wedding dress store

Lies Brides Believe | By Erin Bouchard

This week I had the opportunity to meet Rachel Hollis, the author of “Girl Wash Your Face”.  I read the book a couple of months ago and it was so good.  The premise of the book is that there are so many lies that we as women believe.  Things such as, “we’re not good enough” and “something else will make me happy”.  It’s a powerful read and I strongly encourage every woman to read it.



This got me thinking about all the lies that brides believe when they are planning their wedding.

1.    You have to have your friend in the wedding, because you were in theirs

Friendships change over the years.  Just because you stood up in a friend’s wedding doesn’t mean they have to stand up in yours.  Choose those friends or family members that you think will be in your life in five, ten, fifteen years from now.  You want to make decisions for your wedding that are best for you + your fiancé and not just out of obligation.  You could always consider another role for them, like doing a reading, singing a song or being the MC for the night!

2.    You can’t wear white or ivory if it’s your second wedding

Girls, I literally hear this all the time.  Or I can’t wear white because we already have children.  The tradition of white wedding gowns was that brides who could afford to keep a white dress clean wore white.  It’s actually a symbol of wealth rather than purity.  Somewhere along the way people started associating purity with the white wedding gown.  Like many wedding traditions, people don’t follow that.  Wear whatever colour looks best on you and don’t worry about what others think.  

3.    I’ll for sure lose weight before the wedding

Friends, this is a hard one.  Wedding planning is so stressful and different brides react differently to that stress.  While we have certainty seen some brides lose a significant amount of weight before their wedding, most brides have way too much else to do.  Losing a lot of weight requires a change in your both your diet + your exercise.  It’s a significant project to take on while in the middle of wedding planning.  So be realistic about how much you think you can lose and remember that your fiancé proposed to you at the exact weight you were then!

Photography -  Jessica Barnett Photography  Hair + MU:  Selah Vie   Venue:  Caradoc Sands

4.    Planning the guest list will be easy

This will likely be one of your hardest tasks while wedding planning.  First you have to figure out whose coming.  You’ll need to decide if you’re inviting kids, cousins, and more!  You’ll have to figure out how to cut people without offending them, your parents or your fiancé parents.  And then you’ll chase people down for RSVP’s even though you made it so easy for them to let you know if they’re coming.  When you think it can’t get any more frustrating then you’ll have to make the decisions of who sits where.  My advice? Elope.  No, just kidding! My advice is to work at it a little at a time.  And remember, it’s you and your fiancé against the problem of the guest list.  Not you against your fiancé.  Work together, communicate lots and keep a good supply of wine on hand!

5.    I can do it all myself

“You can do everything, but you can’t do it all in one season” – Rachel Hollis.  This so applies to your wedding planning.  You might be capable of doing a lot yourself.  You may, in the beginning even love wedding planning.  But we weren’t put on this earth to do everything ourselves.  It’s okay to ask for help.  It’s okay to even delegate some of the tasks to others. While you may wish to have done a lot of wedding planning yourself, you also don’t want to arrive at the day of your wedding, so exhausted and overwhelmed that you can’t enjoy any of it. Accepting help along the way will make it more enjoyable and less stressful.

Wedding planning should be fun and exciting.  If it becomes not fun or exciting, learn to take a break.  Go out with your fiancé and don't discuss the wedding.  Go do something to take care of yourself.  

Still searching for the perfect wedding gown?  We've got you covered, girl!  Book an appointment today to Say Yes to the Dress!

Blog | Advice from A Past Bride

Who better to help you plan your big day than someone whose just recently been there?  Today on the blog, we're sharing some of the best advice from real brides who have already walked down the aisle.  We hope it inspires + encourages you as you plan your own walk.

Today, we're featuring Allison Hamacher's {Martin} best advice from her wedding on August 12th, 2017.  Allison holds a dear place in our hearts at OUTW as she has long been a supporter of our store.  She has shared our store with many friends & family.  We absolutely loved every second of working both with her for her gown + her maids for their dresses.

What is the biggest piece of advice you would give a newly engaged bride-to-be? 

