Bed And Breakfast In Richmond | Mankin Mansion Blog - Part 3

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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 Champagne Taste Catering!

May 3rd, 2012

Today we’re back to chat with another one of our favorite wedding pros. Whitney Fero, owner of Champagne Taste Catering, is a regular at the Mansion as you can often find her putting the finishing touches on a memorable menu with one of our couples.

Today, we sat down with Whitney to talk a bit about how she got her start in the industry as well as some wonderful tips for our brides and grooms to be!

How did you get your start in the wedding industry?

I became a caterer because I loved to throw parties and I wanted to make a change in my career.  This was a decade ago.  I have an MBA and wasn’t thrilled with working in corporate America.  It occurred to me one day that I have “Champagne Taste on a beer budget” and that I throw fantastic parties and the idea began.  It took a few years for my business to take off, but we doubled revenue every year for a lot of years – and now here we are.

My first wedding was my Brother’s back in 2002.  Boy – do I wish I could do that all over again!  I knew NOTHING back then.  Every time I mention it, he is so gracious.  Maybe I will throw him a 10th Anniversary party this year to show him what we can really do!  Someone (not one of my staff!) was super helpful at that wedding and decided to bleach the reception chairs right before the reception, but they didn’t rinse off all of the bleach…. sooooo…. three guests had ruined clothes…  My skin still crawls when I think of it….  Reminds me of the bride who wanted a signature drink with blue dye.  This was before I knew my job well enough to realize wedding professionals need to help brides get out of their own way sometimes.  Well, we had 150 people with blue teeth at that wedding.  That will NEVER happen again!

The best thing I ever did for my company was to limit the number of brides we book.  I do almost all of the cooking myself, take every phone call, every email and every meeting.  Once we began limiting the number of brides per week, we were really able to give the kind of service that should be expected from clients leading up to and on their wedding day.  I become very close with most of our brides – this is a momentous occasion in their lives!  By limiting the number of brides, I can spend more time thinking about them and helping them with the process.  It makes this job more fun and more authentic.

What’s the best thing about working in the wedding industry?

Relationships.  Of my closest thirty friends, 25 of them are in the wedding industry or work with me in my company.  Also, I have become very close with several dozen of our brides.  Three of those closest thirty friends were once our brides!

This is a very social industry, which makes all of the long hours and hard work worth the effort.  Most of my staff have been with me for many years, so coming to work is so much fun.  We have become close with the staff at most of venues, so every weekend we get to work hard with people we enjoy.  Florists, DJs, photographers, wedding planners, bakers – some of my favorite people are vendors for our events.  Those relationships are a bonus for brides.  When all of the vendors enjoy working together there is something special that happens at a wedding.  It’s hard to describe, but we all buy-in to the event as a group and want to go above and beyond to make sure everything exceeds expectations as a group.  We work behind the scenes in the weeks before the wedding to double and triple check details.  It’s like the biggest extended family you’ve ever encountered and we are all working toward making sure we are individually and as a group giving our all for our brides.

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

A few-

1.  ONLY HIRE VENDORS THAT YOU ABSOLUTELY TRUST.  If you cannot say that you absolutely trust them, schedule meetings until you do and then hire them.  If you cannot say you trust them then keep on looking!!!  I want all of our brides to look at me and think, “I know she will make sure my day is perfect.  I can let go of it all and let her work and speak for me.”  It is the greatest compliment EVER when a bride says, “I trust you.  Do what you think is best.”  I think you should only hire a caterer (or other wedding vendors) if you feel that way.

2.  LISTEN TO THE PROFESSIONALS.  Once you hire your professionals, let them do their jobs.  If you have faith enough in them to hire them, then check it off your list and let those details go.  It will help with the stress in the months leading up to the Big Day.  Also – they have worked hundreds of weddings and likely know more about the process than brides do.  Your input as a bride is SUPER important, but once you’ve made decisions and signed contracts with people you trust, stop fretting and move on to the next thing on the list.

3.  SET REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS.  It is your wedding day.  The MOST important element is getting married.  Everything else is just the window dressing.  I rarely see a wedding day when one thing does not go wrong.  Anything can be fixed and if you have hired people you trust it will be fixed – and probably without you knowing there was a problem in the first place!!  On your wedding day, focus on your husband and the people that love you.  Let the people you’ve hired – who you trust – take care of everything else.

