Twice a year, every year, the creme de la creme of the wedding industry comes together to talk shop, to inspire, to trade war stories and to be spoiled utterly rotten by the amazing duo at Engage Summits – the lovely Rebecca Grinnals and Kathryn Arce. It’s four days of pure wedding bliss. And while I’d love to spill every last detail, I’m focusing instead on the one event that every last one of YOU will find inspiring. Crafted and executed by the incredible team at Elena Damy, this is a Mexican fiesta worthy of Kings. And if ever you get the chance to attend one of the upcoming Summits, consider yourself one of the family. Oh and there may or may not have been an appearance by Salt-N-Pepa thanks to Elan ArtistsMore here!

ENGAGE! NIZUC from Julie Hill on Vimeo.

From the amazing team at Elena Damy

After attending several engage! Luxury Wedding Business Summits, we couldn’t wait for the right opportunity to introduce our industry colleagues to our beloved Mexico! When we discovered the uber-stylish, incredibly posh Nizuc Resort in Cancun, we knew we had to share it with Rebecca and Kathryn. They, too, fell in love with the breath-taking resort and asked us to design the Gala for the conference! We were honored, to say the least, and we couldn’t wait to get started designing an event that would share the warm sophisticated spirit of Mexico!

Once you get a glimpse of Nizuc’s minimalist architecture, globally-inspired interior design, and locally-influenced landscape, you can’t NOT be inspired! Thoughtful. Purposeful. Dramatic. Yet, somehow, understated and unobtrusive. It was easy to draw our own inspiration for the gala from all the earthy scenic elegance of Nizuc. We set out to use the same palette of metallics, stone and wood to create the final engage! party. Specifically, weathered gold and vintage platinum, mixed with glossy onyx black and distressed wood. Blended with geometric lines in the square and rectangular dinner tables, to the low lush white floral arrangements that kept the site lines clean and the energy “engaging” across the table, the whole design concept echoed the modern warmth of Mexico.

We brought in hand-made or locally-sourced Mexican décor elements such as mirrored containers and votive holders custom made for this occasion by artists from Jalisco, the land of tequila, mariachi and craftsmanship, complemented with oversized succulents and different types of indigenous foliage from Southeast Mexico, and a set of 103 hanging hearts made with wooden branches by artists from the Bajío region of Mexico.

The square oversized tables (each one seating 16 people) had black linens and black ghost chairs, while the rectangular tables had ivory linens (each one seating 36 people) and distressed vineyard cross-back chairs on the sides and glossy ghost chairs on the head of the tables. A wooden round dance floor was the perfect element to use as the center of the ballroom and, above it, we created an oversized, free form “chandelier” with giant natural hearts and local foliage. Smaller versions of the chandeliers were hung above some of the dinner tables.

Nizuc’s ballroom has impressive views to the mangrove swamp (which we decided to enhance with spots of light outside the ballroom), beautiful floor to ceiling wooden shutters, and a couple of elegant white stone walls, so we avoided adding draping or trusses that would ruin the already cool space and obscure the gorgeous view. Soft ambient light from our low, weathered metallic votives and hurricanes complemented the subtle settings.

Film by: Elysium Productions | Event & Floral Design: Elena Damy | Photographs from: John Cain, Love Life Images, Tammy Swales, Carla Ten Eyke, Dave Noonan for C10 Studios, Dorian Patrick for C10 Studios, Joel Callaway for C10 Studios | Venue: NIZUC Resort & Spa | Music & Entertainment: Elan Artists | Linens: Nüage Designs | Wooden Chargers/Menues: Two Paper Dolls Design Studio | 3D Invitations: Gifts for the Good Life | Logistics Support + Stage, Dance Floor and DJ Booth: Solen Group | Production Logistics Support and Lighting: JSAV | Tables & Chairs: Grupo Gama | Foyer Furniture and Rentals: Archive Rentals

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