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Miguel Valenzuela, originally from Sinaloa, and his wife, Yendi Gallegos, born and raised in Sayulita, met in Sayulita after Miguel moved here nine years ago. Both with a background in the service, catering, and event industry, they teamed up together and last year started their own business, A la Carte Weddings, Event Planning, and Catering. Miguel tells El Sayulero how he got his start in the industry, the services they offer, why he recommends Sayulita as a wedding destination, and much more.
How did your interest in wedding and event planning develop?
Since our wedding seven years ago, we’ve had an interest in wedding and event planning. We planned our own wedding and it was a very big wedding - 650 people. However, we didn’t enjoy it because the whole time we were worried about the food, drinks, cake, etc. We thought our wedding was a disaster, but everyone loved it – from the cake to the music to the mariachi band – everything. People are still talking about it and how much fun they had. We enjoyed the planning part and realized that we could easily do events on a much smaller scale. We started planning weddings and events for friends and family, and now with A la Carte, we help people to enjoy their event.
How did you get your start in the industry?
Well, I’ve been working in the wedding industry for 14 years. I used to live in Cabo and did bar catering for hotels. After that I went to Massachusetts to attend bartending and culinary school, and then I returned to Cabo since there were a lot of opportunities doing events and catering. Then I took a vacation to Sayulita and liked how it was much more quiet and calm than Cabo, so I moved here in 2007 and started bartending for hotels and restaurants. Four years ago, I started my own business, Party Express, offering bar catering services for weddings and events. And then last year, my wife, who now has many years of planning weddings in Sayulita, and I started our business, A La Carte Weddings, Event Planning, and Catering.
What services do you offer at A la Carte?
We offer catering, bartending, wedding cakes, decorations, flowers, transportation, DJ’s, lighting, dance floor, tables, chairs, glassware, photographers, hair, makeup, and nail service – basically everything. We work with a lot of vendors, all of them from Sayulita, as we want to keep everything local and keep the money here in town.
What types of catering options are offered?
We offer 3-course menus, buffet style dinners, and simple Mexican set-ups, such as a taco bar. We can do everything from Mexican dishes, like chili rellenos, to seafood to steak to barbeque and more.
Complete bar packages are also offered. Will you tell me more about these options?
We offer bar packages from $10 - $30 / person with an open bar for 5-6 hours. Depending on the package, it might include margaritas, mojitos, pina coladas, daiquiris, beer, wine, vodka, gin, tequila, scotch, cognac, and more.
What is it about Sayulita that makes you recommend couples choose this location as their wedding destination?
Sayulita has many options for people here. There are a lot of a lot of venue options, a lot of restaurants and houses, a lot of beach, and good nightlife. It’s fun for the wedding guests to have a nice selection of activities to do, like surfing and whale watching. Some other places just have the wedding venue and nothing else to do.
Will you describe your favorite Sayulita wedding that you’ve planned?
Just last month, February 3rd, we planned a wedding for a couple from Denver, Colorado at Flor de la Playa. They wanted a Mexican theme and chose a Dia de los Muertos theme. They went all out with the decorations and everything – from the flowers to the donkey. But every wedding has something special for us to remember it for - vintage, Mexican, picnic weddings.
What sets A la Carte apart from other wedding and event planners in the area?
We usually just do one wedding or event a week and focus strictly on that. All of us wedding coordinators know each other and sometimes work together. We share contacts, decorations, ideas, etc. We like and respect all of the wedding coordinators in the area.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I’d like to thank all our team, friends, and providers for helping us out. Also, remember to keep things local.