FALL IN LOVE With The Commons 1854

Fall is the perfect season for a wedding in New England, especially, in Topsfield, Massachusetts.  With blazing foliage, autumn-spiced cuisine, and mulled apple cider. Does it really get any better?  The warm tones and cool, crisp air make for a refreshing celebration and beautiful photo backdrop at The Commons 1854. 

617 Wedding Photography 

617 Wedding Photography 

The Maple tree in our garden is a stunning focal-point for any ceremony or photo backdrop. 

617 Weddings Photography

617 Weddings Photography

The Commons' details are beautifully neutral. This way, you can warm the space with hues of amber and toast it up with our romantic fireplaces.  

No matter the weather, The Commons 1854 can accommodate indoor and outdoor ceremonies. 

Indoor Ceremony Space - The Commons 1854.jpg
Contact us today to book your tour and begin planning your dream celebration. 

Contact us today to book your tour and begin planning your dream celebration. 

Choosing Your Wedding Venue



Congratulations on your engagement! You're probably thinking, "what is my next step?" CHOOSING YOUR VENUE! There are many things to take into account while planning a wedding. Our wedding professionals at The Commons 1854 have constructed a few things to keep in mind while choosing your dream wedding venue.  


When you first walk into a venue, your heart may sink, an overwhelming feeling may take over and you may be jumping for joy or…there may be a red swirled carpet that completely turns you off. These are all details to pay attention to when searching for your wedding venue.  They say that venue shopping is almost comparable to buying a home or even dating! When you know, you just know! You should feel as this place could potentially be your “home for a day”.  If you feel comfortable, then your guests should feel comfortable too. It is important to take-into-account your “gut feeling”.  Of course, you have been dreaming about a specific theme or color scheme for only your ENTIRE life, but a venue’s vibes should complement your personalities.  Are the bare bones of the venue naturally beautiful or would you have to bring in additional décor to jazz it up? How does this affect your budget? If you are looking for a classic, elegant, historic, marble-laden hall, The Commons 1854 is your match.  If a casual, Barn wedding is your “jam”, do not fret, The Commons is located RIGHT next to the Gould Barn (pictured below).  How amazing is this? You can capture rustic, barn-themed photos while celebrating in the most sophisticated space. To make a long story, short…we recommend staying open to possibilities because your childhood dream venue, may not give off the vibes that you thought.  Keep an open, positive mind and trust your judgment.  




It is very important to ask questions about the quality of a venue’s food. Are their Chefs classically trained?  Is everything made in-house or are there items that are frozen? At The Commons 1854, our farm-to-table approach is made fresh on the day of your event.  All our Chefs are classically trained.  Our Executive Chef, Frank Martino has even studied in Italy.  Chef Frank goes as far as roasting his own coffee beans, blending homemade Gelato and nurturing his own honey bees.  Being an Italian, family-owned business, The Commons 1854 prides itself on hospitality and the highest-quality of cuisine. Buon appetito at The Commons 1854! 



Client reviews speak for themselves.  Let the reviews do the talking! While meeting with a venue, you can tell the sincerity and energy that the representative may give off.  If the venue’s consultant lights up while speaking about details, you will know the reviews are true.  The Commons 1854 has proven to be a top-contender in Boston’s North Shore wedding venues.  With over eighteen years of catering experience, The Commons 1854 produces the highest quality service and expertise.  For the last ten years, The Commons has been presented a countless number of awards including The Knot’s “Best Of Weddings Award” and Wedding Wire’s “Couples Choice Award.”  Before taking the time to book a tour, check the reviews! Find our accolades and reviews here: http://www.thecommons1854.com/our-team/



Wedding Venues & Color | 2017 Color Trends

2017 color trends will be bold and bright with vibrant shades of yellow, orange and bright coral accented by gorgeous blues and Kale green.  

You MUST always consider color when selecting your wedding venue!

It is impossible to design your wedding theme if your venue does not have clean lines and neutral colors. The days of planning events around unsightly chairs, rugs with a pattern or colored curtains are over.  The Commons 1854 is a boutique wedding venue designed to accommodate all colors.

Soft pinks & gold, organic and natural was the styled theme in this late fall wedding in 2016.  The decor was sophisticated, understated and perfectly complimented the ceremony, cocktail hour and ballroom at The Commons 1854.

