Encore at the Atrium- It’s a Beautiful Day for a Beautiful Bride

Jill, the beautiful bride.How do you make your wedding fun, unique and memorable? Former brides will tell you, it’s not easy, you need to personalize it. If it happens to be sunny and 78 degrees with no humidity on your big day, that’ll definitely help the cause too. With a little help from mother nature, Jill and Adam planned a fairytale wedding and enjoyed one of the best days of their lives.

Fun- Jill and Adam brought in the 10-piece band, Encore, to collaborate with us.  This took the entertainment value of the dance sets to the next level.  Encore pumped up the crowd with their interactive Motown, disco and 80’s medleys while we focused on providing the Master of Ceremonies services, playing the original version of the wedding song and parents’ dances, directing the on-site, event coordination with the staff of the Atrium and designing the lighting to enhance the evening’s ambiance.  Thanks to the professionalism of Tony, the band leader, and Maryann,  Shawn and Siroos from the Atrium, the evening’s flow was seamless.

Unique- Many brides have danced with their brothers before, but Jill had the  brilliant idea of dedicating a song and dancing with not only her brothers, John & Scott, but her two new brothers-in-law,  Jason and Steven, as well.   She asked me to make a custom mix of four songs, one minute for each brother that represented their personality and relationship.  Jill chose Coldplay’s Brothers and Sisters, Josh Groban’s You Raise Me Up, Randy Newman’s You Got A Friend In Me, and Frank Sinatra’s Come Fly With Me.   It was  a very sweet moment that showed Jill’s thoughtfulness and originality.

Adam and JillMemorable- Just when you thought that grooms don’t show any heart or give people the warm fuzzies anymore, Adam delivered in fine fashion.  After the cake cutting, Adam asked for the mic and offered up a poignant toast to Jill.  Without getting too sappy, he let everyone know that there was no other place he’d rather be in the world than right there in the moment with his beautiful wife. As planned, we played I Believe In You and Me by the Four Tops for Jill and Adam right after… Contrary to popular belief, romance is still alive and well.

Another nice touch was provided by Linda Stark, of Stark Studios in Wayne, who shared her magnificent photos for this blog entry.  Linda set up her laptop outside the ballroom to display some her favorite shots of the wedding day leading up to the reception.   Throughout the reception, collective ooh’s and awe’s could be heard from the little nook where the photos were being displayed. According to the mother-of-the-bride, Angela, “Linda was a pleasure to work with and didn’t miss a significant moment.”  Jill with her flower girl and jr. bridesmaid

When choosing your professional vendors, it’s really important that you have a personality match with them.   This is crucial for reducing your stress level and increasing your peace of mind on a day which you only get one shot at. Especially with your photographer who you spend the most time with the day of and after the event.

The evening wrapped up with an impressive Viennese  display for dessert which took place outside on the Atrium’s terrace and Encore’s  final dance set when guests re-entered the ballroom.   As the band had the whole room jamming to We Are Family, we recognized the Rubinetti’s and Hodge’s one more time  and ended with the crowd cheering for the newlyweds.

If the hug that I got seconds later from Mrs. Rubinetti was any indication, a beautiful day was had by all.

Jeanne and Jeff Enjoy an October Moon at the Charthouse

The CharthouseJeanne and Jeff’s wedding reception was held at The Charthouse in Weehawken, New Jersey, a venue known for its breathtaking view of the New York City skyline.

Candle-lit First DanceThey had a picture-perfect October evening, allowing all of the guests to enjoy cocktails outside on the patio overlooking the Hudson River.

One of the highlights of the evening was their candlelit, first dance as husband and wife. During the Grand Entrance, the staff from the Charthouse lit individual candles for each guest.

By the time I introduced Mr. & Mrs. Jeff and Jeanne Albanese, the ballroom lights came down, our spotlight focused on the center of the dancefloor and all of the guests stood in a romantic tribute.

They chose You and Me by Kenny Chesney for their wedding song. That moment looked like something you’d see in a movie.

dsb2Another highlight was seeing 200 people dancing and singing along to our remix of Don’t Stop Believin by Journey. You gotta love The Sopranos for bringing back a classic to mainstream pop culture.

Share A Kiss and Hold Hands

80th-annivesray2

Married 80 Years! Percy and Florence Arrowsmith

***Associated Press Writer, Jaime Holguin, shared this story with the world a few years back.  My friend, and MMP contributing blogger, Kelly O’Neil, brought his article to my attention yesterday.  I thought my future bride & grooms and returning couples would appreciate the advice.   ~m

Percy Arrowsmith, 105, and his 100-year-old wife were married on June 1, 1925. They met at their church in Hereford in western England, where he sang in the choir and she was a Sunday school teacher.

Queen Elizabeth II sent her congratulations to the Arrowsmiths, who celebrated their anniversary at home with coffee and snacks and with family and friends.

“What a splendid achievement. I send you my warm congratulations and best wishes for your 80th wedding anniversary,” the Queen’s card said.

The Arrowsmiths, who have three children, six grandchildren and nine great grandchildren, claim the key to their long marriage is not to go to sleep on an argument. They say they always kiss each other and hold hands each night before going to bed.

