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 Thursday, January 17th in Chicago, I am co-chairing The Wedding Event at Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile for The Special Event Show that is coming to town from January 15th-18th. Seven hundred event professionals from all over the world will be attending to enjoy inspiration, amazing design and hear the always amazing Sasha Souza showcase her "Sahsa's Favorite Things".
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!
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!
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.
Since I have a lot of Chicago wedding vendor readers and aspiring wedding planner reading my blog I wanted to let you know of an event that may be of interest to you. My friend Katy Carrier of Carrier & Associates and hosting a great event in Chicago on Monday, October 17th. Law School for Wedding Professionals is a day-long educational workshop covering the legalities of owning, protecting and growing your wedding business.
The New York Times does it, Time Magazine does it and this year, Engaging Events by Ali does it. Yup, a look back in pictures at the year 2010. The below photo montage looks at highlights of the amazing year that 2010 was. I was able to meet new people, see old friends, make new friends and got to travel speaking at wonderful conferences in amazing locations. It was a great year and thank you too all my friends, vendors, brides and grooms, pilots who got me there safely, cab drivers who got me there safely (this one was questionable at Bridal Market in NYC-cabs in NYC are just scary), and all the hotel employees who took care of me when I was traveling away from home. I especially want to thank my husband for holding down the fort when I was gone.
This past Saturday was our last events of the Engaging Events 2010 Chicago Wedding Season. We had three weddings on Saturday and tons of moving parts and the Engaging Events Team did an amazing job. It has been a long and busy wedding season but also filled with fun, laughter and every now and then a tear or two. Today I want to thank the amazing women that work with me to help make our clients wedding dreams come true.
I just got to Washington, DC for a destination wedding I have there but I had to take some time before I head over to my tent installation to write a bit about the Engage!10 Wedding Symposium I just attended. I have attended this conference six times which is produced by Rebecca Grinnals and Kathryn Arce of Engaging Concepts with the help of Trisha Hay. It seems odd to call it a conference because I do go to many industry conferences and events throughout the year both to speak and attend. This was more of a Magical Experience than a conference or symposium. This year I was a speaker for the second time and I was so excited to share the stage with Donna Von Breuning, Harmony Walton and Liene Stevens at the Opening General Session.
Last night I spoke at Purdue University to the Purdue Event Planning Society. (PEPS) Purdue has one of the top Hospitality and Tourism Managementprograms in the country. The "PEPS" organization is headed up by Morgan White, who was my intern this summer. She did an amazing job and had the room packed with about 50 students. I was able to share some fun weddings I have done recently but also give the attendees some tips on building their resume, organizations to become members of and some insight into what being a wedding planner is like day to day.
I met Michelle Loretta at Eventology in Indianapolis, Indiana this past April. She writes a very insightful blog called Sage Wedding Pros and is a wise wedding-biz woman. She also offers workshops for wedding business professionals on business plan writing, small business advice and advertising tips for the entrepreneur. She is one of those "smart cookie" woman entrepreneurs and I religiously read her great blog.
Melissa Margarita De-Stefano of MasterPiece Weddings writes a wonderful blog, Be a Planner and also offers a course for those interested in becoming a wedding planner. The other day she asked me to stop by the blog and offer advice to those interested in becoming a wedding planner. I am flattered she asked me to take part in her blog and wanted to share my tips and ideas here for those aspiring wedding planners out there.
I work closely with my clients on how to make their wedding original and unique and a reflection of who they are. I ask them to bring me pictures and send me websites and links to wedding blogs of things they love and make them say "YAY"! We design their wedding based on things they see in the awesome wedding and design magazines and blogs that we have to use for inspiration. But we never copy something exactly. I attend seminars and conferences all over the world and when the design "gods" and "goddesses" (Todd Fiscus, Sasha Souzaand David Beahm to name a few), that I look up to, share their work I don't say, I want to do that exactly.
Meet Jaclyn Goris
After graduating from Purdue University in Lafayette, IN, Jaclyn moved to Chicago. Jaclyn joined the Engaging Events by Ali, Inc. team and was Ali’s “right hand executive assistant”, from May to September. She currently works in Convention Services at The Fairmont Hotel. She has made herself available to assist Ali with weddings almost every weekend.