Looking for the perfect place to have your Central NJ bar or bat mitzvah? Look no further than the beautiful Crystal Ballroom at the Radisson Hotel of Freehold. A great deal is happening now, so grab it while it lasts!
The Crystal Ballroom is offering Saturday afternoon packages. These packages include a four hour celebration with prices ranging from $49-$55 a head. The Radisson offers an extensive menu with many options to choose from that will make your experience worthwhile. We will help you create your special event from the blessing of the challah and candle lighting ceremony, to the decorations, layout and scroll cake. There is no need to stress when you book with the Radisson Hotel; we take care of you and all your needs.
Today Hotels Unlimited continues its Behind the Scenes series as we proudly introduce Bettse Birnbaum, our promotional items consultant. Bettse is the owner of All That Jazz a premiere promotional marketing company specializing in customizable items that people can use to personalize their NJ sweet 16, Bar/ Bat Mitzvah, NJ weddings, or corporate events. For example, when guests book their wedding at any of our facilities, inside their thank you gift bags are promotional items from All That Jazz.
HU: How long has All That Jazz been working with Hotels Unlimited?
BB: All that Jazz has been working with Hotels Unlimited for at least six years, and has been in business for more than 22 years.
HU: What kinds of items can people personalize for a social gathering such as a NJ Bar/ Bat Mitzvah?
BB: We have balloons and banners, sweatshirts and t-shirts. Most Bat Mitzvahs have a theme that we can always work with. For example we can create personalized CD covers, and aluminum key tags with event information to create a Broadway theatre themed event. We can create products to match any theme.
HU: What kinds of items can people personalize for a NJ wedding?
BB: All that Jazz can order favors and gifts for bridesmaids and the entire wedding party. We have done picture frames, chocolates, and mints with pictures of the bride and groom. We also have fortune cookies, with custom fortunes and flavors including Oreo flavored cookies. We can do edible cookies and chocolates with an imprinted logo which is good for both corporate and social events.
HU: What items are popular for a corporate gathering?
BB: Corporate items are our specialty. We can do pens, badges, folios, high tech computer accessories, journals, or totes depending on the type of corporate event. We can produce a myriad of promotional products including print and packaging services.
HU: What are your most popular bridal items?
BB: Some of our most popular items include: t-shirts, chocolates, purse hooks, picture frames, candles, wine accessories, bride and groom mint containers, and spa kits for weddings. For children-based events such as Bar/ Bat Mitzvahs and Sweet 16s, some items we have included pajama pants with a monogram logo and t-shirts, sports paraphernalia and more.
HU: What are your most popular corporate items?
BB: Our popular conference items are pretty much ordered on a client to client basis and are based on theme., exhibit stands are popular right now for the corporate realm.
HU: What hot trends do you foresee coming up for the holiday season?
BB: People are going back to basics. Commonly we have sold a lot of baskets with gourmet food. We have packaged mugs with treats and gourmet coffees and teas. Some other hot products for the season include desk products, umbrellas, computer bags, flash drives, and digital picture frames which can come pre-loaded and link back to the company website or the bride and groom’s website.
HU: Which of the items available are your personal favorites?
BB: I really like the picture frames. I will put in a piece of parchment with a card or invitation inserted into a picture frame. I also like giving out food in special packaging that can be used later for other purposes. Holiday cards that come packaged with music are a nice gift.
According to a recent article found on Business Insurance, event planners are showing a trend of NOT insuring their events. According to research, the article suggests that many of the 50,000 event planners across the country are independently operated and will only get insurance for an event at the client’s request.
Photos of some of our outdoor ceremonies & nearby beach weddings
But like anyone else, we are only human and cannot control everything. For example in last August, Hurricane Irene had ruined more than 6,000 weddings across the east coast according to a report from CNN Money. The average cost of a wedding is about $30,000 and about a whopping $70,000 in New York City.. ouch!
So would you consider insuring your wedding or large gala event? As we all have learned throughout life, poop happens and so does the weather. Although we always can hope for the best for anyone’s big day, we can only do just that. Hope.
It’s no surprise how quickly technology emerges and integrates into our daily lives. Although it has its advantages and disadvantages, today we ask the question of the role of technology in the wedding industry.
