8 Things I Promise to Every OUTW Bride

Guys, today is the day!

It’s our 8th Anniversary. And just like in marriage, this little old business of mine takes work, lots and lots of work. So today, in celebration of our anniversary I want to share 8 things I promise to our brides over the next 8 years of business.

  1. I will fight for you.

We are sometimes at the mercy of designers when it comes to receiving gowns. Sometimes things are outside of our control. But as the owner of OUTW, I will also fight for you. If something isn’t right or something goes wrong, we’re on your team. We want to work with you to come to a solution. And if we make a mistake, we’ll take ownership of that and do our best to make it right. Yes, we’re in business to make money but we’re also in business to make dreams come true. And we care about each of our brides as people and not just sales.

That doesn’t mean you can bully us into getting anything you want. We do ask you to be reasonable and kind. But we’ll always go to bat for you whenever we can!

London Photographer Rebecca Nash - Erin Portraits (10).jpg

2. I will never stop chasing this dream.

8 years ago I started chasing this dream. Well in reality about 9 1/2 years ago. But I took a big step towards this dream when I opened the doors of OUTW 8 years ago. While I’m so, so proud of all that we have accomplished in 8 years, we’re far from finished yet. We’ve stronger, more determined and excited about all the future holds for us at OUTW. We want to continue to serve you in whatever ways we can.

3. I will continue to bring you exclusive and unique gowns.

I’m so proud of the store we’ve built. And I’m so proud that when you say Yes to the Dress at our store, you get our expertise and you get gowns that aren’t found at every bridal store everywhere. We love bringing in gowns that are well made and have amazing structure. We want you to look and feel confident from the moment you slip it on in the morning until the last dance at night.

4. We can handle your crazy MIL, your opinionated bestie and your know-it-all sister.

Bring it on sister. There’s honestly no situation that you can throw at us that we won’t be able to handle. We just want you to be open and honest with us and we’ll work through it with you. We got you girl.


5. I will not be perfect, but I will make it right.

This is similar to the first one, but it’s worth discussing. I have off days. I have days where I say something that I shouldn’t. I have made mistakes. But I promise I will try my absolute best to make it right. So if you feel like we’ve done something wrong or we could have done something better, reach out to us. We live in a world where sometimes our first instinct is to write a bad review. And sometimes that’s justified. But give me a chance to make it right with you and remember we are human. Reviews hurt us as they often tell one side of the story. Especially when the side of the story is told un-factually.

6. I will never stop learning + teaching.

Guys, this is so important to me. I have a serious book problem. I am constantly learning and applying new things all the time. And I’m constantly teaching. Our staff meet at least twice a month to learn together. We hire mature staff members and they endure a vigorous training here at OUTW. But that training doesn’t end with their initial training. It’s ongoing.

7. I will always care about your experience.

I have an obsession with your experience. I’m constantly thinking about ways to improve what we do. We have developed such an amazing reputation. And that reputation is everything to me. I want each and every bride who walks through the doors to experience that.

8. I want to hear your feedback.

We can’t fix a problem we don’t know about it. We can’t change a problem we weren’t aware was a problem. You can always email me at info@onceuponatimeweddings.ca or call me at the store if you’d like to chat. We also do surveys a lot to gather your feedback.

If you haven’t filled out this survey yet, we’d love to hear your thoughts: https://goo.gl/forms/7yaCDi6OdWmYEY3D3

 What will your Say Yes Story be?   At Once Upon A Time Weddings, we want you to say yes to not just the dress with absolute confidence.  And it starts with this free webinar.   Grab a cup of coffee or glass of wine and join us as we discuss everything you need to know before you purchase your wedding gown.  We'll cover:  * shapes of gowns  * colours of gowns  * when to shop for your gown  * Say Yes Process  * why shopping at a boutique is best  All participants will receive a special offer towards their gown purchase! So be sure to be on live or catch the replay right away!

What will your Say Yes Story be?

At Once Upon A Time Weddings, we want you to say yes to not just the dress with absolute confidence.

And it starts with this free webinar.

Grab a cup of coffee or glass of wine and join us as we discuss everything you need to know before you purchase your wedding gown.

We'll cover:

* shapes of gowns

* colours of gowns

* when to shop for your gown

* Say Yes Process

* why shopping at a boutique is best

All participants will receive a special offer towards their gown purchase! So be sure to be on live or catch the replay right away!

Styling Your Maids.

Here at Once Upon a Time Weddings our main goal is helping you find your dream dress along with offering our unique in-store experience. But, what can we offer after you 'say yes to the dress'? What else is on your wedding to-do list that we can help you check off? How about finding dresses for those most important girls standing next to you on your day! We offer a wide selection of colours and styles for your bridesmaids along with that same in-store experience all over again!

