A Day in the Life of an Intern...

Ever curious what an intern at a busy event design and coordination company does on a day-to-day basis? Depending on the week, I could be working on floral arrangements in the shop or spending the day inside updating our social media sites. Our latest event, setting up for the Holiday Open House at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate combined various aspects of this job into some action filled days, one of which  you’ll read about below. As I’m nearing the end of my internship, I started thinking about all of the different experiences I have had the opportunity to be apart of, and can’t believe how quickly the past semester has flown by.

I left my apartment at 8:30 am to go over to Dana’s Ipswich location to start our days work in preparation for the Holiday Open House at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate where we were decorating the Dining room. When I arrive there, I quickly get instructions from Dana for what to start working on. He explains that the Amaryllis that I picked up the previous day at the Boston Flower Market had still not opened up. He went on to explain that we needed to wrap some kind of a bubble surrounding the flowers to create a green house atmosphere that they will bloom under. I create this out of some plastic covering and Scotch tape and adhere it to the edges of the bucket, and cross my fingers that it works because this event is taking place tomorrow night!

The next job to get done is to start making the flower arrangements for the event, so I head out to the barn where we had prepped all of the flowers the day before. The arrangements that we wanted to make for Castle Hill were bouquet style bunches of roses, with two large red bouquets, two smaller red bouquets, and two smaller white bouquets. The large ones have about 25 roses, and the smaller ones have 17 to 20. Putting these bouquets together takes me a little bit of time, because the most important part is getting the right shape; you want it to look rounded and full. I put these arrangements together in just under two hours, while Dan, Dana’s son who also works for the company, works on putting together some of the other arrangements we need. As we finish, I start wrapping and packing the arrangements that Dan has cut down and placed in their vases into crates.

Since all of the floral arrangement work has been completed, Dan and I load up my SUV with various crates of rentals, boxes of ornaments, antique silver platters and serving trays, a record player, and other odds and ends that we will need to decorate the Dining room with. Once the car is fully packed we head over to Castle Hill to do an initial drop off. There is a guard at the gate who comes out when we pull up to the bottom of the gate, so we quickly explain that we are dropping off materials for the Holiday Open House for Dana Markos Events and he waves us through. Up at the Great House there are cars scattered everywhere. I feel that we have a lot of things to unload, so I pull up directly in front of the building and pop the trunk. Between Dan and myself, we unload the car pretty quickly and pile everything into the Dining Room, making sure to be careful of the new furniture that’s been delivered, a huge antique table and hutch from Alexander Westerhoff. There’s already some stuff stacked up in there from the day before when another intern and I did our first run, so we move everything to one side of the room to give us enough working space. Dan stays at the estate to start working on setting the table, but I head out to go back to Dana’s and pick up the rest of the things that didn’t fit in the car and the floral arrangements. On my way out I peak into a couple of near by rooms to see what other venders have started to bring in, my favorite being a giant polar bear sitting in a room adjacent to the kitchen.

When I get back to Dana’s I quickly pack up the remaining boxes, two antique sleds, two tall glass vases, and all of the floral arrangements, and jump back in the car to go back up to Castle Hill. When I arrive Dan is well on his way to setting the table, so I begin fluffing the Christmas tree. My dad’s allergic to pine needles, so I have extensive experience in fake tree fluffing. I fluff as high up as I can reach and then attempt to get to the top by using a ladder. I’m way to shaky on the ladder, so Dan tells me that he will get the top. Dana arrives a little while later with some of the supplies we needed (candles and fruit) and takes a look at the work we’ve done so far. After noticing how amazingly fluffy the tree looks, Dana comes up with a few ideas to fix some of the problems we had been having, like bringing double sided tape to straighten the candles. We pack up all of the empty boxes and rental crates and load them into my car so we can take off for the day. When we get back to Dana’s the three of us unload everything and head inside. I had written on an article for the blog the day before, so I get it ready to upload to our website. After adding in the pictures and checking the spelling I am satisfied with how it looks and post it. I quickly check how we are doing in our Boston City Voter contest and am happy to see we are still in first place! Dana and I start talking about what needs to be done tomorrow to finish setting up for the Castle Hill event and I am sent home for the day.

Working at Dana Markos Events has been such an exciting experience over these past few months. I have had the opportunity to work on such a wide variety of projects, from helping with research and design, to attending meetings with clients in Boston with Dana. As any person who is interning with an events company will tell you, each day holds something new and different, and at Dana Markos Events, I feel like I am getting hands on experiences with all aspects of the industry every single day.

Holiday Traditions at Castle Hill

     The holiday season has officially taken off and families and friends have begun all kinds of special traditions to bring in the cheer and celebrate. For the people of Ipswich, Massachusetts, a special holiday tradition is visiting Castle Hill on The Crane Estate. For the past fifteen years, Dana Markos Events has taken part in the set up of the house along side of other talented venders we have had the privilege of getting to know throughout our time there.

      Over the years, we have featured our work in many parts of the house, and always tried to come up with new and interesting ideas to keep the public engaged, and this year was no exception. The room we were asked to design was the dining room, and we were thrilled to work on it, especially with the assistance of Alexander Westerhoff who provided the antique furniture, and Peterson Party Center who provided the china, stemware, and flat ware.

By using such a long and wide table, we were able create the perfect dinner table for twelve for a special holiday meal.

We wanted to use a variety of pieces down the center of the table, as you can see, we have dishes of fruit and nuts, story books, candles, and several different floral arrangements.

Different styles of vases we’re spread out throughout the room that held bunches of fresh white and red roses, greens, berries, and fruit. 

Different sizes and shapes of candles were used to give the table some extra ambiance. From the light coming off of the chandelier, the string lights on the mantles and tree, and the flickering candles, this room seemed to glow as the sun went down.

 The tree was adorned with delicate antique ornaments topped with an elegant angel. Underneath, visitors could see a pair of antique ice skates and statue of Santa Clause.

One of our favorite pictures from the night showed the warm and inviting nature that we created for the room for this special holiday tradition.

      Castle Hill puts on this beautiful event every year in anticipation for the holiday season. With the smell of fresh cookies and hot apple cider filling the entire mansion, the guests come bounding inside to celebrate the upcoming festivities. What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?