We've all been to a wedding where the Father/Daughter and Mother/Son dance is to the same song we've heard at the last three weddings we've attended. And no offense to Bob Carlisle or Luis Armstrong, but if This Planner has to hear "Butterfly Kisses" or "It's a Wonderful World" one more time I'll be tempted to slit my throat with my butter knife.

I'm always on the hunt for unique songs for my clients to dance to with their parents -- songs that still have meaning (albeit perhaps not literal meaning) and yet are a little something different for both the couple, their parents and the guests who have to sit through the dances. The Father/Daughter and Mother/Son dance are special ones and so they should stand out in their own special way. And so I thought I'd compile a list of some of my favourites.


Lynyrd Skynyrd - "Simple Man"

Jessica Simpson - "You Don't Have to Let Go"

10,000 Maniacs - "How You've Grown"

Loudin Wainright - "Daughter"

Mark Harris - "Find Your Wings"

Neil Young - "Here For You"

John Denver - "For Baby"

Bread - "Daughter"

Trace Adkins - "Then They Do" 

Bruce Springsteen - "When You Need Me"


Bon Iver - "Flume" (there's also a cover by Peter Gabriel)

Dar Williams - "The One Who Knows"

Good Charlotte - "Thank You Mom"

Sissell - "Sarah's Song"

Kristy Lee Cook - "Like My Mother Does"

Mindy Glendhill - "Hourglass"

Blue October - "Blue Does"

Van Morrison - "Days Like This"

Led Zepplin - "Thank You"


Guns N' Roses - "Sweet Child Of Mine" (there is also a cover by Sheryl Crowe)

Taylor Swift - "Never Grow Up"

Hootie & The Blowfish - "Hold My Hand"

Elton John - "Blessed" 

The Waifs - "Shelter Me"



So I'm often dishing out wedding and event planning goodness on this blog and rarely share anything about ET LØFTE EVENTS specifically. So This Planner thought, why not give you a deeper look into who ET LØFTE EVENTS is?  After all, it's not just about what a wedding and event planning company creates but also who the key players are behind the name and their approach. Every Planner is different, each totally fabulous in their own way with clientele so vastly different from one another.  In order to have a successful wedding or event, you have to be working with a Planner who fits your style and with whom you're comfortable. 'Cause you'll be with that Planner for a looooong time!

So open the box, take a peek inside and enjoy your insight into yours truly at ET LØFTE EVENTS!

'ET LØFTE EVENTS' is a weird company name. What made you choose it?
At first glance, the company name may seem a bit off the beaten path for a planning company, especially one that plans weddings. And that's exactly why I chose it. It's so completely different from any name I've encountered in my field which really stands for what I try to achieve with every wedding and event I plan. The name doesn't merely say that I think outside of the box, the name shows it. ET LØFTE also means "a promise' in Danish and that too stands for something. I'm delivering on a promise to do my very best to create a unique, personalized experience for my clients and their guests whether it's a few small details or one grand one.

What's ET LØFTE EVENTS' style?
My approach to planning is a blend of laid-back, edgy, creative and fun with meticulousness and a touch of tough-love. I love it when my clients have fun with planning their wedding and get as excited as I am about their plans. That's what it's really all about. I really do want my clients to enjoy the planning process and be stress free but I'm also not a push-over. I don't sugar coat things - I'm blunt and I'll tell it like it is. I feel that's the only way to combine the 'dream' aspect of a wedding or event with reality. And so my clients and I have a lot of laughs and a general good time throughout the planning process and at the same time I'm not afraid to exercise tough love if needed so that my clients get the wedding or event they've envisioned. 

You're Melissa Nowakowski, Creative Director and Principal Planner... Are you Polish? I'm actually Italian despite the pasty white skin tone and the blazing red hair. My husband is not Polish either despite his surname. He's Filipino. His father isn't Polish either. He's Danish. It's a loooong story. The great thing about personally combining two opposites in culture (Asian and European) is that I really know what it means to embrace and incorporate traditions and beliefs from each culture in life. This really helps me in appreciating the viewpoints of those wedding clients with contrasting cultures and to help them view their cultural difference as a beautiful thing to be celebrated.

