The Couple & The Day
Haley Richardson and Brandon Bell were married in July this year at The Barn at Heritage Farm. It was a rustic, simple and elegant and the couple invited 150 people to celebrate with them. They both come from huge families and have tons of friends, so while it was not a big wedding, everyone they loved was able to be there.
Haley: "One of the funniest moments I recall from the wedding day was when our nephew Houston walked off during the portrait-taking after the wedding and said 'Pictures suck!; He got fussed at by his mommy for this and brought back over to the picture scene where Brandon said 'We are almost done buddy' to which Houston replied 'Oh yeah, sure!' in the most sarcastic 5 year old voice possible!!"
The bride also shared a particularly poignant moment during her walk down the aisle. Brandon saw her started to cry and then, "the whole wedding party, and everyone attending, just lost it. In our wedding video everyone is wiping their eyes during my entrance! It was truly the sweetest moment I have had this far in my life. I will never forget that moment as long as I live."
Brandon and Haley have a fairly typical love story that began 5 years ago with a friendship, a relationship, a break-up and then finding their way back to each other. The second time was the charm and they've been inseparable since. What is NOT typical is the proposal. These two love the Atlanta Braves and at a Braves game, he proposed and she was blown away. They are still baseball fans and basketball lovers as well. Brandon is a teacher and basketball coach and Haley is an administrative assistant. They live at the top of a property in Windy Gap with incredible views. "We are so lucky and happy to be where we are!"
Haley is in that special group of women who knew what she wanted, found her dress and never wavered. She wanted it to be fitted and for her chest to be covered and once she found her dress, she stuck with it. She told us that even if she'd had a winter wedding, this would have been her dress. When it works, it works, y'all.
"It was love at first sight! I tried on maybe two other dresses while I was at Bridal Traditions, but I knew my dress was my dress the first time I saw it. We added lace on the back and around the side to take some of the razor cut off the gown. It was perfect and made me feel so much more comfortable."
At BT, we are happy to talk through what is and isn't possible when customizing a dress and we have a list of reputable alterations specialists we can refer brides to. Haley told us that the customization really made it "hers" and that she also appreciated that we reassured her that it wasn’t too early to buy the dress and have it altered to fit.
All of the wedding party attire was purchased or rented from Bridal Traditions including tuxes and the clothes for the flower girl and ring bearer. Obviously we appreciate it when we can be the sole provider, but it also allows the bride to know that everything is consistent and her vision for the wedding party will be realized.
This sweet bride left us with a bit of parting wisdom to share with all of you brides-to-be out there and it's worth repeating: "You don't realize how quickly it's going to all be over. Try to soak up your special day moment by moment, no matter how hard it is because it goes by so FAST!"
Photo Cred: Pyatt’s Photography
While we feel pretty confident in the arenas of wedding and prom fashion, men's suits and tuxedos, the cuts, trends, dos and don'ts around wedding day wardrobe, we can't put a stake in the ground and say, "We Also Own the Marriage Advice Field." In fact, we wouldn't dream of it. We know what we know from our own lives and those of wise people close to us.
It's in that spirit that we offering some gentle, but extremely savvy counsel we've found, heard and learned from personal experience.
Keep it Simple
Wrapping up the planning and execution of a wedding, reception and honeymoon will leave you feeling like you might be able to pull off a Super Bowl halftime ceremony. You and your mate may want to buy and fix up a house, start a brand new business based on a half-baked idea, adopt 3 puppies from the "pound", decide overnight to become full time missionaries, .... you see where we're going? Pace yourselves.
Keep it simple.
You will be amazed at how much you'll still need to learn about each other, about each other's habits, whims, talents and failings and you can't do the most important thing in a marriage - BEING A COUPLE - if you're scurrying around chasing things that can be put on hold.
Deal with Your Own Family
This one almost doesn't need to be explained in this age of confessional social media posts and evolution of self-help books, blogs, podcasts and pre-marital counseling. But it's important, and family interference can cause friction in your own marriage.
