Event Recap: Marni & Bruce’s Wedding

Event Recap: Marni & Bruce’s Wedding

Marni and Bruce’s wedding at the Commander’s Mansion in Watertown, MA kicked off the first of our July events.

Image credit: Michael J. Charles Photography

The early evening ceremony took place just outside the mansion in the beautiful grape arbor. Rabbi Joe Eiduson officiated a lovely traditional Jewish wedding ceremony for the loving young couple.

Image credit: Michael J. Charles Photography

The couple said their vows under a Birchwood Chuppah decorated with sheer white fabric and breathtaking flowers. Equally beautiful floral bouquets hung from elegant gold chivari chairs along the aisles.

Image credit: Michael J. Charles Photography

Image credit: Michael J. Charles Photography

With the comfort of her guests in mind, Marni had personalized bottled waters available, along with hand-decorated fans.

Image credit: Michael J. Charles Photography

Following the ceremony, cocktail hour was held inside the mansion. O’Malley’s Floral Expressions did a wonderful job adorning the mantels with roses and baby’s breath along with the black and white vintage-looking photos of Marni and Bruce.

Each parlor offered a different food station for guests to indulge in, while they signed Marni and Bruce’s hand-crafted guestbook, and enjoyed the live pianist and sax duo. The reception took place outside in a beautifully decorated tent. The sweetheart table was absolutely stunning, along with the tent itself, which was adorned with lights across the top creating a very romantic atmosphere.

Image credit: Michael J. Charles Photography

Image credit: Michael J. Charles Photography

Once the bridal party was introduced, Marni and Bruce went into their first dance as husband and wife. Immediately following, everyone flooded the dance floor for the traditional Hava Nagila. And what a blast that was!

Image credit: Michael J. Charles Photography

Emery’s Catering provided the delicious dinner and the band Clockwork Boston kept people on the dance floor all night!

Image credit: Michael J. Charles Photography

We were honored to be a part of Marni and Bruce’s special day!

Image credit: Michael J. Charles Photography

Tent Lighting: DesignLight

Event Recap: Erika & Mike’s Wedding

Event Recap: Erika & Mike’s Wedding

Erika and Mike’s recent wedding at the Charles Rives Museum of Industry and Innovation in Waltham, Massachusetts was laid back, beautiful, and so much fun. The venue suited the lovely couple so well, and we were grateful to be a part of it!IMG_20170617_180915

The couple exchanged nuptials on the first floor of the museum in the main exhibit area. Erika’s cousin, Jason, officiated the ceremony with his own unique style, incorporating Erika and Mike’s mutual love for Harry Potter. The bride and groom wrote their own vows, which made for an intimate and personal ceremony, and brought smiles, tears, and laughter to all their guests.

Following the ceremony there was a cocktail hour, which was held in the same exhibit space. The museum has a fun area where you can create your own dog tags, so the bride and groom chose to utilize that as a way for guests to make mementos to remember their special day. Additionally, Erika and Mike had their guests write a message on a Jenga block as a fun alternative to the traditional guest book.


Erika and Mike’s lively bridal party danced their way into the reception, which was held in the Jackson Room on the second floor of the museum, and then gathered around to admire the newlyweds as they went into their first dance as husband and wife. There were several thoughtful speeches that followed, given by the maid of honor, the best man, and the bride’s parents.

Erika is very detail-oriented and really made our job easy! The décor was stunning – each table was adorned with a geometric copper terrarium filled with beautiful white flowers and greenery, and candles, giving the rustic brick room a very soft, romantic feel. The thoughtful couple provided flip-flops for their guests to slip on when their feet got sore to keep the party going! They also had a photo booth with fun props that their guests loved, available for entertainment throughout the evening.


Sticking with a very laid back, casual atmosphere, the couple opted for delicious food stations provided by Sensational Catering, which were a huge hit! Blackbird Doughnuts, one of Erika & Mike’s favorite local spots, provided incredible sweets for their big day – just look at these gourmet doughnuts – YUM!


