I was SO excited when Blair and Christy called me from Junebug Weddings to tell me I had been selected to be a part of their World's Best Wedding Planners & Designers they unveiled last week and I am so thankful to be included. The best of the best are on this list and I am flattered to be a part of 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.
We LOVE LOVE it when one of our favorite wedding blogs features our work! Elizabeth Anne Designs featured a wonderful wedding we did last fall at Holy Name Cathedral and River East Art Center!
Check out Morgan and Mike's wedding on Elizabeth Anne Designs and then check back later this week where I share all the awesome pictures with you!
Amazing photgraphy by Becky Hill Weddings
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.
Last week I talked about my time at the Engage!11 Conference in San Diego which was the most amazing four days with the most incredible people in the wedding and event industry. What I want to talk about today is the wonderful speakers who imparted their wisdom of the Wedding World with the attendees. And we are not talking just fluff and stuff, we are talking great business advice from people who are the leaders in the industry. Hard core fact and information about the business of weddings which we can all apply to make our business better.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Today I am excited to announce a new Blog Series called "Ask Ali". As a wedding consultant in Chicago I answer a lot of questions for my clients or potential clients about weddings in general. I also answer a lot of inquires on email for people interested in the wedding business or those wanting to become a wedding planner.
This week has been a hard week for me. I have seen people I love and care deeply about have losses in their family. Today I am reminded to stop and breathe and take time to live every day to the fullest. Life, and often in wedding planning, we can get so wrapped up in the little details. Those details are so important to creating the beauty of the day, but also, please take a little time to step away from the details every now and then and look at the overall picture of the day you are creating together as a couple. The wedding is about sharing your love with your family and friends and celebrating together. And your love and friends and family are what brings joy and happiness to life.
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 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!
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.
I am off today to The Breakers in West Palm Beach, Florida on Sunday to speak and attend the Engage!10 Luxury Wedding Business Summit. I have attended all of the Engage conferences and this is the second conference I am speaking at. I am doing the Opening Session this afternoon with Liene Stevens, Harmony Walton and Donna Von Breuning.
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 LOVE Get Married Magazine and TV show and imagine my delight when they featured the wedding of Nicole and Aubrey, whose wedding I planned, at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago. Special thanks goes out to Becky Hill Photography for the gorgeous images. Flower Firm also handled the gorgeous flowers, Frost Lightingthe lighting and Peter Hennes Orchestra was the rocking band!