Tag Archives: Bridal shows

Gorgeous Wedding Inspiration at the Wedding Show

23 Jul

The Hamilton-Halton & Niagara Wedding Shows are like Pinterest….live! The collection of local vendors at each wedding show not only delight your visual senses but also allow you to touch, taste and breathe in all aspects of your wedding. Here is a small collection inspirational images from our last bridal shows.

Upcoming shows:

10th Annual Niagara Autumn Wedding Show: Sunday September 29, 2013

16th Annual Hamilton-Halton Fall Wedding Show: October 5&6, 2013

Gorgeous Sweet Table at the Hamilton-Halton & Niagara Wedding Shows

Gorgeous Sweet Table at the Hamilton-Halton & Niagara Wedding Shows

collage of amazing wedding day inspiration from the Hamilton-Halton & Niagara Wedding Shows

collage of amazing wedding day inspiration from the Hamilton-Halton & Niagara Wedding Shows

collage of amazing wedding day inspiration from the Hamilton-Halton & Niagara Wedding Shows

collage of amazing wedding day inspiration from the Hamilton-Halton & Niagara Wedding Shows

collage of amazing wedding day inspiration from the Hamilton-Halton & Niagara Wedding Shows

collage of amazing wedding day inspiration from the Hamilton-Halton & Niagara Wedding Shows

collage of amazing wedding day inspiration from the Hamilton-Halton & Niagara Wedding Shows

collage of amazing wedding day inspiration from the Hamilton-Halton & Niagara Wedding Shows

beautiful wedding cakes at the Hamilton-Halton & Niagara Wedding Shows 2013

beautiful wedding cakes at the Hamilton-Halton & Niagara Wedding Shows 2013







Wedding Shows: A Complete How-To Guide

28 Dec
  • Before the wedding show, research which vendors will be exhibiting at the show  www.topweddingshows.com as well as a layout/map of where the vendors will be located. This will help you make the most of your time & organize the best questions to ask those specific vendors you are most interested in.
  • Make a Personal Email Address specifically for planning your wedding.  Many of the wedding professionals you are working with will be contacting you via email with dates, details, quotes etc. We recommend that you do not give out your work or school email.  Use services such as gmail, live, or hotmail so that you can access your account anywhere.  It will make for a much more organized and stress-free planning period if you separate your wedding planning information from your personal and professional information.
  • If you’ve already selected your wedding colors / bridesmaids’ dresses, ask your retailer for swatches from the material and bring them with you to the wedding show. Many wedding vendors, (bakers, florists, wedding cake, invitations…) will use your colors to make appropriate suggestions for your wedding.
  • Bring a notebook and a pen. A wedding show can be a great resource for information. Some savvy brides even bring a camera or use a camera phone to take a pictures of ideas and samples they like. This can especially be handy during the fashion show!
  • Wear comfortable shoes and if at all possible, leave your coat in the car. Then you can have your hands free as you stroll the aisles.
  • If you are going to be out of town during the day of the wedding show, send mom or a trusted friend / bridesmaid to collect information on services you need and register you for prizes.
  • Print neatly –  When you register at the door or for prize drawings at the booths, make sure all your information is legible & complete. You just may walk away from the show with a very useful prize or gift for your wedding day .
  • When comparing wedding services at a wedding show, be careful to compare “Apples to Apples” and not to Oranges. “The bitterness of poor quality lingers long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.
  • Interact with all the Wedding Professionals: Don’t just pick up material from their booths!  Actually talk with the people manning the booths. They often have great ideas and further insight into how to make the most out of a wedding day experience.
  • While you are at the show, there is another great resources to take advantage of… think of how many other brides-to-be will be there.  Who knows, you might just make friends with another couple going through the same things you are and you can share ideas!  Hundreds of brides get married every weekend during the summer in the Hamilton Halton and Niagara Regions.
  • As much as you are able, try to decide on your budget before attending the wedding show.  Many vendors will offer great discounts for reserving their services / products at show. So if you are aware of how much you have to spend in a certain category, it may help you in deciding which company is the right fit for you.
  • Be sure to request references. You want to make sure that the people you hire for your special day have made other peoples weddings a happy, successful and memorable occasion… and who better to ask then other couples!
  • Have a list of questions ready to ask wedding vendors. Don’t be shy…taste cake, smell flowers, load up on brochures, enter contests and leave your name with everyone.  Be a bride in the know!
  • Wedding vendors will often have draws for prizes at their booths. Instead of having to fill out multiple forms with contact information, some have found it helpful to make address labels in advance. Be sure to include: Bride’s name, Groom’s name, address, phone, email and your wedding date.
  • Be sure and wear your “I’m the Bride” and “I’m the Groom” stickers that are handed out at the entrance to the show.  Wedding vendors are more likely to give you that little bit of extra fun attention.  Plus, if you are spotted wearing them, you could win great door prizes!
  • The daily catwalk fashion shows are a great opportunity to see what’s hot this season. Watch how dresses move, fit and flow down the aisle. There are also tuxedos, bridesmaids’ gowns, mother-of-the-bride dresses, flower girl outfits to see!
  • Be sure and bring along your friends, family, maid of honor, mom and of course your fiancée! You will need the trusted opinions of those who share your vision of your wedding day. And ask for help, assign some one to collect business cards, take pictures or scout for comparable companies.
  • In addition to reserving the day in your schedule for attending the wedding show, also reserve a couple hours after to go to a coffee shop with your entourage and review all the brochures & materials you received. That way, while it’s fresh in your mind, you can recall who to follow up with.
  • Have Fun! Getting married is an experience like no other, especially with all the amazing options available to brides and grooms today.  So make the most of it and enjoy the fun and excitement that surrounds the planning process!





