Marilyn Patterson


Photography by Jonathan Thorpe

“I love what I do. Smiling faces give me the greatest gratification." So says Marilyn Patterson, a 5th generation Alexandrian and founder & CEO of Joyous Events, a special events management company based in Old Town. The company started in 2004 doing destination weddings for cruise lines that included Royal Caribbean and Carnival. In addition to social events, their current work includes assisting small businesses and local non-profits to elevate their brands.


“Events are a tool that you can use in a number of ways. Advertising and marketing, as well as celebrating,” Marilyn says of her work. A particular point of pride, she says, are the many referrals she receives from satisfied customers. “I can think of no better compliment than someone sending their trusted friend to us.”

"I lost my best friend to complications related to heart disease. The American Heart Association holds a very special place in my heart."

Marilyn also serves as Executive Director of First Night Alexandria, an organization promoting the performing arts in a family-friendly manner. Additionally, Marilyn is actively involved in the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women initiative. "I lost my best friend to complications related to heart disease. The American Heart Association holds a very special place in my heart." Marilyn is also an annual attendee of Arlington Link’s Red Dress event, a program dedicated to raising awareness of the impact of heart health on women of color.


Join Marilyn in her mission to Go Red for Women by making a donation in her name to the Go Red for Women campaign.


Join the movement. Raise awareness. Go red.

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