In my opinion, the second day of engage! is always the most inspiring and the most challenging.  Its a long day of wonderful insights (22-minute long presentations from eleven wedding industry/business pro’s) with so much great information that I walk away with new ideas swarming and also feeling emotionally overwhelmed.  I’m not going to include all eleven speakers in my recap below; only those who really resonated with me.

DAY TWO // Tuesday, June 5

  • 8:30am – Insights begin with Anne Fulenwider, the Editor of Brides Magazines.  She just accepted this position six months ago and had a lot to share about her vision for the magazine.  I also had the good fortune of dining with Anne at lunch and it was great getting to know her.
  • Celebrity Wedding Planner Sharon Sacks (Kim Kardashian’s wedding planner), followed and what I loved about her was how she stressed the importance of trust in clients, trust in your vendors, and trust in yourself.  Plus, I loved her style.  From her hair to her outfit.  I hope I’m that cool when I grow up.
  • Liene Stevens (Founder of The Splendid Collection/Think Splendid) shared some great insights and fascinating wedding statistics.  One of my favorites: “The top three weddings descriptors for the luxury wedding segment are elegant, fun, and meaningful (in that order), compared to fun, meaningful, and comfortable for the general wedding population.”  Elegance vs. comfort.  Interesting.
  • Abby & Tait Larson (Founders and Editors of Style Me Pretty) were interesting to listen to for a few reasons. #1. I had never seen Tait and it was entertaining that he and Abby both spoke. #2. The content they chose to share was how to grow your blog as a wedding professional.  Super insightful  stuff.
  • Celebrity Wedding Planner Mindy Weiss opened her talk with a spoof video of herself and her life as a wedding planner.  What I love about Mindy is how down to earth and approachable she is.  You’d think she might be jaded from all her success, but no.  She is humble and she pokes fun at herself.  She is soft-spoken , but has a little edge to her.  She kind of reminds me of orange chicken: sweet and spicy, but mostly sweet.
  • Renowned photographer Elizabeth Messina really captured my heart by sharing her story; the story of her life prior to becoming a famous photographer.  I LOVE when people do this.  We all have a great story to share.  Elizabeth’s story was full of struggles and triumphs.  Not only do her photos inspire me, but now she does as well.  If you’ve ever bought a magazine (wedding related or not) you’ve probably seen a photo she’s taken on the cover.
  • Matthew Robbins is a New York-based designer who regularly contributes to Martha Stewart Weddings and Martha Stewart Living.  A piece of advice he shared was: “Design every wedding like a dinner party.” Good advice.
  • After spending the day learning, absorbing, and being completely inspired I headed off to dinner.  Where you go for dinner on day two and who you dine with is chosen completely at random.  As I slipped my hand into that sparkling gold bag to select a poker chip that would reveal my dining fate, I was praying that the group I belonged to would include either Mindy Weiss or Jasmine Star.  God must really love me because BOTH were in my group and we were heading to The Four Seasons!  As we loaded the bus I snagged a seat next to Jasmine Star (who may or may not think I’m a stalker).  We had a good conversation about being published.  I’m not sure if she really suggested it, but I’m pretty certain that she offered to photograph a styled shoot for me this fall.  If it happens, it will be like Christmas for me.  And it would be a huge honor to work with her.
  • Following dinner was a dessert party back at the Mandarin Oriental that I literally spent 30 minutes at.  I was EXHAUSTED after the long day.  Where many stayed out until 2am, I was asleep by midnight.  Just call me Miss Boring Responsible.  Vegas didn’t bring out my inner party girl at all this time around.
Here are a few photos of the table-scapes at dinner:
And here is the video from DAY ONE, created by I Do Films:

My DAY THREE wrap up is coming soon.  Happy Tuesday!

xo,
Alison