Today we’d like to introduce you to Elizabeth Tulipana.
Elizabeth, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and when I look back, I realize I fell in love with event planning in high school. I was on Student Council and a friend and I created the “Mr. Skyhawk Pageant” for Spirit Week. (Let the guys wear swimsuits and be talented, #amiright?) When we presented it to our principal, we called it the “annual” Mr. Skyhawk Pageant and he told us to take that out because he wasn’t going to commit to doing it yearly. I was simultaneously angry and insulted and vowed to make it great. Needless to say, it was a great big hit for us late 90’s kids and we put it on both our junior and senior year and they still do it today. I always think of this experience as one that sparked my want to plan events.
After college (Miami of Ohio), I moved to Chicago and found a job working in events at Shedd Aquarium, I worked in the development department planning their fundraising events, working with their Auxiliary Board and Board of Trustees. After four years and a couple of years taking night classes in Visual Merchandising, I realized, I needed a change so I took 6 months off and backpacked through Central and South America. With a little distance, I realized that I still loved event planning, I just wanted to do it more creatively, in various spaces and with different visions. When I got back from traveling, I went full-time to finish my degree while I worked doing windows and displays at Anthropologie, nannied and decided to build a website and get some business cards to do some events on my own. I needed the money and had a colleague from Shedd who asked me to coordinate her wedding, and so AE was born on August 5, 2009.
Today, we’re almost nine years in and loving every minute of it. I have scaled to four other coordinators over the years and still focus on quality over quantity in terms of the number of weddings we will take on in a year. We’ve added styling and interiors over the past couple of years so that we can complete the wedding day vision and also see our clients again to bring that AE brand into their homes.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
All in all, it has been fairly smooth and I have been lucky. I have always insisted in quality over quantity and in want to keep AE boutique and not a wedding planning factory. I think the hardest part for me has been scaling. I’m a control freak and AE is definitely my baby, so training other people to work with me and trust them to do everything I want was a hard band-aid to rip off for me. But it’s totally necessary, especially in the wedding-industry in Chicago where events are semi-seasonal and mostly on Saturdays. I am lucky to have a small but AMAZING team of detail-oriented, control freaks who work their butts off to give our clients the best experience possible.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Anticipation Events is a boutique event planning and styling company specializing in atypical and stylish weddings, social occasions, and special events. We’re crazy good at making sure every detail is in place down to the last disco ball. Our attention to detail and ability to organize, paired with an eye for style mean you get the best of both worlds: planner and designer.
We specialize in unique weddings that are anything but average. I always say we attract clients who want to put weddings where they aren’t meant to be. We do weddings in backyards, barns, campgrounds, along with all the chicest city spaces. Weddings for 10 people, parties for 300, backyard barbecues, food trucks, campfires, eight-course tasting menus: we don’t do many chicken and mashed potato weddings in ballrooms and we are lucky that our clients are so creative.
I am most proud that nine years in and we are still growing and getting better every year. I’m super proud of my team and how wonderful they are, that we attract amazing and grateful clients, and the events we produce are really freaking cool.
I think what sets us apart from others it that it’s hard to find a planner/coordinator (or really any person) who is super Type A and detail-oriented and also really creative and great at the visual styling of the event looks. When you hire AE you get the best of both worlds because we are going to cross every “t” and dot every “I” to make sure every detail is in place but we can also help bring your vision to life and make space look amazing.
What were you like growing up?
I was not shy. I am of the era where females got called bossy a lot. I was mostly a rule-follower. My parents travel a lot and took us on great road trips when we were kids (although I don’t know if I realized that at the time) which inspired my great love of adventure and travel. When we moved into a new house when I was in fifth grade, I remember my parents “decorated” our new rooms that year for us on our birthdays. I thought that was the coolest thing in the world which I think probably promoted my love of interiors and home decor. I loved art class, and reading, playing soccer, swimming and organizing things.
- Month of Coordination starts at $2,600
- Website: anticipationevents.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anticipationevents/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anticipationevents/
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/anticipation-events-chicago
- Other: https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/house-tour-an-eclectic-granny-colorful-chicago-home-244561
Heather DeCamp Photography, Jeremy Lawson Photography, Angela Renee Photography, Scott Kaplan, Jeremy Lawson Photography, Amanda Megan Miller, Oriana Koren, The Stoffers Photography