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.