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Friday, July 20, 2012

Benefits of Shopping at Once Upon A Time Weddings

            This article is dedicated to those shopping for a wedding gown. It can be a scary purchase and for many young women, it is one of the most expensive purchases they have ever made. Some people feel like they need to stick with chain stores like Alfred Angelo and David’s Bridal (also called’ Big Box’ stores) to play it safe. Those big stores pay for tons and tons of ads annually, so we all know they are there. The primary benefits that these kind of stores offer are that they have hanging stock, and they offer a credit card or financing options for your wedding gown. Their ads make it seem cheap and easy to shop there. The truth is rather different and often frustrating. So here is an article to clear up some hoopla you have wondered about big box shopping vs. bridal boutique shopping.

                Here are some of the primary perks of “boutiqing it” with your wedding gown:

PERSONAL SERVICE: This makes a world of difference when shopping for something that resembles a huge white marshmallow shoved into a see-through plastic bag. Smaller bridal boutiques learn their stock and know it by heart. They can easily match up the right girl with the right gown at the right price. Tah-dah! All the stuff about it taking 10-12 shops to find the right gown only happens when you meet with people who don’t care, don’t know their stock, and haven’t the foggiest idea of what cuts will flatter your figure. Personalized service can do all that, plus some!

CUSTOM OPTIONS: Have you ever seen a gown and thought it was almos t perfect? It just needed…that top with that bottom; or that neckline; or less stuff; or more sparkles, etc! When shopping at a bridal boutique you have the option to special order or to make adjustments. A special order gown is one that is being made JUST FOR YOU. That means it is truly a one of a kind gown. You can get exactly what you want without settling. Those other stores mass produce gowns with no options for changes like this. At Once Upon A Time Weddings, we specialize in custom gowns. Brides have added embellishments, added lace, added straps, changed the colors, etc. Then they ordered their gown and it was exactly what they wanted. And it must cost a fortune to do that, right? Nope. Our alterations are relatively inexpensive and making minor changes is inexpensive.

CUSTOM FIT: Adding on to the previous thought - brides can order custom sizes and heights at Once Upon A Time Weddings. The bridal boutique that special orders is your BFF if you have a figure that doesn’t play nice with standard sizing. This works really well and saves you time AND money. At Once Upon A Time Weddings, almost all of our designers allow us to change the length of the gown. This fee is $50-75 depending on the designer. This means that if you're short, you won't have to pay $350 to hem eight layers of your gown. Plus, you have more time after your gown arrives since these changes were made in the factory.

NEED A GOWN NOW? No problem, all of our styles that are in store are ready to take home TODAY. The truth is that Once Upon A Time Weddings carries stock that helps all of their brides, so whether you need a specialty size and have time to order or your wedding is tomorrow, Once Upon A Time Weddings is the perfect place to shop. We also can work with our designers to have gowns arrive faster than standard delivery times, sometimes at no additional charge.

SAMPLE SALE: Sample sales are an awesome way to save money and get a designer gown. A couple times a year Once Upon A Time Weddings will sell sample gowns and you can save up to 50% off! What’s the difference between a designer gown and a mass produced copy? FIT & FLATTER. The bodices are constructed so differently, its insane. Instead of 2 seams in the bodice of a mass produced gown (the top of the gown that is shaped around your curves), you have 6- 12 in a designer gown. What does that mean? It means the construction of the gown can now curve with your curves. All of a sudden, gowns fit you correctly, they don’t pull, and you don’t have chicken-wings popping out from your pits over the neckline of the gown. Most women don’t like that feature of cheap gowns. Inexpensive gowns are often guilty of using the neckline to hold up a strapless gown - which gives you armpit spill/ aka chicken wings. A designer bodice is held up through the waist, and the fit is to die for. And cost on a designer gown? They start at only $899. Totally reasonable and totally worth it. If you care how you look, you should check out the designer version of your gown. Who wants Prado when you can have Prada? And if you get it in a sample sale, odds are it is cheaper than the knock off hanging at the big box store.

PAYMENT PLANS: One thing that draws people to the big box stores in masses is their financing programs. Well, did you know that you can get the same deal at the local boutique? We can arrange a payment plan if you need it.

SAVING MONEY & TIME: This is the main reason people flock to the discounters. They think they are saving money. Brides purchase a $99 wedding gown only to pay $424 in alteration fees (national average cost of alterations at chain bridal stores). If you really want to save money, shop when there is a sale. You can truly save money on your gown and get a gown that has the quality and construction that does not require spending almost $500 to make it wearable. Examine the total cost of your gown, including bustier, crinolines, and alterations. Gowns with cheaper construction cost more to alter and need all those foundational garments to keep you from looking like a frumpy mess. You’ll find that many designer gowns have the bustiers and crinolines built into the gowns. Remember to also factor in your cost of alterations. At Once Upon A Time Weddings we strive to keep our alterations costs down. So you might be able to find a similar gown at a box store, but the quality isn't going to be as good. Then you'll spend up to four times as much in alterations.

OTHER SAVINGS: Did you know that your local bridal shop has partnered with other local wedding vendors to give Once Upon A Time Weddings Brides special offers not available anywhere else? We've got some savings on photography, and other wedding day services, and you’ll be saving some serious dough.

9. SPACIOUS STORE: People are always shocked when they first walk into our store. Our selection is incredible, our sales staff approachable and the size and spaciousness of our store is unlike any of the area's stores. We have three stages, five fitting rooms, a VIP room, and tons of mirrors. We've got comfortable seating and we serve coffee and tea to you and your guests. We go above and beyond to make this an experience you'll never forget!
10. IT’S MORE FUN! Yeah, I said it. ;o) Once Upon A Time Weddings is a more fun place to shop. Have you been at one of those other places on a Saturday afternoon? Oh goodness. I hate shopping like that - getting bumped every 5 seconds, it’s so loud, people are everywhere, you can’t see anything, there is no place for your mom to sit, the high school girl helping you gave you a gown that is too small and now you have your arms plastered over your head while trying to pull the gown off…Now you have to open that door to the 100 people out there to get unstuck. Compare that to a private shopping appointment - even on sale days - where you have an entire bridal lounge to yourself and your friends, with a plush chair for mom, it’s quiet, no one’s bumping you, and you don’t have to beat another bride with a whistle to get your wedding gown.

                We hope you’ll come visit us soon.  Call 519.245.7997 today to make your specialized appointment.  We’re excited about helping you find your dream gown.  In fact, so many of our brides purchase on their first visit because they love the experience they have at Once Upon A Time Weddings.  Being decisive saves us time and we pass those savings onto you with a $100 off your wedding gown and a book of coupons exclusively for our first time buying brides.

We can’t wait to meet you and welcome you into our Once Upon A Time Weddings family. 


Erin Bouchard
Owner of Once Upon A Time Weddings
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