brides

All The Details of Our Massive SALE!

Today on the blog, we're sharing everything you need to know about our upcoming sale.

The sale will take place in the store on Friday, May 4th from 5pm-8pm at our store, 10 Metcalfe St. W in Strathroy.

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We will have some select VIP appointments on Thursday, May 3rd.  VIP appointments will have early access to all the sale gowns at the sale prices + get a SWAG bag of OUTW goodies whether they buy or not!  Hello, that's awesome!!  You have to be a member of our closed FB group to get a chance to win one of those time slots.  Go here:👉http://bit.ly/2qFp7LQ

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Select wedding gowns will be up to 75% off.  These gowns will be out on the sales floor for you to browse through and try on.  All gowns are final sale and are sold in as is condition.  These gowns will go home with you that day!

We have gowns in the sale from size 6 to size 26.  Our selection of size 18-26 is limited so come early if that's your sizing.  Those gowns go fast!!  * Please note these are bridal sizes not street clothes sizes.

On the sale day, we'll have consultants here to help you, but it won't be your typical OUTW appointment experience. We appreciate your patience + understanding as we deliver amazing prices to you!

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In additional to our sale wedding gowns, we'll have accessories {veils, belts, headpieces, jewellery} marked way down as well.  Like the gowns, these will be cash + carry.  Watch our instagram stories for some sneaks of these in the next week or so!

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We also have some bridesmaids gowns that will be $10 during the sale.  SAY WHAT?!  These gowns would be perfect for bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, or for mix and match maids gowns!  These will also be cash + carry!

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We're giving away a ton of swag right now on Facebook.  Check out our post, like it and tag someone in the comments for your chance to win it all!  We'll announce the winner this weekend! Click here to go to our Facebook page + look for this post.

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Again, the sale is Friday, May 4th & doors will be open at 5pm for the sale.  It's first come, first served.  

Got any questions that we haven't covered? Shoot us an email to info@onceuponatimeweddings.ca or text us at 519.319.6623.

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.

Fall Happenings.

Happy Monday!

 

It has finally cooled down quite a bit & it’s got me all excited for fall.  Both my kids are at camp this week and I’m so excited to get some work done and get some fall planning happening.

 

If you’ve been hanging around for a while you know that fall is one of my favourite time of years.  It’s the season that I started this crazy business in and I just love it.  The cooler evenings, hoodies, pumpkin spice everything and travelling for the store.  I adore fall.  This year my baby starts school.  I’m so torn between all kinds of feels – happy because I might actually have a solid 7 hours a day to work and sad, because how can she be old to start school?!  She's so excited to go and will be totally fine! {the ruling is still out for her mama tho}

 

What’s your favourite fall activity to do?  I’m most excited about apple picking & pie making {and eating too of course}.

 

Here’s some important fall dates for you to be in the know about:

 

-       Sarnia Bridal Show – Wednesday, August 31st – Quality Inn in Sarnia 6-9PM.  We’re super excited to once again participate in this bridal show – we’ll also be doing the fashion show.  {Wanna model for us?  We’d looking for a few more models of all sizes – email us at info@onceuponatimeweddings.ca}. More information about this show check out https://www.facebook.com/events/1631162767213018/

-        Saturday, September 17 & Sunday, September 18 – London Convention Centre Fall Bridal Show – Come stop by our booth or watch our gowns in the fashion show.  Doors open 12-5 both days.  For more information check out https://www.facebook.com/events/1086912041370165/ 

-       Wednesday, September 28th – Bridal Show in Exeter 6-9PM  There's no fashion show but there's going to be some ask the experts type opportunities for you to get some great information from local wedding vendors 

-       Friday, October 14th Blackburn Radio Bridal Show at Holiday Inn in Sarnia 6-9PM.  This is a great and very busy bridal show.  Wear comfortable shoes, hit the bar first and stop by and say hi!

