This might sound a bit strange, but I think breakfast on day 2 might have been my favorite meal of the entire trip. Think I’m weird? Here’s the rundown of what I had: oatmeal brulee, a fruit and yogurt spoonful, a mini skillet of scrambled eggs with sausage and peppers, banana beignets, and a custom mix from the juice bar. Yummmm. Plus, breakfast was outside in the Mediterranean Courtyard, which was beautiful!
We then headed into the Venetian Ballroom for a morning of sessions from fabulous speakers. Paul Leone of The Breakers spoke first, then Rebecca spoke on the “state of the wedding industry.” I think I took the most notes during her presentation! After that we read from the hilarious and heartfelt Mindy Weiss, who spoke about “the good, the bad, and the ugly” in her career and the wedding industry.
After that it was time for a snack in the adjoining ballroom. Let me tell you, these people don’t let you go hungry! This time around, we had petit macarons and yogurt parfaits. Delicious!
Snacktime was followed by a panel of design experts: Tara Guerard, Todd Fiscus, and David Beahm. The things they are doing with events and flowers and lighting are truly spectacular! Lastly that morning we listened to a dynamite presentation from business expert and road warrior Cindy Novotny.
We were then ushered into the spectacular Circle Room for lunch. The room itself is breathtaking, and with the addition of gorgeous decor and a fabulous string quartet, the experience as a whole was magnificent. Plus, I just about fainted from cuteness overload — yummy boxes?! The work of Smock and DK Designs. Oh yes, then I almost fainted again when I got to help THE Sylvia Weinstock decorate a cake. For reals.
After lunch we headed back to the ballroom for a few more sessions. First up was the hilarious and brutally honest Marcy Blum, who spoke largely off the cuff. Next was a panel lead by Martha Stewart Weddings editor in chief Darcy Miller, who was speaking with Amy Atlas, Abby Larson, and photographer Donna Newman. The Knot founder Carley Roney moderated the next panel of Randy Fenoli and stationery designer Ceci Johnson of CECI New York. Finally, we ended the afternoon with a talk by Bryan Rafanelli of Rafanelli Events, and I am not exaggerating when I say he blew everyone away. He was definitely my favorite speaker of the conference. P.S. You may have heard of him — he designed a little thing called Chelsea Clinton’s wedding!
Oh yes, then there were some more snacks — orange-themed this time. I thought of my dear Katharine when I spotted circus peanuts in the mix!
We ended the night with dine-arounds at a few of The Breakers’ fabulous restaurants. I was thrilled to dine with Marilyn Oliveira of Inside Weddings and Siri Eklund, as well as fellow attendees Susan Murray, Julie Sabatino, Josh Madans, and Christine Gallagher. After that, it was — you guessed it — time for more food at the dessert reception on the Ocean Lawn. Annie Lee of Daughter of Design and I couldn’t get enough of the custom donut station — delicious! I also enjoyed speaking with Tim O’Neill of the Piano Brothers — we love playing his CDs in the SW office!
Back with more from the third and final day soon!