What I Learned At The National Bridal Show | & Pretty Pictures

Thursday 16 February 2017


toronto bridal show

As you may have saw on my social media, last weekend I was at the National Bridal Show. I had a blast presenting about skincare to brides with Simple, and wandering around the booths, snacking on samples and learning about some of the things I will need for when I am *actually* planning my wedding. Also! I got an idea of what a budget may look like, and what questions I should be asking.

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Loved the liquid nitrogen ice cream that the Club Links booth was handing out. The pistachio was my pick, and my friend Brianna loved the mango!

I'm really glad I went before being engaged, because I feel like I have the time to think about some of the things I saw, with out the pressure of making a choice right now. It also helped me a bit with figuring out the kind of budget I would need for the wedding I want, and where there is the potential for savings.

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Photo from Paula Visco's booth at the National Bridal Show. These cute little photos are also her business cards!

If there is one thing I really took away it is the importance of picking the right wedding photographer. First, they are expensive. Second, those are photos that you will literally be looking at for the rest of your lives. Like-- your grandchildren will be looking at them. Hey, we have my great-grandparents wedding photo up in our living room, and I never even got the chance to meet them. But I know what she was wearing on her wedding. I loved that there were so many photographers at the show because it really gives brides a chance to see their photography and speak to the team. You want to find a photographer who fits your style and vision, and whose photos you love. I walked away with a few cards of photographers I like, but I know that when it comes time to actually book one I will be obsessing over it for ages. Also-- book an engagement shoot as a trial run with your photographer of choice. A few of the wedding photographers that I thought had beautiful images included Paula Visco, The East Core Photojournalists, Let Us Go Photo, Mango Studios and Moments in Light.

The other thing I walked away surprised by was the fact that using a travel agent doesn't actually cost you money. I think that as young people we figure they don't really offer a value added because hey, we can google it. And while I do enjoy planning my own vacations, I think that they offer a real value for honeymoons because that is one time I don't want to stress. I was speaking with some fantastic ladies who are travel agents and they knew so much about the differences between the various warm and sunny islands, and places where you can get say the plunge pool you want without the major price tag. When it comes time to booking my honeymoon I think I will use an agent. A few of the agents that I enjoyed speaking with were Milka Cook from Collacutt Travel, and Sarah and Debbie from The Flight Centre - Pickering.

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Many of the wedding decor booths were displaying a theme that I could best describe as rustic woodland glam. This design is by Trade Sensations. 

national bridal show

The Trade Sensation booth had this beautiful table scape. They do wedding decor.

I wanted to walk you through some of the booths I visited, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask!

I enjoyed speaking with the team from Resorts of Ontario. While they were primarily there to showcase Ontario Resorts as excellent wedding venus (which they are-- Muskoka weddings are so beautiful!) I was most interested in hearing about them as a weekend getaway location. I think it would be so fun to spend a weekend in Muskoka in the fall with Stuart, romantic, cozy, and so beautiful!

national bridal show

The ladies at the Barbados booth were so warm and friendly. While I have only ever been to Cuba (in terms of warm & sunny islands) they have definitely made Barbados jump up on my list. They describe Barbados as very warm and beautiful, but also as an upscale island. Basically they have me sold on it as a beautiful honeymoon destination. Though is Stuart and I can plan a trip there sooner, all the better!

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Snaptique had one of the most fun booths at the show! Not only did I get to walk away with some photo booth pictures, but I also left with some major wedding inspiration. I love the fun and modern props they had, and the fact that you can chose a traditional booth style, or their small airbus-- perfect for outdoor weddings! Bonus: Compared to many of the prices I heard I thought they were rather affordable.

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I never knew bundt cakes could be so delicious, but one bite of Nothing Bundt Cakes lemon cake had me coming back for seconds (and thirds...maybe fourths). These were seriously delicious, and they make cakes for every occasion. I could see these being great for Mother's Day, a bridal shower or a baby shower. Oh! And they also make bundt cupcakes called "bundtinis". Based in Burlington (they do deliver) their cakes were yummy and very reasonably priced.

I know getting boudoir photos taken to give as a gift to the groom is a very popular choice. Trevor from Provocateur Images was so friendly and open and funny about the whole thing, I get the impression that he would make the whole experience not awkward. I asked him some questions about how he secures his images against being hacked (a major concern of mine!) and I think he has a pretty good system going.

In terms of venues I know that once I am actually planning my wedding that it will basically without a doubt be in the general Caledon area. While I always assumed there were only about three venues, it was really great to learn about some of the smaller ones in the area, such as The Doctor's House in Kleinburg. I love the rustic feel and the lush gardens! I will be keeping them in mind once Stuart and I are at that point. My mom even thinks its pretty ;)

Another venue I was impressed by is Hockley Valley Resort. They made a good point about booking a resort-- there are places for people to stay that make the whole event easy, and it gets bonus points for being basically down the street from my boyfriend's family's house. I love that the one venue has so many different rooms and atmospheres-- this place will be on our list to further investigate when the time is right.

One of the coolest things I saw were the Abracadabras, they had some serious suction for effectively stick on bras! I am not sure how good the hold/cup size is for those who are #ExtraBlessed, but for those in the average category these seem like they would be great for any backless dresses.

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While I generally see wedding favours as a bit of an unnecessary expense I thought that Papabubbles had some really yummy candy. I love how you can customize it to your hearts content, so maybe I will give people candy with my initials on it. Plus, these were super yummy.

Two other booths that I spoke with, but don't have great photos of, but that I thought deserved a mention were Wedding Essentials and Tuxedo Royale. The gentlemen at Tuxedo Royal were so lovely to chat with and you could tell how passionate they were about menswear. I would trust my boyfriend in their hands. The team at Wedding Essentials were clearly excited to chat to brides about their big day, and every bride left with a copy of their Savvy Bride publication and the opportunity to sign up for their core magazine. Bonus points for not making me lug the heavier magazine around because by the end of the day I had enough pamphlets to last a life time.

Since pictures speak much louder than words, I wanted to share some additional images and captions with you:

toronto wedding inspiration

More beautiful wedding inspiration. I believe this is by the Rosedale Hospitality Group (event venue).

toronto wedding inspiration

This beautiful rose gold display was designed by Splash Events, based in Midland, Ontario.

toronto wedding inspiration

This beautiful table was designed by Designs by Dina. I loved the elegant table runner she designed, and the way that it is still clearly a centre piece but that it did not block the view of those at the table. Something I will keep in mind!

je vis bridal

At the fashion show I had the chance to admire a number of beautiful dresses. This romantic dress is by Je Vis Bridal.

pastel dress party

These fun brides maid dresses are by Pastel Dress Party. You could tell the models were having a blast up there!

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Ana Koi, opening soon near Vaughan Mills, had such beautiful and romantic dresses.

mona richie bridal

This stunning dress is by Mona Richie. I love the details on the bodice!

I had the opportunity to present on skin care for brides with Simple Skincare. Check back over the next few weeks where I will be sharing a post about some of their products and my experience at their booth!

If you missed out on the Spring Bridal Show, no worries, they are having another one in September 2017. Check out their website for all of the details!

Were you at the Spring Bridal Show? I would love to hear your thoughts!

This post is sponsored by the National Bridal Show, opinions remain my own.

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