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We can all recognize the merits of shopping online. The ease has made it so common it's almost a default when buying most household and personal items. We can also agree that a wedding gown is not a multi-pack of health supplements or a set of King sized sheets. So, with that in mind, we're revisiting this topic in today's blog. We want to remind our beloved brides that they get way more when they shop local.
Rolling the dice
When you buy your wedding gown online, you are rolling the dice. You may get some semblance of the gown you wanted and you may end up with something that is not even remotely close to the quality, the look, the shape that you dreamt of. Most of those gowns are made in overseas in Asia, and when they ship, there is no guarantees. You've scrolled, chosen, paid, and now you wait to see if your gamble paid off. Does that sound overly dramatic? Check out the internet for horror stories; there are many!
Hi, My name is "Order Number."
When you shop and purchase at Bridal Traditions, we know you. We know your name, your fiance's name, your ideas and preferences, what you've tried on already, your wedding date, and more.
Owner, Kelly Shumate: "We consider it our job at BT to serve our customers from start to finish. In fact, I truly believe that it's an honor. Since we're blessed with customers, you may have to jog my memory, but ultimately it's important that every bride feels valued. Plus, WE MAKE IT FUN. Shopping at BT is about creating a relationship with our clients so that their experience during this exciting time is just that - exciting!"
REMINDER: This should be a time of joy, but often bridal spirits crash when a mail-order dress arrives and it's sub-par or just plain wrong.
And this is where service come in.
If you've ordered online, and there is enough time, you'll still have to return or exchange the gown, and unfortunate brides have found that getting a representative to fix what is wrong is not always easy. Remember, you're an order number, not a bride-to-be.
While we also purchase gowns from reputable manufacturers overseas, we have relationships and systems in place to assist our brides. And, mostly importantly, we have our team and our knack for service. When you shop locally, like at BT, we inspect your dress to make sure the quality is on point. We will press it for you. And we will troubleshoot for you and advocate if something has gone wrong through our factory connections.
Will some person in a factory overseas run around behind the scenes finding out what went wrong and ensuring that it gets fixed? Will they have your wedding date in mind? They won't iron or alter your gown, and your arrangements and timetable are none of their concern.
To us, when you shop and buy locally, the service you receive on both sides of the purchase is priceless.
Buying Local Supports Your Neighbors
It supports your neighbors, certainly, but it also supports other affiliated American businesses and American jobs. Bridal Traditions has been in business for over 20 years, and our factory and vendor relationships span for 10 to 15+ of those years. When we go to the markets to shop widely, they know us by name. Our factory partners take our calls when things go wrong, which means they indirectly serve our brides. When brides buy from us, they are also supporting the sales reps and designers with U.S. based workers. Everything from the people in shipping to customer service to delivery drivers, if it happens on our shores, your purchase from us supports other American jobs, either directly or indirectly.
Buy local, and feel good about what you're giving and what you're getting when planning one of the biggest milestones of your life.
For the Guys
Prom market had plenty for the gentlemen, as well, and this is thanks to Jim's Formal Wear, a brand we love at BT. We work exclusively with JFW, and have for years. Their selections range from traditional to contemporary, with a variety of cuts, colors and styles. They have accessories and shoes and showed off their best looks this year.
Shoes That Complete the Look
As always, we know that our prom goers love elegance and sparkle and we found both!
We hope you'll revisit the first two blogs in this series, and follow us on our social media accounts to see more in the coming months!
Prom Shopping at Atlanta's Market
It's not just a job, it's AN ADVENTURE, especially when it includes BT Owner Kelly Shumate and her long-time friend, pro photographer, and BT employee Misty Case.
These two get it done! They're organized, they have lists made, they're open-minded and curious - and they love to shop for the prom goers in Wilkes County! The trip there and the set ups this year were as awesome as ever. There was plenty to view, lots of great runway moments, and so much to see!
Side slits in skirts, lace up details, and asymmetrical silhouettes all shined at this year's show in Atlanta. There was structure, movement, loads of color, sparkle and shimmer. These gowns make statements.
