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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!

 

 

 


To P-Town We Go!

From the Desk of Elaina Pires – New Event Coordinator at AE Events!

The AE team is buzzing as summer winds down and the fall season kick into high gear. In the midst of a very busy August, we took a day to relax, bond, and retreat to none other than… P-Town!

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This year’s annual company outing brought us to the quirky and vibrant Provincetown. Armed with our coffee and windbreakers, we boarded the ferry bright and early and embarked on a crazy journey at sea.  More roller coaster than ferry, the team endured what felt like an odyssey from Boston to the Cape. Despite choppy waters, we were greeted by gorgeous sunshine upon arrival!

The day was filled with exploring all the nooks and crannies of P-Town. We shopped around, dined at Pepe’s Wharf for a seafood-filled lunch, and shopped some more. As design professionals, we couldn’t help but stop and marvel at the quirky trinkets, one-of-a-kind jewelry, and charming nautical décor. And how could we forget the dozens of dogs parading down the streets, and our favorite little boat, Crouton.

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Before boarding the ferry home, we capped the day off with an afternoon cocktail at Patio, a cozy retreat right off of Commercial St. that featured delicious signature mojitos. On our smooth and sunny trip back we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a few dolphins, and Christine even spotted a whale!

Totally exhausted and sun-kissed, we returned to Boston grateful for having spent a day together to unwind, thank and acknowledge one another, and most importantly, to simply have FUN!

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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!


HOW COOL IS THAT?

Our team at AE Events found out yesterday that we were awarded “Best Wedding Coordinator of 2015” in Boston Magazine’s #BestofBoston.  Needless to say, we are thrilled and honored.  We may have even jumped up & down in the office just a little bit…I mean, these are the things to celebrate in life, right?  How cool is that?

Ah yes, celebrations.  The spirit of our company is built around crafting experiences that really and truly reflect and celebrate the people that each event is about.  We hope that what comes through to our clients is that we love being a part of creating their moments and their memories.

So we raise a glass to our clients, with a few tributes here….

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Being a part of designing someone’s wedding day?  How cool is that!


#12 – It’s the Little Things…

It’s #WeddingWednesday and you know what that means…time for our monthly check in with bride-to-be Elizabeth!

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Well here we are, just 4 months to go!  As we get closer to the big day, I notice all the little things that can easily slip through the cracks or be missed by taking on this job by myself!  It’s hard enough to remember all the main elements that go into hosting a great event, much less all those little details!  And in a world of DIY, I know these little details will crop up and rear their ugly head right about a month (or-gasp-less!) before the wedding when I’m already drowning in to-do’s.  Here are some of the things I noticed I was forgetting and how I remedied the situation…

*Postage for our invite— Our invitation will most likely need more than the standard 49-cent or 70-cent stamp so I will need to order a custom stamp.  This takes time, and is easy to forget when you are so focused on all the work that goes into choosing and creating your invitation.

Solution: As soon as we make a decision on the invite (hopefully soon!) we will bring a sample of it to the post office for weighing. Once we know how much the postage is, we’ll most likely use one of the many websites out there that offer custom postage (stamps.com, tinyprints.com, and zazzle.com to name a few).

*Small decor details– I’m talking about all of those little odds and ends that add an extra element of style to your event but can easily get buried in your to-do list.  Having an outdoor wedding? Maybe you’d like to add some parasols to the ends of your ceremony aisles, or signs directing people to the reception or restrooms?  Personalized cocktail napkins are also an affordable way to add a little flair.

Solution: ASK FOR HELP!  As someone who typically feels the need to do everything herself (“If you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself” -am I right?!) err, this is the biggest lesson I have learned from this process. There are completely capable people who WANT to help.  Let them!  I tapped my Sister/MOH and my Mom to help with a lot of these items, and the tasks were completed more thoroughly and quicker than I could have done them myself with everything else I am working on.  Plus, they don’t have what I like to call “wedding brain” – allowing them to think of things I may be forgetting or offering a suggestion I’d never think of.

 Key items for the Reception– Since Tom and I are including the traditional reception rituals (cake cutting, toasts, etc), we will need a cake cutting set, and toasting flutes.  We also want to have a guestbook for guests to sign.  Luckily, these items are commonly given as gifts. The downside?  If no one purchases them, this will be added to my already long list of to-dos, the week before the wedding!

