chicago wedding trends

Engagement Pictures in Chicago with your Pets

Margo and Skip tied the knot this weekend at The Wit Hotel in Chicago. I can not wait to share the images from their wedding with you soon. Today I wanted to share their engagement pictures they took with their Chicago photographer, Candice Cusic.  I wrote a blog about engagement pictures which shares some ideas of what to wear and where to go for your pictures.  Margo and Skip chose to bring along their adorable bull dogs with them that day. (And wear their favorite team jerseys)!

Eleni's Adorable Cookie Collection

I LOVE the cookies you can get on Eleni's website. Check out the cute cookies you could have on pretty silver trays on the table at your bridesmaid luncheon! Or what a cute gift for a hostess for your wedding shower! Click here to see the I Do! collection.

Your Mom's Wedding Dress?

If you really wanted to try and wear that gorgeous wedding gown your mother wore on her day, but it doesn’t fit you right. Don’t worry, go dress shopping with your mom and get your own. After a perfect day trying on a ton of dresses ask her if it would be ok to take parts of her wedding dress to wrap your flowers in. This might seem as a shock to her, but tell her how honored you would be to have it be apart of your special day.  


Soon to be Mrs...............

Want to look adorable when you are getting ready on your wedding day and be ALMOST a Mrs? Sweatsedo's cute tops and bottoms are perfect and comfortable outfits for getting ready at the salon, hotel room or even at your own home. And the zip up tops work great for being able to get in and out of them easily after your hair is looking adorable!

The Intercontinental Chicago Wedding of Katie and Michael

Katie and Mike exchanged their vows at the historic St Joseph's Catholic church in Old Town. I LOVED working with Katie and Mike Cunningham on their November 3rd Wedding at St Joseph's Church and the Renaissance Ballroom at the Intercontiental Hotel. Everything about Katie and Mike's wedding was wonderfully elegant and sophisicated. Katie chose a black and white color scheme for her modern wedding style with an accent of green in some of the flowers. 
"See Kurt Gurber's FABULOUS pictures": Photography by "Kurt Gerber":// Flowers by "A Stem Above":// Entertainment by "Fun Times DJ":// Linens by "Carousel Linens"://


From the moment we sat down to meet Ali, we felt completely at ease with her and knew we would enjoy working with her in planning our wedding. She was involved with all aspects of our wedding from the beginning to the day of and we couldn’t be happier that we chose this option. Ali kept us on task from our first meeting—letting us know what details we should be completing at present and what we should be thinking of next at all points in the planning process. Wedding planning is stereotypically known to be stressful due to the sheer amount of time and effort put into planning every little detail to make a wedding the special, magical day that the bride and groom envision. However, I can honestly say that planning your wedding does not have to be stressful! With Ali’s help, we actually had a lot of fun planning our big day and I surprised myself as well as my family and friends with how calm I remained throughout the entire planning process. We really appreciated Ali’s vendor suggestions and absolutely LOVED the vendors we chose for our wedding. 
Thanks to Ali, our wedding day played out without a hitch and we got to focus on each other, our family and friends rather than worry about the many details that go into having such an event run smoothly. We highly recommend Ali and are so thankful for all of the work she put into making our wedding day “perfect.” 

Cutting the Cupcake?

Not every bride and groom wants to have an elaborate wedding cake. Andrea and Vallen chose to have wedding cupcakes for their guests. They still kept with tradition and shared a wedding cupcake on their wedding day!

Kristin and Jack Petersen

You dream of the picture-perfect wedding day—and Ali made all of our dreams come true. From our very first meeting, we knew Ali “got” us. She understood our vision and how to use the budget to make it a reality. She set us up with dependable and creative vendors, who meshed with our personalities and style. Ali never came across as overbearing or bossy—she’s really a friend and trusted advisor always ready to lend a hand, an opinion, or a worksheet to keep us on track! 

Seating Scrolls

I love the use of seating scrolls in lieu of placecards for wedding guests to let them know where they are seated. Here is one we did for Lena and Chris's reception at the Newberry Library in Chicago, Illinois on Friday, May 11th. Baltic Studios took a picture of the Newberry Library's arches on the front of the building and recreated it on the bottom of the seating scroll. 
After the wedding it can be framed and placed in your dining room or living room to remember all the great friends that were present on your wedding day!

