WeddingWire.com Publishes Marcello’s Latest, “7 Ways to Bring The Wow & Have The Best Wedding Reception Ever!” on Wedding Aces

I’m honored and delighted that the Wedding industry mega-site, WeddingWire.com, has featured my latest article “7 Ways to Bring The Wow and Have The Best Wedding Reception Ever!” in their exclusive Wedding Aces portfolio.

The WeddingWire network reaches over 8 million people each month via their impressive online social network that includes; Martha Stewart Weddings, Wedding Bee, and Project Wedding.

Wedding Aces is an online community that offers advice and tips for engaged couples via articles and blogs from experts in the Wedding industry.

The 7 Ways article highlights some of the best Wedding professionals in the New York City metro Area as well as several unique ideas that can make your event an exceptional experience.  I wrote the article for engaged couples that are like many of MMP’s clients who feel that the entertainment, ambiance and hospitality are a priority.  They demand dramatically different results from what they’ve seen and they are willing to invest accordingly.

A high resolution pdf of the original article can be viewed & downloaded here.

If I can be of service in anyway to help you Bring The Wow and Have The Best Wedding Reception Ever!, please call 973-366-9776, text 732-547-1677 or e-mail mmp@mmpentertainment.com to schedule a design session.  Best wishes!

 


7 Ways To Bring The WOW and Have The Best Wedding Reception Ever! By Marcello Pedalino http://www.mmpentertainment.com/articles/7ways.pdf

Special thanks to the Wedding industry rock stars who gave me permission to interview them for the piece and to share their excellence with the world.  Jason JaniPeter Merry, Martin Hardy, Greg LassikJohn Arcara, Jim Cerone, Alan Berg, Mike Walter & Andy Ebon.

And to Sonny and Jeffra from WeddingWire.com, my sincere gratitude for including my work on their incredible site.

Wedding Pros Go ‘All In’ at EPMEN

I don’t mind being inside when it’s cold and rainy outside.  Especially when some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the wedding industry are sharing techniques to improve what you’re passionate about and philosophies that can help you earn loyalty for life from your clients.  EPMEN 2012 was on.

SCE ‘s Jason Jani, struck a nerve with a lot of the attendees when he said that “75% of the people on this earth aren’t doing what they love everyday… That sucks.”  “Don’t just chase the dollar, chase the dream…  Don’t settle…”  It was clear why artists like Jay Z and Kanye West call on Jani when they are on tour.  His passion for “doing cool things for cool people” is currently unmatched in the mobile entertainment and event production field.  I loved the way his question, “Are you making excuses or are you all in?” came up in conversation and on twitter the rest of the day.  As I said on my Twitter… “I’m all in JJ!”

EPMEN 2012 Inspired by Instagram.... From Top Left- Glenn Roush, Strato Doumanis, Jay Thomson, Vincent Velasquez, Sean McKee, Erik Kent. From Bottom Left- Marcello Pedalino, Jayne Hallock, Mike Walter, Jason Jani

 

Lorenzo Araneo, host of Rockstar Podcast and devout Twitter fan, shared some heart-felt personal stories about why he and his family are loyal to particular brands in his Art of Social Marketing presentation.  After he and a few others in the audience got a little choked up, his points were easily made and accepted.  I really liked how Lorenzo wasn’t shy about sharing his affection and respect for his Italian heritage.  Araneo tells it like it is.

Always a crowd favorite, Elite’s Mike Walter, brought his usual dose of well-prepared wit and wisdom in a seminar called, 10 Things You Can Do To Have A Better Day.  In addition to stressing the importance of waking up early, exercising and eliminating distractions… he earned a tweet-worthy moment with “Health and fitness IS a time management solution.” Amen Michael!  Neen James would be proud.

After a post-EPMEN steak dinner, we did our best Reservoir Dogs impression. Strato Doumanis, Vincent Velasquez, Tony Tee Neto, Marcello Pedalino, Glenn Roush, Jeffrey Scott Gould, Mike Walter, Jason Jani

Many of us got to meet WedLock’s Jayne Hallock for the first time and picked up a few nuggets from her seminar on Blogging.  One in particular was the Yoast SEO Plugin recommendation for Word Press users.  Another was how to use Pinterest as a source for content and inspiration.  Jane also had some heads nodding when she said, “Your website is your business card; your blog is your personality.” And, when you are blogging, “sometimes about 100 words is enough.”     (-maybe next time. )  Hallock and seemingly everyone else in the entire world except me was dialed-in to Instagram too.  (Some of the cool filters that app offers was the inspiration for this entry’s photos).

