Gracious Events Blog

Corporate Holiday Party

Written by Nicole Mitsakis

I’ve been with Gracious Events now for 4 years, but prior to that I was actually one of their vendors therefore I know first hand what collaboration means to GEM.  Our team truly embraces the event professionals that we work with as it makes us all better at our jobs transpiring into a superior experience for the client.  We’ve truly been blessed when it comes to our professional relationships in this industry as it makes what we do that much more enjoyable.  I feel the need to bring this up because our most recent Corporate Holiday Party was an amazing collaboration of vendors both new and old resulting in an exceptional venue transformation.  The vision was to transform the Artists For Humanity (Epi Center) into a cozy and warm space with a rustic winter feel.  In order to appreciate just how incredible this event came together you need start with the bare photos of the Epi Center space to understand how it is possible to take an industrial raw space and make it feel warm, festive and inviting.  Our team at GEM had a vision of what we wanted and RESERVE Modern Event Rental and PhiDesign Group had just the perfect decor and insight to bring it to life!  Next up, is Gregory and Brie from Flouer who knew exactly what to do for florals but then while meeting on-site Brie came up with this idea of hanging birch branches along the longest wall…BRILLIANT!  If you ask Jen what is the one thing to never go without at your event? Her answer, would be LIGHTING…best money you will ever spend.  Which leads me to Suzanne B. Lowell Lighting who has an incredible eye for lighting, impeccable skill and most importantly vision for how to transform any space with lighting.  Alone, this space came together beautifully, but when Suzanne’s team came in to light it, well that just brought it to a whole new level making everyone’s hard work SHINE…hence why we love collaborating!  

 

Artists for Humanity Raw Space

Artists for Humanity Raw Space

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Photo by Robert Castagna

Photo by Robert Castagna

Photo by Robert Castagna

Photo by Robert Castagna

Photo by Robert Castagna

Photo by Robert Castagna

Photo by Robert Castagna

Photo by Robert Castagna

Photo by Robert Castagna

Photo by Robert Castagna

Photo by Robert Castagna

 

Photo by Robert Castagna

Photo by Robert Castagna

Photo by Robert Castagna

Photo by Robert Castagna

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Photo by Robert Castagna

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Photo by Robert Castagna

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Photo by Robert Castagna

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Photo by Robert Castagna

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Photo by Robert Castagna

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Photo by Robert Castagna

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Photo by Robert Castagna

Signature Drink - Moscow Mule

Signature Drink – Moscow Mule

Photo by Robert Castagna

Photo by Robert Castagna

 

Event Planner: Gracious Events Mangement

Venue: Artists for Humanity

Lighting: Suzanne B. Lowell

Event Decor: RESERVE Modern Event Rental & PHIDESIGN GROUP

Catering: Gourmet Catering

Games: Barry Entertainment

Florals: Flouer 

Rentals: Peterson Party Center

Entertainment: Murray Hill Talent

Scotch Bar: Gordon’s Liquors, Nick Taylor

Photography: Robert Castagna Photography

Hot Chocolate…Not Just For Kids!

Written by Nicole Mitsakis

I’ve lived in Massachusetts my whole life so by default that makes me an expert on all things winter!  Whether you are planning a winter wedding, formal holiday party or just having your own family over; setting up a Hot Chocolate Bar is pretty easy and fun…after all who doesn’t like Chocolate!  I’m not talking about Swiss Miss packets but homemade (yes, it involves a stove and real ingredients) to offer your guests.  Add additional elements with eatable spoons, custom cups, marshmallows, candy canes, cookies and lets not forgot the ALCOHOL…Baileys is always popular, but considering there are about 500 different flavors of Vodka it’s safe to say that one to compliment your hot chocolate exists.  Even if you are at home consider using fun signage which adds a nice accent to your display and pretty easy to do!  Get creative on what you use to display it, there are so many unique carts, tables or even crates to help you design your very own look that will leave your guests in awe.  Check out some of our inspiration…hopefully it will inspire you to include a Hot Chocolate Bar for your upcoming event or holiday party.

