Sarnia Weddings

The Myth of The $99 Wedding Gown

The Myth of the $99 Gown

Being engaged is such an exciting time!  However, if you are like many brides, you may have discovered that things are much more expensive than you imagined they would be, particularly when it comes to a wedding dress.  Many brides today come into bridal salons saying they have budgeted two or three hundred dollars for a wedding gown on the low end and maybe up to five or six hundred on the high end.  They are shocked to find the nearly impossible task of finding a well-made dress in this price range.

Many brides who have insisted on finding a gown within the $99 to $500 price range have found quickly that not all gowns are created equal.  These brides who are set on a low end price often end up spending more money on alterations than they did on the price of their dress because it’s so inexpensively made. 

In fact most gowns that are sold for less than $600 that you see heavily advertised and promoted by the big box retailers are made from synthetic fabric that have minimal construction details and are made this way by the store’s request to their manufacturer to cut costs.  These dresses usually don’t have underlining, have minimal boning (if any at all) and are missing other structural supports to help the dress fit properly.  These supports are extremely important as both boning and underlining fabrics help to hold the bodice of a dress up and securely in place.  They also help provide a smooth fit over the bodice of the dress.  If a dress doesn’t have boning or good lining, you will see more wrinkles and crinkling of the fabric in a wedding gown.  The last thing a bride wants to see in her wedding dress is bulges in the fabric of her gown due to minimal boning and lack of inner construction.

If you have been feeling stressed by the cost of your wedding and in particular by the dollars you’ve budgeted for your wedding gown, this special report I’ve written is just for you.  I’d hate for you to make a mistake with such an important purchase that will be one of the focal points of your big day (especially since everyone will see you in it and will comment on how you look).

As the owner of a bridal store I have written a special report that explains how myths like the $99 to $399 wedding gown have appeared and why wedding dresses cost what they do.  I’ll also share with you several insights into how wedding gowns are constructed so you can be sure you are getting the best value for your money.  Most importantly I have a coupon that I will share with you as a thank you for reading this article that you’ll be able to save on the purchase price of your wedding gown when you buy it on your first visit to our store.

If you'd like the special report to be emailed to you, simply fill out the form below & click submit. 

Name *

Sarnia Bud Gowan Bridal Show.

It's my favourite time of year! The official kick off to bridal show season for Once Upon A Time Weddings always starts with Bud Gowan's bridal show in Sarnia.  I'm super excited because we'll also be deputing our new line of wedding gowns, Fiore Couture.  This line is sold exclusively in CANADA at our store!  That's right.  Love it.

Finding Balance.

One of the hardest tasks of being an entrepreneur is finding balance in life.  Learning to find time to accomplish all that I would like to accomplish can be challenging.  It’s been almost four years since the doors to Once Upon A Time Weddings have opened.  We have literally helped hundreds and hundreds of brides.  I have been so committed to running Once Upon A Time Weddings and have made many sacrifices throughout the years. 

Last May, my life changed forever.  I drove to Brantford with my husband and picked up my two little babies and brought them home.  Yes it was a long time coming, but nothing could have prepared me for those early days.  I remember falling into bed at nine exhausted from the day’s events.  I had to learn how to juggle running a business and being a mom.  I had to deal with the guilt of leaving them to go into work.  I had to deal with the sadness I felt when I came home and they were already in bed.

This past year has been hard on our business.  We’ve had to deal with the frustrations of two designers not coming through for us.  We have had to deal with some staff turnover.  We have been knocked down and had to get back up again.  But we’re still here, still learning to better our business.  We’ve developed new processes to ensure that the mistakes that we made in those early days don’t get made again.  And we’ve had to do some pruning.  Some changes.

Part of building a lasting business is learning what is successful and what isn’t.  You have to make changes.  You have to take risks.  It’s why we made the decision to stop carrying bridesmaids and mother’s gowns.  It’s why we’ve changed our hours to only be open by appointments.  We want to be available when it’s convenient for our brides.  We want to be reachable when they need us.  But we want to maintain balance in our individual lives. 

We would love your feedback on the recent changes we’ve made to Once Upon A Time Weddings.  We would love to hear your thoughts.  Send us an email to or text us at 519.319.9441.  So far brides seem to enjoy that they can make an appointment whenever is convenient for them.  They like our small, quiet atmosphere.  We try our best to schedule appointments one on one.  It ensures that you have our full attention for the duration of your appointment.  We’d love to hear your thoughts as we continue to develop, grow and serve our customers.

                       Packing up bridesmaids gowns - the end of an era at Once Upon A Time Weddings.

                       Packing up bridesmaids gowns - the end of an era at Once Upon A Time Weddings.

During the fall our store operating hours will be Tuesday & Thursday 3-7 and Saturday 10-3.  Our store appointment hours will be Monday-Friday 10-8, Saturday 9-7 & Sunday 1-7.  To book an appointment visit or text us at 519.319.9441 or call the store at 519.245.7997.  We look forward to helping you find YOUR gown.

1/2 Off Wedding Gown Facebook Contest!

In Once Upon A Time Weddings tradition, we'll be hosting another Facebook Contest giving one lucky bride any wedding gown of her choice from our store selection for half price.  

