Christina and Raf Castro at The Legacy Castle: “You Worked So Hard to Make Everything Perfect, and It Was”

From their kitchen table to the The Legacy Castle, I love it when a plan comes together.
Cheers to Christina and Raf! ? It was an honor to help you make this day happen. ?
Special thanks to Michelle from #TheLegacyCastle and Marissa from Detailed Events By Lo for making this another exceptional collaboration.
And a shout out to Jason Nelson for bringing his positive energy and awesome talent to the celebration.

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

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.

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!”

“Facilitators and Resources” – Event Solutions Magazine Endorses the Wedding Entertainment Director

Event Solutions Magazine, Fall 2011 issue

In their September issue that features the likes of Preston Bailey and David Tutera, Event Solutions Magazine spotlights Wedding Entertainment Directors in their “Emerging Trends ” portfolio.

My good friend, and fellow Entertainment Director from Minnesota, Bill Hermann, was interviewed for the piece and did a stellar job speaking  on behalf of the Wedding Entertainment Directors Guild.    Having my application accepted back in 2007 was a career highlight and still being the only member from the tri-state area to qualify continues to be a significant way for MMP’s clients to differentiate my offerings from other qualified talent they may be considering.

If you or someone you know is getting married and needs help producing a Wedding celebration that is a true reflection of your personality and style, if you like the concept of entertainment with elegance, and if you are willing to invest accordingly, contact us at 973-366-9776 or to schedule a design session.  I’m at your service, -mp.

Below is a text reprint from the Event Solutions Magazine article.

"Emerging Trends" article from Event Solutions Magazine, Fall 2011

“DJs have pretty much taken over the wedding reception as the primary entertainment of the event for the past 25 years. But there’s a new trend just emerging that takes the DJ concept to a higher—and classier—level.

It’s a phenomena known as the wedding entertainment director. There are only 20 or so of these professionals currently working in the fledgling industry, and they appear to be keeping pretty busy.

More than just DJs, most of these folks have roots in the entertainment industry and they are experts in engaging audiences of all ages, creating an interactive event that puts the couple at the center and in the spotlight. “My goal is to make sure the guests know more about the couple than when they came to the wedding,” says Bill Hermann, who entertains at weddings all over the United States “The objective is to touch, move and inspire by using storytelling and music to engage everyone from the flower girl to Grandma, and everyone in between.”


Part of the problem with traditional DJs, according to Mark Ferrell, a consultant who provides workshops to aspiring wedding emcees and entertainers, is that a “bad” DJ can essentially ruin an event that has taken sometimes-years to plan and save for. Often caught up in their own performance, and ignorant of how to pull in a diverse audience, they often are a reason “…everyone leaves after the cake is cut,” says Ferrell.

Wedding Entertainment Director's Guild Logo

The wedding entertainment director is trained to perform various functions. First he or she serves as an emcee for the event, helping the wedding planner to keep things on track, guiding the wedding party and guests through the experience and making sure the couple is the center of attention. The director typically spends hours getting to know the couple and other key members of the wedding party through questionnaires and meetings. “We have to like each other for it to work,” says Hermann.


The wedding entertainment director can also advise and facilitate other types of entertainment, depending on the couple. This can involve creative involvement, music programming, and providing sound systems for the event. “They are essentially facilitators and resources,” explains Ferrell.

The Wedding Entertainment Directors Guild is an organization for many of these professionals.”

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


Grace Under Pressure: Robbie Britton Impresses at ArmDjs 4.0

R.I.P Mr. Squirrel

Conference Producer- Robbie Britton

If you’re in the middle of producing a jammed packed two-day business conference and a curious squirrel somehow finds its way inside the hotel’s transformer- which subsequently blows up the transformer, causes the entire hotel to lose power- and obviously sends the little varmint to an early grave…. what would you do?      Some people would panic, some would start to make excuses and then some people, like Robbie Britton, would keep their cool, inform the attendees of the back-up plans, and then proceed to get a generator from their personal work vehicle to restore power to the essential audio/visual components within the hour.

As luck would have it, seasoned professional speaker, Rick Brewer, was on stage when the outage occurred.  Without skipping a beat, Rick continued his insightful presentation sans microphone and power point slides.  Robbie and his crew got the power restored in time for Rick to wrap up his excellent marketing advice regarding the psychology behind designing  appealing package options for your clients and to show a highly impactful video clip that gets me every time I see it.

