Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Save-the-Dates for engage!10 events

I know, I know - not a blog post in almost 3 months and sooooooooooo very much going on in the wonderful world of Engaging Concepts in that time!! I have a long list of posts that need to be written but I did want to be sure and let everyone know that we indeed have set dates for the next series of engage! events for 2010 and are hard at work behind-the-scenes creating two compelling and unique luxury wedding business summits sure to top the previous 4!! Many, many more details to be announced via Twitter in the coming weeks and the main engage!10 website and registration will launch on 1.10.10 so stay tuned!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Updates on engage!09 :: the encore

Quick update on engage!09 :: the encore coming up October 12-14, 2009 in Las Vegas at the amazing Wynn Encore Resort. Only a few spots remain and we are thrilled to once again have an incredible group of luxury wedding professionals coming together to share powerful business insights and for what has become a signature of engage! events - the 'inspired networking!' To date, we have attendees representing 22 states and 6 countries!!

We sent this email blast out yesterday {click on it to view larger!} and included a fun announcement - that the one and only Randy Fenoli, Fashion Director of Kleinfeld and star of TLC's "Say Yes to the Dress" will be joining us for the entire event and helping to 'guest host' the final night private event at the fab BLUSH nightclub at the Wynn!

In addition to that exciting news we have learned that Sylvia Weinstock is also joining us for the event - with even more surprises in store for the 100 attendees who will be on hand!!

We will update along the way but best bet is to follow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news for #engage09encore {that is the official #hashtag to search on twitter!}.

Great times ahead!

Friday, September 4, 2009

"People You Should Know in the Luxury Wedding Industry"

So honored!!! From the blog of Lara Casey Reps::

"Sean Low, Rebecca Grinnals & Katharyn Arce, and Harmony Walton all have one very big thing in common: they are not only the industry leaders, movers and shakers, but they make things happen for people. BIG things. Sean Low single-handedly took Preston Bailey out of serious financial ruin andinto an uber-market all his own. The dynamic duo behind Engaging Concepts, Rebecca and Kathryn, have taken the luxury wedding market by storm, creating the most talked about conference to date:Engage!. We were fortunate to attend the Engage!08: Encore in Celebration, Florida last October and it opened up worlds of new opportunity for us. Harmony Walton's Bridalbar concept (just one of her many genius endeavors) is growing like wildfire and opening brides eyes to a new way of planning weddings. Brides are matched with their dream wedding team and wedding pros come together under one roof with a common thread: no competition, just the right vendor for the right client.

These are the people to look to for the real market trends... because they are creating them and giving people the knowledge and tools to do so as well. You can follow Sean, Rebecca, Kathryn andHarmony on Twitter. But, the greatest value is in one on one time with them. Sean now offers consulting and has a wildly popular blog, The Business of Being Creative. Rebecca has teamed up with Sean to offer what I consider the gold standard in business strategy: Super Sessions. Harmony is a frequent speaker at industry events and is always happy to sit down and dish over drinks. These are some of the most brilliant and generous people I know and I feel so blessed to call them friends. I learn from their dedication and commitment to the luxury wedding market every day and so can you. Drop them a line, an email, or a tweet and say hello!"

:: images left to right: Laura Novak, Stacey Kane, Triplecord

Thank YOU Lara! We are huge fans of all that you are doing and will continue to do for our amazing industry. We are so very grateful for your enthusiastic support!!

Be sure to add Lara's new BLOG to your 'must read' list ::

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New wedding industry client project launches ::

We are delighted to present a project 9 full months in the making - the brand new website [created in collaboration with amazing agency Chowder Inc.] for our mutual long-time client, The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism. Presenting ::

All the details in the official press release below ::


New interactive wedding web site
ffers inspiration and guidance to brides planning
destination 'I do's'

Toronto, ON (August 26, 2009) - Hot on the heels of its successful Engage!09 :: something blue wedding business symposium this summer which saw the likes of wedding guru Preston Bailey and Martha Stewart’s Darcy Miller descend upon the destination, the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism has launched a new web site, Designed to showcase its wide range of wedding experiences, connect couples with service providers and inspire them to find their own unique wedding style, the site is infused with numerous interactive elements and a gallery of over 900 photos to date.

