Thursday, December 16, 2010

Caley Cheney's Design Challenge--How to Design a Bridal Gown "Across the Pond"

This post is by Caley Cheney, Glasgow, Scotland formerly of Dandridge, TN in her own words:

I hate most wedding dresses. I’ve never been the girl that had her wedding planned at the age of 10. I didn’t have the colors picked, the song to dance to, or even know what kind of ceremony I wanted. So when Steven proposed to me, I found out the hard way just how behind I was on the whole wedding planning process. I mean, most girls at least know what to expect. Then again, most girls are also living in the same country as their fiancĂ©. I was in Glasgow, Scotland when I started trying on dresses. My husband is Scottish, and I was visiting him to spend time together during the wedding planning. This would have been far less tedious if the wedding was actually going to be in Scotland, but we had decided to get married in Tennessee near my family. Naively undaunted by the task of planning a wedding while overseas, I booked the venue and then started looking for dresses.

I walked into the first shop in July and was asked when the wedding would be taking place. I smiled and told her it would be on October 23. Without missing a beat or looking up from her notepad, she nodded and said, “Ah, 2011.” When I corrected her and explained that I meant 2010, as in a few months from that day, she looked at me incredulously and froze like an overburdened computer. Once successfully rebooted, she informed me that “less than six months” is a short order for a dress. Later I was told stories of brides trying on dresses at the hint of a proposal, and even the ones who could wait for the ring had found their dress within a week. I must admit that I was shocked to suddenly find myself much further behind than I had anticipated, but I was determined and decided to pick up the pace.

I lost count of how many dresses I tried on and how many shops I went to. After scouring the area I only seriously liked one of dresses, and even then I didn’t love it. I was plagued with wanting the top from one dress, the bottom of another, and then a middle section that didn’t exist anywhere in Glasgow. I took a deep breath and went home to consult my dear friend the Internet, where I found Tricia.

Tricia is like a little wedding dress fairy godmother, only with measuring tape instead of a wand. It is crucial to find wedding vendors that you can have a good working relationship with, and Tricia and I spoke the same language right from the start. I sent her pictures with explanations trying to describe what I was looking for and she would send sketches back to me. In a matter of a few weeks we had managed to co-design a dress while in completely different time zones and countries. Slowly, my fear and desperation melted away as I found that the certain features I had sought were truly able to exist in one dress. My only limitation was my budget, but as I gave that to Tricia from the start, we were able to work within it using creative and practical choices.

We didn’t meet in person until the first fitting on October 2, 2010. Although we had a hiccup when we realized I had been misinformed in Glasgow about the fabric, Tricia insisted we could redo it in what I had originally been looking for. She was very patient and understanding, two things worth their weight in gold for brides-to-be, and by the time I came for the last fitting on October 17 I couldn’t believe what a beautiful job Tricia had done with the dress. Finally, the week of my wedding, I could get all girly and excited and say, “This is the one!” I didn’t feel like an actor in a costume pretending to be someone else, as I felt in so many of the “shop” dresses I had tried on. I am no princess, and I don’t want to dress up as one. My custom dress made me feel glowing and gorgeous but still comfortable and happy to be me because I had a hand in making it come to life. Don’t get me wrong, I still say I don’t like wedding dresses… but I love mine.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

From a Sketch to a Gown

It begins as an idea. . . .
        a concept. . . . .
            a dream  . . . . .
 and it ends up a finished a product . . . .
      an original design . . . . .
            unlike any other. . . . .

"If you can dream it, we can do it . . . ."

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Long-Distance Design Project

In early August, 2010, I received an inquiry from my website regarding a custom bridal gown; the contact number was a "615" area code, so I assumed middle Tennessee for the bride's location.  Imagine my surprise when I called and found out Caley Cheney was residing in Glasgow, Scotland! 

