Wedding Planners Discuss the Future of Weddings

GP Talks: Wine Down Wednesday

You’ve got pressing questions, we’ve rounded up experts to give you answers!

wedding planners to discuss what weddings will look like in the future.

We’ve assembled a panel of incredible wedding planners to discuss the future of weddings.

The panel (full bios below):

  • Annie Lee – Annie Lee is principal planner of Daughter of Design, recently named a top planner of the world by Harper’s Bazaar. Annie is also author of Learn to Speak Wedding: Flashcards for Beginners and founder of where you can hire an event planner by the hour. 

  • Emily Reifel – Emily Reifel has been running all the Social Events at The Plaza Hotel for 12 years. She started in the hospitality industry at the front desk of The Waldorf=Astoria where she realized that she had a passion for events.  A native of Seattle, Washington her dance background was what originally led her to her new home of New York City.  Now she oversees some of the most luxurious weddings, birthday parties and bar & bat mitzvah’s for anywhere from 100 to 500 guests!  When she is not busy running events you can probably find her over at Lincoln Center supporting her love for the arts!

  • Guerdy Abraira – Guerdy has been in the wedding industry for over 17 years. Guerdys “back-of-the-house” background in hotel services and catering has granted her to have full capacity in executing destination and local weddings from hotel room blocks to creating unique food and beverage experiences. She guides her team to not look at the trends but rather develop truly unique executions for clients. Her ability to not only fully plan weddings but also create full-bodied conceptual design for her clients has been a game-changer in her ability to offer a unique multi-dimensional array of services. This Haitian/French/American’s global palette and aesthetic also has played a large role in her ability to facilitate destination weddings for those looking for destination wedding experiences 

  • Marcy Blum –  An “eventista,” Marcy Blum is an expert in entertaining, etiquette, food, and wine. She has been producing creative, magical, and personal events for over 30 years, launching Marcy Blum Associates in 1986 and is frequently noted as an innovator in the events industry. Marcy infuses her culinary arts background with her humorous and sane approach to entertaining, to create extraordinary memories for her clients. 

    A graduate of the Performing Arts High School and the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, Marcy produces events where the entertainment and décor are elegantly theatrical, the food is delicious and creative, the wines are thoughtfully chosen, and the service is beyond spectacular.

  • Maria Seremetis – Maria Seremetis, Founder and President of Maria Seremetis Events, has been an authority on event planning in NYC for over two decades, planning hundreds of events around the world. Growing up in a Greek family, where gatherings of 20-40 with shared laughter and mezze each weekend was the norm, a penchant for entertaining was born. Maria honed a talent for event design and planning through her roles in catering and hospitality in her father’s restaurants, and in her merchandising role at Donna Karan.  Her passion for meaningful connections, collaborations, and experiential story-telling through entertaining – and always, laughter, are at the heart of each and every client project.  A trusted source on all matters of hospitality, her meticulous attention to detail, style and quality, and her collaborative approach in working with top vendors in the industry, are her professional trademarks.


Moderated by Amanda DiUglio, Great Performances

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The Impact of Coronavirus on Catering Staff

You’ve got pressing questions about the impact of Coronavirus on catering staff, so we’ve rounded up experts to give you answers!

The world has changed. Events and galas, which provided thousands of jobs for catering staff, often comprising artists, actors, singers and other creatives, have disappeared. Even as we slowly recover, there’s concern about what the future of catering and events will look like and what that means to the creative community who once perceived New York as a cultural center.

We’ve assembled a panel of incredible individuals across a variety of creative fields, all who have been a part of the Great Performances catering team and two notable catering historians. Along with Ronnie Davis, Managing Director of Great Performances, they discuss the joys and challenges of their roles, the impact of Coronavirus, and what they see for the future.




Food Writers & Cookbook Authors

Charleston, SC raised brothers Matt Lee and Ted Lee have had a twenty-year career in food-writing, featuring three award-winning southern cookbooks. Their latest book, Hotbox, is a work of non-fiction covering the catering industry and its roots in New York’s theatre community. The New York Times Book Review called Hotbox “The Kitchen Confidential of big-ticket catering.” Matt, his wife Gia, and their three sons live in Charleston, SC. Ted lives with his wife, the artist E.V. Day, in Brooklyn, NY.



Events Coordinator

Wes is a Brooklyn based actor, singer, and guitarist who was born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia. He possesses an instinct for dialects and impersonations as well as vocal abilities that have earned him a reputation as a genre-defying artist from opera to rock. In opera, he is celebrated for his performances in American works such as Breaking the Waves, As One, and Three Decembers. On film, he recently appeared in the thriller Last Moment of Clarity. This past February, he made his Off-Broadway debut as Wotan/Gunther/Hagen in On Site Opera’s production of Das Barbecü.” This fall marks Wes’s sixth year at GP.



April Josephine (Henry)  has been with GP since the fall of 2017. Originally from Southern California, April moved to the Big Apple to pursue her theatrical career and continue to learn and grow as an artist. Select recent theater credits include West Side Story (Anita) Houston Texas; Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer National tour (Dance Captain) McCoy Rigby Entertainment; Up Here, La Jolla Playhouse. April also instructs dance, and choreographs youth theater productions, and hopes to combine her passions for both youth and the arts in an impactful way, while living in her favorite city.




Aubrey is also originally from Southern California, and is an actress, singer, and dancer who has worked all over the country and internationally as well. She has performed and traveled with two national tours, at Madison Square Garden, as well as several regional musicals, plays, and readings. She just finished earning her MFA in Theatre Performance from Florida Atlantic University several months early because of Covid-`19, which she left NYC and GP to pursue. She is also a prolific audiobook producer and teaches Acting and Speech at the collegiate level.  She has been with GP since 2009.



American baritone Nathan Matticks is rapidly establishing himself as one of opera’s brightest hopefuls. A 2018 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Regional Finalist and District Winner, last season was punctuated by a Carnegie Hall main stage debut in Vaughn Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem and Rutter’s Mass of the Children. Matticks joined Florida Grand Opera for their 2019/2020 season as Conte Robinson in Cimarosa’s rarely performed Matrimonio di Segreto, covering the title roles in Rigoletto and Don Giovanni. He was with GP for the past three years.

Join the Next Webinar

Want to join our next webinar? Want to be on top of the latest catering industry news?


You’ve got pressing questions, we’ve rounded up experts to give you answers!

GP Talks: The Future of Fundraising Events

The world has changed. Events and galas, a major source of fundraising for non-profits, have been cancelled leaving organizations wondering what to do.

We’ve assembled a panel of leaders from notable non-profits to discuss the current situation, how they communicate with their sponsors and donors, ways they can continue fundraising efforts, and if and how they will have in-person events in the future.

The panel:

  • Aliza Ameer – Alzheimer’s Association, Director of Relationship Events

  • Stephanie Astic – Astic Productions Founder, President and Chief Development Strategist

  • Bryant Bradshaw – City Parks Foundation, Director of Individual Giving and Special Events

  • Abigail DeAtley – Planned Parenthood, Vice President of Individual Giving and Events

  • Tamar C. Podell – Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Chief Development Officer

  • Brian Ricklin – Creative Art Works, Executive Director and CEO

Moderated by Linda Abbey, Great Performances, Executive Vice President

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