Erika and Mike were a true pleasure to work with and had this to say about their experience working with us:

My husband and I hired Swank Events for our wedding at the Charles River Museum. From the first phone call with Betsy, I knew it was a no brainer that she needed to be my day of coordinator. I had poured my heart and soul into planning for months yet I had no plan as to who would be directing my big day. I knew I didn’t want it to be my bridesmaids or family – I wanted everyone to enjoy themselves! Betsy came to the rescue – she is super organized, professional, and the sweetest person you’ll meet. She coordinated with my vendors before the wedding to make sure that everyone was on the same page and knew not to contact my fiancé or I – she handled everything! From setting up, making sure everything kept on schedule, vendor payments, cleaning up – Betsy was there. If anything went wrong at our wedding, I had no clue because she took care of it. Best decision we made the entire planning process!”

We’re thrilled to be returning to the CRMII for Carolyn and Lucas’ wedding in early October, and we’ll be sure to share another event recap with you then!

Event Recap: Gita & Aki’s Wedding

Event Recap: Gita & Aki’s Wedding

In early June, we had the pleasure of planning Gita and Aki’s wedding at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, Massachusetts. The Auto Museum is home to “America’s Oldest Car Collection,” so to say this is a unique wedding venue would be an understatement! It was a gorgeous day for this beautiful couple – from the weather to the ceremony and reception – everything was just perfect!


This wedding was unique in that it was a fusion of two beautiful cultures – Gita is Indian and Aki is Japanese. Both cultures were clearly illustrated throughout the day with elements incorporated into the ceremony and the décor. The centerpieces were made of lanterns, bamboo plants, and paper cranes (made personally by the Groom’s mom) which gave their guests a wonderful taste of Gita and Aki’s heritage.


Gita’s brother officiated the ceremony under a lovely birchwood arbor decorated with a beautiful floral garland. The smell of Jasmine flowers filled the air as guests pinned them in their hair on their way to their seats. Gita got married in a traditional sari and then changed into a stunning maroon dress for the reception.


Cocktail hour was held inside the Museum, where guests were able to walk around and admire the very cool, very rare automobiles. Guests then moved outside under a stunning tent for the reception. Both Gita’s and Aki’s fathers gave memorable speeches, and several stories were shared by their friends about how the two met and how they became friends, wishing them the best with their future endeavors as a couple.


It was such an honor to be a part of this wonderful couple’s big day. Not only did Gita and Aki have a great time, but we were thrilled to see guests enjoying themselves so much as well. Pepper’s Catering provided the delicious food, and the band, Men in Black 2, kept guests on the dance floor all night. Overall, their wedding was a perfect depiction of them as a couple.


We blushed when reading their thoughtful words:

“My husband and I hired Kristin and her team at Swank Events to be our day-of coordinators for our wedding. Not only was the price very reasonable but Kristin was also super responsive in the weeks leading up to the wedding. She is incredibly organized, putting together a detailed timeline for the wedding day and staying on top of the dozens of emails with vendors that came her way. She also cares about what the couple wants and will prioritize that the most. On the actual day of the wedding, my husband and I were able to completely relax and enjoy the festivities because Kristin handled everything, even unexpected hiccups that arose. We could not have done this without Kristin and Swank Events and absolutely recommend them to others! You won’t regret it.”

We are lucky enough to be planning Lizzy and Mike’s wedding at the Larz Anderson at the end of October, so stay tuned for another recap!

How to Transform Your Event Space

How to Transform Your Event Space

Decorating an empty, lifeless event space can seem like a daunting challenge, but it doesn’t have to be! For us, decorating can be so much fun, and watching the transformation of an empty space into something humming with life and energy is totally rewarding. Below we’ve collected some of our favorite ideas for breathing life into an event space, and we hope these will be of use to you as you plan your next special event!

wedding with hay bales

Bring the Outside In
If you aren’t planning to have your event outdoors, then why not bring a bit of the outdoors in? Natural decor pieces are all the rage right now, but there’s something to be said for adding elements of nature to an indoor event. In addition to the typical floral designs, things like branches and lush greenery can help to soften the space, and add a touch of natural beauty.

cafe string lights

Consider Your Lighting
There are so many options for lighting these days, and so many fun things you can do with it. Depending on your ceiling height, there are different ideas to consider. For higher ceilings, things like oversized chandeliers, or clusters of hanging lanterns can really make an impact. For lower ceilings, strings of cafe lights can help create a space that feels like an open-area patio, or a bounty of candle votives and varying heights of pillar candles can offer mellow mood lighting with a really stunning effect. Uplighting is also a popular trend, and a nice way to either tie in your theme colors or add a soft, glowing effect to define the boundaries of your event space.

wedding vignette

Create Vignettes
Whether you’re in a large, cavernous convention space, or in a more intimate setting with lots of disparate rooms that you’re trying to tie together, vignettes are a fantastic solution for making the space work for you. Vignettes are basically little spaces designed to tell a story, with a specific purpose – think a craft cocktail bar, a photo booth, a guest lounge area, or a memories table. If you’re working with a large ballroom, vignettes help to break up the space to make it feel more intimate and personal, and for smaller or more broken up spaces, vignettes can help to give purpose and meaning to each little nook and cranny of your venue.