Were you always a wedding and event planner?
Gosh no. In my lifetime I've done everything from Theatre to Marketing and PR. Somewhere along the lines I fell into event planning and then wedding planning. In University I studied Musical Theatre and English (my clients still have a hard time picturing me tap dancing).  Funny enough, everything I've done career-wise has had a creative element to it -- whether it was performing in a Musical to creating a launch for a well-known author.

Are wedding planning and event planning your only interests?
While planning weddings and events do keep me quite busy, I do have a life outside of my career. Aside from having a husband and two boys ages one and three years I also have a huge passion for Musical Theatre (see above) and Martial Arts. If I'm not running after my boys (all of them) or kicking some butt (literally), I'm belting out a tune from 'Rent' or 'Wicked' or whatever. My guilty pleasures? Reading tabloids and watching Jersey Shore (I can't believe I'm admitting that actually...)

What is your ideal client?
My ideal client has an open mind. Period. For me, when I'm meeting a client or clients, it's not how glamourously beautiful or how off-beat and funky the wedding or event will be, it's about how open-minded the client is to creativity.

Do you follow the latest trends?
I'm aware of the latest trends in planning but I do my best to not put them into practice. So I guess in a way I don't. I can't focus my energy on creating one of a kind events or weddings if I'm utilizing a concept or design that's been done a million times over.

What is the greatest compliment you've ever received from a client?
I've been very blessed to have uber amazing clients in my career as a wedding planner and event planner, each etching a wonderful memory in my mind. And their compliments are not only flattering and appreciated, but have always spurred me to continue to do great work. I think the two that stick out in my mind specifically though are the celebration client who called me "the Jillian Michaels of event planning" and the wedding clients who said in their speech "you're organized enough to run a miliatry campaign, let alone a wedding". Those still make me giggle to this day.

What is the biggest piece of advice you can offer someone planning a wedding or event?
Don't worry so much about one-upping that other wedding or event you attended. Concentrate your efforts on making your wedding or event personalized to YOU. That is what is going to make your celebration unique in the end, not a random bunch of bells and whistles. I always say that you can have an flying elephant soar across the room dropping crystals from a monogramed sachtel... but if that flying elephant means little to you other than a "wow" factor, it'll mean little to your guests too.  

Wanna know more? Feel free to hit up this post with a comment or question! I tend to be open book to a fault ;)



Photo courtesy of Glamour Magazine

Though This Planner doesn't wear dresses all that often herself (ok, ok, it's rare to see me in one), I'm always scouting for dresses that are a little different for not just myself but for my daring clientele. I'm a big fan of getting creative when dressing up for special events -- whether it's for a Gala, life celebration or whether you're attending or standing in a wedding. When it comes to Weddings especially, This Planner loves seeing non-matchy-matchy Bridesmaids at the alter, each in their own creative styles. There's no rule that says the gals standing in for you have to match, and by allowing them to pick out their own dresses you're allowing them to be themselves as much as you are in your wedding gown. And I am always over the moon for those who aren't afraid to take risks with wedding fashion.

Scoping out the recent Fashion Weeks, there are quite a few dresses that I think absolutely rock -- funky, edgy, whimsical and just plain haute. There's nothing more I'd be thrilled about than to see some of these uber-creative stylings grace the altars of wedding ceremonies or be showcased by hosts of any special event. Check out some of the dresses that caught This Planner's eye below and who knows? Maybe it will inspire your inner-fashionista when deciding on your special celebration dress.





