wedding obsessed

Owner Blog | When to Shop For Your Gown

We’re seeing this trend in the store right now, of brides putting off coming in to shop for their gown.  And while sometimes we can make magic happen and find a gown that fits them or rush a gown in fast enough, it definitely limits your options as a bride.

At the bridal show this weekend we met some brides who did not want to shop for their gown until much closer to their wedding.  And I get it, it can feel overwhelming or you might feel like if you shop too early you’ll have dress regret.  However, wedding gowns take between five and six months to order in.  In order to have the most number of options of gowns to choose from, you should begin shopping for your gown about seven to nine months before your wedding.  Earlier is even better because that will give you time to enjoy the process and help everything else fall into place.

Because the worse thing that can happen is that you have to settle for a gown that fits you and you can buy off the rack instead of saying yes to the gown you absolutely adore.

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Here’s three reasons we see brides delaying shopping for their gowns and how to overcome them.

1.     Fear of Dress regret

Some brides are putting off shopping for their gown because they are afraid they may have dress regret.  They may even have a friend who ended up purchasing two gowns for their wedding day.  Here’s the thing about dress regret, if I can speak openly for a minute.  We live in an instant world.  We instantly have our emails on our phone, we instantly can connect with someone half way around the world on facetime, we can get something delivered the next with amazon prime.  So we’ve become accustomed to not waiting.  So when we purchase a wedding gown, and my goodness, we now have to wait five months for it to arrive, it’s hard!  I get it.  I do.  So if you start to second guess yourself or worry about your gown, do this:  First, think about all the reasons you loved that gown and said yes.  Remember how you felt in it.  Remember how it will look with all your alterations done, with your hair and makeup done, walking down that aisle to the love of your life.  Second, if that doesn’t work and you’re still worried, do not go shopping.  I repeat, do not go shopping.  Wedding gowns are beautiful.  They are made to be pretty.  You will find another one you love.  Instead head back to the store you purchased your gown, slip that gown back on and remember why you fell in love with it. 

2.     Losing weight

This one can be a bit tricky.  Because it’s obviously a sensitive subject.  Brides want to look their best on their wedding day.  And while we’re all for feeling beautiful, we want to make sure you can still have the dress of your dreams.  We can talk through sizing and alterations with you in the appointment.  But the thing here to remember is that your fiancé fell in love with you and proposed at the exact size you are right now.  Don’t put too much pressure on yourself in an already stressful season of life.  Embrace the shape you are and find a gown you love right now, not 20 pounds lighter.  If you are determined to lose a bit of weight, then give yourself some time.  Set a goal and track your progress.  That will help us choose the best size for you when you do shop.

3.     Orchestrating entourage

We get it.  You want your people there when you have your magical experience.  So sometimes brides will put off shopping until their mom is home or sister is back from school.  We totally understand.  Just make sure that it still leaves you with the suggested time frame of 7-9 months before your big day.

If it doesn’t then plan an appointment at a time that they are available and we’ll facetime them into the appointment.  This way they can to still be part of the experience and you still get all the gown options.  Then we can also do a bridal reveal the next time they are home or in this area.  You can slip that gown back on and show them and have them help with accessories.

 

We want you to say yes to the dress in absolute confidence.  We want you to love your gown and continue loving it until long after your wedding day.  At Once Upon A Time Weddings our goal is to walk with you through the whole experience.  That’s what makes our store different.  We know from past brides that once your gown decision has been made, so many other decisions are able to fall into place. 

If you’re ready to start trying gowns on, book your exclusive gown finding experience here.

Real Bride | Kelsey's Say Yes Story!

Today, as part of our Real Bride feature, we get to tell the story of how Kelsey said Yes to the Dress at OUTW.  She came to the store on February 21, 2017, just under a year away from her wedding day.  It was the second gown she put on.  She tried on several more at OUTW before saying yes to make sure she felt confident in her decision, but nothing quite compared to the one she loved!  She made a beautiful choice & was such a beautiful bride.  Here's her story.

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Did you try on dresses before coming to OUTW?

No. OUTW was my first and last store!

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

I was ready to buy, but also prepared not to get down on the experience if I didn't find my perfect dress.
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Who was with you at your appointment?

My mom, one of my maids of honour, Aziza, and best friend/photographer Michelle

Did anyone have extra influence on helping you say yes to the dress?