Is it improper to send out wedding invitations via E-mail or through a digital medium versus a traditional paper invitation?
Although every wedding has its own circumstances and variations based on the couple, we decided to analyze the pros and cons of each side.
+1: No postage stamps required.
+1: Environmentally friendly. No paper required.
+1: Inexpensive. Many websites will let you customize your own for little to no cost.
-1: If you are looking to invite the grandparents, they are probably not tech savvy.
-1: Mass E-mail distribution sites can sometimes be marked as spam and can get lost in cyberspace.
-1: Depending on the style of the message, can set the tone in a cheap way. A traditional wedding with an e-vite? Not so much.
+1: are easily created and customizable to the couple’s theme/ personality. No template required.
+1: are portable for guests driving to your location for both the church and the reception.
+1: understandable by all ages and do not come with a computer incompatibility error.
-1: postage stamps, card paper, and any specialized calligraphy writing will add up $$$ very quickly.
-1: depending on if one makes the invites or buys them, one has to consider gas and labor.
-1: takes longer to deliver and receive RSVP. Bridal party will have to develop manual system of RSVP.
Participants who book at any of the Hotels Unlimited facilities will receive a VIP card that will entitle them to exclusive deals and savings that cannot be provided anywhere else. Brides and other event planners can only get a Sound Connection VIP card by booking a Hotels Unlimited event, and can only get a Hotels Unlimited VIP card by booking a Sound Connection event. This card is designed to bring savings and is ready for use.
What do Batman, Superman, Indiana Jones and a bride all have in common? Each has their own cued theme music. They take command of the center stage and stride into the crowd as the music plays in the background.
Whenever anyone plans a big NJ event the music can completely set the tone. Today Hotels Unlimited met with Jason Jani from Sound Connection Entertainment. Jason has been providing Hotels Unlimited with the latest beats since 2000. Hotels Unlimited is proud to announce in this exclusive interview that Sound Connection Entertainment is our #1 preferred vendor for the latest in music and entertainment for your NJ Wedding and NJ Corporate event.
How long have you been DJ music industry?
I have been a DJ for 16 years. I have done everything from private events to nightclub events, remix production and radio production work. Have done over 2000 events in my life and over 1000 wedding receptions alone.
How did you get started with Sound Connection Entertainment?
I founded Sound Connection 11 years ago. At the time, I was working with different night clubs and I was asked to do a lot of private events. Back then, a lot of private events consisted of doing the staple line dances and doing mostly interactive stuff. Not that I was against any of that, but I wanted to do something different and that was how Sound Connection was born. When I got invites to do weddings, social events, and corporate events I wanted to do a more modern unique presentation. We really wanted to do something that was outside of the box.
What inspired you to get into the industry?
That is a really good question. It’s really interesting to see how the industry has changed now from when I started. When I started, I thought of it as a fun creative job. As I evolved as an entertainer/ DJ, my responsibilities have taken on different forms as a business owner and with the event planning and production aspect. It has evolved so much and it still continues to do so. At SCE, we try to draw inspiration from anything. Movies, concerts, Broadway, industry conferences, music videos, and pop culture are all creative influences to us today.
What is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of the job is getting to know people and understanding their unique vision. When I meet with a client, it’s not just a business relationship but a personal relationship too. My favorite part of the job is at the end of the event seeing that everything the clients have envisioned is brought to life or surpassed. It’s fun to see the younger guests on the dance floor all night and the older guests too. It’s the combination of people at the end of the event that say ‘this is the best event I have ever been to,’ ‘It was perfect,’ etc - that makes all our effort and hard work worth it.
What separates Sound Connection from other music and entertainment companies?
Sound Connection Entertainment is different because of our staff. We are fortunate to have a very creative, talented and dynamic full time staff. We also aren’t limited to preparing our events a certain way. Everything that we do surrounds the clients’ ideas and vision. Everyone has a different idea of perfect and what they want for their event. We take the time to understand what that is and materialize it to perfection while keeping people entertained and happy. There isn’t anything we can’t do and we are not afraid to try new things for people. When a client comes to us with an incredible idea, the Sound Connection difference is we try to incorporate the idea into the production for that evening. Our events are as unique as our couples.
