Creating a Great Wedding Ceremony

I’ve attended a lot of wedding ceremonies at Chase Court, the wedding venue I own in Baltimore. Hundreds of them. Some have been magnificent. Many have been unremarkable. And some have been deeply, tears-in-my-eyes, moving. What makes the difference between forgettable and memorable? That’s easy to answer. It’s really very simple. Thorough, thoughtful planning, and superb execution. Your wedding ceremony coalesces all that you believe about marriage as a state of being. It is a public celebration, in words and actions, of your intentions for your marriage. It is a sacred ceremony, with sacred in this case meaning highly valued, […]

Reconciliation Day

Not long after same-sex marriage became legal in Maryland in 2013, I was working with two delightful women who had absolutely fallen in love with Chase Court, the wedding venue I own in Baltimore. They were very excited about having their wedding here, so they set a date and booked. All was well. One of the brides’ family, all of whom lived in rural Pennsylvania, had made it clear to her that her sexual identity was unacceptable to them. They wanted nothing to do with her or her fiance, and had no intention of attending their wedding. A few weeks […]

To Theme or Not to Theme?

Renaissance, anime, costume, Halloween, goth, Gatsby, period, geek, and a full-on Harry Potter wedding, with Dumbledore acting as the officiant! All have happened – or in the case of the Harry Potter wedding, are about to happen –  at Chase Court, the wedding venue I own and run. Theme weddings are always memorable, and always lots of fun! In fact, the common thread running through every theme wedding that I’ve experienced is “fun.” So, one way to have fun is to have a theme wedding. But is it right for you? Couples are attracted to each other by – and […]

Decorating on the Cheap

Want to know what single piece of decor will give you the biggest bang for your buck? Of course you do! It’s your table linens! Sure you can use white on white. Lots of couples do. But how about jazzing it up a bit? The cost of using other colors is often the same as that of basic white linens, or only slightly more. So if you’re feeling royal blue or hunter green or springtime yellow, go for it! One of my favorite tricks is to reverse the colors of the guest tables and the service tables  – the bar, […]

Keeping Daddy in the Loop

Guys, including fathers, like to be in control. Especially if they’re not. If your father is in control of your wedding planning, call me. You’ll be the first. In all other cases, any way that you can make your father feel, or even better, think that he has some control over this sometimes turbulent multi-month planning process is worth doing. Fathers (and may I say, men in general) like lots of warnings vis-a-vis change. Your getting married is a change. Your asking him to write one or more checks for many thousands, and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars is […]

Ten Steps to Mindful Wedding Planning

Your wedding planning – just like your wedding – is a spiritual, emotional, and physical experience. It involves contemplation, conversation, and even collaboration. There are big decisions to make, serious discussions to have, and often, a jillion details to manage. Almost every relationship in your world will be considered and examined. There are places to go and people to see. That’s a lot to do! Couples that haven’t prepared themselves for wedding planning often fall into confusion and chaos. So here are ten steps to help you plan your wedding with ease and joy. Do it together – Two of […]

Let’s Talk Dessert!

Weddings are about two things: celebrating the union of two people, and providing hospitality to those who’ve come to celebrate. How you chose to do those two things is entirely up to you. That freedom extends to dessert! Cake – Love wedding cake? Wonderful! Go for it. There are dozens of cake flavors from which to choose, with an exponential number of layer combinations. Add to that all of the possibilities in surface decoration, and you have infinite varieties of wedding cake. Cupcakes – One step away from cake brings us to cupcakes, which are simply cake in a different […]

Venue Tour Checklist

Some of the best fun you’ll have in planning your wedding is visiting venues! You get to see interesting and unique spaces, some of which you’d never see otherwise. Choosing a venue takes time. There is information to gather, places to visit, and time to spend talking and reflecting with your partner. Give yourself the gift of time. Here are some things to know and do: • Know when you want to get married – You don’t have to have an exact date – although some couples do – but have a range in mind, whether it’s any Saturday in […]

Great Alternatives to a Big Wedding!

Want a fabulous wedding that doesn’t cost tens of thousands of dollars or involve 100-plus guests? Let’s talk elopement! Small is beautiful! You can have everything you want, including a stunningly-beautiful wedding venue, professional photography, beautiful flowers, live music, and of course, a gorgeous outfit, without the fuss and expense of lots of guests. Traditionally, “elopement” refers to a wedding ceremony in which only the couple to be married and the wedding officiant, who conducts the ceremony, are present. Today, elopement is a term of art used in the wedding world to describe a wedding ceremony with as many as […]

Making a Joyful Noise

Most people don’t see live music on a regular basis. It’s special. The core experience of weddings is the spiritual and emotional beauty of two people joining their lives together. Couples honor and embrace that experience by creating a beautiful environment, and using sacred and secular rituals. The idea is to create something special and memorable, infused with beauty in every possible way. A lot of what couples think about as they plan their wedding centers around visual beauty. That’s a good and important thing to do, to be sure. But imagine a wedding ceremony and reception in complete silence, […]