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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




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


Meet our Intern

Written by Nicole Mitsakis

We are so excited that the GEM TEAM has just grown by two feet and two hands!  I think everyone can remember their first internship…depending on the who, what, when and where of your internship it was either an amazing life changing experience or a really boring one where you learned nothing except everyones coffee order.  Personally my first internship took a bus and two trains just to get there and one of the trains was the Greenline…that just says it all!  Gracious Events embraces internships and we are thrilled to introduce you to Erin our fall intern.  Erin could not have come at a better time as our fall is one of our craziest times so we know she will not be bored.  We’re looking forward to teaching Erin all about the good, the bad, the funny and the not so glamorous side of Event Management.  Erin’s first task was to answer a few questions so we could learn more about her and send us a photo.  I asked to have everything by Thursday, it arrived in my email on Wednesday…YAY for all the TYPE A interns out there with great work ethics…you will go far in life!


Q: What made you want to do an internship for an Event Management Company?

Erin: I wanted to do an internship for an Event Management Company because I thought it would be a fun experience and I could receive further knowledge on this major to see if it’s what I want to study in college. 


Q: What do you hope to gain from your time here?

Erin: I hope to gain an enjoyable experience, meet new people, and learn about event planning and all the challenges that come with it. I want to get out as much as I can from this internship and learn as much as I can. 


Q: What other interests do you have?

 Erin: I love interior design and being able to create your own space. I am very good at picking out patterns and colors, and I feel that will help me if I choose to be an event planner. I also love to dance and have been taking it for 5 years.


Q: Tell us something about yourself that we do not know?

Erin: Something you don’t know about me is that I am a very organized person and I always have to make sure I have everything ready and aligned. I have been told that as an Event Planner you have to sometimes forget about that, because even those who are organized will have to deal with last minute problems that come up in an event.


Q: What are your plans for after graduation?

Erin: After graduation I want to be involved in summer internships and traveling. Then I want to attend Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island in the fall for Event Planning and Sports Management.


Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Erin: I would love to be an Event Planner and through this internship I think it can help me further that dream. Being able to have practice in the field and learning from experts can help me learn more about the field, and if I truly want to pursue it.

The art of the Wedding toast

I had an entirely different blog post planned for today but this morning I happen to see this “off the charts” wedding toast from two sisters that were joint maids-of-honor in their other sisters wedding.  Talk about setting the bar high…what I love about these productions is it gives insight into how creative and fun they truly are as people!

This October I will celebrate my 17th Wedding Anniversary and I can vividly remember the toasts done at my wedding.  The best man got up said a few sentences and toasted his glass to the happy couple, then my maid-of-honor got up and pretty much did the same thing.  This is how it was “back then” in 1998…NOW the wedding toast has become a production and I mean that literally.  Bestmen and maids-of-honor are putting on entire productions that includes choreographed dance moves and scripted speeches that have been practiced months in advance.  This goes the same for first dances with the couples parents and the couples themselves.  Gracious Events believes in “thinking outside the box” therefore we have brought together some of our top three favorite wedding productions!

Greatest wedding toast of all time! from Chair7 Films on Vimeo.

Mother and Son

Groom to his Bride

Somewhere a Little Different for your Wedding Venue

Written by Tania Atkinson

As wedding planners, one phrase we repeatedly hear from our clients, is “I want a wedding that is different from all the other weddings we go to”.   Like children, no weddings are exactly the same.  This being said, we decided to feature venues in the Boston area that have a somewhat “unusual” flare to them.  Though these venues have all been hosting weddings for quite some time, they all have a flavor that is truly unique and out-of-the-ordinary.

Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA definitely fits the description of “something different”!  Set in the 1830’s, this venue allows guests and wedding party alike to literally, be a part of history.  Here, you can host a wedding up to 300 guests with authentically dressed musicians to go along with the historic buildings offered for your ceremony and reception.  This unique venue provides all-season options for couples, so you can arrive at the Center Meeting House for a winter ceremony by horse drawn sleigh or casually stroll down the lane in the summer sun to the Oliver Wight Tavern to meet your guests and family for the reception.