Whimsical gold pumpkins flanked the card box with natural twine and clothespins.

The ceremony site! Ivory rose petals and simple lighting helped to create the romantic ceremony space! The Commons 1854 has light maple flooring, gold chairs with ivory damask pads, ivory sheers and curtains.  How can you go wrong with a venue like this?

The recessional moment is priceless!!!

The wide aisle with simple Maple Flooring help to create the perfect picture the moment that the couple realizes they are married!!!

Gold, ivory and cupcakes work well, especially with a neutral backdrop. 

We love the height of the 36" trumpet vase!

Natural menu cards in a simple pocket folded ivory satin napkin is a fitting addition to the tablescape with lenox bone china and reed and barton flatware.

Natural wooden table numbers added to the whimsical feel. For more of a f

The centerpieces were a mixture of highs and lows.  This design works well at The Commons 1854. 

Romance and bliss! 

Smores were the wedding favor!  

Love the purple uplighting for the dancing!

The photo opportunities outside The Commons 1854 are extensive!  This historic Gould Barn and Parson Capen House on site in the historic district of Topsfield make for a gorgeous backdrop regardless of the time of year.  


We loved the pop of purple from the bridesmaid dresses!

The sweetheart table was set in front of the ballroom fireplace which was the perfect backdrop for the toasts and speeches! 

October Wedding at The Commons 1854

Blog post by Johanna Esposito, photo credit 617 Weddings Photographer John LoConte.

Wedding Signs at "The Commons 1854"

Signs can be a great addition to any wedding reception.  They help to create your wedding theme and provide direction to guests. 

Outside the ceremony site
Can double as a program
Suggests where to sit to help the ushers
For the head table
The chairs

Randomly placed signs, super cute

For the photos
The thank you sign
The flip flop signs

Places you have visited
The gift to your fiance
Whether you are getting married inside or out, signs are a a great addition to your wedding ceremony and reception.  Just make sure your signs match both your back up plan and your good weather plan.  Happy Planning!

Blog Post by Johanna Esposito PWP®

Private Bridal Suite at The Commons 1854

Every Girl needs a place to retreat to on their wedding day! Here are some great photos in the moments leading up to the wedding!

Chaise Lounge to showcase the gown

Jacuzzi tub to do as you please

Its almost time

Gorgeous black and white

The Venue is rich with architecture

The final touches

"Pretty" relaxing

Blog Post by Johanna Esposito PWP®

10 Wedding Escort Card Tips | The Commons 1854

The Escort card selection is so important and often overlooked until close to the wedding. When should you start this process? Select the cards when you select your invitations, then set your RSVP date one month prior to the wedding. Once the responses are in, plan your seating chart and place the order.  My first tip is to work with a competent stationary company. This way, when a guest asks last minute to bring their new boyfriend, you are delegating and not stressing.  
Almost every couple experiences at least one major change to the seating arrangement weeks if not days before the wedding.  We like Carlson Craft for all of our stationary needs but there are many reputable companies out there to help. 

Tip #1: Use the same vendor for all of your wedding stationary to keep cohesive with your theme.

horizontal wine cork escort card
Tip #2: When using wine corks or other escort card stands, make sure the cards are at an approximate 45 degree's in angle.  There is nothing worse than to have your guests bending down to find their escort card and the photos will be better.

vertical wine cork escort card

grey satin with embellishment 
Tip #3: The guests name should mimic the outer invitation envelope for a semi formal, black tie or white tie wedding reception.

Tip 4: Use your wedding colors. If your escort card table has a neutral colored linen, pop your color to enhance the photographic prospective.

Tip 5: Plan decor for the escort card table. Consider re-purposing a floral from your reception or ceremony to the table to save.  This only works if you have someone to discretely move the piece for you.  Our coordinators at the Commons 1854 do this with pleasure.
cheery blossoms and muted grey and silver tones
Tip 6: Show your personality.  This digital seating chart is what I used for my wedding.  My husband has a background in computer engineering so we had a "tech" element to our reception.  At first I was reluctant. HOWEVER, when the changes needed to be made, my amazing wedding planner Holly from In the Pink Ink was there to take care of it digitally!!!
think out of the box

unique escort cards can indicate the precise meal selection

Tip #7: Be unique and incorporate your meal selections for each respective guest.  This starts with the wedding invitations.  Be sure to promote the meal selection indication for the exact guests. Your stationary vendor can help with this and your caterer will provide a better service in doing so.

