Orleans resident Anne-Marie Benoit tries on a veil at the Wedding Palace Bridal Show yesterday, with the help of Juliannah’s Dress and Bridal manager Barbara Renaud. Benoit and her fiancé, who waited seven years before deciding to marry, are indicative of a larger trend noticed by specialty retailers that sees more couples tying the knot a little later in life than before.

Anne-Marie Benoit and Mike Lagace have been a couple for seven years, own a house together, and have a baby.

While they always knew they would eventually marry, they’ve patiently held off.

“We wanted to be financially set, and get our careers established,” said Lagace, an account executive for Black & Decker.

The couple, both age 29, were engaged last September and embody a recent trend that sees more people waiting a little later in life before getting hitched.

First-time brides and grooms tend to be married between the ages of 28 and 35, said Shawna Almeida, a principal planner at Ottawa’s hautething. And that age category keeps moving up every year.

“People are focusing on their careers, and they have busy lives, and it takes them a while to get around to it,” she said.

In some ways, that’s a bonanza for those who retail to those about to be wed. Established couples have more money for the frills.

“People used to be married, then buy a house and have kids. Now many couples already have a house and children,” said Almeida. “They’ve been together for a long time and decided to wait until they’re ready and have the finances to devote to wedding planning.”

Events like the Wedding Palace Bridal Show, held on the weekend at the Ottawa Congress Centre, are tailor-made for them.

The average Canadian spends about $25,000 on a 150-guest wedding, though the trend of late has seen people hold smaller, more family-oriented weddings.

People are willing to spend more money, confirmed Jessica Entou, of Sinders Bridal House in Carleton Place. Those that come into her shop tend to be older now: in their late 20s and early 30s, she said.


  • Almost 5,000 people attended Ottawa’s largest and longest-running bridal show.

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