Summer Cocktails For Your Party

If you’re looking for a recipe for refreshment, you’ll love these summer cocktails for your barbecues and more.

  1. Summer breeze: Pineapple juice, grapefruit juice, gin, mint leaves and seltzer

The perfect pale pink sipper for a garden party or summertime brunch, the summer breeze is big on tropical flavor with pineapple and grapefruit juices. A splash of bubbly seltzer and fresh mint leaves help cut the gin’s herby flavor. Serve this cocktail over ice.

  1. Basil julep: Basil leaves, simple syrup and Irish whiskey

Give the classic mint julep a full-flavored twist with this basil variety. The sweet basil leaves will give the julep a round, robust flavor that you won’t get with the standard mint julep. This cocktail is great for making ahead in large batches for parties so the herbal flavor is fully absorbed.

  1. Moscow mule: Vodka, ginger beer and lime

It’s not summer without vodka, and this simple summertime staple will get you in the spirit with its effervescent and wholly refreshing mix of ginger beer and lime. You can give this classic cocktail the summertime treatment with additives like fresh strawberries and blueberries, if desired.

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Say Forever in a Historic House on Beacon Hill

 

Image from Luciano Group Photography
Image from Luciano Group Photography

Say “I do” at Boston’s most desirable wedding venue — the truly exquisite Hampshire House. If you’re looking for a ceremony space or reception location that’s quintessentially Boston, our turn-of-the-century Beacon Hill mansion is the finest choice. With opulent Georgian décor complete with lavish Italian marble, exceptional crystal chandeliers and stunning Palladian windows that overlook the Boston Public Garden, there’s no more iconic and historic Boston wedding venue in town.

Our well-equipped staff can help bring your specific wedding day vision to life, whether it is an intimate daytime brunch or an elaborate, elegant evening reception. Our personalized wedding packages range from classic to grand, with a delectable menu that’s tailored to both large and small guests lists plus essential day-of add-ons like complimentary vases, candles and linens to make things as easy as possible for the bride and groom. You’ll have the chance to dine and dance your way to eternity in Boston’s most exceptional private events space. There’s no wedding day experience that quite rivals Hampshire House.

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Wedding Colors – Why Settle for Just One?

Picking the picture-perfect wedding palette can make or break your entire wedding theme. Here are a few of this year’s most popular wedding colors and pairings:

Chartreuse, purple and cream

1. Chartreuse, purple and cream for the vintage-inspired team. If you’re going for marvelously mod, there’s no better pairing than chartreuse and purple. This 1960s-inspired palette is perfect for the couple that wants to keep things classic while still going bold with a pop of bright color.

Gold, white and black

2. Gold, white and black for the chic and glamorous duo. If your style profile is heavy on the glitz and glam, you can’t go wrong with a classic black, white and gold theme. This Gatsby-inspired wedding palette is great for the pair that wants everything gilded and glitter-encrusted.

Sage, sunshine and sandalwood

3. Sage, sunshine and sandalwood for the rustic and romantic. This soothing trio of down-to-earth wedding colors draws heavily from nature. Herb-inspired sage wonderfully complements a sunny yellow and warm light brown for your barn or tent wedding. Succulent bouquets are a must with this palette.

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The Best Spring Engagement Photo Locations in Boston

Top 5 Locations for Enagement Photos - Spring

 

This year’s unseasonably dry spring inspired us to check out a variety of outdoor locations in and around Boston that are perfect for your engagement photo session.

Congratulations to all those newly engaged this spring!

 

 

 

 

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Planning the Perfect Nonprofit Fundraiser Dinner

Whether for a long-standing community institution or a nonprofit startup, these tips will help you plan the perfect nonprofit fundraiser dinner to attract big donations and new volunteers.

First and foremost, you’ll want to begin planning months, even a year, in advance. This gives attendees fair notice and also allows you the time required to plan a fun, memorable event. Ask volunteers to help staff the event well in advance.

Next, book your venue and entertainment. If you’re charging a hefty table price, it’s important that guests feel like they get what they paid for, so go big on musical acts or other performers.

When planning a nonprofit dinner, ask local businesses and individuals to sponsor the event with either monetary gifts or donations for a silent auction. A well-stocked auction can double or triple your event profits if it has sought-after items.

Lastly, be sure you provide donation incentives, such as small gifts or priority seating, to attendees that pledge large donations.

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How to Plan a Corporate Party – From the Caterer’s Point of View

Planning a corporate party with the perfect menu can feel like a daunting task, but if you follow these simple suggestions you’re sure to woo employees, clients and board members.