We combined four of our wedding gowns with some of our bridesmaids dresses to show how your maids dresses can help enhance your gown!

This first one we wanted to show case how different necklines and colours can draw your attention to your gorgeous gown. While staying in a fall colour palette, with this plum tone dress you can absolutely have the same neckline as your wedding gown… its simplistic yet elegant style only accentuates your wedding gown and brings out its blush undertones and sparkle.


Now with the halter neckline you cannot lose, its the complete opposite of your gown and still adds a great colour while playing on texture with this chiffon fabric. Both silhouettes bring a great shape to any body type.


Next, we show a way to 'bring out your bling' even more by accenting your dress with maids dresses that have fall inspired colours and lace accents. Here we are keeping more in mind for the cooler season with deep Burgundy and a Navy colour palette. It allows the ivory tone in this horse hair skirt to really pop and be an absolute show stopper.


Thirdly, we are breaking out the lace! This maids dress helps bring out your lace texture and your Ivory wedding gown colour without over doing it. These dresses come in a variety of colours and can make a great statement for any season. (P.S. the blue dress has pockets.. who doesn't love those!?)


Lastly, the boho look! We have combined a long flowing gown with a deep v-neck and a short flirty and fun lace v-neck. Different shades, lengths, and styles; who ever said your girls had to be matching in these categories! This neutral colour scheme goes great for a boho theme, and compliments any skin tone.


So whatever look you're going for with your maids, the stylists at Once Upon A Time Weddings can help pull it all together for you!  Click here to book your maids experience! 

Introducing.... OUTW Packages!

OUTW Bridal Packages

Hey Bride Friends!

Here we are, once again at the end of the week. And I CANNOT believe it.  I feel like I say that every week though, don't I?!

The air today feels more fall like, and I'm living for it!  I'm all about the cozy sweaters, boot socks, fireplaces and apple picking.

It's also a good month, because it's the month we celebrate OUTW opening their doors. Missed my blog yesterday? You can read all about it here.

Today, our first anniversary special savings is on our packages!!

We have two different packages available to our brides who purchase their gowns through us.


And now, the fun part!

The first 4 brides who have bought from us, who purchase either package from us, will automatically get a trip to Las Vegas.

Anyone who purchases either the Essentials or Insider Club package before September 18th will be entered into a draw to win a Cozumel Honeymoon trip!

There are some conditions that apply to both trips. The trip is only accommodations. Airfare, meals and other expenses are not included. There are some black out dates.  We'll give the full list of instructions to the winners.

Reflecting on How We've Changed + How We've Stayed the Same!

What in the actual world you guys!?

Eight years ago I chased my dreams. I was so young and so naïve. But I had a big dream. I wanted to change the way brides in this area shopped for wedding gowns. I wanted to create something that mattered. 


I believed that buying a wedding gown could be different.

 Photograph by  Soul Photography

Photograph by Soul Photography


And so I created that place.  And on September 20th, 2010 I opened the doors to Once Upon A Time Weddings for the very first time.

And while I’m a totally different person than I was that day, I still firmly believe that saying yes to your dress should be like writing a story. It should be fun, relaxing, comfortable and did I mention fun?!

Since those doors opened for the first time, we’ve encountered three moves, two very difficult landlord situations and a whole host of other life lessons we’ve been handed.

I’ve become a mom and adopted two children.
I have become vocal in my fight to bring endometriosis awareness + change in Ontario. 
My husband and I became home owners.

My life feels different now, not in a bad way, just different. But one thing that has remained the same over the last eight years is my love of working with brides.

I love picking their gown before they come.
I love that moment when you just know that this is the one.
I love that anticipation of asking the question.
I love that I get to meet so many cool and interesting people.

 Photograph by Amanda Kopcic Photography

Photograph by Amanda Kopcic Photography

I’ve grown up in this store. I really have.

I thought I knew a lot when I first opened up a store, after all they don’t let just anyone take out loans and get approval to open a bridal store! {have you met some of my competitors, clearly they do, Jk well kind of}

I am the person that I am because of the lessons that I have learned while running this business.

I am so, so grateful for all of our customers.  For everyone who has trusted me, supported me, shared about OUTW, any of it and all of it.  I wouldn’t be where I am without you.

What dream do you need to chase? What idea have you been sitting on? What are you going to do about it?

To celebrate our anniversary with us, please join us at our fall fashion fundraiser on September 23rd. And of course, we wouldn’t be us if we didn’t have some amazing anniversary things coming for you this month!! So make sure you follow us on FB + IG for those!

