wedding dress

All The Wedding Dress Lingo You Need to Know!

A-Line, Sheath, Ball Gown, Lace, Organza.

Dress Shopping is like learning a whole other language.  What's a bride to do?

Whether you are one of those girl's whose been playing dress up in their pretend wedding gown since they were 4 or you're the type of bride who hasn't spent a lot of time thinking about their wedding gown, this blog is for you.  We've got a wedding dress dictionary for you to learn all the in's and out's of wedding dress lingo! We hope you find this helpful as you prepare for your say yes day!

A-Line Silhouette: An A-line wedding dress features a skirt that gradually begins to flare out from a fitted bodice, starting below the natural waist, and lightly skimming the hips, as it and extends to the hem, forming an "A" shape. This silhouette is thought to be universally figure-flattering.

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Bustle: A fancy word for a sewing method used to transition a gown with a long train into a length that makes it easier to walk and dance in.

Bodice: The top part of your dress, above the waist. 

Boning: This gives a dress' bodice structure and prevents drooping, especially in a strapless dress and we seriously cannot stress how important this is in a strapless dress!! Which is why we carry the exclusive designers that we do here at OUTW. 

Chiffon: A very soft, delicate fabric that is extremely sheer and layered for modesty. This fabric is best known for being popular for bridesmaids dresses but is also becoming a lot more popular for wedding gowns.

Corset: A lace up back of the bodice, whether for ascetics or wiggle room with your size. Give yourself some extra time on your wedding day to lace it up!

Fit and Flare Silhouette: A dress with a fitted bodice through the hips and a flared skirt.

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Illusion Back: A more recent trend in wedding gowns - this design gives you the look of an open  back with the comfort and beauty of a full coverage gown.

Organza: A type fabric/material that is made from silk, but is much stiffer than chiffon. It has a similar sheen to it, like satin but without all the weight while still creating volume in a dress. Often used for full skirts to give it more flow than tulle.

Sheath Silhouette: A long, narrow, slim-fitting silhouette with straight, lines usually made from lighter fabrics, such as satin or chiffon, which is more suitable for the body-skimming shape.

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Sweetheart Neckline: A strapless bodice with rounded fabric over each breast, meeting in a V-neck point in the middle - makes a heart-like shape.

Train: The long back portion of a the dress that trails behind the bride. Trains can be different lengths. Brides adore this feature for walking down the isle and formal pictures. 

Let us know what you'd like to see on the blog by commenting on any of our Facebook blog posts or direct messaging us!

Ready to start the search for your dream gown? Book your experience with us today!

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20 Things You Might Not Know About Erin Bouchard.

Happy Friday! It’s hard to believe that it’s December already. As we head into a busy season, surrounded by family, filled with food and love, I wanted to take a minute to share some things about me. I’ve been at the helm of Once Upon A Time Weddings since we opened our doors on September 20th, 2010.

And although I don’t work as much in the store as I once did, hello three kids and another part time business, I absolutely love that I get to own Once Upon A Time Weddings.

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So here’s 20 things you might not know about me. I’d love to share in the comments one things I might not know about you.

  1. I am a huge introvert. I work with people all day and I totally can do it. But it drains me and I need to recharge before more people interaction.

  2. I have endometriosis. I’ve spoken about this a few times on our social media and blogs. But I have stage 2 endometriosis and had laparoscopic surgery last February. I’m waiting to have excision surgery with a specialist.

  3. I love reading. Seriously the queen of reading over here. My favourite way to pass time is to read. I believe there’s always more information out there for us to learn.

  4. I love my family. My husband is amazing and I have the three greatest kids in the world. Our oldest, L is 13 and has been with our family since March. Ethan is 9 and Arianna is 6. Every year I think these are the best ages, the most fun.

  5. I have always wanted to have 5 kids. We’re 3/5 of the way there. And we can’t say too much, but we’re working on filling those last two spots. So keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

  6. I love the beach. I love the sound of the waves. I’d love to live on a lake one day and walk the beach every night.

  7. I can be really blunt. If you’ve been around me for more than like 5 minutes, you likely already know this. I sometimes, okay, most of the time, say it like it is. I work hard to soften the bluntness but sometimes that’s a fail.

  8. my husband is the exact opposite of me, personality wise. I make really quick decisions and am super fast-paced. He’s more analytical and likes to take his time making decisions. We somehow work, now that we understand each other’s personality types better.

  9. I’m addicted to coffee.  Like serious problem addicted.  I drink way too much. It’s a real problem.

  10. I have a degree in counseling which I use a lot in this line of work. I went to Heritage College {where I also graduated with a MRS. because that’s where I met Joel}.

