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Elegant Occasions

1. JoAnn Gregoli, Owner- Elegant Occasions- The 20 Most Successful Entrepreneurs Making a Difference in 2022
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We would like to know about the inception story of your company. How you entered this industry? 

I came into this industry after working in the public relations industry planning and producing events for the pharmaceutical industry. I then worked in the art department for a local furniture store and was involved in the store’s events. I found my passion early on! I loved being part of events that created an experience for those in attendance. I was part of the team that conceptualized and built the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey. It was such an amazing experience to see a project go from concept to completion; that I then realized that I would love to create the same feeling for my couples. Life is all about the experiences we have and the journey to get to that moment in time. Events offer that same feeling from the moment you meet the couple to the time they walk down the aisle, it’s about the journey and the memories created.

 Wedding is the most special part of every couple’s life. How do you make it special? 

I like to personalize the wedding and make it feel like; it’s a personal dinner party for the entire family. Getting to know the couple and make it all about them. I also make sure every couple feels like they are my only couple. Making people feel special is how you make them feel.

What are the strategies that make you stand out in the competition? 

The way I try to stand out; is to make sure we personalize and get to know our couples quite well. We want to be sure that each event reflects our couple’s style. I also used my knowledge and experience in travel to help start the formation of destination weddings. I was a pioneer in that industry due to my background of being raised by my MOM who owned her own travel agency. We used to travel the world at a very young age and I found that I loved to learn about different cultures.

Tell us about the Founder’s Life journey. 

JoAnn began her career working in Marketing and Public Relations for Huffman Koos in Hackensack, NJ. Her journey took her into the world of planning and executing in-store events for the furniture chain. She soon left that company and began working for a Public Relations firm that handled events for the pharmaceutical giants in New Jersey. Once I stayed home to raise my six children, I started Elegant Occasions. My obsession with weddings was quickly apparent when I would attend weddings that were taking place at resorts. I knew that I was in love with creating memories for couples was a true passion.

 How long have you been in the bridal industry? What kind of client response do you receive? 

I am an event planner and producer. We work closely with wedding gown designers to create magic for our couples. I have been in the events industry for over 30 years. Providing one-of-a-kind events for clients around the world. Our clients love the experience we bring to the tale and the knowledge we have in the events industry. It is critical that a couple works with a team that is knowledgeable in the type of wedding you are planning. If you are hosting a destination wedding, that planner should have first-hand experience in that market and know exactly how to plan a destination wedding. The same goes for a home wedding; a planner should know how to plan this type of wedding and anticipate problems before they occur. A great planner always has a solution to the problem before it occurs.

Covid19 pandemic badly affected every industry. How does it affect your business and what solutions do you apply? 

We had to adapt and create safe environments for our couples. We had to implement Covid Compliant events that now offer on-site testing for guests and vendors. We need to make sure, every precaution is taken to ensure that these events are not super spreader events. We have moved some of our events outdoors to tented events, to make guests feel safe. We are more aware of airflow and seating situations along with larger dance floor areas.

What changes have you witnessed in this industry to date? 

We have seen the wedding industry come to a screeching halt in the NYC Metropolitan area and have come out on top. We have worked tirelessly to help couples continue with their plans, through modified versions of what is normal. We have also seen couples host weddings that are smaller in size due to covid concerns. But, at the same time, however, offers live streaming of their event to include those who could not attend in person.

Year of Founding:  1988
 Founding Members: JoAnn Gregoli
 Office Locations: NYC, Morocco and DC
 Company Strength: event production and planning
 Website: www.elegantoccasionsbyjoanngregoli.com

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