Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy 15th Valentine's Wedding Anniversary to all my Mohegan Sun Brides

In 1997, I entered the world of event planning in a way I had never imagined.  While working as the Director of Advertising and PR at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, I was approached with an idea by a local radio station (WKSS 95.5FM) to conduct a mass wedding in the central lounge of the Casino on Valentine's Day.  Here, 95 couples would simultaneously say "I Do", having been married and blessed by the tribal chief and medicine man.  I thought they were nuts.  Then, I thought I was nuts that I agreed to this massive promotion and undertaking.  In the end, I would have been nuts not to agree to this idea. 

On that day, I watched so many couples come forward - some to renew their vows, and others to tie the knot for the first time.  Regardless, all came forward with excitement on their faces, and love in their eyes as they shared in a truly magical experience.  Yet our goal was to make them feel like the event was just for them, even though it was en masse and even though we were not bonafide wedding planners either.   My staff and I had such fun creating their individualized receptions with Brunch for the couple and their invited guests, and individual mini wedding cakes created by the masterful pastry chefs.  As most planners specialize in, we stretched the minimal budget and turned the ordinary into an extraordinary for a stress free and memorable afternoon.   The wedding bug bit me big time that day. 

So when people ask me how I got started in this business, and can I handle a large wedding filled with lots of emotion and details, I wryly smile and think back on this day and think, "Yes, I DO believe I've earned my planner badge". 

Now fifteen years later, I often wonder how these couples are doing.  I wish I would have taken a photo!  Alas, these were the days of the brick sized cell phones...and as a Casino Director and a very young one at that, I was more worried about what my boss thought of the PR & marketing, then of a future blogpost (blogs weren't around then either).  So alas, all I have is this news article written by the Hartford Courant re: the very same event we did the following year on Friday the 13th.  95 Couples simultaneously marry

Happy 15th Anniversary to these special couples!  And thanks to all my Mohegan Sun pals (you know who you are) who helped me pull this event off.  I could never have done this without you.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

2012 - Year of the "Blog"

My New Year's Resolution - okay, so I'm a month behind give or take - is to get back to my blogging which nearly went the way of the dodo last year.   And now with our new found love in Pinterest, this could be a dicey commitment.   Yes, an event planner with commitment issues - doh!
One of the hurdles was the time it took to post everything in separate spots.  On the blog, link to site, link to Facebook, now Twitter, etc. etc.  But now I do believe I've stumbled upon the key to having it all update automatically.   Ah, the power of apps on Facebook.