finding the gown

The Myth of The $99 Wedding Gown

The Myth of the $99 Gown

Being engaged is such an exciting time!  However, if you are like many brides, you may have discovered that things are much more expensive than you imagined they would be, particularly when it comes to a wedding dress.  Many brides today come into bridal salons saying they have budgeted two or three hundred dollars for a wedding gown on the low end and maybe up to five or six hundred on the high end.  They are shocked to find the nearly impossible task of finding a well-made dress in this price range.

Many brides who have insisted on finding a gown within the $99 to $500 price range have found quickly that not all gowns are created equal.  These brides who are set on a low end price often end up spending more money on alterations than they did on the price of their dress because it’s so inexpensively made. 

In fact most gowns that are sold for less than $600 that you see heavily advertised and promoted by the big box retailers are made from synthetic fabric that have minimal construction details and are made this way by the store’s request to their manufacturer to cut costs.  These dresses usually don’t have underlining, have minimal boning (if any at all) and are missing other structural supports to help the dress fit properly.  These supports are extremely important as both boning and underlining fabrics help to hold the bodice of a dress up and securely in place.  They also help provide a smooth fit over the bodice of the dress.  If a dress doesn’t have boning or good lining, you will see more wrinkles and crinkling of the fabric in a wedding gown.  The last thing a bride wants to see in her wedding dress is bulges in the fabric of her gown due to minimal boning and lack of inner construction.

If you have been feeling stressed by the cost of your wedding and in particular by the dollars you’ve budgeted for your wedding gown, this special report I’ve written is just for you.  I’d hate for you to make a mistake with such an important purchase that will be one of the focal points of your big day (especially since everyone will see you in it and will comment on how you look).

As the owner of a bridal store I have written a special report that explains how myths like the $99 to $399 wedding gown have appeared and why wedding dresses cost what they do.  I’ll also share with you several insights into how wedding gowns are constructed so you can be sure you are getting the best value for your money.  Most importantly I have a coupon that I will share with you as a thank you for reading this article that you’ll be able to save on the purchase price of your wedding gown when you buy it on your first visit to our store.

If you'd like the special report to be emailed to you, simply fill out the form below & click submit. 

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Decisions, Decisions, Decisions...

Decisions suck.  The overbearing weight you carry around with you when you know you have to make a decision sucks.  Can I be real with you for a few minutes?  As you know, I love helping women find their GOWN & I love the butterflies I get in my stomach leading up to the moment when I ask, “Is this your dress”.  Whether I do it 10 times a week or 2 it’s the same anticipation/ excitement/ nerves/ extreme joy each time.  It's the fun part of my job.  But it ain't all sunshine & roses.  The part I don’t like is when I am faced with a decision, one that I know has the potential to greatly impact Once Upon A Time Weddings & therefore every aspect of my life.

Do we drop bridesmaids?

Should we keep carrying tuxedos?

Should we bring in a new line of bridal gowns?

How much stock should we carry?

Should I sell this gown off the rack or order a new one in?

Some decisions I can just make & move on with the decision.  I don’t second guess myself, just keep on plowing through.  Other decisions I roll around different scenarios in my head or talk it out constantly with my wonderful husband.  Some decisions take time to contemplate & implement.

Photograph by  Soul Photography .

Photograph by Soul Photography.

We are faced with a big one right now.  It is WHERE ON EARTH WILL OUR STORE END UP?  You see, without going into too much detail, we’re kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place.  Our lease is up August 2016 with no option to renew.  File this one under the category of mistakes I made that I have now learned the hard way & will never make again.  {ALWAYS have a lawyer review any LEASE before signing it – that’s my free legal tip of the night, no charge!}  I love our store location.  I love the feel of the store, the windows, the exposed brick wall, the layout, the size.  All of it has been meticulously planned out to comfort, inspire & make you feel at home.  Wherever we end up, I know this- the same planning will go into the atmosphere of the new location so we keep our brand, our homey feel.

So right now, I’m all consumed, {just ask my poor husband & mother} with where on earth should we move the store to.  Part of me wants to jump into a new place, get my hands on it, and have the decision done.  Finished!  But the other part says, hold up, I love our current place & don’t need to rush out of here.  It seems to have swallowed me RIGHT up.