“He can’t settle down if I’m not holding his hand,” Florence Arrowsmith was quoted as saying last month.

The couple’s daughter Jane Woolley said her parents were both “very perky.”

“She says she can’t dance any longer but it feels good to have been married for 80 years,” Woolley said. “She says she can still have a drink.”

Guinness World Records said the pair held records for the longest marriage for a living couple and the oldest aggregate age of a married couple.

***In case you need a refresher course on the fine art of kissing, watch this clip..  I bet Percy and Flo had most of these Dvd’s in their collection. ~m

p.s  I know people will be asking for the song that was used in the montage…  It’s a great track by Ronan Keating, When You Say Nothing At All.

A Little Good Luck and Rock & Roll for Derek and Sara

indoor-ceremonyThe Farrington Manor in East Brunswick, NJ, is known for its beautiful outdoor grounds and lake-front cocktail hours.  They are not known however for their ability to guarantee perfect weather. As far as I know, no other venue has that super-power either.

What Ron and the staff of the Farrington did have was the perfect back-up plan, a ballroom adorned with floor to ceiling windows providing a gorgeous view of the scenery.  Ron orchestrated a smooth ceremony to cocktails to reception transition utilizing the vast interior locations of his venue.  All of the guests stayed dry, comfortable and enjoyed the entire celebration as if it was sunny and 80 degrees. Wherever you decide to book your wedding reception, it’s a good idea to inquire about your venue’s plan b.

boyswill-be-boysPerhaps it was because he knew it meant good luck if it rains on your wedding day, but Derek was one of the calmest grooms I’d ever seen… or maybe it was because he knew he found his soulmate in Sara and that the absence of sunshine could never take that away. I did his brother Craig’s wedding five years ago and he was the same way with his wife, Jenny.  Calm, cool and collected.  After catching up with their parents, Paula and Bill,  during the reception, I remembered where they get it from.

kieth-kennysara-and-flower-girl-kaylaSara and Derek are good friends with Keith Kenny, an uber-talented song writer and musician who just won Asbury Park’s Male Acoustical Act of the Year Award. Keith did a set after dinner that included a mix of Classic Rock and Blues covers with a few originals sprinkled in.  The guests, especially Derek and Sara, loved it.  From his first guitar riffs of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s, Pride & Joy, I knew Keith was going to take this wedding to the next level.

made-it-officialOn a personal note, whoever  said that “the  pen is mightier than the sword” wasn’t kidding.  The officient’s pen ran out of ink after the ceremony when they were about to sign the marriage documents so he came to me and asked if he could borrow mine.  I knew what his intentions were so I was embarrassed that my good pen, the one I use for appointments and signing contracts,  was at home.  All I had was an old school black and white Bic to offer him.  He laughed and said “that’ll do just fine.” So now this pen has been carefully placed in my “career memoirs” storage unit for safe keeping.  Who knew that this unassuming pen would someday be used to officially seal the deal for two very special people… pretty cool, huh?   I love my job.

Marco’s Walk-off Communion in the Palazzo Ballroom at the Venetian

Sean "Big Daddy" MckeeThis year, the Yankees debuted their new stadium to the delight of fans everywhere.  This year, the Venetian debuted their new Palazzo Ballroom to the delight of life-celebrators  everywhere.  So imagine how happy you’d be if you were Marco Siracusa, you’re a huge Yankee fan and you’re having your Communion in the Palazzo!

I Just Wanna Bang On The Drum All DayIt was only a year ago that Marco’s brother Gerry had his Communion at the Venetian, an event that was called a “Grand Slam” by all that attended.  Their parents, Gerlando and Nellie Siracusa, had a tough act to follow.  How do you create another unforgettable experience at the same venue for your other son?

Photo MontageSimple.  First, you start with a budget that would impress George Steinbrenner... then, the Venetian has the grand opening of their jaw-dropping new ballroom just in time for your reception, you add in special guest performances by DJ of the Year 2007, Sean “Big Daddy” Mckee, and professional percussionist, Howie Bongo, you set up Dance Heads, Rock Band Extreme, the Interactive Game Show, Wii Sports and a Yankee- themed Pitch Speed Cage, you make arrangements for a huge candy cart to roll out after the flaming dessert presentation, and you call us back to produce the event again. Like a 6-4-3 double play with Jeter at short stop, the team effort made it look easy.

CandylandThe highlights included Marco, Gerry, Uncle Joe and the Godfather, Joey D. doing a percussive jam session on the drums, Marco & Gerry performing a family favorite, the Burger Dance, and the custom photo montage that Gerlando put together. Setting up the projection screen in addition to the plasmas and utilizing the dance platforms as chairs for the kids made for an enjoyable theater-like experience.

Dance HeadsMarco’ s family is a lot like mine and many others who we have the honor to celebrate with,  they could have a great time with an old boom-box in the living room. However, when you combine an awesome crowd, with a first-class venue and exceptional entertainment, it’s like getting the call to move up from a t-ball  league to the majors.

Special thanks to Jeff & Jason for their collaborative-interactive efforts and as always to Dave, Jimmy, Adriatik and Carlos from the Veneitian for their hospitality and professionalism.

Encore Gallery:

Candy CartRock Band ExtremeHarry BongoYankee Pitch Cage

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