The Ultimate Toronto Wedding Planning Guide

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.

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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.

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

Table of Contents

⦿ Wedding Planning Basics

⦿ Venues

⦿ Modern/Loft/Warehouse

⦿ Outdoor Venues

⦿ City Parks

⦿ Historic Venues

⦿ Breweries For Rent

⦿ Art Galleries & Museums

⦿ Hotel Venues

⦿ Golf & Country Clubs

⦿ Banquet Halls & Convention Centres

⦿ Restaurants

⦿ Where To Take Wedding Photos in Toronto

⦿ Wedding Day Timeline

⦿ Vendors

⦿ Photography

⦿ Videography

⦿ Wedding Planning

⦿ Officiating

⦿ Bridal Gowns/Alterations

⦿ Music

⦿ Booking A DJ

⦿ Booking Live Music

⦿ Other Entertainment

⦿ Invitations & Stationary

⦿ Websites & Paperless Invites

⦿ Catering

⦿ Floral

⦿ Wedding Cake

⦿ Hair & Make-Up

⦿ Photo Booth Rentals

⦿ DIY Rentals

⦿ Men’s Formal Wear

⦿ Transportation

⦿ Jewelry & Wedding Bands

⦿ Make It Official

⦿ The Wedding Day

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this guide together (last revision in fall of 2022) but it’s entirely possible that it contains the odd error or outdated stat about a particular vendor.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!

Wedding Planning Basics

⦿ 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%. Do a deep dive into all things wedding budgeting in this blog post.

⦿ 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.
TIPAllowing 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


This is typically the first thing couples book and with good reason. Popular venues book their sought-after dates/weekends 1-2+ years in advance.

Things To Consider When Shortlisting Venues:

⦿ 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 venue details but I welcome any corrections to mailbag@kotsy.ca.

If you need more help decided how to pick the right wedding venue, check out this blog post.

Modern, Loft & Warehouse Venues

⦿ York Mills Gallery
Location: Leslie & York Mills
About The Space: City, Rustic, Vintage
Capacity: 50-1000 Guests / 2 Rooms + Terrace

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

⦿ Second Floor Events
Location: Entertainment District
About The Space: Historic, City, Glamourous
Capacity: 50-350 Guests / 1 Room

⦿ The Burroughes Building
Location: Queen & Bathurst
About The Space: Historic, Eclectic, Rustic, Loft
Capacity: Up To 420 Guests / 2 Rooms + Rooftop Patio

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

⦿ Storys Building
416-367-9000 ext 229
Location: King & University
About The Space: Historic, Modern, Industrial, Ballroom
Capacity: Up To 225 Guests / 2 Rooms

⦿ Berkeley Fieldhouse
Location: Queen & Parliament
About The Space: City, Eclectic, Modern, Rustic, Glamourous
Capacity: Up to 150 Guests

⦿ Malaparte
Location: King & Spadina
About The Space: Modern Interior, Elevated Patio With Gorgeous View
Capacity: Up to 350 Guests / 2 Spaces (Indoor + Patio)

⦿ The Symes
Location: St. Clair & Weston
About The Space: Ballroom, Vintage, Raw
Capacity: Up to 400 Seated Guests

Does a loft/warehouse venue match your style?

I’d love to shoot your wedding!

Outdoor Wedding Venues

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
Location: Leslie & Lawrence
About The Space: Banquet Hall, Museum, Park/Zoo
Capacity: 25-400 Guests / 7 Spaces

⦿ Black Creek Pioneer Village
Location: Jane & Steeles
About The Space: Historic, Country, Rustic
Capacity: 50-180 Guests

⦿ Mimico Cruising Club
Location: Humber Bay Park West
About The Space: Country Club, Marina
Capacity: 40-110 Guests / 2 Rooms

⦿ Artscape Gibraltar Point
Location: Toronto Islands
About The Space: Beach, Historic, Garden, Rustic
Capacity: 10-1500 Guests / Private Beach Area + 2 Indoor “Classrooms”

⦿ Casa Loma
Location: Spadina & Davenport
About The Space: Historic Mansion, Garden, Glamourous
Capacity: Up To 100 Guests In Garden, 450 Indoors / 4 Rooms

⦿ Royal Canadian Yacht Club
Location: Toronto Islands
About The Space: Ballroom, Waterfront, Boat/Yacht, Country Club, Historic, Manson
Capacity: 2-250 Guests

