Megan Green and Garrett Grogan were married in late September of this year at Big R Orchards Wedding and Event Venue. Beautiful couple, beautiful day and beautiful wedding party.
Ladies, there is more than one way to meet your partner in life, but starting as friends has so often led to success that we feel obliged to point it out again. Megan and Garrett were introduced by mutual friends and then they became best friends. Only later after they knew each other did they fall in love and realize that they wanted to make a life together.
The Wedding Day
There was a call for rain, but during a year when the pandemic stole every headline and proverbially rained on nearly everything else, these two managed to coax the sun out. They were able to assemble a small group of people (many of whom they hadn't seen all year) to celebrate with them. The bride and her bridesmaids prayed together and then the couple said their vows near the water in what turned out to be a bucolic and lovely ceremony.
Megan wanted a corseted back, but not a ballgown or anything too big or with pockets. She'd seen dresses in magazines with those shapes and features and thought about it, but after trying on a few, knew it was a big NO. She did not stick with her original ideas at all in fact. Megan chose lace and an A-line skirt.
"I felt amazing in it and everyone loved it. It made me feel great about myself and I just knew that I wouldn't find something I loved more than that dress. I knew if I didn't pick that particular one, I would later regret it!"
Megan bought her gown from BT during our Small Business Saturday Sale in 2019 for a fraction of the price and told us how thrilled she was to get it that day.
"You guys are all so kind and ready to help. Being in the 'plus size' category, ya'll still made me feel great about myself, helping me pick out the veil and belt for the dress. The range of dresses available for plus size brides to try on was great!"
Megan wanted us to mention several of her vendors who hleped make the day possible.
Branson Customs (@bransoncustoms) did a lot of wood work for different decorations including the guest book and cake topper in particular.
Kathy Bell Peters took the couple on at the last second as clients and worked miracles.
HeatherMae Photography (@HMaePhotography) was an absolute dream to work with and made Megan feel beautiful during the whole process.
Rustic Flair Rentals created the cross that anchored their wedding vows.
Congratulations Megan and Garrett! We hope your first year of marriage stays sunny, healthy and happy.
We love them, our bridesmaids and the brides we serve at BT love them too. In fact, brides choose them for just that reason - they are our friends, our sisters, co-workers, and peers.
There were times when we only asked for two people to stand up for us at our weddings. Then we went through an era of needing a dozen girls. Now, we choose our favorite people (unless strong armed to include every cousin). These ladies should be clothed in splendor and never has there been a better time to be a bridesmaid.
Bridal Traditions sends brides and bridesmaids here to get started and then to come see us. We buy collections from Kanali K, so you can check them out too.
The styles for bridesmaids these days are more gorgeous, more varied and more interesting than they have ever been in the history of weddings and the rules are more loose too. Brides are keen to let their best girls wear what suits each one's particular body shape while still keeping with a color palette or theme. All hail the plurality of the new world. Let's all celebrate not being cookie cutters of each other.
The colors get better every year too. What used to be pastel only has opened up to a range of jewel tones, earth tones and colors with names that sing: fern, cobalt, garnet, lilac.
We are encouraging BT brides who are going to marry in the spring or summer of 2021 to work with their bridesmaids and order bridesmaids' dresses NO LATER than December 19th, our last day of operation at BT. We will be closed from December 20th until the New Year and will reopen on Saturday, January 2nd. Orders can back up in the first months of the year, so getting your orders in is a smart move. It allows you time for alterations and breathing room is something everyone needs when you have other logistical items in your life.
Don't forget that we're always here to help!
Ready to hear what is new in bridal for 2021? What is staying and shifting? While trends don't have hard and fast stop and start dates, they do evolve, so here is a preview of what is on the horizon that is new and what is here to stay a bit longer.
Black gowns are here to stay, if only in the present and for the coming year. Black gowns and black accents add a twist on elegance for brides who want something unique. Don't knock it. It is indeed on trend and we've had lots of looks at these gowns in our boutique.
Boho isn't going anywhere either, and we certainly understand the love of this trend. It's even bleeding into other trends. One of these newer trends is called Cottage Core. It is a romantic and fanciful look that, according to the experts, lands you somewhere between grandma chic and fairytale. From what we've seen, it is dramatic and theatrical in a way that other gowns seek to be understated and architectural. The Cottage Core look includes lots of lace, off the shoulder necklines and sleeves that flow, layers of fabric in the skirt, and a hint of a Harlequin Romance novel.
In 2021, we are also going to see short gowns, more ruffles, and Illusions lace in the bodice. Lace, dear readers, is still the queen because brides love it and it looks so beautiful on most everyone. We'll also see more floaty gowns with softer contours, full A-line skirts versus ballroom and mermaid skirts. And don't forget deep-V necklines. Those are here for at least another year.
