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 with Kappa Delta 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 due to her husband’s career. 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 Orange County (where she grew up!) She still specializes in destination weddings in Hawaii and Mexico and Florence, Italy was added to the list in 2018. She has been in business for over 13 years!
Michelle just won California Wedding Day magazine’s Best of 2019 Event Designer for San Diego/Temecula and was the 2015 winner of Southern California Bride's "Best of" awards in Wedding Planning and Design. She runs a networking group in Temecula with a continued focus in professional education and elevating industry standards. She has been an instructor for Lovegevity's Wedding Planning Institute since 2016 - a certification course for wedding planners that partners with David Tutera. She was named a top 50 wedding planner in California and in 2019 she was named a KnotPRO Educator - one of a small group of hand-selected wedding professionals nationwide tasked with their mission to “elevate, educate and empower our industry.”
Her company is a member of the Wedding International Profesionals Association (WIPA) Assocation of Bridal Consultants (ABC) 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, California Wedding Day, and many more.
When Michelle is not assisting her couples create fun, memorable and stylish wedding experiences, her free time is spent with her husband of over 15 years, their two children and their two dogs and is often found entertaining friends, cheering on baseball games or dance recitals and enjoying what Temecula’s wine country has to offer.
lauren gonzalez - Event coordinator
Lauren began her journey into special events with a Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona. During college, she worked as a Bridal Hostess at Ponte Winery in Temecula. She loved getting to work with the couples on the day of their wedding and truly found her passion for creating magical moments. She then became a Wedding Sales Coordinator at Ponte Winery where she refined her skills and learned more about local vendors and different styles of ceremonies. From there, Lauren started working at Temecula Creek Inn as a Catering Services Manager. She loved the unique qualities of the property and truly enjoyed seeing the creativity of each couple as they decorated the venue. At both venues, Lauren bonded with the Michelle Garibay Events team and eventually took on her role as Event Coordinator full time with the team.
Lauren was born and raised in the Temecula Valley and has had the opportunity to work with the valleys finest wedding professionals. Her calming personality has helped her keep her couples at ease during the wedding planning process and on the wedding day. When she’s not working on weddings, you can find her spending time with family, riding horses, and binge watching the latest season of the Real Housewives of Orange County. She is looking forward to helping couples create beautiful memories!
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!
CARLY DAHAN - eVENT coordinator
Born and raised in Southern California, Carly is a natural born leader who exudes creativity and an outstanding attention to detail that is demanded in the wedding industry. Carly’s tenured background in the finance industry lends itself well to the discipline and organization that is needed to be a successful wedding planner. After finding a love for event coordinating, Carly began her journey coordinating weddings, corporate parties and other events. Meanwhile, she also assisted well-known coordinators in Southern California to grow her experience and expose herself to further her knowledge in the industry. Being both creative and detail-oriented the event industry affords her the opportunity to further cultivate these qualities.
While maintaining a positive and energetic attitude Carly sees problem solving and responsiveness as important skills and enjoys the undertaking. She values building a personal relationship with each couple in order to design their perfect love story and finds the culminating experience of seeing the big day come to fruition as one of the best rewards of being a wedding planner.
Carly lives in the Inland Empire with her husband and two young daughters. When she isn’t event planning, she can be found traveling with family and friends and enjoying the beautiful southern California weather. Her family is her driving force and helps support her in designing a life she loves.
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.