We chatted for a few minutes and I explained the design process, instructed her to send a few pictures of gowns she liked so I could get an idea of her style.  After looking over a few pictures, I began sketching, scanning and emailing designs to Caley.  She would email with desired changes; I would re-sketch, scan and email again.  After a few days, we had the design finalized.  She made a trip to a seamstress in Scotland for measurements, sent them to me and the construction began on the gown. 

Two weeks before her wedding, she came in for a first fitting on her wedding gown and we had our first face-to-face meeting!  Caley is a beautiful lady with long brown hair and gorgeous eyes!  Her personality is best described as "exuberant".  I am attaching a few pictures which were graciously sent by Caley's photographer and long-time friend, Maria Clark.  The pictures are beautiful; the wedding location was near Dandridge, TN.  Maria's photography captures the beauty of the area and the joy and unique style of the bride and groom.  Caley's new husband, Stephen, is Scottish; the couple will soon return to Scotland.

Thank you, Caley, for making my job more interesting!!! 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Robin Jillian Bridal Gowns

Exciting news at Tricia's!!  We are introducing a new line of bridal gowns to the Tricities bridal scene; these are exclusive to Tricia's by Design and will not be found at any other bridal salon in the area.  The line is Robin Jillian, an European-designed line made for an exclusive group of bridal shops.   These gowns offer exquisite detailing and construction and you won't have to worry about walking down the aisle in the same dress that hundreds of other brides have worn! 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Little Girls Pageant Gowns Arriving

For any of you that need little girls pageant dresses for upcoming pageants, I have new gowns arriving on Friday, August 20th.  Lilac, white, blue, bubblegum pink.  Call 276-995-2245 for more information! 

Friday, August 13, 2010

New Gowns Arriving

New gowns are arriving on a regular basis!  Beautiful gowns with exquisite styling a detail.  Come take a look!!!  We've had several new arrivals from Casablanca Bridal and Jasmine Bridal, including mothers' gowns and beautiful bridesmaids dresses.  We also have some private label gowns arriving as well; these are unadvertised gowns which can be seen only at Tricia's

Friday, July 30, 2010

Meagan Boyd-Hicks

It was my distinct honor to have been chosen by Meagan Boyd Hicks as her wedding gown/bridesmaids dresses/tux provider.  I first met Meagan when she was probably a sophomore or junior in high school; and here she is graduating from college and getting married to a fine young man!!  How time flies.  This is just one picture of Meagan from her pre-bridal photoshoot and it is a stunning shot!  Photography by Terry's Studio, Coeburn, VA.

This is Meagan's sweet and flattering review of the time spent planning her wedding ensemble:
"Throughout the years I have purchased many prom & pageant gowns from Tricia's. The first time I met her I immediately liked her as a person and I respected her honesty. She and I have spent numerous hours in conversation. Because of the relationship we established, I was determined to purchase my wedding gown from her. I visited her shop a few times before I found "the dress". The rest of the wedding process fell into place. However, with anyone but Tricia, this process would have been much more difficult. In my particular experience, there were a few obstacles that Tricia refused to let alter my wedding day. She had a solution to everything; it's almost like she was my very own bridal assistant. I am so glad she was a part of my wedding; because there is no one else that is as reliable, as personable, and as talented when making sure your special day is how you dreamed it."

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The gorgeous Misty Bentley Moore Bridal Pictures.

Thanks to Misty Bentley Moore of Seco, KY for the following gracious comments concerning her experience at Tricia's by Design.  I am also adding some beautiful photography by Michael S. Wade Photographers who did her pre-bridal shoot and her wedding pictures.  All images were shot on location at New Canton Plantation in Hawkins County, TN. 

"Tricia's by Design can only be described in one word "wonderful", but then there

is also fabulous, stunning, amazing, the best, I guess in some situations one
word just doesn't always cover it. Tricia goes above and beyond to make sure
that you find your dream wedding dress and that it fits perfectly. It's very
obvious that Tricia is someone who takes great pride in her work and really
loves what she does and it definitely shows. I'm a very indecisive person, but
she was always patient, caring, helpful and most importantly made me feel like I
was family and definitely getting the dress of my dreams. She has the ability
to know exactly what looks great and how to make it look even greater. I can
honestly say the only bad thing about purchasing your wedding gown from Tricia's
by Design is that you miss Tricia when the wedding is over, I know I do!!"

