Growing up in a family of 5 kids, every day was a production. From the time we woke up to the time we went to bed, the days were planned. I found myself helping my Mom cook what seemed like a dinner party every night, with random friends and neighbors stopping by at all times, in addition to our giant family. I also would create centerpieces for the dining table with random objects found around the house mixed in with fresh floral from my Mother's expansive garden. At an early age, I knew I would be doing something with food, events and planning for my life.

I have always loved to create a warm atmosphere where everybody felt welcome and special. Using dinner time as the perfect get-together, sharing moments of the day while savoring what my Mom and I cooked.  My joy is to make people happy.

Along with the rest of my siblings, I decided to attend Boarding School in Massachusetts, just North of Boston. I participated in about any activity you could think of and naturally became the head of the social committee, helping to plan weekly events for the school. My company name was inspired from a home my parent's rented on Plum Island near my boarding school. I loved spending weekends on the beach, a little home away from home, which instantly turned into the perfect event venue.

I began my college career at Denison University, but after spending the majority of my time in the dorm kitchen baking and cooking for all of my mates, I ran off to culinary school and finished my culinary and entrepreneurship degrees at Johnson & Wales University. Of course, most of my time was spent in the kitchen, but I jumped at the chance to be a major part of the special functions club on campus, helping to facilitate many of the culinary events for the year.

After college, working as a Chef & restaurant manager in Massachusetts, I moved back to Chicago, taking a position with an amazing Chicago Catering company, growing to be their senior event planner in both corporate events & weddings.

After more than 6 years of event planning with a catering company, I was inspired to open Plum & Ivy.

I feel that every day is an event and with a little planning, life can be a party!

Meet Maria--Owner & Principal Consultant

A Mosaic Approach...

Plum & Ivy plans detailed and intricate, weddings, corporate events, social parties. We treat an event like a mosaic, pulling together different pieces with a common theme to create the full picture.

Pieces that create the overall event include organized timelines, reputable vendor selections, perfect food and beverage pairings, event design, décor and event etiquette.

A typical Plum & Ivy Event timeline involves inspiration, setting the tone of an event, involving the client's personality and perspective, and executing events that create a level of excitement and energy while leaving a lasting impression on guests.