Choosing your vendors is one of the most overwhelming tasks during the planning process – but it doesn’t have to be. Michelle Durpetti is here to share the good news – working with your venue’s recommended vendors can be a surefire way to success. With 15 years of producing events under her belt and her recent venture opening The Estate, a venue outside Chicago, she knows what works. And one thing she doesn’t worry about is knowing who to work with – here’s why!

Partners Not Just Proximity Picks

We like taking the phrase “suggested vendor” and applying a much more accurate phrase “creative partner.” Either way, whatever these vendors are called, they’re not just vendors popping up due to proximity or because they have lobbied to be there. They are our partners as we work tirelessly to bring the weddings that our clients dream about to life.

Worth the Investment

There is always much discussion about these vendor lists, and finding excellent, reputable, dependable talent who can execute your vision should be a decision made with care and consideration. As a planner, I always tell my clients to of course, be wary of budget, but to understand that talent and dependability are always worth the investment. You’re investing in your day, and ultimately yourselves, to have a streamlined, creatively collaborative planning process that culminates in a beautifully produced wedding with flawless timing, details and most important – celebration!

Cohesive Synergy

When we first began creating the various elements that go into a venue, we wanted to make sure that we were all on the same page, including our recommended vendors. It was important for us to make sure that each and every creative partner on the list was one that matched what we were trying to do within the space; create a timeless, elegant ballroom, inspired by the Italian Villas. So I sat down with the team and started thinking about who could work within those parameters and feel creatively fulfilled while orchestrating unforgettable celebrations.

Beware of Kickbacks

Look for the venues that invite their vendors, after careful consideration, not those that offer financial incentives. If you are beginning the process of planning your wedding, a wedding planner can be an integral part of successfully navigating through all of this preliminary leg work necessary before getting to the “fun stuff” (design, entertainment, etc.). First there needs to be some homework and some boundaries set so that you are ensuring a planning process for yourself that has manageable expectations as well as the right people on your team.

Ask the Questions

Ask your venue what the qualifying process is for partners to be on the list. When I plan weddings, I always discuss with my clients that I will not guarantee a vendor that I have not worked with before, mainly because I do not want to use my client’s wedding day as a “trial run” to see how a vendor delivers. Venues often apply this to the process when creating their recommended list.

Experience Pays Off

Each vendor working in our space has worked with me multiple times on a variety of events and weddings, creative shoots, and on my own private events. These talented individuals and companies work in our space with us when we are hosting key events, and that is how we get to know them and vice versa – so when our client’s big day is happening, we are all a finely tuned machine.

Partners Know the Details

These creative partners understand the layout of the space, load in, load out and all of the various “do’s and don’ts” that come along with your venue. They understand how to bring a wedding to life beautifully while adhering to the guidelines that protect the integrity of the space. They are reputable, provide quality service and we can guarantee that based on the relationships that we have with them. This cuts down on logistics, time and planning. The streamlined process is right there for our clients, and that is a relief for them and us as well.

Most Amazing Wedding Venues
View Slideshow
Most Amazing Wedding Venues
View Slideshow


Allure Bridals 2016 Ultimate Sweepstakes
Kelly Faetanini for Brideside
Wedding Paper Divas
Joanna August


For our California Brides… Discounts from The Ranch at Laguna Beach and Weddings by Susan Dunne!

For our Tri-state Brides… Discounts from Femina Photo + Design and Ieie Bridal Dress Boutique!

For our Destination Brides… Discount from Hitch’d Weddings & Events

For our Southeast Brides… Discount from Cassidy Carson Photography

For our Mid-Atlantic Brides… Discount for A Chic Affair tickets


Congratulations to our Life In Bloom giveaway winner Lizette!

Event Planning Advice: Michelle Durpetti Events | Venue Advice: The Estate by Gene & Georgetti

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here