By Erin Crowell
For the owners of To Have and to Hold Bridal Boutique in Traverse City,
2010 is looking like a busy year.
A lot of people put their wedding off until this year, says co-owner
Toni Javin Liles. Because of the economy at the end of 08 and 09,
things were just uncertain. People felt like they needed to wait until
things were safer, secure. Everyone just kind of pulled back and slowed
Regardless of the economy, Lilesalong with sister-in-law Janice Javin and
mother Terri Javinknows there will always be a demand for weddings.
Just like marriage, its simply a matter of riding the ups and downs and
adapting to change.
ALL ABOUT THE GREEN
In terms of wedding trends, a lot of it is tied to the economy. Many are
looking at not-so-fancy engagements, says Liles. A lot of weddings are
still very elegant, but a lot more on the simple and fun side.
Other trends include longer engagements, brides spreading the purchases
over a period of time, like buying the wedding gown one month, booking the
hall another, says Liles.
And its all about the green, including the environment.
Really, weve seen, especially up here, the green idea. The whole idea of
eco-friendliness. We have some dresses made out of cotton. Its more of an
organic material, less synthetics. Theyre comfortable, but they blow you
away. They dont look like a little white t-shirt or anything.
To Have and To Hold features bridal gowns and bridesmaids dresses from top
designers, including Jim Hjelm and Edric Woo. Its the only bridal
boutique in the area that carries Hjelm and Watters Brides.
I was familiar with the two, and they are both well-respected, says
Liles. We wanted to find up-to-date and affordable designers. Weve gone
through a couple different lines that just didnt work out, either because
of reliability or customer service. They have to be up to our standards.
ROLL WITH IT
Liles got started in the wedding industry on a whim when she and her
husband moved back home after living out West.
I had worked in the corporate world for a long time, says Liles. I was
the director of human resources for a company and I didnt want to
continue doing what I was doing.
With a little experience helping friends plan their weddings, Liles
presented the idea of a bridal boutique to her mother and sister-in-law.
I kind of roped them in, she says.
To Have and to Hold opened in September 2004, just under a year after the
initial idea. Since then, they have stayed busy providing gowns, dresses
and emotional support to brides all over the area.
My mom is kind of the constant. Shes a comforting figure for (the
brides), says Liles.
At one point, Liles needed comfort when a bridesmaids dress shipped to
Italy had failed to make it through customs.
She found comfort through an unlikely source.
My heart fell to the ground when I found out it was stuck, so I called
the bride and she was just so sweet and was calming me down, says Liles.
You always hear about the crazed brides and bridezillas, and she was the
opposite. She made me feel so good.
Liles says she enjoys sharing that story, reminding people what the
wedding business is all about.
I just love the brides that understand things happen, even with your
wedding. Life goes on. When you just roll with it, it makes the experience
so much more enjoyable.
To Have and to Hold Bridal Boutique is located at 516 E. Front Street in
Traverse City. Store hours are Tuesday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Wed. & Thurs., 11
a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; and on Saturday by appointment only.
Visit them online at www.ToHaveAndToHoldTC.com.