“Wowa + Wowo” | A Reflection of Inspiration

 


A story about my grandparents and the inspiration for MMM


September 28, 2002 – It was 5 days before my 15th birthday.  My grandpa had just been to the hospital for the first time in my life just weeks before and at this time, he was in the hospital again.  A few nights before, my mom called me to the room and said that Wowo wanted to talk to me.  He was calling to apologize that he would not be able to be there for the birthday bash we had planned for the coming weekend.  We were going to shop at Costco for a bunch of food and my super best friends at the time were going to sleep over and it was going to be a blast!  “I promise I will make it up to you – maybe we can have a big party for your 16th birthday instead.”  I remember the night my mom came to wake me up.  It was 4am and he had passed away.  We needed to get our things together to go meet my dad and grandma at the hospital.  This was my first experience with death being so close to me.  I don’t remember that much except that I played a special number at his gravesite service: “My Heart Will Go On” – played by me –  on the flute.

In my early childhood, Wowo used to pick me up from pre-school and we would walk and hang out at McDonald’s.  In my adolescence we would ride our bikes to get food from the deli at the grocery store.  I know my entrepreneurial spirit came from him.  I remember being young and instead of toys, I played with his office supplies: the hole puncher, the note pads, and of course, the customized STAMP that had his name on it.  He was a lawyer, a 7-11 franchise owner and he was always trying to start one kind of business or another.  I don’t think I ever understood what he was doing or what he was working toward but I know they he had this desire in his heart.

September 24, 2014 – 9 days before my 27th birthday.  My grandma was always sick – in and out of the hospital – so many scared moments but then so many miracles when she would somehow get better and come home.  At this point, she had been in the hospital for a month and a half or so and everyone just expected that this would be another scare resulting in another miracle and that she would be able to go home.  I recall a night I spent with her in the hospital where she said “I’m tired”.  Somehow, I knew that it didn’t mean that she wanted to sleep – but that she was done fighting in her physical body.  She was tired of being alone and ready to live in heaven with my Wowo.

When you think of all the things that a grandparent is supposed to be…that would be my Wowa.  She listened and comforted me when my parents were being sucky – while reminding me to love them.  When I complained about my siblings, she told me to be patient and kind and reminded me to love them.  There was always food – either she had food in hand when she came over, had something ready on the table or we would just walk to the fridge and open it up to see what’s in there – “Have anything you want,” she would say.  My grandma’s house was literally “where the party was at”.  It was the kickback, chill spot that everyone knew would always be open – “Bertha Inn” we still fondly call it.  Even when she got older and was sick, she would be in her room and let us party until 2am.  She LOVED having people in her house.  She ALWAYS made sure every person – returning or new guest – felt welcome in her home.  She housed so many family members over the years as they immigrated from the Philippines.  Her joy was hospitality – she gave you what was hers.  She just wanted to see people together – eating, smiling and laughing.

The day my Wowa passed away was so different from the day my Wowo passed away.  When Wowo passed I was scared to go in and see him.  When Wowa passed, I knew I had a job to do.  After we gave our last respects in the ICU, I walked out the double doors and made a phone call.  “Hi.  Forest Lawn Cypress?  Yes, my grandmother just passed and I need to know what steps I need to take to transport her body and prepare for her burial.”  Second call, “Hi.  New Life Community Church?  I need to know what days you are available because we need to host my grandma’s funeral services”.  I had already been doing events for about 6 years at the time so I knew what needed to be done.  There was a day at the house, family members all around me crying, laughing and reminiscing on her life and there was a HUGE light bulb that went off in my head.  Up until that point, I knew I liked events and event planning but I didn’t know what I really wanted to do with it and suddenly, I felt and heard my calling.  I heard God’s voice in my heart tell me “You are meant to use your skills to help others with difficult life moments so that they can enjoy themselves and make memories in the end.”  This inspiration for MMM was born.  We had a beautiful celebration of life for her on October 3, 2014 – my 27th birthday.

 

September 24, 2020 – I am 9 days away from my 33rd birthday.  My grandpa’s entrepreneurial spirit and my grandma’s heart of hospitality have brought me here and Magical Moments by Megan celebrated its 3rd successful year this past April.  You never really know where you are going until you get there.  I see now how important my grandparent’s impact was on me.  This season, this time of year, the week(s) leading up to my birthday have always been so hard.  But this year, despite COVID and all the hard things we have each encountered, this year is different for me.  I can say now that I know my calling, I have found my purpose and I AM LIVING IT.  Nothing in life is guaranteed except death.  I am not afraid of death because I know I am doing all I can to live it up while I can.  Magical Moments by Megan is an expression of my true self and my desire to help others create memories that we can carry with us until our final days come.