TopWeddingShows.com Wedding Professional Spotlight: Gala Decor

27 Dec

Company Name: Gala Decor Wedding and Event Design

Christina - Gala Decor

Christina - Gala Decor

Company Philosophy: To provide innovative ideas to our clients and create unique designs with our distinctive flair.

Favourite aspect of decorating: Working closely with our clients to conceptualize their vision and translate it into an experience their guests will always remember.

Biggest wedding trend of 2011 when it comes to decor: Accessorize! Charger plates, Napkin rings, Specialty Fabrics and Linens, Elaborate Centerpieces.

There are so many DIY brides today.  What is your favourite project for a DIY bride and what areas of wedding planning would you caution brides about when “going it alone”?
I love seeing unique table numbers. Naming the guest tables after a destination the bride and groom have travelled to and printing a picture of the couple from their trip and placing it in a picture frame. This is a simple and sweet personalized wedding project.
Taking on too many projects is not always cost effective and often very time consuming.  Im a strong believer that some things should be left to the professionals!

Your favourite trend of 2011: Specialty Linens and Overlays. Im loving the use of textured, patterned and lace fabrics!

A Gala Decor Wedding with champagne satin pecan swirl linens

A Gala Decor Wedding with champagne satin pecan swirl linens

One of your favourite places (venues, outside etc) to conduct a wedding ceremony: Im a traditional girl and love the setting of a church for a wedding ceremony

Favourite colour palette of 2011: Champagne with gold or silver accents

How does a bride know when they need a wedding decorator?
Some venues may include decor options but it may not always reflect your style or vision.  So whether you want to enhance the look of your venue or completely transform it into a custom design, a wedding designer is then hired.

A Gala Decor Wedding: Head Table

A Gala Decor Wedding: Head Table

Visit Christina from Gala Decor at the 42nd Annual Hamilton-Halton Spring Wedding Show in booth #53 AND  & the Niagara Spring Wedding Show in booth #76 & 77





A Bridal Shower Gift with Taste!

28 Jul

Every bride loves to receive gifts from their chosen bridal or honeymoon registries, unique gifts or gift cards, and of course cold hard cash.  I mean, who does love getting gifts?! All of these types of wedding and bridal shower gifts are very generous and important as they help the couple celebrate and begin a new life as husband and wife.

