London bridal stores

Fall Muses.

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It’s already NOVEMBER! What on earth is happening! I knew that this fall would fly by and I was not wrong.  This fall has been full of travel, growing pains and huge success!  We had our best sales month we’ve ever had in the history of our store in September and for that I’m so incredibly thankful!  Each week more and more brides are welcomed into the Once Upon A Time Weddings.

 

As you can imagine we’re so happy to be welcoming them into our family! But with that comes some growing pains as we continue to expand our little boutique.  So as always we welcome your feedback as we continue to serve you better!

 

This fall I had the amazing opportunity of traveling to bridal market in September.  It was part of my girl’s incentive over the summer to reach certain goals and they could come on the trip with me.  They did it and earned coming to market for two days.  They had a lot of fun and we chose some beautiful new styles for the store both in our bridal and bridesmaids departments.  Now just to wait for them to arrive.

 

In October I headed to Las Vegas where I spoke at Wedding MBA for my coaching business on bridal store inventory.  What a learning experience that was!  I love my job but I am very introverted so this was a bit of a leap for me.  But I’m so glad that I took it.

 

At the end of October I headed off to Orange Beach for a conference and work retreat.  I was so happy to have some uninterrupted time to dream, think and plan for 2017.  I can’t believe how far our business has come and I look forward to the future!

 

Now I’m home.  While I enjoyed all my trips, I’m so glad to be staying put for a bit and to buckle down and get caught up on some of the work that has been backlogging while we’ve been busy.

 

If you’re a bride of ours – whether you bought your gown four years ago or four days ago we’d love for you to come over to our facebook group and join in on the fun!  Request to join now: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OUTWbridetribe/

 

Also if you’re one of our Once Upon A Time Weddings bride or you’re thinking about being one of our brides, then we’d love to invite you to our Christmas Open House.  It’s our way of giving back to our customers.  We’d love to hang out with you, feed you yummy snacks, drink champagne together and just enjoy the season!  Some of our fave wedding vendors will also be participating in this event! For more details check out our event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1466555216707018/

 

Also Santa is coming to Once Upon A Time Weddings again this Christmas and he’s giving one of our brides a FREE wedding gown.  Keep your eyes peeled to our facebook page & Instagram page for more information!

 

Fall Happenings.

Happy Monday!

 

It has finally cooled down quite a bit & it’s got me all excited for fall.  Both my kids are at camp this week and I’m so excited to get some work done and get some fall planning happening.

 

If you’ve been hanging around for a while you know that fall is one of my favourite time of years.  It’s the season that I started this crazy business in and I just love it.  The cooler evenings, hoodies, pumpkin spice everything and travelling for the store.  I adore fall.  This year my baby starts school.  I’m so torn between all kinds of feels – happy because I might actually have a solid 7 hours a day to work and sad, because how can she be old to start school?!  She's so excited to go and will be totally fine! {the ruling is still out for her mama tho}

 

What’s your favourite fall activity to do?  I’m most excited about apple picking & pie making {and eating too of course}.

 

Here’s some important fall dates for you to be in the know about:

 

-       Sarnia Bridal Show – Wednesday, August 31st – Quality Inn in Sarnia 6-9PM.  We’re super excited to once again participate in this bridal show – we’ll also be doing the fashion show.  {Wanna model for us?  We’d looking for a few more models of all sizes – email us at info@onceuponatimeweddings.ca}. More information about this show check out https://www.facebook.com/events/1631162767213018/

-        Saturday, September 17 & Sunday, September 18 – London Convention Centre Fall Bridal Show – Come stop by our booth or watch our gowns in the fashion show.  Doors open 12-5 both days.  For more information check out https://www.facebook.com/events/1086912041370165/ 

-       Wednesday, September 28th – Bridal Show in Exeter 6-9PM  There's no fashion show but there's going to be some ask the experts type opportunities for you to get some great information from local wedding vendors 

-       Friday, October 14th Blackburn Radio Bridal Show at Holiday Inn in Sarnia 6-9PM.  This is a great and very busy bridal show.  Wear comfortable shoes, hit the bar first and stop by and say hi!

-       Sunday, October 30th – Huron Country Bridal Show - we're excited to be participating in this great show again.  For more information on this show https://www.facebook.com/events/481963422007058/

 

This fall I will also be heading to Chicago for Bridal Market.  I’m excited to hang out with other bridal store owners, scope out the latest trends in bridal and order our Spring stock for the store.  I’m also heading to Vegas in early October for a conference and to speak to other bridal stores on managing your bridal store’s inventory.  I’m excited and a bit nervous as I’m really an introvert!  This will definitely take me outside of my normal comfort zone, but I’m excited for the opportunity and for the chance to broaden my skill base.  I'll also be heading to a conference at the end of October in Orange Beach, Alabama.  Super excited about that one too, because I've never been to Alabama and it's fun to hang out with other store owners!

 

This fall we’re also planning another fundraiser for Strathroy & area.  We’re super excited to present a fashion show on Friday, October 21st at the Seniors Centre in town.  We’ll be showcasing some bridal & bridesmaids gowns and raising money for local families to send their kids to camp next summer.   For more information on this event https://www.facebook.com/events/689843524506744/

Photo by Soul Photography - www.soulphotography.com 

Photo by Soul Photography - www.soulphotography.com 

Be Beautiful!

