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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Real Bride Spotlight – Michelle Smith

Even though Nathan and Michelle attended, both majoring in Business Administration, and graduated from Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, the only interaction they had with each other while there was a few classes together.  It wasn’t until an Alumni Ski weekend at Beech Mountain in February of 2015 that the pair connected and started dating the following month even though Michelle lived in Winston-Salem, and Nathan lived in Crossnore.  However, it seems that fate was on their side because Nathan soon learned he was receiving a promotion and relocating to Clemmons.  But the best part of the story is the reaction from Michelle’s dad.  “I knew Nathan was the one from the moment we reconnected,” she shared.  “He is such a genuine man.  My father immediately knew he was the one, and when dad knows he’s a good one, you trust your heart and run with it!”

How did Nathan propose?

A few weeks prior to New Year’s Day, I heard that the thing to do to ring in the New Year was to go hiking.  New Year’s morning I woke up at 6:00, and we loaded up the car and headed out on an adventure.  But first we had to stop at my favorite breakfast spot – in fact the only place I will eat breakfast – Cracker Barrel.  After we enjoyed our breakfast, having the sweetest and most energetic waitress for it to be New Year’s Day, we headed toward Pilot Mountain.  During our hike, Nathan asked me to reach into his book bag to find his camera case, and the entire time I was looking, I was saying “I didn’t even know you had a camera.”  He told me to open the case and inside was a very fancy little burgundy box.  I started crying and immediately started saying “YES. YES. YES.”  After a hug, I realize he hadn’t actually even asked, so he got down on one knee and asked me properly.  Of course, I said yes. 

What was the date of your wedding?

October 22, 2016

Will you tell us a little bit about it?

We got married at the Overlook Barn on Beech Mountain, North Carolina. We chose this venue because we both have a dear love and connection for the mountains of North Carolina, and we chose fall because we both love that season.  Unfortunately, it ended up being 30 degrees with 40-50 mph wind gusts, so it felt more like the dead of winter without snow.  We planned on having an outside ceremony, but with the crazy weather, we moved it inside the barn that morning, which made everything a bit hectic but it turned out just beautiful and no one froze or blew away.

My bridesmaids wore plum dresses with nude shoes. The groom and groomsmen wore navy tuxes with a raspberry bow tie and brown wingtip shoes. I love deep, bold colors and wanted to blend, but stand out from the beautiful fall leaves.  Nathan's father sang and played guitar for our first dance. Our song is "Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sherran. 


Will you tell us about your gown?

My gown came from Southern Bride in Yadkinville, North Carolina.  I purchased both of my prom dresses from Southern Bride, so I didn’t even think about going anywhere else.  The dress I chose is actually the very last of 4 dresses I tried on and not even one that I picked out myself.  Being a southern girl, I love lace so that is what I thought I wanted; however, the prom dress I wore my senior year of high school was just magical.  Anna, my consultant at Southern Bride, after showing her a picture of my dress went and picked out the dress that I purchased. It was an absolutely perfect mermaid style and as soon as it was all laced up, and I turned to look in the mirror with tears of joy in my eyes.  I knew it was the one for me!

Why did you choose Shores to clean and press your gown?

I met Brian at the Marry Me wedding show in Greensboro this past year. Being a first time bride I knew nothing about what to do with my dress after the wedding. Brian was so informative and easy going that I knew I was set on Shores based off their wonderful customer service, easy going employees, past customer reviews, ratings and accreditation within the wedding society.

Are you planning on cleaning and preserving your gown now that the wedding is over? Will you keep your gown or resell it?

Yes, I am having my dressed cleaned and preserved. I am planning to keep it.

Photography - Ben Hill Photography, Falls Church, Virginia
Cake - Hazel's Treats & Such, Clemmons, North Carolina
Wedding Dress - Southern Bride, Yadkinville, North Carolina
Bridesmaids Dresses - David's Bridal, Winston Salem, North Carolina
Flower Girl Dresses - Handmade by Michelle’s cousin Stephenie Thomas
Catering - Gadabouts Catering, Banner Elk, North Carolina
Flowers - Arrangements by Angela, Mocksville, North Carolina
Coordinators - Austin Wright & Cortney Morgan (friends)
Videography - Eyez N-The-Skyz, Newland, North Carolina
DJ - Carl Griewisch, Banner Elk, North Carolina

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Inspect Your Cleaned Wedding Gown

One week after Kayla got married, her mother-in-law kindly took her wedding gown to a local cleaner to have it cleaned, repaired, and preserved.  It was a big deal to her mother-in-law to have this done, and she took Kayla’s dress to the same cleaners she had used 30 years ago for her own wedding gown.

Kayla received word that her gown was ready, so she picked it up and took it home.  Because her gown needed a small repair, she decided to open the box to check out the work.  Thankfully she did because inside that box wasn’t a gown that was meticulously cleaned and preserved – no, while it was her gown, it was just as dirty as the day her mother-in-law had dropped it off.  She immediately took the gown back to the cleaners and asked that they refund her money.  The owner said it looked like it had been placed in the box completely untouched.  She said he apologized and offered to clean it, but she was too upset.  She took the dirty gown and started looking for another cleaners, but this time she ‘Googled’ ‘wedding gown cleaners’, and Shores popped up.  She immediately felt the difference when she walked through the doors of the Winston-Salem Shores location.

“I met with Brian, who explained the process Shores would use to clean the gown,” she shared.  “Then he suggested that I come back and look at the gown after it was cleaned but before it was preserved and boxed.”  “That’s something we offer all brides when they drop off their gown to be cleaned and preserved,” explained Brian Harrell, General Manager of Shores Cleaners.  “We want them to take a look at the gown to make sure they are happy with the results, and if they aren’t, we’ll address their concerns right then.”

Kayla shared her story with us because she doesn’t want other brides to go through what she went through.  Her parting words of advice are:
  1. Don’t just look at the cost involved in having your gown cleaned.  Spend the extra money and take it to someone that specializes in cleaning wedding gowns as opposed to any dry cleaner.
  2. Be sure to look in the box before they seal it.
  3. Don’t be afraid to take it back if you’re not happy with the results.