Our Thoughts About All Things Events

From Then 'Til Now  by Marcea Galindo

July 25, 2017

A common question is "what was your first job?" My mind usually goes to the first paycheck that the IRS acknowledged, which was a secretarial job in college, but my first job in reality started when I was around 10 years old. My mom was a wedding coordinator at our church and she enlisted my help at a very young age. She was also the church organist and played for many of the weddings she coordinated. Not able to be in two places at once, I sent the bridesmaids down the aisle while she played the Wedding March. I must have carried some sort of air of authority because I don't really remember anyone questioning my age. They listened and did as I requested. This led to helping out at the church basement receptions, first washing dishes, then helping with set-up and clean-up, and refilling punch and mints during the receptions. I was taught by a church florist how to make bows and drape the lace tablecloths in an elegant manner, I was taught courtesy and politeness by adults who cared to invest in me, and I was taught to serve in the background, always to enhance someone's special day. By the age of 16, I was hired to be the reception coordinator, and also often filled in for my mom, running rehearsals and doing wedding day coordination duties when she was out of town. As time went on, it felt natural to volunteer my services in planning other events, from a college senior banquet, to the Employee of the Year banquets for a prominent Seattle restaurateur or a large women's luncheon for a non-profit, from church musical cast parties to office Christmas parties, from school auctions to parties at our home.  I have enjoyed every minute of every event I have planned. So it seems natural to now roll that experience into a business. Because an event might not change a life, but it can indeed make memories that last a lifetime. And helping someone do that just might change my life.

True Hospitality  by Marcea Galindo

November 9, 2018

I have recently thought a lot about hospitality vs. entertaining. It's different, you know. Why? Hospitality comes from the heart...entertaining is often just decorating. We can be hospitable when someone knocks on our door by inviting them in even though the house might not be picked up. We can be hospitable by inviting someone to stay the night even though it creates work for us after they leave. We can be hospitable by hosting a dinner party in a day when it's a lost art. When our heart is in the right place and hospitality meets good entertaining, magic happens. Sometimes I have to work at getting my heart in the right place, but mostly I love the rewarding feeling of making someone happy, giving them a break from every day life to just have fun, a good conversation, a delectable bite to eat.  I love those times where people gather to celebrate...a union, a birthday, a job well done, a holiday. And whether I plan a wedding or a party for a client or for my friends and family, I put my whole heart into it. Because it's not just decorating or organizing for me. It's my heart's desire that each guest would feel true hospitality.

Holiday Parties  by Marcea Galindo

December 13, 2018

To me, Christmas means parties. It's the time when the whole world celebrates Jesus' birth, whether they realize it or not! And it's a natural time to show our family and friends how much they mean to us by making their holiday season a little bit more special. I love to do that by throwing a party...a big one. With lots of people, upbeat music, and great food. Tons of food. Because a guest should never leave a party hungry. But a big party can be a huge undertaking, and for some, that's too overwhelming to even bother. I use a few tricks to make my parties easier than maybe they seem. Here are a few:

- Always use disposable plates, cups and cutlery for a big crowd. But don't skimp on quality! Buy sturdy, large plates (not cocktail-sized) that are attractive and go with your decor. The last thing you need is a plate of food ending up on your floor because the plate was too flimsy or small.

- The only exception to rule #1 is wine glasses. Good wine is best served in a glass, not a plastic cup. Yes, you have to wash them, but it's worth it. And if you don't have enough, hit the Dollar Tree. They have amazing glasses for a buck each! Order them online so you can store them in the nice box they come in.

- Serve mostly food you can make ahead: bite-sized appetizers that can be frozen (like spanikopita or sausage/cheese balls), dips that are fine in your fridge for a couple of days, or something you can throw in your crockpot in the morning and forget about until party time (see the recipe at the end!). Plan your foods that need to be baked according to your oven(s) capacity.

- Have an assortment of crackers and chips that go with multiple foods like cheeses and dips. Put the crackers and chips around and between the foods they go with. A quality cheese assortment is a must. Serve them near an assortment of olives, pickles, and veges (fresh and pickled).

