Bed And Breakfast | Mankin Mansion Blog - Part 4

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Buying a Home? This one is for you!

March 8th, 2012

We find that wedding planning is three parts fun and… well, one part overwhelming!  Our hope is always to guide our brides by recommending the professionals who are guaranteed to make their day spectacular.

We’ve seen a trend as of late with more of our bride and grooms also taking another BIG step in the midst of wedding planning by buying their first home. The good news? Our friend Mike Gifford has been our go-to Realtor for anyone who may be purchasing or selling a home. A lifelong resident of Richmond and University of Richmond graduate, Mike has been a professional real estate agent and Realtor since 2004. He’s an Associate Broker with Premier Properties Realties and works with home buyers from Dinwiddie to Powhatan, Caroline to Hopewell and everywhere in between!

We asked Mike to stop by today to share a bit of insight for our brides and grooms who may be trying to balance both home buying and wedding planning all at once. So without further ado, here’s Mike!

What should prospective buyers do to prepare themselves when they’ve decided it’s time to take the leap and buy a house?

The best place to start is to look at your finances and set a realistic monthly housing budget. If you’re renting, you have a pretty good idea of what you can afford and can add to that based on your comfort level and any changes you can project in the near future.  The next step is to call a Realtor! We make a great sounding board for helping you narrow down your preferences and sorting them into ‘Must Have’s’ and ‘Like To Have’s’. Plus we are involved with you at every step from loan application to home inspection to closing on the house so the sooner we establish a good rapport, the better!

What sort of questions should a prospective home buyer ask when interviewing realtors?

Buyers want to ask a Realtor about their qualifications, market knowledge of the buyer’s intended geographic area, their track record of representing buyers and how they will help the buyer find just the right home. Buyers should focus on how the agent communicates with them, do they feel like this agent will work for THEM and not work for a SALE. Establishing trust with a buyer is critical for an agent to help remove as much stress as possible throughout the process.  When a buyer asks their Realtor “What do you think?”, they have to feel confident that the Realtor is really standing in their shoes and looking out for the buyer one hundred percent. Realtors with an Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) designation have taken the extra step to mastering buyer’s agency through education and proven experience.

We find that some of our HMM couples are planning a wedding AND buying their first home at the same time.  Any tips for managing it all from a real estate side?

Organization, planning and time management are important for both the right wedding experience and home buying experience. Both are major events for a couple and to combine them will give you twice the work but also twice the reward. Having a good team that understands your schedule and needs is critical to successfully making this work. The sooner you can get started with finding a home the better. The amount of your time needed to close on a home increases as the date approaches, having a Realtor who can do as much as possible on your behalf will help keep everything manageable. And sane!

Let’s talk about selling homes- what are some top tips you’d give people to get their house ready for a sale?

Get a Realtor involved as early in the process as possible! They can give you insight into market trends that may help determine what updates, cosmetic fixes and improvements you should focus and spend money on and which ones may not benefit the seller in the long run. Almost always my sellers need to start with de-cluttering and removing as much as they can from the house. Living in a home and showing a home for sale are not at all the same! What often seems bare and spartan to a seller will still look full and personalized to a buyer walking in the door. Keep in mind that many buyers are becoming accustomed to seeing empty, vacant houses, so when they walk in to one that is fully furnished, it can seem smaller and cluttered to that buyer. I give my sellers lists of showing and staging tips to reinforce what matters most to buyers.

Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Buying a home is an exciting next step for many newlyweds or about-to-be-newlyweds. While such a big step will always have its stressful moments, the right agent will prepare you for them in advance and have a solution for almost any situation that arises. All of the various market conditions at play right now make this one of the most opportune times in history to become a first time buyer, so if you’re considering home ownership, consult a Realtor!  I sit down with all buyers at the beginning to lay out the home buying process, the key timelines and milestones involved and how I will work FOR them. I find that effective and continuous communication with my buyers yields a win-win for me and them.

Thanks Mike for stopping by! Have more questions for our favorite Realtor? Visit his web site today or drop him a line at Mike@MikeGiffordHomes.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.

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And the Winner Is….

February 28th, 2012

Well what a wonderful and busy past week it has been! As soon as we announced our top three finalists for our Best of 2011 contests, our blog suddenly became THE place to comment. Hundreds upon hundreds of votes later and we’re thrilled to announce our winners:

Congratulations Jaimie and Christopher!

We would be remiss if we didn’t thank all of the amazing couples  (and wedding photographers!) that took the time to participate- sharing both their stories and photos with us. We are lucky to have you as a part of our Historic Mankin Mansion family!

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: Nancy Topham

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HMM Best of: The Top Three!

