October 2010

Four Seasons in Georgetown Set Up

Oct 28 2010
By: Chris Laich Music Services
Categories: Washington DC Event Venues
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Ensconced in Georgetown and overlooking Rock Creek Park and the C&O Canal, the Four Seasons Hotel is a truly elegant space for a wedding!

The inside is a wonderful mix of sumptuous classic meets modern, resulting in a tranquil, airy, and handsome wedding venue. Not to mention it’s a five-star, five-diamond hotel, so you and your guests will be looked after like royalty.

As you know, some of the best service is so professional you barely notice cuisine being served and plates being cleared. At Chris Laich Music Services, we feel the same way about DJ services. Not about the music, of course – that’s got to be as clear and perfect as possible! We mean the equipment. We achieve that by placing our wireless Bose speakers carefully within the Four Seasons ballrooms.

While at the Four Seasons in Georgetown for a recent wedding, we snapped a few pictures to show you!

four seasons 1

Chris Laich Music Services equipment set up, Four Seasons Georgetown

four seasons 2

Chris Laich Music Services equipment set up, Four Seasons Georgetown

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Weddings with Avalon Caterers

Oct 26 2010
By: Chris Laich Music Services
Categories: Washington DC Wedding Vendors
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As deejays and music providers, Chris Laich Music Services is in the enviable position of managing an integral part of a wedding day while being able to observe the event from start to finish. This is not the case for caterers! From setting up hours before guests even arrive to working and cleaning up long after the event is over, caterers are on the front lines the whole time.

Having catered over 40,000 events, Avalon Caterers, owned by Anita Ellis and Horacio Zamora, is no stranger to wrangling all the moving parts of the day into a flawless event.  We’ve had the opportunity to work with Anita and her team at multiple weddings, and we are always impressed with her professionalism, customer service, and creativity.


Cuisine by Avalon Caterers, event by Wish Special Events

image via Wish Special Events, cuisine by Avalon Caterers

We were able to catch Anita in between events to ask her a few questions about Avalon and what it’s like to own a catering company heralded by Washingtonian magazine as one of the best of the best.

We had assumed that Anita always wanted to be in catering, but it turns out it was something that chose her instead.“I fell backwards into the industry as an outgrowth of something else I was doing.  I was young, it seemed appealing as something to do for ‘awhile’ and I’m still here, 25 years later!”

She’s still here because catering and event planning became one of her passions.  Anita loves the “variety of experience.  Working with people during some of the most important moments of their lives. We cater weddings all the time, but we also cater graduations, funerals, job promotions, campaigns, and any other occasion you can imagine where food is an important part of the event. Maybe it’s odd to say, but I like funeral receptions very much because the focus of the day seems properly placed.  The gathering is all because of love for the person gone. There’s a lot of sweetness mixed with the sadness. And it’s especially great to hear people laughing at a funeral. The great stories about the loved one often make me wish I could have met them.”

Now, Anita can’t imagine doing anything else than being a part of Avalon Caterers.“I really like our piece of the day. Catering isn’t just about food to me.  The beauty of the presentation, the design of the room, the smoothness of the choreography of our staff makes me very proud. The pieces, when put together skillfully, make for a memorable day for the host.  They may not be able to put their fingers on exactly why it was so special but I know it’s the combination of many things that fall within our responsibilities and talents.  We’re very good at putting all the pieces together into a beautiful whole.”

Cuisine by Avalon Caterers, event by Wish Special Events

image via Wish Special Events, cuisine by Avalon Caterers

Anita, Horacio, and Avalon Caterers’ commitment to ensuring all the cogs of an event fit beautifully together and perform perfectly is a point of pride. We can personally attest to the fact that Avalon Caterers will stop at nothing to deliver the best experience possible.“We catered the AHS Gala on the heels of Hurricane Isabel.  We dodged fallen trees, ran the kitchen without power or water, and cleaned up after hundreds of guests by the light from our trucks’ headlights.  We catered several weddings during this winter’s blizzard without skipping a beat and were trapped on a highway in New Jersey with 25 staff  for two days when coming home from another event in New York as the fury of the second blizzard kicked in on our commute home. There are times I feel more like we run the Red Cross than a catering company.  We just don’t like to let anyone down under any circumstances.”

