Wedding Personal Touches

Weddings are events. Very, very special events. They are not, however, meant to be a marathon of excess. The continued explosion of the wedding business has helped many a bride go from a few singularly unique elements to full scale productions that shift the spotlight from the real purpose of the day – a celebration of love and the beginning of a shared life. Having some standout moments at a wedding is a wonderful thing but sometimes more is just, well, more.

Here are some recent special wedding moments I love:

From bride Sadie who shared her day with the women in her life in a unique way: “The bracelets meant so much to me. Each piece of jewelry resembled the woman who allowed me to borrow it. For instance, my little sister chose a green bracelet with turtles to represent her young and quirky nature. My older sister let me borrow the watch her husband gave her on the day of her wedding just a year earlier than mine. I could look at my wrist and see each woman in my life. It became an impromptu ceremony as they took turns placing their bracelets on my wrists, one by one. This was one of my favorite moments of the day.”

lynn dale events

Bride Meg wanted to be sure her mom and mother-in-law to be were recognized in some way at her small wedding.  Even though the moms did not wish for flowers we provided the florist with two small linen hankerkchiefs embroidered with Meg’s wedding date and the initial of each mom. These were then used to wrap the stems of some lovely blossoms. Suddenly carrying some flowers became much more special.

lynn dale events

Recently a lovely couple was married by the gentleman who introduced them. It was a small and intimate affair, followed by a larger celebration.  As guests arrived they were given a sealed envelope and told not to open it until told to do so. As the ceremony drew to a close the guests were asked to open their envelopes and, as a group, read a short sentiment expressing the love and hopes for the couple from their community of loved ones. They were “pronounced” by their family and friends. Magical.

The moral of the story is simple. A wedding is about the meaning of the day, not the production values of the moment.

Happy planning!

lynn dale events

Summer Entertaining/Two Words/Paella Party

Last summer I was getting ready for my daughter to head off to Barcelona when I became intoxicated by the thought of paella. While I love to cook, I had no experience with what can only be described as a near national dish of  Spain. What I liked most about paella was how it would use some of my favorite seasonal ingredients – tomatoes and seafood-for summer entertaining.

lynn dale events

Classic Paella pan

 

After some research I settled on this paella recipe and perfected it over the course of the summer. The beauty of a dish like paella is that, while it may take some time it is time spent well in advance of your guests’ arrival. Pay attention to the timing early on,  and some brief stirring once everyone has arrived, but basically, it cooks itself. As it was summer it was wonderful to cook something other than steak and chicken on the grill.

 

lynn dale events

Saffron is key for flavor and color. Don’t skip!

 

I started the meal with some potato croquetas with aioli,  and ended with a simple salad of greens, blue cheese and some orange segments. A little lemon panna cotta to wrap up the night.

lynn dale events

My finished product!

Mix up some sangria, grab your paella pan and call up some pals for a trip to Spain (in your own backyard!)

Olé!

lynn dale events

 

50 Fits!

lynn dale eventsIf you have read my website you know that I really believe the best ideas are not just born, they grow from a seed of an idea. When I recently became my own client and started planning my own milestone birthday, I started with a photograph that spoke to me, then a quote that made me smile, and then combined them. The result? The beginning of my invitation and a sense of the tone I wanted for my own, 50th birthday celebration which would celebrate the sophisticated side of the 1960’s (black and white in my mind’s eye), as well as the bright neon colors and shapes that often come to mind for the more “go-go” side of that era.


Greeting guests upon arrival at my outdoor garden location atop a downtown office building were bellman, and cigarette girls assisting the waitstaff with hors d’oeuvres. Later in the evening the talent changed to suits and go-go boots and performed to “A Little Less Conversation” by Elvis to get the guests ready to dance. The evening could not have been more light-hearted and certainly Jane Fonda’s “Barberella” and Rowan & Martin’s “Laugh-In” playing in the background provided some constant chuckles.

lynn dale events

Having a greeter at a party is such a nice way to say welcome

lynn dale events

Getting the (dance) party started..

lynn dale events

Before their role as go go dancers these “cigarette girls” helped guests with the rolling cart buffet items


Setting the décor for this was really the most fun. The outdoor garden at 9OFS was the perfect spot to drop a black and white dance floor from Peterson’s Party Center, accented with pink, white and silver statement pieces from Lux Party Rentals. The dinner buffets and hors d’oeuvres were all in keeping in the spirit including passing trays using magazine covers from 1964 that I purchased on Ebay, a “bubble bowl” presentation of dinner salads, ceviche made-to-order station and rolling food carts both of dumplings during cocktails and a chocolate fondue during dessert. TCA (link), provided the food and the signature drinks poured thru the “50 Fits” luge from Brilliant Ice.

