Engaging Events by Ali - Meet the Dynamic Owner

By Engaging Events by Ali By Engaging Events by Ali | March 30, 2023


What motivated you to start your business?

When I started my business 20 years ago, I wanted to work with clients on their celebrations and events. I found the Association of Bridal Consultants and did their educational program and started my business with a degree from them and a dream of helping clients plan their dream weddings! To this day, I still have my membership with the Association of Bridal Consultants! At that time, the industry did not have all the amazing tools and conferences we have now to attend and sign up for. I was one of the first wedding planners in Chicago to have an extension of my wedding website with a blog on the old platform blogger! I know, so old school! This blog gained a lot of attention in Chicago and my career took off from there!

Tell us what makes your business different from other wedding companies?

I pour my heart and soul into my client’s weddings and events! Their experience they have during this transformational time while planning and designing their wedding is so important to me. Every couple has a story together. And I help them write the next chapter. I do this by getting to know them, their dreams, their fears, what they are excited about, and what they want their family and guests to experience on the wedding weekend. We do this together as a team!!

I am logistically detailed, take a positive approach to everything I do, and I truly believe life is meant to be celebrated! There is no problem, only solutions and we make the planning process as much about the journey as we do the destination!

Courtesy of Collin Pierson Photography

How did you handle the pandemic? Did your business model change?

The time during covid-19 hit the hospitality industry so hard. When the entire industry shut down, this was the most challenging time of my career. I rescheduled and cancelled weddings for over a year and a half. During these hard months, friends of mine, Michelle Durpetti and Collin Pierson (who are also in the wedding industry) and I decided we did not want to sit in panic mode and do nothing. So, we rallied together and created the Illinois Events Coalition to advocate, educate and support the wedding and event professionals around our state and nation. I was able to not only help educate myself on the changing rules and regulations but also became a resource for others that were struggling as much as I was. What it taught me is that together as a community we become stronger and have more of a voice in our communities and in our state!

Courtesy of Paul Morse Photography

What is the most gratifying part of your business?

The wedding industry is filled with the most hardworking artists, dreamers, thinkers and entrepreneurs. As a business owner, it is amazing to see other women and men succeed and thrive in their own ventures. This not only inspires me but empowers me to be anything I can be! These entrepreneurs inspire and pave the way for others to live their fullest potential. They also make a positive impact on the world around them by mentoring others, supporting charities with their work and art but also their business acumen.

Also I feel the support from people in this industry that I have met during my 20-year career are not only peers but good friends and sources for inspiration and drive! I turn to so many people who are wedding planners and designers but also magazine owners, marketing specialists, conference owners, catering and business owners for advice and support.

We can grow by continuing to support others in all their endeavors both personally and professionally and use our voices to continue to educate all on equality and equity in the workplace. Together as a community we become stronger, wiser and louder! I continue every day to mentor other wedding planners and also host retreats for women to celebrate not only their life and career but the amazing light inside of them that can shine so bright!

Courtesy of Paul Morse Photography

What are you most passionate about right now?

  • I believe that life is meant to be celebrated with family and friends!
  • Kindness always wins!
  • There is no problem that does not have many positive solutions.
  • It is about the journey as much as the destination!
  • Laughter makes the world go round!
  • I believe we should always have beautiful flowers, great food and the perfect cocktail. And I love a good dance party!

Courtesy of Paul Morse Photography

Contact Info:

President, Planner & Designer
Engaging Events by Ali, Inc
Office 773-777-2299
Cell 773-306-6664
Email [email protected]
Website & Blog www.engagingeventsbyali.com
Memorable Chicago & Destination Weddings Worldwide
Instagram: @aliphillips

Photography by: