Gracious Events Blog

Heaven in the Southwest!

Written by Tania Atkinson

We are tried and true New Englanders here at Gracious Events.  However after visiting Arizona for a few days, we have decided that as appealing as sub zero temperatures and multiple feet (except for this winter) of snow is, the warm always-sunny climate of the southwest is SO much better!

We visited  a number of resorts in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, but it was The Sanctuary Camelback Resort that really needed to be shared with the folks back east.  Tucked away in the foothills of Camelback Mountain, this little piece of heaven radiates luxury and elegance, but in a non-pretentious kind of way.

 

Photo via The Sanctuary Camelback Resort

Photo via The Sanctuary Camelback Resort

 

Photo via The Sanctuary Camelback Resort

Photo via The Sanctuary Camelback Resort

 

This Asian inspired resort features gorgeous pools, a zen garden, hiking trails and one of the best panoramic views in the state.  And if all that activity fires up your appetite, you can dine in any one of their fabulous restaurants under the supervision of the Food Networks’ executive chef Beau McMillan.

 

Photo via The Sanctuary Camelback Resort

Photo via The Sanctuary Camelback Resort

 

Photo via The Sanctuary Camelback Resort

Photo via The Sanctuary Camelback Resort

 

Photo via The Sanctuary Camelback Resort

Photo via The Sanctuary Camelback Resort

 

Photo via The Sanctuary Camelback Resort

Photo via The Sanctuary Camelback Resort

 

Photo via The Sanctuary Camelback Resort

Photo via The Sanctuary Camelback Resort

 

But wait,  there’s more! Literally minutes from the Sanctuary, are world renown golf courses and downtown Scottsdale, so you can eat, shop and play all without opening an umbrella or putting on a parka!

 

Rancho Solano Golf Course. Photo via The Sanctuary Camelback Resort

Rancho Solano Golf Course. Photo via The Sanctuary Camelback Resort

 

Photo via The Sanctuary Camelback Resort

Photo via The Sanctuary Camelback Resort

 

Photo via The Sanctuary Camelback Resort

Photo via The Sanctuary Camelback Resort

 

Whether you are thinking of a destination wedding, or just looking to “get outta Dodge”, The Sanctuary Camelback Resort really does have it all.

GEM’S Favorite Wedding Trends 2016

Written by Nicole Mitsakis

Come January, of any given new year, you’ll find countless websites listing the “top trends” for weddings.  This year is no different, except I’ve decided to pick our top 5 favorite from the hundreds that are out there.  If you are in this business long enough you start to realize what’s “old” is “new” and what’s really old is “rustic vintage”.  You name any trend and I promise you it will come back around, it’ll be different and most likely modernized, but rest assured what “goes around, comes around”. That being said, let’s hope for all those involved in the wedding industry that NOTHING from the 80’s comes back,  except of course if its your classic 80’s “one hit wonders” that you want your DJ to play.  Listed below are our chosen 5 with some beautiful inspiration to help get you started.

1.) Canine Companions: I’m not going to lie this is my favorite by far…YES, I am a major dog person, our event manger Tania, is also one and Jen, well she doesn’t live with any four legged friends, but welcomes them with open arms.

Photo by Tana Photography

Photo by Tana Photography

Photo by Maddie Peschong

Photo by Maddie Peschong

Photo by Leah Haydock Photography

Photo by Leah Haydock Photography

Photo by Hailey Tash Photography

Photo by Hailey Tash Photography

2.) Wedding Dress Separates:  I have to say I was pleasantly surprised while researching for inspiration.  I was afraid the options would be limited, but there are some very classy and elegant options.

Photo by Shane Shepherd

Photo by Shane Shepherd

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

Photo by Erich Mcvey

Photo by Erich Mcvey

3.) Loose Organic Bouquets:  It is refreshing to no longer see a tight ball of flowers and I really do love the look of this style of bouquet and hope it sticks around for a while.

