By Elise Enloe, MBC™

Combine Grace Ormonde and Diann Valentine as the featured speakers along with some incredible breakout sessions and you have this year’s Annual Conference from Nov. 6-8 in Baltimore.

Keynotes will “charm” and “dazzle”
Born in the Azores and raised in Rhode Island, Grace Ormonde became interested in weddings while managing three engraving shops for a Providence businesswoman. From 1987 to today, her passion for presenting brides with the finest choices in wedding fashion, preparation, and design remains strong. Ormonde—the first from Rhode Island to launch and run a national wedding magazine from scratch—continues to grow her business, bringing her vision to more readers via newsstands, the Internet, and with her book, Being in Love Never Goes Out of Style.

Diann Valentine is an internationally acclaimed wedding, event, and interior designer. On the cusp of hosting and co-executive producing a new show “I Do Over” on WeTV, Valentine balances her interests as businesswoman, television personality, designer, visionary, and lover of love. She is also the creative genius behind the weddings of Usher, Martin Lawrence, Toni Braxton, Kelis, VH1 “Basketball Wives” Jennifer Williams, Lela Rochon, and Boyz II Men crooner Shawn Stockman to name a few.

Dozens of special sessions
Shelby Tuck-Horton, MBC™, and her team are putting together the incredible meals and social events. With our unique venue at the historic Tremont Grand in downtown, you’ll quickly see why this is a “vertical” conference. Events and sessions will be held on multiple floor levels at the venue. Attendees can stay at the newly renovated and connected Tremont Plaza. Activities, beginning Sunday, Nov. 6, include: a first-time attendee orientation, trade show, Sandals certification session, and more optional Sunday sessions.

On Monday and Tuesday, there are over 15 breakout sessions, including:
•     The Art of Directing an Entertaining Wedding Reception, Peter Merry and Elisabeth Scott Daley, ABC™
•    Gay Weddings are Good for Business, Bernadette Coveney Smith
•    Green Weddings & Events: More Clients, Less Impact, Kate Harrison
•    $#*! Happens—Are You Protecting Yourself? Mark Kingsdorf, MBC™
•    How to Think Like a Wedding Editor, The Knot
•    What Makes a Good Contract or How to Stay Out of Trouble! Renee Grannis, MBC™
•    Teddy’s Top 12 Survival Tips for Business, Teddy Lenderman, MBC™
•    ALL NEW Spousal/Partner Session: If You  Can’t Beat ‘em, Join ‘em, Bill Waterman and Tammy Waterman, ABC™
•    Become the Webmaster of Your Domain, Heather Canada, ABC™ and Elisa Delgardio, ABC™
•    Tired and Ready to Quit? Rediscover Why You Fell in Love with Your Business, Tonya Shadoan, MBC™ and Mary Dann
•    Pairing Wine with Food the Italian Way, Annette Tuxen
•    Planning Weddings to Charm and Dazzle, Gloria Boyden, MBC™, and Lovelynn Jensen, ABC™
•    Dancing in the Rain, Robyn Martin, ABC™
•    All About the Dress, Sally Lorenxen Conant, MWV™
•    Sharing my BFF (Business Friendly Forms),     Judy Alden, MBC™
•    The Future of Destination Weddings, JoAnn Gregoli, MBC™
•    Bridal Show Bootcamp, Elise Enloe, MBC™
•    Are THEIR Clients being Dazzled with YOUR Work? Mark Kingsdorf, MBC™

Monday afternoon, attendees select a 20-Minute Wedding Topic ranging from planning “at-home” weddings and creative ceremony rituals to experiencing Nigerian weddings, Japanese weddings, and celebrity Latin.

Get the most from your time
Plan to arrive Friday or Saturday to spend a day in the District of Columbia or Baltimore inner harbor. Monday’s optional off-site dinner lets you step back in time and experience an elegant evening with Baltimore’s rich history as you enjoy a delicious wine dinner in the 1840’s Ballroom City Lites. Tuesday, step it up with an evening of fun, food, and culture. Experience a “Taste of Baltimore” with palate-pleasing eclectic and historic neighborhood cuisines and be dazzled by Baltimore’s dance culture. ••

Register Now
Conference registration is $675 through Sept. 15. Full payment is due with registration. To register, visit or call the ABC office at 360.355.7000. To book your room at The Tremont Plaza, call 1.800.TREMONT, 410.727.2222, or visit The ABC room rate is $149/night if you use group code: abccharm11. Need a roommate? E-mail Tammy Waterman at

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