The BT Blog
This blog is meant to be both educational and humorous - Sometimes serious and sometimes silly.
Overlook the punctuation and grammatical errors and ENJOY!
Overlook the punctuation and grammatical errors and ENJOY!
It is WAY MORE than sell gowns and calm excitable nerves.
This blog is just a little taste!! We hope you'll stop by, share this post with friends getting married and remember these options if you are a bride to be, a former bride, prom-goer or someone who needs a gift.
All dresses purchased at Bridal Traditions come with a free initial pressing upon gown arrival, including stock dresses that are purchased off the rack. We offer pressing services even if you DIDN'T buy your gown from us.
AND, we offer re-pressing & spot cleaning for an additional service fee.
YES, MA'AM! We do that too. We know that not everyone thinks to preserve their gowns, but we want you to consider it. Ladies often come to us with their daughters and say that while the daughter may never have worn her mother's gown, they wish they'd saved it for a friend's daughter or niece who loved the design. Preservation is the best form of sharing and recycling.
Our cleaning and preservation at BT is offered through Wedding Gown Preservation Co, which includes $25 off this service as part of our BT Love-ups program if you bought your gown from us. Didn't buy your gown from BT? No problem. We'll take care of you, too!
Our gift corner is FILLED with goodies for the bride and groom, for your supportive sisters and bridesmaids and anyone who wants to present you with a little love.
Reina Branch married her love Dewey Kilby at 16 Hands Farm in a gloriously rustic country ceremony this passed fall 2017. The bride described it as "mason jars, burlap and lace." It was also incredibly well thought out, as the reception images will prove.
"We had an outdoor wedding with a rustic county look. Our venue was nestled in the
mountains of West Jefferson, NC. We got married with a gorgeous barn behind us and
surrounded by trees filled with fall colors. Our wedding was more beautiful than I could
have ever imagined. There were lots of happy tears and you could feel the love in the air."
"I always knew I wanted a fall wedding. I personally think fall is the most beautiful time of the year and I love the colors. My dad joked about what kind of daughter [of a football coach] would get married on a Saturday during football season?" He also joked that he would be wearing an ear piece during the wedding, but Reina knew better.
Reina and Dewey's story is sweet, but it also shows fortitude and maturity. It began when they were in middle school. They were good friends, but always said that the friendship was too important to mess up with a serious relationship. That worked for them as adolescents.
But that ship sailed in high school! During their junior year, they began dating and while both admit that they had their ups and downs at those young ages, all those milestones, struggles and adventures solidified their love and trust in each other and strengthened them as a couple. Reina told us, "there is nobody I would rather be with than my high school sweetheart."
Ready to marry, Reina came to us wanting a gown with sleeves, A-line in shape and without the poofiness of a ball gown. She also didn't want a body-shaped gown and was looking for something classic in ivory or off-white. This won't be the first time you hear us say this: things change when you move from your head to the actual buying stage.
"I never thought I would end up with a strapless dress and it was actually what I fell in love with the most."
"I loved the way the gown looked on me and I felt amazing in it. It was the perfect combination of simple but elegant. I could just see myself walking down the aisle in it. I loved my custom veil with the blusher I added to it. Best decision! I also had these beautiful glitter shoes that were super comfortable.... no heel so I wouldn’t trip and they made me feel like Cinderella."
"I tried on tons of dresses that I thought I wanted and finally Kelly said, "let me
pick something" and it was the dress I ended up purchasing. Kelly knows me best
after all these years shopping at her store.
Kelly has always been my go to lady for anything and everything I’ve needed a dress for since Junior Prom. I knew I would find something amazing at her store and I knew I wouldn’t be able to trade her genuine passion for helping brides for anything else."
These two adults, now a nurse and police officer, live in Asheville, NC and spend their time making spontaneous weekend trips and hiking in the mountains that surround the city.
I feel as though I have watched Reina and Dewey grow up after the years we have spent with them creating milestone memories. I LOVED working with Reina, I am excited to share her photos and story and I wish her and Dewey nothing but fun, adventure, love and happiness for many, many years!
You've got a room full of smart women .... and they are all wedding gown experts. You with me? Now picture that they've determined the 5 most important things you need to consider when brides are ready to shop for a gown.
Want to hear more? The experts weight in!
Do not try on more than 10-15 dresses total.
