The Wedding Shoppe Inc. is a London-based, business run by Diana Li and her small team of dedicated staff. After opening up an online store in 2008, customer response was so positive that they decided to expand, opening a storefront in downtown London in 2010. This refreshing, fun and contemporary store offers over 1000 products in store and over 5000 products on their website from a variety of suppliers, all of which encompass just about any wedding style, from sweet and simple to extravagant and off-the-wall.
The idea behind The Wedding Shoppe is to make life easier for brides on a mission for that perfect gift, favour, invitations or accessory. Diana uses a variety of suppliers which gives brides the freedom to get creative without the hassles of buying online from unknown or large companies that can sometimes leave you to deal with the annoyance of cross-border shipping (and delays) and dealing with duty costs.
Serving clients in London as well as all over Canada (and the odd International client), Diana told staff at The Ring, "We are well known for our large selection of products at affordable prices, quick shipping, low shipping rates and exceptional customer service through a small family business atmosphere." After meeting Diana, surfing her online store, checking out her bustling new store and interviewing her brides, we believe her. Let us explain...
Serving over 3000 customers per year
The Wedding Shoppe carries everything from favours, guest books, bachelorette party supplies, novelty gifts, ring pillows, cake toppers and custom napkins to jewellery, decorations, purses and stationery. Other unique items include personalized memorial keepsakes, floating wish lanterns, unity sand ceremony sets, edible hibiscus flowers for champagne and personalized aisle runners. Diana says they ship out over 250 orders every month. That business continues to grow every day, confirming that the online store and new retail location are destined to be loved by brides across North America and here at home, in London Ontario.
Since opening their retail store, The Wedding Shoppe has expanded their selection of wedding invitations and stationery and have one of the largest selections in the London and surrounding area. Brides can browse hundreds of invitation designs and choose the perfect design for their taste and budget. The budget conscious bride can check out the large selection of DYI invitation kits that are available in the store. There is also a cool section of personalized stationery, including wine labels, tags, stickers, programs and note cards.
They have also started offering engraving services on site and are able to custom engrave items for all occasions such as wine and champagne glasses, cake serving sets, and groomsmen’s gifts like beer mugs, Swiss Army knives and flasks. Customers can purchase items in the store or online to be engraved or bring in their own pieces to get a custom quote. Engraving prices are also very reasonable, starting at just $10 for items such as cake serving sets, glasses and flasks.
They are Better Business Bureau and Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses members, the latter of which fights for the rights of small, independent businesses.
Success comes at a (very good) price
The Wedding Shoppe offers low shipping rates, usually ranging from $8 to $15 in addition to a pick-up option at their store, which waives all shipping fees. Join their facebook fan page or e-mail newsletter and stay updated with new products and sales. Going even further to keep their product prices competitive, Diana says they’ll match the price of any Canadian company.
But it’s not necessarily price that Diana attributes to her success. The Wedding Shoppe is a family business with real people who stand behind each of the products and orders that come through their doors. “When you call us, there are no long waits to speak to a random customer service agent. You will promptly be greeted by either my me or one of my friendly staff.” For this professional couple, it’s all about personal contact and providing the best experience to their clients that they can.
Diana says that one of the beautiful things about the web (and we agree) is that you have the freedom and ease of shopping around. The disadvantage is that you don’t always know what you’re getting until it arrives. That’s why Diana is excited to showcase a large selection of some products at her store.
The Wedding Shoppe also says they do everything they can to find the products theirs clients want, whether they normally carry them or not. “Brides often call us because they cannot find a product they want on our website; we deal with several suppliers and are often able to accommodate special orders for our customers.”
Megan ended up ordering thank you cards, invitations, a memorial candle and a unity candle, adding that she’d not seen the same style of candles anywhere else.
Diana says that one of the beautiful things about the web (and we agree) is that you have the freedom and ease of shopping around. The disadvantage is that you don’t always know what you’re getting until it arrives. That’s why Diana is excited to showcase a large selection of some products at her new store.
"I have big dreams for my company and the only way to achieve my professional goals is to go to work every day giving it a 100% effort, so that I can continue to learn in order for my company to continue to grow and reach a larger number of Canadian brides."
There are no limits to what brides can do for favours and gifts. It is limited only by their imagination and budget. And brides are being very creative right now. Some of which is budget-driven, some of it is just adding their personal stamp to their day.
The Wedding Shoppe sells a ton of party favours for weddings, engagement parties, baby showers, birthdays, christenings and baptisms with over 1500 of them to choose from. “Also, almost all of our favours are quantity discounted, so the more you buy, the more you save - sometimes up to fifty-five percent off!”
