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Cheers!

Hello and happy weekend!

It is currently the end of April and we are now well on our way into warm spring days, we hope!  This post has to do with anything and everything beverages. From sleek glassware and drink inspiration, to creative ways to elevate your bar, we want to help bring your vision to life.

First off whoever came up with the idea of cotton candy and champagne we would like to thank you!

 

You can always elevate your party by bringing in some funky glassware

 

Summer is here and we love the idea of a lemonade station to cool off

 

Celebrating something special?! Add a pom pom to your drink.

 

And finally, what better way to celebrate the warm weather than with popsicles AND drinks!


Stepping Into Spring Like…

We’re in love with all of the floral patterns that have been blooming in anticipation of spring’s arrival.  Whether for your home, your spring wardrobe or a celebration you’re planning, these fresh ideas will make your world blossom!  Check out some of our faves…

 

1. As we step into warmer weather, lets start with the shoes… you can paint the town floral in these stilettos we found on Easy.  A great excuse for a pedi, as if anyone needs one!

2. Add some splash to an invitation or personal note cards… we’re obsessed with DIY envelope liners.

3. Shed that coat and curate a new look celebrating the season.  Sometimes mixing patterns – a floral with a stripe – can add an air of sophistication!

4. Vintage china patterns can be a great source of inspiration too.

5. For more subtle patters check out laser-cut or lace, for us it’s the bolder the pattern, the better!


Bloom on!!


Christmas in… March!

Traditionally the saying normally goes “Christmas in July” but for me, March has always been the favorite time of year, the month I most look forward to! Why you ask? Because of St. Patrick’s Day…my true Christmas.

I come from a heavily Irish family. If I were to take a DNA test I would be 70% potatoes, 10% Irish Bread, 10% Guinness, and 10% Jameson—that kind of heavily Irish. My grandmother grew up in Ireland with her brothers and sisters on the O’Malley Family Farm in County Mayo. She came to America in her early 20’s and kept the Irish culture alive and well in my family. A boiled dinner with corned beef and lots of veggies isn’t just for March—it was a Sunday night staple at my grandmother’s house.

So it should come as no surprise that I am also an avid Irish dancer. My mom enrolled me in classes at the Haley School of Irish Dance when I was 4 years old and I fell in love. All the spinning and shuffling and stomping – my 4 year old self was ENCOURAGED to be as loud as possible and jump around like, in the words of my dance teacher, “a Mexican jumping bean”! I was in heaven.

The more I danced, the more in love I fell with my Irish culture. St. Patrick’s day at school meant going all out—plaid skirt with a large pin fastening it (the 5 year old girl’s version of a kilt) paired with my favorite Irish sweater and a green headband. It became my uniform each year on that day for as long as it fit. I also loved showing off my dancing skills to my classmates and passing out Irish chocolate—aahhh Cadbury!

As I’ve grown up, my St. Paddy’s Day fashion has evolved into an extremely curly dance wig and an overly bedazzled costume. By the time I entered high school, I danced anywhere I could in March. “Dancing out” on St. Patrick’s Day is figure dancing in a big group with lots of clapping and smiling. You’re truly putting on a show! We dance everywhere: from a 30’-40’ wide stage in churches and schools, to a 4’ x 4’ piece of plywood in a restaurant or bar.

We dance in places big and small for a crowd of 3 or 300 because of how important of a day it is to the Irish Community. Not only as an ode to the religious figure of St. Patrick, but also as a day to come together and celebrate—it’s the ultimate party. And Irish dancing is the best way to celebrate!

After 19 years of dancing, I still go “dance out” every St. Patrick’s Day. And I get the best of both worlds. I am old enough to appreciate the deeply rooted traditions of St. Patrick’s Day. But I also get to celebrate with dancing and a drink!

So, when St. Patrick’s Day arrives, pour yourself a Guinness, grab your best green shirt, clap along to Galway Girl and No, Ney, Never and celebrate like you’re from the heart of Ireland, even if you aren’t, because it’s worth it– trust me!


Flipped

From the desk of Christine Altieri…

I have been feeling a bit upside down lately. So much happened in 2016…some wonderful, some not so wonderful…2017 will be a year of seeing the world a little differently.

I thought I would take that feeling and “flip” it around as a topic for my blog. Event design is all about the plan: What is the mission of the event? Who are the bride and groom? What is the company brand? When designing events, we ask perhaps the most important question: What is the look and feel for the event? Are we looking for symmetry, or non-symmetry? Are we working with perfect lines, or meandering aisles? What shall we put on the tables, the floor? But sometimes we like to flip the event world on its head, and design from above.

