Friday, November 25, 2016

First Things First

Written by  David Egan

Welcome to Getting the Wedding You Want! I’m going to help you do just that, get the wedding you want. I’ll walk you through all the bits and pieces involved in planning and executing your wedding, demystify the process and the language, and pay special attention to what it means to navigate the wedding experience with grace and dignity as part of the LGBTQ community.

Here’s a little bit about me, and then we’ll get right into it.

I’m David Egan, proprietor and steward of Chase Court, a wedding and event venue in the Midtown-Belvedere neighborhood of Baltimore. I’m a transplanted New Englander, with twenty-five years of Baltimore living under my belt, fourteen of them as the owner of Chase Court. I love fried clams like Baltimoreans love steamed crabs with Old Bay. I used to be a professional photographer. I love to shoot now more than ever, with my image-making split between promoting Chase Court and photographing the beauty of the surrounding neighborhoods, usually captured on walks that end in supper at one of the many outstanding restaurants around here.

Some of the defining journeys in my life have been through gender, spirituality, and lifestyle. Those experiences have brought me, and by extension Chase Court, into a welcoming and affirming place across all expressions of gender, spirituality, and lifestyle. To that end, there have been over 50 same-sex weddings and commitment ceremonies at Chase Court.

We don’t do cookie-cutter weddings at Chase Court. It’s not a wedding factory. What we do most often are weddings that reflect our couples’ lives, in a space with a beautiful medieval European vibe.

My joy is in supporting and holding dear all the couples that come through my door, no matter who they are or what they believe, offering guidance, melting their stress away, and providing all the resources to help them have the wedding they want. That’s what I’m going to do here, for you.

So, that’s me and what I do.

Where do you need to start with your wedding planning? Based on my experience working with thousands of couples, the two most important things to know—that you should know before you spend a dime—are how many people you plan to invite, and how much money you have available to spend. Every aspect of your wedding planning is related to those two things: your budget and your anticipated guest count.

Your budget represents the total amount of money you have to spend for absolutely everything. That includes your venue, catering, photography, entertainment, decorating, officiant, ceremony music, and if you have one, cake. We’ll talk in detail about what each costs, and all of the things that go into choosing each one.

Your guest list is the number of people you plan to invite to your wedding. It’s not the number that actually attend. You won’t know until thirty days before your wedding how many people accept your invitation, and, until your wedding day, how many actually attend. All your major decisions will have been made by then. Your guest list determines how large or small a venue you’ll need, and how much food, drink, and catering staff will be required. Who will you invite? That’s a big question! Take heart, I’ll help you with your guest list in the next issue!

I’m going to guide you through the whole planning process, all of it, together, right here.

In the columns to come, we’ll take a deep, detailed look at every aspect of planning a wedding, including an understanding of all the costs and how to budget. Stay with me, and let me know what you want and what you think! Write and tell me what you’d especially like to know and, if you’re already in the planning process (or even if you’re done and married), what’s been hard for you.

Next time: The Guest List!

David Egan is the proprietor and steward of Chase Court, a historic Baltimore wedding and event venue. Visit, and follow ChaseCourtWeddingVenue on Instagram and Facebook! Send your comments and questions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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