|The team from Michelle Durpetti Events!|
Left to right, top: Michelle Durpetti, Emily Weinstein
bottom: Sterling Berry, Gigi Durpetti
So, can we just talk about how Michelle Durpetti is hilarious? Talking to her for just half an hour on the phone, I barely wanted to speak lest I miss something entertaining that came out of her mouth. I found myself nodding encouragingly while on the phone with her, as if to prompt her to keep going. I quickly realized that she couldn't see that and added the appropriate "yeah, mhmm" while trying not to giggle at her stories. (Stay tuned for another blog post about some of her craziest wedding stories!)
The fact is, she's seen it all. That's why it's so funny. Every story she has is real, straight from her 11 years in the industry. After putzing around with tiny little events like a three year run designing the 3,000-person Green Tie Ball at Northerly Island, Chicago Scenic Studios and then Chicago Illuminating Company, she decided it was time.
Michelle broke ground on McGowan and Durpetti in 2008, focusing on corporate and non-profit events. Durpetti recalled how those years were a huge learning experience and really helped her gain insight into her trade. After three years, well... you know what happened. Everything was being cut after the economy took its hit. Events were not a top priority for Durpetti's biggest clients.
Still, her resilience is nothing short of astonishing as she sat down to take a look at how her business could grow when others were shrinking. "I knew two things," she said, "One, people are always getting married; and two, people are always dying. And I didn't want to be a funeral director."
In 2010, the year Michelle Durpetti Events (MDE) launched, the organization helped plan one wedding. The next year, there were 24. Now, MDE consults and plans an amazing 30-35 weddings per year - that's more than two a month...if you're counting.
"We put a huge emphasis on client relationships," says Michelle about how her company has found success. "Lots and lots and lots of communication...and we challenge our clients to stretch and grow." She explained how her goal -nay, her mission- is to never neglect a client. And she hasn't! She even told me about a time she was doing a consult while walking a horse onto a track to show (Showing horses is one of Michelle's passions!). She signed the bride right there on the phone!
MDE puts a lot of stock into their relationship with vendors and strive to create mutual respect and support. "We wouldn't be anywhere without them," Michelle stated. It's clear that her vendors are her personal friends, as well.
Michelle also mentioned that she is so proud of her team. She explained that she'd seen them grow from interns to true professionals who really know their field. She says, "Our timelines are a work of art and I love that!" Looking at their website, you can see quality in every event. Each member of the team dedicates the same amount of passion and focus to every event. It's really amazing to see all the details they've put together! You can see even more of them on their Facebook page.
"I think MDE's biggest accomplishment is that its been five years and we're still here...I never really know what the day will entail, and I love that." Her company stays focused to bring the best experience possible to brides and grooms. The team is dedicated to creating an event that runs smoothly, so the bride and groom can really be present on their big day. Now that's the mark of a good planning consultant.
For more information on Michelle Durpetti Events, visit their website. To talk with Michelle, Emily or Sterling (or maybe even Gigi!), call 312-988-9900 or email email@example.com.
Photos courtesy of Michelle Durpetti Events.