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!

Top Wedding and Event Trends for 2017

Top Wedding and Event Trends for 2017


Photo credit: Joseph Prezioso Photography

A new year means it’s time to predict the wedding and events landscape for the months ahead. We scoured the internet and consulted many different sources, and pulled together some of the most popular – and some of our favorite – anticipated trends for 2017.

Overflowing Greenery and Pops of Color
Through all our research, two major themes kept coming up: greenery and bold colors. Vogue interviewed eight top planners to get their thoughts on the biggest trends of 2017, and found the same thing – 2017 will be a year of bountiful greenery and a shift towards more boisterous colors and themes. Personally we love this idea, and can’t wait to see how it plays out.

More Metallics
In recent years, we’ve seen metallic materials play a much larger part in the decor landscape at events. Popular in applications like flower vases and other decorative vessels and glassware, in 2017 the Huffington Post expects to see even more metallic. We can see it being especially pretty as an accent on tables, favors, or finishing touches on a bridal bouquet.


Photo credit: Joseph Prezioso Photography

An Emphasis on the Experience
Style Me Pretty pulled together a great round-up of many 2017 trends, but the resounding theme seemed to revolve around elevating the entire experience. Brides adding a floral crown, interactive food stations, new and improved photo booths, and unusual entertainment are just a few new themes we’re likely to see this year. There are all sorts of ways to make an impression, and in 2017, we’ll have to keep an eye out for the best ideas.

Unique Invitations
With the resurgence of custom calligraphy and hand-lettered elements, The Knot predicts that unique invitations will play a big part in creating the weddings of 2017. And why not? The personal touch is such a beautiful and classy way to elevate not only your invitations, but the day-of experience.


Photo credit: Zev Fisher Photography

Elaborate Entrances and Creative Ice-Breakers
So many trends revolve around food and decor, but the people-part of weddings is equally important. BRIDES shared a list of 13 trends that’ll be huge in 2017, highlighting two pieces that aren’t exclusively decor-related that really stood out to us: couples creating elaborate entrances (think sparklers as they walk down the aisle) and introducing creative ice-breakers to make guests more comfortable and to encourage mingling.

We can’t wait to see how each of these themes plays out through 2017 and beyond.

If you’re planning a wedding or event this year, what special touches are you planning to introduce to your special day?

Venue Spotlight: Lyman Estate

The Lyman Estate

The beautiful Lyman Estate, with its thirty-seven acres of lawns, gardens, and historic greenhouses, offers a private and exceptional setting for any social or corporate event. Earlier this month we had the opportunity to plan Lydia and Henrik’s wedding day at the gorgeous venue and had a wonderful experience working with the staff to create a memorable day!



The Lyman Estate, also known as The Vale, was built in 1793 by wealthy shipping magnate Theodore Lyman. Originally used as a summer home, the Federal-style mansion was designed by renowned Salem architect Samuel McIntire. The Estate remained in the Lyman family until 1952, when the five Lyman heirs donated it to the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, now Historic New England. The property is now a National Historic Landmark and is available for rental for weddings and private parties.


The Lyman Estate, open year-round, offers a beautiful and gracious setting for any type of event. From April through October, the flowering trees and perennial gardens are especially lovely, and events may be held outside as weather permits. Use of indoor and outdoor areas gives you maximum flexibility in planning your party. Enjoy a cocktail hour in the garden. Dine al fresco on the covered veranda overlooking the landscaped grounds. Host intimate dinner parties in antique-filled parlors. Dance in the magnificent ballroom where the waltz was introduced to Boston society.


The mansion can accommodate up to 150 seated guests with room for 175 guests reception-style. Tents are welcome on the property with a seated capacity of up to 200 guests.

Six rooms are available for use: The oval parlor with its original, hand-carved woodwork; a dramatic Victorian library; the east parlor and the dining room, where light streams in through bay windows; the ballroom, with its crystal chandeliers, classical columns, and marble fireplace. A grand staircase with a Palladian window provides a perfect spot for photographs.


Vendor Information

The Lyman Estate has a list of authorized caterers of which you must choose from and additional preferred vendors that are optional.

Lyman Estate Wedding Brian Phillips Photography

Rental Information

Depending on the day of week and time of year, the rental fees range from $1,200-4,800 and include:

  • Use of the historic air-conditioned and handicapped accessible mansion and landscaped grounds
  • Private changing room for the bride
  • Ample on-site parking
  • Use of white garden chairs, in addition to several 60”, 48” and 36” round tables and hightops.
  • Use of on-site baby grand piano


Contact the Function Office for more detailed information and to book your next event: LymanFunctions@HistoricNewEngland.org or 617-994-6672.

Happy Planning!

The Swank Team

Coming soon: Vendor LOVE!


This month, we’ll be starting a new series here on the blog called Vendor LOVE!

As event planners, we know how important vendors are to an event’s success. To thank our wonderful vendors and to share how fabulous they are with all of you, we will be highlighting one vendor each month and telling you a whole lot more about them. They’ll discuss how they broke into the industry, what they love about their jobs, and what makes them unique in their field.

We hope this series gives our readers a glimpse of why we love working with our vendors, as well as being a resource for those who are beginning their vendor search.

Stay tuned for more!


The Swank Team