Wedding Entertainment, Production, & Style Trends for Fall/Winter 2016 by Marcello Pedalino

Marcello Pedalino, Celebrate Life, Wedding Trends, Nate Nelson, LeForce Entertainment,

Photo Credit: Nate Nelson

The trend of “My Way” weddings continues into the Fall of 2016.  Brides and Grooms want to make a personal statement and ensure that their celebration is unique, fun, and visually delicious Couples are more in tune to guest convenience and hospitality.  They still want their family and friends to have an incredible experience, but if traditional pomp and circumstance gets in the way, it’s simply taken out of the equation.  Interactive technology like photo booths has gotten a facelift at wedding receptions for the sake of entertainment while the discouragement level for use of phones to capture candid moments has risen significantly.  So here’s what’s hot and what’s cooling down in the world of wedding decor, entertainment, and style.

All You Need Is LOVE – While many Brides and Grooms are focused on custom snapchat geofilters, there is a new wave of clients who prefer branding that you can see, touch, and feel at their reception.  One of the classiest I’ve seen is spelling out the word LOVE and using it as a romantic backdrop for the first dance.  For the rest of the night, it remains a prominent piece of unique and elegant decor.   Nate Nelson from LeForce Entertainment in Dallas had a big hand in bringing this trend to the East Coast.

Marcello Pedalino, Celebrate Life, Wedding Trends, Bobby Morganstein, Flare Event Group

Photo Credit: Bobby Morganstein

Dancing On The Stars – You’ve heard of dancing with the stars, now couples want to dance ON the stars!   Brides and Grooms still want more than the old wood floor dance floor that most hotels and banquet facilities offer.  A lot of clients are opting for white LED star-studded floors that are much more appealing to the eye.   When combined with the installation of gorgeous well-spaced chandeliers overhead, the combo makes for a  “wow!” reaction when guests enter the space. Bobby Morganstein, owner of Flare Event Group in Philadelphia, is one my “go to”  specialists for what’s hot in the world of wedding decor and making the guest experience more interactive.  We are seeing that 75% of clients are booking the star-studded dance floor for their events vs. 40% when compared to 2015.

Marcello Pedalino, Celebrate Life, Wedding Trends, Jason Jani, SCE Event Group

Photo Credit: Bobby Morganstein

Mirror Mirror  – The traditional photo booth continues to evolve.  Brides and Grooms have raised their selfie game once again.  The Selfie Photo Booth allows your guests to literally look into a mirror and wait a few seconds for the clicks of the camera to begin.  After multiple compliments from a mystery voice behind the mirror, guests have the option get a print out of their pics or for them to be sent directly to their social sites.

Savor Every Second –  Most Brides and Grooms are learning that time goes by very fast on their  wedding day.  Therefore, we’ve seen a lot of couples forego many of the traditional formalities like the garter and bouquet toss to leave more time for dancing the night away.

Celebrate with Style –   Not only do discerning Brides and Grooms want the DJ and live musicians to sound good and be able to play an eclectic mix of dance floor fillers, they need them to look sharp and sexy. Marquee mixologist DJ Jason Jani from the SCE Event Group, is highly sought-after for his distinctive staging and a “Fusion” style of hybrid entertainment.

Marcello Pedalino, Celebrate Life, Wedding Trends, Jason Jani, SCE Event Group

Photo Credit: SCE Event Group

Light It Up – Lighting design is no longer considered an “add on.”  Creating the right ambience in the event space via pin spotting for the florals, personalized motion monograms, perimeter uplighting, ceiling patterns, and dance floor eye candy is now expected.  Brides and Grooms who have seen the dramatically different results of a reception with professional lighting know that the return on investment is undeniable.

Marcello Pedalino, Celebrate Life, Wedding Trends, Jim Cerone,

Photo Credit: Jim Cerone

Location, Location, Location –  Brides and Grooms are thinking more about making things as convenient as possible for their guests.  We are seeing less and less ceremonies in churches, and more and more taking place onsite at the reception location.   It saves time and reduces the stress of 150 people having to move their cars more than once.  Wedding Entertainment Director, Jim Cerone, confirmed that this East Coast trend had made its way to Indianapolis and agrees that guest hospitality and logistics awareness have taken priority for couples in the beginning stages of planning.  Many wedding venues have made their properties “ceremony friendly” to accommodate this growing trend.