It wasn't necessarily an extra influence, but it really helped having Michelle there to talk about how the dress would photograph!
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This next question is one of our favourites.  We love asking our brides this because it's a great reminder that no brides are going to have the exact same Say Yes Story.  Every bride's is different and we love embracing that uniqueness at OUTW!

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

Not even close! I came in with the idea of an ivory long sleeve, fitted lace gown and left with a strapless blush ballgown!

Kelsey's maids purchased their gowns from OUTW as well.  This is what she says about that second experience back in the store.

It was just as great as the first! Sharon was able to have me wear the stock gown of my dress to see how they would all look together which really helped us see the big picture.

Shout out to wedding planner, extraordinaire, Amy of Unmistakably You, pictured here doing her thing with Kelsey!

Shout out to wedding planner, extraordinaire, Amy of Unmistakably You, pictured here doing her thing with Kelsey!

How was your experience at Once Upon A Time Weddings?

It is so hard to put it into words! I have never experienced anything like it before. Sharon was our consultant and she felt like someone we had known forever by the time we left. She put up with my indecisiveness and gave some great suggestions. It was so easy to trust her! When I was unsure about the gown I ended up purchasing, she talked me through how I was feeling and reassured me when I was nervous. It would have been impossible without her help.
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We've loved walking through Kelsey's Say Yes Story today on the blog.  Join us next Wednesday as we walk through Kelsey + Greg's wedding day.

If you need to write your Say Yes Story, click here to book your bridal appointment.

If you're an OUTW bride + you're already married and would like to be featured on our blog, email us today at info@onceuponatimeweddings.ca.

All pictures the work of amazing Michelle A Photography.

'How To' Wedding Timeline From The Professionals

We had a great suggestion on one of our blog posts a while back about interviewing two wedding vendors to see how they attempt/compile a wedding timeline, so here we are! We interviewed a wedding coordinator, Kassandra from Unmistakably You and a wedding photographer, Amanda from Amanda Kopcic Photography to hopefully help answer some questions you are coming up with as you plan your 'day of' wedding timeline. We love hearing ideas of what you girls need help with when wedding planning so keep the comments coming!

Amanda is the lead photographer at Amanda Kopcic Photography along with Jazz Kopcic, the lead videographer, and Lauren Huston, editor and associate photographer. They believe that pictures are a way of holding onto memories forever and love being able to capture those special moments for their clients. They specialize in wedding and family building sessions; they are based in Strathroy.

Amanda Kopcic | Photographer

Amanda Kopcic | Photographer

Kassandra is a wedding coordinator at Unmistakably You and they were founded to help couples who felt like their personalities were getting lost in the logistics of wedding planning to be able to rediscover their personal story and incorporate it intimately into their wedding. They want your wedding to feel like your wedding, not just another wedding!

Kassandra Kilback | Wedding Coordinator

Kassandra Kilback | Wedding Coordinator

Do you have a list of preferred vendors and do you only work with them?

Amanda: "Yes, we have a list of preferred vendors that we hand off to our clients once they book. We don't limit our clients by making them only book with our prefered vendors however simply pass along their information if they are still looking for specific services."

Kassandra: "We try and match our couples with the vendor that best matches their personality and budget. We do not have a set list of vendors but we do want to make sure we are referring trusted and quality vendors to our couples."

How do you begin coming up with a wedding day timeline?

Amanda: "When it comes to the timeline of the wedding day we like to contact the couple 2-3 months before the wedding date. This gives the bride lots of time to put together a timeline for us to look over. We always start with their ceremony time. Once this has been established we then find out if they are wanting all the formal photos done before or after the ceremony, working backwards to ensure there is enough time in place so we aren't rushed on the day of the wedding. When there is a coordinator involved we like to work with them on the timeline to figure out the best fit for family and formal photos."

Kassandra: "Our timelines are based off a 3 hour itinerary meeting. First we gather all the details so we know when the big moments are happening, photos, ceremony, dinner and dances and almost work backwards to make it all work."

How involved is the bride? 

Amanda: "We involve the bride as much as she wishes to be involved in this process. We find that some brides can get overwhelmed by the timeline/ scheduling process and try to alleviate the stress by working on this with them well in advance." 