Perfect for the history buff, a wedding at Old Sturbridge Village provides a sort of local, destination wedding adventure.  Guests can come for the day and enjoy the living museum during the wedding, or stay for the weekend at one of the many inns and really become immersed in the ways and lifestyles of colonial New England.


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The New England Aquarium is perfect for that couple looking for “original” yet still in the heart of the city.  With a breathtaking harbor view outside and the calm serenity of the the sea life inside, the aquarium provides a cornucopia for the senses!



Whether you are looking to dine along side 80 penguins, or 300 humans, the New England Aquarium delivers a truly unique experience.  The 200,000 gallon ocean tank provides a breathless backdrop in the Main Exhibit Gallery, while guests can enjoy the largest shark and ray touch tank in the East Coast in the West Wing Gallery.  The Harbor View Terrace and Tent provide a stunning view of the Boston Harbor for you and your guests to enjoy while dining and dancing the night away.



47 - New England Aquarium Wedding - Leah Haydock

The Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA is as original as wedding venues can get.  Ideal for the car enthusiast, this venue houses America’s oldest collection of automobiles.  With sweeping lawns perfect for a tent or lawn wedding, the museum can accommodate up to 500 guests outdoors, and for a more intimate gathering, up to 150 guests can fit indoors in the Carriage House.



You and your guests can go back in time as you dine next to an 1899 Winton Runabout, one of the first “horseless carriages” or step back into the roaring 20’s along side a Renault Torpedo or Luxor Taxi.  The Carriage House, located on the grounds of the Weld Estate,  holds 14 of the Lars and Isabel Andersons’ original car collection.



Because there is no separate function room in the Museum, the breathtaking vintage automobiles can be an actual part of your wedding.  Guests can casually mingle around the exhibits for as long as they would like, and staff is available the entire time to inform guests and assist with any and all event needs.


Rather then trying to come up with a creative guest book, or original favor idea,  the setting for your wedding can be all you need to make your day unique and special for your family, friends and guests.

Photos courtesy of PINTEREST


Tradition and Charm

Written by Tania Atkinson

Planning Jenny and Patrick’s wedding was such a pleasure because so many of the details of their special day were full of tradition or emotion.

The Ceremony took place on the grounds of the historic Groton School, in Groton, Massachusetts, where Jenny was a graduate of.  St. John’s Chapel needed little by way of decoration as its original stonework, vaulted ceilings and ornate choir lofts set the style all on its own.  As she walked down the aisle with her mother and father, Jenny carries a gorgeous bouquet of cream, white and soft peach colored blooms with just a hint of fall color – a perfect compliment to the colors of the fall leaves on the campus grounds on that mid-October day, her former choral director played the Bridal March on the chapel organ.

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The bridesmaids wore royal blue dresses in various styles, and carried simple bouquets of lavender and white loosely tied blossoms.  Hymns were not sung by hired professionals, rather the brides mother and former classmates sang The Rose.  Following the exchange of vows and signing of the marriage certificate, Jenny and Patrick excited the chapel to the sounds of the chapel bells being rung, just as they had been heard years ago when the bride was a young student.  After spending some time touring the campus and reminiscing high school stories – even visiting the old “School Room” on campus, the guests and bridal party headed off to  the gorgeous Nashawtuc Country Club in Concord, Massachusetts.


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Upon arrival, guests walked passed almost two dozen wedding photos of both Jenny’s and Patrick’s relatives, providing a continuous source of conversation throughout the night! Guests found their escort cards attached to miniature white ghost pumpkins which created a lovely fall look for the place card table.  The ballroom tables were adorned with simple, yet elegant centerpieces of deep fall reds, oranges and bright yellows.  Jenny and Patrick found a creative way of displaying table numbers by using photos of themselves at the age of the table number. These also allowed for lots of reminiscing among guests!

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Before the party really got started to the sounds of “District 21” the bride and groom found another way of using tradition and charm in their wedding celebration.  Instead of the typical wedding cake, Jenny and Patrick cut a traditional apple pie with Patrick’s grandmother’s antique wedding cake topper on the pie as a way to honor his family.

