February 13, 2017
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.
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.
Or Lighting can create a sky above, perhaps a canopy of trees.
Or what about an upside down marsh along the Charles River, and then dance under it?
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.
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!
November 15, 2016
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
April 21, 2016
(aka “Live from Abiomed‘s Annual Sales Meeting)
Photos by Allegro Photography
“WOW. From now on my rider will include a 300-foot ceiling and
an insane bike sculpture…this is quite a club!” Comedian Dana Carvey quipped at the start of his set last week.
The glorious MFA was all decked out in fancy finery as a funky upscale nightclub for Abiomed’s Opening Celebration. It was a magical transformation…the first of its kind at the MFA! Glittering lamps from Tommy Wholesale and stunning floral sculptures from Marc Hall Design sparkled in jeweled lighting by High Output.
Magicians strolled the floor mesmerizing guests with sleight of hand tricks, while other groups gathered to enjoy the red-clad torch singer from Music Management nestled in cozy lounge seating from Be Our Guest.
The evening was filled with surprises…from the enormous marquee A-B-I-O-M-E-D letters created by New England Country Rentals, to Bailey’s milkshakes and truffle fries, to the appearance of Dana Carvey himself (the headliner is a tightly held secret)…this company knows how to thank its team.
How fitting it is that the night was such a brilliant transformation, since transforming lives is exactly what Abiomed does. This year’s meeting celebrated the unprecedented success of its Impella heart pump, and the unparalled mission of the company to “Patients First.”
A company that does such serious, life-saving work deserves to kick back with a night of laughter…cheers to you, Abiomed!