Rebekah and Nick were married at The Emerald Hill and the images of them in that lovely outdoor setting.
Rebekah's gown purchased at Bridal Traditions was an absolute stunner. The lace, thin straps, open back, and veil all worked beautifully together. With her pale blue and white bouquet in the bucolic setting of The Emerald Hill, it was perfection.
Congratulations, Rebekah and Nick! Here's to many, many happy decades of marriage.
Photography; Tolman Media Co. (Main Photographer; Emma Horner, Second Shooter: DJ Washington)
DJ; Rodney Thompson
Venue; The Emerald Hill
Bride & Bridesmaid's Wedding Attire: Bridal Traditions
How it Started . . . How it's Going
Somewhere between the photo on the left and the photo on the right, my heart was apprehended and transformed. My niece, Stacie has been a part of my life since birth, of course (I'm her favorite Aunt, by the way), but she has also been a big part of the atmosphere at Bridal Traditions for two decades. Recently, she moved on to her next chapter, and I had to say goodbye and set her free.
No one tells you that Memory Lane is actually more like a crowded boulevard of little vehicles that will transport you if you fixate on each one. If every car on this Lane is a moment, my Memory Lane with "Stace" is a traffic jam of some of my favorite moments from the last 20 years of owning and operating Bridal Traditions. This child hung out at the shop when she was just old enough to be dazzled by the gowns, the jewelry and the ideas of fashion and dress up. She helped in more practical ways when she was old enough to follow my lead, and as she got older she became.... annoying, hilarious, and beautifully invaluable.
Stacie tried on the prom gowns in her tweens and teens, and participated in the annual Wilkes County Christmas parade. She was our model, our jokester, our Young Opinionated Marketer. She was my child, and later when she became an adult - my friend, my coworker and my welcome distraction. Stacie pushed me, made me laugh hysterically, drove me crazy, and filled the air at BT with her special brand of magic. As sad as I am to see her go, I'm so unreasonably proud of her, I wouldn't change a thing, or trade one single moment.
While Stacie started working at Bridal Traditions as a fun little helper and sidekick when she was young, she became an employee for all four years of high school and one year of college. Ultimately, she decided to strike out, and head to Western Carolina to finish her undergrad degree and dive into pre-law. After two more years of college, she will head toward getting her Juris Doctorate in Business Law. You know the moment is going to come, but I was not ready. Her last few weeks felt like the long goodbye, but not the last goodbye. That said, we threw her a party and afterwards - all the way home - I cried my eyes out.
Stacie's style and passion these days is Western meets Southwestern. She loves turquoise, cowgirl boots, steers and bulls, and the wilds of the West. I have to say, it suits her. She is bright and untamed, but absolutely holds the reins. For her send off, I asked the brilliant bakers at Indulge Bakery to create sweet treats and they nailed it. Our team gave her going away presents and tried to give advice, but we mostly joked and tried not to cry.
This gorgeous and smart young woman will stay in my life, but she lives in my heart forever... my broken, proud, and grateful heart. I love you, Stace. There will never be a day when I won't be cheering for you in every thing you do. I miss you already, so you better go get 'em!
We have so many new arrivals that we brought back from market, it was hard to choose which items to feature. You'll need to visit Bridal Traditions to look through our menagerie of goodies. For now, here are a few of our absolute favorites, including earrings, bracelets and garters.
Whether they sparkle, identify the bride, have a playful or graphically fun quality, we love earrings, and so do our brides.
Jewels and jewel tones continue to be popular, and ladies, you don't need to be getting married to want these in your Weekend Get-away, Off to College or Because I'm Worth It bag!
We loved these bangles. They are for bridesmaids, for prom goers and for anyone who loves a bit of bling. Buy one to coordinate or because you love the color or stack them!
This whole things became A Whole Thing in the Middle Ages, when brides and grooms would be trailed to their marital bed by the entire wedding guest list. Too much? We agree. Back in the day, garters were festooned with symbols of virginity and fertility. Now they are just a fun way to interact at the reception and allow the groom to have something to toss into the crowd. We love the garters in a variety of colors, and with little emblems and details that personalize them!
