By Menka Belgal, El Dorado Hills Telegraph Newspaper Correspondent
How did you get involved in the business?
I was throwing a family member a birthday party in May of 1998 and booked 12 events from June through December of 1998 from that sole birthday event. It was an amazing ride that continues today.
What are some of the most interesting things that have happened to you?
The highlight for me this year was actually having Hollywood celebrities, Jessica Alba and her husband Cash Warren, in attendance at one of my clients’ weddings at The Biltmore Santa Barbara.
I also met Cal Ripken on a flight to Colorado. He kept telling me he was a pro-baseball player. Who names their son Cal for heaven’s sake? I never even heard of the Orioles. It sounded like a box of morning boxed cereal to me. When our plane landed a couple of small boys came running up to him asking for his autograph. It was hilarious.
I meet Kenny Loggins with veggie pizza in my mouth. That was nice. My favorite though was having a conversation with Clint Eastwood about his old movie “Paint Your Wagon,” again another hilarious moment in my life. It was me and Andrew McCarthy outside a cafe in Southern California.
Wherever I go, I am surrounded by humorous doings and I find humor in all situations in my life, positive or negative. That’s just how I roll. I simply roll in humor.
What are your favorite books?
One of my favorite reads a few decades back was Pillars of the Earth. It’s similar to the details you find in a vintage Dickens novel — chapters of details and layers in the novels just in building the scene, place, storyline and characters.
I adore anything Austen for it resonates with the walking romantic that I am. Robert Ludlum wrote the fabulous thrilling page-turner. My heart paces each time I pick up one of his suspense novels.
Do you give back to the community?
I had volunteered for several years in Pebble Beach/Monterey for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I now pretty much have my sights set on anything that involves the neglect and abuse of animals. In particular, dogs & horses.
What hobbies do you enjoy?
Anything that keeps me outdoors and away from technology: A game of tennis, walking, hiking the wonderland of Yosemite and Tahoe and any beach front from the Pebble Beach Peninsula down to Southern California and beyond the border.
Tell us about your family.
I’m married the most amazing man in the Western Hemisphere — in the globe for that matter. I swear (but won’t) he should wear a cape half the time. He is just that good of a man. My own super hero. He saved me as well as our three precious pups: black lab, beagle and chihuahua. They have all saved me in their own way. They have shown me unconditional love. All humans can take a few cues from doggies any day of the week.
What are you most proud of?
The legacy of being involved in these young couples love story and assisting them in building the foundation their marriage is built upon through my work in weddings.
I always like to remind them, that in the end when this wedding day is done and over, it is truly about the ceremony everyone is uniting together around them and not the most perfect color of petal pink.
It’s about what they say, do, sing, and recite as we are gathered amongst them this day as their witnesses as they pledge themselves to each other, for forever through all the peaks and valleys this life offers each of us. Again, I am such a hopeless romantic. In 13 years, I only know of three of my couples divorcing. I was heart-broken for each couple when news reached me.
What causes are you passionate about?
Anything that involves animals and small children. Both are defenseless without our help and love. It’s that simple.
What are some things about you people might be surprised to learn?
I completely miss skateboarding, horseback riding and playing massive amounts of softball. Only to be 12 again. I also love Bach to Muse, bluegrass to rock, and R&B to jazz to mad metal. Classical and vintage jazz are my favorites.
I am currently going through a Schubert and DeBussy faze. I adore all music for I associate life with it. Music assisted me in the loss of my little brother almost 21 years ago and recently my beloved Daddy and my best friend’s mother, whom was like my own mom since I was 14.
Music is wondrous. It helps make you a survivor in this world. Music does assist in healing ones soul. Music brings joy. Again, I adore music. Seriously, you should see my iTunes listing. It’s slightly insane.