Advice From a Past Bride | Racheal Taylor

We are starting a new and fun feature on our blog today and we couldn't be more excited!!! Wedding planning can be stressful so we thought it would be helpful to share advice from brides who have been there! Get some real life advice from everyday people who have planned their wedding.

Today, we chatted with Racheal Taylor who got married on September 13th of 2014 and we are loving her real and raw advice! We hope you enjoy this new feature and get some helpful hints for your own wedding planning!



What is the biggest piece of advice you would give a newly engaged bride-to-be?

"My biggest piece of advice is PLAN AHEAD. I found this really helped keep me from being overwhelmed like I hear a lot of brides being while planning their wedding. I was able to enjoy planning my wedding, crafting up decor, all while expecting our first child to be due 3 months before our wedding."

What is the best advice you would give for a bride-to-be who is searching for her dream dress?

"Be open minded! I had an idea of what I liked in pictures, but tried EVERY style on even if I didn't think I would like the material, fit, colour etc. In the end I actually took an element from a each dress I tried on and was able to explain those things I really liked in each dress to the OUTW tribe and they had MY exact dress, all the details I had described."

What is the best advice you were given as a bride-to-be?

"I don't know if this counts as advice but I was being super cheap with my dress I had in my head $800 max. Not because we couldn't afford more but because I'm just normally a budget freak lol. My mother in law pushed me to up my budget a bit and voila my dress was found. My dream dress." 

What is something you regret when wedding planning?

"Too big! We rented a HUGE hall with over 200 people and we both wish we scaled it down a bit for a more cozy wedding."

What is one thing you're glad you did when you were planning your wedding/engaged?

"I am so glad I included my mother in law as much as I did. She was a major help! We couldn't have planned / decorated our wedding without her!"

Is there anything else you'd want to tell a future bride?

"Enjoy this time. This is honestly one of the most exciting moments the days and months leading up to your wedding. It goes by in a blink. Plan ahead so you are not so stressed out with everything piling up at once. I'm just itching to plan our 10 year anniversary one day! I love party planning!"
Present Day :) 

Present Day :) 

How cute is that!  Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us Racheal!

If you are still searching for your dream gown book your experience with us right here today!

January Real Bride | Keates' Wedding

We have loved taking a look into Laura and Koree's wedding story over the past couple of weeks and we are excited to share with you all, their wedding day! These two were glowing throughout their whole day and we are so thankful we got to play a small part in their day! We hope you enjoy taking a peek into their wedding day as much as we did!


Where did you get married/have your reception?

"Masonic Center of Elgin."

What's your favourite memory from your wedding day? (Bride + Groom can answer)

"The look on Koree's face when he saw me."

Who were your favourite vendors from your wedding day?

"DCF Weddings - for our reception music."

Any other unique details or stories about your wedding/love story you want to tell us?

"My bridal party and I took a limo to McDonalds and got Happy Meals for lunch."

If you're still searching for your dream wedding gown book your experience with us online today!

Photographer: Ash Ruckle Photography

Wedding Dictionary

We asked what brides wanted to read about on our blog and today we are exploring one of those topics! Here's what a past bride said would have helped her when planning their wedding:

"Think a breakdown of wedding words (i.e. host bar vs cash bar vs open bar) that you find in venue contracts and such would have been a big help! Our venue contract was really easy and transparent, but I struggled a lot when looking at some other spots and reading through all the jargon! Would be helpful to have had a spot that cleared it up easily." 

So here we go: a 'Wedding Dictionary'!

-Black Tie Optional: Tuxedos and formalwear are suggested for the guests, but not required.

-Cocktail Attire: A dress code that is less formal - calls for suits and cocktail dresses.

-Cosplay: Short for 'Costume Play' - can refer to period dress or theme dress as in paying homage to favorite movie/television/game/comic characters.

-Blusher: A short veil that covers the bride's face, aka. "shoulder length veil".


-Bridaller: Another word for a guest of a wedding.

-Bustle: The gathering up of extra fabric or a the train of your gown with buttons or ties to keep the hem of your gown from dragging on the floor.


-Cash Bar: When guests buy the drinks rather than them being 'free'/paid for by the host of the wedding at the reception.

-Garter: narrow bands of fabric fastened about the leg that the groom traditionally takes off the bride during the wedding and throws it to the single men, just like the bouquet toss. 

-Host Bar: Where the host of the wedding issues vouchers to attendees for a limited number of free drinks, and attendees pay for any further drinks themselves.

-Open Bar: The host pays for all the drinks the entire night of the wedding, no limit per guest.

-Day of Planner: A wedding coordinator who works with you primarily on the day of the wedding to make sure everything goes smoothly (as opposed to a full-service planner who works with you throughout all of the months leading up to the wedding).

-Escort Cards: Cards that display the guest's name and indicate the table they have been assigned for the reception. Below left is a table of escort cards. 


-Processional: The part of the ceremony in which the wedding party and bride walk down the aisle. This can also refer to the music that plays during this time.

-Recessional: The part of the wedding in which the newly married couple, followed by the wedding party, walk back down the aisle after the ceremony.

