Engage 2011
June 3, 2011

Before we head off to the weekend goodness, I wanted to take a minute and share with all of you wedding junkies the details from Engage 2011...held at the INSANELY beautiful The Grand Del Mar in San Diego. For those of you that are new to SMP, Engage is a biannual wedding conference that gathers the best in the industry to swap war stories, knowledge, insight and excitement with fellow big hitters and up-n-comers alike. It's literally a feast of perfection and this year's was one of the best. Here is a quick behind the scene look at all of the fun, super steal worthy details, which we owe to the amazing team at Mel & Co. Who was so incredibly important to the value of this event...making it possible to share it with all of you!

The party was quite possibly the coolest event I've ever been to. For three reasons. One, the food. It was food truck central with sliders, tacos, even cupcakes and the foodie inside me went completely nuts. And the proof is in my derier. Second, the decor. The fabulous Eddie at tic-tock blew it out of the park with florals that were organic, elegant and yet beautifully modern. Little bits of driftwood, uber chic rentals, succulents and mercury glass brought the design to an entirely new level of gorg. And third, the entertainment. "Earth Harp" and "Rhythm Collective" of Elan Artists transformed this party into pure magic. Words can't describe how incredible this evening really was.

The speakers for the event were the who's who in the wedding industry. Todd Fiscus, Marcy Blum, Mindy Weiss, Milly Bratten, Monique Lhuillier, Michelle Rago, David Beahm, Carley Roney, the works. And yep, I got to call myself part of the lucky in crowd which I am beyond humbled by. I took away so much from these talented peeps and am now more driven and motivated than ever to turn SMP into the best that it can possibly be. Oh and although I missed it personally because we were late flying in, I hear that the gown made exclusively out of flowers by Karen Tran and her beautiful daughter were breathtakingly lovely.

One of the best things about Engage, aside from the crazy bits of wedding industry love that you get, are the details. Rebecca and Kathryn crafted an event that not only left a lasting impression, it totally gave me ideas on great wedding details that you guys can infuse into your own day. Case in point, the strawberry bar above with strawberry treats that would make any guest do a little happy dance. Or the knock-your-socks-off coffee bar that contributed immensely to the 5 lbs that I brought back with me. All with flowers by Little Black Booker and total wedding genius, Robin of Grand Floral.

Oh and speaking of details...ummm, can you say Sylvia? The beloved Sylvia Weinstock showed us all how to build the perfect cake during our gorgeous luncheoun. She is the queen of all things fabulous so obviously, the crowd went a little wedding wild. Add to that, gorgeous menus by Lehr & Black, yummy sliders by the team at The Grand Del Mar, flowers that will make your heart stop, a Raj Tent that is nicer than my house and so many more incredible details...and well, this is what you end up with...

The closing gala, designed by Mindy Weiss (whom I love dearly) and Mark's Garden (genius) was the icing on the already perfect cake. They took the red and black palette of the event to a new level of lovely and with highlights like the freaking Jersey Boys, well, it was a night I'll never forget.

And the beyond awesome video that the talented team at Cloud 9 Creative (who is incredibly by the way and managed to pull this little number together DURING the gala dinner) ...

The whole shebang shut down with us stuffing our faces silly with FatBurger which if you haven't had the sheer pleasure of eating, you'll want to drop everything right now and grab yourself one. Oh and they are available for parties, weddings and tons of other events. Thank you so very much to Rebecca and Kathryn for sharing such an incredible experience with us. It is one that we will never forget!

Before I leave you...I wanted to also take a quick moment to say how completely awesome it was to meet all of you Little Black Bookers at the event. You are an incredible group of talented people and I am so honored to put the stamp of SMP approval on everything you do.

all images by the fabulous team of Mel Barlow, Allan Zepeda, Judith Rae for Mel & Co....we love you guys and are in awe of your genius!