It would be more accurate for us to say: "Dreamers Encouraged" at our Expo on March 10.
There's this beautiful scene in "Pride and Prejudice" (2005, with Keira Knightley) where the key character - Miss Elizabeth Bennett - is stuck between any number of unappealing options with regard to society and marriage. She sits on a rope swing and spins around and then let's herself be swung back in the opposite direction. Maybe you remember doing that from childhood. As she does, what she sees changes slightly and the seasons do too, but not the scenery. It's a reminder that she's caught in that place we all have been: where you do the same activities day after day, season after season and the world goes on spinning with very little recognizable difference to your life. So you day dream..
Sure enough, this little blue marble we live on has continued to spin since the Wedding Expo of 2018 and we are, once again, preparing for vendors and brides-to-be to gather at Wilkes Community College for a day of meeting, celebrating, researching, viewing and excitement. We hope that the brides-to-be coming to the Expo this year will still have some of that "dreaming" and imagination in them as they take in all of vendors and ideas.
Don't worry, though - those of you who are more organized than dreaming at this point. You too can gather information like a boss and check off boxes on your list of to-dos. We'll have vendors ready to answer questions, offer suggestions and learn about your Big Day Plans. This expo attracts some of the most experienced, fun and inventive, local pros in the business - be it food, photography, music or decorations. If you haven't registered yet, click below and consider attending.
Are you in the professional wedding game? We would love to have you join us and meet prospective brides and their entourage of family and best friends. You also can network and do a little bit of exploring, idea generation and dreaming of your own!
The details for the Expo this year:
Sunday, March 10, 2019
at The John A. Walker Center
from 1:00pm until 4:00pm
Admission per Person
(every member attending with the bride pays the same price)
$5.00 when the bride registers online
$8.00 when the bride registers at the door
$10.00 for guests not attending with a bride
John A. Walker Center
at Wilkes Community College
1328 S. Collegiate Drive,
Wilkesboro, NC 28697
So if you're a bride-to-be who is, for now in the dreaming stages for your wedding, JOIN US!
OR! If you are a bride-to-be who has an organized and color-coded 3-ring binder the size of a Lincoln Town Car, JOIN US!
BT's Expo is about weddings, but it will provide you planners and vendors with so much more. The price is small, but the inspiration is priceless. Come do a little dreaming with us this year.
See you there!
The Day - Fall Beauty
For the first BT Bridal Profile of the Year, we'll let the bride speak for herself to get us started:
"Our wedding was outside in a shelter at Stone Mountain. It was a very small, simple wedding with only a few friends and family attending, maybe 50 people. Our theme was very sentimental and also very rustic and every part of our wedding memorialized a passed family member in some way. I took my engagement pictures on my grandma's handmade quilt, my grandfather's watch was in my bouquet, my great uncle's deer horns were incorporated in the wedding, etc. My great uncle played his banjo and we had a gospel singer, and another banjo played the wedding march as I walked down the aisle. The wedding may not have been 100% perfect but it was definitely very family orientated."
The weather and gorgeous setting played their roles, but there were a couple of snafus on this special day. Hannah's wedding band was left behind in the car by the Best Man, so right before the preacher began, her aunt slipped Hannah her own band to use for the ceremony. But that was not all.
Hannah: "Everyone was late for the rehearsal dinner. The preacher couldn’t find the shelter/spot because he doesn’t travel to Stone Mountain often, my car overheated and upon putting water in it I lost the water cap (took us close to 45 minutes of crawling underneath the car to find it) and David was just late, because he’s David and he rode with the best man. Also, my maid of honor rode with me so we were all late."
This bride knew what she wanted and stuck with it. She told us that because her wedding was rustic, she wanted no poof, no sparkle, but plenty of lace, long sleeves and for the dress to be fitted. "I wanted something that was completely old-fashioned, not something that made me look like a princess."
Hannah: we think you looked AMAZING in your dress and we loved being a part of making your day special.
Before you think: why in the WORLD would I care what happened to brides and grooms in the 1600s, remember that not everything that is trendy is contemporary. Your great-great-great-greats found their way to each other and none of them had a Save the Date website. The rituals - some of which are worth reviving (maybe) - all had their meaning. To us, as we gear up for a new year of weddings, looking back can be a fun way of looking ahead.
For the lower classes during the 17th century, a coin, broken in half with one half kept by each person, was enough to signify an engagement. The couple would make oaths to each other and say prayers over the coins, giving them significance. These tokens were considered both promises and talismans against evil spirits.
