10 Tips for Celebratory Success: Advice from The Grand Summit Hotel & Marcello for Your Wedding or Special Event

The gorgeous models from Red Carpet Boutique, Nashley and Joanna, at the Grand Summit Hotel Gala Brunch www.redcarpetbtq.com

It was a pleasure meeting all of the beautiful and savvy brides, Bar Mitzvah moms and corporate meeting planners at the 2012 Grand Summit Gala Tasting.   The Grand Summit Hotel pulled out all the stops to show off their exceptional cuisine, service and hospitality.  The Grand Summit team, lead by Michael Marino, Jim Thornton and Teresa Garcia, along with the hotel’s discerning roster of preferred professionals, introduced the VIP guest list to exclusive event planning resources throughout the lavish brunch to ensure that they have the best special event possible.

After speaking with some of the Grand Summit Gala Pros earlier in the week, I compiled a top 10 list of planning tips that might come in handy for your upcoming wedding or special event...

The Grand Summit Hotel can help make your celebration fun, elegant & convenient.

1) All In One!  Consider a venue that offers your guests the convenience of attending your ceremony, reception, after party, over-nite accommodations and even the next-day brunch without having to worry about traffic, parking or being able to party like rock stars.   –Teresa @ The Grand Summit Hotel

2) Save It!  If you have any material left over from you wedding dress or bridesmaid’s alterations, don’t throw it out! The florist can use these swatches to wrap your bouquets.    -Matt @ Crest Florist

3) Think Big!  If your venue can accommodate larger tables, seat 12 guests together instead of ten and eliminate the expense of a few centerpieces.     -Matt @ Crest Florist 

Crest can wrap your bouquet with extra material from your dress. They can also preserve your bouquet as a keepsake the day after.

4) Forever Young!  If you’d like to keep your bouquet for posterity, it’s recommended that you drop it off to your florist the day after the reception for ideal preservation conditions.   -Matt @ Crest Florist

5) Picture This!  You don’t have to reinvent the wheel when you walk into the bakery looking for your special cake.  Show the staff a photo of something you saw and liked to ensure that they can help you get exactly what you were looking for.  -Ralph @ Bovella’s Bakery

6) You’re Worth It!  Make sure that the make-up artist you choose only uses the highest quality make-up products on the market; there is a noticeable difference.  Your skin and photographer will thank you.   -Diane @ Bella Faccia

Let the professionals, like Event Planners and Wedding Entertainment Directors do all the work so you can enjoy every moment of your once-in-a-lifetime celebration. www.WedGuild.com

7) Don’t Worry, Be Happy!   Try not to micromanage your own wedding reception or special event.  Let the professionals you hired do what you paid them to do.   If you put the right team in place, you’ll be treated like a celebrity and be able to enjoy the celebration as much as your guests.   -Marianne @ Cupa Cabana

8 ) Money Talks!  If you are working with a planner, be candid and let them know your approximate budget right from the start so they can help you prioritize your investments and save you a lot of time throughout the planning process.   -Cindy @ Events To Perfection

Surround yourself with the people you love and who love you back... the rest will fall into place.

Surround yourself with the people you love and who love you back… the rest will fall into place.

9) Keep It Real!  Even though you and your fiancé think that Dub Step and 80’s New Wave music are totally rad, try to remember that your guests might also enjoy a great mix of some classic favorites and the current hits to dance to during the reception.  –Benny @ Karisma Music Productions

10) The Secret!   Regardless of your budget and your definition of the perfect day, the success of your wedding reception comes down to one thing- The Guest List.  If you invite the people you care about and the people that care about you, the rest will take care of itself.   -Michael @ Magical Nights

I’m proud to say that along with Benny and his fabulous band, Karisma, MMP is also considered a preferred source of entertainment at the Grand Summit.   We always make a great team when we have the opportunity to collaborate.   I had a great time serving as the Master of Ceremonies for the Gala tasting and look forward to the next celebration!


