Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine

Halcyon House’s Artist’s Studio was transformed by André Wells into a chic lounge with dramatic illumination from Frost Lighting and a bar for signature drinks. (Photo by Jonah Koch)
Oh, What A Night
The making of Washington Life’s 2008 Young & The Guest List Party
The Young & The Guest List party is both a blessing and a curse. The morning afterwards when partygoers share that they’ve had an enjoyable time in thank you emails, it’s rewarding. Before the party, however, there is always growing anxiety about how to throw an even better bash than last year. In order to pull off something spectacular, we enlisted the help of famed event planner André Wells. Over cappuccinos and muffins we hashed many soon-to-be rejected ideas, which included a house party and a key-themed event. We wanted the night to be spectacular while at the same time being sophisticated. Our primary concern was thwarting crashers. As we looked over photographs from previous years, there perhaps were several hundred people no one in our office could identify.
This spawned the idea to keep the location a secret. Before we selected a venue or even a date, we chose Haute Papier to make the invitations. Owner Sarah Meyer-Walsh personally creates each invitation and she found gold textured paper from India for ours. We hoped the St. Regis Hotel (923 16th St. NW) would re-open in time to serve as a meeting place and cocktail hour for our guests, but we kept a back-up hotel on reserve in case of construction delays. All of this delayed the invitations being sent out until just a few weeks before the party.
a place that is not a usual destination for the Y&GL crowd (Dumbarton House and Meridian House) and after we were wowed at a MaxMara party at Halcyon House (3400 Prospect St. NW), we knew we had our location. Throwing a major party is a jigsaw puzzle and each piece has to fit together. After we found the right venue, our catering company backed out due to bad logistics. Our transportation company did the same when they learned large coaches couldn’t park on Prospect Street. Reston Limousine literally came to our rescue. The drama continued.
Event planner André Wells carefully executed three parties back to back. (Photo by Jaime Windom)


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