Misty chose for her bridal gown a beautiful vintage-look lace on point d'esprit gown that featured a sweetheart neckline and fit-and-flare silhouette.  Wanting just a bit more "bling", Misty opted to have some customization done to the gown.  We added hand-sewn Swarovski lochrosen rhinestones to the neckline and a crystal rhinestone brooch to the center of the gown. 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

BLING! BLING! and more BLING!!!

We had a FABULOUS time Tuesday night with all the trunks and trunks of jewelry.  Several clients came by to meet Jim Ball, the King of Bling, and see a lot of new jewelry designs.  Thanks to all who came and for those who missed the event due to vacation, sickness, and conflicting schedules, we plan to do this again sometime perhaps in Sept. or Oct.  2010!  For those of you who need fabulous bling, WE GOT IT!!! Lots of new stuff for bridal and pageant--pearls, Swarovski crystals and CZs--we got 'em all.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

WOW!!!!! Trunk show!!! EXCITEMENT!!!

On Tuesday evening, July 13, Jim Ball of Jim Ball Designs and WOW! Prom & Pageant will be here at Tricia's in Fort Blackmore for an evening of GLITZ and BLING!!!  See all the great jewelry with LOTS of new goodies for both pageant and bridal.  ALSO, Jim will be previewing some of the WOW! Prom & Pageant collection for Prom 2011!!!  These gowns haven't been seen anywhere else and will be introduced at Tricia's on July 13!!!! 

If you need directions, e-mail

We'd LOVE to see everyone here for this fantastic preview event!!! 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Thanks to Jim and Krisna Goodwin of Jim Goodwin Photography for taking these great shots. Lisa Proctor did the hair and makeup. The gowns are all from the Mac Duggal Pageant Collection available in the area exclusively at Tricia's! These are shot on location at Chyrsalis Skin Care in Bristol so thanks to Robin Porter for allowing the use of her facility as well. If you are looking for a gorgeous gown for competition, contact me!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Congratulations! Callie Shelton and Jeff Jeter. Check out this video, courtesy of Chad Conner, TriCities Video. Callie's gown is a custom-designed silk shantung ballgown; it features a fitted sweetheart bodice with Alencon lace overlay and a silk shantung belt. The knot of the bow is accented with Callie's grandmother's vintage crystal brooch--such a nice touch of nostalgia and a sweet way to honor her grandmother! The cake, which you will see briefly, was made by Susie Johnson whom I refer to as "the Cake Lady"!!!

Jeff & Callie Jeter Wedding Highlight Video from Tri-Cities Video on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Kenny & Megan Hayes Wedding Highlight Video from Tri-Cities Video on Vimeo.

Thanks to Chad Conner at TriCities Video for this preview!!!!

Megan Kwiatkowski and Kenny Hayes were married on May 8, 2010. Megan's gown and all her accessories, the bridesmaids, the mother of the bride and all the tuxes were provided through Tricia's by Design. Megan is a beautiful young woman--inside and out! I wish Megan and Kenny much happiness in their life together!!

"We are proud to announce that Tricia's, Inc. has been rated by local brides and voted The Knot Best of Weddings 2010 Pick."

WOW! What an honor and thank you to all the brides who voted for Tricia's, Inc.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

From a Bride's Perspective

The following entry is by a current bride, Stephanie Martin, who will be marrying Mr. Brian Plant on May 8, 2010. I thought it would be interesting to see what a real bride had to say about the "Tricia's experience":

I found out about Tricia from a lady I work with. She highly recommended going to see Tricia in her cute little house in Virginia and said that Tricia can custom make just about anything, can tell you exactly what looks good on you and what doesn't, and has a great work ethic. Well, this is exactly what I found! Tricia went through and picked out several wedding gowns for me to try on, picking out one that I was really not a huge fan of at first. It was the last one I tried on, and it wound up being THE one!! My mom, aunt, and matron of honor just "ooo"ed and "ahh"ed over it. Tricia also has tons of elegant jewelry, shoes, veils, etc. to try on with your gown so you get the whole picture of what you want! I also found beautiful Landa bridesmaid dresses at Tricia's. So, if you are wanting a wonderful experience trying and finding your perfect wedding gown, go see Tricia!!

