A close up shot of a wedding cake topper where the groom is trying to run from the bride.

Did they say yes? Let me be the 457th person to congratulate you! Once you return to earth from cloud 9, it’s time to start planning your wedding in Toronto.

Easier said than done, right? Even those with a talent for planning get-togethers can find this to be an incredible undertaking and you’re probably wondering where to start. What vendor should you book first? Does it cost money to do wedding photos in a city park? What style will suit you best? I plan to answer questions like those and help get you well on your way to planning your wedding with this guide.

Please share this with anyone you know that’s soon-to-be or recently engaged!

Who Am I?

If you're just surfing in from another website - my name is Christopher Kotsopoulos - but I’ve been widely known as ‘Kotsy’ for the past 20 years. I started out taking photos of various skyscrapers under construction in Toronto before trying my hand at nightclub photography until weddings stole my attention. I haven’t looked back since! That’s the super condensed version of my story. More about me and my photography services can be found on the home page or by following me on Instagram.

A bride and groom enjoy a dance on a rocky pier at Humber Bay Park East in Toronto, Canada

Table of Contents

⦿ Vendors

I spent countless hours researching and putting this guide together (last revision in fall of 2022) but it’s entirely possible that it contains the odd error or outdated stat about a particular vendor. To request changes, please reach out to me at mailbag@kotsy.ca and let me know what needs to be added, changed or removed. My goal with this guide is to provide general information and the many different vendor options and considerations.

Happy planning!

⦿ Date - Start with the season - not all weddings have to be in the summer. If your favourite season happens to be in the cooler months then all the more reason to have the wedding take place then. You can then narrow down to a few dates and see if your ideal venue, photographer and other vendors that require early reservations are available.

⦿ Budget - Figure out exactly how much you can afford to spend in total and work backwards when considering vendors. Venues, catering, cake & other rental costs usually account for about 50% of the total budget, while photography & videography are roughly 12%. Wedding attire & beauty is around 9%, 8% for lighting & décor (including flowers), reception music - 7%, wedding planner - 3%, invitations & stationery - 3%, ceremony music & officiant - 2%, transportation - 2%, wedding jewelry - 2%, gifts & favours - 2%.

⦿ Wedding Party - Who will you ask and how many people for each side? The sides don’t have to be even and in fact, they don’t even have to exist. Just having a maid-of-honour/best man isn’t uncommon either.

⦿ Number of Guests - Ties directly into the budget as it affects venue size & catering.
⦿ Wedding Website - It may seem unnecessary but they really go a long way to make it easy for invited guests to RSVP. They also help your invitees find information about the big day, including things that couldn’t fit on the invite like where to stay, timeline, contact info, gallery of photos (from engagement session or ones you have taken yourself), your story and wedding party appointees. The good news is that there are many websites that do this for free and other reasonably priced sites too. Check out my list of them here.

⦿ Timeline - Figure out a rough ideal schedule of the day. I have a typical wedding day timeline here. TIP - Allowing extra time for getting ready (specifically hair & make-up) and family photos can be beneficial as they can often run late. More wedding tips can be found in this blog post.

A look down the aisle at a ceremony setup of chairs at The Burroughes Building in Toronto, Ontario

⦿ Size - Is it big enough to hold the amount of guests you’ll be expecting? Also, check to see how the venue handles fluctuating guest counts (inevitable at most weddings). If you’re looking for an all-in-one venue, will it have space for the ceremony, photo session, cocktails & reception? It is advisable to book off-site ceremony locations (church, temple etc.) before reception venue.

⦿ Indoor/Outdoor? - For nature lovers, getting married outside is a priority. If that’s the case, can the venue accommodate you inside if the weather doesn’t cooperate or would you need to rent a tent?

⦿ What do they offer? - Some venues take care of everything including the catering and rentals like tables, linen, utensils, chairs etc. This will usually be offered in packages but see if they can price each service individually.

⦿ Cost - Expect this to vary widely due to guest count, location, season and date. Inquire when/if they offer discounts for off-season or weekday weddings. Having a wedding on a holiday can cost more as staff are paid extra.

⦿ Length - How many hours does it include and will there be extra charges if it goes late?

⦿ Cancelation/postponement penalties - This has never been more important due to Covid-19 restrictions.

⦿ Payment structure - How is it set up? Deposit costs usually vary but almost all venues require the 2nd payment on or before the wedding date.

⦿ Rehearsal - Can they accommodate if you decide to have one and what does the pricing look like if they do.

⦿ Insurance - Almost goes without saying that they’ll have liability insurance but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

⦿ Catering - If they offer it, do you still have the option to hire your own? Do they do food tastings if you choose in-house catering?

⦿ How does the bar work in terms of licensing and pricing (if applicable).

⦿ Vendors - Are you tied to any of their in-house vendors? Is there an in-house sound system that a DJ/Live Music you hire can use?

⦿ Parking/Transportation/Accessibility - Is there enough parking for wedding party + guests and are there any charges? Do they provide any shuttle services to near-by accommodations/locations like church or photo session site. How many rooms have step-free access?

There are hundreds of gorgeous spaces in the city to tie the knot and host your reception and I’ve done my best to narrow that number down to something a bit more digestible. While this shortlist might still seem exhaustive, I’ve included a number of important details and split listings into categories to help narrow the selections to the best and most beautiful venues this city offers. As mentioned earlier, efforts have been made to find the most up to date details but I welcome any corrections to mailbag@kotsy.ca.

⦿ York Mills Gallery - Leslie & York Mills - info@yorkmillsgallery.com / 416-525-5683
About The Space: City, Rustic, Vintage / 50-1000 Guests / 2 Rooms + Terrace

⦿ The Globe and Mail Centre - King & Parliament - Contact Form
About The Space: Glamourous, City, Rooftop Patio, Waterfront View / 25-300 guests / 2 Rooms

⦿ Grace Venue - St. Clair & Weston - info@gracevenue.ca / 647-344-8323 ext 108
About The Space: Loft, Classic, Eclectic, Glamourous, Rustic, Vintage / 1-150 Guests / 2 Rooms

⦿ Storys Building - King & University - david.berlad@storysbuilding.com / 416-367-9000 ext 229
About The Space: Historic, Modern, Industrial, Ballroom / Up To 225 Guests / 2 Rooms

⦿ Berkeley Fieldhouse - Queen & Parliament - info@berkeleyevents.com / 416-361–9666
About The Space: City, Eclectic, Modern, Rustic, Glamourous / Up to 150 Guests

⦿ Malaparte - King & Spadina - events@oliverbonacini.com / 416-364-1211
About The Space: Modern Interior, Elevated Patio With Gorgeous View / Up to 350 Guests / 2 Spaces (Indoor + Patio)

⦿ The Symes - St. Clair & Weston - hello@thesymes.ca / 647-946-5552
About The Space: Ballroom, Vintage, Raw / Up to 400 Seated Guests

⦿ Second Floor Events - Entertainment District - info@2ndfloorevents.com / 416-263-0122
About The Space: Historic, City, Glamourous / 50-350 Guests / 1 Room

⦿ The Burroughes Building - Queen & Bathurst - contact@theburroughes.com / 416-360-5757
About The Space: Historic, Eclectic, Rustic, Loft / Up To 420 Guests / 2 Rooms + Rooftop Patio

The following venues have beautiful outdoor spaces for ceremonies, while some can also accommodate receptions under the stars.

Most venues can also accommodate indoor ceremonies.

⦿ Toronto Botanical Garden - Leslie & Lawrence - info@torontobotanicalgarden.ca / 416-397-1341
About The Space: Banquet Hall, Museum, Park/Zoo / 25-400 Guests / 7 Spaces

⦿ Black Creek Pioneer Village - Jane & Steeles - blackcreek@bypnp.com / 905-326-0650
About The Space: Historic, Country, Rustic / 50-180 Guests

⦿ Mimico Cruising Club - Humber Bay Park West - info@mimicocruisingclub.com / 416-252-7737
About The Space: Country Club, Marina / 40-110 Guests / 2 Rooms

⦿ Artscape Gibraltar Point - Toronto Islands - AGP@artscape.ca / 416-392-1030
About The Space: Beach, Historic, Garden, Rustic / 10-1500 Guests / Private Beach Area + 2 Indoor “Classrooms”

⦿ Casa Loma - Spadina & Davenport - info@casaloma.ca / 416-923-1171
About The Space: Historic Mansion, Garden, Glamourous / Up To 100 Guests In Garden, 450 Indoors / 4 Rooms

⦿ Royal Canadian Yacht Club - Toronto Islands - website@rcyc.ca / 416-967-7245
About The Space: Ballroom, Waterfront, Boat/Yacht, Country Club, Historic, Manson / 2-250 Guests

⦿ Sunnyside Pavilion - Lakeshore & Colborne Lodge - 416-531-2233
About The Space: Historic, Waterfront, Patio / Up To 180 Guests Seated (Downstairs) + 160 Upstairs

⦿ Evergreen Brickworks - Bayview & Pottery Road - events@evergreen.ca / 416-596-1495 x293
About The Space: Historic, Rustic / Up To 800 Guests

⦿ Lavelle - King & Bathurst - info@chezlavelle.com / 647-347-9353
About The Space: City, Modern / 40-100 Guests / 5 Spaces

