Swing Into Spring Event at the Bently Reserve with AllSeated

In our ninth year of production, our annual celebration has become one of the most anticipated Bay Area event industry events. Receiving such recognition is not only rewarding but fires up our creative team to try and top the previous year. Needless to say, after the amazing and beautiful Suddenly Spring at the Bently Reserve last year, the team could not wait to begin scheming on how to WOW our fellow event professionals this year.

Rooted in showcasing the best of our talent while keeping experiential design (check out our Burning Man article regarding “XD”) top of mind, the team set out to take guests on a sensory journey back to Palm Springs circa the 1960’s. If you’re unfamiliar with the aesthetic of this glamorous time period, think Pop Art, geometrics, and mod muted color tones. We took a little more creative liberty by adding a few flamingos here and there—leaving the jello molds and fondue to things of the past.

Partnering with the Bently Reserve and AllSeated, we began the evening with a special VIP pre-party for our most esteemed wedding industry friends. With the creative collaboration and vision of the team at Glow Event Design, we fashioned the historic Sansome Lobby and Adriatic Room into a serene bridal lounge. California-cool in design with lush florals and banana leaves, guests were treated to an exclusive session with renowned event planning guru Mindy Weiss and our president, Natasha Miller. While guests mingled in the lobby with bubbles from BBC, bites from Barbara Llewellyn Catering and a gourmet cake bar by Global Gourmet Catering, our poet crafted instant prose for guests while our 1960s band, Project Pimento, wooed everyone into a lounge-like vibe.

VIP Lounge Designed by Glow Event Design. Photo © Misti Layne

Beautiful Car Bar by Global Gourmet Catering. Photo © Misti Layne

Our on-demand poet ready to craft verses for guests. Photo © Misti Layne

Project Pimento Band. Photo © Misti Layne

Once everyone took their seats, Natasha, Mindy and Sandy Hammer of AllSeated shared their thoughts on the significance of unique entertainment acts when it came to designing guest experiences. They also took questions from the audience, dispersing wisdom and bits of laughter throughout.

Mindy and Natasha discussing Entertainment and Experience Design. Photo © Misti Layne

After this intimate discussion ended, guests were invited to join the main party. Entering through the Battery Street Lobby, attendees cued up and waited as one of our retro flight attendants checked them in. Upon entrance, a 6-foot living champagne tower greeted guests with spirits, while our pilot for the evening, DJ “Captain” Cody brought guests back in time with Motown hits. In the PanAm-inspired airport Gateway lounge, Snap Fiesta captured passengers ready for take-off, while our Jewelry “Making” Bar encouraged attendees to adorn themselves with their own DIY mod necklaces.

Guests arrive in Battery Lobby with 6 ft. Living Champagne Tower. Photo © Jim Vetter

For veterans of our spring celebration, you’ll know that we love to create a sense of anticipation and suspense. We hold all of our attendees in the lobby until it’s time for the grand reveal. This year, our PanAm flight attendants led attendees into the main Banking Hall, welcoming all to Swing into Spring. As if preparing for take off, our flight attendants broke into their safety dance and were later joined by our dance band for the evening, The Klipptones.

Retro Flight Attendants dancing Safety Song. Photo © Jim Vetter

We brought in over 70 artists that evening – an unprecedented number for our company’s event. From the Giant Martini Glass with our beautiful go-go dancer to our colorful body-painted walk around characters, we not only aimed to engage all of our guests’ senses but to also inspire our industry to break the regular mold of event entertainment.

Photos © Jim Vetter

Our planning of this fete was almost as much fun as the mesmerizing evening itself. Almost.

We are so grateful to our incredible sponsors and artists whose generous contributions brought this event to life. We could not have done it without them and we hope you think of them first for your next event.

OUR EVENT SPONSORS

Producing + Venue Sponsor
The Bently Reserve

Producing Sponsors
AllSeated

A/V Sponsor
Elevate Productions

Catering Sponsors
49 Square Catering
Barbara Llewellyn Catering & Event Planning
The Hugh Groman Group
Ladies Who Lunch
Michi

Beverage Sponsors
Best Beverage Catering Company
Benziger Family Winery

Cake Bar
Global Gourmet Catering

Decor & Rental Sponsors
AFR
Napa Valley Linens
Suite Treatments
Classic Party Rentals
Event Drape Rental

Floral Sponsors
Amy Burke Designs
Kitani Floral Design

Photobooth Sponsors
Snap Fiesta

Photography Sponsors
Misti Layne Photography
Photogenic Events

Special Creative
VIP Bridal Suite Design by Glow Event Design
Mod Jewelry “Making” Bar by Very Mary Inspired 

Staff
The Party Staff

Graphics & PrintsS
ADMAC Digital Imaging

Media Sponsor
Modern Luxury

Give Away Sponsors:
Swift LLC
OTR Cocktails

If you joined us, we hope you were inspired. If you weren’t able to, make sure you don’t miss out next year. We’re already planning for 2018!

-Tesha

For more posts, make sure you check out our Facebook and our social media tag, #entirespring17.

What Burning Man Can Teach Special Events Professionals

"The Catacombs burning at sunrise was the largest burn at Black Rock City to date," - Account Executive, Morgan.

“The Catacombs burning at sunrise was the largest burn at Black Rock City to date,” Morgan.

For many creatives, late summer delivers the process and experience of Burning Man. When Entire team members Carina and Morgan returned from their trip to Black Rock City, they shared their reflections on how inspiring and impactful the annual arts festival could be for all special events professionals. Whether you had a chance to attend the weeklong festivities or not (more than 70,000 people attended this year’s), Burning Man offers the special events community insight on how our industry is transforming from a service-based economy to an experience-based economy. Here are three takeaways from the festival that we hope to bring into the new year:

Unique experiences involve sensory participation.
For “Burners”, a great part of the experience involves being in the desert of Black Rock City and taking on the physical effects of situating one’s self in an extremely different environment.

Our very own Director of Experience Design, Carina, in her "office in the desert”.

Our very own Director of Experience Design, Carina, in her “office in the desert”.

 

Playa bikes are THE main form of transportation. Innovation takes shape with this wind sail duo bike. (Photo taken by Morgan Smith)

Playa bikes are the main form of transportation. Innovation takes shape with this windsail duo bike. (Photo by Morgan Smith)

Long gone are the days of the dinner-show. Your event attendees are more likely to remember moments of your event when they are encouraged to touch, listen, smell, and taste.

Great events encourage vulnerability amongst attendees.
In its 30th cycle, Burning Man has created a distinct culture and community with many members returning year after year. With ten guiding principles, including gifting, civic responsibility, radical self-expression, and communal effort (via Burning Man.org) participants are involved in personal and intimate ways. 

Participants revel in the nostalgia of past times as they bounce through one of the largest installations, The Black Rock Lighthouse Service. (Photo by Jim Urquhart / Reuters in The Atlantic)

Participants revel in the nostalgia of past times as they bounce through one of the largest installations at Burning Man 2016, The Black Rock Lighthouse Service. (Photo by Jim Urquhart / Reuters in The Atlantic)

Participants dance and climb on art installation, Lord Snort. (Photo by Andrew Jorgensen in Fest 300)

Participants dance and climb on the art installation, Lord Snort. (Photo by Andrew Jorgensen in Fest 300)

Chin up with sand-ridden hair, our very own Morgan holding the spirit of Burning Man.

Chin up with dust-ridden hair, our very own Morgan holding the spirit of Burning Man.

For event professionals focused on attendees’ experiential journeys, tools can be provided so that guests are inspired to share and tell their stories. This may be through a zany photo booth, intimate fortune readings, or DIY workshops throughout an event. Not only are attendees creating memories, they are building relationships outside of the standard network-and-drink setting.

Performative art tied with technology will be the trending wow-factor. 