Photo by Amanda Kopcic Photography -

Photo by Amanda Kopcic Photography -

If you would like an opportunity to be part of this facebook contest and would like the chance to win 1/2 off your wedding gown then please email with the following information

* name

* fiancé's name

* wedding date and location

* picture of you & your fiance

* a story of how the proposal happened

Full contest rules will be emailed to you once we've received all submissions.  For more information please email us or call at 519.245.7997. 


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Briday Friday - Garden Wedding Inspiration

This month, we partnered with our lovely friends from LaPiers Flowers in Sarnia to create stunning window displays around the Garden Wedding theme. I think wedding planning is easier when you have a theme - because something either fits with your theme or it doesn’t. A wedding theme can be simple like black & white or elaborate like masquerade. If you aren’t on Pinterest then you need to get on there immediately! So much wedding inspiration can be found, but be prepared to lose a lot of time & quite possibly become addicted to Pinterest!  These are the pictures off on Pinterest that we used for inspiration for our window displays.

So, with this inspiration in hand and a wedding gown & periwinkle bridesmaid gown, we trekked off to Sarnia so they could create a stunning window display for LaPiers Flowers.

LaPiers Bridal is owned by Marianne & Sharon LaPier and has been serving brides in the Sarnia area for many, many years.  They also do décor and rentals through their store front at 208 N. Front St. in downtown Sarnia.  These ladies are so great to work with and they have such an eye for detail.  We have worked with them many times at bridal shows over the years, and we have been so impressed with their easygoing nature, expertise and beautiful work.  If you're in the Sarnia area you need to stop into their store and see how they can help with your wedding plans, or simply just see their beautiful bouquets & many unique gift items.

And here's the result of their window...

LaPiers Flowers Window

Of course, we had to have these lovely ladies come down and do a similar design to our store windows.  For more information about LaPiers Flowers please click here or call them at 519.334.1414.  If you have an idea for a theme for next month's window please comment or email us at

Once Upon A Time Weddings garden themed wedding display

Was this helpful or interested to you?  Please hit share so other brides can be inspired or leave us  comment & let us know you enjoyed it!  Happy planning bridal beauties!

Once Upon A Time There Was A Girl...

Once Upon A Time there was a girl who got a beautiful, sparkly new ring. Everyone around her congratulated her on this exciting time in her life. Shortly followed were so many questions - where will the festivities take place, what colors will be chosen, how many guests would join the party and the ultimate - do you know what you will wear yet? Everywhere she looked she found beautiful gowns in all silhouettes, shades of colors, and price points. Suddenly some of the excitement waned as she pondered how she would ever make the critical decision of picking just ONE gown for her BIG day.

If you’re that girl today, we want you to know the following - Beautiful gowns can be found in every single bridal store across Southwestern Ontario. So how do you know how to pick which bridal store to go to? How do you decide what you will wear on this important, life changing, momentous day of yours?

  • Once Upon A Time Weddings has highly trained and educated consultants who stay on top of their game so they will be sure to pull gowns that will flatter your figure, accentuate your best assets, and stay within your budget. This will literally save you a lot of time and grief.
  • Once Upon A Time Weddings has bridal, bridesmaids & mothers styles that are beautiful, elegant, timeless and can’t be found at any other bridal store across Southwestern Ontario. This means you get a beautiful gown & you won’t see it in every other bridal magazine & website between now and your wedding day. WIN WIN!
  • Our main goal at Once Upon A Time Weddings is to help our brides make the best, EDUCATED decision while purchasing their wedding gown. Think of our staff like the fun supply teacher who helps you learn even though it doesn’t feel like learning. We want to guide you through the entire process of choosing and purchasing a gown so that at the end of the day you have a gown and know a little bit more about the decision you just made. But we also like to have FUN! So we’ve combined the two to give you the ultimate EXPERIENCE!
  • We’re a small business that is run by family. Although being the boss of your mother has some downsides, it means we’re all committed to helping each one of our brides in every way possible. After all you’re not just saying YES to a dress, you’re saying YES to the store & their staff.

I think recent bride Ange who just purchased her gown from our store said it best:

I just wanted to send a thank you message for all of your help and guidance on Saturday as I chose my dress! Katie, you were so helpful and patient with me.. and did a wonderful job of holding the dress in place while I admired it from different angles! The personal attention and care that we received was fantastic! The questions that you ask are also very insightful..and makes the big decision that much more clear! And like you doesn’ t have to be a hard decision!

Thank you again for everything!
Ange :-)

Ange chose to come to Once Upon A Time Weddings and we were the first and only bridal store she visited. If you’re ready to experience all that Once Upon A Time Weddings has to offer then you need to click here to book your fairy tale experience or call us at 519.245.7997. We can’t wait to meet you & help you navigate through the process of falling in LOVE with your gown!

Be Beautiful!

Erin Bouchard

Owner of Once Upon A Time Weddings

I Plan Episode #1

I Plan is brought to you by Erin Bouchard, Owner of Once Upon A Time Weddings.  I Plan is a short video series that will help brides get from "I Will" to "I Do" flawlessly.  We've got great tips and tricks to help you will all aspects of wedding planning.


We'd love to hear what you think of the episode.  Feel free to comment or send us an email to  New episodes of I Plan will be released every Friday so watch our blog and our facebook fan page for new episodes.  If you have a topic you would like us to cover please let us know.