⦿ Hotel X - Exhibition Place - Contact Form / 647-943-9300 ext 4410
About The Space: Modern, Rooftop Patio, City, Waterfront / 50-4000 Guests / 15 rooms

⦿ Graydon Hall Manor - Don Mills & York Mills - concierge@graydonhall.com / 416-449-5432
About The Space: Classic, Garden, Glamourous / 50-240 guests / 2 Indoor Rooms + Outdoor Terrace

⦿ The Globe and Mail Centre - King & Parliament - Contact Form
About The Space: Glamourous, City, Rooftop Patio, Waterfront View / 25-300 guests / 2 Rooms

⦿ Hart House - U of T (Queens Park & Wellesley) - events.harthouse@utoronto.ca / 416-978-7758
About The Space: Ballroom, Historic, Classic, Rustic / 6 Rooms + Quad / 30-280 Seated Guests

⦿ Chelsea Hotel Toronto - Yonge & Gerrard - cstor.weddings@chelseatoronto.com / 416-585-4340
About The Space: Classic, City, Glamourous, Modern / 5-350 Guests / 21 Rooms

⦿ Sheraton Centre - Queen & York - Contact Form / 416-361-1000
About The Space: City, Classic, Garden, Glamourous, Modern / Up To 3500 guests / 6 Rooms + Terrace

⦿ Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex - Exhibition Place - info@libertygrand.com / 416-542-3789
About The Space: City, Classic, Waterfront, Modern, Glamourous, Large Terrace for Ceremonies / 100-2000 Guests / 4 Rooms

⦿ Columbus Event Centre - Dufferin & Lawrence - Contact Form / 647-259-5471
About The Space: City, Classic, Garden, Modern, Outdoor Terrace for Ceremonies / 40-150 Guests / 3 Rooms

⦿ Bymark - Bay & Wellington - info@bymark.ca / 416-777-1144
About The Space: City, Classic, Glamorous, Modern, Outdoor Terrace for Ceremonies / 20-120 Guests / 6 Rooms

⦿ The Henley Room - Lake Shore & Jameson - info@thehenleyroom.com / 647-955-1228
About The Space: Boardwalk, Waterfront, Rustic, Historic, City, Outdoor Terrace for Ceremonies / 1-160 guests / 1 Room + Patio

⦿ George - Queen & Jarvis - weddings@georgeonqueen.com / 416-863-6006 ext 3
About The Space: City, Classic, Garden, Rustic, Outdoor Terrace for Ceremonies / 2 to 120 Guests / 7 Rooms

⦿ Auberge Du Pommier - Yonge & Wilson - events@oliverbonacini.com / 416-222-2220
About The Space: Historic, Rustic, Country, Garden, Outdoor Patio for Ceremonies / Up To 100 Guests

Also see: Golf & Country Clubs

Take the outdoor venue thing one step further and get married in one of Toronto’s beautiful parks. Ceremonies are mostly restricted to larger parks but there are exceptions.

Here’s a list of city parks that allow wedding ceremonies. It should be noted that these parks do not allow chairs to be set up. You can apply for a permit by calling 416-396-7378 ext 2 or visiting City Hall or North York, Scarborough & Etobicoke Civic Centres.

Wedding ceremony fee for each location is $226.16/hour. Photography permit is extra and included next to each entry below.

⦿ Alexander Muir Memorial Gardens - Yonge & Lawrence / 30 Person Capacity / $150.76 for 2 hours
⦿ Allan Gardens Conservatory - Gerrard & Jarvis / 40 Person Capacity / $603.04 for 2 hours

⦿ Ashbridge’s Bay - Lakeshore & Coxwell / 50 Person Capacity / 150.76 for 2 hours

⦿ Centennial Park Conservatory - Renforth & Rathburn / 40 Person Capacity / $603.04 for 2 hours

⦿ Edwards Gardens - Leslie & Lawrence / 50 Person Capacity / $422.15 for 2 hours

⦿ Guild Park and Gardens - Kingston & Morningside / 50 Person Capacity / $422.15 for 2 hours

⦿ Humber Bay Park East (Parkland Only) - Lakeshore & Park Lawn / 30 Person Capacity / $150.76 for 2 hours
⦿ James Gardens - Royal York & Eglinton W. / 30 Person Capacity / $422.15 for 2 hours
⦿ Kew Gardens - East of Queen & Woodbine / 30 Person Capacity / $150.76 for 2 hours

⦿ Toronto Music Garden - Queens Quay & Spadina / 20 Person Capacity / $150.76 for 2 hours

⦿ Rosetta McClain Gardens - Kingston & Birchmount / 50 Person Capacity / $422.15 for 2 hours

⦿ St. James Park - King & Church / 40 Person Capacity / $150.76 for 2 hours

⦿ Toronto Islands - Along The Shore / 50 Person Capacity / $150.76 for 2 hours
⦿ Woodbine Park (Millennium Gardens) - Lake Shore & Coxwell / 50 Person Capacity / $150.76 for 2 hours

⦿ Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex - Exhibition Place - info@libertygrand.com / 416-542-3789
About The Space: City, Classic, Waterfront, Modern, Glamourous, Large Terrace for Ceremonies / 100-2000 Guests / 4 Rooms

⦿ Palais Royale - Sunnyside (Lake Shore & Parkside) - info@palaisroyale.ca / 416-533-3553
About The Space: City, Historic, Waterfront, Modern / 135-350 Guests / 1 Room + Waterfront Patio

⦿ Guild Inn Estate - Guildwood & Kingston - info@guildinnestate.com / 416-260-8000
About The Space: Ballroom, Banquet Hall, Historic, Manor, Terrace / 10-500 Guests / 16 Rooms

⦿ Casa Loma - Spadina & Davenport - info@casaloma.ca / 416-923-1171
About The Space: Historic Mansion, Garden, Glamourous / Up To 100 Guests in Garden, 450 Indoors / 4 Rooms

⦿ Artscape Wychwood Barns - St. Clair & Bathurst - barns@artscape.ca / 416-653-3520
About The Space: Eclectic, Banquet Hall, Rustic, Vintage / 1-500 Guests

⦿ Graydon Hall Manor - Don Mills & York Mills - concierge@graydonhall.com / 416-449-5432
About The Space: Classic, Garden, Glamourous / 50-240 guests / 2 Indoor Rooms + Outdoor Terrace

⦿ Eglinton Grand - Avenue & Eglinton - info@eglintongrand.com / 416-485-5900
About The Space: Ballroom, Banquet Hall, Historic, Glamorous, Modern / 10-420 Guests / 2 Rooms

⦿ 1871 Berkeley Church - Queen & Parliament - info@berkeleyevents.com / 416-361–9666
About The Space: Ballroom, Banquet Hall, Historic, Glamourous, City / 50-580 Guests / 5 Rooms

⦿ University Club of Toronto - University & Dundas - Events@UClubToronto.com / 416-597-1336 ext - 228
About The Space: Ballroom, Country Club, Historic, Hotel, Mansion, Manor / 40-120 Guests / 7 Rooms

⦿ The Great Hall - Queen & Dovercourt - info@thegreathall.ca / 416-792-1268
About The Space: Historic, Mansion, Glamourous, City / 80-220 guests / 4 Venues + Bridal Suites

⦿ The Distillery Loft - Distillery District - inquiries@thedistillery.ca / 416-203-2363
About The Space: Historic, Loft, Museum / 20-120 Guests / 2 Rooms

⦿ Toronto Reference Library - Yonge & Davenport - venuerentals@torontopubliclibrary.ca / 416-393-7148
About The Space: Ballroom, Banquet Hall, Historic / 25-500 Guests / 10 Rooms

⦿ Design Exchange - Bay & Wellington - meet@dx.org / 647-490-5599
About The Space: Ballroom, Historic / 50-220 Guests / 4 Rooms

⦿ Hart House - U of T (Queens Park & Wellesley) - events.harthouse@utoronto.ca / 416-978-7758
About The Space: Ballroom, Historic, Classic, Rustic / 6 Rooms + Quad / 30-280 Seated Guests

⦿ Knox College - U of T (St. George & Harbord) - knox.college@utoronto.ca / 416-978-0168
About The Space: Chapel, Historic, Rustic, Classic / 1 Room (Chapel) / Up to 300 Guests

⦿ Miller Lash House - U of T (Morningside & Ellesmere) - info@millerlashhouse.ca / 416-287-7000
About The Space: Historic, Classic, Outdoor / Indoor (60 Seated Capacity), Outdoor (240 Seated)

⦿ Steam Whistle Brewing - Lake Shore & Lower Simcoe - Contact Form / 1-866-246-2337
About The Space: Historic, City, Rustic, Banquet Hall, Loft, Outdoor Ceremony Space / 10-300 Guests / 5 Rooms

⦿ High Park Brewery - St. Clair & Runnymede - sales@highparkbrewery.com / 416-995-7464
About The Space: City, Rustic / 30-150 guests / 1 Room

⦿ Junction Craft Brewery - St. Clair & Weston - events@junctioncraft.com / 416-766-1616
About The Space: Historic, Rustic / 20-200 Guests / 2 of 5 Rooms

⦿ Rainhard Brewing Company - St. Clair & Weston - info@rainhardbrewing.com / 416-763-2337
About The Space: Rustic, Industrial

⦿ Brunswick Bierworks - St. Clair & O’Connor - Contact Form
About The Space: Banquet Hall, Rustic, Patio / 10-200 Guests

