We attended one of our first big meetings in the industry last week! International Special Events Society (ISES) hosted its monthly meeting at the Crowne Plaza Historic Union Station and brought in a speaker to address its WOW topic this month: “Weddings with Wow.”

Speaker Frank Andonoplas traveled from Chicago to share his knowledge of event planning at its finest. As a Master Bridal Consultant, Frank has plenty to tell. He walked us through his life of wedding admiration from childhood – and a failed ring bearer experience – to today.  His career has been varied and successful to say the least, but this expert left the audience with a few key pieces of advice we just had to pass on:

•    Frank says you can derive inspiration for wedding ideas from fashion, interior design and food – three major components of any fairytale wedding.
•    Top magazines for weddings and style tips include Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and InStyle. If you’re looking for more ideas with flair, bridal magazines are always a go-to, Frank says.
•    The tube has a great indication of trends. Frank believes television is a good indicator of what’s hot and what’s not in color, fashion, style, look, feel and tone.
•    Don’t forget the bridal books. Much like baby books, these can be a perfect resource to find out exactly what to expect when you’re preparing to walk down the aisle.   Save yourself some cash (for the after party, of course) and buy the used editions. Websites like eBay and Amazon are a great place to start.
•    When it comes to food, the look of the food is just as important as the taste. Pay attention to this when you’re planning and note things that you find striking and interesting. Make a mental note, or whip out your phone and snag a pic!
•    For professionals, trade shows and conferences are still a go-to resource find out the latest in trends and ideas. These should continue to be a staple of any professional’s personal growth and continuing education model.  After all, even the most seasoned of planners are still learning.

ISES and Frank “WOW”-ed the group by sharing a variety of event photos that weren’t far from our dreams.  Here is a gallery of photos sure to make you say, “Wow!”

This is the first of many events on our list, so we’ll be sharing more exciting and useful tidbits with you! Did you attend the event?Share your thoughts with us.