Originally from Canton, Ohio, Gretchen graduated from Simmons College and took a job with The Four Seasons in Chicago where she began her hotel career at the front desk. She then joined the Ritz-Carlton, Boston Hotel team where she spent the next 10 years working her way up in the Catering Department. There was a very brief hiatus at a wholesale diamond company where Gretchen planned her first event, the diamond company’s 20th anniversary trip for 18 company employees at a Dude Ranch in Montana. But Gretchen actually considers her very first event the wedding she planned for her older sister when she was 16! It was at her family home, modeled after the movie Father of the Bride, and that convinced Gretchen that party planning was her future! That wedding, and the one she planned for her other sister, are two of Gretchen’s favorites, along with the wedding she planned for a client whose last name was Rudolph. That wedding was in December in the midst of a major snow storm. The groomsmen had to shovel the church stairs! The bride got her dream come true with, quite literally, a winter wonderland wedding! Gretchen learned to entertain with excitement and ease from her inspiration – her mother, Jeri.