© Melissa Nowakowski 2008

When one thinks of a party -- any kind of party from weddings to birthdays to corporate galas -- their mind automatically centers on an evening affair. After all, the term “event” has long been associated with the sophistication, style and mystique of the night. Perhaps it’s the stars romantically scattered within the night sky or that dinner is always the largest, more formal of meals. Or perhaps it is simply a matter of convenient timing for guests. There are no historical facts to support why most parties are held in the evening and so we’ll just have to chock it up to tradition. Which is fantastic news because as we all know, tradition can be always be skipped over.

My absolute favourite, yet-rarely-utilized, time of day for a soiree is early in the day. Now I don’t mean a late lunch. I mean early in the day – as in mid- morning. To me, there is nothing more visually stunning and physically enjoyable than a formal function held mid-morning when the sun is shining, the air is fresh and everyone is alive and energetic. There’s a kind of peacefulness associated with the morning and what better way to kick off your day than with good food and good company?

Not to mention that brunch receptions can be much easier on the wallet. Consider this: very little alcohol is consumed during the middle of the day, brunch receptions can be held on less expensive days of the week such as Sundays without interfering with guests' work weeks and brunch items can be less labour and staff intensive (depending on the size of the function and how ornate the brunch of course!)

Below are some design ideas that show how elegant and lively a morning function can be – regardless of the occasion:

• Holding the event outdoors on a patio, under a tent or indoors in a covered terrace or in a banquet room with lots of windows will make use of as much natural light as possible providing natural energy to your event.

(From L-R) Estates of Sunnybrooke, a tented reception in Scarborough, Graydon Hall Manor

• Create a light and airy atmosphere with pastel colours or a bright and playful atmosphere with bold colours. Use these colour schemes in your décor and accents, including your food accents! Flowers always work beautifully with morning events. Not into flowers? A colourful fish in a beautiful vase, beaded garlands entwined in branches or even a Bonsai tree for the ultimate Zen effect are great alternative options. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

• Serve mimosas paired with a chocolate truffle to guests as they arrive and have trays of fruit kabobs and a variety of cheese passed as they mingle

• Roaming magicians or a stationary caricaturist prior to brunch or a cigar roller after brunch can add a fun and interactive twist to your event

• Keep beverages to sparkling water, fruit juices and to light, signature cocktails such as mimosas and daiquiri’s

• Rather than have a DJ, enlist a quartet to play throughout the meal. Even a single guitar player can add an air of romance or tranquility. A live band is a perfect choice for post-meal dancing but a DJ works well too.

Carly and Mark (

• The style of meal will most often determine its precedence in the event. Buffets tend to move more quickly than plated meals which are perfect if you plan to have dancing or entertainment follow the brunch. Plated meals, depending on the number of guests and the number of courses, can be drawn out which works well if you do not have any post-brunch plans.

• Regardless of whether you are hosting a buffet or plated brunch, the food at your mid-morning reception can be just as glamorous as that of an evening function. Think warm brie soufflé with berry compote, Eggs Benedict over Brioche, scrambled eggs with duck comfit, scalloped potatoes, rack of lamb or roast beef in a Brandy glaze, French toast stuffed with banana and mango. Consider food stations for items like crepes and omelets and don’t be afraid to incorporate seafood such as lobster and shrimp in a lobster watercress sauce or a tuna steak piperade.

• Avoid heavy desserts like cheesecake and instead opt for a variety of pastries, fruit and miniature cakes such as strawberry shortcakes.

Weddings are just beginning to catch on to the appeal of morning functions but most other functions like birthdays, bridal/baby showers, anniversaries and especially corporate galas continue to shy away. This is a shame because regardless of occasion, you can host an incredibly elegant event that will always be remembered simply by getting rid of the moon and raising the sunshine.


(and ooh-and-ahh over) CAKE

Photo from The Wedding Cake Shoppe

© Melissa Nowakowski 2008

Cake seems to be the staple of a huge assortment of celebrations from weddings, anniversaries and bar mitzvahs to birthdays and, well, births. After all, what party is complete without cake? That said, choosing the ‘perfect’ cake for your celebration can be almost as challenging as deciding on the design of the event itself. Especially if you are opting for ‘unique’.

