Can a wedding expo be an art show?

and We Become, a gallery installation featuring the work of nine Toronto wedding vendors, wants to add soul to the wedding show experience


Wedding shows: A common stop in a couple’s journey to the altar, they’re often hectic, crowded, and a little soulless. 

A longtime wedding photographer is trying a different tactic: Staging a miniature wedding expo as an intimate, immersive gallery show. The result is and We Become, which runs January 24 to 31 at 1112 Queen East.

Show creator Rebecca Wood says and We Become is “truly an installation that mirrors more closely the feeling of walking into a gallery than a trade show. There are no booths or giant logos – just thoughtfully designed and curated spaces that complement each other.”

Wood, a wedding photographer, took part in trade shows in her early days, but found them to be a high financial commitment for low reward. “As they’re laid out as trade shows, with many many booths and multiple participants for each category, it felt overwhelming. As a photographer, my own category was always maxed out – so competition was high.”

Wood’s background is in the visual arts, and has stayed connected to the city’s art community through her time shooting weddings. When the Leslieville storefront became available, she saw an opportunity for a concept she’d been mulling over for years: A “coming together of like-minded creative wedding industry folk, really producing something with deeper meaning and an aesthetic that was unexpected.”

Wood chose one vendor from each category, which Wood hopes will let guests connect with the vendor more directly. The event features clothing from Loversland and Sydney’s, florals from Patchouli Design, jewelry from Anne Sportun and catering by Victor Dries, the catering outfit co-led by Grant Van Gameren (to name a few. Each vendor’s work will be reflected through a customized work of art or installation, like Sportun’s lab-grown diamond rings perched on a photographic display (pictured above).

Though couples are obviously a focus, Wood says the show also welcomes “anyone interested in love, conscious living and experiencing how unique a wedding can be.

and We Become kicks off Friday, January 24 (6-9 pm) and runs daily noon-6 pm until January 31.

@nataliamanzocco

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