-       Sunday, October 30th – Huron Country Bridal Show - we're excited to be participating in this great show again.  For more information on this show https://www.facebook.com/events/481963422007058/

 

This fall I will also be heading to Chicago for Bridal Market.  I’m excited to hang out with other bridal store owners, scope out the latest trends in bridal and order our Spring stock for the store.  I’m also heading to Vegas in early October for a conference and to speak to other bridal stores on managing your bridal store’s inventory.  I’m excited and a bit nervous as I’m really an introvert!  This will definitely take me outside of my normal comfort zone, but I’m excited for the opportunity and for the chance to broaden my skill base.  I'll also be heading to a conference at the end of October in Orange Beach, Alabama.  Super excited about that one too, because I've never been to Alabama and it's fun to hang out with other store owners!

 

This fall we’re also planning another fundraiser for Strathroy & area.  We’re super excited to present a fashion show on Friday, October 21st at the Seniors Centre in town.  We’ll be showcasing some bridal & bridesmaids gowns and raising money for local families to send their kids to camp next summer.   For more information on this event https://www.facebook.com/events/689843524506744/

Photo by Soul Photography - www.soulphotography.com 

Photo by Soul Photography - www.soulphotography.com 

Be Beautiful!

- Erin Bouchard

Owner of Once Upon A Time Weddings

 

Get Social To Win A FREE Wedding Gown

       Hey Brides!  We're so excited to kick off our Get Social To Win Contest, where one lucky bride will WIN the wedding gown of her choice.    So, how can you participate?! It's easy. The first thing you need to do is email us at  info@onceuponatimeweddings.ca  your name & wedding date to let us know you're in.  This way we can start to calculate your points.  Then start earning points! (see below)  The bride with the most points will WIN her gown on February 27th.      PS. If you purchased your wedding gown between September 1st, 2014 and now at our store, you can still participate :)    Stay tuned later this week for a full listing of which bridal shows we'll be attending so you can find us, take pics & earn even more POINTS!     * Like us on facebook, follow us on Instagram or twitter - 50 points each      * Text us your full name to 519.319.9441 – 75 points       * Book a bridal appointment    – 100 points      * Take a pic in our booth at a bridal show, tag us in it on Instagram, facebook, or twitter – 50 points      * Get a friend to like that picture – 1 point per like      * Share a pic of one of our gowns in the fashion show & tag us in it on Instagram, facebook or twitter – 25 points per picture      * Get likes on one of those photos – 1 point per like      * Email us at      info@onceuponatimeweddings.ca      to tell us you are in the competition -50 points      * Purchase your wedding gown from us – 125 points      * Purchase your accessories from us – 50 points      Competition will run until February 27th, 2015.          Standard text rates apply.    Winner determined by total number of points & will be announced on facebook & instagram. If winning bride has purchased gown from us after September 1st, 2014 then a full refund will be given to the bride.    All decisions regarding winner of the contest by Once Upon A Time Weddings will be final. Bonus points may be awarded through the contest so watch our facebook & Instagram for announcements!

 

 

Hey Brides!  We're so excited to kick off our Get Social To Win Contest, where one lucky bride will WIN the wedding gown of her choice.

So, how can you participate?! It's easy. The first thing you need to do is email us at info@onceuponatimeweddings.ca your name & wedding date to let us know you're in.  This way we can start to calculate your points.  Then start earning points! (see below)  The bride with the most points will WIN her gown on February 27th. 

PS. If you purchased your wedding gown between September 1st, 2014 and now at our store, you can still participate :)

Stay tuned later this week for a full listing of which bridal shows we'll be attending so you can find us, take pics & earn even more POINTS!

* Like us on facebook, follow us on Instagram or twitter - 50 points each

* Text us your full name to 519.319.9441 – 75 points

* Book a bridal appointment  – 100 points

* Take a pic in our booth at a bridal show, tag us in it on Instagram, facebook, or twitter – 50 points

* Get a friend to like that picture – 1 point per like

* Share a pic of one of our gowns in the fashion show & tag us in it on Instagram, facebook or twitter – 25 points per picture

* Get likes on one of those photos – 1 point per like

* Email us at info@onceuponatimeweddings.ca to tell us you are in the competition -50 points

* Purchase your wedding gown from us – 125 points

* Purchase your accessories from us – 50 points

Competition will run until February 27th, 2015. 