⦿ The Cool Beer Brewery - Islington & Gardiner - 416-255-7100, 1-888-844-2665
About The Space: City, Classic / 1-30 guests / 1 Room

⦿ Eastbound Brewing Co. - Queen & Broadview - info@eastboundbeer.com / 416-901-1299
About The Space: City, Classic / 20-110 guests / 1 Room

⦿ Henderson Brewing - Bloor & Dundas - info@hendersonbrewing.com / 416-863-8822
About The Space: Rustic, Industrial, Indoor & Outdoor / Up To 99 Guests

⦿ Rorschach Brewing - Queen & Coxwell - brad@rorschachbrewing.com
About The Space: Indoor/Outdoor, Rooftop Patio / Up To 75 Guests

⦿ York Mills Gallery - Leslie & York Mills - info@yorkmillsgallery.com / 416-525-5683
About The Space: Ballroom, Banquet Hall, Loft / 500-1000 Guests / 2 Rooms

⦿ Aga Khan Museum - Eglinton & DVP - private.events@agakhanmuseum.org / 416-646-4671
About The Space: City, Glamourous, Modern, Garden / 10-250 Guests / 8 Rooms

⦿ Twist Gallery - Queen & Dovercourt - nadia@twistgallery.ca / 416-588-2222
About The Space: Historic, City, Rustic / 10-250 Guests / 1 Room

⦿ Gardiner Museum - Bloor & Avenue - venue@gardinermuseum.com
About The Space: Modern, Preppy, City, Glamourous / 1-300 Guests / 5 Rooms

⦿ Campbell House Museum - Queen & University - sarah@campbellhousemuseum.ca / 416-597-0227 ext 2
About The Space: City, Historic, Garden, Rustic / 20-150 Guests / 5 Rooms

⦿ Hockey Hall of Fame - Yonge & Front - astocco@hhof.com, ngordon@hhof.com / 416-933-8210, 416-548-9697
About The Space: City, Classic, Glamourous, Vintage, Modern / 1-1000 Guests / 3 Rooms

⦿ Royal Ontario Museum - Bloor & Avenue - events@rom.on.ca / 416-586-8000
About The Space: City, Classic, Eclectic, Modern / Up To 600 Guests

⦿ Art Gallery of Ontario - Dundas & University - events@ago.ca / 416-979-6634
About The Space: City, Modern / 50-350 Guests / 3 Rooms

⦿ Thompson Landry Gallery - Distillery District - info@thompsonlandry.com / 416-364-4955
About The Space: Historic, Classic, Rustic / Up to 130 Seated Guests / 2 Rooms

⦿ Broadview Hotel - Queen & Carlaw - events@thebroadviewhotel.ca / 416-362-8439
About The Space: Terrace, Rooftop Space, Historic, Vintage / 5-200 Guests / 5 Rooms

⦿ Hotel Ocho - Queen & Spadina - events@hotelocho.com / 416-593-0885
About The Space: Historic, Eclectic, Rustic, Modern / 20-200 Guests

⦿ The Drake Hotel - Queen & Dovercourt - info@thedrake.ca / 416-531-5042
About The Space: City, Eclectic, Historic, Modern / 10-200 Guests / 5 Rooms

⦿ Gladstone Hotel - Queen & Dufferin - reservations@gladstonehotel.com / 416-531-4635 ext 0
About The Space: Ballroom, Banquet Hall, Historic, City, Vintage, Rustic, Glamourous / 20-250 Guests / 4 Rooms

⦿ Four Seasons - Bay & Yorkville - Contact Form / 416-964-0411
About The Space: Glamorous, Modern, Ballroom, Banquet Hall / Up To 258 Seated Guests / 2 Rooms

⦿ Old Mill - Bloor & Jane - info@oldmilltoronto.com / 416-236-2641 Press 4
About The Space: Ballroom, Banquet Hall, Historic, Hotel, Mansion / 10-500 Guests / 16 Rooms

⦿ One King West - Yonge & King - 1-866-470-5464
About The Space: Ballroom, Historic, Hotel / 15-300 Guests / 8 Rooms

⦿ The Ritz-Carlton Toronto - Simcoe & Wellington - elie.sassine@ritzcarlton.com / 416-585-2500
About The Space: Glamourous, Modern, City / 4 Rooms / Up To 500 Guests

⦿ Windsor Arms Hotel - Bay & Bloor - catering@windsorarmshotel.com / 416-971-9666
About The Space: Ballroom, Historic, Hotel / 1-250 Guests / 6 Rooms

⦿ Fairmont Royal York - Front & York - rfp-ryh@fairmont.com / 1-800-257-7544
About The Space: City, Classic, Glamourous, Vintage / 10-750 Guests / 10 Rooms

⦿ The King Edward - King & Victoria - TORDTN.leads@omnihotels.com / 416-863-9700
About The Space: Historic, City, Classic, Vintage / 20-280 Guests / 4 Ballrooms + Breakout Rooms
⦿ The Yorkville Royal Sonesta Hotel - Bloor & Queens Park - salesyorkville@sonesta.com / 416-324-5980
About The Space: City, Classic, Garden, Glamorous / 20-250 Guests / 20 Rooms

⦿ Shangri-La Hotel - University & Adelaide - events.slto@shangri-la.com / 647-788-8888
About The Space: City, Garden, Glamourous, Modern / 10-250 Guests / 7 Rooms + Terrace

⦿ Bisha Hotel - King & Spadina - andrea.petrak@bishatoronto.com / 437-800-5973
About The Space: City, Glamourous / 10-96 Guests / 2 Rooms

⦿ St. Regis Toronto - Bay & Adelaide - Contact Form / 416-306-5800
About The Space: Ballroom, City, Classic, Glamourous / 40-200 Guests / 3 Rooms

⦿ Scarboro Golf and Country Club - Lawrence & Markham - khoward@scarborogcc.com / 416-266-4546 ext 232
About The Space: Classic, Garden, Glamourous, Vintage / 2-170 guests / Access To Whole Clubhouse

⦿ The Vue - 427 & 401 / dave.b@thevue.ca / 416-213-9788
About The Space: Country Club, Classic, Glamourous, Modern / 50-240 Guests / 2 Rooms

⦿ Cedar Brae Golf Club - Steeles & Tapscott - info@cedarbraegolf.com / 416-293-4161
About The Space: Glamourous, Modern / 20-150 Guests / 2 Rooms

⦿ The National Club - Bay & Adelaide - renata@thenationalclub.com, farnum@thenationalclub.com / 416-364-3247
About The Space: Glamourous, Modern, Vintage, City / 80-150 Guests / 4+ Rooms

⦿ Oakdale Golf & Country Club - Jane & Sheppard - srodas@oakdalegolf.com / 416-245-3500
About The Space: Modern, Indoor/Outdoor

⦿ Parkview Manor - Don Mills & Eglinton - Contact Form / 416-391-5888
About The Space: City, Classic, Modern / 100-1000 Guests / 3 Rooms

⦿ Claireport Place - 427 & 407 - info@claireportplace.com / 416-675-7700, 416-460-7700
About The Space: Classic, Glamourous, Modern / 50-1000 Guests / 4 Rooms

⦿ Columbus Event Centre - Dufferin & Lawrence - Contact Form / 647-259-5471
About The Space: City, Classic, Garden, Modern / 40-150 Guests / 3 Rooms

⦿ The Albany Club - King & Church - reservations@albanyclub.ca / 416-364-5471
About The Space: City, Classic, Rustic / 75-150 Guests / 9 Rooms

⦿ Panemonte Banquet Hall - Finch & 427 - 416-798-0060
About The Space: Classic, Glamourous, Modern / 50-550 Guests / 3 Rooms

⦿ Markham Convention Centre - Markham & McNicoll - info@mccentre.ca / 416-401-0003
About The Space: Classic, Glamourous, Modern / 100-2000 Guests / 4 Rooms

⦿ Toronto Grand Banquet & Convention Centre - 27 & Albion - info@torontogrand.ca / 416-740-4040
About The Space: Modern, Glamourous / 100-1300 Guests / 4 Rooms

⦿ The Grand Luxe Event Boutique - Finch & Bayview - info@grandluxe.ca / 416-250-5893
About The Space: City, Glamourous, Modern / 120-500 Guests / 1 Room
⦿ Scarborough Convention Centre - Finch & Neilson - info@scarboroughcc.com / 416-335-6060
About The Space: Glamourous, Modern / Up to 2500 Guests Across Venue / 5 Rooms

⦿ Archeo - Distillery District - reservation@thedistillery.ca / 416-203-2363
About The Space: Historic, City, Loft, Outdoor Patio For Ceremonies / 50-150 Guests

⦿ Fermenting Cellar - Distillery District - inquiries@thedistillery.ca / 416-203-2363
About The Space: Historic, Loft, Restaurant / Up To 600 Guests

⦿ Cluny - Distillery District - reservation@thedistillery.ca / 416-203-2632
About The Space: Historic, City, Eclectic, Rustic, Modern / 12-80 Guests / 2 Rooms

⦿ Drake One Fifty - Adelaide & York - specialevents@drakeonefifty.ca / 416-363-6150
About The Space: Modern, Glamourous, Eclectic / 50-200 Guests / 1 Room