Sound Connection entertainment offers more than just music. What other features do you have to enhance the event experience?
Some of the enhancements that we offer include lighting and light-scaping. We will use lighting design to transform both the look and feel of the room. We can change the lighting with the mood and the feeling of the room. For example, when the bride is sharing the dance with her father the room goes pink. When the groom shares the dance with his mom, the room goes blue. When they cut the cake, the room goes white. If we know it is a fall wedding and everyone is eating dinner, we will light up the walls in reds, oranges, and yellows, and it is constantly changing so that the landscape in the room will always be changing and will always be different.
We also offer drapery which can transform any traditional wedding venue into something you would see in Miami or New York City. We will hang fabric up against the walls which really complements the lighting features we offer and it gives the room a new dimension. It really surprises people with how classy it looks, and how it accents the venue in a different capacity. Multi-media presentations, Lounge Furniture, Digital Photo booths, Atmosphere elements, and custom audio production are all services offered by Sound Connection
How long does it take to prepare for an event?
Every event is different so it depends on what the clients’ needs and services that they require. On average, I would say we put in about 20 to 40 hours per wedding production that we do. Some are more than that, others are less. It really depends on the framework or vision of the client. Some couples might want custom voice-overs, custom remixes, lighting design, venue touring, setting up equipment and even appointments that can sometimes last two to four hours.
What is your favorite genre of music?
From a DJ perspective, I am an open format kind of DJ. I am open to any form of music. I can go from 70s, 80s, 90s, top 40, house, rock, to hip-hop in one night.
When I am in my car, I will listen to something different to get a feel of what is going down in pop culture, but recently the 90s station is making a huge comeback for me. If I could only pick one music type though, I would say the dance music because of my club DJ background.
It’s no surprise that everyone is looking around to find the best deals when there is so much information available on the internet. When it comes to party & event planning no matter what the occasion from weddings to birthdays, Bat / Bar Mitzvahs to Anniversaries, Christening parties to bridal and baby showers and sweet 16 parties, there is one thing that all these events have in common. Each event has significance to our clients and can be hosted at any of our locations throughout the Ocean County, Monmouth County and Mercer County areas.
All of our banquet halls in NJ offer both elegance and value for all those looking to host an event. Our packages include many features so that all clients receive the best value for their needs. Each of our experienced Catering Sales Directors (introduced in our “Meet the Staff” series) are ready and willing to work with you. We also include on site catering, bar options (when applicable), flatware, stemware, centerpieces, tables, chairs, linens and napkins, cake from our friends at Chocolate Carousel Bakery, and of course an elegant venue.
Attached below is our PDF giving clients a visual reference as to how everything financially compares.
Here at Hotels Unlimited we have a committed staff at each of our locations that is here to cater to our clients’ needs. Today, we continue with our ”Meet the Staff” series in which we will inform you of our resources that are available for your opportune moment.
VL: I have worked with Hotels Unlimited a little over three years now, and have been at the Radisson for all three years.
HU: What is the most common type of event that your banquet facility holds?
VL: We do tons of Weddings, Bat Mitzvahs and Bar Mitzvahs. We do everything from corporate events to social including anniversaries, bridal showers, breakfast the next day after the event, and baby showers.
HU: What is your most memorable event that you have done?
VL: The most memorable event we had done was a wedding that was planned through David Tutera, the famous celebrity planner who is on “My Fair Wedding.” David and his whole crew had chosen one of our brides and had selected our venue for the show. It was very exciting.
HU: What do your clients like most about the facility?
VL: Our clients like the beautiful chandeliers which you will have to see for yourself when you come visit. We have outdoor wedding ceremonies, and just the convenience of the hotel as well.
HU: What enhancers do your clients use the most?
VL: Our clients like to use our chair covers as well as our Hollywood lighting packages for the night because it definitely changes the mood of the evening and they can make it their own, and I am a big fan of the Sweet Memories package in which we serve sweet treats butler style.
HU: What is your favorite part of the event planning process?
