What's New & Extreme in Weddings

By Madeline Daryadel Founder/Director, Wedding QuickQuote | August 03, 2014

Co-authored by Mark Sonder, Chief Entertainment Officer, Mark Sonder Productions, Inc

Concert Feel

Bring in headline entertainment with concert like sound reinforcement and lights and, yes, the bride will still be the most beautiful one at her wedding and still be the center of attention when a musical headliner bows to the bride. We're speaking about acquiring your own star to perform at your wedding. You will need a band and/or DJ, to keep your family and friends rockin'all night long. Whether you enjoy the classic rock sounds of The Fifth Dimension performing, "Wedding Bell Blues" to Ahmir doing "The Wedding Song," or go with Above and Beyond; cabaret's Andrea Marcovicci who appeared in The Wedding of Iphegenia or Ann Hampton Calloway whom Streisand has recorded several of Ann's songs including "I've Dreamed of You," which she sang to James Brolin at their wedding, to Billy Idol and his "White Wedding." What about heartthrob Michael Bolton? If the Rolling Stones can do a Bar Mitzvah, then... Just call your favorite agent to arrange to have your once-in-a-lifetime reception be a once-in-a-lifetime special event. Rock the night away….Think 3 hour RECEPTION: Stage, big dance floor, cocktail seating with high tops, 2 hr. open bar with signature wedding beverage, strobe lighting, great speakers. Food= heavy hors d'oeuvres, snacks on the tables, cheese, fruit & vegetable platters, pasta, sushi and carving station. Close the bar, cut the cake, roll in the dessert station along with Cordials and flavored coffee. What a blast, say good night.

A Beach Wedding with a Pirate Touch

Ahhh, the sun, the sand, the bare feet, your spouse by your side and a slight breeze fills the air. You can keep it casual, pass some drinks, hors d'oeuvres, cut the cake and call it a day. OR create an action dream. Keeping the sandn’surf theme there's the original beach music by The Drifters. Remember "Under The Boardwalk," and of course, "This Magic Moment."

Another thought, while at the beach who can think of the sea without thinking of Captain Jack Sparrow? (with the song by The Lonely Island). Yes, I am submitting to you Pirate Entertainment! As the New York Times reported on December 27, 2013 writing about The Greatest Pirate Story (N)ever Told, "How do you describe a show whose script changes with every performance?" Have these pirates listen to your story and build a performance around it. Your guests will be captivated. Aaarr!

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Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.