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The Big Day – June 20th, 2015

A final post from our in house Bride…

A little over 3 months ago all of the planning and hard work culminated into literally the wedding of my dreams. And since a picture is worth a thousand words, I figured I’d share some of my favorite shots from the day…

AJust one more thing before I shift into bride mode…

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Our vision was a romantic and classy estate wedding.  If you read any of my prior posts, you’ll remember that we settled on The Bradley Estate in Canton, MA, a red brick Gregorian-style mansion with an amazing brick edged parterre garden, romantically set behind the house and a large side lawn for a tented reception.

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For our ceremony we kept it mostly traditional, though we added in our own vows and a special sand blending ceremony with sand from both coasts to highlight our commitment to combine our two lives. To top it all off, we had one of our closest friends, Kate Baker, officiate the ceremony.

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We wanted cocktail hour to be classy yet fun, so guests sipped cocktails while they roamed the property and played games like corn hole and washers personally built and monogrammed by Tom.

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   The reception of course went by all too fast but what I remember most is being so in awe at all of the people who came to one place for us.  Our perfect day was made possible by our family, friends and of course our vendors who worked tirelessly to make everything perfect for us.  Gourmet Caterers did an outstanding job with the food, presentation and service.  And our DJ, Adam Conrad did an amazing job of keeping the night (and our guests) moving.

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Sperry Tents provided a wistful and light sailcloth tent with bamboo poles and candelabras.  I loved how it made the reception on grass still feel both upscale and intimate.

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We wanted our wedding to be romantic and classic with a little bit of sparkle. We worked with Peterson’s Party Center to accomplish this look with traditional fruitwood chivari chairs for both the ceremony and reception and alternated champagne and blush linens on our guest tables.  One of my pet peeves is when guest tables are too crammed, so we simplified the tables to include only rose petals, votives and centerpieces of gorgeous pink, cream and ivory roses from LauraJean Floral Design

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The table numbers were kept simple too, though each was placed in its own beautiful frame, which I had begun collecting from the moment we became engaged! I loved how this gave the tables a unique yet cohesive look.

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And for the sparkle, I scattered a few rose gold sequin linens (from Rentals Unlimited) throughout cocktails and of course on our sweetheart table.

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Our menu cards, along with the ceremony program and other various signage was beautifully designed by Mr. Tom Boates himself!

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In the end, everything turned out just exactly as we had envisioned it.  Perfect weather, the love of family and friends from across the country and Tom waiting for me at the end of the aisle. We couldn’t have asked for a better day!   

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                                                                                                                                        – Mrs. Boates signing off!

Venue: The Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate
Tent: Sperry Tents
Caterer: Gourmet Caterers
Cake: Konditor Meister
Floral: LauraJean Floral & Event Design
Rentals: Petersons Party Center
Rose Gold Sequined Linens: Rentals Unlimited
Photography: George Street Photography
DJ: Adam Conrad
Officiant: Kate Baker
The Dress:  Mori Lee by Madeline Gardiner
Hair: Janet Rodriguez
Makeup: Danielle Austin


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!

 

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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!


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!

 


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.

arclight trees

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.


Happy Anniversary Joanna and Bryan!

It’s Wedding Wednesday and while we can’t believe this lovely wedding is already a year behind us, we are still basking in it’s beauty!  Set at a gorgeous private estate, we brought some amazing vendors together to create the perfect wedding day for Joanna and Bryan on September 21, 2013.  They wanted a classic wedding, with elegant, romantic touches. It started with an outdoor ceremony (perfect weather), cocktails in the house (lots of bubbly), then dinner and dancing (Moroccan spiced lamb, yum!).  Happy Anniversary, you two!

We leave you now to enjoy the beauty of it all from the start of the day to the end – courtesy of Sarah Bastille Photography!

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Flowers by the talented Benjamin Newbold at Winston Flowers

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Joanna made such a beautiful bride!!!

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The Happy Couple! Congratulations all over again!

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Alternative to a traditional guest book – hand typed (or written) notes from guests offering “wishes and wisdom”.

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Many thanks to the vendors that made this wedding possible:

Photographer: Sarah Bastille Photography ¦ Flowers: Winston Flowers ¦ Linens & Rentals: Be Our Guest ¦ Audio & Lighting: High Output ¦ Tenting: Peterson Party Center ¦ Catering: Max Ultimate Food ¦ Videographer: Heirloom Pictures


DIY or Don’t!

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To craft or not to craft. That is the question. Here is the answer…

 

As event planners we are often asked for ways to save money on an event and in the same sentence the idea of a DIY project often follows.  DIY ideas always sound great – “Yeah, we’ll get all the bridesmaids together and we’ll make the truffles for the guest favors!” or “No problem, we’ll get the committee together and we’ll construct these ‘out of the box’ style centerpieces for our 45 gala tables.”  or “We have like a billion volunteers, so we’ll just round them up and they can learn this specialty sailor knot to make custom napkin rings.”

