chicago bridal market

All The Details of Chicago Bridal Market.

This week I had the opportunity to travel down to Chicago for Bridal Market.  I love attending market: hanging out with bridal friends, meeting new ones and hand choosing our next season of gowns.  It's an exhausting trip, but a fun one!

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It looks like we had fun, but trust me we were also working hard.  So many decisions to make, so quickly!  We're so excited for these gowns to arrive in our store!  As we're choosing gowns, we're thinking about the brides we have had the pleasure of working with and the ones to come!

We noticed three trends that we're excited to bring back to our bride tribe here in Southwestern Ontario!

1. Back details!  So many back details - halter backs, racer backs, sheer backs, keyhole backs!  This season is all about the back!  And we can't wait until we get some of these in the store!

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2.  The second trend we noticed a lot of is a return to the simple chic and elegant.  It's not a secret that we've seen a lot of lace over the last few years and while we love and adore lace, we're excited to see some stunning bridal gowns in other materials make their way to the runway.


3. The last trend we saw and were excited about was non-traditional lace patterns.  These patterns are a bit more bold and modern, which we adore.  These wedding gowns make a statement all on their own and we cannot wait to get them into the store!


So tell us, which of these three trends do you LOVE the most?  

If you're still on the hunt for the perfect gown, no matter what trend you'd like to follow, we'd love to have you into Once Upon A Time Weddings.  Here's what recent bride Alex had to say about her bridal gown finding experience!

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Book your gown finding experience today.  Click here:

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OUTW Takes on Chicago Bridal Market!


Last week, Sharon and I headed down to Chicago to purchase our Fall 2017 stock for the store.  It’s one of my favourite things about owning a bridal store, because it gives us a chance to analyze our stock before we go.  It’s also cool to meet with other store owners, hang out with friends and check in with owners of the lines that we carry.  While it’s a lot of fun, it’s also a lot of decisions in a short amount of time.  Today on the blog, we're taking you on a behind the scenes look at what it’s like to go to market and purchase stock for the store.


            Fun fact: 46% of the gowns we sold last year were ivory!


            We headed down to Chicago on Sunday morning.  I am not a morning person at all {something I’m trying to change} so the 4 am wake up was not a highlight for me.  In true Erin- fashion we made it out of town when I realized I forgot my visa card at home, so we turned around and headed back.  Once we got to Chicago we checked into our hotel and headed over to market.  Day one is always just a browse and see what’s new.  Check in with some of our designers, find out whose showing where and get a lay of the land.  We had dinner with some friends and crashed early!


            Fun fact: We sold more size 16 wedding gowns than any other size last year!


            On Monday morning some of my coaching stores came over to our hotel and we did a live webinar on selling to different personality types and then went for a group breakfast.  I love the stores that I’m coaching right now and getting to hang out in person with them is always an added bonus.  Then we hit the market floor and got ready to buckle down and make some decisions.  We ended up picking up a new line of gowns that I’m SO excited about.  I almost picked up a different new line, but something was off.  It’s so weird but I feel like my intuition is right sometimes.  {Do you ever feel like that or am I just cray cray?}  I’m so glad I held off because the line that I found is going to be a perfect fit for our store and I cannot wait for them to come in!


            Fun fact: We sold more blush colored gowns last year than we did white!


            We wrapped up market on the Monday so that we could have Tuesday in the city.  We finished the day Monday with deep dish pizza and great company!  Tuesday we enjoyed sleeping in and then headed off for pedicures and shopping.  The perfect last day before we head back to the grind.  A quick but very productive trip!  I’m always anxious to get back into the store and get back to work after being away for a few days!!


            Fun fact: We currently have more fitted gowns in stock than any other shapes!

Holy train batman!!  Many booths at market have live fashion shows throughout the day!

Holy train batman!!  Many booths at market have live fashion shows throughout the day!

Super excited to get this chiffon gown with beaded straps in to the store!

Super excited to get this chiffon gown with beaded straps in to the store!

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}. More information about this show check out

-        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 

-       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


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

Photo by Soul Photography - 

Photo by Soul Photography - 

Be Beautiful!

- Erin Bouchard

Owner of Once Upon A Time Weddings