As an event planner for nonprofits and corporations, it’s always a challenge to find new and innovative event ideas. Businesses are looking to entertain clients and conduct team building events and nonprofits are always in search of the next great “gala” idea. When Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding Producer Joe Corcoran reached out to me to join the promotion team, I thought this would be a terrific opportunity to get the inside scoop on such an iconic show. From a planner’s perspective, Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding is an exciting, interactive, totally unique venue for a special event, but I had to see for myself. I gathered a group of family, friends and clients for their first performance before a live audience.
As we congregated before the ceremony, everyone was chatting and catching up, excited to see what the evening would bring. Before we knew it, Tony’s handsome groomsmen were mingling with us and psyching Tony up for his big walk down the aisle. Next, as we descended the winding staircase at Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar, we were greeted by the fabulous Loretta Black who is co-owner and proprietor with her husband Vinnie Black of Vinnie Black’s Coliseum, the “it” place for weddings, according to Loretta. After we were ushered to our seats for the reception we had the opportunity to mingle with the other members of the wedding party. Uncle Louie will plop himself down at your table and give you the business and Grandma Nunzio will make sure you are up to date on her new hip. Before long, you really forget that you and your friends are there for a show and feel like you are a guest at a real wedding…full of crazy people.
The experience is immersive, fun and constantly changing based on where you are sitting, standing or dancing. Bridesmaids and groomsmen ask you to get up and dance. Tina’s mother compliments your “smoking hot dress” and Tony’s father, well, he’s very smooth.
Social media plays a big role in the production as well. Flat screen TVs are positioned around the room featuring the guests’ live tweets and Instagrams with customizable hashtags. Guests can party in person and in the Twittersphere.
The beautiful thing about the Tony n’ Tina experience is that it can be customized for any group. How special would it be for the CEO or honoree to give a toast to the bride and groom or have a VIP client dance with the mother of the bride? Nonprofits planning their next big fundraiser should consider Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding instead of the usual sit-down gala. Something new and exciting is always a draw for attendees and sponsors. The nonprofits and their sponsors can get their message or products promoted during the wedding in a creative way. The possibilities are endless and that’s what makes it so exciting.
At the end of the night, my group left with their heads spinning and big smiles. Mission accomplished.