Fall Fashion Show Details


On Sunday, September 23rd, Once Upon A Time Weddings will be hosting a fall fashion show that will begin at 2pm. The proceeds from the fashion show will go towards endometriosis research.

We'll be showcasing many of our new gowns that have just arrived in our store, including two new lines exclusive to Once Upon A Time Weddings.

Orchard Clothing will be participating and showcasing some of their casual, everyday women's wear. They have the cutest stuff, so if you haven't yet check them out!

Tickets are on sale now for just $15 in advance. Purchase them here. Tickets are limited, so don't miss out!

Why endometriosis research? Because it hits home for our owner, Erin Bouchard. And because it effects so many women who suffer without answers. And because currently there is no way to diagnose endometriosis without surgery and we want to change that!

This is a little excerpt from owner, Erin Bouchard's blog, I am 1 in 10. 

So little is known about endometriosis.
There is currently no way to diagnose endometriosis without laparoscopic procedure.  
Doctors don’t understand the illness.

My family doctor should have known.
He should have talked to me more about the symptoms I had.
Instead he told me that endometriosis has nothing to do with fertility.

Years of pain.
Years of frustration.
Years of not having answers.

Family doctors need to be educated about endometriosis and infertility.  They need to know the symptoms and what can be done to help alleviate the pain.  They need to stop believing that pain in periods in normal and expected.

Click here to read more.

Top left picture - Photography by Kayleigh

Top right + bottom left - Amanda Kopcic Photography

Bottom right - Rebecca Nash Photography

Wedding Theme | Beach Destination

Beach themed weddings have become increasingly popular and the trend doesn't appear to be slowing down anytime soon. So if you like dancing barefoot on the sand, tropical breeze, and exotic cake decor... this is the theme for you!


Along with a gorgeous backdrop for your big day, you have a very relaxed atmosphere when it comes to decor and choosing your colour palette. If you're feeling overwhelmed by all of the nautical options for decor, stick with the basics of your location .. driftwood, sea glass and sea shells.

For colours: stick with tones such as soft blue, taupe, and cream. If you're looking for that extra "pop" simply add some textures to your design to bring a cohesive look to your location.


Custom escort cards can enhance any themed celebration, and a great souvenir for guests! keep it low key, even something as simple as writing your guests names on a sand dollar adds a personal touch and incorporates your theme.


To really bring the space together, find ways to incorporate complimentary elements. Choose decor items that won't compete with the beauty of the beach environment. Don't be afraid to add a touch of modernism as well! It adds another rustic element to your place settings.


When you think of a beach wedding you think of light and airy, so why not apply the same vibe to your cocktail hour? You can keep all of the flavour and colours in the dish, and have fun easy to eat bite size snacks.


Adding aisle decor with different heights creates an anchor that will automatically draw your guests eyes to where you and your fiancé will be experiencing the most magical moment of your life. If you prefer to have ground level aisle decor, keep the elements natural (ex. natural tall grasses and greenery).. making your moment the star of the show without any distractions.

Adding alternate seating areas during cocktail hour or the reception, adds a vacation like escape for your guests where they can watch the water, drink a cocktail and watch the fun festivities take place!


If you're looking for an alternative idea as a wedding favour for your guests, you could try these super cute beach totes! You could add flip flops for your guests to wear during your big day or add some personal island touches that they can take home to enjoy! 

 One of our new arrivals that would be perfect for a beach wedding!

One of our new arrivals that would be perfect for a beach wedding!

But regardless of trends, pick what works best for your style and what is the most attractive to you and your fiancé... Happy wedding planning! 

Still looking for your perfect gown?  Book an appointment now to write your Say Yes Story at Once Upon A Time Weddings.

How To Plan a Perfect Wedding in Less than a Year

Your friends, family members and online sources will give you a recommendation of planning your wedding 12-18 months before-hand. Now if you were hoping for a shorter engagement remain calm! We are here to say it can be done and we have some tips for our brides!

Here is a timeline we put together to help guide you during your wedding planning!




Date Flexibility: (6 months)

These are essential since they basically dictate the entire wedding and how your planning will go. Being flexible with your date will definitely add smoother sailing for you and your partner. Popular dates (any long weekend and Saturdays) are booked up pretty quick! Your best option is to figure out which dates you absolutely CAN'T do. If you begin your process insisting on a must- have date, you're more than likely bound to hit road blocks during your planning journey.


Sit down with your fiancé and make a list of must have guests for your special day, and go over with your parents any other guests they would like to add. You will gain a lot more options if you can get your guest list down to around 125 guests. Most venues just aren't able to accommodate more, and those that can book up pretty quickly. Even more options will open up if you go less than 100.

