Wedding Inspiration from Engage!16 The Breakers

Every six months, the best of the best of the wedding industry come together at the Engage! Luxury Wedding Business Summits.  It is one of the most fun and inspiring things we get to do as an industry.  Part grad school, part family reunion, and all amazing Engage!16 The Breakers provided incredible ideas we are thrilled to share for upcoming weddings.

Color palette

For the past few years we have seen a lot of blush, champagne, ivory and cream weddings and we are all ready to bring color back into weddings.  The color palette at Engage was gorgeous and beautiful for a wedding at practically any time of year.  From red to light peach, it spanned the coral color spectrum and was absolutely outstanding.

Key take-away: Pick wedding colors that speak to you, not just something you saw on Pinterest.

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Photo courtesy of Jeremie Barlow Photography

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Photo courtesy of Carla Ten Eyck

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Photo courtesy of Carla Ten Eyck

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Photo courtesy of Carla Ten Eyck

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Photo courtesy of John Cain Sargent

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Photo courtesy of John Cain Sargent

Surprising Entertainment

Engage!16 The Breakers surprised us over and over again with remarkable entertainment.  From a New Orleans style jazz band at breakfast to a gospel choir at a mid-morning break to an orchestra at the gala followed by a DJ/band fusion at the after party, the buzz of excitement around the entertainment could be felt by all.

Key take-away: Use entertainment to surprise and delight your guests.  If a string quartet just isn’t your vibe, there is no reason why you can’t incorporate a gospel choir into your ceremony (or your Sunday brunch – like Oprah’s gospel brunch during her Legends Ball).  Can’t decide between a band and a DJ for your reception, find a vendor who is amazing at both.

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Photo courtesy of Cameron Kelly Studio

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Photo courtesy of John Cain Sargent

Food Presentation Can Spice Up Tried and True Menu Items

The Breakers truly knocked the food presentation out of the park throughout every event.  The most impressive thing was that they used items that guests always love and found a beautiful new and interesting way to present them.

Key take-away: When speaking with your caterer about menu items, challenge them on presentation and if you can’t decide between a few items, ask the caterer about which looks best with the most creative presentation. Taste is actually a sense made up of sight, smell and touch with sight being the primary indicator, so your guests will actually think the food is better if it is just presented more beautifully.

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Photo courtesy of Joel Callaway

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Photo courtesy of Joel Callaway

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Photo courtesy of Joel Callaway

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Photo courtesy of John Cain Sargent

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Photo courtesy of John Cain Sargent

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Photo courtesy of Cameron Kelly Studio

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Photo courtesy of Love Life Images

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Photo courtesy of John Cain Sargent

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Photo courtesy of Love Life Images

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Photo courtesy of Cameron Kelly Studio

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Photo courtesy of John Cain Sargent

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Photo courtesy of Love Life Images

Creative Uses of Stationery + Printed Items

Most weddings incorporate some amount of day of stationery whether it be place cards, menus, or ceremony programs, but think way beyond to all the ways paper can personalize your wedding and ancillary wedding events.  From your save the date to invitation to welcome bag itinerary and everything else you do, the look should always be cohesive.  Creative items like this advent calendar style teaser box to the laser cut menus are perfect ways to add personal touches to your wedding.

Key take-away: Don’t forget to properly budget for wedding stationery.  There is no end to the way you can use paper and printed items to give your wedding character and really up the ante on personalization.


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Photo courtesy of Jeremie Barlow Photography

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Photo courtesy of Jeremie Barlow Photography

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Photo courtesy of Jeremie Barlow Photography

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Photo courtesy of Jeremie Barlow Photography

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Photo courtesy of Jeremie Barlow Photography

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Photo courtesy of John Cain Sargent

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Photo courtesy of Joel Callaway

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Photo courtesy of Carla Ten Eyck

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Photo courtesy of John Cain Sargent

Using a lot of the Same Thing Looks Amazing

The Breakers showed us how using an abundance of the same thing really can be overly impactful.  In this particular case, they hung 36 – that is not a typo! – chandeliers in their ballroom for the final gala.  It was the most spectacularly beautiful sight!  Just a few chandeliers would have been pretty but not nearly as awe-inspiring or noteworthy.

Key take-away: If you are looking to make an impact, remember that more is more.  More candles always look better than a few candles. More lighting installation is better than less lighting (not necessarily brighter).

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Photo courtesy of John Cain Sargent

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Photo courtesy of Cameron Kelly Studio

Let Your Guests Be Part of the Decor

For the last lunch, the Engage team and The Breakers planned for a croquet lawn party and asked everyone in attendance to we wear white as per the traditions of the game.  With 350 people wearing white the decor of the event multiplied and looked awesome.

Key take-away: If you give them enough time to prepare and your request isn’t too insane, your guests will enjoy dressing for the occasion and will help add to the look of your wedding.  Examples would be asking guests to wear hats and pastels for a Kentucky Derby style event, bright colors to a Fiesta welcome party or navy, red and white to a nautical themed event.  Even just telling them that it is black tie if you really want a formal wedding is a great idea.  Don’t expect people to know, no matter how fancy your invitation.  No need to require them to purchase items from particular stores with specific SKU numbers, but if your request is pretty general, your guests will be happy to comply.

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Photo courtesy of Joel Callaway

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Photo courtesy of Carla Ten Eyck