Tag Archives: affordable Baltimore weddings
1. I will not do anything… before the guest list.
It’s not the most fun part of planning (and we’ll be honest, it’s one of the most likely to lead to a fight or two or twelve), but you shouldn’t make any wed-day decisions before you have your wedding guest list somewhat firmly in place. Why, you ask? Well, do you want to have a nonrefundable deposit down on that cozy restaurant room that fits 75 when your mother-in-law’s additions bump your list up over 200? Exactly. Once everyone’s in agreement, then you can move forward. That said, this means that one of the parts of your wedding you can plan immediately (or at least talk over with your fiance) is what kind of atmosphere you’d like for your wedding. Do you want an intimate, close friends and family-only affair, or do you want to throw the event of the season for 300-plus people? Later, when you’re in the guest-list trenches, this bit of planning will help back up your gut instinct about whether to say yes (or no) to guest-list additions.
2. I will not end up on YouTube for the wrong reason.
Adorable processional dance? Totally acceptable path to stardom. Bridezilla freak-out on the florist who delivers hyacinths instead of hydrangeas? Not so much. On your wedding day, all eyes (and camera phones) will be on you, meaning your every move is subject to instant Internet infamy. Mind your manners and keep your panic attacks quiet to avoid the wrong kind of publicity. But that video of your dad doing the worm during your father-daughter dance? Internet gold.
3. I will not realize that grape isn’t my color — with two months to go.
You should feel free to rethink, redo, and revamp any element of your wedding that you want — unless you’ve accepted a ring from it (just kidding). This doesn’t have to mean yet another huge investment or reneging on a bunch of contracts — you’ll be surprised how easy it is to make simple additions or subtractions and change your whole style. Already ordered those pastel bridesmaid dresses? Think about adding a bold sash or accessorizing with chandelier earrings to liven them up a bit.
Unsure about the color scheme you chose? Pay an extra visit to your florist and work out changes to your bouquets and centerpieces — adding new blooms in all of your arrangements will introduce a new color throughout the room. Same thing if you’ve already ordered the linens — spice them up with bright table runners or overlays. If you decide you really can’t live with it, chances are you can go back on your first choice — just remember that it will have a cost. A good rule of thumb is that if you’ve already signed a contract or seen a proof, you will have to pay extra for any changes or additions you make. But if it’s still relatively early in your planning process, don’t be afraid to make the change. Remember, you’re getting married to your husband, not your centerpieces.
4. I will not use my Facebook status as a personal wedding journal.
Okay, we know you’re excited about planning your wedding, but that girl from your college history class couldn’t care less that you finally booked a reception band (not to mention understand that passive-aggressive comment about the best man). We’re not saying the everyday details aren’t interesting — we’d just recommend a different platform. Instead of overloading your Twitter feed with wedding details, create a wedding-planning blog for those who want to keep tabs on the ups and downs.
5. I will trust my vendors.
Before you start micromanaging every decision your wedding planner makes, remember one thing: You’re paying them for a reason. Consider their experience and expertise an opportunity for you to relax. They want you to love the result (after all, your recommendation hinges on it!), so they’re going to strive to please. And wouldn’t you rather help someone who trusts your abilities rather than second-guesses everything you do? There’s no harm in giving a good amount of direction at the outset, but asking for daily progress reports is overkill.
6. I will not feel guilty about having an adults-only wedding.
Whether you’re worried about babies crying during the ceremony or just can’t afford to seat entire families for dinner, it’s your decision whether or not you want to invite the little ones. As long as you’re consistent about this rule (no exceptions for your closest friends!) and upfront in your invitations and on your wedding website, you shouldn’t feel bad if you have to tactfully put the kibosh on your second cousin who tries to RSVP for her toddler triplets.
7. I will attempt (at least a little) DIY.
Even the least crafty bride can undoubtedly personalize a few details of her wedding, and the bragging rights — not to mention the savings — will be well worth the effort. Try your hand at creating your favors or ceremony programs. If those tasks seem to daunting, keep it simple: Put your excellent penmanship to use and write out the escort cards, or make your own welcome bags for out-of-town guests with maps of the area and a few local goodies.
8. I will acknowledge that some people might not want to be the “guest book attendant”.
You can’t put all your friends in the wedding party, but there are usually a few people left over that you still want to honor…so you create “special” jobs, like cake servers and guest book attendants. Our advice: Unless your guest book is especially complicated, an attendant probably isn’t necessary. Honorary jobs are still jobs, and chances are, they’ll have a much better time if you just let them enjoy the party rather than having them stand guard by the guest book.
