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17 Island-Theme Party Ideas From the Engage!17 Wedding Summit

Here’s a look at the playful gift, catering, and decor concepts from the three-day conference, which took place in the Cayman Islands.

By Michele Laufik June 21, 2017, 7:31 AM EDT

During the "Mermaid Dreams" party, mermaid and merman entertainers were on hand to pose with guests.

Photo: Chad Munro

Engage!17 Wedding Summit
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Just in time for the official start of summer, the recent luxury-wedding business summit Engage!17 offered up plenty of tropical-theme party ideas, complete with mermaids, coconuts, and laid-back island vibes.

Held from June 5 to 8 at the Kimpton Seafire Resort & Spa, Engage!17 Cayman Islands brought together wedding and event planners and professionals for a three-day conference, which was produced by Rebecca Grinnals and Kathryn Arce of Celebration, Florida-based Engaging Concepts.

To celebrate the 20th Engage! event (and the fifth summit to be held at Grand Cayman), creative partners Gifts for the Good Life looked back at former gatherings and toward the new luxury resort setting for inspiration. “We wanted to give a nod to all of the past color palettes from previous events since that is a big part of the branding for each summit,” explained Susan Turnock, co-owner of the Roseto, Pennsylvania–based company. “Beyond that, the branding changed slightly every day to incorporate ‘sea’ and 'fire.' The palette changed from hot (fire) to cool (sea) and ended with the gala as a full spectrum.”

The updated Caribbean theme featured rustic touches of island life like handmade ceramics and playful tassels contrasted by modern-day details such as custom neon signage and hashtag-inspired messaging. “We felt that [the event] needed to reflect the modern, artsy style of the Kimpton Seafire and also set it apart from the other four previous Engages [in the Cayman Islands],” Turnock said.

During the conference, the 320-plus crowd attended daily speaker and panel sessions with industry experts—such as event designers David Stark and Colin Cowie—along with networking activities and parties. (BizBash executive vice president Nicole Peck was also a speaker at the conference.)

“We always look to celebrate and showcase the destination and resort, and when we are in the Cayman Islands, we make sure to infuse the entire event with all things Caymanian,“ Grinnals said. “This includes spending as much time in the sun, sand, and sea as possible.” On-theme activities included a group trip to Stingray City, a series of shallow sandbars found in the North Sound of Grand Cayman.

Next up for the organizers is Engage!17 Venice from October 23 to 26 and Engage!17 Nizuc in Mexico from December 11 to 14.

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