Friday, October 17, 2008

I'm Engaged!

(Me and the queen of cakes - Sylvia Weinstock!)

(some of the goodies inside our "swag bag")

(the gorgeous tote from Tulla Belles!)

(lovely centerpieces from Flowers Of Winter Park)

(Tim Neill, Jay Casiano, Aaron Vieri, Isha Foss & Amy Rubins)

(Me and Mr. "Brilliant" himself - Simon T. Bailey)

(the cute name cards)

oh - don't let the title fool you...that's not the kind of "engagement" I'm talking about:)

I had the pleasure of attending Engage 08! - the Encore this past Tuesday at the fabulous Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes Resort in Orlando, Florida. Created by Rebecca Grinnals and Kathryn Arce of Engaging Concepts - this one day, high powered, high intensity symposium was designed for those of us in the industry who wish to move our respective businesses and careers to even higher levels.

We were totally "engaged" the entire day - from relevant and concise industry information, to amazing speakers, to elegantly chic food and gift bags - Rebecca and Kathryn literally left no stone unturned in order to bring their attendees the very best. I actually got started late because my plane was delayed in leaving Baltimore, but once I hit the lobby of the hotel...I was off and running :)

Our morning keynote speaker was the charmingly brilliant Simon T. Bailey - if you don't know who he is, I guarantee you will soon! "Releasing Your Brilliance" was the topic of his presentation, and through some serious, thought-affecting words and great group exercises, he was able to show all of us, give us a peek into the glimmering gems we really are! I highly recommend his book of the same name as well as his website where I'm sure you'll be inspired!

Lunch was a glamorously elegant event, filled with delicious food, courtesy of the Ritz - incredible linens by LaTavola (who also provided all of the gorgeous tablecoverings for the entire event) and the cutest placecard settings by PlaceTile Designs.
After our sumptious networking lunch, the afternoon was spent in the company of industry giants - we had the unique opportunity of interfacing with the founders of The Knot, Carley Roney and David Liu, got great PR and press information from Jill Meister of the CBS Early Show, Wedding Bee founder Kim Bee and public relations guru Eda Kalkay. Sean T. Low, president of Preston Bailey Designs, spoke about having a direct, distinct focus for your company and brand, while the grande dame of wedding cakes, Sylvia Weinstock rounded out the afternoon with her amazing wit, humor and the story behind those trademark glasses!

We all received an AMAZING bag of goodies - I'm still going through it and discovering treasure after treasure! From scrumptious sugar cookies, embellished with the Engage 08! logo, super-stylish tote bag and journals from Tulla Belles, samples and recipes from Hypnotiq, all natural soy candles from The Grapeseed Company, a cute passport case from ISZI studios...I mean, the list literally goes on and on!

Take a look at my amateur photos (note to self or hint to others - I want a new digital camera for my birthday in December!) and you can get a small glimpse of all the "happenings". I really do want to thank Rebeccaa and Kathryn for the amazing job they did in bringing such a wonderful event to fruition. If you are in the wedding industry and are truly serious about taking your business to a more successful level - don't miss out on the next Engage!


is where I'll be on Sunday, October 26th! So, if you are in the greater Indy area - I'm inviting you to come and join me at the best bridal show....Indy's Best Bridal Show 2008!

Sponsored by Loretta Smith of Final Touches Make The Difference, LLC., this will be a wonderful afternoon featuring the finest vendors and service providers in the Indianapolis area. No matter where you are on the wedding planning scale, there will be something there to help you create an amazingly personal, decidedly unique nuptial affair!!

I am honored to have been asked to participate - so if you've got any questions that need a honest, DIVAfied answer..make sure you are in the house. I'll be hosting a Q&A session that promises to be lively and informative!!!!!

Here are the details:
Indy's BEST Bridal Show 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
12:00 PM - 04:00 PM
Indianapolis Hilton North
8181 North Shadeland Ave
Indianapolis, IN.

Purchase tickets/register online and receive $2 off admission!

I'm looking forward to meeting all of my fans from Indiana - we're going to have a great time!!!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Knot Networking Party

Back in the spring, I was offered the opportunity to plan the Knot's Networking Party for the Baltimore metropolitan area. I took on the project with a plan in mind, and using the overall theme of "Go Green With The Knot", came up with a pretty cool way to mesh eco-friendly with a great party! On October 1st, almost 200 industry professionals met, mingled, ate, drank and partied at the funky-chic Baltimore Museum Of Industry. Set on an expanse of the Inner Harbor, it was a neat place to meld our environmentally conscious event with the eclectic vibe of the venue.

My concept was simple - I hit upon the idea of highlighting 4 elements of the universe to create functional, workable sections for the party. Earth, Air, Water & Fire became my backdrops for all of the food, drink and designs that wove their way throughout the Museum's Decker Gallery - each "element" contained an overall color scheme, menu and specialty libation that our guests could sample and enjoy.

With tasty drink mixers provided by Stirrings, guests were able to indulge in Pear Of Hearts & Spiced Apple Martinis along with classic Mojitos. The absolutely fantastic menu was provided by Bobby Mitchell and Karen Foulkrod of Putting On The Ritz - their entire team was such a pleasure to work with, from conception to completion of this event! Attendees made their way through a bevy of food stations, highlighting such delectable fare as Mandarin duck salad in choux pastry, seared scallops on sauteed spinach, chipotle roasted chicken on skewers and Asian lettuce wraps filled with sauteed and julienned vegetables. A do-it-yourself ice cream sandwich bar rounded out the offerings - and there was a line of grownups, eagerly awaiting their turn to indulge in that sweet treat!

Floral designs were provided by Richardson's Florals - my thanks go out to Sandy Riley, Sheila Smith and Chris Matthews for all of their hard work and patience, the end result was simply stunning. All of our printed materials and signage were created by the talented Karron Davis-Minor of Diamond Minor Designs, and our cool, sleek, uber-hip lounge furniture came courtesy of Dave Fritz and the fine folks at CORT Event Furnishings. The gorgeous linens, tables and Chivari chairs hail from the inventory at Select Event Rentals, and I have to seriously thank Susan Childs for putting up with the many, many changes I made..that woman has the patience of a saint!

Perkins Productions help cast an elegant glow around the room, as each of the "elements" was lit and spotlighted in a different shade and hue. Our guest speaker of the evening, Knot Vice-President, Denise Favorule, got some great A/V help from the awesome technicians of Absolute Entertainment and DJ Jerry Stamper of JLS Productions kept the party hopping until the very end!

ZBest Limousine was kind enough to showcase their latest acquistion to the fleet - a 18 passenger, stretch hybrid limo! This clean, pure white Tahoe is the first of it's kind in the United States, and I have to thank them for bringing it out to show it off - it's a great example of how hybrid technology is being used in the special events industry.

As guests departed the event, they were given cute, natural cotton tote bags, emblazoned with the Knot logo and filled with goodies including wonderfully soft, freeze dried rose petals from Flyboy Naturals, drink mixers from Stirrings and adorable sugar cookies from Sweet Talk Boutique (yum!)

Check out this slideshow from our official event photographer Roman Grinev - he captured every single detail of this event with amazing clarity! Roman - my hat is off to you for making this look wonderful!!!!

Again, many thanks to all of the fine vendors who provided their services for this event - I appreciate each and every one of you! And thanks to all of my peers and fellow industry professionals who took time out of their busy schedules to attend - it was good to see all of you!!!