⦿ Sunnyside Pavilion
Location: Lakeshore & Colborne Lodge
About The Space: Historic, Waterfront, Patio
Capacity: Up To 180 Guests Seated (Downstairs) + 160 Upstairs

⦿ Evergreen Brickworks
416-596-1495 ext 293
Location: Bayview & Pottery Road
About The Space: Historic, Rustic
Capacity: Up To 800 Guests

⦿ Lavelle
King & Bathurst
Location: King & Bathurst
About The Space: City, Modern
Capacity: 40-100 Guests / 5 Spaces

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

⦿ Graydon Hall Manor
Location: Don Mills & York Mills
About The Space: Classic, Garden, Glamourous
Capacity: 50-240 guests / 2 Indoor Rooms + Outdoor Terrace

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

⦿ Hart House
Location: U of T (Queens Park & Wellesley)
About The Space: Ballroom, Historic, Classic, Rustic
Capacity: 6 Rooms + Quad / 30-280 Seated Guests

⦿ Chelsea Hotel Toronto
Location: Yonge & Gerrard
About The Space: Classic, City, Glamourous, Modern
Capacity: 5-350 Guests / 21 Rooms

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

⦿ Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex
Location: Exhibition Place
About The Space: City, Classic, Waterfront, Modern, Glamourous, Large Terrace for Ceremonies
Capacity: 100-2000 Guests / 4 Rooms

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

⦿ Bymark
Location: Bay & Wellington
About The Space: City, Classic, Glamorous, Modern, Outdoor Terrace for Ceremonies
Capacity: 20-120 Guests / 6 Rooms

⦿ The Henley Room
Location: Lake Shore & Jameson
About The Space: Boardwalk, Waterfront, Rustic, Historic, City, Outdoor Terrace for Ceremonies
Capacity: 1-160 guests / 1 Room + Patio

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

⦿ Auberge Du Pommier
Location: Yonge & Wilson
About The Space: Historic, Rustic, Country, Garden, Outdoor Patio for Ceremonies
Capacity: Up To 100 Guests

Also see: Golf & Country Clubs

Are you & your partner outdoorsy and simply must to get hitched in the fresh air?

I want to capture it!

City Parks

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
Location: Yonge & Lawrence
Capacity: 30 People Capacity
Cost: $150.76 for 2 hours

⦿ Allan Gardens Conservatory
Location: Gerrard & Jarvis
Capacity: 40 People
Cost: $603.04 for 2 hours

⦿ Ashbridge’s Bay
Location: Lakeshore & Coxwell
Capacity: 50 People
Cost: 150.76 for 2 hours

⦿ Centennial Park Conservatory
Location: Renforth & Rathburn
Capacity: 40 People
Cost: $603.04 for 2 hours

⦿ Edwards Gardens
Location: Leslie & Lawrence
Capacity: 50 People
Cost: $422.15 for 2 hours

⦿ Guild Park and Gardens
Location: Kingston & Morningside
Capacity: 50 People
Cost: $422.15 for 2 hours

⦿ Humber Bay Park East (Parkland Only)
Location: Lakeshore & Park Lawn
Capacity: 30 People
Cost: $150.76 for 2 hours

⦿ James Gardens
Location: Royal York & Eglinton W.
Capacity: 30 People
Cost: $422.15 for 2 hours

⦿ Kew Gardens
Location: East of Queen & Woodbine
Capacity: 30 People
Cost: $150.76 for 2 hours

⦿ Toronto Music Garden
Location: Queens Quay & Spadina
Capacity: 20 People
Cost: $150.76 for 2 hours

⦿ Rosetta McClain Gardens
Location: Kingston & Birchmount
Capacity: 50 People
Cost: $422.15 for 2 hours

⦿ St. James Park
Location: King & Church
Capacity: 40 People
Cost: $150.76 for 2 hours

⦿ Toronto Islands
Location: Along The Shore
Capacity: 50 People
Cost: $150.76 for 2 hours

⦿ Woodbine Park
(Millennium Gardens)
Location: Lake Shore & Coxwell
Capacity: 50 People
Cost: $150.76 for 2 hours

Does a city park seem like the perfect ceremony location for you & your partner?

I want to be there with my cameras!

