The Fairmont Hotel is a gorgeous hotel and event space in Washington, DC’s West End, and a favorite for weddings for its beautiful entrenched Colonnade with garden views through French windows, as well as for its elegant, inviting Grand Ballroom. Bob Mikolitch, Director of Catering, manages wedding and special events at this wonderful hotel, and we are excited to have him stop by to share more about himself and the Fairmont!
CL: I always find it so interesting to learn what brought people into the wedding industry. Have you always been in the event planning business?
Bob: I was a waiter at night at a nightclub, kind of the “Studio 54” of Boston (an elementary schoolteacher by day). I was having a ball working on promotions and events so I was accepted into a training program with Sheraton and clawed my way to the middle.
CL: Tell us some of the things that makes the Fairmont such a special place to have a wedding.
Bob: With our unique Courtyard Garden and Colonnade, and the passion of our Hotel Team, we all enjoy “working outside” and creating special events and memories. Our herb garden, rooftop bee hives and other authentically local elements influence so much of what we do and our guests really seem to enjoy it.
CL: What is your favorite event space at the Fairmont?
Bob: We are fortunate to have great event space but I would have to say our Lobby, Courtyard Garden, and Colonnade really set us apart. We call the Garden our “urban oasis.” It is landscaped throughout the entire year and I can’t say which season I like better. We have cherry blossoms in the spring, great color in the summer, gold foliage in the fall, and thousands of twinkling lights in the winter.
CL: We’ve seen TLC’s “Masters of Reception” and how crazy it can get behind the scenes. Do you have a strategy to keeping all the details of a wedding at the hotel straight?
Bob: It’s a total team effort and I am fortunate in that each of our colleagues and managers take their responsibilities seriously. They enjoy pre-planning and the chance to be creative. My job is to listen to what our clients want and communicate that vision to the team. I am still a “check list” kind of guy and that helps keep me organized during the event process.
CL: What is your favorite first dance song?
Bob: I am sentimental, so “At Last” or “Someone to Watch Over Me.”
CL: Do you have a favorite moment in a wedding reception?
Bob: It has to be the first time you see your client in her wedding dress on her wedding day and she winks. You work together all year and the bride is normally in casual or business attire, and then on the day of the wedding she walks in and it’s “Audrey Hepburn.”
CL: How do spend your time away from Fairmont?
Bob: In this industry, you really treasure private time, so one of my favorite things to do is to hike in Rock Creek with my partner and the dog on a Sunday afternoon.
CL: Last but not least, where do you stand – the Beatles or the Rolling Stones?
Bob: Rollings Stones most definitely, many a night rocking out years ago to “Sympathy for the Devil.” But don’t forget Iron Butterfly “In A Gadda Da Vida”!