Negative space is what we like to call it…high ceilings, tent peaks, heavy ceiling beams…the open sky. Filling in negative space with what feels right, and takes what is below and brings it above. I practice yoga, and joke that my best poses are on my head. But standing on my head, or my arms, gives me a different perspective…it makes me look at what is possible.

 

Here are some samples of filling negative space, and turning the event on its head:

Creating a Beirgarden inside, and giving it a modern twist with a chandelier made of hops.

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Since a tent can very cold and have hard edges, fabric can make the tent feel softer and more approachable. Filling in the ceiling with fabric can warm the space and add softness to the tents hard edges.

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Or Lighting can create a sky above, perhaps a canopy of trees.

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Or what about an upside down marsh along the Charles River, and then dance under it?

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An organization that is all about reading and books, let us create book sculptures that created an interesting visual and carried their message through out.

NP 826 Boston 2012

These are just a few examples of bringing the design above, there is so much you can do if you just take a moment to look up!


Diamonds and lace and pearls…oh my!

From the desk of Creative Event Director, Mindy Home…

OMG. Did you watch the Golden Globes? Did you see the genius that is Marchesa, Valentino, Elie Saab, or Louis Vuitton (to name a few…). I mean, Hello Jessica Biel! Elie Saab knew what he was doing when he dressed you in this – complete with the 3D appliques… swoon.

jessicabiel
The big trends for the red carpet were either picking a bold color a la Reese Witherspoon in a fabulous yellow Versace or selecting something that had sheer elements and touches of glam. Did you see Sofia Vergara in Zuhair Murad Couture?!… I mean, how could you miss her?! Embroidery, sequins or some other kind of fabulous accent turned the dresses into masterpieces.

Thandie Newton in her understated white Monse dress with orange paillettes – yes!

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Lily Collins looking like something out of a beautiful fairy wonderland from Zuhair Murad Couture – yes!!

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Metallics were everywhere! Everywhere we turn these days people are mixing metals and it’s fabulous. Ruth Negga nailed it with a head-to-toe-metallic-modern take on the evening gown from Louis Vuitton.

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Emma Stone won (some best dressed list and a few golden globes) in soft blush accented with stars. STARS people!!!

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Walking the red carpet is a chance for someone to really shine and stand out in the crowd. It’s the same for a bride walking down the aisle on her wedding day. I can’t wait to see how these looks further influence the next round of wedding dresses from designers around the world… just look at this piece from Marchesa’s Spring 2017 Bridal collection.

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And while the very deep-v was also a trend…. Oh hi there, Mandy Moore looking fabulous in Naeem Khan… It may not be the most appropriate look your wedding day – just my opinion – but it’s your day. Do what you want, just own it and feel fabulous as you can tell these ladies on the red carpet did!

 

Photos courtesy of Getty Images, Marchesa dress courtesy of Marchesa


How to be the Best

From the desk of Christine Altieri… 

How to be the Best was the theme of the 21st Marketing to the High End Bride breakfast at the Harvard Club on Commonwealth Ave.   Hosted by Arlene Cronk, owner of Invitations & Company, and in collaboration with Boston Magazine, the breakfast topic was about being the best at what you do in a highly competitive market. What traits do Boston’s best wedding professionals share? And how do you convince others you are the best?

It was my great pleasure to serve on the panel, along with Boston Weddings editor Brittany Jasnoff, Ben Elliott of Saltbox Farm and Saltbox Kitchen, Stacey Kuehn of Stacey Kuehn Hair, and Jenny Williamson of Jenny’s Wedding Cakes. We were charged with answering some of these challenging questions, and to find ways to inspire others to be the best.

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What is being the best? Everyone strives to achieve this, but I think this quote sums up my philosophy: “It’s not about being the best, but it’s about being better then you were yesterday.” As a company we are always striving to be better, to find better ideas and approaches, and to bring our clients the best that the market has to offer.

I thought I would share a few of the questions from the panel, and my answers.

 

Do you always look for the best people to help you? Or do other factors play a more important role in the success of an event?

We work with the people that are knowledgeable about their product, who are willing to think outside the box to help create a memory. We often refer to events as puzzles, and each piece is vital to creating the final product. For that reason we like to work with vendors that are clearly the expert we need and can be that important piece of the puzzle.

