life isn't average. neither are we.
Kristina Chau - Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Planning events means there are multitude of details that you have to oversee.  One detail that people seem to be unsure of is when an SOP - Special Occasions Permit, is required.  I'm assisting two clients plan two different types of events and both require an SOP, so I thought I would post about these as examples.
To start off, an SOP is required if you are planning to sell or serve alcohol at a special occasion such as a wedding, fundraiser, reception, etc. You do not need an SOP for an event being held at a private residence, however, you cannot sell alcohol

SOP's are issued through select LCBO stores located throughout the Province of Ontario. The Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) website gives further details and a downloadable application.

The first event I'm assisting with is a corporate dinner being held at the St. Lawrence Market Kitchen, which is a cooking school and event venue.  It's also an unlicensed facility but as the alcohol is only being served, I applied for a No Sale permit.  The fee was $25 for the one day event and requires submission 10 days in advance to the event date.

The second event is a fundraiser for a registered charity, which is being held at The Berkeley Church, another unlicensed venue.  This is a ticketed event and there will be alcohol for sale so I applied for a Sale permit for $75 for the one day event.  Any donated or purchased alcohol product, must be obtained through this approved SOP.

The third permit class is Auction and as there are many scenarios that dictate various application requirements, I highly advise that you read the AGCO website thoroughly.  If you have any questions, you may contact them directly at 416-326-8700 or toll free 1-800-522-2876.  I hope this helps!

For the life of the party,

The Spring Wedding Show
Kristina Chau - Sunday, May 02, 2010

I have to be honest in saying I rarely attend bridal shows.  I plan non-traditional and alternative weddings and the large convention-sized bridal shows are just not my cup of tea.  However, when I saw The Wedding Co.'s Spring Wedding Show at the Drake Hotel, I was immediately intrigued to check out where "indie meets couture".
As I ducked in from the rain into the Drake Hotel lobby, I was pleasantly surprise to find a low key atmosphere.  There were no overbearing vendors and each offered a service that was unconventional yet chic or edgy.  Here are my top ten finds from the show:


Ecstatic Accessory Designs
Designer of Ecstatic Accessory Designs, Heather Frize was the first vendor I chatted with.  Her custom-designed necklaces, bracelets & earrings were super cute and very affordable since she works within your budget.  What I love about her collection is while these designs are great accessories for your special day, they can easily be used for everyday wear.


LPK's Culinary Groove

Cupcakes aren’t necessarily unconventional these days, but they are still a popular alternative or addition to a wedding cake.  What drew me to LPK’s mini cupcakes were the adorable edible flower garnish and the fact that they were gluten-free and super tasty! 



Ever Thine

Ever Thine by Mikki Rizvi, is a glamourous eco-chic collection of vintage accessories including fabulous fascinators, vintage haute couture veils & one-of-a-kind corsages.
All of her pieces are original and handmade using repurposed fabrics and amazing vintage costume jewellery.  I loved this headpiece!


Cakes by Konstadin

Cakes by Konstadin launched their “naughty cakes” at The Spring Wedding Show which are a “cheeky” (no pun intended) line of cakes great for bachelorettes and stags.  But not to worry, you don’t have to “bare all” on your wedding day, Cakes by Konstadin also create beautiful  traditional cakes and lovely individual flower cakes.



The Paper Place

Can you believe this dress is made completely made out of paper?  What a fabulous display by The Paper Place, which offers one of the city’s greatest selection of decorative handmade Japenese paper.  I love their eco-friendly Plantable Paper which has wild flower seeds embedded in it, so guests can plant their invitation after the wedding, making a memorable addition to their garden.


The Drake Hotel

I chatted with the Drake Hotel’s Special Events Associate Miako Kawaski who helps to showcase one of the hotel’s unique themes for Bridal Shower Brunches, Stags and Stagettes.  The Alice in Wonderland tea party spread offered lollipop cookies and macrons surrounded by bursts of colourful flowers.  How adorable!

Little Party Goers

More often then not, people weigh the issue of inviting children to their wedding or special event.  Little Party Goers is unique child care service that offers fun and reliable supervision so younger guests will be kept entertained while parents and hosts are able to relax and enjoy the event. 


Smilebooth by Mango Studios

Smilebooth is a modern update on a classic photobooth.  Accompanied with custom props and backdrops, guests at special events have the opportunity to be silly and snap spontaneous shots of themselves in the Smilebooth. Guest will then have the opportunity to view there pictures online.  Here's the photo I snapped a photo of myself in the Smilebooth :)



Invite Me!

Invite Me started off creating stylish wedding invitations but has now grown to offer hand-designed clay flowers - how's that for unconventional!  These eco-chic arrangements and bouquets were surprisingly light and the nice thing is they can still be enjoyed years after your special day. 


Equally as important as the bride, is the groom so here are two vendors that cater to the stylish man in you:


Cuffwear sells unique cufflinks which can be a great way for a groom to accessorize and let his personality shine in a subtle way.

Fifth on King creates custom clothing for the modern man. As they say - it's OK to rent for your prom, not your wedding!

There were many other great boutique wedding businesses and local artisans at the show, but I hope my top ten list helps you with creating your own truly unique and memorable event.  If you have any questions or need further assistance, contact me today!

For the life of the party,


Welcome to Not Your Average Blog!
Kristina Chau - Saturday, May 01, 2010

I can't even begin to express how excited I am to finally have this website up and running!  It’s been a long journey but one that has been well worth it.  I hope you love it just as much as I do!

One of the great functions of this site is this blog.  I’ll be sharing ideas and tips to take your event from run-of-the-mill to ‘not your average party’. I’d love to hear from you, so please feel free in posting questions you have and sharing your feedback in the comment section below.

Also, don't forget to follow me on Twitter @notyouraverageparty to get quick updates and see what's happening in the party world and join our Facebook Not Your Average Party fan page to see more event photos.

Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to partying with you all soon!

Party Pooper Warning:  While I have every intention to update this blog as often as possible, I am also planning events and attending as many of them as from time to time I may be a bit of a party pooper.  I hope you understand that it's not for lack of caring, but the complete opposite!  Besides party people, let’s face it, people hire me for my creative flare and attention to detail, not necessarily my writing skills ;)

not your average party