Marcello Pedalino, Celebrate Life, Wedding Trends, Jason Jani, SCE Event Group

Photo Credit: SCE Event Group

Around the World – This isn’t your grandfather’s wide angle or fisheye lens.  Brides and Grooms are using the latest in 360 degree technology to snap photos and videos that look very different from the captured content that everyone else has.  And that’s the whole point … to make your wedding unique.  Not only does 360 degree technology allow couples to retrospectively experience the entire feel of their event, it allows venues to create incredible virtual tours for newlyweds looking for the perfect place.

Unplugged – Brides and Grooms want their guests to put their phones away.  Reminder signs that basically say “turn off and look up” are now being put up in strategic locations at the event site.  It’s unfortunate that some of my clients are actually having nightmares about their family and friends playing Pokemon instead of being “present” at their once-in-a-lifetime celebration.  Mike Walter, from Elite Entertainment in New Jersey, confirmed that B&Gs “want their guests to focus on enjoying the moments and let the professionals focus on capturing the memories… especially, during the ceremony.”  Watching something through a 3″ x 5″ screen that is happening right in front of you instead of enjoying the full view in living color is just silly.

Marcello Pedalino, Celebrate Life, Wedding Trends,

Photo Credit: RTH Group

Dancing On The Clouds – The cost of this awesome special effect has come down quite a bit since it was introduced many years ago.  Brides and Grooms have taken advantage of this and are loving the ability to have an unforgettable first dance.   Imagine as you begin dancing to your wedding song, “oohs” and “ahhs” come from your guests as a gorgeous cloud emerges underneath you.

Marcello Pedalino, Celebrate Life, Wedding Trends, Jason Jani, SCE Event Group

Photo Credit: SCE Event Group

Fairytale Glamour –  For the Brides and Grooms who want a “fairytale” experience, we are seeing sweetheart table set ups that are more appropriate for a Prince and Princess.  We are seeing less linen and less standard half moon tables which usually come with the venue.  More custom furniture pieces with ornate personal touches are becoming the norm.

Trends are fun to watch and predict, but regardless of what everyone else is doing, it’s always a good idea to start by prioritizing your personal preferences. As you can see, there are plenty of bells and whistles available to accommodate just about every style and personality.  Make a little list of what’s most important to you and your fiancé, budget accordingly, and remember to enjoy every moment!

Marcello Pedalino, Celebrate Life, Wedding Planning, CelebrateLifeBook.comMarcello Pedalino is the Executive Director of MMP Entertainment & Event Production and author of the new inspirational book, “Celebrate Life: How to Live it Up, Discover Fulfillment, and Experience the Joy You Deserve.”  A three-time national DJ Entertainer of the Year, Marcello and his team help clients produce exceptional Wedding Receptions in the tri-state area and throughout the country.

Don’t Let Me Down: A Father and Son Duet

If you don’t like the song or even if you don’t like the Beatles… it doesn’t matter.

You’ll  love Christian Diego Mello’s awesome cover version of Don’t Let Me Down with his son on backup guitar and hysterical vocals.

Thanks to my good friend and Perfect Host, Jim Cerone, for bringing this gem to all of his facebook fans.

Health and happiness, 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,, 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 to schedule a design session.  Best wishes!


7 Ways To Bring The WOW and Have The Best Wedding Reception Ever! By Marcello Pedalino

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, my sincere gratitude for including my work on their incredible site.

Thank God for Grandmas and Zappos! A Tour of

My group at the Zappos tour. Treat others like royalty, feel like family. I could live with that.

After reading Gary Vaynerchuk’s, The Thank You Economy, I was inspired to read Tony Hsieh’s, Delivering Happiness…  After learning about Tony and how his extraordinary company,, offered friendly tours of the corporate headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada, I knew a field trip was on the horizon.

As a result of some logistical good fortune, I was in Vegas last month with a group of dear friends from the special events, entertainment and production industry who also wanted to see this Zappos Culture that we heard and read so much about, in person.    Zappos turned out be the real deal and left our many of our heads spinning with traces of wonderment and unequivocal WOW.

Zappos Culture Book

In the Culture book that each guest receives at the end the tour, Thich Nhat Hanh writes, “The amount of happiness you have depends of the amount of freedom you have in your heart.”  To me, this quote encapsulates the mojo that fuels its uncharacteristically happy employees, appreciative customers and ridiculous numbers.  The Zappos team is given the freedom to make their workplace as comfortable as their living room, to be a little weird, to obsess over the customer- in a healthy way, to be inspired- not intimidated by the success of others, and to contribute beyond self through philanthropy and mentorship.  All of these core values, among many others, translate into daily WOW on a scale that was tough for a few of us to wrap our aspirational minds around.

