Friday, November 25, 2011

Brand New Website & Blog!!!!

At long last we are thrilled to share our brand new Engaging Concepts website and WEDDEX Blog!

Our deepest gratitude to the brilliant team of Lara Casey + Emily Ley from Making Brands Happen for their dedication and direction in our fresh new look! We enjoyed every moment of working with them! And a special thank you to Flosites for their work in getting it all coded, designed and working behind the scenes in record time.

This will be the last post on this trusty old blog - so please be sure to visit the new site and RSS the bright and shiny new blog and stay in touch!!



Tuesday, June 14, 2011

engage!11 :: the grand del mar highlights

What an amazing group of 250 of the top luxury wedding industry professionals gathered for our 7th sold out wedding business summit at the spectacular The Grand Del Mar Resort in San Diego two weeks ago!! We could not be more honored to have collaborated with many of the wedding industry's top talents to produce this event. A million thank you's are in order and will follow in the next blog post. For now, enjoy the 2 'same-day-edits' produced for us on-site by the uber-talented Bruce Patterson of Cloud Nine Creative!

Day One highlights (including a song custom-written for engage! called "Take Me There" by the team from Noteworthy Songs) ::

Engage 11: Grand Del Mar // Day 1 from Cloud Nine Creative on Vimeo.

Days Two + Three Highlights/Wrap Film ::


Engage 11: Grand Del Mar // Wrap Film from Cloud Nine Creative on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Top Social Media Influencers in the Wedding Industry

I am honored to have been named as one of the "Top Social Media Influencers in the Wedding Industry" by WedBiz Journal, a new wedding industry publication.

We have leveraged the power and reach of social media to connect with wedding industry professionals from around the globe. It has had a major impact on our business in countless ways and we are excited to see where all it takes us next!

Thank you to WedBiz Media for including us on this list!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Upcoming Wedding Industry Speaking Engagement :: Event Solutions Idea Factory

I am really looking forward to speaking on March 1st at Event Solutions "Idea Factory" in Las Vegas at the brand new Cosmopolitan. Other wedding industry friends who will be participating as speakers include Preston Bailey, Marcy Blum, Sean Low and Todd Fiscus among a host of others.

They had each speaker answer a few questions on their take on today's events industry - Click here for my answers!

My presentation will be on Tuesday, March 1st at 7:45am (!!!) and is titled "Romancing The Luxury Bride: State of the Wedding Industry."

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wedding Industry News :: Knot Expands to China with Ai Jie

Big global wedding industry news that The Knot has officially launched in China with Ai Jie (! Check out the comprehensive feature coverage by AdAge.

We were very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with InterContinental Hotels Asia-Pacific (IHG) on a 10-month wedding sales & marketing strategy development project in 2008-2009 that took us to Shanghai twice (see link to this post from the breathtaking wedding market photo shoot we did while there!) and also to Tokyo. We learned so much about the global wedding market and in particular the exploding opportunities for the wedding industry in China. Staggering...and exciting!

Here are some key China wedding industry statistics and insights from the press release from The Knot ::

“China is by far the world’s largest wedding market, with approximately 10 million weddings a year, which is five times the number of weddings in the U.S.,” said David Liu, CEO and cofounder of The Knot Inc. “With the first generation of children from the One Child Policy marrying now, a wedding is a highly anticipated occasion for their parents and grandparents. This presents a huge opportunity in the China market, and our mission is to be the number one leader in bringing Chinese couples stylish inspirations, expert advice, and unique tools to help them plan their weddings and lives together.”

Chinese Wedding Industry Statistics provides U.S.-based businesses an opportunity to align with a premium trusted brand and access to a huge untapped bridal market. As the first generation of children from the One Child Policy enters the average marrying age, young engaged Chinese couples wield unprecedented wedding budgets and are increasingly incorporating Western traditions into their wedding ceremonies.

