wedding planning

How to Blog | Invitation Process

Did you know that we do invitations at Once Upon A Time Weddings? We are an affiliate of The Paper Bride in Chatham. Which means any of the invitations or stationery from their wedding business can be ordered right from Once Upon A Time Weddings!

Below, Erin outlines the invitation process.

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There are three reasons we picked The Paper Bride.

1. Because Jenn & Laurie are total sweethearts and real professionals.  They love what they do and that shines through from every interaction with them.  

2. Their invitations are also totally customizable and we love that about them.  Your invitations are your guests first glimpse into your vision for your day.  And we feel so honoured to help you create and begin seeing that vision come into execution.

3. Their prices are totally reasonable.  Simple invites start at just $1.50 per invite.  And you can order as many or as little as you'd like.  Need 52 invites? No need to order an extra 20 or 25 invites, we can place the order for 52!

Today, on the blog we'd thought we'd walk you through the invitation process.  Of course, we have a process for it, because our main goal at OUTW is always to make it as easy and painless as it can be!

So let's dive in!

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Step 1: Talk to Your Fiance & Your Parents

Figure out how many guests you'll be inviting.  When determining number of invitations needed, remember that most guests are couples or families and typically you need roughly half of the number of guests are on your guest list.  Determine what your budget is for invitations.  Begin the conversation of what you want the wording to look like for the invitations.  Do you want just your names on the invites, parents names, just brides parents?  There used to be a lot more rules to whose names appeared on the invitation, but now a days most couples either put both parents names or no parents names on the invitations.

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Step 2: Meet with Us

Schedule an invitation consult and come in and speak to one of our stylists.  We'll walk you through creating your custom design invitation suite.  We have some samples to show you but everything is customizable.  We'll help walk you through all the wording and create an order to be submitted to The Paper Bride.

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Step 3: Place Order + Pay Deposit

We'll send in all your order information to The Paper Bride.  They require a 50% deposit to begin layout of invitations.  Once your deposit has been paid, they'll begin to layout all the information that we sent them.

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Step 4: Email Proof

The Paper Bride will create an invitation proof via email.  This will help us catch any errors or spelling mistakes and give you a visual of what your invitation will look like.  Want your names a bit bigger or to change the font?  One design change is included in your pricing so if you want to change anything in your order, this is your time to do it.  If all looks good, we move to the next step.

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Step 5: Invite Proof

Once we get your approval of the email proof, the The Paper Bride will print and create one invitation for you to approve.  Once you sign off this copy, they go to print, so we do suggest you review it carefully and make sure all information is perfect!

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Step 6: Production

Once final approval has been given, your invitations will go to production.  They will be printed and boxed up for shipping to our store.  Production can take anywhere from a few weeks to six weeks.  We can usually accommodate shorter orders, just ask!

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Step 7: Arrival & Assembly

Your invitations will be shipped to OUTW and you'll come in and pick them up.  Most of our invitation orders will come as DIY kits, which means you'll assemble them yourself.  Don't worry, we'll show you exactly how and you can purchase the tape here for that as well.  If you don't want to assemble them, we can price that out for you!  Throw them in the mail and you're good to go!

Still have more questions? Shoot us a text at 519.319.6623 or an email to info@onceuponatimeweddings.ca.

Ready to meet with us? Book an invitation consult online now.

 

Everything You Always Wanted to Know {About A Gown Shopping Experience at OUTW}



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. But you can also text us or call us.  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. Within this email you’ll find a link to begin our find-your-style process. 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 your 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.


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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 made a decision?  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 back 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 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 or how many people should 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 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!

Filmed and produced by Amanda Kopcic Photography & Videography http://www.amandakopcic.com http://www.facebook.com/amandakopcicphotography

How To Enjoy Being Engaged.

So you’re engaged?!

A lot of brides find themselves wishing their big day was just here already. Or they spend so much time fielding questions about their wedding and listening to other opinions on what they should do at their wedding, that they lose some of their excitement.

So we came up with some ways for you to spend time enjoying being engaged. After all, it’s such a short time in comparison to the rest of your life. You really want to capitalize on the excitement and soak up every moment as a fiancé.

