London wedding planning

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.

 

Why Now Is The Perfect Time to Shop for Maids...

Shopping for your bridesmaids gowns at Once Upon A Time Weddings will also be an experience unlike any other.  When you book your bridesmaids shopping experience, you'll have a consultant that will work ONLY with you & your girls.  We'll chat with you on the phone or by text before the appointment to figure out exactly what you're looking for as well as price point you're hoping to stay within.  Your consultant will also pull gowns only that are available in the color you're looking for.  We'll make the entire process flawless & simple.  

Now here is why it is the perfect time for you and your Bride Tribe to set up an appointment and start shopping!

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It takes some time to start and finish the bridesmaid shopping process. There are several factors to consider when choosing your girls gowns. Here are our top 5!

1. Budget

2. Body shape

3. Comfort

4. Personalities

5. Colours/Cohesion

 

After the bride to be has found her gown, she will begin her hunt for bridesmaid dresses. Determining the bridesmaids gowns will finalize your wedding day colours and allow so many other planning details to fall into place.

When the bride has chosen "the one" her girls will be wearing, it is important to order the dresses as soon as possible. It can take up to 5 months for a bridesmaid dress to arrive, you don't want to be pressed for time and still want room for any alterations that need to be attended to.

 

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Choosing your colours and styles early on will allow you to finalize the other details for looking put together on the big day. Like finding your shoes or accessories, especially if the bride has specific colours and styles she would like her girls to wear. 

Despite getting your measurements done and size charts checked, bridesmaid dresses aren't made to measure. So it's always best to schedule an appointment with a seamstress, alterations should be done around the 3 month mark before the wedding. Schedule your final fitting about 3 to 5 weeks before the wedding day, this gives you enough time just in case you have to make any other small alterations.

 

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The summer is a great time to finalize this detail for your wedding as your maids often have a similar tan to what they will have for your summer wedding.  This helps them truly see the colour on their skin tone.

We'd LOVE to have you & your girls into the store and walk with you through their gown shopping experience!  Call 519-245-7997 now or book online at www.onceuponatimeweddings.ca/appointment.  

 

Blog | Advice From A Real Bride.

Happy Friday! It's hard to believe we're in May already.  The weather is finally nice and it's making us dream of summer, campfires, walks on the beach + of course, summer weddings!

Today on the blog, we're sharing some Real Bride advice.  This month we're featuring Alexa Wallace who tied the knot on May 27, 2017.  Happy almost Anniversary!  I still remember doing her bridal appointment.  She came in thinking she'd end up in a fitted gown & left with the most beautiful ball gown.  Let's dive into her bridal advice.

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

Enjoy the process! You only get one engagement, one time to call each other fiance/fiancee, one time to plan this whole thing! Have fun with it, and remember above all else you're planning a moment where you're closest friends and family witness you two commit yourselves to each other. The party for us, while immensely important as I LOVE to plan parties, was always secondary. Not that we skimped, we made it as fabulous as we wanted it to, but we made sure that our ceremony, that moment where we become husband and wife in front of our loved ones, was the highlight and the most important aspect of the day and planning since we saw it as Day 1 of the rest of our lives together.

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

I think don't go in to it with expectations, as hard as that is because for a lot of us we've had this idea in our heads of how it'll look or how we'll feel for so so long. So do your best to breathe, wash away those mental images, and just be very present in the moment and true to yourself and how you feel. My dress was no kidding the absolute complete opposite of what I pictured myself in, but as soon as I stepped in to it, I saw in my head myself walking in our venue and seeing my husband waiting for me and it all felt very right. And believe in the words you tell Erin and the girls to help them help you find the right one!
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What is the best advice you were given as a bride-to-be?

I'm not sure if any one thing sticks out to me, but probably similar to what I mentioned earlier, to just relax and enjoy the process, it'll all fall in to place and really, you're just planning a big party! I think focusing on the real meaning of the day, marrying your best friend and committing your lives to each other, and staying true to what feels right and represents the two of you and your relationship, will help you stay calm and at ease in the planning.

What is something you regret when wedding planning?

I really wish we had hired a videographer or even asked a family friend to video the ceremony at the very least, it was so special to us. I remember how I felt saying the vows, and I'll always know what we said as I have it written down from our rehearsal, but I think to see it all over again and be able to re-live it is something we would have really cherished having. It all happens so fast, a beautiful blur of a day!

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

Since we bought our house halfway through our engagement before our wedding, we had a lot of time, energy and finances that were being dedicated to renovations! So we would spend a couple weeks tackling some wedding items, then put it on the back burner for a couple months. That back and forth helped it from being all consuming, kept us on track to really hammer out details and stay focused to what we wanted for the big day, and it kept us relaxed and enjoying our time together as an engaged couple and not just a couple planning a wedding.
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Is there anything else you'd want to tell a future bride?

