I am determined to finish these posts – as Engage!11 left such a resonance with me and I can’t imagine leaving my experience undocumented. With that said…
Waking up to this gorgeous view was definitely an invigorating change of pace. The weather in San Diego was a nice change to the craziness that was Sacramento in May. It was sunny, warm (but not too warm) and, of course, The Grand Del Mar kept their grounds meticulous.
I grabbed my badge and headed down to breakfast for a quick cup of coffee, picked up my name tent (adorably painted by Momental Designs) and notebook before taking my seat in the ballroom.
Highlights of the morning’s speakers included a fabulous Todd Fiscus, speaking to us on the topic of branding and keeping current in an ever-changing market. He emphasized that you should know your weaknesses and walk-through your roles and expectations with your clients upfront.
We were treated to fabulous snacks during the breaks in between speakers. The Strawberry Buffet was a fun surprise, with teeny parfaits, smoothies, sodas, truffles, gellies and even baskets of fresh berries – just about anything strawberry you could think of!
Cindy Novotny was incredible – she was business and Broadway all in one! Her energy was addictive and encouraged us to be ourselves and create passion for what we do and most importantly, to aim high, as the greatest danger is to reach your ceiling.
Lunch was a duo of delicious sliders and sweet potato fries kept warm by hot stones – and served with a blueberry pie pocket. Very fun – but even more so was the presentation by Sylvia Weinstock on sugar flowers and cake decoration! She passed around several blooms so that we could see the intricacy of her work. I love Sylvia’s sense of style. Check out her fantastic Missoni jacket – very close to KME’s colors, yes?
Post-luncheon we headed back to the ballroom for a presentation from our next speaker, Marcy Blum, on getting inspiration from outside the industry. I have to say, I must agree with her – too often we fall victim to the next farm table, vintage-modern, outdoor, pennant-flag-swathed design. Marcy encouraged me to read more Vogue and less wedding blogs – and I love her for it!
Carley Roney of The Knot gave us an intense look at the wedding market, with specific demographics on the luxury wedding market. I must admit, it was fascinating but overwhelming, and I’m very glad she gave us a beautiful letter-pressed copy of the report to take home with us for later review.
Can I just say that the Coffee Break Buffet was my favorite? Those cupcakes on the right had crunchy little Valrhona chocolate pearls – and I wanted to eat all of them!
Mindy Weiss gave us a fun peek inside the world of celebrity wedding planning and design. She shared many fun new ideas – from architectural elements in floral design to interactive experiences for guests, like gospel singers.
Lastly, we watched as Monique Lhullier was interviewed by Millie Bratten (editor of Brides magazine) and shared her favorite celebrity dresses alongside upcoming fashion trends. We’re going to be seeing a lot of lace, longer silhouettes, subtle colors and strong shoulders in 2012!
For dinner, we had each drawn a card to be selected for an intimate dinner with an industry icon. I headed to the beautiful wood-paneled Wine Cellar Room at The Grand Del Mar to join…
…Sylvia Weinstock and her wonderful husband Ben! We were treated to a delicious meal while hearing the tales of a woman who started her business 25 years ago, with fabulous style (not only via spectacles, her jewelry is spectacular) and celebrating…my birthday. Yes, I was delighted to have my Birthday Dinner Toast given by Sylvia herself – who graciously wished me much success.
After dinner, we headed over to Club M at The Grand Del Mar and we were treated to cocktails and dessert while surrounded by new friends. We enjoyed strolling magic, fab music and dancing before heading home to rest my tired toes and rejuvenate for the next day.
Previously: Day One
Next Up: Day Three