Burning Man has exhibited wild and amazing creations, all in its support of the arts. Emphasizing impactful and interactive work, with a mission revolving around participatory and shared experiences (via BurningMan.org), Burning Man informs our event industry of what trends to look out for.

Upon their visit, Morgan and Carina were inspired by several installations on the Playa. Here, we share a couple of their own favorites:

 

Sonic Runway radiates music as bicycles pass through. Music at one end transmits light signals that then radiate down the runway at the speed of light. (Photo by Scott R Kline)

Sonic Runway radiates music as bicycles pass through. Music at one end transmits light signals that then radiate down the runway at the speed of light. (Photo by Scott R Kline)

“The Sonic Runway was one of the most fascinating installations on the Playa in 2016,” Morgan says, “The runway is made up of 32 arches of colored lights forming a 1,000-foot long corridor, all driven by a sound system. Its engineers are award-winning technologists in the Bay Area, and the Playa offers them a playground to do more of what they would like.”

For Carina, it was digital painter Android Jones‘ live performance that would later inspire her to bring the experience of large-scale virtual reality painting, and invite the artist himself, to a dashing soiree in the City View at Metreon.

Whether you ever plan on taking part of the festival or not, Burning Man shows us the capacity of a well-designed event to continuously impact attendees. The team at Entire takes this wisdom to heart, encouraging our clients to participate in this next level of imagining. We encourage you to do so as well—together, we look forward to the creation of more meaningful and intentional experiences.

– Tesha

AllSeated’s Endless Summer at Casa del Mar with Mindy Weiss

While it seems as if this year’s wedding season has only finished, most wedding professionals are already gearing up for next season’s romantic celebrations. What better way to meet with industry friends and share trending ideas than by a collaborative showcase. 

Natasha and I leapt at the chance to take part in AllSeated’s Endless Summer Celebration with Mindy Weiss at Casa del Mar.  I expected the event to be great, but my expectations were surpassed by the astounding work of the brilliant team that came together. The party was truly gorgeous and highlighted the best Los Angeles has to offer in the weddings industry.

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View of the Santa Monica Pier from Hotel Casa Del Mar

Hotel Casa Del Mar is a luxurious wonder in Santa Monica. Krystal Moreno managed an exquisite makeover of the Colonnade Ballroom with florals by The Hidden Garden, furniture by 204 events, and overall management by Harmony Walton of The Bridal Bar. This was no shabby Endless Summer remake – rather, it was a fine expression of seasons changing and summer lingering into a deep autumn. 

One of the highlights of the evening was an informative Q&A with the famed Mindy Weiss. From top entertainment trends to resolutions in the midst of chaos, Mindy was enchanting and funny. Bravo to AllSeated and Harmony Walton for organizing such a great segment.

As for our part, we were quite lucky to have our top talent join in the magic. As guests entered into the grand ballroom, Eric Kufs played welcoming love songs on his acoustic guitar.

Sara Niemietz and Snuffy Walden along with the Island Band transitioned the Q&A to a lovely cocktail hour ambiance.

Sara Niemitz

 Luca Ellis dazzles the crowd in his Rat Pack crooner style. 

Luca Ellis

And the Island Band took it all home with some dancing favorites to round out the night.

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We also want to send as many thanks and hugs to SnapFiesta for providing the 360 Photobooth that kept everyone laughing and having fun all night. SnapFiesta has been a long partner to Entire Productions, providing our clients with some of the best photo booth options. 

What a tremendous memory and even more of an honor to produce. We look forward to many more ventures with everyone we met that night!

– Morgan

Super Bowl Events Recap

And we’re back with Football this fall! Here’s a look back to some of the things we were able to do for The Super Bowl!

With the Super Bowl in our very own hometown of San Francisco, we had the opportunity to work on a whole slew of events in the year leading up to the big day. In an exciting turn of events, we were asked by The Broncos team planner to provide the entertainment for their pre-game and post-game events at The Santa Clara Marriott. Thrilling to say the least! We even shared the backstage greenroom area with Flo-Rida and his crew.

Below are some of the highlights from many of our Super Bowl events.

In November of 2015 we were lucky to work on FAM events for the sponsors and planners making their way to San Francisco for Super Bowl festivities. They visited venues, sampled caterers menus, experienced entertainment—all things they’d need for their events come February 2016. We wrote a piece on those events—see it here on our blog.

Kickoff Event

NFL Kickoff Events at Pier 35 with DJ Matteo

We supplied our client Aramark with four delightful and peppy cheerleaders to welcome guests to the NFL Store at Moscone Center in San Francisco.

We supplied our client Aramark with four delightful and peppy cheerleaders to welcome guests to the NFL Store at Moscone Center in San Francisco.

 
One of our favorite events took over 6 months of planning a VIP Super Bowl Party at One Market Street with the great Allied PRA. In a clear tent erected on top of the building overlooking Super Bowl City, it was stunning! We had 3 of our fine artists curate original artwork that they painted by-hand on 99 footballs that were on display, then given to the clients as keepsakes. Then those same artists were on site to paint different scenes from the event, and their canvases went to the corporate office of the client to be displayed to remember the great weekend.
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Custom designed and painted footballs by one of our fine art painters. They were given to clients after the event as a keepsake

The three different designs displayed in the VISA VIP area above Super Bowl City.

The three different designs displayed in the VISA VIP area above Super Bowl City.

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Our three fine artists of different styles painting different scenes at the event itself, after having painted by hand 99 footballs with a San Francisco theme. 

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Natasha and Carina at the Super Bowl Pre-Party at the Bently Reserve.

 
We brought in aerialists and fire dancers for an “Explore the Senses” themed Super Bowl Pre-Party at the Exploratorium in San Francisco.
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Fire dancers illuminating the entrance of The Exploratorium as guests arrive.

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Aerialist dangling from the ceiling at The Exploratorium.

For a VIP experience tent at Super Bowl City, we had our favorite Latin guitarist perform. Getting through traffic, barricades, security and into the sold-out crowd was quite an experience for all of our talent.
 
Super Bowl Sunday 
We had an all-acoustic cover band, Unplugged, perform for a Super Bowl Viewing Party at the W Hotel.
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Natasha stops by Super Bowl City on opening day.

 
Of course the highlight was being asked by The Broncos to plan all of the entertainment for their Pre-Game events and After-Party events for The Super Bowl at the Santa Clara Marriott. Watching the game as we were setting up the stage was a thrill!
 
We had four Face Painters geared up and ready to paint both kids and adults arms, necks and faces with orange and blue broncos for four hours before the game. Then we brought in The 415’s for the main tent stage, DJ Matteo for the VIP players-only lounge, and DJ Celeste for the bar.
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The Entire Productions team before The Bronco’s arrived at their post-game celebration.

 
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Hand- painted cheer on fans and family of The Broncos team.

 
Broncos Helmut

Pre-game excitement with body paint for fans, friends and family of The Broncos team.

 

A Presidential Event- Hillary Clinton’s Fundraiser

We were beyond delighted when client and friend Jenny Schneider, premier planner of JNS Events, reached out to us for entertainment for a fundraising event for the Hillary Rodham Clinton Presidential Campaign.

Tesha and Shea having their Broad City moment, for all you avid fans of the show.

Jenny’s vision to engage guests in interactive entertainment was brought to life with collaborative live painting, an empowering caricature drawing station and a custom photo booth that brought guests to the White House.

White House Design – Paint by Numbers by our artist, Peggy

Detail of Hillary Clinton Logo -  Paint by Numbers by our artist, Peggy

Detail of Hillary Clinton Logo – Paint by Numbers by our artist, Peggy

Strong Female Political Figures - Caricatures by our artist Laura

Strong Female Political Figures – Caricatures by our artist Laura

Custom White House Lawn Backdrop - Photo booth by Snap Fiesta

Custom White House Lawn Backdrop – Photo booth by Snap Fiesta

Shea & Tesha “visiting” the White House

Shea & Tesha “visiting” the White House

The event, held in the sunny backyard of a gorgeous Atherton home, showcased a stellar team of vendors, including our dear friends Barbara Llewellyn, Hugh Groman and Yvette Manion of SF Candy Bar.

