Impeccably dressed with a demeanor rivaling that of Audrey Hepburn, Juli Dave is the foundation of Wedding Inspirations’ revival. In a year of owning Wedding Inspirations, she has grown a small bridal shop in western North Carolina to a nationally renowned boutique. Formally, our shop offered more traditional styles; however Juli saw the opportunity to provide unique gowns to an under served demographic. Incorporating more contemporary styles while balancing classic selections, she has expanded our variety of gowns to help every bride find her own kind of beautiful.
As a North Carolina native, Juli has always had an affinity for fashion. Her father was a lingerie salesman, beginning her love affair with the industry. She purchased Wedding Inspirations in 2017 after being a real estate agent and devoted mother of four, finally fulfilling her lifelong dream of owning her own business.
Her business acumen is unquestionable. Juli has the foresight to see trends and what will appeal to a variety of tastes and sizes. As Wedding Inspirations grew, Juli made sure to include selections to accommodate every bride and provide an award winning experience.
In honor of her one-year anniversary of owning Wedding Inspirations Bridal Boutique which also coincides with Valentines Day, we reached out to her biggest supporter—her husband Jeff Dave.
On a blind date in 1984, Juli and Jeff met for lunch in what she described as a “safe and defined period of time to meet”. Always glamorous, Juli wore leather leggings—almost a complete juxtaposition to Jeff’s patchwork madras shorts. Though they lived in different cities, four hours apart, their differences stimulated their desire to get to know each other better. Juli swore to her co-worker she did not care if he ever called again, but she thought she had met the man she was going to marry. Within two weeks they had scheduled another date.
After three decades of marriage, Jeff was happy to celebrate the success of his wife’s business. We picked his brain about advice for newly-weds and about their devoted relationship.
How did you propose?
To be honest, I have never really proposed to Juli (yet). I was getting ready to move back to Asheville and asked Juli to move to Asheville. In the mid 80’s, Asheville was not what it is today. “Juli said, oh heck no, I am not moving to Asheville single”. I responded with, “then maybe we should get married”, and here we are almost 33 years later.
What did you think and feel when you first saw Juli walking down the aisle?
I suspect I was like any guy in that situation; nervous, balancing the excitement of a new life and the questioning of what was I was doing. When I look at the pictures, I am able to reflect on how lucky I was to find a woman like Juli.
What do you think is/was the biggest contributing factor to the success of your marriage?
Our core values and philosophy of what we wanted to raise our children (we rarely disagreed on anything related to that) and the fun we do have when we can get away and travel.
What advice would you give to newlyweds?
Be honest and transparent. No matter how much you think something will hurt, honesty and transparency is a must. Never stop dating and keep the fire burning. There are too many excuses and things that will get in the way to test that, but too many reasons not to stop.
What still surprises you about Juli?
Nothing surprises me about Juli. She has always and continues to put her energy, effort and heart in to her family and friends; and always before herself. I would like to even be surprised about the number of shoes she has and the number of shoes she still wants, but that does not even surprise me anymore.
What is your proudest memory of Juli?
Not really a memory. It is happening now. Juli always wanted her own business. After raising kids and supporting me and at a period in her life where she did not have to work, she followed her dream and got in to the Bridal business. What she has done in just one year is phenomenal. I am so proud of her for not letting go of that dream.
Congratulations, Juli- you are an incredible wife, mother, entrepreneur, and inspiration. We wish you years of success and happiness!
(Jeff & Juli Dave on their wedding day)
(Juli and her family on her daughters wedding day) – Photo by Tim Willoughby Photography –