Honestly, trying on fewer than 15 is even better. It becomes overwhelming when you have had dozens on and begin to want to cobble something together. You'll find that you end up wanting the lace from that dress, and the bodice from the other dress, with the hem and sparkle from "that other dress from two days ago" or the one you saw that one time in the magazine. Unless you are a designer, you don't know how this "dream" mosaic will even look or how to find it. It ends up blowing the budget and you get frustrated and lose the magic. After the 10th dress, the next one is "just another white dress."
Have your funding ready.
Brides will come in to get a sense of what is out there, what looks good on them and may be surprised to find their gown that very day. When they do and cannot then make a payment it's disappointing. Brides shopping for their gowns should always expect to find their dress even if it's the first time they've tried on gowns. Make sure that you're ready to buy when you are ready to shop.
Don't get stuck in your head.
A dress is not a logical decision. It is a heart decision, and as long as you stay within your budget you should be open to finding a dress that perhaps you didn't expect to find. Be open to being surprised and newly excited because you may fall in love with something unexpected. We've seen tomboys in ball gowns and girlie girls in more minimalist styles, gothic chicks in frills and the most modern young women in something akin to vintage lace. Be YOU and you will be beautiful. (Write that down!!) Have an open mind and heart!
It's OK to stray.
.... from what you were absolutely certain you had to have. Marriage is filled with change-ups and shifts in new directions that lead to unforeseen happiness. We sage experts know. It's ok to stray from what you thought you would look best in or fit the idea. Looking at pics of others in dresses is completely different from seeing yourself in the same dresses. Go with what fits YOUR body and personality.
Don't judge a dress by how it looks on the hanger.
This is a big one and the proof is in the images above. The dress on the hanger is the dress being worn on the right on her wedding day. The exact one! We see girls go flying past dresses on the racks because at first blush it doesn't say to them "hey!! I'm the one you saw in the magazine." If it has potential and some of the special details that you love, try it!
Your dress is out there, but by out there, we don't mean on the other side of the planet in some shop you'll never find and for money you don't have. And that doesn't mean you need to order from some shady online site. Those swindlers are out there as well and they are ready to take your money and send you a poorly constructed gown that doesn't fit or look like the one on the website.
Take into consideration these 5 tips and you'll find the right gown for your big day. We're sure of it!
And today, boys and girls, we'll be talking about several definitions of that word... as in :
What FITS? Or to bottom line it: Why does paying less than $1000 for your wedding gown fit into a perfect wedding scenario?
But first - 2 other important ways that your wedding dress should fit you:
1) Does it fit your personality, figure and style as a bride? (See the playful BT bride above!)
2) Does your gown fit the overall tone of your wedding? In other words, does it fit the location, the season and the theme, if there is one? (Another BT bride at the beach below chose her gown with the beach breezes in mind.)
And finally, does it fit your budget? And this an important one because while the first two may dominate a bride's thoughts and aspirations as she's shopping for a gown, most brides don't have a Kardashian budget to work with.
You have to pay for
the pastor or officiant,
the gifts for your tribe
... believe us, we get it.... we're in the bridal business.
But it IS your wedding gown and it IS important, so let's break it down!
First - does it fit your personality and you personally? If you've seen, well, ANY movie about a bride or a wedding, there is usually a scene of a gown fitting or selection and jokes are made about "poofiness" and "meringue-like dresses."
The gown should make you feel beautiful and you should be comfortable wearing it, and we always encourage brides to think about who they are and what they've dreamed about. Often girls come in with an idea, find it and we're off to the races. But keep an open mind too.
Next! Does it fit the theme, season and overall tone?
These days, a church wedding in a strapless gown and cowboy boots is no big deal. If it's a church wedding in the late fall or winter anywhere from NC to Maine however, you'll want to think about comfort and whether or not you'll want extras like a fur wrap or jacket to wear outside.
Destination wedding? What will the weather be? Are you and your future hubs going for a super casual garden wedding? We've had our BT brides tell us that they knew they wanted a dress that was going to have "flowy" aspect to it in a spring breeze or by the ocean. In the same way you're thinking about the flowers and colors based on theme - consider the month, place and vibe of your wedding as well.
By the time you've thought about your tastes and the style of your wedding, you're working with a budget and this is where Bridal Traditions comes in.
We are a boutique that sells beautiful gowns, made by designers who are in the bridal industry, are well-constructed but do not cost a fortune because these lines don't spend on the marketing that other lines do. The quality of our brands and lines is impeccable and the prices range from $500 - $1250, but the average price our brides pay is under $1000.