In fact, Anita thrives on those kinds of challenges! When we asked her what type of event she’s dying to plan, she had this to say: “We’ve been lucky enough to cater for celebrities, royalty, and presidents. They’ve been exciting events to be a part of. What I’d like to tackle is an event on a grand scale with tens of thousands of guests with hundreds of moving parts.  You can’t call yourself a proper juggler if there’s only one ball in the air at a time.  I’d love to see the smooth blend of thousands of details merging all at once with Avalon at the helm.  Our largest event was for 70,000 guests but the details were fairly simple. What I mean is details that require the granddaddy of all spreadsheets…and it must be beautiful, too!!”

After seeing Anita and Avalon in action, we can attest to their attentiveness to not only every little detail but also to their clients.    From excellent cuisine to thoughtful details that elevate a wedding or event into a gracious, memorable affair, Anita, Horacio and their staff at Avalon Caterers are among the best in DC!

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Engaging Affairs

Oct 21 2010
By: Chris Laich Music Services
Categories: Washington DC Wedding Vendors
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Laura Weatherly and her team at Engaging Affairs

Laura Weatherly and her team at Engaging Affairs

Mention wedding planning in Washington, DC and the first name that pops into mind is Engaging Affairs.  Founder Laura Weatherly has built a company and a team of experienced wedding planners whose personal connection, attention to detail, and ability to translate creative vision into reality has earned it Washingtonian Magazine’s coveted “Best Overall Wedding Planner” time and again.

Engaging Affairs also has an eye for trends.  One of the first things we asked when we caught Laura in between weddings was what she and Engaging Affairs have been seeing on the style horizon.

Wedding styled and planned by Engaging Affairs

image via Engaging Affairs by Justine Ungaro

“We have been doing lots of same-sex weddings since DC legalized gay marriage and that is one trend we’re thrilled to see! Style-wise, couples are still looking to incorporate vintage and retro touches into their weddings: details from the 50s, 60s or even the 1800s! We did a fabulous 1940s-inspired wedding this year and had so much fun with it!”

Laura even dished about the kind of event she is dying to plan.

“We love when couples have fun with their weddings and step outside the box.  A couple of weeks ago, one of my couples had a rousing game of wedding toast bingo at their wedding.  I would love to do a carnival-themed wedding where the couple went all out!”

Wedding styled and planned by Engaging Affairs

image via Engaging Affairs

We bet what you didn’t know about Engaging Affairs is what an environmentally and community conscious company it is. Over the years, Laura has proactively been moving Engaging Affairs in a green direction, due to her own experience in becoming more eco-conscious.

“A few years back I became a vegetarian, focused on eating locally and avoiding factory-farmed and processed food.  We started an organic home garden, began composting, cut down waste massively, recycled everything, and eliminated as many plastic products as possible.”Laura’s personal commitment prompted her to urge Engaging Affair’s clients to source locally.“We started doing many more ‘100 mile events’ where nothing comes from more than 100 miles away.”  To do this, she and her team focused on “greening” every aspect of wedding planning.

Wedding styled and planned by Engaging Affairs

image via Engaging Affairs

“We cut down on the amount of paper products used in our weddings and used as much recycled paper as possible.  We used florists who incorporated non-floral (and reusable) elements into their work like river rocks, bamboo, and branches. We consolidate the use of transportation as much as possible, and we’ve even used pedicabs to move guests!  A DJ is a greener option than a band because it involves moving fewer people to the venue and less equipment! The green options are really great and couples don’t have to sacrifice quality or style to be green anymore. Almost all of our weddings are ‘green’ now just by being smarter with resources.  Sometimes even without the client making it one of their priorities.”

Wedding styled and planned by Engaging Affairs

image via Engaging Affairs

By making eco-friendly an everyday way of life at Engaging Affairs, Laura and her team are some of the best multitaskers in an industry full of juggling pros. They are making a difference for the environment and the community, and are helping their clients to celebrate one of the most memorable and important moments of their lives all at once!

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