Historic Wedding Venues

⦿ Liberty Grand
Location: Exhibition Place
About The Space: City, Classic, Waterfront, Modern, Glamourous, Large Terrace for Ceremonies
Capacity: 100-2000 Guests / 4 Rooms

⦿ Palais Royale
Location: Sunnyside (Lake Shore & Parkside)
About The Space: City, Historic, Waterfront, Modern
Capacity: 135-350 Guests / 1 Room + Waterfront Patio

⦿ Guild Inn Estate
Location: Guildwood & Kingston
About The Space: Ballroom, Banquet Hall, Historic, Manor, Terrace
Capacity: 10-500 Guests / 16 Rooms

⦿ Casa Loma
Location: Spadina & Davenport
About The Space: Historic Mansion, Garden, Glamourous
Capacity: Up To 100 Guests in Garden, 450 Indoors / 4 Rooms

⦿ Artscape Wychwood Barns
Location: St. Clair & Bathurst
About The Space: Eclectic, Banquet Hall, Rustic, Vintage
Capacity: 1-500 Guests

⦿ Graydon Hall Manor
Location: Don Mills & York Mills
About The Space: Classic, Garden, Glamourous
Capacity: 50-240 guests / 2 Indoor Rooms + Outdoor Terrace

⦿ Eglinton Grand
Location: Avenue & Eglinton
About The Space: Ballroom, Banquet Hall, Historic, Glamorous, Modern
Capacity: 10-420 Guests / 2 Rooms

⦿ 1871 Berkeley Church
Location: Queen & Parliament
About The Space: Ballroom, Banquet Hall, Historic, Glamourous, City
Capacity: 50-580 Guests / 5 Rooms

⦿ University Club of Toronto
416-597-1336 ext – 228
Location: University & Dundas
About The Space: Ballroom, Country Club, Historic, Hotel, Mansion, Manor
Capacity: 40-120 Guests / 7 Rooms

⦿ The Great Hall
Location: Queen & Dovercourt
About The Space: Historic, Mansion, Glamourous, City
Capacity: 80-220 guests / 4 Venues + Bridal Suites

⦿ The Distillery Loft
Location: Distillery District
About The Space: Historic, Loft, Museum
Capacity: 20-120 Guests / 2 Rooms

⦿ Toronto Reference Library
Location: Yonge & Davenport
About The Space: Ballroom, Banquet Hall, Historic
Capacity: 25-500 Guests / 10 Rooms

⦿ Design Exchange
Location: Bay & Wellington
About The Space: Ballroom, Historic
Capacity: 50-220 Guests / 4 Rooms

⦿ Hart House
Location: U of T (Queens Park & Wellesley)
About The Space: Ballroom, Historic, Classic, Rustic
Capacity: 6 Rooms + Quad / 30-280 Seated Guests

⦿ Knox College
Location: U of T (St. George & Harbord)
About The Space: Chapel, Historic, Rustic, Classic
Capacity: 1 Room (Chapel) / Up to 300 Guests

⦿ Miller Lash House
Location: U of T (Morningside & Ellesmere)
About The Space: Historic, Classic, Outdoor
Capacity: Indoor (60 Seated Capacity), Outdoor (240 Seated)

Do you and your partner want to make history at a historic venue?

I want to immortalize it with beautiful photos!

Breweries For Rent

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

⦿ High Park Brewery
Location: St. Clair & Runnymede
About The Space: City, Rustic
Capacity: 30-150 guests / 1 Room

⦿ Junction Craft Brewery
Location: St. Clair & Weston
About The Space: Historic, Rustic
Capacity: 20-200 Guests / 2 of 5 Rooms

⦿ Rainhard Brewing Company
Location: St. Clair & Weston
About The Space: Rustic, Industrial

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

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

⦿ Eastbound Brewing Co.
Location: Queen & Broadview
About The Space: City, Classic
Capacity: 20-110 guests / 1 Room

⦿ Henderson Brewing
Location: Bloor & Dundas
About The Space: Rustic, Industrial, Indoor & Outdoor
Capacity: Up To 99 Guests

⦿ Rorschach Brewing
Location: Queen & Coxwell
About The Space: Indoor/Outdoor, Rooftop Patio
Capacity: Up To 75 Guests

Is a brewery the perfect backdrop for your wedding?

I’d love to be the one behind the camera for it!

