If you live in a large market, there likely is an event industry or wedding industry networking group that you can be a part of, from NACE and ILEA to WIPA and ABC. But for those in a smaller market or for professionals that looking to network with a subset of your colleagues, there might not be a group that’s perfect for you. Maybe you should be the one to start it! In this week’s episode of the This Week In Weddings podcast, we’re chatting about wedding planner Michelle Garibay who started a networking group in her local market. She’s sharing some tips on how she did it, why she did it, and some tips for someone who may want to start a networking group of their own.

About our guest:

Michelle Garibay Events launched in 2006 on the island of Oahu after her husband was temporarily transferred there.  With political and corporate event experience under her belt in San Diego and then the move to Hawaii, Michelle made the transition to weddings and quickly realized that was where she was supposed to be. After returning to Southern California in 2011, Temecula became home for Michelle’s family and company. Relocating again meant that she would need to rebuild her company again, so she has built her company from the ground up not once but twice.  Both times, networking and building solid relationships played a huge role in the growth and trajectory of her business.  Her efforts to challenge the status quo and redefine the perception of what it means to get married in Temecula continues to help grow the area’s recognition as a sought-after wedding destination. She’s not interested in just helping her business succeed, but wants the entire market to shine, too.

She has won various design awards, been featured in numerous print and online publications and in 2017 Michelle was named a top 50 wedding planner in California.  Michelle is a speaker and an educator, has taught a wedding planning certification course at the University of La Verne, and was named a Wedding Pro Educator by The Knot Worldwide in 2019, continuing for 2020. She is also the incoming Director of Education for the Southern California chapter of Wedding International Professionals Association for 2020,  a member of the Palm Springs NACE chapter, and is involved with the Inland Empire and Orange County chapters of the Association of Bridal Consultants.

Continuing education and building meaningful connections are cornerstones to her company’s success. Going into her 14th year of business, Michelle Garibay Events specializes in destination weddings and serves all of Southern California, Hawaii, Mexico and beyond.

When Michelle isn’t planning weddings, she enjoys all that Temecula has to offer with her husband, two children, Madison and Carson, and their two rescue dogs.

In this episode, listeners will hear about:

  • Michelle’s background and how she got started in the wedding industry
  • The national networking groups that Michelle is a part of and how she noticed a hole in her local market for something different
  • The organic way that the networking group began
  • The guidelines that Michelle and the core group who started the networking group came up with in order to keep the group’s members at the same level
  • How the financial aspects of the networking group work

Want to connect with Michelle?

This episode of This Week In Weddings is sponsored by Honeybook.

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