Bed And Breakfast In Richmond Va | Mankin Mansion Blog - Part 2

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Aisle A-List: We’d Love your Support

June 13th, 2012

This summer, Richmond Bride Magazine is hosting the first annual Aisle A-List survey, to select the best of the best wedding professionals  here in Richmond.  We’ve been most appreciative of everyone’s support of the Mansion over the years and thank you for considering us as you cast your vote.  All participants will be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift certificate to Strawberry Street Cafe and voting ends on July 31, 2012.

Please click HERE for more information and to vote.

Thank you in advance for your support!

See you soon,
Paula & Martin Ramirez

Paula and Martin Ramirez are the proprietors of Historic Mankin Mansion, a wedding resort and bed and breakfast just minutes from Downtown Richmond. They enjoy new restaurant finds, Virginia wines and discovering fun events and activities throughout the area for their guests.

Photo credit: Marta Locklear Photography

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Real Richmond Wedding: Lisa and James!

June 7th, 2012

We love connecting with photographers after a wedding at the Mansion and revisiting the Big Day through their lens.  Lisa and James were married at the Mansion just a few weeks ago and we were delighted to reconnect with David Abel Photography. Enjoy some favorite shots from the day-

To check out more from Lisa and James’ wedding, visit David’s blog. Congrats to the happy couple and thank you to David for taking the time to share these fabulous images with us!

See you soon,
Paula & Martin Ramirez

Paula and Martin Ramirez are the proprietors of Historic Mankin Mansion, a wedding resort and bed and breakfast just minutes from Downtown Richmond. They enjoy new restaurant finds, Virginia wines and discovering fun events and activities throughout the area for their guests.

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Q&A with Cakes by Graham

June 4th, 2012
Sweet treats are always a big hit with wedding guests and we here at the Mansion always love to oooh and ahhh over the wedding cakes. We have had the pleasure of tasting a few (okay, maybe a little more than a few!) cakes from Cakes by Graham and we’re here to tell you that they are both gorgeous and delicious. We sat down with Graham to find out how he got his start and he was also happy to share some tips for our 2012 brides.
Take it away, Graham-
Mind giving us a little background as to how you got your start in the wedding industry?

I graduated High School at 16 and joined the Army, where I served 16 years with the British Military.  My interest in cakes started as a hobby.  I served as a Master Chef Instructor in the British Army.   In Ft. Lee, I served with the American Army as the Pastry Team Captain and Technical Advisor.  I trained food service personnel and the U.S. Army Culinary Arts Team (USACAT).

In 1991, I got out of the British Army and worked at 2 local bakeries back to back.  I worked at each of the bakeries for about a year.  It was during this time that I had the desire to start my own business.  In 1994, after I wrote my business plan, I sought advice and opened Cakes by Graham.  Wanting to stand out from what was already existing, I came up with the slogan “More than just the icing on the cake” and “Richmond’s only custom cakery”.  Weddings became a large part of Cakes by Graham.

What is your favorite part about working in the wedding industry?

My favorite part of working in the wedding industry is meeting with the bride, finding out what her vision is, and taking her vision and transforming it into a visual/physical object for everyone to savor.  It is about seeing the end result and hearing the feedback from the bride that the cake exceeded her expectations, ultimately, adding even more joy to such a memorable day.

What question do you most often get from brides about wedding cakes?

One of the most common questions I get from brides about wedding cakes, especially in the beginning of the planning process, is about budget.  Initially, she does not know how to set a budget and pre-printed articles use statistics and averages to determine cost.  Every bride is an individual and not “the average”.  I work with the bride to meet her needs.  It is important for the bride to know that “a cake doesn’t have to be expensive to look expensive”

Are there any favorite wedding trends that you’ve liked as of late?

One of my favorite wedding trends is the bride’s desire to make the cake what she wants it to be.

Any tips you’d like to share with our 2012 brides?

The one tip I have for 2012 brides:  Use websites such as Pinterest, Facebook, Etsy, and Instagram as a guide.  Use them as inspiration only.  Don’t think that all pictures apply to all circumstances- keep in mind that the pictures will probably need to be changed to meet the needs of her individual wedding.  For example, a picture of a 5-tier cake would need to be scaled down to 3 tiers to accommodate a bride’s guest count of 100.

