Reflections…what a story they could tell

Today’s blog post comes from the desk of Christine Altieri, Partner at AE Events –

As we start the season full of events, I was thinking about how many organizations and companies are celebrating 30, 50, 75 and 150 years… and I realized I have my own big anniversary, 30 years in the world of event planning, oh the stories I could tell.  Don’t worry they are all good stories (as far as you know!)

I started reflecting on my first big event, it was a dinner for Nancy Reagan at the opening of the Annenberg Library at Pine Manor College…months of work with the secret service, both of us standing in the kitchen as the food was prepared for her special dietary menu – and then she never ate a bite! It gave me the first taste of what was in store for my life as an event planner – always be ready for anything!

30 Years is a long time! … so many events… meeting so many people…  I think the best part of meeting those faces, is that so many of those faces are now my good friends.  In fact,  my BFF in life was made early in my career.  My friend Cathy, at the World Trade Center – she and I had more laughs, never worked harder, and used this time as our launching pad as we continued to grow.  She went on to be one of the executive producers for the Olympics, and I went on and had two amazing children (who by the way put linen on tables better then most staff)!   I have worked all facets of this industry, including catering, where I met my dear friend Charlie.  He and I did the Boston to NY AIDS ride together in 1998.  He passed away several years ago, and there is not a day that goes by when I don’t think of Charlie and his smile. The list goes on and on… I feel so lucky to have these friends in my life.

I also reflect on how many people I have met through the years, everyday and from all walks of life!  It’s so interesting how many different lives they lead.  A chief of surgery, so bright, but looked to me for insight on how to plan his daughter’s wedding – he told me he was “such a dummy!”  I laughed.  I find this to be one of the greatest assets of this job, the ability to meet and see so many people, learn about so many great organizations and companies, and have a chance to be a part of them and even make a difference.  No two days are ever the same, you are always on your toes, and always ready for the next hurdle, or challenge which may come your way.

My reflections could go on and on.  I joke about a book I have been writing for years filled with all of these wonderful stories and people… maybe someday.  I plan to make more memories over the next… however many years I can continue to do this job!  I will continue to practice my mindfulness and yoga, which keeps me balanced.  The stress that comes from events can run high, and taking some deep breaths and remembering what is important is what I reflect on every day.


Spring Sprang Sprung

Dear Mother Nature,

Hello!  How have you been?  How was your winter nap? We are so excited that Spring is here today.  It is today, right?  I mean, the calendar says so, but this Boston weather doesn’t seem to be completely cooperating.  You might have to make some calls.  Do you want me to call?  I would be happy to call on behalf of AE Events.  Anything to get this winter over with!  Let me know.

Anyhow, in honor of Spring (um… springing?!), we have put together some thoughts from our office.  We asked, “What do you like about Spring?” and here are the answers.

Jana: The colors, the flowers, the butterflies.  The hope of birth and renewal.

Chrissy: Not having to wear socks! I like flip flops and sitting on decks.

Christine: The crocuses peeking their heads out.  It reminds me of renewal.

Elizabeth: Spring? You call this Spring?!  I don’t buy it… it’s supposed to snow next week!!
(Sorry, she is still acclimating to this New England weather from California.  Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Read some of our past blogs – we’re covering her wedding adventure each month!)

Mindy: The flowers, the green… that smell that a spring rain can bring to the air.  Oh, but minus the allergies.

Aubry and Danielle had the same answer: The smell of fresh spring flowers.

To conclude, dear Mother Nature, we are happy you have dusted off these snowy blankets to reveal the green beneath (okay brown, but soon to be green).  Please let us know when we can literally go out and smell the roses without a big puffy jacket and heavy boots.  We are excited for this change of season and all the excitement that it brings!


Me and the AE Staff


These flowers are courtesy of Jimmy at Lotus Designs he sent them the other day to brighten Danielle’s desk! The smell of the hyacinth is amazing.

#2 If you like it then you better…

Our first post told you the story of Elizabeth and Thomas.  I’m sure you wedding fanatics have been waiting with bated breath… as promised, here is “The Engagement” – Where did we leave off?  Ah yes…

After living in the same city (finally!) for a year, Thomas popped the question on December 21st, 2013.  After a Christmas dinner at Bistro du Midi, we walked through the public garden and approached one of my favorite spots: the bridge that crosses the pond where all the swan boats glide along during the beautiful summer months.  During the winter months the garden and the bridge are beautifully lit with lights for the holidays, making it an ultra romantic spot to get on one knee.  And so as we crossed the bridge, Thomas got down on one knee, effectively stopping all walking traffic and asked for my hand in marriage.  Everyone clapped when I said yes – the icing on the cake for this hopeless romantic!

Which brings us to present day and all of the fun that comes with planning the wedding of my dreams!  I look forward to sharing this experience with everyone and hopefully some of the things I learn along the way can help some of you (or at least keep you entertained)!


PS- Thank you to my amazing fiancé for arranging to have a photographer present at the bridge that night.  And another huge thank you to Mikhail Glabets for capturing our special night so beautifully!


hug on bridge

The happy couple

on one knee

From Miss to Mrs!

Thomas surprised Elizabeth with a beautiful Tacori Petite Crescent ring with a cushion cut center stone surrounded by a diamond halo.  Gorgeous!!! Thomas selected the ring at Barmakian Jewelers in Framingham.  (PS Barmakian – Elizabeth thanks you!)
Stay tuned for our next installment “I’m Engaged! … now what?!” in April!


This Very Moment

Today’s blog post comes from the desk of Jana Gimenez, Partner at AE Events –

My daughter Ella loves to set a fancy table.  She loves everything fancy, in fact…from tutu-inspired dresses to sparkly silver glitter nails to the absolute requirement of flowers in the special vase in our dining room.  At all times. You may think that her mom (as an event planner after all) is demanding this behavior, but let me tell you that this child came out this way.

And ah, how this event planner mom needs that.  Because when I come through my front door, head still fogged with creative puzzles and details and to-do lists from the day, I see the handmade placemats and candles and lovingly arranged daisies and STOP.  I stop, shake off the clouds, and remember what is important.  These little things, the attention we give to this very moment that we’re in right now, is so vital.

In the stopping and the breathing and taking things in, I am reminded that this is what we in the events business seek to do every day.  We seek to be a part of creating events that celebrate, that bring awareness, that teach and inform…events that focus on a moment that is so important to a couple, a cause, a company.  Moments that will live on in cherished photos, in lives changed, in relationships strengthened.

So I settle in and enjoy the table created today just for me.  And I plan to keep on remembering that these little touches really do matter.

Ella centerpieces