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Ten couples, ten stories: portraits from a WorldPride mass wedding

Ten couples share their stories at Casa Loma's mass wedding for World Pride

Click to view gallery. (Image: Jenna Marie Wakani)

To celebrate WorldPride, over one hundred LGBTQ couples gathered at the fairytale-like Casa Loma on Thursday to tie the knot in a mass wedding. Before the ceremony, everyone filtered into the garden, decked out in everything from colourful sundresses to full wedding gowns and top hats. Each couple had a different reason for participating, but most were clear on one thing: the significance of an event like this, and—especially for those who had travelled from less-progressive countries—their good fortune to be in a city that celebrates gay marriage.

Click through the image gallery to meet some of Thursday’s newlyweds.

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Stores

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Save the date: Kleinfeld Bridal to open in Hudson’s Bay on May 1st

Kleinfeld’s New York storefront (Image: Kleinfeld Bridal)

Kleinfeld’s New York storefront (Image: Kleinfeld Bridal)

Toronto’s dress-deprived brides-to-be can rejoice: according to Retail Insider, New York wedding gown giant Kleinfeld Bridal (best known for TLC reality series Say Yes To The Dress) has confirmed its Toronto launch date. Though we already knew the wedding emporium was headed this way sometime in 2014, it’s now officially set to open May 1st—just in time for wedding season.

Hudson’s Bay bagged exclusive Canadian rights to the wedding shop, which will sprawl across 20,000 square feet of the Bay’s 7th floor and cater to all kinds of budgets, with dresses ranging from a modest $1,500 all the way up to $30,000.

This is no doubt exciting stuff for local brides, who may not have to venture to New York or London to find The Dress. The Toronto location won’t be hosting its own bridal docu-drama series, but staff will be trained in New York—so shoppers can probably expect a decent dose of SYTTD sass.

The Informer

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Year in Review: what you cared about in 2013 (or, the 50 most-read stories of the year)

Year in Review: what you cared about in 2013 (or, the 50 most-read stories of the year)
2013 was a hell of a year. Looking through our list of the most popular 50 articles Toronto Life‘s website has published since January, it’s clear that many engaging stories surfaced over the course of the past 12 months, from rub-and-tug parlours, to Nuit Blanche madness, to the $500-million McCain divorce. Crackgate, the scandal swirling around Rob Ford and his admitted drug use, was a popular narrative, although no stories involving the mayor managed to crack the top five.

So, what did readers love in 2013? Real estate, restaurants, rooster sauce and so much more. Here, in order of popularity, are our 50 most-read stories of 2013.

1. Best New Toronto Restaurants 2013: our annual ranking of the most innovative, interesting and delicious new Toronto restaurants
2. The Sriracha hot sauce factory has been forced to shut down (for now)
3. My Cheating Heart: lessons from my year on Ashley Madison
4. House of the Week: $1.65 million for a Little Italy semi with a backyard coach house
5. Meet the woman who’s dating her way into meals at top Toronto restaurants

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Real Weddings 2013: a carnival-themed wedding on a farm in Schomberg

Real Weddings 2013: Joline and Markus

(Image: Sara Wilde)

Location: Puck’s Farm in Schomberg, Ontario | Guests: 200 | Date: September 15, 2012 | Budget: $28,000

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Real Weddings 2013: a pink-infused party at the Gardiner Museum

Real Weddings 2013: Lindsay and Tim

Location: Trinity Chapel and the Gardiner Museum | Guests: 96 | Date: June 8, 2013

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The Goods

Shopping

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The Find: 10 dresses perfect for wearing to summer weddings

Weddings are good for seeing old friends, hitting an open bar and strutting around in a fancy dress. Though the brides picked their gowns months ago, most wedding guests are just beginning their hunt for the season’s flattering cocktail dresses and sultry evening gowns (in any colour but white, natch). Below 10 modern options that take you from ceremony through the final dance in style.

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Wedding Guide: 34 of Toronto’s best wedding venues

Wedding Guide: Venues

(Image: Fairmont Royal York Hotel)


Art Gallery of Ontario
317 Dundas St. W. (at McCaul St.), 416-979-6634
For a truly magnificent celebration, Frank Gehry’s transformed AGO offers an awe-inspiring event space. On the third floor of the south tower, the 7,200-square-foot Baillie Court affords panoramic city views on one end and overlooks the gallery’s iconic spiral staircase on the other. Designed in modern glass and Douglas fir, the room can be divided as needed and seats up to 300. Executive chef Anne Yarymowich works with couples on customized menus, and a small army of professional event staff ensures the experience is as effortless as it is unique. Baillie Court rental includes a one-year membership to the AGO for the newlyweds. The Walker Court is available to rent outside of gallery hours in conjunction with a reception in Baillie Court.