  • Wedding industry: $57 billion (400 billion RMB) (Source: China Wedding Industry Development Report)
  • Average number of weddings: 10 million couples marry annually (Source: China Wedding Industry Development Report)
  • Average wedding spend: $12,000 (80,000 RMB), excluding the cost of the wedding ring, attire and honeymoon (Source: China Wedding Industry Development Report)
  • 80 percent of weddings combine Chinese-Western traditions (Source: National Committee of Chinese Wedding Service Industry)

Congrats to David Liu, Carley and everyone at The Knot on this global expansion - we can't wait to watch it explode with success!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Our Business Cards!

A long overdue shout out and thank you to the fab Vanessa Kreckel of Two Paper Dolls + Louella Press for her ongoing work for us with both Engaging Concepts and engage! ... she has been an amazing partner to us since we met her 18 months ago when she attended engage!09 :: something blue in Grand Cayman.

She letterpressed our current EC business cards (and hand-painted the edges) back in the spring on gorgeous #220 lettra stock and we continue to get so many compliments on them!!

She was even kind enough to blog about them awhile back.

She and our uber talented designer Trisha J Hay of C H A R I O T are amazing collaborators and we are so lucky to have them as extended members of our team!!

Thank you Thank you for being such incredible partners -- we can't wait to see what 2011 holds!

"Top Knots" Judge

I am honored to be a judge in the PDN (Photo District News) New School of Wedding Photography contest :: "Top Knots" -- I am passionate about great wedding photography and its importance to the wedding industry and really looking forward to this unique opportunity!

For more details on the contest and to submit your work (Deadlines are fast approaching!!) visit the official site at

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Speaking Engagement :: International Caterers Association (ICA)

Another great time I had recently was speaking to the International Caterers Association (ICA) for their Regional Education Days (RED).

Officially known as ICA RED.

This was my first time speaking just to caterers (not mixed in with other wedding industry pros) and what a great, fun group they are!! The day's events were held at the very impressive new campus of The Rosen College of Hospitality Management- part of the University of Central Florida. Wow!

Thank you to long-time friend, supporter and former colleague at Disney Weddings, Warren Dietel who is on the board of ICA (and President and Owner of top Central Florida Catering company Puff 'n Stuff) and planned this extraordinary RED experience for asking me to speak to this amazing group of top caterers from around the country. It was truly a pleasure and fun to see some familiar faces of friends like Simon T. Bailey (also a speaker that day and former colleague of both mine and Warren's from our Disney days!), Pauline Parry and Joy Wallace and meet some wonderful new friends as well!

Looking forward to staying in touch with everyone!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

engage!11 :: the grand del mar

We are thrilled to announce that engage!11 will be hosted in San Diego, CA at The Grand Del Mar May 30-June 2, 2011 -- simply an incredible resort and a perfect place for our 7th engage! event!! Much, much more to come but we hope you will consider joining us for what promises to be another impactful and 'engaging' luxury wedding business summit! Reserve your spot by clicking here.

Behind-the-Scenes visit to The Martha Stewart Show!

The 'icing on the cake' to our whirlwind New York visit last month was getting to join many of our wedding blogger buddies for a behind-the-scenes visit to the taping of The Martha Stewart show that included a segment on Sandals Weddings by Martha Stewart and destination weddings.

A few photos ::
Here we are with Darcy and Jen Ruske of Martha Stewart Weddings, Joann Delgin from Sandals and many of our favorite bridal bloggers including Harmony Walton, Ali Philips, Stephanie Frasier-Grimm, Christy Weber, Bee Kim and more!

With Randy in the Green Room!

Randy and the uber-fab Anthony Luscia of Martha Stewart Weddings!

This was our second visit to the Martha Stewart Show - last year we were lucky enough to have VIP seating for a taping of an entire show dedicated to Destination Weddings! Here I am with friend (& former client from Sandals) Liz Kaiser waiting for the show to begin.

