December 11, 2015
From the desk of Chrissy Kratz, Event Manager
A few weeks ago, my AE Events colleague Elaina and I were treated to a night out on the town by our friends at the Barbara Lynch Gruppo led by the amazing Maura Lacy (Private Events Manager at Menton). This night will henceforth be known as our “Congress Street Crawl.”
We started off the night in the intimate Gold Bar at Menton, where Maura told us about the nearly endless opportunities at the restaurant as we sipped sparkling rose. From a VIP Dinner in their Chef’s Room, to a Rehearsal Dinner in their Private Dining Room, to a complete buyout for a Holiday Party – the sky’s the limit! Of course, the highlight was Menton’s house dish, the Butter Soup, served tableside with shellfish, caviar and honey. Yum!
Our next stop was Sportello, where Alex Nystedt (General Manager) talked through the unique seating layout as we enjoyed red wine – a modern take on a diner with an open kitchen and winding counters.
Elaina and I then enjoyed a culinary tour like no other. We shared the Potato Gnocchi with lobster, the Strozzapreti with braised rabbit, and the Tagliatelle with Bolognese sauce (both of our favorites – hands down!) before ending with a decadent coconut cake. I still have dreams about that meal.
We ended our night at Drink where Tyler Lymer (Manager) walked us through the concept of this industrial, but extremely welcoming bar. The coolest thing about Drink is the fact that they have no set cocktail menu. If you don’t have a specific cocktail in mind, simply tell the bartenders your likes and dislikes and they will create something amazing. I highly recommend this route – you will NOT be disappointed.
*Fun fact, did you know that when a bartender leaves Drink, they leave something hidden in the bar? Next time you’re in, see if you can spot a piece of intimate apparel hanging in a corner!
Elaina and I had such a wonderful time connecting with new friends and exploring all that these establishments have to offer. Thank you again to Maura for setting up such a great evening, and to everyone we met along the way! We at AE Events encourage you to go on your own Congress Street Crawl!
November 24, 2015
Each year we’re lucky to work with ArcLight Capital Partners, LLC to create a fun themed welcome reception for guests attending their conference. This year’s theme was inspired by fall. We had a tight turnaround for setup, so we had to be mindful of the details that were pulled into the space. Hay bales and barrels created our bars. Pumpkins and corn stalks against worn wooden shutters and screen doors helped to set the mood. The cocktail space featured strung bistro lights to give an outdoor effect, while the dining space had heavier textured linens and copper weathervanes to complete the look. In the end, guests were transported to an upscale version of “Autumn on the Farm” at the Four Seasons.
November 18, 2015
Here at AE Events, we love a good milestone! The clink of champagne glasses toasting a marriage, the laughter of colleagues enjoying a reunion, and the applause of supporters championing a life-changing cause…what a joy it has been to be a part of these monumental celebrations in the past few months. And there have been a lot of them! All together 365 years…we raise a glass once again to you all.
A moment like this doesn’t happen every day! The stunning Museum of Fine Arts Boston glowed with the warm community of Jewish Family & Children’s Service, in a breathtaking tribute to 150 years of human connection. Just as a point of reference…Abraham Lincoln was president!
PHOTO: Allegro Photography
A spectacular July evening on Nantucket was the backdrop for this 40th Wedding Anniversary. Walking on sunshine!
PHOTO: Mindy Home
Talk about life-changing stuff…the May Institute has been serving up independence, choice, dignity, and respect for over 60 years. Hats off to their absolute dedication to individuals with disabilities.
PHOTO: Alycia Braga Photography
Davio’s Boston was the destination for this 20th anniversary celebration of The Spofford Group. From exquisite music to sumptuous food to fine Scotch, the evening paid tribute to the detail and focus that this remarkable company brings to its clientele.
PHOTO: Allegro Photography
Only a Jubilee could describe this golden 50-year celebration! Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly raised record funds to continue its work for “aging in community.”
PHOTO: Allegro Photography
Both the Governor and the Mayor were in the house for this 20th Birthday Bash for Massachusetts Public Charter School Association! But the student performers stole the show.
PHOTO: Jeff Thiebauth
Living the CHAI Life! A remarkable evening toasting 10 years of CHAI Works, supporting JF&CS services for people with disabilities.
PHOTO: Genevieve de Manio
With a grand musical flourish, the Berkshire Hills Music Academy celebrated their 15th Anniversary with a Fanfare Gala at the Four Seasons Boston. Special guest Charles Neville jammed with students to the delight of the crowd.
PHOTO: Michael Blanchard Photography
September 30, 2015
A final post from our in house Bride…
A little over 3 months ago all of the planning and hard work culminated into literally the wedding of my dreams. And since a picture is worth a thousand words, I figured I’d share some of my favorite shots from the day…
Just one more thing before I shift into bride mode…
Our vision was a romantic and classy estate wedding. If you read any of my prior posts, you’ll remember that we settled on The Bradley Estate in Canton, MA, a red brick Gregorian-style mansion with an amazing brick edged parterre garden, romantically set behind the house and a large side lawn for a tented reception.
For our ceremony we kept it mostly traditional, though we added in our own vows and a special sand blending ceremony with sand from both coasts to highlight our commitment to combine our two lives. To top it all off, we had one of our closest friends, Kate Baker, officiate the ceremony.
We wanted cocktail hour to be classy yet fun, so guests sipped cocktails while they roamed the property and played games like corn hole and washers personally built and monogrammed by Tom.
The reception of course went by all too fast but what I remember most is being so in awe at all of the people who came to one place for us. Our perfect day was made possible by our family, friends and of course our vendors who worked tirelessly to make everything perfect for us. Gourmet Caterers did an outstanding job with the food, presentation and service. And our DJ, Adam Conrad did an amazing job of keeping the night (and our guests) moving.
Sperry Tents provided a wistful and light sailcloth tent with bamboo poles and candelabras. I loved how it made the reception on grass still feel both upscale and intimate.
We wanted our wedding to be romantic and classic with a little bit of sparkle. We worked with Peterson’s Party Center to accomplish this look with traditional fruitwood chivari chairs for both the ceremony and reception and alternated champagne and blush linens on our guest tables. One of my pet peeves is when guest tables are too crammed, so we simplified the tables to include only rose petals, votives and centerpieces of gorgeous pink, cream and ivory roses from LauraJean Floral Design.
The table numbers were kept simple too, though each was placed in its own beautiful frame, which I had begun collecting from the moment we became engaged! I loved how this gave the tables a unique yet cohesive look.
And for the sparkle, I scattered a few rose gold sequin linens (from Rentals Unlimited) throughout cocktails and of course on our sweetheart table.
Our menu cards, along with the ceremony program and other various signage was beautifully designed by Mr. Tom Boates himself!
In the end, everything turned out just exactly as we had envisioned it. Perfect weather, the love of family and friends from across the country and Tom waiting for me at the end of the aisle. We couldn’t have asked for a better day!
– Mrs. Boates signing off!
Venue: The Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate
Tent: Sperry Tents
Caterer: Gourmet Caterers
Cake: Konditor Meister
Floral: LauraJean Floral & Event Design
Rentals: Petersons Party Center
Rose Gold Sequined Linens: Rentals Unlimited
Photography: George Street Photography
DJ: Adam Conrad
Officiant: Kate Baker
The Dress: Mori Lee by Madeline Gardiner
Hair: Janet Rodriguez
Makeup: Danielle Austin
September 17, 2015
Introducing our newest team member, Event Assistant Kayla Gentile!
What was your life like before AE Events?
I graduated from The University of Rhode Island in 2013 and one week later started working for Textron Inc. as a Marketing Coordinator. As a native Rhode Islander, you can always find me somewhere on our beautiful coastline in the summertime.
What was it about AE Events that appealed to you the most?
I love that this company touches upon all facets of event planning, so I felt that I would learn the most by being able to dabble in different types of events.
If you could plan any event in the world, what would it be and why?
Kate Middleton’s wedding! Incorporating the old-world royal elements in an event would be a dream. Maybe they’ll call me for Harry’s?
What are your hobbies outside of AE Events?
Learning to cook more than grilled chicken and eggs! Trying out new “foodie” restaurants…Toro is my favorite in the city. I also love baking. I’ll bake anything from churros to cheesecake!
What are three words to describe AE Events?
Differentiated, accessible and vivacious.
What’s your favorite thing to do in Boston?
Since I’m new to the Boston scene, taking the time to explore the city as a whole and discovering new places while it’s still nice out!
What’s the number one thing you can’t go into work without?
My two must haves: iced coffee and my iPhone!
September 04, 2015
From the Desk of Elaina Pires – New Event Coordinator at AE Events!
The AE team is buzzing as summer winds down and the fall season kick into high gear. In the midst of a very busy August, we took a day to relax, bond, and retreat to none other than… P-Town!
This year’s annual company outing brought us to the quirky and vibrant Provincetown. Armed with our coffee and windbreakers, we boarded the ferry bright and early and embarked on a crazy journey at sea. More roller coaster than ferry, the team endured what felt like an odyssey from Boston to the Cape. Despite choppy waters, we were greeted by gorgeous sunshine upon arrival!
