They’ll be standing at the altar too and yet so often the Grooms seem to fade from the wedding planning equation. Everywhere you turn from magazines and web sites to TV and tradeshows, wedding planning seems to be directed to the Bride. Over the last few years however men have begun to climb out from the backseat and take an active role in the planning of their wedding. But where do they go for inspiration and ideas when their interests are seemingly under-represented in the wedding industry?

Enter The Groom Show ( – the very first wedding show in all of North America that’s just for the Groom. Held on Sunday, April 17, 2011 from Noon to 5 PM at the Erin Mills Convention Centre, The Groom Show understands that wedding planning is for Grooms too and provides an entertaining program that’s free from lace, roses and sparkle.

From unique ideas and products to exceptional wedding professionals and entertainment, The Groom Show is everything a guy could want for his wedding. In addition to “man-to-man” seminars held in “The Man Cave” (such as
"Getting the Biggest Bang for your Wedding Buck", "How to Be the Groom Your Bride Wants You to Be", "Breakfast in Bed" and more), one-on-one chats with outstanding professionals in the industry and free espresso all day, The Groom Show also features a Gaming Room where Grooms can out-race or out-golf their Best Man, beer and liquor tastings, incredible ‘guy-friendly’ Door Prizes (including Tuxedo Dollars towards Andrews Formals, a Honeymoon Prize Pack for Jamaica and more!) and a “Fashion for the Modern Man” runway of the best formal, destination and honeymoon fashions for men (not to mention exquisite lingerie and jewellery for his Bride-to-be).

With every up and coming wedding, another Groom follows their Bride-to-Be from boutique to boutique, attend Bridal Show after Bridal Show, flip through Bridal Magazines and watch wedding programs on TV. For the first time in North America, Grooms can now have a place to call their own! Join your fellow Groomsmen at The Groom Show April 17th at the Erin Mills Convention Centre and Get Your Groom On!


Don't let the name fool you -- Double Chocolate Fountain is not just about, well, chocolate fountains. Of course, this company prides itself on the ability to have 2 different types of chocolate cascading down elegantly styled tiers in a variety of colours. But that's not what caught This Planner's eye. It was the uber adorable alternatives to the fountain that this company provides that made her do a little happy skip.

That said, This Planner thought she'd share some sweet alternatives to the ho-hum tradition of candy buffets and chocolate fountains (because let's face it, a chocolate fountain regardless of looks or flavours is still...yup, a chocolate fountain).


Ok, how sweet is this twist on the traditional BBQ? With mini "sweet" sliders made of chocolate ganache sandwiched between sweet buns and fries sculpted from bite-sized funnel cakes and mexican donuts (otherwise known as churro), how could you go wrong? Toss in some toppings like carmel "mustard" sauce or strawberry "ketchup" sauce and you've successfully provided a sensory twist for your guests!

Photo courtesy of Double Chocolate Fountain


Alright, so S'mores stations at weddings and events aren't exactly cutting edge. They've actually been around for a while but gosh darn it! They are so fun! With this no-campfire-needed station, guests can build that classic graham cracker, chocolate and melted marshmallow goodness on their own or with the assistance of Double Chocolate Fountain.

Photo courtesy of Double Chocolate Fountain


Know what goes well with a 'sweet table'? Sweet beverages! Using an amazing variety of flavours from Milk Chocolate, Mint and Caramel to Banana, Mocha and Peanut Butter, this station recreates the traditional hot chocolate chocolatini style complete with a wide array of toppings including cookie crumbles, whipped cream and mini peanut butter cups.

Photo courtesy of Double Chocolate Fountain


Hot Belgian waffles coated in your choice of chocolate or caramel, topped just the way you like and served on a stick? Oh heck yes! Whether it's white chocolate, milk chocolate or caramel and whether you like sprinkles, whipped cream or cookie bits, these Belgian beauties which are made right on the spot will definitely make for a sweet interactive treat for your guests.

Photo courtesy of Double Chocolate Fountain


Candy apples set at each place setting as a Favour? Soooo yesterday! Creating customized candy apples on-site? Sweeeet.

