Sarnia brides

The Question That I Really, Really Dislike.

This is a blog that I originally wrote a couple of years ago.  However, I feel like it's time to share again.  As a business owner, I sometimes get asked a question that I dislike.  That question is, "is that the lowest price you'll go". Or some version of this question.  There's a few reasons that I don't like that question and here's why.

Sometimes you get what you pay for.

First of all, Once Upon A Time Weddings is not competing in the lowest price gown category. We carefully select our gowns {from literally thousands & thousands available for us to buy} based on the quality and workmanship of the gown itself. I am of the belief that you get what you pay for and sometimes spending a bit more to get a better quality is necessary. Sure, you can find gowns that are cheaper than ours at other bridal stores, but we want you to purchase a gown that’s well made so it alters easier and is comfortable to wear for an entire day. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you want to take your gown off before dessert has even been served.

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I spend a great deal of time and money developing my skills & honing my profession.

The second reason that this question bothers me is that I have spent thousands of dollars on my training. I didn’t just wake up one day and decide to sell wedding gowns. I attend conferences twice a year and stay on top of industry standards and trends. I belong to a group of talented bridal stores from all across the world that I spend time networking with and learning from. We strive to be the best in our industry - an industry that’s highly competitive and constantly changing. It’s not a job we take lightly or do because it’s so much fun {although it is fun, well most days}. It’s not a hobby or an after school activity. We don't dare ask our dentists, lawyers, physiotherapists, “is this the best price you can give me?”. We wouldn’t dream of it, because we respect those professions, the schooling they have done and the work they do. But then, why do wedding professionals get asked that question all the time? Why is it okay in one industry, but no one would dream of asking it in another?

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I take it personally.

If I’m being completely honest, the third reason I dislike the question is because I take it personally. My entire life is wrapped into this bridal store. I spend insane amounts of time working, developing, planning, strategizing and so much more for our brides. Often when I get asked this question it’s after I have spent a good amount of time working with my bride. I feel like I have taken the time to get to know her and that I’ve connected with her. When the dreaded question comes up, I feel as though the amount of work I’ve spent both before she’s ever arrived to my store and during the appointment have in some way not been good enough. Or that maybe they don’t value my expertise.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m female, which means I’m all for getting a deal. The rush of getting something on sale. I’ve been known to purchase something simply because it was on sale. I tell my husband all the time, that I’m determined to be successful because I love pretty things. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get a good deal or save some money. It’s why if you have come to a bridal appointment at Once Upon A Time Weddings, you know we don’t like to put you in a gown above your budget without your expressed permission. It’s just that the question of, “what’s the best price you can give me on this gown” tends to be a bit insulting.

Photograph by Amanda Kopcic Photography: www.amandakopcic.com

Photograph by Amanda Kopcic Photography: www.amandakopcic.com

If you still dare to ask it, you’ll most likely be greeted with a warm smile and the response, the best price I can give you is the one that’s on the price tag. Because to be honest, I don’t run this business to be a millionaire. We take time to strategically price our goods to offer both good value to our customers and to make a living to us. This is our livelihood. It’s what we do to feed our family and make sure they have what they need. And it's not just my livelihood, I have a team that rely on me to make good business decisions and continue to be able to pay them.  

Think of it this way: if you would be offended by your boss strolling into your office and asking what’s the lowest you’ll accept on your next paycheque, then please think twice before asking that dreaded question.

We simply adore our brides & working with them.  The goal of this blog isn't to insult, but to educate you.  We love what we do each and every day.  We love the role we get to have in our bride's wedding days.   

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How to Choose your Wedding Day Hairstyle

Are you struggling with how to wear your hair on your wedding day? We believe your dress, along with a few other tips, can help you make this decision a lot easier! 

1. Think about your comfort. You WANT to be comfortable on your wedding day and your hairstyle has a lot to do with that! Maybe you hate when hair is in your face, in that case you'll want to wear it at least half back, maybe you sweat a lot, so wearing your hair up in a nice updo or bun is more practical. Whatever it is, you don't want to be messing with your hair or feeling irritated by it on your special day.

2. Consider the neckline of your dress. Is your dress a V-neck? One-shoulder? Strapless? Don't get us wrong, any hair style can look good with any neckline but we have some suggested styles if you're having trouble with your decision! Here's what we suggest for different types of necklines...

V-neck | Half up:

High-neck | Low bun:

Thin straps | Loose up-do:

Strapless | All down:

Once Upon A Time Wedding Real Bride wearing a strapless neck-line with her hair down.

Once Upon A Time Wedding Real Bride wearing a strapless neck-line with her hair down.

3. Will you be wearing a headpiece, veil, or maybe flowers in your hair? If you have a vision of wearing something in your hair that can also help you create a hairstyle around the headpiece. Here are a few examples of different headpieces with different hair styles.

A Veil.

A veil is a classic look for any wedding gown.  We especially adore veils with lace wedding gowns.

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A headpiece.  

Sometimes with a low back wedding gown or an illusion back wedding gown a headpiece is best as it doesn't compete with the back details.

