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!
January 27, 2017
From the desk of Event Manager Elaina Pires
After the excitement of the holidays, we New Englanders truly begin settling into the winter… January, February, and even March can be some of the most brutal months here in Boston. With the summer seeming far off and the cold wind whipping away, it’s a great time to hunker down and discover some of Boston’s best local restaurant. One of my favorite things to do on a lazy weekend is cozy up on my couch and watch “Phantom Gourmet” then go out and experience all the delicious food for myself! Whether it’s for a drink or a comfort meal, these spots are some of my favorites to visit with friends.
Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar
A milk shake that will warm you up in the winter?! Try Rosebud’s boozy bourbon milkshake, YUMMMM. Craft cocktails and beer paired with comfort food favorites like smoked chicken wings and fried Brussels sprouts make the Rosebud one of my favorite spots. All their wait staff wear flannel, it helps you to feel at home. Rosebud also serves an amazing brunch, with items like brioche French toast and hash and eggs… you really can’t go wrong here.
The Publick House
Mac n’ cheese craving? Look no further than the Publick House on Beacon Street for THE BEST mac n’ cheese skillet around. Custom create your own combination adding in whichever protein and vegetable you prefer, or just extra cheese on cheese! Publick House’s tavern-like atmosphere with dark wood, cozy nooks, and a huge assortment of diverse beers on draft make this place a MUST to visit this winter.
Christopher’s and Toad
My all-time, never-fail, go-to cozy nook is Christopher’s on Mass Ave. This no-frills local spot has come to be every local’s favorite north of the river. Christopher’s has it all: ever-changing local beer specials, loaded tater tots, buffalo cauliflower, and amazing burgers. I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t love Christopher’s. Their staff treat every customer like they’re a regular, and if you get lucky you can even snag a seat in front of their roaring fireplace. Rotating local art is always featured throughout the restaurant, with new pieces hung every time you come in.
If you’re in the mood for some music, pop next door to Toad to catch live music every night of the week, at no cover charge. This intimate venue fills up quickly, so best to catch an early dinner and head over to Toad after. Or better yet, go straight to Toad where you can still order a Christopher’s burger at the bar!
These are just a few of my favorites, but I encourage everyone to not let the winter blues get the best of you! Get out there and explore some new spots this winter. Even when you’re snowed in and feeling that cabin fever, finding a cozy local spot to retreat to can help make the winter feel like it” ain’t so bad.”
January 12, 2017
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.
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!
Lily Collins looking like something out of a beautiful fairy wonderland from Zuhair Murad Couture – yes!!
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.
Emma Stone won (some best dressed list and a few golden globes) in soft blush accented with stars. STARS people!!!
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.
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
December 15, 2016
From the desk of Event Assistant, Ronnie Ayers…
It is officially 10 days until Christmas – which means I should probably start my shopping. Through the hustle and bustle of the Holiday Season, one of my favorite things to do is sprinkle in the Santa magic that we sometimes forget. My nieces and nephews are at the perfect “believing” stage, so my family and I are having so much fun getting creative with the young ones this year. Here are a few of my favorite ideas to go the extra mile this year to keep it magical!
“Facetiming” with Santa!
This is a fun, free app that gives you some “face time” (pun intended) with ‘Ole Saint Nick. It is pretty realistic and fun to see the young reactions when they see who’s calling!
Tip: before having Santa call, make sure the one answering knows what to request for Christmas!
Here is a screenshot of my cute niece, Dakota, using the app!
Elf on the Shelf
I am sure everyone has heard or seen the Elves by now, and have found fun ways to display them. Some of my favorites: Elf driving Barbie’s car, roasting mini marshmallows over a candle, and making snow angels in powdered sugar! Definitely keeps the magic going on the days leading up to the big day.
Two ideas that I have fallen in love with for Christmas Eve can be carried out for years to come, and are so simple to do!
What you’ll need:
Mix the glitter and baking soda on the cookie sheet. Feel free to use as much or as little glitter as you would like.
“Prep” your boot by lightly spraying the soles.
Press the boot down in the baking soda mixture – making sure you get a good coat.
Then you make a trail of footprints leading from the chimney/door to the tree to show that Santa successfully visited that night!
This is such an easy (and light clean-up) project that can add a wonderful element to Christmas morning.
This is a perfect idea for citydwellers who don’t have a fireplace for Santa to enter. Craft (or buy) Santa’s keys and hang them on the front door, so that Santa has a way to come in to visit!
Experiencing the awe and excitement through the eyes of a child is one of my favorite parts of the Holiday Season.
We would love for you to share with the AE Team your own fun and creative traditions!
December 01, 2016
From the desk of Senior Event Manager, Chrissy Kratz…
I won’t even try to lie to you – I am a serious holiday lover. The day after Halloween, I start listening to holiday music with my headphones set to super low so I won’t be judged by the people around me (yes, that includes my AE colleagues!), I am done shopping for friends and family before Thanksgiving, and my small apartment has more decorations than it has any right to fit inside of it (preview below). But what can I say? I love it all and don’t think a mere four weeks is enough time to celebrate! Of course, along with the spirit of the season comes just that – spirits. Here are a few of my current favorites to bring along to your next holiday party.
This year, I attended a Fireside Chat at The Fireplace focused entirely on my favorite grape, Pinot Noir. Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir was hands down my favorite of the dinner and one I recommend to pair with a charcuterie platter or roasted poultry dinner.
Thinking something white? Try Ashbourne – a unique Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay blend out of South Africa. Don’t be deceived by its light nose…the combination of the body from the Chardonnay and the acidity from the Sauv Blanc is a nice balance that allows you to drink this wine on its own (though pairing it with some oysters isn’t a bad idea either!).
Who says you can only enjoy a bottle of vino around the holidays – give a holiday brew a try! Perhaps Nodding Head Brewery’s Sled Wrecker made with molasses and rum-soaked fruit (yes that is a shameless Philadelphia-pride pitch).
Looking for something lighter? After a recent trip to northern California, I’m head over heels for Almanac Beer Co.’s Saison Dolores. I wouldn’t call it a holiday beer, but it’s worth a try if you aren’t into rum and maple syrup in your pint.
Get creative with your cocktails! My must-try this year is to make a Rosemary-Infused Honey Sidecar. Boil some rosemary in water before freezing the liquid into ice cubes. Combine 2 cups Cognac, 1 cup lemon juice and 1 cup honey before adding in the rosemary-infused ice cubes. Strain, and serve in sugar-rimmed glasses. Voila – a holiday classic with a twist! Plus, you can spike the eggnog with the extra Cognac.
Whatever your spirit style is – embrace it and don’t be afraid to try something new. Cheers to a festive, fun and safe holiday season!