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Ronnie Got Engaged!

Growing up, most girls envision a picture-perfect moment…the marriage proposal!  I never really had something specific in mind, but knew that when I met Joe, things were different. We understood each other’s jokes, had similar interests, and awkwardly (or awesomely) operated on the same wave length the majority of the time. Here’s a summary of what has happened on our adventure, and where it all stands today.

The Engagement

Joe was gearing up for his graduation from business school at Boston College in 2017. Little did I know, Joe called my parents (who live across the country) ahead of time and asked for my hand in marriage. After receiving my father’s blessing, Joe began the process of secretly getting a ring made that was reflective of who I am. Always a fan of the fabled “two-for-one” deal, Joe was planning on proposing to me right after his graduation ceremony. I had no idea, but his mom, my parents, and a couple of his close friends knew what I was in for.


After the ceremony, Joe dragged me around campus to take pictures together. I grew a bit frustrated and annoyed (it was cold out!) and wanted to just get in the car and to warm up. Finally, as I began to walk to one of the dozens of locations, Joe instead grabbed my hand as I was walking away and when I turned around, he was on his knee in his cap and gown!

Moving In

Moving in was a crazy concept to us….and finding a place in Boston in June is difficult! Joe went to see an apartment in Quincy, MA, and before I knew it, he had locked us into a two-bedroom apartment near the red line in a brand-new building. We love our new apartment!

Venue Shopping

The hardest part about venue shopping is figuring out what type of experience we want our friends and family to have. Given the size of my family, we knew the wedding would be in Seattle to make it as easy as possible for everyone. We flew out to the West Coast figuring we would end up at the winery that we had a soft hold on. But little did we know that the “wildcard” venues we threw in would actually win us over! We still have a bit of discussing to do, but are getting close to a decision. We are so excited to plan our wedding and have the time of our lives!  Stay tuned for updates on our journey.


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.

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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.

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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!


Friday’s Finest Foods!

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

Somerville

(link: http://www.rosebudkitchen.com)

Rosebud-exterior
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.

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The Publick House

Brookline

(link: http://www.thepublickhousebeerbar.com)

11/26/10 5:38:44 PM -- Brookline, Massachusetts Boston University 11/26/10 The Publick House, 1648 Beacon Street ,Brookline is a local bar and eatery. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky for Boston University Photography

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.

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Christopher’s and Toad

Cambridge

(link: http://christopherscambridge.com.s122913.gridserver.com)

link: http://toadcambridge.com)

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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!

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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.”


Magic of the Holiday Season

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!

santa

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.

elf

Christmas Eve:

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!

Santa’s Footprints

What you’ll need:
-Glitter
-Baking Soda
-Boots
-Spray Bottle
-Cookie Sheet

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.

footprints

Santa’s Keys

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!

santa-key

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!


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.

speakers

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.

cake-table

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.

program
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.

table

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


This is Our Place

From the desks of Jana & Christine…

“Rosie’s Place will always be my family, no matter what.  If it wasn’t for them, I would not be the person I am today.” – Norma O., Rosie’s Place Guest

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Our partnership at AE Events began nearly 10 years ago, and one of our first shared clients was Rosie’s Place. Ever since then, we have both been continually inspired, motivated, moved and humbled by their work. Rosie’s Place is in the trenches changing the lives of poor and homeless women.  As two women businesses owners, who are mothers and sisters and daughters, who believe that every person matters…this work resonates with us.

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Our early experience with Rosie’s Place is a great example of how we took our mission statement and worked it into our daily practice in producing events. We are committed to doing meaningful work in a meaningful way…all focused on our clients.  Rosie’s Place is laser focused on their guests.  They meet them where they are in their journeys.  They see them as a sum of their assets, not their deficits.  They help them find their voices.

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This year’s theme for the annual FWSB luncheon was “This is Our Place…This is Rosie’s Place.” Guest stories like Norma’s were shared by media women and by the guests themselves in video clips. The audience of 1700 heard why Rosie’s Place is their place, giving women the community and acceptance they need.

