Every once in a while you find yourself in the middle of something special. Something magical. Something that gives you a chance to see new things, think new things, meet new people and allows you to be re-inspired. Last week, I found myself in such a place with Engage!14 Bachelor Gulch. Engage!, (for those of you who don't know) is a bi-annual conference for the people who work in the luxury wedding industry. A vibrant industry that is a vital and exciting business community made up of awesome talent and smart entrepreneurs.
Even though Engage is technically a business conference, it's not like any other conference in the world! The producers, Rebecca Grinnals and Kathryn Arce of Engaging Concepts are two of the smartest, most respected women in the wedding and event industry and over the last four years they have now become two of my dearest friends. I am forever grateful for their support of WedLuxe and how they have included me as a speaker at six of their conferences. No words!
What they have created is hard to describe, but for those of us who are INCREDIBLY lucky to be included in their magic, Engage has become an integral part of our lives and has given many of us the chance to form bonds and friendships with colleagues across the globe. Many of us 'repeat Engagees' joke that the experience is akin to summer camp for the luxury wedding industry.
With the summer camp theme in mind, 300+ of us traveled to the rugged and awesome Colorado Rockies where we convened at The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch from June 1–4, 2014.
I truly cannot express in words the level of UNBELIEVABLE service and attention to detail provided by the staff of this gorgeous hotel. I do travel a lot and I've been very lucky to stay in some pretty luxurious places. But nothing (and I mean nothing) defines luxury as much as truly excellent service does. Such excellence was demonstrated in spades by the entire team of professionals who work at The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch. Special kudos and thanks to the entire group there who exemplify the trademark motto of The Ritz-Carlton Hotels which is, "Ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentleman."
Abdullah, Syd, Ashley, Steven and Jennifer... and the rest of the awesome staff: I cannot wait to return and I will forever sing your praises!
Team Engage: Rebecca, Kath, Trisha, Cindy, Ron, Rochelle, Shawn, Heidi, Heather, Susan, Nathan, (and Aimee + Ali + Paige), thank you for making this another spectacular memory for me and the rest of the industry who are lucky enough to experience the magic.
Without further ado, I bring you the gorgeous and inspiring details of the conference (all of which are EXCELLENT springboards for ideas to use at weddings of course), along with some gorgeous photos of a few of my industry friends (aka movers and shakers) that I have been lucky to meet along the way.
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I always love hearing from industry leaders as I always come away with a new perspective on things. My favourite moment on Sunday was our AMAZING surprise welcome from Trista Sutter (also known as one of my favourite bachelorette from ABC's "The Bachelorette.") As many fans know, she and Ryan live in Vail, just a few short minutes away from Bachelor Gulch. She's pictured above with my friend Trisha Hay, the incredible graphic designer who does all of the gorgeous branding for team Engage!
Also pictured: Carly Roney, founder of The Knot; Liene Stevens, Think Splendid; Debbie Gellar, Gellar Events; and the always inspiring Randy Fenoli (who shared with us that he has VERY big news coming soon which I can't wait to hear...)!
Midway through the Sunday Speaker Sessions we were all treated to an amazing 'covered wagon' display of yummy snacks... the presentation was wonderful and the treats were so well thought out. Kudos to The Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch catering staff.
Official Event Photographers • CARLA TEN EYCK, JOHN CAIN SARGENT, TAMMY SWALES, SOFIA NEGRON, LAURA DeCARLO, CUSTOM PRESENTATION BOXES For Welcome Party, Hangover & Fun Kits • TAYLOR’D FAVORS || Registration: REGISTRATION DESIGN & DECOR • DESIGNWORKS, LINEN • Nuage Designs, OXYGEN BAR • VIE EVENTS || Opening Session: STAGE DESIGN & DECOR, DESIGNWORKS, OPENING SESSION CUSTOM LINEN • NUAGE DESIGNS || Western Wine & Cheese Break: FLORAL & DECOR, DESIGNWORKS, LINEN • Nuage Designs, GRAPHIC DESIGN, EVENT BRANDING & ON-SITE SHOW DIRECTOR • TRISHA HAY DESIGN, Trisha Hay, BRANDED GIFTING & ACCESSORIES • Concepted, Designed & Created by GIFTS FOR THE GOOD LIFE, NAMETAGS, ITINERARIES & AGENDAS, DESIGN & PRINTING • TWO PAPERDOLLS, PLANNING SUPPORT • Mountain Occasions & Tropical Occasions, DESIGN & DECOR • DESIGN WORKS BY DAVE & MIKE (Registration, General Session, Breaks Gifting Lounge & Gala, SPRING FLOWERS THROUGHOUT RESORT GROUNDS • NEWBERRY BROTHERS, AUDIO VISUAL • PSAV FOR RITZ-CARLTON BACHELOR GULCH