To learn more about Cakes by Graham and set up a tasting, visit their website! Thank you so much Graham for chatting with us!

Paula & Martin Ramirez

Paula and Martin Ramirez are the proprietors of Historic Mankin Mansion, a wedding resort and bed and breakfast just minutes from Downtown Richmond. They enjoy new restaurant finds, Virginia wines and discovering fun events and activities throughout the area for their guests.

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Q&A with The Cordial Cricket!

May 30th, 2012

It’s pretty safe to say that we here at the Mansion love wedding etiquette as much as stationery so we were delighted to get to know Elizabeth Howard of The Cordial Cricket, who is an expert on both! Today, Elizabeth was kind enough to chat with us a bit about how she got her start in the wedding industry, as well as tackles a stationery question we also get all of the time! :)

Take it away, Elizabeth-

Mind giving us a little background as to how you got your start in the wedding industry?

I started my own stationery business out of my home 7 years ago based on my love of invitations, stationery, weddings and etiquette. I have always loved a good old handwritten note and much prefer the tradition of a nicely printed invitation to an evite. I have since trained formally in the world of etiquette and helped hundreds of brides and clients find the perfect invitations and stationery to express their personal style. My business now has three boutique studio locations where I enjoy meeting with brides and clients by appointment to discuss their invitation, stationery and event planning needs.

What is your favorite part about working in the wedding industry?

I truly enjoy spending time to really get to know my clients and developing close personal relationships with them and their families during some of the most special times in their lives. Helping customers to achieve their goals one-on-one is my passion. I am also very “Type-A” and every aspect of the wedding industry, invitations and stationery included, involve lots and lots of details. I thrive on the details of working in the wedding industry.

What question do you most often get from brides about wedding stationery?

This is a tough one because there are so many questions that we get asked repeatedly. Brides certainly want to know about timeline for mailing, which is 8-12 months prior to the wedding for Save the Dates and 6-8 weeks prior to the wedding for invitations. Sometimes brides like to try to come up with reasons they feel it necessary to mail their wedding invitations more than the suggested etiquette guideline of 6-8 weeks before the event. There really is not an acceptable reason to do so, no matter how important the reason may seem. It is just not proper to mail the invitations more than 8 weeks prior to the wedding. Save the dates can really help to balance this desire and get the most crucial information regarding date, travel, accommodations info, etc. in the hands of their guests as far as 8-12 months prior to their special day.

Any tips you’d like to share with our 2012 brides?

Sure, one tip is to capture your guest’s entree selections properly and efficiently if having a plated dinner at your reception. Many find it important just to ask guests to check on the response card which entree they would like, rather than asking who is actually going to have which entree as their meal. It works very well and concisely to ask guests to “Please indicate entree using your initials” on the response cards, which gets you both answers in one, who is having chicken and who is having beef and how many chicken and beef entrees you need to designate for their family/party. This will help immensely and save so much time at your reception when the servers actually know which guests at a table are supposed to get certain entrees.

To learn more about The Cordial Cricket and their services, visit their web site today! Thanks Elizabeth for stopping by!

See you soon,
Paula & Martin Ramirez

Paula and Martin Ramirez are the proprietors of Historic Mankin Mansion, a wedding resort and bed and breakfast just minutes from Downtown Richmond. They enjoy new restaurant finds, Virginia wines and discovering fun events and activities throughout the area for their guests.

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36th Annual Greek Festival

May 24th, 2012

The always popular Greek Festival is making its return on Thursday, May 31 and will be with us in Richmond through Sunday, June 3.

The Saints Constantine and Helen’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral will once again host the event on its grounds, and is  expected to draw a large crowd with its delicious food, shopping, festive music and dancing. With the menu including all of the Greek favorites, you won’t be disappointed. If you can’t stop by the festival for long, you can enjoy their drive-thru with all the best sellers available. If you do have a chance to stay and have a little fun ,we suggest trying the delicious Greek wine or beer.

Every year, the festival gives back to the local community and this year’s charities include Area Congregations Together in Service, ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation, Full Circle and Northfield Ministries.

To see the menu check out their website here. Be sure you’re not missing out on the fun, and make your way to the Greek Festival!

