Another year of planning out-of-the-box weddings and events is almost behind us and a brand spankin' new year that's filled with super-awesome clientele and endless possibilities is just around the corner! This Planner at Et Lofte Events has been so very lucky to have spent 2011 not only planning unique weddings and events for some truly open-minded and creative clients but also connecting with fellow wedding and event professionals who are always up to the challenge of surpassing my "unique" expectations! That said, as we approach 2012 at lightening speed I thought I'd take a moment to sit back and reflect on just a few of Et Lofte Events' most memorable moments and concepts of 2011:

  • the wedding guestbook made up entirely of speeding tickets and the shooting-target seating chart in honour of the Groom's profession

  • that moment of serenity I felt when I noticed a deer quietly watching me set up an outdoor wedding
  • Menu Cubes: small boxes with each course printed on each side of the box and a truffle waiting inside as an extra surprise

  • granting our clients' wish of turning a bland, community banquet hall with an old-school outlook into a "unique venue"
  • the surprise Acapella Group performance at a client's wedding (the Groom's gift to his Bride)

  • the "smash cake" wedding cake
  • the birth of my second son :)

  • the skunk that sprayed my assistant's clipboard (Sorry Brenda!)
  • adopting "Starsky and Hutch" -- our Black Morrow goldfish from our sassy style shoot at the Berkeley Event Centre

  • the Bride's memorable walk down the aisle to Steve Earl's "Sparkle and Shine" (which is now on my ipod playlist)
  • the wildest, craziest, most fun bunch of Groomsmen I have ever encountered in my planning career (this is a shout out to you 'House')
Photo by Life Images

  • To replace the boring kissing game at a client's wedding we chose to have the guests pay for a kiss (one dollar gets a peck on the cheek, five dollars gets "the dip", etc) with the proceeds going to charity in honour of the Groom's late father. At the reception, the Groom's mother took up a collection of Four Hundred Dollars from guests and said to the Newlyweds "This had better be a good kiss!"...And what a kiss it was!

Photo by Ikonica

  • Personalized cootie-catchers as a throw back to my clients' childhood
  • Having a client teach me the LMFAO's Party Rock Anthem dance (which I nailed, thank you very much!)
  • Forget the candy bar -- the espresso bean and grounds bar was a total hit with attendees!
  • "Abbey Road" in Liberty Village
Photo by LG Weddings

  • Our "street-haute" design for a Creative Direction client's event (think graffiti projected walls and centerpieces utilizing bicycle wheels and blown-out umbrellas!) Can't wait to see pics!
  • The illusion that Bobby Motta pulled on me at a client's wedding in which he somehow managed to get my wedding band on a key chain ring, in a zipped wallet, in his back pocket...(still haven't figured out how you did that Dude.)
  • Each and every moment my clients' eyes lit up at an idea I had thought up for their event.

My goal for 2012? It's simple really. My goal is to continue to work with clients who aren't afraid to step out-of-the-box, defy trends, take risks and trust in my unique vision and planning skills. It is to continue to exceed my clients' expectations, to help my clients enjoy the planning process of their special event and to push my creativity past even the farthest of limits.

To my uber-fantastic clients of 2011 and beyond I sincerely wish to thank you for granting me such amazing opportunities to utilize my creativity and create one-of-a-kind weddings and events for you. It was an honour to share in your life celebration. I am so incredibly thankful each and every day of planning your occasions that I have been lucky enough to find my niche in the planning industry, no matter how unconventional the path may be and to have clients, like you, who encourage me to push the envelope with your open-mindedness. I wish each and every one of you all the best for a happy, love-filled and adventurous 2012.

To my assistants and Associate Planners with Et Lofte Events, I want to thank you for all your hard work and dedication in 2011. Thank you for all the giggles, the sweat, the encouragement and most of all, your friendship. I am truly thankful to have you as part of my team, I wish you happiness and fulfillment for 2012 and look forward to a new year of engaging events together.

To all of you, have safe and happy celebrations and
all the best to you for a brand spankin' New Year!




Winter Skate Ornament $115 by Swarovski

So the Holidays are upon us and in keeping with the holiday spirit, This Planner is sharing some of her favourite festive finds -- perfect for adding that je ne ce quoi to your personal holiday fete!