4.  ONCE A WEEK in the months before the wedding, designate one day when you absolutely DO NOT talk about the wedding.  I’m not kidding.  Sometimes I see couples whose whole lives become the wedding.  At least 7 out of 10 of my brides say to me at some point, “I just can’t wait for this whole thing to be over.”  I hate when I hear that.  I understand it – but I hate it.

5.  DAY 17 THROUGH DAY 3 before the wedding, spend two hours a day with your fiancé and DO NOT talk about the wedding.  Rather, take time to just breathe and be with the person you’ve chosen to love forever.  An old friend gave me that advice about twenty years ago and it still ranks high on my “Best-Advice-Ever-Given-List.”

6.  ADD YOUR OWN PERSONAL STYLE to the wedding.  It is YOUR wedding.  If you love spaghetti-Os and meatballs, serve them in a shot glass with a mini-spoon as an appetizer!  If you secretly dream of being a lounge singer, sing to your husband on a piano during the reception!  This is YOUR day.  It is a reflection of your love and relationship with your partner.  DO NOT worry about pleasing everyone.  Present your best self and your husband’s best self and celebrate the love to which you are committing.

7.  YOU ONLY GET MARRIED ONCE  have fun during the process!

Wonderful tips- we couldn’t agree more. Thanks Whitney 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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Dominion RiverRock Returns to Belle Isle

April 30th, 2012

Looking for a little adventure this May? Well, Dominon RiverRock is the perfect outdoor festival for you to enjoy the spring weather and indulge your inner daredevil.

Dominion RiverRock will kick off the festivities Friday, May 18, and will continue to rock Belle Isle until Sunday, May 20. The fun starts out with the Miller Lite Filthy 5k Mud Run, with tough terrain including a rock hop, a little dip in the James River and a mud pit finish. Other events include an Adventure Race, bike free styling, paddle boarding, mountain bike racing, boulder climbing and slack lining. A wide variety of bands will play throughout the weekend with the headliners including Galactic, The Travelin’ McCoury’s and JJ Grey and MOFRO.

The Interactive Village gives the opportunity for everyone to join in on the fun. You can try out kayaking, paddle boarding, white water rafting, slack lining and rock climbing. This is fun for the whole family with interactive activities.

Admission to the event along with the concerts is free. Please note that there is a fee to participate in the Interactive Village.   Step outside your comfort zone and enjoy the James at Dominion RiverRock.

For More Information: http://www.dominionriverrock.com/

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://www.dominionriverrock.com/

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Winter Weddings at the Mansion!

April 27th, 2012

There’s just something about a winter wedding that we’ve always adored- from the rich hues and lush fabrics to the good tidings that just come with this celebratory season. The options to personalize your Big Day are endless- menus filled with warm comfort food and flickering lights to complement the season’s sparkle.

And it’s with that, that we’re thrilled to now offer wedding reception packages from November through March!  For more information, please visit our packages online or give us a call today to schedule a tour of the property. Remember, our full wedding planning services are included for all Mansion Brides!

We look forward to planning your winter celebration with you!

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: Pinterest.com

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Q&A with Hayes & Fisk

April 23rd, 2012

One of our favorite parts about the Richmond wedding industry is having the opportunity time and time again to work with some of the very best this area has to offer. Hayes & Fisk The Art of Photography, an institution in the Richmond are for twenty-five years, is no exception. We’ve had the pleasure of working with Jamie and Mary many times and have always been impressed by their professionalism as well as their amazing talent.

Today we sat down with Jamie and Mary to talk a bit about their background and tips for brides planning their Big Day this year, as well as the real reason Jamie likes to shoot weddings. :)

 

How did you get your start in the wedding industry?

Jamie:  I have been a photographer at heart my entire life.  When I was a kid growing up in Staunton, Virginia, I would save my mom’s S&H Green Stamps in hopes to one day buy a camera of my own.  Well, a bunch of books of stamps later I did!  I bought my first camera and it was history from there.  I photographed my first wedding at 15 years old and had to get my cousin to give me a ride to the wedding and then pick me up when it was over.  I did not want my clients to know that I was not even old enough to drive!  I love all types of photography and portraiture but weddings are where I began and I still get excited every single time I walk into the wedding day and get ready to create memories.

