Photo Source: She knows

 This Planner loves Christmas. And when I say, love, I mean LOVE. I'm the type of person who has the Christmas tree and decorations up as soon as Halloween is over. And while I'm always encouraging straying from the typical "winter wonderland", yada, yada, yada for Christmas weddings or winter weddings and opting for more unique themes and styling that steer clear of the usual... there's something to be said for that fuzzy, warm feeling of tradition.

What you don't experience with a lot of Winter Weddings is "gitchy" Christmas -- taking the most cheesy (yet fun!) aspects of Christmas...the "feel good", "when I think of Christmas..." aspects and incorporating them into the wedding. Oh you might see a small detail here and there. But rarely do you see an entire wedding outfitted with the best of the best of the Holiday spirit.

Not sure how to pull off a "gitchy" Christmas wedding? Here are just a few ideas:

Have the Groom and Groomsmen dress up in ugly Christmas sweaters instead of the typical suits and ties. For the girls, have them dress up in red dresses adorned with white faux-fur stoles or muffs. Even your Flower Girl and Ring Bearer can get in on the fun whether dressing up in little red tutu-dresses and checkered sweater-vests or dressing up as little Santa's helpers.

Photo Source: Esquire

Hang mistletoe over the entrance to the venue so that guests can share some holiday smooches (have a photographer handy to catch the action as the guests enter as a fun giveaway). Or have guests pose for a photo with Santa himself!

Forgo the typical, elegant ornaments in a vase or white branches with crystals as centerpieces and have small Christmas trees or Gingerbread houses instead.

Photo Source: SnippetandInk

Rather than a typical head table backdrop, line the wall with evergreens decorated for Christmas.  

Hand out candy-cane reindeer as favors (you know the ones...try not smiling when you get one). Or hand out individually gift-wrapped fruitcake.

Photo source: The Celebration Shoppe

 Rather than custom-made invitations, send out your wedding details a la cheesy, wintery-landscape Christmas cards (you know the ones..)

Serve up Christmas-y favourites like egg nogg in moose mugs (think National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation), turkey with all the trimmings, hot apple cider or hot chocolate, mince meat pies, etc. 

Have carolers sing during the cocktail hour or heck, even during the ceremony! Or host a post-dinner caroling session around a bonfire outside.

Photo Source: Mike Renlund

Yes, when one thinks of Winter Weddings or Christmas weddings they tend to think of the romantic, elegant side of things. But at the same time, going the complete opposite and having a fun, quirky Christmas theme with all the trimmings can give that Christmas-morning feeling to the wedding. After all, Christmas is a time for family and friends...and you've already got that part covered. Now to add all the things that you personally love about Christmas and have a fun-filled wedding that will have your guests leaving chock-full of the Christmas spirit.



If you're new to this Blog then you're likely unfamiliar with This Planner's dislike for following wedding trends. And if you follow this Blog (bless your lil' heart), then This Planner's dislike for following wedding trends comes as no surprise. While I try to avoid wedding trends where I can, sometimes clients are adamant about incorporating them into their wedding. And that's OK.

However, there are some wedding trends out there that have been done over and over again, making me want to tear my eyes out. And so, without further delay, here are the top six wedding trends that, in my opinion, have seriously met their expiration date:


We've all had to sit through at least one wedding slideshow in our lives...oh who am I kidding? You have likely had to endure a wedding slideshow at almost every wedding you've attended. Yes, we get it that you have been together for what feels like eons. Yes, you were adorable as children. Do all three hundred of your guests want to sit through ten minutes of you reminiscing about how your lives came together?

Nope. Remember that feeling of having to sit through Aunt Bessy's vacation photos? Yah, that's kind of how your guests feel.

If you absolutely must share your life story, find a more creative way to do it other than making guests sit through 15 minutes of photos when all they really want to do is hit the dance floor...or the bar.  Even a bulletin board collage that guests can view during the cocktail hour is less painful than making them sit through a slideshow.


Seriously? I mean...seriously? If you're going to charge your guests to drink alcohol at your wedding just because you decided to have a giant dinner party in a fancy venue, then please, charge your guests who come to your home for dinner too. If you're going to be an ass, at least be consistent.