Source Dual Show

Source Cute Like Mad

Source Cute Like Mad

Photo by Randy Brooke/WireImage

Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images
Source Zimbio

Source Frills and Thrills


All images provided by Matthew Kozovski Photography

This Planner had the pleasure of meeting Matthew from Matthew Kozovski Photography last year during a meeting with my clients.
The first thing that struck me about Matthew was his laid back, comforting, yet professional approach. He was witty. He was passionate about photography. He wasn't afraid to let you see his personal side. And sitting with him for even just a few moments felt like you've known him all your life.

This Planner's roster of photographers is vast in personality and style -- each offering something different for every type of client I work with -- and so I was happy to not only include him among this esteemed list but to introduce him to you as well.

And so, without further ado, here's some tidbits from my conversation with Matthew Kozovski Photography:

Et Lofte: So Matt, how would you describe your photography style?

Matthew: I really feel that my style is very candid-documentary style. To me, the natural reactions and situations highlight the beauty in everyday life. It's those subtle glances, tiny grins and moments when one doesn't realize that a camera is being pointed at them, that's when the magic takes place.

Et Lofte: What makes you unique from other photographers in the wedding/event industry?

Matthew: I believe that personality and chemistry between a photographer and subject are a huge factor. Having that positive relationship produces the best quality of images hands down. Having just gone through the wedding experience myself, I can absolutely relate to a couple and what they might be going through.

Et Lofte: Congrats! Given that you feel that you can relate to a wedding couple, what would be your favourite type of clients?

Matthew: My favourite type of clients are those who really get 'into' the shoot. Having fun, being natural and having a sense of adventure and energy.

Et Lofte: What has been your favourite photography shoot?

Matthew: Looking back, I would have to say that it was the first wedding I ever shot as the primary photographer. There was definitely a sense of excitement and energy in what it meant for me, but also that the couple was absolutely awesome -- full of energy and excitement as well.

Et Lofte: And who inspires you as a photographer?

Matthew: I guess the real question is who doesn't inspire me?? Everyone and everywhere serves as an inspiration. My wife, my family, my friends, clients, peers...The great thing about being a photographer is that it forces you to slow down and look at what's around you. Once you do that, inspiration is everywhere.

Et Lofte: "The great thing about being a photographer is that it forces you to slow down and look at what's around you" -- LOVE that! Ok so given that everything inspires you, is it only weddings that you shoot? Or do you do other types of shoots as well?

Matthew: I also shoot portrait sessions such as family, engagement, baby, etc and also corporate assignments. For my own personal projects I enjoy landscape and street photography.

Et Lofte: How long have you been a professional photographer?

Matthew: After doing photography for over ten years, I made the decision to officially turn professional in 2011.

Et Lofte: And what made you decide to pursue photography as a career?

Matthew: Well as I've said I've been shooting for quite a number of years. Throughout that time a lot of friends and family kept suggesting that I make the move to professional photography but it wasn't until my own wedding when I really started to consider the possibility. We were over the moon with the experience we had and couldn't have been happier with the results. It really reminded me how fulfilling of a career photography can be -- to bring that kind of joy and happiness to people and see their reactions. There's nothing quite like it.

Et Lofte: What is your best piece of advice for couples considering photography for their wedding or for anyone hiring a photographer to capture any type of event?

Matthew: When it comes to choosing a photographer, there are two things to consider...First is their style. As you go through images, take note of the photos that really capture your attention. Ask yourself what it is about that photo that you enjoy. Try creating a board on Pinterest! As you go through these images, you develop your own personal taste and style of the photos you enjoy. Now when you start to research your photography options you have a great idea of what to look for.

Second is the photographer's personality and your comfort level with him or her. Aside from your wedding/event planner, this is the professional who will be with you for the entire day, working with you. The more comfortable you are, the more pleasant the experience and the better the photos will be. When having your face to face interview, get to know the photographer, what their tastes are and what their personality is like. Also, make a big point to let them know as much about yourself -- it will allow your photographer get a better understanding of who you are and allow them to do their best job in telling your story!

Et Lofte: Awesome advice! To check out more of Matthew's work visit or contact him at 416-333-3221!