Choreography and catering share much in common, each requiring an intense passion and focused attention to detail.
Brooklyn native and Red Bank resident Larry Meluso brings decades of experience in each discipline, the former enhancing
the latter, to his position as director of catering sales and marketing at Windows on the Water, a 7,000-square-foot
wedding and special event venue located at Surfrider Beach Club in Sea Bright. Under Larry’s direction, Windows, for three
years running, has been named a five-star property, winning top awards from New Jersey Bride magazine and The Knot.
“They really let me take the ball and run with it,” says Larry of Surfrider owner Jim Lobiondo and his children, who run
the multi-faceted business. “We have a wonderful working relationship.” Larry, who loves the shore and had curbed
his global wanderlust, wanted to commit his talents to a single property closer to home. He joined the Lobiondos in 2012.
“I feel they’re probably the best family I’ve ever worked for in my career,” he says.
Larry began learning the ropes at age 11, with an uncle who owned a catering service in Brooklyn. The skills he learned
there were a useful fall-back during his exploration of other areas of interest, which came to include choreography.
He put together large events around the world, served as artistic director of the Hong Kong Arts Center, choreographed
TV commercials. He also worked in sales and marketing in various countries within the hotel industry, and found himself
leaning towards the catering end of it. Throughout his travels he was exposed to many different cultures and languages—
experiences that serve him well today.
“We’re constantly presented with different challenges in terms of coordinating various types of weddings,” he explains. “We do multicultural and interfaith weddings, and we support marriage equality for all.” Larry’s outgoing personality, knowledge, and hands-on attention to detail led one customer to write: “This loving note can barely express how you have added to the depth of our happiness and for being a part of the most amazing day of our life!”
Windows on the Water handles a minimum of 85 weddings each year, during a season that runs from March 15 to December 15. What makes it different from many wedding venues, and more successful, according to Larry, is that the service is uniquely personalized—one wedding at a time, at a “spectacular” private beach club on the ocean; the facility even features a heatable outdoor deck, with dropdown glass rendering it suitable for use year ’round. Much of the food, prepared under the masterful direction of Executive Chef Elpidio Cruz, is locally sourced. The core staff of 20 is carefully
vetted and receives rigorous training by Larry, his Maitre’D, and Banquet Captains. Larry continues to take courses and
attend seminars to keep abreast of current industry developments and trends.
What Windows doesn’t do is lose sight of what Larry believes helps make weddings so magical: the traditions of pomp, circumstance, and etiquette. “A lot of it, including traditional, table side sophisticated service, is going out
the window these days,” he says. “But not here.”
LARRY MELUSO - Windows On The Water Photo by Danny Sanchez