A ‘Find Your Wedding Style’ quiz helps couples narrow in on their unique taste preferences and a ‘Real Wedding Stories’ section not only tells the story of couples married in Cayman, but provides an extensive photo gallery for each, with the on island suppliers they worked with to make their dream day a reality.

“Images play an enormous part in helping a bride to determine what resonates with her and her sense of style,” says Rebecca Grinnals, founder of Engaging Concepts, an expert consultancy to the wedding industry that helped develop the web site. “Brides get inspiration from other brides and so the site is very image laden and interactive so couples can truly get a sense of what’s possible, while identifying the look and feel that best represents their relationship.”
There’s even a section dedicated to the needs of wedding guests, with information on accommodations for all budgets, how to get to the destination, activities and attractions, on island transportation options, shopping, spas and telecommunications information. In addition,legal requirements, a special section on honeymoons and a wedding blog featuring guest entries from on-island service providers, add to the mix of content.

“The Cayman Islands offers some of the most talented wedding service providers I have ever worked with,” says Grinnals. “So we have included an extensive section on venues, florists, wedding planners, photographers, cake designers and more. There’s also an explanation of what a traditional Unity Sand ceremony entails, a popular choice for those who get married on the beach.”

Plans are underway to further increase the content including a section on unique destination wedding favour ideas, “must shoot” photo lists and even a behind-the-scenes look from wedding expert insiders. Grinnals says the site will be refreshed on a quarterly basis so brides will always be able to peruse a new selection of images which reflect the latest trends, colours and design elements.

For more information on booking a wedding in the Cayman Islands visit or email In Canada, contact the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism at 416-485-1550 or toll-free 1-800-263-5805.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Powerful Video :: Why Social Media is Here to Stay

Via Ryan {of all places!}

"In a YouTube video jam-packed with statistics on the alarming growth of social media platforms in recent years, a case is made that our society could be approaching the biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution.

Amid slick graphics and a hip soundtrack, the video spouts statistics including:

- Social media has overtaken porn at the #1 activity on the Web.
- 1 out of 8 couples married in the U.S. last year met via social media.
- Radio took 38 years to reach 50 million users, TV took 13 years, Internet took 4 years, yet Facebook took less that 9 months to add
100 million users.
- If Facebook were a country, it'd be the world's 4th largest following the U.S., India and China.

The video is produced by, a social media blog run by Erik Qualman, a VP at EF Education, the world's largest private educator.

Where do YOU fit into this social media revolution?"

Friday, August 7, 2009

Official engage!09 :: website is LIVE!

Be sure to check out the official engage!09 :: the encore website at and our new color palette for this event :: poppy & cement - inspired by many of the chic colors of the Wynn Encore.

Kathryn and I head to Las Vegas for a site visit and planning session next week and can't wait to start pulling together all of the fun details this time around!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Announcing engage!09 :: the encore - a luxury wedding business intensive

{click on image to enlarge and actually read!}

Based on the incredible feedback we have received over the past year from attendees and speakers alike from all 3 previous engage events, we have created something a bit different and unique. We are offering what has been a resounding: "more, more, more" of some of the highest rated aspects of the first events.

I like to say we were at the 30,000 foot level for our previous programs and this 'encore' event will now 'land the plane.' It will focus on the key takeaways from past events :: personal development & business development blended with the 'inspired networking' that engage has come to be known for. That is why we are carefully terming it "a luxury wedding business intensive."

We are busy at work 'behind the scenes' planning for an over-the-top, A-list speaker packed engage!10 event very late next spring and will announce dates, location and details in the months to come but the demand for us to ::

1. bring an event to the West Coast before then


2. to take a deeper dive into some of the pressing and important issues facing your businesses today in an intimate but inspiring setting - alongside the best of the best like-minded wedding industry peers has inspired us to create this special encore opportunity.

The programs will feature more in-depth and highly interactive sessions with engage-alums myself, Sean Low and Simon T. Bailey along with a candid and refreshing luncheon discussion with eventiste {and now wedding blogging diva} Marcy Blum.