COLOR, COLOR, COLOR
Pinks/Blushes/Nudes of all shades
If you haven't checked out Part One of this series, we hope you will! Part Three is coming next week and is our last installment celebrating the Atlanta Prom Market of 2023! Do NOT forget to follow our social media accounts during the coming months so that you can keep up with what is coming in to Bridal Traditions in the Prom world!
Dear Promers: Buckle up, because this will be the first in a series celebrating prom gowns and looks for 2023. We are beyond excited about what we found at Atlanta's Prom Market this year. Tune in to this blog for sneak peeks of what is to come and start thinking about what YOU want.
Above: Bridal Traditions Owner and guru, Kelly Shumate (left), along with pro photographer and BT staffer Misty Case went to Atlanta, Georgia and saw all that there was to see! They made proper selections of prom gowns for the ladies of Wilkes County and surrounding areas. And what did they see...?
Kelly: "This was one of the most exciting collections we've seen in a while. After a couple of years of pandemic and recovery, this was the freshest year with new takes and variations. I'm excited about what we saw."
... In a word: GlaM
The Prom Market this year was a revival of texture met with riffs on classic colors, loads of fabric, detailing, creativity, and flattering shapes. It felt fresh, and yes - there was plenty of glam. Not only did we buy new gowns for BT and the BeYoutiful Prom selections, but we were reminded that prom isn't a "phone-it-in" kind of event. It's a milestone and a chance to show who you are, experiment, and have fun.
Above: An absolute stunner, in sophisticated pink, with a hint of jewel detail at the bodice, a wrapped waistline and a statement, flowing skirt.
Below: This gown says Cinderella and Barbie at once. The bejeweled bodice with ribbing and sequins, and flowing skirt are incredible. This gown is a fairytale come to life.
For our prom clients who want to evoke an era, an ethos, or just try something new... we've got you too. Gowns with large graphic flowers, beading, ribbed bodices, super-skinny straps and wild color variations are all on the menu. Be adventurous... it's more memorable.
Above: Dynamic and fun, this dress is a party all by itself.
Below: Chic, rich, an artistic bodice, and pretty in deep pink.
Above: Another stunning blue number with sparkle, shine, a side slit and lots of movement!
Below: This periwinkle gown, with tiers and shimmer is an absolute knockout. There are so many elements, including the waistline, spaghetti straps and exceptional color!
Above: If you love fuchsia, purple, ... if you love Mardi Gras, magic or just whimsy - check out this gown. Gold accent and layers upon layers make it so MUCH FUN!
Below: Can you say "adding sleeves?!" Are you picking up on the blues in the mix? Midnight blue, sparkle, flowing skirt and an elegant silhouette with tulle? Yes, please.
Don't fret if you're frothing at the mouth and cannot buy yet. These gowns won't be in stock for months. It's also important to know that Bridal Traditions did not buy all of these gowns, nor do we buy each gown in an array of sizes. More on that in the next Prom Market blog!
Bridal Traditions' Owner Kelly Shumate recently received the sweetest note, along with these images, regarding her recent wedding in Seattle, Washington. We love hearing from all of our brides about their day, what they loved about their gown on the day, and their experience at BT.
tHE wEDDING dAY
I hope you are doing well. I just got married in Seattle, WA last weekend and wanted to take a moment to say THANK YOU for helping me find the most beautiful dress for my wedding day!!!
My grandparents live in Hays, NC and we would drive by Bridal Traditions every time we went to visit them. I grew up seeing your store and always wondering what my wedding day would be like. You helped me feel like an absolute princess and I could not be more grateful and happy.
My cousin-in-law Alexa was there and she got her wedding dress from you too!!).
Thank you again!!!
Emily's gown had the perfect amount of lace for a traditional vibe, a fitted waist that led to a gorgeous skirt and built-in train, an epic lace detail on the back and beautiful straps and bodice. With her bouquet, jewelry, and lovely smile, she was a knockout bride.
We could not be happier for this beautiful bride and her new husband!