Tip #8: Hire a calligrapher. A formal wedding lend itself perfectly to traditional calligraphy. DIY calligraphy is stressful for the couple so be leary.  The personal touch achieved with wedding calligraphy is an element that that will impress all generations.

Tip #9: Consider the linens.  This delicate neutral pattern was daring and yet softly balanced the ivory silk damask linens. Sometimes, taking a chance on contrasting patterns pays off. The real tip here is "sometimes" so try the juxtaposition at home or at your venue to ensure it will be pleasing to the eye.

blue love birds and navy pintuck linens

Tip #10: Show your love. You two love birds will be joined at the hip for your ceremony, cocktail hour, reception and the rest of your lives. Like you, these love birds add an extra smile to your guests face on your wedding day!

Remember, be yourself when your planning!  You have only one day, one love and one happily ever after! Enjoy!!!!!!
blog by Johanna Esposito PWP®

How to choose your wedding bouquet...simple tips from The Commons 1854

Your wedding bouquet is your most unique and largest accessory you will wear on your wedding day, so choose wisely!  Here are some tips on how to select your wedding bouquet.

Consider these factors: Dress, Veil, bouquet shape, size, color and cost.  Now you know partly what your fiancé went through when he bought your engagement ring!!!

There are many different types of bouquets to choose from for your wedding ceremony and reception this blog focuses on Round, Hand-tied, Posy and Cascading.

The Round Bridal Bouquet...

This is a very clean look which can incorporate one or many different types of flowers.  This wedding dress had no embellishments, Dupioni silk textured material and a cathedral veil. The satin wrapping of the bouquet covered the entire bouquet and the embellishment was the perfect balance to the look.  The bouquet has the ability to add or in this case soften up the texture in a wedding gown. White hydrangea, white calla lilies and antiques roses were incorporated into this gorgeous brides ensemble.

Crystal embellishments throughout red roses
Rhinestone embellishment at the stem base of multi colored peonies and rose bouquet

The Hand Tied Bouquet...

Organic and natural, the hand tied bouquet is a great fit for many different styles and always incorporates a variety of flowers.  This dress perfectly balanced lace and silk and the hand tied bouquet was the perfect accessory.  The veil was a Butterfly style.  The flowers are different in shape making the look more natural.

Posy Bouquet...

The Posy bouquet is composed of one flower or several of the same flowers bunched together. This look is on the casual side and paired perfectly with a simple Sheath dress and no veil. The simple tennis bracelet was polished off the look.
Simple White Calla Lilies in a Posy style Bouquet 

Posy is a nice look for the bridesmaids even with a round or hand tied bridal bouquet

Cascading Bouquet...

The waterfall or cascading bouquet is a classic and traditional option for brides.  While they are quite heavy, they add dimension and drama to a brides look.  A simple A-line, no veil and a tiara was a great look to pair with this bouquet.  A smile is the best and most important accessory and this bride nailed it!

Blog Post by Johanna Esposito

“Beauty and Elegance” A Garden Inspired Wedding at The Commons 1854

Our Garden Terrace was the inspiration for this Wedding!  Think whimsical, vivacious and sophisticated. The classic and understated elegance of the outdoor ceremony space lends itself to numerous wedding themes and styles.  The question is always, will it work in your venue?  If not, this theme can be a disaster. Read this blog until the end to help with what to, and what NOT to do when planning a Garden Inspired Wedding.

The "I Do's"

Michelle waits in the calming comfort of the bridal suite as the guests start to arrive.
The sun peaks through the window, its almost time.
Only those of us who have been there, know her indescribable feeling!

Her white lace embroidered Trumpet gown was perfectly accented by a simple angel veil.
The shades of blue were appropriate to the wedding theme and complimented the brides attendants.

The ceremony aisle boasts 75 feet of orange hand-laid brick, she flawlessly glides down the aisle.

          The ceremony is surrounded with calming green and classic white tones.

 The pops of color derive from the wedding party attire and flowers.

The towering maple trees in the ceremony background make the design easy and inexpensive.  Less was perfect within this garden inspired theme. 