See You Soon,
~Paula & Martin Ramirez

Paula and Martin Ramirez are the proprietors of Historic Mankin Mansion, a wedding resort and bed and breakfast just minutes from Downtown Richmond. They enjoy new restaurant finds, Virginia wines and discovering fun events and activities throughout the area for their guests.

 Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/RVAGreekFestival

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Q&A with Martin Ramirez!

May 23rd, 2012

Nothing gets the party going at a wedding quite like music and here at Historic Mankin Mansion, we’re thrilled to have Martin Ramirez as not only our Proprietor, but our in house Wedding DJ.  Today, Martin sat down with us to chat a bit about how he got his start, as well as tips for making your Big Day both fun and memorable.  So without further ado, here’s Martin-

How did you initially get your start in the wedding industry?  

I have been doing music entertainment for weddings for more than 25 years now.  I started in Southern California and loved DJing from the very start. I gained more knowledge and expertise through the years, and once I became more well known, expanded my services to various areas across the country.

How have weddings changed since you began your wedding career?

When I first began as a DJ, most receptions were held in church halls and it was typically a band that played the music. Now weddings and receptions are more elaborately held in hotels, country clubs, and Historic Mansions. There is significantly more attention to detail, such as color schemes, decor, flowers, than before. In addition, now far more brides and grooms opt for DJ entertainment for their wedding, allowing for a wider variety of artists, genres, as well as control over the entire flow of the party.

What do brides and grooms tend to ask you about the most about wedding day music?

Almost all brides and grooms ask that I play all of their favorite music. This can be challenging when given hours and hours of songs to play. I suggest they make a list of all their favorite songs and then go back and highlight the top 15 songs that are MUST HAVE’s. I ensure those top songs will be sprinkled throughout the night mixed with the others they have chosen.  It takes some of the guess work out while customizing the music to their exact wants.

How can brides and grooms get more creative with their Grand Entrance?

The Grand Introduction is a great time to make it personal or fun depending on the bride & groom, wedding party, and guests.  It is nice to announce to guests, as the wedding party is introduced, not just by their names, but their relationship to the bride and groom. Add something personal as to how they met, a fun fact about them, or something they did together that makes the relationship unique. Brides & grooms can also make up nicknames based on their friends’ personalities as they are being introduced. A sit down meeting with the DJ exploring all options is not only a must, but a great way to brain storm.

Any wedding planning advice you’d like to share with our 2012 brides?

Add personal musical touches to the day. In addition to the dance music, there are many other opportunities to make the day and evening fun through music. There are the traditional first dance and parent dances, but what about cocktail hour and dinner time?  Go beyond the typical background music played during most weddings. There are lots of great styles or combination of genres to choose from. Personalize the list. Feel free to discuss your particular musical likes with the DJ to see how they can be incorporated into the reception. The more the DJ knows about the bride and groom, the more likely the music will be a clear reflection of them on their Big Day.

Thanks Martin!

Paula and Martin Ramirez are the proprietors of Historic Mankin Mansion, a wedding resort and bed and breakfast just minutes from Downtown Richmond. They enjoy new restaurant finds, Virginia wines and discovering fun events and activities throughout the area for their guests.

Our sincerest thanks to Don Mears Photography, Emily Dean Photography and James Linkowitz Photography for the images.

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First Annual Food Cart Derby

May 17th, 2012

Food carts and trucks are all the rage for weddings and parties, so we were pretty thrilled when we stumbled upon this upcoming event. You can check out all Richmond has to offer in the way of Food carts and trucks this Sunday, May 20, at the first annual Food Cart Derby.

The Food Cart Derby will be held at the 17th Street Farmers Market in Downtown Richmond and will include all the local food and beer favorites. With the event starting up at 11am and ending at 6pm, you can come enjoy brunch, lunch and dinner! Over 20 local food carts and breweries will be in attendance. A wide variety of food including BBQ, tacos, hot dogs, pizza, hamburgers and vegetarian cuisine will be sure to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. Bands and DJs will be entertaining foodies throughout the day with the lineup including Hear No Evil, Beast Wellington and DJ Reinhold.

We are sure that this will join the ranks of favorite food festivals in Richmond and hope you enjoy the food you love as well as try something new this weekend at the Food Cart Derby. To see the full list of food carts and breweries that will be there, click here.