⦿ Bymark - Bay & Wellington - info@bymark.ca / 416-777-1144
About The Space: City, Classic, Glamorous, Modern, Outdoor Terrace for Ceremonies / 20-120 Guests / 6 Rooms

⦿ Jump Restaurant - Yonge & King - jump@oliverbonacini.com / 416-363-3400
About The Space: Manhattan Café Inspired, Classic, Modern / 80-122 Guests / 4 Rooms (Including Patio)

⦿ Oretta Hospitality - King & Bathurst - info@oretta.to / 416-944-1932
About The Space: City, Glamourous, Modern / 20-125 guests / 3 Rooms + Patio

⦿ The Chase - Yonge & Richmond - events@chasehg.com / 647-348-7000
About The Space: City, Classic, Modern / Up to 138 Guests / 1 Room + Patio

⦿ Sassafraz - Bay & Yorkville - info@sassafraz.ca / 416-964-2222
About The Space: City, Modern / 30-150 Guests / 3 Rooms

⦿ Luma - King & Spadina - luma@oliverbonacini.com / 647-288-4715
About The Space: City, Modern / 12-128 Guests

⦿ George - Queen & Jarvis - weddings@georgeonqueen.com / 416-863-6006 ext. 3
About The Space: City, Classic, Garden, Rustic, Outdoor Terrace for Ceremonies / 2 to 120 Guests / 7 Rooms

⦿ The One Eighty - Bloor & Bay - emily@eatertainment.com / 416-964-1162
About The Space: Modern Rooftop Restaurant with Panoramic Patio View / Up To 100 Guests

⦿ The Fifth - Richmond & University - events@thefifth.com / 416-979-0055
About The Space: City, Classic, Eclectic, Glamourous, Rustic / 25-250 Guests

⦿ Canoe - King & Bay - events@oliverbonacini.com / 416-364-1211
About The Space: City, Glamourous, Modern, Classic, Rustic / Up To 140 Guests / 3 Rooms

A groom kisses a bride's cheek on a concrete platform next to a waterfall in a park

⦿ Knox College (U of T) - St. George & Harbord - knox.residence@utoronto.ca / 416-978-0168
Elements: Indoor/Outdoor, Classic Stone Architecture
Pricing: $400+HST For 2 Hours

⦿ Hart House (U of T) - Queens Park & Wellesley - events.harthouse@utoronto.ca / 416-978-7758
Elements: Indoor/Outdoor, Classic Stone Architecture
Pricing: $400+HST For 2 Hours (50% Discount For Alumni)

⦿ Distillery District - Front & Parliament
Elements: Vintage Brick Buildings, Cobblestone Roads
Pricing: $250+HST For 2 Hours

⦿ Casa Loma - Bathurst & Davenport - info@casaloma.ca / 416-923-1171
Elements: Indoor/Outdoor, Classic Stone Architecture, Gardens, Skyline View
Pricing: $200-$300

⦿ Old Mill - Bloor & Kingsway - info@oldmilltoronto.com / 416-236-2641
Elements: Indoor/Outdoor, Classic Architecture, Beautiful Staircases & Walkways, Waterfalls, Gardens, Bridges
Pricing: $250/Hour

⦿ Spadina Museum - Spadina & St. Clair - marna.ward@toronto.ca / 416-392-6910
Elements: Indoor/Outdoor, Victorian Mansion, Expansive Gardens, Staircase
Pricing: Exterior - $150/hour + Staffing, Interior/Exterior - $250/hour + Staffing

⦿ Allan Gardens Conservatory - Jarvis & Gerrard - 416-392-8188
Elements: Indoor/Outdoor, 6 Greenhouses Filled With International Tropical Plants
Pricing: $603.04 for 2 hours

⦿ Union Station - Front & Bay/York - info@torontounion.ca / 416-392-8188
Elements: Indoor/Outdoor, Classic Stone Architecture, Pillars, Arches, Grand Windows
Pricing: $500

⦿ Osgoode Hall - Queen & University
Elements: Vintage Stone Building, Iron Fencing, Gardens
Pricing: Free Outside. Indoor Photography Not Permitted

⦿ Edwards Gardens - Lawrence & Leslie - 416-396-7378
Elements: Gardens, Forestry, Waterfalls & Bridges
Pricing: $422.15 for 2 hours

⦿ Black Creek Pioneer Village - Steeles & Jane - Booking Site
Elements: Country/Rustic Feel, 40+Heritage Buildings, Endless Green Space
Pricing: $300+HST

⦿ Rosetta McClain Gardens - Kingston & Birchmount - 416-396-7378
Elements: Gardens, Raised Planters, Rock Fountain, Large Waterfront
Pricing: $422.15 for 2 hours

⦿ Graffiti Alley - Queen & Spadina
Elements: Massive Colourful Murals, Urban Environment
Pricing: Free

⦿ Guild Park and Gardens - Eglinton & Kingston - 416-396-7378
Elements: Remnants From 60 Historic Toronto Buildings, Gardens, Forestry
Pricing: $422.15 for 2 hours

⦿ Sunnyside Park & Pavilion - Lakeshore & Colborne Lodge - 416-392-8188
Elements: Classic Architecture, Water Fountain, Iron Gates, Boardwalk, Beachfront
Pricing: $150.76 for 2 hours

⦿ Toronto Music Garden - Queens Quay & Spadina - 416-864-3440
Elements: Lush Gardens, Gazebo, Boardwalk, Marina, CN Tower
Pricing: $150.76 for 2 hours

But What If It Rains?

Check the hourly forecast and see exactly when it’s expected to rain and for how long. In my experience, anything with a 40% chance or less doesn’t end up happening. If there’s hours of rain expected then use these following tips:

⦿ Embrace It - Grab some umbrellas and make the best of it. It may not sound ideal, but inclement weather can make for really unique photos. I keep two emergency umbrellas in my trunk for this very reason. One is clear and the other is red and both are terrific for making beautiful photos when the heavens are coming down.

⦿ Seek Cover

⦿ See if there are any indoor spaces like restaurants/bars nearby. Most will allow couples to use their space if they aren’t busy and you buy some drinks or snacks. Full wedding parties & families are another story. If you have family/friends staying at a hotel, see if they’ll allow you to do some photos in their lobby or other communal rooms.

⦿ Underpass Park (see below) & The Bentway are beautiful covered outdoor spaces with an urban feel and work great as a back up location.

A recently married couple enjoy a kiss next at Underpass Park in Toronto

As a wedding photographer I don’t require much! Usually an hour is enough to for couples, family & wedding party photos, but longer couples sessions can be fit in if desired.

"First look” sessions may seem cheesy to some, but they serve a purpose of taking away some of the stress of the day. It can also be done in lieu of, or to shorten the couples session post-ceremony, which allows more time with guests during cocktail hour.

Venues will help you to coordinate exact timing but an ideal summer wedding timeline looks similar to this:

⦿ 12 Noon - Hair & Make-Up

⦿ 4:00PM - Ceremony

⦿ 4:30PM-6PM - Cocktail Hour & Formal Photo Session

⦿ 6PM-9:15PM - Dinner, Speeches, First Dance, Cake Cutting

⦿ 9:15PM+ - Party Time!

In a timeline like this, 8 hours of photo and/or video coverage would be best served from 2PM-10PM. In a single photographer/ videographer scenario, this gives an hour with each bride & groom, which is ample time if there isn’t much travelling in between locations. If there is, then 10 hours of single photo/video coverage or 2nd shooters are recommended. This is where doing a wedding at a hotel or venue with bridal rooms on site can be more efficient & cost effective. 45 minutes of dancefloor/party coverage is also plenty unless there is other entertainment happening. Some venues will recommend where to put the speeches. It’s also easier on guests to split them up into at least 2 groups - first group after the main course and second group after dessert with first dances to follow.

After you’ve secured a venue, it’s on to the seemingly endless list of various wedding vendors. Below you’ll find some help for each of them including:

⦿ Tips on booking the right vendor and making that part of your wedding a success.

⦿ My picks for what I believe to be the best of each vendor category. Included with each listing is the vendor’s website, location (if applicable) & services/products offered.

⦿ The vendor categories are presented in the general order you’ll want to consider booking them with each listing including their recommended time to book in advance.

⦿ Ask friends or family for recommendations.

⦿ What do their reviews online say? I make a point of reading both higher and lower ratings to get a more diverse opinion.

⦿ Browse samples of their work online (website, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook etc.)

⦿ Setup a call (video or audio) or in-person meeting to get a proper feel for them and ask questions about their services/products.

⦿ What is their retainer/deposit & balance payment schedule look like?

⦿ Do they offer a written contract that includes all the important details including date(s), times, specifics of the order, postponement/cancelation policy & emergency plan if they are unable to service your wedding. Be weary of vendors that don’t offer a contract for their service or product.

⦿ Are they timely in communication?

⦿ End with the plan/timeline going forward. The wedding could be months away but you may need to get together with the vendor much earlier than that (like engagement session, tasting or hair/makeup trial). Finally, it’s a good idea to ask the best way to keep in touch. Email, phone calls and even texting has become more popular.

