Cannabis Wedding Trends to Incorporate Into Your NJ Wedding

Cannabis has been a hotly debated issue in recent years, and as more states vote to legalize recreational use, it's no surprise that so-called "weed weddings" are becoming hugely popular across the nation.

As of January 2019, more than half of the United States allows for medicinal marijuana use, and recreational use is fully legal in 10 states plus the District of Columbia. More states – including New Jersey – are expected to follow suit this year, so it's highly possible that some 2019 and 2020 weddings in the Garden State could incorporate cannabis.

In legal-use states, the annual Cannabis Wedding Expo has set the bar for industry vendors that want to help weed-friendly couples celebrate their big day. As more of the country says yes to recreational marijuana, here are a few cannabis wedding trends you're likely to see in the near future.

Cannabis Wedding Trends NJ Couples Can Jump On Now

Give a nod to cannabis on your big day with these subtle incorporations.

Cannabis Plant Bouquets and Décor

One of the easiest (and least controversial) ways to incorporate cannabis into your wedding is in your bridal bouquet, floral arrangements, and other décor. Get some fresh cuts of cannabis plant to add to your greenery for a bright, natural look. You can even add some cannabis leaves to your wedding cake to tie the theme together.

Wedding Party Gifts and Guest Favors

While you can't get high at your New Jersey wedding reception just yet, you can show your love of cannabis through your favors. Personalized pipes, match boxes, and even small packages of rolling paper are all thoughtful gifts for your cannabis-consuming guests. As an alternative, you might consider gifts that contain the non-intoxicating compound CBD, which can be found in cannabis lotions, oils, and edibles. CBD-infused products provide all the benefits of cannabis (including muscle relaxation and reduced anxiety) without the potent high you'll get from products containing THC.

Hemp Attire and Cannabis Leaf Accessories

For the cannabis-consuming couple who's looking for a much more understated approach, your best bet may be attire made of hemp (think dresses, ties, and anklets) or adding cannabis leaves to your wedding day accessories.

Trends for Future New Jersey Weddings

These next few trends might have to wait until New Jersey legalizes recreational cannabis use, but are good to keep in mind if your wedding happens post-legalization.

Infused Edibles

Cannabis-infused olive oil and butter are becoming more popular in the edibles market. If you're having your wedding reception catered by a third-party vendor, consider asking for an "infused" food station of dishes cooked or garnished with cannabis, such as flatbreads, pasta, and soup.

Cannabis Cocktails

Alcohol is already a staple at most wedding receptions, so why not add a little cannabis to the bar selection? Cannabis-infused mixers like tinctures, syrups, and creamers can make it the star of your signature wedding drink.

Open Cannabis Bars

Having an outdoor wedding reception? Consider hiring a "budtender" to serve 21+ guests a selection of gourmet cannabis strains, including low-dose edibles. Like a regular bartender, your budtender will be a knowledgeable professional who can help you and your guests achieve a safe, responsible high. If you or your guests are sensitive to THC, you can also consider strains that contain more CBD.

Dedicated Cannabis Consumption Areas

While some venues allow for cannabis use throughout the establishment, couples that can't find a cannabis-friendly location can set up a dedicated area near the reception for guests who want to discreetly consume or smoke during the wedding. Limos or party buses are also a viable option for this purpose.

Planning a New Jersey wedding? Check out Hurricane Productions' all-inclusive media and entertainment packages on our pricing page or contact us for a quote.

Empower Your Teen to Plan Her Sweet 16 with Hurricane Productions

For many girls, there's no birthday party more special or memorable than her Sweet 16 or Quinceañera. It's a day dedicated entirely to her, with family and friends gathered to celebrate the young woman she's become.

Of course, before the big day, there's the lengthy and sometimes stressful Sweet 16 planning process. Because her parents are booking -- and paying for -- the event, the birthday girl may feel like she doesn't have as much say as she'd like in her celebration.

At the same time, planning a Sweet 16 or Quinceañera for your daughter can be overwhelming. Not only are there countless details to address, but you also have to make sure a crowd of teenagers and older family members will both have a great time.

When you book Hurricane Productions for your daughter's event, we empower her to plan her own party. She has her own vision of her birthday celebration and she knows what kind of entertainment she and her friends will enjoy. Here are just a few things we do to make it easy for you to delegate the Sweet 16 planning process to the guest of honor:

She can get insights from someone who's been through it.

It's important that your teen talks through her musical tastes and vision with her Sweet 16 DJ and MC. However, the DJ entertainment industry tends to skew male -- and while we love our guys, your daughter probably wants a fellow female perspective. Our General Manager, Chelsea Rutkowski, personally communicates with every client throughout their planning process. The birthday girl can reach out to Chelsea if she has any specific questions or just wants a second opinion about some details of her party.