  11. I am organized in some ways, and a total work in progress in others. I’m trying to get better.

  12. I coach other bridal store owners, sharing some of the things I have learned in the last 8 years of running my store with them. I love it.

  13. I am the queen of starting things but not finishing them. Another huge work in progress for me. I am the idea queen. I have shiny new project syndrome.

  14. I am not a morning person, but my days go better when I get up and work an hour before my kids get up, so I make myself. I use this time to work on myself. I listen to podcasts, watch video trainings or read.

  15. My husband’s family lives on St. Joseph Island {near Sault Ste. Marie} and one day I’d love to own a home or cottage up there. It’s just a different way of life up there. If you’ve never been, you should.

  16. I’ve been trying to drink more water. I can’t believe what a difference it makes in energy levels when I do.

  17. I enjoy being busy.  I like the fast pace of a busy Saturday and I thrive on having lots on the go at once. I love a challenge. Tell me I can’t do it and I’ll show you I can.

  18. I love shopping.  My two favourite online companies are Grace & Lace and Evy’s Tree. I have to cut myself off frequently and have no spend months.

  19. I skipped kindergarten and went right into grade one.

  20. My daughter is exactly like me, which is a bit fascinating since she’s adopted and all.  But she couldn’t be more like me if she tried.  She’s stubborn, independent and one day she’ll rule the world.

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All The Dress Shopping Secrets Revealed

Have you ever wondered what the hype is about finding a gown at Once Upon A Time Weddings?  Today on the blog, owner Erin Bouchard will walk you through a typical appointment at OUTW + answer some of your questions we know you’re dying to ask!  Erin, along with her team of consultants are proud to have helped thousands of brides create their own gown finding story.  She truly believes that magic happens at OUTW and sometimes you just have to embrace the magic.

A typical bridal gown shopping experience.

Most brides book their appointment online or by phoning the store.  We love our online system because it shows you exactly what we have left available each day and you can choose the time that’s best for you.  Once you’re booked into an appointment, you’ll receive a confirmation email that has a link to our form for you to fill out before your appointment.  We’ll ask you questions about your venue, previous shopping experiences and style choices.  This helps your consultant prepare for your appointment and many times our consultants have picked out your gown before they’ve even met you!

On the day of your appointment, you’ll be greeted and welcomed warmly into the shop.  We’ll ask you a few quick questions and then get to the fun!  Your consultant will pull four to five gowns to begin with.  Many, many times you’re gown will be in those first four to five gowns {yes, we’re that good!}.  Sometimes it’s the first gown you put on and sometimes it’s the last.  We’ll walk you through the gowns and ask questions about what you like and what you don’t.  Even if you hate the gown, we’re going to ask some questions to help narrow down what it is that you don’t like so we can make better gown pulls.  We always say, “gowns don’t have feelings” so feel free to tell us the truth about what you like and don’t like!

Once we’ve found a gown you love, we’ll put the finishing touches on with accessories.  Sometimes the magic is honestly in the complete look and we want to help you picture it all together for that walk down the aisle.

After you’ve said yes, we’ll take a group picture with our She Said Yes signs.  This will be posted on social media and captures the excitement of the moment.

Photography by  Amanda Kopcic Photography   Hair + Make Up:  Selah Vie

Photography by Amanda Kopcic Photography

Hair + Make Up: Selah Vie

There is no right or wrong time to say yes to the dress.

There are no magical number of gowns you HAVE to try on before you can say yes.  There aren’t a magical number of stores you HAVE TO visit before you can pull the trigger.  In life there are a lot of analytical decisions we have to make.  Have you ever made a pro/con list or listed out all your options before you could decide?  That’s an analytical decision and they are absolutely necessary for certain decisions in life.  But the gown you’ll get married in and look book on for the rest of your life – that’s an emotional decision.  You’re going to feel a whole bunch of emotions as you try gowns on.  You should however not feel:

1.     Like you’re being rushed or pressured.

2.     Like you’re settling for the best of what you’ve tried on.

If you truly love the gown and can picture walking down the aisle in the dress then it could be your gown.  Follow your heart.  You likely won’t know immediately that it’s your gown.  Most brides know it’s their gown by standing in it for a bit and just imagining it come to life.  That when the magic truly happens.

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Who should I bring to my appointment.

Or how many can I bring to my appointment.  I get asked this question a lot and it’s honestly one of the hardest questions to answer.  I’ve had appointments with three people go horribly wrong and I’ve had appointments with twelve people go incredibly awesome.  Therefore, I always say bring with you who you absolutely would want to be there if magic happened and you had your gown finding moment.  Jealous bridesmaid?  Struggling sister in law?  Leave them at home or let them be part of your bridal reveal after the decision has been made.  The thing is that every person who you bring with you will be thinking of their opinions.  It’s not that they mean to, but they have an idea of what they would like or what they think you should get and they project that opinion on you.  Again, it’s often not intentional at all.  The important thing is that no matter how many people you bring with you, your opinion needs to be heard loudest and most.  Our consultants are excellent at insuring that.

