As Hurricane Productions readies itself to entertain a full slate of 2011 events, the company compiled a portfolio of its top 10 events from 2010.
Hurricane Productions introduced uplighting and production into its entertainment packages, enhanced its 'Next-Day' Facebook photo album feature, and perfected family montages and video production in 2010. The year also saw some original Hurricane Productions clients from its start in 2003 come back around for more events - this time for their younger childrens' proms, Sweet 16s and weddings.
Although all the parties and events from 2010 will hold a special place in Hurricane Productions' history, these are the 10 events that told the best stories about the clients, the company, and helped set the stage for a successful 2011.
10. DJ competition at Rutgers University
When: December 9, 2010
Where: College Ave. Student Center
The story: Talented DJ and Producer Eugene Veltman (Jenaux) rallied his fraternity to raise money for the upcoming 2011 Rutgers Dance Marathon. He did so by convincing top DJs from Rutgers University to compete in a friendly mix-based event. Featuring house, top 40 and hip hop, DJ EV, DJ Tonic, Ravi B and DJ Dave Kim rocked the Multipurpose Room at the College Avenue Student Center. Hurricane and Red Bull sponsored the event and Hurricane Productions' DJs Strato Doumanis and Eddie 'DJ N9NE' Romani served as the judges. DJ EV walked away as the champ and will be one of four DJs featured at Club DM 2011.
Click here for the photo gallery
9. Four former Sweet 16ers bring Hurricane to DJ their high school prom
When: April 23, 2010
Where: Grand Marquis in Old Bridge, NJ
The story: Samantha Ortner from Brick, NJ and her family hired Hurricane Productions to entertain her Sweet 16 at the Stone Pony in late 2008. Chelsea and Carly Gleason kicked off Hurricane Productions' 2009 season with their Sweet 16 in January and Ali Jordan celebrated her Sweet 16 at Spano's at White Sands in March 2009. What else do all of these girls have in common? They go to the same high school and serve on the student council. So when it was time to pick a DJ for their prom, they immediately called Hurricane Productions.
8. Sarah's traditional Sweet 16 features choreographed dances and ceremonies
When: October 3, 2010
Where: The Manor in West Orange, NJ
The story: When it came to planning a traditional Filipino Sweet 16, the Bacani family searched for a DJ company that would listen to their needs. Simply put, Sarah's guest list was split between her high school friends and her family. She wanted all of her friends to dance with all of her family members and needed a DJ who could handle playing traditional Filipino music and top 40 hits.
Hurricane Productions owner Strato Doumanis compiled a format for the event and helped guide the Bacani family down the path to a successful event. Sarah's Sweet 16 included a traditional choreographed waltz, dedication dances, a photo montage, a traditional Filipino dance called the ‘jota,’ and a candle and rose ceremony.
7. Donald Trump shows up to Nicole's Sweet 16
When: October 1, 2010
Where:Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, NJ
The story: Donald Trump walked through the doors of his golf club in Bedminster, NJ and before you now it, he grabbed a pen and signed the welcome board at Nicole's Sweet 16. The visit was unexpected since Trump rarely visits his golf club, but he was in attendance that evening because a number of his high-roller members gathered for a banquet in the adjoining room. Trump stopped in, checked out the party and posed for some photos with our Sweet 16 guest of honor and her family.
6. A night on the red carpet with Veronica Kole
When: August 26, 2010
Where: Eagle Oaks Golf Country Club in Farmingdale, NJ
The story: Veronica Kole is and up and coming pop singer and at the age of 16, she wanted to throw a Hollywood-style Sweet 16 for her friends. Decked out with her 'name in lights', red carpet with paparazzi, uplighting, video screens and production, she impressed her hometown 'fans' with her party and a duet performance with pop singer Brenda K. Starr.
The event was a quasi-Sweet 16/album release party as Veronica performed and partied all night long. Watch the video to see more from her party.
5. The Gleasons come back to Hurricane - this time for a wedding
When: September 4, 2010
Where: American Legion in Toms River, NJ
The story: Remember Carly and Chelsea Gleason from our No. 9 event of 2010? Their older sister, Ashley, got engaged earlier in year and called Hurricane to book her wedding in September. Ashley and Andrew got married on the beach during Labor Day weekend and then celebrated their reception at the American Legion in Toms River.
This is what's cool about Ashley and Andrew's wedding: They threw a huge party and a low-cost venue so that they didn't have to cut any of their friends and family from their guest list. Instead, they budgeted their party for great DJ entertainment and food.
In order to 'dress-up' the rather plain venue, Hurricane Productions transformed the room with uplighting. Watch the video to see the transformation. This wedding is a true example of how DJ entertainment really makes the difference in your celebration.
