Nikki Hutchison and her daughter Eryn went shopping for bridal gowns Sunday, indulging in an age-old mother-daughter tradition with a decidedly modern twist.
While Nikki Hutchison trolled through racks of gowns at a Columbia charity bridal event, Eryn was on her cell phone in California, listening as her mother described the style, fabric and details of three stunning gowns.
Within an hour, Nikki Hutchison had selected a pale gold Maggie Sottero couture beaded wedding dress for $599, a third of its retail price.
And the best part: proceeds from the sale go to Brides Against Breast Cancer and its Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation, along with the S.C. Cancer Prevention and Control Program.
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"We are on opposite coasts. Can you imagine shopping for a dress like this?" Nikki Hutchison laughed.
She had the help of Barbara Raskin, a former marketing editor with Brides magazines and now the eastern region tour director for Brides Against Breast Cancer.
Raskin described the details of the gowns to Eryn Hutchison, who is getting married Dec. 31, as her mother photographed the three gowns. They settled on the one her mother liked best.
Eryn Hutchison, via cell phone, said she had shopped solo but it didn't quite feel right.
"I only went to two (shops) because I really want my mom's opinion," Eryn Hutchison said. She'll see the dress next week when she comes to Columbia.
The racks of gowns, including designer fashions from such names as Vera Wang, are donated by designers, manufacturers, bridal shops and individuals to the Nationwide Tour of Gowns. Proceeds help fund wishes and memory-making events for metastatic breast cancer patients and also raises awareness of breast cancer.
Jordan McDowell came with her mother, Lisa, and younger sister Devyn from Easley, picking up her aunt Sherry Murphy along the way.
After about an hour of searching, she found an ivory gown with elaborate back buttons that will be perfect for her Sept. 25, 2010 wedding once a little alteration is done to make the dress strapless.
"I forced her to try it on," 17-year-old Devyn said. They all knew instantly it was the right one.
"We all got teary," Lisa McDowell said.
Dorraine Wineglass was nearly settled on a gown with an elaborate ruched bodice. Her sister, Tracey Gray,was her final arbiter, however, having just gotten married herself.
"I would say this is the one," Tracey Gray said. But there were still other gowns to see.
The brides-to-be and their mothers all liked the idea that proceeds of the sale will benefit breast cancer patients.
Nikki Hutchison noted that her mother had died of pancreatic cancer.
"It's nice to support the cause and feel like her grandmother is with her," she said.