9. I will actually eat the dinner at my reception. (That includes cake!)
Make sure you take time with your new husband to really enjoy the party you worked so hard to plan. If you spend your whole wedding day directing the photographer and making sure the bridal party makes their entrance on cue, you’ll be missing out on a lot of amazing memories.
10. I will look on the bright side — no matter what.
Did your outdoor ceremony get rained out? Instead of panicking, throw on some cute rain boots, grab a big umbrella, and start posing for some adorable rainy-day photographs. The DJ played the wrong song for your bridal party’s entrance? Chances are no one else noticed. After months of obsessing over the details, it’s easy to get lost in them. Loosen up, keep in mind what’s important (you’re getting married!), and we promise that, even if the caterer serves twice-baked potatoes instead of mashed, it’ll all be great in the end.
Adapted from Justine Lorelle Blanchard’s Column on www.theknot.com
Upon getting engaged, there are a number of questions that brides often wonder. Questions like, “What is the next step?” or “When do I handle certain tasks for the wedding?” These are normal questions to ask, and we have answers to make wedding planning a little easier. Obviously, certain tasks can be done outside of this timeframe, but this is a great guideline to follow when considering all that needs to be done for a successful wedding.
12-16 Months Before:
- Choose your wedding date
- Decide on wedding budget
- Select wedding venue for ceremony and reception
- Hire Caterer
- Contract Photographer/videographer
8-10 months before:
- Select bridal party
- Secure wedding officiant
- Hire band or DJ
- Start compiling names and addresses for guest list
- Set up gift registry
- Start looking for wedding dress
- Engagement party
5-7 Months before:
- Finalize guest list
- Arrange accommodations
- Select wedding cake
- Begin preparations for honeymoon
- Book florist
- Shop for wedding bands
3 Months before:
- Send out invitations
- Select tuxedos
- Finalize menu items with caterer
- Arrange transportation
- Order wedding favors
2 Months before:
- Choose wedding music
- Select location for rehearsal dinner
- Schedule dress alterations
- Confirm order with florist
1 Month before:
- Design wedding programs
- Apply for marriage license
- Final gown fitting
- Finalize details with all vendors, including hair and makeup
1-2 Weeks before:
- Call any non-RSVP guests
- Give caterer finalized headcount
- Pick up marriage license
- Finalize song choices with DJ or band
- Confirm rehearsal plans
- Confirm vendor delivery times and dates
- Confirm arrival for guests
- Confirm honeymoon arrangements
- Confirm rehearsal plans
- Pick up formalwear
1 Day before:
- Ensure all final details are squared away
- Pack wedding-day emergency kit
- Get manicure and pedicure
- Put wedding attire and accessories together
- Give rings to best man or maid of honor
- Get a good night’s sleep!
- Eat something and get plenty of water
- Get hair and makeup done
- Have someone check reception site
- Get dressed
- Take pre-wedding photos
- Eat, drink, mingle and celebrate marriage
After the Honeymoon:
- Have wedding gown and flowers preserved
- Enjoy any leftover food given by caterer
- Write thank-you notes
- Change your name
Zeffert and Gold Catering: Marlen and Ryan’s Amazing Wedding at The Baltimore World Trade Center’s 21st Floor
We had the honor of helping Marlen and Ryan celebrate their wedding this past Saturday at the World Trade Center in Baltimore. With amazing views overlooking the Inner Harbor, the couple choose a venue that is simply stunning. The couple celebrated on the 21st floor of the World Trade center with over 100 cherished family and friends. Guests dined on delicious cuisine including marinated flank steak accompanied by chimichurri sauce, as well as teriyaki glazed glazed salmon on a bed of braised spinach topped with caramelized onion.
Guests dined, drank and danced the night away as Marlen and Ryan celebrated a new chapter in their lives. What a special night we got to be apart of. We wish the happy couple a lifetime of love and happiness! Congratulations!
Zeffert and Gold has planned and catered a range of events from the rather large events for 10,000, to the small, intimate affairs and everything in-between. It is entirely up to a client’s preference on how large or small they would like their event. This past Saturday, we planned an intimate French themed wedding for Charles and John at a house in Guilford, Maryland. With just over 30 of their closest family and friends, Charles and John were married by Baltimore’s mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on the front staircase of the house. The couple had been together for over 15 years so it was an emotional and joyous occasion. French champagne was passed upon guests arriving to the house to further insinuate their French theme.