Each of the brides above purchased her gown from us and not one of them settled. They ALL had a different price range too, but after chatting with us, sharing their specific visions and wishes, we found gowns that looked gorgeous on them and suited the dreams, themes and budgets.
We work very hard with designers and manufacturers to find exquisite gowns that are affordable, so before you buy online - site unseen - consider Reserving a Fitting Room and letting us help you meet all of your goals.
BT is the best fit for many brides because we are a boutique with a commitment to listening to who you are, what you see for yourself and your day and what price point will keep you from stressing when you should be celebrating. We're here for you and if you haven't met us yet, we look forward to seeing your face and learning how we can make your wedding day perfect.
See how she's looking at him? Well, it's a photo shoot, but she's also digging that what he's wearing is as crisp and current as what she's wearing.
Accessorizing is not just for brides, or women who just got 8 inches of hair cut off and need chandelier earrings, or young ladies headed to church in the winter (read: mink..... in London).
The prom season is coming for us, big time, and at our boutique we're not only ready for the young ladies who need dresses, we're ready for the guys too. This is our official banging of the gong: "Heads Up Fellas! We have items THAT MATTER AND WILL REPRESENT you out there too."
The guys we serve and sell to love to accessorize with socks, and so do grooms on their wedding days, come to think of it. It's a really fun way to show some color, a theme, solidarity with friends or some rebellion on a day when the rest of you is buttoned up.
It's tough for you fellas! We get that.
Women can make a statement with hair, gown, makeup, bejeweled hair clips, gloves, purse, lip-stick, false eye lashes, shoes......... She could dip herself in yogurt and glitter and get a "WOW!" (We're not endorsing this, by the way). Guys need to play with the items they wear that are sort of "up for grabs" and get creative.
Neck ties or bow ties, pale or jewel tone, complimenting or contrasting with your date ~ the tie is where people's eyes go after they look to see you grinning your face off. The good news: we have both at BT and can work with you and your date to make it memorable. We have bowties and suspenders in stock and for purchase, and for those who have a tux or suit already, we can also set you up with a "vest and tie only" rental if you still want or need to accessorize.
Men of Prom 2018! Listen UP: There isn't a reason in the world that you shouldn't shine next to your date. If you have time to give us a reason: don't go.
Kidding!! GO!! Prom is fun, if only for the dancing and the stories you'll be telling when you're at your reunion 20 years later.
Look like YOU THOUGHT ABOUT IT.
Take the TIME. Get your FRIENDS INVOLVED.
Makayla Caroline Estep married her Navy groom Dillon Bullard in December of 2017 at Bethany Baptist Church with a lovely, intimate ceremony surrounded by the people they love.
Dillon is currently stationed in San Diego and Makayla is in school, so the key to their day was togetherness. She told us that the most memorable moment was being able to walk out with her dad down the aisle and see Dillon’s face looking back at her "knowing that from that moment on everything was going to be okay" and that they would be together.
These two met in middle school when they were introduced by a friend of theirs. Dillon sat in front of Makayla and we can only assume that she did what most of us do in middle school: stared at the back of his neck and thinking "well, he's cute." They became friends and stayed there until their senior year when they officially started dating and fell in love.
When Makayla came to us at BT, she said that she wasn’t expecting anything in particular, she just wanted to get her feet wet so to speak (Navy joke....). But she ended up "finding my dream dress on the third try!"
"I went in looking for a long sleeve dress because it was a December wedding, but ultimately I chose an elbow length sleeve, off the shoulder dress that I loved. It was traditional, modest and I loved the lace. Our ceremony was very simple and traditional. It reflected Dillon and me perfectly."
"Our day was nothing short of pure bliss. There were many emotions flying around that day: nervousness, gratefulness, and most importantly love. Love not just between Dillon and me, but from everyone around us."
Her gown was not only gorgeous on her, but was perfect for the time of year. We wish them well as they embark on the very first chapter of married life and couldn't be happier that we were able to dress the bride!
Why do we do what we do at weddings?
No, we're not talking about the embarrassing speeches from your college roommate formally known as Drunkles McGee ... or why we take the centerpieces or why we do the Chicken Dance. You're on your own there.
But it is fun to consider in this post-modern age, so we thought we would delve into the various legends and lore around certain wedding activities and traditions we do sometimes without knowing why. Since this is numero uno in this series, we're starting with the more familiar and basic.