A bride and groom run for cover from a massive swarm of midges in Cliff Lumsden Park in Toronto
A bride, dressed in traditional South Asian clothing, tears up as her groom reads his vows their outdoor wedding ceremony under a gazebo at Guild Inn Estate in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
A bride's dress is fanned out by her wedding guests at an wedding reception in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
A dog embraces its two owners, who are the middle of their outdoor wedding ceremony at Berkeley Bicycle Club in Toronto, Canada
A bride's dress is fanned out by her wedding guests at an wedding reception in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
A wide shot of a bride in a white dress walking on a metal bridge over a surrounding by tall green treas. Photographed at Scarboro Golf and Country Club in Toronto, Canada
A bride sheds tears during the wedding reception first dance with her new husband in Toronto, Canada
A groom smashes wedding cake all over his bride's face at their wedding reception in a backyard wedding in Toronto, Canada
A bride's silhouette is seen at nighttime on a bridge with her new husband in the background. Photographed in Brampton, Ontario, Canada
A groom runs back down the aisle with his shocked bride in his arms. Photographed at a park in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
The ring bearer tries to help his brother with his suspenders before a wedding ceremony.
A bride and groom enjoy their first dance while surrounded by their wedding party holding hands. Photographed at Riviera Event Centre in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
A bride and groom get close to each other during sunset at the Pickering Waterfront in Ontario, Canada
A bride and groom enjoy a big laugh during their first piece of cake eating. Photographed at Harding Waterfront Estate in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
A bride with a big smile on her face looks at her flower bouquet as her veil catches some wind as the sun sets in the background.

With countless planning hours & expense invested in a wedding, the decision on what photographer to hire is one of the most important decisions that you will be making. The moments & details they capture will not only provide you with a lifetime of beautiful memories, but also your wedding day story to show friends, family & future generations. However, it takes an educated and experienced photographer to produce exceptional images in any environment/conditions.

With the experience of photographing 150+ weddings, I would love to be trusted with your special day too! I believe that weddings should be shot mostly candid as it represents the true story of how it all unfolded. My geeky & outgoing personality also puts couples, families & friends at ease for when it is time for me to direct them.

Additionally, after researching and compiling this complete wedding guide I am confident I can also assist many couples with their wedding planning.

Finally, I’m one of the very few photographers to offer photography coverage + highlight films as one person, giving you much more ceremony & reception coverage that is far less unobtrusive than large photo & video teams.

With a 5 star rating on Google, Wedding Wire, Facebook & Yelp, I’m confident I can deliver stunning images that you will love for decades to come. For more on my photography services including my portfolio & testimonials, have a look at my website. Finally, you can follow me on Instagram or e-mail at mailbag@kotsy.ca for complete package details. I hope to hear from you soon!

Videography demand has increased to record heights since the start of the pandemic. Not only do couples want to have full video coverage to show guests that couldn’t make it but also a live stream so they can watch as it happens. Wedding films also covey a level of emotion that photography just isn’t able to achieve.

⦿ Book 12+ months in advance.

⦿ Find out their shooting style. Some videographers get very close during the ceremony, which can be distracting for all.

⦿ Watch their highlight films & full videos (where available). Pay attention to editing style, video quality and audio quality. Are their videos in Full HD or 4K? What do the vows & speeches sound like? Great sounding audio can make or break the quality of any film.

⦿ What is their turnaround time? Delivery time can be anywhere from a few months to a year or longer.

⦿ Do they offer live streaming? For important out-of-town guests that can’t make the ceremony.

⦿ Arrange a meeting. Either in person or video chat to see how well you vibe with them. Like the photographer, you’re going to be spending all day with them so having one that you’re comfortable with is really key and will bring out your best side on camera.

If you missed the previous section on photography, you should know that I offer photography coverage & highlight films as one person, giving you more coverage while being less obtrusive than hiring a video team.

Learn More

Do you want full video coverage? Here are my recommendations:

Having a planner take the reins for you will cut a lot of the stress from the big day. They will help you plan out the details, book the vendors (some will even help you negotiate) and make sure all the wedding day activities run on time/the way they’re supposed to. They can also help you stay on budget, figure out you vision and pull off short-notice weddings with ease.

⦿ Book 12 months in advance.

⦿ Start with budget and wedding theme.

⦿ Figure out what your needs are. If you’re lacking creativity but are capable of doing a lot of the leg work then hiring an artistically apt planner for partial planning will suffice. However, if you also need a hand bringing all the pieces of a wedding together then looking for a full-service planner will be essential.

⦿ See what type of experience they have. Not just years experience but variety - in terms of styles, size & types (religious backgrounds) of weddings.

⦿ Go with your instinct. You’ll be spending a lot of time with full service & day-of planners so having someone you get along famously with will make a big difference.

A shot down the aisle with a bride and groom smiling at an officiant waving his hand as he speaks

The wedding officiant is perhaps the most important set of shoes to fill as they are not only legally required to make your marriage binding, but also act as the host of the ceremony. You’ll want someone that sets the right tone and keeps your guests engaged, which also puts them in the category of vendors you should meet before hiring. Having an officiant that you gel with will make all the difference when you’re at the alter.

⦿ Book 9-12 months in advance of wedding.

⦿ Decide what type of ceremony you’re having first. Secular (Non-religious), religious, interfaith or civil.

⦿ It’s relatively easy & inexpensive to become ordained online if you’re thinking of having a friend or family member officiate your ceremony.

⦿ See how flexible they are to match your vision with personal touches.

⦿ Let them know how long or short you’d like the ceremony to be.

⦿ Find out how much wiggle room they have in their schedule if your wedding runs behind schedule.

⦿ Ask how quickly they will send the paperwork in.

A close up shot of a wedding dress hanging on a door near a window

Integral to every girl’s dream wedding, the gown shows off the bride’s personality and style more than any other wedding detail.

⦿ Start shopping 10 months ahead of wedding and place your order 6-8 months prior. This will allow time for initial production as well as alterations.

⦿ Find the general look. Start collecting photos online and from bridal magazines then look for similarities in them to find your dream dress. Think material, gown length, how much of the back is covered (if at all) etc.

⦿ Set a budget. If someone else is picking up the tab, get their spending limit and tell the shop straight away.

⦿ Don’t commit to a style until you start trying on dresses. Some brides don’t end up loving the style they saw in pictures when they finally try it on so be flexible and not afraid to try everything on. Moreover, get the dress you want - not your mother or friends. Your wedding, your dress!

⦿ Shop For Your Current Size: Even if you’re planning on losing weight before the wedding. It’s much easier to take in the dress after the fact.

⦿ Choose quality fabrics. Vintage styles on great fabrics are ‘dated-proof’ and always look beautiful.

⦿ Score a deal. While some local bridal shops I’ve listed offer affordable new & second-hand dresses, you can also find more economical gowns online through eBay & Etsy. Sticking with sellers that offer full refunds is the best option as dresses may not look right once putting it on.

⦿ Blü Ivory Bridal & Evening - Dufferin & St. Clair - info@bluivorybridal.com - 416-656-8000
Other Items Offered: Formal Gowns, Jewelry, Plus Size Gowns Sample Gowns, Garters, Hair Accessories, Bridal Belts, Veils
Avg. Turnaround For Gown: 6-8 Months

⦿ Sash & Bustle - Richmond & Parliament - info@sashandbustle.com / 647-340-5850
Other Items Offered: Shoes, Undergarments, Veils, Bridal Belts, Jewelry, Garters Plus Size Gowns, Sample Gowns, Hair Accessories
Avg. Turnaround For Gown: 6-8 Months

⦿ Ferré Sposa - Bloor & Ossington - info@ferresposa.com / 416-535-8999
Other Items Offered: Sample Gowns, Undergarments, Hair Accessories, Veils, Bridal Belts, Plus Size Gowns, Jewelry
Avg. Turnaround For Gown: 12+ Months

A man sings into a microphone at a wedding reception.

No wedding is complete without an array of music to dance the night away to. Hiring a live DJ, band or group of singers will create and maintain a vibe much better than any Spotify playlist. While DJs are usually the most cost effective way to create an atmosphere on the dancefloor, live music will really strike a chord to the couple that’s always attending concerts. Live music can also sometimes offer better engagement with the guests.

⦿ Book 9+ months in advance.

⦿ How experienced are they? Being a quality wedding DJ is so much more than just playing the music. It’s playing the right music at the right time, acting as an emcee (unless you have one already), mixing smoothly between songs and knowing how to consistently keep the energy going on the dancefloor.

⦿ What does their setup look and sound like? You don’t realize how important a modern looking setup & good sound is until you’re at a reception with a DJ playing on a plastic table with 4 legs and weak sound. Some venues will have built in DJ booths and sound but for those who don’t - make sure your DJ is bringing enough power and elegance (including their attire) to your wedding.

⦿ Do they accept playlists an do-not-playlists? See how well they will work with your requests if hearing or not hearing particular songs will make a dramatic impact on your evening.

⦿ Do they have lighting packages? Lighting & fog will help make the dancefloor feel like a full-on party.

⦿ Do they have insurance? Accidents are rare but you want to make sure there’s a liability safeguard incase something happens.

⦿ Watch Samples: Check out some videos of them performing at a wedding to see if match your vision in terms of vibe and presentation.

Top-Notch Toronto DJs

⦿ Impact DJ - info@impactdj.ca / 416-623-5842
Genres: Country, Hip Hop, Electronic, Jazz, Oldies, Pop, Soul/R&B, Rock, International, Top 40

⦿ Maximum Music DJ Service - rod@maximumDJ.com / 647-549-6642
Genres: Country, Hip Hop, Electronic, Jazz, Oldies, Pop, Soul/R&B, Rock, International, Top 40

⦿ Michael Coombs Entertainment - michael@michaelcoombs.ca / 416-676-7992
Genres: Hip Hop, Electronic, Jazz, Oldies, Pop, Soul/R&B, Rock, Top 40

⦿ Book 8 months in advance.

