WEDDING INUDSTRY SPEAKERS
Renee’s lifelong love affair with weddings started out asa high school dream that quickly evolved as she pursued a career in the industry throughout college and beyond. From rentals to planning to catering, her diverse experience has touched every corner of the industry and has led to her role as a multifaceted thought leader for event professionals everywhere.
Inspired to start her own business, Renée received her MBA with a focus in entrepreneurship and quickly put her degree to work when she launched Urban Soirée® in 2017. Today, her award-winning company delivers elevated and romantic celebrations through full-service wedding planning and design for couples on the East Coast and destinations worldwide. Renée’s success with Urban Soirée® has earned her and her company numerous accolades, including being named as the Best of Boston® 2020 – Best IRL Wedding Planner by Boston Magazine. She was also recognized as ILEA Boston’s Top Planner in 2019 and has ranked in WeddingWire’s Couples’ Choice Awards for three consecutive years since opening her doors.
When she’s not busy bringing her clients’ dreams to life, she’s committed to providing quality education to the industry through her podcast, The Confetti Hour, where she shares insight and fosters candid conversations with experienced wedding creatives. Her devotion to the future of the industry extends to her role as President of ILEA Boston, as well as her passion for one-on-one mentoring with the next generation of planners.
Renée resides in Boston with her husband, Chris, and their dachshund, Lincoln. In her spare time, you can often find her sipping on bubbly & oysters with friends, exploring the charm of New England, or traveling to far-flung destinations seeking out new cultures and design inspiration.
KELLY ANN PECK
Kelly Ann Peck knows a thing or two about sales and business growth. With 22 years in the events industry and 23 years as a sales expert, Kelly has sold over $15 million in revenue, walked over 400 happy couples down the aisle, and produced countless experiential events for companies and nonprofits to raise funds and impact their communities. Her knack for uncovering hidden answers and innovating her way out of sticky situations was learned from a young age, as she observed her entrepreneur father do the same when faced with hurdles in life.
Driven by Kelly’s energy and expertise, you know you’re in good hands when you choose Emerson Reese Creative. As a life-long fixer, Kelly has solved countless problems: from helping businesses address budgeting oversights to launching her own business out of a need for more freedom. Her innovative way of thinking has driven not just herself, but those around her, to strive for more and, in turn, reach their full potential.
Kelly understands the challenges creative entrepreneurs face, and she’s dedicated to sharing them so others can become the success story they were meant to be. In every way, she is the guide she wished she had when starting out as a new business owner.
Julianne Smith is a wedding accessory designer, digital media strategist and small business educator. Julianne is the owner of The Garter Girl, a stylish wedding garter design company she started in 2004, after she couldn’t find a wedding heirloom worthy of her best friend. The Garter Girl is known for stylish and meticulously handmade wedding heirlooms that are too pretty to toss. The Garter Girl and Julianne have been featured on NBC’s Today Show, Lifetime, The Knot, Martha Stewart, Brides, and Glamour as well as many top wedding magazines and blogs.
Julianne helps creative small businesses throughout the wedding industry who are struggling and confused with their online presence. Julianne offers done-for-you services, online courses, and speaking engagements on search engine optimization, blogging, and Pinterest.
Before creating The Garter Girl, Julianne was a political communications strategist, spokeswoman, and media specialist. She worked on Capitol Hill as a member of Congress and served in the White House’s administration.
Hustle + Gather is a training and consulting firm that is on a mission to inspire others to take big leaps, dream big dreams, and create amazing teams that grow profits and enjoyable (but productive) culture within business. They specialize in the hospitality industry and have coached and trained businesses to increase their profitability while creating a kick ass team along the way.
Over the past 15 years, Courtney & Dana have built and operated three successful businesses in the Raleigh NC area. Starting off from ordinary, they paved their way by sheer grit and tenacity splashed with some therapy and coffee along the way. They are on a mission to inspire others to take big leaps, dream big dreams, and create amazing teams that grow profits and enjoyable (but productive) culture within your business.
A user experience designer by trade, Jordan’s background in art and design isn’t just professional—it’s been a deep-seated passion for as long as he can remember. After years in the advertising industry working in web design and user experience with major brands like Pepsi, Visa, Toyota, and Mercedes, Jordan knew it was time he took his creativity offline so he could get his hands dirty. Out of that realization, he launched a custom brooch business which, ultimately, evolved into wedding stationery, perfectly marrying his experience in digital design with his love for crafting.
Thus, his boutique design firm, A Good Day, was born to serve planners and their eclectic, one-of-a-kind stationery that establishes a unique brand for each event. From save-the-dates and invitations to day-of signage and menus, Jordan draws inspiration from his diverse array of interests spanning fashion, architecture, interior design, and film to curate an aesthetic that perfectly matches each clients’ vision for their celebration.
Utilizing his extensive UX experience, Jordan also regularly works with creatives on digital projects, to ensure they are capturing the very essence of their brand.