1) Throw an engagement party! Celebrate this huge step in your relationship with all your friends and family! It's not a hassle for anyone, people love a reason to celebrate and get together. Find some cute decorations and get to celebrating! 

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2) Take engagement photos! This is a super fun way to celebrate with just the two of you. You get to dress up and be all lovey dovey for the pictures! You can even make a date night out of it! If you choose to do them with your wedding photographer it gives you an extra chance to get to know them and their style before your wedding day.

Photography by  Red Button Photography

Photography by Red Button Photography

3) Get some fiancé swag!  The best part of being engaged? Showing off that new status. It’s the perfect excuse to buy a wifey in training t-shirt, bride water bottle, or new wifey-to-be mugs. Cause why not?!

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Both items are available from OUTW!

Both items are available from OUTW!

4) And remember! When it comes to wedding planning, the day is about your love for one another. Don't let the nitty, gritty details of planning take the joy of being engaged away from you!

Are you recently engaged and starting to look for your dream dress? Look no further!

We'd love for you to book your wedding gown experience today!

Here’s what recent bride Stephanie said about her experience at OUTW.

I had been to 5 other stores before finally making the trip out to Once Upon A Time, and I was blown away by the difference here! The care, attention, and effort that they put into making sure each bride has a great experience was completely unique and refreshing. Definitely worth the visit - even if they don't have the dress for you, it's a wonderful, personalized experience that will remind you of how wedding dress shopping is supposed to be :)

All I Want For Christmas Is...

We love Christmas time here at Once Upon A Time Weddings! We have some exciting things planned in the store that I wanted to share with you!

First of all, from the bottoms of our hearts we want to say thank you.

Thank you to all the customers who believed in us and shopped with us.

Thank you to all those who shared our store with their friends, family, co-workers.

Thank you to all the other wedding vendors who told their brides about us.

We love you all and appreciate you.

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!


Next week, we’ll launch our 5 days of Christmas special! Each day a different item will be on sale. You can purchase in store or online. Online orders can be held for pick up at the store. Items will be limited quality so shop early for best selection!!

Day 1 - Monday

Day 2 - Tuesday

Day 3 - Thursday

Day 4 - Friday

Day 5 - Saturday

Watch our FB page each day for these sales!!

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The other thing we’re excited to share with you is that we are hosting a trunk show from now until January 8th.

What is a trunk show?

It’s where a designer, in this case, two designers, send us their sample gowns for us to showcase and use in the store for a limited time. This allows us to see what gowns will work in our location, and allows our brides to have first access to these gowns before they have even shipped to stores.

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Hurry and book your appointment now! Our Holiday Hours are as follows:

December 24th, 25th + 26th - CLOSED

December 27th + 28th Open 11-6

December 29th Open 10-4

December 30th + 31st CLOSED

January 1st + 2nd CLOSED

January 3rd + 4th Open 11-6

January 5th Open 10-4

Advice From Past Bride | Mikaela Vandenberk

Mikaela + Luke
Wedding Date: September 2, 2017

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

Relax and enjoy the process. The engagement high only lasts for so long, so when it's there enjoy it. Enjoy being engaged, because it's fun to go around showing off that new bling(lets me honest). Don't stress wedding planning, it doesn't need to be stressful, it honestly should be fun and exciting. I truly believe people put way to much pressure on wedding planning. When I got engaged I got the big decisions done ASAP (venue, photographer, etc), then let the little details go until the 3 or so months before. I didn't want the entire year or so to be wedding this wedding that. I didn't want to feel overwhelmed and I wanted to enjoy being engaged not feeling stressed the entire time.

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

First - Go to Once Upon a Time Weddings their amazing to work with and you feel so special. Secondly, have your ideas but don't be limited. I went in with 2 full sheets of paper of my inspiration from Pinterest and ended up getting a dress that was completely out of my comfort zone. I am really happy about it thought because it was unexpected which I wanted.

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

Stop worrying about all the materialistic things. The most important thing is the commitment that you are making with your partner and that should always remain number one.

What is something you regret when wedding planning?

I only had a couple things that I regret not doing or thought people may have thought it was lame. My main advice is do the wedding of YOUR dreams nobody else.