 

What do you think high-end wedding clients in general look for in a great event planner? Is it possible to generalize?

Brides are looking for a planner who has knowledge of the industry…venues, trends, etiquette…and who can help navigate the process and advise on how to best allocate the budget in order to achieve their dream wedding. For most couples, this is the first big event they are hosting, and it is a lot of pressure. Most couples have full time jobs and look to a planner to be their voice. They need to trust this planner to communicate their vision, on what clearly is one of the most important days in their lives. Our goal is to listen, understand what they are looking for, and then keep them on track, help them to stay focused, alleviate some of their wedding nightmares, and create a memory that they will share for years to come.

 

Creating the Breakfast for the High End Bride

As a company we were charged with gathering the best teammates to help design and execute the HEB breakfast. We are so fortunate to have such great friends in the industry, so it was easy to form a team of professionals who donated their time, equipment and services, to create a WOW moment for the attendees while giving each of them a chance to showcase their products and services. As a team we laid down a foundation, a starting point to build from.

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Weddings are no longer just spring or summer, but all seasons. That became our foundation, and we used that to think about how we could create a room that would take the guests through each season at a wedding of their dreams.

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The theme was expressed in subtle ways…we used color and texture to evoke the feeling of each season, and it was the little details that share the story simply. We shied away from the expected: snow, leaves, heavy colors, and furniture, and instead worked to create a room design that flowed together.

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It was an honor to participate in Marketing to the High End Bride, and I look forward to attending future events, and continuing to grow our wedding business.

from-above


Mega Cities – Mega Cool

Disclaimer: I’m not an art critic (surprise!), but I’ve seen quite a bit and by now I hope you’ve had a chance to get down to the MFA to see their current exhibition: Megacities Asia.  It’s a collection of work by 11 artists from 5 vastly populated cities in Asia.  The signage explains that in 1960, cities with a population of 10 million and more were limited to New York and Tokyo.  Now there are nearly 30 cities of this size across five continents. The artists represented in the show create mostly “found object” work that references the environments, social conditions and other elements expressive of living in a megacity… like the overabundance of plastic bags we face – as found in Mumbai artist, Aaditi Joshi’s work Untitled – or the repetitive nature of Subodh Gupta’s Take Off Your Shoes And Wash Your Hands with a wall of stainless steel cooking utensils.
plastic

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This show really settled itself into the museum in a lovely way – you get your first glimpse from Huntington Ave with Choi Jeong Hwa’s Breathing Flower – a large lotus that rises larger than life and seems to float on the lawn… If you enter on the Fenway side, you’re faced with his Alchemy piece.  A collection of inexpensive plastic containers – disposable and yet eternal (as plastic can be) – beautifully transformed into jewel tones and set as large beaded columns giving a further sense of the structure’s permanency.

With this show, I was surprised to find myself in some smaller galleries I had never visited before. (That’s the thing about museums that people forget – there’s always more to explore).   Go this way and that through the Art of Asia, Oceania and Africa and you find yourself walking in to Chaosmos Mandala – the selfie room to beat all selfie rooms – with mylar and a slowly moving plastic chandelier.  Another great piece by Choi Jeong Hwa.

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From here, I set my sights on the Ai Wei Wei pieces, an artist I have long admired for his use of materials and meaningful reflection. Find your way into the Shapiro Courtyard and you’ll find his Forever piece constructed of Forever brand bicycles – asking the viewer to question the rapid expansion of roads and cars and the people who want them.  And don’t forget to seek out his other piece – Snake Ceiling.  Wow.

Forever is particularly important to me – as it affects not only the feeling in the space – but also the square footage for our events hosted at the MFA!  It also throws a pretty mean shadow on the wall.

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Overall, this is a really beautiful show.  It makes you think about the hyper-expansion of the cities around us.  It offers a sense that cities are living and breathing entities, made up of a million little pieces and they are crowding in as illustrated in Hema Upadhyay’s 8’x12’.

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While I only touched on a few pieces, there is so much more to see and think about – be sure to check it out soon.


A Final Toast to 2015

As we close the book on 2015 and open the first few pages for 2016, there’s so much to reflect on here at AE Events. We are so grateful for our clients and industry partners, who keep us on our toes and make the work that we do rewarding and fun. What a year it was! Here is just a taste of what 2015 brought for us…

WINTER 2105

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that 2015 featured as much snow as we have seen in quite some time!  Covered up to our ears (and growing!), the promise of spring seemed nowhere in sight.

