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Event planners can be Cupid's best friend

Valentine’s Day is all about romance, and the well-heeled Cupid might want to enlist the aid of a local event planner to make the holiday extra-special.

Rebecca Gaffney and Mia Saling, owners of Red Letter Days, can coordinate a Valentine’s Day to remember or a destination wedding in an exotic location. Their Solana Beach company has been in business for more than six years.

“We can do anything from a romantic dinner - with a private chef with customized pairings of food and wine - to a fireside picnic indoors or outside," Gaffney said.

Prices start at $1,600. The sky is the limit.

Red Letter Days specializes in events such as weddings, rehearsal dinners, bridal and couple’s showers, bachelor and bachelorette parties, family celebrations, holiday and theme parties, fundraising galas, corporate functions and romantic dinners for two.

“The company can handle four such events simultaneously,” Gaffney said.

Saling, a native Californian, and Gaffney met while working for a music production company in Carlsbad. Saling was an accounting manager and Gaffney was a sales and event coordinator and manager of the in-house dance troop.

Gaffney, who grew up in Buffalo, N.Y., said she and Saling discovered they had a common interest and experience in planning events. Voila, a partnership was created. In all, the two have more than 20 years of experience in event planning.

Luck has also been on their side. Their company has never had a rained-out event. “Knock on wood, but the weather has always cooperated,” Gaffney said.

The company also produces events in the Washington, D.C. area, where the weather is much more unpredictable than in San Diego. Although, San Diego may be one of the few places in the nation where weddings are unpopular in late spring, due to May Gray and June Gloom. “Business really picks up in July,” Gaffney said.

The most extravagant event the company has produced was near the White House, she said.

A love-struck man had made elaborate arrangements with Red Letter Days, even enlisting a friend of the couple to keep his girlfriend all day as the surprise event was being set up.

“He was preparing to propose to his girlfriend and gift her an Alpha Romeo (Italian sports car) and a huge diamond ring,” Gaffney said.

(The girlfriend said “yes,” by the way.)

Afterward, the event planner had set up a romantic dinner at his place, complete with a private chef and lots of champagne.

In San Diego, Red Letter Days has even created a few dream weddings for the GLBT community - until the passage of Proposition 8 halted the ceremonies.

http://www.redletterdays.biz/