Introducing Marie Steffany of the Mandarin Oriental
Mandarin Oriental, Washington, DC
A seasoned expert on fabulous parties, Marie Steffany has been involved in the hotel and catering industry in the Washington, DC area for over 18 years. She and the team at the Mandarin Oriental recently toasted their 10th anniversary by hosting a celebration for clients during peak time for the Cherry Blossoms - a truly picture-perfect scene as guests were entertained in the hotel's expansive outdoor space that overlooks both the monuments and the harbor.
While the Mandarin Oriental is gearing up for some amazing outdoor weddings in the coming warm-weather months, Marie expects to see even more of the exciting wedding trends they've been following, including more personalized celebrations and always a signature cocktail, an increase in Friday weddings (where they can be more flexible on minimums and scheduling is simpler) and a delicious focus on the wedding cake with this lavish dessert becoming the true centerpiece of the event! As for reception food - planning an incredible menu continues to be a priority and for Marie, introducing clients to the culinary specialties at the Mandarin is a true pleasure.
"I especially love the culinary focus of my job," says Marie. "These days there is an expectation that the meal served at a special event will be on par with a fine restaurant. It's one of the reasons I love being at Mandarin Oriental as we have the talent and drive to create a Five-Star banquet experience."
As a teaser the hotel's recent anniversary celebration included some of Chef McDonnell's (from their new concept restaurant Muse) specialties like edamame falafel "sliders" and shoat loin from Erik Ziebold of their acclaimed CityZen. Executive Chef Didier Pouzier also prepared an array of dazzling hors d'oeuvres.
Having worked at several luxury venues, Marie knows the importance of the personal touch when it comes to creating that once-in-a-lifetime feeling for newlyweds.
"Special events, especially weddings, are such memorable celebrations and the family and guests are with us throughout the weekend," says Marie. "The staff really gets to bond with the bride and groom and their family members. When they leave they very often have made friends for life!"