Last week I had an amazing time attending the Engage!13 Luxury Wedding Business Summit. Every morning Lara, Emily and I woke up, opened the curtains, and found this incredible view waiting for us at the Biltmore. God’s creation and creativity constantly blew me away while I was there, and the vision that the Vanderbuilts had while creating this incredible place is mind-blowing. If you’ve never been to the Biltmore, you should make plans to go!

While I have so much that I learned from this event, and I feel like I could probably write 18 blogposts, I’ve decided to summarize it here with my top ten takeaways from Engage!13. You should also know that the sunrise image at the top of this post is mine, but all other images in this blogpost were taken by these gifted photographers: Carla Ten Eyck, Allan Zepeda & Jeremie Barlow.

And be sure to watch these amazing films, perfectly displaying our experience!  : Video 1 & Video 2


My Top Ten Takeaways from Engage!13

1. Build intentional relationships with your Creative Partners (aka Vendors).”We are stronger together, learning from each other, than we ever could be apart.” – Jasmine Star

2. It’s so important to have fun with your team and take time to celebrate milestones in your business. Colin shared that he takes his team to simply hang out on Friday nights, and I loved hearing Darcy’s inside jokes and stories with her team at Martha!

I absolutely adored the decor at the Southern Welcome Party, provided by Pressed Cotton. If I were planning a wedding, I would most certainly use much of what they offer! 

3. It’s vitally important to stay up to date with technology in your business.  Stay active on Social Media, and follow tech trends. I had no idea what a 3D printer was until Engage, (Thanks you Carly!  Crazy stuff!)

4.  Stay adaptable. “What is gracious and appropriate at one event might be mortifying at another.” – Harriet Rose Katz

5.  Always, always plan ahead. “Where do I see myself 5 years from now? How can I create the future instead of letting it happen?” – Simon T Bailey 

Above: Lunch was delivered in individual picnic baskets one afternoon by a horse drawn carriage. So enchanting! Also, the scones at the dessert party were my absolute favorite… made with local jams!

6. Adapt Nordstrom’s only customer service rule, and share it with my team: Use good judgement in all situations. – Andrea Wasserman

7. “How you spend your time is how you spend your life. Stop glorifying busy and set GOOD goals.” – Lara Casey

8. Be proud of who I am. “When you’re outrageously you, you can charge for it.” – Sean Low (PS – love Sean’s blog! Be sure to stop by and read a few posts. Great insights for creatives in business. Side note: He’s pretty impressive on a Segway. Just sayin’.)

9. Know your business, your market, your client. Millennials make up 70% of weddings today. They love to buy an experience, they are more financially conservative, they are foodies, they love authenticity, they love heirlooms and legacy, and they believe in giving as you go. Hugs to Liene Stevens, always a favorite speaker of mine, for sharing your wealth of knowledge and research with us all! (Be sure to read her blog too! Fascinating stuff.)10. “Reinvent every area of your life. Get rid of the old, bring in the new! At home, in your personal life, your health, and every area of your business. Streamline your operation, and stay invested in the creative side of your business.” – Colin Cowie

Thank you Kathryn and Rebecca for an experience of a lifetime! I’ll never forget it!

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I love what you guys are usually up too. This sort of clever work and coverage!

Keep up the awesome works guys I’ve added you guys to my personal blogroll.

This whole event looks like a dream! Your photos are incredible, Nancy!

Love hearing you had such a great time…that makes two of us! :)

Nancy, I was looking forward to reading your takeaways from Engage 13! It’s such an amazing event. Thanks for sharing your top 10!

Oh Nancy Ray, you are the absolute cutest. That’s all. :) Love love love that sunrise photo!!

This seems like it was such an incredible experience! I love reading what you took away from it. Not to mention, y’all looked absolutely amazing at the Gatsby gala, and the details are beyond gorgeous!

Beautiful photo choices! And love your top lessons, too!

We are so glad you are here!

Welcome to the NRP Blog! Enjoy getting to know our hearts and our work. We are so grateful you stopped by!