I try not to smirk when a DJ tries to sell my clients on the whole "dancing on a cloud" thing as though it's the most magical, most brilliant, new concept, when in actuality it's been around forever and it's been done a hundred times over. Hey, I'm all for jazzing up the First Dance if that's what you want to do. And OK, the fog (let's just call it what it is shall we?) can look pretty in a photo. But really, fogging up the place is not the most original way to go. Not to mention a potential safety hazard depending on what's used to make the fog.  In my personal opinion, it often looks like you're trying too hard to make an already beautiful moment, beautiful.

Opt for something different. Maybe a video montage of memorable moments playing in the background. Maybe a more unique song choice to dance to. At this point, anything is more original than 'dancing on a cloud'.


Can we end this trend already? Ok fine, photo booths can be entertaining to a certain degree, but there are so many other options out there to entertain guests during the cocktail hour rather than have them pose for photos. While I am slightly (read: slightly) relieved that "live photobooths" (a backdrop and a live photographer) have taken over from the literal "booths" that you have to cram yourself into, it's still a photo booth nonetheless. And it's so common place now that it almost seems as though photo booths are a prerequisite if you're hosting a wedding.

Why not take the $1000+ that you'll be spending on a box that takes photos and spend it on entertainment that will...well...actually be entertaining? There are countless options out there from musicians and entertainers to aerobatics and interactive food/beverage stations.

Oh, and the mustaches on a stick? Stop it. Just stop it.


Oh sure, being in a gaggle of women elbowing each other for an opportunity to catch a bouquet that will seemingly end your singledom was a ton of fun...when you were fifteen.

Let's face it ladies, the novelty of the traditional bouquet toss has lost its momentum and nowadays the DJ literally has to drag women onto the dance floor in order to get them to participate. If you're in your mid-twenties and up, this is likely a trend that can be tossed (literally).

One of my favourite alternatives to the bouquet toss is simply handing the bouquet to the couple that has been together the longest. They're not expecting it and it truly reflects what marriage is all about.

Then there's the garter removal...Is there anything sexier than the groom diving under the Bride's dress in front of her parents and grandparents to remove a piece of fabric from her leg with his teeth?

Yes. Yes there is.

I don't think there's one guest that can honestly say that this isn't at least slightly awkward. So unless you're a die-hard traditionalist, I don't think any of your guests will miss this little part of the itinerary.


Sigh. Why not just stick a clown in there while you're at it? Balloons as props in photos has been done, done and done again and again and again. It's not at all an original concept anymore. It's time to deflate the trend ladies and gents! Move on to new and exciting props (if you must) or here's a novel idea: no props at all! Aim for exciting and unique photo locations that draw out your joint interests or personalities.

Forgo the typical floral garden or urban downtown locations and choose an alternative, more personal or visually unique location that doesn't require inanimate objects. Sports lovers? Why not take photos of you and your wedding party out on a football field pretending to have a game of football?  Animal lovers? Why not have your photos done at a petting zoo? Do some fun and quirky activities with your wedding party and capture those moments that truly reflect you as a couple and your circle of friends. Why? Because those are the photos that you'll want to print and hang on your wall. Having photos that look like a cross between a wedding and a child's First Birthday are easily forgettable.

Obviously wedding trends exist because a once-unique concept was a big hit at someone's wedding and now every Bride and Groom on the planet wants to have that same 'big hit' at their wedding. But if your guests have seen that 'big hit' over and over and over, it's lost it's momentum and it'll merely be a "oh that again" at your wedding. If there's a trend that you absolutely love, try to come up with a creative twist to it. The overall concept will still be there but it'll be fresh take on an old trend and a new experience for your guests. 



 Ok Brides and Grooms. Time to get blunt.

I was inspired to write this post after I read an article in the Toronto Star today. In a nutshell, a Bride is chastising a wedding guest's choice in gift (a food basket) arguing that because she paid over $200 for the guests' meal, etc that the guest should have given a gift or a cash gift of equal value. The Bride even went so far as to display the apparent 'cheap gift' at her post-wedding party as a form of entertainment for her guests.

