Today's Bride

Where to Start Wedding Management

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    About Us


    Welcome!  Thank you for your interest in the Bay Area Wedding Network or as we like to call it BAWN.

    What is BAWN? Founded in 1999 by Marie Rios, then owner of Creative Occasions and Gwen Helbush, President Where To Start, Wedding Management to promote growth in our Bay Area wedding community through education, networking, and experience through building strong relationships with their peers.  

    BAWN welcomes wedding and event professionals dedicated to raising the level of professionalism and service throughout our community.  BAWN is not an association; we are simply an inclusive networking group.  That means no membership or dues are required to participate. There is a registration fee to attend individual BAWN events.

    BAWN Mission Statement:  We are committed to raising the level of respect, cooperation, and understanding for those professionals who make their livelihood from weddings and events.

    BAWN Code of Ethics: We believe simple is best: “Treat others as you wish to be treated.”

    BAWN Team

    Gwen Helbush, Where To Start, Wedding Management

    Gwen Helbush founded Where to Start after planning her own wedding—and quickly realizing just how difficult and stressful the experience can be for the anxious bride and groom. 

     A recognized event designer in the field, Gwen has been interviewed by television and print news reporters. Her exceptional events have been cited by publications like San Francisco Bride magazine. 

     Gwen has managed Where to Start with one basic principle: "Give the client what they want—no matter what." Gwen has done just that, personally managing each event to insure every detail is flawless. This personalized service and attention to detail is what makes her work so rewarding and her client's events special.


    Kathy A. Newby,CERP #askforkathy

    Kathy Newby is a career event professional. She started in 1986 managing and executing trade shows in the orthodontic industry and then quickly moved to the production and rental side of special events. Her expertise lies in venue transformation, logistics, and creating a seamless full-service event experience. Kathy’s comfortable style and broad range of event knowledge are well suited for social and corporate clientele requiring a high level of privacy and discretion.

    Kathy’s accomplishments range from celebrity weddings and professional sports events to cultural celebrations and gala benefits. She has been published in Special Events Magazine: “A New Take on Dividing Tent Space,” Dec. 2007, and “Stretching Rentals Budgets”, Feb. 2009.

    Kathy's Specialties are tenting logistics and venue transformation. 


    Ann T. Saavedra, Dreamcatcher Events

    Ann specializes in designing events with flair, style and lots of creativity. She has planned and managed numerous parties in the private sector and even worked on special projects with the Event Department of KQED-TV in San Francisco. Throughout many years of designing events Ann has gained an excellent reputation for consistent creativity, timely delivery and budget management.

    An artist at heart, her talents lend themselves naturally to distinctive table presentations and flower arrangements that will delight discerning clients of all tastes and backgrounds. As a long-time Bay Area resident Ann knows all the best places in town as well as the best vendors. Additionally, she loves to travel and her trips throughout the United States and Europe have given her a thorough knowledge of a wide variety of cuisines, wines and champagnes.