Some families are meddlers and eager advice-givers, gossips, and the like. They may assume that you're up at 3 am hoping they'll call to tell you how to run your marriage, life, finances and pantry. Other families are so contained and quiet your mate may wonder if they care at all. Regardless, if YOUR family ruffles his or her feathers, speak directly to your family and smooth things over. If they need to apologize to your beloved, ask them to. It's a brave new world of openness and we all need to get along. Plus, YOUR marriage is ultimately none of THEIR business.
Watch Your Budget
It's that simple and it's THAT HARD. Create a budget. Live within your means. Communicate about what you want to prioritize into your lives and what can wait.
Now say that out loud and send this to your spouse.
People break up over money. It's a serious thing, so be arm and arm about it. Be a team.
Put Respect for Each Other Above All Else
How you treat each other in private is a thing, and how you treat each other in group settings is a BIG thing. Tread lightly and think before you speak when you're hanging with friends, even those you've known for a while, but maybe your spouse is new to.
Treat each other the way you want to be treated. Sometimes wanting to have fun or get your way may mean making your mate feel unheard or misunderstood. If you communicate and show respect for your spouse's wishes and values, you won't find yourself arguing and apologizing later.
And if you need to say something a little "pointed" to your mate: do it in private. Being disrespectful in public is embarrassing and those in your company will not remember the argument, but how poorly you treated your soulmate.
Learn How To Fight with Grace
Learn how to fight with grace AND with an eye to the goal of keeping yourselves strong as a team. Tearing down your partner to win a single argument when you hope to have a lifetime together is a bad idea. (Ask anyone who's been married more than a decade.) You're playing the long game. Put your ego aside. Don't be a bully. AND! Don't be a doormat. Think about what would hurt you and refrain from saying that to your mate. And demand that they do the same. "We love each other! Let's act like it!"
You'll learn this over time, but there are very few "hills to die on." Pick your battles and fight when it's a real issue that matters. Spoiler alert: NOT EVERY ISSUE MATTERS. If you fight about new napkin rings, brands of dryer sheets, whether or not you're taller or whose version of the story is accurate, then when you really want to take a stand about something of substance, you'll just sound like The Crabby One who must always win.
Don't be The Crabby One.
Spend Time Together & Apart
We know those people who want to spend every waking moment hip to hip in a booth sipping from the same shake with two different straws. Time together to download your day and confab is important.
Time apart is incredibly important too. Have you heard the phrase "familiarity breeds contempt"? Well.... it happens. Sometimes too much time together creates unnecessary friction. This can also apply to in-laws, and that's all we'll say about that.
Do Not Take Each Other for Granted
It sounds trite, but remember why you fell in love and why you got married. You will have moments when you think you've moved away from each other because you've gotten distracted by work or you're constantly changing as a human being.
Remember that you're a team and that you're both contributing to this marriage thing. If you take your partner for granted, it says two things: (1) your priorities are skewed and (2) you're ok with your mate feeling neglected, unappreciated, invisible, or irrelevant.
Acknowledge each other! Say Thank You when a small service, like emptying the dishwasher, has been rendered. Understand that those small and large efforts to make the marriage strong are done in love and show appreciation for them..
Ask for Counsel
Find a couple who've been married a long time and befriend them. To tell you the truth, it's better if they are NOT family. Couples who don't have an agenda, but have tons of wisdom and life experience would love to share their thoughts and advice about what is on your heart.
If you need to unpack an issue, argument or tough decision, these couples make great sounding boards and they have no skin in the game. You're someone else's family! Plus - looking to and learning from other generations just makes sense. If you're going through it...... they've already arrived on the other side and can point out the land mines.
Finally, focus on what you have more than what you don't have. All things happen in good time.
Big News for the Guys...
We are not just about rentals anymore.
We now have the top trending suits for retail sale! More grooms want to own their suits, and men do indeed get more use than just their wedding day. So BT decided to meet the demand and we have brought 13 different style samples into the store to make ordering easier!
As an authorized Jim's Formal Wear retailer we are able to offer you access to a quality line of tuxedos, suits and accessories for purchase, in-store and online. Find ensembles ideal for your wedding, destination wedding, prom, homecoming, black tie event or any occasion where a tux or suit is appropriate.
We also have an assortment of bow ties, pocket squares, vests and suspenders available to order or take home that day!
How it works!
