wedding officiant

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Best of 2016

Published December 29, 2016 by Maryanne

monkees-good-times

For so many people, putting “Best” and “2016” together is definitely an oxymoron, and in my world it’s no different. Personally, it was a bad year with many losses and tears. It all began with the death of David Bowie (https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2016/01/11/rest-in-peace-to-the-prettiest-star-david-bowie/) Then my favorite cat of all time had to be put to sleep, at the age of 19 (https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2016/04/30/rest-in-peace-derick-mommys-little-heart-6-24-96-to-4-29-16/). And finally, we said good-bye to my beloved father-in-law who passed at the age of 94 a few months ago (http://obits.nj.com/obituaries/starledger/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=181972211).

It was just one of those years where the “hits” just kept on coming and there’s not enough hours in the day for me to write about all of them.

Since I really don’t like to focus on negativity, let’s just say, THANK GOD for music; it’s what makes the world go ’round, and a salvation to many. Like every other year, 2016 was no worse in the music department. There were so many live performances my husband and I attended this year, including a few of his own with Rob Fusari and Pharoah. And my “Learn + Listen” series which made the cover of the Caldwell News: http://www.mypaperonline.com/library-patrons-learn-and-listen-about-famous-musicians.html

Lucky me, I also was blessed to write about many performances for various publications.

Whether it was outdoor concerts, or indoor venues, there was not one bad show in the lot. It’s always so hard to pick a “favorite” but as every music fan knows, there are those songs and moments that keep popping into your head, days, even weeks, after the show is over. To any musician who is reading, whether you’re mentioned here or not, if I approached you after a show, I sincerely loved your act.

That said, in my humble opinion, I’d like to present what I felt was the best on my radar this year. ENJOY!

BEST SONG/VIDEO – ROB FUSARI “Let Love Down” 

TOP THREE LIVE PERFORMANCES

1 – ROB FUSARI – The Bitter End, NYC, May 24, 2016

(“Your Trap” featuring Andrea Martin, Matt, Mario, Dennis, and The Constellations)

2 – SOUND + VISION: THE MUSIC OF DAVID BOWIE (Musical Direction: RICHARD BARONE) – Outpost in the Burbs, Montclair, NJ, Friday, Dec. 16, 2016

(“Fame” featuring Richard Barone, Jeffrey Gaines, Burnt Sugar Arkestra, Nick Celeste. In other outstanding performances: Wesley Stace and Elvis Perkins)   

3 – PUNKY MEADOWS + FALLEN ANGEL BAND – B.B. Kings, NYC,  June 14, 2016

(“The Tower” featuring Punky Meadows, Danny Anniello, Chandler Mogel, Bob Pantella, Charlie Calv, Randy Gregg. Felix Robinson also performed on bass in this show)

 BEST ALBUM – THE MONKEES “GOOD TIMES” 

“She Makes Me Laugh” from The Monkees “Good Times” 

BEST VINYL – JACK WHITE “You Are the Sunshine of My Life”

How cool to hear this on a record player! 

BEST MUSIC MOVIE – “LET ME DOWN HARD” 

Starring Keith Roth, DJ 95.9 The Rat “Electric Ballroom,” performs with Frankenstein 3000 and David Johansen; songwriter for Punky Meadows and so much more! 

BEST MUSIC BOOK – CARMINE APPICE “STICK IT!” 

Stick_it_book_01Honest; and in a strange way, endearing! Loved it!

And, again, because some things have to be said more than once, in my own little world, quite a few super cool things happened to ease the pain of the sadness, like going to see so much live music, being around amazing people, being able to write for a living — and public speaking (which includes music and health programs!) Not to mention, my incredible husband who is my rock through all the hardships and triumphs. All in all, there were two stand-outs that made this year incredible.

First I got a new kitty, Nicholas Gray; my husband and I adore our new snuggle bun! How can you not?

DSC_0137Nicholas Gray

And, thanks to Ashley Valentin-Patino, I became a professional wedding officiant, and will be marrying many more people in 2017! Speaking of “bests” Ashley’s wedding to Mitchell was not only the best of 2016, but aside from my own, I’d say the best wedding of all time!

May 2017 will bring more love, music, and happiness to the world! Grim Reaper — be gone with you!

sam_1357Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta and Ashley Valentin-Patino

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist, available on Amazon in paperback only: https://www.amazon.com/Guest-List-Adventures-Music-Journalist/dp/162903908X

To contact Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta, write her at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com 

Congratulations to Ashley & Mitchell

Published September 25, 2016 by Maryanne

sam_1304I was honored to officiate the wedding of Ashley and Mitchell Patino

Yesterday I was so touched to join two beautiful souls together — Ashley and Mitchell.

Officiating weddings is not something I do, but Ashley had asked me to, so I got my certificate. Ashley and I have been friends about two years and she is like a sister to me.

And this is the story of how I came to be the officiant at their most beautiful day.

The precious thing about life is that you’ll never know what a new day can bring. Pure magic can happen in a split second. Two years ago I was doing one of my first book signings ever. Ashley and Mitchell were there, in the audience. I did not yet know them. And it was one of their first dates.

While I was reading, from my own memoir, with my own love story, I noticed Ashley looking wide-eyed and attentive. We spoke after the reading and found out we had a lot in common, even though I was 26-years-older than her! We both loved the music of HIM, poetry, reading, and animals. We remained friends and saw each other from time to time.

It was earlier this summer that I received a call from Ashley, asking if I’d officiate her wedding. I was honored.

Between the rehearsal dinner on Friday night, and the actual wedding day, I can honestly say I have never seen so much love! Ashley and Mitchell both have the greatest family and the greatest friends. My husband and I had the time of our life! From start to finish, it was incredible. Hearing music by HIM, David Bowie, and The Cure. The gothic theme, with pumpkins along the aisle, Edgar Allen Poe and ravens set up at the reception area. The DJ and two percussionists that had the party going full hilt. And the food, especially the chocolate mousse dessert. It was the first time I had sugar in months!

It was certainly a day and night I’ll never forget. Wow. Just wow! ❤

All the happiness to Ashley and Mitchell as their FOREVER has just begun!

I’m sharing just two more photos below, but feel free to check out my Facebook page to see the rest: https://www.facebook.com/maryanne.christianomistretta.1/media_set?set=a.1778705042351466.1073741903.100006359623422&type=3&pnref=story

sam_1357Maryanne (left) with Ashley — I love this girl!! sam_1326The cake!