Event Planning



In a world that grows increasingly virtual with every 280 characters, real-life experiences are becoming more precious and more powerful each day. Sometimes, the best campaign is an analog one, and the most memorable interaction you can have with a person or product, is one in real life. Planning parties that bring people together, forge new connections, unleash creativity, and support worthy causes can have a profound impact on each guest, and frankly, is just something we really enjoy doing. Our favorite events include elaborate costumes, intricate themes, innovative social engineering, or a philanthropic goal, but each party and party-goer is different, so tailoring just the right fit is essential to having the best night of your life.


parties + Press

The D.C. couple eloped in New Orleans and then celebrated their new union at the historic cemetery.  Kelly Carnes and Ryan Moore at their voodoo-inspired wedding party at Congressional Cemetery in Washington. (Calla Kessler/The Washington Post)

The D.C. couple eloped in New Orleans and then celebrated their new union at the historic cemetery.

Kelly Carnes and Ryan Moore at their voodoo-inspired wedding party at Congressional Cemetery in Washington. (Calla Kessler/The Washington Post)

Credit: Tony Hitchcock

Credit: Tony Hitchcock

Credit: Clara Ritger

Flash Wedding

Victoria and Elliott were looking for a special way to celebrate all the big changes in their life this year, from moving between DC and New York City, to getting they decided to surprise all their friends and family with a flash wedding at Republic Restoratives Distillery, complete with a full security detail for their big surprise entrance, delicious oven-fired Timber Pizza from their mobile oven parked right outside, and of course, DANCING. It was a night to remember and Carnes&Co. was grateful to help bring this vision to life and see these two lovebirds tie the knot in their own unique way!

We enlisted Kelly’s help to make our surprise wedding a complete success, & boy did she deliver! From coordinating with caterers to securing parking spots out front for our motorcade, she thought of every detail and ensured that we didn’t have to worry (more than normal) on our big day. Carnes & Co was endlessly inventive and truly indispensable – we cannot recommend Kelly and her merry band of creatives enough!
— Victoria Battista, The Bride

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In November 2017, the Smithsonian Latino Center Celebrated it’s 20th Anniversary. Carnes&Co. was a part of the team that organized the celebratory event at the Smithsonian’s Castle. ¡Felicitaciones Latino Center!


Kelly Carnes liked throwing Halloween parties so much that she went pro. Her business, Carnes & Co., is partially a party-planning venture, and Carnes is legendary among her friends for throwing massive Halloween parties at her house in the H Street corridor. You can try to reach her level of success with a few simple techniques. And glow sticks.” - Kristen Page-Kirby, Washington Post

Check out photos from Halloween 2017!

Where the wild things are 



Sher'merica suRprise

scavenger hunt and birthday!

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It's not often you begin a new decade, so when Bill was brainstorming special ways to celebrate his loves' big birthday with a budget in mind, he reached out to Carnes&Co. for ideas. A hill staffer, we knew his girlfriend loved all things America, so we sent her on a surprise scavenger hunt to some of the District's most iconic historical monuments, the last clue leading right back to her apartment which had been decked out with all the patriotic flare we could find this side of the Mississippi. Even red, white and blue wine greeted the birthday girl as she walked in to her starred and striped paradise!

All it took was a modest budget, one brainstorming session and a deadline, then Carnes & Co.’s party services delivered a surprise celebration that exceeded all of my expectations. Even better, they stayed in constant communication as they fine-tuned details, keeping me in the loop every step of the way. I’d recommend them to anyone who has an idea, but needs the next step: perfect execution.
— Bill Gray, Boyfriend of the Birthday Girl

Salon deZEN's 10th Anniversary party: Unicorn Romp!

Credit: Ashley Hafstead, of  Tinsel Events

Credit: Ashley Hafstead, of Tinsel Events

To celebrate their 10th anniversary, Salon deZEN in Old Town Alexandria wanted to throw a Unicorn-themed party for their staff and clients. If you didn't know edible glitter existed, you certainly did after this epic rainbow romp complete with confections from Buttercream Bake Shop, beats by Scorpio Entertainment, magical decor from Tinsel Events, and everyone's favorite fresh Watermelon Margaritas from Carnes&Co.'s resident hot bartender.