If you're ready to buy your dress, book a visit using the button below.
If you purchased your gown at Bridal Traditions, we would LOVE to share your story and images in our blog. Send us a quick message by clicking the Share Your Story button below and we'll be in touch.
Isn't she lovely?
Yes. The glow says it all!
This bride, and ALL of the brides who found their gowns during our 2023 NBSE, were such a pleasure to work with as we helped them find the dress they wanted, while saving money. If you are not familiar with the NBSE - or our annual National Bridal Summer Event - then please ask us. It's always a time to find beautiful attire at a savings. Our National Bridal Summer Event in July of this year was once again, a wonderful success and we wanted to share some of the gorgeous ladies that found their gowns! Disclaimer: The gowns pictured are NOT the actual gowns they chose; we would never kiss and tell like that. ;)
Our ladies were greeted with signs for their appointments, and several brought friends and family to support and council. We loved being able to explore options with our brides based on their preferences, budget, theme, season or just whims. Below are just some of the gowns and girls from this year.
Our NBSE's are dynamic and watching bride after bride figure out exactly what she wants is what we love and live to do well. Another year is in the books! Phew!
Even if you missed our sale this year we still have amazing pricing, service, and in store experiences all year long, so book today and we can help you find your yes dress!
OUR PROM DRESSING ROOM MAKE-OVER
When neon is involved: it's serious.
Bridal Traditions has re-designed the dressing suites we use for clients going to proms, our moms looking for wedding attire, and our bridesmaids, and we had a couple of goals:
1) update and restyle the space, and
2) empower our clients to be bold.
And who doesn't love a make-over??
Before Images of Our Dressing Suites
Before we could begin, we had to reimagine the space and then create some chaos while moving around this part of our boutique. We wanted a sense of more space, more light and more room to walk and see yourself shine. Trying on a new look can feel crackling with fun or intimidating and we are going for the former: have fun, feel supported, look amazing!
The Transformation Process
We created a wall of greenery, added lighting to the mirrors, and made a space for prom goers, mothers of brides, and bridemaids to see themselves and get excited about the event. The room feels much bigger and we're excited to have clients come see it.
After Images of our Dressing suites
Owner Kelly Shumate: "I'm really happy with the results! It was time to freshen up this space and we've added touches that our customers are going to appreciate."
Finally, ladies: wait until you see what we found in Atlanta at this year's prom gown buying conference. Buckle up! In the meantime, we're excited about this renewed space, so come see us!
We want to shine some light on our fellows at WCWV, so we're sharing each on the BT blog. Today, our Wilkes County Wedding Vendors deal in greenery and flowers, and sugar and butter, and all of them have creative heft.
April Flowers and Holy Cow Farms specializes in wedding flowers and florals for events and their work is gorgeous. It's lush, abundant, and elegant.
Our other floral vendor is The Pearl and The Petal. They are incredibly talented with custom bouquets and arrangements, as well as ideas for any event or spaces.
In the WCWV cohort, we have a singular baker: Dom Bakeries. They can deliver based on your theme and in budget.
If you want to know more about the Wilkes County Wedding Vendors, and how to become a member, we hope you will!
If you are thinking about your honeymoon, considering your options, and making plans, this is Part 2. If you want a bit more and missed our last blog: check out Part 1.
Americans spend an average of 2.5 hours on social media each day, day after day. We love it, we hate it, we connect with our friends and occasionally our better selves, we find it annoying one minute and exhilarating the next. We also know that know we need a break from it. Newlyweds are deciding to take a break engaging in social media while on their honeymoons. Why post when you're focused on each other and connecting? Couples either remove the app from their phones or they show some self-discipline and simply don't log in. Others choose to post a few images at the end of each day.
"Mega-moons," Splurge Moon, & YOLO
It's actually true... you only live once. To that end, if you can spend money, spend with no regrets and plan well. Get the great hotel in the cool part of town or near the sites, book the exclusive reservation at that restaurant, stay an extra week, book first class seats on the plane, do the safari in Kenya instead of something an hour away by car. In other words: shoot for the moon. Create the honeymoon experience that you will talk about for a lifetime.