Wedding Planner:

Planners are great, especially when you have a shorter timeline. They have all the connections to other vendors and have the expertise to make sure you check everything off your list! Even if you have a lot of the work done or decided on which vendors and venues work best for you, your planner can still be there to let some of the pressure off and keep.things moving!.


A lot of traditional wedding venues book a year or more in advance, don't get frustrated you can still find an amazing venue on a short timeline. Like we discussed, consider alternative dates like a Friday or Sunday, which may get you that ballroom or country club you have been scoping out. Another option is to look into non-traditional spaces, like an art gallery or even a backyard wedding!


Like venues... a lot of wedding vendors get booked up fairly far ahead of time, so you will definitely want to get yours lined up fast. Don't feel like you need to interview and meet every several of the same type of vendor before choosing, you have a bit of a tighter timeline and want to keep the wheels in motion! So get in touch with photographers, videographers, florists, bands or dj's, and cake bakers right away.

Your Dress:

Custom- made wedding gowns or gowns that need to be ordered in a different size should be ordered 6 months or more in advance. One option if you don't have as much time is to order your gown with a rush on it. Another great option is the option of buying off the rack, the dress is instantly yours the day of and you can get to alterations as soon as possible and begin your magical process of planning your big day! Schedule fittings for closer to your wedding date so your dress fits like a glove.

Your Bride Tribe: (5 months)

If you have decided to have some company join you by your side on your big day, you want to get them on board early! Bridesmaid dresses can be purchased and delivered on a shorter timeline than a wedding dress, however they still take a while so be sure to get your girls together and get shopping! Just like your bridal gown.. you can pay a rush fee for your maids and have them in sooner.

Save the Dates & Wedding Invites:

As soon as you have chosen your venue, start getting those save the dates sent out. You do have the option of getting digital save-the-dates due to your time crunch. If you don't feel like being super tech savvy or your family members want something for their albums, you can find print companies with a quicker turn around time. For your wedding invites, you should get working on those and getting the designs finalized early on so you can have them ordered up still giving you plenty of time to mail them out. Be sure to set up your wedding website and your registry set up before you send out your save the dates!

Other Vendors: (4 months)

You have the essential ones booked and ready to go, however there are other vendors that need to be put into consideration. Now would be the time to hire a hair and makeup stylist if you are needing it, rental companies, and transportation for you and your guests.

Wedding Bands: 

Not the wedding entertainment.. the jewelry you will be giving to each other on your special day. If you're getting married in six months or a year, this is the latest you should be shopping for your wedding bands. Like your engagement ring, many are made to order which means it can take 45 or up to 90 days for your wedding band to be made and shipped. Your best option is to shop at the store where your partner purchased your engagement ring, particularly if you are interested in a matching set, or you can make a day of it and shop at a few different jewelry stores to find the right one.

Your Trials:  (3 months)

With a little time left before your big day, it's time for the fun to start! Tasting your menu items and cake, also doing a test run with your hair and makeup stylists! who doesn't love that? This will give you lots of time to make any changes to the services, like adjusting the menu or changing your hairstyle.

The Real After Party:

After your crazy work schedule, attending appointments, getting photos taken, thank-you cards.. etc, you will be ready for some serious R&R after your big day! With honeymoon planning sometimes flight prices can make your jaw drop a tad. You can try looking at flights within the U.S. (places like Maggie Valley or Asheville in North Carolina) where you can find beautiful waterfalls and charming rustic restaurants. Try searching for an Airbnb, these places usually have more availability to book. 

Your Invitations:

By now you have already designed and ordered your invitations, so now it's the right time to get them in the mail. For a destination wedding, you will definitly want to send those out twelve weeks before your wedding date. For a celebration close to friends and family, you can send them out eight to twelve weeks before, that should be a perfect timeline.  

Pre-Wedding Festivities: (2 months)

Now it's time for the pre parties .. your bridal shower and bachelor/bachelorette parties. There shouldn't be too much planning on your end when it comes to these events taking place, however you do want to make note that they are scheduled a month or two before your wedding. 

The Grand Finale: (1 month)

Here is when the final details come into play, there is a long list of things you will need to take care of in those final weeks. Be sure to confirm timing and orders with all of your vendors. Finalize your seating chart and have those escort cards printed and ready to go. Make an outline of the timeline for your big day, and last but most important don't forget to grab your marriage license. 

First picture - B Reilly Photography

Second picture - Mikaela Shannon Photography

Third picture - Violet Light Photography

Last picture - Zakoor Photography

All other pictures from Pinterest.

Still looking for your perfect gown?  Book an appointment now to write your Say Yes Story at Once Upon A Time Weddings.