Charles and John’s ceremony was short and sweet as their family and friends surrounded the entrance way. After the ceremony, guests enjoyed refreshing drinks and passed hor d’oeurves including beef tenderloin canapé on garlic crostini with a béarnaise sauce, gorgonzola creamed spinach topped with grilled pear, finished with a drizzle of black truffle oil in a phyllo cup, zucchini fritters topped with crème fraiche, duck rillettes on toasted brioche topped with lingonberry preserves, and more.
After cocktail hour, the grand dining room table was decorated in ivory flowers and Eiffel towers, and delicious cuisine chosen by Charles and John. The couple chose true French dinner items that included Chicken Galantine with pistachios served with cranberry compote on crispy baguettes, Pâté de Campagne served with cornichons, Dijon, capers, red onion and separated oeufs with port wine cranberry compote on the side, an assorted French cheese selection, Mini Croque Monsieur’s laced with hollandaise sauce, Salmon en-croute accompanied with dill veloutè, and crudité shots with a red pepper hummus.
Charles and John’s theme was evident from the French cocktails and cuisine and guests raved about it. Whether you are planning a large event or small affair, Zeffert and Gold is able to carry your vision and ensure that your event is exactly how you imagine it. Throughout the planning process, we ensure your thoughts, ideas and goals are met and the cuisine is prepared exactly how you envisioned it. If you have any questions or would like to begin planning your next event don’t hesitate to give us a call at (410) 944-4481. We would be thrilled to make your vision come to life!
Zeffert and Gold was at La Banque de Fleuve in Havre De Grace, Maryland this past Saturday for the wedding of Stephanie and Jake. The water-front venue was accented with ivory and red throughout and was the perfect setting for over 70 of their closest friends and family. The ceremony was held in the main reception area and Stephanie and Jake had their two dogs play a part in walking down the aisle. After the ceremony, cocktail hour was held in the side courtyard with delicious appetizers like sweet and sour meatballs, assorted vegetables, Natty Boh Cheddar Cheese Fondue and Hot Maryland Crab Dip. The couple chose to use the main reception area as well as the top floor which overlooks the lower floor for guest seating. For dinner, guests dined on sirloin beef tips braised in a red wine sauce, breast of chicken stuffed with a crab and cornbread filling, garlic mashed potatoes and haricot vert with lemon zest. The couple danced their first song to Jack Johnson’s Better Together then had their loved ones join them on the dance floor for the remainder of the night. Jake and Stephanie were such a sweet couple and pleasure to work with. We wish them all the best and a lifetime of happiness as they begin a new chapter together!
On Sunday September 8th, we had the pleasure of celebrating Sam and Bob’s amazing wedding at the historic Cloisters Castle. Cloisters was the perfect venue to hold the wedding reception which featured a masquerade theme. The couple was married in the Cloister’s amphitheater which allowed them to be closely surrounded by family and friends. After the ceremony, guests were treated to a seemingly never ending meal with four food stations set up around the castle. The stations included a filet mignon martini station, San Antonio Fiesta station, Catch of the day station featuring tortilla crusted tilapia and seared Ahi tuna, and a stir fry station with three different styles of stir fry. For dessert, guests were able to eat from a bazaar of cakes, each decorated with a different saying that was hand chosen by Sam and Bob. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your special day and we know you have a long marriage with lots of love to look forward to.
When it came to wedding planning, Robin and Luke had a clear vision in mind that came together wonderfully this past Saturday. Retro style post cards were displayed on each table where guests wrote notes to Robin and Luke and placed them in a decorated mailbox. One poker chip was placed at each guest seat where guests could place the chip in whichever charity box they wanted. The charity box that had the most poker chips in it would get a donation to that charity by Robin and Luke.
The ceremony was held in the lower courtyard with over 100 family and friends attending. Cocktail hour was held on the “City Lites” floor. The couple also had a signature drink including the brides favorite-Shirley Temples garnished with a Twizzler!
For dinner, a seated meal was served which included sliced peppercorn tenderloin served with a port wine sauce and jumbo shrimp stuffed with crab meat with Chesapeake sauce, with a side of grilled asparagus and triple roast potatoes. After dinner, guests visited the bar and danced for the remainder of the night. It was a pleasure working with Robin and Luke and making their wedding vision come to life! We wish you endless years of happiness together!
Liriodendron Mansion was the perfect wedding venue for Nick and Nora’s summer garden themed wedding this past Saturday. Multi-sized mason jars filled with colorful flowers were used as centerpieces and ivory and white linens complimented the mansions historic beauty. The couple wed on the side portico gathered around over 100 family and friends. After the ceremony, guests enjoyed tasty appetizers while mingling along the mansions long back porch. The bar was set up on the other portico where guests could order their favorite drink, or cool off with large mason jar dispensers each filled with lemonade and cantelope -infused ice water.