You know how much you love the mini deserts that caterers offer up in little shot glasses. Well why not do it at your home holiday soiree? The Libbey Just Dessert 25-Piece Mini Parfait Set includes twelve 2.5 ounce parfait glasses and is accessorized with twelve mini spoons and a recipe card. Whether it's double chocolate pudding or Strawberry Mousse, you'll be serving dessert as fashionably as your fave caterers!

Libbey Just Dessert Parfait Set $20 Bed Bath and Beyond


Need an imaginative centerpiece but don't have a lot of time (not to mention a hefty budget)? This super cute centerpiece idea from Divine Party Concepts is sure to do the trick! Simply turn a martini glass or wine glass upside down, fill the barrel with holly and top the stem with a tea light. Voila! Instant ooh and ahh.


Ok, so while snowman cookie cutters, scented candles and shortbread cookies seem to be a giveaway staple for holiday parties why not go the extra step and give your guests' takeaways a little twist with unusual cookie cutters or baked goods. Case in point: how can you go wrong with the guys in giving them Star Wars cookie cutters? Or instead of the usual baked goods, try Spiced Rosemary Nuts from Williams Sonoma?

Star Wars Cookie Cutters $19.95 from Williams Sonoma

Spiced Rosemary Nuts Recipe from Williams Sonoma


If you're like us, napkin rings designed like snowflakes or holly or pine cones just don't cut it anymore. We're loving using different objects or nature-turned-otherwise elements to wrap napkins and spice up any tabletop. Our faves?

Burst beaded napkin rings $22.99 for a set of four at Urban Barn

Bronze-case Birch napkin Rings $54 US from Best American Arts


We've seen the red, the gold, the green...heck, we've even seen the purple, the turquoise and the lime linens for holiday parties. Mix those colours together in a stunning pattern and you've got linen that suits any festive celebration! We're lovin' this Purple Dubai linen from Susan Murray International. Match it up with purple, gold or lime napkins and you have instant ooh-la-la that doesn't scream "Christmas".

Purple Dubai linen from Susan Murray International


We love the whimsy that Dr. Seuss brings to anything party-related. And who isn't head over the heels for The Grinch? Bring that whimsy to your own holiday decor with these Dr. Seuss inspired Christmas trees in vibrant colours and these uber-cute centerpieces that This Planner couldn't resist taking home from the Annual Event Industry's Christmas Party here in Toronto!

Photo by Coastal Living

Centerpieces designed by Carolyn Luscombe at Eclectic Events International


We're loving Lotti and Lil's unique take on cake pops -- one of the hottest trends to hit the event industry: Pie Pops! These babies have been blogged about to high heaven and for good reason! Apple and Cinnamon in bite-sized goodness? Who could resist?

Pie pops $25 per dozen Lotti and Lil


If you're anything like This Planner, we're as far from being chef-worthy in the kitchen as you can get. So why not take the stress and time out of that Holiday Dinner Party and leave that incredible holiday meal to the professionals (not to mention come up with a delectable menu! Seriously, we're creative but we can't come up with these feasts!). For just $45 per person with a ten person minimum you could have a sinfully delicious feast delivered to your door by top caterers like Daniel and Daniel here in Toronto? Here's just a hint of what could be in store for you:

Festive Dinner at Home by Daniel et Daniel

Celery Root & Apple Soup

garnished with Caramelized Apples

Baby Frisee & Boston Lettuce Salad

with popped Cranberries & Honey Walnuts

served with a Maple Vinaigrette

Roast Turkey
thickly sliced, tender white & dark meat,

served with gravy & cranberry sauce

Traditional Bread Stuffing
made with sage & onion

Mashed Yukon Gold & Sweet Potato

Medley of Seasonal Vegetables

including Brussels Sprouts, Peppers , Baby Carrots

Cauliflower & Broccoli

Fresh Breads & Whipped Butter Rosettes

Individual Rustic Poached Pears

with Almond Frangipane

served with Cranberry Compote


Bring the beach to your holiday festivities by choosing beach and nautical inspired decorations like colourful fish, blooming starfish, sailboats and more to grace everything from your Christmas tree to your garlands and centerpieces. It's a unique take on the usual festive decor and the best part is that the colour palette is endless!