Solution: I added these items to the portion of our timeline that occurs just after my bridal shower.  That way I can forget about having to get them immediately and revisit the task once my shower has passed, at which point I will know if anyone has purchased those items for us.

 Rehearsal dinner outfit– Can you imagine? I’m down to the wire, thinking I’m in the home stretch and then I realize I need an amazing outfit for the rehearsal dinner.  Cue me running around from store to store, a week before the wedding, trying to find the perfect ensemble… sounds like a recipe for a total meltdown, if you ask me!

Solution: I’ve moved this item on my to do list, to the same time I have my dress fitting.  At that point, I should be close enough to my goal weight to commit to an outfit, and it gives me extra time to try all the stores I want and even shop online.

 Odd’s and ends with no category– From creating a “day of emergency kit”, to putting together welcome bags and creating an information sheet for our out of town guests, to the amenities baskets for the restrooms… These details seem so simple, but because of that, they are at risk of being put off – “Oh, I can do that later, that’s not urgent…”  but before you know it, you’re down to the wire and those simple things become a real annoyance as you race to finish everything on time. Sounds like another meltdown for me…

Solution: I’m getting these things out of the way early! These are all items that I have moved back in our timeline to a period when we have less on our plate (or less than we will in May and June!). I had plenty of wedding timelines to chose from when I started, but the key thing for me was spending some quality time adjusting those to-do items that could be adjusted to a different area of our list, making it more manageable. 

 

I know this won’t be everything and inevitably there will be SOMETHING that is forgotten but that’s life.  And of course if you don’t want to worry about ANY of these things, you could always hire a professional! No bias here of course (wink, wink)…

 


We heart BCHL!

Valentine’s Day is upon us and we are enveloped in red and pink… to honor it we were trying to think of something fun to write or show you.  What better than to share one of our past events?  Who says red and pink are only for Valentine’s Day?  They can be used as a beautiful accent for your decor, without being over the top or seemingly girly and childish.

But, as usual, we are getting ahead of ourselves… let’s go back to November, 2014 – the Boston Children’s Hospital League Gala. This one was hosted at the Fairmont Copley and the theme was “Under the Big Top.”

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Yes, this event is to support kids and programs for them while they are at the hospital, but it’s also a night for adults!  So to walk that fine-circus-tightrope-line between childish and chic, we designed the cocktail hour to be a fun and festive filled room with oversized balloons, bright pink and orange accents – complete with an elephant over the bar!

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As guests finished cocktails, they moved across the hall to the Grand Ballroom, where they entered a space that was a bit more grownup – portraying a vintage circus vibe – with golds, blacks and pops of a whimsical red (see – I knew we’d circle back to red and Valentine’s Day). Winston Flowers helped us to create these fun centerpieces – the co-chairs couldn’t believe that red carnations could look so good.  (Sorry, carns, you guys have a bad rap, but things are looking up!)

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This client even had fun adjusting their logo to fit the theme.  Overall, it was a great event that you should consider looking in to for this year!  Planning is just in the works, but it’s sure to be a fun-filled event for everyone!

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Many thanks to all of the vendors who helped to make this event possible (plus Allegro Photography for these great shots).  Added thanks to the Big Apple Circus Clowns and stiltwalker Big League Brian, who are part of the BCHL programming and were added entertainment for our guests!

 


Blizzards! (or when things get messy)

On this blustery and cold blizzardy day we thought we’d take some time to reflect on some past events. Part of hiring an event planner is to give yourself peace of mind.  At AE Events, we pride ourselves on our ability to think the event through – forwards and backwards – so there are no surprises, but let’s be honest… there’s always something that can sneak up on you.  Our goal is to keep everything running smoothly, so that you as the client can continue to enjoy your event.  Some things, however are beyond our control…

Wedding in New Hampshire:
The bride and groom are enjoying cocktail hour, meanwhile AE is out back throwing extension cords over a stone wall and climbing into a basement that doesn’t have full ceilings (in a dress and heels, mind you!)- so that the band could connect to power – the original power plan ran into it’s own set of issues and there was always a chance that we would blow every fuse in the place, but we didn’t. But there was a brief moment where we thought the band might be acoustic for the night!