February 22nd, 2012

Well, it’s about that time.. we’ve just been amazed at all of the wonderful brides who have come back to share their Big Day with us with The Best of 2011 Wedding series. Our sincerest thanks to our brides, the photographers and those who have supported them with all of their lovely thoughts and comments.

It was a close race, but we did narrow the contest down to three weddings, who received the most blog and Facebook comments. Congrats to the following brides:

Jaimie and Christopher

Erica and Mark

Megan and Brandon

Now it’s time to find our winner! Once again, we’ll be counting blog comments  and Facebook posts. There are TWO ways to get votes:

  1. Comment on THIS blog post and tell us who should be declared the winner. :)
  2. Encourage your fans to become fans of our Facebook Page. This is for new fans only- have them “like” us over at www.facebook.com/mankinmansion and to count, they’ll need to post on our Facebook wall and let us know!

The contest ends on Sunday February 26 at 11:59am, and then we’ll be back early next week with our winner, who will receive a complimentary stay at the Mansion as well as a gift certificate to one of Martin and Paula’s favorite restaurants.

Good luck to our brides!

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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Best of 2011: Dan and Ellen!

February 15th, 2012

Today, we’re back with our Best of 2011 series, where we get to revisit some of our favorite weddings from last season. Today, we’re thrilled to share this lovely submission courtesy of James Linkowitz Photography. We just loved revisiting Dan and Ellen’s Big Day!

Now remember-this year’s blog series is going to be a bit different as each wedding will be featured on the Historic Mankin Mansion Blog and the top three posts with the most blog and Facebook comments will be selected as finalists.  Each wedding will receive one more feature and the one with the most Facebook and blog comments by the deadline will be the winner!  This year, we’re taking it up a notch as we will be hosting a contest along with it for a complimentary overnight room stay at the Mansion, as well as a gift certificate to one of Paula and Martin’s favorite restaurants in town.

So do you just adore Dan and Ellen’s wedding and want their wedding to win? Simply comment on this blog post and let us know why you love this wedding so much. If you’d like to score an extra point for the couple if you visit our Facebook page and comment under the Facebook post in which we share this fabulous feature.

Thanks again to James Linkowitz Photography sharing this lovely Historic Mankin Mansion Wedding Day 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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Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 14th, 2012

We consider ourselves the lucky ones to be able to say that we’re in the business of love. So its with that, that we here at Historic Mankin Mansion wish you the happiest of Valentine’s Days!

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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Best of 2011: Virginia and Mike!

February 3rd, 2012

Today, we’re back with our Best of 2011 series, where we get to revisit some of our favorite weddings from last season. Today, we’re thrilled to share this lovely submission courtesy of PW Photography! We just loved revisiting Virginia and Mike’s Big Day!

Now remember-this year’s blog series is going to be a bit different as each wedding will be featured on the Historic Mankin Mansion Blog and the top three posts with the most blog and Facebook comments will be selected as finalists.  Each wedding will receive one more feature and the one with the most Facebook and blog comments by the deadline will be the winner!  This year, we’re taking it up a notch as we will be hosting a contest along with it for a complimentary overnight room stay at the Mansion, as well as a gift certificate to one of Paula and Martin’s favorite restaurants in town.

So do you just adore Virginia and Mike’s wedding and want their wedding to win? Simply comment on this blog post and let us know why you love this wedding so much. If you’d like to score an extra point for the couple if you visit our Facebook page and comment under the Facebook post in which we share this fabulous feature.

Thanks to Pete and Liliana Wright of PW Photography for sharing this lovely Historic Mankin Mansion Wedding Day 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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Best of 2011: Erica and Mark!

January 23rd, 2012

Today, we’re back with our Best of 2011 series, where we get to revisit some of our favorite weddings from last season. Today, we’re thrilled to share the wedding of Erica and Mark!

As Erica told us-

We never could have imagined our wedding day being as wonderful as it was.  Every aspect of it was perfect.  The opportunity to have all of our family and friends together to celebrate our special day at such a magical and charming setting was truly one of a kind.  In addition, the service provided by the Historic Mankin Mansion Staff was impeccable.  As we look back at our pictures and videos we are filled with joy and happiness.  It was a day that we never wanted to end!

Now remember-this year’s blog series is going to be a bit different as each wedding will be featured on the Historic Mankin Mansion Blog and the top three posts with the most blog and Facebook comments will be selected as finalists.  Each wedding will receive one more feature and the one with the most Facebook and blog comments by the deadline will be the winner!  This year, we’re taking it up a notch as we will be hosting a contest along with it for a complimentary overnight room stay at the Mansion, as well as a gift certificate to one of Paula and Martin’s favorite restaurants in town.

So do you just adore Erica and Mark’s wedding and want to help them win? Simply comment on this blog post and let us know why you love this wedding so much. If you’d like to score an extra point for the couple if you visit our Facebook page and comment under the Facebook post in which we share this fabulous feature.

