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Tips and Tricks for Planning Your Rehearsal Dinner

May 25th, 2015

A rehearsal dinner is the beginning of all of the excitement of your wedding celebration – which is exactly why it should start off with a bang!

Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner takes place directly after the ceremony rehearsal, and is a great opportunity for the couple’s family and friends to get to know one another and let loose before the actual wedding. The rehearsal dinner also helps to take the pressure off of the actual wedding because the immediate family and wedding party will have had the chance to become familiar and comfortable with each other.

So today, we’re sharing some of our favorite tips for planning your rehearsal dinner:

Top Photo Credit: PW Photography Bottom Photo Credit: 88 Love Stories

Top Photo Credit: PW Photography Bottom Photo Credit: 88 Love Stories

Budget:

Traditionally the groom’s parents pay for, and host, the rehearsal dinner. However, it is becoming more common for the couple getting married to pay, or for the families of the couple to split the dinner’s cost in half. Regardless of who is paying, you’ll likely have a budget set for the dinner. Rehearsals that have long guest lists can save money by doing cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres instead of a full dinner. Another great budget friendly tip is to have dinner in a casual setting.

 Guest List

There aren’t any set-in-stone rules for the guest list but, since the event is about appreciation, make sure to invite those you want to thank for helping out with your special day. Normally, the rehearsal dinner includes the wedding party, their dates or spouses, and immediate family of the bride and groom. It is also a nice practice to invite out-of-town guests that may not be familiar with the area or have plans for the night prior to the wedding.

Toasting:

Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner is hosted by the groom’s family; therefore, it may be fitting to have the groom’s father lead the toasts. The order can vary, but traditionally, the bride’s father gives the next toast. Of course, the order of the night can be fit to the couple’s preferences, but you’ll want to have an idea of which guests will be giving toasts. The rehearsal dinner is less formal than the wedding, so toasts can be given with more of a humorous and fun approach. Overall, you’ll just want to be sure that the people who helped to make your wedding day happen are properly thanked.

Really, the key to a successful rehearsal dinner is to relax and have fun with those dearest to you! We just love hosting rehearsal dinners as a part of our wedding weekends here at Historic Mankin Mansion. Contact us for more information – we would love to hear more about your big plans!

See you soon,

Paula & Martin Ramirez

Martin and Paula Ramirez are the proprietors of Historic Mankin Mansion Wedding Resort. They enjoy opening their hearts & home to host countless happy couples on their most special day. They have lovingly created a private wedding estate like no other and are honored to share their dream with so many beautiful couples!

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The Perfect Color Palette

May 11th, 2015

There are a number of details that work together to create the perfect wedding design, and the good news is that all of these can be brought together and connected with a harmonious color palette. The color palette can greatly influence the look of your big day- a focus on muted, dusty rose for example, will be a completely different feel than a wedding with an all black and gold palette. Regardless of what color scheme you select, the key is to make sure it reflects your personal style.

You have so much choices at your fingertips, which can be both wonderful and overwhelming. Not sure where to get started? Here are a few favorite color schemes catching our eyes these days:

Neutrals

Neutral color palettes have been very popular over the past year. The trend can be incorporated into many different wedding styles and can also complement most spaces. Neutral beige tones have a natural, effortless look, which makes them a perfect choice for a classic event or whimsical outdoor wedding. Neutral palettes also provide the perfect backdrop for floral designs filled with crisp white flowers or lush greenery.

Aqua and Pale Pink 

If you’re looking for a truly charming color combo, look no further than aqua and pale pink. The fun color mix is beautiful for a spring or summer wedding. Just imagine how lovely bouquets of pale pink peonies would look against aqua bridesmaids dresses at a garden wedding. This is a standout choice for a couple that wants something a little unexpected.

Black, White, Pink and Gold

Combining black, white, pink and gold is a modern twist on a romantic look. Black adds a modern edge to the delicate mix of white, pink and gold. The high contrast between black and white is perfectly complemented by the rosy pink tones. Adding a metallic adds a modern shine to your wedding colors. When using this palette, we especially love the bold look of using black and white patterned linens to add an extra pop of interest to your wedding design.

What are your favorite wedding color combinations? Feel free to share in the comments!

See you soon,

Paula & Martin Ramirez

Martin and Paula Ramirez are the proprietors of Historic Mankin Mansion Wedding Resort. They enjoy opening their hearts & home to host countless happy couples on their most special day. They have lovingly created a private wedding estate like no other and are honored to share their dream with so many beautiful couples!