Red, White & Blue themed candy by SF Candy Bar

Red, White & Blue themed candy by SF Candy Bar

Waiting for Secretary Clinton to take the mic

Waiting for Secretary Clinton to take the mic

It was an exciting honor for Entire Productions to take part in such an impactful event.


Photos by Jeremy Sutton, SnapFiesta, and Shea Ross
– Shea Ross & Tesha Laurente

LA Today

From Los Angeles to San Diego, Entire Productions has officially spread its wings over the California southland the past six months and we’re headed in an exciting direction for event entertainment and even more thrilled to see what happens over the summer ahead.

Below are a few takeaways we have learned from our time in this amazingly vibrant city. So grab a snack, sit back, and enjoy!

1. Los Angeles is HUGE!!!

Natasha and I joked when we first opened shop that you could fit a few San Francisco’s inside Silver Lake; I still think that! I am proud to say that I’m finally getting to the point where I can travel without GPS. I’ve also learned to really love Podcasts and cannot recommend them enough to anyone stuck in a traffic jam. Among my favorites are Behind Party Lines with Marcus Anthony Gray of The Little Gray Book and Deynn Smith of EDGE Event Design & Decor and Bridal Bar Radio with Harmony Walton of The Bridal Bar. Natasha and I have been guests on both!

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Marcus Anthony Gray & Devynn Smith of Behind Party Lines

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Harmony Walton of Bridal Bar Radio (iHeart Radio)

 2. Entertainment in LA is glamorous.

There’s this underlying feeling I get anytime I’m at an event that you could be filmed any minute as an extra during a commercial shoot or a full fledged reality episode. That being said, expert costuming and makeup are CRUCIAL and no detail is missed on any planner. The costuming in this town is gorgeous and honestly, how could anyone expect any less? Paparazzi is everywhere!

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Madame Tussaud’s VIP Night featuring Jason Derulo

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Zen Arts at A Night on Broadway

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JLM Couture Fashion Show

3. Los Angeles is filled with incredibly gracious talent.

Actors are absolutely plentiful in LA, but so are highly talented musicians, dancers, artists, comedians, speakers, circus acts, designers, and the list goes on. It’s no surprise that in this entertainment mecca we have so much variety, but the true reward is how grateful and dedicated the artists are that we have met along the way.

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No Vacancy Orchestra jam session

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DJ David Krieger setting up

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DJs Eko and Induce at the Ace

4. MPI is strong and NACE is on the rise in LA.

I have attended many networking events over the past six months for MPI, ILEA LA, WIPA Southern CA, and various vendor and venue showcases. I’ve met great people through all these groups and really respect all the work they’re doing. For Entire Productions to flourish this upcoming year, we decided to focus our involvement with MPI to establish a firm foothold within this exceptional organization. I will certainly support, sponsor, and attend as many events as I can for all the groups, but I will be spending most of my time working on the MPI Member’s Services Committee with Clint Upchurch from Extraordinary Events and getting to know the new NACE LA.

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WIPA Four Seasons Event

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MPI Beverly Laing Golf Tournament

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The Cream Event

5. The industry is as tight knit as it is in San Francisco. 

As we all know, the events industry is a small world. It’s no different here in Los Angeles and the friends I’ve made have been monumental in our development. Special gratitude goes out to Sandy Hammer and Chantal Le Claire from All Seated for the many wonderful connections. And of course, Mr. Marcus Anthony Gray as well. We’ve also been lucky to have so many connections spillover from San Francisco into LA (like seeing Paula LeDuc Fine Catering at the La Tavola Fine Linen Rental Showcase), and we are doing our best to help our new LA friends make their way up to the Bay as well. 

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PLD + EP in Los Angeles

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EP + TLGBook in San Francisco

6. “We’re so happy to have you in LA!”

Both clients and talent are happy our one-stop-shop of premiere entertainment is here. I am warmly greeted by all that I have met and it never gets old to here how welcomed we are. 

7. LA Venues are amazing!

We started our journey in LA at the very cool LA River Studios. It was great to have a landing place at such a unique and eclectic space. Shawn Sedlacek and Mark Rodriguez really make the place what it is and I highly recommend checking out this venue for so many different party opportunities. Among my other favorites are Millwick in the Arts District, Smashbox Studios in Culver City, The Fig House in Pasadena, Carondelet House in Westlake, Bel-Air Bay Club in Malibu, and I have soooo many more to explore!

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LA River Studios

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Bel-Air Bay Club

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The Fig House

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Millwick

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Smashbox Studios

 8. WFH really means WFC.

“Work from Home” in my world really means “Work from Cafe”. Within the spaces of great food, ambiance and decor, I’ve been able to straddle both San Francisco and Los Angeles event entertainment. Most if not all my recent emails and pings have been sent from the following: Lamill Coffee in Silver Lake, Chango in Echo Park, Zinqué in Venice Beach, Palihouse in West Hollywood, and just about any Starbucks will do for that email on the run. Happily accepting new cafe recommendations any time! #breakfastandwifi #yesplease

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LaMill Coffee 

9. What’s next?

Be sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for updates on our whereabouts and happenings. And definitely check back to our Blog to read more about the ins and outs of our super fun and amazing company!

10. Thank you!

Thank you to all of our clients, talent, friends and fans. We couldn’t do it without any of you and are so grateful for all the support. We have so much ahead of us and are merely at the beginning of a very fruitful journey!!!

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Jose Ramirez, AFR Furniture Rental; Clint Upchurch & Mairead Delaney, Extraordinary Events; Me; Marcus Anthony Gray, The Little Gray Book; Gina Wade, Gina Wade Creative

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Morgan Smith

Cheers Everyone!

Morgan

Bridal Bar Radio Interview by Harmony Walton with Natasha Miller of Entire Productions

Entire Productions founder Natasha Miller was interviewed by Bridal Bar mastermind and owner Harmony Walton in Los Angeles. You can listen to it here on demand/streaming, and it’s transcribed below with links to some of the things that were discussed.

Harmony Walton of The Bridal Bar

Harmony Walton of The Bridal Bar

Harmony: Welcome everyone to Bridal Bar Radio. Thanks for tuning into the show. I’m your host, Harmony Walton, and today I’m joined in-studio by someone who’s pretty familiar with a radio studio, the lovely Natasha Miller, the founder of Entire Productions, an entertainment production company, who’s here today to talk about all kinds of creative, fun and unique ways to entertain your guests at your wedding. Natasha, thanks so much for joining us today.

Natasha: Thank you so much, and good morning.

Harmony: Good morning. I know, it’s a little early here in Los Angeles today, but we’re going to get through it. It’s going to be a great time. Now, Natasha, tell us a little bit about Entire Productions and kind of how you got started and maybe why you’ve been in a radio studio before.

Natasha: I started this business officially 15 years ago, but I’ve been doing what I do since I was 15. I’m a classically trained violinist and a jazz vocalist, which is why I’ve been in recording studios, and we were being booked, my group, the Sapphire String Quartet — that was really the name.

Harmony: That’s amazing.

Natasha: With two Ps and an H. It was something. Anyway, I was being booked, asked to perform, three to four to five times on the same date and time, even way back when I was in high school. I was definitely born an entrepreneur. So I started hiring my professors and violin teachers and sending them out with their own string quartets, and managing them.

Harmony: That’s amazing. So they gave you, I’m assuming, good grades, if you’re booking them on weekend gigs.

Natasha: They were excited about it. They felt a little one-upped, I think. That was in Des Moines, Iowa. I moved to San Francisco and did the same thing. Back then, magazine advertising really, really worked wonderfully for the string quartet. I had sometimes eight events in one day.