4. Rutgers University Dance Marathon raises over $378,000
When: 32-hour non-stop event from March 27 - 28
Where: College Avenue Gymnasium at Rutgers University
The story: In its third year entertaining Rutgers Dance Marathon, Hurricane Productions accomplished so much in advancing the event and helping it raise money for the Embrace Kids Foundation. Dance Marathon is a feel-good event centered around over 1,000 student volunteers who commit themselves to raising money and awareness for the children with cancer and blood disorders.
Hurricane Productions trained six DJs and five emcees to entertain their peers. The company helped produce DM's original 'line dance' song that is taught to all of the students throughout 32 hours and also filmed and produced a music video to go along with the dance.
3. Donny and Gina's Wedding
When: October 30, 2010
Where: The Palace at Somerset Park
The story: When Donny and Gina met Vincent and Strato in 2006 they immediately said "when we get married, you're DJing our wedding." Donny owns D&D Catering located out of the Mercer County Boathouse at Mercer County Park. He met Vincent and Strato back in 2006 during a busy season of Sweet 16s and Hurricane Productions worked at the Boathouse a number of times from 2006-2008. When Donny and Gina got engaged in late 2009 they called Vincent and booked Hurricane for their wedding. The wedding consultations took place at their household and Donny cooked Hurricane full dinners upon their arrivals (Donny is a caterer at heart). Donny, Gina, Strato and Vincent formed a strong friendship during the planning process and it showed at the wedding.
The wedding accented all the best features at the Palace including full ballroom uplighting, video production and a party percussionist. Hurricane also provided music for the afterparty located at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Somerset. To top it all off, Vincent created custom designed and edited DVDs of their photo montage that Donny and Gina gave to their parents as Christmas gifts.
2. Hurricane saves Sweet 16 from cancellation
When: November 20, 2010
Where: Robert Meyner Reception Center at PNC Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ
The story: Raaga's family was in a bind. They booked a reputable DJ company to entertain her Sweet 16 earlier in 2010 but when the company booked seven other events that evening, the company released Raaga's party within six weeks of the event. Raaga's mom called Hurricane Productions and not only did they save the event but Hurricane upped the ante on the other DJ company.
This event marked Hurricane's most impressive production of 2010. Hurricane Productions designed uplighting for the entire ballroom - completely transforming PNC's reception center. Hurricane created a photo montage and video presentation (using Raaga's family VHS tapes to compile the footage) and put Raaga's 'Name in Lights' using the same font color and design as her Sweet 16 invitations.
Here's what Raaga's mom had to say in an email after the party:
"Finding your company was a blessing in disguise for us. You made it easy for us and addressed our every wish and concern with unparalleled professionalism. I do not think there are enough good superlative adjectives in the dictionary for us to describe your DJ services, and how happy we are with your services. I hope you continue to grow, and wish you continued success in future."
1. Amanda and Brendan's Wedding
When: August 27, 2010
Where: Hyatt Regency in Jersey City, NJ
The story: Brendan Prunty and Hurricane Productions owner Vincent Velasquez worked together at the Star-Ledger and NJ.com since 2006. Vincent, a college intern, and Brendan, fresh out of college, became friends while they worked together as Rutgers football reporters. While on the job, Brendan would share stories about Amanda (his girlfriend turned fiance) and Vincent would finish up work on college football Saturdays to head to a DJ gig. When Brendan got engaged he called Vincent and asked if he would emcee his and Amanda's wedding. Hurricane Productions put together a beautiful celebration at the Hyatt Regency overlooking New York City that included uplighting under the sweetheart table, a photo montage, party percussionist and video production.
This wedding holds a special place in the history of Hurricane Productions because it marks the first crossover of Vincent's full-time job as a sports reporter and his passion as an emcee and host for Hurricane Productions. Just like Donny and Gina, Brendan and Amanda are not just clients but friends. Their stories about their weddings are ones to not just to share with clients but with friends and family alike.
Andrea and Shane's Wedding at the Thayer Hotel in West Point, NY:
Hurricane Productions and its crew traveled to West Point to provide DJ entertainment, uplighting and a party percussionist for an eloquent military wedding. Andrea and Shane found Hurricane Productions through a mutual friend from Vincent's college days at Rutgers University.
Mally's Sweet 16 at the Grand Marquis in Old Bridge, NJ:
Sweet 16 in early 2010 featured Hurricane's first full room uplighting design. Mally wanted a blue color scheme for her Cinderella-themed party. Hurricane Productions decorated the walls and her head table with uplighting and design in the Grand Marquis' Dome Room.