Michelle Garibay – CreatiVe director & Lead Consultant
Michelle’s early event management experience began as an undergrad at San Diego State University. Through leadership and event planning roles as a sorority member and alumni advisor at the university, organizing events for congressional and presidential candidates with the top political fundraising company in Southern California, to the Government Relations department with the San Diego Padres and work for a well-respected San Diego public relations firm, Michelle’s event management experience is extensive.
Michelle Garibay Events launched in 2006 during a 5 year residency on Oahu. She enjoyed her involvement with the Oahu Wedding Association and was a Board Member in 2010 overseeing the association’s outreach efforts to market the island of O’ahu as a premiere wedding destination. After her return to her native Southern California in 2011, Michelle Garibay Events planted roots in Temecula and provides wedding planning and coordination in Temecula, Palm Springs, San Diego and still specializes in destination weddings in Hawaii and Mexico. She has been in business for over 12 years and has over 300 weddings under her belt!
Michelle was the 2015 winner of Southern California Bride's "Best of" awards in Wedding Planning and Design and she is the creator of Enlighten Bridal Workshop - an annual planning workshop for savvy brides. She has also been hired in 2016 as an instructor for Lovegevity's Wedding Planning Institute - a certification course for wedding planners that partners with David Tutera.
Her company is a member of the Association of Bridal Consultants and was selected as a destination wedding consultant for Style Me Pretty‘s Little Black Book, Grace Ormonde’s Platinum List and was listed on the Maharani Weddings Platinum Guide - an invite-only vendor resource that caters to Indian weddings. She has written articles for international and regional wedding blogs and magazines and her work has been featured in Exquisite Weddings magazine, San Diego Style Weddings magazine, Palm Springs Life, Ceremony magazine, Every Last Detail, The Knot, Style Unveiled, Style Me Pretty, Wedding Chicks, Southern California Bride, and Modern Weddings Hawaii, and many more.
Michelle’s proactive management style and eye for the smallest detail is brought to each and every wedding she has the honor to be a part of. Michelle believes that what sets a good event consultant apart from the rest is the realization that just a love of planning events isn’t enough. You have to be truly invested in your clients’ needs and happiness from concept to completion, roll up your sleeves and get done what needs to be done; be detailed, have clear objectives and be obsessively organized; execute proactively and flawlessly with grace and polish; be on schedule; be responsive, open and operate with transparency and deliver on what is promised. Michelle stands by this philosophy and her attention to detail, transparency and advocacy for her couples are repeated themes in what clients (and creative partners!) love about her.
When Michelle is not assisting her couples create fun and stylish weddings, her free time is spent with her husband of over 14 years, their two children and their dog and is often found entertaining friends, cheering on baseball games or dance recitals and enjoying what Temecula’s wine country has to offer.
katie dixon - associate coordinator
Katie was born and raised in Southern California. Her wide-ranging experience gives her a unique perspective on the importance of communication and expectations in client- vendor relationships. She has a passion for style, design details, and people. She has broad knowledge of the wedding industry, having spent many years designing and sewing flower girl dresses, to acquiring and displaying unique pieces for a furniture rental company for special events. She believes in creating a special connection between a couple and herself as Coordinator, to enable a successful and seamless wedding. She takes the time to get to know her clients, their personal style, the vision for their wedding and even the fears that might come up during the planning process. She knows that the vows of love and commitment exchanged on your wedding day are special and one of a kind, just like each couple.
When Katie is not assisting a client, she spends time with her husband of 14 years and their 4 energetic children. On her free nights and weekends, she can be found at the BMX track cheering on her 2 sons and daughter that race bikes competitively. She also spends many hours renovating her house with her creative flair and love of design. Having a large family has taught her the importance of recognizing that each person plays a vital role in the unity and function of a family, much like a team of wedding professionals and their individual clients.
Cara Goset – Senior Consultant
Cara grew up in sunny southern California, and has always had a passion for event planning and design. Always looking for a reason to throw a party, Cara's talent for planning did not go unnoticed. She began assisting others with their own events, and eventually was asked to coordinate a friends wedding day. From that day, she knew her career would be in weddings. Shortly after, Cara was hired on at Danza del Sol Winery and would become their Wedding and Event Manager. There, Cara had the opportunity to develop a successful wedding and event program and coordinated hundreds of events, from corporate functions, to rehearsal dinners to weddings. Cara prides herself on going the extra mile, and spending extra time with couples to ensure they are comfortable. Her attention to detail, organization and responsiveness are a few things that helped shape her into a successful event planner.
Cara's many reviews and testimonies from couples and fellow wedding professionals are proof that weddings are not just a job, but a passion. Leaving the winery to expand her career in weddings, Cara is an integral part of the Michelle Garibay Events team and is looking forward to working with amazing couples to plan the weddings of their dreams.
ALEX FINGERLIN - Senior EVENT COORDINATOR
Alex was born and raised in California. She has always had a passion for event planning, coordination and design since a very early age. Alex was introduced to Michelle in 2015 when she married her high school sweetheart! Alex planned her own wedding but Michelle coordinated it, and the rest is history! Being a recent bride herself, Alex prides herself on making all of her brides feel important and stress free! Her attention to detail, calming presence and responsiveness are a few of the things her couples love about her! In Alex’s free time you can find her hanging out with her family and friends and she is enjoying life as a newlywed. She comes from a big family and is the second oldest of six. Alex loves being a big sister and and supporting her younger siblings. Weekends she has free are usually spent at the baseball fields cheering on her little brothers!
Gabriella Kawamoto – Senior Consultant | Hawaii
Gabriella was born in Georgia, grew up in Hawaii, lived in California and Virginia, and returned home to Hawaii in 2005.
After getting married in 2011, Gabriella discovered she had a love for weddings. She quickly found herself a destination wedding planning company to intern for, and after a few months started planning and coordinating events on her own. She then began coordinating multiple events as a Senior Coordinator for Michelle Garibay Events.
Wanting to further her experience in the industry, she combined her experience on-site and background in restaurant service in 2013, working as the Event Manager of an top off-site catering company that specializes in weddings and corporate events. Following her position there, she began working with the most sought-after floral and event design company as their Client Services Coordinator. She now manages on-site coordination as needed for MGE.
Gabriella has a passion for planning weddings, is a calming presence in a high-energy industry and fiercely detailed. The relationship that is built over time with couples that comes with helping them design and execute their perfect day is one of her favorite aspects of what she does. Her free time is spent at home with her husband and two children.