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Click HERE for more on how Magical Moments by Megan can help you with Celebrations of Life

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MAYUKO + SCOTT | 08.19.18 | THE DARLINGTON HOUSE | LA JOLLA, CA


After attending three separate weddings I had planned, I had no idea I was auditioning for this couple!


Shortly after MMM’s first wedding for Mary + Matt in the summer of 2017, we found that a mutual friend of theirs was planning to get married the following year. It turns out this new couple was also friends with former MMM clients Brittany + Brian and Lucia + Vinh. Mary offered a warm introduction to Mayuko + Scott but of course, we hit it off right away!

0336Mayuko + Scott had met in San Diego and the whole group was associated through an outrigger paddling group that they were all part of. While the couple had relocated to the Bay Area, they wanted to celebrate this special occasion back in SD. They were planning to have less than a 100 guests at their destination wedding and needed help with vendor referrals and partial planning.

At this point, M+S had attended their own share of friends’ weddings and had narrowed down the things they knew they wanted for their special day. They searched for a location that had its own natural beauty. Since they were planning their wedding from afar, it made the most sense to not have to involve an elaborate install. After a few visits, they had made up their mind and The Darlington House in La Jolla would be the setting for #MASCOTTO2018!

The Darlington House is operated by the Social Service League of La Jolla. Just blocks from the Pacific Ocean, this historical building features a variety of architectural styles that add to its natural beauty. With intricate door frames and red brick everywhere, M+S could already envision the beautiful photos they would get from their wedding day. Magical Moments by Megan was founded in San Diego so we had a network of amazing wedding pros to refer to the couple. Mayuko + Scott signed on with Oh Lovely Wedding and we know they were so happy about making this choice (as you can see from these photos!) The couple did their engagement session in Balboa Park and we at MMM have been OBSESSED with these photos since we first got to see them.

Next line of business was finding the right touches for the style and theme of the wedding. Since the reception was going to be in the Rose Garden, Mayuko wanted to keep it simple and bring in subtle colors and just a few DIY elements. Patty’s Linens provided all the rentals including the ceremony chairs, reception and cocktail tables, linens, table runners, napkins and glassware. The colors were grey and mint green – still a color combo I will always love! Blooms Design House styled the simple florals and provided the lantern rentals. The DIY elements involved mason jars and tea lights that Mayuko ordered online. One fun area of decor was the patio space where the cake was – we hung paper lanterns to create a welcoming environment. Aside from some hanging string lights, there was no additional decor needed.

0837When it all came together, everything was perfect. Mayuko and Scott did a first look at their hotel – the Estancia – but they were also able to take some gorgeous photos at the venue prior to the guest arrivals (all part of the details that we help you with on the timeline!) Kona the flower dog walked down the aisle and Mayuko was escorted by her parents that travelled from Japan. They said their I-do’s and chose to sign their marriage license in front of the guests as part of the ceremony. This is a special touch and we enjoy when couples decide to make this part of their program.

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The fine food was hosted and served by Culinary Concepts – another referral from MMM. We had worked with Culinary Concepts many times and knew that M+S needed the support of a full catering team to make their magical day as seamless as possible. From the water station upon arrival until the last slice of delicious cake was served, Culinary Concepts went above and beyond to make sure everything was perfect.

At one point, we were able to gather all the MMM couples and take a fun picture together! Mayuko and Scott were able to sneak away to do sunset photos at the beach but they returned, they danced the night away with their loved ones under the San Diego stars. Once the music was turned off and everyone started to head home, the only sound you could hear was the ocean near by and the satisfaction of another perfect magical moment complete.


Read Mayuko I.‘s review of Magical Moments By Megan on Yelp


 


CONTRIBUTORS & VENDORS

Venue | Darlington House | @Darlington_House

Coordination & Design | Magical Moments by Megan | @MagicalMoments_byMegan

Photography | Oh Lovely Wedding | @OhLovelyWedding

Videography | Ryan Films SD | @RyanFilmsSD

Catering + Bar Service | Culinary Concepts | @CulinaryConceptsSD

Florals | Blooms Design House | @BloomsDesignHouse

DJ + EmCee | DJ Hersch | @DJHersch

Hair + Make-Up | Refined Beauty, Inc. | @RefinedBeautyInc

Rentals | Patty’s Linen Rentals | @PattysLinens

Rentals | Event Party Rentals | @EventPartyRentalsSD

Cake | Cute Cakes Bakery & Cafe | @CuteCakesSD

Valet Service | Preferred Valet Parking | @PreferredValetParking


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NIKKI + MICHAEL | 04.13.18 | MARINA VILLAGE | SAN DIEGO, CA


“To be a guest or to be a planner?” That is the question. Which do I pick when it’s my friends getting married?