Here is my perspective on the same experience:

Word-of-mouth advertising is the very best! Stephanie called and made an appointment to come see me (and yes, I work out of a house converted from a residence into a full-service bridal shop). I have no idea what she really expected to find--either in a gown or in the shopping experience, but I think she is a happy with her decision to shop at Tricia's.

I, indeed, pulled gowns that I felt met the description I was given: no frou-frou, simple lines, nothing elaborate. One of the first gowns I pulled was greeted with a shake of the head and "I don't think I like that". . .and it was put aside. After trying numerous gowns (and you must remember, this bride looks good in just about anything) and finding one "this-might-be-THE-gown" gown, I pulled the original "reject" and asked her to "just try it". And she did. And the rest, as they say, is history. The gown, which fit all the criteria, looked fabulous on Stephanie and we ordered it with custom length and in just her size. The gown is here, the fit is fantastic and Stephanie has the "big purchase" out of her way and is waiting for the arrival of her bridesmaids' gowns and her big day.

And yes, everyone gets my honest opinion of what looks good, what doesn't and more importantly why it does or doesn't look so hot.

Thank you, Stephanie Martin, for purchasing your gown and accessories and thank you for writing the blog post for me. If any of my other brides--past, future, or present--would like to contribute to my blog, just email me the "blog" and I'll post it

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bargain Bridal Gowns

When is a bargain not a bargain? When there are so many hidden strings attached it becomes ridiculous.

A week or so ago, a bride-to-be came to see me about an informal wedding gown. She had already shopped at a "Big Box" department-store type bridal place. The gown she had tried was a very simple gown with a $299 price tag. Great price--right? Well, she wanted a colored sash to accent the gown. Add $59.99. The gown was so poorly constructed, it required a bustier to support the bustline. Add $45 to $50. The flimsy netting built into the gown didn't give the fullness needed, so she would have to buy a separate crinoline. Add another $60-$65. THEN came the alterations. $219.00. Remember, the gown was a great price; but when you added all the necessary extras (not including a tiara, veil, shoes, jewelry, etc.) the total came to OVER $750.00 with sales tax. Does this sound like a bargain???

Comfort is not the first criteria for choosing a wedding gown. Style, construction, color and cut are the important things to consider. If a gown is poorly made from inferior fabric or is poorly constructed, nothing can really change that. Check the construction of the gown from the inside. Well-made gowns often have 12 to 15 pieces of "boning" (that stiff stuff that is strategically sewn into the seam lines and other places for support and shape) in the bodice. A good quality gown with excellent construction techniques will not require lots of extra undergarments and will, therefore, offer more comfort to the wearer.

The bridal gowns we carry are extremely well made with beautiful laces and embellishments over high quality fabrics. Give us a call at 276-995-2245 or email to schedule an appointment to try on "your perfect gown"!!! Hope to see you at the TriCities Dream Weddings bridal show at the Carnegie Hotel in Johnson City on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010. Check for more information and other choice wedding vendors.

Friday, January 1, 2010

PROM 2010--Happy New Year!

Prom 2010!! If you want a unique look with glitz and glamour,
you need to see Tricia!!! We are offering a line of prom gowns
exclusively at Tricia's by Design--Lafee Prom!!! Don't worry
about someone else wearing "your" gown because these gowns
are not sold on the internet nor in the "prom" books.

In addition to Lafee, we also offer WOW!, Cire' and Splash! For pageant we have Johnathan Kayne Pageant and arriving soon will be Mac Dougal Pageant!!!

Create excitement with a gown from Tricia's.

276-995-2245 or