Mid-March, winners of the ACE awards took the stage at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. To enter, each contender was asked to identify the two events the company completed that it felt best represented the company, as well as challenges and favorite aspects.
Throughout the year, Catersource.com will profile the winners and nominees of the 2017 ACE awards. In the next installation of our series, we are placing a keen eye on Cocoon Events Management Group who took the ACE award for Event Operations under $2 million in the International category.
Events • International • Operations under $2 million • Cocoon Events Management Group
Extravagant Multi-Day Marrakesh Wedding
This wedding was a multi-day event, which is very representative of what Cocoon Events management group does – handling the experience from beginning to end. For this event, in particular, the company didn’t have to worry too much about the design outside as the backdrop was already breathtaking: the city of Marrakesh.
The ceremony. Photo courtesy Ettore Franceschi
Although the bride originally wanted the ceremony on the roof of the villa, CEO Fabrice Orlando shared his vision of a beautiful ceremony outside the villa: the trees at the ceremony space are hundreds of years old, and he wanted to use that to represent the longevity of the couple’s relationship together. The bride fell in love with the idea, and the ceremony was switched just 24 hours prior to the event.
Initially, there was no one available to perform at the ceremony, but Cocoon Events Management Group prides themselves on making things happen. “We ended up bringing Morning After Dark writer and singer, SoShy. She was in Marrakech writing her new album and she happily agreed to not only give the speech at the wedding, but she also sang a version of Stand by Me, which was a beautifully unplanned experience,” said Orlando.
The rest of the celebration inside the villa was hidden from the guests until after the ceremony, when the bride and groom ‘left’ only to enter the villa and open the doors to welcome all of their guests to the reception. It was a truly spectacular moment for all.
Additional wedding musicians. Photo Celine Cartallas
As with most destination events, working from afar is always a challenge that is overcome with phone and Skype calls. Budget was another challenge, as the company wanted to create the most spectacular event possible but still remain within the couple’s means. “Our biggest challenge for this wedding,” said Orlando, “was switching up the ceremony location. It’s not always the easiest task to change a bride’s mind when she has already come up with a vision, but we are thrilled that the couple agreed to the last-minute changes. The wedding would have been entirely different if we hadn’t made the switch—the guests would have seen the inside of the villa from the beginning and it would have ruined the aspect of surprise.”
The location itself would have to be one of Orlando’s favorite aspects, as it was the private home of Aziz Lamghari, an architect who has designed some of the most beautiful buildings in the world, including the Palais Namaskar and the Palais Rhoul.
Architecturally stunning interior space. Photo courtesy Ettore Franceschi
The house itself is quintessentially Marrakesh in both its design and décor and could easily accommodate the size of the wedding. The set up was perfect for the couple’s surprise welcome into the villa after the ceremony and there truly couldn’t have been a better venue for this beautiful wedding.
Candles surrounded the outdoor reception area, providing a beautiful backdrop. Photos courtesy Ettore Franceschi