While the above listed traditional and more expensive gifts are still necessary and fun to both give and receive; another emerging trend in wedding gift giving is giving a creative gift from the heart (which often accompanies the traditional gift). Some examples of gifts from the heart include: scrap booked photo albums of the couple from childhood up until their wedding day, gift certificates to 12 different great restaurants so the couple can have a fun and delicious date night once a month for a year, or building a library or music collection by asking the couples loved ones to donate their favourite book or CD/song etc. However, one of my favourite unique wedding gifts, and the one that will be discussed below, is The Personalized Cookbook.

What: The personalized cookbook is just that: a cookbook specifically created just for the bride and groom. The cookbook can take the form of a community collaborative, where moms, aunts, grandparents, neighbours, friends and extended family all contribute one of their favourite or “go-to” recipes along with a little blurb why they loved it, or why they wish to share it with the new couple.  Another option for the personalized cookbook is to create the book around a theme based on the couple’s palate and philosophy on food.  For instance, if the couple likes to socialize, ask for everyone’s favourite go to recipe for entertaining. Other themes include, cooking on a budget, hot and spicy, desserts, on the grill, health conscious, vegetarianism, or even skip the food and just have drink recipes!

Who should participate: Up to you! All are welcome, but as the organizer, you may want to limit it to a specific number or group of people because it can be quite a bit of work putting the cookbook together and keeping it organized. I have seen this gift given from a group of the MOB’s friends; one generation passing along their secrets to the next.  I have seen the entire wedding party get involved, just close girlfriends, both guys and girls…really you and the organizer and gift giver can set your own limit…Depending on the form in which you decide to present the cookbook, people you haven’t initially invited can always add to the collection of recipes on their own.

When: Even though cooking and baking has become popular for women and men alike, I would still suggest presenting the gift at the bridal shower or a joint stag and doe.  Since it is a gift that several people have contributed to, it feels more heartfelt to present it as a collective group and allow the contributors to see the bride’s appreciative and touched reaction (thankfully I have only seen a happy reaction when this gift is given). In addition, presenting it at a shower will allow a spokesperson to explain the gift to the bride and then the cookbook acts as a conversation piece afterwards.

How: The Cookbook can be presented in several different ways. If you have more time on your hands, you can gather all of the recipes before hand retype them and put them together in a cookbook form (this can all be done on the computer, or done artfully through scrapbooking).  I have also seen this done by having all contributing members write their recipes on recipe cards and present the lot in a beautifully decorated recipe box.  If you don’t have that much creative time, or the bride-to-be lives and breathes through technology, you can simply email the bride the recipe links with an index on the main email saying who sent each recipe, or create a blog where all recipes can be posted. A blog will also be a convenient place for the bride and groom to build and maintain their recipe collection throughout their marriage. There are several blogs sites out there, but obviously, I’m a fan of www.wordpress.com 😉

I love this gift idea; first and foremost because it is practical….a bride and groom have to eat, so why not help them eat well?! I also really like it because it ends up being a beautiful history of yummy and heartfelt secrets given to the bride by her nearest and dearest. I say this because many times the recipe will come accompanied with a cute or romantic story such as; the recipe for the only meal her mother-in-law will willingly consume, or the recipe for peanut butter cookies made on all movie nights. I have seen one recipe for a spaghetti and meatball dinner that is accompanied with an entire play list because the contributing couple loved to dance around the kitchen together as they cooked (Sooo romantic!). And ladies, even if you can’t cook, you can still contribute.  One of my all time favourite “recipe” entries was a list of all different types of restaurants that either deliver or have takeout and the best way serve them so they look “homemade” lol.    Lastly, I love this gift idea because cooking is a great experience that brings a couple together and allows them to spend quality time together and learn something new as a couple…is there a better gift than that?