One of the shop’s most popular products at the time we interviewed her? The floating wish lanterns by Wish Lantern®, a Canadian exclusive to The Wedding Shoppe, starting as low as $2.99 per lantern!
Walking you through it
First, visit www.theweddingshoppe.ca and shop around. You can browse categories such as favours, invitations, gifts for attendants, thank you cards, or any other important wedding element. While you’re welcome to shop anytime, Diana recommends starting early so that you can budget properly as well as find the perfect items that will truly suit your taste and the style of your wedding day. Diana recommends placing your order at least 6-8 weeks ahead of your wedding day, though she has been known to rescue brides just a couple of days before their weddings. She recommends placing custom wedding invitation orders four to six weeks in advance of the anticipated mailing date, which is usually anywhere from one to three months before the wedding date and six months or earlier for destination weddings.
Local brides can visit the store in downtown London where they can browse the best selling items or check out something they saw online. If an item isn't in stock, they can order it right away in the store or online at home. When an order is ready, brides will receive a phone call letting them know they can pick it up.
Harry Marshall was married in 2010, and told staff at The Wedding Ring that he chose The Wedding Shoppe for his invitations. “Diana was very approachable, knowledgeable and professional. We felt completely confident in her ability to make sure our wedding invitations were perfect!”
Most Wedding Shoppe orders begin with the online order itself or with questions and inquiries by email. Brides are also more than welcome to visit the new store and explore their options or ask any questions. They can also call the store and speak to a staff member at 519-457-6446.
There's no appointment necessary to view and order from the lines of wedding invitations available at The Wedding Shoppe, you’ll be meeting with one of their knowledgeable staff, who make it their goal to help you create invites that reflect your personality and entire wedding theme, in style and in writing.
Harry told us, “It was an extremely easy process. We met with Diana and got some very useful information before making our decision on our invitation style and what to put on them. She put our order together, sent it off and two weeks later, our invitations arrived!”
Diana finds that a lot of her brides come back over and over again. First it’s for wedding items such as invitations, and next time it's for their guest favours or a non-wedding occasion such as a baby shower or anniversary. But whatever the occasion, it’s their goal to make sure your shopping experience is fast, easy and safe. “Our website is extremely user-friendly, but if you are having difficulties or have questions, we make it very easy for you to contact us and get assistance quickly… We offer quick responses to e-mail inquiries - usually within the hour - and exceptional customer service over the phone.”
When shopping for her August 8, 2009 wedding, bride, Julie Wangler liked that The Wedding Shoppe was a Canadian site. She had quite a few items to buy – garter set, toasting flute, cake serving set and a guest book. “They were all very nice… I could find what they had to offer elsewhere [but] it was just either more expensive or in American funds, which is more of a hassle… and you have to add in duty and customs fees… Diana was very accommodating, helpful and quick to respond to email and phone inquiries…”
"Whether you’re a bride who is getting married two years down the road, or a bride who is getting married in two days, I strive to help every bride out with as much dedication and effort as I would planning my own wedding. So whether you need advice regarding products to go with wedding day theme, you need vendor recommendations in the area, or you need a product rushed to you, you can always count on me to try my best to help you out."
Pricing it out
Since opening up their store, invitation orders have been booming and are a staple to The Wedding Shoppe’s business. They attribute this success to their exceptional one on one customer service for a process that is usually intimidating for most customers who have never ordered wedding invitations before. Prices range anywhere from about $1.50 to $6.00 per invitation ensemble (which includes RSVPs) depending on the quantity ordered and the design of the invitation (e.g. simple one-sided card stock, pocketfold, seal and sends, etc.)
Details, details, details
• Giving yourself and The Wedding Shoppe at least one month to place and process an order is recommended, but all time-frames are welcome. The shop can do rush orders when necessary.
• Full payment is required for custom stationary orders with the balance due at pick-up.
• Invitation orders should be placed at least a month before you want to mail them, but rush orders are also possible.
• Payment is due when you place your order – paid by Visa or MasterCard. Cash and Debit are also accepted in the store.
• Orders are subject to provincial tax.
• Shipping costs of $8 to $15 (on average) apply to most orders, unless you’re picking your order up at their store, which is free. Orders over $250 before tax qualify for free shipping within Canada.
Contacting The Wedding Shoppe
Good to know: Prices are all approximate and are subject to change and verification by authorized staff and management of The Wedding Shoppe. Please contact The Wedding Shoppe at 519-457-6446 with any questions or concerns regarding the photos seen above.