Conference in Local Boston hotel:
There are some things that we all know to be true, but try not to believe.  One example of this: mice in hotels.  We can say (with certainty) that mice do exist in hotels – even the nicest and fanciest of them – and one decided to join our educational conference (talk about things that can sneak up on you).  Luckily, the conference goers didn’t see it, but with some quick work on our end, a hotel “mousehunter” was immediately on the scene and the situation was handled quietly and humanely.

Wedding in Cape Cod:
At the end of the night, we’re packing things up and who appears drunk?  The videographer.  Long story short, the local police gave him the option of sleeping it off in a cell or in the parking lot.  He chose parking lot and they came back with his keys at 6am.  I still don’t know if the couple received their wedding videos.
*Please note – this particular vendor wasn’t hired or vetted by AE, the couple hired many of the vendors on their own. We do our best to guide clients, but certainly don’t force them to hire all of our recommended vendors.  Needless to say, this particular vendor will never be on our list! 

Fundraising Gala:
A headlining singer was the entertainment for the night, but unfortunately was wheel-chair bound due to an unforeseen injury.  With no wheelchair access to the event’s stage in sight – we had to send someone to a venue nearby to beg for their wheelchair ramps – and then get the cab driver to wait while we loaded them in! Luckily, guests got to see the show and not the madness backstage.

There are so many more stories we could share on this snowy day, but we leave you with this – like a snowflake, every event is unique and we at AE Events treat them that way.  We love our clients and do everything we can to ‘shovel them out of the blizzard!’

 


2015: Be Engaged

Happy New Year and Congratulations to the newly engaged!  The holidays are a season of giving and receiving.  We’ve found that a lot of those gifts include giving an engagement ring and receiving love to last a lifetime!

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Image courtesy of Zev Fisher Photography – to see the full photo and more – go here!

In celebration of all that lies ahead for you and yours, here are a few websites that we like to check out when looking for new or unique wedding ideas (or just fall in love with Love!).

Dorfman Jewelers – If you don’t have the ring (but know there’s a promise), be sure to have one of their specialists help you with the Art of Engagement. Discover the newly renovated Dorfman’s when shopping for your wedding rings as well! (and fiances of the world – have your sig-other keep a running list of things they like here – it will make future gift giving easy!)

How He Asked – a website dedicated to marriage proposals, with thoughtful words, photos and even video.  If you’re in the mood to cry out of joy and all things good in the world – go here.  If you’re in the mood to share your story of love – go here.

BHLDN – vintage, delicate, ethereal are all words that describe the dresses, accessories and other beautiful things you can find on this wedding website from Anthropologie.  Sometimes all you need to complete the look is that one perfect thing…

Vows – searching for your wedding dress can be fun, exciting and overwhelming.  The staff at Vows in Watertown, MA will help you find that perfect look. This bridal outlet offers high-end designer wedding gown samples and overstocks from famous designers.  You are one of a kind, maybe the dress should be too!

Style Me Pretty – See what other real couples have done for their weddings – great for inspiration and current trends. We love to see what wedding trends are happening around the country.

Squarespace – thinking of designing a personal website for the Big Day? Check this out – they have wedding templates and make it easy to customize to suit you and your fiance’s style.

Recycle Your Wedding – figured out your wedding style and feeling a little DIY?  We do our best to help our brides find ways to save some dollars here and there.  Sometimes this means buying accents (votive holders, lanterns, and other little tidbits) which can be hard to store.  From the Ruffled Blog – here are some classifieds to buy and sell your wedding goods!

Congratulations again on your recent engagment!  AE Events is here to help you create a beautiful and magical day for you and your family – give us a call or email us to inquire about our services and how we can help you go from Ms. to Mrs.!

 


#11 – 6 Months To Go!

It’s #WeddingWednesday and time to check in with our bride to be, Elizabeth! Holy cow, only 6 months to go?!

We’re Halfway There!

Yes, as of December 20th, it will officially be six months until our big day.  Where does the time go?!  This year just flew by… and I feel like we all say that every year, but seriously, this year went by even faster than normal…

I cannot believe that just about this time last year, in about 5 days to be exact, Thomas was getting down on one knee and asking for my hand in marriage…a whole year ago!