Stay true to what you and your partner want out of your big day and what truly represents you as a couple! At the end of it all, you gain a spouse and partner for life, so make sure to focus on that first and foremost and let the party planning be a fun aspect of the whole process! Place subtle details and memorable touches here and there, but don't stress if something gets forgotten or missed, by the time the food and drink get flowing all that matters is you're enjoying this moment surrounded by the ones you both love and who love you! Cheers lovely!

We love, love, love our brides here at OUTW and we have the best brides in the whole world!! We hope you enjoyed reading through Alexa's best wedding advice. She has some wise words as you prepare for your own walk down the aisle.

Book your experience here too say yes to your dream dress.

Photography: Mariangelica Photography

Why Now Is The Perfect Time to Shop for Maids...

Shopping for your bridesmaids gowns at Once Upon A Time Weddings will also be an experience unlike any other.  When you book your bridesmaids shopping experience, you'll have a consultant that will work ONLY with you & your girls.  We'll chat with you on the phone or by text before the appointment to figure out exactly what you're looking for as well as price point you're hoping to stay within.  Your consultant will also pull gowns on that are available in the color you're looking for.  We'll make the entire process flawless & simple.  

Now here is why it is the perfect time for you and your Bride Tribe to set up an appointment and start shopping!

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After the bride to be has found her gown, she will begin her hunt for bridesmaid dresses. Which usually means you and a few other girls will be asked to go out and try on some gowns to help narrow down options.

When the bride has chosen "the one" her girls will be wearing, it is important to order the dresses as soon as possible. It can take up to 5 months for a bridesmaid dress to arrive, you don't want to be pressed for time and still want room for any alterations that need to be attended to.

 

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Choosing your colours and styles early on will allow you to finalize the other details for looking put together on the big day. Like finding your shoes or accessories, especially if the bride has specific colours and styles she would like her girls to wear. 

Despite getting your measurements done and size charts checked, bridesmaid dresses aren't always made to measure. So it's always best to schedule an appointment with a seamstress, alterations should be done around the 3 month mark before the wedding. Schedule your final fitting about 3 to 5 weeks before the wedding day, this gives you enough time just in case you have to make any other small alterations.

 

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We'd LOVE to have you & your girls into the store and walk with you through their gown shopping experience!  Call 519-245-7997 now or book online at www.onceuponatimeweddings.ca/appointment.  

 

5 Things I've Learned About Owning a Business.

 

Once Upon A Time Weddings has been opened for five and a half years.  I was twenty-four when I first opened the doors.  I was super excited, a little naïve and a lot underprepared for the journey that would be owning my own business.  It’s been a wild, crazy ride!  There are some things that I wish I knew then that I know now.  For those of you who own a business or are contemplating owning a business or for those who just like to know what it’s like to own a bridal store these five things are for you.

Photo by Nova Markina www.novamarkina.com

Photo by Nova Markina www.novamarkina.com

1.       Your life will never be the same. 

Last Saturday as I was getting ready to work a full day I was thinking about how my weekends are totally different than most peoples are.  I get up Saturday mornings and mentally and physically prepare to work all day.  Saturdays are our busiest days and I spend most of my weekend working!  When I opened the store I didn’t really think about how it would affect my life as I knew it then.  I love working a busy Saturday and meeting new brides and the hustle and bustle of the shop.  But my Saturdays {and my poor husbands Saturdays} look very different than most couples.

2.      You will become a bit bi-polar {and that’s ok}

Monday I was having a pretty crappy day!  Tax season does that to me every year!!  I was just frustrated with some dealings I had with one of our designers too.  Then I had one of my most fun & easiest bridal appointments.  I got to work with a bride whose getting married on New Years Eve and had one of the greatest wedding parties!  It was pure joy.  I went from super stressed and super frustrated to super elated in the time frame of about an hour.   I said to my husband, it’s amazing how a good bridal appointment can totally change your whole mood.  It sometimes feels a little bipolar.  I love, love, love my job.  But there is definitely high stress, high energy moments that can suck the life right out of you.  Somehow, someway you just have to find the balance each and every day.  It’s definitely something that I never really experienced before I owned my business.

3.      Don’t just trust everyone.

This one is hard to write.  I have a super trusting nature, especially when I first opened my business.  But I have definitely been burned by freely giving my trust out to people within the industry.  There is a lot of competition and a lot of store owners who just copy what you do rather than come up with their own ideas.  One of the hardest things I have learned is not to trust people until they have proven to be trustworthy.  I’ve been burned too many times.  Sometimes sharing the knowledge that you have, unfortunately comes back to hurt you in the long run.  You just have to be so careful with information.  But on the flip side, I’ve met some really cool wedding professionals that I’m blessed to be friends with.  I have just learned to proceed with caution.

