I know I’m not the only one who has another Facebook friend announce their engagement daily.
Of course, almost as important as the engagement itself is the wedding dress – and shopping for one can either be a joyous or a tedious experience (I’ve been a bridesmaid enough times to know).
While there are the usual suspects when it comes to wedding dresses – you know, Kleinfeld, Becker’s Bridal, and White – Toronto is also full of other unexpected spots to score a unique and gorgeous dress that you won’t want to take off.
Known for their photo-worthy, show-stopping, and conversation-provoking evening wear, Canadian fashion label Narces has become an easy go-to for Toronto’s event circuit regulars. In recent years, the beloved brand has ventured into bridal, creating stunning, intricately designed and beautifully embellished dresses for every type of bride. Designer Nikki Wirthensohn incorporates the brand’s signature lace, floral and flirty detailing into the assortment of bridal gowns – from cocktail (starting at $795) to formal (custom gowns range from $1800 to $6,000). A godsend for those who just can’t wait, the Toronto-made bridal pieces take just three to five weeks after the selection of fabric.
431 Broadview Ave.
At the Brides’ Project, not only will your wedding dress not break the bank (prices range from $300 to $1250), but you can feel even better about your purchase knowing that all the profits go to cancer charities. Run out of owner Helen Street’s east end home, the shop is predominantly run by volunteers and is full of both new and donated gowns of all varieties – all for about half of the retail price.
1610A Bloor St. West
If you’re looking for ambience and a memorable experience for your entire bridal party, you’ll find it at Jealous Bridesmaids. All prettily packaged in a charming and relaxed spot in Bloor West Village, here you’ll find an assortment of designer gowns and accessories. Unlike other comparable spots, it won’t make a major dent in your credit card either; prices range from $1000 to $2500. Naturally, the spot is full of bridesmaids dresses as well.
1798 Avenue Rd.
Madeline’s Boutique is bursting at the seams with dresses for all occasions – from girls’ nights out to red carpet affairs. While the secret is out about this dress-filled spot when it comes to getting fancy, what people may not know is that Madeline’s also carries some beautiful gowns that make stunning wedding dresses. As an added bonus – unlike most bridal boutiques – you won’t need an appointment to shop at this spot (unless you’re shopping their second floor); just keep in mind that they are closed on Sundays.
296 Concord Ave.
Helping your “something old” cause, the Annex’s Vintage Bride offers an assortment of original, one-of-a-kind vintage and antique wedding gowns that date back as far as 1867. Vintage Bride also offers custom designed new dresses reproduced from vintage patterns, along with alterations of existing vintage dresses. In addition to the history-rich dresses, you’ll also find vintage accessories, like headpieces, veils and jewellery. Just because it’s vintage doesn’t mean conservative or ultra formal – the spot offers an assortment of styles and lengths for everything from small, intimate weddings to fancy, formal affairs.
1227 Dundas St. West
For the unconventional bride who wants to go against the norm, Studio Fitzroy might just be the option. The rent-a-dress studio has plenty of white and off-white dresses on offer, starting at just $75 for 4-days. The shop is not a traditional wedding shop by any means, but it’s a go-to for fun and affordable party dresses. Studio Fitzroy also has dresses that’ll keep your bridesmaids happy; they’re sure to beam when they find out they don’t have to spend an arm and a leg for a dress they’ll likely only wear once.
Did we miss any of the best places to shop for a wedding dress in Toronto? Let us know in the comment section or tweet us at @ViewtheVibe.