Featured Wedding in Modern Bride Chicago

Kerry Monaco and Chris Bonneau's wedding was recently featured in the Spring/Summer 2007 wedding magazine. I am flattered to have this wedding featured in such a prestigious magazine. 
Click here to see wedding
"Brides": your #1 source for wedding ideas

Sarah and Tom Sullivan

Ali, We can't say thank you enough for all of your help! You truly made our big day perfect and stress free. Unlike so many of my friends, I was truly able to enjoy every minute of my wedding day, since I knew you had everything taken care of. From start to finish we loved working with you every step of the way.... from your great ideas and vendor reccomendations to seeing the final day through exactly as I had envisioned it. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Sarah and Tom

Ali Phillips nominated for three NICE Chicago Excellence Awards

I am pleased to annouce that I have had three weddings nominated for a 2007 NICE ISES Chicago Excellence Award. Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony and dinner on Tuesday, February 27th at a celebration at Grand Piazza in Chicago, Illinois. 

Juanita and Steven Oh

 I cannot say enough about how awesome Ali is! I knew that Ali was the one as soon as I met her! The moment I walked out of the meeting with Ali, I cancelled the rest of my appointments with potential coordinators. Even though Steve wasn’t there when I met with Ali, I didn’t even hesitate because I knew he would love her the moment he met her and I was right! I can’t believe she put up with all of my emails, demands and questions everyday for 8 months. 

Jennifer and Stephen

We knew as soon as we met Ali that she was exactly what we were looking for, and in the months that followed our appreciation for her grew only stronger. Every time we met with her we would turn to each other afterwards and say, "What would we ever have done without her?!" The answer, of course, is that both the planning and the wedding itself would have been a lot more stressful and a lot less fun. Ali made everything run smoothly from start to finish and truly exceeded even our highest expectations.

Jennifer and Matt's Suburban Wedding at Valley Lo

Jennifer and Matt celebrated their wedding ceremony and reception at "Valley Lo Sports Club": in Glenview, Illinois. The skies were gray but no rain fell during their outside ceremony on the patio facing the little lake. Guests enjoyed cocktails in the lounge area and patio. Then moved to the ballroom overlooking the golf course and lake for dinner and dancing. 

Nathan and Cecilia's Sunday Waltz The Drake Hotel

Nathan and Cecilia celebrated their love at their wedding through music, song, and dance. A twenty-eight piece classic chamber orchestra by "Roy Vombrack": at the ceremony was accompanied by friends who composed music and sang for their special day. The beautiful Gold Coast ballroom at the "The Drake Hotel": was filled with white flowers, opulent crystals and gold accents to create a regal and elegant event. The bride and groom also shared their love in the expression of food with a custom vegetarian menu and Grande Sweets Table. After dinner, the wedding party entertained guests with a choreographed Viennese waltz, and then everyone enjoyed the music throughout the evening. 
Flowers by "Kehoe Designs": Photography by "Kurt Gerber":

Picking The Entertainment For Your Wedding

Decide if you and your fiancé want a band or DJ and what fits in your budget. Typically, DJ’s are more affordable than bands. And remember the more people in the band, the higher the cost. If you want live music but can’t afford a full band for three hours you may want to consider doing live music during cocktails and dinner and then DJ music for the dancing portion of the evening. 

Chicago Themed Wedding Favors

My clients are always looking for fun ways to thank their guests for coming to Chicago to celebrate with them. Below are some cute Chicago themed wedding favors for your guests! 
# Handing out bags of Garrett's Popcorn at the end of the night. There are many different flavors to choose from or you can pick a bunch of different varieties and let your guests pick at the end of the night! "Garrets Popcorn": # For a fall wedding, you could hand out caramel apples from Affy Tapple in Niles, Illinois. "

Priya Shimpi and David Burkett

We cannot say enough about Ali. She is such a professional. She knows the vendors, knows her clientele's taste, and it was such an asset to have someone who knew how to create the most beautiful and unique wedding day. And stay organized and within budget! We hired her because we both work full time, and I was in the middle of finishing my dissertation. We needed some help with keeping on task about the wedding, making appointments, checking and re-checking with vendors,