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Something Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

April 27th, 2015

Have you found your “something old, new, borrowed, and blue?” You may be surprised to find out that this well-known saying is missing a final item. This Victorian era tradition started from the Old English rhyme “Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, a Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe” but most American brides choose to leave out the silver coin (although you can easily incorporate the tradition by purchasing a sixpence at your local bride shop or at online retailers such as Amazon). Each item of the tradition is a token of good luck for the bride and helps to ensure a happy marriage.

Here are some ideas for how you can incorporate this tradition into your big day!

Something Old

Something old symbolizes continuity with the bride’s family and the past. Add something old by incorporating a piece of jewelry from a family member. If you already have your wedding jewelry picked out use a family member’s brooch to pin the binding of your bouquet! If you are going for a modern look and you are afraid that antique jewelry may not work with your look try pinning a brooch to the inside of your dress, it doesn’t have to be visible but you can still have this special memento close to your heart!

Source left: WedLuxe Photo Credit: Misty Enright Photography Source right: Brides Photo Credit: Perry Vaile

Source left: WedLuxe Photo Credit: Misty Enright Photography Source right: Brides Photo Credit: Perry Vaile

Something New

Something new symbolizes optimism for the future. Something new can be an easy item to check off your list if you are wearing a new wedding dress, new wedding makeup, or new garter!

Source left: Bride Guide Photo Credit: The Becker Source right: Green Wedding Shoes Photo Credit: Carl Zoch

Source left: Bride Guide Photo Credit: The Becker Source right: Green Wedding Shoes Photo Credit: Carl Zoch

Something Borrowed

Something borrowed symbolizes borrowed happiness. Borrow an item from a happily married family member or friend and let their marriage act as an inspiration for your happiness. Borrow your veil or jewelry from a woman whose marriage you admire!

Source left: Want That Wedding Photo Credit: Rylee Hitchner Source right: hey Wedding Lady Photo Credit: Ellie Asher

Source left: Want That Wedding Photo Credit: Rylee Hitchner Source right: hey Wedding Lady Photo Credit: Ellie Asher

Something Blue

Something blue symbolizes purity and fidelity. The color blue also represented love in ancient roman times. Add something blue to your wedding day by wearing blue shoes or by tying a blue sash around your dress. For a hidden blue detail have a seamstress add your monogram and wedding date to the lining of your dress.

Source left: The Perfect Palette Source top right: Style Me Pretty Photo Credit: Kelly Sauer Source bottom right: Style Me Pretty Photo Credit: Mint Photography

Source left: The Perfect Palette Source top right: Style Me Pretty Photo Credit: Kelly Sauer Source bottom right: Style Me Pretty Photo Credit: Mint Photography

Now that you have a few ideas on how to incorporate something old, new, borrowed, and blue to your wedding day remember that regardless of what you wear you’re going to have an amazing day and a marriage full of love!

See you soon,

Paula & Martin Ramirez

Martin and Paula Ramirez are the proprietors of Historic Mankin Mansion Wedding Resort. They enjoy opening their hearts & home to host countless happy couples on their most special day. They have lovingly created a private wedding estate like no other and are honored to share their dream with so many beautiful couples!

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Personalizing your Wedding

April 20th, 2015

Wedding personalization is a hot trend and we don’t see it going anywhere any time soon.  A wedding day belongs to the couple, so why not show it in the details? Today, we’re sharing a few ideas on how to customize your wedding to you and your partner’s liking, but remember: when it comes down to it, wedding personalization is all about being creative together!

Initials

What better than to showcase your brand new initials at your reception? Whether it’s done through monogram lighting or as simple as a stamp on your programs or menus, your new initials will be a perfect way to honor your marriage!

Shared Moments

Did you and your other half meet at a wine tasting? Was your first date to a sporting event? Do you share a passion for dogs or for running? Whatever it is, there is surely a way for you and your partner to incorporate your lives together into the details of your wedding.

Honor Your Heritage

Whether Jewish, Indian, Scottish, or Chinese, every culture has certain wedding customs that can easily be adapted into your ceremony. Talk to your family or your in-laws to learn more about the cultural traditions that you can include in your wedding. From the clothing worn to the colors displayed to the food served, there is certainly a way to honor your families on your big day.