The day was filled with exploring all the nooks and crannies of P-Town. We shopped around, dined at Pepe’s Wharf for a seafood-filled lunch, and shopped some more. As design professionals, we couldn’t help but stop and marvel at the quirky trinkets, one-of-a-kind jewelry, and charming nautical décor. And how could we forget the dozens of dogs parading down the streets, and our favorite little boat, Crouton.
Before boarding the ferry home, we capped the day off with an afternoon cocktail at Patio, a cozy retreat right off of Commercial St. that featured delicious signature mojitos. On our smooth and sunny trip back we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a few dolphins, and Christine even spotted a whale!
Totally exhausted and sun-kissed, we returned to Boston grateful for having spent a day together to unwind, thank and acknowledge one another, and most importantly, to simply have FUN!
August 07, 2015
Love is in the air! AE had the chance to plan a very special 40th Wedding Anniversary for a favorite client (yes, you are our other favorite!) and this took the AE team over to Nantucket for a long weekend in July. We cannot begin to express our love for the island – the sun, the sand, and the fabulous vendors we befriended.
After disembarking from the ferry – we headed to our first stop – The Club Car where the client hosted a lovely private dinner. We had a fun time transforming the dining room from its usual look –with the help of linens from Table Toppers. We were also fortunate to make friends with some island vendors. Rentals came from Placesetters (Thanks Jen!) and the floral and table accents were from Soiree Floral Design (Thanks Dawn and Julie!). The room had a completely different feel and passersby were full of compliments at the change!
Since this party celebrated 40 years of the couple, we put on our thinking caps and went back to 1975… a daisy and sunshine theme emerged, which we were able to introduce through the subtle use of daisy accents on the menu cards and textured paper was used as a placemat. This is a great way to bring added texture to your table with less cost. Be sure to invest in something nicer than a plain cardstock or your look will fall flat! Ours was pearl iridescent paper with embossed circle details.
Drinks, merriment – an Irish tenor and a sing-a-long around the Club Car’s piano finished out the evening.
The following day we prepped for a cocktail party at the client’s home. Nantucket tents came to the rescue with some gorgeous sailcloth tents. To keep the evening feeling fresh and Nantucket (and still with the daisy and sunshine theme) we limited the palette to all white linens and chairs, but accented with warm yellows. The result was clean, crisp and just what a cocktail party should be! The views from the client’s home didn’t hurt either.
Guests dined on delicious bites from Susan Warner Catering. To add height and visual interest to the food stations – rather than glass block risers, we opted for glass cylinders with water and hydrangea. This way, as guests arrived and before the meal was set, the table looked stunning as though it was one large centerpiece collection.
Overall, AE [hearts] Nantucket and we look forward to celebrating many more events on the island! Thanks again to our new island friends: Club Car, Placesetters, Soiree Floral, Susan Warner Catering, Nantucket Tents, Last Minute Productions, Ron Lynch Photography and DJ Skooby who’s from the mainland – and provided us with a soundtrack for the weekend!
July 16, 2015
Marriage…what a great year to win Boston magazine’s Best of Boston ® 2015 -Best Wedding Coordinator. With the news of equality and marriage for all, this makes the honor of “Best of” even better!
I thought back on when I first began planning weddings…it was the 80’s! Weddings were so different then, in fact most of the planning was with the mother. However, it was in the 80’s that the wedding couple started to have a bigger part in the actual planning, since often they were paying for part of the wedding and wanted to break with some of the old traditions. During this time, I had the opportunity to work at The Great Hall in Faneuil Hall Marketplace. As I was spending so much time in this beautiful old building, I thought “what a great space for a wedding.” My sales team thought I was crazy, but within two years, we were hosting over 30 weddings a year. This was the start of designing weddings that were just a little different, and not always in a hotel.
I started to think about the trends then, and with the help of Google, decided to share the “wedding styles of the 1980’s.” When I googled 1980 Wedding Style, the word “vintage” came up, and I nearly choked! Really, I started doing weddings in a period that is now considered vintage! I toyed with the idea of tossing my own wedding photo from 1988 in this blog (Laura Ashley dress, large draping floral bouquet and all), but after I dusted off the wedding album and stopped laughing, I determined it might be best to put that picture back in the album where it belonged! I was a trendsetter in my day…my bridesmaids got their dresses off the racks at Neiman’s and each one was different. But just so you can create your own visual, these are some of the dresses I had to choose from.
Of course I was also attending many friends’ weddings at that time, and being a part of their wedding parties. I did have the opportunity to wear lots of chiffon and satin…more then anyone should ever have to wear. My favorite trend was the Rainbow Wedding Party (not to be confused with the first Same Sex wedding), in which each the bridesmaids wore a dress a different color of the rainbow. Somehow I always ended up in orange.
(This is a Google photo, not the actual wedding shot!)
Oh, and of course…we all wanted to be just like Diana!