So I'm going to lay this out for all the couples out there who agree with the above Bride as nicely as I can, because...well...those that know me are aware that I have no filter:

1. As a couple getting married, YOU chose to have a lavish celebration that cost you 'x' amount of dollars rather than have a intimate ceremony followed by a much smaller, simpler reception. YOU chose to invite the guests that are in attendance (and how many of them). YOU chose the meal. YOU chose to outfit the decor in orchids and crystals. YOU chose to have the DJ and the Band.  Your GUESTS did NOT. Therefore expecting your guests to reward you for having such a large celebration is just plain silly. You invite guests to share in your joy of getting married. Not in your debt. 

2. There's a widespread myth out there that wedding guests are expected to "cover the cost of the meal and add to it". Let's use logic shall we? How in God's Green Earth are your guests supposed to know what the meal cost? Keep in mind that many of your guests have likely not planned a wedding as grand as yours and don't know how much a four (or five or six) course meal costs. When you started planning your wedding, did you?

3. As someone with an Italian background I can tell you that yes, in certain cultures and ethnic backgrounds, gifts in monetary form are accustomed. But that's all that is. Tradition, what folks are accustomed to, preferred gift-giving method, etc. It's not a RULE. No matter what country you or your parents are from,  a gift by any other name is still a gift. And you should be thankful that you were in their thoughts at all.

4. A party is a party no matter where it's held which means you are still the hosts no matter where it's held. Whatever happened to "it's the thought that counts"? If a guest showed up with a bottle of wine to a dinner party that you planned at your home would you chastise them because their gift didn't equate to the number of hours you spent cooking in the kitchen? No. You would likely thank them for being so thoughtful and that would be the end of it. Why then does that mentality change because you took the celebration out of the home and put it in a more commercial establishment? It doesn't.

5. If your expectation is to pay off the wedding with the amount of money you get as gifts, that is a risk you chose to take. Your guests had no part in that gamble. So don't make it their problem too.

I have to be really in-your-face-blunter-than-blunt here: if an engaged couple's main focus in having wedding celebration is what they're going to get in return -- a.k.a: the cash value of the gifts you get or the amount of cash that you get --  as a couple they truly need to re-evaluate why they're celebrating their wedding with others in the first place. Because somewhere in the zaniness of planning that celebration they've lost sight of what weddings are truly about.

Brides and Grooms, don't let that kind of couple become you.



It's Friday! So let's celebrate with just a few of the funniest photobombs to happen to wedding photos.














Wedding Season is officially upon us here at Et Lofte Events and right now our Brides are opting for some very cool accessories and items to go along with their up and coming wedding day. So we thought we'd share a few of our absolute faves:


We're loving this lil' touch of personalization that these charm necklaces provide. Simply choose a personalized detail such as a birthstone, initial, etc. Then add a symbol charm that showcases something about you. Hang them on a beautiful chain and voila! A personal statement hanging around your neck! 

Necklace by Stella and Dot


Combine hints of mandarin and blossoms with bourbon vanilla and white musk and you have a uniquely romantic frangrance to wear on your wedding day!

Something Blue by Oscar De La Renta


Inspired by Pretty Please which only ships within the United States, Brides are purchasing super cute nail polish for their Bridesmaids to wear on the wedding day and adding their own personal logos and labels onto the bottle as keepsakes. From "For My Girlz" and "Let's Paint this Town Red Girlfriends!" to a simple "Thank You" with the Wedding Date, you can't go wrong with 'purdy' personalized nail accessories!

Pretty Please Personalized Nail Polish


First came the popularity of the long veil, then came the Birdcage and Fascinators and now the Headband is hitting hard with its own 'must-have' mentality. From pearls to bling to flowers, headbands are quickly giving the fascinator a run for its money when it comes to Bridal fashion.

Headband by LottieDaDesigns on Etsy

Headband by IngenueB on Etsy


Gone are the days of the simple string of pearls. Many Brides today are opting for sustanance and colour! From layered, coloured pearls to bling upon bling upon bling, chunky coloured necklaces add that little extra oomph to wedding day attire.

