The party at Union Station on Nov. 10 celebrated young Washingtonians.
Nearly 800 of the city’s 40-and-under movers and shakers (along with friends who may or may not have been in the same age group) descended upon the Presidential Suite and East Hall of Union Station on November 10 for a party that would last late into the night, leave some without a voice, others with legs sore from dancing, some with iPhones full of photos and a few of us with no photos at all, having had too much fun catching up with old friends.
The Design Cuisine production featuring music by DJ Biks was one for the record books, if we do say so ourselves. Professional athletes mingled with lobbyists and Congressional staffers, award-winning journalists caught up with some of the city’s hottest chefs and authors, entrepreneurs mixed with reality show stars and models and photographers did their thing on the red carpet. Gathering Washington’s young and ambitious is certainly the main ingredient in the recipe for a successful party, but the vendors and planners who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make it a reality deserve the ultimate credit. Their relentless dedication to the event is testament to the value of the YGL tradition and we couldn’t be more thankful to them for helping us keep it alive and thriving.
The Making of YGL
Washington Life teamed up with one-stop-shop caterer Design Cuisine to create and execute a custom vision for the 2017 Young & the Guest List party. As the sole catering and design vendor for Union Station, the Design Cuisine team, led by Bill Homan and Kathy Valentine, capitalized on their opportunity to showcase the space in a way that had never been previously experienced. The century-old structure, known to most as a transportation hub, served as a stunning backdrop for the event. With its traditional finishes, both the Presidential Suite and East Room spaces exuded classic glamour when juxtaposed against the sleek and modern design details implemented by Design Cuisine.
After checking in with lovely interns on loan from BrandLink Communications, guests were soon ushered out of the cold and made official with red wristbands courtesy of Dynamic Advertising. Once past gatekeepers provided by John Thiero Security, guests had the option to choose their own pathway to adventure. Most chose to be photographed on the step and repeat before heading to the trapezoidal bar anchored in the middle of the elegant Presidential Suite where bartenders poured welcome champagne amid a medley of hanging herbs available to punch up the bubbles (think basil, mint, thyme, rosemary and lavender). Off to the side, a large hallway outfitted with plush velvet lounge furniture beckoned partygoers to settle in and stay awhile. GLAMSQUAD, the on-demand beauty service that made its Washington debut last year, had a small army of beauty professionals at the ready to spruce up hair and makeup. Several ladies who entered with straight hair walked out with voluminous bouncy curls, while others simply upgraded their looks with bolder lip colors and smokey eyes.
With glammed out looks intact, the next step and natural progression of any good bash is to follow the music. Walking into the grand East Room, guests experienced sensory overload. Design Cuisine’s massive 24-by-24-foot lighted dome was the highlight of the vast space, which served as the official headquarters of Dupont Circle nightclub Heist. Inside, guests lounged on settees while sipping specialty cocktails laced with tequila and cider. For the tequila wary, sponsors NBWA Beer Distributors, Peroni, Modelo and Axios and Truth Wines provided sustenance on the beer and wine front. Before hitting the dance floor, guests selected from an impressive array of creative snacks from Design Cuisine. In addition to the “frywheel,” aka a conveyor belt pumping out French fries five ways, there was a plethora of beautiful bites including a tuna and salmon poke bar, a chicken and waffles station and a table adorned with adult grilled cheese sandwiches and pails of tater tots. The dessert bar created a stir on social media with its irresistible hanging donuts, candied bacon and cordial cup meltaways filled with Kahlua, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Amaretto and Frangelico.
As the evening progressed, so did the tunes courtesy of DJ Biks, a resident Heist spinner who is no stranger to amping up a crowd. All the elements of his lively production were made possible by Exclusively Entertainment, a Maryland-based company offering entertainment and production services to clients throughout the DMV. By that point in the evening the only reasonable excuse to vacate the dance floor was to take a turn in front of Tickled Photo Booth’s camera. Guests were invited to post their photo strips on social channels using the #YGL2017 hashtag. All the hilarious photo strip poses made for a fun next day recap. At the end of the night, baggies of the famous Garrett Popcorn barely made it out of the door as guests multi tasked, snacking while saying farewell. While die-hard partygoers headed to the after party at Heist, the less ambitious kicked up their feet and dished about how a party that billed itself as epic lived up to the hype. Image links can be found here, here and here!