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Guests kicked off their heels and danced late into the night reuniting old school friendships and enjoying the laughter and company of new faces.  Jenny and Patrick captured the charm of New England, the fondness of school memories and the warmth of family all on their wedding day in Massachusetts.

To the mother of the bride, Maryanne, who made this process such a joy, we can’t thank you enough.


Event Vendors

Nashawtuc Country Club


Scott Zuehlke Photography

Wedding Tresses




“Bling…a beautiful thing in a wedding!


Written by Tania Atkinson

The beautiful Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts set the stage for this gorgeous fall wedding.  Michelle and Eric wanted a fun urban setting to reflect their young, full-of-life personalities.   Michelle’s one wish (one that we applauded) was that she wanted her wedding to have that elegant, old world feeling, but was afraid that too much “bling” would be a bit too much.  Our feelings, you can never have enough sparkle and pizzaz, but please don’t overdue it…a little goes a long way!

That is exactly why Michelle and Eric’s wedding was so successful – from her fantastic Jimmy Choo shoes, to her beautiful sash on her wedding dress, to the hidden diamonds in her centerpieces, to her stunning bouquet.  She did an absolutely wonderful job marrying sparkle, elegance with her great personal touches.





The talented staff of Flou(-e)r Specialty Florals transformed the open courtyard of the Charles Hotel into an intimate ceremony space. Beautiful floral arrangements with pink satin sashes adorned the aisle chairs of the guests seats.  The use of soft pinks and simple whites in the ceremony florals and bridesmaids bouquets complimented the elegant crystals and rhinestones in Michelle’s gown, hair and jewelry.

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Following the ceremony and outdoor cocktail hour, guests entered a fairytale-like ballroom which was illuminated in soft pink uplighting.  The crystals adorned floral centerpieces and candelabras complimented the silver table chargers, accented menu cards and gorgeous silver floral table overlays.



Michelle and Eric shared their fun side with the use of their favors.  In the ballroom lobby was a table of colorful sunglasses with a personal saying from the bride and groom, as well as a creative and interactive guest book.  Again, as we always tell our clients make sure your guests come away from your wedding knowing who you are as a couple just a little bit more!


Late into the night, guests danced to the high energy music of  Sweet Tooth and the Sugar Babies on a beautiful white dance floor -which was never empty. Michelle and Eric did a wonderful job tastefully marrying sparkle and elegance which highlighted their great ideas, their great guests and  fun filled wedding.

Michelle and Eric thank you so much for being a fantastic couple to work with…you will be missed and we can’t see you again!


Event Vendors:

Nikki Cole Photography

Petersons’ Party Center

Cloth Connection

Flou(-e)r Specialty Floral Events







It’s all my mother’s fault

Written by Jennifer Hansen

Welcome to Gracious Events’ (sorely overdue) new website and labored-over first blog post! I agonized for weeks about what to write—just ask our website creators Robert Parsons and Alyssa Giacobbe of RPD Inc. Should we use the space to talk about how much we love social media, and our addiction to Pinterest? How about a post detailing all the ways we can save you money on your event? But then it hit me that although, yes, we should tell you these things—and we will—first, I wanted to reveal exactly whose fault it is that I am where I am today.

It started with an observation/directive not long after I came to Boston, some 20 years ago. I was just out of college and, naturally, wanted to set the world on fire. But after listening to me complain about yet another dead end job, my astute mother said this: “You really should go into hospitality. You’d make a great event planner.” The ever-sweet daughter, my response was, “Where do you come up with things like this? You have no idea what you’re talking about!” Honestly, I had no clue where she would get such a ridiculous idea. Sure, I was always planning girls’ weekends away, our next family vacation, anyone’s birthday or wedding…But really, why would she say that?

Finally, I took her words to heart (she’s still surprised) and got a job planning events for the Boston Harbor Hotel, and now here I am living the event planning dream. So even though I still don’t always listen as well as she thinks I should, I will always thank Mom for knowing who I am and “gently” pushing me in the right direction.

Now let’s hope my daughters listen to me just as well!

It's All My Mother's Fault!

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