© Melissa Nowakowski October 2009

When one thinks of Halloween weddings images of costumes, pumpkins, orange and black and all things scary come to mind. But who says that a Halloween wedding has to be scary or limited to orange and black? With just the right touch of ghoul and glam a Halloween wedding can be oh-so-stylish!

Play with colours (even pink and black or a mixture of blues, purples and black can be just as theme accommodating as the traditional colours of orange, red and black).

Play with attire (who says that a black or red wedding gown has to be the only way to go?) Let your groom explore his creativity with accessories like canes, top hats, whimsical ties and boutonnieres.

Play with themes like a mad scientist's laboratory, a haunted Victorian mansion (think creepy Victorian paintings with the eyes cut out, candelabras with black candles, large Victorian-style throne-like chairs for the bride and groom's seats) , feathers and black lace (think swags of black lace running along the pews, black or purple feathers adorning bouquets and centerpieces, black lace overlays atop lush purple linens) or what is more fun at Halloween than candy! (think wreaths made of candy, lollipop bouquets, large vases filled with colourful, theme-coloured candy, a candy buffet in theme-coloured candy)

Play with your stationary. Why not have your invitation as a spooky riddle, shaped like a coffin, a toe tag from the morgue, or made to look like a death certificate?

Here are just a few images from which to gain inspiration. Remember, when it comes to Halloween anything goes!

Photo courtesy of The Spiral Stem

Photo courtesy of the Photo Card Chef

Photo courtesy of Claire Pettibone

Photo courtesy of Toybreaker

Photo courtesy of Haunted Collectibles

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of Hostess with the Mostest

Photo courtesy of BHG

Photo courtesy of Hostess with the Mostest

Photo courtesy of Hostess with the Mostest

Photo courtesy of Hostess with the Mostest

Photo courtesy of Pink Cake Box

Photo courtesy of
Hostess with the Mostest



© Melissa Nowakowski October 2009

Serious fashionistas take note: the Fall 2009 Christian Dior collection is a fashionable Bride's dream. Inspired by the classic 1950s, Dior's collection takes the era's pretty skivvies and beautifully puts them out there for all to see.

And what colour! Dior's Fall 2009 couture, designed by the ever-so-fabulous John Galliano is bursting with it: fuschia, orange, yellow, red...the sky was the limit.

So can we use this stunning couture collection as inspiration for wedding runways? Absolutely! Colour, classic 1950s style and a little bit of daring fashion...what is not to love, admire and gain inspiration from?



Can you just picture an aisle runner lit up by some of these bold garments on a stylin' Bridal Party or a fashionista Bride workin' it in a wedding gown fashioned after one of these stunning ballgowns?

This Planner can!

Et Lofte Events had the honour of being a part of Ricky and Irene's September 26th wedding -- a beautiful fusion of their Chinese culture and their urban personality. Full of wit, sophistication and energy, Ricky and Irene ensured that their wedding day was a reflection of them as a couple while still honouring their cultural backgrounds.

The ceremony was held in front of a picturesque window at the chic Artagallery (even their adorable pooch was in attendance!) and despite the threat of rain, the wedding party was able to pose for their pictures throughout the surrounding Distillery District and among the architectural beauty of University College on the grounds of the University of Toronto.

The reception was held at the Capitol Event Theatre and beautifully decorated by Shermin at Petals and Twigs who also provided the ceremony decor, bouquets and boutinierres. Manzanita trees of orchids and dangling crystals adorned the Head Table engulfed by hydrangea and gorgeous foliage while a stem of hydrangea sat atop a tall vase with twisted wire on the surrounding tables. The tables were dressed with "Tavoli Gardens" linen from Around the Table and the beautiful gold and ivory padded Chivari Chairs from Chair Decor awaited their seated guests.

Ricky and Irene integrated their Chinese culture with their "western" decor by holding one of their tea ceremonies at the Capitol Event Theatre. They also provided a Photo-Album Guestbook along with the traditional red satin cloth for their guests to sign and held a toast to each table of guests during dinner with signature "Green Tea Martinis". And of course what Chinese wedding would be complete without a hilarious game or two with the Bride and Groom?

Irina and Mihkel Fortey from Irina Photography masterfully captured the wedding day in all its beauty with skillful eyes, creativity and a dash of humour that kept everyone at ease.

And the rain? The rain held off until the wedding party arrived at the reception. This Planner has always said that when it comes to weddings, the Sun Gods always smile upon her and provide a small miracle.