VL: My favorite part is the initial working with the clients and watching them see the Crystal Ballroom for the first time and see the “wow” look on their faces. I also really enjoy walking with them through the whole booking process and it’s so wonderful to feel that they chose me for their special day.
HU: Any advice you would recommend to any couples getting married that are looking around?
VL: Don’t listen to too many opinions of family and friends. Obviously they should work with the parents and such, but brides seem to have too many people put in their opinion and it can get overwhelming. When something is right, they will feel it. Although everyone has a budget to work with, all of our properties will work with them and in the end it is their decision.
HU: What is your most unusual event request?
VL: We had many unusual event requests, but there are two that really stick out to me. Once while planning a Bar Mitzvah, we had a client who wanted to ride in on a dirt bike since the party theme was extreme sports.
The other event was during a gay wedding where the couple had requested a drag show during the reception and “Beyoncè” was part of the act.
Here at Hotels Unlimited we have a committed staff at each of our locations that is here to cater to our clients’ needs. Today, we continue with our ” Meet the Staff” series in which we will inform you of our resources that are available for your opportune moment.
HH: I have worked with Hotels Unlimited for 7 years.
HU: What do you like most about the position?
HH: I enjoy everything that comes with the catering field. Most of all, I like dealing with all the different types of people I get to meet on a daily basis. Being a wedding planner prior to working with Hotels Unlimited, weddings are my specialty, and I like to help the brides plan their special day and help ease their minds when it comes to executing a fabulous event.
HH: Weddings, Weddings, Weddings! We are a wedding factory. Our staff usually executes more than 120 weddings in the Versailles Ballroom per year, and we have as many as two to four weddings per weekend. We also do a lot of social events including birthday parties, anniversaries, Sweet 16, Bar – Bat Mitzvahs, and Baby – Bridal showers.
HU: What do your clients like most about the facility?
HH: The glitz, the glam, and the consistency. Once you walk into the ballroom, clients immediately notice the beautiful chandeliers and cocktail reception area showcasing our stone handcrafted fireplace. Most of our clients love our location within the community, the attentiveness of Angel our Maitre ’D, and of course the reassurance of knowing that they are
going to get a good product when coming here and a memorable experience to last them forever.
HU: Does the bar make any specialty cocktails?
HH: Of course! Specialty cocktails and signature drinks are a growing trend with banquet events. We can match your signature drink to be a color, a flavor, you name it. Our staff can jazz it up and make it fun for any guests.
HU: What enhancers do your clients like the most?
HH: Let me first start by saying, enhancers make any event! We have many different enhancers that you can personalize any package with. A lot of people use the Hollywood lighting
feature, which is dramatic and brings a very different vibe to the party. A lot of people like to add dessert enhancers like our Viennese display, chocolate fountain and new Sweet Memories to go out with a bang. Colored taffeta or organza chair bows and chair covers always add a special touch of elegance as well.
HU: What is your favorite part of the event planning process?
HH: My favorite part is not knowing what I am coming into everyday. I meet millions of different kinds of personalities and families that let me into their lives and let me become a part of their special occasion. I like knowing that I was part of their big day and that I made them smile. I guarantee that my clients leave my office either laughing or
HU: Any advice that you would recommend to any couples getting married that are looking around?
HH: Get married here! (As she laughs) The Versailles Ballroom executes fabulous weddings. Our team exudes the utmost professionalism and could practically do everything with their eyes closed. If you are looking for a good product at a great price, trust in the Versailles Ballroom. If you are looking to buy a house and are still looking to have a great wedding, you can have your wedding cake and eat it too.
HU: What trends do you see for future events?
HH: When it comes to weddings, more brides are choosing to be more casual with a cocktail wedding reception and are choosing a theme. Our brides add their personal touches to our ballroom, by bringing their own personality into their own weddings and I love it. It’s fun to see the wedding trends change through the years. First it was all the rage with the chocolate fountain, and now it’s the candy buffets. I can’t wait to see what is next!
HU: What is your most unusual event request?
HH: Well there have been many, but one that sticks out in my head is a bride that did a candy buffet that took up the entire perimeter of the ballroom! It took two U-haul trucks to deliver and store all the candy that was needed and a day to set it all up. This is what I love to do and I live for unusual requests!