See You Soon,
~Paula & Martin Ramirez

Paula and Martin Ramirez are the proprietors of Historic Mankin Mansion, a wedding resort and bed and breakfast just minutes from Downtown Richmond. They enjoy new restaurant finds, Virginia wines and discovering fun events and activities throughout the area for their guests.

 

Photo Credit: http://birdinthebeehive.blogspot.com/2012/04/food-cart-derby.html

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Thanks Richmond Weddings!

May 11th, 2012

After years in the wedding business, we’ve picked up quite a few tips and tricks along the way and we just love sharing our insight with our brides and grooms. Recently, we had the opportunity for not one, but two, fabulous features on RichmondWeddings.com and we’re excited to share them with you today!

Up first- one of our favorite topics! We know that the time immediately following an engagement can be a bit overwhelming. After all, it’s not every day that you plan such a momentous occasion! So we shared a bit of advice about how to get started with your wedding plans:

You may have caught our more creative submission, our poem Who Art Thou Oh Bride

Special thanks to our friends Amye and Scott at Richmond Weddings for the opportunity!

See You Soon,
~Paula & Martin Ramirez

Paula and Martin Ramirez are the proprietors of Historic Mankin Mansion, a wedding resort and bed and breakfast just minutes from Downtown Richmond. They enjoy new restaurant finds, Virginia wines and discovering fun events and activities throughout the area for their guests.

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28th Annual Lebanese Food Festival

May 10th, 2012

The food festivals of Richmond are making their grand return and the Lebanese Food Festival at St. Anthony Maronite Church in Glen Allen is the perfect start to the season.

The Lebanese Food Festival will be held the weekend of May 18, Friday through Sunday, from 10am until 8pm. The menu for the three day festival includes all of your Lebanese favorites with over 20 dishes in which to choose, along with complete dinners and boxed lunches. The favorites include stuffed grape leaves, falafel and hummus. The boxed lunches are available every day prior to 3pm except for Sunday and include three small entrees as well as a delicious dessert. Not up to facing the crowds? Well you’re in luck as full dinners can be ordered by fax throughout the event.

Enjoy traditional music and dancing while you treat yourself to some delicious Lebanese favorites. Whether you are already a fan or you feel like trying something new, this is the perfect festival for you to indulge!

See You Soon,
~Paula & Martin Ramirez

Paula and Martin Ramirez are the proprietors of Historic Mankin Mansion, a wedding resort and bed and breakfast just minutes from Downtown Richmond. They enjoy new restaurant finds, Virginia wines and discovering fun events and activities throughout the area for their guests.

 

Photo Credit: http://www2.richmond.com/

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Q&A with White House Catering

May 7th, 2012

If there is one thing we tell our brides time and time again, it’s this- hire a great Caterer. Nothing makes a good party like a fabulous menu and a great Catering team to execute it.

If you’ve been at the Mansion on a weekend, you’ll more than likely bump into our friends at White House Catering.  Today, their owner David Napier took a moment out of his busy wedding season to share a bit about what they love most about being in the wedding industry, and some key tips

How did you get your start in the wedding industry?

I started as a lead bartender 6 years ago. I landed in the office when I was diagnosed with severe Rheumatoid Arthritis. I had previously worked professionally in the music industry coordinating & booking bands. Brides are much easier than rock stars!


What question do you find brides asking you the most about wedding catering?
These days, cost is the main concern.

What’s the best thing about working in the wedding industry?
The honor of assisting with life long memories. I thoroughly enjoy the excitement of weddings!

Any tips you’d like to share with our 2012 brides?
Do not make this stressful. You are throwing a party. If it is not fun then it is not worth doing.

We couldn’t agree more- wedding planning may be stressful from time to time, but we have no doubt that you can turn it into a fun and memorable experience when you hire great professionals like White House Catering.

Thanks for stopping by!

See You Soon,
~Paula & Martin Ramirez

Paula and Martin Ramirez are the proprietors of Historic Mankin Mansion, a wedding resort and bed and breakfast just minutes from Downtown Richmond. They enjoy new restaurant finds, Virginia wines and discovering fun events and activities throughout the area for their guests.

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