“I actually love the Atrium; I never even knew it existed,” said wedding social attendee, Nicole Talarico. “I love being able to see each different vendor that you need for a wedding; it’s all here. You can plan your whole wedding!”
Rich’s Atrium became the backdrop for The Make Your Moment Wedding Social 2020, Where Rich Entertainment Group’s second annual wedding showcase featured 23 exclusive internal and external vendors, with seven rounds of prize giveaways every 15 minutes throughout the course of the two-hour event.
As attendees entered into the vast space of Rich’s Atrium, the words “Make Your Moment” illuminated the focal fireplace that overlooked the room, framed by white cloths that draped along the ceiling expanse. A multi-tiered wedding cake stood in the middle of the dance floor – in the middle of the excitement and ideas of wedding planning. 400 guests became a part of the Rich’s family that night. Diverse couples with different desires and interests for their wedding day filled the room and were able to seek advice from the wedding experts to plan their own weddings that would leave long-lasting memories.
Various vendors, including a florist, a bridal boutique, a DJ, live musicians, and photographers showed their curated displays, in hopes of inspiring attendees with ideas for their special day. Vendors were specially chosen by Rich Entertainment Group’s team with businesses that they had worked with in the past. “We are an exclusive event where we only have one vendor per category,” Steve Guagliardi, Director of Catering and Event Design, Rich’s Catering & Special Events, said. “Every vendor gives away a prize for their actual business.”
“The vendors are personal; it’s not just somebody talking to a space of people,” said wedding social attendees, Brittany Bingold and Jonathan Peck. “They’re asking us what we’re actually interested in. You get to approach the vendors instead of feeling like it’s all about sales.”
Many different table arrangements were on display as well, to highlight the experiences that couples can have on their wedding days. The table displays featured examples from a rustic rectangular arrangement with wooden accents, to a posh circular table with a black tablecloth with gold accents.
“My favorite part about working this wedding social is meeting new couples and really seeing what their ideas are for their weddings and learning more about them,” Maureen Latone, Catering Sales & Event Planning Manager for Rapids Theatre, said. “We have so many different venues that we can offer them, so regardless of their taste there is somewhere we can find that they like, whether they’re interested in the Atrium which a little more industrial looking, or the Rapids which is perfect for music lovers. With something like this, we have so many different types of people here so we can talk to them and figure out what is best for them.”
Personal touches were added throughout the event to enjoy and potentially choose to have at their own weddings. Guests were able to experience hand-passed hors d’oeuvres, appetizer and cheese displays, and fully stocked drink and pretzel bars. Guests even enjoyed martinis layered with pictures of their faces on them.
“Everything is live: it’s not just a list of items,” Kim Mossburg and Walter Diaz said. “They have tables to visualize the examples. It’s very experiential: you can see how it is. We’re having our wedding here and we already did our wedding planning meeting, but this gives us even more of a visual.”
The three grand prizes were presented by Rich Entertainment Group in the form of a free two-tiered wedding cake from Cookie Patisserie & Bakery, a three-night, four-day all-inclusive stay at Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun from The Travel Team and a $15,000-value wedding reception from Rich’s Catering & Special Events.
Rebecca Pietrasik and Kyle Polanski were excited to hear their names called as the winners of the cake from Cookie and had already decided they wanted a dusty blue cake. They immediately started talking with Heather Hammer, head pastry chef and Cookie manager, about their vision.
“There was a time when the season naturally dictated the wedding cake design but more and more, I’m seeing couples designing their cake around their personalities or their favorite colors, despite the season,” said Heather. “Based on what a couple tells us, we are able to customize an option that’s right for them and even if the couple is not sure what they want yet, during the consultation I can help guide them in the right direction.”
The next grand prize was the trip from The Travel Team, and aside from giving away a trip, The Travel Team offered expert advice on honeymoon planning.
“They get consultative services from us; we can tell them when the best time is to go within their budget,” Ron Luczak, Vice President of Business Development for The Travel Team, said. “We get to know the couple and we lead them to where they think they should go and often they agree.”
Stacie Ruppel and David Varallo were the recipients of that prize, and it gave them a chance to do something they’ve never done before.
“We’ve never been outside the U.S. and Canada, so this is giving us the opportunity to travel abroad,” Stacie and David said. “This will be a good break from everything, a chance to get away and enjoy.”
The last grand prize was the wedding reception in Rich’s Atrium, and for the guests in attendance, the announcement was the moment they all waited for.
For Kaitlin O’Connor, Rexford Howard and their little son Mason, hearing their names as the winners was the most incredible news; the couple erupted in tears and shouts of joy. The firework display by Skylighters Fireworks lit up around them, as Steve Guagliardi, Director of Catering and Event Design, Rich’s Catering & Special Events, awarded the couple with a giant check for their grand prize.
“The entire night was perfect,” Kaitlin O’Connor said. “I heard my name, and I was thinking, ‘Holy cow, this is not happening!’ We’re so grateful and thankful!”