In true Classic New England fashion, the wedding party headed across the street to the historic Gould Barn and Parson Capen house and enjoyed the preserved beauty that historic Topsfield has to offer.  
The escort card table boasted a towering floral design which was the perfect transition from the outdoor garden ceremony into the lively cocktail hour.
A tip toe down the stairs to give her new groom a kiss!
The bride and groom head toward the Grand Ballroom to view their Reception space and the impeccable details that helped to create their theme.
Organic flower boxes and whimsically placed candles were the perfect accent to the large farm tables. 
Alternate rounds and Farm tables for an asymmetrical floor plan..
Rod Iron and clear glass cylinders mixed a bit of modern into the garden design.
The cake incorporated the multitude of colors which tied the wedding decor together nicely.
As the base of event design, the up-lighting color is very important to the theme.  The linens are a very understated silk damask embroidered cloth. 
Above are the "I Do's" with your Garden Inspired Wedding Theme at The Commons 1854

Here is what "I Object" to when planning your Garden Inspired Wedding
Mason jars, vintage ivory lace, birdcages and birdcage veils, cathedral veils, paper aisle runners, cascading bouquets, Sheath wedding dress's, chalk boards, tuxedo's and small windows and 
low ceilings. 

Blog by Johanna Esposito

Photo credit Dave Benoit

Fall in Love with Autumn Weddings at The Commons

There is just something about Autumn in Topsfield, MA....

From the breathtaking foliage to the exquisite seasonal cuisine, this is a venue that is fit for the perfect Fall wedding! 

Our ceremony space transforms into a photographer's dream in early October. There is no better background than beautiful New England foliage!

Our extraordinary cuisine compliments any Autumn wedding perfectly.  Some of our most popular menu selections during these chilly Autumn months include:

Hors D'oeuvres:

Maple Glazed Scallops and Bacon (shown on the left)
 A favorite for any season! Fresh sea-scallops wrapped in applewood smoked bacon and brushed with pure Vermont maple syrup, topped with maple butter presented on a bamboo skewer

 Mini grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup Shooters 
   Heart shaped grilled cheese bites served with a tomato soup shooter

Korean Grilled Beef Skewers (shown on the left) 
 Marinated and grilled Korean style beef presented on a bamboo skewer drizzled with a green onion and garlic sauce

Stuffed Mushrooms
 Crimini mushrooms stuffed with assorted wild mushrooms, buttery crumbs baked with sherry and rosemary essence, cheddar cheese, and apple wood smoked bacon


October Salad
Wild field greens tossed with sugared walnuts, creamy goat cheese, and dried cranberries, served with homemade cider vinaigrette

Tuscany Caesar Salad                                                                    
 Crisp romaine, shaved parmesan Reggiano cheese and toasted garlic croutons, tossed with a creamy dressing, in a savory homemade parmesan Reggiano cup


Cider Roasted Chicken Breast                                                          
Cider-glazed Statler chicken breast, cornbread and cranberry cake, finished with an apple cider reduction

Chicken Florentine (shown below)                                                
  Statler chicken breast filled with fresh garden spinach, imported fontina cheese, and prosciutto de Parma with herb pan sauce

Char Grilled Filet Mignon (shown below)                                    
  Certified Angus Beef® seasoned and grilled, served with a savory rosemary, shallot, and red wine reduction. Pair our filet with mashed sweet potatoes for a seasonal entree that is sure to impress!

Butternut Squash Risotto                                                                 
 With toasted pine nuts and roasted haricot verts

On those chilly October afternoons, guests can warm up by one of our three fireplaces!

The Gould Barn, located next door, is a beautiful location for rustic wedding photos!

The beauty of The Commons in the Fall will leave your guests in awe. It may even make them forget about the many feet of snow that follow this wonderful season :)
Blog by Kelly Hart

Wedding Feature: Julie & Kevin

Julie & Kevin celebrated their wedding at The Commons on August 7th. Their beautiful wedding decor was a lovely balance between sophistication and summertime fun!

Their navy linens created an elegant setting that our ballroom was made for!
 While their gorgeous centerpieces gave us a pop of summer colors!

The groom was dressed to impress in a navy blazer, while the bridesmaids looked gorgeous in their champagne dresses.

....and don't even get me started on their wedding cake. PERFECTION.

Instead of displaying the typical tented place cards, Julie and Kevin chose to tie each guest's table assignment onto their toasting glass! At the end of cocktail hour, each guest simply grabbed their toasting glass, and made their way upstairs to our ballroom for the reception.