If you're planning a winter themed event or wedding and the thought of glittery Christmas trees and "winter wonderland" themes make you want to gag, consider hitting the books...literally.

Nothing shouts "winter" or "Christmas" more than Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. And with just the right touches, your wintery event or wedding can be the stuff that Christmas carols are made of.


Host the event or wedding at a historical mansion (think Graydon Hall or Heintzman House here in Toronto).


For weddings top hats, tails, ascots and canes are must-have's for the Groom and Brides can don a beautiful muff, cape or stole. Young Ring Bearers would look adorable in a pea coat and knickers. For general events, dress up waitstaff similarly or for a more fun, interactive element, invite guests to dress up as their favourite (or any) character from A Christmas Carol.


  • A Christmas Carol lends itself to endless possibilities when it comes to decor as you can pull different elements from the era itself (like town square) to specific scenes from the movie (like Fezziwig's party, etc). Some of This Planner's ideas?
  • Candelabra or lanterns hanging from stands adorned with ivy and winter florals to line walkways and aisles
  • Old fashioned street lamp props decorated with ivy coupled with street signs
  • Set up food stations as classic store fronts. Label the stations as they'd be seen in town, like Bakery, etc.
  • Rectangle tables set up "commune" style and dressed in ivory and rich browns
  • Large lanterns set in the middle of tables and decorated with evergreen branches, fake holly and pine cones


  • Travel via horse and carriage or offer horse and carriage rides to guests
  • Turn a top hat upside down and use it to house mini scrolls upon which guests can write their holiday wishes for the host or Bride and Groom.
  • Tie mini scrolls of quotes from A Christmas Carol to table cards for guests to take
  • In lieu of table numbers, name tables after characters from the book (Scrooge, Cratchit, Fizziwig, Tiny Tim...well you get the idea)
  • As a takeaway for your guests, offer copies of A Christmas Carol, mini pies or even gingerbread men shaped like a ghost (to represent the three spirits). For a more traditional take on the era, give away bite-sized boxes of fruitcake


  • Have carolers dressed in period clothing sing carols during the cocktail hour or, if a cocktail party, have them roam the room and sing to clusters of guests.
  • Have a dance instructor teach guests how to waltz on the dance floor
  • Have a photo backdrop with a wide variety of top hats, canes, gloves, large Victorian hats, etc. for guests to pose with and have their photo taken


  • Go traditional with your edibles! Serve classic turkey with stuffing and cranberries and mashed potatoes family style at each guest table. And for weddings, display a traditional Bride AND Groom cake
  • Offer comfort food that will create that warm-and-fuzzy feeling for your guests. Think soups (like butternut squash, pumpkin or tomato) in shot glasses alongside finger sandwiches
  • Serve spiced wine and hot buttered rum during cocktails
  • Forgo the traditional late night munchies and offer hot chocolate and egg nog stations, a gingerbread house from which guests can pick and a station offering a variety of pies from classic apple to more obscure like Tourtierre (meat pie).

All images courtesy of Life Images

Jacquie and George's wedding day basked in the sun of one of the most beautiful days of July. The Torontonians tied the knot at Stone Gardens on the Lake,surrounded by a beautiful landscape of florals and greenery and with the glorious lake as their backdrop. Their wedding day was exactly as they had imagined -- a mix of laid-back comfortability with sweet simplicity.

Golf carts shuttled guests from the parking area at Stone Gardens on the Lake to the ceremony area and as guests arrived at the estate, they were greeted first by the Best Man and Groom and then served mimosas and pink lemonade as they waited for the ceremony to begin.

Following the Bridesmaids procession to the Beatles' "And I Love Her", Jacquie was escorted down the stone steps by her father to Steve Earl's "Sparkle and Shine".

The ceremony took place on the pergola in front of a vast blue lake and a lantern lit in memory of both their grandfathers and other family members who had passed. Once pronounced husband and wife, the couple left the altar to "Wouldn't It be Nice" by the Beach Boys and guests were treated to mojitos.