- A dessert buffet doesn't have to be complicated. Have one or two big desserts that you can make ahead (like a trifle or a yule log), and surround them with cookies and candies (that again, you made ahead!).

Thinking, cooking and baking ahead allows you to do last-minute cleaning, decorating and organizing the day of the party. Start your ovens a couple of hours ahead of party time and bake the items first that are okay to be eaten cooled. Leave to the end those that are best warm. Once the party starts, keep your eye on anything that might need replenishing, but hopefully you will be a little more free to enjoy your guests and spread the holiday cheer.

Merry Christmas and enjoy the season! Oh, and here's the promised recipe:

Cocktail Meatballs

Costco meatballs

1 large jar grape jelly

2 jars chili sauce

That's it! Put as many meatballs in your crockpot as you can fit in, and stir in the jelly and sauce. Put on low (about mid-morning for an evening party) and after an hour or so, stir everything up again. Add more meatballs if you can (or want). Then let it go, stirring every couple of hours. I promise you, these will be gone!

What Is Day-Of??  by Marcea Galindo

January 10, 2019

Some people need help from start to finish with their parties and weddings, choosing to hand over the details to a professional. But others like the process of planning. This might be a day they have dreamed of for years, and inserting their own special touches is a delight to them. But even then, handling the details on the day-of an event can be more stress than is necessary, and asking close family members to do it can lead to the most important people missing key moments. That's where I come in!

At MG Event Design, a Day-Of Coordinator is so much more than just day-of. Let's assume we are planning your wedding. My relationship with you begins with the first phone call, and hopefully that is months, if not a year or more, before your big day. Our initial meeting is complimentary, and once you are under contract, I give you lists and checklists so we can keep track of who you have booked and what you still need to pursue. I gently "encourage" you to stay on task so you book your preferred vendors before someone else does. Over the months leading up to your wedding, I'm available by phone or email any time for questions or advice, and I've been known to accompany brides to a wedding show or venue, just because I want to go. I also include one meeting at your venue in this package so that I'm clear on how your day there should look.

About a month before your wedding, I begin contacting your vendors, establishing a relationship (if I don't already have one), and making sure they know I'm their contact person on wedding day. I also help them with any questions, concerns, or trouble-shooting.

The week before the wedding, I like to meet with you once more to tie up loose ends, answer any questions, and make you feel at ease that everything is under control.

Your rehearsal is the next time we will see each other, and I will run this from start to finish, making sure everyone knows where to go and when, and also educating the ushers on what to do.

Then, it's wedding day! I'm the first one on site, making sure that when vendors arrive, they know where to go, where to set up, and serving as a go-between for them and the venue. I'm on hand to answer questions for anyone, from the D.J. to the flower girl's mom. I make sure your decor installation happens exactly as you envision it, and that everything from the guest book to the photo booth is where it needs to be. Then, I make sure the ceremony starts as on-time as possible, guiding the wedding party where they need to go.

Once the reception starts, I make sure we stay on schedule, guiding guests from dinner to toasts to the cake cutting to dancing, keeping to our time-frame so that at the end of the night you don't have to pay extra fees for staying in your venue too late. Then, as the last to leave, I make sure your clean-up happens to plan, and sign off with the venue.

And that's day-of in a nutshell! My brides say it's worth it. And on so many levels, from participating in the event and being witness to brides and grooms on the biggest day of their lives, to the actual work, I absolutely love it.

Photo by Kamra Fuller Photography

Legacy--Introduction  by Marcea Galindo

February 6, 2019

I grew up doing weddings. From about the ages of ten to twenty, I worked alongside my mom in some capacity, watching her coordinate weddings and learning from her. From the time I was just a kid, I sent bridesmaids down the aisle as my mom played The Wedding March on the organ, calming their nerves and reminding them to smile. I worked as an assistant to the Reception Coordinator, washing dishes, filling punch bowls, and sneaking those yummy cream cheese mints when no one was looking. I learned how to make bows, drape table cloths, refill hot coffee servers, and be present yet invisible. By the time I turned 16 I was the Reception Coordinator myself, scheduling my own assistants and working with brides to make their church receptions memorable.

