Sarnia wedding planning

How to Blog | Invitation Process

This fall, with the expansion of OUTW into our new home, we wanted to add a few more services for our beautiful brides.  We loved the idea of having invitations and stationary needs available right in our store.  We met with The Paper Bride out of Chatham and were so excited to dive in as one of their consultants.  

IMG_0083.JPG

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!

Untitled design-6.jpg

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.

Untitled design-7.jpg

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.

Untitled design (1).jpg

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.

Untitled design (2).jpg

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.

Untitled design (3).jpg

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!

Untitled design (5).jpg

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!

Untitled design (6).jpg

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.

 

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.

 

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.

stress.jpg

 

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.

What I Wish Every Bride Knew, Part 2

What I Wish Every Bride Knew About… Shopping for Her Gown

By: Erin Bouchard

Owner of Once Upon A Time Weddings

Happy Friday!  Have you ever wondered where to begin shopping for your gown?  Have you searched Pinterest and have no clue what style of gown to choose or where to begin?  Are you so excited about being able to Say Yes to YOUR Dress?  Then you’re in the right place! Today, Owner of Once Upon A Time Weddings will dive into four things you need to know before shopping for your gown, three things to keep in mind while shopping for your gown and two things you have to know after you say yes to the dress!  READY?!

wedding magazines.jpg

Four Things You Need to Know Before You Try Your First Dress On.

One of the most important things you need to know before you start trying gowns on is how much you want to spend on your gown.  Before you can do that you have to know how much wedding gowns cost.  At Once Upon A Time Weddings, our gowns range in price from $799 up to $2299.  The average bride spends about 1200-1500 on her gown at our store.  We chose our gowns based on the quality of them and they have corsets & crinoline built into them.  So before you come to our store discuss with your fiancé and your parents how much you want to spend & who will cover what.

Another thing you need to keep in mind before you book your bridal appointment is to be realistic about pinterest.  I could seriously write a whole blog on this one point! I love pinterest, I really do.  It’s so fun, addicting and I’ve gotten some great ideas off of it.  But the problem is when we pin all these beautiful wedding ideas, gowns & wedding decor that are way out of our price range.  There’s no shame in having a budget and sticking to it.  The problem is when we imagine all these expensive, elaborate details being part of our wedding day and then when we realize we can afford ¼ of it, we’re disappointed.  Same is true of gowns.  I hear brides say I want all over lace, fully beaded with a cathedral train and a sparkly fully beaded belt and I want to spend $500.  Your budget doesn’t match your expectations.  You can’t have all those details in a well -made, easy to alter gown.  You are going to have to sacrifice something to remain at that price point.  There’s no shame in only wanting to spend $500 on your gown or wanting to keep your budget at a certain place, just be realistic about what your budget will get you. 

Another thing to keep in mind before you book your first appointment is to think about the overall theme or feel that you hope to accomplish for your day.  Your dress should incorporate into that feel.  It helps to have your venue booked or at least narrowed down so you can think about your venue while choosing gowns.

Finally before you attend your first bridal appointment you should decide who to bring with you to your appointment.  I get asked this question all the time and it can be a tricky question!  You should bring those people with you who you would want there when you make a decision – your mom, grandma, mother in law, sisters, maid of honour, etc.  But only bring them if you believe they will be supportive and will allow your opinion to matter most.  Now that you’re ready to book your first appointment, here’s what you need to know while shopping for your gown.

Three Things to Keep in Mind While Shopping For Your Gown

Stick to your budget – if you’ve determined a budget or a price point you want to stay in before coming to your bridal appointment then stick to it.  Sometimes brides ask me if they can try on a gown outside their range “for fun”.  This is so difficult because what happens if you fall in love with that gown & you can’t or don’t want to spend the money on it.  You will compare everything else to that gown and it won’t make it easy on you.  So my advice is and always will be only try something outside of your initial price range if you’re willing to go up to that amount.  If the answer is no, skip the gown and stick to what is in the range you want to spend.  It will be easier on both of us!

