Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sweet Surrender

It's no secret that a recent trend in wedding favors is the candy buffet. Like a mecca of sweetness calling to the kid in all of us, brides are turning to this fun and practical favor idea.

And while a candy buffet may seem like an easy option for the couple, Amanda Edge of Simply Sweet in Charleston has a few tricks up her sleeve that make her buffets unique, professional, and extremely elegant.

Amanda's mom is in the wedding rental business as well as owner of Elegant Chair Covers in Charleston. It was her encouragement that first led Amanda to believe that this was a wedding vendor need that she could potentially fill.
When asked about the candy buffet's appeal, Amanda states: "It's just a sweet alternative to the traditional party favor that doesn't serve much purpose and may get tossed in your guests junk drawer."

Locally purchased candies like jelly beans and m&ms combine with Amanda's home made marshmallow pops, cotton candy, and white chocolate pretzels coordinating with the color scheme of the wedding. These photos courtesy of Mike Winland Studios showcase Amanda's true talent for placement and her attention to detail at the recent nuptials of Linsey & Craig at Chief Logan State Park.

Though Amanda's expertise is in high demand, she has a few pointers for those couples planning to go it alone in preparing their own buffet:

1. Have at least 1/4 to 1/2 pound of candy per guest.

2. Get creative with the color scheme of your wedding and find candies that speak to your personality. It doesn't always have to be matchy matchy.

3. Repurpose heirloom pieces from your friends and family to hold the candy in. Large glass or crystal vehicles for the candy are expensive, so save by pooling resources.

4. Create a center focus and build your buffet around it at different heights.

5. Never place anything too high. Remember your guests have to reach in and scoop out the goods. You don't want your entire table collapsing because someone couldn't get to the chocolate.

6. Pay attention to detail. Anyone can put a scoop in dish of candy, but a ribbon on each scoop or a tule wrapper on each lollipop can add dimension and color to the buffet.

7. Keep in mind that candy buffets are time sensitive and must be done hours before the reveal. If you're thinking about doing this on your own, evaluate how valuable your time is on the day of and the day before your wedding. Don't bite off more than you can chew, and don't be afraid to speak with a professional.

Simply Sweet
Amanda Edge

Mike Winland Studios
5306 MacCorkle Ave SE
Charleston, WV
(304) 345-3674

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Shall We?

When David and Erica Mills celebrated their nuptials in Wheeling this past May, things started out like any typical Saturday wedding. Erica slipped on her perfect dress that morning... David waited patiently as she walked down the aisle... Friends and family watched as they committed to sharing their lives together. At the reception they cut the cake... best friends toasted to the couple... and they danced for the first time as man and wife....

Only this dance didn't bring tears to the eyes of guests, it brought the house down! After watching TLC's Rock the Reception, David and Erica decided they wanted to do their own choreographed dance to set the mood for the party.

Living in Charleston, Erica and David had no trouble booking Abbie Calvin at Ray's Ballroom Dance. And together the couple with their choreographer hammered away at a Cha-Cha routine that would knock the socks off their guests at the upcoming reception.

What started out as a slow sway to I had the Time of My Life soon took a fast paced turn to a Smooth Cha-Cha. And even though Erica and David were concentrating hard on their dance moves, Erica notes: "I saw a lot of open mouths and heard a lot of wooting and whistling. People will surely remember this more than us cutting the cake".

All in all the couple couldn't be happier they decided to take the plunge and do something creative with their first dance. "We wanted our reception to be fun," says Erica, "We didn't want anyone to take it too seriously".

Ray's Ballroom Dance Studio
211 35th Street Southeast
Charleston, WV 25304
(304) 342-1220

Photos Provided By:
Sarah Burns Photography

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Plum Find

If you haven't yet heard of Shepherdstown's PLUM Jewelry, be prepared to fall in love. Designer and silversmith Cari Aliveto Rosen is churning out custom pieces like mommy tags, charm bracelets and this half inch cuff created specifically for a bride. You can see the couples initials on the outside as well as the wedding date on the inside. The perfect wedding day or anniversary gift for any silver lover.

133 1/2 W German St
Shepherdstown, WV 25443

Sunday, September 13, 2009

WV Weddings @ the Fall 2009 Lakeview Bridal Show

Today WV Weddings had the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful West Virginia brides and vendors in the North Central area. We hope everyone had as good of a time as we did. Here's a little recap of some things we LOVED!