On each table, Nick and Nora used books as table numbers with a different question relating to the couple. One table had a book that asked, “Where do you see Nick and Nora in 20 years?” Other questions asked, “What should we do on date night?” and “What is the best marriage advice you’ve ever received?” It was very creative and Nick and Nora will get to read what their guests wrote years after their wedding. Dinner was served after Nick and Nora danced their first dance. Guests dined on Pikesville rye whiskey pulled pork and smoked southern style beef brisket, with sides including an arugula and shaved asiago salad, fire roasted summer vegetables, and jalapeno and country style cornbread. It was an all-American, Southern style menu which guests loved.
After guests filled up on yummy food and refreshing drinks, it was time to hit the dance floor. The DJ played the new songs and the favored classics that kept everyone moving. Nick and Nora danced all night and continued with close friends at the hotel after party. Nick and Nora chose a great menu and had an amazing time with all of their loved ones. We were happy to be apart of their special night! Thanks Nick and Nora and we wish you lots of love and happiness!
Planning an event can be a lot of fun, especially when watching all of the small details come together. You would be surprised to find that many of the decor and simple touches really do not cost a fortune, and some can even be handmade in no time! You can wow guests without having to tell them how much you spend on it! Zeffert and Gold has seen it all and we have picked up some nifty tricks to stay within a brides budget. Here are just a few ideas of creative, simple and very inexpensive ideas to have at your wedding or event!
Creative Wedding Favors
The ways in which you can get creative with your wedding favors are endless. Wedding favors are a great way to leave guests with a token of appreciation that resembles the theme and decor of your wedding. The Old Bay favors shown above represented a bride and groom’s Maryland roots. The pencil favors above represent another bride and grooms teaching profession. Both of these favors are cost effective and highlight something about the couple.
Keep your Loved Ones in thought on your Big Day
What a great way to honor your passed loved ones by making a simple homemade sign to keep them in memory that day. This sign is inexpensive to make and simply reminds family and friends of those who cannot attend physically. The sign can resemble the colors and decor of your theme and takes no time to make.
Who doesn’t love a milk and cookies bar!
One of our favorite ideas that is cost-friendly is a MILK AND COOKIES BAR! This can be done at cocktail hour, part of dessert or at the end of the night. Kids love it as well as adults, and the milk and cookies do not cost a lot when bought in bulk. It’s versatile and adds a unique touch to your event. We think the milk and cookie bar is a win for everyone!
A unique way for guests to sign in attendance
We’ve all seen the guestbook for friends and family to sign, but why not take it a step further into something different. This frame has tiny white hearts for guests to sign in the hearts with the red one for the bride and groom of course. It’s unique and you can hang it on your wall to remember back to your day. We have seen blankets, picture frames, thumbprint trees, mad libs cards, signed rocks and puzzle pieces, and more.
Cake Pops anyone?
Cake pops are easy, fun to look at and more importantly-tasty to eat! More and more couples are opting for the traditional wedding cake and are finding alternative treats to delight guests with. Cake pops can also be used along with traditional wedding cake or used as favors! Like I said, they are versatile so use them for anything and I guarantee guests will love them!
When planning your wedding or event, you really can have it all without breaking your budget. Don’t just settle for the first piece of decor you find in stores. Research ways on how to make it yourself, look into what discounted stores offer the same materials, and have fun while doing so. The internet has a million recipes, ideas, and videos to help you along the way, and our blog has a ton of ideas as well!
Soft ivory and tan hues, lace and gold accents created charming ambiance this past Saturday for Katie and Ryan’s wedding day at Cloisters Castle in Lutherville, Maryland. Surrounded by around 150 cherished family and friends, Katie and Ryan wed in the Cloistered Garden on Saturday evening. Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed cocktail hour while exploring the castle. Notable sights like as the castle’s windmill, library and amphitheater gave guests a taste of history while enjoying Katie and Ryan’s day. The reception was held in the gallery, stage and living room areas of the castle. Guests dined on Southwestern flank steak with a chimichurri sauce on the side accompanied with shallot mashed potatoes and broccoli sauteed in garlic olive oil.
Everyone enjoyed themselves as they danced, ate and enjoyed cocktails until it was time to send off the happy bride and groom. It was an honor to be apart of Katie and Ryan’s day and we with them all the best as they enter the next chapter of their lives.