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Pent-up demand leads to a boom in wedding-related retail in Canada [Feature Story/Interviews]

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This summer is the first wedding season in the past two years without restrictions due to the pandemic, with wedding dress shops, venues and exclusive interviews with the recently married couple, we’ll examine how busy this summer has been as a Common theme – Mayhem in season one of three weddings.

What does this mean for booking weddings? Well, couples may have to be ready to get married in the middle of the week or on a Sunday.

Liberty Entertainment Group in Toronto has said that their two venues in Toronto, Casa Loma and Liberty Grand, are 99.9 percent booked – with couples left to book in the middle of their wedding.

“We are extremely busy, we have two years of weddings as well as inquiries coming in for this year, so essentially this is a three-year client that we want to serve and host,” says Sue Vivanco, director of sales and catering to Liberty Entertainment Group. “At Casa Loma, I would say we are 99.9 percent sold out for the season. If we have a date available, it will be in the middle of the week and Liberty Grand is also extremely busy. We are seeing many grooms and Brides are getting married on Monday or Tuesday, so there is no stopping our customers from getting married.”

Liberty Grand (Image: Liberty Entertainment Group)

Casa Loma and Liberty Grand are known to be very elegant and beautiful venues for weddings, making them a popular wedding venue. The venues provide complete services like full food and beverage catering to their bride and groom. Vivanco said the total number of weddings for the season would exceed 500.

One handicap of Liberty Entertainment Group is not being able to accommodate everyone.

Sue Vivanco

“We are not able to host all as we do not have enough availability. It’s hard not to be able to serve them all, but everyone in the industry is excited and happy to be able to host again. We’ve been waiting for so long, and now that we’re able to reopen our doors and host our customers, it’s great. Vivanco says.

Other venues are extremely busy and an Ontarian couple, who were recently married on June 12, only had the option of two Sundays, even though they had booked their wedding 13 months in advance. They had originally booked their wedding for July 11, 2020 which was their 10th anniversary; However, when the pandemic started they decided to cancel and wait.

“We decided to delay much more than we originally anticipated. Our biggest challenge was finding the day,” Daniela says. “The only days for us were two Sundays in 2022, so we just picked the Sunday that gave us the Found the most suitable. The only Saturday the venue was available was not until December. We also booked a restaurant instead of the banquet hall, so I guess people who booked from the banquet hall had to struggle a bit more. We had a working day We weren’t forced to, but we were forced to have a Sunday.”

small close-up weddings

Instead of big weddings, Vivanco said they’re seeing a new trend of smaller, more personal weddings for this wedding season.

“I think people are extremely excited to see family again, so when the weddings we’re hosting, it’s more immediate family. People are looking at the guests they’re inviting, who Coming up, and in their family they haven’t seen in a long time. I think the difference will be of ability, everyone is looking forward to seeing each other, and I would say it’s a little more personal,” Vivanco it is said.

Already bookings were made for this wedding season before the ban was lifted, once the guests got the green light to invite more people, they changed the number of guests so that it It got difficult. Vivanco said she started getting requests for large weddings, from 50 people to 100 or more.

Image: Daniela and Joseph

For Daniela and Joseph, they were one of those couples who opted for a short wedding.

“We come from an Italian background, so it’s traditional for us to have a large wedding, but we went with a small wedding, even with our family. We’re seeing more and more of this trend. where people are getting smaller as opposed to the massive expansion of people in marriage size more intimate, more family related. And I think it’s a direct result of covid that everything is as much as possible. Be placed close and so you have the people you want there,” Joseph said.

Another issue with Liberty Entertainment Group is whether the guest count is changing at the last minute as people are unable to come due to covid. The bride and groom will still have to pay for their full numbers regardless of whether or not their guests show up, but this changes the plan of the venues in terms of table setting, seating arrangements, and dinner.

saying yes to dress

Saying yes to a dress has been a bit more complicated than last wedding season because Fernando Canton, a wedding gown designer at bridal boutiques Sachs & Bustle and Lee-Ann Belter Bridal, has seen the season’s more demanding.

Sash & Bustle, a bridal shop in Toronto owned by the sisters, has been open for eight years now. Before sanctions, Sachs & Bustle signed a new lease because it needed a larger space to expand, even as the pandemic raged, the boutique decided to continue with its expansion plans. did. The bridal boutique is now located at 111 Berkeley Street in Toronto.

In its new location, Sash & Bustle needed to be creative to bring the wedding dress experience to its bridesmaids, to continue business during COVID. And they succeeded – instead of making store appointments, the store went to the brides.

