Montclair Magazine Holiday 2021 - Page 30


All in the Details Event planner Rebecca Merritt loves sweatingthe smallstuff WRITTEN BY CINDY SCHWEICH HANDLER

For as long as she can remember , Rebecca Merritt ’ s dream has been to produce events in New York City . So she was thrilled when , after graduating from college , she landed ajob booking talent for Empire Entertainment inManhattan . Her first gig was InStyle ’ s “ What ’ s Sexy Now !” extravaganza featuring Erykah Badu at the Hammerstein Ballroom . It was anintense introduction to the world ofhigh-stakes party-planning .

“ The cocktails were supposed to be dyed the same color as the orchids in the room , and the designers were screaming at the caterer because the colors didn ’ tmatch ,” recalls Merritt . “ I thought , ‘ This isawesome !’”
The drama and attention to detail involved inthrowing an affair to remember has always animated Merritt , who grew up in Miami Beach . She produced shows and events in college that led to areal-world education in talent-booking , marketing , and floral and event design and planning for world-renowned celebrities , as well as corporate clients including Bloomingdale ’ s , Pfizer , Under Armour and the owners of Candy Crush .
AMontclair resident since 2016 , she has designed some of the town ’ s most anticipated festivities , too , including the Montclair Art Museum Gala and aJazz House Kids gala at NJPAC . She was recently hired to help launch Montclair Mezzanine , the long-anticipated , 16,000-squarefoot event space above the Clairidge Theater , which has akitchen
SWEET Rebecca Merritt has planned events for many corporate clients , including producers of the video game Candy Crush .