what to expect when shopping for a gown

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.


IMG_0714.JPG

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.

Strathroy Bridal Crawl 2018-2.jpg

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

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.

IMG_0547.JPG

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!

3 Reasons Why A Pop Up Bridal Shop or Sale Might Not Be For You.

One of the latest bridal trends are these pop up bridal shops.  Sometimes they pop up in a particular city, sometimes they appear at a bridal show.  I have worked so hard to understand brides over the last few years.  With that in mind, I wanted to share three reasons why you might not be the pop up sale kind of bride.

1.)    It robs you of that say yes to the dress experience.  We know you are craving it.  Every bride wants to have that “moment” when they are standing in a gown and they can picture walking down the runway to Mr. Right and saying I do.  That’s okay, it’s part of the experience.  We know you’ve been secretly imagining that moment.  I mean what’s not to love about standing on a pedestal and having all the people you adore and cherish tell you that you’re beautiful!  For many brides it’s the first time that they feel like their getting married and it’s the only part of wedding planning that’s all about you!!

 I bet that when you imagined it, that it didn’t include 200 other women pushing and shoving to get a deal.  I bet it didn’t include changing in a fabric changing room with high school students or other brides who are just there to earn their own cheap gown the ones helping you.  I bet it does include having someone who lives and breaths weddings and bridal fashion assisting you every step of the way.  I bet you imagined having time to think, picture it all come together and finalize every detail to perfection.

Photograph by Soul Photography (www.soulphotography.ca) 

Photograph by Soul Photography (www.soulphotography.ca) 

2.)    You are more fashionable than you give yourself credit for.  Yes, saving money is great.  Yes, staying on budget is even better.  But the gowns you’ll find at a pop up shop average between 5 and 10 years old.  Bridal fashion changes a lot in 5 to 10 years.  Take my wedding gown for instance, I got married 9 years ago this June and while I loved my gown at the time, it’s definitely not the style that brides are looking for today.  And that’s okay because I’m not trying to sell them my gown.  Even if you aren’t the type of bride whose being pinning gowns on Pinterest for a decade you can recognize that styles have changed substantially in the last few years.  And while your gown budget may not afford you that Pnina Tornai that you see on TV, that doesn’t mean you have to settle for something that a designer or bridal store couldn’t sell themselves for the last five years.

Photograph by Rebecca Nash Photography (www.rebeccanashphotography.com) 

Photograph by Rebecca Nash Photography (www.rebeccanashphotography.com) 

3.)    You want to 100% love your gown.  A lot of brides go on to resell the gown they’ve purchased from a pop up shop because they made a hasty decision that was based principally on the price of the gown.  It appeared to be a good savings.  They got a designer gown for a fraction of the price.  But then once they begin planning the rest of the day, that style of gown doesn’t suit their overall feel of their wedding day.  Or they realize that they settled primarily because of cost.  While cost of gown is definitely a factor in choosing your wedding gown, it shouldn’t be the only factor.

Don’t be discouraged though, there are lots of way to save money on your gown without sacrificing your experience, your fashion sense and your sanity.  Here are three tips:

1.)    Be honest with your consultant about your price point.  It’s okay if you want to stay under a $1000, just tell her before she puts you in that $2200 gown you fall in love with.

2.)    Decide on what’s really important to you.  If you want lace maybe you can opt for less beading, or if you want a lot of beading, maybe you can opt to borrow your friend’s veil.

3.)    Realize the importance of your gown.  Your wedding gown will really set the tone for the rest of your day.  There are so many ways you can cut back on other areas, after all no one will remember if you served three vegetables or just one.  Decide what’s most important for you & your fiancé and then work towards those things.

Three Reasons That A Bridal Boutique Might be For You:

1.       It’s a calm, relaxed atmosphere.  There aren’t brides pushing out of their way and you don’t have to share mirrors.

2.       Your consultant is highly trained and can give you guidance for alterations, custom changes and colors available for your gown.  She has literally thousands of hours logged in working with brides.  And she’ll be there to answer any questions you have throughout the entire process.

3.       Your gown will be handled with utmost care.  You can bring it back {and we’ll still be here, not on to the next city} and we’ll press and steam your gown to perfection.

Where and how you purchase your bridal gown is a very personal decision.  We understand that not everyone will chose a bridal boutique and that's okay.  Just make sure you do some research and make the best decision with all the information that you can.  At Once Upon A Time Weddings we love working with brides and helping them say yes to the dress in the most magical bridal shopping experience.  To book your own bridal experience please click here.