You can order suits either in-store or through the online order portal.We stock one sample of the top trending suits in the collection. Sample coat sizes range from 36-50, and pants from 30-44, making it easy to see the color, fabric, and size options firsthand. (Other sizes are available for order although not all are stocked in-store.) Once you have decided on your size, style and color preference we will place your order with the warehouse. Orders typically take 3 days to arrive, as long as the suit is not on back order. We recommend ordering sooner rather than later, just in case.
These two met in neighboring cribs. Kidding, but it's close. They were in daycare together and they still love to joke that their story began when they were first learning to talk. Actually Brittney and Jeremy met via a mutual friend in high school and began dating after a series of effortless conversations. Once Brittney started college however, it was easier to be friends and they settled for that instead.
Flash forward to several years later when they reunited and began talking again. They went on
their second first date on August 5, 2016. It was as if we picked up where we left off. Jeremy proposed on October 10, 2017, which is the anniversary of when I had to have open heart surgery as a child. That day has always been a special day that my family and I celebrate. When Jeremy proposed he said, “Even though they fixed your heart years ago, I want to be the one who takes care of it and protects it forever.” And she said yes, of course! They couple were married at the Gambill Estate in May of 2019.
The Wedding Day
Brittney: "We both love the outdoors. From the time I started thinking about my wedding day when I was a little girl, I always imagined it outside. We found a venue in Roaring River called Gambill Estate, and one of their locations for a ceremony was on a beautiful hillside next to a tree that is over 100 years old and the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background as far as you could see. This was the location we picked.
On our tour day when we booked, Gambill Estate was starting new construction on what would become a beautiful wooden pavilion with recessed lighting and decorative iron railings. This was where we could accommodate extra guests, so the plan was to have indoor and outdoor seating for our reception, but due to the increased chances of rain on wedding day, we chose to have the ceremony at the pavilion. This way we could have the best of both worlds. Our ceremony was still outdoors, but it was covered. We chose to have a rustic/country theme.
I loved the trend of rustic/barn weddings and it was really beautiful."
Brittney watched the weather like a trained meteorologist for weeks and even spent several days before the wedding on a massive search for clear umbrellas (which they ended up using for photos). Ladies who plan an outdoor wedding know that the struggle is real, the actual day started with rain but it ceased in time for the ceremony. You never know! Plan for the worst and expect good things.
"When I started looking for my wedding dress, I thought I wanted something with a lot of lace or all lace and more form fitting and not too “poofy.” Since I wanted an outdoor wedding, I didn’t think I wanted a dress with a train or a veil. I wanted it to be white, not ivory or any other color. I knew I didn’t want a strapless dress, and I wasn’t a big fan of the mermaid or trumpet style dresses on myself. My goal was to try to spend $1,000 or less.
But, I did not stick with my original vision of my dress. There was a dress that I tried on that was all lace and form fitting. I had seen it online, and I knew this was going to be the one. I tried it on and hated it! Then, my mom picked out an ivory A-line style that had a good amount of lace detail, a belt made into it, a short train, and several layers to it that gave it a little “poof” but not
much. She insisted that I try it on, and I fell in love!"
Brittney was certain that she didn't want a veil, but we encouraged her to try one before leaving our boutique. She told us that once it was on, and she saw that the lace matched her dress and where it hit her at the hip, she "felt like a bride." BT also stored the gown for her. She purchased it in January of 2018, but married 16 months later. We're happy to do this when brides need us to.
Brittney's bridesmaids robes and dresses came from Bridal Traditions as did Brittney's jewelry and the Groom and groomsmen's suits, minus the jeans ;)
This Registered Nurse at Wake Forest Baptist Health-Wilkes Medical Center and Site Coordinator for Communities in Schools at North Wilkesboro live in Miller's Creek and love going to movies, concerts, taking walks with our little beagle, Snoopy, and spending time with friends and family.
Congratulations to this lovely couple on their future together and we're so happy that we were a part of their day.
If you are a follower of Bridal Traditions, then you know that we pride ourselves on curating selections of gowns priced at or under $1,000. It's true: you can fall in love with and look amazing in a gown that is not the price of your first car. Ladies say yes to their dress at our boutique every day.