Kassandra: "Completely involved! After our meeting we type up a complete timeline and to do list and send it off to our couples."

As the vendor (Amanda) do you find it easier when there is a timeline from the wedding planner?

Amanda: "Yes, we love to see the timeline the coordinator has put in place. We just ask to see it well before the wedding date to ensure we have enough time for each portion of our day, such as family photos, prep time, formal photos and so forth. This way if we need to move anything around we can talk about it before hand and work with both the coordinator and the bride."

As the vendor (Amanda) do you also come up with your own timeline for photos?

Amanda: "Yes, we normally come up with a rough draft of time needed for each part of the day we are scheduled to be there for. We then compare and move things around as needed."  

How often do the both of you vendors communicate with each other?

Amanda: "We like to know in advance who the coordinator is and talk preferably a week before the wedding.  If any changes should arise from the last schedule we received we then ask to be informed before the wedding date."

Kassandra: "All the time, depending on the couple. I will often send our created timeline to the vendors we are working with and make sure it fits with their perceived schedule, so we are all on the same page."

How often do the both of you communicate with the bride?

Amanda: "We are in contact with the bride throughout the planning process. From the time they book our services, the engagement sessions, the timeline creation to touching base the week before the wedding."

Kassandra: "We do not limit communication, we are available to review questions and changes throughout the process of planning."

As the wedding planner (Kassandra), do you handle all of the vendors timelines instead of the bride?

Kassandra: "When we are hired as a full wedding planner, we try to keep all the back and forth between us and the vendors only. When final decisions are made, we ensure our couples agree to any changes and the final timeline."

Is there anything else you’d like to tell the bride about your business.?

Amanda: "We are a growing team providing families, couples and businesses alike with both photography and videography services. When it comes to weddings, as we expand we are able to offer our clients with more options and services then ever before. We love working with couples on their big day and getting to work with some incredible vendors."

Kassandra: "Here at Unmistakably You, our mandate is to completely customize our services to each individual couple.  Your wedding won't be the same as everyone else's, so why should you get the same services? For that reason, we like to sit down with potential clients and talk about exactly what you need and how we can help.  From there, we can put together a custom package that totally suits your unique wedding and your budget. We have full wedding planning services, day of Coordination services and everything in between."

Amanda Kopcic Photography: WebsiteInstagram, and Facebook.

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Unmistakably You: Website, Instagram, and Facebook

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Still searching for your dream dress? Book your wedding gown experience with us today!

Pink & Gold Enchanted Forest Shoot.

Sometimes, right in the middle of ordinary life, love gives you a fairy tale.

We had the amazing opportunity to participate in a magical photoshoot at the end of May.  The location was Fernwood Hills which is hidden away in the woods outside of Komoka, Ontario.  This venue is absolutely enchanted.  From wooden benches for your guests to sit on during a rustic ceremony to dancing under the stars all night, this venue has it all!

For this shoot, we used our new exclusive, romantic skirt from our private collection.  We paired it with our blush, sparkly top.  This is part of our separates collection, so we can mix and match top and skirts together!

Rosemary from Time 4 Flowers created the perfect bouquet for this enchanted forest photoshoot.  The colours were a perfect match for the blush & gold theme and it smelled delicious. 

Rosemary from Time 4 Flowers created the perfect bouquet for this enchanted forest photoshoot.  The colours were a perfect match for the blush & gold theme and it smelled delicious. 

Invited by Dani made beautiful stationery that were perfect for this show stopping photo shoot!  

Invited by Dani made beautiful stationery that were perfect for this show stopping photo shoot!  

It was a pleasure to meet Anna from Devorah Beauty for the first time at this shoot.  She created a flawless look in our model, Sarah's makeup.  Liz from Hairstream Beauty swept up her hair in a romantic up-do.

It was a pleasure to meet Anna from Devorah Beauty for the first time at this shoot.  She created a flawless look in our model, Sarah's makeup.  Liz from Hairstream Beauty swept up her hair in a romantic up-do.

Stephanie from Bright Eyes Bakery created the most stunning naked cake and macaroons.  To be honest, this was the first time I had ever tasted a macaroon and they were DELICIOUS!!

Stephanie from Bright Eyes Bakery created the most stunning naked cake and macaroons.  To be honest, this was the first time I had ever tasted a macaroon and they were DELICIOUS!!