Pick the Right Tunes

Of course, there are those songs that are played at every wedding. But, if you want to really amp up the personalization, have a chat with your DJ or band. Share your favorite songs and why they mean so much to you – they are experts in crafting playlists for the night, so let them take it from there!

Photos

A picture is worth a thousand words and weddings are no exception. Include pictures of your loved ones, those who couldn’t join, and even baby pictures of you and your partner. Your guests will love to look at them and it will really add to the experience!

Handwritten Vows

Yep, we saved the best for last. If nothing else, handwritten vows are the truest way of personalizing your wedding. Writing your own vows allows you and your partner to put into words what you genuinely feel for each other, without the constraints of pre-scripted verbiage. Share some favorite moments together or when you truly realized that you were meant to be together – the more sincere, the better. There won’t be a dry eye in the room, and that includes you!

There are so many ways to make your special day belong to you and your partner. What are your favorite ideas?

See you soon,

Paula & Martin Ramirez

Martin and Paula Ramirez are the proprietors of Historic Mankin Mansion Wedding Resort. They enjoy opening their hearts & home to host countless happy couples on their most special day. They have lovingly created a private wedding estate like no other and are honored to share their dream with so many beautiful couples!

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What Makes a Venue Perfect for You?

April 13th, 2015

There are so many gorgeous venues to choose from, but how do you decide which venue is right for you? Here are some of the top things to consider when choosing a venue!

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Photo Credit: PW Photography

Tone and Style

The venue you choose has a huge impact on the tone of your wedding. If you have a specific tone or style in mind to help set the mood of your event, be sure that your venue matches what you have in mind. For example, the Historic Mankin Mansion is the perfect venue for a vintage, romantic styled wedding. Having the right venue allows for an easier time decorating because you already have the ideal backdrop!

Location

You may love the idea of choosing a far off venue location, but think about how accessible the location will be for your guests. If you are planning on having a large wedding, you’ll need to make sure that your guests will realistically be able to get to the location of your venue. You will also need to consider transportation and hotels in relation to your venue. Is it easy to find parking near your venue, or will you need to provide a bus or car service to bring guests to your venue from a different location? If many guests are from out of town and will be need a place to stay, are there hotels near your venue? As you can see, location plays a huge role when deciding which venue works for you!

Budget

When deciding on your venue, it’s imperative to keep your budget in mind. Certain venues can drastically help or hurt your budget! For example, is your venue full-service or not? If not, you will need to hire additional vendors to provide seating, lighting, planning, and other necessities, on top of the cost of renting the venue. Having to find and pay for your wedding services may be more expensive than choosing a venue that already provides all the things you love and need!

What are your tips for choosing the perfect venue? Be sure to leave your ideas in the comments!

See you soon,

Paula & Martin Ramirez

Martin and Paula Ramirez are the proprietors of Historic Mankin Mansion Wedding Resort. They enjoy opening their hearts & home to host countless happy couples on their most special day. They have lovingly created a private wedding estate like no other and are honored to share their dream with so many beautiful couples!

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Post-Wedding Recovery

April 6th, 2015

The festivities have ended, the guests have gone back to their hotels, and you and your new spouse are sitting amidst a pile of gifts and emotions. You just had the most spectacular day of your life – but now what? You may feel over the moon or you may feel a bit blue. It’s natural to feel a little drained after such an emotional day, so embrace your feelings, as well as your new life as newlyweds.

Enjoy your Night Together

While it may seem obvious, you and your new partner-in-crime should live it up like it’s the first day of your lives together – oh wait, it is! Stay up late playing board games or dig into the leftover wedding cake and talk about the future. Whatever it means for the two of you, make the evening special.

Wake Up Early

We know you’re tired, but try and get an early start with your partner the following morning. Seize the new day – your first day as a married couple! Brew your favorite coffee and watch the sunrise together. You’ll have plenty of other opportunities to sleep in together!

Open Presents!

You’ve been eyeing that beautifully wrapped package since you saw your cousin drop it off at the gift table. Now is the time to crack open a bottle of wine and open those gifts with your partner! Don’t forget to keep a list of who gave what to make for easy thank-you cards.

Don’t Jump into the Honeymoon

Traditionally, newlyweds jet off to their honeymoon destination the day after their wedding, but it may do you well to hold back a day or two. Give yourselves some time to adjust to being married and enjoy a few days together doing absolutely nothing. You also won’t have to worry about the stress of packing and preparing for a honeymoon trip during the busy days prior to the wedding.