From start to finish, this wedding was beautiful and unique. We are honored that Julie and Kevin chose to celebrate their wedding at The Commons!

Blog by Kelly Hart

Featured Proposal Story: Lindsey & Bobby

In honor of National Romance Awareness Month, we decided to have a contest on our Facebook page, searching for the most romantic proposal story!  We asked our followers to share their engagement stories, and the couple with the most "likes" won a Home Goods gift card and a feature story on our blog!

Each proposal story we received was worthy of a prize...but you just can't beat a puppy proposal! The winning couple was Lindsey & Bobby, with a whopping 228 likes!

Check out their winning proposal below! 

"In the fall of 2013 we (Bobby and I) decided on getting a puppy. In November 2013 we went to pick her out from the litter. Little did I know, this puppy would turn into so much more!! On the morning of December 28th, we woke up and hit the road to go pick up our newest family member. We arrived, and this tiny black lab puppy waddled out of the barn she had lived in for the first 8 weeks of her live. I knelt down to pick her up and, to my surprise, I saw "Lindsey, will you marry me?" attached to her pink dog collar. I was SHOCKED! Bobby was then handing me a beautiful engagement ring. The whole ride home from the breeder, I couldn't believe I was holding my new puppy and was sitting next to my new fiance!!! The plan all along had been to head to Bobby's moms house so she could meet Penny, our new puppy. We arrived to her house, and as soon as I walked in the door, my entire family was there waiting to surprise me. I walked into my own engagement party! I had family come from New Hampshire, and Bobby's entire family. It was a long a day of (happy) tears, champagne toasts, a new puppy, and many surprises. We're getting married on August 28th and I couldn't be happier." - Lindsey

We can't wait for Lindsey & Bobby's wedding at The Commons on August 28th!

 Congratulations you two!

Written By:  Kelly Hart

What to put in your Amenity Baskets for your Wedding Reception

I am often asked the simple question...
"What do I put in my amenity basket for my wedding?"
 Often times, this is a last minute addition to your wedding reception...
but this small, added detail will be much appreciated by your guests.

Here are a few MUST HAVE items to include in your amenity baskets:

For the Ladies' Room:

Tide To-Go 
Static Guard
Breath Mints
Hair Elastics
Bobby Pins
Mini Sewing Kit
Lint Roller
Clear Nail Polish
Dental Floss
Makeup/Face Blotting Wipes

For the Men's Room:

Breath Mints
Hair Comb
Tide To-Go
Lint Roller
Dental Floss
Mouth Wash

It's the little things that make your wedding stand out....like having a Tide-To Go pen available when someone inevitably gets their nicest dress clothes dirty.

Fabulous Winter Weddings North Of Boston

Lets Face It... The most popular months for weddings in the North Shore of Boston are May, June, September and October.  However, having a wedding in the winter months is becoming more of a trend and much more cost effective.

The decor in our venue at The Commons 1854 is very warm and inviting. Fireplaces, White Marble, and Beautiful Big Picture Windows are among some of the accents.

We thought we would share some of our beautiful photos from holiday and winter weddings...Tis The Season!!! 

Blog Post By: Marla Ciampa Martin

Unique Wedding Photos At The Commons 1854

When it comes to photography there are many different styles other than the traditional posed formals. Some couples opt for more candid photos while others like a more photo journalistic approach. These are some of our favorite candid and photo journalistic photos at 
The Commons 1854. Hope you will enjoy them as much as we have!!!



Great Use Of Uplighting
We Love This Photo Space
Rustic Photos....Love This Look
Well Wishes For The Couple...Great Idea
Fantastic Candid Wih Sun Setting In Background
The Weather's Not Bringing Us Down
Beautiful Champagne Toast
Now That's A Balancing Act
Reception Fun
Wedding Party Candid
Love This Shot
Simply Stunning

What An Entrance
Love The Dress

Fun Candid Photo
Groomsmen Celebrating...Cigars All Around

Groomsmen Adding Some Snazz

Jump For My Love

Making A Sole Statement
When Your DJ Is Having Fun You Know It's A Great Reception
On Our Way Riding In Style Vintage & New
Indoor Ceremony...Candles And Rose Petals Aligning The Chairs.