Photo by Darling Photography

Photo by Darling Photography

Photo by Darling Photography

Photo by Darling Photography

4.)  Seating Options:  Along with anything from the 80’s,  I need to add the standard round table and ballroom metal rimmed chairs to the list of things that “should not ” come back around.  Most brides are now bringing in their own style of seating. They are using farm tables or square tables which gives your room a whole new look and feel.  There are all types of chairs, cushions and coverings to choose from.

Photo by Caitlin Maloney Photograpy

Photo by Caitlin Maloney Photograpy

Photo by Robert Castagna Photography

Photo by Robert Castagna Photography

Photo by Robert Castagna Photography

Photo by Robert Castagna Photography

5.) Donut Bars: Last but certainly not least…gone are the mini-cupcakes and cup cake towers, in are the donut bars or displays.  I think this is one item that really deserves coming back into the limelight.  I love a glazed donut and really thought there wasn’t anything better until we happen to attend a KNOT event last spring where we stumbled on Black Bird Donuts in Boston. I never knew a donut that was made of lemon and lavender could taste sooooo incredible!  Our team LOVED their donuts so much, I wrote a BLOG about them.

Photo by Christinakarst Photography

Photo by Christinakarst Photography

Photo by Shannon Elizabeth Photography

Photo by Shannon Elizabeth Photography

Photo by Christinakarst Photography

Photo by Christinakarst Photography

 

 

 

It’s Not Just “HER” Day!

Written by Nicole Mitsakis

Photo by Caitlin Maloney Photography

Photo by Caitlin Maloney Photography

I feel like I know a lot about the wedding industry, but like the saying goes “you learn something new everyday”!  Regardless of what you’ve heard there are many grooms out there that truly care about “their” wedding day, have great style, vision and shockingly want to be a part of the process.  Every January part of my job is finding what’s NEW in the wedding and social industry which is how I came across a few incredible blogs dedicated to GROOMS.  They offer tips for proposing, what to wear, how to pair patterns together and my favorite is a SUBMISSION section…I LOVE that a groom would want to submit his wedding in hopes of getting it published. While exploring through these fabulous blogs I have to say I learned a few things…I always wondered what color shoes should be paired with a suite, I was also blatantly unaware of how many types of dress shoes existed for men and I never knew there were names for all the different styles of plaid dress shirts. Below are links to my TOP 3 favorite sites…I highly recommend checking them out…you just might learn something!

Well Groomed

Trendy Groom

The Plunge

BONUS DISCOVERY was this off-the-charts NYC ELOPEMENT featured on Trendy Groom…that I just fell in LOVE with!

Dress Shoe Guide via Trendy Groom

Dress Shoe Guide via Trendy Groom

Plaid Cheat Sheet Found on Well Groomed Blog

Plaid Cheat Sheet via Well Groomed Blog

 

A New England Seaside Wedding

 Written by Tania Atkinson

Now that there is that all familiar dusting of white snow over most of New England, we thought it would be a nice time to feature one of our beautiful warm-weather weddings.  This past September, Sylvia and James exchanged vows at The Ocean House, in the gorgeous seaside town of Watch Hill, RI.

View More: http://caitlinmaloneyphotography.pass.us/jamessylvia

View More: http://caitlinmaloneyphotography.pass.us/jamessylvia

The couple chose Ocean House for their special day, not just for it’s breathtaking beauty, but it also had emotional significance to them.  James grew up taking regular family vacations to Watch Hill, and just one year prior, he proposed to Sylvia on the beach just in front of the hotel.

View More: http://caitlinmaloneyphotography.pass.us/jamessylvia

View More: http://caitlinmaloneyphotography.pass.us/jamessylvia

View More: http://caitlinmaloneyphotography.pass.us/jamessylvia

Sylvia and James did a wonderful job of combining the colors and seaside elements of the the oceanfront with their easy-going “joie de vivre” personalities in their wedding.   The rustic look of the farm tables with hemstitched runners was paired beautifully with the glass beaded chargers and textured floral centerpieces.  They even put a little extra fun and personality on the tables with their airport country code table signs and luggage tag place cards.