- Erin Bouchard

Owner of Once Upon A Time Weddings

 

3 Reasons Why A Pop Up Bridal Shop or Sale Might Not Be For You.

One of the latest bridal trends are these pop up bridal shops.  Sometimes they pop up in a particular city, sometimes they appear at a bridal show.  I have worked so hard to understand brides over the last few years.  With that in mind, I wanted to share three reasons why you might not be the pop up sale kind of bride.

1.)    It robs you of that say yes to the dress experience.  We know you are craving it.  Every bride wants to have that “moment” when they are standing in a gown and they can picture walking down the runway to Mr. Right and saying I do.  That’s okay, it’s part of the experience.  We know you’ve been secretly imagining that moment.  I mean what’s not to love about standing on a pedestal and having all the people you adore and cherish tell you that you’re beautiful!  For many brides it’s the first time that they feel like their getting married and it’s the only part of wedding planning that’s all about you!!

 I bet that when you imagined it, that it didn’t include 200 other women pushing and shoving to get a deal.  I bet it didn’t include changing in a fabric changing room with high school students or other brides who are just there to earn their own cheap gown the ones helping you.  I bet it does include having someone who lives and breaths weddings and bridal fashion assisting you every step of the way.  I bet you imagined having time to think, picture it all come together and finalize every detail to perfection.

Photograph by Soul Photography (www.soulphotography.ca) 

Photograph by Soul Photography (www.soulphotography.ca) 

2.)    You are more fashionable than you give yourself credit for.  Yes, saving money is great.  Yes, staying on budget is even better.  But the gowns you’ll find at a pop up shop average between 5 and 10 years old.  Bridal fashion changes a lot in 5 to 10 years.  Take my wedding gown for instance, I got married 9 years ago this June and while I loved my gown at the time, it’s definitely not the style that brides are looking for today.  And that’s okay because I’m not trying to sell them my gown.  Even if you aren’t the type of bride whose being pinning gowns on Pinterest for a decade you can recognize that styles have changed substantially in the last few years.  And while your gown budget may not afford you that Pnina Tornai that you see on TV, that doesn’t mean you have to settle for something that a designer or bridal store couldn’t sell themselves for the last five years.

Photograph by Rebecca Nash Photography (www.rebeccanashphotography.com) 

Photograph by Rebecca Nash Photography (www.rebeccanashphotography.com) 

3.)    You want to 100% love your gown.  A lot of brides go on to resell the gown they’ve purchased from a pop up shop because they made a hasty decision that was based principally on the price of the gown.  It appeared to be a good savings.  They got a designer gown for a fraction of the price.  But then once they begin planning the rest of the day, that style of gown doesn’t suit their overall feel of their wedding day.  Or they realize that they settled primarily because of cost.  While cost of gown is definitely a factor in choosing your wedding gown, it shouldn’t be the only factor.

Don’t be discouraged though, there are lots of way to save money on your gown without sacrificing your experience, your fashion sense and your sanity.  Here are three tips:

1.)    Be honest with your consultant about your price point.  It’s okay if you want to stay under a $1000, just tell her before she puts you in that $2200 gown you fall in love with.

2.)    Decide on what’s really important to you.  If you want lace maybe you can opt for less beading, or if you want a lot of beading, maybe you can opt to borrow your friend’s veil.

3.)    Realize the importance of your gown.  Your wedding gown will really set the tone for the rest of your day.  There are so many ways you can cut back on other areas, after all no one will remember if you served three vegetables or just one.  Decide what’s most important for you & your fiancé and then work towards those things.

Three Reasons That A Bridal Boutique Might be For You:

1.       It’s a calm, relaxed atmosphere.  There aren’t brides pushing out of their way and you don’t have to share mirrors.

2.       Your consultant is highly trained and can give you guidance for alterations, custom changes and colors available for your gown.  She has literally thousands of hours logged in working with brides.  And she’ll be there to answer any questions you have throughout the entire process.

3.       Your gown will be handled with utmost care.  You can bring it back {and we’ll still be here, not on to the next city} and we’ll press and steam your gown to perfection.

Where and how you purchase your bridal gown is a very personal decision.  We understand that not everyone will chose a bridal boutique and that's okay.  Just make sure you do some research and make the best decision with all the information that you can.  At Once Upon A Time Weddings we love working with brides and helping them say yes to the dress in the most magical bridal shopping experience.  To book your own bridal experience please click here.

5 Things No One Tells You About Planning A WEDDING!

  1. You will get stressed out.  It’s okay.  There may even be moments when you wonder why on earth you don’t just elope and be done with all the craziness.  Breath.  It will work out.  Rely on your mom, your fiance or your girls to help you through those terrifying moments.  Don’t fret the small things.

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2.  Life isn’t always a fairytale.  Sometimes things are hard.  Sometimes you will regret decisions or change your mind.  This is kind of a test run for how you will handle curves in your marriage.  Learn now to rely on each other and work things through together.  Sometimes you will fight, sometimes you will argue.  That’s okay.  Every relationship has it’s challenges.  Just don’t give up, keep working on it.

3.  Like any other stage in life, there will be a time you look back and miss those wedding planning days.  Don’t rush it past.  It’s an exciting time in your & your fiance’s life.  Embrace it.

4.  Let your fiancé be involved in the wedding.  I know it’s the day you dreamed of since you were a little girl.  We know you are excited, but it’s important to remember it’s his day too.  Involve him when you can and seek out his input before you make big decisions.  Think about what he would like as you shop for wedding details.

5.  There is life after the wedding.  Don’t lose focus on what the end goal is.  A marriage.  A life together.  Take some time to prepare for your married life.   Invest in your relationship and make time for date nights and doing activities you enjoy together.