Up and coming stars of the photography and cinematography world, Vanessa Joy and Rob Adams, offered some great tips for capturing event footage and testimonials with the latest DSLR equipment, software and technology.  Since MMP still uses a video camera from 1997 to record comments from our clients at the end of events, this seminar was extremely informative and timely.  We’ll be taking their advice soon and  upgrading to a DSLR camera with a 50mm 1.4 lens and a manfrotto 561bhdv-monopod.  Rob and Vanessa also shared ways to offer instant gratification to your clients.  This dynamic duo is making quite an impression on the workshop circuit.

If you were interested in Creating an Exceptional Customer Experience before the actual sale, Alan Berg had you covered.   Alan has a remarkable ability to take anything you do or say and within 5 minutes advise you how to do it and say it 10 times better.  On top of that, he knows how to take whatever you are currently doing for your prospects and rethink everything–  from the way you contact them initially to the way you respond to them when they call you back after shopping around.  Mr. Berg has some serious skills.

EPMEN 2012 B.I (Before Instagram) From Top Left- Glenn Roush, Strato Doumanis, Jay Thomson, Vincent Velasquez, Sean McKee, Erik Kent. From Bottom Left- Marcello Pedalino, Jayne Hallock, Mike Walter, Jason Jani

The country’s most lovable Emcee, Sean “Big Daddy” Mckee, took a day out of his ‘8 gigs a week’ schedule to host the festivities.   Show producer, Adam Skuba, deserves major kudos for the caliber of Monday’s line up and the over-all production;  especially considering that this was only his sophomore effort.  Special thanks to Adam, the EPMEN team, and all the sponsors (NJ Wedding, Bride Live, Elegant Bridal, Hurricane Productions, Screaming Lunatic, NJDJN, Sherman Specialty, NAME and ADJA) for their hospitality and support.

See ya next year!

Pure, Unadulterated Exuberance: The 2011 Wedding MBA Features Luxury, Greatness, and a 1.4 Billion Dollar Supermodel-Mogul

Wedding Painter, Sam Day, captures WMBA'11 on canvas

After presenting at last year’s Wedding MBA conference and seeing the amount of content and connections assembled under one roof, returning this year to the Las Vegas Convention Center as an attendee hungry for more was a no-brainer.   (Already bought my pass for 2012.)

The 2011 Wedding Merchant Business Academy, produced by the Hegarty family, once again featured the A-listers of the wedding professional community.

Seminars were presented and private events were hosted by industry notables like Carley Roney, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of The KnotSonny Ganguly, SMO of WeddingWire; Tammy Elliot, President of The Perfect Wedding Guide, Sasha Souza, celebrity wedding planner and founder of Wish Upon A WeddingAmy Wilkens, publisher of Martha Stewart Weddings; Peter Merry, author of The Best Wedding Reception Ever and director of the The W.E.D Guild; Susan Southerland, celebrity wedding planner and author of The Susan Southerland Secret; Andy Ebon, The Wedding Marketing Authority; Alan Berg, producer of the Wedding Industry Leaders Conference; and Kathy Ireland, CEO and chief designer from Weddings by 2be and Kathy Ireland Worldwide.

Carley Roney- Co-Founder & EIC of The Knot

Among the 10 new wedding trends that Carley Roney revealed was “a return to luxury and classic elegance.” She sees a lot more black-tie events on the horizon but was quick to add that “formal can still have personality.” Roney said that brides are seeking “pure, unadulterated exuberance” on their wedding day.  They want pleasant “surprises” and “ways to wow” their guests like a having bakery-styled food truck outside the venue so family and friends can enjoy a late-night snack on the way home from the reception or an early treat with the morning paper the next day. Another trend that Carley mentioned was something my wife and I did for our Wedding back in 2005.  For the non-traditional couples who don’t mind seeing each other before the ceremony, Roney presented the option of taking your portraits and family photos before the ceremony.  This allows newlyweds to enjoy and not miss any of the cocktail hour festivities (typically one of the best parts of the entire celebration due the abundance of cuisine and mixology, visiting opportunities and relaxed atmosphere).  As a Wedding Entertainment Director and Event Producer, I can help facilitate the timing of this desirable alternative with the planner, executive chef, venue principal, photographer, cinematographer and of course, your preferred sources of entertainment.