Carnes & Company totally got the party vibe I was going for right from the start! It was a masterpiece that came together flawlessly, with out stress or effort on my part! The guests are still telling me what a fantastic time they had!! Thanks Carnes & Company for making me look good!
— Maria Elizabeth, Owner of Salon deZEN

Back to the Future

Birthday party

A milestone birthday needed some mega-merrymaking...Marty McFly. This “Back to the Future” bash featured an old school music hall, big brass band playing the soundtrack’s greatest hits, and an “Enchantment Under the Sea” dress code.

Clue: Live Murder Mystery

Sure, you can buy murder mystery kits online, but what’s the fun in that? Instead for this live murder mystery game, a whiskey bar in one of the District’s historic hotels served as the crime scene of a murder most foul. Each guest received a unique case file, and were encouraged to interact with each other to piece together clues, as well as the cast of Clue Characters each playing the role of the game’s famous personalities: Ms. Scarlet, Colonel Mustard, Mr. Green, Mrs. White, Mrs. Peacock, Professor Plum, and of course...THE BUTLER. The first detective to solve the tricky mystery was invited to stay the night with the murder squad, in the hotels luxury penthouse suite.

Jim Henson Halloween

We’ll admit it, we have a favorite child and it’s HALLOWEEN. Each year a theme inspires epic costuming like: Tim Burton, Batman, last year’s Jim Henson’s Halloween, or this year’s fairy-fete, Ferngully. A charity of choice receives donation, like these year’s Gourmet Symphony, whose mixologist brewed a theme cocktail for the evening while their wing-clad Harpist plucked Lady Gaga covers to the attendees delight.

Zombie Prom

A hoard of zombies risen from their Senior Prom descended upon the Science Club on an otherwise inauspicious evening, presumably sourcing tasty brains to eat. The magic was almost all in the make-up, but the undead also enjoyed a prom-style photo shoot and zombie-specific character artist to capture their rotting likenesses before they returned to their graves.


“Kelly’s parties are events you anticipate for months—an invite to one is practically a golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Recently, I had the jubilant pleasure of participating in one of her parties as a hostess. The party was Clue-themed, and Kelly enlisted characters (including me!) to be her suspects, rented out space in the bar of a fancy hotel, and arranged for each of us to have clues we could reveal to individual guests discretely. This was no pre-packaged murder mystery party – Kelly orchestrated the entire live action game, complete with envelopes of information and a score sheet for guests, props for each character (I had knife and a laundry list of ex-husbands), and a wonderful green room for us to prepare for the night’s festivities. This party was epic! There was even a duplicitous twist at the end! Kelly’s creativity and enthusiasm are unparalleled, and I can’t wait for her next event.”

- Victoria Battista aka Mrs. White

“Kelly Carnes is an expert planner and experienced event professional. She's resourceful, creative and has a real knack for executing elaborate affairs with total competence and ease. Kelly's years of experience in public relations are evident in her promotions of events large and small. Kelly's creative eye and attention to detail ensures even the largest of events is incredibly personal.

Kelly was essential to helping me plan and execute a fundraiser in Washington, DC, for a non-profit organization based in Ohio. She leveraged her reliable and extensive network to not only identify a facility for the event, but within hours had confirmed a restaurant to host the event and helped secure a beverage company to not only provide refreshments but donate the proceeds as well.

I would hire her again and again for her professionalism, her experience and for her sophisticated flair that makes every event stand out.”

- Lauren Worley


“The Medievel Madness New Years Eve Party was a challenging event as the facility changed the rules midway through the party. I was rather impressed with Kelly's ability to communicate with both the attendees and the proprietor of the establishment and was able to keep all the attendees happy. Aside from that she also coordinated ye old minstrel (awesome DJ) that had the guests dancing all night long. Kelly's ability to keep calm and respond quickly to any issues that arise is a key ingredient in an excellent event coordinator.”

- Colleen McCartney


For rates, please inquire within.