Many brides-to-be, birthday-girls/guys and party hosts have fretted over their celebratory cake. Because when it comes to cake, the more unique the cake the larger the price tag can be. Considering that many cake designers base their prices on the amount of labour required to create a custom cake, a simple (yet intricate and “unique”) three-tier cake can cost anywhere from $400 and up. Even “fake cakes” (aka Styrofoam cakes), which at one time were the cheaper option for display cakes, now cost almost the same as an edible cake because of the labour involved.

So how do you get that show-stopper of a cake for your special celebration without draining the budget? In two ways: Focus on the details and keep the following points in mind:


1. When it comes to large functions such as weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, anniversaries, etc. or celebrations that serve a variety of sweets at the same time, remember that only 75 – 80% of your guests will actually eat the cake. So plan the size of and number of slices to your cake accordingly – don’t ensure that every single guest will be entitled to a slice or you’ll wind up with quite the leftover.

2. Height doesn’t necessarily mean impact. Picture this: you walk into a room that houses two cakes. One cake is seven tiers high, two-toned and decorated with flowers. The other is a large slab cake that is comprised of bold colours and ornate accents. Which cake would you ooh and ahh over? The slab cake of course. Remember that the more tiers you have equates to more cake, which equates to more labour, which results in more ker-ching. You can serve up just as much impact with less tiers (or heck, even one) and be happy with the price tag.

3. That “totally one-of-a-kind" cake that you saw in a magazine/book/advertisement/TV show/ party you went to is not necessarily one-of-a-kind anymore. Consider this: if you saw that three tier, bubblegum pink, cherry blossom designed cake in a wedding magazine…so did over 100,000 other brides-to-be…and possibly three months before you picked up the magazine. So what do you think the chances are that at least ten of those 100,000 brides will rip that page out and take it to their local cake designer wanting that same design. So what do you do? Go ahead and rip out that page but use it as inspiration ONLY. Remember that you chose your cake artisan for a reason so let them take the inspiration and run with it. You may find yourself in awe of the one-of-a-kind cake that THEY create. Also keep in mind that what you see in that magazine/book/advertisement/TV show/ party you went to might look absolutely scrumptious but the price tag is missing. You could be in for the shock of your life.

4. Decide what about this particular cake is important to you. Is it having something visually striking that’s important to you or is making your guests swoon more important? Once you decide what it is that you are trying to accomplish you will know what components of your cake require that special touch, if at all. For example, if providing your guests with the most decedent dessert at your 50th birthday party is what is important to you; focus on the cake itself and not the decorations. If you want a display piece that your guests will remember for years to come, consider a “fake cake” that your guests can admire all night and serve your more typical slice of cake from a slab in the kitchen.


Taking the unique route with your cake doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to concentrate all the focus on icing. Sure, a mile high cake with intricate gum paste flowers and fancy accessories will garner attention. But like any other element to your celebration, focusing your creativity on the smaller details can pack a much stronger punch. The big wows are expected. It’s the unique “little things” that are unexpected and leave a lasting impression.

Here are just a few “little things” to focus on thus adding an innovative flair to your special cake without adding a huge leap in price:

FLAVOURS: So much emphasis is put on the outside of the cake that often the inside gets the plain Jane treatment. Why not shock the tastebuds of your guests with unusual flavour combinations? From Bailey’s, lemon and coconut and mango or pineapple filling to toffee and caramel or chocolate mint, celebration cakes that burst with unique flavour combos will not only have your guests gushing about the taste but it will remain in their memory for celebrations to come.

TOPPERS: Limiting the style and decorations to your cake and placing all the pizzazz in the cake topper is another way to 'top' things off with a big “wow”. By keeping the cake itself simple, the cake topper will draw all the attention. Now when we say “cake topper” we don’t mean a simple numbered-candle, the 'typical' bride and groom statue or the usual clown or teddy bear. Cake toppers can be pretty much anything that fits your theme or personality whether it be a pair of golf shoes, a diamond tiara, feathers, a teapot, a bobble head, etc. Just be sure that whatever cake topper you choose is not too heavy for the cake. Discuss your cake topper with your cake designer ahead of time so that they can make suggestions and arrangements.

Photos (L-R), Cake Therapy, Paris Tiaras

Sometimes something as simple as a colour combination can really make a statement. Of course, you’ll want to stay within your event’s colour scheme, but you can play up that scheme and make your cake stand out by choosing a much brighter version of your chosen colours. If you’re not regimented to a specific colour regimen, choose unique colour combinations that will catch attention or bold palettes that will draw your guests like moths to a flame.