  1. Don’t cut corners. Corporate events are some of the most memorable ways to engage with the people that make up your company, so choose high-quality, impressive dishes and ensure that you have a well-equipped wait staff so that things go smoothly.
  2. Choose fresh, local foods. Show that your company is engaged in its community by choosing menu items that are locally sourced and sustainable. By doing this, you’re supporting the local growers, butchers and bakers that also do business in your area.
  3. Customize it. You can reach out to the caterer to see if he or she can whip up dishes that honor your business. Give the baker the creative freedom to create a cake or cookies with your logo or company colors.
  4. Provide options. Always have at least one vegetarian and one gluten-free option available. When you host a large group, you always want to make sure that everyone has something to eat. Be open with the caterer about your expectations of alternative food options.
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Military Wedding Attire

Photo Credit: maureen lunn via Compfight cc
Traditional saber arch at military wedding. Photo Credit: maureen lunn via Compfight cc

Servicemen and women can create a high-class military wedding with some of these great tips. Whether you’re an active-duty soldier or a war veteran, you can’t go wrong with a little bit of patriotic, military flair on your wedding day. Military grooms should wear mess or Class A uniforms, while bridesmaids and groomsmen should also wear dress uniforms if they are members of the service. While it is not customary for active duty brides to wear dress uniforms, it is up to the bride if she wants to wear dress attire or a traditional wedding gown.

It’s not a military wedding without the traditional saber arch, in which swords or sabers are hoisted to salute the newlyweds. Groomsmen should wear traditional white gloves during the arch of sabers in keeping with this ceremonial tradition. Afterwards, the saber bearers will march into the reception in formation so that the bride and groom may use a saber to cut the cake together. The arch of sabers is a common wedding custom for most military branches, including the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force.

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Summertime Trending Food

If you’ve noticed that this year’s summer food trends seem to be traveling back in time, you’ve got a keen eye (or stomach, maybe) for tasty trends. Bakers, chefs and restaurateurs are pushing comfort food — apple pie, grilled cheese, Belgian waffles — and other reminiscent-of-childhood dishes done with a modern twist (wrapped in bacon, dipped in Sriracha). It’s only a matter of time before we start to see boutique Jell-O salad shops and food trucks selling Vienna sausages and deviled eggs.

This year’s summertime beverage trends are all about micro-distilled an artisan spirits plus, of course, locally brewed beers. Small, local distilleries and microbreweries have seen a massive spike in the past several seasons, allowing them to expand their operations and offer dozens of new and desirable drinks. This shift has inspired other drink-related trends, like “new-make” spirits, especially whiskey that has been quickly aged, and food-brew pairings listed on menus.

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Summer Wedding Trends

Photo Credit: TheNickster via Compfight cc
Trendy bouquet for summer 2015 wedding. Photo Credit: TheNickster via Compfight cc

This year’s summer wedding trends are all about the whimsical and worldly. Vintage-inspired staples (hello macramé) and splashes of global décor (think repurposed suitcases) meet down-to-earth color palettes and all things rustic. Invitations and flower arrangements get the earthy treatment with pale pinks and greens tied up with burlap, lace and hemp. Trendy bouquets will be overflowing with pastel peonies and sweet succulents for a new way to honor the eclectic. This season’s weddings will be classic yet free-spirited with many personalized touches.

Although design, dress and décor trends lean more towards the simple and pastoral this summer, wedding day food trends are veering the other way. More brides and grooms are opting for unique, artisanal and foodie-inspired dishes, like amazing chocolate sculptures and appetizers inspired by local culture (Hampshire House has Massachusetts-inspired dishes like New England clam chowder and Boston Bibb lettuce salads for Boston-focused brides). Other popular food trends include lemonade bars, s’mores stations, cake pops, pie pops and even sushi or seafood stations.

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Photography Feature: Irene + Ben’s Classic Winter Wedding

Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com
Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com

Wedding photographer Nikki Cole captured some special moments from Irene and Ben’s old-world wedding this winter. The pair chose to highlight their classic yet elegant taste with a color palette of white, eggplant and sage and simple yet memorable décor touches, like white rose centerpieces and glowing votives. With the ceremony taking place at Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Weston and the reception at our very own Hampshire House, this was truly a wedding to remember.

Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com
Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com

Irene’s fitted, lace gown perfectly complemented her white and green bouquet overflowing with white calla lilies and roses with green and purple accents. To accommodate for the chilly temperatures, Irene wore a white stole during their 18-degree outdoor photo shoot in the Boston Common. Ben wore a classic black tuxedo with a bowtie and a simple calla lily corsage. The bride and groom shared their first dance beneath the elegant chandeliers and opulent woodwork in the library.

Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com
Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com

Nikki began her professional photography career in 2003, after 10 years as a wedding and special event planner at the Seaport Hotel. She is known for her eye for detail, and as a self-proclaimed “geek”, she’s fascinated with the mechanics of her camera and subtleties of light. Beyond her technical abilities, Nikki prides herself in the service she provides clients. Nikki says, “I consider myself the story-teller at your wedding; I want to capture the truly unique moments of your day rather than trying to crate them for you.”

See Nikki Cole’s full post on her blog.

Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com
Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com
Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com
Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com
Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com
Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com
Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com
Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com
Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com
Photography by Nikki Cole. www.nikkiphotos.com
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