lynn dale events

lynn dale events

1960’s inspired statement furniture

lynn dale events

Ice luge for the special cocktails….

lynn dale events

An assortment of dinner salads served in brightly colored bubble bowls

lynn dale events

Assortment of goodies for a rolling chocolate fondue cart

lynn dale events

1964 magazines as service trays

 

Small parting gifts for all… Cupcakes with baby picture… and a simple message of thanks.

lynn dale events

lynn dale events

50th birthday treats


All photographs by the extremely talented Michael Blanchard.
I can’t wait for my next birthday, or yours!

lynn dale events

Daily Thanksgiving

The table is set with dark brown suede, cabbages, pumpkins, acorns, berries of all types all accented with light touches of gold rimmed plates and smokey glass.

lynn dale events   lynn dale events

lynn dale events   lynn dale events

While we prepare for tomorrow let us remember that Thanksgiving is one day, but we should be thankful every day.

Have a wonderful and happy special day ~

lynn dale events

August Things

August, here for now but gone so soon. This summer has brought great fun and I share some of the highlights so that you too might fill the waning summer days with some special memories.

Farm To Table is nice. Digging For Dinner may be better. If you live on or near the water, or if you have a friend who does – go dig for clams! A good clam shack is a must for summer, and sure doing your own digging is a bit messy, but the process of  bare hands or a small hand rake in the sand looking for those little guys is incredibly satisfying, not to mention the beauty of the surroundings. One of the really nice things about digging with a group of friends is that within an hour you will have enough clams to feed a crew (think roasted clams, pancetta and tomatoes over linguini). Working together and breaking bread together remains a special experience and it proves that a party doesn’t have to mean “fancy”.

lynn dale events lynn dale events lynn dale events

A one pot meal isn’t just for winter.  Perhaps influenced by my daughter’s upcoming semester in Spain, I developed a serious interest in paella this summer. Some research on it  left me slightly apprehensive but my advice to you? Start with an inexpensive paella pan (not the $530 version) and get busy with this straightforward recipe for seafood paella.  Cooked in the pan on the grill this could not have been a more simple and delicious summer stunner.  This served a group of neighbors one Sunday night (with some enhancements to the seafood category) and was enjoyed outdoors with a simple salad and flan. Ole!

lynn dale events

1803.  To be more specific,  the 1803 Winsor House in Duxbury, Massaachusetts. Under the new ownership of well known caterer Holly Safford (The Catered Affair) and her husband Chuck Weilbrenner, and sons Andrew and Alex Marconi, this historic English-style pub in charming Snug Harbor has become a “must visit”. A fine dining side has a seafood heavy menu along with duck, chicken and beef while the pub side runs from a hearty burger to native mussels and a fabulous charcuterie plate. The small private dining room in the front of the inn is an ideal place for a group of 12-14.

lynn dale events lynn dale events lynn dale events

Known in the culinary world as a group with a passion for excellence the new Winsor House family is delivering in Duxbury.

Time to think fall….(almost!)

lynn dale events

The Rapture of Summer Rhubarb

It seems that each summer I fall in a love with a particular color or palette which then inspires some of my entertaining. Bright orange and apple green are examples of past favorites, but this summer its all about Rhubarb.

Where to start?

Bubbles are always in season, but during the summer months I switch away from champagne and indulge in a sparkling wine or proseco – with a twist.  To brighten up a glass before a summer dinner I make a rhubarb syrup (raw rhubarb and sugar in a food processor, with a tablespoon of water then pressed thru a sieve to extract the liquid) and add a splash to something with bubbles.  If you prefer only a hint of flavor then freeze the syrup into cubes and drop 1-2 into your glass.

lynn dale events

Rhubarb pie is a good go to summer staple, but why not move your rhubarb from the end of the meal to the beginning.  Rhubarb wontons are  a sweet treat but I like to  add some shredded duck and deliver a sweet and savory combination that is delicious. I love the element of surprise. Not a duck fan? Then try chicken or turkey. Skip the predictable factor!

The color of rhubarb is really what attracted me to think about what to do with this old school bit of summer.  For an upcoming dinner party I think coverting the table with a bold linen like this is the way to go.

lynn dale events

These old school bowls evoke a summer time vibe (vanilla ice cream and rhubarb compote?)

lynn dale events

Rhubarb rapture shouldn’t be confined to your own home. It makes the perfect hostess gift in a variety of forms. There are some great rhubarb scented candles on the market, but if I have the time I think a rhubarb paste (that pairs really nicely with an assortment of cheeses) is a great gift.

lynn dale events

 

Now hit the road and spread the word, or the rhubarb….
Cheers!
lynn dale events

The 3 Ws…Wedding – Weather – Worries

As the northeast region prepares for a storm of “epic” proportion it calls to mind the question of how to help guests if the weather takes an unexpected turn on your special day.