DIY (Do-it-yourself) is a great idea if you have a few things at your disposal:

  • Time to do it
  • Access to Supplies
  • Room and Storage
  • Some Creativity
  • Ability to Problem Solve (AKA Crisis Management)

 

Some of these items may seem obvious, but let me explain.

Time to do it – Things take time, this is certainly not news, but if you are not crafty on a regular basis, it will take you longer to figure out the pieces needed to put it together, plus how to put it together, plus purchasing the supplies, plus organizing your “team” to help you, plus the time to actually create “it.”  And if it’s something like decoupage or painted furniture, then you also have to add in some drying time!

Access to Supplies – The internet is chock full of places to get supplies, but some things end up costing you more than the item just for shipping and then you’ll have to start asking around for who might have access to it at a better price, which bring us back to #1 – time.  Sometimes making your own centerpieces sounds like a good idea, but as a non-vendor person, you probably don’t have access to the wholesale flower market and it’s pricing to flower vendors.  So instead, you have to purchase your supplies from a florist, a supermarket or some other random place – where you might not get exactly what you want.

Room and Storage – Depending on how ambitious your project is, you need to consider space.  If you’re stuffing small favor bags with jordan almonds – first, please don’t! – this is a bit out-dated for favors, but second – you won’t need a lot of space.  If you’re making centerpieces, then you need tables to create them on and somewhere to put them until the event.  And if they’re flowers, then you need somewhere cool for them to sit (plus lots of buckets with water). If you’re creating the centerpieces on site, then I’m not going to lie – as the event planner, I will probably give you the evil eye unless you have a really simple design that is not going to take a big chunk of time or floor space that I need in order to make the rest of your event a success.

Some Creativity – I’m not saying you’re not creative (I don’t even know you!).  What I’m saying is that at least one person on this DIY adventure needs to have some creative sensibilities to see when something looks good (or more importantly, when it looks bad!).  Should the box have a bow or a knot tied on it?  Should the flowers be 5 different colors?  Should the placecards hanging from ribbon off the trees be held with safety pins, little clips or something else?  Someone with a discerning eye should be able to lead you in the right direction on this.  That Crafty Captain of yours should also be able to troubleshoot when the project doesn’t go exactly as planned.

Which leads us to our final item – Ability to Problem Solve (AKA Crisis Management).  Even the most experienced builder/creator/sculptor/DIY-adventurer runs into some problems – the item you ordered online from China is stuck in customs, the kitchen is too hot and the chocolates are melting, the dog decided to take the pew markers you just made for a little jog around the backyard… First – stay calm. Second – figure out Plan B.  There is always another solution to the problem, don’t automatically throw in the towel!  Do not get discouraged. Third – call us, your event planner,  for some additional ideas!

So, dear reader, before considering a DIY project, consider everything above, including our advice as to whether it is a good idea for your particular event.  Sometimes using a respected vendor will save you time, money and heartache.  If you are a bride and considering some DIY projects, be very cautious.  As the bride, you will likely be pulled away for other projects and won’t have time on the morning of your wedding to build that driftwood archway for the ceremony…

 


Spring Sprang Sprung

Dear Mother Nature,

Hello!  How have you been?  How was your winter nap? We are so excited that Spring is here today.  It is today, right?  I mean, the calendar says so, but this Boston weather doesn’t seem to be completely cooperating.  You might have to make some calls.  Do you want me to call?  I would be happy to call on behalf of AE Events.  Anything to get this winter over with!  Let me know.

Anyhow, in honor of Spring (um… springing?!), we have put together some thoughts from our office.  We asked, “What do you like about Spring?” and here are the answers.

Jana: The colors, the flowers, the butterflies.  The hope of birth and renewal.

Chrissy: Not having to wear socks! I like flip flops and sitting on decks.

Christine: The crocuses peeking their heads out.  It reminds me of renewal.

Elizabeth: Spring? You call this Spring?!  I don’t buy it… it’s supposed to snow next week!!
(Sorry, she is still acclimating to this New England weather from California.  Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Read some of our past blogs – we’re covering her wedding adventure each month!)

Mindy: The flowers, the green… that smell that a spring rain can bring to the air.  Oh, but minus the allergies.

Aubry and Danielle had the same answer: The smell of fresh spring flowers.

To conclude, dear Mother Nature, we are happy you have dusted off these snowy blankets to reveal the green beneath (okay brown, but soon to be green).  Please let us know when we can literally go out and smell the roses without a big puffy jacket and heavy boots.  We are excited for this change of season and all the excitement that it brings!

Sincerely,

Me and the AE Staff

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These flowers are courtesy of Jimmy at Lotus Designs he sent them the other day to brighten Danielle’s desk! The smell of the hyacinth is amazing.