⦿ Figure out what style/genre of music you want to create your initial shortlist.

⦿ How long do you need them for? Just the reception or ceremony too?

⦿ Does their personality fit the vibe you want to achieve at your wedding? Checking out video samples of their previous wedding shows give you an idea of what their presence is like. If they play venues local to you, going to see a live show is an even better.

⦿ Don’t be tight on your music vision. Beyond a style direction & a few song requests, let the band do their thing.

⦿ Search for bands that play together regularly and have back-up musicians, just in case one has to drop out due to illness or a tour comes up.

⦿ Will they fit in your venue’s allotted space? Even smaller bands can take up a lot of room so verify with the band & venue to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

⦿ StereoFlavour Entertainment - 7+ Member Band - info@stereoflavour.ca / 1-833-733-2263
Genres: Jazz, Country, Acoustic, Funk, Dance, Classic Rock, World, Hip Hop, Pop, Classical, Oldies, Rock, 50s-90s, Motown, R&B, Top 40, Soul
Instruments: Saxophone, Trumpet, Viola, Piano, Guitar, Drums, Violin, Cello

⦿ Bongo & B Entertainment - 1-6 Member Band - events@bongoandb.com / 905-660-0069
Instruments: Organ, Bagpipes, Clarinet, Winds, Oboe, Flute, Viola, Piano, Saxophone, Guitar, Drums, Violin, Cello, Harp, Trumpet

⦿ Gareth Bush Music - 1-3 Member Band - garethbushmusic@gmail.com
Genres: Country, Acoustic, Dance, Oldies, Rock, Classic Rock, 50s-90s, Folk, Hip Hop, Pop, Reggae, Punk Rock, R&B, Top 40
Instruments: Violin, Guitar

If you’re thinking of adding more than just music to your reception to entertain your guests, then you’ve come to the right place. Whether it’s dancing, magic or comedy, I’ve got you covered with a handful of highly skilled entertainers.

⦿ A2D2 ~ Aerial Dance Cirque Co. - info@a2d2.ca / 905-990-8999
Type: Acrobatics

⦿ TI Bots - info@tibots.ca / 647-792-9058
Type: Robots with CO2 Guns, Confetti Launchers, Smoke & Fireworks

⦿ MC Hollie - promchollie@gmail.com / 647-575-8568
Type: Professional Master of Ceremonies
Languages: English, Chinese (Cantonese & Mandarin) and Bahasa

⦿ Steps Dance Studio - info@stepsdancestudio.com / 416-656-7837
Type: Dance Performances & Dance Lessons For Couples

⦿ Ray Chance - ray@chancemagic.com / 647-286-2273
Type: Magic & Illusion, Comedy Act

⦿ Glisse On Ice - chantal@glisseonice.com / 647-402-7274
Type: Ice Skating

⦿ Blackout Flair Entertainment - events@blackoutflair.com / 416-844-6135
Type: Flair Bartending

⦿ Blue Star Pyrotechnics - David@bluestarpyro.ca / 647-234-9540
Type: Fireworks & Pyrotechnics

A close-up shot of a wedding reception dinner menu.

Your invitations will not only provide guests with details of your wedding but also a preview to the colour scheme & style - whether it’s glamourous or a laidback vibe. With orders taking up to a month to complete, you’ll want to start looking at stationers 9 months out from the wedding date, send the save-the-date cards out a month later and the actual invites 8-10 weeks before the big day. Now also is a great time to order all other printable materials - menus, programs & thank-you notes, as it could save you money.

⦿ Stephita Wedding Invitations - 404 & Steeles - info@stephita.com / 905-489-1199
Products: Floral & Wax Seal, Acrylic, Save The Dates, Bridal Shower, Thank Yous, Favour/Gift Boxes, Favour/Gift Tags, Programs, Menus, Place Cards, Table Number Cards, Guest Book, Seating Chart
Services: Assembly, Design, Printing, Laser Cut

⦿ Paper & Poste - Queen & Dufferin - info@paperandposte.com / 416-703-0004
Products: Catalogue Invitations, Custom Invitations, Imprinted Napkins, Save The Dates, Thank Yous, Menus, Place Cards, Programs, RSVP Cards
Services: Addressing, Assembly, Design, Eco-Friendly, Letterpress, Thermography, Foil-Stamped, In-Person Consultations, Laser Cut

More and more couples are going green with paperless ‘save the dates’, invitations and websites featuring a timeline, recommended accommodations, dress code, gift registries and photo galleries. In addition to being more environmentally friendly, going paperless is also quicker, more cost effective (sometimes free!) and just much easier to keep track of all your RSVPs. You can also do a mix of both - like online RSVP and printed invites or picking and choosing who gets online and who would prefer a physical copy (parents, grandparents).

Amazing Paperless Invitations & Wedding Website Providers

⦿ Greenvelope
Features: Personalization, Importing Guestlist, Messaging, Daily Updates, Auto-Reminders, Address Validation, Track RSVPs, Survey Questions
Pricing: From $19 (Up To 20 Guests)

⦿ Paperless Post
Features: Invites Including When & Where
Pricing: First 50 Flyer Invites Free, $0.10-$0.80/Invite

⦿ Joy
Features: Online RSVP & Invitations Through Website, Q&A, Links To Registries, Customizable Questions, Timeline, Travel Directions
Pricing: Currently Free

A close-up of a massive piece of beef on a plate with gravy.

If you’re planning a wedding longer than a few hours then you’re likely going to be feeding your guests. While many venues like hotels, restaurants & banquet halls offer or even make their own food options mandatory, other spaces will require you to sort out the food offerings. Bringing in a professional caterer will make your reception flow much smoother. With their vast knowledge, they’ll be able to create a menu that satisfies a guestlist made up of different backgrounds and dietary restrictions.

Things To Consider For Wedding Caterer Bookings

⦿ Book 8 months in advance.

⦿ What types of cuisine do they offer? (I’ve included these where available)

⦿ Are their menus fixed?

⦿ Are there dietary restriction options?

⦿ What’s included in their packages?

⦿ What’s the cost per person for buffet, stations or plated service?

⦿ Do they offer wedding cakes?

⦿ Do tastings cost extra? What are the other details for tasting?

⦿ Is dinnerware/china extra? (If venue does not provide)

⦿ What is the ratio of servers to guests? 1 server for 8-10 guests is considered well staffed.

⦿ Do they have a special rate for vendor meals? Meals for vendors like photographer/videographer, DJ, wedding planner etc. is customary. However, it’s a good idea to see if each vendor even wants a meal and if they have dietary restrictions. You’ll also want to check with venue if they have an area away from guests where vendors can eat.

⦿ Ask for pictures of typical table displays and if décor for buffets and food stations are included in their pricing.

⦿ Try to keep it to 4 varieties of hors d’oeuvres. Guests will want to try their favourites multiple times.

⦿ Towards the end of the meal, ask for a leftover basket or baskets for yourselves, your parents or the wedding party.

Remarkable Toronto Wedding Caterers

⦿ Cookery Catering - info@cookerycatering.ca / 289-221-5737
Cuisine: Seasonal & local inspired menus with inspiration and flavours of past travels & studies.

⦿ The Food Dudes - events@thefooddudes.com / 647-340-3833
Cuisine: American, Barbeque, Southern, Southwestern, Cajun, French, Italian

⦿ en Ville Event Design & Catering - enquiries@enville.com / 416-533-8800
Cuisine: African, American, Asian, British, Cajun, Caribbean, Chinese, Southwestern, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, French, Latin American, Local, Mediterranean, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Russian, Southern, German, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Korean

The head table with a mirrored top and flowers are seen in a large wedding venue.

Your florist will create custom bouquets, boutonnieres, centrepieces & other arrangements to pretty up your ceremony & reception venue. Good florists work with you to produce something that reflects your personality and has good colour coordination to the rest of your wedding details. Working with a professional florist will also eliminate hours of DIY planning using Pinterest boards and make your wedding planning much less daunting.

Wedding Flower Tips

⦿ Book the florist 8 months in advance.

⦿ Start with the bouquet by picking out the type of flowers and colours. The colour should compliment or match your wedding colours/theme venue so they don’t look out of place. Meanwhile, going for in-season blooms will make sure they look their best till the end of the reception. A florist will help you find look-alike substitutes if your favourite isn't in season.

⦿ When shortlisting your florist, have a look at their Instagram or website to see how far their creativity reaches and if their style matches your vision. A florist close to your venue could save you a bit of money on delivery charges and possibly do a tour with you to visualize a plan for the room.

⦿ Once you decide on a florist, let them know your budget so you’re not wasting time talking about floral plans that aren’t realistic. Flowers & décor are typically allotted 10% of the total wedding budget but there are clever ways to stretch smaller ones. Re-using your ceremony flowers at the reception then again as gifts will really make your investment go further.

⦿ Showing your florist pictures of arrangements that you love will help a lot but you shouldn’t expect them to do exact re-creations as most will have their own artist signature.

⦿ Go for a flower wedding arch over many smaller displays if you can’t do both. A beautiful archway will have a much greater impact in person and in the photo gallery/wedding film.