We can't get enough of the these elegant black feather accents designed with lilies and hydrangea by Lora Galloway of Galloway's Florist in Morgantown.

57 Don Knotts Blvd # D Morgantown, WV 26508
(800) 267-4881

We dug the tunes of the Viva String Quartet led by Virginia Cox

(304) 599-7534

From Elizabeth Michael's in Parkersburg, we highly enjoyed this special way to commemorate your day with "Something Blue" personalized panties. They come in all cuts and sizes and can be personalized in any color.

<- She <3s cute?

And let's not leave out the most adorable way to adorn your flower girls' feet. Available in a wide array of colors.

1505 Grand Central Ave # 2

Vienna, WV 26105
(304) 865-2670

On the cake front we sampled sheets from Almost Heaven Desserts (locations in Bridgeport & Morgantown).

100 West Main Street
Bridgeport, WV 26330
(304) 848-2500

If height is what you like, talk to Cara of Blooms in Bridgeport specializing in modern and unique designs.

240 E Main St
Bridgeport, WV 26330
(304) 842-3639

And finally perhaps the most awe inspiring vendor, Christine Mazza. There's nothing like the elegant sound of a harp playing in the distance as you anxiously await your turn to walk down the aisle to meet your husband's gaze.

Christine Mazza
(304) 598-2569

Don't forget, this expo is just the first of many. Look for us in Martinsburg, Charleston, Huntington, and everywhere in between as bridal show season continues. We loved the enthusiasm and response today. Good luck to everyone planning this year!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Knitting a Kiss in Every Stitch

While interviewing acclaimed knitting designer and WV native Nicky Epstein for the upcoming issue of WV Living, I discovered the most beautiful designs she's created specifically for weddings!

This crocheted bridal bag keeps your lipstick and tissues handy OR doubles as a unique collector for the money dance. To create this piece for a daughter, niece, or very special friend find the pattern in Nicky's
Crocheted Flowers.

Right: Create a timeless heirloom that your future granddaughters will LOVE with these personalized gloves adorned with flowers from Nicky's book Knitted Flowers.

Crochet enthusiasts rejoice and make a bouquet you'll never have to preserve. Young girls all over New York city are doing amazing things with Nicky's Crocheted Flowers. (Calla Lily pattern pictured)

The Bella Bridal Gown featured in Nicky's most recent release, Knitting in Tuscany, is awe inspiring with its delicate crochet work. It's elegant yet simple, and most importantly it's totally unique.

If you're a friend, grandmother, MoB or the bride yourself consider these handmade gems that add those irreplaceable personal touches.

Nicky's artful books can be found at:
The Nest Yarn & Knitting Specialists
601 S Virginia Ave.
Bridgeport, WV 26330

or online at:

Look for more with Nicky in the Fall Issue out September 1!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Caught Red Handed

The response has officially been overwhelming. We caught bridesmaid Amanda McCray reading WV Weddings while preparing for the Friday evening nuptials of Kaycee and Frank Crislip in Bridgeport.

Amanda and the girls poured over the pages while getting their hair done at Innovations Hair Salon at 415 Benedum Drive.

Where have you taken WV Weddings? E-mail a photo and caption to and you might just make it on the blog!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Great Gifts

So, you waited until the last minute and everything on the registry for the wedding you're attending this Saturday is gone. Well don't fret. This is just pure genius! We love these Numerology Wine Glasses (Set of 12) we found at Dream House Home Interiors in Charles Town. Guaranteed to prevent guests from guessing which drink is theirs all night long. Totally makes you rethink the wine charm, huh?

Dream House
217 W Washington St.
Charles Town, WV 25414
$149 for a set of 12

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Wedding Giveaway!

Price Portraits in South Charleston is giving away an awesome wedding package worth more than $5,000 to a deserving couple. The bride or groom must have served (or is serving) in the military. A complete wedding photography package, wedding cake by A Piece of Cake , DJ services from Light House Entertainment, and complimentary teeth whitening are just some of the fabulous items in the package. And the winning couple will also be featured in the Wedding Register in the 2010 WV WEDDINGS magazine! Submit an essay to by the end of June.  The winner will be announced on July 4! For more information, contact Will Price at 304.744.8432.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Better get your skates out for this ICE...

Let's face it ladies, when you're getting married (or even think
you may be in the near future) it's all about the BLING!

We love this must have for all you nearlyweds - a larger than life "engagement ring" keyring from Embellishments in Clarksburg. Just a little reminder of the huge event coming up in your life that you'll see every single day!