Have Brunch

Who doesn’t love brunch? There’s a good chance that family and close friends will still be in town after the wedding, so hosting a morning-after brunch is a great way to enjoy time with loved ones while staying relaxed and enjoying those blissful hours. Plus, those mimosas have your name written all over them!

 

Of course, these are all suggestions of how to ease into married life together, but what really matters is that you make every moment count. Take silly pictures together. Go on an adventure. You won’t get your first days back, so be sure they’re full of memories!

See you soon,

Paula & Martin Ramirez

Martin and Paula Ramirez are the proprietors of Historic Mankin Mansion Wedding Resort. They enjoy opening their hearts & home to host countless happy couples on their most special day. They have lovingly created a private wedding estate like no other and are honored to share their dream with so many beautiful couples!

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Timeless Wedding Trends

March 30th, 2015

Every year we’re excited to see the newest wedding trends, but to our delight there are some trends that are always in style. Here are some of our favorite timeless wedding trends that continue to be chic year after year!

The Classic White Wedding Dress

Even if you’re getting married after Labor Day, white dresses are always in fashion! White wedding dresses come in a wide variety of cuts and styles that will perfectly fit your personal aesthetic. Having a white dress also allows you to have a little fun with your accessories or flowers. Who doesn’t love the idea of pairing a classic white dress but with a bouquet that incorporates the latest flower trend? A mix of classic and trendy can keep the look fresh, but also prevents regret from being decked out in a passing fad when looking at your wedding pictures with your grandkids years from now.

Roses

When you think weddings, of course gorgeous flowers are first to come to mind! Of all of the beautiful flowers, there is nothing like the timeless rose. Roses are especially perfect for weddings because of the wide range of meanings you can express through the number and color of your roses. We all know that the traditional red rose stands for sincere love, respect, courage, and passion. But, did you know that a bouquet of 99 roses represents that you will love your significant other for as long as you live? Tell your love story without words by choosing the right roses for you!

Monograms

Your name will never go out of style, so why not incorporate your new initials into your wedding? Your wedding is the beginning of many firsts as a married couple, which includes sharing a last name. Your new name will last a lifetime, so be creative and include your new monogram at your wedding. A lovely way to start using your new initials is to have your monogram stitched onto a glamorous robe to wear while getting your wedding hair and make up done. To incorporate your new last initial into your reception, have a beautiful cutout of your new last initial created and use it as a cake topper, or tie it to the back of your bride and groom’s chair as a decoration. The possibilities are endless!

What are your favorite timeless trends? Let us know in the comments!

See you soon,

Paula & Martin Ramirez

Martin and Paula Ramirez are the proprietors of Historic Mankin Mansion Wedding Resort. They enjoy opening their hearts & home to host countless happy couples on their most special day. They have lovingly created a private wedding estate like no other and are honored to share their dream with so many beautiful couples!

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The Night Before…

March 16th, 2015

The rehearsal dinner is over, your guests have settled in their rooms, and tomorrow is the day you’ve been waiting for. How will you ever pass the time until you can walk down the aisle to your one true love? Don’t let the jitters take over and keep yourself occupied!

Prepare (but don’t overdo it!)

You’re allowed to check over your lists and plans once (OK, maybe twice!), just to be sure everything is in place. Have your dress ready in the closet with your day-of accessories nearby. Prepare enough that you won’t be stressed out in the morning, but don’t let yourself get carried away. There’s no need to call the caterer at midnight, just to be sure everything will go smoothly – it will.

Do something special for your partner

We’re not talking about writing your vows or putting together a grand display of affection, but find the time to write a short note or get a small token to surprise him before the ceremony. It’ll add a sweet touch to the day and we’re sure he’ll keep it forever!

Have a slumber party

This may be one of your last opportunities to have a girls’ night in, so take it! Put on your comfiest pajamas, break out a bottle of wine (but don’t overdo it – you don’t want a headache in the morning!), and settle in for a night of movies, games, and fun with your closest ladies.

Give up the iPhone

Hand over your most beloved device to a girlfriend and take the evening to pull back and unwind from the planning process. If there are things that need to be taken care of, delegate the duties to parents or in-laws. You deserve a break! Cutting yourself off from technology will not only allow you to relax with your bridesmaids, but it will also help you sleep better!

