Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I'm a Planner:: Ali Phillips

Name: Ali Phillips
Location: Chicago, IL
Company: Engaging Events by Ali, Inc
Years in Business: 8.5
Website: http://www.engagingeventsbyali.com/
Blog: My blog runs directly on my website

What do you specialize in (Day of Coordination, Full Service Design…)?

We do comprehensive (full) wedding planning service for our clients. I have consultants that handle the events when someone wants to hire us for the last two months.

What are your three favorite sources of wedding inspiration?

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 Souza and David Beahm to name a few), that I look up to, share their work I don't say, I want to do that exactly. I say wow, that is gorgeous, how can I make that unique to me and my clients and the city I work in. That is why they are all out there speaking and sharing, to give us inspiration so that we can go back and bring some of that experience to our own business. I always encourage my clients to "make it their own" and twist it to reflect who they are. I want them to walk into their wedding reception and say, YAY, it is exactly what I wanted. (not exactly what we saw in that magazine together). It is my job as a wedding professional to help my clients stamp their wedding with the stamp that says "THIS IS US, this wedding reflects who we are as a couple".

http://www.thinksplendid.com/ She knows her stuff

Travel. I walk into hotels all over the world and take pictures, even of hallways or art on the walls. I have a file in my computer of places that can bring me back to serenity and bring me back to my creative place.

What made you get started in wedding planning?

I wanted to take my business skills I had developed over the years and put them to use. Those include, project management, financial management, people management and my sales skills. I selling ideas every day to my clients to make their weddings reflect who they are.

What is one thing in your office that you could not live without, technology excluded?

My blackberry. I am pretty mobile all day so my car is sort of my office. And my mac (Thank you Liene Stevens)

{ From Melissa: We said technology excluded... and what does Ali do... goes right for the tech, we love her so we let her get away with it.}

If you could make one recommendation to a new planner, what would it be?

Write a business plan. Always be learning and educating. Attend seminars, network with peers, and join professional organizations. Be a Sponge for information. Learn who you are and why that is important to what you do. Okay, that was WAY more than one recommendation…….


Liene Stevens said...

Great interview! And I love how modest Ali is, but she is among the wedding "gods and goddesses" she mentioned.

Trisha Dean Events said...

I agree with Liene, Ali is amazing and talented and such a huge supporter of the wedding industry.

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