Believe it or not, capes are an addition to gowns and they are remarkably cool. There are also little add on boleros and other extras that you can add and then remove for the reception.
Very little Traditional White
What was once only a "white only" proposition has now gone the way of the marketing firm and new names. This will continue in 2021. Brides are rarely choosing gowns in "white." Beige or cream is now considered the standard white, and there is still the desire for champagne, nude, buff and other skin tone related colors for the gown or for underneath the lace of a gown.
Bridesmaid's Colors & Textures
Bridesmaids continue to be big winners in the Options Department with colors of an amazing variety. The usual blushes, blues, roses are still in play, but you'll see more wine, navy, dusty blue, rust, fern, ivy, forest, mustard, eggplant, and olive. Bridesmaids are still choosing styles in a color so that personalities and body types can be accommodated and photos more interesting. Whether in crepe, chiffon or satin, a mix of these colors is available for brides and their bridesmaids. The mix and match trend is strong.
At BT, we know our brides pretty well and provide the array needed for the curious and trendy, the traditional and the "out there." If you dream it, we will try to find it. In the meantime, our encouragement and advice is steadfast: find a gown that makes you feel beautiful, fits you comfortably and showcases you as The Bride you want to be.
BT's owner and expert, Kelly Shumate is armed with some basic information about dresses and we'll be sharing more as inspiration hits. As it happens, she's asked loads of questions not just about the style of a gown, but why certain dresses feel and fit differently. There are big differences for sure and Kelly's view is that an informed bride tends to make the right decision about her gown - be it in style, shape, embellishments, size, etc. Informed brides are more often happy brides and those are always our goal.
So grab a pen, have a read and always feel free to ask questions when you're in our boutique. We're here to help!
Brides ask me all kinds of questions about wedding gowns, but today I want to focus on the structure that makes a gown a gown and not just a sundress or simple sheath.
Dresses have structure built into them like boning through the bodice and in the bra, and these allow the gown to have and to hold a shape. In fact, that structure helps to keep the dress where it's supposed to be on your body. If you buy a white sundress for a beach wedding, that's another story. What I am talking about is wanting to have the elegance and fitted look that makes a bride look and feel like a bride.
When trying on dresses, girls tend to push on the boning and I'm always smacking their hands and telling them to stop! They want it to feel a certain way, but the fact is you can bend or even break it and then you end up with a concave or saggy looking bust area. I don't need to tell you (but I will) this is not an attractive look.
Quick history lesson, girls: from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries into the early 20th century, women's undergarments had built in structure. It was unavoidable. If you've seen the movie High Anxiety, Nurse Diesel (played by actress Cloris Leachman) wore a bra that would poke your eye out. (Ask your mom or gramma; they'll know...or look below). They were padded more, more pointy, had more seams criss-crossing for shape and modesty and women just put up with it. Then in the late 60s and early 70s women started burning their bras AND NOW YOU KNOW WHY! But that's another blog.
These days, comfort is king and we've become accustomed to spandex and stretchy fabrics that provide a smooth look, mold to whatever shape we are, but provide very little structure. Girls see themselves in a gown with a structured bodice, it feels weird when compared to our everyday clothes, so in-turn they feel like they look weird. I assure you they do not. Below are gowns with no or light structure and both are fabulous and I will say, more comfortable.
I would like to provide one caveat about comfort equalling no structure: my bias for structured gowns is based on the fact that generally they just look better. They make brides look gorgeous and elegant. Everything is held into place, if you catch my drift, and they are not the tortured garments that make a girl feel like she cannot breathe.
Now! Manufacturers of wedding gowns ARE catching up. They are making gowns that have almost no or absolutely no boning or structure and they are slick and slinky, but we don't sell a ton of them because ultimately brides realize that they want to look like a bride, not a girl on the catwalk. If you want beading, lace and off the shoulder looks (just to name a few options) then some built in boning is a must.
It's important to me and to the BT team that all brides feel their most beautiful and their most comfortable. It's doable, ladies and we're here to help you!
In early October of last year, Candice and her groom (and now husband) Austin made it official at Williams Farm. It was a perfectly lovely and small wedding with friends and family and a picture-perfect bride.
These two kept finding each other after other relationships and navigating work life until they realized that their destinies were connected. Candice told us that the moment she will always remember, is when he saw her for the first time in her gown and everything felt like it slowed down.
Candice chose a dress right off one of our mannequins after her mom pointed it out. She thought that is might be "too much dress" but fell in love with the neckline, back details and skirt. It suits her and looked amazing on her!
Candice said that she felt like a princess in her gown and, full disclosure, we were looking forward to working with her.
Candice: "I worked with Kelly during a BT Prom Model event years ago and we hit it off from the start. I knew that I wanted to work with her and her crew and purchase my dress from BT. She helped pick out multiple options, in different styles, even if I wasn’t crazy about them and she made me try them on because she said 'you never know.' She’s so friendly and I’m so glad I got to work with her."
