Jean Wade Mayer

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What are some of your favorite 2015 wedding trends?

We’re still tearing through the rustic feel, but it’s more of an industrial glam. I love a wedding with metallic colors!

Any tips on how to spruce up the menu?

I really like taking artisanal foods and making them kitschy—things like milkshakes, mini-sliders, late-night snacks.

Is there a food that should never be served?

Outdated entrées like the standard chicken and stuffed pasta aren’t appealing. Some people in Baltimore still do the cliché steak and cake—filets and crabcakes. Mind you, I’m not against these when using an extraordinary caterer.

Is it ever possible to make chicken more interesting?

We recently did a wedding for one of my husband’s best friends and served chicken and waffles. It was so wholesome and fun; people loved it.

What’s hot in desserts?

People are putting five tiers of cakes on different pedestals, so it’s like a deconstructed cake with several cake flavors and frostings. It’s almost like a cake bar.

How about the bar?

Craft beer is still big. And the Shandy is a classic cocktail of half lemonade and half beer. Sangria and drinks using specialty lemonade or iced tea are popular—the non-drinkers can enjoy good lemonade and tea. People are still asking for nicer wines. Sparkling wine has made a comeback. Rye whiskeys and house-made things like moonshine are also popular.

Any tips on handling the party guest who, well, parties a little too hard?

The drunk guest is a double-edged sword. Sometimes it’s the person who paid for the wedding! There’s a bit of diplomacy that’s required in trying to diffuse the situation. But we’ve always been able to find a designated driver or take advantage of Uber without anyone feeling embarrassed.

Have you planned many gay weddings?

I’ve planned several. We had a couple of male/male weddings, where one of the partners was a performer and sang at the reception as a surprise. But today, everybody wants to make their day different. There’s no such thing as cookie-cutter clientele.

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