In the studio...
Thank you Darcy, Anthony and Joann for the amazing invitations to get a glimpse into this wonderful world -- we loved every minute of it!!

New York Bridal Market Parties 2010! :: The Knot Industry Gala

Next up on our whirlwind NYC bridal market adventure was the party celebrating 15 years for The Knot. We are proud to have been one of the earliest supporters of The Knot those many years ago while at Disney (back when we all still referred to it as "the world wide web"!) and have been delighted (and more than a little blown away) at the explosive growth and superstar status that founders Carley Roney + David Liu have achieved. We couldn't imagine not being there to celebrate their success and remarkable achievements.

A few highlights of the extraordinary party held at The New York Public Library ::

Really, there are no words. This 12-foot tall, fresh floral masterpiece was designed by the one and only Preston Bailey!

Preston and the gorgeous Carley Roney!

Friends!! From left: Marcy Blum, Bryan Rafanelli, me, Carley, Randy Fenoli and Kathryn

Love this shot of Carley + really sums up the spirit of the night!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New York Bridal Market Parties 2010! :: Martha Stewart Weddings

We really love parties - especially when they are filled with many of our very favorite wedding industry friends! Kathryn and I decided completely spur of the moment (literally hours before!) to fly up to New York for two very special parties :: The Martha Stewart Weddings event and The Knot's 15th Anniversary Party...because after following all of bridal market *buzz* on Twitter we simply couldn't stand to miss another second! Here are some highlights from the incredible celebration at The Martha Stewart offices...complete with a behind-the-scenes tour with Darcy Miller!

Kath and Me with the incredible celebrity photographer (and recent engage!10 :: the breakers speaker!) Donna Newman and our dear Cayman Islands friend Danielle Wolfe of

Me, our gracious hostess Darcy Miller and Kathryn!

Me and Kath with Darcy, famed designer Monique Lhuillier and husband Tom!!

Kathryn, Joann Delgin and Me...the Disney Weddings dream team together again!!

Thank you to Darcy, Anthony, Shira, Jen Ruske and all of our friends at Martha Stewart was truly an incredible party and so worth our impromptu trip!!

Speaking Engagement :: WPPI Road Trip Orlando

I was so honored when the oh-so-wonderful Garrett Nudd asked me to share the stage with him recently during the WPPI Orlando Road Trip. WPPI stands for Wedding and Portrait Photographers International and it is one the largest (if not THE largest) associations for professional wedding photographers in the world. It was a great pleasure to spend time with so many talented pros! Thank you to Garrett for including me!

Here Garret and I are pictured after the presentation with the lovely Joy Nudd, Lisa Konecny of E-Events and Jeffrey Stoner of Stoner Video - great times!!

Client Project :: Sandals Weddings by Martha Stewart

We recently had the honor of working with our long-time Engaging Concepts client Sandals & Beaches Resorts on the roll-out for their very exciting and innovative partnership with Martha Stewart called "Sandals Weddings by Martha Stewart." We were involved in the training & development of their teams from all 19 resorts throughout the Caribbean (Jamaica, Antigua, the Bahamas, St. Lucia and Turks & Caicos) and in their wedding sales offices in Miami.
We designed a comprehensive training program and delivered it multiple times over the course of a week in Jamaica. We also supported the team from Martha Stewart Weddings in the hands-on training of the actual wedding collections ( & learned alot along the way!!). They are all beautiful and are incredibly affordable! Every wedding at a Sandals or Beaches Resort is a Martha Stewart Weddings-designed affair (including the free WeddingMoon package with minimum night stay). The upgraded collections begin at just $1600.

Here are a few of our favorites ::

Chic & Natural ::

Vision in White ::

Seaside Serenade ::

And lucky me, in August I had the opportunity to travel to visit the newly expanded Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort on a special fam trip hosted by Martha Stewart Weddings Editorial Director Darcy Miller. It was a wonderful trip away with cherished industry colleagues...and the resort is a family-paradise!!

