How to Make Your Wedding ‘Something Special’: Michael and Caitlin Celebrate Their Love at The Meadow Wood Manor

Usher’s smooth r&b track, ‘Something Special,’ not only served as the perfect first dance song for Michael and Caitlin, but its title also perfectly described their wedding reception from start to finish.  The same could be said for the song that Caitlin chose to dance with her dad, The Best Day, by Taylor Swift.

I knew this wedding was going to be awesome from the first phone call.  I recognized Caitlin’s voice instantly.  She sang beautifully at another exceptional wedding ceremony that MMP had the honor to direct and entertain at a few years ago.  That wedding was for Michael’s mother, Patty, and my uncle, Lou Vetere.  As guests, Michael and Caitlin danced the night away along with their family and friends.  Since many of the guests would be attending this celebration and I knew I was working with a bride and groom who weren’t shy about literally ‘gettin’ jiggy with it,’ I knew an unforgettable evening was on the way.

Speaking of Will Smith, another dance he made famous called The Apache, from the Fresh Prince of Belle Air, turned out to be a nostalgic favorite of Michael and one of his groomsmen, Mike DiGiacomo.  During our final design session one month before the wedding, I found out that Michael used to host some of the best house parties in town and that he and Mike would crank up Apache out by the pool and perform the dance moves so all the party goers could watch and join in!  We incorporated Apache into one of the evening’s classic dance sets and the crowd loved it… Mike and Mike had the floor pumpin,’ jumpin,’ and smiling’ from ear to ear!   This is why we always encourage our clients to personalize their reception.  The more questions we ask, and the more information you give us, the more we can suggest how to make your reception a true reflection of your personality and style.

Michael and Caitlin also put a cool spin on one of the traditional feature dances of the night, the Mother-Son dance.  Since we knew from the design session that many of their friend’s moms would be there as guests, we arranged to have all the moms dance with their kids for the second half of the song, Hey Mama, by Kanye, after Michael and his mom enjoyed the spot light.  What a great way for your guests to feel like they are a part of your celebration, and not just at your celebration.

Another highlight of the evening came from Caitlin’s input during the design session.  First, she let me know that she and her friends were fans of Taylor Swift.  Then, she told me about the special relationship that she had with her grandfather, “Pop.”    Since we like to spread the love (spreading out the parent’s dances and special dedications throughout the evening instead of doing everything back to back to back) we carefully planned a feature set specifically for the post-dessert portion of the reception.  We always encourage our clients to empower us with ways to bring the focus back to the guests of honor and the dance floor area.

In this case, since the Meadow Wood hosts a delicious Viennese reception in an adjacent room after the cake cutting, we needed a way to tastefully and seamlessly guide the guests back into the ballroom when they were done enjoying all of their sweet delights.  (p.s.  Michael and Cailtlin chose the  vintage track, You Make My Dreams Come True by Hall and Oates for the cake pics… very cool!)   By simply playing Taylor Swift’s Love Song just loud enough for the right people to hear it, Caitlin and some of her closest friends excitedly made their back to the dance floor to put their arms around each other and sing their hearts out.  Then, after making sure that the V.I.Ps were back in the ballroom by personally notifying them, I played Caitlin’s request and dedication to her grandfather, Wind Beneath my Wings.  “Pop,” was a crowd favorite.  All of the girls from the Taylor Swift sing along starting to chant, “Pop, Pop, Pop!” like he was a rock star!  It was such a cool thing to watch and hear.

All of this positive commotion created an organic invitation for the rest of guests to return to the ballroom and enjoy the Kodak moment.   Sensing the participatory momentum that was brewing, I went right into another request from Michael and Caitlin’s play list, Adele’s gorgeous version of “To Make You Feel My Love,” to pack the dance floor with couples…  and then it was Party Rock Anthem time!  The energy was off the charts right up until the final song of the night, Save The Last Dance for Me by Michael Buble.

To make your reception ‘something special,’ team up with an entertainment company and an event producer that are experts in preparation, personalization and pacing, as well as music programming and a Master of Ceremonies skill set.   As a certified Wedding Entertainment Director, I’m proud to provide all of these specialized services to my discerning clientele.

Best wishes to the new Mr. and Mrs. Michael and Caitlin Smith.  It was an honor to serve your family again.  We wish you a lifetime of health and happiness!

Special thanks to the Meadow Wood Manor for their hospitality and professionalism.  It’s always a pleasure when we have the opportunity to collaborate.  Special thank also to Tav Jinivisian, Michael & Caitlin’s photographer from Tav Images, for sharing his artistry from the festivities.