Even in the depths of winter, we were able to bring warmth and elegance to the Boston Ballet’s Camellia Ball. This is the gala not to miss, and a little snow was not going to get in the way of this special night.

Chandeliers decked the halls and a tables design of whites and grays brought a renewed sense of vibrancy to this snowy winter night. The evening was designed with candlelight and beautiful florals from our friends at Winston Flowers, the entertainment was by the dynamic “subway quartet” which dazzled guests with their modern interpretation of songs old and new. And of course, the Boston Ballet dancers performance was the show stopper of the evening, leaving guests in awe of their beauty and whimsy.

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SPRING 2015

After thawing out from the winter cold, we gladly jumped into planning a premier Boston asset management firm’s June client conference. Held at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel and the Institute of Contemporary Art, this two-day conference set the standard for success with their “Art of Innovation” theme.

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For the Opening Dinner which kicked off the conference, we created a energy that would become apparent throughout the conference that this event was all about innovation! We used vibrant aqua, white, and coral to create an entirely new look and feel and as we took the room from an elegant evening back to a conference space the next day.

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After the conference sessions came to a close, guests were happy to retreat to the Institute of Contemporary Art for their last evening together – a celebration by the sea. Thanks to our friends at Be Our Guest for supplying the gorgeous décor for their final sendoff!

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SUMMER 2015

While most Bostonians abandon the city in the summertime, we were hard at work preparing for one of our favorite celebrations – weddings! This summer we were lucky to be a part of that very special day for some incredible couples.

In late June we celebrated the coming together of two families at the Institute of Contemporary Art. The Boston Harbor created a gorgeous, natural backdrop for the ceremony.

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Guests were invited into the museum lobby and on the outside patio where which we transformed the space into a celebration that was reflective of this couple. The “Dodson-Cornell Bunch” danced the night away alongside their family and closest friends.

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In the lazy summer days of late August, we celebrated a couple whose  wedding was structured around the moon. This rustic, outdoor wedding was set at a private residence in Concord, MA. From details like a “Just Married” canoe, to choreographing the start of the ceremony to the exact moment when the moon began to rise – this wedding went down in AE history as one to remember for years to come.

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FALL 2015

With the coming of fall came a burst of celebrations of all kinds. Just before Thanksgiving we planned a tribute dinner for the outgoing CEO of South Shore Hospital.

Guests arrived at the fabulous Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate for a 360 experience around the museum. Passing through all four surrounds, guests enjoyed views of the replica Senate chamber and Ted Kennedy’s office, with sounds of a Jimmy Buffet tribute singer welcoming guests into the cocktail reception.

Décor for the evening married the guest of honor’s two loves: football and golf.  Collaborating again with our friends at Winston Flowers, we incorporated Patriots football helmets, golf balls, and miniature flags into the evening’s floral designs.

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During dinner, guests were serenaded by the world-renowned Three Waiters. If you aren’t already familiar, the Three Waiters are professional singers who disguise themselves as wait staff and delight guests with surprise performances throughout the evening. Everyone had a ball, and by the end of the night were yelling for more and throwing their napkins in the air.

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In October, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of The Spofford Group at Davios. To tie in the anniversary year, guests enjoyed signature cocktails named “Spofford Group’s 20 Year Old Fashioned” and “The Spofford 20.” The celebratory anniversary logo marked even the tiniest touches: from cocktail napkins to guest favors. On top of fabulous food, drink, and company, we had roaming magicians, a live jazz trio, and even a scotch expert. What better way to celebrate 20 years?

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With so much success in 2015, we raise a glass and toast each and every one of our clients and fabulous partners with whom we could not do this work without.

Now onto 2016 – we can’t wait to see what this next year has in store!


Autumn on the Farm

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.

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ANNIVERSARIES ABOUNDING

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!

blog 1 PHOTO: Allegro Photography

 

 A spectacular July evening on Nantucket was the backdrop for this 40th Wedding Anniversary.  Walking on sunshine!  

blog2PHOTO: 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.

blog3  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.

blog4 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.”

blog5 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.

blog7 PHOTO: Jeff Thiebauth

 

 Living the CHAI Life!  A remarkable evening toasting 10 years of CHAI Works, supporting JF&CS services for people with disabilities.

blog8 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.

blog9 PHOTO: Michael Blanchard Photography

 

 

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