toronto wedding shows 2013

5 upcoming wedding and bridal shows in Toronto

Wedding season is upon us. It's a strange truism of the wedding industry that it kicks off with renewed vim and vigour in the New Year, and nowhere is this more evident than in the convention and event venues of Toronto--many of which are transformed into bridal wonderlands come January.

As anyone who's ever tentatively bent the spine of some heaping, glossy wedding magazine can attest to, you inevitably feel a mix of excitement ("what a fabulous party I'll throw") and panic ("I'm meant to throw this fabulous party?"). The task of planning a wedding can sometimes feel like exactly that (rather than the whimsical falling-into-place of everything you foolishly imagined), and the price tags are frequently exorbitant. Wedding shows are not only a convenient one-stop-shop for venues, caterers, florists, and the all-important dress, but also an opportunity to obtain many of these things at a discount.

Here are 5 upcoming wedding and bridal shows you can't miss.

Canada's Bridal Show / January 4-6, 2013
The season starts off right with Canada's Bridal Show, featuring hundreds of exhibitors--from stationary stores, to limo services, to venues, and even a firework provider. You'll also get expert desert advice from Buddy Valastro of TLC's Cake Boss, and maybe even snatch up a dress for a wallet-friendly $200 at the Mona Richie wedding dress sale.

Wedluxe Wedding Show / January 6, 2013
The WedLuxe Wedding Show bravely packs itself into one Sunday at the Fairmont Royal York (just imagine the hordes of brides to be). On the surface, it has a high price tag at $35 in advance (or $45 at the door), but comes steeped in goodies above and beyond its impressive list of exhibitors. You'll receive a free tote bag and copy of the latest issue of the Wedluxe magazine, as well as be treated to complimentary mini-spa treatments, hors d'oeuvres, and a shopping session at the swag bar. Grooms will also be taken care of with snacks, cocktails, and a comfy seat before a widescreen TV.

The Wedding Co. Show / January 11-13, 2013
Billing itself as the show for the urban couple and with an address to match (the considerably more intimate and stylish Carlu), the Wedding Co. show is in its 12th year, and boasts a more streamlined, and dare I say, handpicked list of exhibitors. You'll find vendors such as Anne Sportun, Bobbette and Belle pastries, and (my pick for highly tailored bouquets) Sweetpea's floral boutique. Tickets are $25 (or $30 at the door), and include a copy of the Wedding Co. Spring issue.

National Bridal Show / January 25-27, 2013
The National Bridal Show is perhaps the creme de la creme of the wedding planning season, beginning with free entry for brides-to-be with pre-registration (otherwise, $15 at the door or $12 online). As expected, there'll be fashion shows (in which you can carefully spy how models navigate long trains and unruly bustles), gurus on hand to answer your pressing wedding questions, including Jane Dayus-Hinch, host of Wedding SOS and Keasha Rigsby (of Keasha's Perfect Dress), as well as promised discounts of 40%-70% off Amanda-Lina Sposa Boutique's wedding dresses.

Toronto's Bridal Show / April 19-21, 2013
The Direct Energy Centre will get swamped with shades of off-white in early spring for this 150+ exhibitor show, featuring a fashion show (with no-doubt frothy concoctions) and giveaways. There'll be inspiration (and hopefully some concrete finds) for photographers, bridal beauty trends, and even bachelor and bachelorette parties. Stay tuned to their website for ticket prices.

Lead photo by Gabriel Li // StudioGabe in the blogTO Flickr pool

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