Sleep

Do not let your excitement (or your bridesmaids!) get in the way of your sleep! Surely, you’ll have to wake up early to start preparing and the last thing you want on your wedding day is grogginess with a side of under-eye bags. One way to ensure a sound sleep is to wake up extra early the morning before the wedding, so you’ll be ready to hit the hay when it comes to bedtime!

why-brides-need-sleep

Source: Brides.com

 

Whatever your night-before plans are, be sure you are relaxing and taking it easy! Don’t let yourself get wrapped up in any stress – consider the planning process out of your hands and allow yourself to enjoy the hours before the wedding for what it is. After all, in less than 24 hours, you’ll be saying “I do” to your special someone!

See you soon,
Paula & Martin Ramirez

Martin and Paula Ramirez are the proprietors of Historic Mankin Mansion Wedding Resort. They enjoy opening their hearts & home to host countless happy couples on their most special day. They have lovingly created a private wedding estate like no other and are honored to share their dream with so many beautiful couples!

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Helpful Apps for Wedding Planning

March 2nd, 2015

Nowadays, there is an app for everything, and now we can add wedding planning to the list! With the help of some extremely helpful apps, you can turn your favorite tech item into your wedding planning best friend!

 WeddingWire App

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WeddingWire has four fabulous apps for every step of your wedding!

  • WeddingWire is the app to use to “stay organized” during the planning stages. You can keep track of your “Checklist, Budget, Guest list and RSVPs” all with a touch of a button!
  • WedTeam is the perfect app for finding the right vendor for you!
  • WedStyle is the app to use to keep up with all the latest wedding trends. An amazing feature of this app is that you can get fast feedback from the wedding community on tough decisions like which shoes or veil to wear!
  • WedSocial will help you “capture wedding photos” and keep all of your guests informed about every last detail about your special day!

 Pinterest App

pinterest

Does anyone else have a “fantasy wedding” Pinterest board? Scroll through all of the inspirational photos and ”pin” all of your favorite ideas! Being able to organize different wedding themes, bridal looks, or even unique flowers makes it easy to visually share what you want for your wedding day with your planner!

Wedding Party App

wedding planner

“Simply your life” with the Wedding Party app! Organize, plan and stay connected all in one spot. Make sure to let all your guests know to use this app to stay in the loop and add memorable photos from the big day!

Wedding Planner App by the knot

knot

Using this app is like having your own personal wedding planner in your pocket! Manage all of your pre-wedding plans and check out beautiful real wedding photos to get inspiration.

Take our advice- download one or all of these apps and find out which one works best for you!

See you soon,

Paula & Martin Ramirez

Martin and Paula Ramirez are the proprietors of Historic Mankin Mansion Wedding Resort. They enjoy opening their hearts & home to host countless happy couples on their most special day. They have lovingly created a private wedding estate like no other and are honored to share their dream with so many beautiful couples!

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Creative Decoration Ideas to Use When You Say “I Do”

February 2nd, 2015

You’ve put a lot of thought into walking down the aisle, reciting your vows, and the very important first kiss as a married couple. Now make sure that the backdrop to all these exciting moments is just as special! Here are a few creative ways to decorate the ceremony site at your wedding:

Flower in vase

Get your Wedding Started in Full Bloom

All eyes are on the bride as she walks down the aisle, so why not make that walk even more lovely with the addition of flowers. There are a few ways to create a beautifully decorated aisle using flowers. One option is to take some pointers from the flower girl and have the border of the aisle blanketed with flower petals. Another is to attach a vase or bundle of flowers to the chairs along the aisle. If you want to try for something a bit more unique, try creating handcrafted flowers out of paper.

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Brighten Up your Special Day with Lights

Use lighting to add a special glow to your ceremony. You can brighten the bride’s path to the altar with lanterns either hanging from posts or carefully located on the ground. Another way to utilize the magical sparkle of lights is to add a canopy of string lights at the altar.

Sign

Share a Special Message

As guests arrive to take their seats share a special message from the couple. Remind guests of the love that is taking place at the ceremony with signs declaring your love or a request to use a specific hashtag on social media with the pictures that they post. A fun way to share your message is on a framed chalkboard.

The possibilities are just endless when it comes to adding a bit of pizzazz to your ceremony!

See you soon,

Paula & Martin Ramirez

Martin and Paula Ramirez are the proprietors of Historic Mankin Mansion Wedding Resort. They enjoy opening their hearts & home to host countless happy couples on their most special day. They have lovingly created a private wedding estate like no other and are honored to share their dream with so many beautiful couples!

Credit: Lori Allen Photography, Mike Topham Photography, and Mykkah Photography

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