What does balance look like for the Bouchard family?

The elusive balance.
It seems like everyone is constantly chasing it.
But no one really knows how to have it.

This last few months, I’ve learned a few things about balance.
About making my life more simple, dare I say more traditional.

And over the next few weeks I want to share a little bit more about my journey with you.

For a few reasons. I hope that it will enable you to get to know more about me. To have a better understanding of why I do some of the things at the store that I do.
But I also hope that it will start a conversation. An important one. About the world we live in and how fast paced it can get if we allow it. And how to stop from feeling burnt out.

To me, living a simple life means a few different things.

·      I try to be intentional about my time and my technology use.

·      I try to eliminate waste and be intentional about the things I buy.

·      I try to make what I can.

·      I try to be present with my kids when I am home with them.

·      I try to live my life from a present of gratitude instead of want.

And these are the things that I’d love to share with you.

Recipes.
Traditions.
Family ideas.
Décor ideas.

 I do not have this nailed down perfectly. And there are definitely times that I still struggle. But as I prepare to welcome my third child this month, I want to be more focused on family. More aware of how much waste we create and how much time is wasted.

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I want to look back on my children’s childhoods and remember myself as being present, not perfect. Perfection is not something any of us can achieve. But presence is. Being present for their moments in life. Feeling grateful for the things we have. Creating stories and memories that they will share with their children. Those are the things my heart longs for.

 So leave me a comment and let me know what you’d most like for me to share. What are you struggling with when you think about balance?

Wedding Style // Glamorous Elegance

This is one of the hottest trends we are seeing for 2020 weddings. It seems as though brides are wanting to move away from the styles of the last few years and we are all about it!

So many of our brides are opting back to the glamorous side of wedding details and so we wanted to showcase some idea of how to do just that on the blog today.

Pictures from Pinterest.

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The thing we love about this wedding day style is that you can go as simple or as elaborate as you’d like to. We love the simplest details mixed with splashes of gold and blush. This theme always works well for a variety of different venues.

We think this new arrival at Once Upon A Time Weddings would be the perfect gown for a glamorous, elegant wedding with it’s stunning lace details and soft sparkle.

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all the things you need to know for September + October...

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Today on the blog, I wanted to share some of the things to expect during the month of September and beginning of October.

As most of you know, my husband and I are due with baby girl on September 11th. And we are so excited.

But that means a bit of a time of transition and adjustment.

My amazing husband will be taking a paternity leave to stay home with the baby. And I plan to work as long as I can before she makes her arrival. I am feeling really good so far!

I will need to take some time off after she comes and I am working hard to make this transition as smooth as possible. But here’s some things to expect as we head into our busy season and baby season!

·      We will have less appointments time slots available. Especially on Saturdays. So, if you want an appointment, please book in early to avoid disappointment.

·      We won’t have any events happening in September, but we’re hoping to have another Sip N See and Maids Event in October, so stay tuned for information on those!

·      We may be slower to respond to emails, FB messages, IG DM’s and text messages. We apologize in advance for this. We will do our best to stay on top of all the ways to get a hold of us, but our response time may be slower than usual.

·      Our store hours will remain the same for now. 

o  Monday 11-6

o  Tuesday 11-6

o  Wednesday CLOSED

o  Thursday 11-8

o  Friday 11-6

o  Saturday 10-4

o  Sunday VIP or Premier Appointments Only

We are looking for one more stylist to add to our team. This is a part time position and you must be available on Saturdays. If you’re interested or know someone who is, please email a resume to info@onceuponatimeweddings.ca.

Let us know if you have any questions. We look forward to continue to serve you and create ultimate bridal experiences.

Book Your Bridal Appointment Now!

 

Some thoughts on what is happening at Once Upon A Time Weddings.

I’m Still Here.

And that’s right where I’m supposed to be.

As many of you know, last week everything was moving towards selling the store. I was preparing to finish work, have a baby and then move ten hours away.

Just a few life changes.

And then the store didn’t sell.  

And while I expected to feel sad or at least disappointed, all I felt was relief and excitement. Because I love this store. I love my brides. And I love what I do.