-Save The Date (STD): A "pre-invite" sent out ASAP to tell guests when the wedding will be.

-Tablescape: The arrangement of the place settings, centerpieces, table numbers, and other decorations on the reception tables.


-Trousseau: The clothes, linens, and other items that a bride saves for her wedding and new married life. Often includes pretty lingerie.

Are you still searching for your wedding gown? Make an appointment with us online today!

January Real Bride | Laura's Dress

Laura said yes to the dress on March 25th, 2017 and got married in September of the same year. The lace gown Laura chose was perfect for her venue and her personality! We love seeing how our brides piece together their accessories on their wedding day! From a belt, to a head piece, to their shoes and Laura made this gown her own!


Did you try on dresses before coming to OUTW?


About how many dresses did you try on before you found 'The One'?

"2 at another place, and 2 others at OUTW."

Were you expecting to purchase your dress when you came in for your appointment?

"I was ready to buy, but also prepared not to get down on the experience if I didn't find my perfect dress."

Who was with you at your appointment?

"My entire bridal party, my mom, my big sister, and my groom's mom."

Did anyone have extra influence on helping you say yes to the dress?

"Not really."

Was the dress you bought similar to what you came in thinking you wanted?

"A few similarities."

How was your experience at Once Upon A Time Weddings?

"Amazing and fun!"

Erin loved working with Laura & her entourage.  From the moment she first slipped into that gown, it was like it was made for her.  Erin says, "I love how the gown matched Laura's personality and really sprung her vision into life.  She stayed true to her and incorporated some fun aspects, like her shoes into her wedding day style.  I love when brides do that."

If you're still searching for your dream wedding gown book your experience with us online today!

Photographer: Ash Ruckle Photography

Kids & Weddings

It's the great debate of weddings - to include kids or not?

While everyone has an opinion about it, there are some weddings where kids can be included.  On the blog today, we'll dive into how to incorporate + entertain them during your big day festivities.

We've put together some wedding must have's for the kids in attendance to help your day run ever so smoothly!

1. Activities for them. This is such an easy way to keep them entertained and make them feel special from the get go!


2. A fun drink for them. This makes the kids feel like one of the grown-ups, they'll love being included!


3. Snacks. It's no joke that kids are always hungry, so make sure you have some munchies around for them to snack on throughout the night.


4. Give them a 'duty'. Making them feel important and responsible for something will help them act older and also keep them occupied for a while!


5. Capture some fun pictures! Don't forget the joy kids can bring to any room, capture their cuteness and you're sure to get a smile out of it too!

Kids 2.jpg

Be creative, think back to when you were a kid and incorporate things you would have loved.  That way you're sure to have some happy campers!

Still searching for your dream dress? Your gown accessories? Come see us today by booking your experience easily right here!


January Real Bride | Laura and Koree Keates

Hello new year and a new monthly Once Upon A Time Weddings Real Bride! Today we are welcoming Laura and her hubby Koree Keates to the blog! We are loving their unique love story and super fun wedding details that we can't wait to share throughout the month! For now, we hope you enjoy reading a little bit about their love story!


How did the two of you meet?

"I threw a house party and booked a band to play, he was the drummer."

How'd you know your fiancé was the one?

"I just knew from the start I didnt want to be without him."

How did your fiancé propose?

"We went for coffee in the park and when we were walking around the ponds he got down on one knee while my back was turned."

Join us next week as we chat about how Laura said yes to the dress here at OUTW!

If you're still searching for your dream wedding gown book your experience with us online today because we can't wait to meet you!

Photographer: Raspberry Mint Photography

2017 Snap Shot

Wow!! We can hardly believe 2017 is coming to an end! What a great and busy year it's been! From moving locations to seeing so many gorgeous brides on their wedding days! We wanted to do a little picture recap of some of our 2017 brides, we hope you enjoy seeing them as much as much as we do! 

Nicole | J.R. Clubb Photography & Cinema

Nicole | J.R. Clubb Photography & Cinema

Celine | Lolaz Snaps Photography

Celine | Lolaz Snaps Photography

Haley Thuss Photography

Haley Thuss Photography

Becky Veen Photography

Becky Veen Photography

Mikaela Shannon Photography and Design

Mikaela Shannon Photography and Design

Haley Thuss Photography 

Haley Thuss Photography 

BeanBot Productions

BeanBot Productions

Jordan | May | Haley Thuss

Jordan | May | Haley Thuss

Katie | September | Proper Photography

Katie | September | Proper Photography

Michelle | September | Becky Veen Photography

Michelle | September | Becky Veen Photography

Jordan | Dudek Photography

Jordan | Dudek Photography

Tiffany | October

Tiffany | October

Alexandra | October | Lori Beneteau Photography

Alexandra | October | Lori Beneteau Photography

Monika | October 

Monika | October 

Janelle | 2017 | Michelle A Photography

Janelle | 2017 | Michelle A Photography

Lauren | August 

Lauren | August 

If you're recently engaged, first off congrats! And secondly, we'd love to have to in the store when you're searching for your dream dress! Book your experience with us today!

We wish you a Happy New Year and can't wait to meet many new brides in 2018!