View More: http://caitlinmaloneyphotography.pass.us/jamessylvia

View More: http://caitlinmaloneyphotography.pass.us/jamessylvia

View More: http://caitlinmaloneyphotography.pass.us/jamessylvia

View More: http://caitlinmaloneyphotography.pass.us/jamessylvia

Sayles Livingston perfectly captured the elegant beach feel in Sylvia’s gorgeous bridal bouquet, the simple blooms in the bridesmaids hair and the elegant display on the wedding cake.  Guests enjoyed cocktails overlooking the stunning view of the Rhode Island coastline then dined in the Ocean House ballroom with the delicate sea breeze coming in through the wall of open doors.  The entire day was as lovely and joyous as the couple.  This wedding was an absolute pleasure to be a part of.

View More: http://caitlinmaloneyphotography.pass.us/jamessylvia

View More: http://caitlinmaloneyphotography.pass.us/jamessylvia

View More: http://caitlinmaloneyphotography.pass.us/jamessylvia

Photographer:  Caitlin Maloney Photography
Florist:  Sayles Livingston Flowers
DJ:  CE Production
Cake:  Something Different Cake Couture
Rentals:  New England Country Rentals & Peterson Party Center
Transportation: Rockstar Limo

 

Happy New Year!

Written by Nicole Mitsakis

Robert Castagna Photography

Robert Castagna Photography

Happy New Year everyone!  I think I can speak for Jen and Tania when saying “2015 has been an amazing year”!  As I think back on 2015 I’m truly grateful to be part of the GEM TEAM, there is never a dull moment (especially when Tania, GEM’s official driver/comedian) is behind the wheel, but most importantly is the abundance of laughs that usually have all of us in stitches. We’re very lucky to work in a profession that allows us the opportunity to interact with all types of people and businesses as well as collaborate with first rate industry professionals…somedays I forgot that I am actually at work.  As we head into 2016 this is what I know for sure…there will always be lots of laughter, there will always be new industry friends to be made and there will always be new clients to plan for…CHEERS!

Sold by Etsy, click HERE to buy.

Sold by Etsy, click HERE to buy.

Welcome to 2016, if you just got engaged over the holidays or last night let us be the first to congratulate you.  The next question everyone will ask you once you tell them you got engaged will be “have you picked a date”?  I want to share with you WHY you should consider having a wedding on New Year’s Eve.  Every year I listen to friends and family talk about what they plan on doing for NYE and every year it is the same thing…”I don’t know”, “Everywhere is busy”, “We planned too late and can’t get a reservation” or “Everyplace is overcharging”.  Everyone loves a party on NYE especially if all they have to do is attend so how fun and memorable would it be to host your wedding on that very night; ringing in the new year with those that mean the most to you.  You’d be surprised at how many venues in Boston you can see the First Night fireworks display from, you will also LOVE that quite a few venues actually offer a discount on that night as well.  And before you even think it, no you do not have to have traditional NYE decor at your wedding, that being said there are ways to incorporate certain NYE elements to your vision without over doing it.  While searching I found mainly two color palettes of gold, black and white and silver, black and white to be the most popular, but if you wanted less traditional and more color consider adding a pop of green, red, eggplant or burgundy.

Photo by Belathee Photography

Photo by Belathee Photography

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

Photo by Calligraphy by Jennifer

Photo by Calligraphy by Jennifer

Photo by Nancy Ebert Photography

Photo by Nancy Ebert Photography

Photo by Heather Roth‘s Photography

Photo by Heather Roth‘s Photography

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

NYE Bridal Gown Option

NYE Bridal Gown Option

NYE Bridal Gown Option

NYE Bridal Gown Option

NYE Bridal Gown Option

NYE Bridal Gown Option

NYE Bridesmaids Dress Option

NYE Bridesmaids Dress Option

Photo by Kim Kalyn Photography

Photo by Kim Kalyn Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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