Blog Post By Marla Ciampa Martin

How to choose your Wedding Colors | The Commons 1854

How to choose your wedding colors | Post by Johanna Esposito of 617 Weddings 

Okay, so how does one choose their wedding colors?  First consider the ceremony and reception venue's color pallet and work from there. Always keep in mind that your color theme for a good weather plan should translate into a back up plan. Take Melissa and Joshua's September 2013 wedding as an example.  

The couple is from New England so they knew that the backup plan is very important.  They ruled out tented venues right away and really put a lot of thought into the back up plan and color scheme.  This was one of  the many reasons that they choose The Commons 1854 as their location for the wedding ceremony and reception, a neutral color pallet and a great back up plan.  The weather was perfect on their wedding day however, it is always better to err on the side of caution.

The Venue
The Commons 1854 | A Classic and elegant location for wedding ceremonies and receptions
with a separate cocktail hour space

The Wedding Party Attire
 The groomsman wore flint gray suits, the bridesmaid's looked gorgeous in eggplant dresses and the bride wore a white embroidered wedding gown.  The wedding gown was the perfect bright juxtaposition with the ivory embroidered linens and eggplant overlay linens.  
Color Tip for brides to be: Never wear an ivory dress with white linens, the reverse is okay. 

The Wedding Gown
Th Grooms Tux | Note the perfect Pocket Square fold
The flowers were the perfect compliment to the wedding party attire!

The Ceremony Color Combination
Outdoor Ceremonies at the Commons 1854 have an intimate, natural garden feel. The site boasts a mahogany platform which is perfect for a Chuppah, arbor or nothing at all.  The backdrop of the ceremony is a waterfall and seasonal flowers.  Towering maple trees hover above the ceremony site.  This pallet of greens, browns and natural tones really made the crushed orange personal flowers pop.  

Limited ceremony decor was used for an understated elegance.  
The Wedding Party awaits the bridal processional 
Melissa walked down the aisle to Canon in D Major | Music by 617 Weddings DJ Chuck Uglietta

The Wedding Flowers
The Bouquets were absolutely stunning and perfectly cohesive to the ceremony location. 

Notice how the brides and bridesmaids bouquets match in color yet have different flowers.  If the feel that you want to capture is natural, then this is a nice look.  This look would have also translated into a back up plan had the ceremony been indoors.

The Details
 The Wedding Ceremony Programs were presented in a copper tin which blended 
well with the surroundings.

The couple affirmed their strong bond during the ceremony with a hand binding ritual that is
perfect for the modern couple.

The Cocktail Hour
The color theme was kept cohesive with the signature cocktails with signs to match the escort cards, the colorful escort cards displayed on an ivory damask linen and the
square modern cocktail table arrangement's.

"Fall in Love" is the name of this signature drink also know as an apple cider martini
The second drink was a classic "Cosmopolitan"
A box in a box added dimension and to the Card Box Display
The escort Cards had a whimsical feel
Yellow and orange blended together beautifully with purple for the cocktail table arrangements. 

The Reception 
The Reception Space color was perfectly blended. Gold Chavari chairs with ivory damask pads, a mixture of high and low centerpieces and fun horseshoe table number really
showed the bride and grooms personalities.


Take away the Color and what is left? Love!
With all of this talk about color, I thought it only appropriate to add this black and white photo of the bride and grooms first dance. They danced to "Just the way you are" by Billy Joel

I hope this blog helps you to create your cohesive color theme for your wedding.  Remember, a small amount of blending is okay with similar colors.  Be careful of hot new color trends, if they do not match your event space then steer clear. Happy Wedding Planning!

Bride and Her Father | His attire was a more formal black tuxedo

Orange Calla lilies wrapped in twine blended well with the grooms grey suit

The Sweetheart Table
Personalized horse shoe for the sweetheart table

 Thank you to Prudente Photography for providing these photos!

Wedding Signature Cocktails & Food Pairings by The Commons 1854

Signature Cocktail Idea's for a Wedding Reception

Leche Martini 
This cocktail is perfect for a spring or Summer Wedding! Garnish with fresh Leche Fruit, a floating hibiscus flower or passion fruit pearls! One of my personal favorites! This cocktail can be made without alcohol for a refreshing addition to your cocktail portion.

Pair your leche martini with an authentic South African Chutney Crostini.  This particular recipe is from Cape Malay Cuisine in Cape Town.  We decided to garnish this passed horsd'oeuvre with black forest hybrid calla lilys for a drastic color contrast. 

