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Archive for the ‘Ali’ Category

Meet Susan Staley of Elevage Events

Susan Staley

We are soooo excited to introduce you to our new consultant at Elevage Events, Susan Staley. Susan has always had an eye for detail and a passion for event planning. She developed a fondness for entertaining as she helped her mother organize various events in her hometown of Pittsburgh. Attending the College of Charleston in South Carolina to pursue degrees in Arts Management and Hospitality & Tourism Management, she was able to turn her passion into a career path. As one of the top destination wedding locations in the country, Susan had the opportunity to work with planners and venues in South Carolina. It was then that she realized working in the bridal industry was an extremely rewarding experience.

Upon moving to Chicago in 2008, Susan was thrilled to become the studio manager and bridal coordinator of Sonia Roselli Makeup Studio. This provided Susan the opportunity to work with Ali Phillips of Engaging Events and many of her brides. Susan is beyond thrilled to join the Elevage team and to contribute her talent and experience into day of wedding coordinating.

When not working with brides, Susan enjoys  retail therapy, trying new Chicago restaurants, Steelers football and entertaining for family & friends. Hosting “get- togethers” for friends and family has always been one of Susan’s favorite activities, down to every last detail and cocktail napkin. She is also a International Makeup Association certified makeup artist.

Susan loves working with couples on their wedding day and being apart of such a joyous and special moment in their lives. It is her privilege to take care of the details so the couple, family and friends can enjoy every aspect of the day!

Picture by Sonia Roselli

Meet Morgan Bell Ripper of the Elevage Events Team

Morgan Bell Ripper

Photography by Belen Aquino of Gerber Scarpelli Weddings

Morgan Bell Ripper is thrilled to be a part of the elite team that makes up Elevage Events. Having worked closely with Ali Phillips of Engaging Events by Ali, Morgan fell head over heels for the magical experience that is orchestrating a wedding. Morgan’s educational background boasts degrees in both theatre and finance, making her ideal for the bridal industry. She has a passionate understanding of what goes into the theatrics of a wedding, whether grandiose or understated, and also understands and enjoys the business side of budgeting, timelines, and smart planning.

Morgan has an unyielding passion for reading, a hobby she developed at an early age. She also finds herself indulging in wedding magazines, as she likes to keep up to date with the current trends of the industry. Morgan also enjoys traveling, citing Disney World as her favorite destination. Her favorite part of a wedding is the magnetic moment when the groom first lays eyes on his bride as she makes her grand entrance into a room.


Meet Colleen Reardon of the Elevage Events Team

Colleen Reardon headshot

Photography by Belen Aquino of Gerber Scarpelli Weddings

Colleen first became involved in the event industry during her college years while working for a catering company. Though she produced everything from corporate picnics to private parties, it was weddings that sparked her interest. For over six years, Colleen has worked with Chicago’s top wedding consultant, Ali Philips from Engaging Events by Ali, Inc. Starting off as Ali’s assistant to eventually managing her own Engaging Events by Ali weddings, Colleen has gained valuable experience and knowledge from the vast array of weddings she has been a part of. She is excited to join the Elevage Events team as one of their lead consultants.

Colleen has also worked as a Senior Media Buyer, working with television and radio stations on developing on-air schedules. While juggling many accounts, Colleen has developed great multi-tasking skills and is cool, calm and collected under pressure. Colleen’s easy-going attitude has led to many great relationships in both her professional and personal life. In her spare time Colleen likes to stay active by running and biking. She has a passion for traveling and if she could she would travel at least once a month!

Colleen’s favorite part of a wedding is seeing the look on the bride and groom’s face when they see the outcome of all their planning. From the flowers to the cake to the reception hall — seeing it all come together after months of planning is an exciting moment.


Meet Emily McNeive of the Elevage EventsTeam

emily mcneive headshot

Photography by Belen Aquino of Gerber Scarpelli Weddings

As a lifelong planner, to-do list writer, and organization enthusiast, Emily Kottmann McNeive’s love of weddings and immaculately executed events grew while working with Ali Phillips of Engaging Events by Ali. In turn the Miami of Ohio business school graduate, and lover of a great party, has parlayed her advertising and production experience working on large budget TV and print commercials for Kraft, Procter and Gamble, and Busch Entertainment Group into a passion for orchestrating unforgettably flawless celebrations for Elevage Events.

Emily believes that attention to small details makes for huge results and loves helping brides bring their personal style and vision to their weddings. A true Chicago native with a love for reality TV, fashion, and travel, Emily can be found on the weekends with her husband, Mike, sampling new restaurants in the city or shopping for the perfect pug (hoping to get one soon)!


