A few weeks ago I attended back to back conferences, both of which could not be more different from each other. I’ll post a separate blog about conference #2, but first off, CAMP, aka The Unique CAMP. This is not your typical business conference. Imagine yourself in the woods of Big Bear, CA, with 200 other business owners, entrepreneurs, and creatives, camping in YMCA bunks, making up chants, taking workshops, doing archery, with no access to cell phones or laptops. I have to say, it was a beautiful thing full of beautiful people. Read More
I’ve always loved writing, so recently have made a valiant effort to start blogging more. I’m excited to have recently partnered with Trulia, the online residential real estate company, on a blog with tips on planning a backyard wedding at your home!
Of course, we all know that most San Franciscans can’t afford backyards at the moment (present company included), but you know, others in the Bay Area may find this useful 🙂
Well, it’s been about a year and a half owning my own business, and it’s definitely been a roller coaster ride (the awesome scary kind). I’m the kind of person that is used to doing things my own way, so bringing on new team members was a little scary. But I did it, and hired two interns this past year who have been amazing helpers and taught me a lot about what it takes to be a great manager (shout out Megan and Monica!).
But it’s time — time to expand the team, and let go of some duties, and bring in some fresh new ideas. Because if I’m not growing, I’m staying the same, and the same is boring.
So I’m excited to announce that I’ll be hiring the FIRST part-time addition to our team – a new Event Coordinator! My business is my baby, and I care about it a lot. But as my mom always says, I need to build and grow. So I’m ready. If this job description sounds like something you’re interested in, please apply. I promise it’ll be a roller coaster ride of awesomeness, and who knows what surprises will be at the end 🙂
Please pass this along to anyone you know would be interested!
– Gina Mariko
I had so much fun working on Stephanie and Brian’s wedding last October! A super stylish, yet no fuss couple, they were focused on the fun, the food, and the experience for their guests (my favorite type of couple!). Stephanie and Brian met while working on the Google Self-Driving Car team (now known as Waymo). They were both test drivers on the project, but soon realized that there was something more there and eventually got engaged.
The joy and genuine love between Stephanie and Brian were so apparent throughout the day. So many laughs, smiles, loving looks, and so many AMAZING portraits with this couple.
I used to work with Stephanie & Brian on the Waymo team, so was so happy to be a part of their special day with so many of my former co-workers that I love.
Recently I had the extreme pleasure of traveling to Northern Italy to attend and participate in my cousin, Zuwenah’s wedding to her fiance, Roberto (aka Roby). Zuwenah is Filipino and Roby is Italian. They met while traveling in Kathmandu, Nepal, and went on their first date. Apparently it went well because Roby ended up skipping his next travel itinerary and instead spent two months traveling Thailand and Cambodia with Zuwenah!
After that the two were inseparable, meeting up in Italy for 3 months, doing long distance for a while, then traveling to Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, and India together. They finally decided to settle down in Italy so that Roby could continue the family business of running his own gelateria (true story).
Roby’s family owns and operates a traditional Italian gelateria called Gelateria La Via Lattea, in a small northern Italian town called Gozzano, and have been in the same location for 25 years. Needless to say, it’s THE BEST gelato in town (and the best that I’ve ever tasted personally) and everyone in Gozzano (and beyond) knows them. It was so humbling to meet Roby’s parents and I feel like I now have a new extended Italian family 🙂
His parents didn’t speak much English, but language barriers are irrelevant when you have love. Enjoy the photos from my trip also playing around with my new Sony Alpha a6 camera!
I’m all about the wedding activities. Weddings are supposed to be fun, and focused on the couple. Anytime my couples are down for fun activities and doing more interactive things, I always suggest COUPLE’S TRIVIA!
#1: I love trivia.
#2: I love the idea of getting to know a couple more at their wedding.
Couple’s trivia is a great activity to do during dinner in between courses especially if you’re doing a buffet since it gives guests something to do while they wait. Right before dinner ends, have everyone check their answers (honor system), and have your Emcee read off the answers aloud. It’s super fun and everyone always learns something new and fun about the couple.
Buy fun prizes for the winner!
For our wedding, I designed custom t-shirts based on our theme ‘California Love’ for the winners. We printed a few extras and gave them out to guests throughout the night. We also wore them the day after the wedding.
FUN FACT: The team that actually won trivia at our wedding, was our TRIVIA TEAM that we used to play with every week! I guess the practice paid off.
Download the template below, and share your thoughts with us in the comments!
Ready to play?Click here
Every year, San Franciscans flock to Ocean Beach to witness amazing sandcastle being built at the Leap Sandcastle Classic. This year, Make it Mariko was excited to be chosen as the new event producer to help the local nonprofit organization, Leap Arts in Education raise critical funds for high quality Bay Area youth arts education.Read More
It’s always a joy when my clients take me back to my alma mater, UC Berkeley. As a Berkeley alum, I’m excited to now be one of the preferred planners for their onsite wedding & event venue, The Faculty Club. Funny story, I actually graduated on the Faculty Club lawn from the Philosophy Department back in the day!
An eco-conscious couple, Grace & Colby were inspired by all the beautiful trees and nature surrounding the Faculty Club and wanted wildflower-inspired florals that looked like they were freshly foraged. We incorporated natural elements into all their decor from dried flowers on the signage, wooden frames, green leaves as escort cards, and the beautiful (and giant) hanging wreath designed by Juna Alinea.Read More
It was such a pleasure to be the Day-of Coordinator for this super sweet couple, Jackie & Mike. They were such a joy to work with: authentic, humble, and full of genuine love for one another. I really appreciated their energy and small, sweet gestures to each other throughout the day.
The Ralston White Retreat in Mill Valley was a classic and quaint venue. A crazy, narrow, windy road (that seems like a one-way but is actually a two-way), leads you to the peak of the mountain. There, at the top of a heart shaped lawn (no, seriously it’s shaped like a heart), you find a beautiful, unassuming private estate with a classic porch reminiscent of Forrest Gump.
This was also my first time setting up lighting at a wedding myself. It ended up turning out beautiful and provided that little extra something the reception room needed.
Oh yea and, best #dadspeeches ever!
Photography by Karen Santos Photography
Launching and operating your own event company is hard work. It’s even harder when you’re still balancing a part-time job at a huge tech company as the Marketing Events Lead, as I currently am. Looking back, this first year in business was all about testing my limits and finding my balance. I’m grateful for it all.Read More