Mary:  Well, I have always loved photography and taking pictures.  I remember running to the local camera shop to get my 110 film printed and developed when I was younger.  But time and life took me on a different direction for a bit.  In 1993 I married my amazing husband and we hired the BEST photographer in Richmond to photograph my bridal portraits.  So, Jamie Hayes photographed my bridal portraits and I really did love them, for the first time I really loved a picture of myself.  In 1995 we were blessed with an amazing daughter and I knew immediately I needed to find Jamie Hayes to photograph and document this gorgeous angel’s life.  After going to his new studio and working with him for about 6 months we decided that we should work together.  And we did.  I started out just “running” the studio but I gradually and surprisingly found myself behind the camera and the rest as they say is history.

What question do you find brides asking you the most about wedding photography?

Mary:  I meet with and chat with most of the brides for their initial contact and the number one question is always cost?  How much are your wedding collections is what I hear first.  I understand that this is the only question that our brides and grooms and family members truly know to ask.  It is our job as professionals to guide them and educate them not only about our pricing but our expertise, abilities, history and products.  I work really hard to chat with these brides and ask questions about their engagement, wedding day and what they are looking for from a wedding photographer.  It is my job to make sure that I can fulfill their expectations but more importantly it is my mission to create a relationship with these couples.   Photographing someone’s wedding day is an amazing opportunity to give a visual history to a couple and future generations so I always consider it an honor when chosen.

What’s the best thing about working in the wedding industry?

Jamie:  Cake.  Hahaha.  Wedding cake every week-end, what a great way to work.  But seriously one of the best things for us is that we are now working with the families of so many of our couples.  I mean how awesome is that.  We photograph their wedding and then their babies and families.  Wedding photography allows us to create relationships with these people forever and we give them portraits and wedding day candids that they will cherish and share with many generations to come.

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

Mary:  My number one tip for all brides any year is love and trust your vendors.  Let’s face it there are a lot of wedding vendors in our area.  When choosing your vendors look at their websites, Facebook page, etc and ask around to friends and family members for a great recommendation.  If you love their style and creations that is step one.  Next step is to make sure that they are within your wedding budget.  And the most important step is to meet them in person and make sure that you not only like them but love them.  Weddings need to be joyous and fabulous, the last thing you want to do is be stressing over any of your wedding vendors or even worse not particularly like them.  So follow your heart and celebrate your day.

Thanks Mary and Jamie for stopping by! If you’d like to learn more about Hayes & Fisk The Art of Photography, visit their web site today!

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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Kentucky Derby Time!

April 19th, 2012

The Kentucky Derby is a southerner’s dream event- after all, who doesn’t love fabulous hats?  If you can’t quite make it all the way to Kentucky, you’re in luck because you can celebrate right here in Richmond.

Mark your calendar because the Conch Republic is throwing a Kentucky Derby Party on Saturday, May 5 from 3pm-7pm. Enjoy the races by doing your own bidding in a silent auction, while watching the game on the multiple televisions that will no doubt be tuned in to the big race. Raffles and door prizes will also be up for grabs throughout the afternoon and evening.

Additionally, proceeds from the event go to the United States Equine Rescue League, an organization that helps in the protection of horses that have been neglected or abused.

And ladies, you are most definitely going to be getting creative to win the best derby hat contest. :)

Tickets are $25 per person or $40 for two (in advance). Your admission will include appetizers while  drinks are available from a cash bar. So, get your derby attire ready and enjoy the races at The Conch Republic.

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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Special Rates!

April 13th, 2012

It’s official- wedding season is upon us! We’ve just enjoyed our first wedding of the season and look forward to many wedding weekends ahead of us!

We just wanted to take a moment to step away from our planning to let you know that we’re offering special pricing for three upcoming 2012 dates: May 5, June 2 and June 16. These are dates that just became available and are sure to go fast!  Not to worry- full wedding planning services are included for all our Mansion Brides!

For more information, please contact us today at 804-737-7773 or weddings@historicmankinmansion.com.