Photos (L-R) The Wedding Cake Shoppe

Gone are the days where having a celebration cake meant it had to be round. These days cake artisans can create cakes in almost any shape including that of physical objects. But of course, bear in mind that the more ornate the shape the more expensive the cake can get.

One way to garner a creative edge without breaking the bank is to not limit yourself to one specific shape. If you’re cake is tiered, feel free to play with shapes – mix round and square tiers to create dimension. Also, don’t restrict your tiers to being stacked on top of one another. By separating your tiers you can do some funky shapes and styles and give your cake the illusion of being larger without the added expense of an additional tier. Playing with patterns like mixing circles with stripes can also add luster through simplicity just as mixing materials such as flowers with feathers or pearls with twigs can create the drama that your cake desires without relying on complicated icing designs.

Photos (L-R): Cakeoholics, Sweet N' Unique Cakes, Cakeoholics, The Wedding Cake Shoppe, CreARTive Cakes

You don’t have to rely on how your cake looks in order for it to make a statement. The placement of your cake can make all the difference in how much impact it has at your function. If you want your cake to be the focal point, place it in an open area that’s not cluttered with tables and chairs so that it stands out (ie) On a small table in the middle of the dance floor, to be moved over later in the celebration. Avoid over-decorating the cake table with tulle, draping and lights and trim the cake accessories such as champagne flutes, candles, etc – by keeping the table simple you ensure that the cake stands out and doesn’t get lost in the décor. If you want your cake to be the very first thing your guests notice or the last thing they remember, simply place it close to the entrance! Even the simplest of cakes will get noticed if strategically placed.

Only you can decide what your role will play at your celebration – will it simply be dessert or will it be a masterpiece that reflects your personality and exquisite taste? Whatever you choose let its role lay the path for how much emphasis you place on the cake and what aspects deserve that distinctive touch.

Photo from The Wedding Cake Shoppe



© Melissa Nowakowski 2008

We have some über exciting news!

Et Lofte Events is honoured to have been asked to be a contributor for Weddings of Diversity magazine – a brand spankin’ new bridal magazine that’s set to hit newsstands in April of 2009!

Weddings of Diversity combines unique content, exceptional style and gorgeous full-colour photography to provide ideas and inspiration to newly engaged couples in Ontario (and soon to all of Canada!). Focusing on weddings with a “diverse” perspective and showcasing articles written by top professionals within the industry (from event designers to cake artisans to…ahem…wedding planners and more), this magazine promises to be a one-of-a-kind resource for wedding details that are exquisite, creative and, you guessed it, diverse.

Given Et Lofte Events’ reputation for out-of-the-box thinking and dedication to creating innovative events, this magazine seemed a natural fit and so we’ve happily jumped on board!

Just as our blog provides readers with exceptional ideas for events, our 2-page spread in Weddings of Diversity magazine – complete with brilliant full-colour photos -- will focus on some of the most unique products and services available to Brides and Grooms all over Canada!

So keep your eyes peeled for Et Lofte Events and our distinctive finds in Weddings of Diversity magazine – hitting Brides and Grooms everywhere April 2009!



© Melissa Nowakowski 2008

When it comes to weddings, one of the newest trends is wearing a wedding gown that stands out far from tradition. Within the last year we’ve seen more brides shy away from the conventional uniform white or ivory ballgown and embrace traces of colour, stylistic shapes and throwbacks to the classic eras.

Yet even more recently unique fabrics, distinctive embellishments and gowns basked entirely in bold colour are popping up on the runways and down the aisles. Brides are becoming more daring and creative with their gown choices, focusing less on the “princess-for-a-day” mentality and concentrating more on having their gowns be an extension of their personalities and passions.

So what has recently caught the eye of Et Lofte Events? Gowns that look to Mother Nature as their muse. By incorporating gorgeous nature-inspired themes, colours and trimmings this wedding gown style is a true testament to the beauty of mother earth.

From scenic colours and delicate floral and fauna to the very best (and FAUX-renditions) of earth’s creatures, designers are really getting creative and some truly stunning and unique gowns are beginning to bloom.

Can’t find gowns with as much detail or in brilliant colours such as the ones featured below in your local Bridal Salon? Try boutiques that carry prom gowns (many prom gowns can double as wedding gowns!) and regular shops that carry evening gowns. And of course you can always have your gown made. Some of our fave designers in the Toronto area are Ruzz Couture and Lisa Van Hattem.

