Andrea McWilliams’ 40 Fete
Austinites flocked to California’s wine country in August to celebrate the venerable power lobbyist Andrea McWilliams’ 40th Birthday. The weekend of festivities began with a welcome reception at the Spoon Bar at the h2hotel. The next day, guests enjoyed a luncheon and wine tour at Mauritson Wines before the grand finale at the McWilliams family’s Arista Winery. All the guests donned their favorite white attire for a Neiman Marcus runway show, featuring Akris, while dining al fresco on dishes like pan seared scallops over pea shoots. The dessert station tempted guests with decadent treats like mini Pinot Noir Strawberry Shortcakes and lemon mousse in martini glasses. Event planner Sarah Ghazzagh of A Dream Wedding coordinated the glamorous soiree. Her vision for the fete?
“Dazzling white and chic, complementing the natural elements while being overtly contemporary,” she says. Following dinner, guests moved to the dance floor, where Tone Loc surprised guests with some of his signature songs like “Wild Thing” and “Funky Cole Medina.” Longtime friend Don Johnson serenaded Andrea by singing Happy Birthday, along with Andrea’s daughter, Madison McWilliams, and it was Madison who later stole the show with her rendition of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.” Ghazzagh recalls the memorable night: “To watch a family so intensely supportive of one another was truly a rich sight to behold. It was a central theme that threaded effortlessly through the weekend—one of family, great friendships and watching new bonds form amongst the guests.”