⦿ Set the delivery time of bridal & groom flowers the same as your photographers arrival as they’ll usually start with these and other details. Holding or wearing them during your final ‘getting ready’ photos will also make sure you get the most mileage out of them.

Terrific Toronto Florists

A bride and groom cut a 6 tier wedding cake with a massive sword

If your caterer doesn’t offer wedding cakes as part of their service then you’ll want to hire a specialist to bring your multi-level dessert dreams to life. Custom bakers will personalize it to your preferences so that it matches your wedding colour scheme. They will also use the highest quality ingredients and bake your cake a night or two before the big day for maximum taste. Finally, they’ll let you do taste tests to make sure you’ve found the perfect creation.

Tips On Finding Your Perfect Wedding Cake

⦿ Starting searching 6-8 months ahead of wedding.

⦿ Find a style/design - Start with a general direction for your cake before flavour. Do you want to stay traditional with a solid colour like white, pink or even black? Or you can go with fancier looks such as geometric, rustic, hand painted & flowerfetti. This website runs down 40 different looks for your wedding cake. The design should compliment your overall wedding style so if you haven’t picked out your venue, flowers and other styling then it’s best to sort that out first.

⦿ How big - Most couples with approximately 120 guests end up with 2-3 tiers. If your reception is in a venue with a high ceiling then you may consider extra (faux) tiers so that it makes more of an impression.

⦿ Set up meeting/tastings - Once you have the basics covered, find 2-3 bakers and set up a meeting with each. Here you’ll give them your budget, wedding date, venue & approximate number of guests. They’ll work to create your vision based on your budget. For example - using real flowers as cake décor instead of edible flowers.

⦿ Flavour - Don’t be afraid to push the envelope a bit here. While vanilla, chocolate & red velvet are staples, flavours like banana + praline, lavender honey sponge or amaretto-soaked fruitcake will make it more memorable. Lastly, pick a flavour that you really want and excites you, regardless if it will put some of your guests off. Your wedding, your cake! You can find 50+ wedding cake flavours here.

Fantastic Toronto Cake Bakers

⦿ For The Love of Cake Custom Creations - King & Dufferin - info@fortheloveofcake.ca / 416-306-6446, 647-343-2253
Offerings: Traditional & Custom Cakes, Cupcakes & Cupcake Towers, Cake Pops, Custom Cookies, Groom’s Cake, Dessert Buffet

⦿ Just Temptations - Mississauga, Vaughan - info@justtemptations.com / 905-565-0058
Offerings: Traditional Wedding Cakes, Cookies, Cupcakes, Sweet Tables, Dessert Buffets, Fruit, Groom’s Cake, Pastries, Cake Pops

⦿ Finespun Cakes - Bloor & Bathurst - info@finespuncakes.com
Offerings: Traditional Wedding Cakes, Cookies, Croquembouche, Cupcakes, Dessert Buffet, Groom’s Cake, Pastries

A make-up artist applies lipstick onto a bride's lips

Bringing in a professional hair stylist & make-up artist will help alleviate a bulk of the stress from the start of your wedding day. Their experience has allowed them to fine-tune their timing so you don’t fall behind schedule early on. Brides often plan to use their regular hair stylist but it should be noted that many don’t offer updos. Professional make-up artists also know how to make you look your best in photographs by using the right products. Starting your morning off with pampering by trusted experts will guarantee you look and feel your very best.

Wedding Make-Up Tips

⦿ Book your artist 7 months in advance.

⦿ Have a trial about a month before the wedding: Complete with hair, jewelry and a shirt the same colour as your dress so you can accurately preview your wedding look. Bring samples to tell your MUA exactly what you like and don’t like.

⦿ Higher end products will last you until the end of the reception. And then some.

⦿ Don’t go overboard: You want to still look like yourself when you’re standing across from your partner at the alter.

⦿ Avoid wearing an SPF: These will make you skin look washed out when hit with flash photography, which most photographers will use at the reception.

⦿ Brighten up your lips: Again, you don’t need to go overboard but a couple shades brighter than your usual tone is ideal.

Wedding Hair Tips

⦿ Book your stylist 7 months in advance.

⦿ Similar to make-up: Schedule a trial about a month in advance to preview your look. Having a night out after will get some added use out it too.

⦿ Let your dress lead the way: Glamourous hairstyles will compete for attention with glamourous dresses so it’s best to pick one or the other. Longer hair will catch on ruffles and other frills that run along the dresses neckline.

⦿ Set realistic expectations: Look at straighter hair styles if your hair doesn’t hold curls very well. For hot summer weddings, going with an updo will prevent frizzy hair from sticking to your back or curls coming undone. However, veils will slowly destroy updos so plan accordingly.

⦿ Avoid last minute haircuts: As well as other big changes like colour, due to their unpredictability. However, a small trim a few weeks out is very much recommended to get rid of split ends & flyaways.

⦿ Have faith in your stylist: The more experienced ones have hundreds of weddings under their belt so you should take their advice and direction with more than a grain of salt, especially after a successful trial run.

⦿ Bring an emergency kit to the wedding: A small can of hair spray, smoothing brush & bobby pins are key for touch-ups through the day & evening.

Fabulous Toronto Wedding Hair Stylists & Make-Up Artists

⦿ Jen Evoy Makeup Studio - The Queensway & Islington - info@makeupbyjenevoy.com / 647-939-7744
Beauty Services: Consultations, Group Discounts, Group Services, Hair, Makeup, Multiple Stylists, On-Site Service, Tanning, Trial Service
Makeup Services: Airbrush, Contour, False Lashes, Brow/Lash Tinting, Tattoo Coverage
Hair Services: Extensions, Blow-Outs

⦿ Corrie Elle Artistry - King & Bathurst - corrie@corrieelleartistry.com / 416-997-7465
Beauty Services - Body Art, Consultations, Group Services, Hair, Makeup, Men's Grooming, Multiple Stylists, On-Site Service, Trial Service
Hair Services: Blowouts, Hairstyling

⦿ Toronto Beauty Group - King & Bathurst - info@TorontoBeautyGroup.com / 416-830-1367
Beauty Services: Consultations, Group Services, Hair, Makeup, Multiple Stylists, On-Site Service, Trial Service
Hair Services: Blowouts, Extensions, Textured Hair Styling, Updos/Styling

Photo booths provide another level of entertainment for guests in the evening as well as a wedding favour they’ll actually keep! They’re fun for guests of all ages - even those that hung up their dancing shoes years ago. You can also use the photos to create a much more fun & exciting guestbook.

Things To Consider When Booking a Photo Booth

⦿ Book 6 months ahead of wedding.

⦿ What is the image quality like? You’ll definitely see a portfolio of images on their website - how do they look? Are they pixelated or grainy? This can be caused by low-grade camera gear or insufficient lighting.

⦿ How’s the finished product? If they offer a on-site printing service - are you able to see examples of the printed pictures? Also, how fast do they print? Slow printers can really dull the guest experience. Will the vendor add your wedding details (names & date) to the digital & printed images?

⦿ What does the booth look like? Is it a professional looking setup? Does it match the theme of your wedding? What backdrop & prop selections do they include with your package? You may not even be interested in props if you’re doing a black-tie affair, but if you do want props, the quality & selection of them will make a big difference.

⦿ How much space do they need? All vendors are different but the minimum is usually 8x8ft of space that’s close to an outlet. Having it setup in a high traffic area (near the bar or dancefloor) will affect how much it is used too.

Wonderful Toronto Photo Booth Vendors

⦿ My Selfie Mirror - info@myselfiemirror.ca / 647-952-6735
Photo Booth Items: Backdrop(s), Enclosed Booth, Prints, Props, Social Media Integration

⦿ PhotoboothTO - info@photoboothto.com / 647-302-6615
Photo Booth Items: CD/DVD of Images, Backdrop(s), Enclosed Booth, Prints, Props, Social Media Integration

⦿ Portraits On White - info@weddingeditorials.com
Photo Booth Items: White Backdrop, NO props, Prints, Social Media Integration

An elaborate stage setup at a wedding.

If you’re having a backyard wedding or using a rental space that requires a more hands on approach then you’re going to need to sort out rentals like a tent, tables & chairs and more. You’ll want to aim to secure your bookings 6 months in advance and if you have the time, visit their office/storage site to have a look at the quality of materials and cleanliness to avoid any disappointing surprises on pick-up/delivery.

Exceptional Toronto Rental Companies

⦿ AS Special Events Party & Tent Rentals - Lawrence & Midland - info@asspecialevents.ca / 416-757-2100
Inventory: A/V Equipment, Bar & Supplies, BBQs & Ovens, Casino Equipment, Catering Equipment, Centre Pieces, Tables & Chairs, Serving Equipment, Glassware, Linens, Lounge Furniture, Staging & Dancefloors, Tents

⦿ Higgins Event Rentals - Gardiner & Kipling - sales@higginseventrentals.com / 416-252-4050

Inventory: Tents, Tables & Chairs, Linen, Table Settings, Cooking & Service, Pipe & Drapes, Heating & Lighting, Flooring & Staging

⦿ R5 Event Design - Steeles & Keele - design@r5e.ca / 647-559-3828
Items: Signage, Candles/Holders, Backdrops, Vases
Services: Setup, Drapery, Delivery, Clean Up, Event Design, Floral Design
Lighting Services: Chandeliers, Wall Wash, String, Uplighting, Dance Floor Lighting, Outdoor, Lanterns, Audiovisuals, Pinspotting, Accent

⦿ IceGuys - Woodbridge (Kipling & 7) - info@iceguys.ca / 905-264-1237
Items: Ice Sculptures, Ice Displays, Ice Themes, Ice Table Centrepieces, Iceware
Services: Gelato Bar

A groom and his groomsmen pose for a group photo in the on a dirt path through a forest.