Tasting Flights with Seasonal Beer
Tasting flights are a fun addition to a casual wedding reception.  Choose your seasonal selection to create your culinary theme.

Pair your fall beer with a mini Angus burger topped with a caramelized shallot jam and Stilton cheese.  Other small and delectable sandwich options include BBQ pulled chicken with lime cream on a biscuit and a miniature heart shaped Reuben. To hop or not to hop, that is the question...

Korean Beef skewers are also a nice pairing with a seasonal beer.

Basil Infused Vodka Shots
This is such a unique addition to the cocktail portion of your wedding reception. They can be passed by servers or at a station.  Make sure they are ice cold for optimal flavor. Pair with spanikopita or spinach squares.  This recipe is straight from my Yiayia's kitchen in Athens. 

Champagne- The Classic Cocktail
Champagne can be passed as a refreshing and versatile option.  Add a raspberry, strawberry, blackberry or blueberry for a pop of color and to adapt to a wedding of any season. 

Pair your champagne with light and delectable crudites shooters.  We like to use haricots verts, broccolini tips,  long stem on baby carrots presented in a trumpet style shot glass. 

We also love tuna tartar served on a crispy wonton presented on a wine board (if the presentation suites your theme) and garnish with scallions.  

Its hard to beat the sushi and champagne pairing! They go together almost as well as the perfect couple, you and your fiance. 

Lemon drop Martini
There is a reason that this tart summer favorite has been popular for so many years. When you mix tart and sweet together, you get a sweet and delicious treat that can pair with so many cuisine options. 

Our chefs created this "play" on ceviche to accommodate palettes of guests who are not necessary into raw fish.  We garnished it with a charlie brown orchid from Peru to tie together the International feel of the food.  Also pair this option with a pisco sour to be ahead of the trend. 

Spiked Milkshakes
Chocolate, Vanilla or Strawberry, a spike milkshake can be a wonderful way to keep your guests refreshed.  Keep the portions small so they don't fill up at this action milkshake station. 

Pair your milkshakes with nostalgic Patty melts.
Its all about great friends, family and food!

More Beer
A crisp lager can be a great option for a passed drink.  Men and women love it alike and it pairs well with so many horsd'oeuvres. Make sure the beer is icy cold!

One of our favorite pairings with an icy cold lager is Thai chicken lettuce wraps.  Any kind of lettuce wrap will do to accommodate your your guests palettes.  

Red Wine

Red wine can be served in the winter, spring, summer or fall.  Consider first the climate and then the cuisine.  Both factors will dictate the amount of red wine and red wine pairings should be passed for the cocktail hour of your wedding reception. In the warmer months,some guests will gravitate toward white wines.  There are always a portion of your guests that will appreciate your wedding pairing with red wine.
Here are some of my favorites...

A Napa Cabernet Sauvignon & Colorado Lamb Chops. Any Cabernet will do as long as it is well balanced, has a supple texture, an approachable grip and earthy notes

Brunello di Montelcino & Veal Meatballs
Sangiovese based wines pair well with veal meatballs. Notes of licorice, dried ginger, cured meat and white pepper will appropriately enhance this dish.  

Pinot Noir & Stuffed Mushrooms
A fruit forward Pino Noir is a pleasing pairing with a savory stuffed mushroom.  Chile and Oregon produces some affordable options that I love to pair for a fall wedding.

White Wine
White wine is also appropriate for all seasons and of course lends itself to warmer months. Consider your white wine selctions carefully.  You will want to be able to accommodate most guests while offering a limited selection to thwart any lines at the bar.

Melon and prosciutto & dry Muscat.
The perfumy, grapey character of the Muscat is the ideal compliment to this salty sweet classic. Prosciutto di Parma is a must in this dish, is there really any other kind of prosciutto? 

Shrimp Cocktail & Pinot Grigio
There are many characteristics and flavor profiles to to a Pinot Grigio.  Try a dry, austere and crisp wine to optimize the experience.  A Chenin blanc of the same characteristic is also a great option.

Vegetable Summer Rolls
This delicious option follows the same pairing guidelines as the shrimp cocktail. If you choose, it can also be paired with a light red such as a Montepulciano or Pinot Noir.