Harmony: Wow, and you were in high school at this time?

Natasha: I started it unofficially in high school and college, but I started this business, Entire Productions, 15 years ago, with a name and a period and I quit my job in advertising and just have been going on since.

Harmony: And now based in San Francisco but performing all over the world.

Natasha: Yes, we book talent all over the world in major markets, and our office is up in San Francisco. We have eight employees, and then we have one down here in L.A. as of January.

Harmony: Exciting stuff. Now, you don’t actually perform anymore, now you kind of oversee and handle all the puppet strings and make sure everyone’s where they need to be at the right time and place, right?

Natasha: For the most part. I moonlight here and there.

Harmony: Oh, good to know.

Natasha: I know, I just sang background and played the violin on one of my artist’s CD releases (Tim Hockenberry), which, by the way, is really difficult to do, singing background, when you’re used to singing the melody. But, anyway, I kind of put down my career of performing about a year and a half ago, and it might be for a while or it might be forever. But, I have recorded seven CDs and I think that’s enough for the last 15 years.

Harmony: That’s incredible. Well, I know I tried to get you to sing something here this morning, but you put down the mic and you dropped the mic and you’re leaving it at that. So, let’s get into some wedding ideas that are a little bit different. We’ll talk a little later about some sort of general music stuff, but first, one of the things that your company is known for is doing really creative, unique experiences for the people in the room, and I think so many times couples that are getting married think, okay, “Band or DJ?” and then that’s the question that they ask themselves, and often the answer is based on budget or the size of the room or the size of the guest count. You don’t want too big of a band for too small of a party because it’ll be overpowering, and they never really go beyond that. Well, that has started to shift. I know I have been going to parties lately where I get to do fun things that are not just dancing. Especially because I have absolutely no rhythm, whatsoever. So let’s just say that when the signs says “Alcohol says you’ve got great rhythm,” it takes me awhile to get there. So I love the idea of doing more experiential things at the wedding, and the cocktail hour as well and even the rehearsal dinner, and some ways to bond with the people around you without having to dance, necessarily. So break that down for us.

Natasha: I do think that, in the last five years, but really most recently, people are starting to consider, and I think their planners are starting to suggest, other interactive elements. So, for a cocktail hour, we’ve sent out great magician mentalists, which sounds a little on the cheesy side, but if you get a really great one, it can be just mesmerizing.

Harmony: And what do they do?

Natasha: They do hand and person-to-person magic. They’ll literally make this diamond ring on my finger disappear into their wallet and come out of your I-don’t-know-what. It’s pretty cool. I didn’t know how it would work, but when the client is calling me saying, “Oh my god, this magician was amazing, we need to keep him through dinner,” I find myself saying, “Okay, it’s a thing.”

David Gerard, Mentalist

David Gerard, Mentalist 

Harmony: Wow, so they’ll book them for the cocktail hour and they haven’t gotten to everyone, and then the buzz starts to happen, and now they’ve got to stick around for the rest of the night.

Natasha: And I say this to my clients now, “Okay, you want them for an hour? That’s great. Everybody asks for them to stay at least another hour. I think it’s with the particular talent that we have.

Harmony: That’s such a neat idea. You don’t even know it’s entertainment until they come to you, I would think, or until the buzz starts and someone says, “Did you meet the magician?”

Natasha: Well, first of all, a couple of our magicians in San Francisco are beautiful. I hope they never hear this because I don’t want their ego to get any bigger, but they’re gorgeous people, they blend into the crowd. They look like a guest. Then, all of a sudden, one of them will say, “Let me show you something.” You almost think it’s a guest showing you a little magic trick.

Harmony: Like the kooky uncle of the bride.

Natasha: Yeah, but like your hot uncle.

Harmony: The college roommate. The one that got away. How fun. Do they continue to go around the during the dinner table portion?

Natasha: They have done that. By the time that people start putting food in their mouths is about the time that they would stop, but if dinner’s eaten quickly and it’s more of a casual atmosphere, they can continue.

Harmony: What I think is so great about this is, not everyone loves to dance, and there are more and more intimate weddings these days, and that’s kind of an awkward dance party, if you’ve got 10 or 20 people. The dance floor isn’t usually packed, and this kind of modern entertainment is the same way. We’re going to talk way more about this when we get back. More with Natasha from Entire Productions after this.

Harmony: We’re back on Bridal Bar Radio. Joining me in studio today is the talented Natasha Miller, founder of Entire Productions. Just before the break, we were talking a little bit about alternative entertainment for your cocktail hour, and how you can kind of engage your guests in unique and different ways, and “unique” and “different” I think are really the buzzwords here because everyone wants to wow your guests. We’ve heard for decades, the “Wow” factor in your wedding, and now that means it’s got to be something different. Something they haven’t seen before. So, any other creative ideas to wow your guests in ways they haven’t seen?

Natasha: Yes, one of my very favorites is this live on-demand poet who sets up this very beautiful sort of vintage typewriter. You go up to her, there’s usually a line. It’s crazy. Once one person gets their poem, then every woman — some men would like theirs too — but, she asks you just a few things about what you’d like the poem to be about, maybe three or four words, and then she takes a minute or two and types up this gorgeous poem on a little 4×5 piece of archival paper with this old typewriter, and it’s usually very poignant and beautiful.

wedding-poet-21

On-demand Poetry

 

Harmony: And does she sort of rap? I mean, does she perform it for you?

Natasha: No, she doesn’t perform it. She hands it to you.

Harmony: Good idea! Time to add that little service element in.

Natasha: I was going to say, spoken-word poetry should start happening in ceremonies, but, anyway.

Harmony: Today is the day the trend begins.

Natasha: You heard it here first.

Harmony: Exactly.

Natasha: She puts it in a lovely envelope, and basically you adore it for the rest of your life.

Harmony: How neat.

Natasha: It’s beautiful. It’s very personal. It’s a piece of artwork.

Harmony: That is such a great idea, and weddings, you know, there’s a great line in a movie — I think it’s from “Eat, Pray, Love,” where it’s like, “The funny thing about weddings is it makes you think about your own life,” when you’re at someone else’s wedding. And I think that people get very emotional at weddings not only for their loved one who they’re seeing get married, but also for themselves, whether they’re happily married and they’re remembering their own wedding or they’re kind of wishing for that for their future, and that poem really gives them something that’s theirs to take away from the night. Very cool idea. Now, something that I’ve seen before at weddings, but I think is still very on-point in terms of an activity that people like to see but they don’t actually participate in, is the idea of another form of art, like a painting. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Natasha: Yes, I love this. We’re an entertainment-based company, and you wouldn’t really think of fine artists as entertainment, but if they’re doing it in public, it’s entertaining. So, we have fine art artists who will put up a canvas, varying sizes, you can tell them what you want them to paint specifically, or you can just say, “Paint whatever you see that is a beautiful thing.” So, during anything from the ceremony to the cocktail hour. The dance party part is actually fun to see because of that movement. But, all different kinds of media — oil, acrylic, watercolor — lots of different styles, and you really can choose. If you like modern art, or line art, you can have that, you can have an oil painting. It’s just a really neat thing that I’ve been seeing a lot of requests for, not just for weddings but for a lot of different social and corporate events, actually.

Live Event Artist

Live Event Artist

Harmony: And this is sort of like the poetry, where it’s the gift that keeps on giving. You’ve got this fine artist painting and creating right in front of your guests so you can go and check it out and kind of see what’s going on. But then, the couple gets to keep the painting, right?

Natasha: They do, they get to keep the painting, and the best thing ever would be to replicate that and use it as your thank-you card cover.

Harmony: Great idea.

Natasha: Yes, you can really use it for so many things post-wedding.