Art Galleries & Museums

⦿ York Mills Gallery
Location: Leslie & York Mills
About The Space: Ballroom, Banquet Hall, Loft
Capacity: 500-1000 Guests / 2 Rooms

⦿ Aga Khan Museum
Location: Eglinton & DVP
About The Space: City, Glamourous, Modern, Garden
Capacity: 10-250 Guests / 8 Rooms

⦿ Twist Gallery
Location: Queen & Dovercourt
About The Space: Historic, City, Rustic
Capacity: 10-250 Guests / 1 Room

⦿ Gardiner Museum
Location: Bloor & Avenue
About The Space: Modern, Preppy, City, Glamourous
Capacity: 1-300 Guests / 5 Rooms

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

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

⦿ Royal Ontario Museum
Location: Bloor & Avenue
About The Space: City, Classic, Eclectic, Modern
Capacity: Up To 600 Guests

⦿ Art Gallery of Ontario
Location: Dundas & University
About The Space: City, Modern
Capacity: 50-350 Guests / 3 Rooms

⦿ Thompson Landry Gallery
Location: Distillery District
About The Space: Historic, Classic, Rustic
Capacity: Up to 130 Seated Guests / 2 Rooms

If art and museums are a must in your life, your wedding is a must in mine!

Hotel Wedding Venues

⦿ Broadview Hotel
Location: Queen & Carlaw
About The Space: Terrace, Rooftop Space, Historic, Vintage
Capacity: 5-200 Guests / 5 Rooms

⦿ Hotel Ocho
Location: Queen & Spadina
About The Space: Historic, Eclectic, Rustic, Modern
Capacity: 20-200 Guests

⦿ The Drake Hotel
Location: Queen & Dovercourt
About The Space: City, Eclectic, Historic, Modern
Capacity: 10-200 Guests / 5 Rooms

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

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

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

⦿ One King West
Location: Yonge & King
About The Space: Ballroom, Historic, Hotel
Capacity: 15-300 Guests / 8 Rooms

⦿ The Ritz-Carlton Toronto
Location: Simcoe & Wellington
About The Space: Glamourous, Modern, City
Capacity: 4 Rooms / Up To 500 Guests

⦿ Windsor Arms Hotel
Location: Bay & Bloor
About The Space: Ballroom, Historic, Hotel
Capacity: 1-250 Guests / 6 Rooms

⦿ Fairmont Royal York
Location: Front & York
About The Space: City, Classic, Glamourous, Vintage
Capacity: 10-750 Guests / 10 Rooms

⦿ The King Edward
Location: King & Victoria
About The Space: Historic, City, Classic, Vintage 20-280 Guests
Capacity: 4 Ballrooms + Breakout Rooms

⦿ The Yorkville Royal Sonesta Hotel
Location: Bloor & Queens Park
About The Space: City, Classic, Garden, Glamorous
Capacity: 20-250 Guests / 20 Rooms

⦿ Shangri-La Hotel
Location: University & Adelaide
About The Space: City, Garden, Glamourous, Modern
Capacity: 10-250 Guests / 7 Rooms + Terrace

⦿ Bisha Hotel
Location: King & Spadina
About The Space: City, Glamourous
Capacity: 10-96 Guests / 2 Rooms

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

Kotsy Photography and hotels share something in common –

we both make planning and executing your wedding stress free.

Golf & Country Club Wedding Venues

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

⦿ The Vue
Location: 427 & 401
About The Space: Country Club, Classic, Glamourous, Modern
Capacity: 50-240 Guests / 2 Rooms

⦿ Cedar Brae Golf Club
Location: Steeles & Tapscott
About The Space: Glamourous, Modern
Capacity: 20-150 Guests / 2 Rooms

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

⦿ Oakdale Golf & Country Club
Location: Jane & Sheppard
About The Space: Modern, Indoor/Outdoor

If you want your wedding to have that extra unique flair,

I want to be there to capture it all.

