Dress Shopping

Owner Blog | When To Shop For Your Gown.

We’re seeing this trend in the store right now, of brides putting off coming in to shop for their gown.  And while sometimes we can make magic happen and find a gown that fits them or rush a gown in fast enough, it definitely limits your options as a bride.

At the bridal show a few weeks ago we met some brides who did not want to shop for their gown until much closer to their wedding.  And I get it, it can feel overwhelming or you might feel like if you shop too early you’ll have dress regret.  However, wedding gowns take between five and six months to order in.  In order to have the most number of options of gowns to choose from, you should begin shopping for your gown about seven to nine months before your wedding.  Earlier is even better because that will give you time to enjoy the process and help everything else fall into place.

Because the worse thing that can happen is that you have to settle for a gown that fits you and you can buy off the rack instead of saying yes to the gown you absolutely adore.

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Here’s three reasons we see brides delaying shopping for their gowns and how to overcome them.

1.     Fear of Dress regret

Some brides are putting off shopping for their gown because they are afraid they may have dress regret.  They may even have a friend who ended up purchasing two gowns for their wedding day.  Here’s the thing about dress regret, if I can speak openly for a minute.  We live in an instant world.  We instantly have our emails on our phone, we instantly can connect with someone half way around the world on facetime, we can get something delivered the next with amazon prime.  So we’ve become accustomed to not waiting.  So when we purchase a wedding gown, and my goodness, we now have to wait five months for it to arrive, it’s hard!  I get it.  I do.  So if you start to second guess yourself or worry about your gown, do this:  First, think about all the reasons you loved that gown and said yes.  Remember how you felt in it.  Remember how it will look with all your alterations done, with your hair and makeup done, walking down that aisle to the love of your life.  Second, if that doesn’t work and you’re still worried, do not go shopping.  I repeat, do not go shopping.  Wedding gowns are beautiful.  They are made to be pretty.  You will find another one you love.  Instead head back to the store you purchased your gown, slip that gown back on and remember why you fell in love with it. 

2.     Losing weight

This one can be a bit tricky.  Because it’s obviously a sensitive subject.  Brides want to look their best on their wedding day.  And while we’re all for feeling beautiful, we want to make sure you can still have the dress of your dreams.  We can talk through sizing and alterations with you in the appointment.  But the thing here to remember is that your fiancé fell in love with you and proposed at the exact size you are right now.  Don’t put too much pressure on yourself in an already stressful season of life.  Embrace the shape you are and find a gown you love right now, not 20 pounds lighter.  If you are determined to lose a bit of weight, then give yourself some time.  Set a goal and track your progress.  That will help us choose the best size for you when you do shop.

3.     Orchestrating entourage

We get it.  You want your people there when you have your magical experience.  So sometimes brides will put off shopping until their mom is home or sister is back from school.  We totally understand.  Just make sure that it still leaves you with the suggested time frame of 7-9 months before your big day.

If it doesn’t then plan an appointment at a time that they are available and we’ll facetime them into the appointment.  This way they can to still be part of the experience and you still get all the gown options.  Then we can also do a bridal reveal the next time they are home or in this area.  You can slip that gown back on and show them and have them help with accessories.

We want you to say yes to the dress in absolute confidence.  We want you to love your gown and continue loving it until long after your wedding day.  At Once Upon A Time Weddings our goal is to walk with you through the whole experience.  That’s what makes our store different.  We know from past brides that once your gown decision has been made, so many other decisions are able to fall into place.

If you’re still looking for your gown, register now for our upcoming webinar on Wednesday November 28th at 7pm. In it, we’ll cover the 5 things you must know before you say yes to your dress.

1| Colours of gowns
2| Shapes of gowns
3| Who to bring to your appointment
4| When to shop for your gown
5| Why shopping at a boutique is best

 If you’re ready to start trying gowns on, book your exclusive gown finding experience here.

Advice From Past Bride | Mikaela Vandenberk

Mikaela + Luke
Wedding Date: September 2, 2017

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

Relax and enjoy the process. The engagement high only lasts for so long, so when it's there enjoy it. Enjoy being engaged, because it's fun to go around showing off that new bling(lets me honest). Don't stress wedding planning, it doesn't need to be stressful, it honestly should be fun and exciting. I truly believe people put way to much pressure on wedding planning. When I got engaged I got the big decisions done ASAP (venue, photographer, etc), then let the little details go until the 3 or so months before. I didn't want the entire year or so to be wedding this wedding that. I didn't want to feel overwhelmed and I wanted to enjoy being engaged not feeling stressed the entire time.