I’ve been doing The Start Today Journal all year. If you’re not familiar with Rachel Hollis, you need to be. But basically the concept is that every morning you write down 10 things as if they have already happened. All year I’ve been writing down that “I do work that I love”. 

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And the realization hit me, that I already do work that I love. Like really, really love.

Can I be real honest with you guys?

We’ve had a couple of brides this year who turned sour and became demanding and threatening. And I took it personally.

Instead of reminding myself of the thousands of brides that I have helped that have been nothing but sweet and kind and who have been so gracious with us.

Instead of learning from those situations, I wanted to run from them. 

And then these quiet whispers and thoughts came. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You don’t have to give it all up just to slow your life down. And I’m slowly learning how to find balance. Balance between work and home. Balance between caring too much and not caring at all. I know that this journey I’m on is a bit of a personal one, but I’d like to share some of it with you, if you’ll allow me to.

So some things are going to be adjusted at Once Upon A Time Weddings. Some things will change. Some things will be delegated to other staff members so that it’s not all on me.

But one thing won’t change.

Our promise, desire and striving to be the best bridal store in Southwestern Ontario.

Will you take this journey with us? Will you continue to share our beautiful store with others? Will you be patient as we find balance between work and family life? 

We hope so, because we firmly believe this next chapter of Once Upon A Time Weddings will be the best yet!

September is just around the corner! Which means so is my due date. As we continue to plan for my maternity leave we have a favour to ask. If you are planning to book a bridal appointment in September could you please book it in now? We will have extremely limited availability in September as will not be at work much. Tomorrow we’re going to a bridal show and we know several of our time slots will be booked up there. So if you’d like a bridal appointment in September can you click below and get booked in.


All About Changing Ownership of OUTW!

Today we made the following announcement! I wanted to share it on our blog as well as give you some details about the changing ownership.

It is with great excitement and some sadness that I announce that I have sold Once Upon A Time Weddings to Kaitlyn Lee.

Last year when I first met Kaitlyn, I knew instantly that she was going to be someone that would greatly impact Once Upon A Time Weddings. Her vibrant personality, constant smile and determination to create beautiful bridal experiences drew me to her.

She joined our team and the rest, as they say is history!

I, together with my husband Joel, have had an increasing desire to relocate our family to be closer to Joel’s family. We’ve envisioned slowing our lives down. Giving me more time to build my coaching and education business and for our growing family.

With this pregnancy, the time seemed right for us to seriously consider the move. But I knew I needed to find the exact right person to take over this business.

Someone who had the same passion and drive and love for brides as I do. I was so elated when Kaitlyn said she was interested. Because I know that she would take this business to the next level while still caring for Once Upon A Time Weddings brides in the same way as I have for the last nine years. Watch over the next few months for some exciting developments that she’s already been working on! I cannot wait to see her growth!

Kaitlyn will officially take the reins on Monday, August 19th.  You’ll still see me around up until that time.

Let’s dive a little more into who Kaitlyn is and what you can expect with her as the owner!

Who Kaitlyn is:

I am originally from Pickering and moved to London 2 years ago to see what the future had in store for my career & to finally stop living a long distance relationship with my boyfriend Marek. We bought our first house together last year and started planning out our future just as I started my new chapter at Once Upon a Time Weddings. I am a very outgoing, caring, bubbly & organized person and if you asked anyone who knows me they would say I like everything precisely planned and detail oriented! I love making people smile and feel good about themselves and that’s why I’ve always had a career in sales.  I have an Event Management background and have ran several events and have always had a passion for working in the wedding world. I strive on customer service and making every single person I interact with happy! 

What made her want to purchase Once Upon A Time Weddings:

Just over a year ago I started applying to jobs that were more in my field of study and came across Once Upon a Time Weddings, I remember thinking to myself how amazing that would be, so I applied and a week later I made my first trip out to the store to meet Erin and have my first interview. The moment I stepped into the store I knew I found my calling, and every day since then I have loved being apart of the OUTW team. I believe in everything Erin has built and stands for and the way she treats every single bride that walks into the store like we are one big happy family. Every day is a new adventure at Once Upon a Time Weddings, as we never know what say yes story we will be helping write that day but we do know that every single bride deserves a magical experience and that’s exactly what OUTW will always deliver!