I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again: I believe I was CALLED to help others experience life’s most magical moments.  Yes, it is something I am good at and that I enjoy doing, but it is what I BELIEVE is my purpose in life. We are all called to something in this life on earth and some of us spend most of our time trying to figure out what it is.  For others, it becomes clear very early on.

I met Nikki at church around 2012 when I took a leadership course.  Myself and my roommate at the time decided to sit at a certain empty table and these two girls joined us – one of them was Nikki.  In just a few minutes of chatting, I quickly connected to her because I could tell we were the “Type A” personalities at the table – our corresponding friends were clearly the “Type B” ones.  Time went on and we grew closer for many reasons – we were both hard working, first generation, Filipina women.  She was in a serious relationship for a few years at that time and in our mid-twenties, she thought he was the one.  Our friendship progressed and a day came where she felt she had to do one of the hardest things in life – she had to end this relationship.  I remember the night we had a girls night which included all the necessary girls night things: wine, laughs and tears.  I know it was a hard moment for her but as a friend, I remember having so much respect for her in choosing to do something so hard but knowing it was one of those life risks that would later be one of the best things that could happen.

Fast forward a couple years and it turns out she made the right choice because she met Michael.  We were now in our late twenties and this relationship was different, it was very grown up.  Micheal pursued her and loved her so well.  It was obvious they would get married eventually.  Their proposal was a sweet surprise that included many loved ones but I had already left San Diego and sadly couldn’t be there for it.  On a visit to San Diego and a night on Nikki’s couch, she and Michael said they wanted to talk to me about their wedding.  We were laughing and catching up but she looked at me, shifted her tone, and said “I want to ask you a question and want you to be completely honest”.  “Okiez – what’s up?” I asked.

“Do you want to be a guest or our planner?”  She and Michael continued to tell me that they loved me and that I obviously need to be at their wedding but they also knew I had just started Magical Moments by Megan and they wanted to support me.  The choice was mine.

I was so honored that they would give me a choice but it took me only half a second to answer that I would do both: I would be their planner and be a guest.  I knew that I would not be ok watching someone else with their special day and that it would be so much more fulfilling, even as a friend, to be able to help them with such a momentous occasion.  And let’s be honest – do I even know how to BE just a guest?!  The decision was made and we started planning soon after that moment.  I walked beside them through the planning process, I helped line them up to walk down the aisle, and I got to have a drink (or two) to cheers to my friends and their beautiful love story.

This experience with Nikki and Michael was not the last time that I got asked the “planner or guest” question and I am so honored to have such loving and supportive friends that they would choose me to help them with one of the biggest days of their lives.  I enjoy being there to witness their vows and celebrate with them but I also enjoy knowing that I got to use my gifts and skills to make sure that their day was as close to perfect as possible.


Read Nikki J.‘s review of Magical Moments By Megan on Yelp



CONTRIBUTORS & VENDORS

Venue | Marina Village Conference Center | @MarinaVillage

Coordination & Design | Magical Moments by Megan | @MagicalMoments_byMegan

Photography | True Photography | @TruePhotography

Video | Ryan Films SD | @RyanFilms_SD

Catering | Ranch Events | @RanchEvents

Florals | Breezy Day Florals | @BreezyDayFlorals

Draping & Rentals | Ranch Events | @RanchEvents

Hair & Make-up | Glam Dolls Studio | @GlamDollsMakeup

Suits | Mens Wearhouse | @MensWearhouse

DJ | DJ Paul Peterson


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MARY + MATT | 07.16.17 | SCRIPPS SEASIDE FORUM | LA JOLLA, CA

wedding coordination by magical moments by megan, outside venue scripps seaside forum, beach wedding venue, Cerritos Wedding Planner, San Diego Wedding Planner, Orange County Wedding Planner, Los Angeles Wedding Planner


Why the event planner bride and Type-A groom still needed a wedding planner and how this couple helped inspire Magical Moments by Megan!


