Engage 2011 – A Luxury Wedding Business Summit

Engage!11 is a luxury wedding business summit that was held at the Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman the last few day. It was an amazing event designed and hosted by the incredibly talented team at Engaging Concepts, Rebecca Grinnals, Kathryn Arce and their awesome crew. Cayman’s own Celebrations did an incredible job with decor and the Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman was an outstanding host.

“Engage!11 is a gathering of the ‘best of the best’ in the wedding industry—from speakers to attendees—engage! events seek to offer something not found in other conferences. Careful attention is paid to creating an intimate atmosphere of effortless networking, allowing for an open exchange of ideas, information, inspiration and candid discussions of the issues and opportunities facing everyone in today’s luxury wedding industry.”

- Engage!11 website

This years speakers included: (are you ready for this?!)
Barbara Corcoran – Real Estate mogul, Business Expert, Star of ABC’s “Shark Tank”
Bryan Rafanelli – Celebrity Even Designer, Founder & CEO Rafanelli Events
Darcy Miller – Editorial Director, Martha Stewart Weddings
Randy Fenoli – Star of TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress, Author, Fashion Director, Kleinfeld
Mindy Weiss – Celebrity Party Planner, Author of “The Wedding Book”
Todd Fiscus – Owner, Creative Director, Todd Event Design, creative services
Carley Roney –  Founder, Editor of The Knot, XO Group Inc.
Ed Libby – Celebrity Event Designer
Millie Bratten – Editor-in-Chief, Brides Magazine
Marcy Blum – Celebrity Eventiste, Blum Associates
Andy and Brian Marcus – Celebrity Wedding Photographers, Fred Marcus Photography
Sylvia Weinstock – Wedding Cake Diva
David Beahm – Celebrity Event Designer
Jasmine Star – International Wedding Photographer, Blogger, Speaker
Sean Low – President, Mentor, Blogger, “The Business of Being Creative”
Ellen Black – Celebrity Invitation Designer
Harmony Walton – Blogger, founder of “The Bridal Bar”
Susan Moynihan – Editor-in-Chief, Destination Weddings & Honeymoons and Spa
Michelle Rago – Destination Planner & Designer
Marley Majcher – Author, “But Are You Making Any Money”, CEO of the Party Goddess!
Kathryan Arce – Managing Director, Engaging Concepts & Co-Founder of Engage!
Rebecca Grinnals – President, Engaging Concepts & Co-Founder of Engage!
Jill Meister – Television Producer + Media Coaching/Strategy Consultant
Andela Desveaux – Founder and Editor-in-Chief of WedLuxe Magazine
Ceci Johnson – Founder, Creative Director CECI New York, CECI Style Magazine
Simon T. Bailey – Author, “Release Your Brilliance”, Internationally recognized Speaker, Mentor

I was so honored to have attended my second Engage! and it was an incredible experience! To have the opportunity to listen to a huge amount of the World’s best event designer/planner, motivational speakers, photographers, (the list goes on), was such an educational and entertaining experience. Engaging Concepts has mastered the dynamics of the events, mixing open discussion panels, classroom style speakers, a chance to mingle with not only the guests, but also the speakers was priceless. The speakers were all so down to Earth and just as eager to speak on a personal level with the attendees were as the attendees were to the speakers. (Make sense?) The knowledge was flowing out of the Ritz Carlton! Besides all the phenomenal sessions, fantastic dinning both at the Ritz Carlton and at many other great local restaurants were planned, a sail excursion to Sting Ray City and Rum Point was chartered and the event had a crazy-amazing Gala to end it all.

Here are a few images I captured when I wasn’t busy learning, networking and having a good old time…

Day One, Welcome!

Shomari Scott welcomes everyone to Engage!11, Simon T. Bailey captures the crowd and gets everyone involved! Ashley from Celebrations was even brave enough to be a volunteer, instead of putting her on the spot, Simon rewarded her bravery with $100!

“Create the Future, Don’t wait until it comes to you” – Simon T. Bailey

Donna Von Bruening reads a powerful blog post she wrote this year.

Darcy Miller or Martha Stewart Weddings address. “We innovate and invent, we don’t copy and repeat”. – Darcy Miller

Randy Fenoli Captures the crowd, and keeps them laughing.

“We are our Brand” – Randy Fenoli, star of TLC’s ” Say Yes to the Dress” and author of “It’s all about the Dress”

Every attendee received a personally signed first addition of his new book! Thank you Randy and Engaging Concepts!!!


The set up for the Welcome Party

Day Two

“What is your asset, what makes you different?” – Jasmine Star

“Always deliver a beautiful product” – Todd Fiscuss

“Personalizing your business is so powerful because it eliminates your potential customers from having to imagine how a product or service fills their needs” – Andy and Brian Marcus

“In order to sell, you have to listen” – Marcy Blum

“Everyone wants what everyone wants” – Barbara Corcoran

Lunch and Catamaran sail to Sting Ray City and Rum Point

Still day Two! Dessert Party

Day Three

Everyday, the styling was a bit difference in the conference room, if you can even call it a conference room as it was transformed so beautifully. The colors and attention to detail was outstanding and the Engage! branding was implied ever so perfectly throughout.

Rebecca and Kathryn welcome everyone to the final session.

“If you fail to plan, plan to fail” – David Beahm

“We are not JUST wedding planners” – Mindy Weiss

“Sell Artistry, sell Truth, sell te Experience” – Sean Low

“If you want to Sell Luxury, you have to Be Luxury” – Ceci Johnson

“A client once told me they didn’t have a budget, so I told them their cake is going to cost them $100,000″ They replied, “Oh, alright, we have a budget” – Sylvia Weinstock

Want to see MORE? Check out Rebecca Davidson’s images from the event

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