My mom recently loaned me her old briefcase from those days, and inside was a treasure trove of valuable information and relics from weddings in the 1970’s and 80’s. I thought it would be fun to dig into some of what she passed on to me, and reminisce a bit about how things were, not so long ago. I will break the briefcase apart into four sections and my next four blogs will cover:

Part 1. Traditions and their true meanings

Part 2. The Way Things Were

Part 3. Ceremonies Back Then

Part 4. Marriage Wisdom

I hope you enjoy this peek into my past, and why I do what I do. Much has changed, but the basic truths have not. I’m grateful to have such a foundation. This is, after, all, my mom’s legacy to me, and I’m so proud to be carrying on the tradition. I dedicate this series to her.

Stay tuned for Part One!

Legacy--Part One

Traditions and Their True Meanings  by Marcea Galindo

February 11, 2019

In the briefcase, I found a sheet of paper that explains the significance of many aspects of a wedding ceremony from a biblical perspective. Our wedding traditions have meanings, believe it or not, that go way back, acknowledging marriage as a sacred covenant relationship. I won’t go over all of them (if you want the full list, let me know), but I will highlight a few that I feel are significant and interesting:

SEATING of the friends of the bride and groom is on opposite sides to symbolize the sacrifices they have made in order for the bride and groom to enter into covenant. A covenant was established by cutting the flesh of an animal sacrifice and passing between the pieces (Genesis 15:10, 17-18), thus the aisle down the middle.

THE GROOM’S ENTRY occurs first to signify that he is the covenant initiator, and thus assumes the greater responsibility for its fulfillment. This is also why the Groom vows first (1 Thes. 4:14-17).

THE QUESTION the minister asks, “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?” and its response symbolizes not only the full blessing of her parents, but also the transfer of responsibility to the groom by the father (1 Cor. 7:38).

THE WEDDING RING in Scripture is a symbol of authority and the resources which go with it (Esther 8:2). In a covenant relationship it symbolizes identification.

THE INTRODUCTION establishes the change of names. They become known now as husband and wife (Gen. 17:4-5).

THE GUEST BOOK records the official witnesses who testify to the reality of the marriage, thus it technically should be signed after the ceremony, not before (although both are done today) (Deut. 19:15).

THE FOOD SERVED was part of a covenant agreement; one of the root meanings of the word covenant is to feed. This feast was customary to further symbolize the unity of the couple. Entering into a meal itself is a form of covenant (John 2:1-11).

THE CAKE which the bride and groom feed one another represents their identifying as one flesh, a part of one another (1 Cor 11:24-25).

Even though this list was written decades ago, the basis for covenant never changes. Marriage is sacred and this was a nice reminder of why.

Legacy--Part Two

The Way Things Were  by Marcea Galindo

February 18, 2019

Looking further into the briefcase, I found a folder of old Journal-American newspaper clippings and articles. This was how we did Google back then! My mom kept up on dress designs, cake trends, photographers and venues by reading the Brides section of the Wednesday newspaper.

In this segment of time, church weddings were in vogue. As a 1989 article stated, “’The days when people had weddings at the beach or in the park seem to be pretty much gone,’ said Molly Howell, Bridal Salon buyer for Frederick & Nelson.” The article also quoted Jessica McClintock, originator of Gunne Sax, commenting that a bride wants “as much lace, beadwork and detailing as (she) can afford.”

The premier venues for receptions (besides churches) on the Eastside in those days were Tibbetts Creek Manor, Bear Creek Country Club, and Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery. Unfortunately, the winery doesn’t do weddings anymore. But there are now plenty in Woodinville that do and there are many beautiful options.

The Bridal Shows in those days were called Bridal Fairs, and were held in malls, specifically Bellevue Square and Southcenter Mall. So no fee to get in, just go and browse! Or you could take in a free fashion show featuring the Jessic McClintock signature collection and men’s formal wear from The Bon Marche.

Couples utilized bridal registries, often at Frederick & Nelson, and most registered for fine china, silver flatware, and crystal. Most of us who were married in those days have these things, and use them maybe once a year.

Some other “blast from the past” ads in the newspaper included portraits from Brant Photographers (in Old Bellevue), cakes from Pacific Dessert Company and Great Cakes & Edible Monuments, and a whole spread of florist ads with cut-out coupons.