Andy Ebon, in his usual forthright-reality check-way reminded everyone that “just because you are unique, it doesn’t mean that you are useful.” And, “Don’t idolize, become inspired.”  And,  “You need to have 360 degree awareness.” He also reminded business owners that in a complimentary fashion to facebook and twitter, “blogging is still one of the most important things you can do for your business” to allow clients to discover the ‘online soul’ of your product or service.   Ebon, who helped me create the MMP Blog back in 2008, featured  photographer Jazmine Star and Marilla Cupcakes as stellar blogs.  He subscribes to the same philosophy of Sonny Ganguly who said that “social media allows you to humanize your business.” Speaking of Sonny, I really loved what he had to say in reference to Wayne Gretsky’s famous quote about being “where the puck is.” He said, “I’m not a huge fan of hockey, but I am a huge fan of greatness.” Well said, sir.  As always, the Wedding Wire guys entertained the crowd and encouraged us to go further with mobile technology.  They even offered a free QR code for their clients.

The Susan Sutherland Secret

Susan Southerland, who is one of the most dialed-in wedding professionals I know, shared her knowledge about how to manage client expectations of the personality-driven bride and how to deliver an experience that goes above and beyond simply helping a couple’s fairytale come true.  After interviewing numerous brides and asking how things went before their big day, Susan determined that wedding professionals who were great listeners, solution-oriented, respectful, humble and genuinely excited about their client’s celebration were swiftly chosen over their equally qualified  contemporary.  The classic staples like work quality and professionalism were mentioned as well.

Southerland is the Wedding Expert for Tammy Elliot’s firm, The Perfect Wedding Guide. Tammy did a great job of making all the attendees identify their current strengths and weaknesses as well as future opportunities.  Elliot also discussed the goal of being “consciously competent,” being able to duplicate your success at will. It was pretty deep and definitely made the gears start spinning.

The Knot offered up a few tech and social nuggets that had people checking their Klout score, looking into Qwiki and Uber– and then considering a Facebook business page view upgrade with Flipboard… which was just mentioned in Vanity Fair magazine.    The Knot also recognized a few companies in their annual “Best Of” awards which recognizes excellence in marketing, branding and social media.  The honorees included; Amy Zaroff, Michael Will Photography, The McNamara Alumni Center and Desiree Spinner. (I love her little messages: laugh. play. celebrate and dream. love. wed.)

Marcello Pedalino and Kathy Ireland, Wedding MBA 2011

Like many high school kids back in the day, The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue was a highly anticipated annual highlight.   One of my favorite supermodels was Kathy Ireland.  Over the years, as my company progressed and I kept tabs on anyone who had a contagious entrepreneurial spirit, Ireland always stayed on my professional radar because the ability to utilize her brains and spirited work ethic as well as her stunning beauty became more and more apparent. Fast forward to 2011 at the Wedding MBA in Las Vegas… Ireland took a few hours out of her busy schedule to make a special guest appearance and share her journey from running a paper route as a little girl to running a 1.4 billion dollar enterprise. The 2000+ attendees, among whom included business owners from all over the U.S, Canada, Brazil, and New Zealand, were treated to personal stories of character building, photos of recently-launched Kathy Ireland 2be designs, (check out the gorgeous shots below) and some impressive video clips of her philanthropic efforts.

When I had the chance to chat with Kathy after her presentation, I told her that she had some of the most tweet-worthy moments of the conference yet when she said things like, “Its never been done- doesn’t mean it can’t be done” and “I never had a family business, but now I have a business family,” and “When it comes to someone’s wedding day, it’s got to be the best… you can’t mess it up.” That last one really hit home because it accurately describes the tremendous pressure we experience every time we’re given the honor and responsibility of playing a major role in someone’s wedding day.

Editor’s Note: I’m sure you can tell from the photo that, yes,… Ireland is still stunning*One of the funniest moments of the conference was when Ireland gave out her phone number so attendees could contact her for professional guidance, inspiration or business collaboration opportunities.  I’ve never seen men find a pen and paper so quickly to write something down!  Including me….  ‘cuz I don’t know about you, but having a supermodel giving out her number isn’t exactly a common occurrence. 🙂

Having breakfast for dinner with friends at the Blueberry Diner in Las Vegas. Life is Good.

It was a pleasure connecting with fabulous professionals and making some new friends this year:  Jane & Patrick Kelly from iDoAppointments, Keri Macana from TPC Las Vegas, Jennifer Fox from Perfect Planning, Gabrielle Lennartz from Black Swan, Charese Feliciano from CFD Floral, Chandra, Dawn and Bea from Mira Bridal Couture Christy Schimpf from Bride and Groom Planner, Barbie Howard from Rocky Mountain Bridal Show, Sheila Dunn from Wedding Guide Bridal Extravaganza, artist extraordinaire- Sam Day & my mate from New Zealand, Nick Logan.

Special thanks to Jodi Harris and her husband Pat, from Sight and Sound, for always making me feel so welcome when I’m in Vegas.  On the last night before returning home, they took me and my good friend, Ron Brown, to the Blueberry Hill Diner for what they said were the best pancakes in the country. I won’t argue that.  They were pretty awesome.  I’ll keep working out just so I can treat myself to meals like this every now and then.