I love me the letter M so if a couple is M&M, you know they are my peoples.  I knew Mary through mutual friends (who also happened to be my two previous wedding couples – Lucia and Brittany) and I had met Matt over the years as well.  I remember a late night convo at Brittany’s bachelorette party where Mary and I sat up late talking about the similarities between the event planning job she had and the event rental sales job I had at the time.  We always had a connection but I was not expecting to be involved in M&M’s wedding when the time came.

A few months later Mary reached out to me very honestly and said that she would be needing help in the final phases of the wedding planning and that she would like help onsite the day-of as well.  What I have not mentioned is that at this time when she reached out to me, I had decided to quit my high paying sales job to move away from San Diego after 12 years.  This was a huge transition in my life but since I was not working, I told her that I would LOVE to help, but that I would need to charge her for my services.  We easily agreed on a fair amount and I had booked my first paying client!

The month was April and I sat up thinking about this upcoming opportunity and how Mary & Matt’s wedding would be a great opportunity to network.  I realized that if I was “officially” charging a client, that I would also need to look official when the day came.  I thought, “Maybe I should have a business card to hand out,” so I ignited my creative side and started designing something.  But wait…if I have a business card, I need a business name, and also need to BE a business.  That same April evening, I decided on the name Magical Moments by Megan and purchased the domain name the same night.  Since I was moving to the Orange County/Los Angeles area, I decided I would establish my business there and began the process to secure the business name and a business license.  I found all these things to happen so quickly but didn’t really think about what I was doing.  Before I knew it, I looked up and was saying: “I just started my own business”.

Mary and Matt were kind enough to be my guinea pigs.  I knew what needed to be done but I needed to prove – to them and myself – that this wedding planning thing was something that I could REALLY do.  We met a few times but, of course, Mary was extremely organized so it was easy. Throughout the process, I was surprised by how organized Matt was with some of his tasks and the way he communicated – he even had a Google drive set up! I helped develop a layout and we worked together on my favorite part of the event – the master timeline.

Scripps Seaside Forum was one of my assigned venues at the sales job I had so I was familiar with the space and had sent rental equipment there on many occasions. The big day arrived and it was a different feeling knowing that I not only took care of the rentals, but that I was in charge of setting up the decor and that the day was running according to my timeline. Getting to see my friends and past clients enjoying themselves was an extra perk and solidified this vision of wanting to be a wedding and event planner.

Needless to say, my guinea pigs were very happy with the result!  The couple had an amazing wedding experience and even though they were the most organized couple leading up to it, both Mary and Matt would admit that they were thankful to have someone there the day-of to take care of things so that they were able to enjoy themselves to the fullest on their special day.


Read Mary T.‘s review of Magical Moments By Megan on Yelp



Contributors & Vendors

Venue | Scripps Seaside Forum | @ScrippsSeasideForumWeddings

Partial Planning | Magical Moments by Megan | @MagicalMoments_byMegan

Catering | The French Gourmet | @FrenchGourmet

Bar Service | Giuseppe Fine Catering + Bar | @GiuseppeRNFC

Photography | Anza Foto + Film | @AnzaFotoFilm

Draping & Rentals | Event Party Rentals | @EventPartyRentalsSD

Hair & Make-up | Mobile Beauty Team | @MobileBeautyTeam

DJ & Lighting | DJ Traviste | @DJTraviste1


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LUCIA + VINH | 10.29.16 | LA JOLLA COVE SUITES | SAN DIEGO, CA

 


On a beautiful Saturday in sunny San Diego, this couple prepares for the rooftop wedding of their dreams! #AllIDoisHuynh


I never knew anything about outrigger paddling while living in San Diego but that was not the case for Lucia Targett and Vinh Huynh.  These two met while paddling for their outrigger club Kai Elua.  After dating for a few years, the couple relocated to the Bay Area for Vinh’s work.  Born and raised in Chula Vista, Lucia took the leap to leave her hometown to be with her love.  The couple moved into their first Oakland apartment and began their Bay Area life.

Once Vinh proposed, the couple knew they had to tie the knot in the city where it all started.  The couple began their destination wedding planning journey.  Both Lucia and Vinh work full time and while planning a wedding is hard, it’s even harder when you are 500 miles away.  The couple chose to have their celebration at the La Jolla Cove Hotel and Suites – a venue that offers beautiful San Diego views and sunsets that can never be forgotten.

