Gracious Events Blog

Displaying Posts For: Holiday Parties

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

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

Event Entertainment

Written by Nicole Mitsakis

When it comes to the type of entertainment you have at your events the amount of options has drastically changed over the years.  Most events you attended 10-15 years ago would have had a live band or DJ, then, the bands and DJ’s started to expanded on their entertainment skills.  All of a sudden bands included dancers and singers with choreographed routines and the DJ now has an interactive booth with lighting and ways for your guests to participate. Gracious Events has been in the event management business for a solid 15+ years and just when we think it can’t get any better, it does.  With every year that passes, new amazing options for your events trickle into the main stream world.  The latest would be LIVE entertainment, and there are some really ingenious options out there to share with your clients.

Let us introduce you to the world of LIVING ART…you will not be disappointed!  One of our recent corporate clients was having their holiday party at Fenway park  in Boston.  As part of the entertainment, we had LIVE bronze sports statues.  The options through Barry Productions are limitless and the bronze baseball players looked so much like real statues you would forget they were LIVE, that is, until they moved. This took a little getting use too, but the guests were blown away and spent the evening taking photos with them.

Live bronze baseball players

Photo by Robert Castagna Photography

Live bronze baseball players

Photo by Robert Castagna Photography

Live bronze baseball players

Photo by Robert Castagna Photography

Live bronze baseball players

Photo by Robert Castagna Photography

Live bronze baseball players

The following year the same client had their party at the same venue,  but change the entertainment.  We knew we wanted it to be interactive and decided on a magician. Let me be clear, this is not your traditional magician…meet Eric Walton an AMAZINGLY talented actor and magician, whose skills have take him across 5 continents and his one-man show Esoterica has been produced in New York City, London, Edinburgh, and Brighton!

121530_2582186

Photo by Robert Castagna Photography

Eric Walton Magician

Photo by Robert Castagna Photography

Eric Walton Magician

Photo by Robert Castagna Photography

Eric Walton Magician

Photo by Robert Castagna Photography

Eric Walton Magician

Of course we are always thinking of what we can do next, what other LIVE entertainment can we share with our clients.  In our research we came across two other really inventive options that we would like to share with all of you. Our entire team was a bit scared of these LIVING VINES by Key Artist Group but at the same time found them so beautiful and unique.  Just imagine these vines in your event as they come to life and interact with your guests through choreographed moves.

Living Vines

Now it is time to get a bit SHADY…This live entertainment not only acts as your entertainment but also as your lighting. “So Shady” turns models into human lamps that can be positioned near furniture or sitting on a table.

Tyron Entertainment So Shady

“How to make your wedding cake an art piece using sugar flowers”

Now and again, we cross paths with some outstanding vendors that we just want to tell the world about because they are just that fantastic in so many ways.  So, we decided to offer a “Guest Blog” spot on our site to those rare GEMs we come across.  This week’s blog features the ever so lovely and talented Jennifer Williams, owner of Jenny’s Cakes.

143

The properties of sugar are amazing, especially when incorporated into a design for a wedding cake.  Gum paste, also called sugar dough, is a material used to make fine and delicate forms out of sugar.  This is one of our specialties and it can really make a wedding cake go from just a cake to a piece of art.  My favorite way to use gum paste is to make flowers out of it.  I started to learn this when a bride could not get her beloved peonies for her wedding so we made them for her cake instead. This provided a personal and sentimental element to her wedding while making her cake a real stand out of the day.

Image (2)

Sugar flowers are very time consuming to make, and every sugar artist has their own style.  I like mine to look life like and flowing, almost so they look like they are moving.  Each petal is rolled out with a tiny rolling pin, formed, and dried before putting the next petal on.  I take a lot of inspiration from artists who paint flowers as well as actual flowers.  After the flower is finished and dried it can be dusted with a colored dust, painted, or touched up with gold or silver.

IMG_8094

Because of the labor involved sugar flowers can be quite expensive but they don’t have to. You can also get a lot of impact out of one large flower used as a focal point at a modest price.  Although technically edible, you would probably not want to eat these flowers because they dry quite hard. You can however save them and use them on an anniversary cake in the future, or preserve them in a dry place for several years.  I made a cake for a florist who was a groom and he made a topiary out of it and enclosed it in glass, which he now uses for décor in his home.

IMG_1150

SourisWedSS-0077

Your wedding planner can help steer you in the best direction when choosing a cake designer, since they are in tune with your style and design details.  The cake designer can work with you both and take it from there and come up with some very unique ways to use sugar flowers to make your cake a work of art.

All photos courtesy of Jenny Cakes and Nikki Cole Photography. 

 


Two Chefs Really Are Better Than One!

Written by Tania Atkinson

From the moment the first plate was presented, we fell head over heals in love with Two Chef Are Better Than One catering! They have mastered the art of full-service catering, and even set a new standard in service, personality and presentation.  We were invited to a tasting in their facility in Lowell, Ma  where they not only run their catering business, but also operate a corporate kitchen for the employees of 1001 Pawtucket Blvd.  We were not alone in our tasting, as a number of soon-to-be brides and grooms were also having their tastings, however, the service we experienced was as if we were the only people in the room with an entire staff dedicated to just us.  Our meal began with the most elaborate cheese board I have ever experienced.  It included the most diverse array of tastes, color and texture all presented on a rustic wood board.  Every course from then on consisted of the most delicious combination of flavors we have ever experienced.  From the cajun style shrimp with a slight hint of sweetness, lobster crostini that melt in your mouth to the chicken skewers with mango chutney, every bit was delicious.  But the chefs at “Two Chefs” didn’t stop at the mouth watering food.  Their thought to presentation was flawless.  From the simple placement of the each bite sized mouthful, to the single fresh bloom on each plate perfectly coordinated with the color and season of food; their plates were a work of art.

collage-1

collage-2 collage-3

collage-4

We can’t write this blog without mentioning the fabulous staff of Two Chefs are Better Than One.  We had the most enjoyable time chatting with Tara, Jamie and Alison who truly made us feel like the only ones there.  They had a very easy way of working with their guests that was efficient, yet not intrusive at all.  They were extremely knowledgeable of the foods that were being presented and easily answered any and all of our questions.  We can’t say enough about this fantastic organization and their outstanding quality of work.

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