I was both sad and excited as I went into the third day of engage! at the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas.  Sad because the experience was coming to an end but excited because I still had one full day of great content to absorb and fantastically talented people to meet…

  •  8:30am – Insights begin with a super disappointing announcement that Randy Fenoli (from Say Yes to the Dress) had to cancel and would not be speaking because his mother had fallen ill.  The same thing had happened at my first engage! here in San Diego last year so I was doubly disappointed.  Mrs. Fenoli’s health is much more important than my expectations, but in the midst of my mini pity party for one I tweeted about how bummed I was.  Little did I know that Randy would tweet back… I forgive him (and hope his mother is better).  :)
  • Marcy Blum, renowned New York event planner, was the first speaker of the day.  My big take-away from her talk was that as wedding planners we should always be aware of what is going on in bridal fashion – because the brides certainly do.  I definitely try to stay on top of bridal fashions but I admittedly need to be better at this.
  • The extremely adorable Brian Worley spoke next.  Funny story – the first time I saw Brian was the night before at the dessert party.  He was hanging out with our group and I hadn’t noticed him until I saw him spitting – like nearly vomiting – into his bare hand.  I thought to myself, who the heck is this guy?!  A few minutes later I learned from someone else at the table that he had thrown a handful of wasabi covered almonds into his mouth thinking they were candied almonds!  Poor guy!!!  I hate wasabi, so I got it – and I felt his pain.  When he got up to speak I laughed to myself about the night before, but I still had no idea who he was.  WELL, Brian is the designer of the red carpet for the Emmy’s, the designer of the American Idol and X Factor parties/sets, and also does wedding planning and TV hosting.  Who knew?  (Well now I do and so do you.)
  • Wedding planner and designer, Tara Guerard is based in South Carolina.  Tara was particularly interesting to listen to because she only does eight weddings a year.  You read that right.  Eight.  She spoke about how she is super selective when it comes to her clients because, as a momma, she wants to have a life.  After her talk I had more questions than answers.  Like…how much do you charge? how do you find these clients? how large is your team?  I would love to pick Tara’s brain about how she pulls this off. :)
  • Next up was Jes Gordon, New York based wedding planner.  Jes was the total hippy of the speakers this year – and I adored her.  She stated several times that if she hadn’t been working as a wedding planner/designer for the past 20+ years she would probably be in jail.  And her language was colorful.  You might think that she would be intimidated with the likes of fancy shmancy wedding planners like Mindy and Sharon around – but no – she was authentically herself and she didn’t go up there and fake the funk.  She brought the room to life with her endearingly rough-around-the-edges personality and I was happy to tell her so when I bumped into her later in the day by the elevators.  A piece of advice from Jes that I loved: “Its not how smart you are, its how you are smart”.
  • Sean Low, the Founder and President of The Business of Being Creative, is a pretty smart guy.  Seriously, thats a vast understatement.  I first heard Sean speak last year in San Diego and about 10 minutes into his talk I felt like I was back in Mr. Hill’s AP Economics class.  I’ll admit it, some of Sean’s business thoughts are WAY over my head.  I always tell Mark (my husband) that he would love to listen to Sean speak.  But I did understand Sean’s main point: charge for your ideas.  My wheels are turning…
  • Afternoon at leisure followed and I hung out at the pool for a bit with friends and enjoyed my last mojito of the week. :)
  • The Gala is always held on the final night of engage! and it did not disappoint.
And that’s a wrap!  So happy I attended and so grateful for the new friendships that were made.  Enjoy the highlight video of days 2 and 3 below created by I Do Films.

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