Accents Are Everything
An event space is a blank slate, so it’s all about what you make it. Bringing in personal mementos, photographs, and your favorite decor pieces will make it distinctly yours. Do you have a glitzy, glamorous style? Try adding pieces with plenty of sparkle. Do you enjoy more of an industrial vibe? Try adding a hammered metal bar cart or pipe-lighting. Whatever your vibe, pick accent pieces to bring that style to life, and you’ll feel right at home.

beautiful rustic cupcakes

Play with Your Food
Food displays can be as bland or as vibrant as you make them – so why not make them something great for your guests to enjoy? Interactive make-your-own bars can create a really cool look, and they’re also loads of fun. Dessert towers look stunning, and serving individual pieces makes dolling out dessert so much easier. A good caterer can create stunning displays that are just as beautiful as they are delicious, and they’ll add an element of style to your space.

wedding decor

Mix Things Up
Mix and match isn’t for everyone, but the ideas of putting items together that don’t totally match perfectly is different and fun, and creates a totally unique vibe for your event. Things like different shaped tables (think a mix of square and round), mis-matched chairs, flower vessels of different shapes and sizes, and even a wild blend of flowers can create such an interesting look and feel, and something no one else will ever be able to replicate.

These are just a handful of our favorites ideas for how to transform your event space. But we’d love to hear your stories! How have you spruced up your event space to make it yours?

How to Find the Perfect Venue

How to Find the Perfect Venue

The success of an event is influenced by many different factors, but a few key details – venue especially – can really make or break your day. Say you’ve always dreamt of a summer wedding, the balmy ocean air on your face, toes in the sand, nautical details everywhere you look. If this is your dream, you wouldn’t pick a hotel with indoor-only space on your special day, right? No, you’d go for the resort with private beach access, stunning views of the coastline, and a beautiful blue backdrop to gaze out over as you exchange your vows.

In this case, and many others, where you choose to host your event makes all the difference. But how do you pick the perfect place? What factors do you need to consider? We’ll break it down for you, so you know the things to consider, and the questions to ask, to help your find the perfect place for your special day.


Location, Location, Location
This one is a no-brainer, but where, geographically speaking, will your event be held? Are you planning to be up in the mountains, surrounded by fresh air and abounding nature, or would you rather get married in a bustling city? Once you’ve narrowed down the general geographic region you’re targeting, your job gets much easier.


Think Seasonally
Getting married in the winter, in upstate Maine? Or in the heat of summer, out on Cape Cod? The season – and the locale – of your big day should help you to create a preliminary list of venue options to consider. Thinking about indoor vs. outdoor options is especially important in regions with inclement weather – either in places with temperature extremes, or the possibility of a surprise storm to mess with your plans.


What’s Your Management Style?
Deciding how involved or hands-off you want to be is another big factor. Planning to tie your own bouquets, offer a make-your-own slider bar, and bring in your own tables, chairs, and decor is one route. If this is your thing, then a blank slate venue where you can personalize every single detail is the best way to go.

Prefer something a little more managed? Then a resort or hotel is probably a better bet. You’ll be able to review several different package options, which generally cover everything you’ll need to consider for your big day, minus the extra special details like stationary, a photographer, and the always important wedding cake. This hands-off approach is better for those who want to leave the major planning to the pros.


Let Your Inspiration Lead
When you think decor, what do you think is beautiful? What colors do you gravitate towards? What backdrop will you love seeing in your photos days, weeks, and months after the big day has come and gone? These more personal details are what you consider once the bigger, more logistical factors have been factored in. Many brides have a vision in their minds of what the special day will look like, and if you can put the key features of that vision to paper, then it’s just a matter of finding the venue that evokes each of those sensations.

Wherever you end up, if you take these factors into consideration, and above all else, listen to your intuition, you’ll end up with the perfect space for your perfect day.

Happy planning!

The Swank Team