The Mansion | Mankin Mansion Blog - Part 3

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How to Plan a Cocktail Reception

November 16th, 2015

More couples are opting for cocktail parties over traditional wedding receptions. While going the more classic route is great, going against the grain with a cocktail party could completely transform your wedding experience. You and your guests will love all of the perks that cocktail parties have to offer. If you’re ready to jump in on the latest trend in wedding receptions, we’ve got you covered!

Invitations
The first step to planning your amazing cocktail party is making it plainly clear in your wedding invitations that you are doing so. You don’t want guests arriving to your cocktail party expecting a three-course meal. Explicitly state that there will be hors d’oeuvres and drinks in order to avoid any confusion.

Photo credit: IYQ Photography

Photo credit: IYQ Photography

Venue
When choosing a venue for your cocktail reception keep in mind that the object of the game is for everyone to have an incredible time mingling and getting to know one another. Choose a venue with enough space to suit your crowd and think outside of the box during your research process. Art galleries, bistros and all-inclusive wedding sites, such as Historic Mankin Mansion, are perfect locations for cocktail receptions.

Food & Drinks
Having a variety of appetizers to pass around your cocktail reception is key. It is essential that you have enough hors d’oeuvres to satisfy your guests since there will not be a formal sit-down dinner. Miniature hamburger sliders, veggie skewers and crostini are great menu items that will be easy for your guests to handle as they move about the room. It’s important to mix up your drink menu as well. Order a selection of beers, red and white wines, and soft drinks for guests who don’t drink alcohol. However, don’t forget the signature cocktail – your celebration won’t be complete without it!

Photo credit: Don Mears Photography

Photo credit: Don Mears Photography

No one can resist a good party with tasty food and drinks galore. Consider a lively cocktail party for your wedding reception – you won’t be disappointed!

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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A Big Thank you to our Veterans

November 11th, 2015

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This Veterans Day, we’d like to extend our sincerest thanks to all those who have served to ensure our continued freedom. We are, and will always be, grateful.

As part of our thanks, we would invite veterans to email us with their name and contact information, along with the dates of their military service, so they can be considered for our Veterans Day gift.

We will select (5) winners to enjoy a stay at the Mansion, along with a guest, on Saturday, November 28. Simply contact us at weddings@historicmankinmansion.com, and we’ll be in touch soon.

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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HMM in the News: Virginia Living!

November 2nd, 2015

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We were over the moon when we heard the great news that Historic Mankin Mansion has once again been selected by Virginia Living Magazine as one of the top Wedding Vendors of 2016! We feel so honored to be selected among some of the most elite wedding professionals in Virginia.

A special congratulations to our fellow wedding professionals who were also included in this honor.

We’d also like to extend our thanks, not only to Virginia Living, but to our friends, colleagues and brides who support us each and every day. We couldn’t have done this with you and we promise to continue striving to exceed expectations!

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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How To Embrace the Guest Experience

October 19th, 2015

Ah, the guest experience. Everyone’s talking about it, but what exactly does it entail? Essentially, the guest experience is about flipping the switch on wedding planning and considering your special day from the guests’ perspective. While a wedding does belong to the newlyweds, most couples can attest that the best weddings are the ones where both they and their guests alike can kick back and have the time of their lives. The question now is, how does one ensure their guests have a once-in-a-lifetime wedding experience?

First things first
The very first thing you’ll want to focus on is creature comforts. While your guests may appreciate the handmade welcome bags, they won’t be thanking you for sitting outside in sweltering heat without water. Always, always, always be sure there is enough water, food, and shade to keep your guests comfortable. Alternately, if yours is a winter wedding or will be outdoors in the evening, ensure that the heat is cranked up enough to keep everyone cozy.

Let them drink
We may not have to tell you this, but don’t (we repeat – DON’T) have a cash bar. Cash bars force guests to worry about money through the night and aren’t conducive to a carefree wedding environment. On a budget? Stick to beer and wine.

Consider the timeline
Make the day easy on your guests by ensuring they have comfortable amounts of time to get from place to place. Even if you’re staying on site, consider where your guests’ accommodations are and work with their timetable alongside your own.