Harmony: And then you’ve got this beautiful canvas in your home of the two of you during your first dance or during your ceremony. I think that’s really special and different.

Natasha: Yes, this reminds me, years ago I had a client that had this really funny caricature artist, which sounds again really silly for a wedding. To make it even sillier, they’re called the butt-sketcher. Have you heard of this?

"Butt Sketch"

“Butt Sketch”

Harmony: Oh my gosh, I have seen this. Not at a party, but I was at a conference and they were doing this.

Natasha: It’s actually quite lovely.

Harmony: It’s so on-trend right now. All we care about is our derrières, right?

Natasha: It’s derrière and it’s couture. So, it’s whatever you’re wearing, and it really does kind of capture the essence of the couple or the people that they’re doing. Anyway, she had that replicated and used as their thank-you card.

Harmony: Their own butts from their wedding.

Natasha: It’s not just their butt, it’s basically just their backside from head to toe.

Harmony: Right, you do get some facial profiles in there.

Natasha: (laughs) Let’s not get the wrong idea.

Harmony: Right, it’s not just two circles on a card. It’s their personality, it’s still their full caricature essentially, but with the backside covered in it. I think that is so fun, that is a great idea for a thank-you note, and even maybe a fun save-the-date if they’re big into dancing, they could do that in advance and send that out. “It’s gonna be a party!” Kind of set the tone for a really fun, lively crowd.

Natasha: You could have an engagement session butt sketch artist.

Harmony: Oh, there you go. We’re going to come up with all kinds of creative ideas.

Natasha: We’re developing new ideas.

Harmony: Yes, this is a biz-dev session right here. Now, another thing that we’re seeing tons of couples doing, or, I should say, more women wearing, is a flower crown. Now, it used to be that the flower girl would wear a flower crown, and now the bridesmaids are wearing them, and even the bride is wearing a flower crown in lieu of a veil, in many cases. But, how can you make that a form of entertainment?

Natasha: Well, it’s quite beautiful and simple, actually. You allow the bridesmaids and the flower girl and the bride to wear their crown during the ceremony, and then perhaps during the cocktail hour or even in-between courses, we have had a flower crown station set up where you can come in and pick your own flowers and place them into a pre-made band so that you’re not really twisting wire on-site.

12932689_10154927074688018_4429308761302751208_n

Flower Crown Station- Heather Cassady of Wish.

 

Harmony: Right, you’re not making jewelry at the wedding.

Natasha: But it’s quite lovely, especially if you just do two or three and have sort of a side headband crown, and then people just feel so beautiful and lovely and special, and it really just kind of ups the ante of the environment.

Harmony: I couldn’t agree more. I was just at a bridal fashion show and they gave every guest in attendance a flower crown. We didn’t actually make our own, but they gifted us one when we got to the door, and walking around, everyone was taking selfies. You felt like you were part of the bridal party a little bit and you were honored as that special guest even if you weren’t a bridesmaid or a groomsman.

Natasha: Yes, and wearing flowers in your hair and around your face is just so lovely. It softens everything, and it’s kind of like you could get away with no makeup if you have a flower crown. Have you seen the SnapChat flower crown from Hawaii?

Harmony: No.

Natasha: Oh, it’s so pretty. I’ll show you mine later.

Harmony: You know, I’m on SnapChat, guys, follow me at BridalBar, but I’m not very good at it. I prefer my Instagram still.

Natasha: Well, when you see yourself with a flower crown from Hawaii on SnapChat, you will probably change your mind. Great filters.

Harmony: Oh, this is one of the filters. You see, I’m getting to be too old. Where it’s got like the graphics over your face, okay. Only if there’s pink. If there’s pink, I’ll do it.

Natasha: It’s light. It’s pastel.

Harmony: Okay, I’ll do it. Well, and I think — not necessarily a form of entertainment — but if you’re going to do a flower crown for the women in attendance, I love it when a couple will give the males guests — not the groomsmen, but everyone else in attendance — a pared-down little boutonniere. And I’ve also seen it done where the women get a small nosegay or something instead so that everyone feels a part of the ceremony. Because it’s fun for the guys to get a little something-something too, and they’ve got their dates in these beautiful flower crowns, and then they get to rock a little, it could be a little burlap thing, it doesn’t even have to be fresh flowers, but some sort of ribbon or statement that says, “Hey, I’m part of this party.” I think that’s always a fun way to get people going right when the ceremony starts so everyone’s excited for what’s to come. Now, what else can you do in terms of the ceremony. You offer your couples a lot of different options. Ask and you shall receive. What are some unusual requests you’ve gotten for ceremony?

Natasha: This is strange, but cool. We’re based in San Francisco, and people are a little bit more whimsical, perhaps. We had a stilt-walker request. This family actually asked for a stilt-walker to walk their dog down the aisle. Again, it sounds a little weird, but it ended up being really beautiful.

Harmony: You keep saying that it sounds weird but it ended up being great, and I think that’s the cool thing about weddings.

Natasha: It’s the spontaneity and the authenticity.

Harmony: And if it’s unique to you or your location or your history, or just your pizzazz, that’s what people are going to remember. They’re not going to remember what they ate, necessarily, unless it’s specific to you.

Natasha: Unless it’s bananas flambe.

Harmony: There you go. Or unless you’re having that food-centric wedding because that’s so you, then they’re going to remember the food. But if you’re just having a traditional maybe hotel-plated meal, that’s not what’s going to stand out. It’s going to be these moments that they’re like, “What is going on here?”

Natasha: Well, let’s talk about moments. A few years ago, we did something at Kunde Winery and it was a celebrity wedding, and I just remember thinking how very specific the song choices were, and so I don’t usually perform at weddings, but one of these songs made it so that I had to be there with all these different musicians of every genre, and my daughter, to pull this one song off for the rabbi to walk down the aisle, and it was the theme to “The Muppets.”

Harmony: How fun.

Natasha: So the reason why I had to have this group of people is because it’s like this “a-da-da-da-dada-da,” and I had a Broadway singer there and I had someone else singing like Tom Waits singer-songwriter and then I had a Jazz pianist because this couple wanted all these different kinds of music, and I had to source all these different kinds of musicians. I couldn’t just get one guy to do all five very unique songs.

Harmony: “The Muppets,” and jazz, and dance music.

Natasha: So that was really fun.

Harmony: So that’s how you actually pull together your experiences for couples.  You find out what it is they are feeling like hosting, or what kind of party they want, or what kind of budget they’re working with, and then you make recommendations and then you go create bands and different acts and experiences?

Natasha: So, I do that. We have thousands of acts, talent, to source from, and we go deeper by curating and creating something if it doesn’t exist already. So that’s how clients get the “never-seen-it-before, wow me.” Because there’s not much that hasn’t been done, but when you put things together to create something very specific to them, that’s where the wow and never-seen-that-before happens.

Harmony: And then behind-the-scenes, there are rehearsals and castings and things like that, I mean it’s a full production, right?

Natasha: It can be. Sometimes the talent that we’re pulling from are so great that having a conversation, sending them the chart, sending them the materials, having them rehearse and be prepared and then running through it before, and that’s what we did for “The Muppets” theme song.

Harmony: The sound check was pretty important?

Natasha: It was pretty funny. It was so much fun to hear that sort of wafting through the hills of that winery.

Harmony: That is so fun, I hope you have video from that wedding.

Natasha: Somebody does.

Harmony: Oh, it was a celebrity wedding, so you have nothing.

Natasha: I think I saw something, but it disappeared.

Harmony: Of course, it vanishes in thin air when the NDA gets enforced. So, any other great recommendations for ceremony? You mentioned “The Muppets” soundtrack. How do you put your own twist on maybe even ceremony music. We’ve obviously got the tradition songs that help get the bride or groom down the aisle.

Natasha: I think you just read my mind.

Harmony: Oh, good. We’re on the same wavelength.