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Wedding Guide: the best wedding photographers in Toronto

Wedding Guide: Photography

(Image: Mango Studios)


Boyfriend/Girlfriend
416-841-9125
Partners Vanessa Heins and Jess Baumung use their doubles act to get multiple perspectives on the client’s big day, producing stylish, candid images backed up by Heins’s experience in editorial photography and Baumung’s background in live-music shots. They only do 20 weddings a year, so book early. From $3,500. By appointment.


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Wedding Guide: the best bridal florists in Toronto

Wedding Guide: Flowers

(Image: Coriander Girl)


Bloom the Flower Company
1009 Yonge St. (at Crescent Rd.), 416-324-9900
Event planner–cum–floral designer Paul Girling set out to bring inspiring flower design to Rosedale. The shop is famous for its jaw-dropping window arrangements, which feature unconventional elements like green roses, proteas, kiwi branches, asparagus and brussels sprouts. Bouquets start at $35, but average $150 for brides and $80 for bridesmaids. Centrepieces are $75–$600 plus delivery and set-up. Full service available. Closed Sunday.


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Wedding Guide: 10 top spots to get wedding invitations in Toronto

Wedding Guide: Invitations

(Image: Palettera Custom Correspondence)


Carte Blanche Design
35 Collahie St. (at Gladstone Ave.), 416-885-5399
Customized invitations allow the bride and groom to show off their personal style, but graphic designer M. J. Fontaine also has prototypes on hand to get the creative juices flowing. She specializes in creating
a specific look to be used throughout the special day. For an art deco wedding, she created a period monogram and all the printed materials (including seating board and gift tags). She also does thermal engraving. From $7 per custom invitation set. By appointment.


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Wedding Guide: the best Toronto wedding planners

Wedding Guide 2013: Event Planners

(Image: Let’s Party Consultants)


Bliss
60 Sumach St. (at Queen St. E.), 416-323-3353
Wedding coordinator Tara O’Grady is known for her unflaggingly good taste. Bliss’s staff of four consult from their downtown studio, pulling off six-tent high-society extravaganzas, small out-of-town gatherings in Niagara-on-the-Lake and chic urban restaurant weddings at places like Canoe. Clients’ budgets range from $50,000 to $250,000. Wedding day service from $2,500. Full service from $5,000. By appointment.


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Wedding Guide: the best places to buy wedding cakes in Toronto

Where to Find It: Cakes

(Image: Bobbette and Belle)


Bakerbots Baking
416-901-3500
Trained as a visual artist as well as a baker, Rosanne Pezzelli loves to experiment with non-traditional shapes and sculptural forms (a cake that looks like a geisha, for example). Her sense of whimsy is evident in a simple cream-coloured three-tier with a handful of pastel macarons tumbling down the side. A stunning white cake with a sugar bow edged in black showcases beautiful restraint. Each cake—made with eggs, milk, butter and Belgian chocolate—features at least two layers, with possible fillings including chocolate-hazelnut buttercream or cream cheese frosting. Cakes from $1,000. By appointment.


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Wedding Guide: the best catering companies in Toronto

Where to Find It: Caterers

(Image: Marigolds and Onions Catering)


À la Carte Kitchen
2 Thorncliffe Park Dr. (at Overlea Blvd.), Unit 43, 416-971-4068
Founders Simon Kattar (a chef) and Brian King (a sales and events professional) count royalty and other VIPs among their clients; they move effortlessly from large-scale events (at Roy Thomson Hall, the ROM and the Ontario Science Centre) to more intimate settings. The kitchen’s roster of chefs might start a meal with a chilled foie gras–fig jam appetizer with sauternes gelées and frisée-almond salad. Kattar strives to include local, organic ingredients, and has been pursuing his Lebanese roots with Middle Eastern–French cuisine, as in speckled trout with bulgur and green onion salad. Cocktail menu from $17.50 per person. Sit-down and buffet dinner $30–$60 per person (with a maximum of 2,000), plus wait staff and chef’s charges. No charge for tasting if event is booked. By appointment.


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Wedding Guide: the best stores for wedding dresses in Toronto

Where to Find It: Dresses

(Image: Ines di Santo)


Becker’s Bridal
387 Danforth Ave. (at Chester Ave.), 416-463-6601
A family business since 1944, this Danforth boutique is reliable, safe and considerate—the same qualities as a good marriage. Friends and family of the bride can settle into oversized club chairs and watch as the lucky lady tries on jewel-trimmed, beaded and lace styles from international labels like Pronovias from Barcelona, Sottero and Midgley from Australia and Cymbeline from France ($800–$5,000, plus alterations). Look for dresses by Barbra Allin Couture, the in-house line known for customizable gowns in contemporary silhouettes (tea length, empire waist). Some Swarovski crystal–encrusted combs and clips ($70–$250) can be turned into brooches after the big day.


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Wedding Guide: gorgeous hair and makeup ideas for brides-to-be

Weddings 2013: bridal beauty As soon as you’ve said yes to the dress, it’s time to start thinking about the hairstyle, makeup and accessories to go with it. To help, we assembled four beauty looks with four very different inspirations: Old Hollywood starlet, ballerina, flower child and ‘60s retro.

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