Whether your guests like their apples coated with candy or with caramel, this interactive station will bring out the kid in all of them. Apples are dipped in the coating of your guests' choice then sprinkled with a vast range of toppings from assorted candies to chocolate chips.

Photo courtesy of Double Chocolate Fountain

Of course, chocolate fountains are still considered classic edible-entertainment by classic as candy buffets , but if you want to give guests an experience that's different from the hum-drum, these creatively sweet interactive stations will not only let out your guests' inner children but will give new meaning to the term "eye-candy" while doing it!



Weddings and events are constantly evolving and fortunately the rules have changed in terms of tradition. This is not to say that traditions aren't important but the truth of the matter is that you have to be happy with the look and feel of your event. That said, creating a look that is unique yet personalized to you is important. After all, it's a reflection of who you are.

The ever-so-talented Event Design Specialists at Mode Function -- Jeffery Crawford and Michael Alonso -- have comprised below their top 5 tips for designing a wedding or event that reflects what matters to you:

Understand the Mood that you want to create.

Are you looking to create a romantic fairytale environment? Are you chic and sophisticated or do you appreciate a more casual look? According to Jeffery and Michael, understanding what mood you want to convey to your guests is the foundation for creating a look that is all your own and they suggest that browsing through Google Images or a wedding magazine will help if you're unsure of what mood you're after.

"If you're the type of person that gets bogged down with all that wedding decor then why not look to other areas of design for your inspiration", Jeffery says, "We find a great deal of inspiration from hoe decor interior design, fashion and art".

"Collect inspiration or 'mood' pictures", Michael suggests, "Once you have a healthy dose of pictures that speak to you, match them up in groups with similar styles or colour pallets and create a 'mood board'. Then rate the 'mood boards' to narrow down your favourites".

All Photos courtesy of Mode Function

Add elements that reflect you and your personality, celebrating what is important to you.

Are you a photographer? Why not showcase your talent by way of being a background for table numbers? Did you meet your fiance in Paris? Add some Parisian fare to your menu! Adding in subtle nods to your life's passions puts your personal touch on things. You can also use your passions to build an entire theme around what makes you happy. If you're an outdoor enthusiast with little interest in frills, base your theme around the great outdoors. Mode Function suggests selecting elements like earth tone linens, centerpieces that incorporate branch details or even the simplest of touches like placing a leaf on each of your guests' napkins.

Know what you like and dislike.

The so-called "rules" of weddings and events have changed so never feel that you must play it safe and follow what tradition dictates. If you're not a flower person, don't feel obligated to use flowers in your decor. There are an abundance of options out there that can serve as your primary decor element. For example, why not opt for an Ice Sculpture Centerpiece of your initials in place of the more traditional floral-based centerpiece?

Know your budget!

You may not know how much things cost but you definitely know how much money you are comfortable spending. If you find that budget is an issue, pick a few elements from your "wish list" that will offer the most impact and run with it.

"Creating the right environment for your guests does not always mean quantity," Jeffery clarifies, "Selecting the right quality of elements will go much further in creating that right environment".

Be consistent and follow through.

Once you have unlocked the overall vision of your decor repeat the elements. If you are doing a nature inspired theme for example, ensure that you have elements of nature repeated throughout your wedding or event from start to finish. If you a "bling" look then add hints of "bling" to your bouquet as well as your centerpiece, not just either or. If you are using pink as one of your colours then make sure pink is continued throughout the entire wedding or event.

"But be sure to not overdo it" cautions Michael, "use your elements thoughtfully. Too much of a good thing could tip the balance of tasteful to tacky".

Mode Function's best tip?
Spend some time putting together your thoughts and ideas and most importantly, be creative. Enlist the help of your family and friends with whom to discuss ideas.

Often one idea leads to the next and by the time you are done you will have a clear vision of how you want your wedding to be. Also, keep in mind that enlisting the help of professionals will go a long way in pulling your ideas together and delivering your vision. Professionals are experts in decorating weddings and events and can definitely help you on the path to eventful bliss.


