How can you help enhance the ceremony and cocktail hour?
Providing music for the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception is certainly one of the services Tuscan Weddings & Events offers. Let me state it clearly: music is the pulse of life! Imagine a beautiful film without the musical score. Throughout history, professional musicians implement and help mark sensational milestone events such as weddings with live music. It adds a celebratory note and elegant nuances (when done right) that can’t be matched by recorded music (DJ).
Ceremonies tend to be long, so enhancing them with live music is without a doubt the best way to go. I feel the more music the better. This includes 20 minutes of pre-ceremony music while guests arrive, then ceremony preludes, a gathering song, the processional, recessional and post-ceremony music. I’ve performed at ceremonies where many parts of the mass are sung. Those are my favorites ceremonies because it’s a much more enjoyable and spiritual experience for the bridal couple and all in attendance.
To enhance the cocktail hour I suggest live music again. I feel it’s best if that music is kept to an ambient level, and so I strongly suggest no vocals, just one or two musicians, such as a piano or acoustic guitar plus a soloist, saxophone or flute, as guests and family will be chatting, mingling, laughing and enjoying Tuscan hand-passed hors d’oeuvres and beverages. For the reception, dancing and entertainment are the highlights, and this is where a great band (with top-notch musicians), dinner entertainment of classic Italian songs including arias from operas performed by a world-class tenor are essential. If the budget allows, the 5th hour is the time to have an experienced club DJ spin out the latest Euro dance hits. Through my studio production work with Martha Wash and José Feliciano's records, I have relationships with DJs and mixers that pack Manhattan’s top dance clubs. To bring it back down to a lounge feel in the cigar room, I suggest continued live music (a quartet) playing World Music, Jazz, Neapolitan, and Nuevo Flamenco.
What kind of mood does your music help create?
The mood I aim to create with my music is one that is passionate, blissful, elegant and professional. I have my own proprietary arrangements, charts and high-quality tracks that I bring to all my performances. After doing hundreds of these high-end Italian-American weddings and events at some of the most prestigious Manhattan and Long Island venues, such as Oheka Castle, The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, The Pierre, The Plaza, The St. Regis, The Manhattan Club, The Yale Club, The Harvard Club, Cipriani’s 42nd Street, The Ritz Carlton and The Rainbow Room, I have developed a unique style based on my sense of what generates the best response from the bridal couple and their guests. With the launch of Tuscan Weddings & Events I can now draw upon 20 years of experience and infuse my skills as a producer, entertainer, entrepreneur and connoisseur of all good things Italian with more control, flair and creativity. I believe when bridal couples think of the landscape, the lifestyle and the history of Tuscany, the prominent images that come to mind are the Italian Renaissance, exquisite architecture, lush picturesque landscapes, elegant romantic arias, music and culinary delights. With the increased level of interest in destination weddings to Italy, I can bring that level of exotic flair, elegant sophistication and creativity to the New York Tri-State area with my Tuscan Weddings & Events brand.
Not only does my music enhance the mood of the wedding/event, but one of the personal touches I bring to the table is my family’s Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Aged Balsamic Vinegar, both imported from Italy. The oil and vinegar can be used in many different ways at the wedding. A tasting station with Tuscan ceramic bowls and crusty Tuscan country bread can be enjoyed by all during the cocktail hour, or a cruet of Organic Olive Oil and Aged Balsamic Vinegar can be placed at each table for guests to enjoy during dinner or we can provide hand-crafted Florentine wedding boxes containing 25-year-old, Aged Balsamic Vinegar and Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil in beautiful Murano glass bottles as favors for the bridal party and guests to take home. The 25-year-old Aged Balsamic Vinegar and Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil are the staples of the hand-crafted gift box, to which we can then add other delectables, specialty wines and an Italian music CD. Guests love this wonderful favor because they get a chance to relive the Tuscan wedding experience again and again, any time they do a tasting at home or listen to the music. For bridal couples looking for a unique honeymoon vacation, I can offer my family’s charming villa vacation rental in southern Italy, Villetta Mimma Vittoria. Visit the website, indulge in the photo gallery, and read all about what other couples have raved about in our guestbook. www.VillettaMimmaVittoria.com
How can couples “customize” this type of music?
The wedding industry is another branch of the entertainment and hospitality industry. It’s human nature to entertain family and friends, build closer bonds and celebrate life’s milestones. Everyone has a vision of how their magical wedding day will unfold and while the bridal couple writes the script, I want to help fine-tune and plan it gracefully within the Tuscan theme, fully embracing their vision. As I mentioned, one of the services I offer is an original Italian song. At a key moment during the wedding this original song will be performed live and a framed copy of the lead sheet music of the song will be presented to the bridal couple. If a bridal couple were to be asked which celebrity they would like to have as a guest at their wedding, 8 out of 10 times they will say they want to have their favorite musical artist serenade them with a few songs.
Just like any other once-in-a-lifetime event, planning a wedding can be very stressful and a lot of hard work. I have to remind myself that we’re in a social business and the ‘A’ prize is meeting and working with wonderful and interesting people while helping them make their wedding dream come true. It’s like having a charting record, selling out a nightclub, or getting a critical album review … just in another key. This time the bridal couple has chosen you to direct or be a part of their dream. What more can one ask for?
I always invite potential clients to visit me in Manhattan (Chelsea) to view/listen to my work and ask questions. This is very important, to assure that there is good synergy.
How far in advance do couples have to book with you?
It's best to book as far in advance as possible to insure you get the services and date you want. Short notice can be okay too if I’m available to perform during a ceremony or a 30 minute performance set of classic Italian songs during the main course at dinner. For event planning and creating the Tuscan theme with flawlessness and meticulous detail, I make myself available to direct ten Tuscan weddings per year. My company and vendors are fully insured and I’m now taking appointments for wedding dates in 2010 and beyond, as my calendar is practically filled up already for 2009.
Note… a portion of the net proceeds made from Tuscan Weddings & Events benefits my private foundation www.LaDolceVitaFounation.org
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