A flower crown.

A flower crown is perfect for that more Boho wedding gown look.  It's the perfect addition for outdoor weddings and looks amazing with many different styles of dresses.

Maybe you know what hairstyle you want but you haven't found the perfect headpiece or veil, well we've got you covered here at Once Upon A Time Weddings.  We have just received some new hair vines, veils and headpieces to complete your bridal look!

Once Upon A Time Weddings Headband.

Once Upon A Time Weddings Headband.

Once Upon A Time Weddings Headpiece. 

Once Upon A Time Weddings Headpiece. 

Haven't found your dress yet either? Book your experience with us today!

The Story Behind Alyssa's Dress - March Real Bride

When brides come to Once Upon A Time Weddings we always like to explain that finding your dream dress is like falling in love: everyone's story is different yet each is magical and Alyssa's story was nothing short of magical...

Alyssa said yes to the dress on June 15, 2015.

Alyssa said yes to the dress on June 15, 2015.

Did you try on dresses before coming to Once Upon A Time Weddings?

"No."

How many dresses did you try on before saying Yes to the Dress?

"It was the first one I tried on! However I did try on 4 others only because I had never tried any on before and wanted to be 100% sure....but I just knew it was the first one!"

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

"Yes, I was determined to find my dress!"

Who was with you at your appointment?

"Had my whole entourage there! My mom Trish, mother-in-law Dianne, sister Sarah (matron of honor), sister-in-law Tanis (bridesmaid), best friend Katie (bridesmaid) and my then 3 month old neice Kaila (flowergirl)."

Was the dress you bought similar to what you had in mind coming into our store?

"Yes, just like I envisioned!"

How was your experience at Once Upon A Time Weddings?

"It was everything I had imagined when going dress shopping! Erin was so beyond helpful and knew exactly what to pull for me to try on! I felt like it was all about me that day and so special! I would recommend Once Upon A Time Weddings to anyone who asked!"

Photography: Chris Sit Photography

Dress: Once Upon A Time Weddings

We're not really sure how the magic happens, but we do know that it does!  If you're ready for it to be less of a decision and more of an experience, then Click here to book your magical moment!

How to: Thank You Notes.

We all know the joy of going to our mail box and receiving a letter! But, after your wedding it can seem like such a daunting task when you finally sit down to write all those thank you notes. So, we've come up with a few simple tips to help make this process a little easier and quicker!

1. Hand written is most genuine! Don't cheap out and print a generic thank you note for everyone, in our world of emails, texts, and the internet it means so much more when receiving a hand written letter in the mail. Especially after a guest has spent their time + money to come to your wedding!

2. Format. 

        A) Make sure you spell their name right when addressing the letter! This might seem like      a given but on your 12th note you might start getting a little too lackadaisical. 

        B) Thank you for the ______ (be descriptive! name the gift!)

                 -If it's money, thank them for their generosity.

        C) State how you're going to use the gift. I cannot wait to hang up the clock in our kitchen!

                 -If it's money, tell them how you plan on spending it! 

         D) Tell them why you're thankful for their friendship or maybe for traveling to your wedding.

         E) Close with some sort of "thanks again for..."

3. Maybe include a printed picture of them from the wedding. This is an extra nice way to show you were thinking about them when you printed your wedding pictures off. 

4. Don't forget about your vendors! We, as vendors, absolutely LOVE seeing pictures of you on your wedding day! Whether it be a picture during the ceremony for the officiant, a picture of you + your groom showcasing the venue, or a close up of you getting ready for your make up artist; we all appreciate getting to see our service showcased uniquely + beautifully on your wedding day!

We can't wait to see our past brides and futures brides on their wedding days!

Still looking for your dream dress? Click here to book an appointment.

What to do if you panic...

Not all brides do it. But it’s not completely uncommon. What happens if you get home, your heart starts pounding and you start regretting the decision that you just made? Let’s talk about bridal panic for a minute.  If you didn't panic, don't panic now, that's ok too :)

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It’s been a day you’ll remember for a while. You went dress shopping. It was a great day with mom and maybe a friend or two. Maybe you even dragged grams along for the ride. You found the gown. You pictured walking down the aisle. You said yes. Maybe mom cried, maybe she didn’t. {it’s still your gown either way} Then you get home. You are excited but then the finalization of what you just did hits you in a wave of sheer panic. Shut the front door! Did I just really find a gown? WHAT DID I SAY YES TO!? There are a number of reasons why this panic might be hitting you and they’re not bad reasons and it’s not uncommon.

The first reason is you might feel like you didn’t shop enough. How can it be this easy? Shouldn’t I have dragged mom and grams to every store there is before I decided. Many brides, partially thanks to good, old reality tv shows feel like every bride must try on every single dress to be found before making a decision. Or they see their drama tv shows and think that it must really be that hard to find a gown. But it’s not. It doesn’t have to be difficult. You don’t have to try on 22 gowns to know FOR SURE. Because the truth is once you find one you love, you’ll just keep searching for something so similar to that one that you may end up getting frustrated or overwhelmed. So remind yourself that it doesn’t have to be difficult and just because it was easy, doesn’t mean that it was wrong.