Mode Function Event Design Ltd. -- founded by Event Design Specialists Jeffery Crawford and Michael Alonso -- is a design based Decor Company that uses the latest trends in floral, textile, lighting, furniture, art and design to develop decor for events and weddings. With innovative style and creativity, the skilled team of designers will create an atmosphere for your wedding, themed event, social soiree, gala or corporate event. With an attentive boutique service that encompasses client vision with flawless execution, Mode function will capture the imagination of your guests.



There seems to be a sentiment that's spreading throughout the wedding and event industry that leaves one to wonder the fate of one of the most classic decor elements in event design.

Chair covers are so passe.

With a plethora of alternative seating options popping up in events and weddings, the classic form of covering up unsightly chairs and adding to the overall look of an event seems to be in danger of extinction.

Implementing a wide range of trendy seating from "chiavari chairs" to more geometric options like ottomans, more and more Planners, couples and Designers are changing the way we view where we should be resting our behinds at events.

To This Planner this change in design is both refreshing and somewhat saddening. While I agree that traditional covers like chair wraps that drape along the floor and tie at the back are quickly losing their elegance status by adding bulkiness to design in a time that demands sleek modernism; I also feel that breaking free of the traditional dressing altogether to follow the latest trend may be a mistake. After all, chair covers like the classic stretch cover and the "Kelly" can still cover up ghastly banquet chairs while adding smooth sophistication and texture (depending on the overall design of course!)

(From Left to Right) Black Stretch Chair cover by Chair Decor
Rhinestone Kelly by Have a Seat

And then there's those chair covers that defy our traditional notion of Chair Covers like these babies from Preston Bailey:

Photos courtesy of Preston Bailey

At the same time, This Planner is stoked to see new materials and a unique line of thinking be shared with one of the most overlooked elements in bringing a vision to life. By moving on from traditional notions of seating the sky seems to be limit as we incorporate elements that we encounter everyday to park our tushes.

Chiavari chairs seem to be still one of the most popular alternatives to chair covers. Available in a significant range of colours from white and black to silver and mahogany, these chairs have the versatility to give off both a sleek appearance or a more charming aura.

Photo courtesy of Haveaseat

Ghost Chairs
are quickly becoming one of the most utilized chair options for events due to their sleek appearance and their ability to match virtually any colour palette.

are also a popular choice for seating when paired up with sleek glass tables or table linens, sophisticated table accessories and colourful uplighting. By combining computability with style, couches give events a loungy yet suave feel.

are on the rise as alternatives to traditional seating. From simple fabric-covered blocks to more wider, bench-like styles, ottomans are adding that modern geometric touch to the sleekest of events. TIP: if ottomans are your desired choice of seating be sure to have some traditional chairs for those with back issues, small children, etc.

paired up with long rectangular tables can give off an intimate, communal feel. Whether accessorizing the benches with coloured padding or leaving benches bare for a more rustic appearance, benches are a fabulous space saver while blending the past with the present.
TIP: Like Ottomans benches don't have a backing and so be sure to have more traditional seating for those with back issues, etc. You may also want to have some cushions available for those who find the "rustic" bench slightly uncomfortable.

Photo courtesy of Princess Sassy

Arm chairs have recently inserted themselves into the line-up of seating choices alongside the couch and the ottoman. Albeit rather bulky in design, arm chairs can come in a variety of colours and fabrics from deep felt to metallic plastic and showcase a somewhat contemporary yet regal design to an event.

And of course, opting for truly unique seating options will always be This Planner's top choice. Some of our favourites? Wine barrels for a vintage-style event at a winery, bean bag chairs arranged around coffee tables for a relaxed, yet colourful Bar Mitzvah and our all time fave -- an eclectic grouping of antique and modern chairs collected from numerous sources arranged at rectangular harvest tables.

But with the growing sentiment that chair covers are a thing of the past, what's next to be tossed into the passe pile? Chiavari chairs?