[Because these are legends and lore, by definition we cannot guarantee it historically, nor do we care to. What's more fun is to share what we found.]
Why does the bride stand to the left of the groom at the altar?
You can do whatever you like in 2018, but back during the 5th century until around 1066, Anglo-Saxon grooms often had to defend their brides (and others) during the ceremony. Having your girl to your left allowed your fighting arm - always the right - to be free in case you needed to draw your sword. Handy.
Bouquets and Baking! Seems sort of obvious. The bride needs something to do with her hands walking down the aisle and any celebration calls for sweets. But why the bouquet of flowers instead of her walking with a box of gold toward her man? And why a tiered cake instead of a mountain of cornbread muffins?
Brides began holding a bouquet of flowers because they symbolized fertility. Spring herbs and flowers were a way of saying "here's to a growing and prosperous family." Over time, fruits were added to really drive the point home. Some brides carried herbs and spices to ward off evil spirits. These days, they tend to be more romantic and symbolize a bride's favorite flower or what's seasonal.
The tiered cake?
This origin is deeply cool, because it really does point to community and celebration. After all, a wedding is about joining families, but it's also about surrounding the beginning of a new alliance with love and support. As with the altar arrangement of bride on the left and groom on the right, the tiered cake came into existence during Anglo-Saxon times. Wedding guests would bring cakes to the wedding to share. [In the South, this is lovingly referred to as "pot luck."] For space, cakes would be stacked with the largest on the bottom and the littlest at the top, creating a graduating effect. Years later, a Frenchman (they are our classic model for baking) took the concept of stacking and created a cake in that arrangement and then iced them all together into one dessert.
And finally - Why does the bride wear white?
Our minds go immediately to white as a symbol virginal purity to describe the bride. Wellllllllll, sources tell us that we have Britain's Queen Victoria to thank. Before her marriage to Prince Albert, women wore colorful dresses to their weddings. This amazing monarch was an independent thinker and a trend-setter, however, and chose a ball gown in all white and brides everywhere took notice. She thought white would show off all the lace she'd chosen to give the lace-makers in England an economic bump.
And it stuck.
For more interesting factoids about bridal traditions - stay tuned! We're loving the historical digging and we're just getting started.
Arriving soon..... new wedding gowns that are light, airy, elegant and perfect for outdoor weddings, whether at the beach, in the mountains, someone's garden -- you decide. They are transporting in their styles and cut and, wait for it......... run between $485-$658.
That's not a typo. Those are the prices..... meaning that you can wear a beautiful gown on your wedding day for under $1000 and not only look amazing but skip the stress of over-paying.
It's a word, people we promise and these gowns have it. They will move beautifully as brides walk, turn and especially flow in spring and summer wedding breezes. They also have loads of lace and incredibly delicate details that won't outshine you brides, but will show your eye for quality and style.
We pride ourselves in selecting gowns that are not only affordable, but look great on brides regardless of height or shape, are well-constructed, and are not from overseas sweat shops. Keeping our prices low, but with a commitment to quality is a core value of ours, as is our commitment to serving our community. We've "preached" about this before, but brides take chances with their dollars and their hearts when they choose to go online to purchase from unverified and tested sources. Knock-offs are everywhere. Instead, let us get to know you and help you choose a boutique gown of excellent quality that you can be proud of and gorgeous in!
Visit our gallery online or come by Bridal Traditions to look at the selection and let us help you find your perfect gown!
Dearly Beloved Brides-to-Be and Wedding Professionals,
It's that time again. March is just around the corner, which means we will be gathered together to celebrate weddings and all the details that go into making the perfect wedding day, and wedding season. Just about anything you can imagine as part of a wedding day is possible and the array of vendors is vast.
You can find ALL the details here, but let us break it down a little for you because this event is once a year and it is BIG.
The Expo is Sunday, March 11, 2018 at The John A. Walker Center from 1:00pm until 4:00pm. For brides registering online the price is $5 and $8 for brides at the door or guests of the brides. We'll have over 40 exhibitors representing goods and services, including food, venues, photographers, accents and decor, gowns, jewelry, crafts, rentals, make-up, gifts, skincare and lots more.
BRIDES: Here are a few reasons to attend:
To save money. Lots of vendors offer great discounts and show specials, just for booking at the show. You can also take advantage of gown and accessory sales that are offered only at the show. In addition to getting a great deal, you also have the opportunity to win door prizes and get freebies just for showing up!