While at BT we help brides find gorgeous gowns on a budget, back in the 17th century, brides often did not buy a wedding gown and the dress really had no significance. It was simply the nicest dress a girl owned, maybe the one she wore to church or one with extra frill or embellishments.
What WAS important was the garter! Two garters were worn, were usually blue and worn just above the knee. The evening of the wedding, before the bride and groom were left alone to start their lives together, two of the groomsmen would remove the garters from the brides legs and then pin them to their hats as a reward. One wonders if this was like catching the bouquet and marked these fellows as potential future grooms. Or...….. perhaps they just got teased a lot at the pub afterwards.
Flowers back then were as important as they are now and loads of wildflowers and fresh flowers would be collected and carried while others were pinned to the bride's hat. Lower classes did not have access to hot house flowers and blooms from bulbs and formal gardens, so herbs like rosemary were used, orange blooms from nearby orchards and groves and any bright field flowers were perfect.
After the ceremony, people threw wheat at the couple for fertility - a sort of precursor to confetti or rice. Honestly, they may have had it right back then since we now throw bird seed (NOT a symbol of fertility). Imagine what they would have thought of our use of sparklers to send off newlyweds.
Cake!! We all love it and they did back in the day as well. While we're into frosting and multiple tiers, back then they were more interested in breaking the cake over the bride's head for fertility and fortune. Yep. You heard us. The community contributed all sorts of food, meat, drinks and sweets, but the wedding cake itself was gently broken over the bride's head for luck for her and the groom. Pieces gathered up by others were said to be lucky too. It's also a great way to stay thin - just break the cake instead of eating it.
Finally, the 17th century wedding night: We send our couples off with cheers, cans tied to bumpers and other fanfare and happily return to the party. These early modern couples did too, but not until the bride and groom were escorted to their chambers. The bridesmaids would help the bride get out of her gown, removing any pins that might create havoc later and waited by the bed with her. The groom and his entourage would then show up and the couple were surrounded, given well wishes and finally left alone. AWK-WARD!! We don't know any current modern couple who would want their entire wedding party encircling their marital bed, but we're modest that way.
Regardless of tradition or theme, twists on century-old marriage rituals are pretty stinking fun! Enjoy planning, brides out there!
Before we run into all that 2019 may promise, we wanted to give you Part 2 of our year-end recap of 2018. This time, we focus on the gorgeous women who were our Bridal Profiles. This just passed year brought so many lovely and amazing brides to BT and we loved helping each of them.
Here are just a sampling of the highlights and no, there were no low-lights. Cheers to you all!
Their wedding was a perfect balance of warmth, earthiness, elegance, tradition and fun. It's not always easy to pull off, but this girl did it. more
North Carolineans Destiny and Samuel Swanner were married in Panama City, Florida in July on this year - right on the beach. Their wedding was filled with fun and unexpected moments, funny mishaps and an unconventional day, more
"Everything was perfect, despite the heat - from getting ready with my girls, to walking down the aisle, to saying I do to my handsome groom, to taking over 400 pictures, and loving every minute of the most wonderful day of my life." more
Samantha - or Sam to Kelly and crew at BT - is not only a friend, but we joke that she's our Executive VP of Marketing, because you can literally bump into her and she'll start singing our praises. We love this girl and appreciate her enthusiasm for our business. Sam also made an absolutely gorgeous bride and this bridal profile is one we've been looking forward to since we started this series. more
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, more
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. more
Hannah Jolly and Yancey Simmons were surprised at the turnout for their wedding, 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. more
Focusing on the brides who let us serve them was one of our favorite occupations this last year and we have many others already in the works for 2019! Happy Anniversary to you all in advance.
We want to say Thank YOU to all of our customers for making 2018 a great year at BT.
We loved serving each one of you, but most especially we appreciate you for letting us be a part of your stories.
Our hope during this fun but fleeting season is that you'll find a minute to rest and remember what matters most to you. Enjoy every moment!
We look forward to creating new memories, to meeting new faces, seeing our regulars and friends and to serving all of you for your special occasions in 2019.
Here SHE is everyone and we couldn't be happier. Miss beYoutiful 2018 is Hayley Parker and she is a jewel. We met Hayley during all the prep for her sister's wedding and fell in love with her pretty much instantly. She has such a sweet spirit and she is just gorgeous inside and out. Kelly coerced her into modeling for us and knew right away she had to be our Miss beYoutiful this year.