In addition, we also cannot wait to share with you the incredible talent of Todd-Avery Lenahan of ABA Las Vegas...the brilliant design mind behind the WYNN Resorts interiors and many, many other inspired places around the globe! A long-time friend of Kathryn and mine, he is sure to wow and inspire with a totally unique perspective of the business of design. We are thrilled and honored that he has agreed to join us!

Of course, many other fabulous & engaging surprises are in store. The official website will launch on 8.07.09 with official registration opening 8.14.09 at 9am est so stay tuned to Twitter and this blog for all the details! In order to keep this intensive event intimate and impactful, we are limiting to only 100 attendees.

Hope to see many of old friends & new in Vegas in a few short months!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

engage!09 :: something blue in Grand Cayman - Our View

Where to even BEGIN? Honestly, the latest engage! event in Grand Cayman
[ engage!09 :: something blue ] was such an amazing success because of every single person who came together to speak, attend, partner and well, 'engage!!!'

This wedding industry that we are so privileged to be part of continues to awe and inspire on every level. We had {175} awesome wedding professionals join us from 27 states and 9 countries representing all aspects of the luxury wedding industry.

There were wedding designers, stylists, planners, photographers,travel industry executives, jewelers, artists, invitation designers, authors, editors, fashion directors, advertising and PR executives, television producers {& stars!}, 5-star resorts, online media experts, wedding cake designers and list goes on and on! The *magic* was that everyone came together with open minds and open hearts to connect with each other in meaningful ways -- to inspire each other, and, as more than one person said to me - to learn about themselves.

We are all so connected by this incredible industry and while social media has allowed many of us to get to know each other in an unprecedented fashion in the past few years through blogs, twitter, facebook and more - NOTHING can take the place of connecting and 'engaging' in person. Nothing.

There are so many moments to share - I have no idea where to begin!! So, think I will link to just some of the amazing 'round-up' blog posts from many of the attendees so you can hear directly from those that experienced the event. See the bottom of the post for links to many of them!!!

Here is the link to the fun slideshow recap that Donna von Bruening {a 3-time 'engagee'} put together for us just days after our return ::

I also put together a sort of behind-the-scenes view and commentary of the event on Facebook and have included a public link to that gallery here ::

For now - from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank every one of the amazing speakers, partners and attendees who believed in us and came together to make this event what it was...something very special and meaningful on many levels. Powerful, actually.

Most especially I want to thank my Kathryn. For positively every. single. thing. She is...brilliant. None of this would have happened without her. I am forever grateful and so honored to work beside her.

Much, much more to follow!!!

xoxoxo, Rebecca

:: Just a sampling of Post-engage!09 Blog Posts ::

News Article: The Cayman Compass

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

engage! in print

engage! makes it into print!  We have so fortunate over the past year to have received an incredible amount of priceless *buzz* all over the internet about our engage! events.  But today marks the first official magazine coverage! 

The publication is Real Life Magazine - a caribbean luxury lifestyle, property and design magazine that is distributed throughout the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos and the Cayman Islands. 

A very special thank you to dear friends Pilar Bush and Kathy Jackson at AtWater Consulting Ltd. for placing this for us...and for believing in us over the years - we are so grateful for their unwavering support!! 

{click on the article to see in full!}

Grand Cayman Wedding Feature in Modern Bride

Check out this gorgeous "real" Grand Cayman wedding featured in the new issue of Modern Bride!  {click on image to see larger view}

Client Project: Cayman on TheKnot

Very excited about this web project collaboration with TheKnot and WeddingChannel for long-time Engaging Concepts client: The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism. 

Wanting to go far beyond standard web banner ads, this interactive sweepstakes/sitelet allows brides and grooms to select their 'wedding style' and view images from any one of the 3 very different Cayman Islands allowing visitors to get a sense of the variety of different and unique destination weddings available.  

Special thanks to Cayman advertising agency, CHOWDER for always taking the concept to the next level!  TheKnot and WeddingChannel really 'got' what we were trying to achieve and delivered a client-focused solution to help cut through the clutter!