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

Included my husband as much as he may have not been to interested. Remember its your wedding together not just you. I hate when people say its the brides day, no its both of yours. I wanted my husband included in everything even if he just wanted me to be happy with the decision. Some decisions are fairly big and should be a couple decision.

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

Have fun, enjoy the journey and don't lose site of the main event and thats the marriage the commitment to be long life partners.

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Thanks Mikaela for sharing your advice for all those who haven’t walked down the aisle just yet. If you’re still looking for the perfect gown, follow Mikaela’s advice and come to Once Upon A Time Weddings. Book your appointment today!

Wedding Theme | Rustic Autumn

Pumpkin spice and everything nice! Fall weddings and its decor selection haven’t appeared to go down in popularity. So if you like a pinch of cinnamon , apples and the colour orange then this is the theme for you!

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Autumn weddings give you the ability to use the natural elements as your decor canvas. Being surrounded by beautiful earth tones and bold accents, you definitely have the option of keeping things minimal. Playing with fabrics and textures are a great way to add detail without overwhelming your venue space.

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Escort cards really do add a personalized touch to your venue space and overall wedding theme. You can design it to be a “take home” item for your guests or even just a great conversation piece during your wedding reception.

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With your table settings… just because the weather has cooled down a tad doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with pops of colour and elegant floral arrangements. Adding things like gold accents and candles can really bring the whole table arrangement together and add a sense of warmth to the decor.

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Sparkling champagne cider, s’mores… the choices are endless! Cocktail hour is always a great way to show you and your fiancés personality. This year a big trend is “guest experience” you could even have a small fire pit in the outdoor section of your venue to give guests a cozy feel while celebrating your big day.

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For your ceremony space you can go in any direction with your style. Here in this theme we stuck with rustic/modern which is achieved by adding structured metals and earthy toned floral arrangements with candles. Adding different heights in your ceremony space will allow your guests eyes to follow the leading lines of your space with minimal distractions.

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For wedding favours if you’re looking for an alternative route, you could try adding a cute play on words with a delicious treat or something homemade with the happy couples personal touch on it that family and friends would love to take home!

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This dress from our store would work perfect for a fall themed wedding!

This dress from our store would work perfect for a fall themed wedding!

But regardless of trends, pick what works best for your style and what is the most attractive to you and your fiancé... Happy wedding planning! 

Still looking for your perfect gown?  Book an appointment now to write your Say Yes Story at Once Upon A Time Weddings.

Styling Your Maids.

Here at Once Upon a Time Weddings our main goal is helping you find your dream dress along with offering our unique in-store experience. But, what can we offer after you 'say yes to the dress'? What else is on your wedding to-do list that we can help you check off? How about finding dresses for those most important girls standing next to you on your day! We offer a wide selection of colours and styles for your bridesmaids along with that same in-store experience all over again!

We combined four of our wedding gowns with some of our bridesmaids dresses to show how your maids dresses can help enhance your gown!

This first one we wanted to show case how different necklines and colours can draw your attention to your gorgeous gown. While staying in a fall colour palette, with this plum tone dress you can absolutely have the same neckline as your wedding gown… its simplistic yet elegant style only accentuates your wedding gown and brings out its blush undertones and sparkle.

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Now with the halter neckline you cannot lose, its the complete opposite of your gown and still adds a great colour while playing on texture with this chiffon fabric. Both silhouettes bring a great shape to any body type.

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Next, we show a way to 'bring out your bling' even more by accenting your dress with maids dresses that have fall inspired colours and lace accents. Here we are keeping more in mind for the cooler season with deep Burgundy and a Navy colour palette. It allows the ivory tone in this horse hair skirt to really pop and be an absolute show stopper.

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Thirdly, we are breaking out the lace! This maids dress helps bring out your lace texture and your Ivory wedding gown colour without over doing it. These dresses come in a variety of colours and can make a great statement for any season. (P.S. the blue dress has pockets.. who doesn't love those!?)

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Lastly, the boho look! We have combined a long flowing gown with a deep v-neck and a short flirty and fun lace v-neck. Different shades, lengths, and styles; who ever said your girls had to be matching in these categories! This neutral colour scheme goes great for a boho theme, and compliments any skin tone.

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So whatever look you're going for with your maids, the stylists at Once Upon A Time Weddings can help pull it all together for you!  Click here to book your maids experience!