Natasha: We had a client who had us bring in a string quartet, which is simple and normal. But this violinist was a Grammy Award-winning violinist and a composer, and this client, on their own, without my having to prompt them, said to me, “Can he compose a song for the recessional?” It was actually a trio. And I said “Yes.” And he did it, and it was so gorgeous. And, if I remember it correctly, it was a surprise to the bride, which can be tricky. (follow this link to listen to the song)

Harmony: Especially for the processional.

Natasha: But it worked out, and they have a beautiful studio recording of it. So, it’s their song, it’s a commissioned piece, and again, it’s art.

Harmony: That’s amazing. So they get to keep that. Will it be heard on the radio one day, or that’s there’s exclusively?

Natasha: It’s a classical piece, certainly it could be arranged for maybe a movie soundtrack or something, but I don’t think this particular one will ever be. And it’s on our blog somewhere, and I’ll pull it out and make mention of it somehow so listeners can hear that.

Harmony: Oh, how great, that’s a great idea. And I love it, too, when even just a quartet or a trio takes traditional songs that we know and changes them to the liking of the couple. I worked with one couple years ago, and I’ll never forget this, the groom had the quartet do an arrangement of “It’s a Dead Man’s Party” by Oingo Boingo, going down the aisle. And this was their personality, it wasn’t a bad thing, nobody gasped, it was just so perfect to them. They loved Oingo Boingo, I mean it was their thing.

Natasha: That was one of the first concerts I ever saw was Oingo Boingo and Hall & Oates. They played together.

Harmony: Oh, wow, I missed that episode, that tour. But they were great in concert, and that’s why I think I remember that because I remember loving going to their concerts. We’re going to take another quick break. We’ll be right back with more from Natasha from Entire Productions, and we’re going to talk about some fun ways to dazzle your guests at your reception.

Harmony: We’re back on Bridal Bar Radio. Joining me in-studio is Natasha Miller from Entire Productions, and we’ve been chatting today about unique ways to dazzle your wedding guests, and I want to get into the reception, because that’s when the real party begins, right? So tell us some creative ideas to get their jaws dropping at your wedding reception.

Natasha: Well, one way to do this is to bring in what some people might call dance motivators.

Harmony: Isn’t that called cocktails?

Natasha: For you it is.

Harmony: Very, very true.

Natasha: You can start a reception off or have them sort of inserted in the middle or during a break. One of the funnest things to do, which will make anybody, even if they don’t feel like dancing or feel self-conscious, bring in samba dancers with a drumline, it doesn’t even have to be specific to the style of dancing and music to your heritage or your party. It can just be this flash mob of wonderful. There’s this infectious rhythm that happens with those samba dancers, and they’re scantily clad in a very appropriate way, usually. It depends on your vantage point.

Samba Dancers

Samba Dancers

Harmony: But you know what, that brings up a good point. I would imagine, based on the type of wedding it is, that wardrobe comes into play as well, and you can dress them however the client needs.

Natasha: That’s right. Costuming is very, very important, and needs to be very specific. But, when you send these samba dancers in and everyone gets this feverish “I want to be part of it,” then you can start a conga line, and that’s where the fun starts.

Harmony: And then it sort of forces you out there.

Natasha: So then people like you can just grab onto somebody.

Harmony: And try to shake left and right while I walk. It’s just a fancy walk, so it’s not so scary.

Natasha: It’s a lot of fun, and we have a wedding coming up where I suggested this to them, maybe as a joke or as an aside, and the father of the bride was like, “Yes, I want that.”

Harmony: Oh, the father of the bride? So was the bride going, “Okay dad!” or were they all onboard?

Natasha: She said, “That’s so funny,” and they’re doing it.

Harmony: That’s great. I think that’s a great thing to do. Like you said. And that’s multi-generational. That gets grandma on the dance floor and that gets the flower girl on the dance floor and everyone in-between.

Natasha: And you can do it with anything. West-African drumming, and dancers. You can even do it, strangely enough, with a modern ballet. There’s so many different things you can do. It’s just the surprise element. It just pops up the energy, even if it’s up already.

Harmony: And it doesn’t have to go on all night. It can just be the first few songs, right?

Natasha: No, it’s better to get in and get out. They appear, and then they disappear.

Harmony: They’re gone. I like that. And then this flash mob idea, is this something that the bride and groom, or the groom and groom or bride and bride, can get involved in? Can they be part of the flash mob?

Natasha: Yes, we’ve had different clients want to participate in that kind of thing either by singing or dancing. We were talking earlier about ceremony special things, and once we had, I think it was an a cappella choir of like nine people sprinkled throughout the guests, and they stood up and sang a Beatles tune, one by one, it was just so beautiful.

Harmony: Sort of that “Love, Actually” scene?

Natasha: Yes! And then people joined in. We’ve had a sort of flash mob band come in to accompany the groom to perform for the bride, so so many things. We make whatever their dream is happen. And we help them, because a lot of times, they need help. It’s an idea, but the reality is sometimes a little more challenging.

Harmony: Right, the execution is different. And that brings up another good point. What if you’re a traditional couple but you want to impress your guests, you want to show them a good time, something they haven’t seen before, but Oingo Boingo isn’t your favorite band? What do you suggest couples do to discover what will be great for their own event? How do you work with couples to figure that out?

Natasha: I like to talk to them voice to voice, even if they’re working with a great planner, because sometimes it gets lost in translation, and a lot of times clients are saying one thing but they really mean something else and they just don’t know how to put it into words, so I’m kind of like an entertainment doctor. It literally sometimes takes the client seven to nine emails back and forth, and I’ll say, “Let me just talk to them,” and in five minutes, with get this, “Oh, that’s exactly what we want.” A lot of times it’s a personal thing, they’ll want something like Mumford & Sons, like that sound, but they want the dance band to play all-night top 40 and other songs too, so that’s kind of hard to get with one band, right?

Harmony: So what do you do? How do you solve that particular problem?

Natasha: So, if you have excellent musicians, they should be able to play any genre of music, so you start with excellent musicians. And sometimes the look and feel of that band might not match the Mumford & Sons look, but you can match the sound, and maybe bring in, which we have done, a banjo player to play a few songs, but he’s not playing the rest, he’s not playing “Brick House.” Although that would be cool.

Harmony: And then do you have specific questions you ask them to draw that out that helps you to figure out who they are? That they can ask themselves even to figure out before they come to you?

Natasha: Yes. I do. I say, “Who is the person that’s well-known that you want this sound to sound like.” Because sometimes they’ll say “I want gospel,” but they really mean classical, even though it’s something that everyone should know the difference between, because they’re quite different. I think breaking it down to the common denominator is the easiest way to go. And then educating the clients about what their dream is versus what the reality could be and then setting them up for, “Okay, you say you don’t want any top 40, you don’t want any dance music, you just want bluegrass. Okay, do you want your mom to dance? Do you want your grandmother to have that lovely dance with her grandson?” “Oh yeah, we do.” “Okay, well, then you can have this great bluegrass folk band, but then you’re probably going to need a deejay to spin sets in between or after, or maybe you need a band that can really do both.” And that’s probably one of the most common things that I hear from a bride is, “We absolutely don’t want your typical wedding music.” And they may not want it in their dream, but the reality is it’s expected of them a bit by the people who are paying for it. And, if you really want to treat your guests to such a great experience, you also have to give them what they’re expecting and what they want.

Harmony: Right, if the guests aren’t going to get on the dance floor with house music, then maybe save that for the after-party.

Natasha: There’s definitely enough time for all that.

Harmony: And that’s the thing now with pre-ceremony, ceremony, cocktail, reception, after-party, there really are, and now we’ve got rehearsal dinners and post-wedding brunches and bridesmaids luncheons, I mean there really are a million touch points to get in all the little things you love even if it’s not in your wedding reception, I would think.

