After three engaging days at The Grand Del Mar resort in San Diego, California, our team has returned home from the engage!11 luxury wedding business summit inspired and ready to roll.

The team has shared their Day One and Day Two inspirations, now enjoy more gorgeous eye candy from the last day of engage!11, courtesy of Mel & Co.

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The morning kicked off with an amazing media panel. The panel included (from left) – TV producer and media consultant Jill Meister, Inside Weddings’ Marilyn Oliveira, Destination Weddings + Honeymoons’ Susan Moynihan, Junebug Weddings’ Christy Weber, WedLuxe’s Angela Desveaux and Style Me Pretty’s Abby Larson.

The panel discussed the industry’s return to elegant ballroom weddings, and ways to get your weddings published, sharing this token advice: “The number one obstacle for not getting published is not submitting your work. It’s simplistic but so true!”

After the morning panel, the team attended three of the afternoon breakout sessions. Here’s are their highlights…

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Internationally acclaimed event designer Diann Valentine’s session, “Bucking Tradition to Create Your Differential Competitive Advantage,” spoke about taking a chance, stepping outside the box and redefining trends, rather than repurposing them. She also said it is important to define who you are, or others will do it for you.

Diann’s words of wisdom: “Take what you have and use your brand to show who you are … be a gateway for your clients to be themselves.”

Bonus: We loved Diann’s feathered skirt and gold-studded Christian Louboutin!

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The Bridal Bar owner Harmony Walton (left), photographer Jasmine Star and Southern Weddings magazine publisher and editor Lara Casey (not pictured) discussed making your brand your own style in their session “Harnessing the Power of an Aspirational Brand,”

The trio also spoke about words as the barometer of success. “You should take what you have and use your brand words to show who you are. Every word and placement has a purpose.”

Other great wisdom: “Is your brand selling an experience? Make sure your brand defines you and what you do, it should represent who you are, not what you want to aspire to be.”

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Known best as the “Invitationer of the Stars,” stationary guru Ellen Black discussed the dedication and commitment to excellence that is needed to succeed in the wedding industry. Her session “Creating Lasting Impressions” touched on her own personal journey, her family-owned and operated business and the importance of partnership and community among wedding professionals.

Ellen also talked about how a business needs to have more than just a vision, but an overall dedication to creating an amazing custom product. In our ever-present world of technology,
Ellen stressed the need to always mail your invitations: “There’s nothing better than getting a gift in the mail”

Later that evening…

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Celebrity event planner Mindy Weiss and her team designed the incredible evening gala and the 25-piece band provided by West Coast Entertainment absolutely rocked the house the final night!

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Breakers’ Kym Bichon (center) celebrates the engage!11 gala with uber talented celebrity wedding planner Mindy Weiss and designer extraordinaire Ed Libby.

Hollywood’s DJ Nahchey was the icing on the cake at the rocking after party.

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A very special thanks to engage!11 hosts Rebecca Grinnals (right) and Kathryn Arce for a wonderful experience. Our team had an incredible time meeting new wedding professionals and reconnecting with other engage alums.

The best way to wrap up the amazing engage!11 wedding business summit is to share this recap video from our friends at Cloud Nine Creative….

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

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