Her Vision? “A 1950’s Supper Club” – Our Pleasure! YOUR Wedding, YOUR Way: Wendy and Roger Reunite at Perona Farms

When you can sing a love song as well as Barbara Streisand and you want your wedding to be one-of-a-kind, treat your husband to a concert-worthy vocal performance during the ceremony and then return to the spotlight later in the reception for an encore.     Not only was Wendy a beautiful bride on the inside and out, she had an equally striking voice.  And it turns out, so did half of the guest list.     Knowing this, Wendy came to MMP with a very clear vision…  she wanted her wedding to feel and sound like a 1950’s Supper Club.

If you go by the Wikipedia definition, a Supper Club wedding is one of our specialties when it comes to production-based events– and the venue Roger and Wendy chose, Perona Farms, was the ideal location.

A Supper Club, in general, refers to a dining establishment that also functions as a social club.  Supper Clubs tend to present themselves as having a high-class image, even if the price is affordable to all. These establishments typically are located on the edge of town in rural areas. They were traditionally thought of as a “destination” where patrons would go to spend the whole evening, from cocktail hour to enjoying night club style entertainment after dinner. They feature a casual and relaxed atmosphere.

Wendy’s vision and desired ambiance sure made for some refreshingly-sophisticated and elegantly-fun music programming.  I was able to spin some tracks that don’t normally make the play list.   Their requests included Shaynee Rainbolt‘s- Stuff Like That There, Peggy Lee‘s- That’s My Style, Ella Fitzgerald‘s- You Do Something To Me, Melinda Doolittle‘s- I’m A Woman, and the duet by Jamie Foxx and Beyoncé – When I First Saw You.

People ask me all the time, “we have a loved one that recently passed away and we’d like to recognize them during our wedding… what do you recommend?”   One of my favorite tributes is a butterfly release.    Unfortunately, Wendy and Roger had two special family members to honor.  Wendy’s brother and Roger’s father.  After the ceremony, we directed everyone outside to where the cocktail hour was taking place.   Pastor Hamlin said a few words about each honoree and then a short prayer.  The butterflies were released in their memory.  It was a very moving experience.   **FYI  The delivery, transport and release of live butterflies takes great care, coordination and attention to detail.  Please consider this and do your homework before you decide to include this at your special event.

When the budget permits, we always recommend live musicians to compliment the DJ Entertainment.  Wendy and Roger were fortunate to have their good friend, Robert, not only start off the ceremony with a cool acoustic version of Train’s Marry Me, but to perform an hour of some classic jazz standards during cocktails.  He even came back on after dinner with an awesome rendition of Paul McCartney’s My Love to re-open the dance floor.

Since I have a really solid relationship with my mom, and she happens to live 2 miles up the road, I always appreciate it when I see another son’s genuine love for his mother.  When Cameron, Wendy’s son, stepped up to the mic during the ceremony, most of the guests probably anticipated a few, quick, generically Hallmark-sounding sentiments to be delivered.  Instead, to everyone’s delight, including yours truly, Cameron offered up a genuine, heart-felt dedication to his mom that she and everyone else who heard it will never forget.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my dear friend, and fellow Wedding Entertainment Director from Virginia, Elisabeth Scott Daley.   Due to her busy event schedule, she was already booked when Roger and Wendy called her to provide the entertainment so she was kind enough to refer my services.   Not only is Elisabeth an in-demand wedding entertainment professional, she’s also a former Broadway performer who can swoon with the best of them.   During the reception, Daley belted out a studio quality rendition of Mary Chapin Carpenter’s version of John Lennon’s smash hit, Grow Old With Me, and dedicated it to Wendy and Roger.

One of my favorite racing expressions has always been, “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish that really counts.”    This philosophy transcends athletics and relates perfectly to event direction.  Wendy and Roger’s celebration got off to a great start, had a solid second act, and then thanks to the song… Day-O by Harry Belafonte, the Grand Finale was worthy of an encore.  I found out ahead of time that Wendy and Roger were going to Tahiti, Bora Bora and Moorea for their Honeymoon… so to get everybody in the mood for a piña colada on a gorgeous tropical island, we had the entire guest list on the dance floor smiling and singing their hearts out with the newlyweds.    “Daylight come and we wanna go home.”    I love my job.  🙂

Special thanks to Ron Francis, Banquet Manager from Perona Farms, for his hospitality and professionalism.   Ron was instrumental in making sure that the celebration had a smooth flow to it from start to finish.   He was also kind enough to let us keep all of the equipment that we brought in  for the ceremony rehearsal and microphone sound check set up at the venue.  This saved us several hours of labor the next day and we greatly appreciated it.

I also want to extend my gratitude to Eric Kazmirek and Elisabeth, who graciously shared their photos for this entry.  -mp

 

Liner Notes: Wendy and Roger met a long time ago but each decided to take a different exit on the highway of life.  Then, 31 years later, their mutual friend, Sheri Burton, who originally introduced them, put them back in touch with each other.  Sheri flew all the way from Tuscon, Arizona, to be a part of the big day and got special mention during the personalized grand entrance.