Pictured here at our "Island Paradise" collection dinner table on the beach at sunset with my dear friends Joann Delgin, Director of Weddings and Debbie White Director of Public Relations for Sandals & Beaches Resorts!

Here is a link to Harmony Walton of The Bridal Bar's round-up of our trip, with loads of great pics!

What an honor the entire experience was from start to picture-perfect finish!!!

Speaking Appearances at WIPA :: San Francisco + San Diego

I had an amazing time in California speaking for WIPA (Wedding Industry Professionals Association). I am so incredibly impressed with this organization and the level of professionalism, creativity, passion and commitment to creating a community of top-tier wedding professionals. I look forward to being a member of this organization in the coming year. Here are a few images from my whirlwind trip to The St. Regis in San Francisco (my second stay there in less than 6 months - spoiled!) and The Grand Del Mar (an amazing & very special resort!!). Thank you to everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to join us!!

Here I am in a fabulous creme & gold Raj Tent with owner Maurice. I have always loved these gorgeous tents and was thrilled to get to finally see (& enjoy!) one in person!!
The specialty Raj tent on the lawn at The Grand Del Mar.

Enjoying an afternoon glass of wine with the fabulous Dez Patterson (one of our new engage!10 :: cayman islands friends), Pauline Parry (President of WIPA & owner of Good Gracious Events! in LA and an industry icon!) and Natasha Chornesky of WriteShot in Las Vegas and who gave a lovely introduction to my presentation.
With the fab Pauline Parry on one of the incredible staircases at The Grand Del Mar - what an enchanting resort...I can't wait to return!!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Magic that was engage!10 :: the breakers

Our feet have still not touched the ground since returning from the magnificent Breakers Palm Beach following our 6th SOLD OUT engage! event this past week. We were so very lucky to have had our friend the brilliant Bruce Patterson of Cloud Nine Creative document it all to share as surprise 'same day edits' shown on Day 1 and Day 3 of the event. We have MUCH more to share but the best way to sum it all up is to take a peek at these highlights of the magic that was engage!10 :: the breakers...

Engage 10 {Day One} from Cloud Nine Creative on Vimeo.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Speaking at WIPA!

I am thrilled to be heading to California to speak next week to members of WIPA (Wedding Industry Professionals Association) in both San Francisco and San Diego and look forward to meeting new friends and seeing some familiar faces on the West Coast! Hope to see you there!

For more details on the programs visit:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Additional information on engage!10 :: the breakers

With the 'paint just dry' on engage!10 :: cayman islands (see below for the recap) we are already hard at work on details for our next event this fall...engage!10 :: the breakers!

We are so excited to be collaborating with the incredible team at The Breakers in Palm Beach and have some new surprises in store blended with the best of what engage! has become known for - inspired networking and inspiration for luxury wedding professionals in an intimate and inviting setting.

We have created a detailed pdf with all of the background and information on the upcoming event ::

And of course the official website is

Hope to see you there!!

engage!10 :: cayman islands RECAP

Time sure flies when you are having fun!! We have enjoyed an incredible few months here at Engaging Concepts with some really interesting client projects and unique opportunities and of course, the successful presentation of our 5th wedding industry event engage!10 :: cayman islands in early June!

Instead of us telling you about it, we thought better to hear directly from the speakers & attendees themselves -- to date over 75 blog post/recaps have been filed and the official Twitter hashtag was burning up the lines before, during and after the event! Here is a pdf with live links to each post ::

And a link to some highlighted 'rave reviews' of comments we have received about the event ::

We continue to be blown away (& humbled) by the outpouring of support and kind words from so many and are eternally grateful to each and every person who joined us and came together to make this event the best one yet!! We could never have done it without the support of so many of our partners and will be thanking them in a follow up post!!

:: Incredible photos (above) of the event shared with us by the talented photographers Stevi & Matt Savage of Avery House ::