Present Over Perfection.

Last fall I read a book by Shauna Niequist called, “Present Over Perfect.”  It was the perfect timing because one month before Christmas we received an emergency, same day placement of two babies – a one year old and a two year old.  The concepts of that book quickly sprang to life as I was forced to let go of perfectionism. 

As we near the holidays again I wanted to share some of what I learned from this book, because it’s not only applicable to the holiday season but also to those in the throes of wedding planning.

I get so caught up in perfectionism.

The perfect tree.

The perfectly wrapped presents in matching paper.
The perfect family day.

The perfectly behaved children.


I want it all.  I want the food to taste amazing.  The kids to not fight.  The family to have no drama.


I set these high expectations. 


But what my family needs is for me to present.

To delight in them.

To spend time with them.

To be present.


Why am I seeking perfection when what they need most from me is presence?

So, what if I use the leftover napkins from last year instead of buying new ones.

So, what if I don’t have enough matching silverware and we use mismatched?

Will Christmas continue? Will anyone notice?


Those things don’t matter in the grand scheme of the holidays.


This year I chose present.

I chose to be organized and prepared so that I wasn’t stressed.



I hosted dinner for my entire extended family on Saturday.  And I raise my voice at my children once.  I chose to include them in the preparations, to pace out the day and to enjoy the season.  To look at Christmas through their eyes, remove some of my expectations and delight in being fully present.  To be organized and to let some things slide.


Why am I telling you this?

Because I truly believe it’s a choice.  One that each one of us can choose.

Are we striving for perfection or are we choosing to be present?


This holiday season, choose to be present.  Choose to not care if the floor is a bit dirty or if the kids are a bit cranky.  Choose to spend time with people, not just money on them.


It’s the same with wedding planning.  There are tons of things you can stress out about.

Are the napkins the same exact shade as the bridesmaids’ gowns? 

Will the ring bearer make it down the aisle?

Will everything come together perfectly?


I'm not saying don't enjoy the small things.  I'm not saying don't care about wedding planning.


Just don't let those small things pull you away from what matters most: the people around you.

Let go of some of the desire for perfection and celebrate the start of your new life together.  Write the beginning of that chapter as present instead of perfection.


Ramblings of A Bridal Store Owner.

This week has been a busy week at the store. But I feel like that’s true for every week.  We welcomed several brides into the Once Upon A Time Weddings #bridetribe this month already!

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is just over five weeks away.  Amber decorated the store for the holidays this week and it looks so festive and cheery.  It’s been such a mild fall that it’s hard to believe that Christmas is so close.

I love owning a bridal store.  I know I’ve said that before.  But I want to talk to you about having a bridal experience.  We work really hard to give brides an unforgettable experience.  From the atmosphere of our store, to the expertise of the staff, to our exclusive wedding gowns.  It’s all part of your gown finding experience.

But lately we’ve had brides into the store who are big fans of Say Yes to The Dress.  While I think that show is entertaining there are a couple three things to keep in mind when shopping for your gown.

1.     Most brides don’t have an instant knowing that this is THE ONE.  It usually is a gradual feeling.  They like the gown, they can picture getting married in it.  The longer they are in the gown, the more in love they fall with the gown.

2.     Not every mom cries.  I’ve had a few brides get upset when their mom isn’t in tears.  But honestly every one responds differently to emotional situations.  It doesn’t mean she doesn’t love it or that she doesn’t want you to purchase it.

3.     You don’t have to bring a large entourage to make it an experience.  Bring those who you absolutely must have present to make a decision.  You can do a bridal reveal party after the decision has been made and the pressure is off.  We really want your opinion to shine through loudest at the end of the appointment.  Sometimes that’s difficult with a large entourage.

We are gearing up for our Christmas Soiree event on December 1st from 7-9PM.  This event will be an evening of champagne, food, free swag and hanging out.  It’s our way of saying thanks for another great year in business.  We’d love for you to join us, even if you haven’t purchased your gown from our store.   We also have several other wedding vendors who will be participating with us.  You must RSVP to come but it’s completely FREE to attend.  Email us at or calling the store at 519.245.7997.

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We also have our Santa is Coming to Once Upon A Time Weddings promotion.  We are giving one bride a FREE gown!! Purchase your gown between now and the end of December and you’ll be entered the draw.  One lucky bride will receive a FULL refund {minus the sales tax}.  See in store for full details.

Fall Muses.


It’s already NOVEMBER! What on earth is happening! I knew that this fall would fly by and I was not wrong.  This fall has been full of travel, growing pains and huge success!  We had our best sales month we’ve ever had in the history of our store in September and for that I’m so incredibly thankful!  Each week more and more brides are welcomed into the Once Upon A Time Weddings.


As you can imagine we’re so happy to be welcoming them into our family! But with that comes some growing pains as we continue to expand our little boutique.  So as always we welcome your feedback as we continue to serve you better!


This fall I had the amazing opportunity of traveling to bridal market in September.  It was part of my girl’s incentive over the summer to reach certain goals and they could come on the trip with me.  They did it and earned coming to market for two days.  They had a lot of fun and we chose some beautiful new styles for the store both in our bridal and bridesmaids departments.  Now just to wait for them to arrive.


In October I headed to Las Vegas where I spoke at Wedding MBA for my coaching business on bridal store inventory.  What a learning experience that was!  I love my job but I am very introverted so this was a bit of a leap for me.  But I’m so glad that I took it.


At the end of October I headed off to Orange Beach for a conference and work retreat.  I was so happy to have some uninterrupted time to dream, think and plan for 2017.  I can’t believe how far our business has come and I look forward to the future!


Now I’m home.  While I enjoyed all my trips, I’m so glad to be staying put for a bit and to buckle down and get caught up on some of the work that has been backlogging while we’ve been busy.


If you’re a bride of ours – whether you bought your gown four years ago or four days ago we’d love for you to come over to our facebook group and join in on the fun!  Request to join now:


Also if you’re one of our Once Upon A Time Weddings bride or you’re thinking about being one of our brides, then we’d love to invite you to our Christmas Open House.  It’s our way of giving back to our customers.  We’d love to hang out with you, feed you yummy snacks, drink champagne together and just enjoy the season!  Some of our fave wedding vendors will also be participating in this event! For more details check out our event here:


Also Santa is coming to Once Upon A Time Weddings again this Christmas and he’s giving one of our brides a FREE wedding gown.  Keep your eyes peeled to our facebook page & Instagram page for more information!


Christmas Happenings.

It's hard to believe that it's December already and that Christmas is right around the corner!  My favourite part of Christmas is having a few days off and being around family.  I love baking pies and making Christmas cookies & chocolates and just soaking up all the memories and time spent with loved ones.  I'm extremely grateful for my wonderful husband and my adorable kids.  I wanted to take a few minutes and share with you all what's going on at Once Upon A Time Weddings during the Christmas season.

Santa is coming to Once Upon A Time Weddings & he's giving ONE lucky bride a FREE wedding gown. Watch this video for more information. {applies to new purchases only, those who have already bought from us, watch for a December promotion just for you!} #winafreegown #santaiscoming #december #makingdreamscometrue #bridalexperience

Posted by Once Upon A Time Weddings on Thursday, December 3, 2015