Another reason is that sometimes that purchase suddenly makes the whole wedding feel real. A lot of times it’s not even about the dress, it’s about the realness of the decision that you are committing to. Remember to breath and remember all those reasons you said yes to the proposal. You are getting married. Don’t let that scare you, let it excite you.

Whatever reason you are panicking, reach out to us. We’ve helped brides who have felt the same way, and we’re HERE for you. Call, text, email, Facebook message, morse code us. It’s part of our job and if you have any questions or concerns then reach out to us. It’s a sad part of our reality, that brides think to hop online and write a negative review or complain publicly before they’ve even chatted with us. We can’t fix a problem we don’t know exists If you are able to, come back into the store and slip that gown back on and you’ll realize all over again why you love it and why you said yes.

If you do think you want to change your mind take the high road. You are signing a contract and you are agreeing to abide by the outlines of the contract. If you change your mind or want us to alter that contract for any reason, remember you are asking us to change. Don’t treat us like we did something wrong by selling you, your gown. Be respectful and remember we are human beings too. Calling us names or being rude won’t get you anywhere. Every single one of us working at Once Upon A Time Weddings cares so much about our brides & our customers that we want the absolute best for you. We want you to love your gown and be so, so happy with your choice long after the I Do’s. But we are a business and we have contracts in place for a reason. All we’re asking is that you be mature about the decision you are making. We agree to take the journey with you and be there every step of the way.

Don’t have a gown yet? We'd love to walk with you through your gown shopping experience... Click here to book your bridal appointment and start enjoying the benefits of our expertise right away.

The Question I Really, Really Dislike.

I was at the dentist a few weeks ago doing a routine cleaning. If you know me at all, you know I am not really a sit still kind of girl. As I was sitting up in that big old chair, I got to thinking about how customers sometimes ask if that’s the best price that I can do on a wedding gown or accessory. This little blog, like blogs often do, has been rolling around in my mind ever since. I seriously dislike the question, “is that the lowest price you can do“. And here is why…

                                        An inside look at one of our beautiful wedding gown.

                                        An inside look at one of our beautiful wedding gown.

Sometimes you get what you pay for.

First of all, Once Upon A Time Weddings is not competing in the lowest price gown category. We carefully select our gowns {from literally thousands & thousands available for us to buy} based on the quality and workmanship of the gown itself. I am of the belief that you get what you pay for and sometimes spending a bit more to get a better quality is necessary. Sure, you can find gowns that are cheaper than ours at other bridal stores, but we want you to purchase a gown that’s well made so it alters easier and is comfortable to wear for an entire day. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you want to take your gown off before dessert has even been served.

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I spend a great deal of time developing my skills & honing my profession.

The second reason that this question bothers me is that I have spent thousands of dollars on my training. I didn’t just wake up one day and decide to sell wedding gowns. I attend conferences twice a year and stay on top of industry standards and trends. I belong to a group of talented bridal stores from all across the world that I spent time networking with and learning from. We strive to be the best in our industry - an industry that’s highly competitive and constantly changing. It’s not a job we take lightly or do because it’s so much fun {although it is fun, well most days}. It’s not a hobby or an after school activity. As I sat in my chair I thought of what would happen if I got to the counter at the dentist office and asked, “is this the best price you can give me?”. I wouldn’t dream of it, because I respect the dentist, the schooling he has and the work he does. But then, why do wedding professionals get asked that question all the time? Why is it okay in one industry, but no one would dream of asking it in another?

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I take it personally.

If I’m being completely honest, the third reason I hate the question is because I take it personally. My entire life is wrapped into this bridal store. I spend insane amounts of time working, developing, planning, strategizing and so much more for this store. Often when I get asked this question it’s after I have spent a good amount of time working with my bride. I feel like I have taken the time to get to know her and that I’ve connected with her. When the dreaded question comes up, I feel as though the amount of work I’ve spent both before she’s ever arrived to my store and during the appointment have in some way not been good enough. Or that maybe they don’t value my expertise.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m female, which means I’m all for getting a deal. The rush of getting something on sale. I’ve been known to purchase something simply because it was on sale. I tell my husband all the time, that I’m determined to be successful because I love pretty things. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get a good deal or save some money. It’s why if you have come to a bridal appointment at Once Upon A Time Weddings, you know we don’t like to put you in a gown above your budget without your expressed permission. It’s just that the question of, “what’s the best price you can give me on this gown” tends to be a bit insulting.

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If you still dare to ask it, you’ll most likely be greeted with a warm smile and the response, the best price I can give you is the one that’s on the price tag. Because to be honest, I don’t run this business to be a millionaire. We take time to strategically price our goods to offer both good value to our customers and to make a living to us. This is our livelihood. It’s what we do to feed our family and make sure they have what they need. So, if you would be offended by your boss strolling into your office and asking what’s the lowest you’ll accept on your next paycheque, then please think twice before asking that dreaded question.

 

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.