husband and herself or invite guests at the reception to participate, the garter is a tradition that has not flagged with time. We sell them. We love them. They're fun. These are accessories with staying power and when a dress is kept as part of gown preservation, the garter is usually kept too.
We see our brides come in wide-eyed and excited. Some of them have lists and have thought through every single element of their wedding ensemble. Those who haven't shouldn't fold into a fetal position. Find your style (we're here to help, girls!) and then build on it with careful, signature accessories that complete your look. Be you. Feel like you. It's your day, after all.
It ain't just pinning and hemming. . .
Sweet Brides-to-Be ~
This is Mama Kelly speaking. I love you and I'm excited for you. Planning a wedding is a big deal and of all the things you care about, your wedding gown is easily Number One. If that's not true, then skip to a blog about wedding venues or appetizers. But if having the right gown FIT YOUR BODY is important - read on, because I'm about to throw down some knowledge laced with a little tough love. I promise that if you read this and understand what I'm sharing, your dress fitting experience will be smooth sailing.
"The More You Know!"
> Altering a wedding gown is a process. A seamstress is literally fitting a gown to your body. She's molding the dress's structure, shaping the fabric and making sure that dress looks like it was custom made just for you. Getting the perfect fit rarely happens with just one fitting. It's a process that takes tweaking and retweaking.
> Alterations take time. The average bride will have between 3 - 5 fittings based on the intricacies of the gown and types of alterations. Sometimes there are more than half a dozen fittings. You'll want to plan on making those trips to try on your gown, be pinned in again based on new adjustments, try it on with your shoes and veil, and so on. It is not an easy job. It's surgery. Seamstresses are, in some cases, taking your dress apart and putting it back together.
> Seamstresses have a backlog. When your dress is pinned and fitted to you the first time, you'll then wait a few weeks before you see it again. This may be due to the number and types of alterations, but it's most certainly because you are not their only client or dress. Your seamstress is not working solely on your gown or bridesmaids dresses. She is slammed, because this is how she makes a living and because this is delicate work. She needs the time to do that delicate work on every gown, not just yours.
> Alterations are not free. Things cost money. When you work, you expect to be paid - whether you are nursing a patient back to health, managing a project on a timeline, adding structural boning to the bodice of a wedding gown, or removing 350 tiny beads from the train of a gown. Seriously! Think about all the requests that a bride can make:
+ Add 500 crystal beads or sequins.
+ Remove the lace that came with the dress and replace it with my grandmother's antique lace.
+ Create a keyhole in the back where there wasn't one.
+ Shorten the sleeves.
+ Lengthen the hem.
These are complex tasks and seamstresses expect to be paid for their experience, their knowledge and expertise and their careful, intricate, detailed work.
At BT, we provide a meeting place for brides and seamstresses to have these fittings. We don't take a penny from alteration fees. We want it to be convenient, so we offer this space as a courtesy to our customers. The seamstress is an independent contractor, so when you're working with her and paying her, you're helping feed her family, not ours at BT. Some big box stores have their own in-house seamstresses who get paid through the company. Using an independent seamstress like those we suggest for our brides often means you will save 50-60%. The cost of alterations will depend greatly on the dress and what has to be done, and can range anywhere from $10 - $250+/-.
Finally, the last 3 nuggets are the most important:
> Show Patience. Losing patience with any wedding vendor will never serve you well. So don't huff and complain to your seamstress. During the fitting process, when the dress is being reworked, trust that she knows what she's doing. She does. While we never put a guarantee on the work of a seamstress, we would also never send you to someone who hadn't already shown us that she does great work.
More than one fitting is not the beginning of your dress being destroyed. It's an absolute part of the process. As she molds your dress to your body, she makes those adjustments by hand in many cases. Understand that some wants for your gown are just not possible because of the way the dress is already cut and shaped.
> Communicate. It's important to trust your seamstress and be patient with the process, but don't fail to speak up if you find that something feels uncomfortable or ill-fitting. Keep the lines of communication open. She's there to help you and cannot read your mind. Ask questions, listen and keep talking.
> Be Kind. That seamstress is your ally. Listen to what she's telling you about what can and cannot be done and trust her instincts. She's there to make you look fabulous in the gown you chose. Don't succumb to the temptation to go Bridezilla because you're under stress. Behaving badly is something you'll regret. Be kind!
Why am I harping on kindness? Because it's a foundational unit of measurement - like centimeters of fabric. Your wedding is a big deal and I can promise you that every vendor you're working with wants your day to be perfect. Be more honey than vinegar and you'll remember the experience fondly and enjoy your day sooooo much more.