Well, we've added three new collections that not only meet that same criteria, but are absolutely elevated in their style, detail, structure (we don't "DO" online gowns that fall apart) and elegance. Take this gown below from the Omelie collection. Does it not look like modern Grace Kelly or something a modern European bride would wear? It's demure in neckline, but it could go to church buttoned up, or become boho with its floral pattern. SWOON!
Omelie is a private collection with uniquely styled gowns priced just under $1K. These dresses are not only beautiful, they look way more expensive than they are.
The lace details in the Metropolitan are far from traditional, the cut-outs, short fluttery sleeves and long sweeping medieval sleeves show that the bride wanted her gown to be out of the ordinary. Each dress looks and feels custom.
Finally, there is the most traditional of the three new collections - Oreasposa. These dresses, like Metropolitan are from a division of Demetrios Bridal and have a price range from $640 to $865.
We don't throw around the word perfect, because weddings - much like gown shopping - have elements of the unexpected and can be fraught with problems, indecision and lots of changing your mind. That said, this lovely person and bride we're featuring - Sequoia - told us her wedding was a close to perfect as she imagined.
Sequioa and Wendal met in college at UNC-Greensboro in 2012 and became fast friends while living in the Honors Dorm. It was not long before they were going out together in groups and then just the two of them. During their junior year, they had the opportunity to study abroad and took advantage of it, with Sequoia in Northern Ireland and Wendel in Scotland. During that year, they were able to visit each other in the UK and also travel to France, Spain and all over England as well.
After graduation, they started three years of a long distance relationship when Wendel moved to Connecticut to work for Traveler's Insurance. Now, they are located in Charlotte, with Wendel at Traveler's and Sequoia training to be a Registered Dietician.
Sequoia chose burgundy and gold as her colors and coordinated the gowns, men's accessories and decorations accordingly. Everything was sleek, streamlined and elegant for the 90 or so attending friends and family. The couple were married in June of this year at The Colonnade at Revolution Mill. It was lovely, intimate and rustic.
"I walked down the aisle to Always & Forever (by Kevin Simm) and Wendel and I chose to have a sand ceremony. Honestly, I got nervous right before walking down the aisle, but once I did that, I could breathe. When I started walking down, my now-husband began tearing up and he almost made me cry! I can’t wait to get my video back so I can rewatch that moment."
that looks like it was made for her. We lost count of how many people commented to us that her dress looked as though she were the only bride for it. Slim, capped lace sleeves, elegant with the right amount of sheen. Sequoia is a goddess in that dress!
This bride came to us knowing that she wanted satin, no sleeves, but not strapless and a dress that she could dance in that was both fitted and flattering but not heavy. She wasn't interested in lace for the same reason some girls don't want it. They think that it's too old-fashioned. Ladies, those days are over. The right lace on the right dress can be an absolute game-changer and we have story upon story of brides who've changed their mind about an idea after trying on a gown.
"My gown was the second one I tried on, and when I did, all my close girlfriends (who I brought with me) had “the gasp”. “The gasp” means that dress was the ONE. I felt beautiful in it and their reaction told me that it was perfect! I also love the diamond brooch in the middle of the dress near the belly button, but I also love the satin. Satin is one of my favorite types of fabric, it’s just so smooth and flattering!"
Congratulations to Sequoia and Wendel and all the best in your new adventure in life together!
We would like to interrupt your previously scheduled time allotted for gown shopping, venue searching, DJ vetting, hors d'oeuvre tasting and Pinterest pinning to show you what could possibly be your wedding, yes YOUR WEDDING, if you so choose.
All it takes is imagination, will power, convincing your parents (or paying yourself), and a penchant for going your own way. These folks did and so could you.
We'll start with the completely expected outdoor Star Wars wedding, where super villain Darth Vader officiates the ceremony. The bride and groom are adorable and the storm trooper look ready to pounce on anyone who cuts the buffet line.
But seriously, Darth Vader gets to say, "man and wife." With a show of hands - who saw that coming?
We're not sure which volume from Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings this is from, but the Wizard Gandalf not only marries Aragorn and Arwen in The Return of the King, but apparently he also hitches Elfin Lady Galadriel and Hobbit Frodo.