The wedding industry was alive and well, even three decades ago. How we obtained the contacts and information was just a little bit different. Ok, maybe a lot different!

Legacy--Part Three

Ceremonies Back Then  by Marcea Galindo

February 26, 2019

In the briefcase, I found a folder full of programs from weddings my mom had done. Many names I know and some I didn’t (if you are reading this and my mom did your wedding, yours might be in there!). Some of the weddings I remember being involved in. Some were people I did music with, and some were my youth group leaders.

Many of the components of the ceremonies were the same. Almost all started with an organ prelude, followed by either a vocal solo or candlelighting (remember how we used to have candelabra lining the aisle and a pair of people to light them?). The seatings and processional were followed by a prayer and another solo. Then the vows, rings, unity candle, and another solo. Then the big, boisterous organ recessional (and usually no clapping or cheering).

Most of the programs were extensive, listing pretty much everyone involved, down to the sound guy, and some giving quite a bit of background on each member of the wedding party. Many listed the address where they would reside following the ceremony. Some of the programs were hand done in calligraphy, but most were those pre-printed ones that were also used for funerals (sorry, if this was you!).

I also came across a couple of “Reception Information” sheets. One of them gave the information on how to make coffee and tea, punch, how many sugar cubes to put out, how many pounds of nuts and mints to get per 100 guests, and also gave the option to put a bow on the cake server. Another sheet made sure we knew who the punch, coffee and cake servers would be, and what table arrangement the bride wanted, which we set up with table cloths, silver services, and bows. I remember a “fancy” reception served little sandwiches and had dry ice in the punch!

This was a fun trip down memory lane. I thought it might trigger some memories for some of you as well.

Legacy--Part Four

Marriage Wisdom  by Marcea Galindo

March 4, 2019

Ceremonies and receptions were often very different a few decades back. But the institution of marriage is still sacred today; that’s something that hasn’t changed. My parents have been married for 55 years so I’m pretty sure they know a thing or two about what it takes to make a marriage work. But to put it into words, I came across one more helpful piece in the briefcase. I will conclude my series with this wise list (author unknown):

Rules for...


1. Never both be angry at once.

2. Never yell at each other unless the house is on fire.

3. Yield to the wishes of the other as an exercise in self-discipline if you can’t think of a better reason.

4. If you have a choice between making yourself or your mate look good, choose your mate.

5. If you have any criticism, make it lovingly.

6. Never bring up a mistake of the past.

7. Neglect the whole world rather than each other.

8. Never let the day end without saying at least one kind or complimentary thing to your life’s partner.

9. Never meet without an affectionate welcome.

10. Never let the sun go down on an argument unresolved.

11. When you do wrong, make sure you have talked it out and asked for forgiveness.

12. Remember, it takes two to make a quarrel. The one with the least sense is the one who will be doing the most talking.

Three Tips for a Successful Party  by Marcea Galindo

April 15, 2019

A friend of mine, Karen Rae, who owns Fave Lifestyles, recently filmed me sharing some tips for a successful party for her website, I thought I would share these here, and you can also access the video via this link: Three Tips Video, or you can view it on my homepage.

Parties are fun and I think everyone should have one once in a while. But too many people get totally stressed out by the mere idea, so they just don't do it. Parties don't have to put you in the fetal position, though. To ease the stress, I've come up with a few tips to help you. These are “universal truths” to party planning, whether you are planning a large wedding or a small gathering in your home. I will call them the “Three F’s”...Food, Fotos, and Fun! You will have to get creative on the spelling of Fotos!

The first is food, the centerpiece of any party. Whether you are having a dinner for 300, a dessert for 20, or an intimate dinner party for six, the food is a big deal. It's what we gather around to celebrate. My number one rule for any event—guests must not leave hungry! When planning a wedding, the food will be your biggest budget item, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. One of the most elegant weddings I ever attended had a taco bar for dinner...filling, economical, and everyone loved it! A Christmas party at your home doesn’t have to be expensive, but to save on the budget, it’s better to make your food than buy it pre-done. And your guests will appreciate it more if it’s homemade. Cheese trays, pasta salads, dips- hot and cold, all these can be budget stretchers. And make as much ahead as you can and freeze it. This will save on stress for you!