Hayley Parker is a junior at Wilkes Central High School where she is very dedicated to her schoolwork and to her volleyball team. She not only loves to play with her school team, she plays on a travel volleyball team as well. Hayley enjoys babysitting during her time off from school, and of course hanging out with her friends as most high school students do. She attends Wilkesboro Baptist Church, and is a member of the BETA club, National Honor society, and National Technical Honor Society.
Phew! That's a lot. This girl is also an enormous sweetheart and was a natural choice for us at BT when it came to naming Miss beYOUtiful this year.
For those of you unfamiliar with Miss beYoutiful, it is based on so much more than outward beauty. BT's owner Kelly Shumate chooses based on personality first. The most important attributes are kindness, respectfulness and courteousness. "Sometimes these characteristics shine through in a quiet, reserved girl and sometimes she has a larger than life personality, but those traits are at her core."
2018 is about to evaporate into the history books. Somehow!
Somehow it came and went. You know that phrase parents always share about the speed with which your children grow: "the days are long but the years are short." Well, at BT, we rest our case.
It was a great year though, so we thought we would do a 2-part recap of what we saw this year and Part 1 is about the trends we saw and tips we shared!
If you're getting married away from home - these are you expert tips!
You know they are out there, but no one expects to be scammed. Read this. And shop local!
Yep! We provided tips for the bridesmaids as well.
Contributing blogger, Samantha Kent shared tips for getting your rest after the wedding and honeymoon.
Trends . . . !
This year, we showcased ethereal wedding gowns, changes to what men can and should wear, plus prom wear for guys.
More than anything, we love sharing what we know with all of you - be it the trends we're seeing or the knowledge we've gained over the years. Looking forward to 2019!
Plenty. And thank you for asking.
Not everything is brand new between 2018 and 2019, but the best trends have prevailed. The joyous vibes, classic styling and effortlessly elegant look of Meghan Markle (now the Duchess of Sussex) on her wedding day in May made brides everywhere begin to rethink what being understated meant. I certainly saw it in my shop with a bride who chose a tea-length dress straight out of Audrey Hepburn’s Funny Face. She GLOWED and she rocked it.
We all fell in love with simplified silhouettes, more classical shapes, fewer embellishments and ornamentation in order to let personality and style shine through. A super-simple dress does not have to be so pared down that it is dull and impoverished. The Duchess proved that. Markle’s veil told a story with its sewn in birds and elements representing the British Commonwealth, while her gown was elegant and modest.
In our neck of the woods, there is this revival to a point, but there is also still a craving for gorgeous A-line dresses, ball gowns, a bit of sparkle and flair and plenty of flowy skirts. One trend that continues to be strong is the tiered skirt and use of Illusions lace both around the waist and at the neckline. When used sparingly, strategically and with little or no beading, this sheer element is an absolute knockout (pardon the pun). We’ve seen some side cut-outs that brides love, as well as deep V-necks, plenty of beading, a variety of laces and sheen, but we’re happy to say that modesty also prevails. Nothing over-the-top is going to rule in 2019. No Bob Mackie gowns for Cher in the 1980s. It’s a wedding, you guys. I love that so many of our brides at Bridal Traditions are modest but have imagination when it comes to what they want. They want to exude grace, a sense of unpretentiousness and make sure that the weight and magic of the occasion come through. There are still plenty of soft, flowy and feminine gowns out there for brides and bridesmaids as well.
For the guys, the more form-fitting suit, especially the 3-piece suit, is still the only current game in town. Grooms want the slim, ultra-slim and more athletic cuts and Jim’s Formal Wear (JFW) specializes in these. While they have yet to release their latest collections to the public, we know that the 3-piece for grooms is still on point and trend and can be paired with just the right tie, socks and gear to complement a bride.
Finally, bridesmaids continue to be the biggest winners. Styles and colors are endless, classic, retro, elegant, sassy, fun and fit all body shapes. The trend for bridesmaids will be – again (pausing for cheers here) to wear a color of the bride’s choosing or on theme for the wedding, and then to choose a style that fits and suits them. It’s a fool-proof way to make everyone comfortable, happy and look great.
The biggest trend for 2019 will be authenticity. Be yourself. Choose based on your wishes and passions as a bride and groom (don’t forget location and season) and then allow the other elements to fall into place.
