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June 8, 2018: How These Companies Plan Dream Weddings on a Budget, Snapchat Now Sells Event Tickets With SeatGeek Partnership, Australian Government Boycotts World Cup

1. HOW THESE COMPANIES PLAN DREAM WEDDINGS ON A BUDGET: It's no secret that planning and executing a wedding is expensive—which is why companies such as Dreams on a Dime and Pop the Knot are helping couples plan their dream weddings without breaking the bank. The New York Times: "The Wedding Report, an industry research company, came up with $25,764 as the average cost of a wedding last year (New York area weddings came in at $39,948; Los Angeles, $36,016; and San Francisco, $39,174). More encouraging, the survey found that more than 40 percent of American marrying couples spend less than $10,000 on their weddings. Whether brides and grooms are getting the bang for their buck that Dreams on a Dime and other cost-aware wedding industry players promise is debatable. Like many planners, Jessica Goldblatt of Dreams on a Dime will work with couples who tether themselves to tight purse strings, though perhaps not the less-than-$10,000 couples (unless they have a small number of guests). ... Anastasia Stevenson, a.k.a. the DIY Wedding Planner, said corners can be cut from almost every building block in a dream wedding. This includes the venue, the most expensive part (the Wedding Report puts the average venue cost at $12,714). Ms. Stevenson’s tips for picking a reasonably priced events space include scoping out places that require minimal extra beautification, like art galleries and botanical gardens. Another option is working with a business like Pop the Knot, which negotiates with popular sites to slash the cost of what Michele Velazquez, the company founder, calls 'an elopement'— a gathering of fewer than 25 guests, usually at on off-peak time and day. In Manhattan, her clients’ favorite spot is 620 Loft & Garden, for its dramatic views of Fifth Avenue and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The venue charges up to $14,500 for a weekend wedding, she said, but she secures morning rates for a few thousand. Her package, including officiant, photographer, bouquet and boutonniere, ends up costing couples $3,799."

2. SNAPCHAT NOW SELLS EVENT TICKETS WITH SEATGEEK PARTNERSHIP: Snapchat is now selling event tickets through a new integration with SeatGeek. TechCrunch: “While Snapchat has started testing e-commerce features in the past few months, SeatGeek says this is the first ticket-buying experience built into the Snapchat app. The Los Angeles Football Club was the first team to sell tickets through this integration, by posting a Snapchat Story (and a Snapcode on the team website) that allowed users to swipe up to buy tickets to the May 26 game. The full purchase experience takes place without leaving the app. … SeatGeek co-founder Russ D’Souza said that as “the pipe gets solidified,” you’ll start seeing more Snapchat/SeatGeek ticket sales. He added that this the kind of integration he was hoping for when the company launched the SeatGeek Open platform a couple of years ago, allowing teams, musicians and other rightsholders to sell tickets directly through SeatGeek. (The platform also supports ticket sales through Facebook.) ‘For too long, the legacy ticketing approach has been to make it difficult for teams to sell tickets in lots of places,’ D’Souza said. ‘Teams should want to sell their tickets in as many places as possible.’”

3. AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT BOYCOTTS WORLD CUP: The government of Australia has decided to not send an official delegation to the World Cup, which kicks off June 14 in Russia. ESPN: “The fraught and frosty relationship between the two nations, at opposite ends of the geopolitical spectrum, means Australia effectively joins the United Kingdom in a state boycott of the tournament. The opening match and final of each World Cup are usually richly attended by heads of state and government representatives, becoming informal negotiating events. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop briefly touted the possibility of a boycott of the tournament in March, quickly clarifying that she was referring to a governmental boycott. This week, she confirmed to AAP there will would be no Australian representatives travelling to Russia. Australia has regularly protested against Russian human rights abuses and international law breaches, including the 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. Last month, Bishop accused the Russian government of ‘direct involvement’ in the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, also in 2014, which killed 38 Australians.”


CHICAGO:  Mediterranean restaurant Aba has opened at Fulton Market. The restaurant serves fare from chef CJ Jacobson and has a 220-seat rooftop patio. 

CLEVELAND:  AC Hotel Cleveland Beachwood will open in August. The 145-room hotel will have a 1,075-square-foot ballroom and a 288-square-foot boardroom. 

DETROIT:  Experiential marketing agency George P. Johnson has appointed Todd Kmentt director of safety and security. 

LAS VEGAS:  Wolfgang Puck’s Spago has opened at the Bellagio Resort & Casino. The restaurant has two private dining rooms that each seat 20 guests. 

LOS ANGELES:  Lifestyle brand Goop will host its third In Goop Health summit on Saturday, with speakers including Meg Ryan, Janet Mock, and Cleo Wade. For the first time, Goop is selling digital passes for guests to experience the summit at home. The passes are available on the brand’s website. 

The fourth annual Pow! Wow! Long Beach street art festival will be held June 23-30.

The National Association for Catering Events’ NACE Experience Conference will take place July 22-25 at the J.W. Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa in Palm Springs. The association will celebrate its 60th anniversary with its Diamond Gala on July 24. 

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The Bud Light Watch FIFA World Cup Series will run June 14-July 15 at Wynwood Marketplace. The event will screen World Cup matches and feature tailgate activities, food trucks, and photo booths. 

NEW YORK:  The second annual Vinho Verde Wine Experience will take place Saturday at Canoe Studios. The event will offer tastings from more than 30 wineries and food from vendors including Eataly, Ferris, and Silly Chilly Dumplings. 

The National Academy of Design—in partnership with David Humphrey, NA, and artist-run initiative BombPop! Up—will host a BombPop! Up Production, a three-day event consisting of workshops and performances focused on the idea of “How To” June 15-17

Westgate Resorts has acquired the former Hilton New York Grand Central, which has rebranded as Westgate New York City. The hotel has 3,500 square feet of meeting space. 

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner:

PHOENIX/SCOTTSDALE:  L’Auberge de Sedona hotel has appointed five hospitality executives to manager and food and beverage roles. Sean Olmstead has been named general manager; Franck Desplechin has been named director of food and beverage and executive chef at hotel restaurant Cress on Oak Creek; Fathi Sarsouri has been named assistant director of food and beverage; John Gapasin has been named executive sous chef; and Morgan Gurney has been named executive pastry chef. 

SAN ANTONIO:  The King and Queen of Spain will visit San Antonio June 16-18 as part of the city’s tricentennial celebration. They will inaugurate the art exhibitions Designing America: Spain’s Imprint in the U.S. at the Bexar County Courthouse and Spain: 500 Years of Spanish Painting from the Museums of Madrid at the San Antonio Museum of Art. 

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With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Ian Zelaya, and Deirdre Jahn in New York.

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