She has a direct contact to her DJ and MC.

Chelsea facilitates direct connection between your daughter and her DJ and MC for her Sweet 16. At some DJ companies, you have an initial consultation with the manager, sign a contract, and don't talk with the actual DJ or MC until you finalize the playlist. We believe in having your birthday girl meet the team who will be working the DJ booth at her party.

Whether you book Robbie, Alvin, Nate, or one of our other talented entertainers, you and your teen will have a chance to speak with her DJ and MC to get a sense of their personalities and musical styles. Entertainment can make or break a party, so this direct communication helps ensure your team is a good fit for the crowd at your daughter's Sweet 16 or Quinceañera.

She can use our online planning portal to customize her day.

Our clients love how easy it is to use our online planning portal. Your teen can log in and select the musical genres she wants played at her party, set her "must play" and "do not play" lists, and designate special songs for her Father-Daughter dance and/or candle ceremony. Meanwhile, you can use the portal to manage your contract and payments in just a few clicks.

Let Hurricane Productions help you and your teenager through the Sweet 16 planning process. Check out our all-inclusive entertainment, photography, and videography packages for Sweet 16s and Quinceañeras, or contact us directly for a quote.

Hurricane promotes Markus Robinson to Media Director



Hurricane Productions announces the promotion of Markus Robinson to Media Director.

He assumes the lead role for video and photo projects related to Rutgers University, non-profit partners, and private events. He will co-manage media staffing and logistics with General Manager, Chelsea Rutkowski.

He will also continue to assist with corporate video for MediaCutlet (A content creation and consulting company owned by Hurricane's co-founders Strato Doumanis and Vincent Velasquez).

"I'm most excited for growth in the company, continuing relationships and also creating new ones," Robinson said.

Robinson graduated Rutgers in 2016 with a degree in Visual Arts and Digital Filmmaking.

As a student, he was a member of the University's Media Team and produced videos for all platforms.

Robinson first learned about Hurricane Productions as a student. Hurricane's former GM, Julia Crimi (Assistant Director, Major Events and Programs - Rutgers University) mentioned Hurricane's video capabilities to Robinson. At the time, Crimi was working on an initiative for Rutgers Against Hunger during the school's summer orientation program. Robinson filmed and edited a video recap of the program.

Later that year, one of Robinson's directors at the Media Team - Larry McAllister II - sent him an application for an open position at Hurricane.

Shortly after college, Robinson joined Hurricane's team at as a freelancer and increased his portfolio while working with MediaCutlet's former Media Director, Austin King (Commercial Video Editor at Raycom Media).

His promotion as Hurricane's Media Director marks his first full-time job opportunity.

"Markus elevated himself to this position with a rare combination of talent and work ethic," Velasquez said. "I'm thankful that our former employees and our partners at Rutgers recognized his potential and helped him transition from a student to a professional. Joining us full-time energizes our entire staff."

About Hurricane Productions:
Hurricane Productions® is an integrated media organization and a recognized leader in DJ entertainment and event production. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content to live and online audiences. DJ entertainment, multimedia, and event production are Hurricane’s principal creative content and production activities. The company is headquartered in Red Bank, NJ.

Wedding Trends: Cannabis, Brunches, Minimalism and More

Someone tagged you in this post because you're engaged and planning a 2019-2020 wedding. It's time to get to work : Set a date, pick a venue, book vendors, find your dress, etc.

Hurricane Productions helps hundreds of tri-state area couples celebrate their big day with DJ, Photo, and Video services. Our full-time staff recently compiled this list of wedding trends.

Cannabis

If you're reading this in New Jersey, New York, or Pennsylvania: Cannabis isn't legal, yet. But its coming. And couples are drawing from cannabis wedding ideas in states where it is legal and anticipating that they can incorporate it in all aspects of their wedding day including decor, favors and dessert.

Engagement Brunches

Many couples host an engagement party to kick off their wedding activities well before the big day. If you’re not already planning a daytime wedding, consider celebrating your engagement with a late-morning fête featuring breakfast foods, endless mimosas, and a DJ. Your friends are sure to have a great time -- after all, millennials are known for their love of brunch!

Daytime Weddings

Evening receptions are still the standard, but more and more couples are opting for afternoon weddings. There are a few good reasons to consider a daytime reception. First, many venues offer incentives for off-peak events, like a discounted per-head rate or no minimum guest count. It also may be more convenient for your guests to head home in the early evening, rather than 11 p.m. or midnight. The biggest advantage? You'll be able to take advantage of more daylight hours for gorgeous, well-lit wedding photos and videos.