Makes a perfect gift for your newly engaged best friend, daughter, or (hello!) yourself.

135 S 3rd St.
Clarksburg, WV 26301
304 622 8199

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Premier WV Wedding Resource Guide

If you haven't yet purchased your copy of WV Weddings, support your local retailers! Visit our store locator to find a vendor near you and tell them what you think. And while you're there, look out for the summer issue of WV Living featuring country music darling and Petersburg native Julia Burton!

Congratulations to the all the newlyweds of this past weekend! From Chester to Concord, Welch to Weston, I hope your big day was absolute magic! If you haven't already, talk with your photographer after the honeymoon about next year's Wedding Register. Celebrate your wedding with the whole state and have this wonderful keepsake
(The 2010 issue of WV Weddings) to cherish with friends and family.

And for those of you still planning, check out the resource guide in the back of WV Weddings. National publications and wedding websites can only take you so far, but we've got great finds from cake to couture listed by region to help you keep yourself organized.

Got a great idea you want to share with all your WV sisters?! Send it my way:

Monday, June 1, 2009

From a newlywed to all you nearly-weds….

I hope readers everywhere are enjoying WV Weddings! The response has been unprecedented and I am so proud to be a part of such a great publication. Though I’ve read the whole thing cover to cover, I still get a thrill going back through and glancing over beautiful photos and sharing the special days of all those brides who submitted in the Wedding Register. I have to say though, my favorite part of the whole magazine is the fact that all of these breathtaking weddings occurred right here in the state… real WV Weddings for real WV people!

I'm also super excited to introduce myself as a blogger and I hope you'll enjoy keeping following WV Weddings throughout the year. Now as a newlywed, it gives me great pleasure to say that you can indeed plan the event of your life, help or no help, and come out on the other side with fantastic memories and even better stories from your guests. I thought long and hard about what was important for me to address in kicking off my string of blog posts and the most universal aspect of planning a wedding has to be the stress level that this life changing event can bring to the bride, groom, parents, planners and party members. Friendships have been squashed, relationships ruined, all over some trivial happening worsened by stress.

For this post I had the pleasure of consulting with Dr. Bahar Altaha, Assistant Professor at the WVU Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry. I asked her to explain to me exactly what happens to the body and one’s stress level during the planning of a huge life event such as a wedding. Dr Altaha says: “In a stressed state, all neuroregulatory mechanisms undergo functional changes that depress the body’s homeostatic mechanisms”. This basically means that changes in hormone levels within the body can affect mood, sleep habits, appetite and energy level (like we didn’t already know this?!). Compounded with existing anxiety or depression, this stress can in some cases increase vulnerability for infection. So take care of yourself! “Try to avoid too much caffeine like coffee, soda, chocolates or energy drinks,” says Dr. Altaha, “And don’t self medicate. Instead make relaxing a part of your routine and take a daily multivitamin to make sure you’re getting all the correct nutrients”.

And although I considered myself a fairly calm bride, everyone has their moments. I’m positive if asked about my level of “bridezilla” my groomsmen may have something to say about their weekend itinerary. And though my bridesmaids would for the most part say I was pleasant, they might make a joke about my one rule regarding the hairstyles: no curly tendrils. (Come on, is it really too much to ask? They got to wear their own shoes and jewelry!)

Of course, there are certain aspects you can and should make absolute priorities. Dr. Altaha mentions things like deadlines for deposits, backup plans for delayed or canceled flights (if traveling), and staying within budget. But these things can be avoided by proper planning.

It gets me thinking about my own wedding and how a year or so ago I was in your shoes. Planning and stressing. And though how to address envelopes of divorced parents or having to accommodate a food allergy may seem worrisome at the time like a loser high school boyfriend who left you at home and crying on a Friday night after the game, it too will pass. But I do regret freaking out over nothing. And to help you realize before you flip that switch, I’d like to acknowledge three things I wish I didn’t stress about…

1. My train ripping on the way in to the reception.

Face it ladies, it will happen eventually, but don’t ruin your day over it. Just make sure someone brings heavy duty safety pins and go into the night ready to take a 20 minute timeout in the bathroom with your best friends while they bussel you up again.