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

Photo by Orange Girl Photographs

Photo by Orange Girl Photographs

Photo found on pnpflowersinc.com

Photo found on pnpflowersinc.com

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

Photo by Paige Alisa Photography

Photo by Paige Alisa Photography

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pantone Color of the Year 2016

Written by Nicole Mitsakis

If you work in an industry that involves any type of design work, then you’ve heard of PANTONE.   For those of you who are new to the world of color; Pantone is the world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems, and leading technology for the selection and accurate communication of color across a variety of industries.  Every year they release the colors of the year and various palettes that industries work from.  For the first time, the blending of two shades – Rose Quartz and Serenity have been chosen as the PANTONE Color of the Year.  You would think that the choosing of two colors is really not a big deal, but that is not the case!  This year’s Pantone colors have already started to trickle down into the fashion industry, and if you visit Pinterest inspiration boards, especially for weddings, are popping up everywhere.  I’m not going to lie, when I first saw the two colors my initial thought was “WHY would they choose a shade of baby pink and blue”? I immediately was not a fan until I decided to write this blog and began my search for inspiration.  Upon further investigation I have changed my mind and I think you will too!

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So what changed making me see that Rose Quartz and Serenity were more than just baby pastels…it was actually the PANTONE website as when they released the two colors they also release other color palettes you can pair them with.  As a visual person this was the turning point, I was able to see beyond the two and how stunningly beautiful they could look when used correctly.

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I have chosen some inspiration that will hopefully help you too see that there is a reason Pantone is the authority on color.  I also would like to predict that every floral designer out there should stock up on the Serenity shade of Hydrangea as everyone getting married this year is going to want them!

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All photos via pinterest

Celebrating 75 years in Business

Written by Nicole Mitsakis

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It’s a big deal when a company has been in business for 75 years and what better way to celebrate then to host a party! Gracious Events was thrilled to work with TG Gallagher on their event this past fall, but planning began long before that…over a year prior!  Armed with an incredible marketing plan to introduce 75 facts about the company leading up to the big day was brilliant.  You often forget that big companies once started small and it is nice to share those milestones with everyone that may not know.  The Hyatt Regency in Cambridge was the chosen venue and quite fitting as the views of the city showed work that TG Gallagher had been a part of.  We went with different types of seating as this would not be a sit down dinner but more upscale casual with room to move and talk with guests.  Custom banners were designed to highlight some of the 75 facts and showcase work that TG Gallagher had done.  Designlight did a custom gobo of their logo that was shown high up on a wall in the foyer that guests could see as they road up in the elevator and custom uplighting continued throughout the venue.  One of my favorite parts of the event was TG Gallagher’s launch of their 2nd year campaign of “Vests for Breasts”  where during the month of October they encourage those in the A/E/C industry to switched to pink safety vests with a universal logo in hopes of raising money and awareness for Breast Cancer.

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All photos by Robert Castagna

Thanksgiving Tablescape Tips

Written by Nicole Mitsakis

Thanksgiving is by far one of my favorite holidays and I find the older I get the more I appreciate how blessed I am.  Clearly, as event planners we have some amazing ideas on how to make your table stand out.  That being said I’ve decided to share simple, elegant and helpful creative tips that will not overwhelm anyone or take too much time, but will make your table more special.

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Tip one: Add a simple piece of dried wheat with a place card.

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Tip two: Adding candles creates warmth…all you need is tea lights.

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Tip three: Tie utensils with a fall colored velvet ribbon.

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Tip four: Encourage your guests to write what they are thankful for…if you have a family
with a sense of humor this will be the highlight of your dinner!

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Tip five: Tie napkins with twine, evergreen and cinnamon sticks…your home with smell amazing.

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Tip six: Be grateful for all that you have been blessed with!

All photos found via pinterest

Meadowbrook Fundraising Gala

Written by Tania Atkinson

The Meadowbrook School is a beautiful private school set in Weston, Massachusetts.  This past fall they kicked off their 35 million dollar fundraising campaign, and Gracious Events was thrilled to be part of this amazing team.  The event took place right on campus in the school’s beautiful dining room.  With well over 300 guests in attendance, the evening was a huge success and a wonderful start to their campaign fund for their new building.

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The decor for the event centered around the colors in the campaign logo: “Imagine More”.  This theme was seen in the gorgeous table linens, chair cushions and even the centerpieces, which were simple Lego pieces put on the tables to encourage guests to “Imagine More” in what they could create!  A warm yet elegant ambiance was created by Design Light by using a gorgeous wash of color throughout the entire McDowell Center. They also illuminated the artists’ renderings of the new building in such a way that it was as if guests were in an art gallery.

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Entertaining guests as they dined on fabulous hors d’oeuvres  expertly created by the school’s chef and made their way through the interactive food stations, was a band made up of Meadowbrook alumni.  With the help of event guests, Brian Korte of Brickworkz built the entire  “Imagine More” logo out of Legos! It was a truly amazing site to see!