Did you know it was possible to generate 12 million dollars in sales in one day?  Me neither.  Did you know that there’s a company out there that intentionally makes less profit each year so they can make the lives of their employees better instead?  Me neither.    And did you know that you can get paid to train for a job at Zappos and then get paid even more to quit if you don’t gel with the positive culture DNA that their looking for?  I did, because I read the book… but it was still impressive to hear it again nonetheless.

I'm not kidding, most of the employees looked this happy. It was so strange and beautiful at the same time.

I’ve learned a lot about branding over the past few years.  Zappos used to be known as a shoe company. Now, even though they still sell a gazillion shoes, they are known for their exemplary company culture and their laudable level customer service.  How does this happen?  When your employees feel like this… Here’s a Culture book excerpt from Stacy H., a six year Zappos veteran;

“Coming to work at Zappos is like going to visit Grandma’s house as a kid.  You are spoiled, you have fun and get fed.  At Zappos, we get fed so much that I am convinced that I will not lose any serious weight until the day I leave.  It makes me think about the letters people write when they have to leave.  Usually it is due to moving out of state, because, well, why else would you leave Zappos?  The e-mails are sent out to the entire floor to say goodbye to their work-family.  We typically throw a mini-happy hour for the person who is leaving and demand to see them back for visits.

This can't be right.

Our Zappos culture is more than just 10 ideas to live by, or a fun environment, or even happy customersIt’s looking at those around you, those you will never see but hear their voice on the phone, or read their words in an e-mail, as family.  When you can see the world in this caring light, you become a better person and the joy spreads.  The Zappos culture is paying it forward to everyone that comes in contact with us.  Our vendors, our employees, our customers, and even our tours get joy out of the experience that is Zappos.  Thank God for Grandmas and Zappos!”

If you have a trip planned to Vegas and like the idea of going home with more than you came with-  do yourself, your team and your organization a favor and set up a tour.

Special thanks to Jodi Harris and Andy Ebon for setting up a day filled with joyful experiences.

As Tony likes to say, “Live in The WOW!”



Encore Gallery:

The Perfect Host: Indy’s Jim Cerone Lives Up To His Title

The Perfect Host: Indy's only Wedding Entertainment Director, Jim Cerone

“He’s a gentleman and a scholar.”  That’s a  phrase you can’t use too often anymore and probably why Jim Cerone stands out from the crowd.   I’m sure being 6ft. 4 also helps the cause.

Cerone is the only  certified Wedding Entertainment Director from Indianapolis and one of the finest special event performers in the country. Need some more street cred?  No problem…  (or as Jim likes to say, “My Pleasure.”  Cerone was recently elected to serve as Indiana’s President for the International Special Events Society.

This past week, Jim hosted an exclusive  business conference at the luxurious Conrad Hotel.  The V.I.P list of attendees were treated to three days of top-notch educational seminars from some of the best and brightest speakers on the circuit.  I’d love to reveal the line-up and what we all learned, but then you’d see a pop up window saying that your computer will self-destruct in 5 seconds. What I  can divulge is that MMP’s social and corporate clientele will appreciate what we implement in the coming months.

To earn the reputation of The Perfect Host, you’ve really got to be firing on all cylinders as a professional and be:

Marcello Pedalino, Jim Cerone & Jason Jani taking a Celebrate Life study break in Indianapolis

1) Someone who not only picks you up from the airport, but comes inside for an hour just so you can watch the extended time and shootout of the U.S Women’s Soccer Championship game…

2) Someone who continually asks “is there anything I can do to make you feel more comfortable” when a 104 degree heat-wave hits town…

3)  Someone who personally guides a walking tour along the gorgeous canals in the morning for those who like to exercise and see the sights…

4) And Someone who prioritizes his life by making time to sit down and eat with his lovely wife, Rosie, and play with his well-mannered sons, Jimmy and Joey, at the pool even though he has a formidable list of type A over-achievers to  coddle for the week…

With sincere gratitude and a humble tip of the hat, I offer kudos and congrats to The Perfect Host… my dear friend, Jim Cerone.  -mp


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