Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Honeysuckle Hills Visits... Candler Budget Bridal Shop in North Carolina!

One of my Utopian fantasies would be the ability to visit each and every one of our Honeysuckle Hills brides in their home…  The last time we were able to do this was probably in 2008 when we took a deep south adventure to Mississippi to visit Mooney and Jay.  The cotton and pumpkin fields were so beautiful that fall, and I think that’s when I developed my addiction to boiled peanuts!

Erin stole our heart when she and Justin toured with us back in December.  Leslie and I relate to the down-home country girl, because really that’s all we are.  After scheduling her May wedding for this spring, we asked about her wedding dress.  After all, it’s the core of the wedding!  Normally we get the “Oh, I finally dug through corporate so and so store and found IT.”  Erin’s story was more colorful.  Apparently one of her friends told her about what I now swear is the “dress whisperer.”   When we found out she’s from just over the mountain in Candler, North Carolina, we immediately thought, “Road Trip!” 

After many attempts thwarted by snowstorm after snowstorm this winter,  yesterday Leslie and I loaded up in the Tacoma with Uncle Bill and headed over the mountain to visit with Erin and her mother.  I was so excited I didn’t even take time to stop and photograph the frosty frozen limbs on the Foothills Parkway. 

When we arrived, we were greeted by the “baby,” Rosco, who of course is in the wedding party!

Erin’s home was scattered with… you guessed it… wedding preparations!  Our favorite was the cans that spell “guest book.”  Remove the label of a veggie can, freeze water in it, hammer in the holes… paint, put a candle in it… magic! 

But on to the dress store… Before you start expecting something extravagant and exclusive, stop.  Just STOP.  And truly there’s nothing wrong with the big dress stores, because all of us are different and have our own tastes.  So please STOP again if you think I’m talking them down. 

This store is for the bride who wants an experience.  She wants to feel like she matters, not for how much money is in her purse, but for how important that moment is when she walks down the aisle.  We’re talking a culmination of a twenty year dream for Carol, who owns Candler Budget Bridal!  Can you imagine waiting on your sweetheart to propose for twenty years?  Now that her dream is a reality, she pours her very heart and soul into finding your perfect dress .   Don’t worry about your size, and certainly don’t worry about your budget.  No dress is over $300!  We’re talking both new and gently worn dresses, with a price tag well over $800 at most stores. 

Here’s the sweetest part… Once Carol helps select what you believe is “the one that tugs at your heart,” she places you in front of her mirror in a private room (so you’re not overwhelmed with strangers.)   With your eyes closed, she speaks softly, describing your loving family present, your walk down the aisle, and your handsome fiancĂ© standing right before you… only then does she ask you to open your eyes to view yourself in the dress in the mirror.  Most brides cry at this point.  If they don’t… well, it’s not the right dress (which I believe just doesn’t happen at this place!) 

So, if you’re like a lot of us who know the best restaurants are found in little “holes in the wall,” or some of the most unique and precious treasures are found off the beaten path, Candler Budget Bridal in North Carolina is definitely worth your time!   I so wanted to try on a dress myself while I was there, but alas… I haven’t been proposed to yet, so let’s not put the cart before the horse.

No…I can’t post Erin in her beautiful dress yet!  But check back later… I promise she will model it for you!

To inquire with Carol, call 828-670-1871 or visit  She won’t disappoint you…