There are so many great memories that I have from weddings from the 80’s through today. Styles change, trends change…but the purpose behind each wedding does not. It is about two people wanting to share their lives together, to build a foundation that they will recreate, grow and change for hopefully years to come. I look forward to planning many more memories for many more couples, and feel privileged to have this honor.
July 02, 2015
Our team at AE Events found out yesterday that we were awarded “Best Wedding Coordinator of 2015” in Boston Magazine’s #BestofBoston. Needless to say, we are thrilled and honored. We may have even jumped up & down in the office just a little bit…I mean, these are the things to celebrate in life, right? How cool is that?
Ah yes, celebrations. The spirit of our company is built around crafting experiences that really and truly reflect and celebrate the people that each event is about. We hope that what comes through to our clients is that we love being a part of creating their moments and their memories.
So we raise a glass to our clients, with a few tributes here….
Being a part of designing someone’s wedding day? How cool is that!
February 18, 2015
It’s #WeddingWednesday and you know what that means…time for our monthly check in with bride-to-be Elizabeth!
Well here we are, just 4 months to go! As we get closer to the big day, I notice all the little things that can easily slip through the cracks or be missed by taking on this job by myself! It’s hard enough to remember all the main elements that go into hosting a great event, much less all those little details! And in a world of DIY, I know these little details will crop up and rear their ugly head right about a month (or-gasp-less!) before the wedding when I’m already drowning in to-do’s. Here are some of the things I noticed I was forgetting and how I remedied the situation…
*Postage for our invite— Our invitation will most likely need more than the standard 49-cent or 70-cent stamp so I will need to order a custom stamp. This takes time, and is easy to forget when you are so focused on all the work that goes into choosing and creating your invitation.
Solution: As soon as we make a decision on the invite (hopefully soon!) we will bring a sample of it to the post office for weighing. Once we know how much the postage is, we’ll most likely use one of the many websites out there that offer custom postage (stamps.com, tinyprints.com, and zazzle.com to name a few).
*Small decor details– I’m talking about all of those little odds and ends that add an extra element of style to your event but can easily get buried in your to-do list. Having an outdoor wedding? Maybe you’d like to add some parasols to the ends of your ceremony aisles, or signs directing people to the reception or restrooms? Personalized cocktail napkins are also an affordable way to add a little flair.
Solution: ASK FOR HELP! As someone who typically feels the need to do everything herself (“If you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself” -am I right?!) err, this is the biggest lesson I have learned from this process. There are completely capable people who WANT to help. Let them! I tapped my Sister/MOH and my Mom to help with a lot of these items, and the tasks were completed more thoroughly and quicker than I could have done them myself with everything else I am working on. Plus, they don’t have what I like to call “wedding brain” – allowing them to think of things I may be forgetting or offering a suggestion I’d never think of.
Key items for the Reception– Since Tom and I are including the traditional reception rituals (cake cutting, toasts, etc), we will need a cake cutting set, and toasting flutes. We also want to have a guestbook for guests to sign. Luckily, these items are commonly given as gifts. The downside? If no one purchases them, this will be added to my already long list of to-dos, the week before the wedding!
Solution: I added these items to the portion of our timeline that occurs just after my bridal shower. That way I can forget about having to get them immediately and revisit the task once my shower has passed, at which point I will know if anyone has purchased those items for us.
Rehearsal dinner outfit– Can you imagine? I’m down to the wire, thinking I’m in the home stretch and then I realize I need an amazing outfit for the rehearsal dinner. Cue me running around from store to store, a week before the wedding, trying to find the perfect ensemble… sounds like a recipe for a total meltdown, if you ask me!
Solution: I’ve moved this item on my to do list, to the same time I have my dress fitting. At that point, I should be close enough to my goal weight to commit to an outfit, and it gives me extra time to try all the stores I want and even shop online.
Odd’s and ends with no category– From creating a “day of emergency kit”, to putting together welcome bags and creating an information sheet for our out of town guests, to the amenities baskets for the restrooms… These details seem so simple, but because of that, they are at risk of being put off – “Oh, I can do that later, that’s not urgent…” but before you know it, you’re down to the wire and those simple things become a real annoyance as you race to finish everything on time. Sounds like another meltdown for me…
Solution: I’m getting these things out of the way early! These are all items that I have moved back in our timeline to a period when we have less on our plate (or less than we will in May and June!). I had plenty of wedding timelines to chose from when I started, but the key thing for me was spending some quality time adjusting those to-do items that could be adjusted to a different area of our list, making it more manageable.
I know this won’t be everything and inevitably there will be SOMETHING that is forgotten but that’s life. And of course if you don’t want to worry about ANY of these things, you could always hire a professional! No bias here of course (wink, wink)…