Banquet & Convention Centres

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

⦿ Claireport Place
416-675-7700, 416-460-7700
Location: 427 & 407
About The Space: Classic, Glamourous, Modern
Capacity: 50-1000 Guests / 4 Rooms

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

⦿ The Albany Club
Location: King & Church
About The Space: City, Classic, Rustic
Capacity: 75-150 Guests / 9 Rooms

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

⦿ Markham Convention Centre
Location: Markham & McNicoll
About The Space: Classic, Glamourous, Modern
Capacity: 100-2000 Guests / 4 Rooms

⦿ Toronto Grand Banquet & Convention Centre
Location: 27 & Albion
About The Space: Modern, Glamourous
Capacity: 100-1300 Guests / 4 Rooms

⦿ The Grand Luxe Event Boutique
Location: Finch & Bayview
About The Space: City, Glamourous, Modern
Capacity: 120-500 Guests / 1 Room

⦿ Scarborough Convention Centre
Location: Finch & Neilson
About The Space: Glamourous, Modern
Capacity: Up to 2500 Guests Across Venue / 5 Rooms

Going with a traditional wedding venue?

I’d love to photograph every authentic moment!

Restaurant Wedding Venues

⦿ Archeo
Location: Distillery District
About The Space: Historic, City, Loft, Outdoor Patio For Ceremonies
Capacity: 50-150 Guests

⦿ Fermenting Cellar
Location: Distillery District
About The Space: Historic, Loft, Restaurant
Capacity: Up To 600 Guests

⦿ Cluny
Location: Distillery District
About The Space: Historic, City, Eclectic, Rustic, Modern
Capacity: 12-80 Guests / 2 Rooms

⦿ Drake One Fifty
Location: Adelaide & York
About The Space: Modern, Glamourous, Eclectic
Capacity: 50-200 Guests / 1 Room

⦿ Bymark
Location: Bay & Wellington
About The Space: City, Classic, Glamorous, Modern, Outdoor Terrace for Ceremonies
Capacity: 20-120 Guests / 6 Rooms

⦿ Jump Restaurant
Location: Yonge & King
About The Space: Manhattan Café Inspired, Classic, Modern
Capacity: 80-122 Guests / 4 Rooms (Including Patio)

⦿ Oretta Hospitality
Location: King & Bathurst
About The Space: City, Glamourous, Modern
Capacity: 20-125 guests / 3 Rooms + Patio

⦿ The Chase
Location: Yonge & Richmond
About The Space: City, Classic, Modern
Capacity: Up to 138 Guests / 1 Room + Patio

⦿ Sassafraz
Location: Bay & Yorkville
About The Space: City, Modern
Capacity: 30-150 Guests / 3 Rooms

⦿ Luma
Location: King & Spadina
About The Space: City, Modern
Capacity: 12-128 Guests

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

⦿ The One Eighty
Location: Bloor & Bay
About The Space: Modern Rooftop Restaurant with Panoramic Patio View
Capacity: Up To 100 Guests

⦿ The Fifth
Location: Richmond & University
About The Space: City, Classic, Eclectic, Glamourous, Rustic
Capacity: 25-250 Guests

⦿ Canoe
Location: King & Bay
About The Space: City, Glamourous, Modern, Classic, Rustic
Capacity: Up To 140 Guests / 3 Rooms

Some of the city’s most beautiful spaces are restaurants and shouldn’t be overlooked as an incredible wedding venue.

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

Where To Take Wedding Photos in Toronto

Many of the larger venues come with the added perk of great backdrops for formal photos. If this isn’t applicable to your venue or you’re just looking for more variety then allow me to suggest some of my favourites! Locations with indoor spaces have been listed first, as they will also have you covered if the weather doesn’t cooperate. I also have some tips below for couples booking all-outdoor spaces that are dealt the bad weather card.

⦿ Knox College (U of T)
Location: St. George & Harbord
Elements: Indoor/Outdoor, Classic Stone Architecture
Pricing: $400+HST For 2 Hours

⦿ Hart House (U of T)
Location: Queens Park & Wellesley
Elements: Indoor/Outdoor, Classic Stone Architecture
Pricing: $400+HST For 2 Hours (50% Discount For Alumni)

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

⦿ Casa Loma
Location: Bathurst & Davenport
Elements: Indoor/Outdoor, Classic Stone Architecture, Gardens, Skyline View
Pricing: $200-$300

⦿ Old Mill
Location: Bloor & Kingsway
Elements: Indoor/Outdoor, Classic Architecture, Beautiful Staircases & Walkways, Waterfalls, Gardens, Bridges
Pricing: $250/Hour

⦿ Spadina Museum
Location: Spadina & St. Clair
Elements: Indoor/Outdoor, Victorian Mansion, Expansive Gardens, Staircase
Pricing: Exterior – $150/hour + Staffing, Interior/Exterior – $250/hour + Staffing

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

⦿ Union Station
Location: Front & Bay/York
Elements: Indoor/Outdoor, Classic Stone Architecture, Pillars, Arches, Grand Windows
Pricing: $500

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

⦿ Edwards Gardens
Location: Lawrence & Leslie
Elements: Gardens, Forestry, Waterfalls & Bridges
Pricing: $422.15 for 2 hours

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

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

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

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

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

⦿ Toronto Music Garden
Location: Queens Quay & Spadina
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

Wedding Day Timeline

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.