Here are just a few of our faves:











© Melissa Nowakowski 2008

Everyone knows that champagne has long been associated with class and elegance – whether it is passed to gala dwellers, offered to dinner party patrons or served to wedding guests with which to toast a bride and groom . Yet despite its so-called sophistication, no one is exactly wow’d by a glass of bubbly.

Until now that is.

Wild Hibiscus Flowers have been on the market for a little while now but are only starting to get the big ‘horrah’ they deserve. West-coast based Designer Cocktail Company has created this extraordinary garnish that originated from Australia to compliment a glass of champagne – and compliment it does!

The concept is simple: just add the fully edible flower (they taste similar to raspberries!) to a glass of champagne and watch the petals gently unfold into a blossom of sweet sophistication. For an extra touch of glamour, add a dab of the hibiscus flower syrup for colour.

Selling for $12 to $16 for a 250 g jar (holds approx. 11 flowers) at many local retailers across Canada (including Pusateri’s, and Fresh & Wild Market here in Toronto), Wild Hibiscus Flowers are a deliciously exotic addition to our favourite sparkling infusion.


Wrap your tastebuds in these!

© Melissa Nowakowski 2008

A fellow event planner recently alerted me to an incredibly unique company that creates the most scrumptious looking towels (yes, you read that right towels!)

Le Viette, based out of Los Angeles, creates presentation towels that resemble real desserts and are so perfectly designed that your mouth will water. Using only the highest quality towels made with 100% cotton each dessert towel is individually prepared by hand and available in a wide variety of dessert styles from the Swiss Roll, Mousse and mini-cakes to sundaes and ice cream. Et Løfte Events is totally starving for the Peach Crème Fruit Frais Cake ($19.99), the Pudding Cremeuse Sundae ($7.99) and the Aomori Apple Pour Moitié ($7.99)! The prices, which range from $7.99 to $19.99 U.S, include a design card and all the yummy trimmings. Not in the US? Not to worry! Le Viette dessert towels are available to all of Canada as well!

These delectable dessert towels are an absolutely delicious takeaway for any celebration --wedding, birthday, bridal or baby shower – and can also be the perfect gift for any gal with a sweet tooth no matter what the occasion!

SWEET LIL' NOTE: “Viette” is derived from the French word, Serviette, meaning “towel”.



A brand spankin' new bridal forum has just hit the Canadian wedding industry and once it offically gets rolling it promises to be the creme-de-la creme of bridal forums!

The new forum -- appropriately named Elite_Weddings -- describes itself as " a forum for discerning brides and grooms, who want their wedding day to be perfect." In other words, its a forum for wedding couples who want to hear from members and wedding professionals who have the same high standards that they do.

At first glance, the forum may appear like any other forum out there -- offering an assembly of categories ranging from Do-It-Yourself projects and Vendor promotions to Destination Weddings, Wedding Rants and more. But what makes this forum different is the products and services featured on the board are not just any "vendor" who has paid a fee to participate on the boards and advertise their company.

According to Elite Weddings, the industry professionals featured on this forum "must meet specific eligability requirements which show them to be reputable and reliable in the business".

This forum is not about how to create a wedding out of a shoestring budget or which vendors are the most-budget friendly. This forum is about wanting the very best for your wedding day and the conversations and professionals featured on the board reflect that.

In an industry where a new wedding company or service pops up every day, Elite Weddings is as polished and poised as the name hints. But it can only be as hot as the Brides and Grooms who post! So get on out there, join the board and start chatting!


(Yes it IS possible to make Halloween boo-tiful)

© Melissa Nowakowski 2008

When one thinks of a Halloween party, certain images come to parties decorated with an overabundance of "fake cobwebs", orange and black streamers and the "Monster Mash" blaring in the background while gorillas and witches roam about with beer or wine in hand...or the nightclub party with pounding base, scattered flashes of light and at least six (if not more) "sexy nurses", Catwoman or "sexy witches" prowling the scene.

It's hard to picture Halloween as glamorous.

But it is possible to have a 'boo-tiful' (pardon the pun) Halloween party whether it's a creative well-to-do for clients and co-workers or a unique gathering at your home. Going glam merely requires one simple thing: toss out the notion that Halloween has to be everything orange and black, paper or plastic, ghouls and goblins or edibley simple (not to mention the notion that your costume has to be made of polyester or rubber).