Natasha: Right.

Harmony: We’re going to take another quick break. We’ll be right back with more from Natasha Miller at Entire Productions, and I want to ask you about celebrities. Can you have celebrities at your wedding? That’s next. We’ll be right back.

Harmony: Welcome back to Bridal Bar Radio. I’m joined in-studio with Natasha Miller from Entire Productions, and we’ve been talking about all different ways to wow your guests, and I know one such way is through someone famous. You mentioned early, if someone comes in and says, “I love Mumford & Sons, and that’s the sound I want,” budget-permitting, can I have the Mumford & Sons?

Natasha: You can.  You can with different caveats. Some of the artists will say, “We’ll do this sort of event, but absolutely no photography, absolutely no telling anyone in advance.” It’s usually shrouded in mystery.

Harmony: Which is part of the fun of it, right?

Natasha: It is, but people want to take their selfies, and they want to get their cell phones out. I had a celebrity perform and literally, in his rider, it was, you can take pictures for the first song. No cell phones whatsoever in the room, so it’s kind of difficult, and the bigger the celebrity, the more obstacles, and of course the more expensive. But if you get older celebrities; speaking of Hall & Oates from earlier, Hall & Oates probably doesn’t have that specific of a rider where you can’t really enjoy and show off your celebrity guest.

Harmony: And people don’t know why they’re checking their cell phones at the door for the ceremony. It’s because three hours from now there’s going to be one song by J.Lo and you won’t be able to use your phone during it. But if, budget-permitting, it can be kind of fun. I was at a wedding where Ne-Yo performed. And, of course, but this is also something that is important to reiterate earlier, is to know your audience.

Natasha: Ne-Yo may be unrecognizable by half of your guests.

Harmony: So that was the thing. Some people screamed and, “Ah, my gosh!” and you say, “That’s Ne-Yo,” but I don’t know what he looks like, and so I just think he’s the guy leading the band.

Natasha: Oh, I’ve had this situation happen. This was for a social event, but I brought Harry Connick Jr. in for a social event.

Harmony: How fun, see, I’d recognize him.

Natasha: Well, I walked him up to the stage because this was no cell phone, no photography, and people thought he was an impersonator for a little bit.

Harmony: Oh no, like you booked a celeb impersonator.

Natasha: Yes, that can happen. But after he speaks and such, and plays, you can tell it’s him.

Harmony: And I think that has to do with working with an agency like yourself that really knows how to produce an event. Because, and maybe this couple, the event that I went to with Ne-Yo, maybe they wanted something, maybe they wanted it to be mysterious, but had somebody come on and gotten the crowd started like, “All right, are you ready, everybody welcome, drum roll, it’s Ne-Yo!” Then people would’ve gone nuts and I would’ve been like “Oh my gosh, it’s Ne-Yo.” And instead I was like, “Who’s the guy in the hat? Why is everyone screaming?” And then once they start playing, like you said, more and more people catch onto it. But if you’re going to splurge and spend that kind of money, you really want it produced in a kind of way that everyone can appreciate it.

Natasha: And let me just say that you cannot get Ne-Yo or Bruno Mars or Harry Connick Jr. for your wedding for $15,000, just putting it out there. We can talk one on one but you have to have a lot of money.

Harmony: We’re talking, in many cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars just for that set.

Natasha: If you recognize the name, it’s at the very very bottom least $100,000, and that’s for someone who’s emerging.

Harmony: And that’s because you’re flying them in, and their crew, and their equipment and their hotels.

Natasha: That’s all extra.

Harmony: Yeah, that’s on top of that. 100 plus-plus. Well, we have listeners of all types and budgets and price ranges here on this show. So if you want to book Ne-Yo, now you know where to go. Now let’s talk about some of the highlights. You mentioned it works when it’s a surprise. We were talking off-air about pyrotechnics and streamers and things. Now, when would you incorporate than in, and what does that look like in a wedding?

Natasha: It just creates an incredible frenzy of emotion and adrenaline. On the dance floor, the confetti or streamers can happen during the first upbeat dance song, it could happen toward the end of the night, although I would say to do it earlier.

Harmony: So what does this mean, exactly? You’re sitting at dinner and cannons go off? Break it down for me.

Natasha: You should probably already be on the dance floor and there should probably already be music playing. It can be loud to have the cannons go off, so it’s better to have sort of high volume, high energy to start off with. Maybe on the first high-energy dance song, maybe five minutes into it. Dance songs are usually three to seven minutes. If everyone’s up dancing, the band will keep it going for 10 to 15 minutes if they have to, but sometimes people worry about slipping on the confetti, but it gets kicked out of the way. You have to be careful. But it’s so much fun, and it really just raises the bar on the energy in the room. Everyone benefits from it. It can come in every shape. They have shapes, hearts and whatever.

Harmony: Of course they do. Can you get your monogram, like your initials, dropping from the sky?

Natasha: You know, we haven’t done that.

Harmony: There you go, biz-dev session.

Natasha: It’s probably possible. I think the gold confetti is really pretty. We did that recently at the Fairmont in San Francisco. Make sure that you have enough, because a little blip of a cannon can seem awkward.

Confetti Celebration!

Confetti Celebration!

Harmony: Would you do it at the grand entrance when they announce the couple? I would think that that would be kind of fun.

Natasha: Yes, you could totally do that. I think that having more people be sort of involved in the energy is better, although you can do it whenever you want. Just make sure you have enough. For us, two cannons is kind of the minimum of what I would suggest. I’ve seen it recently at a big sporting event, when the team won, an unfortunate confetti cannon happened, and it was so —

Harmony: It didn’t go off?

Natasha: It went off, but it was like, “Blip.” We didn’t do that one, but I was there for it. I had a band on-stage, and I was like, “Oh my gosh.”

Harmony: It’s like, “You just won the Super Bowl, are you going to Disneyland, and there’s like a few drops of confetti. Oh, how said. So, the importance of working with a really credible, qualified company, for sure.

Natasha: And there’s the indoor pyro.

Harmony: What is indoor pyro? Fireworks at the reception?

Natasha: You can do it as the bride and groom enter for the announcement, you can do it for a photo-op.

Harmony: Is it like sparklers, or — ?

Natasha: No, sparklers are not something that we participate in, in any form. I don’t know the technical term for it, but I know that it’s very easy to permit. You can do it inside of a ballroom. You can literally put your hand through it, and everything’s fine.

Harmony: Is is the kind that kind of shoots up, they’re short, and it almost looks like a waterfall of sparkle?

Natasha: Yes, and there are different things. They can waterfall hang, they can shoot up. It’s really neat, and a lot of people who want fireworks after their wedding, fireworks are somewhat difficult to permit and very expensive, but these small indoor pyro, you can do it outdoors too for the ceremony and such.

Harmony: Very cool, like you would be at a rock concert and someone would have that on-stage, you could have that on your stage with your band.

Natasha: Right.

Harmony: Now, let’s move into bands a little. We haven’t talked too much about music, but you mentioned there can be a banjo player for a different style or a very specific style of music. So does that play into also the wardrobe? I’m hearing things where now couples are booking bands specific to the band that they like. Like I’m obsessed with Salt N Pepa so I’m booking a diva-esque band, and things like that. Is there a trend that you’re seeing towards almost genre band that goes into like their childhood from head to toe in wardrobe and the lead singer looks like that crush you had when you were a kid, that kind of thing?

Natasha: I haven’t come into that as much recently. I know that I’ve had a couple requests for N*Sync.

Harmony: Yeah, boy bands, that’s what I’m getting, yeah.