Lucia and and Vinh needed to find a venue that offered all the things they needed in one place.  La Jolla Cove helped the couple easily coordinate a caterer, photographer, DJ, florist and all the other necessary vendors for a great celebration.  Once some of the details started to finalize, Lucia asked me to come along on one of her site visits to help evaluate the space and make sure that she had covered all the important details.

At that point, small touches were missing and Lucia wanted to make the space feel more welcoming and elegant.  At the time, I was working for a local rental company and was able to offer the added touches that they were looking for.  The rooftop space, while offering a beautiful view, had existing light posts that felt a bit out of place.  We decided to string soft draping with market lights from the posts to create the environment we were hoping for.

Everything came together and the couple walked with their families down the aisle as they prepared to share their vows in front of their closest loved ones.  The guests enjoyed cocktail hour as the wedding party took pictures across the street at Ellen Browning Scripps Park.  Once they returned, the reception began and the party got started.  It was a memorable night with laughter and tears.  The festivities continued on to an after party at a local bar in downtown La Jolla.  Needless to say, Lucia and Vinh were very happy with how everything turned out for their magical moment!

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Contributors & Vendors

Venue | La Jolla Cove Suites | @LaJollaCoveSuites

Catering | The Abbey Catering | @TheAbbeyCatering

Florals | Adelaides La Jolla | @AdelaidesLaJolla

Consultation & Design | Magical Moments by Megan | @MagicalMoments_byMegan

Photobooth | Pixster Photo Booths | @PixsterPhotoBooth

Draping & Lighting | Raphael’s Party Rentals | @RaphaelsPartyRentals


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BRITTANY + BRIAN | 09.24.16 | WOODS CLUBHOUSE | CHULA VISTA, CA

 


A little bit of DIY + a little bit of professional direction = A super fun night full of laughter and dancing that ended with confetti! #CheerstotheWeirsWhoLovetoDrinkBeers


Brittany and I were high school friends and we both moved to San Diego after graduation. It was Halloween of 2007 and a couple of us were dressed and ready for a house party hosted by the UCSD Board Club. No one knew the bunny and the pilot would hit it off but by the end of the night, numbers were exchanged and a date was scheduled. For their first date, they met at the restaurant I was working at during that time and I got to secretly watch over them to make sure the guy wasn’t a creeper. He turned out to be pretty cool and the couple began dating. Brian was studying at UC Santa Cruz and Brittany was working through nursing school in San Diego. They both worked hard, traveling often, to make the long distance relationship work. Once Brian finished school, the couple moved in together along with Brittany’s baby pup Lily.

The years passed quickly as these two traveled, explored and discovered good beer together. Their families met and it was more and more evident that they were going to be together for the long haul. Finally, they decided it was time to tie the knot and make their bond official by having a celebration with their friends and family. From there, wedding planning commenced!

Both B & B were pretty simple when it came down to their wedding vision. The most important detail: beer. Beer was always an important aspect of the couple’s relationship and they wanted to showcase that at their wedding. The couple had access to a community clubhouse in Chula Vista and they knew this was where they wanted to party their with her loved ones. I was working for a big rental company in San Diego at the time and was able to consult, supply and direct the set up from ceremony to reception.

We used one set of basic chairs upstairs for the ceremony and did a nicer, more elegant look downstairs. The tabletop decor consisted of gold painted beer bottles that the couple collected over time with single, lavender rose stems in each one. The linens were a basic white with lavender table runners. As another cute touch, instead of table numbers, the tables were named after their favorite breweries like Belching Beaver and Stone Brewing, Co. To top it off, Brittany had custom coasters made and had “love” key chains from Etsy as keepsakes for the guests! (I still have mine)

The taco cart was a hit and the beers were flowing out of the kegs all night. The DJ kept the party pumped and even kicked off his shoes to do the Cupid Shuffle with the crowd! The guests enjoyed the Pixster Photobooth outside while everyone danced wildly inside the clubhouse. We ran out of drinking water but that was an easy fix after a quick run to the store. Everything came to a close but for Brittany and Brian, there was one more surprise…confetti wands. The music went up, the confetti flew, and this beautiful night ended with a bang!

 


CONTRIBUTORS & VENDORS

Venue | The Woods Clubhouse | Chula Vista, CA

Logistics & Design | Magical Moments by Megan | @MagicalMoments_byMegan

Cake Tower | Nothing Bundt Cakes | @NothingBundtCakes

Photobooth | Pixster Photo Booths | @PixsterPhotoBooth

Tabletop & General Rentals | Raphael’s Party Rentals | @RaphaelsPartyRentals


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