How will you know it’s the one – what if you don’t cry?  What if your mom doesn’t cry?  Guess what, it will still be okay and it might even still be YOUR gown.  Wedding gown shopping is just like any other shopping or life experience – everyone is going to react differently.  Some brides know right away.  Some take longer.  Some brides cry.  Some brides don’t want to take it off.  Some brides have to picture walking down the aisle and imagine getting married in the gown before they know.  There’s no right way to react and there’s no wrong way.  You want to love your gown & you want to feel amazing when you say yes to the dress, but remember that each & every bride’s experience is their own.

Simply become who you are.  It’s not a coincidence that this is posted in our fitting rooms.  Your bridal appointment and your bridal gown purchase is about who you are.  Not who your mom or maid of honour, or fiancé or best friend from high school wants you to be.  It’s okay to choose a gown that everyone won’t be expecting.  It’s okay to think outside the box.  It’s about becoming who you are meant to be.  While all your entourage’s opinions matter, at the end of the day the opinion that matters most is YOURS!

Two Things You Need to Know After You Say Yes to the Dress

Now you’ve set your budget, found your gown, what’s next?  Now is a great time to choose bridesmaids gowns, book in your tuxedos and meet with your decorator.  Your gown will set the theme for the rest of your day so happy planning!

What if you second guess your decision when you get home?  Sometimes this happens. Sometimes brides freak out or get overwhelmed with their decision.  That’s okay.  Take a deep breath and think about what it was about your gown that made you fall in love.  It’s okay to feel scared or overwhelmed.  Purchasing your gown makes your marriage real.  It’s really going to happen & that’s okay.  Think about falling in love with your fiancé and all the reasons why you said yes when he proposed.  If you still feel overwhelmed, call us or text us and pop back into the store to try your gown on again & remember why you fell in love with it!

store shot 3.jpg

Thanks for joining us this week through this blog post.  We love walking with our brides through their gown shopping experience and would love for you to join our Once Upon A Time Weddings family.  You can book online here, call us at 519.245.7997 or text us 519.319.9441.  Join us next week as we discuss Everything I Wish Brides Knew About Setting {& Sticking to} A Budget.

Why Hiring Professionals for Your Big Day is Crucial.

I love the wedding industry.  I love connecting with other people who work in the wedding field and chatting about brides and weddings.  Today, I had the opportunity to talk with Amanda Kopcic of Amanda Kopcic Photography, who I believe is one of Strathroy’s hidden gems.  She is knowledgeable, personable, relatable and a heck of a good photographer.

She was discussing with me the frustration she feels when brides & grooms just don’t understand why you need to hire a wedding photographer.  This then, of course led to a discussion on why couples just don’t understand the difference between hiring a professional and having a relative be involved in their big day.

The struggling economy has taught us this – we should be more aware and careful how we spend our good, hard earned dollars.  This is an undoubtedly a great lesson for us.

This begs the question, how can you as a bride & groom be aware of your spending and still have an amazing wedding day?  How can you politely tell great Aunt Sue that as yummy as her cupcakes are, you’ll hire a professional to make your wedding cake?  Or what about that good friend who likes to tinker with photography, how can you politely turn down her offer to shoot your wedding?

Bah, being a grown up sucks some days, don’t it?!

There are tons of ways to cut expenses while still planning a beautiful day.  There are literally thousands of good DIY’s on pinterest.  I love this trend.  I love seeing brides own personal influence on their wedding day.  I get that you have a budget and you really want to stick to it.  I totally do.

But, {you so knew there was a “but” coming, didn’t you}, there are some areas of wedding planning you just shouldn’t cheap out on.  Or try and do yourself.

  1. Wedding photography – ok, this one should be fairly obvious, but it amazes me to hear people say things like; well your aunt is great with her camera.  Or we could just ask a few friends to take some pictures.  YOUR PICTURES ARE THE ONLY THING YOU KEEP FROM YOUR WEDDING DAY!  The décor is gone, the favours go home with guests, the flowers wilt away, but your pictures are the only thing you have to look back on.  A good wedding photographer will give you the shots that will last your lifetime.  She’ll also keep you on schedule and make sure that no shots get forgotten.  Allow your family & your friends to enjoy themselves at your wedding and hire a professional.  Someone who specializes in wedding photography and comes highly recommended by other brides.  Someone who is trained, qualified and knows the pressure of shooting a wedding.  Do your research and don’t skimp out on this one.