Natasha: Boy bands. You can get them because they’re still available, they’re just not boys anymore. But I think that costuming is really important. I think a very sophisticated look or a really fun look and maybe some costume changes but, to me, I think the aesthetic, the way that the band looks, even the drummer who is unseen from the waist-down, should look just as tip-top as possible. You know, there are some fun dance bands that wear costumes like wigs and mustaches and sunglasses and that can be really fun, but you kind of have to carry that theme throughout the night and stick with it. I prefer just really well-appointed people that are comfortable but look beautiful on-stage with the great hair and makeup. I think the whole thing makes a difference.

Harmony: That’s something I didn’t think about before, the hair and makeup. This is a full production. They’re getting dressed for the part.

Natasha: They are getting dressed for the part. If you saw them load in, you know, they’re beautiful people. They go back and they take it seriously. They know that they have to look the part.

Harmony: So, in terms of shopping for a band, this is something that has come up over the years in the industry that I’ve experienced is that you see a video of a band and you’re like, “That’s the one I want,” and you see that beautiful hair and makeup singer, and she’s in a wig, or not, and she’s stunning and you love her voice and you love her look and all that, and then she’s not necessarily the gal that shows up on the day of. How do you combat that and what should couples expect?

Natasha: So, I like to be very up-front. Well, I am very up-front with the client, so there are a few bands in the Bay Area that I created to fill a niche of a higher-end experience. I pride myself in saying, “This is a fully committed band. They rehearse, and it’s the same people. If someone’s ill or out of the country for some reason, there is a rehearsed substitute.

Harmony: An understudy.

Natasha: It really is an understudy. It’s important to know, as a bride and groom or mother of the bride, whoever’s picking the band, to say, “Are those lead singers that I see the ones that will be at my wedding, and if they’re not, who will be, and when do we know that?”

Harmony: Right, because there are acts of God, thing happen. Someone does fall ill, they lose their voice.

Natasha: That actually just happened. A gal that is a beautiful singer has nodes, and she has to have surgery and I’m like “Oh my god, you’re killing me. Don’t speak!”

Harmony: Save your voice for your job and have nothing else in life, right? All right, we are almost out of time so I just want to ask one quick question: Best piece of advice when you’re planning your entertainment. Putting you on the spot there.

Natasha: Plan early. You don’t have to plan early specifically for ceremony necessarily, but if you want an incredible dance band or a really high-end deejay, six to 12 months out, at least.

Harmony: Good piece of advice. Well, that means we are out of time here on Bridal Bar Radio, which also means it’s time for a cocktail. We like to end every show here at Bridal Bar, of course, with a signature drink that is great for your wedding, so I ask each guest to bring one of their faves, and I understand you brought something to share with us.

Natasha: Yes, and I am going to drink it right now. I enjoy a classic, crisp Prosecco with just a dash of St. Germain. It makes it a little bit sweet, and it’s beautiful.

Harmony: That’s one of my favorites too. It’s light and it’s sweet and it’s celebratory. You’ve got the bubbles. You can’t have a wedding without some bubbles, right? Well thank you so much for coming on the show today, Natasha.

Natasha: Thank you, it was my pleasure.

Harmony: If you want to learn more about Entire Productions, you can simply visit EntireProductions.com. They’re based in San Francisco but they travel all over the world. And you can also follow them on Instagram and social media at…

Natasha: Entire Productions.

Harmony: All right, and do we see snippets of bands and things there?

Natasha: Yes.

Harmony: All right, I’m going to be checking that out and following you later today.

Natasha: Great!

Harmony: And don’t forget, you can listen to all of our shows on demand anytime on iHeartRadio, or download the app for wedding planning on the go. Like our show and get updates to new episodes, and sign up for our daily post with a daily dose of bridal buzz to help you down the aisle. Until then, I’ll see you at the bridal bar.

 

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Suddenly Spring Event at the Bently Reserve- Amazing!

Photo by Sherman Chu

Photo by Sherman Chu

For the third year in a row, we held our annual marketing event at the Bently Reserve in San Francisco. It’s difficult to put into words just how wonderful it was. It was a dream come true, and we are so glad so many of our industry friends were there!

You must see the photos from the event! (this will take you to Facebook to view the gallery)

We brought in an army of talent featuring the following fun entertainers:

  • Ballerina in a Bubble
  • DJ Jazzy Fox
  • The Jitterbugs Dancers
  • Flapper Feather Girls
  • The Man Servants
  • Painted Model (at the Photo booth)
  • Pole Dance Artists
  • Confetti and Streamer Canons
  • THE PARTY CRASHERS (The 415’s Sister Band)

Check out the pix from Giggle & Riot Photobooth (with mostly nude painted model) here. Download them from here.

And drumroll please… the slo-mo photo booth photos are here. Compliments of Snap Fiesta.

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Pole Dance Artists. Photo © Snap Fiesta

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Ballerina in a Bubble. Photo © Snap Fiesta

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Painted human statue being prepped to blend in to photo booth backdrop. Photo © Snap Fiesta

Confetti canon to greet guests

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The Party Crashers Band! Photo © Snap Fiesta

 

MANY THANKS TO OUR EVENT SPONSORS:

Catering Sponsors: 

Beverage Sponsors:

Floral Sponsors:

Photography Sponsors:

Decor & Rental Sponsors:

Special Creative:

Staffing:

Check it out in Social Media via these tags: #suddenlyspring #entireproductions #bentlyreserve #eventprofs

San Francisco’s Best Holiday Parties of 2015!

We were so appreciative of all 84 events we produced talent for this December. It was a year for beautiful, classy, classic and creative holiday celebrations. Here are a few we’d like to share with you.

 

Zynga takes to the Skies for their Holiday Surprise

We were elated to be brought on by CWT Events joining Alicia K Designs on Zynga‘s Winter Wonderland holiday party. The affair was filled with wonder and sounds of “ooo’s and ahhh’s” as the guests watched the aerialists defy gravity-  twirling and somersaulting high in the air hanging on nothing but a light piece of tissue.

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Rigged from the 5th floor- our tissu artist hangs effortlessly above all the guests.

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Hanging art at the Zynga holiday party.

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Striking a post at the Zynga holiday party.

 

OJ Shansby & Dr. Seth Matarasso’s Holiday Luncheon at Bimbos

This year we had the joy and privilege of providing our very own Tim Hockenberry to perform at an unforgettable San Francisco affair- The Shansby + Matarasso Holiday Party at Bimbos. Paula Le Duc Fine Catering successfully achieved a whimsical winter wonderland luncheon, decked to the nine’s in full Christmas cheer. Our Santa’s helpers greeted guests and then danced to “All I Want for Christmas”. Santa Claus and the dear old Grinch closed out the afternoon with photo’s with the “who’s who” of San Francisco in the lobby.

Gary Shansby, OJ Shansby, Seth Matarasso

Christmas Elves with Gary Shansby, OJ Shansby, Seth Matarasso

Performance

Santa’s Helpers performing “All I Want for Christmas”

Santa Grinch Elves

Cheerful Elves and Santa Claus and The Grinch

 

The Streets of San Francisco

This Streets of San Francisco themed holiday party, held at The Port of San Francisco Cruise Ship Terminal at Pier 27, was one of Melons Catering’s most impressive productions to date. Designed to showcase San Francisco’s distinct neighborhoods, the event featured decor, food and entertainment elements to fit diverse districts such as Fisherman’s Wharf and Japantown.

Our fellow vendors were Impact, Blueprint, Standard Rentals, Orange Photography, and the below photos by Trish Tunney.

Origami-making station for the guests to make.

Origami-making station for the guests to make.

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These third generation Japantown natives delighted guests with hand crafted keepsakes and interactive origami instruction.

Our Geisha Girls moving throughout the crowd in the JapanTown area.

Our Geisha Girls moving throughout the crowd in the JapanTown area.

 

This silver robot man surprised guests by posing alongside San Francisco's favorite tourist destination, Fisherman's Wharf.

This silver robot man surprised guests by posing alongside San Francisco’s favorite tourist destination, Fisherman’s Wharf.