What to bring.

If you own a strapless bra, bring that along with you.  If you don’t that’s okay, no need to rush out and get one.  Just wear a nude or light coloured bra and we’ll tuck the straps down.  If you plan to wear heels on your day and have a pair that is of similar height, bring those along to try on with the gown. 



Why do we pull the gowns for you?

It’s your day.  And we want you to just sit back and enjoy the moment with your family and friends.  Sometimes we need to sit back and let magic do it’s thing!  We also know our inventory well and we may think of gowns to pull that you never even imagined or would have walked right past if you saw it hanging on a rack.  Often we’ll ask during an appointment, “was there another style you had in mind that you really wanted to try on that we haven’t yet”.  If at any point in your appointment your consultant hasn’t asked and you or one of your entourages is wanting to see another style on you, just let us know! 

We do love our jobs at OUTW!  We love working with brides because honestly no two brides are the same, no two weddings are the same and no two gown finding experiences are the same.  Our biggest advice to you is to embrace what makes you unique.  Your story could be you tried on a hundred gowns before you found the one OR your story could be it was the very first gown I slipped into.  Neither of those stories would be right or wrong!  We’d love to work with you and help you say yes to the dress.  Schedule an appointment today and let’s get started!

Wedding Theme | Romantic

According to Brides.com, the Romantic theme is “Soft hues, delicate lighting, and plenty of florals typically make up a romantic wedding. For this theme, envision pastels, hanging lights (even chandeliers), calligraphy, and a flower wall.”

We think that this theme is perfect for brides who don’t love an over-the-top wedding theme. And because what wedding isn’t full of romance?

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This beautiful gown from our store would be perfect for a romantic themed wedding. It has the perfect soft sparkle throughout the lace with beautiful, flowy tulle skirt. We also love the soft blush colour under the gown. It’s perfect for that romantic look.

This beautiful gown from our store would be perfect for a romantic themed wedding. It has the perfect soft sparkle throughout the lace with beautiful, flowy tulle skirt. We also love the soft blush colour under the gown. It’s perfect for that romantic look.

The 12 Rules Every Bride Should Live By to Avoid Stress

12 Rules For Being A Stress-Free Bride.

By: Erin Bouchard

1.    Sizes suck.  

Remember that dress sizes are so different than real life sizes.  I’ve seen so many brides stress out over the size that is on the tag on the inside of their gown.  They do whatever they can to order a smaller size.  While I get that it’s frustrating to see a bigger number than you’re used to on the tag, it’s just a number.  Order the size that fits you and embrace the shape you have.

2.    Be realistic

If you want to lose weight be realistic about how much you can lose before the wedding.  We’ve had a few brides who have wanted us to order them smaller sizes and then didn’t lose the weight.  Making it extremely difficult to alter their gown and even have to choose another gown mere months before their wedding day.  We know brides have the best intentions, but wedding planning can be stressful.  Be realistic about how much weight you can lose with so much else going on.

Photography by  Michelle A Photography

3.    Embrace the chaos

There are going to be times of chaos.  There are going to be times of overwhelm.  Try to remember that those moments are short lived.  That you will make it through this period of chaos.  

4.    Ask for help

Sometimes as women we’re a bit stubborn and think we can do everything ourselves.  But there’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking for help throughout your wedding process.  Most of the time your mom and your friends will be so happy to jump in and help.  So don’t hesitate to ask.

5.    Be kind

I remember wedding planning.  I remember at times feeling like a totally different person. I remember the periods of extreme happiness and the periods of extreme stress.  A good rule of thumb to remember is that kindness goes a long way. Frustrated with a vendor? Overwhelmed with your fiancé?  Try to still treat them with kindness and remember they are just people too.

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6.    Plan early

Brides right now seem to have this feel of changing their mind, especially when it comes to their wedding gown.  So we see them leaving it later and later to try gowns on. This extremely limits their choices in gowns to what fits them off the rack.  Sometimes it works out beautifully and sometimes it’s way too much stress.  A rule of thumb is to shop for your gown about a year in advance.  If you start to doubt your choice, come back in and try your gown on again or think about all the reasons you fell in love with it.

7.    Include your fiancé

This is your wedding day.  But it’s also your fiancé’s.  Try to include him in your wedding planning.  Ask for his opinions and delegate some aspects to him.  Think about what they would like throughout your planning process.

8.    Keep the end goal in mind

It’s easy to get so wrapped in all the little details of their wedding day that sometimes you forget the end goal.  The wedding is a day, but the marriage is forever.  Keep that end goal in mind and let some of the little things slide.

