OUTW

Erin's Journey | Our First Big Crisis.

This month, I'm sharing some of our story of how we built and grew Once Upon A Time Weddings.  If you missed our introduction story last week, you can read it here: http://bit.ly/2KrINeE

I was in year four.  The first few years had been bumpy, but we were finally finding our groove. And then our first big shipping crisis hit.

It was a designer we knew and trusted.

We had visited his stores.

And bought his sales trainings.
We carried his line for about a year and over half of our in-stock gowns were his line.

And then he stopped shipping gowns.

Wedding gowns were late, really late.

And we weren’t getting any answers from him.

For the first time in the history of my business we were going to miss a wear date.

I had to muster up the courage, dig deep inside of me and make phone calls that I pray I never have to make again.

I’m so sorry to tell you this, but your wedding gown will not arrive in time for your wedding.

We went into autopilot. 

Survival mode.

Full refunds.

Free alterations.

Switch to any in stock gown that you want to regardless of cost.

It was hard.

It was devastating on our business.

It was all so outside of our control.

Once the dust settled and I had personally worked with every bride affected by that designer it was time to learn some big lessons. And remove all those gowns from our racks and sell them off.

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I had a big choice to make.

I could become bitter.

Or I could become better.

You see, we had just gone through one of the worst experiences of my life.  A situation that I hadn’t created or could have changed in any way.  I could so easily have become bitter because of it. It was done to me after all.

Or I could find the lesson in the situation and I could learn.

I could use what I learned and grow my business.

And so we picked up the pieces of our business, prayed that we never went through anything like that again and continued on.

One of the biggest lessons that we learned during this crisis was to always take care of our customers.  To go above and beyond for them.  It’s one of our pillars of our business. 

We don’t always get it right, but we always make it right.

We care deeply about each of our customers.  We want them to love their experience and time with us.  So we spent lots of time perfecting the customer experience over the years.  
We’re not perfect.  But we constantly striving to be better.  To do better.  To be consistent.

Things started changing. 

Sales increased.

More and more brides heard about us.

And then we were facing crisis number two dead in the face.

This time however it was much, much worse.

Join me next week as I dive into that lesson.

March Real Bride | Doerbecker Wedding

Today, we finish out our journey with Real Bride Heather + Husband Jamie.  They tied the knot on a beautiful fall day last September 16, 2017.  Let's dive into the story of their wedding day...

Their ceremony was at Coldstream Conservation Area + their reception was at Coldstream Community Centre.

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Who were your favourite vendors from your wedding day?

Our caterers BBQ Feast were amazing! Latte productions did a beautiful job capturing our day and got so many pictures. We did a lot of our own decorations with the help of our parents, family, and family friends. Our DJ was a family friend who did a great job keeping everyone on the dance floor. Our florists from Bloomingdale's did an amazing job incorporating purple and red flowers into our bouquets and centerpieces. We had one of our uncle's bake the desserts which were a huge hit! Jamie and I helped bake some the desserts as well which was a lot of fun.
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Any other unique details or stories about your wedding/love story you want to tell us?

We loved being able to have the first look before the ceremony, it helped us calm our nerves and give us a chance to have a special moment just the two of us. We met as orientation leaders and have been together 5 years, we got married close to our 5 year anniversary (a day earlier).
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What's your favourite memory from your wedding day?

Heather's: My favourite part of our wedding day was everything it was perfect! We had the perfect weather and the perfect day. I loved being able to marry my best friend and celebrate with our family and friends  
Jamie's: I really enjoyed hearing all the speeches, it was nice to be able to look back while also looking forward to our new life together.
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What did your husband think of your dress?

I was speechless when I was finally able to see Heather in her dress at our first look. She was absolutely beautiful and it was a great look on her.
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Heather + Jamie's Wedding Vendors

Photography: Latte Productions

Caterer: BBQ Feast

Flowers: Bloomingdale's

Gown: Once Upon A Time Weddings

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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