When Erin brought up the idea of selling the business to me I was in shock, it was everything I’ve ever dreamed of right in front of me. I kept thinking this can’t be real! How can just over a year ago when I first walked into OUTW dreaming one day I would own something like it and now actually have the opportunity to call it mine! I remember calling my mom right after to tell her what just happened and us both just crying from pure joy that this is real. Till this day it still feels so surreal, and I am so grateful Erin saw my passion and drive and trusted me with her business she has built from the ground up. I will do everything to continue to grow Once Upon a Time Weddings as I have some very exciting things planned for the future!

What is Kaitlyn most excited for about owning Once Upon A Time Weddings:

Ever since I can remember I’ve always had a dream of owning something of my own, I remember walking into Once Upon a Time Weddings and thinking wow this would be amazing if one day this could all be mine. Obviously back then that was just a dream, but now it’s becoming reality and I am so excited to see what the future holds! I am a strong believer in everything happens for a reason and this is the exact reason I was led to OUTW.

I am excited to continue to always put our brides first and help create that magical experience every single person deserves on their wedding day!

I know this change of ownership may come as a shock to some of our customers. So I wanted to share a little bit about why now:

Joel and I are incredibly excited {and a bit nervous} to welcome our new baby girl in September. This will be our third child but our first baby. Over the last few years we’ve dreamed about moving to where Joel’s family is from. It’s a quaint little town that has a real family feel to it. We want to simplify our lives a bit and spend more time with our kids before they are grown.

So what’s next for Erin:

I’ve dabbled in some coaching and teaching over the last couple of years. Using what I’ve learned as I’ve grown my business to help other retail store owners and to teach at bridal conferences. I’m excited to have some time to continue to do that. To teach and grow my coaching business.

If you’re interested in following our journey, you can follow me on instagram @erinchristinebouchard.

This is obviously a very big decision, so how did Erin make it:

It may feel like it’s a quick decision or that it’s happening fast. But in reality we’ve been planning and preparing for a few months now. I first approached Kaitlyn in June. I had thought about asking her for a few weeks. I knew that I wanted someone who had the same passion, drive and love for the store as I do.

This has probably been one of the hardest decisions I’ve made because I truly love the store. I love working with brides and I love seeing visions come to life.

But I’m excited for the next chapter in my life and in my family’s life. And I completely trust to take the reigns and continue to build the business that has been my baby for the last nine years.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading a little bit more about the change of ownership. We invite you to come out to a store open house on Thursday, August 22nd from 6-8pm. Erin would love to thank you for your years of support. And it’s a chance to welcome Kaitlyn into her new role as owner! Tickets are free but we’d love for you to pre-register here so we know how much food + drinks to purchase.


How to Blog | Invitation Process

Did you know that we do invitations at Once Upon A Time Weddings? We are an affiliate of The Paper Bride in Chatham. Which means any of the invitations or stationery from their wedding business can be ordered right from Once Upon A Time Weddings!

Below, Erin outlines the invitation process.

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There are three reasons we picked The Paper Bride.

1. Because Jenn & Laurie are total sweethearts and real professionals.  They love what they do and that shines through from every interaction with them.  

2. Their invitations are also totally customizable and we love that about them.  Your invitations are your guests first glimpse into your vision for your day.  And we feel so honoured to help you create and begin seeing that vision come into execution.

3. Their prices are totally reasonable.  Simple invites start at just $1.50 per invite.  And you can order as many or as little as you'd like.  Need 52 invites? No need to order an extra 20 or 25 invites, we can place the order for 52!

Today, on the blog we'd thought we'd walk you through the invitation process.  Of course, we have a process for it, because our main goal at OUTW is always to make it as easy and painless as it can be!

So let's dive in!