Thursday, April 9, 2009


This past week Kathryn and I had the pleasure of presenting a custom engage!Savannah 1/2 day seminar for the Savannah Wedding Professionals.  The fabulous Donna von Bruening of DVB Photo, who is the founder and President of SWP arranged the entire event following her experiences at both engage! events last year here in Orlando.

We loved seeing old friends like the fab Minette Rushing of Custom Cakes, uber talented Amy Harvey of Harvey Designs, photographers extraordinaire Agnes Lopez and Joi Perkins of Pennington Photography and meeting new ones like Christine Hall and the girls from Bluebelle Bridal...the list of talent goes on and on!  Each one in their own right is an inspiration and wedding industry leader!!

Most of the members of the Savannah Wedding Professionals were there and what impresses us most is their combined commitment to furthering the wedding industry in their area and putting aside thoughts of competition with each other -- truly realizing that in today's world the competition is GLOBAL not LOCAL.  Together they have great things planned for the already *hot* Savannah wedding market and we are so excited to see where they take it next!  

Thank you Donna and everyone who took precious time from their busy Savannah wedding season to spend most of the day with us.  We are truly 'engaged!'

Monday, March 23, 2009

Destination Weddings: Big Business

The business of Destination Weddings has been in the news quite a bit lately - I have conducted media interviews within the past week alone on the topic with Bloomberg Business News, USA Weekend Magazine [circulation 45 million] and AARP [circ. 50 million] and

Here are a few links to some of the most recent and insightful pieces on this continuing *hot* trend in the wedding industry and the shifting behaviors of consumers:

Hawaii Star Bulletin: "Wedding Bells Ring More Quietly"

Savannah Morning News: "Couples to Savannah: I Do!"

As a matter of fact, I am in Grand Cayman this week helping to host, tour and meet with the owners of high end destination wedding planning firm LUXE Destination Weddings - and they are reporting that their business is stronger than ever before! 

Photo: Grand Cayman Wedding by the amazing Rebecca Davidson

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

engage1to1 "Super Sessions" with Sean Low

Really thrilled to 'officially' announce a program that we have been unofficially offering for many months now.  A joint engage1to1 'super session' with none other than the brilliant Sean Low, President of Preston Bailey Designs and creative business consultant.  

We have been offering a very limited number of engage1to1 sessions {phone, in-person and super sessions} since last summer and have really enjoyed this intimate, interactive and high-impact opportunity to work directly with some of the wedding industry's leaders on taking their businesses to imaginative new heights.  

Sean and I have collaborated closely in various business ventures for almost 4 years now and spend time each week discussing the wedding industry and the massive amounts of opportunity for growth at every level - even in this challenging economy. He has participated in both initial engage events and is a featured speaker for engage09 in June by POPULAR demand.  His blog has quickly become a 'must read' and he has taken Twitter by storm with his spot-on insights and thought provoking commentary on the state of your business in the current economic environment.

I am so honored to be offering this very special, limited series of engage1to1's with Sean.  They are an intense 8-hour session totally focused on YOU and your business potential and growth -- from a marketing/big picture point of view and a straight forward business standpoint.

For additional information, availability, options and cost please contact our office at or call 407.566.2298.  We look forward to working with some of the industry's brightest talents and businesses to explore new and exciting potential and growth!

Friday, February 13, 2009

BridaLuxe :: Affiliate Marketing for Wedding Pros

Through Twitter I have recently learned about BridaLuxe, a new niche affiliate marketing network for the wedding industry.  This blog is not a b2c entity so it would not make sense for us to sign on but for many of you out there in wedding-world it just might be an interesting option to monetize your site or blog {only if appropriate and relevant to your content and growth strategy of course!}.

Would love to hear any feedback from those of you who sign up or have been working with them.  In this economy, creating divergent streams of  'passive' income is a smart business strategy as long as it aligns with your brand.  BridaLuxe appears to be headed in the right direction - time will tell!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

From WSJ: "The Grim Forecast for 2009 Wedding Spending"

This just in from The Wall Street Journal::

"Bridal shopping season is just around the corner, following the bump in engagements that happens on Valentine’s Day. But this year, designers of wedding gowns and accessories are expected to take a hit. Sales of wedding gowns in the U.S. are expected to decrease 2.8% this year, compared with 2008, to reach $973 million, according to a new projection by Los Angeles-based market-research firm IBISWorld, which compiles its estimates based on reports from retailers’ and manufacturers’ industry groups. While the sales drop isn’t as large as the 4.2% decrease the wedding dress category saw in 2008, it represents a continuing decline in an area that had seen steady growth since at least 2001, says Toon van Beeck, a senior industry anylyst for IBISWorld.