We wish this pair nothing but joy, health and happiness and so appreciate their business with Bridal Traditions.
Katie and Hunter met in middle school and it started with a wink. They sort of fell for each other right after that, and the period that followed was made up of their parents driving them on dates to tractor pulls and the like, until they could get licenses, and through Katie attending UNC-Greensboro to get her degree. Hunter attended NC A&T and after he proposed, they bought and renovated a home together in preparation for getting married. It gave them time to get to know each other even more. Falling in love in your early teens is one thing; hanging drywall and painting is what tells you that you've found your mate in life.
Hunter's proposal, which took place on March 7, 2018, was pretty fantastic, if we at Bridal Traditions can be any judge.
Katie: "My mom and my sister “planned” a trip to Boone. My sister was going to be attending ASU in the fall, so we were going to tour the campus. When we got up there we began our day at a t-shirt shop on King Street. While in the store the cashier asked if I was Katie and then handed me an envelope. In the envelope was a letter stating that a beautiful day was about to begin and that I needed to head to a specific address for the next clue.
I knew what was about to happen. We went to 3 other locations for clues including a fudge shop and a park where I found my dad sitting on the bench waiting on us. The last clue sent us to a park in Blowing Rock, and it was beautiful. The day was so cold, and it began to snow a little bit when we arrived at the park. In the middle of the park was a gazebo. Hunter was there with one of my best friends who captured the proposal on her camera. When I finally reached the gazebo Hunter got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was absolutely perfect and it was a day I will never forget."
The Wedding Day - Take 2
Clearly, we've all heard the heart-breaking stories of long-planned weddings being disrupted, rescheduled or replanned due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The tale of Katie and Hunter is similar. Their wedding day was planned for June 20th and they did actually get married that day, but there were no guests. Some of their wedding party may have been exposed to the virus so 2 days before the BIG DAY, Katie was calling everyone to tell them that they would be celebrating instead on July 25th. On THAT day, they were married in a smaller ceremony at The Barn at Cranberry Creek.
The bride and her bridesmaids spent the morning of the wedding creating silly tik tok videos while getting ready, and she was able to have First Look moments with both her father and her groom. They read their vows to each other while alone, instead of in front of everyone else, and Katie shared that this made the moment more memorable.
The weather was gorgeous that day, the venue was perfect for a July wedding of 150 instead of 250 and the photographer Danielle George was able to capture all the little moments that this bride wanted.
Katie said that she really had no specific vision for her gown beyond wanting it to be comfortable, make her look beautiful and to be affordable. Those are three areas we specialize in. She also knew that she wanted a sparkly belt, because she'd been watching "Say Yes to the Dress" and thought they added a lot. We hooked her up!
Not only did Katie get her gown off the rack, and did not need to order, but we made sure that there were embellishments and details she loved.
Katie: "BT was amazing!! Kelly and her helper who was there during my appointment helped me so much. They found dresses for me and made me feel like the perfect bride. I could not imagine buying my dress from anywhere else. Kelly helped me get into each dress and made them fit perfectly. I was able to buy my dress right off the rack which saved me the stress of having to order it. The most helpful thing that made my experience amazing was that Kelly and the other girl were there to help me throughout my whole appointment. They catered to me and found the perfect gowns for me to try on."
Katie: it was our pleasure, we promise you!
The Send Off
If at first you don't succeed, ... try again with the knowledge that things may turn out even better in the end. We are wishing this farmer and his elementary school teacher bride the best of luck and much love as they embark on a new life together.
Bridal Traditions loaned a dress (the fuller and poofier of the two) as well as two suits for this styled photo session and, as always, we were happy to be a part of it. There is a sweet back story on the models as well.The pair is an actual married couple who weren't able to have a wedding themselves. They wrote vows for each other and used the opportunity of the photo shoot as an informal vow renewal. This shoot became the closest thing to a real wedding as they were going to have, at least for now. How sweet is that?
These two make such a gorgeous couple, and each element chosen by the vendors seems to suit them perfectly. For a complete vendor list, see the end of the blog.
The Lovely Send Off
Fitted Dress: Hitched Boutique (@hitchedboutique)
Poofy Dress and Both Suits: Bridal Traditions (@bridaltraditions)
Accessories: Pink Tulip Designs (@pinktulipdesigns)
Calligraphy and signs: Madison & Penn (@madisonandpenn)
Desserts: Indulge Baked Goods (@indulgebakedcreations)
Florals: Wildflowers (@wildflowers_florals)
Hair + Makeup: Beauty by Andrea Mesimer (@beautybyandreamesimer)
Photography: Laze L Farm Photography (@lazelfarmphotography)
Stationary:Kathy Magee Designs (@kathymageedesigns)
Styling + coordination: Embellished Events for You (@embellishedeventsforyou)
Venue: The Emerald Hill (@the.emerald.hill)
Videography: North State Photography (@northstatephotography)
Beautiful #BTbride Brittney (say that 3 times fast) married Avery Blevins almost a year ago at Chapman Farmstead, Traphill, NC in a lovely, rustic and autumnal wedding. They met in high school and started dating in 2018. Shall we say that "the rest is history"? Why not?