Talk to the vendors, live and in-person. You will have the opportunity to meet with bakers, photographers, caterers, venue hosts, florists, and much much more all in one place. When you can compare different vendors services and personalities at the same time, you can make sure you are going to work well with each vendor you hire.
Try free samples of product. There is nothing like being able to see, feel, hear, and taste your way through a wedding expo. The wedding expo is packed with free samples of cakes, hors d’oeuvres, and entree offerings. In addition to food samplings, there will be a photo booth, a salon sharing hair and makeup tips and professionals in the invitation and wedding planner categories who can share what they know and how they work with clients.
Those are just three! Here are more! While you're there, check out the TIPS page as well. You'll be glad you did.
Are you a vendor or professional in the wedding industry or attendant industry? We would love to have you join us! We relish providing the opportunity for vendors to meet potential clients and brides-to-be, showcase what you do best, answer questions, arrange follow-up meetings and celebrate the wedding industry as it evolves and holds up certain long-standing traditions. If you have questions, you can find information here or contact us.
There is still time to register for a booth so get the details and we look forward to hearing from you.
JOIN US! IT'S GOING TO BE ANOTHER CELEBRATORY EVENT!
"We were married on the beach in front of his uncle’s beach house. We had no bridal party and there were 75 of our closest friends and family in attendance. We expected less than 25 when we planned the wedding, but we were amazed at how many people drove to the beach to celebrate with us." - Hannah Jolly Simmons
Hannah Jolly and Yancey Simmons were surprised at the turnout, because of the threat of a little storm called Irma that wreaked havoc on coastlines between August 30 and September 16. Their wedding was at Holden Beach on September 9th and clearly the Wedding Gods were shining down on them. Their day turned out to be filled with lots of laughter, ice cream, PBR and fun.
Once attendees decided to go to the beach, they made it a holiday. Hannah and Yancey, along with their closest pals, went the week before and when others joined them for the wedding, most people made it a family vacation and just stayed the extra time to veg at the water's edge.
These two are laid back and one of their reception choices was a good old fashioned ice cream bar with choices guests chose on their RSVP cards. Due to the worries of Irma, the rental company's cleaning services made sure that the freezers filled with ice cream that were ready to go were, well, cleaned out in the various rental houses for guest. Oops.
Minutes before the ceremony, a family member had to race out to grab versions and flavors promised so that everyone could enjoy a treat. This goes under the category of all's well that end's well and it did end well. The ice cream bar, great weather and frivolity made up for any snafus.
The dress Hannah said yes to ended up being kind of a surprise too, because Hannah told us that she really had no intention of wearing a traditional wedding gown on the beach. She thought, "beach wedding, understated but cool beach dress" - maybe a short, white shift dress from Lilly Pulitzer. Her mom convinced her to try on wedding gowns anyway. Hannah had purchased prom gowns from us before and shared that she always prefers supporting small businesses (YES!! WE LOVE YOU TOO, HANNAH, AND SO APPRECIATE IT.] She tried on 3 and the second one was THE one.
"The only vision I had really was that it be affordable and suitable for the beach. I looked for something with a chiffon overlay or a light-weight fabric that could blow in the breeze. And of course, I wanted it to be simple, yet flattering and pure white. I ended up with an ivory gown with more embellishment, but it was perfect."
"BT made a HUGE part in my selection and actually Logan picked out my dress after chatting with me. It was perfect and we all knew it. I loved that there was a layaway option. My goal was to have no debt after my wedding. My mother actually paid for half of my dress and bought her dress as well. It matched my dress amazingly and had the same embellishments and we bought my veil from BT as well."
I mean: COME.... ON!!!! Not only is her dress floating and swirling around her just as she wanted, but it's beach ready and beach perfect. AND SHE IS GORGEOUS.
Hannah is paramedic in Surry County with a degree in Emergency Medical Science and her now husband Yancey is a Deputy Sheriff.
"I know they say never to bring work home, and we don’t let it run our relationship, but we do talk to each other about our jobs and both decompress by discussing the traumatic events (and always joking with each other to keep us both sane! We live in Mount Airy and have almost finished building our home (we should be in it next month!). I enjoy staying at home and doing my own thing, while he loves being a social butterfly."
We couldn't be happier for these two. Congratulations on starting your first full year together, guys!
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.