We are a nation of foodies. You cannot have the diversity of immigrants with recipes in the US, and around 20 million dollars in cookbook sales each year, and deny it. We love to cook and explore and we love to eat.
Gourmet honeymoon options are as numerous as they are diverse. Go to Fairbanks, Alaska for the natural beauty and for restaurants serving uniquely-prepared fresh fish dishes. Louisville, Kentucky is perfect for foodies who love a Kentucky Hot Brown with some bourbon on the side. Napa Valley is, well ... Napa Valley. Superb vineyards mean that restaurants have sprung up around them serving organically grown California fruits, vegetables, proteins and flavors. New York City has plenty of distractions, but it is also a mecca for the gourmet. Go to Italy and learn how to make pizza or pasta, understand when figs are ripe, and which olive oil you should use for cooking and which for finishing. Food is where it's at. Celebrate your marriage and walk off the pounds site seeing.
Whatever you choose, set a budget, talk through it, get excited and do what suits you both best!
Back in the day, newlyweds went to Niagara Falls for their perfect honeymoon. It managed to be romantic, with lots of natural beauty, had some small town attractions, and yet provided privacy. And it's still a great option for love birds. Or couples said "I Do" and retreated to a cabin, sunned on a beach, or toured some part of Europe to have a mini-adventure. These are the classic honeymoon plans.
Things change and they stay very much the same. We are still all in love with romance, with art, with waterfalls, with privacy, and escape in general. Romance while making memories is still key, so if you're planning your wedding and considering your options, consider these trends for 2023 and 2024.
Find Your Destination
Destination possibilities are endless if you want to travel abroad. Depending on your goals you can see and/or do NOTHING to your hearts' content. Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard, New Orleans or Miami beach, Aruba, Saint Lucia, the Bahamas, Costa Rica and parts of Central Coast California - are all places where couples are flocking for sun and surf.
Interested in something more gothic and romantic: Try Scotland, the Isle of Skye, London, Dublin or the Lake District in England. There is enough natural beauty, history and great culture to absorb, while still feeling like you're the only two people in the world.
For honeymooners who deeply care about where- and how- they travel, this trend will resonate strike a chord. If your environmental footprint matters, you may want to consider how and where you travel, what kind of impact you make and what resources you use. Traveling responsibly may look like protecting wildlife, preserving culture and heritage, and respecting locals while you're "getting away." Or it may mean camping, driving instead of flying, choosing an AirBnB where resources aren't "one use," etc.
MiniMoons is another new trend, and it makes sense for new couples. Take a small trip now, and then bigger trip down the road. After the I Dos, run away for a long weekend. Then plan a series of getaways as a couple to destinations (waterfalls, concerts, rollercoasters, national parks, iconic spots) in thoughtful order - when you can - to make the honeymoon last.
This is a wonderful option for those who may have missed their post-wedding vacay during the pandemic or for any other reason. Maybe now you are parents. It's happened, ladies!!! And many of these same couples have missed their friends. This new type of getaway has emerged and it includes a traveling party with kids, friends, family and a devil-may-care attitude.
Visit the Past
According to The Knot, "Standing before archaeological wonders and marveling at the preservation of ancient history are trending bucket list items among 2023 honeymooners. Eager history buffs have singled out honeymoons with a focus on Cleopatra's Egypt or the trade-heavy pathways of the Silk Road. This includes seeking out trips that focus on the birthplace of civilization or other historical events that have changed the ways of mankind. From hiring local experts with a deep knowledge of local history to cultural landmarks that paint a deeper tale, the return to antiquities will be seen throughout 2023."
Volunteer honeymoons allow the newlyweds to travel the world while giving back to those in need. Such unique honeymoon trends aim at making a difference while creating lifelong memories along the way. Recommended volunteer honeymoon ideas: Organic farming, build shelter for the homeless, help endangered animals, and preserve hiking trails.