He notes
that the average amount spent on a wedding is expected to drop 8% in 2009 to reach $20,000—just two years ago, in 2007, the average amount that a couple spent on a wedding was $30,000.

“This year, the economy will play a big role” in wedding planning, Mr. van Beeck says, predicting that wedding spending will also likely be affected by couples who postpone their plans “so the ceremony can be done when the financial time is right.”

areas of the industry that are expected to take a hit include engagement rings and the hiring of wedding planners. Couples getting married in 2009 are expected to spend $785 million on hiring wedding planners, representing a decrease of 4.2% from the 2008 figure, Mr. van Beeck says. In 2008, the drop in spending on wedding planners was only 1.7%, he says. “Many of the 2008 weddings were already booked and paid for,” he says. But “for 2009, people were able to mitigate this cost, hence the steeper decline.”

There is, however,
one small bright spot in the wedding industry business: Rentals. For several years, spending on wedding gown rentals had held steady at about $40 million each year. This year, however, spending on rented gowns is expected to rise 7.5% to reach $43 million."

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sean's Blog

Finally!!  The brilliant Sean Low, President of Preston Bailey Designs has started a blog!  It is entitled "The Business of Being Creative" and with it he shares his insights on anything and everything related to the business-side of our creative industry.

I have had the great pleasure of working with Sean on many projects over the past 4 years and I always am inspired and energized by his smart and level-headed approach to the business of our business.  He captivated the attendees at www.engage08:the encore and by popular demand, will lead a panel at .

Be sure to add Sean's Blog to your RSS feed and visit also.  He is also a must follow on Twitter at .

Welcome to the blogging world Sean and thank you for helping us all to look at this business from a practical and critical point-of-view!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

engage!09 :: something blue registration opens!

Beginning tomorrow {Monday 2.2.09} at 9am official registration will begin for engage!09 :: something blue.  Specific details on registration are available on the blog.
Space is limited to the first 125 registrants and both engage!08 and engage!08:the encore sold out, so if you are interested in joining us we recommend you sign up as soon as possible!

In the meantime, we were thrilled to have announced the engage!09 scholarship winner - all the details over on the engage!09 blog.  Congratulations to deserving * rising star * Monica Gill of The White Box of Wedding Design - we look forward to meeting {and learning from} Monica in June in Grand Cayman.

So much has been happening in the past month - we promise other updates soon!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

engage!09 Official Site is LIVE!

It is officially, official!  Be sure to check out the brand new website with all the details for engage!09 :: something blue at -- including a special scholarship opportunity for a deserving 'rising star' wedding professional!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Industry News:: The Launch of Southern Weddings Magazine!

Congratulations to Lara Casey and all of the fab girls at Southern Weddings for the launch of their brand new magazine that hit newsstands today!  We were so fortunate to receive a few advance copies over our holiday break and are so impressed and just love their fresh approach!  

The publication is gorgeous and is packed with amazing real weddings and page after page of delicious wedding inspiration.  Simply put, the eye-candy from their super cool blog brought to life in the pages of a high quality magazine!

You can check out the blog for updated listings of where to find the publication -- which is growing daily!  

This team has literally taken the wedding industry by storm - with much of their success built from careful and strategic social media networking and an authentic and very transparent approach to this business - which really has set them apart in a very cluttered market.  I have loved watching them grow and have no doubt that they will continue to build an innovative and unique wedding brand from the ground up - and do it with their own refreshing style and flair! 

Keep a close eye on them - and be sure to follow them on Twitter and Facebook for the latest and greatest 'behind the scenes!' {and by the way - we are THRILLED that Lara has agreed to be a speaker at engage!09 :: something blue in Grand Cayman in June...more on that to follow but we know she will add a wonderful dynamic to the program!!}