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This event was an amazing display of creativity, and parent and staff involvement all for the benefit of expanding children’s opportunities to learn!  This was a truly wonderful community to work with and be a part of.  We can’t wait to see what the future holds for the Meadowbrook School.

 

Photos provided by Joshua Touster

Rentals provided by: Petersons Party Center

Pumpkins, not just for halloween

Written by Nicole Mitsakis

It’s no secret that FALL has become a very popular season for weddings, the rich colors and textures that one could incorporate to their vision are endless.  An elegant and accessible item you should consider using when designing for a fall wedding or event is the pumpkin…as it’s “not just for Halloween”.  Whether you chose to use them in your centerpieces or as added decor in your venue or ceremony they are extremely beautiful.  You will find that they are cost effective especially in New England as they are in season in the Fall.  You might also consider incorporating Gourds, Ornamental Cabbage and Kale too!  Clearly, orange is the most common pumpkin color but most farms now have white or off white.  Think about lighting the pumpkins and placing them throughout your venue or use them to line the the aisle for your ceremony.  Another fun idea is to use them as signage…paint your initials or a welcome message.  If you can’t find the right color you can always spay paint them and even add glitter. We’ve pulled together some of our favorite inspiration to help jump start your vision.

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All photos via pinterest

GEM’s Fall Tablescape Design

Peterson Party Center is like a playground for Event Planners, and our GEM team has spent many hours there looking at linens, tables, chairs, silverware, glassware and place settings.  Each month they ask vendors to come in and design a table for their showroom.  Gracious Events was thrilled to be asked to do the October table and had an amazing time designing our elegant fall tablescape.  Our color palette was a rich burnt orange, graphite and Tiffany blue.  Most tables have a centerpiece of florals but we decided a cake designed by Jenny’s Wedding Cakes would be more “out of the box”, after all, you normally do not see a cake as a centerpiece! But here at Gracious Events we like to be different.  Our custom signage was hand embellished with glitter to give it a little extra sparkle and coordinated flawlessly with our overall table design. Huge thank you to John Caplice for photographing our amazing table!

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It’s more than just a chair

Written by Nicole Mitsakis

As planners we look at all the details, therefore, we encourage our clients to look at those same details.  When it comes to your reception the right chair can change the entire look of your room.  The options are endless and we always encourage our clients to actually try out the chair…yes, we care about the look but everyone knows it needs to be comfortable for your guests. Most venues now have what used to be the “upgrade” Chiavari Ball Room Chair which is stylish, but sometimes the color may not align with the overall look of your wedding.  When that is the case, we are usually off to our friends at  Peterson Party Center, Rentals Unlimited or New England Country Rentals.  It is great that they are always coming up with new options for us planners to share with our clients and we love how helpful everyone is when we come to visit.  Many clients just choose to upgrade the chair and maybe add fun signs to the back of their chairs only.  Others reach out to their florist to design something custom to be used on the backs of their chairs…honestly, the creativity is endless!  I found so many amazing chairs designs I am thinking GEM needs a NEW Pinterest board dedicated to just chairs!

Photo by Jay Studio

Photo by Jay Studio

Photo by J.May Photography

Photo by J.May Photography

Photo by Landon Jacob

Photo by Landon Jacob

Photo by Jamie Lauren Photography

Photo by Jamie Lauren Photography

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

Photo by Rahel Menig Photography

Photo by Rahel Menig Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marquee Lighting

Written by Nicole Mitsakis

This is one my NEW favorite options for event lighting…MARQUEE LIGHTING. This has been huge in the UK for the last couple of years and has recently made its way across the pond to us!  In our quest to find more information about marquee lighting we stumbled upon Your Love In Lights, a Needham, MA based company.  I had the pleasure of speaking with Helen about her and her husband Tom’s company.  Ironically Helen is actually from England (one of my favorite accents) so when she discovered that the US was missing this market they decided they would offer some options.  They are so fun and can truly make a statement at any event…even corporate!  Another market to use these marquee lights would be in business offices, I know we would LOVE a pair that spells out GEM to have in our office…maybe we can ask Santa!

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All above photos via Your Love In Lights

Photo via pacificweddings.com

Photo via pacificweddings.com

Photo by Chris Spira Photography

Photo by Chris Spira Photography

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

Photo by Babb Photo

Photo by Babb Photo

 

 

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