Kimber Matney and Garrett Potts were married in October of this year in a ceremony outside the barn at Colin Creek Farms. Their wedding was a perfect balance of warmth, earthiness, elegance, tradition and fun. It's not always easy to pull off, but this girl did it.
There were 150 guests, mostly consisting of the family and their close friends. The officiant was the Chaplain at the hospital where Kimber works, someone who's become a good friend. The vows were said on one side of the barn and then the cocktail hour was on the other side of the barn with beverages, corn-hole boards, and a popcorn bar. The reception itself was inside the barn and the weather for the day was absolutely perfect "with sunny skies and a cool breeze."
The Couple - Kimber & Garrett
It's hard to top using Kimber's own words to describe how this couple met:
"We had friends in common so it all began with a movie date to see Grown Up 2, and I still have the ticket stub.. After the movie, we went to Cook Out for a milkshake and he said (later) that he just knew I was the one. The next day we went to dinner, started dating a week later and have been together since. It wasn’t always easy because we began dating in July and I left for college in August - and my school was 3 hours away. We made it though - the distance, the dorm, and nursing school."
"The most memorable moment was being able to walk down the aisle with my grandpa and being able to see Garrett waiting for me. We had joked about eloping, but he said being able to see me coming down the aisle was the best part of the big day."
Kimber chose well for her October wedding, starting with the season, the color burgundy and the couple's shared love of the outdoors as her inspirations. Their cake, centerpieces - which her grandmother made!! - and her own flowers show natural elegance with touches of burgundy and white. The cake looked like a birch tree with a “Willow Tree” cake topper that they display in their house now.
Kimber: "I knew I wanted long sleeves. That was a must both from a design aspect and because of the season. Bridal Traditions was the first and only place we went. The first dress I tried on was actually the one I wore on my wedding day. I tried it on 9 more times after that first time. It was the best decision. It fit so well and flattered me in every way. The dress had multiple layers, fit the fall theme and cool weather. What ultimately "sold it" was knowing when that last button was buttoned. I saw the look on my mom's face and then my grandma came in later, saw it and nearly cried. I just loved the sleeves and all buttons up the back."
The future holds good things for these two. Kimber goes to graduate school in January of 2019 to begin working toward more education and so that she can become a Family Nurse Practitioner. We wish them nothing but a life of happily ever after as they go from adventure to adventure, continue remodeling their home and enjoying the little and big moments of life.
Thanks to Cheyenne Kidd photography for use of Kimber and Garrett's wedding day images.
Last week, we posted a blog about a perfectly collaborative photo shoot - well-styled and including a fantastic couple, multiple vendors and wedding experts. It was a success and BT loved being a part of it.
For those of you keeping score at home: here's part II!
The couple who were a part of this shoot are adorable and endearing and sent a letter to the shoot organizers; Embellished Events for You and The Emerald Hill. We wanted to share a bit about them and more of the images from the shoot that feature them and their love for each other.
Meet Joli and Brent James. They have been together for 16 years, were high school sweethearts and now have a beautiful daughter, Jade who is 4 this month. They were married in October of 2009 and then asked to be models for this project.
Here's a little snippet from what Joli sent:
"When we wed I had just turned 19 years old and Brent was 22.. We weren’t able to afford a wedding so we choose to elope. We traveled to Tennessee with our parents and got married in our family cabin. My mom purchased a wedding gown for me, but other than that we didn’t really have the “traditional” wedding.
The only pictures we have from that day are from a disposable camera! That was fine with us though, since we just wanted to be married. Now, to have some professional pictures of us years later in wedding attire is such a blessing! As you can imagine being together at such a young age means that you basically grow up together."
The Supportive Players
Joli: "We’ve loved each other through our worst and best. We’ve had our fair share of struggles, just like any couple, but we lean on each other and God during our valleys. I believe God made us for each other and helps us bring out the best in one another. He is my soul mate and I need him and I know he feels the same.
There’s just something about young love: it’s deep and forever lasting."
Attire: Bridal Traditions
Cake: Nickel Pickles Sweet Treats
Cupcakes: Sugar Rush
Appetizers: Exquisite Additions
Catering: Kirk's Catering
Hair & Makeup: Beauty by Andrea Mesimer (also Bridesmaid)
Coordination: Embellished Events for You
Florals: Wildflowers Florals
Photography: Waterhouse Studios
Rentals: A Bushel and a Peck
Venue: The Emerald Hill