Sarah Kale looks like a horse whisperer in this first image - this first gorgeous image, thanks to photographer Sarah Loudermilk of Laze L Photography. This lady and her new husband Cody Fox are now farmers like their parents, in Taylorsville. Sarah also owns and loves horses; they are one of her passions: "I rodeo, competing in barrel racing, breakaway roping, and team roping."
This couple stays busy on their farm with beef calves and lots of chickens (Sarah shared that her husband's hobby is "working constantly") but before their wedding in September of 2018, they had to fall for each other.
Sarah and Cody have known each other since middle school and even dated for 3 years, but broke up after high school to go their separate ways. Sarah assumed that they had moved on, but Cody never gave up on her. In 2017, she posted to Facebook that she was going to Texas to pick up a horse and was planning to fill the trailer (empty on the way down) with supplies for the survivors of Hurricane Harvey.
As donations poured in for her to haul south, Cody's mom had some items to be collected so Sarah went to get them. Cody was there and that began their rekindling. After some time to think and make some personal decisions, they started dating again and in March of 2018, he proposed while they were feeding calves. "We both knew it was right and that the timing was finally right. We first started dating on September 9, 2010, so we set the date of September 8 - almost exactly 8 years later. It seemed perfect."
The Wedding Day
The wedding was a beautiful rustic farm affair with the couple marrying in a barn surrounded by about 20 groomsmen and bridesmaids. Rain was predicted, but they prayed that away and the entire day was fantastic. They decorated the barn, danced, ate burgers and hotdogs in a casual atmosphere and enjoyed themselves. Sarah told us that it was exactly what she hoped it would be.
At BT, we think that Sarah, on a horse, with a mountain view in one direction and a forest and barn in the other could probably have worn a Hefty Lawn and Leaf bag and still been dazzling. Thank Goodness she came to us instead!
Sarah: "I didn’t know exactly what I wanted in terms of style, except that it have a sense of flow and not be tight-fitted. I am pretty simple and easy to please. I didn’t want it to cost my daddy an arm and a leg, either. I remembered shopping for my prom dress and everyone saying that it's important to try on, so that was what I kept in mind. I tried on dresses at one other place and then came to Bridal Traditions and found my perfect dress."
Sarah's gown had an open back, fitted waist and all of the flow necessary for her to walk, dance and even ride a horse. Her veil complemented it perfectly and the combination of it all made her look like an absolute princess.
"I loved how Kelly told me to just look and pull whatever I liked and then to let her know and she would help if I needed anything. There was no pushiness or hovering while I looked, but when I needed her, she was there."
When the dress and the girl go together, we call that success. When the girl who loves horses can sit comfortably on her horse and look like something out of myth, even better.
Congratulations to Sarah and Cody! Many, many happy returns!
We're at a point in the history of weddings, and civilization for that matter, where certain traditions are being left behind. Some of them are because they are just considered silly holdovers from a forgotten time and others because creativity and new ways of thinking about ceremonies have changed. We'll leave the decisions up to the brides and grooms themselves, but here is a sampling from your pals at Bridal Traditions.
Bouquet and Garter Toss
Long ago, guests tore off a piece of the bride's gown in order to take a little luck with them. She became tired of being attacked and her dress ruined, so she started tossing her bouquet (catching her flowers is a sign of luck) to distract guests and make a run for it.
This evolved - or devolved based on how you look at it - into a bouquet and garter toss. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, guests became tired of jumping to catch something they really don't care about. They especially hated being singled out as, well, SINGLE. Couples are opting to skip this portion of the program for more fun on the dance floor with their closest friends and loved ones. If you decide to go for it, keep it clean and don't have the DJ calling for "all the single ladies" to form a circle. They are not fans of this concept.
It's pretty cute, ... right up until it's not. Brides have all but decided that the cake smash needs to be agreed upon before the day and either she doesn't care about her gown and make-up or she and her husband decide to forego it entirely. Just tastefully grab a bite like a civilized human. They make for great images, though, and show a lot of devil may care attitude. It's your call, ladies!
A Diamond is Forever
But not necessarily as an engagement ring. Sapphires, rubies, emeralds and custom designed patterns with reset family jewels are seen as much as diamond solitaires are these days. Certain cuts and stones and designs rise to the forefront, but more important than size and stone is that the girl who's going to wear it, adores it.
