Engage! The Luxury Wedding and Business Summit - June 2019

In mid-June of 2019, the world’s top event professionals assembled in the luxurious resort of Baha Mar, in The Bahamas. Engage! The Luxury Wedding Business Summit continually raises expectations and keeps event/wedding industry professionals, including myself, amazed at their hospitality and approach. Fueled by impeccable creativity and the need to keep fellow event industry colleagues intrigued (we’re often a tough bunch to impress), founders Rebecca Grinnals and Kathryn Arce select various event partners to help conceptualize, plan, and implement each unique vision. This time around was no different.

Commissioning event designer extraordinaire Emily Clarke, who served as the event’s Creative Director, and her team at Emily Clarke Events, set the stage for tremendously detailed, on-theme perfection. From the main stage, to the custom wallpaper and unique surprises (yes, flamingos were special guests during a cocktail hour), each element was tied together with tremendous thematic nuance. The summit culminated in a James Bond-themed gala (complete with a stunningly creative seat/table number notification process), allowing all attendees to properly celebrate the collective efforts. Sprinkle in art direction, event branding, logo, gifting design, and graphic design and curation by TPD Design House, stage decor and gift pieces from This Beautiful Life, cinematography captures by Le Reve Films, and soundtrack-setting by DJ Brian B, among many other top-tier partners (including a multitude of incredible photographers), and attendee expectations were exceeded.

Without exposing too many of the exclusive details, the purpose of the luxe summit is to gather with like-minded luxury event professionals, while also focusing on continued professional, and personal self-growth and improvement. Powerhouse speakers on the main stage, some of the industry’s most influential professionals interacting in private sessions, and various celebrations make for an intensive, multi-day conference that’s equal parts educational, inspiring, and stress-relieving rejuvenation.

For me, professional and personal takeaways were plentiful. Professionally, it was (as always) a pleasure to be in the presence of detail-driven, personalization-obsessed, positivity-above-all colleagues. I was honored to participate on a panel which welcomed first-time attendees, and serve as an ambassador for the amazing experiences ahead. Personally, one of the most touching, gratitude-filled moments came during The Engage Foundation’s philanthropic efforts. The organization’s Executive Director, the exceptional Emily Campbell of Bella Event Design & Planning, orchestrated an afternoon in which attendees could volunteer their time and efforts in working with a local organization devoted to assisting disabled individuals. During a special moment, I was joined by Anna Lucia, of Anna Lucia Events. As we were chatting with a young lady from the organization, I casually inquired about her favorite song. She proceeded to tell us about a song that she enjoyed - because it reminded her of her late grandmother. This prompted Anna to search for the song so that the three of us could take a listen. During this time, I was internally gathering my composure to make sure that I kept it together as I didn’t know how the young lady would react to listening to a song in which she’d be reminded of her grandmother. To my pleasant surprise, once the song began, the young lady displayed a full smile. She proceeded to tell us about how close her and her grandmother were. Instead of feeling sad or upset about her loss, she was happily reminiscing about her grandmother, their relationship, and the time that they did get to spend together. Point taken and life lesson reminder noted.

Event recap video by the incredibly talented and profusely dedicated, Le Reve Films.

Photography below courtesy of Eric Kelley, Love Life Images, and Phillip VN Photography.