4.      You will not ever truly be off work.

When I first thought about moving the store into my home, people told me that I would truly never be off work.  I laughed and thought and that would be different than my life now how?  For crying out loud, facebook now gives brides an estimate of how long I will take to get back to their message.  It’s part of the job and in our technology driven world, it’s just how it is.  People expect an answer back quickly.  I wouldn’t change it because I think it’s a necessary part of the job.  But I do wish that I could just turn my brain off at night and get a good night’s sleep, even once a week!!  It’s my entrepreneur nature to constantly be thinking about the business, thinking about things I could do differently, things I could improve on, things I need to do.  But again, wouldn’t change it for anything!

5.      It is hard to work independently.

I am a hard worker. I work long hours.  But sometimes it’s ridiculously hard to work when there’s no one asking you for work to be done or holding you accountable for hours spent on projects.  It’s all up to me to decide how to divide up my time and what I will work on next.  It’s a lot of freedom, which sometimes can be a bad thing.  It means I have to have a lot of self control and motivation.  I have to learn to be persistent and consistent.  Even more so now that my office is in my home, the distractions can be endless!

Photo by Soul Photography www.soulphotography.ca

Photo by Soul Photography www.soulphotography.ca

Owning a business has a ton of rewards, but it’s also a ton of work.  I love what I do and I love making a difference in brides lives.  If you are thinking about owning your own business, it has to be something that you are passionate about.  You also have to be realistic about the time commitment it will take and the sacrifices you will make to reach your dreams.  You also have to be willing to take risks and to do scary things. You will ride through some tough times, you will make some mistakes, but if you hang in there the reward will truly be more than you could ever have imagined.

Bridal Inspiration - Enchanted, Woodland Themed Wedding.

Today, on the blog, I wanted to share some inspiration for a woodland or enchanted themed wedding.  Themed weddings can be a lot of fun & they give your guests the opportunity to attend a wedding that's a little outside of the box.  It's easy to incorporate a theme into your invitations, decor, colors and more!  Get a little creative and you'll LOVE the results.

We've had a few brides in the store lately that have been getting married in a forest.  We simply adore the idea of a woodland, forest, enchanted affair and so we searched through pinterest to find some of the best ideas for you.

The backdrop of nature is beautiful all on it's own.  You can do simpler decor & let the outdoors speak for itself.

The backdrop of nature is beautiful all on it's own.  You can do simpler decor & let the outdoors speak for itself.

Again, let the beauty speak for itself in simpler, bright floral bouquets.

Again, let the beauty speak for itself in simpler, bright floral bouquets.

play off the colors of the outdoors with bright, fun hues.

play off the colors of the outdoors with bright, fun hues.

Love the look of lace against the wood & greenery.

Love the look of lace against the wood & greenery.

Finish it off with the perfect cake!

Finish it off with the perfect cake!

The perfect gown for an enchanted wedding is something simple and flowy.  We adore this lace gown with pockets.  It would look amazing with a small belt with a bit of beading or all on it's own.

The perfect gown for an enchanted wedding is something simple and flowy.  We adore this lace gown with pockets.  It would look amazing with a small belt with a bit of beading or all on it's own.

We hope this blog has inspired you as you plan your big day.  We LOVE working with our brides and dreaming all the possibilities with them.  If you're interested in your own bridal gown shopping experience at Once Upon A Time Weddings, book online at www.onceuponatimeweddings.ca/appointments or call us at 519.245.7997.

 

Bridal Inspiration - Book Themed Wedding.

The name of our store, Once Upon A Time Weddings has a bit of fairy tale theme to it.  So when I came across some pictures of a book themed wedding on Pinterest, I fell in love with the idea.  What a creative way to incorporate something you are passionate about into your BIG DAY.  Adorable.

The perfect start to any themed wedding is of course with the perfect invitation & save the dates.  They set the mood and tone for your wedding day.

How perfect is this backdrop for your book themed ceremony?  Imagine saying I do under an arch of your favourite books?

Sometimes, less is more.  As proven by these simple centerpieces of books wrapped with lace and a book page flower.   

Sometimes, less is more.  As proven by these simple centerpieces of books wrapped with lace and a book page flower.

 

Of course, no book themed nuptial would be complete with a book themed adorable cake, right?!  Love the mix of page flowers and gold.  

Of course, no book themed nuptial would be complete with a book themed adorable cake, right?!  Love the mix of page flowers and gold.  

How perfect is this guest book alternative?  Get your guests to sign a spine of a book that you can frame and keep.

How perfect is this guest book alternative?  Get your guests to sign a spine of a book that you can frame and keep.

Are you planning a themed wedding?  What do you think of them?  I think they can be done quite elegantly & fun.  I love to see couples plan a day that is a true reflection of them...