You have to love this one. Shrek and Fiona! If we had a nickel for every time a bride came into Bridal Traditions and wanted to know more about green face paint, we'd have ...... exactly no nickels. #GUTSY
When Zombies Attack, ... or The Walking Wed. We're not sure we get this one, but for Halloween, yes! Here's the little secret: if you're going to do it - commit totally.
Above - the over-the-top Baroque era. Think of Versailles and the French Revolution .... right before the lower classes rose up and beheaded them all. Nothing says "wedding" like excess... and a guillotine. Seriously though, these two look pretty amazing.
Below - inspired by David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly in the 1986 movie Labyrinth. We'll just call it fantasy and leave it at that.
When it comes to themed weddings, Disney has nearly cornered the market. The Little Mermaid below, complete with shocking red hair, mermaid style gown and groom holding a trident.
Comic books, Comicon festivals and conventions, ... say what you will, but graphic novels and comics have taken over theaters and our imagination. If you feel heroic, just go ahead and embrace your comic spirit animal, like Captain America.
Below, in the same vein are video games and these two chose a wedding based on the World of Warcraft. And let's face it: they both look like they won.
Finally, nothing puts the fantasy in a themed wedding like Lewis Carroll and his iconic, if not trippy "children's" novel, Alice in Wonderland. This couple nailed it, from the hats, to the clock and flowers to the mushrooms. As The Queen says, sometimes, you have to "believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast" to make magic.
For your wedding, you decide if a theme is impossible or a dream!
Welcome to El Morro in Old San Juan, where this gorgeous couple below became Emily and Kyle Weatherman in late June of this year. Their wedding pictures are beautiful and we couldn't be more excited to celebrate their marriage and highlight bride Emily.
El Morro is a National Monument that protects over 2,000 inscriptions and petroglyphs, as well as Ancestral Puebloan ruins. They chose this spot because of its beauty and since it is a national monument, with a fort and tons of eucalyptus, there was no need for decor or a theme. The place spoke for itself.
"We got married at 8:30 AM- the fort is now a government park which opens to the public at 9Am so we got married before hours for more privacy. I was told by the park ranger we were the first and only couple he knew of to get married before hours, which I thought was pretty neat. Most people get married after hours but I wanted us all to beat the heat and humidity and also for our guests to have the rest of the day to enjoy their time in PR. We had a small brunch reception to follow back at the Caribe Hilton (where we were all staying) and when we finished with our reception we all met at the pool and spent the rest of the afternoon celebrating."
Brides-to-be: take note! If you don't want a fully traditional wedding where the day or evening is dominating by a schedule, this is the way to go!
The spot is gorgeous and so was the music. As Emily walked down the aisle, her best friend, Michaela Cockerham sang, “I can’t help falling in love with you” and "made the guests tear up and have cold chills." Apparently, several people thought it was a recording until they noticed her up front singing. Emily shared that this was one of her favorite moments from the ceremony. The other was when her new husband tried to "dip her" for the first kiss at the alter and almost fell over with her. The preacher ran over to assist and all ended well, but the crowd thought this was hilarious.
These two met in the 7th grade and shared mutual friends and moved through high school together. After graduation, Kyle joined the navy and was stationed in Jacksonville FL. while Emily attended college. An out of the blue FB message reunited them in 2013 and they turned a few messages into an ongoing conversation. In December of that same year, Kyle returned home and asked Emily to be his girl friend. 3 weeks later he was deployed for 7 months but they have been together since.
Emily came to Bridal Traditions with a specific style of gown and tried on that style multiple times before she told us she realized that it was not the style that fit her the best. Owner Kelly actually recommended the dress that ended up being the one she chose. "Kelly has a great eye for what would look best on someone! I really didn’t factor in my location for the dress I wanted, but luckily my dress traveled well on the airplane, and didn’t hold wrinkles! It was pretty heavy, but I loved it and it was totally worth it!
"I purchased a second dress that was on sale and I plan to wear it for the reception we are having on Aug 3rd. Kyle purchased a linen suit for the wedding and looked about as chill and place appropriate as possible. This couple has style.