While hosts of any celebration often worry about food and drink, temperature is an often-overlooked concern.  It isn’t uncommon to find a basket of flip-flops next to the dance floor but what if it’s a bit too hot?

 

lynn dale events

 

Or a bit too cold?

 

lynn dale events

 

I like this dual-purpose option

 

lynn dale events

 

The Boy Scouts are not the only ones who believe in preparedness ….so take that Mother Nature!

 

lynn dale events

Presents’ Presence

Everyone loves to be thought of and remembered and sometimes a thoughtful note or a spontaneous phone call is all it takes.  With the holiday season here (forget approaching, it is here!), simple notes and phone calls are now likely to be replaced with gifts in a variety of sizes and shapes for a bevy of deserving friends and relatives.

Tokens of caring and affection can take a variety of forms and while no one should suggest that anyone purchase the most grand of gifts, why stop at the gift itself? Go the extra step and extend yourself just a bit more by making the presentation part of the present.

Fabulous and stylish wrap can convey the personality of the giver like these packages. Not only is the giver giving a gift with a certain flair they are showing a consideration for the environment by adopting an ancient Japanese custom called “furoshiki”.  This time-honored tradition stems from packages of value being wrapped in large bath cloths. Now “bath cloths” can be translated into fabrics of any type and size. Easy to follow instructions are available on line for complicated wrap designs or more simple approaches.

lynn dale events lynn dale events

If reusable fabric as a wrap is not really for you, but you still want to hold onto a bit of mystery in terms of what is in the box,  why not think outside the box and say it with flowers, sort of?  This rose covered box might be the present itself, or is it???

lynn dale events

Gift box and gift bag options abound but for me it is still about fabulous papers that  can fit any personality  – I love the assortment from Pinku shown here:

lynn dale events

 And if you have to ship a gift – don’t settle for those horrible Styrofoam peanuts – keep in the spirit of the season:

lynn dale events

Presents with presence no matter what you celebrate.

Peace~

lynn dale events

 

To Seat and How to Seat, That Is the Question.

One of the most daunting tasks for a party host, event organizer or bride-to-be is how to handle guest seating. While no easy task to find the perfect balance of fun family and friends at a table, being thoughtful about who sits with whom helps to make the night a great time for all (beware the lure of “open seating”). Not only is it important to think about who is at each table and where each table is placed (older folks not too close to the band, for example), but also how you will let your guests know where they are seated.

event planner boston

One of the things I love most about the fall season are the earthy vegetables like a perfect radish or squash and the deep ruby red of a pomegranate. Using the bounty of the season, not only to fuel your guests, but as this crafty bride did, to organize your escort table, really embraces all that fall has to offer.

For a summer party or wedding why not keep guests hydrated and happy while letting them know where to rest their glass with this fun idea.

With a big crowd its sometimes fun for everyone to know where others are seated so make it big and make it beautiful.

Now, where to seat great auntie Gertie…

 

lynn dale events


 

The Party Is Over. Or Is It?

A good party hosts spend quite a bit of time thinking about guest arrival.  Who will greet the guests? What will the lighting be like?  What type of music will be playing? And of course, a good host wants to make sure there is plenty of food and drink for all. All this helps to ensure a warm welcome to each guest.  Certainly a seasonal sip like this says “hello!”

side-imgsSoon enough though things get rolling and everyone is enjoying fabulous company, food, music and the party has a life of its own! Eventually though the time has come for it all to end. The band has played their last note and shoes need to be collected from around the dance floor. Just because our dear friends and guests are leaving doesn’t mean turning them out into the night!

At a recent party I hosted with my husband, our guests began to depart after kissing, hugging and a fruitless search for a lone, lost shoe. As folks made their way down the path and out to their cars they were surprised to find a small table, and smiling wait staff at the ready.

It seemed unfair to welcome guests with mood setting cocktails and irresistible nibbles and then say good night without an extra thought. So how to send them home after tearing it up on the dance floor? With the same thoughtfulness with which they were greeted. Mini waters, “to-go” ice coffees, creamsicle “shots” and mini-donuts of my husband’s favorite flavors.

Thanks for coming and sleep well!

© 2018 lynn dale events