2. My weight.

Listen brides, your guests are there to see you. They know you. They more than likely love you. And they want to see you at your happiest! Getting healthy during planning is absolutely a great way to combat stress, however crash diets and absurd workout routines that affect your mood are not okay. And I know all about why you want you look your best, believe me. I know you want everyone in the room to look at you as you’re walking down the isle and think that you are the most beautiful bride they’ve ever seen. And let’s just be honest. There are guests who won’t like your dress, your hair, or your colors and they will actually talk about it behind your back. It’s unrealistic to think that it won’t happen. But you’ve got to check your emotional priorities and remember not to waste your thoughts on those people when you should be focusing all of your positive energy on yourself and your husband-to-be. You’re the only two people whose happiness really matters!

3. Other people’s opinions on my decisions.

I’m a people pleaser. And if you’re anything like me then you know you always get a little sad inside when someone isn’t as thrilled as you are about the new paint job in your living room or the unbelievably low price you paid for those shoes. Well let me just say as the decisions get more and more meaningful so will your need to have those decisions in some way in your own mind “approved” by those who are helping you plan. I have three words of advice for these situations… “let… it…go….” You’ll be much happier. Who cares if your mother thinks you should wear your hair up?

In closing I'd like to say "GOOD LUCK" to all you WV Brides out there whose big day is coming up very soon. For the rest of you, keep planning, stay calm, and keep checking back for fun and exciting ideas that can help you purchase the perfect wedding gift for your husband, figure out what to do with your dress after the fact, or even entertain guests when your band takes a break.

As always, feel free to e-mail me or reply with comments on posts or great tips and tricks you're using in planning your own wedding. They could get posted to the blog!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Wedding Bells are Ringing

The phones are ringing! WV Weddings has begun landing in mailboxes and on newsstands around the state.  The response has been terrific! 

Our amazing cover photo was taken by Morgantown photographer Rebecca Devono, and our cover bride and groom is Quinn Edgell and Gabe Devono of Bridgeport. The barn is on the bride's family farm in Doddridge County. But to learn more about this incredible couple and the 30+ brides featured in this amazing issue, you'll have to read the issue.  We promise it is a keeper!  

If you subscribed to WV LIVING before May 1, you'll receive a copy of WV WEDDINGS in the mail.  It is mailed directly from our printer, and it seems that different parts of the state receive it at different times. Not sure why, except that the Post Office can choose not to deliver it immediately (the fine print says that they have up to 3 weeks to deliver publications.) So if you haven't received it by the end of next week, let us know-- we've been tracking how long it takes to be delivered. If you want to buy a copy off the newsstand, check out our store locations page on the Web site for locations near you.  If you want to buy a copy from us directly, give us a call at 304.413.0104.

Let us know what you think! Your thoughts, ideas and suggestions are invaluable!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Welcome to WV WEDDINGS

Welcome to WV WEDDINGS—the first and only magazine solely dedicated to celebrating weddings in the Mountain State. It is not only a comprehensive wedding resource for brides-to-be, but it is also a showcase for beautiful ideas, breathtaking receptions, dazzling cakes, incredible destinations, and so much more. And the best part of all—these are real West Virginia weddings.

Since we first announced that we would be publishing WV WEDDINGS as a supplemental issue of WV LIVING magazine, we’ve set up booths at several bridal expos around the state. We were reassured that there was a need for this type of publication by the thousands of future brides who flocked to our tables and the numerous calls from couples looking for information and recommendations as they planned their special day. What I didn’t anticipate (thanks to Google and our Web site) was the number of calls and e-mails from non-West Virginians who were planning a destination wedding to West Virginia. From New York to Florida, brides are looking for that unique venue that is centrally located where their family and friends can gather to celebrate their momentous occasion.

We have also introduced a section called “The Wedding Register,” a special section where you can submit your wedding photos and a write-up about your special day. This is an important part of the magazine—not only do you get to appear in a high quality magazine and have a keepsake to share with friends and family for generations, but we choose our cover from the photos submitted to the Wedding Register! So, for all of you brides who were married (or will be married) from January 1, 2009 until March 15, 2010, make sure you reserve your spot—and you may be our next cover bride! 

After looking at thousands of wedding photos, I can truly say that this issue represents an amazing collection of ideas to inspire you to make your wedding uniquely your own. West Virginia has many talented cake designers, florists, photographers, wedding planners, and venues, and we are pleased to offer you a sampling of their services. And we will continue to feature even more weddings, more resources, and more great locations and venues on this blog. 

Let us know what you think!  We value your input in helping us craft a blog and magazine that fits your wedding needs!