For the groom and his men! Whether you’re renting, buying, need alterations or accessories - you’ve come to the right place. Going shopping 4-6 months before the wedding is a safe timeline for making sure everything is ready by the wedding date. You might also be entitled to discounts if you rent or buy at the same time as the groomsmen.

Style Tips For The Groom

⦿ Tailor Made - Perhaps the most important tip. If you’re renting or buying, having the suit tailored to your exact measurements will make you look your very best.

⦿ Stand Out - If you’re going to match the groomsmen, still do something a little different to stand out from the rest of the pack. Choosing a different suit/tux colour is the obvious choice but having different accessories will do the trick as well.

⦿ In Colour - Don’t be afraid to branch out from the black/grey & white palette. Coordinating with at least one part of the wedding’s colour scheme can go long way in bringing some unity to the photos & video. Another thing to keep in mind is darker colours are more flattering to bigger builds.

⦿ Be The Best You - The phrase ‘look your best’ couldn’t be more correct. Your partner wants to see the person they fell in love with when they look across the alter.

⦿ Material - What season you’re getting married in should influence what kind of fabric you’re wearing. The heat & humidity of summer is best done in lighter fabrics like khaki, linen & seersucker. In the colder months you’ll want to go heavier like cashmere or wool.

⦿ Vest or Cummerbund - It’s one or the other or neither. A vest keeps you looking formal if you decide to lose your jacket when you hit the dancefloor.

⦿ Don’t Cheap Out On Shoes - Your outfit is as strong as your weakest link so invest in some quality shoes to complete the ensemble.

⦿ Show Some Personality - Whether it’s in the socks or cufflinks, this is where you can make your outfit say who you are.

Tremendous Toronto Wedding Suit/Tux Shops

⦿ King & Bay - King & Bay - yourfit@mykingandbay.com / 647-289-5464
2 Processes: 100% Custom Line or Fully Handmade Bespoke line

⦿ Fari Hara Custom Menswear - Yonge & Finch - toronto@farihara.com / 416-270-1320
Inventory: Tuxedos

A bride and groom are seen through the rear windows of a Rolls Royce

Not only does booking wedding transportation allow you to arrive in style and have a more enjoyable ride, but also keep the wedding party together and timeline on schedule. Gone are the hassles of parking and traffic while providing luxury to VIPs. Finally, hotel shuttles will provide guests with a safe ride home after closing down an open bar.

Tips On Booking Wedding Transportation

⦿ Book 4-6 months in advance. Not only will help you secure your #1 vehicle choice, but some service providers offer cheaper rates the further in advance you book.

⦿ Have a wedding day timeline made up before contacting vendors. This will help get you an accurate quote up front. Limo companies will also charge for any stand-by time (like when the ceremony is taking place), so make sure you get quote that covers that as well.

⦿ Figure out who you’re transporting. Are you transporting the wedding party and family as well? If the ceremony and reception are more than 30 minutes apart or one is in a remote location, you might consider a shuttle service for all guests.

⦿ Limos aren’t the only option. While they are certainly the most popular choice, you can give your wedding a more unique feel by arranging for an exotic/antique car or party bus that holds up to 28 people instead. The TTC also does charter bus & streetcar service for couples looking to for an urban edge to their arrival. And last but not least - a horse drawn carriage for the ultimate classic look.

⦿ Using a variety of vehicles. It’s not unheard of to have different vehicles for different trips. Arriving to the ceremony in a limo with your wedding party but leaving in an exotic car is a great way to end the night in style.

⦿ Ask your venue and/or hotel if they have any relationships with transportation vendors. It could lead to discounts.

⦿ Verify there is working air conditioning. Seems like a no brainer but can be imperative if you’re getting married in the summer months.

⦿ Important points that should be included in contract: Total cost, deposit amount, refund/postponement & tip policy, arrival & departure times and locations, exact model & colour model vehicle, overtime rate.

⦿ A Celebrity Limousine Service - info@acelebritylimousine.com / 416-410-2226
Vehicles: Standard & Stretch Limo, Party Bus, Standard SUV, SUV Limo, Sedan
Minimum Rental Time: 4 Hours

⦿ Luxe Drive - info@luxedrive.ca / 416-741-5893
Vehicles: Classic Car, Exotic Car, Sedan, Van
Minimum Rental Time: None

⦿ Fairytale Horse & Carriage - fairytalehorse@gmail.com / 416-737-2860
Vehicles: Horse-Crawn Carriage
Minimum Rental Time: 1 Hour

⦿ Toronto Transit Commission (Charters) - charters@ttc.ca
Vehicles: Variety of Buses & Streetcars
Minimum Rental Time: Buses - 2 Hours, Streetcars - 3 Hours

A close up shot of a bride and groom interlocking their fingers to show off their jewelry

From symbolic engagement rings & wedding bands to the fine details of bracelets & earrings.

Wedding Ring Tips

⦿ For wedding bands - start shopping 2-3 months in advance of the wedding. Extras like engraving can also take over a month to complete so plan accordingly!

⦿ Use this calculator to figure out your engagement ring budget.

⦿ Wedding bands don’t have to match each other or even the engagement ring.

⦿ You can’t go wrong with classic styles. They’ll never seem dated.

⦿ Everyday use: Above all, get something that’s comfortable and fits into your lifestyle. If you’re into activities like sports or knitting then you’ll want to stay away from bands with sharp or rough textures.

⦿ Ask about the warranty. Does the jeweler cover cleanings and resizing. How about if a diamond falls out?

⦿ Rent or borrow your jewelry. Yes, renting jewelry is a thing! Check out renttherunway.com to help keep your wedding on budget. Borrowing off friends & family works even better. If you do end up buying your jewelry, stick with something that you’ll want to wear with other outfits in the future.

⦿ Compliment your dress. Start looking at jewelry after you’ve picked out your dress so you they don’t clash. For white gowns - silver or rose gold will play off each other well. For dresses in champagne or ivory tones - look no further than classic gold. You’ll also want to balance the weight of the dress & jewelry. Heavily decorated dresses look best when the jewels are simple. Again, they should compliment each other, not compete for attention.

⦿ High neckline? Go for only earrings. A necklace with a high neckline will look too busy.

⦿ Pair with your hairstyle. For updos - delicate & bolder earrings work and it can also take on hair jewelry. Like with the dress, you want to balance the weight of your hair jewelry with earrings and necklace. On the flip side, larger earrings are easily hidden under down-dos so you’ll probably want to select a set of delicate diamond studs earrings.

⦿ Simple and glamourous bracelets always work best. But if your dress has long sleeves, lose the bracelets all together.

⦿ Kimberfire - Yonge & Queen - info@kimberfire.com / 416-861-8110
Products: Custom Accessories, Custom Wedding Bands, Custom Engagement Rings, Handcrafted, Loose Diamonds
Avg. Turnaround Time: 5+ Weeks

⦿ Alexis Gallery Custom Engagement Rings - Queen & Jarvis - info@alexisgallery.com / 647-256-3590
Products: Custom Accessories, Custom Wedding Bands, Custom Engagement Rings, Designer Accessories, Designer Engagement Rings, Designer Wedding Bands, Handcrafted
Avg. Turnaround Time: 1-4 Weeks

⦿ Design By Sevan - Spadina & Richmond - info@designbysevan.com / 416-203–7265
Products: Custom Wedding Bands, Custom Engagement Rings, Designer Engagement Rings, Handcrafted, Loose Diamonds, Ring Setting
Avg. Turnaround Time: 3-4 weeks

Close-up shot of an officiant signing a marriage certificate

Make It Official

Making your marriage legally binding is as easy as 1, 2, 3... 4 & 5.

⦿ Obtain a marriage license. Information on how to obtain one in Toronto can be found at this page on the city’s official website.

⦿ Hire an officiant. If you missed my section on reputable officiants that service Toronto - check it out here.

⦿ When the ceremony concludes, the couple & their witnesses will sign, followed by the officiant completing the marriage registration form. He/she will then submit it to the Vital Statistics Agency.

⦿ After the registration is approved, the couple then will apply for a marriage certificate at a Service Ontario location or online. This will provide legal proof of the marriage and ensure the spouse’s & children’s rights are respected. The certificate will also be required for social benefits, changing surnames and settling estates.

⦿ To assume your partner’s last name after marriage on Government documents, you’ll need to revisit Service Ontario with your marriage certificate, current photo health card & driver’s license/Ontario Photo Card. Most non-Government organizations will ask to see your marriage certificate before surnames.

That’s It, That’s All!

There’s always room for improvement! If you feel I’ve missed something that should be included, I got something wrong or you just have a question about your wedding, I’d love to hear from you. I can be reached at mailbag@kotsy.ca.

And before I go, I'd love to hear from you if you like the photos you've seen throughout the guide and are still looking for a wedding photographer.

Learn more