Maybe it's because I once majored in Musical Theatre...or maybe it's because it's truly unique...but this wedding toast to the Bride is one that's after this Planner's own heart!

Keep watching -- it's long but quite entertaining!



© Melissa Nowakowski 2009

For many, the celebration of Thanksgiving conjures up images of turkeys, pumpkins, pies and rust-coloured leaves. And this image, of course, is derived from tradition and history.

But for those of us who strive to break from tradition and create something that their guests will remember long after the long weekend has ended, stepping away from a steadfast tradition with a concrete history like Thanksgiving is something that is not easily done.

And so, like every planner who loves all things unique, we lovingly keep most tradition and "tweak" the rest.

Here are some small-yet-impactful details that can transform a typical Thanksgiving
get-together into a memorable one:

Naturesque detail: Gather leaves and write your guests names on each one with black permanent marker. Use these as placecards.

Run With It: Find orange, brown and Burgundy wallpaper in any type of print (the bolder the print the better) and run it down the center length of the table, creating a fashionable and eye-catching (not to mention affordable!) table runner.

Jack-o-Lantern of all trades: Carve miniature orange pumpkins so that they are hollow inside, line the inside with clear plastic wrap or coloured tissue and use the pumpkins as bowls for condiments such as butter packets, sugar cubes, etc. Want to go the extra mile? After thoroughly washing the inside of the pumpkin, place a small container inside and use the pumpkin as a bowl for gravy, soup or whatever your heart fancies.

Photo courtesy of

Use larger pumpkins as planters for arrangements of calla lillies, roses, leucadendron, pincushion protea, day lilies, fugi mums, alstromeria and hypercium berries.

Photo courtesy of

Bird's Eye View: Collect a few antique birdcages in various sizes, styles and colours and adorn them with beautiful fall foliage such as leaves, hypercium berries, roses, etc. Set them along the center length of the table among miniature pumpkins and corn cobs painted in various bold colours.

Alternatively, paint just one antique birdcage in a bold colour and prop the front door open. Have beautiful fall flowers, leaves, berries candles and painted miniature pumpkins spilling out from inside of the birdcage onto the table.

Show thanks now and forever: Show what you're truly thankful and friends. Display photographs of family and friends (edited in sepia tone for an antique look ) in vintage frames among sets of candles ranging in size. A beautiful tribute to whom we are thankful to have in our lives, this montage will serve as a conversation piece whether you use it as a centerpiece or mantle decor.

Child's Play: Create a fun children's table for your wee guests. Place brown butcher paper on the table to act as a tablecloth AND a drawing board and place a decorative cup of crayons in the center of the table. Place a 'goodie' bag at each place setting that's chock full of colouring books, puzzles and individual games.

Photo courtesy of

Eat this:
While turkey is a traditional staple of Thanksgiving, there are many other options that are just as hearty and mouth-watering. It doesn't have to have wings to have a place at the table. Lamb, Roast, Veal or heck, even a lobster and prawn feast...whatever meal will bring your family and friends together works. Still want to give 'em the bird? Why not switch the turkey for duck for a nice change of pace?

Change up your sides and include non-traditional favourites like risotto or herbed rice or opt for modifications on the traditional such as spiced yams or sweet and sour mash.

Instead of dessert, offer up a gorgeous array of cheeses and fruit to delight the palate.

Bottom's Up: Serve up this incredible Pumpkin Margarita created by Crema Restaurante in New York City:
  • 2 ounces Partida Reposado Tequila
  • 1 ounce of fresh lime or lemon juice
  • Splash of pumpkin puree
  • Lime wedge
  • Sesame seeds (You'll already have these if you are using the French bean recipe above.)
Rim the cocktail glass with lime juice and sesame seeds. Mix the ingredients well in a shaker with ice and strain into the glass. Garnish with the lime wedge on the side of the glass.

It's all Fun and Games: Before Tryptophan has a chance to set in after the meal, send your guests out to the backyard for a good old fashion Scavenger Hunt in the fall leaves.

However you wish to give 'Thanks' this holiday season -- whether it's a home affair with the family's best linen and china, a stylish soiree set up in a chic barn or casual conversation over grub at the neighbourhood pub -- we here at Et Lofte Events wishes everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

And just what is this Planner thankful for?

Having a creative mind and being blessed with loving family and friends who continuously encourage her to use it.