No squeezing
Simply put, find a venue that will comfortably fit all of your guests and provide enough tables so they’re not squished in like sardines. Guests should be rubbing elbows on the dance floor, not at the dinner table!

Add a special touch
Welcome bags, personalized favors, and other goodies are a great way to send your guests home with a token from the wedding.

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Photo credit: Kuhn’s Photo

Get interactive
Give your guests something to do at your wedding, other than just to eat and dance. Candy bars, s’mores setups, photo booths – the sky’s the limit! Get creative and incorporate some of you and your beau’s personalities into a custom wedding experience for guests.

And at the end of the day, just have fun with it. Your guests are already thrilled to be a part of your special day so anything else is just icing on the (wedding) cake!

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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How to Spoil Your Wedding Party

September 28th, 2015

Your wedding party is there for you, even as the wedding planning gets a bit hectic. So, it’s only fair that you’re there for them, right? There are a number of ways to show your closest ladies and gents that you appreciate their commitment, but it’s important that you do take some time to dedicate to them. They are your support team, of course!

Gifts
It’s become tradition to surprise your bridesmaids or groomsmen with a little something special on the big day to thank them for all they’ve done. Whether it’s a customized bag, a fancy cigar, or a special necklace, think about your relationships with your party and work from there.

Matching outfits
It’s always a nice gesture to get some matching clothes for the “getting ready” stage on the day of the wedding. Brides often get their ladies some colorful silk robes or tank tops, but grooms can also get in on the fun with embroidered polos, t-shirts, or tanks!

Brunches
Who doesn’t love brunch? Take your wedding party out for brunch every couple of months and take a break from the stress of planning! Provide a quick recap on where the planning stands and then move on to mimosas and the omelette bar!

Be nice
It sounds simple enough, but we can’t stress this one enough. You could take your party out every week and buy a Ferrari for every member but it doesn’t make up for a true bridezilla or groomzilla. The kind gestures and thoughtful gifts are always nice touches, but a true friend will treat their wedding party with respect and care. Take their opinions to heart and do not (repeat, do not) be rude or make them do anything they don’t feel comfortable with.

As always, it comes back to the Golden Rule – treat your wedding party the way you would like to be treated if the tables were turned. That’s all!

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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HMM Summer Staff Party!

August 24th, 2015

A couple weekends ago, we had the pleasure of hosting our annual Summer Staff Party at the Mansion. Our staff does so much for us and are really the ones who make the weddings happen! Every year, we love to honor them with a special day in their names.

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Oh – and we can’t forget about our furry friends! Thank you to our wonderful staff – we appreciate each and every one of 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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Richmond Wedding Inspiration: Sweet Centerpieces

July 27th, 2015

One of our favorite ways to dress up a reception is with gorgeous centerpieces! There are so many different options to choose from when deciding on reception décor. Here are a few of our favorite centerpieces for you to check out and get inspired for your wedding!

Wildflowers

Centerpieces made with wildflowers are perfect for a beautiful, effortless arrangement. Unlike many other arrangements, these centerpieces don’t use just one type of flower, or a single color. Wildflowers can add a variety of colors to the room and can match any color scheme. This less structured centerpiece is great for bohemian or rustic wedding.

Greenery

Instead of using the usual flowers for your centerpiece, try lush greenery and moss to add a touch of nature to your table. Centerpieces that use lots of greenery have a fresh look that will bring the outdoors in!

Various Vases

Change your idea of what a centerpiece should look like by grouping multiple, different vases in various heights. You can use vases or flower stands in different materials like glass, brass or silver, and different coordinating flowers in each vase to add a unique twist to your centerpieces.

Candles

Candles create a gorgeous glow at each table when used as centerpieces. Candles are not quite as common as using flowers but they can have a huge effect on the ambiance of the room! Make a big impact with a large glass snifter filled with a votive candle and perhaps some petals to add a pop of color.

 

These are a few of our favorite centerpiece ideas to inspire you for your big day, what will you choose?

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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Corinne and Nick’s HMM Engagement Shoot!

July 6th, 2015

We just LOVE when our clients decide to host their engagement session on our grounds- it adds to the excitement of the impending wedding day. Corinne and Nick are precious and you won’t want to miss these shots – or that adorable pup of theirs! To see the full spread, check out Sean Holder Photography’s website here.