Classy Move:    At many weddings, brides and grooms will spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars on a little trinket or some type of commemorative swag for their guests to take home.  In most cases, this stuff finds its way into the garbage or the bottom of a box in the basement somewhere.  Think about it for a second… do people really need another wallet-size photo frame or a few fancy chocolates?   In lieu of a gift for each of their guests, Wendy and Roger made a generous donation to the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association.  Nice!!!

Encore Gallery:

Samsung, The Venetian, and MMP Kick It Up A Notch: BAM!

Samsung, After Dinner Set

Do you want your event to look like this next year? Samsung Celebrates at The Venetian

What happens when you take one of the most successful companies of 2009 and mix it with one of the best venues on the east coast and then sprinkle in some award-winning entertainment?  In the words of Emeril Lagasse,… “BAM!!!”. Not only do you “kick it up a notch” and transform your ordinary annual gathering into an extraordinary Holiday Gala, your guests “feel the love” and experience a festive, elegant and unforgettable evening.

We’ve been teaming up with Samsung Electronics America since 2003.  Over the years, it’s been very exciting to see their company earn the #1 spot for mobile phones and T.V’s here in the United States and the #1 spot for D TV’s worldwide.  If you’re not impressed yet, at a time when many companies cut back and saw their numbers plummet in 2009, Samsung had the best quarter in the company’s history and their stock price went to an all-time high.

The Best of Both Worlds, Live Musicians and DJ Entertainment

The Best of Both Worlds, Live Musicians and DJ Entertainment

If your company holds it’s own, or like Samsung and some of our other VIP corporate clientele, actually manages to  increase growth and raise the bottom line in the new economy, there are usually a few people you want to show your appreciation to. I’ll give you a few seconds to guess who those special people are…….    BAM!   That’s right.  You answered correctly.  Your employees…  The TEAM.      The executives at Samsung know this and agree with Steven Covey, “Always treat your employees exactly how you would treat your best customers. “

So when it was time for Samsung to celebrate another year of success and hard work, we helped them produce a black-tie Holiday Gala fit for royalty.

The Vienese extravaganza begins with a bananas foster presentation

The Viennese extravaganza begins with a bananas foster presentation

If you haven’t been to the new Palazzo Ballroom at The Venetian yet and would like to practice saying “wow,” and walking around with your jaw continuously dropping to the floor,  schedule an appointment and check out the stunning decor, architecture and ambiance of The Palazzo.  From their never-ending cocktail hour selections to their Viennese stations that would impress Willy Wonka himself, The Venetian combines delectable cuisine and first-class hospitality for all of their guests to enjoy.

So Samsung had the right place and the right people (nearly 700) ready to go.  The only ingredient left to add was the right entertainment. A recipe like this demanded MMP’s Best of Both Worlds “Winter Wonderland” package.  It combines the classic DJ entertainment element with live musicians and  multi-media visuals.  The entertainment and production team consisted of a Master of Ceremonies, an on-site Event Manager, DJ, 2 Dance Floor Motivators, Guitar Player, Saxophonist, Percussionist, and an Audio-Visual technician.

Service Awards

Service Awards Presentation

This package was designed for the  discerning client who wants the best of everything; the presentation and musicianship of a live band and the excitement and flexibility of a professional DJ and Emcee. Samsung also wanted to personalize their event and put the spotlight on their guests.  They produced a custom DVD presentation which included a special appearance by Beyonce, they gave out numerous Service and Recognition of Excellence awards, and had photographers on hand to take candids of their happy guests which we displayed on our big screen and dual plasma T.V’s.  (Which of course were manufactured by Samsung.) 🙂

It was an exceptional evening of entertainment and hospitality.  We look forward to teaming up with Samsung and the Venetian again next year and producing another successful collaboration. BAM!

Happy guests; How to raise company morale,

How does Samsung keep the company morale high? Happy team members.

As a side note, not only is it important to take care of your employees, you have to recognize their spouses, significant others and families as well.   If Zagat was to rate Samsung on how well they take care of the people that take care of them, they’d get a 30. Yesterday,  we performed at the company Headquarters for all of the Samsung kids and family members. It was a blast.  Everyone enjoyed cookie decorating, face painting, photos with Santa, interactive games, dancing, a luncheon and gifts for all.

Special thanks as always to Carlos and the staff from the Venetian for their professionalism and to Evan Santi, from Urban Plantscapes, for the fabulous floral arrangements that adorned the ballroom.

Encore Gallery:

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Samsung Electronics Holiday Gala

samsung-logo.gifSamsung Electronics America hosted their Holiday Gala at The

Venetian, a venue known for its ornate décor, delectable cuisine and outstanding hospitality.

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With nearly 600 guests in the recently renovated ballroom with an all-marble dance floor, the ambiance was elegant and festive.

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Among many, one of the highlights of the night came during the annual video montage presentation. Beyonce, Joe Torre, Carlos Santana and other famous celebrities made special guest appearances to extend their Holiday Greetings. A collective set of “oohs and ahhhs” could be heard from all of the guests (myself included).venetian-22.jpg

Just like when we provide the entertainment for their kids at the Samsung, family Holiday Party, the adults at the Holiday Gala love to dance and celebrate another season of health, happiness and success.

Special thanks to Dave, Jimmy and Carlos from the Venetian for their hospitality and professionalism.

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