Many happy returns you guys and much love from the gang at BT!
and anyone who says otherwise, beloved reader, is trying to sell you a lie. Math doesn't lie. Nor should a dress size mess with your head.
Consider this a Bridal Traditions pep talk disguised as a blog.
Have you ever felt amazing wearing something "ready to wear" or off the rack only to find out that the size was not your usual size? You look fab. You feel beautiful. So here's the big question: what do you care about the label? Seriously. Sit with that for a second. Is it your personality? Is that number you sense of style, your ability to show empathy, your love of family, your intelligence, your loyalty to friends? Nope. Ladies: it's just a number.
Brides often get freaked out about their gown size because at some point, they end up in a dress they love and that dress has a number on it. That number can bring a sense of ratification or mortification, and frankly it shouldn't provide either. It is just a number that the fashion and bridal industry - or some sub-set of the industry - decided was a "size." That size was assigned. It is not who you are.
At BT, what we want brides - and women everywhere - to hear is that an inch is an inch. Some dress manufacturers decide that a 32 inch waist means you are a size 6. Some say that a 32 inch waist makes you a size 12. If you purchased clothes in another country, your head would explode if you saw sizes in the 40s, but there they are. And extraordinarily chic French and Italian ladies don dresses that say 40 and 46 every day and leave their homes with their heads held high.
See this lady above? In Europe, her size is in the 40s. No kidding.
At BT, we hope you'll find a gown that you look beautiful in, that makes you feel like your best self and then buy it. Forget the tag. Forget what society says sizing means. It's meaningless. Size is irrelevant, my dears, and YOU are not.
"Our wedding day was the most magical day of my life. Our ceremony was in a beautiful open chapel with a breathtaking view. We wanted our wedding to be traditional and simple. The night before our wedding, during the rehearsal, the weather was horrible! It was foggy, the wind was blowing really hard and it was freezing! But the next day, when I was heading up the mountain, it was a whole different weather change and I couldn’t have been more thankful."
And so it begins. You wonder if you've planned for something that won't happen and things change for the best. We're so glad that they did for Cassie Mathis and Wesley Johnson who had a gorgeous spring wedding on April 6 of this year at Camp Cheerio Chapel (also known as Pretty Place) and High Meadows Country Club. The photos (from Waterhouse Studios) tell the story of the day and it was indeed spectacular.
These have known each other since they were little kids, but didn't start becoming aware of the other enough to start talking until high school. It's always fascinating to see the shift that occurs when teenagers mature and begin to notice people "for the first time." Wesley's father sells cars and when Cassie found one she liked, she messaged Wesley about it and their lifelong conversation started. They began dating on June 12 of 2011 and exactly one year later, to the day, he asked her to marry him. This teaching assistant and young car dealer now live in Hays, NC with their English Coonhound, Waylon. When they aren't working or at church they are playing outdoors, fishing and hanging with their family and friends.
Cassie shared that during the wedding ceremony, while their song “This is it” by Scotty McCreery was playing, the sun came out completely and everyone felt the moment. "It was like God blessing us and several people told me at the reception that it gave them goosebumps."
Like lots of brides, Cassie had a sense of what she wanted and had seen several options on Pinterest, but she also wanted to try on some dresses just to get a better idea about what she truly liked and might look good in. She know she liked the fit and flare style and after trying on a couple of gowns in that style, her desire to wear that type of gown down the aisle was confirmed. What surprised her was that she chose a v-neck and rarely wears that style in anything else. You never know, ladies!
Lace sleeves looked lovely on her, but due to the location and season, she stuck with the vision.
"I loved the lace detailing on my dress, especially around the bottom and on the train. It was beautiful and I couldn’t have been happier with it! Bridal Traditions was amazing in helping me find my dress. Kelly went through the dresses and pulled out exactly what I was looking for. I made a few changes to my dress and everything was very stress free and she was so helpful to making my dress exactly the way I wanted it. She picked out the perfect veil to go with my dress and helped me complete my bridal look. I had the best experience there and couldn’t be more thankful for all of the help I received."
Cassie and crew also rented all the men's tuxes from BT.
We too are thrilled with how lovely a bride she made, how gloriously their day turned out, and we wish Cassie and Wesley nothing but years of happiness, fun and complete sunshine.