The venue for your spook-fest need not be boring. Choosing the right setting for your party will set the tone for the evening.

Research haunted venues in your city – whether they are an actual heritage venue, a vintage restaurant, an old hotel or movie house – and the rental fees for the evening. Depending on the size of your event you may find that renting a space is the best fit. Even booking a private room at a historically-haunted restaurant works perfectly and is at little to no cost to you. Untraditional venues such as the upper floor of a movie house, etc. may prove to be cost efficient as they are rarely booked let alone during Halloween weekend.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the venue must look scary or haunted. Just its history alone will be enough to send shivers down your guests’ spines. The venue’s history can be printed as an insert with your formal invitation or you can have small placards with the venue’s haunted history placed sporadically throughout the venue.

Even your home can generate the creepy-crawlies. Live in a new sub-development? Make up your own spooky history of the grounds on which your house was built (remember Poltergeist the movie?) Use special effects and décor to cast your home in an eerie light.

Some of our fave haunted venues here in the GTA? The Distillery, the Keg Mansion, Heintzman House and the Doctor’s House in Kleinberg.

Do away with Evites and cheesy jack-o-lantern invitations and choose invitations housed in black envelopes and made with luscious fabrics like velvet or metallic materials. As mentioned above, include an insert with the haunted history of your party venue, a riddle/hint of what to expect or you may even choose to include a token of your bash whether it be a plastic “skeleton key” or a black feather plume.

Traditional house party screams gorillas and sexy nurses. Glamorous spook-fest calls for drama. That said, request in your invitations that guests don all black attire and a Venetian mask. Remind them that the creepier the mask the better (you can even hold a contest for the scariest mask). Want to challenge your guests? Instruct guests to make their own Venetian masks.


Have fun with this! Store away those paper streamers and get creative! Here are some cool ideas that Et Lofte Events have drummed up which you can implement whether your function is a formal bash at a venue or in the comfort of your own home:

Light up the place! Use uplights in dark colours like deep reds to light up the outside walls of your venue or home. Use uplights inside the venue as well by lighting specific walls (not all of them) for flair.

Get foggy! Use a fog machine (aka: dry ice) to spontaneously spit out fog to accompany the special lighting.

Scream it. Have a looping slideshow or video of horror-movie clips projected onto select walls of your venue. Use clips from every horror movie from the classics to modern day – the mix of black and white with colour will keep your surroundings entertaining and eye-catching. Be sure to have the videos/slideshows on silent for drama.

Drape this. Drape tables in deep red satin underlays and cover with luxurious black embroidered overlays. Line windows big and small with dramatic red and black luscious fabrics.

Get back Jack! Forget done-and-done-again orange Jack-0-lanterns. Get funky with your pumpkins and using different sized pumpkins from small to the largest you can find, carve them into intricate designs and spray paint the pumpkin silver or white for a sleek metallic look. Add a black long-lasting candle and you have yourself a new twist on a cool staple of Halloween. Use these lanterns to line windowsills, front steps, and stairwells and group a few together to add a dramatic effect to the corners of rooms.

Paint broomsticks a variety of colours or group together like-coloured broomsticks in a floor urn. Place the broomsticks in the urn handle first and fan out the broomsticks as you would the stems of a floral arrangement. Fill in gaps with straw or thin coloured branches.

Urn some décor-flattery! Have beautiful, antique looking urns resting on their sides with deep red and black or purple and black sand spilling out of it into a pool on the surface.

Need bewitching centerpieces? Fill a short simple vase with some water. Cover the vase with a tall witches hat. Cut off the tip of the witch’s hat (at the very point) and insert an arrangement of spiky, dark-coloured florals through the tip of the hat into the vase so that the florals stick out the very point of the witch hat.

Paint foam heads black and cover the faces with Venetian masks. Place the heads sporadically about the venue.

Going glam for Halloween doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to stomp out classics like ‘Monster Mash’. In fact, you’d be surprised by how many people actually cheer when that song comes on. But choose your music wisely. Weather you have a DJ or are playing DJ yourself, be sure to mix in your favourite non-Halloween music with the classic spook-songs. And be sure to steer clear of the traditional “howls and creepy noise” Cds!

Hiring a live band to cover all the classic Halloween songs (and more of course) is a great treat for your guests as well.

