I felt a mixture of nervousness and excitement as I drove the 5 hours from San Diego to Las Vegas to attend engage!, a luxury wedding business summit.  Mostly excitement though because I knew attending engage! this year would be very different from my experience last year.

This time last year I was at a big standstill with my business.  I was booking weddings and business was good, but my brand and online presence was far from what it needed to be.  I had randomly heard about engage! and as soon as I watched the highlight videos from past summits, I knew.  I knew that it would be the game changer I needed.  So I signed up and was blown away.  I came home and began the long process of creating a new brand for my business and curating it into a reflection of my work, my heart, and my life.  I returned to engage! not only to learn but to reconnect with those I had met last year.  A part of me wanted to show them that I had done it.  I had done the work, I accomplished what I set out to do. And let me tell you, it felt so good to attend this year more confident in my work than ever and loving my new brand.

So here is my mini-recap of my first day.  If you are in the wedding industry, I highly encourage you check it out.

DAY ONE // Monday, June 4

  • Morning breakfast with my roommate and fellow wedding planner, Erin McLean, and a few other friends. Its always interesting to be meeting someone for the first time AND rooming with them, but Erin was wonderful and a great roomie! :)
  • Early afternoon spent poolside, sipping on mojitos.  You think this is leisure time, but make no mistake; some of the most significant connections you make are in the “leisure” moments.
  • Registration and picking up of our swag bags (see video below).  This is one of the really fun parts!  Who doesn’t love gifts and swag?!
  • Style Me Pretty Cocktail Party, where Abby Larson (Editor of SMP) encouraged me to apply to be in their Little Black Book.  Hmmm…
  • 3pm Opening Session for first and second-time attendees.  I was asked to share a take-away from my first engage! last year.  I LOVE public speaking (I’m weird, I know), so any time I have the opportunity to have mic in hand, sign me up.
  • General Opening Session: This is the kick-off to it all.  Rebecca Grinnals & Kathryn Arce (the masterminds behind engage!) gave their welcome and insights.  Speakers included Carley Roney (cofounder and Editor in Chief of The Knot), Ed Libby (an amazing designer), Jasmine Star (too many accolades to list, but an online marketing genius).
  • Welcome Party by the pool: This was interesting because of the 45mph winds that threatened our lives (and drinks!).  But I was able to have really good conversations with some amazing people.
  • Homesickness ensued before bed.  No matter what, I’m always homesick the first night I’m away from my family.
Here is a video of my swag bag…
Here is a video shot by I Do Films, who were the amazingly talented filmmakers of engage!12 at the Mandarin Oriental, who hosted us.  This is a highlight of their gorgeous property.

DAY TWO recap coming soon…