Encore Gallery:


Jesse and the Persily’s Return to B’nai Tikvah

Jesse and his friendsThe Persily family came back to Congregation B’nai Tikvah to celebrate Jesse’s Bar Mitzvah.  Evan, Rob and the staff of Classical Caterers made sure that the encore was as exceptional as the premier when Jacob celebrated his special event.

There are a lot of  families over the years who you never forget.  The Persily’s are one of them.  Robyn and Mark definitely have a special place in my heart.  They are gracious hosts, awesome parents and just solid people.

Robyn and MarkJesse and the Persily crew brought all their family, friends and positive energy back for another fun and memorable evening.  Everybody from 92-year-old uncle George to Jesse’s little sister, Chloe, who looked like a princess, danced the  night away.

marcello-picture1As always , the Monday before the Bar Mitzvah, I went to the guest of honor’s house for the VIP party.  It’s a great opportunity to get to know everyone, find out what the kids have seen at other bar and bat mitzvahs recently, and to review some of the interactive dances that we’ll be doing at the event. Jesse invited 11 of his friends over: Daniel, Seth, Noah, Sydney, Sammy, Taylor, Aneesa, Julianna, Jen, Andrew and Corey.  We created a list of their favorite songs, went over dances like the Apache and practiced singing Don’t Stop Believing. We had a blast!

Taylor sings the Mother Son Dance- The Climb.  Speaking of singing, one of the evening’s highlights was the mother-son dance.  During the VIP party, I found out that Jesse’s good friend, Taylor, was a very talented singer.  I already knew from previewing the Persily’s photo montage that Robyn liked the song, The Climb by Miley Cyrus. After some discussion on how to make Jesse’s Bar Mitzvah even more fun, unique and memorable, everyone agreed and we found a great instrumental version for Taylor to practice to for the rest of the week.  When it came time for Robyn and Jesse to dance, Taylor took the mic, sang her heart out and nailed it. Simon and the Amercian Idol judges would have agreed.

Marcello and Jacob

It was like deja vu all over again. The guests enjoyed both the current and retro music programming, the custom visuals and instant candid photos on the plasmas and our live percussionist.  Evan and Rob from Classical helped us provide another seamless evening of premier  hospitality and entertainment with elegance.

Special thanks to Jacob, who was a huge help to everyone.  You could tell he was an experienced Bar Mitzvah guest of honor by the way he assisted me before, during and after the event.  I wish he was 18 already so he could join our production team.  🙂

Encore Gallery:



Oh Canada! Sam’s Bar Mitzvah at the Maplewood Country Club

Sam getting a little help from his friends...The Gersho family (and what felt like half of Canada) celebrated Sam’s Bar Mitzvah at the Maplewood Country Club this past Saturday.  Twenty-two of  Sam’s aunts, uncles and cousins made the trip down from Niagara Falls, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal for his special day.  I’m sure glad they got invited because the folks from the Great White North know how to party!

In addition to being a world-class chess player and an  accomplished pianist, Sam can also hold his own on the dance floor when the DJ is  playing songs like the Cupid Shuffle, Apache and the Cotton Eyed Joe.

Ice Cream!!!!His brother, Michael, (third to the right) who is also a great dancer, is shown here chilling out with his friends at the sundae bar.  He said that he’s “already looking forward to his Bar Mitzvah” in a few years.

I always say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  Sam’s parents, Leslie and Marvin, were wonderful hosts and a pleasure to work with.  They knew how to plan an exceptional event beforehand and enjoy it to the fullest the day of.

Two of the highlights were Marvin’s toast to Sam before the montage and Leslie’s acknowledgments of her friends during the candlelighting ceremony.  Marvin recalled some of his favorite anecdotes of Sam growing up and spoke from the heart, and Leslie recognized the friends from her table individually who helped her with the formidable preparations  for the big day. Very classy.

Sam with Tara and ChrissySpecial thanks to Ken Alswang from At Home Studios who shared his photos for this entry.  I’ve worked with Ken many times over the years and we always make a great team.  As I’ve mentioned in the past, accessibility and personality are two key components to selecting the right photographer. Ken was always ready to capture the moment and was excellent at making people feel comfortable.

I’d also like to recognize Mike & Mike from the Maplewood Country Club who were total professionals and a pleasure to work with.  The timing of the hospitality and the entertainment were seamless.

Encore Gallery:

Grand entrance ken_08983ken_0693Ariel Wins the dance party.

Related Posts with Thumbnails