So fun to be a part of the Martha Stewart Spring Wedding To Do's article today! Read all the tips here on Martha Stewart Weddings!
I had so much fun writing about my business for The Estate Blog and being asked to contribute as one of their preferred creative partners. I got to answer some fun questions for them about me, my business and my love of the City of Chicago! Here are some excerpts below of that article. You can read the full article on The Estate Blog.
I was honored when Wedding Planner Magazine called me and wanted me to write an article about getting into the destination wedding market . I have had the pleasure to travel to many amazing locations and countries to plan my clients weddings. It was funny, when Beth Erickson the editor called I was actually at a wedding in the Grand Cayman Islands so it was fun to write the article from the porch overlooking Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman. I love to share my knowledge of the destination wedding market. It takes a certain personality to take your business on the road. A great destination planner is one who easily adapts to different cultures and methods of doing business. I find that staying open minded and embracing myself in the culture is a great way to immediately feel liked when working in different countries and with new vendor partners.
On Sunday, August 11, I celebrated ten years of being a Chicago wedding planner at Arlington International Racetrack with sixty of my family and friends. Having done over 330 weddings in Chicago, (and around the world), it was an amazing day of celebrating and reflecting on the last ten years. I was able to hug people that were there when I did my first wedding. I never would have thought that eleven years ago when I first begin to register my business that I would have the most incredible and rewarding careers I have ever had. I am so thankful for every client that has ever hired me and every wedding vendor that has ever referred me. What a fun day out at the track with my friends! I love how everyone embraced the bow ties and hats theme! Cheers to ten more years and I can't wait to see what the next ten years has in store for me.
I was so excited and honored when I got the call from Destinations Weddings & Honeymoons magazine, of which I have been a fan for so long. They had named me this year on their A-List of Destination Wedding Planners. Having started planning weddings in Chicago ten years ago, my love of travel and wanderlust for the world found me planning my first destination wedding in South Africa. I was hooked on the first destination wedding I did and have been doing weddings all over the world since then. I love to travel to distant lands, learn new cultures and traditions and work in some of the most magical and beautiful places in the world!
Pinch me! I am so excited to be a blogger for Huffington Post Weddings this week. I wrote an article about "When the Unexpected Happens on Your Wedding Day". You can read the article here. I have always been a fan of Huffington Post and when they launched their wedding blog I had in my mind I wanted to some day write for them. Well YAY my dream came true. Be on the lookout for more blogs to come. As a Chicago wedding planner and destination wedding planner for the past ten years I have a lot to share with their readers.
I got an early Christmas gift last week, it was the gift from Rebecca Grinnals and Kathryn Arce of Engage!12. It was the most wonderful gift they have given of spending four powerful days with the best and the most inspiring people in the wedding industry. Engage!12, a luxury wedding business summit, has changed my business for the better, helped me develop friendships all over the world and has opened doors for me that have changed my life as a wedding planner, a wife, a daughter, a friend, and a sister and aunt.
I am so excited today to introduce Engaging Events By Ali's new intern, Miss Chelsey Boggs, who started working today at the Engaging Events studio. We are so excited to introduce her to Chicago weddings and the Chicago wedding planning world. Below is a little information about Chelsey in her own words and how found her way to the Engaging Events Team. Welcome Chelsey!
If you do not already have it marked as a favorite read every week, Glossed and Found is a must to read for all things fashion, beauty and fun in Chicago. The beautiful and always smiling Stacey Roney founded Glossed and Found and her editor and creative director (and oh so dashing), Graham Kostic and Emily Hard produce a weekly on-line video magazine and blog that I can't wait to receive every week. They are also known as planning and producing the most fun and wonderful events in Chicago of which I have attended many and can't wait to attend the next one!
Chicago wedding photographer and a good friend of mine, Kevin Weinstein,jetted down to Mexico this past weekend to photograph Courtney Mazza and Mario Lopez of Extra TV and The X Factor's wedding. Armed with lots of cameras and two assistants, he photographed the Friday and Saturday night celebration in Punta Mita, Mexico. Kevin was one of the first photographers in Chicago that I met with when I started my business over ten years ago and we have been working together since. He is one of the most kind, funny and creative photographers that I know. Kevin, we can't wait to see the pictures of the wedding! And make sure to watch the wedding, which will air on TLC Network on Saturday, December 8th at 7pm. See all the details here!
I am so honored to be nominated with an amazing group of other Chicago social event planners for Biz Bash Social Event Planner of the Year in their Reader's Choice Awards. It is an annual award they give away in conjunction with their Biz Bash Idea Fest that is in Chicago next week on November 14th at the Chicago Merchandise Mart. It is such an honor to be even just nominated. It is a power group of planners that are nominated and I feel so blessed to stand beside them as a nominee.
So excited that Sarah Alair was able to do my new head shots on a gorgeous day in Chicago (albeit windy). She is such an amazing photographer and good friend! And she is available to shoot your wedding, engagement pictures or even your kids and dog pictures! She has photographed some incredible weddings for me. She has a calming effect on nervous brides and grooms and really is able to capture their love in their engagement pictures or on the wedding day! Thank you Sarah for taking me out in Chicago and having some fun for my new head shots!
I am so excited to introduce you to Kate Molter, Engaging Events new wedding planning assistant. I receive lots of resumes and emails from people inquiring about jobs but something really stood out in Kate's resume and her emails to me. Once I met her, I knew instantly I wanted this amazing woman on my team. I can go on an on about her and how great she is, but will let Kate tell you a little bit more about herself!
We are so excited to share with the world the new look and website for Engaging Events. We would like to thank the team at Neoteric Design for their hard work and amazing talent in working on the redesign of the website. I have worked with Neoteric Design for years and their team always perfectly portrays what I want to convey to my potential clients and vendor team.
I am looking forward to speaking at Event Solutions Idea Factory this year in Las Vegas that takes place from Feb 26th thru the 29th. I will be speaking on Destination Weddings on Monday at 7:30am. Please add this to your calendar if you are attending and come and see me speak about all things destination weddings and how to create a Sense of Place. Having planned weddings as far away as South Africa and as close as Lake Geneva, Wisconin and Iowa, we will have an honest discussion about embracing your locale and working best with vendors you may not have worked with before. And how do you market to the destination wedding market? Come and hear at my session and come away with some new ideas and tactics in your tool kit of knowledge.