Thanks Erica and Mark for revisiting your Historic Mankin Mansion Wedding Day 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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Best of 2011: Alex and Scot!

January 13th, 2012

Today, we’re back with our Best of 2011 series, where we get to revisit some of our favorite weddings from last season. Today, we’re thrilled to share the wedding of Alex and Scot! Alex and Scot was one of our long distance couples this year and we had a blast planning with them.

Alex told us-

The whole day was wonderful. Everything turned out better than we could have ever imagined. Historic Mankin Mansion is such a beautiful place on its own, but with the touch of the employees that worked there, it became our dream come true.

One of the things we loved most about Historic Mankin Mansion was how well the other companies worked in conjunction with the Mansion. The photographer, caterer and florists had all worked with the mansion before so the ceremony and reception went on without a hitch. Another favorite of ours was the reception. At first, we thought the time allotted for the reception wasn’t enough; we had to end at 10 p.m. and the ceremony started at 5. But Historic Mankin Mansion ensured us it was plenty of time so we put our trust in them and we are glad we did because it turned out wonderfully. Everything ran so smoothly that it felt like the reception lasted forever.

One of the highlights of the evening was when we made our grand entrance into the reception tent. We wanted to do something out of the ordinary and decided to enter to the song Chariots of Fire by Vangelis. If the name of the song doesn’t ring a bell, it’s what just about every movie plays whenever there is a slow motion scene….and we did just that! We ran into the tent in slow motion, Scot even fake tripped. We were so nervous this would be a failure but it really turned out amazing and people LOVED it. With that entrance and other small touches to the wedding, the whole evening turned out just how we wanted it: fun and a good laugh. Without the help of Meghan and her staff we would’ve been lost. It may seem that any professional can make these things happen, but Historic Mankin Mansion really impressed us with their professionalism and how smooth everything ran. We got our fairytale wedding thanks to them!


Now remember-this year’s blog series is going to be a bit different as each wedding will be featured on the Historic Mankin Mansion Blog and the top three posts with the most blog and Facebook comments will be selected as finalists.  Each wedding will receive one more feature and the one with the most Facebook and blog comments by the deadline will be the winner!  This year, we’re taking it up a notch as we will be hosting a contest along with it for a complimentary overnight room stay at the Mansion, as well as a gift certificate to one of Paula and Martin’s favorite restaurants in town.

So do you just adore Alex and Scot’s wedding and want them to win? Simply comment on this blog post and let us know why you love this wedding so much. If you’d like to score an extra point for the couple, visit our Facebook page and comment under the Facebook post in which we share this fabulous feature.

Thanks Alex and Scot for revisiting your Historic Mankin Mansion Wedding Day with us!

See You Soon,
Paula & Martin Ramirez

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Mansion Weddings: Meet Marylee

December 30th, 2011

As we mentioned in our Wednesday blog post, with the New Year fast approaching we here at Historic Mankin Mansion have added a few additions to our lovely Mankin family, which we are just ecstatic to share with you!

Like Gina, Marylee may be a familiar face to you as she  was our wedding planner before she decided to take some time off to spend time at home with her sweet little girl. Well, we were just thrilled when Marylee told us she was ready to come back and start planning Mansion weddings once again!

Marylee is already back in action, having planned some weddings for us last Fall. Now, it’s onward and upward as we welcome back Marylee with open arms. Here’s a bit more insight into Marylee and what gets her excited about weddings–

Why did you decide to join the wedding industry?

 

 

Marylee: I was working in corporate events and wanted to do something more intimate. It was the best decision I ever made. I have to say I have the best job in the world to be able to see brides and grooms enjoy the happiest day of their life.

What is your favorite part about planning weddings?

Marylee: I love getting to know the bride, groom, and friends and families of the Bride and Groom, and also seeing the details that are so different for every wedding.

What are some of your favorite wedding memories?

Marylee: I have two one is my own wedding at Historic Mankin Mansion. And standing in the back with tears in my eyes listening to the brides and grooms say their own vows.

Are there any recent wedding trends that caught your eye?

Marylee:”Going green”, personalized DIY decor, dessert tables

What are you most looking forward to in the 2012 wedding season?

Marylee: Enjoying the wedding day with all the 2012 brides and grooms!

We look forward to the same thing as well Marylee- cheers to 2012! :)

See you soon,
~Paula and 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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Happy Holidays from the Mansion

December 23rd, 2011

Today, we wanted to take a moment to share good tidings with our friends and colleagues.  2011 has been an amazing year filled with great B&B guests and fabulous weddings, and we just can’t wait to see what the new year has in store for us. Wishing you and yours a holiday filled with peace and wonderment.

Happy Holidays,
~Paula and 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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