I am thrilled to introduce to you one of our newest vendors, Melissa Panico of MAP Events!! Melissa has been planning events in San Francisco & Tahoe for years and is an expert when it comes to pulling off exquisite soirees and beautiful weddings. Read below to get to know Melissa, and be sure to contact her for your next amazing event!

Lisa Lefkowitz Photography

What or who inspired you to start your own business? I started MAP Events 12 years ago. For 6 years, I was the Wedding Event Designer at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco where I ran the wedding and event space and the catering contracts. It was a natural transition into Wedding Planning from there. I had developed relationships with all the best wedding vendors in the area. What made you want to expand your business to Tahoe? A few of my clients have second homes in Tahoe on the lake and I was lucky enough to plan a couple of weddings here. It's beautiful here, and like the wine country, a perfect option for a destination wedding.

Lisa Lefkowitz Photography

What do your services include? We offer anything from "Day Of" planning to "Full Service." Do you plan and coordinate events other than weddings? Occasionally, we will do a corporate event or fundraisers. I was involved with the Meals on Wheels Gala in San Francisco and the Staglin Music Festival for Mental Health, both for 6 years. I've also planned the Global Heritage Bi-annual Gala at the Asian Art Museum and World Boy Scouts Organization Gala at the Legion of Honor. I recently did a dinner for McKinsey & Company at Calistoga Ranch.

Gia Canali Photography

What has been your most memorable event you have planned and why? Each event is memorable in it's own way. The most memorable events have very personalized elements. Surprises are best. I once had a bride learn a special dance for her groom and performed it in front of everybody at a wedding. For me, the most memorable events are when we get to transform a space, a field, a lawn, a tennis court, a wine cave, or a horse corral into an event space. A museum gallery into a disco. What has been your most challenging event and how did you use your planning skills to overcome the obstacles? It was an event at a private winery in St Helena. The bride brought me to the site and stood out on a 30 degree hillside with an amazing view and said to me, "This is where I dream of having my reception". Basically, we closed the road, in and out, for three days and I had Classic Party Rentals come in and level the area with staging pieces and construct a wood-framed, clear topped tent out over the hillside that attached to their wine cave. Beyond that, they wanted to have the ceremony at the neighbors Meadow and run the guests through a wine tour in between the cocktails and dinner. We timed the shuttles and groups out of the cocktails every 20 minutes and at the conclusion of the wine tour, the guests entered the reception tent. It worked out perfectly and even rained a bit because it was also April! The bride really wanted the tent wall open to the vineyards below and we were able to do it with the vineyards lit up below. It was magical!

Paco & Betty Photography

What are some of your other passions outside of planning? I was a competitive Figure Skater growing up so skating and still get on the ice when I can. Skiing and running are 2 things that I do on a weekly basis (weather permitting). I also run after two small children and a dog! Music has also been a big part of my life. I play the guitar when I have time. *To learn more about Melissa & MAP Events and see her beautiful work click here!