The Best Places to Shop for the Unconventional Bride in Toronto
Whether your big day is on the horizon or you’re just browsing for fun, the GTA has no shortage of one of a kind gowns regardless of your style. From over-the-top bedazzled beauties at Queen West’s Original to bohemian gowns at Ossington’s Loversland, there’s no shortage of selections for Toronto’s brides-to-be.
If your wedding daydreams involve a little less church and a little more beach, then Loversland is the place for you. The one-stop shop for all you lovers out there, Ossington’s Loversland carries everything from stunning gowns and cards to men’s fragrances. Their dress selection is full of relaxed, bohemian labels like Stone Fox Bride, & For Love, and A La Robe, as well as larger gown labels like Nicole Miller. They also stock Canadian-made labels Fortnight and cult-label For Love and Lemons for all your oh-so-lacy lingerie needs.
Cabaret vintage has been a west-end mainstay for twenty years, becoming a mecca for high-end vintage pieces, gowns, coats and accessories. Their brick-and-mortar boasts a variety of impeccable wedding dresses from the 1920s and beyond with prices ranging from $350-900. Although they recently shut the doors on their Queen Street location, they’re still offering up one-of-a-kind gowns via their online store or by appointment. In addition to Cabaret’s impressive vintage offerings, they also offer up their in-house line Cabaret Collections – a line of more contemporary gowns with a vintage flair. Dotted throughout their inventory is a treasure trove of accessories, from 1920s beaded clutches to silken ruffled garters. Bonus: pre-loved pieces are a perfect way to check a ‘something old’ off your list.
True to name, you will not find another store like Original. From princess tulle gowns in neon green to shorter feathered gowns, Original is a fiesta of a gown shop. The top floor of the two floor Queen West boutique is packed to the brim with over-the-top gowns, including frocks in every hue (something blue, perhaps?) and hem length under the sun for those girls looking for a switch up on the traditional floor-length cream gown. Bring a pal – the massive (we mean massive) selection takes some serious sifting. Dresses start at $200 and go upwards (way upwards!) from there, so there’s a little something for every budget.
Started in 2004, the Brides Project’s mantra is to provide gorgeous gowns at budget-friendly prices while giving back to the community. Every dollar from the project goes towards women suffering from cancer, so the locations are run by a passionate team of volunteers. Because all wedding dresses are pre-worn, you can easily score a high-budget gown or one of last season’s gems for a fraction of the regular retail cost. Note that all dresses are sold off the rack, so any alterations will have to be made elsewhere.
Sash & Bustle’s Queen East outpost has a perfectly curated selection of hard-to-find modern designers, including Alexandra Grecco, Saja Wedding, and Blush by Hayley Paige. Owner Cynthia Martin has a strong focus on customer experience – only one bride at a time is allowed in the shop so the team can focus on finding your perfect dress. Gowns begin at $1600 and top out at $5000.