Meet Jaclyn Goris of the Elevage Events Team

Jaclyn Goris Headshot

Photo by Belen Aquino

Jaclyn Goris is thrilled with the opportunity to be working for Elevage Events. She began her career in event planning with Engaging Events by Ali in May 2008 as Ali Philips’ first full-time assistant. The entire process of seeing a wedding from the initial planning stages to final execution with such elegant and flawless taste opened her eyes to pursuing a career in the industry. The experience with Engaging Events is where her love for planning began. Jaclyn studied Organizational Leadership and Communication at Purdue University. Her educational background has provided her with the skills essential for wedding planning.Jaclyn also works for the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park, in Convention Services. Her responsibilities include planning events for corporations and associations and providing them with top-notch service.

Jaclyn has an intense love and passion for fashion. Since she was little she has found this as a way to express one’s uniqueness and individuality. Jaclyn enjoys staying up-to-date on current and upcoming trends in the wedding world and creating ways to make each wedding she plans unique. Other hobbies Jaclyn enjoys are working out, being outdoors, traveling and spending time with her family.

Meet Erin Dahl of the Elevage Events Team

Erin Dahl Headshot

Photographed by Belen Aquino

We are so excited to introduce Erin Dahl of the Elevage Events Team.

Entertaining has always been a passion for Erin Dahl. From a young age, Erin’s fondest memories have centered around beautiful tables and wonderful food shared with family and friends. A University of Michigan graduate and Kalamazoo, Michigan native, Erin has led the planning teams behind successful events at the Ravinia Festival, American Cancer Society and Lincoln Park Zoo, raising millions of dollars for these Chicago-based non-profits. When she’s not producing a gala (or hanging out with the tigers), Erin is proud to use her talents at Elevage Events.

Since 2004, Erin has worked alongside Ali Phillips to execute some of Chicago’s most fashionable weddings. She welcomes the challenge and creativity that comes with each new couple as they plan their big day. To Erin, there is no greater joy than celebrating life’s moments with people in love.

Weekends find Erin in her kitchen testing a new recipe, watching Michigan Football or just exploring her beloved city.



Welcome to Elevage Events

I am so excited to share with you the launch of Elevage Events, Inc!  Elevage Events was cultivated when I realized a need in the Chicago market for a company that specializes in the final details of planning the wedding day for couples. The term “Elevage” refers to the art of taking an almost-ready wine and finessing it so that it is perfect to drink. Inspired by the concept, I have applied it to Elevage Events, where the Elevage Events team will help Chicago couples create a seamless day that they will never forget.

Elevage Events will take your fully planned wedding and finesse any loose ends so that your day is orchestrated perfectly. While some couples appreciate a full service bridal consultant, others delight in being involved in the details themselves.  Elevage Events was created to empower couples that are planning their own weddings to relax and enjoy the magic that makes up their special wedding day.

I have many wonderful planners and assistants who I have worked with over the years and I though what better thing does the Chicago wedding market need than amazing and professional planners that specialize in the final two months of wedding planning and logistics?  So, Elevage Events was released to the Chicago market this Spring. I could not be happier with the feedback from professionals and couples in the Chicago market who have already referred or hired the Elevage Events team. The Elevage Events team will continue to bring first class wedding day-of planning to Chicago and we look forward to meeting the many happy couples the team will send down the aisle.

I have many people to thank for their support, encouragement and love over the past year as we prepared for the launch of Elevage Events.

So Thank You to:

My Elevage Events Team. Erin Dahl, Jaclyn Goris, Emily McNeive, Morgan Bell Ripper and Colleen Reardon are amazing and I am so proud to have them make up the Elevage Events team.

Trisha Hay and Ben Child of We Are Chariot for the gorgeous website. They were able to take all of our thoughts and ideas and really create the prettiest website we have ever seen.

Liene Stevens for her support, help and smarts in launching Elevage Events.

Jenna Plonka of Clementine Ink for her amazing branding and logo design. She took my ideas and in one shot hit it with the amazing logo and branding for Elevage Events.

Rebecca Grinnals, Kathryn Arce, Sean LowMarcy Blum, Pauline Parry and Michelle Rago for being the most amazing mentors.

Lori Roche, Stevi Savage, Stephanie Frazier Grimm, Harmony Walton and Xochitl Gonzalez for their love and support of this venture and their friendship.

All the photographers that took the most gorgeous pictures of our client’s weddings: Kurt Gerber, Glen Abog and Sarah Alair.

And special thanks to Belen Aquino for the amazing head shots of the Elevage Team.

And last but not least, I would like to thank my husband for putting up with my crazy schedule, hearing me out on ideas and concepts for both of the businesses I run, being a shoulder to lean on and someone to laugh with about the incredible world of event and wedding planning. As I said to you on the day of our wedding you are the Captain of my Cheering Squad and I could not have done any of this without you!

So thank you Chicago and thank you wedding professionals and brides and grooms to stopping by to hear a bit about Elevage Events. We are so excited to see what the future holds and excited to introduce the Elevage Events team to you this week.

Ali Phillips

Founder, Elevage Events, Inc.