Wedding Toasts Made Easy

That afternoon, I had the chance to sit down for lunch with Rick and Tom Haibeck, author the book, Wedding Toasts Made EasyIf you’ve ever been to an elegant reception, gala or intimate dinner where the best man or person giving the toast was…  let’s just say… less than stellar- to put it nicely, that’s the reason Tom’s book has sold over 100,000 copies and people like Regis Philbin used it to prepare for his daughter’s wedding. After Tom’s presentation,  I bought a case of his books (that Tom was gracious enough to autograph) and couldn’t wait to give a signed copy to the next bride and groom that I met with.   This past week, I had a consultation with Jackie and Rody, who just hired me to Emcee their wedding reception for July of 2012.  They mentioned that the Best Man and Maid of Honor might want to propose a toast so I gave them a copy for each.  Look for Wedding Toasts Made Easy to be featured in an upcoming “Marcello Recommends” article.

As always, I gave Jackie and Rody a copy of The Best Wedding Reception…Ever! as well.  Peter Merry, TBWRE’s author, was also a featured presenter at the Armdjs conference.  Like his book,  Merry revealed some unique ideas that we can pass along to our engaged couples with regards to personalizing the  entertainment and tastefully highlighting traditional moments.

Customer Service A to Z

David Louis, who flew all the way from Hawaii to join the Tennessee roster, introduced a genius concept that I’ll be incorporating very soon to assist the 1/2 of MMP’s newly-engaged couples that usually need more help than the other…  David created a Groom’s Workshop.   There’s tons of information and resources out there for the brides, but not so much for the grooms.  If you’re a groom-to-be and would like to know… “What do I do now??!!” after you make an awesome proposal that’s worthy of a bazillion hits on youtube…  contact us at 973-366-9776 to schedule a private workshop.   And if you’re a bride who wants to sign up your future hubby so he doesn’t screw anything up, you can call us too and we’ll help you sign him up. These workshops are complimentary for our clients and simply considered part of the customer service level that MMP clients can expect when working with us.

Fellow Wedding Entertainment Director’s Guild board member and author of Customer Service A to Z, Larry Williams, went pretty deep into the finer points of customer care and hospitality during his session.   It was quite evident that he practices what he preaches…  His good friend and mentor, the legendary Dick Clark, has unfortunately been under the weather lately.  Larry arranged for several of us to record video get well cards for Mr. Clark to help raise his spirits. Larry knew that a situation like this required more than a generic Hallmark card.  It was a very classy and thoughtful gesture.

Running Your Multi-Op

The ArmDjs conference gave attendees numerous ways to go above and beyond the public perception of the norm and the status quo.  Industry veteran, and one of the most talented performers I’ve seen in action, Todd Mitchem, drove this point home when he warned the audience not to become a Ferrari on the Freeway.  It’s a ‘reality bites’ type of expression that I learned as a kid through a basic sports example.   If you are an exceptional athlete in high school, chances are you’re going to be in good company when you get to college.  Meaning:  You ain’t that special kiddo.  And if you happen to be fairly awesome compared to your university counterparts, don’t celebrate until you get to the pro leagues because again, there are already some incredible athletes out there.   Now, if you manage to stand out in the Major Leagues, the NFL or the NBA… then you can pop the champagne and celebrate a little.  THEN,.. If you can combine your uber-athleticism with intellect, social graces and business savvy… you’ve earned the title of a Ferrari on the F1 (Formula One) circuit.

Author of his first book release, Running Your Multi-Op, Mike Walter, who we featured here on the MMP Blog last month, should have rented a Ferrari to get to Tennessee to give his seminar.  Instead of flying out from New Jersey, he chose to break-in his new car and drive 10 hours to avoid one of his pet-peeves…  a connecting flight.   Fortunately,  in addition to being one of the most successful businessmen in the mobile dj world, he’s also a marathon runner- so he still had plenty of energy when it was showtime. The attendees expected Mike to dish out a lot of training and management-related nuggets from his book like he normally does when he’s on the speaking circuit, but they (and I) were also treated to video examples regarding common performance-related pitfalls that Emcees can avoid.  Essentially, knowing when to say something is just as important as knowing what to say.

Keynote Speaker best-selling author, Michael Port with Featured Presenters- Patrick Henry and Marcello Pedalino

While we’re on the subject of  good timing, I want to thank my friend, Alan Trisler, for sharing his photo coverage of the event. Like all great photographers,  he knows how to be in the right place at the right time.

 As we often do when we are brought in to speak at the same conference, Mike and I met up before the seminars began on day one to start the morning off with a nice run.  (We always invite everyone to join us, but it’s usually just us who end up meeting in the lobby at sunrise.)  I’d have to say that this run was one of the most memorable in the 10 years we’ve known each otherCheck out Mike’s running journal for the detailed recap.

As a father, something that was said that I’ll  never forget was delivered by Gitomer Cerified Speaker standout, Patrick Henry.   This was the second time I’ve had the pleasure of watching Patrick light-up the stage with his musical anecdotes that strike a sharp and humorous chord with his audience, but this was the first time I’d heard him say this…  “Some nights, I’ll be holding my beautiful baby daughter, Meredith, in my arms.  And all I can think about when I look into her gorgeous blue eyes is… Please don’t grow up to be a skank!” It was hysterical.   I don’t really tweet that often, but this one had to be shared with other fathers and anyone else in the world who needs a good laugh.  And if you appreciate this type of real-world humor with an edge like Patrick’s tweetable moment, check out Tina Fey’s prayer for her daughter from her new book, Bossypants.


Alan Trisler captures Marcello Pedalino presenting, "Energy" at the ArmDjs 4.0 Business and Performance Conference

When I think of professional goals, Book Yourself Solid, which was written by the Keynote speaker, Michael Port, can easily be considered one of the entrepreneurial bibles that I looked to in my formative years for insight and inspiration. His “Red Velvet Rope” philosophy is right in line with my business model and hard-earned company reputation.  Port gave an enthusiastic presentation that featured one gem after another on the subjects of marketing and branding.   No notes or slides necessary.   I guess that’s one of the perks of being considered an expert in your field and being the author of a NY Times Best Seller… the ability to effortlessly speak on your specialty subject matter becomes second nature.   Just fly to the next destination, engage, teach and wrap it up with a standing ovation.    Highlights from his seminar included Michael telling the famous, “If you try to please everyone, you might as well kiss your ass goodbye” story and his strong recommendation that you focus your efforts on “commitment and fulfillment” and “sharing information and compassion” when you are looking to build a deeper relationship with prospects and colleagues you already know.

The chance to see Port in person was very exciting.  The opportunity to speak with him for 15 minutes after his presentation was exhilarating.  And now that I’m kinda out of big adjectives, the fact that by chance Mr. Port and I sat next to each other on a connecting return flight home from Tennessee to Charlotte and talked about everything from the economy and the UFC, to the politics of politics and Donald Trump, to cross training, yoga and how to travel fashionably...well.. let’s just say… WOW!-  Life is pretty cool sometimes. And as if I needed another cherry on top,  Mr.  Port extended a  very gracious  lunch invitation for sometime in the near future. How surreal would it be to break bread at the home of one of your literary idols?

Marcello Pedalino presenting at ArmDjs 4.0

I’m delighted to report that my performance workshop on Energy, “The World Belongs to the Energetic,” was well received by the  attendees and that a lot of positive feedback has been buzzing around the industry’s social media outlets.

These are two comments that came in via MMP’s Facebook Page:

“I traveled to attend this event from New Zealand. I loved Marcello’s presentation.” -David Seel, The Perfect Wedding, NZ


Marcello Pedalino shows attendees how "the world belongs to the energetic"

I have been a DJ for 24 years and although I perform at over 250 Mobile Disc Jockey events every year I have chose not to attend DJ Conferences during my career…..until ARMDJs 2011. The presentation put on by Marcello and Mike Walter was the best 2 hour investment of my career. Marcello not only gave us great ideas but he demonstrated how to implement them first hand. He is truly a highly talented performer. Mike Walter has an incredible perspective on business and talked about the details of our job that really matter. I look forward to learning from these two pros again in the future!” -Rob Vollmar, Grant Hemond and Associates, FL

Special thanks to Mark Maillet, from Eternal Lighting Company, for spotlighting my stage performance with the sleek  Premier 120- LED fixture.  It really enhanced the over-all presentation and helped me demonstrate how professionals can use lightscaping and special effects to adjust the ambiance accordingly and raise the level of energy in any room.

2012 Keynote- Gary Vaynerchuk

Apparently, Robbie Britton already knows how to create energy, end an event on a high-note and leave a crowd wanting more.  Like a little kid on Christmas Eve who couldn’t wait to open his presents, Robbie finally showed everyone a video clip of  next year’s keynote speaker giving a pre-recorded teaser of what’s in store for ArmDjs 5.0 in the summer of 2012…    Gary Vaynerchuk, the author of Crush It and The Thank You Economy will be  bringing “the hustle” and “the thunder” in a “serious way” because “that how he rolls.”  The attendees (including yours truly) were totally amped.

See you next year!  -mp

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