Give yourself time! There is no rush this way you can save more & are less stressed. Book the big things first such as venue, caterer, photographer, DJ, hair & makeup as they book up quickly & way in advance! I had a hard time finding hair & makeup because I left it too long. Vista print will be your best friend & delicate! Don’t be afraid to ask that lovely bridal party for help as that’s what they are there for & many may have hidden special talents that end up saving you money. Try to DIY as much as you can, wedding day of coordinator & videographer well worth the money. Lastly don’t cheap out on photography!

What is the best advice you were given as a bride-to-be?

Make it your day, do what you want. Who cares what everyone else thinks, you can’t please everyone.

What is one thing you're glad you did when you were planning your wedding/engaged?

We did a couple of wedding party get togethers such as a BBQ, night out etc which was a nice, fun & laid back way for everyone to get to know each & become more comfortable around each other before the big day. Takes away some of the awkwardness/tenision day off.

We love this idea.  And we want to know, did anyone else do this?  So genius!

What is something you regret when wedding planning?

To be honest I don’t know if I regret anything? The day was more than I could have imagined. Maybe just all the arguments/disagreements along the way with the fiancé, family members, wedding party, vendors etc.
Not really wedding related but we did a Buck & Doe with Games, I wouldn’t do the games because they weren’t popular & didn’t bring in money.

What is the best advice you would give for a bride-to-be who is searching for her dream dress?

Go to Once Upon A Time Weddings!😁 haha No they aren’t paying me to say that, that’s just how much I loved my experience & my dress! Once Upon A Time is amazing! Staff are so friendly, knowledgeable & not pushy like the big chain stores. I went to a couple stores before going to Once Upon A Time Weddings as I had my eye on a dress there from their Facebook page but wanted to make sure it was truly the one. I had not so great experiences at the other stores & no dresses stood out to me, they didn’t have that “this is my dress feeling” I then went to OUATW instantly feeling more at ease walking through the door because of the small town, small business atmosphere. I said yes to my dream dress that afternoon!

Allison, you are the sweetest! We appreciate your high compliment.  While we know not everyone instantly has that feeling when they slip their gown on, we're so happy that you did. We feel so honoured to have helped you write your Say Yes Story.


Is there anything else you'd want to tell a future bride?

Wedding shows & Expos help so much to get information to get started but don’t just book someone, do your research, shop around.
Pinterest is wonderful but it gives you unrealistic expectations.
Make sure to include little bits of you into the wedding, things to make it unique to you & your husband to be. Don’t stress the small stuff, it probably won’t matter in the end or you will be the only one who knows it didn’t go as planned. No point stressing on things you can’t control, everything ends up working out.
Be prepared for things to go wrong because they will (ex. Our timeline got all thrown off because things took longer then expected, I forgot to get corkscrews for the wine as I thought the venue would have & they did not)

Some great advice in there for those brides still in the planning stages.  At OUTW we love our brides & love seeing their pictures from their wedding day.  If you have recently been married in an OUTW gown, tag us in your pictures or email them to

If you're still planning your wedding + looking for your gown, then it's time to join the OUTW bride tribe.  Book your appointment today and let us help write your Say Yes Story.

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All About The NEW Location!

We've made it!

This may have been the longest week of my life, but we've officially moved into our new OUTW home!  I'm so excited to share this new space and welcome brides into our OUTW family here.

Here's some of the details you need to know about the new location!

Address: 10 Metcalfe St. W Strathroy (corner of Metcalfe St. W & Caradoc St. N)

Phone #: 519.245.7997 (didn't change)

Store Hours: 

Monday 11-6

Tuesday 11-6

Wednesday closed

Thursday 11-8

Friday 11-6

Saturday 10-4

Sunday by appointment


We designed the new store to have the same feel and privacy as our old store.  Each bride will have her own bridal suite with her own fitting room and mirror built into the room.  The ultimate gown finding experience can be found at Once Upon A Time Weddings!


