London bridal store

How to Blog | Invitation Process

This fall, with the expansion of OUTW into our new home, we wanted to add a few more services for our beautiful brides.  We loved the idea of having invitations and stationary needs available right in our store.  We met with The Paper Bride out of Chatham and were so excited to dive in as one of their consultants.  

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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.

 

March Real Bride | Heather's Dress

We love all of our brides at OUTW!  Heather heads a special place in our hearts as we have known her for several years & been able to watch her grow up and mature in the beautiful woman she is today.

So we were so excited when she came to OUTW to find her gown.  She came in hoping to find a beautiful experience, unsure if she would purchase that day and she left with a beautiful gown + an equally beautiful grin!  Let's journey together through her appointment where Heather said YES to the Dress!!

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

It was the first day trying on dresses, I was not expecting to buy my dress that day
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About how many dresses did you try on before you found 'The One'?

Around 10 dresses. My dress was the last one I tried on

Who was with you at your appointment?

My mom and 2 sisters

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

My mom, sisters and Sharon. Sharon convinced me to try on the dress that became my dress.
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Was the dress you bought similar to what you came in thinking you wanted?

Nothing at all like I had in mind, this dress totally exceeded my vision!

Did you try on dresses before coming to OUTW?

Yes I did.
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How was your experience at Once Upon A Time Weddings?

It was perfect! Sharon made me feel welcome, wanted to know all about Jamie, how long we had been together, how he proposed, when our wedding was, what I was looking for in a dress. She sat down with me and asked to see pictures of what I was thinking, she asked my mom and sisters what they wanted to see me in. I had it in my mind I did not want a ball gown because it was too much dress. Sharon brought me a few options and let me pick what to try on. She convinced me to try on the ball gown which I was avoiding. It was the last dress I tried on, she said that I could custom my dress and take away some of the skirt and change the top. I really wanted lace on the top of my dress, Sharon showed me some options of different options. I picked out the one I wanted and then the skirt. I ended up going with the ball gown. I loved it without all the skirt! I was the last one to realize that it was my dress. My mom was the first one as she got teary, then my sisters, then me. I loved my dress and going to Once Upon a Time Weddings. It was the third store I went too and I was super nervous I had a feeling that my dress would be there and that I would find my dress.

Is there anything else you want to tell us about your story to finding the dress?

I would recommend Once Upon a Time Weddings to anyone looking for a wedding dress, bridesmaid dress or even a mother of the bride/groom dress. It was such a great experience, and made me feel special. I was hoping for the experience I had seen on TV and it was so much better! Thank you for helping me find my dress it was beautiful!
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Heather, it was such a pleasure creating your Say Yes Story here at OUTW and we hope you loved reliving it through our blog.  You wish you & Jamie many, many years of health, happiness & love.  Thank you for choosing OUTW for your wedding gown.

Owner of Once Upon A Time Weddings

Owner of Once Upon A Time Weddings

All photographs of Heather & Jamie's beautiful day were captured by Latte Productions

When LIFE gives you LEMONS.

Running a bridal business has so many ups and downs, so many decisions to be made.  Just when you think you got a good handle on those decisions, life gives you lemons.  You come to a crossroad and you must choose how to proceed.  Let me just tell you, we have enough lemonade over here for everyone in this town!  

A shot of owner, Erin Bouchard standing in the original Once Upon A Time Weddings location at 6 Front St. W. Photography by Nova Markina.

A shot of owner, Erin Bouchard standing in the original Once Upon A Time Weddings location at 6 Front St. W. Photography by Nova Markina.

When I opened my business I searched and searched for the PERFECT location to open up my bridal store.  I looked at some real special places, some that needed lots of work and some that would have been okay.  When I found 6 Front St. W I was excited to watch the renovations and felt like we had found our home.  When we were approached two years ago to move from 6 Front St. W to 2 Front St. W we were excited for the change.  We felt the space better represented our brand and the feel we were going for with the store.  After we moved we were quite disappointed to find out that we would not have an option to renew our lease.  So we talked to landlord last December and decided we would start the agonizing search of finding a new home for Once Upon A Time Weddings.  We again searched through many properties.  Some might have worked, some we immediately returned home and showered.  Given the unique challenge of running a business while trying to raise a family and balance the rest of our lives, we decided to look for a building we could live in and run the business out.

A shot of Once Upon A Time Weddings when it was located at 2 Front St. W in Strathroy.

A shot of Once Upon A Time Weddings when it was located at 2 Front St. W in Strathroy.

It seemed our prayers and hopes had been answered when we located 20 Caradoc St. N in Strathroy.  It was the perfect combination of store and family home.  It’s recently been beautifully redone and we were excited about the possibility of relocating the store to this location.  

We talked to our current landlord and were given the green light to go ahead and break our lease early in order to secure this new location.  Our lease had no escape clause, but we trusted her word that we were good to go.  We did all the necessary steps that needed to be taken to move down the road.  We were excited, tired, and couldn’t wait to reopen at our new location.

A shot of the front door at the NEW location of 20 Caradoc St. N in Strathroy.

A shot of the front door at the NEW location of 20 Caradoc St. N in Strathroy.

For about a month we lived the dream.  It seemed we had a great set up.  I felt like my life was manageable.  Like I could help brides say yes to the dress, while juggling all of my other responsibilities.  

Then the lemons came.

We were told we were going to be held responsible for the last year of our lease.  That she wasn’t accepting our 90 day written notice as escaping our contractual obligations.

So, here we stand at the crossroads.  Do we admit defeat and pay off the balance of our lease?  Or do we move the store back down the road for the last year of our term?  Do we do something else with the old store - like bridesmaids or an outlet bridal store?  

Unfortunately, while our legal team works this one out, we continue to stand at this crossroads.  Our promise to you, our customers, is that as we know more we’ll let you know.  That we’ll let you journey this road with us.  And we’ll even let you help us move our stuff back too if that’s the route we end up going.

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