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What I Learned from My First Week of Work

Hello world!  My name is Phoebe Allen, the most recent addition to the AE Events team and I could not be happier about it.

Since my graduation in 2015, I have been working part-time jobs and trying to figure out this thing called life. When I accepted the offer to join the team at AE Events, it was my first full time ‘big girl’ job…and I knew my life was changing for the better.

I grew up in Brookline, right in Washington Square.  I went to Skidmore College, and graduated with a major in economics and a minor in business and management. What you would not know about me from my resume is that I have an English springer spaniel whose name is Tucker who may or may not be my best friend.

 

Other interesting facts about me are that my favorite color is light pink, mint green, or olive green depending on the day, and I have a major sweet tooth.

I had been in the job hunt for a very long time, so when the position at AE Events worked out, I was through the roof and decided to take some time to reflect on my first week here.  The first thing that made me smile when I walked through the door was that I had my very own desk!  As you can tell this was very exciting for me.  After the paperwork was signed I got to work; and I was actually already busy, which I didn’t mind one bit.  I definitely thrive off of a busy schedule with many projects going on at once.  I went to Paper Source and bought a planner that came with stickers, which genuinely made me so happy.

I also created this list of tips to help me navigate my first week:

8 Tips for Your First Week of Work:

1 – Dress so you feel like the best version of yourself

2 – Get to work early no matter what

3 – Pack a really good lunch, you’ll look forward to it, and bring snacks

 

4 – Get a cool water bottle and drink up

 

5 – Don’t be afraid to dive in

6 – Buy things for your desk that make you smile and excited to be here. It could be as small as a fun stapler!

7 – Re-read your first couple of emails more times than normal

8 – Breathe, everyone was new at one point in their lives

My main message to anyone out there trying to figure out your career, is that there is no straight path.  You make a road for yourself and follow it.  Never compare yourself to your friends.  Always be willing to try new experiences, and give yourself time to reflect and understand what you like and don’t like; because at the end of the day this is your life.

Five months ago I was so miserable trying to find a job, that at Thanksgiving my cousin asked me why I looked so droopy…but everyone has to go through those low moments to catapult them into a new direction.

Go find your catapult and trust it.

 


CHRISSY KRATZ – WHAT’S IN A NAME

Our new Senior Event Manager

SENIOR: DEFINED
sen·ior /ˈsēnyər/

adjective
– of a more advanced age
– holding a high and authoritative position

noun
– a person that is a specific number of years older then someone else

We’re sure Christine (whom we dubbed Chrissy for obvious reasons) would love the definition of “Senior,” ha. She is far from advanced age, but now does hold a high and authoritative position. Five years ago we held our first interview via skype with Chrissy, and immediately knew that she is someone who has it all…smart, creative, detailed oriented, thoughtful, etc, etc! So as luck would have it, she packed her things, headed back east, settled in Boston, and has grown into an event manager extraordinaire.

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Whether the event is a non-profit gala, a corporate anniversary or a wedding on the ocean, she does it all. In her new role she will have the ability to do more, and create more fun.. she is not afraid to have fun.

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Chrissy works hard, but she has many passions outside her job. Running, she plans on tackling a marathon this October, Rock climbing…and always a great team member.

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Along with Chrissy’s passion for events, a little known fact, she also is a wine connoisseur.

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Cheers to Chrissy as she takes on her new title. We look forward to what her future holds, it certainly looks very bright. Right now she is studying away for her CMP test. We know she will give it her all, that’s just the ways she rolls!

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MINDY HOME – WHAT’S IN A NAME

Our new Creative Event Director

CREATIVE: DEFINED
cre·a·tive \krē-ˈā-tiv, ˈkrē-

adjective
-having or showing an ability to make new things or think of new ideas
-using the ability to make or think of new things : involving the
process by which new ideas, stories, etc., are created

noun
-one who is creative

So when we started thinking about Mindy and her role at AE Events…the word “creative” definitely came to mind. Six years ago, and in one of our best moves as a company, we hired Mindy (Melinda) Home. She came to us after meeting a friend at a baby shower, and the rest is history. With little to no event experience, but a RISD degree, a desire to learn and a keen eye for style…she took off!

Planning weddings in the DR, working on fundraisers in DC, and taking the time to design events that speak to our clients, Mindy understood our mission from the very beginning, and continues to make it her own.

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We pride ourselves as a company that we do whatever it takes to get the work done. Nothing is ever too much for Mindy, a team player…packing up 3000 toys…no problem!

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Pouring the LARGE bottle of wine for guests, no problem…

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We look forward to what this new adventure holds for Mindy, and supporting her every inch of the way. We hope she will always stop to smell the flowers, and keep her sense of humor and lightness that helps all of us smile!

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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

 

 


The Big Day – June 20th, 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…

AJust one more thing before I shift into bride mode…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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   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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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And for the sparkle, I scattered a few rose gold sequin linens (from Rentals Unlimited) throughout cocktails and of course on our sweetheart table.

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Our menu cards, along with the ceremony program and other various signage was beautifully designed by Mr. Tom Boates himself!

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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!   

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                                                                                                                                        – 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


Meet Kayla!

 

Introducing our newest team member, Event Assistant Kayla Gentile!

Kayla

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.

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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! 

 

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 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!

 

 

 


AE + ACK

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.

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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!

 

club car interior

room interior

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.

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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.

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view from tent

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.

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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!


From the Desk of Christine…

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.

 

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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!)

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Oh, and of course…we all wanted to be just like Diana!

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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.

 – Christine

 

 

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