9.    Communicate well

A lot of the problems you will face while wedding planning will be from a lack of communication.  Make sure that you are communicating regularly with your fiancé, your wedding party and your wedding vendors.  Create a closed facebook group for your wedding party members and post all the important details in there.  Invite your parents and your fiancé parents to the group too.  That way you’ll have an information hub and no one will feel like they are missing important information.

Photography by Amanda Kopcic Photography

Photography by Amanda Kopcic Photography

10.  Take time off

Spend some time not wedding planning.  Go on a date night.  Get your nails done with MOH.  Go to a movie.  Take some time to be a couple without focusing just on wedding planning.

11.  Be organized

The more you can get done early the better.  The better organized you are with the details the less stressed out you will be.  Get an app or a binder and keep all your information in one place.  Create a note on your phone and update it with all your RSVP’s.  Whatever little things you can do to stay organized will greatly help especially as you approach the big day.

12.  Enjoy the process

You’ll only be a bride for a short time.  One day you’ll look back on this time and miss it.  So live in the moment and enjoy the process. The things that are stressing you out now will make you laugh in 5, 10, 15 years.  So try to enjoy the wedding planning process.

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Burgundy + Slate Blue Wedding Theme

Last year, the colour Marsala exploded on the wedding scene and popped up in everything from decor to bridesmaids gowns to florals.  This year, the colour Slate Blue has quickly taken the wedding industry by storm.  Today, on the blog, I thought I would feature the two colours together and the effects are beautiful!

These colours look amazing mixed with a touch of gold in the accents.

These colours look amazing mixed with a touch of gold in the accents.

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For this colour combo you could put the men in either grey or navy.  Throwing in some pops of blush and creams make the colours pop that much more.

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We loved the dusty blue flowers with pops of other colours.  We are loving the trend of creating a bouquet that has multiple colours within it.  This bouquet would also look amazing with your maids in the wine colour.

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Who doesn't love a floral crown?  They are such a fun way to incorporate your colours and achieve that Boho look.

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We matched this Slate Blue gown with some blush & burgundy florals that we had in the store.  Such a beautiful look.  This bouquet also has touches of lace in it as well.  

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Another option would be to keep your bridal bouquet a bit simpler and do the girls with more accent colours.  We love the pops of the darker burgundy mixed in with the softer shades.  Against a white or ivory gown this bouquet would be stunning! 

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We love this decor.  It's a great reminder that less is sometimes more.  I love that the main colour is the dusty blue and then there are some splashes of gold and subtle hints of burgundy in the flowers.  I love the candles and that it's fancy without being too over the top.  

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And of course, we couldn't do a theme without showcasing a gown from OUTW that we thought would fit in perfectly with this colour scheme.  This is a new arrival for us and the back and train are equally as stunning.  We adore the classic ivory with this colour to make the burgundy + slate blue be the focal point.

Do you have a theme or colours picked yet for your wedding day?  Tell us about it!

 

March Real Bride | Doerbecker Wedding

Today, we finish out our journey with Real Bride Heather + Husband Jamie.  They tied the knot on a beautiful fall day last September 16, 2017.  Let's dive into the story of their wedding day...

Their ceremony was at Coldstream Conservation Area + their reception was at Coldstream Community Centre.

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Who were your favourite vendors from your wedding day?

Our caterers BBQ Feast were amazing! Latte productions did a beautiful job capturing our day and got so many pictures. We did a lot of our own decorations with the help of our parents, family, and family friends. Our DJ was a family friend who did a great job keeping everyone on the dance floor. Our florists from Bloomingdale's did an amazing job incorporating purple and red flowers into our bouquets and centerpieces. We had one of our uncle's bake the desserts which were a huge hit! Jamie and I helped bake some the desserts as well which was a lot of fun.
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Any other unique details or stories about your wedding/love story you want to tell us?

We loved being able to have the first look before the ceremony, it helped us calm our nerves and give us a chance to have a special moment just the two of us. We met as orientation leaders and have been together 5 years, we got married close to our 5 year anniversary (a day earlier).
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What's your favourite memory from your wedding day?

Heather's: My favourite part of our wedding day was everything it was perfect! We had the perfect weather and the perfect day. I loved being able to marry my best friend and celebrate with our family and friends  
Jamie's: I really enjoyed hearing all the speeches, it was nice to be able to look back while also looking forward to our new life together.
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What did your husband think of your dress?

I was speechless when I was finally able to see Heather in her dress at our first look. She was absolutely beautiful and it was a great look on her.
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Heather + Jamie's Wedding Vendors

Photography: Latte Productions

Caterer: BBQ Feast

Flowers: Bloomingdale's

Gown: Once Upon A Time Weddings

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