Gracious Events Blog

Displaying Posts For: Corporate Events

The “new” midnight snack

Written by Nicole Mitsakis

Most often than not when guests are leaving your wedding it is well past midnight and they really have not eaten since dinner that was likely served around 7 or 8pm.  It used to be that when you left a wedding you were given some type of favor, now couples are opting to offer their guests a snack for the road!  Some will set up a late night food station, or maybe have a food truck show up, we’ve also seen couples give a midnight snack that is cleverly package “to go”.  Some like to do sweet treats others are offering mini burgers and fries with a drink.  In my research to find such items I discovered that my all time favorite choice for a midnight snack would have to be the PANCAKES….as far as I am concerned if it’s after midnight then technically it’s breakfast.  The amount of inspiration for this was endless…looks like GEM will have a new Pinterest board to create!

 

Photo by Elyse Hall

Photo by Elyse Hall

 

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

 

Laura Murray Photography

Laura Murray Photography

 

Photo by Ifong Chen

Photo by Ifong Chen

 

Found via Details on Demand

Found via Details on Demand

 

Photo via The Cookie Monstah Website

Photo via The Cookie Monstah Website

 

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Martha Stewart

Photo via Martha Stewart

{VENDOR SPOTLIGHT} The Holy Donut

Written by Nicole Mitsakis

Gracious Events is always exploring new places wherever we go and when we find something we LOVE, we SHARE!  This past week our TEAM was in Portland, Maine excited to celebrate our long overdue company holiday outing.  We were thrilled to be staying at the newly opened Press Hotel as we’ve been fans of it!  On our travels throughout Portland we were told to go to The Holy Donut, as their donuts are amazing and made with real Maine potatoes.  Honestly, this could not have come at a better time as I recently wrote a blog about our “Top Favorite Wedding Trends For 2016” and yes, number 5 was “Donut Bars”. Clearly I felt the need to have our team further research this just to make sure we had gotten it right.  After dinner while walking back to our hotel we happened to pass by The Holy Donut and I was excited to look in because the lights were on…I thought “oh they must be making the donuts” NOPE, NO DONUTS because they were actually redoing the floors and would be closed for the next few days…the look of sheer shock and sadness on my face was undoubtedly apparent because the two gentlemen working on the floors actually opened the door.  Sadness immediately turned to happiness after finding out they actually had another location…THANK YOU GOD!

The Holy Donut was our last stop as we headed home from Portland and well worth it.  After trying the donuts TEAM GEM concluded that they were in fact, very YUMMY.  My favorites were the ginger sugared sweet potato and the sea salt chocolate. I’m a little sad because even though I bought a half dozen, they’re already gone (YUP, only lasted 24 hours), but at the same time I’m feeling BLESSED that I only live an hour and a half away from Portland, Maine!  #welovemaine #welovetheholydonut

 

Photo via The Holy Donut FB Exchange Street Location

Photo via The Holy Donut FB Page, Exchange Street Location

 

Photo via The Holy Donut FB

Photo via The Holy Donut FB Page, Toasted Coconut with Coconut Milk Glaze

 

Photo via The Holy Donut FB

Photo via The Holy Donut FB Page, Dark Chocolate Toasted Coconut and Coconut Milk Glaze

 

Photo via The Holy Donut FB

Photo via The Holy Donut FB Page, Chai Glazed

 

Photo via The Holy Donut FB

Photo via The Holy Donut FB Page, Cinnamon Sugar

 

Fresh Lemon (hand squeezed and zested lemon)

Photo via The Holy Donut FB Page, Fresh Lemon (hand squeezed)

 

Photo via The Holy Donut FB

Photo via The Holy Donut FB Page

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.

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

artists-153

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

artists-058

Photo by Robert Castagna

artists-056

Photo by Robert Castagna

artists-032

Photo by Robert Castagna

artists-083

Photo by Robert Castagna

artists-080

Photo by Robert Castagna

artists-077

Photo by Robert Castagna

artists-073

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!

ProductImage

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.

COY2016-Palettes

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!

3bbe595a1ac59d8a642c5b86a0b161f1

8d4197b8f167408ecc31dc09d43eadf0

245bdd9a12e95909247fc7469ac39889

c4fa9f819a0796d139a392ba07306610

b227136aaa604395489e3e10993ebeef

b15d13d48e26bb3ffce7c267c49338c3

2570cbb1148b7f00687e5eae3b8e03b6

c09cdfbc6ccb35a9accb61e5897c14e3

bb5467f976f57c7f9e30b5b85317fda8

85272daab3b503908826e335fd10bebb

All photos via pinterest

Celebrating 75 years in Business

Written by Nicole Mitsakis

TGG_SVTD_frames

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.

TGG-022

TGG-011

TGG-002 (1)

TGG-014 (1)

TGG-016

TGG-026

TGG-019

TGG-029

TGG-204

TGG-203

TGG-200

IMG_2943

 

 

 

All photos by Robert Castagna

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.

orig_photo311039_3699178

IMG_6731

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.

Meadowbrook150926-0039

Meadowbrook150926-0746

IMG_6704

Meadowbrook150926-0189

Meadowbrook150926-1201

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!

Meadowbrook150926-0725

IMG_6701

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

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!

page4_img1

11053493_1115556508471457_608672592746640022_o

10517924_1109579479069160_3358083130422807434_o

11136191_1062925973734511_6376292786089271439_o

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

 

 

Older Posts

2013 Pick - Best of Weddings on The Knot
Weddings, Wedding VenuesGracious Events Management, Best Wedding Planners in Boston - 2013 Bride's Choice Award Winner