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LET THEM EAT CAKE!

No for real… No one should be denied dessert.

We at AE Events have been diligently attending tastings with our clients in anticipation of their spring events. All of the discussion of: Which salad? Should we serve beef or fish? Do we even know any vegans?! – comes to a screeching halt when dessert is served. Even though everyone has claimed up to that point, “OMG, I’m so stuffed!” somehow, there is always room for dessert.

I could probably talk about dessert for hours – and while Italian pastries (cannolis, eclairs, and cookies, etc…) are never wrong in my opinion – I am going to focus this particular blog on Celebration Cakes.

When I turned 30 my husband did not heed the advice of the bakery and ordered a cake way too big to serve the 35 guests we had in attendance. I still appreciate that he took the effort to get the cake, but I think we ate that cake until I turned 31. Regardless, it was delicious and from Konditor Meister.

Rule #1. Consider exactly how many guests might eat cake. If you’re serving other desserts in addition to the cake, you can often cut the number of slices down. Ask the bakery what they recommend based on your guest count and mini pastries…. I mean “other desserts.”

 

We had a client who really wanted a personalized cake to celebrate her birthday. We turned to Cakes to Remember and Ellen was able to turnaround sketches for approval and then baked and hand-painted the details on this cake.

Rule #2. Don’t be afraid to personalize. It’s your celebration and it should reflect you! This goes for wedding cakes too!

So many fillings! At a recent tasting we tried 4 different fillings for the cake. Discussion turned to which tier should be what… what will people like? What do we like? While a crazy cake that looks like the DeLorean from Back to the Future is really cool (see Rule #2) – if the inside is some bizarre flavor like roasted artichokes with chocolate sprinkles* – you’ll probably have a lot of leftover cake. *note, I have never seen this flavor, nor do I want to. However, I had a bat mitzvah client who wanted a rainbow cake – it totally fit her theme and crowd and everyone thought it was awesome.

Rule #3. Know your audience. You can personalize the interior to a point, but if this is your only dessert and you’re hosting 250 guests for your wedding, think about “majority rules” for at least one tier.

Some of our clients get overwhelmed with all of the options out there for their celebration and when it comes to the cake, they just… can’t even. So in those moments of despair, we remind them that keeping it simple is always elegant, always chic and always beautiful.

Rule #4. When in doubt, simple always works. As long as the cake is delicious, who says it has to be a thousand tiers high with edible gold paint and alternating layers of special cherries flown in from Turkey? (yeah, google “largest cherry producing country” – fun fact!) If that’s your thing, we understand, but sometimes a simple cake like this can make an equally delicious statement, like this one from the Dominican Republic

In the end, even if you don’t follow the rules above, cake is delicious.


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!


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.

 


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.

Cyclorama 1

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.

2014-04-05 22.24.36

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

2012 tent

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

_DSC0541

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!

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