Ask any good catering for cost efficient food fare with a spooky twist and you’ll be surprised with the delicious hors d’ouevres that they create (not to mention the adorable names to go along with them). From Bloody Shooters (tomato soup or gazpacho served in shot glasses) and ‘Mummy Wraps’ to Hallo weenies (tasty sausage rolled in puff pastries) and Death by Chocolate fondue, your party food doesn't need to consist of bowls of chips and cheesies.

Signature drink anyone? How about Bloody Marys or a Cauldron of red wine?

Halloween is meant to be a fun celebration despite its dark roots. But for those who want to mix in a little sophistication with their creepiness, going glam can be a delicious alternative and isn’t difficult to pull off. All it takes is a little imagination, some great food and music and an open mind!



© Melissa Nowakowski 2008

We’ve been waiting for this! At long last, 2009 will be all about bright splashes of colour and bold colour combos. No, this doesn’t mean that events have to look garish! It means that gone are the days of soft, pastel shades and here come luxurious and luminous palettes!

Here are just a few of our up and coming faves:

Blue with orange
Peach with orange
Wine/Burgandy with burnt orange and tan
Yellow (all shades!)
Yellow with blue
Turquoise with red
Pink with blue
Bright pinks like fuschia


There are two huge inspirations that are weighing big in 2009: the environment and the art of illumination.

Using coloured spotlights, uplighting and unique lighting fixtures in your event creates a bold, dramatic statement.

And of course, the eco-friendly campaign will continue at an even stronger pace, affecting everything in events from décor to takeaways to healthy, organic catering.

Some of the up and coming trends we’re excited about:

Favours that inspire others to go green: using lightbulbs as bud vases, giving away personalized/beautifully decorated canvas grocery bags, gas cards in decorative slipcovers, seedlings and more! All are unique, beautiful and practical giveaways for the environmentally-concious guest.

Centerpieces and décor inspired by nature: potted trees or exotic plants, moss sculptures, aquatic centerpieces and more all combine the best of nature to remind us of its beauty.

Outdoor Chandeleirs! Forget traditional lanterns! What could be more dramatic at an outdoor or a tented event than hanging chandeliers over tabletops, draped from the branches of trees, or lining the sides of a walkway?

Chinese Flying Lanterns! Flame retardant and fully biodegradeable coloured lanterns are lit and then guided into the air to ascend like miniature hot air balloons. A unique and beautiful alternative to fireworks, Chinese flying lanterns not only add colour to the night sky but exude unsurpassed elegance (not to mention pay tribute to an ancient Chinese tradition!)


In 2009, inspiration is returning to the classic eras. From the dropped waist of the roaring 20’s, the mini dress of the 60’s and the sophisticated style of Audrey Hempburn in the 50’s, to the daring gowns of today like those whose hems rest above the knee but gradually become extra long in the back – the wedding gown is undergoing some dramatic transformations. Not to mention their accessories. Black accessories are making a grand entrance and hats –whether it’s the pillbox, the cocktail or the garden hat – are making a strong comeback.

In terms of fabrics, softer and more angelic fabrics are entering the scene in the form of chiffon and draping. And with regards to design, colour is everything – appearing in trims, beading and even in fabrics and when combined with the up and coming trend of patterns on wedding gowns – make an even bigger statement.


Auctions: Believe it or not, auctions are becoming increasingly popular at events of all kinds whether it be at a Stag and Do to raise money or a corporate event to showcase new and exciting products. And then of course there's the traditional fundraisers...

Personal Chefs: This may not seem like a new trend but hiring chefs to cater to parties that are smaller in scale is on the rise. Personal chefs from top catering firms are showing up at parties of all kinds including showers, birthdays, anniversaries and your friendly nieghbourhood dinner gathering.

2nd Weddings go Glitz! Gone are the modest 2nd marriages conducted in front of a justice of the peace and a simple gathering at the couple's home afterwords. Couples getting married for a second time are now throwing marriage celebrations as grand as the first complete with catering, decor, special effects and high fashion. And why not? A wedding is still a wedding!

Food frenzy: The word is that some of the new (and unique) trends creeping up in catering include bacon as the new additive of choice and the exclusive use of locally grown foods for grand events. In the dessert department, Paleta (a Mexican ice pop that comes in unique flavours) is making a statement as a convenient soiree choice, gourmet chocolate with everything continues to be a trend favourite and last but not least, while cupcakes have always been a fun dessert choice, it's going to be big at play at events of all kinds.