We encourage you to come check out our selection of accessories! Reminder: we sell these off the rack only, so once something is gone we cannot guarantee we can restock!
BT Brides are savvy, and we would like to think that we play some part in that! We work hard to educate our brides, grooms and their attendants through these blogs, our website, social media, and when they come visit us at our boutique. This particular blog is another attempt to set expectations, so that each and every bride that purchases a gown from us is truly happy with her purchase.
So let us just start by saying: BT Owner Kelly works tirelessly to keep two very important goals on equal footing: keeping her bridal customers happy and her business in the black. "This is incredibly important to me."
This Gown is "The One"
Gowns and wedding trends come along and sweep girls off their feet. We see this at our boutique, and you see it on Instagram. From eyeglasses to shoes to purses, when a trend takes off, it sweeps like a California wildfire.
A design that is trending, or has a universal appeal is irresistible. So, let's be honest, although not every dress that comes into our store is a hot seller, there are those that are, and Bridal Traditions will sell the same gown multiple times over the course of weeks or even years. Believe us when we say, gown manufacturers will continue to create the same dress for as long as there is a demand and they can source the materials to create it. Manufacturers are also selling to other shops, not just ours.
No bridal shop is required to put a cap on the number of times it sells a particular gown. And yet BT does! This is part of Kelly's commitment to her brides. "I understand that once a bride falls in love with a gown, it feels like it is 'hers.' Believe me, I get that." What is important to remember though is that you may purchase your gown and wear it in a local wedding one year, and another bride may purchase the same gown the next year and wear it in Seattle.
That said, capping the number of times we will sell a gown means putting happy brides over our bottom line. If we can sell a $1,000 gown to 20 brides, but we cap the number at 10 times, we are leaving essentially $10K on the table that another bridal shop may scoop up. It's a tenuous dance that we do, and we take handling these decisions seriously. We promise that we are in conversation and consultation about this year after year. "With many designers creating look alike styles, plus the use of social media, it's becoming more and more of a challenge to provide brides with an exclusive dress while maintaining the price points that we do," Kelly adds.
We are not cut throat, nor are we greedy, but we do have revenue goals and our sales teams' livelihoods depend on these revenue dollars. We love our brides, but we also have to make a profit or Bridal Traditions will cease to exist.
A Hard Truth
If you want a gown that no other person has, be they in your town or elsewhere on this spinning marble we call Earth, then you need to sit down with a designer and create it from scratch. Celebrities do this, as do humble North Carolinians. A custom gown is THE ONLY way to ensure that no other girl will get married in your gown.
Some Solutions. . .
We are not fans of laying down some hard truths without also providing some helpful solutions, so consider these bullets as you plan to look for your wedding gown:
> If you have gal pals or even frenemys who are also getting married the same year and roughly in the same area you are, have an honest conversation with them once you've found the gown you believe is "the one." Just keep in mind; they still may choose any dress they love, including yours.
> Ask the bridal shop how many times the gown you love has been sold that year; that may end up being a factor to weigh as you decide.
> Be open to trying on more than the gown you've had on your Pinterest board for 2 years. A survey of our blog's "Featured Bride" blogs will tell the story of bride after bride who's come into our shop with a "I must have this one" mentality, only to leave madly in love with a gown we've suggested she try on "just to see." It happens way more than you think.
> Remember that some of the designers that BT works with can make custom changes to your gown. Consider this if you still want the gown, but want yours to be a bit different.
> Remember that gowns can be accessorized. Your belt, veil and jewelry can shift your whole look so that the overall effect is custom to you. At Bridal Traditions, we often say that the look isn't complete until all the elements are in place.
And most importantly; You are still YOU in your gown, no matter how many other brides have worn or will wear the same dress. It's still a unique moment in time. Always remember that we are here to help, so ask questions. We will do our best to help you in any way we can!
This lovely woman is Noel Armstrong, and she and Groom Chase Johnson pulled off a perfectly amazing wedding (with some terrific and poignant DIY) in September of last year and BT was thrilled to play our part. Read on...