I’m constantly fielding the “How’s the wedding planning going?” question and I think that while it’s assumed that all brides are stressed out – people don’t always know (unless they’ve planned a wedding) exactly WHY it’s so stressful.  So, since I’m about halfway through the planning process I thought I’d give everyone a little window into what’s been done and what is still yet to come…

A few of the things we can cross off our list…

– Set a date
– Chose a venue
– Set a budget
– Develop a Timeline/To Do List and finances tracker/budget keeper
– Chose an officiant (One of my dearest friends – thank you Kate Baker!)
– Chose a caterer, had a tasting, and set a menu
– Purchase my dress
– Begin our rental order
– Finalize the guest list
– Chose a photographer/videographer and have our engagement shoot
– Reserve hotel room blocks and our Bridal Suite
– Reserve a tent
– Select bridesmaid dresses
– Create and send out Save the Dates (design courtesy of my amazing Groomy)
– Create our registry
– Set up our wedding website (again, thank you Groomy!)

 And here’s a peek at what still needs to get done over the next 6 months:

– Secure day-of transportation
– Finalize Honeymoon plans
– Purchase wedding rings
– Select, order and send out formal invitations
– Book rehearsal dinner location
– Finalize floral order / table decor
– Finalize cake order
– Purchase wedding favors
– Order groom/groomsmen attire
– Schedule dress fittings
– Order additional print materials (menus, escort cards, etc)
– The dreaded seating chart
– Find makeup and hair stylists
– Final walk through at the venue
– Obtain marriage license

 …and that’s a little glimpse into my world right now.  It’s also not even half of my list, so I better get going, I have a lot of work to do!  Until next time….Happy Holidays to everyone!

 


Autumnal Air

New England fall weather is unpredictable. We’ve had a string of hot days, cold days, rainy days… but the one predictable thing is that the leaves in the area are going to change. I’ve noticed quite a few trees that have stood out as though they were on fire.  I could go into a long post about The Hunger Games and the “Girl on Fire”  – there’s a new trailer out for Mockingjay – but I should probably chat about something more event-related.  Look at this tree!  It’s aglow with orange and yellow loveliness! And against that beautiful blue sky?!

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How can you bring some fun Autumnal elements to your event?

We recently did an event for our friends at Arclight Capital Partners, LLC.  They wanted guests to feel as though they were walking down a long driveway lined with old oaks – and after creating some big trees for a fabulous entrance, we added in some lighting that looked like a cobblestone path.  Later on we also scattered some leaves on the floor for that final touch.

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In lieu of tree structures (they were quite large and quite heavy… not for everyone) you could also consider putting some stems of real leaves into your floral arrangements and perhaps add a dash of some wheat or other fall grasses (millet, fountain grass, turkey foot).  Sadly, like the season, these things are fleeting, but your florist should be able to find something lovely to accent your table.  Some well placed pumpkins, artichokes, pomegranates, apples, different berries, can bring you a pop of color, while also adding some texture to the table.

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Side note: We often encourage our clients to add “texture” to their tables. This can be achieved in many ways – by using textured tablecloths like the tweeds above, by adding in something that has some plaid (maybe a napkin?), so that you’re table isn’t just a flat color.  Sometimes texture is achieved by having containers of different heights for your centerpieces, adding a well designed menu card, or as referenced earlier, adding some unexpected elements like artichokes to the tabletop or trees to the entryway!

And of course there are all the colors! The fall brings to mind all shades of reds, oranges, and deep yellows.  Sometimes I am jealous of the person who picks the names for paint colors and fabrics, as fantastic titles like “Flame,”  “Pumpkin Spice,” “Tuscan Yellow” and “Rioja Red” make their way onto our tables.  Don’t overlook your brown tones – a lovely textured wheat-toned tweed or a soft plaid with brown accents can really add some needed interest to what could be another boring table.

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Don’t forget the plum tones too!  Ornamental kale, small eggplants, mums… all of these can also bring a bit of autumn air to your event. They are the precursor to the lush and deep reds of winter.  Ooh bright red berries and amaryllis with some frosted green touches… I’m getting ahead of myself. Fall is with us for such a short time, that I’m going to take as much of it in as possible!

Thanks as always to our friends at Winston Flowers for their great trees, High Output for their fabulous lighting, as well as Table Toppers and Peterson Party Center for some inspiring fall linens.

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