Meet Carly McGovern, AQUA by El Gaucho Event Director

“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” Coined by Mother Teresa, this has become Carly’s favorite quote and mantra. As AQUA by El Gaucho’s Event Director, she is able to infuse love into every event she touches, with the goal to create memorable moments and happy guests, every day.

Handling many details for multiple events – every night – might be challenging for some, but Carly excels at pulling the pieces together, always with a calm demeanor and gracious attitude. She discovered her love for event planning in high school as a wedding planning assistant. She ran with this discovery in college and became involved with various large and small events on campus, and graduated from Western Washington University in Communications, with minors in Event Planning and Business.

While interning at a local event company, CRG Events, Carly helped plan a major event at AQUA by El Gaucho for a client, and says she fell in love with the views, food, service and team. Carly officially joined the team in October 2012, and was promoted to Private Dining Director shortly thereafter.

“I like that I have had the chance to experience both sides of events at AQUA, as a client and employee,” Carly says. “It helps give me a holistic understanding of the event booking and planning process.”

Born in Scottsdale, Arizona, Carly and her family moved to Washington when she was six years old. She attended Lake Washington High School in Kirkland before going on to college – one of her most important accomplishments, as she is the first person in her family to earn a college degree. While in school, she worked as a restaurant hostess, which helped her understand restaurant operations. “I have really enjoyed applying my different experiences to my position at AQUA,” she says.

Carly’s favorite part of working for AQUA is her teammates. “I love my AQUA family. We all have a common goal of creating the perfect experience for our guests, continuing to improve ourselves and the restaurant to achieve that,” she explains. “I also love the clients I get to work with – sharing our guest’s special moments is very rewarding.”

There’s a lot of work involved leading up to those ‘special moments.’ One example of a challenging request Carly received was a client calling the day before an event, hoping to add additional entertainment to their 100 person appetizer party. “In 24 hours we booked dueling pianos, ordered a stage for the pianos to sit on, created a signature cocktail, and hired an entertainer to wear a table skirt serving the cocktails.” Carly exclaims, “We pulled it off, and most importantly, the guests had a great time!” All in a day’s work for an event director.

When Carly’s not booking dinners and entertainment to dazzle the guests, she enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and fiancé Ryan McGovern, by hiking, bike riding, kayaking, attending concerts, wine tasting and traveling. She also enjoys starting each day at the gym before heading to work, referring to it as her ‘me’ time. And, if planning events for others doesn’t keep her busy enough, Carly is planning her own wedding right now, set for June.

If you can’t tell, Carly enjoys creating experiences and long lasting memories for people. She shares, “I want people to know they can trust us! Whether it’s a major business deal, your wedding day, or a significant birthday, you can trust us with the details. Our team cares and gives each event the attention it deserves.”

Let Carly help you create memories and celebrate life with your next event at AQUA by El Gaucho. Contact: 206-956-8171 or


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