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At the end of the luncheon every year, we shop at the Women’s Craft Cooperative jewelry booth to support the wonderful opportunity that this creative microenterprise offers Rosie’s Place guests as employment. As we approached the table, who should greet us but…Norma herself! Of course we recognized her from her video, and she went on to tell us about her job and her gratitude for her friends at Rosie’s Place.

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We would not be the company we are today without Rosie’s Place. It is our hope that we help our clients tell their own important stories in every event we produce.

This is our place. This is Rosie’s Place.


Can’t Resist the Twist!

With the cold fall weather fast approaching, it’s important to take advantage of the few warm days we’ll have left. DIY Twister is fun game to play outdoors that won’t blow away in the autumn wind!

 

STEP 1: GATHER YOUR TOOLS

twister-pics

Decide what colors you’d like to use and choose your spray paint style. For this particular party, we used the brand of spray paint that is used in construction or maintenance work. This can sprays straight down instead of perpendicular to the canister, as most general spray paint does. Either kind works fine as long as you choose colors that pop!

The next tool you’ll need is the stencil. We used a square piece of cardboard and cut out a circle from the middle. By using a stencil with the middle cut out, instead of tracing around a circular object, we were able to keep things cleaner and keep our spacing more even.

*HELPFUL HINT*

Keep the inside circle you cut out of the cardboard. You can use it as a placeholder when trying to space the circles out.

You will also need string and 4-6 stakes.

 

STEP 2: SIZING OUT YOUR TWISTER BOARD

twister-pics2

The next step is measuring out your “board” using the stakes and string. Our board was 6’ by 8’ and we started by staking the 4 corners and wrapping the string around each to create an outline. We then also strung a line down the middle of the board vertically and horizontally. These middle lines helped to keep everything in line.

*HELPFUL HINT*

Before painting any spots, make sure you are standing UPWIND of the direction you are spraying. There’s nothing worse than getting a face full of paint and paint fumes!

 

STEP 3: MAPPING OUT THE CIRCLES

twister-pics3

The first circles you’ll want to create are the 4 corners. The next circles should be on either side of the middle horizontal line, then on either side of the middle vertical line. Then, fill in the 2 remaining circles on either side to complete the border. Next, fill in the middle 2 rows. These rows are the easiest to complete—just line up your spots with the spots on the border!

*HELPFUL HINT*

This spray paint does dry quickly but not quick enough! Be aware when kneeling down that you aren’t on wet paint. You’ll also want to leave adequate time for the paint to dry and for the fumes to evaporate before playing.

Once the paint is dry, set up a comfy bench nearby, break out your spinner and enjoy a fun afternoon outdoors with Twister!

twister-pics4


Meet Ronnie!

 

We are thrilled to introduce you to our newest team member – Event Assistant, Ronnie Ayers! 

What was your life like before AE?

I am originally from Seattle, WA (Go Seahawks!) and attended Boston College. After graduation I began working in Human Resources at a Financial Firm in Boston while occasionally flying to Seattle to help with weddings. Best way to compile frequent flyer miles!

seattleseahawks22012

What was it about AE Events that appealed to you most?

I appreciate the wide spectrum of events that AE covers. I have planned weddings and smaller non-profit fundraisers in Seattle, so I saw this as an amazing learning opportunity to expand my experience and soak up all the knowledge of the Boston event-planning world.

If you could plan any event in the world- what would it be and why?

A Royal wedding – it is the perfect balance of tradition, romance and extravagance. There are limited events in which the whole world is on the guest list! Plus – who wouldn’t want to be a part of a real life fairytale?

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: TRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge smile following their marriage at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and was attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

What are your hobbies outside of AE Events?

I enjoy finding difficult hikes with rewarding views at the top, cooking, taking a spin class, or relaxing with a nice Netflix binge.

What are three words to describe AE Events?

Innovative, reliable, passionate

What is your favorite thing to do in Boston?

Strolling through the Public Garden and down Newbury Street. There is always something new to see.

boston-public-garden

What is the #1 thing you can’t go into work without?

Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. When in doubt, there is always a cup of coffee glued to my hand. I also must have a rockin’ playlist to start my day off right on my commute into work! One go-to song: Geronimo by Sheppard.

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