I Got A Feeling: Isabella & Jay Get Married at The Manor

isabella-and-jay-2If you are looking for “the perfect place to get married,” the New York Times will point you in the direction of West Orange, NJ.  One of their top recommendations is The Manor, a picturesque estate that boasts formal gardens, timeless decor and classic elegance.

Without dating myself too harshly, my senior prom was held there when the Father of the Bride movie premiered on VHS.   If you haven’t seen it yet and need a sanity break from planning your wedding reception and a few laughs, rent it asap  (on DVD or On-demand of course).

Isabella and Jay had a gorgeous fall day for their wedding.  The grounds of the Manor looked exquisite as the guests arrived for the ceremony.  We worked with Reverend Mitchell, whose humor and polish created personalized and entertaining nuptials for everyone in attendance.  As always, we provided professional audio support including lapel microphones so the guests who were  seated more than two rows back could enjoy all of the special vows, musical selections and heart-warming moments.

the-manor2After an impressive cocktail hour in the Manor’s atrium, family and friends entered the ballroom to await Isabella and Jay’s grand entrance.  They were tapping their toes and snapping their fingers to the sounds of Michael Buble, Spiral Staircase, Michael McDonald, The Beatles, Michael Franti and Stevie Wonder.   After the bridal party was introduced with customized audio clips and pre-programmed lighting effects, Isabella and Jay came into a personalized edit of Paradise City, by Guns and Roses, which brought the energy of the room up to the next level.

Isabella and Jay chose Stuck on You by Lionel Ritchie for their wedding song, Daughter by Loudon Wainwright for the father-daughter dance and Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd for the mother-son dance.    One of the dance floor highlights was watching Isabella’s family doing a seven minute Hora before the main course was served.  I felt like I was doing a Bat Mitzvah; the guests were loving it.

After the cake cutting, which Isabella chose the 2nd verse of Your In My Heart by Rod Stewart to be played in the background, family and friends returned to the atrium to enjoy the Manor’s Viennese stations.

isabella-jay-13For the last dance, we played a crowd favorite to get all of the remaining guests back onto the dance floor.  It was I Gotta Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas. Isabella and Jay sang and danced along with their family and friends to end the night with everyone cheering for the brand-new Mr. and Mrs. McMahon.

It’s always a pleasure collaborating with the Manor.   Marwan Jurri, the maitre d’ and Jim Levinsky, the banquet manager, extended their hospitality throughout the evening and were instrumental in orchestrating a smooth reception.

Special thanks to Rich Janniello, from Ciro Photography, who shared his fantastic photos for this blog entry.  This was the first time we had the opportunity to team up.  Based on his professionalism, I hope we get to collaborate again soon.  Rich was always in the right place at the right time in an un-obtrusive manner.  We also had nice chat before the ceremony about why he always had three different cameras ready to go.  Rich explained why the right lens for the right moment is crucial and why having back-up equipment is paramount.   That’s the kind of event professional a bride and groom want to work with if they value peace of mind.

Encore Gallery:

isabella-and-jay-horaisabella-and-jay-the-ringsisabella-jay-l-o-v-e

Ryan’s Rock and Roll Fantasy at the Venetian

We were delighted to return to the Palazzo Ballroom for Ryan’s Bar Mitzvah.  After doing the Siracusa Communion there last week, my team couldn’t wait to perform in this magnificent ballroom at the Venetian once again.

mother-son-dance-large1After getting to know Ryan and his family, I was really excited as well.  From the initial meeting with the Schatzbergs to the final design session at their home, I knew this was going to be an exceptional event.

candle-speech-large1Ryan is a talented musician, a great athlete and not afraid to get funky on the dance floor. In addition to current hip hop and dance music, Ryan is also a big fan of classic rock.  His parents, Jen and Rich, were a lot more hip than your typical Bar Mitzvah hosts, they knew the perfect balance of telling me everything they wanted while respecting my ability to make significant suggestions and read the crowd. Speaking of the crowd, Jen was right, they danced to everything from The Rolling Stones to Pitbull.    Throw in future stand-out Bar Mitzvah boy, Ryan’s brother, Luke into the mix and you thank your lucky stars that you get to work with the coolest families and the nicest venues that this industry has to offer.

mom-and-brother-luke-large1In addition to the rock-themed centerpieces, and music programming, the classic rock vibe was all over Ryan’s event.  We made a customized version of the game show that included Name That Tune audio clips from bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Clash, Journey, The Who and Led Zepplin. (Sometimes, we have to cheat a little so the guest of honor does well during the interactive competition, Ryan kicked some serious butt on his own, even beating out most of the adults who played along.)

To show everyone that true rock and roll idols have a softer side, Ryan and his family made arrangements for all of the moms to get a beautiful long- stemmed, red rose during the Mother-Son Dance. After Rich made a heartfelt toast in Ryan’s honor, we handed the roses to the ladies in honor of Mother’s Day weekend.  It was a very classy move on the Schatzberg’s part.  Anytime you take the extra step to be considerate of your guests in a personalized way, your event evolves into a universal celebration where everyone feels connected and significant.

grand-entrance-large3The highlight of the day was Ryan’s grand entrance. As the spotlight followed his big reveal, Ryan came down the Palazzo’s awe-inspiring, dual staircase as we cranked up the chorus of Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen. It was a song that he mentioned as one of his favorites during the design session.  I knew it would come in handy.  Ryan’s family and friends sang their hearts out and cheered like he was a Rock Star making his way to the stage.   From there, we mixed in Rihanna’s Please Don’t Stop The Music and never looked back.

As always,  the Venetian team was on pointTheir work ethic and customer service is as impressive as their venue. We look forward to our next collaboration with Dave, Jimmy, Adriatik and Carlos.

Special thanks to Giulianna, from Giulianna Marie Studios, for providing the photos featured in today’s entry.  Many of my clients want a professional who is not only easy to work with, but who also has an unobtrusive shooting style while they capture the event highlights.  Giulianna has earned an excellent reputation in the industry for both her skill and on-site demeanor. Even more impressive, her clientel has been built without any adverting. Like us,  it’s been all word-of-mouth and venue referrals since the beginning.

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