Layered Pearls by PearlJewelryNecklace on Etsy

Necklace by All Things Tinsel on Etsy

Necklace by Top Pop Jewelry on Etsy




So This Planner was creeping the internet when I stumbled upon an image of an old key transformed into a supercool cuff bracelet. And I got to thinking...what are some cool ways to incorporate those old keys lying around the house into weddings and events?

Here are some pretty nifty ideas:

For that Bride and Groom who haven't lived together prior to getting hitched or who still have the keys to their separate dwelling places: place the his and hers key against a colourful backdrop and surrounded by a cute, vintage-esque frame. Why is this cool? It represents the coming together from different places in their lives.

Source: DesignsbyJosette

For the ladies who want to add that extra oomph to their already-awesome hair-do: sure, you could have a tiara..or a fascinator...or a flower...or a blingy headband...but if you want to add that unique hair accessory, get crafty and bling up the heads of old keys and use them as hair picks?

For the sentimental Bride/Lady/Mom: collect keys from family members (make sure that you have them make a copy first of course!) and gather keys of your own (your old luggage key, your old apartment key, your boyfriend/husband's key, etc) and create a charm bracelet. The keys on the charm bracelet represent everything from your family to your hobbies to different periods of your life. The charm bracelet can be something to wear on your wedding day, a gift to your Mom or even something to pass on to your daughter for her birthday or baptism as an heirloom.

Source: LizonesJewelry

For the wedding: use vintage keys attached to cards via ribbon as a cute escort card idea. In fact, you can use the "key to a happy marriage" concept as a central theme.

Photo by Katie Headley via United with Love

For the outdoor wedding: windchimes made of keys are nothing new but how you incorporate the idea is something pretty cool. For an outdoor wedding ceremony that's surrounded by trees what would sound prettier and more serene than keys hanging by ribbon from tree branches and tinkling together? No trees? Consider an arbor with hanging keys as a backdrop.

Source: DevianTart

Whether you're purchasing vintage keys or collecting old, unusable ones from around the home, the possibility for reusing keys for your next event are endless!



Jerina and Denion, both Albanian,  made yearly trips to Hawaii. In fact, Hawaii was the spot at which Denion popped the big question. And so it only seemed fitting that for their wedding reception, held in November, they incorporated the same feel of their fave vacation spot...without the hula dancers and leis of course.

Held at the Magnolia Event Boutique in Vaughan, Ontario, the reception room contrasted the dreary rainy November weather outside by basking the room in a soft orange "sunset" glow accented by their coral, white and yellow colour scheme.

As it was difficult to get traditional Hawaiian flowers in November, Jerina and Denion opted for a combination of hydragea, lillies and roses to adorn their tables, arranged by Ashton Creative.
At each place setting sat orange and yellow luggage tags with traditional Hawaiian greeting scrolled across their front.

The wedding cake, made by Andy's Wedding Cakes and adorned with a blend of orange and yellow cymbidium orchids with white dendrobium orchids, offered a unique wedding cake flavor combo that reflected the taste of Hawaii: coconut with chocolate-caramel filling.

If there's one thing that Albanians know how to do well at weddings, it would be to PARTY. And that said the food, drinks and entertainment had to be top notch. From the candy-coated martinis, Malibu Coconut Rum and Blue Curacao to the mini crab cakes with lemon garlic aioli, jumbo bamboo shrimp, smoked salmon on potato latkes with creme fraiche and the fourteen ounce grilled veal chop left no belly rumbling. Even the late night table was jam-packed with edible goodness from the butternut squash soup served with mini grilled cheese and an enormous variety of sweets to the watermelon carved with Jerina and Denion's initials. And to add that extra bit of comfort on a cold, rainy November evening, a Hot Cocoa Bar with Marshmallows, Wafer and Cinnamon sticks and whipped cream warmed the guests' insides.

Michael Coombs Entertainment kept the dance floor packed the entire evening with a talented mix of traditional Albanian music and the best of the best in chart topping hits.

And Jerina and Denion? Little did their guests know that they weren't officially married back in November. But hey, they couldn't wait to celebrate! Jerina and Denion officially tied the knot on 12.12.12.