Across the Pond at Engage! London, a recap of inspiration in the wedding industry
Thursday, November 14
I have just returned from London for my 5th Engage! and once again I return inspired, refreshed and literally in awe of what I experienced! This Engage was extremely special for a few reasons and I can’t thank Rebecca Grinnals and Kathryn Arce enough for allowing me to be a part of this truly magical experience! After five times, I can honestly say this was my favorite; I saw so many old friends and met some incredible new ones, dinned in palaces and places some people only dream of, was blown away by the sheer amount of florals and decor (thousands of stems!) and danced the night away to epic bands and entertainment. We stayed at the five-star Rosewood London and were walking distance to all of Londons best sites. It was a delight for my senses around every corner and I thank the incredible team who produced London Engage for putting your heart and soul into making this a truly magical experience for us all! From Milan Thakrar and his team at Historic Royal Palaces Events, the entire Sarah Haywood Weddings team, ALR Music, Simon Lycett, Neill Strain, TPD Design House, Trisha Hay, Bruce Russell, and so many more! I’ll never see London or Engage the same again! ❤️
Enjoy the photos below from the iconic Engage! photography team:
Gigi de Manio, John Cain Sargent, Jacqui Cole, Doug & CheyAnne Keese, Ben Finch, Aurelijus Varna, Corbin Gurkin, Catherine Mead, Dennis Kwan, Gurminder Banga, and Carla Ten Eyck. Thank you also to photo editors Paul Morse and Phillip Van Nostrand!
We started Engage with the General Session with some of our favorite Engage Speakers of all time; Marcy Blum, Cindy Novotny, Mindy Weiss, Lynn Easton, David Beahm and Brian Rafenelli, Carrie Goldberg, Samantha Roberts and Duncan Wardle and then speakers we hadn’t heard like Alexandra Macon of Vogue Weddings, Greg Finck, Simon Lycett, Adam Blackwood, Angela Desveaux, Phillipa Craddock, Shane Connolly and learned about South Asian weddings with Vandana Mohan, Yara Estephan and Zainab Alsalih and of course more!
For night one we boarded iconic British double-decker buses and headed for the Tower of London. The opening of the gate at the Tower was something we will never forget. Fire and music ushered us in to the 1,000 year old Tower. The Tower was built by William the Conqueror in the 1070’s and throughout history it has been a symbol of awe and fear with three queens of England being beheaded there. It now houses the Crown Jewels and we were privileged to have our own private viewing of the Jewels which was surreal and a treat! After the Tower we boarded a river cruise down the Thames and they even opened the Tower Bridge twice for us. Even the Londoners were saying that they never open the bridge – so to have it happen twice in one night is unforgettable!
The second night I think was my personal favorite! The Banqueting House was completed in 1622 as part of the Whitehall Palace. Today Royalty, statesmen, celebrities, charaties, businesses and Engage Attendees get to experience the wonder and beauty that is this space. We walked in and were absolutely blown away with the sheer amount of florals! Meant to mimic a floral wave it was overwhelming in impact and density of floral stems. Dining under the Ruben’s ceiling was something we will never forget! We were blown away by the details from TPD Design and the music and entertainment from ALR Music!
Special thank you to our friend Gurminder Banga of Banga Studios for this incredible portrait of my friend Jillian Livingston of Eclectic Hive and me.
During the day we caught up with old friends and met many new friends. The wonderful thing about both International Engage’s is they are smaller so you really get to spend time and get to know people on a deeper level.
Our final night we went to Kensington Palace, the childhood home of Queen Victoria and current home of the Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge. Many of the royal family still live in the Palace. I was in awe walking around and couldn’t stop looking at the paintings, sculptures and Queen Victories childhood drawings, not to mention the florals and entertainment!
Thanks for reading and following along on our Engage London adventure! It was a truly transformative experience in so many ways!