Washington Apple
Additional Cocktail Options
We will keep the red cocktails away from our brides gowns so don't let that discourage you from choosing something red.  Lets face it, red cocktails are pretty and delicious!

Watermelon Kiss

Apple Cider Martini
garnished with fresh apple wedge

Watermelon Martini

Sour apple Martini


Wedding Cake Martini

Blog by Johanna Esposito

Rustic Chic Autumn Wedding Reception at The Commons 1854

Rustic Chic Autumn Theme

This featured wedding boasted a Rustic Chic Autumn Wedding Theme in November at
The Commons 1854 in historic, Topsfield, Massachusetts.   

Antique ivory and yellow roses adorned the place card table with silver LOVE holders.
The natural sunlight shined in on the simple yet elegant pink and white place cards.

Instead of a guest book for the wedding reception, advice for the bride and groom was written by the guests during the cocktail hour on heart shaped wooden chips, so cute!

The Wedding Gown was the perfect Compliment to the grand architecture at The Commons 1854

The Commons 1854, Boston's North Shore Premier Wedding Venue.

The Commons 1854, Boston's North Shore Premier Wedding Venue.

The gown was by Pronovias of Barcelona who is known for their feather details.
Click here to see more Pronovias styles

Vera Wang  bride and groom toasting flutes, wedding cake knife & server and platinum table numbers
carried through a nice cohesive feel to this wedding reception's decor. 

The Commons 1854, Boston's North Shore Premier Wedding Venue.  The Commons 1854, Boston's North Shore Premier Wedding Venue.

The Commons 1854, Boston's North Shore Premier Wedding Venue.

The menu cards were folded into the ivory Peau de Soie napkins and the wine cork and stopper favor was placed on each wedding guests place setting.  Each guest table featured a thank you card 
set in a lamp post. We love this fun and quirky detail.  

The Commons 1854, Boston's North Shore Premier Wedding Venue.
The Commons 1854, Boston's North Shore Premier Wedding Venue.

Finally, simple hydrangeas were set by the fireplace on Greek Neo-classical columns, to match the architecture at The Commons 1854, Boston's North Shore Premier Wedding Venue.  

The Commons 1854, Boston's North Shore Premier Wedding Venue.

May Wedding Ceremony and Reception at the Commons 1854

May is an ideal month for an outdoor garden wedding ceremony on Boston's North Shore.  Valarie and Brian's May wedding's boasted beautiful weather with the perfect cloud coverage for photos, fully bloomed peonies and a gorgeous bride and groom.

Gorgeous outdoor photo of a May wedding in Topsfield, MA at the Commons 1854.

The getting ready photos... Valarie's design was meticulous and it showed.  Just look at this gorgeous dress. 

This wedding dress was stunning!  The Wedding Reception decor seemed to be planned around the gown.    

With all of her bridesmaids help, this beautiful bride is dressed and ready for the first look in the Commons 1854's bridal suite.

Just look at this stunning bride!!!!!!!!!!!

The luxurious vintage curtains make for the perfect backdrop to accent Valarie's wedding gowns train. 

The chaise lounge!

 Valarie couldn't be more exciting about the first look, check out this sneak peak photo prior to the bride and groom seeing each other for the first time on their wedding day.  The Commons 1854 has great places for the formal photos before and after the wedding ceremony.  Below (on the right)  is a shot that Beniot - McCarthy photography invented.  

The first look!

The gorgeous classic New England ceremony site with towering Oak trees! 

 And they were pronounced husband and wife!!!!

Let the wedding reception begin!!!

This savvy bride was all about the details with small touches like blackberries in the sparkling pink Rosé
 to start off the reception and cappuccinos with a mocha heart as a sweet treat at the end.

The Candy Station matched the pink peonies!

   Valarie and Brian are "True love sweethearts" so this bride found it more than fitting to incorporate it into her  candy station.  

The Black Menu Card was the ideal color pairing for this formal plated meal for Valarie and Brian's wedding reception at the Commons 1854.  Her wedding guest tables were adorned with crystals and beautiful tall and short centerpieces provided by Petals of Peabody, MA.

The monogram on the menu card matches the gift box and candy station signs!

Gorgeous Orchids in the trumpet vases!!!!

The Wedding Cake with a monogram topper!

The Balcony made a perfect lounge area for their Wedding Reception and a great vantage point for the photography of this bride and grooms first dance.