The Bride's Parents Pay
It's a custom that the bride's parents or family pay for the wedding and it has been for centuries. The bride's parents pick up the cost of her gown, the venue, the food, music, flowers, veil. The groom's family pay for the rehearsal dinner and sometimes help with the honeymoon. These days, it's all up for grabs. As couples marry later in life, sometimes the couple bears the burden or families will split the cost if one can contribute more than the others. The good news is that paying has become more open and collaborative so that the couple who wants a wedding celebration can still have one. Want to skip the discussion entirely? Elope. But that may mean skipping Thanksgiving too, because you're going to hear about it.
Seeing each other before the wedding
This one is tough, because we've all seen the groom's face when he first sees his bride coming down the aisle. It's pretty wonderful. Couples these day have about decided that it's just too much pressure and maybe a "first look" would allow them to breathe. Some couples meet on either side of a door to pray together, hold hands or read the other a letter. Between the BT crew and you and the lamppost, brides and grooms should do what they want, but if you've come this far, what's the harm in NOT seeing each other until she's coming down the aisle? I mean, c'mon!
Not so much anymore. Bridesmaids are wearing the same color with different styles, necklines and hem lengths. Brides are also just setting a scheme or palette and letting the bridesmaids choose. We're also seeing both genders on both sides of the aisle. Your friends are your friends no matter their gender, so men are now standing up for the bride and women are finding themselves playing Best Girl.
Do what makes you happy; that's what we say. Unless you are seriously hurting someone's feelings, it is YOUR DAY.
The BIG 80s were just that. Everything was oversized. For those of you who were born in the 80s and too young to remember, or those of you born in the 90s, who never had a chance to use 9 cans of hairspray to create your "do" for single evening, well..... you missed out. Here was the hairstyle that dominated that decade.
Yup, huge. These are class photos, and this style covered every socio-economic class, every region of the country and every personality type. (There was a competing style in the 1980s, Preppy - and we'll save that for another blog.) If you liked metal bands, this was your hair. If you liked Prince, same. If you liked Madonna, Davie Bowie, The Steve Miller Band, Rush, Duran Duran, it didn't matter. You got up early, you sprayed your hair out into orbit and made it to first period looking...…….. like this. And it wasn't just the girls. For those of you keeping score at home, everyone in this image below is a dude.
But I digress. The 80s weren't just about hair and MTV and rock-n-roll. Google "the 1980s" and when you emerge in a month, pale and hungry and humming U2 songs, you'll never be the same.
Meanwhile, wedding dresses were like everything else in the 80s - enormous. Certainly one of the most famous wedding gowns of that era was worn by Princess Diana when she married Prince Charles at St. Paul's Cathedral in London. For non-royal watchers, royal weddings are usually held at Westminster Abbey or smaller venues like Windsor Chapel. St Paul's is, wait for it, HUGE. Diana chose it because she wanted as many of her friends like Elton John and other non-royals inside, and as many common people as possible outside to feel included, effectively inaugurating her reign as "The People's Princess."
She became a princess bride on July 29th, 1981 and she looked like one. Her ball gown was nearly 6 feet in diameter, her train was 25 feet long, the gown's sleeves were large and puffy, and the veil was 153 yards of tulle. Her bouquet was 42 inches of white gardenias, orchids, freesias and lilies. That's nearly 4 feet of flowering going on. She looked like Cinderella and women everywhere lost their minds. The 80s wedding gown style after that were destined to be over the top, with big hair pieces wrapped in tulle and satin, and gowns with tons of fabric, lots of beading, sequins and lace and the bigger, the better.
The grooms never have "as much" to do with regard to what they wear and that was certainly true then. Grooms basically needed a shower, their tux to fit, in some cases a mustache comb,,,, and of course, hairspray.
Notice the work-out type headband situation on both brides above? "An heirloom comb with fresh flowers and some tulle for your hair, Me-Lady?" Nope. "Let's make me look like a workout poster for Jamie Lee Curtis or Olivia Newton-John on the biggest day of my life."
And Lord help them, there were no breaks for the bridesmaids. In fact, I believe that the gorgeous options for the 21st century bridesmaid are a direct reaction to the dresses they were made to wear in the 80s. Poooooofy sleeves, balloon skirts that are essentially mullets if you look closely and by golly, if the bride is wearing a satin wrapped tennis headband, then so are you!!
Dresses for 80s weddings were Disney, if you know what I mean. Guests often forgot they were at the joining of two lives and two families to witness vows, but rather had stepped through a looking glass. When the bride made her entrance, there was no missing her in some understated frock.
But that was then, right? We've come a long way since then, 30 years in fact and we've left all of that behind. I mean, fashion is cyclical and all but we wouldn't REALLY get back to this type of look...….. would we?