During cocktails, guests gathered once again on the Pergola for the Bride and Groom's First Dance -- a choreographed number to "Stay" by Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs.

Jacquie and George arrived in a 1972 Chevrolet truck at the reception which was held at Brio Gusto -- a quaint local restaurant in the heart of Peterborough. The restaurant's oak tables and booths were dressed with an abundance of lilies, rose and candles. Along with menus peeking out from purple napkins, advice cards were left for the guests upon which to write marital advice. Flip flops waited for aching feet in a large basket on the dance floor and seating cards were pinned to a bulletin board decorated by the bride.

Served restaurant-style, guests enjoyed a menu comprised of salad, Spiced Red Lentil Soup, PEI Striploin and Free-range Chevre and Fig Stuffed Chicken and Apple Crisp or Chocolate Brownie for dessert.

After humorous and touching speeches and the cutting of the cake, the party kicked off with the wedding party showing their skills at the "Twist".

"Our favourite part about our wedding was that we were able to have so much fun!" Jacquie says, "From the moment we woke up to the moment that we fell asleep; we had smiles on our faces. It is so incredible to be able to create a day with all of your favourite people, your favourite food, your favourite drinks, music, flowers, etc. What more could a couple ask for?!!! And to top it all off, we had our 96 and 100-year-old Grandmas in attendance and all six of the Groomsmen were on the dance floor for the first dance -- the Twist!"


Wedding Planner – Et Lofte Events, Toronto

Photographer – Life Images, Toronto

Videographer – ImagesWeddings, Toronto

Ceremony & Cocktails – Stone Gardens on the Lake , Peterborough

Cocktail Caterer – Parkhill on Hunter, Peterborough

Reception Venue – Brio Gusto, Peterborough

Florals – The Flower Store, Peterborough

Cake The Cake Artist, Peterborough

Invitations, menus, etc – Stephita, Toronto

DJ – MacMillan Group, Toronto

Hair – Escapes Hair and Esthetics, Peterborough

Make-up – Prettiface, Toronto



Another wedding season ends and another event planning season begins. Here are just a few of the concepts and items of which I'm stoked that my clients are taking advantage of right now.


Photo from Artscape

I absolutely love that clients are thinking outside the lavish ballroom and choosing raw, unpolished spaces in which to work their event magic. Whether it's a heritage building with exposed brick, an empty warehouse space or barns and hangers, these empty slates provide a wealth of opportunity for any theme from lavish to eclectic to off-beat.

Photo from The Burroughs

I'm also loving that clients who have chosen a typical banquet hall for their function aren't taking what's offered lying down. What I mean is that they aren't accepting the banquet room at face value but instead are choosing to transform the room into a sweet, non-traditional space through various elements including uplighting, projections, draping, linen choices and more. For example, a client of Et Lofte Events is opting for the street-haute look for their fete with grafitti projected on the walls and rustic linens combined with every day street items incorporated into their decor (think bicycle wheels, chapboards and blown out umbrellas)!


There's something to be said for choosing to dine off the beaten path. I'm stoked that wedding clients are choosing cultural food that is completely opposite of their ethnic background. I'm talking about a Polish couple choosing Thai for their menu or Indian cuisine showcased at an Asian couple's wedding. I'm also stoked to see totally unusual food themes like "fast food restaurant" inspired stations.

I'm also lovin' that clients are offering food stations that have fun, interactive elements such as stack-it-yourself poutine stations that offering a wide variety of toppings rather than just your standard cheese curds and gravy, ice-cream sandwich stations with a variety of ice-cream flavours or passed popcorn in a variety of flavours including curry.


DJs and bands will forever be staples of weddings and celebrations. And I'm always fond of having your entertainment options match your theme for continuity. But I'm also over-the-moon with the idea of surprise entertainment -- meaning having an element of entertainment that is completely off-kilter from your theme or out of a wedding couple's comfort zone. Just how off-kilter do I mean? I'm speaking of hip hop instructors teaching wedding guests some funky dance moves, fortune tellers offering advice for the future during cocktails, a scavenger hunt challenge or live glass blowers during dinner. The possibilities are endless!