Gracious Events Blog

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A Wedding Under the BIG Circus Tent!

Written by Nicole Mitsakis

Here at Gracious Events we LOVE a good theme!  Never would I have thought that I would like the idea of a circus/carnival themed wedding, but the minute I saw this incredible Tent via LA Circus I was sold. A circus/carnival themed wedding is not for everyone, but for the couple that really likes to be “out of the box”, this is one theme that is creative, colorful and has unlimited options for fun.

Photo via LA CIrcus

Photo via LA Circus

 

Photo via LA Circus

Photo via LA Circus

Again, I can’t talk enough about this tent…just look at how perfect it is…the colors, the stripes, your guests will actually feel like they are really at a circus or carnival.

Design via Sarah Ritter

Design via Sarah Ritter

A great way to set the tone for what’s to come, is with the invitation. Check out these beautifully designed invites that will have your guests excited about the look and feel of your wedding.

Photo via Nimbi Creative

Photo via Nimbi Creative

How amazing is this Ferris Wheel that acts as the place cards for your guests?!

Photo via Wedding Creative Blog

Photo via Wedding Creative Blog

An easy favor, of course, is PEANUTS, but, you could also have a fun candy bar.

Photo by Ingrid Bonne Photography

Photo by Ingrid Bonne Photography

The sky is the limit when it comes to a signature drink! I loved this lemonade stand which would be nice for guests to have prior to the ceremony.

Photo by Your Home Based Mom

Photo by Your Home Based Mom

A wedding would not be complete with out a kiss…instead of guests clinking their classes for the couple to kiss you could have this kissing booth which would allow everyone to do a kiss.  Add in an extra photographer to capture the moment and each guests could get a copy of the photo as a favor.

Photo via Gracie Pie

Photo via Gracie Pie

Need a fun game?  How about trying to win a goldfish…again just another creative favor idea.

Photo by Sam Hughes Photography

Photo by Sam Hughes Photography

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Fantastic Wedding Transportation!

Written by Tania Atkinson

Most of our blogs are about trends in weddings, and this one is no different!  One trend we’ve noticed in almost every wedding we’ve done is the new and creative ways couples are getting their wedding parties and guests to and from the ceremony and reception sites.  Though we do still see the traditional Rolls Royces and stretch limos, more often than not, we are seeing more creative modes of transportation in weddings.  Part of this trend is the result of creative couples putting a new twist to their wedding theme, but, it’s also due to the increasing number of safely conscious couples wanting to ensure their guests make it home safely after a fun night out, without having to drive!

School buses are a great, and rather inexpensive way to get all of your guests to and from their destination, and they definitely add a kind of “throw-back” element to a wedding!

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Image courtesy of Bridal Guide Magazine

With the ever growing trend of rustic, barn weddings, a horse drawn (or even tractor drawn) wagon is a perfect way to get your wedding party or guests from the ceremony to the reception site.

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Image courtesy of Pinterest

We are seeing a steady increase in ski resort weddings, in winter as well as the warmer seasons.  Why not take advantage of the transportation that is already there to get your guests and wedding party to the mountain top ceremony!

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Image courtesy of Style Me Pretty

A fire engine, or parade of them, is a charming way to transport the wedding party of a fire fighter.  Besides the fantastic photo opportunity, the use of fire engines is just another way to add a personal touch to a couples wedding.

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Image courtesy of Sakura Photography

The trolley has to be one of the most popular modes of wedding transportation for the past few years.  It’s a fun ride for guests and perfect for almost all climates and wedding themes!

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Image courtesy of Brides.com

For an ocean front wedding, why not go with a vintage tug boat?  This is another fun way to transport the wedding party to the ceremony and of course, makes for an adorable photo op!

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Image courtesy of Pinterest and Marcus Nelson Photography

Your wedding transportation is just another way to add a creative and practical element to your special day!  The options are limitless!

{VENDOR SPOTLIGHT} Pretty Poppy

Written by Erin Budzyna, Intern

Have you ever wondered where you could purchase inexpensive bridal party gifts and accessories locally?  Pretty Poppy located on 43 Pleasant Street in Newburyport, MA is a perfect place to purchase bridesmaids gifts, bridal jewelry, and wedding decor.  Listed at low prices you can find beaded sashes to accent bridal dresses, or even sterling silver initial necklaces to hand out to your bridesmaids and maid of honor.  You will also find bride/bridesmaid tote bags, wooden frames to capture the day, and cake testing sets printed with MR. & MRS.  If you are planning to purchase a bigger, sophisticated gift there are beautiful dish options from Mariposa, elegant pieces made with recycled aluminum and handcrafted glass.  All of the wedding products at Pretty Poppy will help brighten your wedding day and accent the decor of your venue.

 

Photo via Pretty Poppy

Photo via Pretty Poppy

 

Photo via Pretty Poppy

Photo via Pretty Poppy

 

Photo via Pretty Poppy

Photo via Pretty Poppy

 

Photo via Pretty Poppy

Photo via Pretty Poppy

 

Photo via Pretty Poppy

Photo via Pretty Poppy

 

Photo via Pretty Poppy

Photo via Pretty Poppy

 

Photo via Pretty Poppy

Photo via Pretty Poppy

 

Photo via Pretty Poppy

Photo via Pretty Poppy

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

Untraditional, but Brilliant!

Written by Nicole Mitsakis

 

As planners we get a lot of questions from our clients…one of the biggest one is “do I have to?” and the answer is no, you do not have to do anything you don’t want.  Clearly, you want your guests to be comfortable, but if we’re speaking of “traditional” customs when it comes to weddings then you are good.  Remember, it is “YOUR DAY” not your mothers, fathers, cousins, sisters, aunt…this list can go on forever.  It seems when it comes to weddings and children EVERYONE has an opinion or advice.  My mother always told me when someone gives you advice that you did not ask for simply smile and say “that is a good idea, I will think about it” then do what YOU feel is best.  So today’s blog is to inspire those couples that were thinking of incorporating untraditional ideas, but was afraid they shouldn’t.  I found some downright brilliant inspiration that is honestly, pretty creative, elegant and above all fun!

 

Photo Credit: Justin Pocta Photography

Photo Credit: Justin Pocta Photography

 

Image found on FlutterbyePrints

Image found on FlutterbyePrints

 

Photo Credit: Jake and Necia Photography

Photo Credit: Jake and Necia Photography

 

Photo via ElloThere

Photo via ElloThere

 

Photo Credit: Kaysha Weiner

Photo Credit: Kaysha Weiner

 

Photo via Lovethispic.com

Photo via Lovethispic.com

 

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

 

Photo Credit: Tasha Seccombe Photography

Photo Credit: Tasha Seccombe Photography

 

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

 

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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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.

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!

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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

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