Sean Holder Photography

 

Many thanks to Sean Holder Photography! We send our best to Corinne and Nick and we hope to see you again soon!

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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Tips For Working With Your DJ

June 29th, 2015

Congratulations, you’ve hired an amazing DJ (if you’re a Mansion couple, then it’s Martin!) for your wedding and now its time to follow these tips to help ensure you have the best possible DJ experience!

DJ

Pre-Wedding Meet-Up

Because of the convenience of the Internet, some people will hire a DJ online after reviewing their website without actually meeting the DJ face to face. If you’ve already booked your DJ make sure that you have an actual in person pre-wedding meet-up so that they can get a feel for your personality and the types of music and vibe you’ll want during your day. Couples booked here at the Mansion have an extensive meeting with our DJ, so we’ll have you covered!

Talk Out the Timeline

A wonderful perk to choosing a DJ for your wedding is that they can also act as your MC. As the MC, your DJ can help to tour guide the day and keep everyone on track. They are the perfect person to introduce the wedding party at the reception or announce that the cake is being cut. By discussing your timeline with your DJ in advance, you can make sure that everyone is on the same page for how you would like the day to unfold. Also discussing your timeline means you don’t have to worry about managing things on your big day!

Do and Do Not Play Lists

Everyone has their own favorite song so make sure you let your DJ know the must play music that you definitely will want played. You don’t want to wait all night and never hear your favorite jam. On the flip side, also be sure that you specify songs that make you cringe and that you do not want played!

Hopefully these tips will help you in your planning to have the best possible experience with your wedding DJ!

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 Day-Of Emergency Kit

June 15th, 2015

It’s your wedding day and you have everything planned to a T, but even the most prepared couples may run into some day-of emergencies. Despite the unavoidable hiccups, you can be ready to handle anything that comes your way with the perfect day-of emergency kit! Here are some items you shouldn’t be without on her big day!

Dress Defenders

A bride’s dress is one of the quintessential items that represent her wedding. Every bride wants to look perfect in her special dress. These are the items we suggest to have on hand, just in case you stumble across a gown snafu! Keep a sewing kit on hand with white thread, and needles, so you can re-stich a torn veil or ripped seam. If you’re not a confident seamstress, have a few safety pins available to quickly pin up a fallen hem. If you’re wearing all white, it always feels inevitable that something with spill on your attire, so be prepared to handle any drop of red wine or stains with a bleach pen.

Hair and Make-up MacGyver’s

Every bride wants to be picture-perfect, from her walk down the aisle all the way to driving off in a car adorned with a sign reading “just married.” To stay prepared, you’ll want to be sure to keep these items near by! Blotting papers are an essential item for keeping your skin fresh and oil-free without having to add extra powder to your face. A tube of lip balm is the perfect way to keep your lips primed for the first kiss! Pack some Q-tips to clean up any stray mascara or smudged eyeliner that may occur due to humid weather or tears of joy! Keep a concealer pen in your bag, so you can touch up any last minute imperfections that pop up. Lastly, bobby pins are essential for keeping any flyaway hair in place.

Reception Rescuers

With the excitement of your wedding going on, you don’t want to have to worry about any last minute issues. There are a few items to keep on hand so you can keep the focus on having fun at your reception! A protein bar or packet of trail mix is a good way to kill the munchies until dinner is served (you’ll want the energy!). We hate to say it, but sometimes blisters are inevitable when dancing up a storm in your too-cute-to-ditch heels. Quick fix: pop a bandage over that bad boy and keep on going (or, you know, switch to the flats sitting under the sweetheart table – barefoot is an option too!). Finally, after dinner is finished and you’re going in for another kiss, you’ll surely want to have some breath mints on hand (Colgate Wisps, a portable toothbrush and toothpick, work great too!).

There’s always the possibility of wedding emergencies occurring, but keep in mind that your day is about marrying the person you love. No need to get too hung up on the small things! Nobody will remember a spot on your train or smudge of lipstick, but they will remember all the love that you and your significant other showed at your wedding.

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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