The second is Fotos. If you are planning a wedding, this should not be a place where you try and save money. Your photographs will be around for you to show to your kids and want to make sure they reflect your style, are great quality and plenty of quantity to choose from. Video is essential as well. Don’t cut this from the budget! You will thank me once you see the most special day of your life on video. If you are having a smaller gathering, don’t forget to record it in photos! These small moments in time are good to remember as well and pictures are a great way to do that.

Finally, Fun! Your parties should always have a fun element. It's a party, right? Music is a great way to add fun to a party. For a wedding, be sure and hire a DJ or a band that reflects your personality and keeps the party moving. If you are having a party at home and don’t have an all-house sound system, have Alexa stream a fun playlist, have Bluetooth speakers all over, or even use your TV’s to play Pandora or the same cable station on all your TV’s in the house. It’s an easy way to add atmosphere and keep the party energized.

And if all this sounds too stressful, call me! I’m always happy to help. Happy party planning!

Choosing a Venue  by Marcea Galindo

May 2, 2019

Much of the time, a client has already booked a venue by the time they come to me. But occasionally I’m asked for advice about venues. Here are a few things to think about when deciding on the best location for your event:

1. Budget

The budget will be a huge determining factor when you are looking at sites for your wedding or event. Start with your overall budget and work backwards from there. If your venue is “all-inclusive” it can take up to 75% of your budget. If it’s pretty basic (just a room rental), it can still eat up to 40%.

When determining how much a venue will cost, take into account what the venue includes. Do they have tables and chairs or will you need to rent those? How about a tent in case it rains for an outdoor ceremony? Linens? Dishes, cutlery and barware? Then determine if you will need to hire a caterer (and servers) and/or bartender and the food/beverage cost, or does your venue include these in the package? Sometimes it’s less expensive to go to a venue that includes many of these items than a less expensive place and have to rent everything else on top of it.

2. Style

Before you start visiting locations, think about how you have always envisioned your wedding or event. Do you love the country vibe and see yourself getting married in a barn? How about a meadow? Do you love the eclectic, urban feel? Or a more elegant location (hotels, by the way, are pretty all-inclusive) or a winery?

Or are you adventurous and would like to try a public park with spectacular views? How about a boat (as long as you’re ok if it turns out to be stormy and wet!)? Or the zoo?

There are LOTS of choices and there is something out there for everyone on any budget. Find a location that speaks to you and reflects who you are.

3. Location

Take into account where your wedding will be in terms of your wedding party and your guests. Do you want somewhere close in with free parking so it’s convenient for everyone? Or are you ok asking your guests to drive a ways? If it’s far away, are there accommodations nearby for everyone who needs them?

And how many guests are you planning to have? Will your venue of choice hold all the people you want to be there? Or will you have to narrow your guest list too much?

Lastly, if you are having your event in the Pacific Northwest and wanting some or all of it to be outside, make sure you have a rain contingency! I don’t care if it’s at the end of July...if you don’t have a plan, you WILL be surprised by rain!

As always, give me a call any time if you want to discuss any of this. Happy venue shopping!

Photo by Kamra Fuller Photography

The Value of Friends to a Marriage  by Marcea Galindo

June 19, 2019

A few evenings ago, I made my (adult) daughters watch Steel Magnolias with me. They had never seen it. You know, the one with the quirky group of friends that opens with an over-the-top wedding in "blush and bashful". Afterward, I reflected on this odd group of friends and thought about my own friends. I don't think we, as a group, are odd, but maybe some of us are unlikely friends except that we were thrown together many, many years ago.

My husband and I will be celebrating 29 years of marriage in a few weeks. We were recently asked by a newlywed couple for our best marriage advice. We told them the usual things like listening, forgiving, putting the other first, putting God before anything else, putting our marriage before our kids. Believe me, we haven't always done everything right...far from it. But one thing we did very early in our marriage was to find a group of married friends. It was very intentional. And from this group of couples came my girlfriends, my tribe.

