Guest Star: Simply Perfect by Melissa is simply delightful

Chicago wedding planner Melissa Phillips is the event guru behind Simply Perfect by Melissa. There isn’t a wedding she can’t plan and Stitely was thrilled to be able to ask her a few questions about her company, the wedding industry and some great advice for brides and grooms to be.

Stitely Entertainment (SE): How did you get started in event planning?
Melissa Philips (MP): I started in college with their Student Activities Department. I interned for 2 years assisting with student programs- brainstorming, planning, and executing. One of my favorites was an annual awards dinner hosted at a downtown hotel. I loved the details and logistics…and it kind of stuck ☺ I then taught for 7 years and became drawn to event planning for the school district- dances, philanthropic events, in school spirit activities, and parades. I began to enjoy that a bit more than teaching and decided to start my business on the side. Things developed quickly, and soon after, I was working full time doing events.

SE: How does Simply Perfect by Melissa differ from its competitors?
MP: I think personality and style really separate planners from each other. It is important that couples find a coordinator who they can click with…there is a long planning road you travel together. I strive to make each event completely unique be it through stationery, décor, entertainment, food, or event flow. Our goal is to leave your guests with a lasting memory of the event.

SE: What part of your job do you find the most satisfying and the most challenging?
MP: The most satisfying part of my job, without question, is the day of the wedding when the reception is all set and the bride and groom see the space for the first time. The team who creates the day can easily envision the final look. For the couple, this is when all the details we have hashed through come together like a perfect puzzle creating an unforgettable moment. I LOVE their reactions when they walk through the doors (it gives me the chills just writing about it!) Logistics are always a challenge. Each wedding brings a new set, but that is what makes each wedding so great. No two are ever the same. I love a good challenge and enjoy being given the opportunity to tackle them.

SE: What is the key to a successful event?
MP: A solid schedule!! I think some couples may underestimate the power of a good timeline. I have had people contact me for day of coordination services with timelines already prepared. After doing 200+ weddings, you quickly learn where time is lost, time can be gained, and how much time is needed for all that needs to be done. Mapping that out ahead of time with all of the logistics in place and possible areas where obstacles may develop is essential to making the day go smoothly. There are only so many hours and minutes in a couple’s wedding day. We want to make sure each second is put to good use!

SE: What is the craziest event story you can share?
MP: There seems to be something a little crazy with each event so pinpointing one particular one is challenging. We pride ourselves in doing what is necessary to make the day go perfectly. From steaming the stain gown while 9 months pregnant on my hands and knees (sent to the bride that way from a nationally know luxury bridal shop) 30 minutes before she was to dress because she didn’t realize just how bad it was, to gluing the groom’s head back on his bobble head cake topper seconds before the ballroom doors opened to calming a mother and daughter screaming quarrel (complete with “are you sure you want to marry this man”) minutes before she was to walk down the aisle to adjusting several brides’ “girlfriends” in their dresses because the bridesmaids always seem to disappear at just the right time…every wedding has me walking away with a laugh or two. I look at it as all being part of a day’s work!

SE: Any tips you can give to our engaged clients?
MP: Enjoy the process!! I would be lying if I said planning a wedding is stress free…there is plenty of stress to go around. This will probably be the largest social event you ever host, and that can be a bit intimidating. Try to keep things in perspective as to what is most important. My priest gave me the simplest, yet best, advice as I was planning my own wedding- In the end, you are married…mission accomplished! Really…take the time to smell the flowers (at your floral sample), enjoy every bite of food you sample (at all your tastings), and most importantly, take mental pictures throughout the day of your wedding. Those moments when I consciously stopped myself to absorb the moment are the parts of the day I remember most.

SE: If you were stuck on a desert island which three albums would you want with you?
MP: I am absolutely horrible with song titles and artists. I would have to go with music styles. I need some Motown for the beat- it will keep me motivated. I need a mix of slow, sappy songs for the moments when I break down- it will make the break down go quicker so I can bounce back. I definitely need some classic party dance tunes so I can take advantage of no one being around…I can dance crazy style and no one can laugh at me HAHAHA!!!


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Delivering a mind-blowing musical performance at an event is an art and planning it is a science. Stitely Entertainment has mastered both by planning and executing thousands of events.

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