Ashley Wagner Long
These two were married in 2021, but they have known each other since kindergarten. You heard us correctly. Ashley shared with us that they were in Mrs. Casey's class at Mountain View Elementary and while she was not aware of Justin, he claims to have been completely aware of her. It took a while, but they found each other again and said "I Do" for life in June. Read on...
Kylie and Sam are musicians who met through marching band and orchestra at the University of South Carolina and fell in love. Both musicians have since graduated and found their dream jobs actually teaching band and music to middle and high school students. Kylie shared that it was amazing that they met through music, have some of the best memories around making music, and now have made it their professions. Read on...
We love it when a bride shares images from her bridal portrait session or her wedding with us. Sometimes, we get a full run down of every detail of the day, but occasionally a bride - like Tabitha - will just kindly send us images and we get such a kick out of seeing The Final Product! Read on ...
We love to celebrate our brides, from the moment that they walk in uncertain about what they are going to get, right up to the moment when we see their wedding photos. More to come as we celebrate some of our favorite brides from the last couple of years. CONGRATS TO ALL!
Why We Go To Atlanta's Market
In a word: you. We go for you! This is indeed one of the places that Bridal Traditions explores and makes purchases for the upcoming season, but it's also where we see what is trending, what is still in "favored status" and what is a complete surprise.
The Atlanta Market showcases new looks, new styles and ensures that we have the selection that girls in Wilkes and surrounding areas deserve. We live to serve you ladies. We also feel it's our duty to curate. We know our market. We know our clientele and we choose accordingly. Below is just a sampling of what we saw this year. There will be more to come. Count on it!
Jewel Tones for Prom
Va-va-voom is one caption that comes to mind when we look at the emerald, cherry and black dresses we encountered. These are statement dresses perfect for prom and formal parties that follow. Any of these would speak volumes when you enter prom and be an investment for later should you find yourself in a party chapter of your life.
Call it exotic. Call it whimsical. We found ourselves fairly enchanted with these gowns that showcase feathers, flowers, layers of tulle, visible boning and cut-outs, sparkle and glitter. Some of the same styling that we've seen in bridal over the last couple of years is, once more, showing up in prom attire. Gowns in pale blue, dove gray, sage and laurel greens, exhibit a sort of fairytale quality, and when you highlight them with butterflies, and clever details in the folding of fabric: they are stunners!
Showing some leg
When Angelina Jolie stuck her leg out at the Oscars, low those many years ago, many of us thought, "WOW!" Others reportedly thought she was hinting a bit too much. Is it even hinting if you show that much?
Opinions will differ, but prom is for girls of a certain age (15 - 18 years old). Our goal is to make you feel fabulous, but not compromised. So let us just say that there are slits in gowns that are elegantly placed, and there are slits that border on risque. We are not old ladies wagging out fingers, so we chose those gowns that you'd be proud to wear, but aren't so suggestive that you'll have regrets.
As for other styles and fabrics, we chose well there too! Knits, sequins, ball gowns, dresses featuring cowl necks, etc. If you have a style in mind - or a size you need, we bought up to 28 - we're here for you. BT will let you know when it's time to come view, but in the meantime - start planning!
Overwhelmed with Pinterest boards?
Bought too many magazines?
Watched too many movies about weddings, brides, feuds, romance, budgets, gowns, planners, and feel like you want to run into traffic?
Well, here's a little love, and more importantly, support.
Wilkes County Wedding Vendors is a Facebook group designed for local brides, grooms, wedding vendors, and other local community members who wish to communicate about weddings and events, find collaborators, discover ideas and get organized.
Within this group, you can ask questions, sell your wedding decor, and search for local vendors. Consider it a knowledge base for local vendors and people ISO (in search of) various and specific items for their big day. Let this group be your go-to for local wedding planning.
While you all are keeping yourselves tanned and bronzed this summer, it reminds us that autumn weddings are on the horizon. Any of you out there planning and in need of inspiration? Well, here you go
Imagine a bouquet of rust, marigold, eucalyptus, evergreen, gold, agave, desert rose, spice, and blues.
These styles and more will be arriving in store soon! Request free color swatches here https://www.bridaltraditionsnc.com/bridesmaids.html
Dear Grooms and Groomsmen (and the ladies who love them),
It's time for some straight talk about men's garment rentals, but we promise to be as gentle and understanding in this message as we are when we help you suit up. Just as it's key that you get the right sized suit or tux for your body and for the occasion, it is equally important that you "right-size" your expectations when it comes to renting a suit or tux. It is vital to know what to expect and what is expected of you, but the good news is: WE ARE HERE TO GUIDE YOU!
When Your or Suit Arrives
Your rental suit or tuxedo will arrive 2-3 days before your event. Please read that again.
You are renting these items and they cannot be stored in your closet for weeks before or kept for weeks after.
Because these garments do not belong to any one person, they are being worn, cleaned and shipped all over the place, day and night, to accommodate demand. You cannot expect to rent an item and store it in your closet until your big day.
Your garments must be returned the next business day after your event, so that they can be cleaned and shipped to another person with your same size for HIS big day. You don't want to be stressed out waiting, right? Neither does the groom who happens to be your size.
The good news is that we rent from JFW, a reputable and well-established vendor, and they take the distribution and care of their garments very seriously. Mistakes can happen, but we've worked with them for more than 15 years and we trust them.
Alterations to Rentals: Nope!
When you come to Bridal Traditions to rent your suit or tux, we take down your measurements to get you the best possible fit we can. Suits and tuxes have come a long way over the last few decades in terms of styles, cuts and fits, and rentals have largely kept up. We get your measurements and find the best fit for you. These garments still do not belong to you, so you absolutely may not alter any of the items you've rented. Not only do adjustments mess up the suit for anyone who wants to rent it after, you will be responsible for purchasing those items. If you alter items to fit you, they should belong to you.
TO RECAP & REMEMBER:
If any of this stresses you out, we understand. We truly do, guys. Renting isn't for everyone, but there are advantages to it, just as there are advantages to buying. If you would rather buy a suit, let's talk. We can help alleviate your stress around renting or assist you in buying what you need for your special occasion. Just know that BT is here for you as you make your wedding day plans and choose what you plan to wear, and we'll always do our best to get you exactly what you need.
Jessi Miller and Aaron Hass were married the first day of May in 2022 at Red Cedar Farm and this couple's "meet cute" was pretty cute.
Jessi: "I was getting ready to graduate from nursing school and needed to renew my BLS (Basic Life Support), so I went to the fire department looking for a class. Aaron answered the door at the station. Then a few days later, as my best friend and I were on our way to graduation practice, she said she had someone she wanted me to meet. She pulled up a picture of Aaron and I was like, “I just met this guy!”
After officially dating for two years, the got engaged in November of 2021 and the planning began.
Jessi's mom is a wedding director and Jessi wanted an outdoor wedding. She and Aaron felt that it was more "them." On the day, according to Jessi: "It rained all day.." Fortunately, it stopped raining right before Jessi was to walk down the aisle, so her mom - who was right by her side - ran out to wipe off the chairs and the ceremony went off beautifully. With photographer Lauren Church Penley, they were able to get some great shots outside!
This bride shared with us that her Pinterest board would tell the average person EXACTLY what she had in mind for her gown: A-line skirt, flowy at the bottom and with lots of details. She tried on other styles, but knew what she wanted. She found it - and just in time - at Bridal Traditions.
"I ended up getting my dream dress! I think it was maybe the 5th one I tried on at Bridal Traditions. I was feeling panicked, because I planned our wedding so quickly, and dresses can take so long to come in. I felt like I was running out of time to find one or that I may have to buy one without feeling 'the moment.' I put on my dress and was immediately in love. I hadn’t even seen in it in the mirror yet, just looking down at it I had my moment."
This gown has so many lovely details, from the lace on the straps and skirt, to the open back, and layers and layers of beautifully trimmed tulle. It is a stunner of a dress and Jessi wore it beautifully.
Congratulations to Jessi and Aaron on this first year of marriage and here's to many, many happy decades together!