Together, we muddied our way through births and deaths, celebrations and loss, triumphs and tragedies. And this was without girl's weekends away, not often, anyway. We support one another in life, every day, through encouragement, prayer, and just being there. And when we socialize, we usually do it with our husbands. In that way, we are supporting our marriages and making them stronger.

I look forward to growing old with not just my husband, but my friends. And I hope we get more quirky as time goes on. It'll be more fun that way.

The DIY Touch  by Marcea Galindo

July 24, 2019

I'm still coming off the high of a stunning wedding a few nights ago. It was in one of my favorite venues (SODO Park in Seattle) and included some of my favorite people (a tribe of long-time friends). One of our tribe's daughters was the bride and she glowed like I haven't seen a bride glow in a while.

For me, what made the wedding so special wasn't the incredible venue, or the delicious (!!) food, or the dancing or the sparkler exit. What made it truly special was the extra touches the bride's parents (mostly) worked very hard to provide.

They made the wedding arch out of copper pipe, welding and screwing it together, and it was finished with lovely blooms and greens by the florist. This arch was repurposed during the reception to grace the beautiful cake (which, by the was as delicious as it was beautiful!), also made by the bride's mom.

A smaller, duplicate arch displayed the welcome sign, then was repurposed to display the table assignments with a quick rip of some Velcro.

The incredible centerpieces were placed in containers made by the bride's mom out of thrift store glass bowls and candlesticks, with some spray paint added to make them look antique. They were gorgeous!

The couple is really into games, so two ping pong tables were provided, as well as a chess set made by some family members a while back...when they couldn't find a chess set to play with, they went out into the yard, found a tree, and made their own.

There were also a couple of custom puzzles picturing the bride and groom that guests could work on. And lastly, the favor was a jar of honey and a swizzle put together by, of course, the bride's hard-working mom.

I love these personal touches and I know how much work they can be. But in the end, it makes the event truly one-of-a-kind in a way that can't be duplicated. And the memory of that is totally worth the effort.

An Engagement Anniversary  by Marcea Galindo

August 12, 2019

Today is an anniversary of sorts, a day we don't often remember, but one that is super significant. Thirty years ago today, my husband proposed to me. The year was 1989 and we didn't have cameras on our phones...we didn't even have I don't have many pictures of it.  But it's a day that's etched in my memory as one of my favorite days.

Joe is from the San Francisco Bay area and because I hadn't yet met his family, we planned a trip to see them. We spent the day we arrived with his parents, then the next day, Saturday, August 12, 1989, we spent in the city. We met a friend from college there (who would later be our best man), and the three of us explored the nooks and crannies of that beautiful city for most of the day.

After going home to change, Joe took me to his favorite restaurant at the time, Charlie Brown's in Emeryville on the water. We feasted on crab-stuffed mushrooms (his favorite) and steak, and I really thought he would propose at sunset in this beautiful setting (I wasn't actually naive about what was going to happen on this trip!). But we left the restaurant after dusk and instead of going back to his parent's home, he pointed the car back toward the twinkling lights of the city.

We wound our way up the narrow streets of Nob Hill to the iconic Coit Tower. There, he got me out of the car and suggested we take a little walk. After circling the tower, he sat me down on the ledge and asked me to be his wife. I don't remember much of what was was a happy blur...but of course, I said yes, and it was perfect.

After a bit, we got back in the car and a ways down the street spotted a phone booth, where we stopped to call my parents to tell them the good news. Of course, they knew it was coming, but it was nice to make it official.

This picture was taken a week later at our engagement party, which was already planned before we ever took the trip (unbeknownst to me!). Joe's parents even had plane tickets already purchased so they could be at the party.

And thus begun an eleven-month journey to the altar.

So, in this 30th year of our marriage, I thought it would be fun to share a few memories of our wedding every so often. I hope you enjoy the journey down memory lane with me.

And I'm glad I remembered today's anniversary. Even though we never thought to take pictures, they are clear in our memories, and I am grateful every day I said yes to my incredible man.

Wedding Season Reflections  by Marcea Galindo

September 10, 2019

A few days ago, my last wedding of our busy season took place.

I've spent many moments the past couple of days reflecting on how blessed I am to do this job. I've often heard people talk about how they can't believe they get paid to do what they's more like playing and they feel guilty taking money for it.