Things To Consider When Booking Most Vendors

⦿ Ask some 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 m


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.

Let’s Connect

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 convey a level of emotion that photography just isn’t able to achieve.

Tips For Booking A Wedding Videographer

⦿ 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 highlight films in addition to photography as one person, giving you more coverage while being less obtrusive than hiring a video team.

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

⦿ SDE Weddings

⦿ Rosemount Films

⦿ Kenzerama Productions

Wedding Planning

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.

Tips On Hiring A Wedding Planner

⦿ 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.

Awesome Toronto Wedding Planners

⦿ Fab Fete Event Planning Boutique

⦿ Rainbow Chan Weddings
Queens Quay & Lower Sherbourne

⦿ Blush + Bowties
Richmond & Sherbourne

Wedding timeline assistance and other recommendations

come free with all my photography packages.

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.

Other Things To Consider

⦿ 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.

Outstanding Officiants Servicing Toronto

⦿ The Marrying Lady

⦿ Wedding Officiant Canada
Location: Bathurst & Sheppard W (On Site Chapel)

⦿ Dream Weddings Canada

An outgoing & engaging officiant will mean a huge difference between a dull ceremony and a lively one.

I would love to capture all those lively moments and more!

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

Bridal Gown & Alterations

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

Tips On Finding The Perfect Wedding Gown

⦿ 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.

Excellent Toronto Wedding Gown Shops

⦿ Blü Ivory Bridal & Evening
Dufferin & St. Clair
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
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
Other Items Offered: Sample Gowns, Undergarments, Hair Accessories, Veils, Bridal Belts, Plus Size Gowns, Jewelry
Avg. Turnaround For Gown: 12+ Months

How you’re photographed is as critical as how you look coming down the aisle.

A man sings into a microphone at a wedding reception.

Wedding Music

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.

Tips For Booking Your DJ

⦿ 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
Genres: Country, Hip Hop, Electronic, Jazz, Oldies, Pop, Soul/R&B, Rock, International, Top 40

⦿ Maximum Music DJ Service
Genres: Country, Hip Hop, Electronic, Jazz, Oldies, Pop, Soul/R&B, Rock, International, Top 40

⦿ Michael Coombs Entertainment
Genres: Hip Hop, Electronic, Jazz, Oldies, Pop, Soul/R&B, Rock, Top 40

Tips On Hiring A Live Band/Live Music

⦿ 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.

Incredible Toronto Live Music

⦿ StereoFlavour Entertainment
7+ Member Band
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
Instruments: Organ, Bagpipes, Clarinet, Winds, Oboe, Flute, Viola, Piano, Saxophone, Guitar, Drums, Violin, Cello, Harp, Trumpet

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

Have those unforgettable dancefloor moments frozen in time for decades to come.

Other Entertainment

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.
Type: Acrobatics

⦿ TI Bots
Type: Robots with CO2 Guns, Confetti Launchers, Smoke & Fireworks

⦿ MC Hollie
Type: Professional Master of Ceremonies
Languages: English, Chinese (Cantonese & Mandarin) and Bahasa

⦿ Steps Dance Studio
Type: Dance Performances & Dance Lessons For Couples

⦿ Ray Chance
Type: Magic & Illusion, Comedy Act

⦿ Glisse On Ice
Type: Ice Skating

⦿ Blackout Flair Entertainment
Type: Flair Bartending

⦿ Blue Star Pyrotechnics
Type: Fireworks & Pyrotechnics

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

Invitations & Stationary

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.

Awesome Wedding Stationers Servicing Toronto

⦿ Stephita Wedding Invitations
404 & Steeles
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
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

Paperless Invitations & Wedding Website

More and more couples are going green with paperless ‘save the dates’, invitations and a beautiful website featuring a timeline, recommended accommodations, dress code, gift registries & 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

Beautify your invites and website with fun engagement session photos.