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Step 1: Talk to Your Fiance & Your Parents

Figure out how many guests you'll be inviting.  When determining number of invitations needed, remember that most guests are couples or families and typically you need roughly half of the number of guests are on your guest list.  Determine what your budget is for invitations.  Begin the conversation of what you want the wording to look like for the invitations.  Do you want just your names on the invites, parents names, just brides parents?  There used to be a lot more rules to whose names appeared on the invitation, but now a days most couples either put both parents names or no parents names on the invitations.

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Step 2: Meet with Us

Schedule an invitation consult and come in and speak to one of our stylists.  We'll walk you through creating your custom design invitation suite.  We have some samples to show you but everything is customizable.  We'll help walk you through all the wording and create an order to be submitted to The Paper Bride.

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Step 3: Place Order + Pay Deposit

We'll send in all your order information to The Paper Bride.  They require a 50% deposit to begin layout of invitations.  Once your deposit has been paid, they'll begin to layout all the information that we sent them.

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Step 4: Email Proof

The Paper Bride will create an invitation proof via email.  This will help us catch any errors or spelling mistakes and give you a visual of what your invitation will look like.  Want your names a bit bigger or to change the font?  One design change is included in your pricing so if you want to change anything in your order, this is your time to do it.  If all looks good, we move to the next step.

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Step 5: Invite Proof

Once we get your approval of the email proof, the The Paper Bride will print and create one invitation for you to approve.  Once you sign off this copy, they go to print, so we do suggest you review it carefully and make sure all information is perfect!

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Step 6: Production

Once final approval has been given, your invitations will go to production.  They will be printed and boxed up for shipping to our store.  Production can take anywhere from a few weeks to six weeks.  We can usually accommodate shorter orders, just ask!

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Step 7: Arrival & Assembly

Your invitations will be shipped to OUTW and you'll come in and pick them up.  Most of our invitation orders will come as DIY kits, which means you'll assemble them yourself.  Don't worry, we'll show you exactly how and you can purchase the tape here for that as well.  If you don't want to assemble them, we can price that out for you!  Throw them in the mail and you're good to go!

Still have more questions? Shoot us a text at 519.319.6623 or an email to info@onceuponatimeweddings.ca.

Ready to meet with us? Book an invitation consult online now.

 

My Favourite + Least Favourite Part of Owning A Bridal Store!

My favourite thing about owning a bridal store.

 

Guys, I love my job, I really do. I love meeting new brides, listening to their excited moms, and seeing the anticipation on everyone’s faces as they wait for the big reveal. I love seeing the wedding day pictures and feeling the love radiate out of those photographs.

 

I get to work in an industry that celebrates love and relationships. 

 

My favourite thing about owning a bridal store I would say is giving brides confidence. Buying a wedding gown usually involves feeling all the feels.

 

The excitement.

The joy.

The fear.

The overwhelm about making a decision.

Then more excitement.

 

Often when trying wedding gowns, brides feel like they are getting married for real. Sometimes for the first time. And that can be feel equal parts exciting and scary.

 

So I love that I get to walk alongside brides through these mixture of emotions and help them navigate them. And in doing so, I get to watch her feel confident about her decision. 

 

It’s a delicate dance. 

 

And I’m so glad that I get the honour to be a part of the dance.

 

I get so energized from working with brides. From planning events for them. From creating new ideas for the store and seeing them come into life.

 

My least favourite part about owning a bridal store. 

This job is super hard. It can feel a bit overwhelming at times. Not because we don’t love what we do, but because there are so many things outside of our control at times.

We are so dependant on designers. Designers who don’t work face to face with brides. And so many things that we do are so old school. But we’re kind of stuck doing it, because it’s the way it is done.

 

I wish there was more communication between stores, designers and seamstresses so we could create a better process for our customers. It’s something that I am passionate about learning and developing. I want to know how to make each process and transaction as smooth as possible. Knowing what alterations are needed, what things to look for, and how to prepare our brides as best as possible for the entire transaction.

 

I have a million ideas, but only the same 24 hours in a day.

 

I love working with brides.

I love creating moments.

 

I just wish this industry would innovate to keep up with the changes in other industries.

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