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

First - Go to Once Upon a Time Weddings their amazing to work with and you feel so special. Secondly, have your ideas but don't be limited. I went in with 2 full sheets of paper of my inspiration from Pinterest and ended up getting a dress that was completely out of my comfort zone. I am really happy about it thought because it was unexpected which I wanted.

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

Stop worrying about all the materialistic things. The most important thing is the commitment that you are making with your partner and that should always remain number one.

What is something you regret when wedding planning?

I only had a couple things that I regret not doing or thought people may have thought it was lame. My main advice is do the wedding of YOUR dreams nobody else.

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

Included my husband as much as he may have not been to interested. Remember its your wedding together not just you. I hate when people say its the brides day, no its both of yours. I wanted my husband included in everything even if he just wanted me to be happy with the decision. Some decisions are fairly big and should be a couple decision.

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

Have fun, enjoy the journey and don't lose site of the main event and thats the marriage the commitment to be long life partners.

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Thanks Mikaela for sharing your advice for all those who haven’t walked down the aisle just yet. If you’re still looking for the perfect gown, follow Mikaela’s advice and come to Once Upon A Time Weddings. Book your appointment today!

Wedding Dress Dictionary

A-Line, Sheath, Ball Gown, Lace, Organza.

Dress Shopping is like learning a whole other language.  What's a bride to do?

Whether you are one of those girl's whose been playing dress up in their pretend wedding gown since they were 4 or you're the type of bride who hasn't spent a lot of time thinking about their wedding gown, this blog is for you.  We've got a wedding dress dictionary for you to learn all the in's and out's of wedding dress lingo! We hope you find this helpful as you prepare for your say yes day!

A-Line Silhouette: An A-line wedding dress features a skirt that gradually begins to flare out from a fitted bodice, starting below the natural waist, and lightly skimming the hips, as it and extends to the hem, forming an "A" shape. This silhouette is thought to be universally figure-flattering.

A-Line dress here at Once Upon A Time Weddings.

A-Line dress here at Once Upon A Time Weddings.

Bustle: A fancy word for a sewing method used to transition a gown with a long train into a length that makes it easier to walk and dance in.

Bodice: The top part of your dress, above the waist. 

Boning: This gives a dress' bodice structure and prevents drooping, especially in a strapless dress and we seriously cannot stress how important this is in a strapless dress!! Which is why we carry the exclusive designers that we do here at OUTW. 

Chiffon: A very soft, delicate fabric that is extremely sheer and layered for modesty. This fabric is best known for being popular for bridesmaids dresses but is also becoming a lot more popular for wedding gowns.

Corset: A lace up back of the bodice, whether for ascetics or wiggle room with your size. Give yourself some extra time on your wedding day to lace it up!

Fit and Flare Silhouette: A dress with a fitted bodice through the hips and a flared skirt.

Once Upon A Time Weddings Bride in a fit and flare silhouette. 

Once Upon A Time Weddings Bride in a fit and flare silhouette. 

Illusion Back: A more recent trend in wedding gowns - this design gives you the look of an open  back with the comfort and beauty of a full coverage gown.

One of our illusion backs here at Once Upon A Time Weddings.

One of our illusion backs here at Once Upon A Time Weddings.

Organza: A type fabric/material that is made from silk, but is much stiffer than chiffon. It has a similar sheen to it, like satin but without all the weight while still creating volume in a dress. Often used for full skirts to give it more flow than tulle.

This month's real bride, Celine is wearing an organza skirt.

This month's real bride, Celine is wearing an organza skirt.

Sheath Silhouette: A long, narrow, slim-fitting silhouette with straight, lines usually made from lighter fabrics, such as satin or chiffon, which is more suitable for the body-skimming shape.

Sweetheart Neckline: A strapless bodice with rounded fabric over each breast, meeting in a V-neck point in the middle - makes a heart-like shape.

Train: The long back portion of a the dress that trails behind the bride. Trains can be different lengths. Brides adore this feature for walking down the isle and formal pictures. 

New arrival to OUTW with a beautiful train.

New arrival to OUTW with a beautiful train.

Let us know what you'd like to see on the blog by commenting on any of our Facebook blog posts or direct messaging us!

Ready to start the search for your dream gown? Book your experience with us today!