P.s    For more event planning tips, advice and resources, check out our last article called “7 Ways to Bring the Wow and Have The Best Wedding Reception Ever!”

The New Standard: “The Most Amazing Night of Our Lives” -Another Signature Event from Marcello and Jani at The Grand Summit Hotel

There’s an expression from card playing that I’ve always liked, it’s “Stack the Deck.”    The legitimate philosophy behind it is to win by arranging the cards so they are dealt out to your advantage.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t endorse cheating, but if you’re fortunate enough to look like Tom Cruise in Rain Man and know that your brother can outsmart the shoe, you drive him straight to Vegas, buy him a nice suit and sit him down at the Black Jack table.    The winning ensues.

After hitting the jackpot 2 years earlier at his son Ryan’s Bar Mitzvah, the pressure was on to keep the winning streak alive.   For his son Jared’s Bar Mitzvah, the respected family man and successful real estate developer, Howard Weinerman, stacked the proverbial deck.  Because, like many of us…  Mr. Weinerman doesn’t like to lose.

First, he arranged the most important card in the whole deck, the Queen of Hearts- his lovely wife, Vicki.     She rivals some of the best event planners that I’ve worked with.  From the e-mail exchanges to the design sessions, she was always organized, creative and decisive.  When you combine those traits with the fact that she’s an awesome mom, (evident from Ryan’s impressive toast to his little brother), Vicki deserved all of the credit, kudos and applause that came her way when her husband gave his welcome toast.

Next, Howard secured the best casino in town, The Grand Summit HotelMark Giangiulio, Chairman of the Board of the New Jersey Hotel and Lodging Association, and general manager with his team, Jim Thornton and Terry Garcia, (acclaimed pit bosses) ensured that the location was fit to please a chance personal visit from Sam “Ace” Rothstein himself.  In this case, Jared’s grandfather, one of the co-owners of the prestigious venue, would in fact be on-site as a guest.  Yeah, it’s safe to say that the classic song “Under Pressure” popped into my head quite a few times leading up to the event.

Speaking of Aces, Howard also had his “Ace in the hole,” (a card that can supply a sure victory when revealed).  I was really honored to recieve the call again from the Weinermans to host the event and provide the entertainment and event production.  I was also really excited to get up from  the poker table, yell out “all in” and reveal a pair of Aces this time around.   When clients are planning a Wedding, a Bar Mitzvah or a Corporate event and require ‘the new standard‘ or in this case a “Royal Flush” to stay with the theme, we proudly offer our Signature Event level services.  My partner and I, Jason Jani, from Sound Connection Entertainment, compiled an exclusive inventory of invitation-only offerings for momentous occasions just like Jared’s once-in-lifetime celebration.

From the video-recap below and from all the gorgeous photographic artistry by our “two-of -a kind” photographer friends, Wendy Robinson and Maurcio Lemonk, you can see the difference of what a Signature Event looks like.

You’ll notice the customized staging, personalized lightscaping, distinctive decor, exceptional performances, featured musicians, tastefully-interactive entertainers, incomparable mixology, classy event facilitation,  and most notably…  Jared feeling like a “King for a Day” and his family and friends having the “most amazing night” of their lives.

Best wishes to Vicki, Howard, Ryan and Jared.  Thank you for letting us share in your joy and fireworks. It was truly, our pleasure. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank you again for your additional generosity and hospitality after the event.  As I’ve said in the past, not only do I have one of the best jobs in the world, I’m very fortunate to work with a first class clientele.

If you are interested in stacking the deck and achieving dramatically different results, Jason and I would be happy to schedule a Signature design session with you. For those willing to invest accordingly, contact us at 732-547-1677 or 732-749-3223.

Encore Gallery:

Signature Collaboration – MMP + SCE – Bar Mitzvah – 2011 from Sound Connection Entertainment on Vimeo.

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