See you next year!  -mp

The EPMEN Wedding Entertainment Conference Delivers

From Allentown, NJ,  for the Ashford Estate tasting- to Allentown, Pennsylvania, for the EPMEN Wedding Entertainment Conference; this week is all about making Brides & Grooms happy and learning how to help them plan the reception of their dreams.

Some big names in the wedding industry were there to share their expertise with the attendees.  I brought back 3 pages of new ideas and reception enhancement techniques to implement into our upcoming events.

Special thanks  and kudos to Adam Skuba and the EPMEN crew for all of their hard work and hospitality.  -mp

(from Left: Mike Walter from Elite Entertainment, Alan Berg from The Wedding Industry Leaders Conference, Sonny Ganguly from Wedding Wire.com, Erik Kent from NJ Weddings.com, Signature Events partner- Jason Jani from SCE Weddings, & Marcello Pedalino from MMP Entertainment & Event Production)

The Knot Brings A Touch Of Elegance To The Palace At Somerset Park

I thought I was competitive…  Then I met Carley Roney, editor in chief and co-founder of The Knot and realized that I need to step up my game.  After proudly listing about 10 things that The Knot was #1 at during her brief presentation (like wedding websites & iPhone apps) etc., Carley proceeded to tell the packed room the only area  where The Knot is number #2 and  said, “this is the only thing we’re not number 1 at…. YET!”   Love it.  🙂

Michael & Lisa from A Touch of Elegance, Rachael & Heather from Glass Slipper, Carley Roney from The Knot, and Melissa Hylan from Invitation Bar

This competitive spirit is  part of the reason why out of the 45,000 weddings that are happening in NJ for 2010,  The Knot had 44,000 brides register with their network. The other 1000 are out of state brides getting married in NJ!   Even if your not a bride who is checking out the blog today…  as a business owner or entrepreneur, you have to respect and appreciate that impressive stat.  So whether you are a consumer or a professional, it’s no exaggeration that Carley and her team have a wedding planning resource and go-to bridal network for the industry that is second to none.

Last night, I was a guest of my good friend Alan Berg, Vice President of local client solutions for The Knot.   Both he and Carley were among the bridal-rockstars who were speaking last week at the Wedding MBA in Las Vegas.  The Knot hosted a comfortably-chic networking soiree  for some of NJ’s finest wedding professionals in the Palace at Somerset Park.

Among the notables were Lisa and Michael Plociniak from A Touch of Elegance who supplied the gorgeous decor and floral arrangements. I also reconnected with in-demand wedding planners, Kathi Evans, from All the Best and Rachael Citron & Heather Balczarek from Glass Slipper Weddings– who made it out to Vegas last week also.

A quick mention of photographer Jeff Tisman who Kathi introduced me to during the cocktail hour.  After a cool exchange about “putting your trust in the professionals you hire” he handed me one of his eye-catching over-sized business cards.

Jackie Marko ISES Pres., Altair Rasco ISES DAH, Marcello Pedalino & Christine Brower, ISES Pres. elect

I loved the photo he featured on the back-side.  Jeff said he was working with a stunning bride, Stephanie Sarmiento, in the city when they came across this construction site and decided to capture some images. I’ve seen a lot of great wedding photos in my career and you know from reading this blog that I get to work with some of the area’s finest… this shot makes my top ten list of all time. Joy, beauty and spontaneity. That’s what an artist can capture.  Great stuff.

The North Jersey Chapter of ISES was also represented by the lovely Jacqueline Marco, President, Christine Brower, President Elect and Altair Rasco, Director of Administrative History.  The chapter has a fantastic Halloween-themed event coming up on October 13th at the Lambert Castle called “Nightmare on Event Street.”   $35 for members and $45 for non members.

Kathi Evans, Marcello Pedalino, Rachael Citron, Alan Berg & Heather Balczarek

I chatted briefly with Christine and Jackie about possibly setting up an encore performance here in New Jersey of the Take Care Of Yourself seminar that Mike Walter and I presented last week at the Wedding MBA in Vegas. As always, I’ll keep you posted.

Not only was The Knot event a great networking opportunity and a fun-filled evening, I was also able to do a site survey at the venue for an upcoming Signature Event.

Pomptonian Food Services, in conjunction with the New Jersey School Board Association has contracted us to provide the entertainment, multi-media features and lightscaping for their convention gala on October 19th at the Palace.   It is sure to be an exceptional evening.

Special thanks to Carley, Alan and The Knot Team for their hospitality.  I’m looking forward to a future collaboration.   -mp

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