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
Cuisine: Seasonal & local inspired menus with inspiration and flavours of past travels & studies.

⦿ The Food Dudes
Cuisine: American, Barbeque, Southern, Southwestern, Cajun, French, Italian

⦿ en Ville Event Design & Catering
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

Matching to the right flavour of caterer is as crucial as finding the right photography fit for you.

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

⦿ Rachel A. Clingen

⦿ Wild North Flowers
Queen & Bathurst

⦿ Plush Flowers

Floral arrangements are considered one of the most important small details that make up your wedding day.

Have it captured perfectly by the right photographer!

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

Wedding Cake

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
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
Offerings: Traditional Wedding Cakes, Cookies, Cupcakes, Sweet Tables, Dessert Buffets, Fruit, Groom’s Cake, Pastries, Cake Pops

⦿ Finespun Cakes
Bloor & Bathurst
Offerings: Traditional Wedding Cakes, Cookies, Croquembouche, Cupcakes, Dessert Buffet, Groom’s Cake, Pastries

Will photograph for delicious wedding cake! 🤤🙃

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

Hair Stylists & Make-Up Artists

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
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
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
Beauty Services: Consultations, Group Services, Hair, Makeup, Multiple Stylists, On-Site Service, Trial Service
Hair Services: Blowouts, Extensions, Textured Hair Styling, Updos/Styling

No wedding is complete without breath-taking hair and make-up…

and a talented photographer to capture their work.

Photo Booth Rentals

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
Photo Booth Items: Backdrop(s), Enclosed Booth, Prints, Props, Social Media Integration

⦿ PhotoboothTO
Photo Booth Items: CD/DVD of Images, Backdrop(s), Enclosed Booth, Prints, Props, Social Media Integration

⦿ Portraits On White
Photo Booth Items: White Backdrop, NO props, Prints, Social Media Integration

Photo booths never fail to deliver more fun memories to a wedding reception and a roaming photographer delivers those 100% real candid moments from the dancefloor and beyond.

An elaborate stage setup at a wedding.

DIY Rentals

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

⦿ R5 Event Design
Steeles & Keele
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)
Items: Ice Sculptures, Ice Displays, Ice Themes, Ice Table Centrepieces, Iceware
Services: Gelato Bar

One thing you shouldn’t DIY is photography.

Hiring a professional photographer will make a huge difference to the memories you’ll cherish for decades.

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

Men’s Formal Wear

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
2 Processes: 100% Custom Line or Fully Handmade Bespoke line

⦿ Fari Hara Custom Menswear
Yonge & Finch
Inventory: Tuxedos

If you’re dressing to the 9s, make sure you’re captured in the best way possible.

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.

Magnificent Toronto Area Wedding Transportation Services

⦿ A Celebrity Limousine Service
Vehicles: Standard & Stretch Limo, Party Bus, Standard SUV, SUV Limo, Sedan
Minimum Rental Time: 4 Hours

⦿ Luxe Drive
Vehicles: Classic Car, Exotic Car, Sedan, Van
Minimum Rental Time: None

⦿ Fairytale Horse & Carriage
Vehicles: Horse-Crawn Carriage
Minimum Rental Time: 1 Hour

Your ride should showcase your unique style with the right photography to match.

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

Jewelry & Rings

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?

Wedding Jewelry Tips

⦿ 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.

Masterful Toronto Jewelers

⦿ Kimberfire
Yonge & Queen
Products: Custom Accessories, Custom Wedding Bands, Custom Engagement Rings, Handcrafted, Loose Diamonds
Avg. Turnaround Time: 5+ Weeks

⦿ Alexis Gallery Custom Engagement Rings
Queen & Jarvis
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
Products: Custom Wedding Bands, Custom Engagement Rings, Designer Engagement Rings, Handcrafted, Loose Diamonds, Ring Setting
Avg. Turnaround Time: 3-4 weeks

Hiring the right photographer will make sure you have key moments

like the ring exchange captured just right.

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.

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

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

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

The Wedding Day

You’ve done all the prep work and the wedding day is here! My advice doesn’t end hasn’t run out quite yet!

Check out this blog post for a list of things you can do to help take the stress out of your wedding day.

27 Tips For A Stress Free Wedding

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.