Sunday Weddings

While not necessarily a new trend, Sunday weddings are becoming more common as well. As with daytime events, hosting your wedding on a Sunday is considered an off-peak time for most venues, so you'll likely save some money on the reception. If you do opt for a Sunday wedding, set the time early enough so your guests aren't still in "recovery mode" come Monday morning!

Unique Locations

Forget the traditional banquet hall: Today's couples want a wedding venue that reflect their unique personalities and aesthetic. Wineries, barns, and historical villages are all on the list of locations today's NJ couples are considering for their celebrations. You can check out a few of these gorgeous NJ wedding backdrops we've captured if you need some inspiration.

Natural Greenery and Foliage

Floral arrangements make an appearance at just about every wedding, but many couples are opting for a more natural, outdoorsy feel in their wedding decor by incorporating lush greenery, tree branches, and grasses. According to Martha Stewart Weddings, pampas grass and wheat will be included in more wedding florals this year.

Minimalist Aesthetic

The price tag on a wedding can skyrocket quickly, so couples are saving their budget for the important stuff (e.g. the venue and vendors) and going minimal on their wedding details.  WeddingWire says the "bold, minimalist look" can be seen everywhere -- invitations, florals, table settings, cakes, and even wedding dresses. Many wedding experts say modern brides have been inspired by Meghan Markle's simple but sophisticated Givenchy Royal Wedding gown, leading them to embrace minimalist attire for their big day.

Fully Customized Lighting

LED Lighting was the "it" feature for the early part of the decade. But couples are customizing lighting for more than decor purposes. Ever try taking a photo on your phone at night? It's not so easy.  Lighting can enhance photo and video - not just the moments captured by professionals. Everyone has Instagram (yes, even Grandma). And lighting can make guests' DIY photos from their phones look better, too.  Hurricane Productions has always been ahead of the curve on this trend -- we offer tons of custom-designed lighting add-ons for your big day, including full venue uplighting and Name in Lights monogram displays.

Do I Need a DJ and MC at My Wedding?

When people look back on the weddings they've been to, the one element that usually stands out in their mind is the entertainment. The entertainment company you hire can make or break your reception. If you want your guests to remember how much fun they had at your wedding, you need the right event host and musical talent.

While some couples still opt for a live wedding band, many choose DJ entertainment to save on cost and venue space. DJ companies will often give you the option of hiring one person as a combination DJ and master of ceremonies (MC), or one DJ and one MC. If you're on the fence, we highly recommend having a separate wedding DJ and MC.

Why hire a two-person wedding entertainment team?

Much like having two videographers, a two-person entertainment team will only enhance your wedding day. Each entertainer brings their own style and flair, but can collaborate together to produce an engaging, unforgettable experience for your guests.

Just ask any couple who's hired our main wedding entertainment team, DJ Alvin Gay and MC Robbie "Maserobbiee" Padovano. The combination of Robbie's larger-than-life personality with Alvin's energy and musical flow keeps guests out on the dance floor and having a great time throughout your entire reception.

"Over the years, Alvin and I have built a flow were we are able to create memories and moments that will last a lifetime," says Robbie. "From Alvin bringing the energy from behind the decks, to me not only entertaining guests, but coordinating the timeline to keep the overall flow of the event on track, we are the perfect team."

Having a wedding DJ and MC allows each to focus on their strengths.

At Hurricane Productions, all of our entertainers are comfortable behind a microphone and can seamlessly transition between DJ and MC. However, a combination DJ/MC shoulders a lot of responsibility in keeping your event flowing. They'll need to step away from the DJ booth to make announcements and speak to you and your guests, meaning they may need to line up a few tracks to auto-play while they handle MC duties. With a separate MC at the helm, the DJ can focus on taking requests, mixing tracks, and crafting a musical flow that's truly in-the-moment and unique to your event.

By the same token, a separate MC is free to get out on the dance floor, interact directly with guests, and make sure everyone is having a phenomenal time. You won't have to worry about whether your friends and family are enjoying themselves; you'll be able to see it in the way your MC handles the crowd.

What should I ask my potential wedding entertainers?

As with any other wedding vendor, you'll want to sit down and chat with your potential entertainment team before signing a contract. Ask good questions to determine if this particular DJ and MC are the right fit for your wedding – what is their planning process like? Do they understand your wedding details and timeline? How willing are they to work with you on customized playlists and music edits? Do they also provide a ceremony sound system?

Through these types of conversations, you'll get a better idea of your DJ and MC's personalities and styles, as well as how they'll interact with each other during your reception. After all, you need to feel comfortable with the people who will help create your wedding memories.

Hurricane Productions offers a full suite of wedding entertainment services, including DJ/MC entertainment, custom lighting design, ceremony sound, and more. Visit our pricing page to view our all-inclusive packages, or request a quote to create your own.

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