best wedding planner chicago

Engage!11 Luxury Wedding Business Summit-Part 1

As many of my followers know, I am a seven time attendee of the Engage!11, a luxury wedding business summit  produced by Rebecca Grinnals and Kathryn Arce of Engaging Concepts. I met these two women attending my first conference way back in 2008 and it has forever changed my business and my life. So much more than a conference, it is an experience of amazing learning seminars, great networking and gorgeous parties and details to feast the eyes and provide inspiration to the best of the best in the wedding industry.

WGN TV Appearance on The Royal Wedding Trends

WGN TV Appearance on The Royal Wedding Trends

Last week on Friday I was excited to be invited back in to speak with Lourdes Duarte from WGN TV about the Royal Wedding. With my gorgeous fascinator on from The Left Bank and an adorable little bouquet by Exquisite Designs, I was there to talk all things Royal Wedding.

What I Loved about The Royal Wedding

What I Loved about The Royal Wedding

Friday I woke up at 3am to watch the World Series-Superbowl-NBA Finals-Stanley Cup of the wedding industry; Catherine and William's Royal Wedding. Everything about it was magical, perfect, timeless and classic. It was a return to traditional and in every way it was PERFECTION!

The Duchess of Cambridge's Wedding Bouquet

The Duchess of Cambridge's Wedding Bouquet

I loved Kate's bouquet. Small and understated, it complemented her dress but did not take away from her look. The flowers in the bouquet were lily-of-the-valley, hyacinth, myrtle, ivy and a wonderful nod to her new husband, sweet william.

The Royal Wedding and The GORGEOUS Dress

The Royal Wedding and The GORGEOUS Dress

And then they were married! I am in love with everything about the Royal Wedding today! The beautiful cars, the horse and carriages, the trumpeters, the beautiful hymns at the church, the wonderful reading by the bride's brother. I can go on and on about this but first thing is first.

Wedding Gift Registry Ideas

This week I got to talk with the WGN TV  5pm anchor news, Lourdes Duarte about non-traditional wedding gift registry items. Tuesday we looked at charity gift registries, like Kate and William are doing for their Royal Wedding. Today we look at some of the other ideas that I spoke of and are great ideas for couples to consider when registering.

Royal Wedding Week: What will Kate Middleton's Wedding Dress Look Like

Royal Wedding Week: What will Kate Middleton's Wedding Dress Look Like

 The Royal Wedding Week is here! I have waited anxiously for months for this week to arrive. And right now all the talk is, what will Kate Middleton's wedding dress look like? The blogs and newspapers are filled to the brim with speculation and tips on who will design the dress. Clarence House and the Official Royal Wedding website have been very forthcoming and transparent with the details of the wedding day. On Saturday they released a ninety-page media document with the guest list, seating layout for Westminster Abbey and some of the wedding vendors that are taking part in the wedding of the century. One thing it did not include was ANY details or mention of Kate's wedding dress.

Fascinators and The Royal Wedding

I am fascinated by the anticipation leading up to The Royal Wedding. I am also fascinated by Fascinators. What is a fascinator you ask? Ah, a wonderful headpiece (often times taking the place of the traditional hat) which you see at weddings in the United Kingdom and all over the world. We are one week away from The Royal Wedding. The countdown has begun! Next week we will all get to experience the Royal Wedding from the United States while in the comfort of your own homes starting at 5am Chicago time. But rest assured that many a guest of The Royal Wedding and person in the UK and United States, in fact all over the world, will be donning a fascinator in celebration of Kate and William's wedding. 

Chicago Wedding at InterContinental Chicago on Every Last Detail Blog

We were so excited when Lauren Groves, the mastermind and Editor behind Every Last Detail Blog wanted to feature Shellane and Tom's wedding from October of last year which took place on a gorgeous day at Our Lady of Mt Carmel with the reception following at InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile. 

Magnificent Milestones, Chicago Stationer

Magnificent Milestones, Chicago Stationer

Hi there! It's Brittney blogging today!

It’s a special treat when Ali and I get to get outside of the office and check out a new store or vendor and the other day we did just that. We headed over to a new paperie boutique called Magnificent Milestones, located downtown on West Erie.

Engaging Destination: Viceroy Anguilla

Engaging Destination: Viceroy Anguilla

Getting married in the Caribbean does not get any better than at a location like the Viceroy Anguila! Just a two and a half hour flight from Miami to St Martin and then a quick boat ride, Viceroy Anguila is one of the most magical places I have seen to host a wedding. Whether you want to get married with the sand between your toes at their two beaches or in front of the gorgeous infinity sunset pool overlooking the ocean, Viceroy Anguilla is a one of the kind spot for your destination wedding. 

Spring Has Arrived in Chicago

Spring Has Arrived in Chicago

Happy Spring! Yesterday was the first day of Spring in Chicago (although it was a little chilly and rainy) and I for one am very much ready for the longer days and the popping of the green leaves, crocuses and daffodils. And Spring means the return of tulips and peonies to weddings. 

In honor of Spring, enjoy some spring themed wedding pictures! 

The New JW Marriott in Chicago

The New JW Marriott in Chicago

Last Monday the new JW Marriott Chicago celebrated with a Grand Opening Event. And wow was the event Grand! The hotel opened in November of last year and is a great addition to Chicago. Boasting two ballrooms, the JW Marriott is Chicago's newest luxury hotel to host weddings and corporate events. I am so excited to have a new venue to show to couples for consideration for their wedding.

Brides of a Certain Age Article in Chicago Sun Times

I love talking to the press and love when they call upon me for my expertise! Tammy Chase who writes for the Chicago Sun Times called me about three weeks ago to talk about my experience with brides who are a little older than the average bride which is reported to be 26. Turns out we had just helped Tim and Amy plan their fabulous wedding and they are both over 40. You can read the great article online but also read my tips for older brides who are getting married online. 

In Memory of Beth Cortina

In Memory of Beth Cortina

As many of my followers know, Beth Burton Cortina passed away peacefully with her dear and loving husband, Nick, and her so by her side on Thursday morning. Beth fought a battle with urachal adenocarcinoma since January 2009. On April 18th, 2010, Wish Upon a Wedding was able to grant Nick and Beth's wedding wish and they celebrated with 50 family and friends at Giovann's, their favorite restaurant in Joliet, Illinois. The Chicago Wish Upon a Wedding Board and many wish granters of Wish Upon a Wedding pulled together, donated their time and services and created the most magical day for Beth and Nick where cancer and sickness and doctors were not part of the day.

Ask Ali: When Should I Purchase My Wedding Shoes?

Ask Ali: When Should I Purchase My Wedding Shoes?

Ali, When should I be selecting and purchasing my wedding shoes? Can you give me any tips? (From Ashley)

That is a great question. It is a good idea to have selected your wedding shoes prior to your first fitting of your wedding dress which will typically happen two to three months before your wedding. Start looking for your wedding shoes about four to six months in advance of your wedding.

Engagement Sessions on Ice

Looking to do something this weekend? Want a fun "outdoor" activity but it is just too cold for you? What a FUN new idea for your Engagement Session? How about grab your skates and head to the top of the John Hancock Observatory. What you may ask? Well today thru March 31st, the John Hancock Observatory will have an ice skating rink, made from a synthetic substance called XTRAICE, inside called "Skating in the Sky". What a fun outing with your fiance. Don't forget the camera.  

2010 A Look Back In Pictures

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.