  2. The food – your guests will remember the food at your wedding.  You’ve spent all this money on your big day, feed everyone well.  While it might be cheaper to try and do some of the food yourself, it’s going to be a lot more stressful.  So enjoy your wedding day and let your family do the same, by hiring someone who has the right equipment, knows all about timing of food preparation, presentation and who has catered weddings before.  If you’re choosing a venue that has in house catering, make sure you go for a sample meal before booking the venue.

  3. The cake – along the same lines of the food, remember to hire a professional to do your cake.  A good baker knows how to make a cake look pretty but also how to make sure that the tiers are properly supported and will last until you cut it.  Imagine having your cake fall to the ground during your reception {don’t laugh, this has happened to someone we know}.

  4. The dress – of course I couldn’t write a blog like this without talking about the DRESS! Remember how important those pictures are?  What you are wearing in those pictures is equally important.  Not all dresses are created equally.  Make sure you pay attention to the inside of the gown, as well as the outside.  The more boning and inner structure there is, the more secure and comfortable your gown will be.  I had a friend who purchased their gown from a chain store {before they knew me or knew my store existed}.  The gown was made so poorly and with so little boning, one of the few pieces of boning on the inside bust snapped before she walked down the aisle.  She literally had to hold her gown up all day with her arm.  Do you think she looks back and is glad she saved $300-400 on her gown?  Her whole day was spent trying to keep her gown from falling off.  There are ways to get a great gown, at a great price, but sacrificing on quality shouldn’t be one of them.  The inside matters.

Learn the four factors that influence the cost of your gown at your appointment or by emailing  info@onceuponatimeweddings.ca  with the subject line Four Factors.

Learn the four factors that influence the cost of your gown at your appointment or by emailing info@onceuponatimeweddings.ca with the subject line Four Factors.

This is all great information, but what happens when someone who you love volunteers to do one of these for you so you can save some money?  It might be hard to just straight out say no.  After all, they probably mean well and you don’t want to hurt their feelings.  So, try to find some way they can help out or be involved in the wedding planning process without having to just say no.  If an aunt volunteers to make your cake, ask her to make cupcakes for your shower or for your rehearsal dinner instead.  Or ask her if she’s ever made a supported wedding cake before.  It’s different if your relative is a professional in their field and has been doing weddings for many years.  Try to think about whether they run a business or do it as a hobby.  For your wedding day, the most important day of your life, you want to hire people who are in the business of weddings.  Individuals you know the pressure of being involved in a wedding, yet still succeed.

I think this is such an important topic; I would love to spend the next couples of blogs discussing ways to cut back for your wedding.  Stay tuned for more to come.  Follow our blog so you don’t miss anything!  If you have topics you’d like me to discuss or you have an idea of how to budget for your wedding, please email me at info@onceuponatimeweddings.  I’d love to hear from you!

Be Beautiful!


Erin Bouchard

Owner of Once Upon A Time Weddings

Country Chic Wedding Inspiration.

Country themed weddings are all the rage right now in wedding planning.  I love mason jars, cowboy boots, baby's breath, and tutu flower girl gowns.  But I am a firm believer that a wedding should still be a bit formal.  I think there's a way to have a country wedding that is elegant, romantic and classy.  A good rule of thumb to think about is - will I look back on my wedding day in 5, 10, 15 years and think that it was "trendy" or that it was what was "cool" for wedding at that specific time.  You want a wedding that is timeless, that reflects both of your personalities, and that is fun while still being elegant. 

With that in mind, I searched pinterest and found some really cute country chic inspiration.  If you are planning a country themed wedding then I hope you find some inspiration in these photos.

country chic wedding 4.jpg
country chic wedding 3.jpg

And of course, we had to throw in a tulle ball gown that we think would be the perfect ball gown for a chic, sophisticated country wedding.  This gown has champagne under the tulle so you get a bit of color.  The lace applique and beading is to die for!

country chic wedding 10.jpg

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.