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: Seth Roberts Photography

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Q&A with PaperFreckles!

April 12th, 2012

As we like to share with our brides, wedding planning takes a wonderful team of talented professionals. Lucky for us, we’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the very best that the Richmond wedding industry has to offer over the years. So every now and then, we like to take the opportunity to introduce you to some of the Richmond wedding pros that have helped our Historic Mankin Mansion Brides’ dreams come true.

Today, we’re chatting with the lovely Coleen and Joe Akers of PaperFreckles, who first caught our eye with Holly and Justin’s gorgeous invitation suite and wedding day stationery back in 2010:

Since then, Joe and Coleen have continued to wow us with their creative and thoughtful designs. So without further ado, here are Joe and Coleen-

How did you get your start in the wedding industry?

We started working in the wedding industry by “happy accident.”  A few years ago a family member  asked us to design her wedding invitations – a rustic country wedding with a custom, whimsical monogram.  Some of her friends then contacted us to work on their wedding stationery and it snowballed from there.  We couldn’t be happier to have landed in such a great industry!

What question do you find brides asking you the most about wedding stationery?

Many brides that we meet  want ideas for incorporating personal touches into their wedding stationery while still adhering to traditional protocol.  They want to understand what they “should do” tempered with guidance for what they “can do”.   We always tell our brides that their wedding stationery should express the couple’s personality as well as set the tone for the type of event they are hosting.  While that can mean “anything goes,” we find most brides want to create stationery that includes traditional elements while also including a unique or unexpected feature – whether it be a gorgeous textured paper, an illustration or custom monogram.  We love meeting couples and coming up with ideas for how to infuse a bit of their personality into their wedding papers while still respecting the tradition that they love.

What’s the best thing about working in the wedding industry?

We absolutely LOVE meeting with couples to hear all about their big day – it really inspires us to design something highly-personal to fit their unique personalities.  It’s so nice to be around people in love who are so happy to be starting their lives together.  We are truly honored when couples select us to create papers for their special day, and nothing makes us happier than to receive wonderful thank you messages after the wedding and to know that our pieces played a part in such a memorable event!

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

At the end of the day, your wedding is about you and your groom.  Focus on the two of you and your special relationship and always keep that top of mind throughout your planning process.  Find ways to uniquely express your relationship through the things you share with your guests at the wedding, whether it be a timeline of your relationship in your program,  your favorite cocktail or his favorite dance song, always try to make sure your personalities shine through – making the day even more memorable for you & your guests.

Thanks Joe and Coleen for stopping by! To learn more about PaperFreckles, visit their web site today.

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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Innsbrook After Hours is Back!

April 10th, 2012

Innsbrook After Hours is a summer favorite for the Richmond music crowd and this year they do not disappoint with a star studded line up.

The concert series takes place at the Snag-A-Job Pavilion, just a short drive from the Mansion. This year, the series will feature artists for the country and rock music fans alike. The fun kicks off May 9 with the legendary Willie Nelson. Joining the event later on in the season is the rock favorite ZZ Top as well as Darius Rucker, former front man of Hootie & the Blow Fish and country star.

The concert series promises to be a good time for the whole family, boasting activities for the kids as well as adults. Food and drinks are available for purchase so you can make a whole night of it. Be sure to make time to stop by the Lake Anna Winery tent to have a taste of some delicious Virginia wine. If you purchase lawn tickets, do not forget to bring along lawn chairs or a blanket to sit on and enjoy the music. We suggest getting to the venue when the gates open at 6pm to scout out the perfect place to sit. For more information and to check out the full line up 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: https://www.facebook.com/InnsbrookAfterHours

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Happy Birthday to Us!

April 3rd, 2012

It seems hard to believe that just eight years ago yesterday, we officially made Historic Mankin Mansion our home. It was in near ruins when we first laid eyes on the property and what a memorable time it has been to bring it back to life, to its original splendor. In fact, some guests say they even still feel the love we have for the Mansion when they are here. :)

This week, we look fondly back on the journey that brought us here.  Thank you to each and every one of you who have supported and encouraged us along the way. Cheers to eight fabulous years, and the amazing road ahead of us. We look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with you.

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: Pinterest

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