destination wedding

Destination Wedding Planner A-List by Destination Weddings & Honeymoon

Destination Wedding Planner A-List by Destination Weddings & Honeymoon

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! 

App for Wedding Photo Sharing

App for Wedding Photo Sharing

I am in LOVE with this cool new app for weddings! The Wedding Party Appis an easy way for all of your guests to share the photos of your wedding and wedding events! We have had our clients use it at the last two weddings (see a recent wedding I had in Turks and Caicos)  and guests just loved it! It was a fun way to see photos of the weekend and the bride and groom loved being able to look back after the wedding to see the photos. It is very simply to set up! You register online at their website or download the app at itunes. Then your guests can instantly start snapping pictures and upload them. And guess what? It is free for you and all your guests to use! 

Kevin Weinstein, Chicago Photographer, photographs Mario Lopez wedding

Kevin Weinstein, Chicago Photographer, photographs Mario Lopez wedding

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!

Ali Phillips, Chicago and Destination Wedding Planner

Ali Phillips, Chicago and Destination Wedding Planner

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!

Mint Julep for your Kentucky Derby Party

Mint Julep for your Kentucky Derby Party

It is May, and along with May flowers, May brings the running of the Kentucky Derby. What an exciting time of the year to don a big hat and head to Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. With the derby brings the thoughts of Mint Juleps to mind and what better place to find THE best mint julep recipe but on the Kentucky Derby Website. 

Speaking at Event Solutions Idea Factory in February

Speaking at Event Solutions Idea Factory in February

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. 

A Look Back at 2011 Chicago Weddings

A Look Back at 2011 Chicago Weddings

2011 was a wonderful year! We thank the wonderful couples who welcomed us into their lives as we helped them plan their weddings. Thank you to all those brides and grooms who selected Engaging Events by Ali as their wedding planner. Here is just a tiny little peek into our amazing 2011 year! And thank you to all the amazing photographers who provide the beautiful moments from the wedding days for our clients. 

Engage!11 Cayman Islands, living, learning and loving it!

On this day when I see Thanksgiving blog posts of tables with pumpkins and gourds and fall decor in pictures I feel that I am going to change things up a bit. Today, I am giving thanks and thanking THE Rebecca and Kathryn for giving the wedding industry the Engage Conference.Today I share with you some amazing pictures of the most wonderful and exciting conference that I just returned from. 

Style Me Pretty Featured Weddings by Chicago Wedding Planner, Ali Phillips

I am so excited for one of my client's weddings to be featured on Style Me Pretty Blog today! And the bride is Chicago photographer celebrity, Belen Aquino, from Gerber Scarpelli. Belen and Drew had the most wonderful wedding that I was honored to be a part of. It was at her parent's home in McLean, Virginia and was a magical night. 

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. 

My Trip to see The Martha Stewart Show

My Trip to see The Martha Stewart Show

I was at Bridal Market in New York earlier this week. If you don't know what Bridal Market is, it is the time of year that the Bridal designers show their new collections. (Blog to follow next week of some of the shows I attended). I also got to attend some pretty fabulous parties (Yes, so much to share, will blog those pictures next week as well). Oh, yes you need to keep coming back to the blog! 

Sandals Weddings by Martha Stewart Themes

Sandals Weddings by Martha Stewart Themes

Last week we talked about the gorgeous Martha Stewart weddings at Sandals and Beaches resorts you can now have. Today we are looking at one of their gorgeous themes, Beautiful Beginnings. This is for an intimate celebration for just the two of you and includes a gorgeous magenta dendrobium orchid bridal bouquet, a nice boutonniere for your groom, a lovely reception setting with crisp white linens and a two tier white wedding cake. 

Sandals Weddings by Martha Stewart, Beaches Turks and Caicos

Sandals Weddings by Martha Stewart, Beaches Turks and Caicos

Did you know that you can have a Martha Stewart wedding? And, that it can be on the edge of the crystal clear blue waters of the Caribbean? Sandals and Beaches have recently announced Sandals weddings by Martha Stewart. I got to experience it the other day first hand to my delight and let me tell you, I want to now renew my vows and marry my husband again so I can have a Martha Stewart Wedding at a Sandals or Beaches.

Engage 10 Cayman Islands Recap- What one can learn "going to the beach"

Engage 10 Cayman Islands Recap- What one can learn "going to the beach"

As my followers of the blog know, I was in Cayman Islands two weeks ago attending (and speaking) at the Engage!10 a Luxury Wedding Business Summit. This was the fifth time I have attended the conference and would never miss this time to meet up with the "best of the best" in the wedding industry. The friendships I have made over the years of attending this conference and the speakers I have seen are incredible, invaluable and instrumental in making me a better businesswoman and the best wedding consultant I can be.

Ali Phillips to Speak at Engage!10 in Cayman Islands

If you have been following the blog for some time you know that I attend many wedding and event industry conferences to continue learning about new trends but also to learn about good business practices and how to run a successful wedding planning business.  On Sunday, I leave for Grand Cayman at the Ritz Carlton to attend the Engage!10 Luxury Wedding Business Summit.  This year I am so excited as I have been asked to present with three of my good friends I have made over the years (Liene Stevens of Think Splendid, Harmony Walton of The Bridal Bar and Donna Von Bruening of DVB Photographers).  We will be doing a session on "getting the most of Engage!" 

Sunny Beach Pictures at Ritz Carlton on Grand Cayman

Sunny Beach Pictures at Ritz Carlton on Grand Cayman

If you are in Chicago, you woke up to a cold and dreary day today. I just got back from a walk with the dog and it is COLD! SO.....I thought I would channel some warm summer vibes by posting these adorable pictures of Kevin and Janie who got married at the Ritz Carlton in Grand Cayman.  They zipped around the Island the day after the wedding to play in the sand and run thru the crystal clear blue water in the ocean. What a fun couple!

Photos by Rebecca Davidson

Back from South Africa and ready to blog

Hello everyone! I am back from an amazing trip to South Africa and back into the swing of work and will begin blogging about my exciting life as a wedding consultant in Chicago, Illinois. Check back soon for my FIRST post!!!