Standard text rates apply.  Winner determined by total number of points & will be announced on facebook & instagram. If winning bride has purchased gown from us after September 1st, 2014 then a full refund will be given to the bride.  All decisions regarding winner of the contest by Once Upon A Time Weddings will be final. Bonus points may be awarded through the contest so watch our facebook & Instagram for announcements!

Falling In Love With Fall..

It’s hard to imagine that fall is almost here on a hot day like today, but it is.  Time moves so quickly these days.  I love fall.  I love everything about fall.  I love new beginnings and new schedules.  I love that it kicks off our wedding season at the store.  We’ve got some great bridal shows lined up & I so look forward to meeting new brides, seeing old ones & chatting with some of my bridal industry friends.  I love cool evenings & wearing boot socks & boots.  I love drinking hot apple cider & watching the leaves turn colors. 

Our store opened in fall.  This fall we’ll officially adopt our two children & become an official, legally binding, never going to change, family.  September 19th can’t come soon enough!

Here’s a little fall inspiration.


What's a Bride To Do If She Panics?

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.

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’ll 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 you made the wrong decision.

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 we have. 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, be a grown up about it. 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. So let’s get going on that journey. Click here to book your bridal appointment and start enjoying the benefits of our expertise right away.

What Does It Mean to Shop Local?

Once Upon A Time Weddings has been open the past three and a half years and we’ve literally helped hundreds and hundreds of customers from all over Southwestern Ontario. I opened this store because I wanted customers in my hometown to have a store where they could go for all the big moments in their life - graduation, prom, weddings, daughter or son getting married, or to rent a tuxedo for one of these occasions. I have met so many lovely people and learned so much about business, life and weddings.

One of my biggest frustrations with owning a small, local business is the whole shop local mentality of so many local customers. Just this week I had a customer into my store who was looking for a gown for her daughter’s wedding this summer. She literally informed me that she would most likely be purchasing her gown from London, but she thought she would look in here while she out downtown, and maybe by some miracle she might find something. Some miracle? Is that what it will take for you to break down your mentality of local stores and think of us in a different light?

Owner Erin Bouchard with husband, Joel

Or what about my local bride who was in a few weeks ago, who informed me that she came to our store out of complete desperation, since she had already been all over London and couldn’t find the right color for her girls, so they figured, well we might as well try that little store in Strathroy and maybe we’ll get lucky.

How do we change this thinking? How do we see value in what our local stores offer us? Why do we have to be your last chance?

I get it. I truly do. I was once a teenager in this town too. I remember what it was like to have to go into London every single time I wanted to shop. When I was growing up in Strathroy there wasn’t a lot offered for my style and price points. Maybe we’re conditioned to continue to think that we then have to go into London or Sarnia to find something to suit us. Or maybe we believe it’s that much cheaper to shop elsewhere.

It’s time to change our thinking.

Stores like Once Upon A Time Weddings bring hundreds of brides and their entourages into our downtown every year. We’ve built up a very reputable business and have had brides from as far away as Toronto, Windsor, and more come to Strathroy. They spend their dollars at our restaurants, shoe stores, children’s clothing stores, and more while they are here.

So what can you do? First of all, let’s change our mentality of never being able to find something good here in town. This year, I gave myself the challenge to purchase all three of my kids Christmas gifts right here in Strathroy. I was surprised at how successful I was and how inexpensive it really was. Most important I saved myself time and money from not driving to London. Let’s give the wonderful stores that we have here in Strathroy a fair chance. Will every bride, graduate, mother and bridal party find the one in our store? Maybe not. But they can have an open mind and shop locally first before they’ve been to every single other bridal store.

Secondly, if you’ve searched all around before coming to our store, it’s not really a compliment to tell me that. No one wants to know you were their last ditch effort.

Consultant Katie Eastman during Dallas Bridal Market

There are literally so many benefits to shopping locally. Compared to chain stores, locally owned businesses recycle a larger share of their revenue back into the local economy, which supports a wide range of jobs and enriches the whole community. Shopping at Once Upon A Time Weddings mean you will support local families and continue to boost our downtown economy. So the next time you’re tempted to think you are shopping local for our benefit, remember having stores like ours in Strathroy, benefits you and so many others. Isn’t it time we changed our thinking?