Happy Cooking,



Tips for Brides: Staying Cool at Summer Weddings

6 Jul

Ah the summer months; the flowers are in full bloom, days are longer, the grass is that perfect shade of green and the sun is shining bright.  What a beautiful time to get married.  Oh, did I mention the staggeringly high temperatures, hair flattening or frizzing (whichever is your curse) humidity, and smog-clouded, thick air? May I repeat, what a BEA-U-TI-FUL time to get married;)

Let’s face it, every time of year has some sort of weather “threat” to your wedding day success, even the lovely and ever popular June-August summer months.  The obvious summer threat is the uncontrollable heat waves and hot sticky days. Here are a couple of tips for keeping cool, fresh and flawless on your big day!

The Dress: Avoid heavy fabrics such as taffeta, satin, silks or brocades and opt for a more breathable fabric such as cotton or even a synthetic fabric that does not have the same sticky affects of satin or silk.  Be sure your dress is comfy, not too heavy and that you have had the proper alternations to ensure your dress fits perfectly. Aim for short sleeves, thin straps (halter or spaghetti) or strapless to keep cool and avoid perspiration marks. Check out David’s Bridal for some fashionable and fresh ideas. Choosing the dress suitable for the summer heat is really important to your enjoyment on the big day because you are going to get a bit hot and sweaty with the heat, running around and lots of dancing and hugging, so at least start out being as comfy as possible!

H20! I know it is an obvious solution and everyone has been telling you all summer to stay hydrated when it is scorching outside, but with all the chaos and hectic nature of Your Big Day, drinking water is often pushed to the bottom of your wedding day “to do list”. Make drinking extra water a priority in order to keep your internal core temperature low to keep cool.  If you prefer your beverages with a little more taste, check out this link for a list of delicious and low cal flavoured waters. Just remember to take a pit stop at the bathroom before walking down the aisle!

If you are going to be outside for a significant amount of time, be sure to apply a body lotion and foundation that contains sunscreen so you are not a lobster in your photos and suffering from heat stroke by the time your reception rolls around.

Make up: Avoid oil based or pressed powered foundations as they tend to cake or create an uneven skin tone when you start to perspire. Stick with a water based foundation to start and pack some face blotters to get rid of any access oils or sweat so you stay looking fresh and put together all night long.  An over the counter choice I like is Pure Makeup by Mabelline New York or ask your makeup artists in advance for an oil free foundation and water proof mascara (its two-fold protection from sweat and tears!)

Hair: Keep hairstyles simple and elegant.  If your hair is too “big” or intricate, you run the risk of it falling before you even say “I Do”.  If you still desire the Wow factor when it comes to your wedding hair do, opt for a type of accessory instead of going too big.  Great summer accessories are fake flowers or gem and jeweled clips.  Even though they are pretty proceed with caution if you opt for a real flower, as they most surely will wilt in the heat.   Check out Allure Hair & Makeup for different summer wedding hair “Dos”

Keepin’ It Cool: Create a cool oasis for you and your guests! If your wedding is indoors, hopefully the reception area has AC (at the very least).  This is a very important question to ask while booking! If it is outdoors or in a place with no AC, there are several creative ways to find relief from the heat, such as keep big fans blowing in the tent area or main hall (many tents actually now come with portable A/C units). Or offer heat relief with food and serve ice cream sandwiches, freezies in your wedding colours, juices or punch with sparkling water to your guests as refreshing and fun appetizers. Through a garden wedding theme, encourage everyone to wear fancy hats to keep them out of the sun or if you are near a beach, offer time for a group swim later on in the evening!

Here are some other great tips for you and your guests at your own summer weather.






The Hamilton Halton Fall Wedding Show is moving to The Careport Centre

17 Jun

Lots of exciting developments are taking place as we gear up for the 13th Annual Hamilton-Halton Wedding Show! The foremost of which is… We’re moving! That’s right, we’re getting set to host the biggest and best wedding related event of the season at The Careport Centre, located on 270 Longwood Road, South in Hamilton.