That got me thinking about what it must be like for all of my brides.  How do you make a decision?  How do you know you are making the right decision?  Do you find it’s easier to put off a decision & contemplate it over a few days or just follow your heart & not look back?

Photograph by  Soul Photography .

Photograph by Soul Photography.

Sometimes brides ask me how many gowns other brides try on or how other people know it’s the DRESS.  But here’s the thing, just like no two decisions are the same, no two brides are the same.  What one bride might do may not be right for the next bride.  Sometimes I have brides who I know exactly which gown they are going to purchase right from the get go and others take me by surprise!  Some brides know sooner than others.  Some try 2 gowns on and some try 100. {for the record I do not recommend the 100 gown thing – it’s too stressful for everyone!}

Wherever you are in the gown decision making process, we at Once Upon A Time Weddings would love to walk with you through the process.  We know how hard making a decision can be, but we also know the sweet relief that comes with knowing the decision has been made.  We’d love to take the journey with you.  To see what appointments we have available & schedule your gown shopping experience click here.

If At First You Don't Succeed, Try, Try Again!

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again…

Sometimes you have to try things to know if they will work.  Take a risk.  Step outside the box.  We tried a little experiment over the summer months & September to see if it would be better for brides at Once Upon A Time Weddings.  We decided to not have regular business hours and allow brides to book appointments whenever was convenient for them.  We thought it would be more beneficial to our brides.  However, after attending a few bridal shows we have discovered that some brides were coming to the store when we weren’t there.  They felt uncomfortable calling or missed seeing our cell number on the door.  So we want to listen to these brides and better serve our customers.  We know it’s confusing to keep changing things up on you all.  We try to keep on innovating and changing to better serve you!  As always, if you’d like to make a comment or let us know your opinion please email us at 

Photograph by Mark Scherle Photography { }

Photograph by Mark Scherle Photography {}

As of Monday, October 27th our store hours will be as follows:

Monday, Tuesday & Thursday 11-7

Saturday 10-4

Sunday 1-4

We still strongly suggest you make an appointment for bridal so we can walk with you through your personalized bridal gown shopping experience.  We look forward to helping you say yes to the dress!

Why You Should Say Yes to a Private Line Dress..

Another advantage to not advertising in bridal magazines or doing elaborate websites means huge advertising savings for our private lines, which in turn means savings for our brides.  Some brides mistakenly think that private lines would be more expensive because they’re more exclusive, but that just isn’t the case. 

When you’re not paying more for the name attached to the gown, then your hard earned money can going into paying for a gown that’s built properly from the inside out.  The gowns in our store meet our very high standards in regards to fabric, structure, construction and high quality beadwork.  When we purchase our gowns at market we aren’t just looking at the outside of the gown.  We pay very close attention to the construction of the gown.  This will save you money in the long run as well as well-made gowns are easier to alter.

One of these ball gowns is from a traditional designer and the other is from one of our private, exclusive lines.

One of these ball gowns is from a traditional designer and the other is from one of our private, exclusive lines.

Purchasing from our store you know you are supporting a small, local, family run business.  But you’re also supporting several small businesses when you purchase a private line gown.  You’re quite literally helping families put food on the table rather than helping a CEO buy his third vacation home.

Smaller, private lines care about their stores.  They don’t sell to every store in every city so they need to make sure the stores they sell to are happy and well taken care of.  One of our private gowns came in with a flaw to it.  The designer had it remade as top priority (less than a week) and the head of the company (who just so happened to be in China when it was finished production) personally flew it back from China so we’d have it faster and correctly.  You just don’t get that kind of service from big designers.

Choosing your wedding gown is a very personal and emotional decision.  I would encourage you to look to think small when you’re purchasing your gown.  If you aren’t the type of bride to wear a mass produced, totally-seen-it-before gown then we’d love to have you in the store and show you our wonderful selection.  If you’re the type of bride who cares more about the quality that goes into the gown, than the name written on the inside, then we’re the store for you.  If you’d like to book an appointment click here or call 519.245.7997.

PS.  As we make this transition some of our not so private lines will be sold to accommodate room for our private lines.  So if you’re looking for a great designer gown at a great price, then now is your time.  Some of these gowns have not been in the store long!