Ask the Experts: Q&A with Director of Catering Michelle Vellon
Oct 10, 2012 06:09PM ● Published by Anonymous
Historic Inns of Annapolis offers wedding space at Gov. Calvert House and The Maryland, rehearsal dinner space at the Treaty of Paris at The Maryland Inn, and accommodation at all three of its inns, including the Robert Johnson House. All brides who book with Historic Inns work with Vellon, who has spent years in the wedding-planning industry.
What are some of your favorite wedding trends/details that you've seen over the past couple years?
I always love the late-night food idea. We have created customized menus this year featuring slider stations, s'mores stations, and cookies and milk, but I love it when a couple wants to customize something to showcase their unique tastes or theme. I am currently working with a bride and groom on an Ice Cream Sandwich Stationbecause they both love ice cream, and this always makes it fun!
How can a bride and groom best calculate an alcohol budget for their wedding? Any cost-saving tips for the bar?
We try to make it easy at the Historic Inns of Annapolis, and we do it as an open bar for a set number of hours. This takes the guess-work out; you pay one price per person and that covers the bar. Alcohol can always be tricky and can really break a budget if you are not careful. A good way to lower costs is to do just beer and wine and then incorporate a fun signature drink.
How does having a wedding planner – or working with a venue that offers the help of a wedding planner – help the couple during the planning
Here at the Historic Inns of Annapolis, I take a very hands on approach with all our weddings. I am their main contact from initial site visit through the big day and I know our couples really love this. While not their actual wedding planner, I can help with vendor referrals, menu tasting and selection, event space set-up and take care of all wedding day details including escort Card and favors. When I have the final meeting with the couple, and they give me all their items for me to set-up, I can see the relief in their faces.
How can a couple personalize a wedding venue?
A great way to do this is with food. We have done weddings were we have customized the menu to reflect where they are from or where they are currently living. The past weekend, we did mini Philly Cheese steaks as a hors d'oeuvres in honor of the groom being from Philadelphia. Another great way to personalize a wedding is by bringing in special touches with the food/beverages; we have had weddings where they served pie instead of wedding cake because that's what the bride and groom loved. We also see a lot of signature drinks based on drinks the bride and groom love. People love food and really remember it when you go out of the box a little.
Are there certain things a couple needs to think about for a winter wedding versus a summer wedding in Maryland?
Obviously weather is always a factor, but if you can get past that, there are some great advantages to a winter wedding! In December, you get complimentary decorations in your venue, and in our case, all of downtown is dressed up. Once you get into January and February, this is not as a desirable of a time so you can usually get some discounts. When it does snow, it make for some of the prettiest wedding pictures I have ever seen.
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