I never felt that.

Until this year.

This year has been the fulfillment of a dream. Not one I actively thought about. One I never thought I'd have. One that was born out of "if I could do it all over again." Deciding it wasn't too late was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

So what has made it so special?

The people I have met are certainly at the top of the list. Every bride I have worked with has become a friend, I feel. My brides and grooms are spectacular couples and I believe in their marriages.

The design work has been so much fun and has stretched me. Incorporating my daughters and my mother has been a bonus...they are talented women who lend unique perspectives from my own and balance me out.

The organization and the challenge of not only building a business but putting together an incredible day for someone has been exhilarating. My checklists and worksheets are my own and evolving with every event.

And of course, event days are my favorite days! I wake up ready to go in the morning and if I have to kill time because a venue won't allow us to be there until the afternoon, I spend the morning antsy to get going.

Every blister, sore foot, bug bite, and sleepless night (because ideas run through my head!) has all been worth it. The day after an event I'm pretty exhausted, but give me a few hours and I'm ready to go at it again.

Maybe this is my "honeymoon" period of my business, but I hope not. I hope I always feel as blessed as I do right now.

I think I will.

An Epic Wedding Cake  by Marcea Galindo

September 16, 2019

As promised, I am going to tell some stories over these next ten months or so leading up to our 30th anniversary next July. The first element I've chosen to talk about is our wedding cake, not only because it was incredible to look at and it tasted amazing, but it was made by a very special woman.

From 1974 to 2012, Sharon of Sharon's Catering & Cakes made over 5,000 wedding cakes. Over the years, she developed her own white chocolate frosting that enabled her to get the edible smooth finish and lacy elements that you see in the picture. I believe ours was the first she did of this design (notice the layers are not round but petaled), but it was copied after our wedding a few times that we know of.

Each layer was a different flavor. The one I remember tasting was carrot cake and it was delicious. The small cakes you see on the table were her famous cheesecakes. They were so delicious that they were gone before the main cake. I remember a friend coming up to me with the cheesecake on her plate and a bite in her mouth saying, "have you tried this? It's amazing!" I replied that I had was all gone! She shoved a bite of hers into my mouth. She was's one of the best bites I've ever tasted.

Sharon has since retired and just recently decided to share with the world her recipes that put her in such demand back in the day. The carrot cake and cheesecake recipes are there, along with all her cake tricks, and many other catering recipes. To top it off, she has shared her famous white chocolate frosting recipe in the hopes that someone will take the baton and carry on the legacy.

You can purchase her cookbook online at She is even doing some classes in her studio, teaching the technique to make the frosting (it's a bit complicated). My mom and one of my girls attended a class this summer. The best part was that we each got a piece of cake and a tub of frosting to take home.

A wedding cake is the centerpiece of any wedding celebration. And ours really took center stage. We were glad to share the limelight with such a beautiful creation!

Our (Not-So) Secret Weapon  by Marcea Galindo

October 16, 2019

In my consultations with my brides and grooms, I always ask if they have two photographers—the main one, and a second shooter. My opinion is that it takes two to get all the desired photos. No one person can be in two places at once, and two perspectives are better than one.

Introducing my secret weapon...MG Event Design’s own second shooter, Larissa Friesen. Larissa is not only my beautiful niece, she’s an incredibly talented artist with a camera. Larissa recently graduated from high school and is starting at the Gary Manuel Aveda Institute this month to hone her cosmetology skills (another art skill of hers). But on the side, this girl takes the most fantastic pictures of people (her senior portraits are incredible), animals (she gets down on their level to capture incredible action shots), and nature (she will get up at dawn to seize the sunrise).

As a second shooter, Larissa sees small details through the lens that the main photographer might not have the time to look for, or she will see the moment from a different angle. While the main photographer is taking family portraits, Larissa can be taking candid photos of guests during cocktail hour. Or while the main photographer is down the aisle shooting pictures of the wedding party coming into the ceremony, Larissa captures the precious moments in the back between the bride and her dad. The best part is, she’s probably won’t even notice she’s been there.

We want to help you put together your very best day. A second shooter is an essential piece to that puzzle. Let us help you place that final piece!