engage! 09 :: Something Blue Re-cap!

I had the most amazing time at engage! 09 :: Something Blue! {a business summit for luxury wedding professionals} at the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman last month. Here is a re-cap of the events told through these gorgeous images from Stacey Kane (thank you, Stacey!). Upon arrival to the hotel, we were greeted with adorable swag bags full of goodies. I love the map Laura Hooper created for the event.

The first night, the mega-talented Michelle Rago created this fabulous beach party. Fun details included a shoe valet, mango mojitos {OK- lots of flavors of mojitos thanks to Tortuga Rum, which is made on the island}, beach furniture, custom linens and tents, a huge phalaenopsis orchid/manzanita branch centerpiece for the bar, a steel drum band that pulled right up to the party on a boat and a surprise fireworks display! Wow.

Day two, we heard from some of the industry greats: Carley Roney, Co-Founder of The Knot, Sylvia Weinstock, Millie Martini Bratten, Editor of BRIDES Magazine, Darcy Miller of Martha Stewart Weddings and Antonia van der Meer Editor of Modern Bride and Elegant Bride Magazines. Simon T. Bailey, a motivational speaker, was one of my favorites, as well as these two {Marcy Blum and Preston Bailey} who spoke of hot topics like vendor commissions, DIY weddings {how does this affect planners/designers?} and the recession.

I also had the pleasure of chatting with Darcy Miller of Martha Stewart Weddings about the blog- and about her fabulous Prada sandals.

After a long day of absorbing as much as possible from the wonderful speakers, I had the pleasure of having dinner with Preston Bailey at the Ritz at Chef Eric Ripert's restaurant Blue.

Day three we heard from many more industry leaders on topics such as the business of the wedding business, destination weddings and social media.

Later that night, Jo-Anne Brown and her team from Celebrations Ltd transformed the ballroom into a magical "under-the-sea" party. All of the well thought out details- an "aquarium" bar with live fish, lounge areas for everyone to relax in, multiple GoBos is sea shapes such as sand dollars, lit tables, tropical florals, a huge floral starfish centerpiece, amazing linens from LaTavola and blue everything- from the drinks to the lighting- made it a night to remember.

But the most memorable part of the evening {and there are many} and possibly all of engage! 09 was Sylvia Weinstock dancing up a storm with Kleinfeld's (and TLC's Say Yes to the Dress) Randy Fenoli. See the video here courtesy of Bee Kim {the creator of WeddingBee}.

I had a blast with everyone at the party including these two super fun, friendly and down to earth ladies- Marcy and Michelle.

Thank you to Rebecca Grinnals and Kathryn Arce of Engaging Concepts for putting together such an incredible event! I met so many wonderful and inspirational wedding professionals from all over. I can't wait for the next engage!


Liene Stevens said...

Love it and so fun to see you again! Your laugh is contagious. :)

Rebecca Grinnals said...

Ashley - LOVE your post!!! Thank you for the kind words - we are delighted that you had such a great experience at engage! See you soon!

{The Perfect Palette} said...

we absolutely love Laura Hooper! Such an incredibly beautiful wedding.

Celebrations Ltd. said...

We had a blast putting the final event together! Glad that you enjoyed the party and even had time to take notice of all the tiny details we've incorporated to the event.

We hope to see you back here in Cayman!

Arwyn Jackson said...

Ah, this brings me back. What a fantastic groups of people to be with! Ashley, thank you for your fantastic post! Those fireworks were unbelievable...

sticky said...

Thanks for sharing this wonderful post, Ashley! Brought back so many amazing memories. Brandy and I love meeting you!