Jess from Bonafide Events pulled all the magic together with decor pieces and kept us all on schedule throughout the shoot!  Wedding planners have such  attention  to detail & it really paid  off  in this shoot!!

Jess from Bonafide Events pulled all the magic together with decor pieces and kept us all on schedule throughout the shoot!  Wedding planners have such attention to detail & it really paid off in this shoot!!

Michelle A. Photography captured all the moments from the day perfectly!  She was a gem to work with and pulled the whole shoot together flawlessly!

Michelle A. Photography captured all the moments from the day perfectly!  She was a gem to work with and pulled the whole shoot together flawlessly!

Venue:   Fernwood Hills   Photographer:    Michelle A Photography   Dress and Accessories:   Once Upon a Time Weddings   Model:   Sarah Cur   Hair:   Liz from Hairstream   Makeup:   Devorah Beauty   Florals:   Time 4 Flowers   Cake and Macaroons:   Bright Eyes Bakery   Invitations and Stationary:   Invited by Dani   Decor:   Bonafide Events Studio   Linens (Napkin):   A & B Party and Tent Rentals

Venue: Fernwood Hills
Photographer:  Michelle A Photography
Dress and Accessories: Once Upon a Time Weddings
Model: Sarah Cur
Hair: Liz from Hairstream
Makeup: Devorah Beauty
Florals: Time 4 Flowers
Cake and Macaroons: Bright Eyes Bakery
Invitations and Stationary: Invited by Dani
Decor: Bonafide Events Studio
Linens (Napkin): A & B Party and Tent Rentals

5 Things No One Tells You About Planning A WEDDING!

  1. You will get stressed out.  It’s okay.  There may even be moments when you wonder why on earth you don’t just elope and be done with all the craziness.  Breath.  It will work out.  Rely on your mom, your fiance or your girls to help you through those terrifying moments.  Don’t fret the small things.

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2.  Life isn’t always a fairytale.  Sometimes things are hard.  Sometimes you will regret decisions or change your mind.  This is kind of a test run for how you will handle curves in your marriage.  Learn now to rely on each other and work things through together.  Sometimes you will fight, sometimes you will argue.  That’s okay.  Every relationship has it’s challenges.  Just don’t give up, keep working on it.

3.  Like any other stage in life, there will be a time you look back and miss those wedding planning days.  Don’t rush it past.  It’s an exciting time in your & your fiance’s life.  Embrace it.

4.  Let your fiancé be involved in the wedding.  I know it’s the day you dreamed of since you were a little girl.  We know you are excited, but it’s important to remember it’s his day too.  Involve him when you can and seek out his input before you make big decisions.  Think about what he would like as you shop for wedding details.

5.  There is life after the wedding.  Don’t lose focus on what the end goal is.  A marriage.  A life together.  Take some time to prepare for your married life.   Invest in your relationship and make time for date nights and doing activities you enjoy together.

The List & Grad Gowns...

We changed up our store windows.  We wanted our customers to know that all in stock grad gowns are greatly reduced!  Help us clear them out.  Gowns marked down to $99-139!

   We also wanted to create a fun bridal wedding as we know a lot of brides are just recently engaged & I'm sure are busy making lists of things they need to do as they wedding plan!  Check it out.

 

We also wanted to create a fun bridal wedding as we know a lot of brides are just recently engaged & I'm sure are busy making lists of things they need to do as they wedding plan!  Check it out.

   A special thanks to Wendy Hord of Soul Photography for these pictures!  www.soulphotography.ca

 

A special thanks to Wendy Hord of Soul Photography for these pictures! www.soulphotography.ca

Falling In Love With Fall..

It’s hard to imagine that fall is almost here on a hot day like today, but it is.  Time moves so quickly these days.  I love fall.  I love everything about fall.  I love new beginnings and new schedules.  I love that it kicks off our wedding season at the store.  We’ve got some great bridal shows lined up & I so look forward to meeting new brides, seeing old ones & chatting with some of my bridal industry friends.  I love cool evenings & wearing boot socks & boots.  I love drinking hot apple cider & watching the leaves turn colors. 

Our store opened in fall.  This fall we’ll officially adopt our two children & become an official, legally binding, never going to change, family.  September 19th can’t come soon enough!

Here’s a little fall inspiration.