“Going through the pandemic has been a challenge for everyone, we knew in our hearts that we needed a new place to sash and hustle, it felt too busy and too small in our previous location so we Proceed with detail. It was accompanied by a lot of challenges, but as we moved on, we put our team and staff to work with our bridesmaids, so every way we could think of,” says Andrea Dineen, co-owner of Sash & Bustle .

Image: Sash and Bustle Image: Sash and Bustle

Sash & Bustle offers its brides a unique way to dress while still – virtual and home-based appointments. The virtual appointments were to show the brides a variety of dresses, then Dineen said they would bring about five dresses to the bride’s home where she could try it on. And more recently this year Sachs & Bustle implemented a luxury appointment where its bridesmaids can double the length, which includes wine and more service. But her busy season for the dress was about six months ago.

“Our busy season is usually six months before summer, so we were extremely busy and experienced crowds for that time, but now, it has become stable and manageable,” says Dineen. “We don’t offer sash and bustle options in-house, but I know those businesses are very busy this year. They’ve had all the weddings this year, and all the other wedding dresses over the years — That’s why they’re feeling it.”

Fernando Canton, a wedding dress designer and production manager at Lee-Ann Belter Bridal, says that he starts designing wedding dresses a year before the wedding date, but he is less involved in tailoring and picking up bridesmaids. Very busy.

“The thing we should consider here is that when you get engaged, I think the first thing brides do, even a week after they get the ring, is to buy the dress. So, we’ve been busy with a lot of pickups. I think last month and now were our busiest for that and we have had the reaction of people who postponed their weddings, so it’s been a little crazy for us,” Canton says.

Image: Fernando G. Canton Barros

Canton said brides who have postponed their weddings need to change more because the dress didn’t fit the same way they did when they tried it on a year or two ago.

“It’s crazy on the way; People are picking up clothes they bought two years ago, and the fitting is different. Brides come to pick up their dresses and all of a sudden, we have to take off the dress or change the whole body — it’s overwhelming,” Canton says.

Lee-Ann Belter Bridal has daily pickup and the store produces about 30 dresses a week and orders come in from all over the world. It was a different kind of busy for Canton during the pandemic as he needed to design clothes for brides who didn’t cancel their weddings – an unexpected rush.

“We were getting a lot of brides who didn’t cancel or postpone their weddings, and they just wanted to go ahead and still get married. But, instead of having a party of 500, they were about 30 or less. ceremony and obviously they will have more budget for their gowns. So, it was something different for us, something that we didn’t expect it to be counterproductive like that, but we are looking forward to getting a bigger budget for our brides. Were happy and they were happy to have better clothes,” says Canton.

Image: Lee-Ann Belter Bridal

Canton and Dinin also observed that brides are expanding the traditional wedding dress and bringing in more variety and creativity.

“I’m surprised. It’s been across the board with so many different styles. We used to only sell very simple clothes, I thought everyone was buying the same thing, but this year it’s so much variety that’s exciting.” Says Dineen. “Sleek and simple is great and always makes our brides shine, but at the same time we’re also creating really fun looks and guys going over the top, accessorizing a lot and me. Looks like after the pandemic, being in our sweats for two years, people are ready to adore dolls and feel really special.”

As a designer, Canton is always excited to talk to brides about what their dream is for their wedding day, and Canton says most girls have the answer.

“I love talking to brides and asking their dream, as designers you should look at the image of your clients. That’s really when the magic happens, and I’m so excited that weddings are back because That means we’re going to be busy so get out there and get your dress on,” Canton says.

Casa Loma (Image: Liberty Entertainment Group)

With the season of three weddings in one, everyone in the wedding business is busy – but excited to be able to return to some kind of normalcy and live up to the expectations of the wedding day.

“I’m extremely excited. Everyone in the wedding industry is extremely happy to be able to host again. We’ve been waiting for so long, and now that we’re able to reopen our doors and host, it’s a lot of fun.” Well, says Vivanco. We look forward to staying in business and continuing to work with our couples, I think it’s extremely exciting to be operating again.

As for Sash & Bustle, Dineen said she’s excited to re-make memories with her bridesmaids and get back to normal wedding flow.

“We are all about making memories at Sash & Bustle, I think weddings are about making beautiful memories and finding a dress is a special moment for many people and it is for everyone. So, we always need bridesmaids. It was nice to hear all the unique ideas he had for plans and celebrations. It feels like we are in our groove now and we are back in the new normal we were used to,” says Dineen.

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