Brittney: "Our wedding was unique. We used our own song choices instead of traditional music. It was a small wedding with family and friends. My Bridesmaids and I ate gummy bears and enjoyed punch before the wedding."
... was fabulous, with delicate straps and cut out lace details, a flowing skirt and details at the hemline. It was the right combination of graceful and sweet, with a little modern flair. Brittney shared with us that the season wasn't an issue; finding the right gown was the most important thing and she would make it work.
"I really didn’t know what I was looking for. Nothing too poofy or Cinderella-like. I wanted a dress that wouldn’t swallow me but wasn’t so tight I couldn’t move. I didn’t want strapless. I ended up trying it on and knowing it was the one!"
We helped Brittney with some of her choices, and offered selections, pinned and adorned for her, as we do with all of our bride. She knew the dress she chose was the one though and once she'd made up her mind, that was that.
The couple also got their groomsmen's vests, shirts, and ties from Bridal Traditions.
As you approach your first anniversary, Brittney and Avery, everyone at BT is wishing you continued health and joy as you work, play and grow together. Cheers to you both and many happy returns.
Bridal Traditions is always happy to contribute gowns, dresses, suits and accessories for stylized bridal photo shoots and this modern boho session had all the elements of bohemia with elegance, softness and the chic details that you have come to expect. For this one, we loaned the dress, and we must say, the model looked amazing in it. Enjoy! For the list of vendors, read all the way to the end of this post.
Floral & Styling: @goldenthistledesign
Hair & Makeup: @canvasbeautybar
Invitations/Paper Goods: @champagnemaker
Envelope Calligraphy: @kristenhendersoncalligraphy
Cake & Chocolates: @devorahchocolate
Courtney and Dylan went to high school together, but ran in different circles. Neither associated with the other and were particularly aware of the other.
A couple of years out of school, Dylan reached out via social media and the rest is history. The couple were married in June of this year at Jubilee Farms and had a gorgeous summer wedding, outside, in 95 degree heat and everyone was all smiles. They relied on friends and family during this season of pandemic and worry and it paid off.
The images, by photographer Emily Smith, say it all.
Courtney shared that her favorite memories of the day and of the weekend were around how everyone pulled together to make it happen - even with Covid, even with heat and even in "a two week scramble" to pull it off. During the rehearsal dinner, there was a short rain shower that forced everyone under tents. After it passed, there was a rainbow - visible from end to end. "It was if God was telling us that everything was ok, that He had this, and we didn’t need to worry about a thing. I felt as if a weight was lifted off my shoulders. He was telling us that this was how our wedding was meant to happen."
Courtney's description is the best:
"I had an idea of what I wanted, and got nothing even close to that!! I never wanted a strapless dress: got strapless. I never wanted something tight, got something tight. Thought I wanted something white or off white, got a very dark champagne. Didn’t want a veil, got a veil. Literally got the exact opposite of what I thought I wanted, but MY DRESS WAS PERFECT. I loved everything about it. The belt that I picked to go with it and the buttons down the back were my favorite parts about the dress. I loved the color. I hadn’t seen anything like it before, and as my grandma so kindly pointed out, white looked horrible on me. So this dark champagne dress was absolutely perfect."
"I am so glad that I got my dress from BT. Y’all were AMAZING!!! I feel like at the end of that first day I already had a new friend. We came and tried on dresses, left to see a venue, then asked if we could come back to try on some more! BT accommodated all of this. You guys were also honest about what looked good and didn’t look good. I valued those opinions. I wanted to look beautiful on my wedding day, and if there was something that needed to be altered or changed then I wanted to know. BT was there to give me professional opinions, and I appreciated it so much! They also accommodated the things my mom wanted to see, while making sure I wasn’t being pushed into something I didn’t want."
Music to our ears!! This is what we also strive for: happy bride who has been guided gently, honestly and - when the dress is right - enthusiastically. We want all of our brides to look as lovely as Courtney and to be as happy as she was.
Bridesmaid's also purchased their gowns through Bridal Traditions and we worked with them to ensure all was just right and properly sized. "I talked on the phone to Kelly numerous times to make sure things were working out, especially with Covid starting. I can’t say enough good things about working with BT and Kelly!!"
So many congratulations to this sweet and handsome pair. Cheers to you and to decades upon decades of happiness.