One of the things I'm most excited about in the new location is our Embellish room.  This room is where you can find the most luxurious casual items as well as gifts for your girls!  Brides who shop at OUTW will get a discount off the items in this room!  Stop in and check it out.  Be sure to check us out on Facebook as well for discounts, sneak peeks and to follow along with us as we grow this room!  Click here!


Grand Re-Opening: Wednesday, September 14th at 6pm.  Full details can be found here!

Join us for cake, a ribbon cutting ceremony and special discounts! 

See you soon!


Erin Bouchard


July Real Bride | Lori's Dress

Lori's wedding gown shopping experience was nothing short of unique, down to earth, and fun! She came to us 2 months before finding her dress, walked in never trying on dresses and walked out with her wedding gown. We love these stories! She wasn't afraid to say yes, not because she was pressed for time, but because she fell in love.

Did you try on dresses before coming to OUTW?


About how many dresses did you try on before you found 'The One'?

"Just 1 other."

Were you expecting to purchase your dress when you came in for your appointment?

"No, it was my first time trying on dresses!"

Who was with you at your appointment?

"My daughter, Nicole McCullough."

Was the dress you bought similar to what you came in thinking you wanted?

"A few similarities."

How was your experience at Once Upon A Time Weddings?

"It was great! Staff were extremely helpful!"

Is there anything else you want to tell us about your story to finding the dress?

"It was such an easy day! I walked in with a t-shirt on and walked out with my dress!"

Are you wanting to have a unique, one of a kind wedding dress shopping experience then book your appointment with us today because we can't wait to help you make your dreams come true!

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June Real Bride | Eric & Kayla

June is here, the sun is shining, and we can't wait to see all of our summer brides in their low back wedding gowns, their lace wedding gowns, and all their unique alterations in some fun outdoor venues.

With a new month brings a new Once Upon A Time Weddings Real Bride feature! We are so excited to share Kayla and Eric Knieriem's story with you.

Eric & Kayla's engagement pictures from Port Stanley. 

Eric & Kayla's engagement pictures from Port Stanley. 

How did the two of you meet?

"One of my best friends helped me get my first job at the Burger King in strathroy. Eric is a little older than me so when I started he was a team leader and so was in charge of training the newbies - including me :) There's something about a man in uniform making burgers that does did it for me! Haha That was ten years ago!"

How'd you know your fiancé was the one?

"Neither of us can really pick a particular moment, we both agree that we've just always known and couldn't imagine our lives without each other."

How did your fiancé propose? (from the brides point of view)

"Last March my fiancé and I went on a trip to Ottawa to sightsee, explore and find some awesome food. I think it was on our third day we had toured the parliament building and followed it up with the most awesome pizza and beers. Afterwards we walked around downtown Ottawa for what seemed like forever, just meandering about. I could tell something was up but was so cold and my feet hurt I was too distracted to really pay attention. Eventually we made our way out to the canal and walked along the pathway in the park overlooking the canal and the buildings which looked beautiful all lite up and sparkling in the water. Then we stopped to admire the view and things got quiet between us... then like a blur Eric was down on his knee say something super romantic and about how we've experienced so much together and he couldn't imagine enjoying the rest of the journey without me (or something like that I honestly was too excited to listen and started bouncing up and down, crying and shrieking). I of course screamed YES and followed it up with a huge kiss and hugs and more jumping and shrieking! I will never forget how we felt afterwards though, we both felt so dazed, like we walking on clouds and couldn't stop smiling. It was perfect and so us."

How did you propose? (from the grooms point of view)

"I took Kayla out to an incredibly icy, precarious park - something that I thought would be romantic and I proposed! (He is a man of few, hilarious, sweet words - lol)"
Their romantic view when Eric proposed!

Their romantic view when Eric proposed!


Stay tuned for next Wednesday's Real Bride blog post on Kayla's journey to saying yes to her dress!

Still searching for your dream gown, don't wait! Book your wedding dress experience with us today!

Photography: Have Heart Photography 

Wedding Gown: Once Upon A Time Weddings 

Check us out on Facebook and Instagram for more real brides, fun daily wedding inspiration, and bridal store behind the scenes!