What does this move mean for our brides?

FREE PARKING! No more searching for a spot or paying extra to park, The Careport Centre boasts over 650 free parking spot in the building’s adjoining lot!

EASY ACCESSIBILITY! If you are driving in to our show from the greater Hamilton area (Burlington, Dundas, Ancaster, Brantford etc.), we are now right off the highway… just take the Aberdeen exit and you’ll see us!

LARGER SHOW! With less limits on space, we can now accommodate our dream floorplan with a more unique set up for brides to visit and talk with each exciting vendor. As well, we can now (finally) offer more seating surrounding the fashion show! Just sit back, relax and watch this season’s biggest bridal fashion trends strut the runway!

We look forward to welcoming you, your friends and entire wedding pose at this year’s Hamilton-Halton Fall Wedding Show, now at The Careport Centre!!

To Cupcake or Not to Cupcake at Your Wedding

9 Jun

These days, the ultimate wedding dessert sugar showdown is the decision of having a traditional wedding cake or to opt for the new fad of having a cute tower of cupcakes.  Depending on the type of wedding you are dreaming of, there are certainly pros and cons to both desserts.  The below chat will focus on the cupcake craze, pros, cons and how to make these delicious pint sized desserts work for your wedding.

If your vibe of your wedding and reception is fun: Cupcakes all the way! Cupcakes are best suited for a reception that is more laid back, themed or youthfu.  If you wedding is a more formal, perhaps consider the cake option because it has a more sophisticated feel overall.

Here are a few other reasons to say “I Do” to Cupcakes

Another Way to Personalize: Who doesn’t love the idea of unwrapping their very own little piece of baked good heaven?  Serving cupcakes gives your guests the feeling that you have created a dessert just for them.  Some couples also order different flavours to compliment all taste buds.

Please Don’t Stop the Music: Dessert is usually served later in the night when the drinks are flowing and people are ready to dance.  Cupcakes certainly cut back on the formality and stress of trying to organize all your partying guests in order to cut the cake and serve it in an orderly fashion on plates with silverware. Cupcakes allow your guests to come up at their leisure, grab their personalized cake and keep groovin’

Keep the Tradition Alive: Many couples want to keep the 100 year old tradition of the wedding cake, complete with its personalized cake toppers. They want the experience of cutting the first piece of wedding cake together and smearing cake, I mean feeding cake, to one another.  It’s a messy but very yummy tradition (which also makes for a great photo op!) If you opt for cupcakes you can keep this tradition by asking your bakery of choice to provide you with a small (6 to 8 inch) cake to place at the top of your tower of cupcakes.  This is where your cake topper can be displayed, what you can cut in the photos and freeze to have on your one year anniversary.  It’s the best of both dessert worlds!

The Price: There is the perception that cupcakes are the less expensive option compared to wedding cakes.  If you are simply comparing iced plain cupcakes to a multi-tiered wedding cake, you would be correct. On average in Southern Ontario, generic iced cupcakes range in price from $2-$3 each, while a wedding cake is approximately $3-$6 per slice.  Where couples need to air on the side of cupcake caution is where all the “extras” come into play to decorate and creatively display your mountain of sugar.  For example, to match the icing to your wedding colours, to have unique and ornate cupcake liners, for icing decorations such as flowers or your initials are all extra costs; which range anywhere from $.50 -$6 a cupcake.  On top of that, the tiered cupcake display tray is usually not included with the cost of your cupcakes (where as it usually is for cakes).  This display tray can range from $10 to rent from the company to $30-$60 to buy.  Just be sure you know all the costs up front, or if you are the DIY type, order plain cupcakes and add your toppers once you have received them.

Hope some of this info helps make you make your dessert decisions! Here are some Local Wedding Cake and Cupcake Creators to help you make your reception DELICIOUS!

Weils of Westdale


Sweet Celebrations Patisserie

Cakes by Cheryl

Sweet N’ Unique Cakes

Visit www.TopWeddingShows.com for more info



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