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WV Weddings website got a new dress ... literally and figuratively. Check out wvweddingsmagazine.com ! We added more blog posts, inspirational ideas, and styled feature photoshoots. Our Vendor Guide is front and center! MEET OUR CURRENT PLANTINUM VENDORS
Allianz Music Ensembles In Allianz Music Ensembles, you’ll find musicians of the highest caliber to provide musical selections for your ceremony and reception. 304.550.3078 firstname.lastname@example.org allianzmusicensembles.com instagram.com/ allianzmusicensembles/ facebook.com/AllianzMusicEnsembles
Little Black Dress Events Little Black Dress Events is an award- winning wedding and event planning team based in West Virginia and southeastern Ohio that specializes in truly magical weddings. 740.568.8552 email@example.com littleblackdressevents.net instagram.com/lbdevents1 facebook.com/littleblackdressWV
The Gaines Estate The Gaines Estate is a 1920s-era mansion located in downtown Fayetteville that sits on 192 acres of breathtaking views, the perfect setting for a wedding. 304.382.7509 225 West Maple Avenue Fayetteville WV gainesestate.com instagram.com/thegainesestate/ facebook.com/The-Gaines- Estate-516132502245848
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editor Nikki Bowman Mills, firstname.lastname@example.org art director Carla Witt Ford, email@example.com executive editor Pam Kasey, firstname.lastname@example.org managing editor Holly Thubron, email@example.com operations manager Meggan Hoyman, firstname.lastname@example.org web and social media manager Savannah Carr, email@example.com contributors Andrea Fleming, Brittany McComas sales director Heather Mills McIntyre, firstname.lastname@example.org advertising Bryson Taylor, email@example.com Laura Layva, firstname.lastname@example.org back issues Back issues may be purchased at wvweddingsmagazine.com or by calling 304.413.0104
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Let us hear from you. We want to know what you think about the magazine, and we’d love to hear your suggestions. Email firstname.lastname@example.org Call 304.413.0104 Mail 1135 Main Street, Granvillle WV 26534
2 | WV WEDDINGS Spring/Summer 2020
Love is essential
As I write this letter, I’m celebrating my one year anniversary. What a special day it was! And yes, the chapel is still standing!
this has been a tough year for couples who had painstakingly planned for beautiful weddings this spring and summer and for those of us who make our living on events and weddings. No way to sugar coat it. It sucked. If social distancing has
forced you to alter your plans, we are here to help. We’ve been diligently adding resources, inspirational ideas, and blog posts from wedding experts to get you through these trying times. We’ve created a new self-service digital vendor guide—if you are a wedding vendor, please add your business. You will be amazed at the new couples you’ll reach! So please visit our newly designed wvweddingsmagazine.com to get started. We also created a WVWeddings Warriors Facebook Group. Follow WVWeddings and join the group. And don’t forget to sign up for our monthly Unveiled newsletter. We are working on more exciting giveaways from our industry partners, and this is the best way to stay in the know and win great prizes! Recently, we’ve given some thought to how we can best help our couples and the wedding industry inWest Virginia. We used to dedicate one issue each year to weddings held in the spring and summer and a second issue to weddings held in the fall and winter. We’ve decided to take those seasonal parameters away so that newly married couples won’t have to wait so long to see their weddings in the magazine and so that engaged couples can draw wedding inspiration from all seasons. Now, our submission guidelines set a single, easy-to-understand deadline by which all materials must be submitted. At a time when life can seem to be harder than ever before, we’re making this one thing simple. So how will your wedding be impacted moving forward? The state considers wedding venues essential—and so do we! According to the new guidelines released at the end of May, if your wedding or reception is at a church or banquet hall, outdoors, or at another type of venue space where large crowds can gather, the limit of 25 in a public gathering does not apply, although proper social distancing measures should be implemented. If your wedding or reception is at a venue like a restaurant or a bar, officials say the 50 percent occupancy guideline must be followed. We expect we are going to see lots of brides handing out custom-made masks as favors! If you are having to reimagine your special day, remember that this is a celebration of your love story—don’t grieve the loss of the day. It is only one day in a lifetime of days. This is now a part of your wedding story. Stay positive and don’t make any rash decisions. The date, the venue, and the guest count can all change, but the reason you are getting married has not changed. Your love for one another remains so, no matter what happens, your originally planned wedding will transform into another stunning and even more special one.
nikki bowman mills, Editor Follow us on and . facebook.com/wvweddings pinterest.com/wvweddings
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30 LOVE IN FULL BLOOM After 20 years, this West Virginia couple decided on forever surrounded by the love of family and friends— and a plethora of flowers. 36 RUNNING TOWARD LOVE This West Virginia couple found love in a running group that they hope leads to a lifetime of adventure together. 42 BURNING LOVE Amanda and Jordan’s July wedding in Petersburg was as close as you can get to picture-perfect. 11 THE EDITOR‘S NOTEBOOK Draw inspiration from our collection of ideas and wedding trends. Also, learn how to protect yourself and your big day from uninvited wedding guests like COVID-19. 22 STYLED INSPIRATION If West Virginia wedding vendors got together to plan a wedding, these are the kinds of weddings they would plan. 51 WEDDING REGISTER Real West Virginia couples share their love stories and the details of their big days in the WV Weddings register.
120 ENGAGEMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS
Get to know the latest round of couples announcing their engagements.
128 COUPLES REGISTER INDEX
An alphabetized listing of our couples.
cover photo Amanda Leslie & Jordan Walsh in Petersburg. Photo by Anna Liz Photography
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OUR SOCIAL CIRCLES
CAKE WALK BY ASHLEY created this fun COVID-19–inspired cake that we shared on Facebook. What do you think?
WE ASKED, HOW HAVE YOU HANDLED COVID-19? SAMANTHA SACCO We postponed our May 9 wedding to June 27. We are hoping everything will be better by then! MARIA BROWNING We live in NYC, but I am from West Virginia, so we decided to get married in West Virginia. We postponed our June 6 wedding to September 26, and I am still nervous this won’t be over by then. So far, we need to find a photographer. ALLISON MCCLUNG My wedding is May 2, and we haven’t postponed. We’re thinking of just having a very small ceremony with our immediate family and then doing the dances in the country where I grew up. Not what I had pictured, but this is the plan unless we can think of something else. Join our WVWedding Warriors Facebook group! We share and discuss advice about wedding-related COVID-19 information and tips and tricks you need to know to plan your perfect wedding day.
She has plenty of Lysol wipes, too!
ON #MONDAYMEMORIES, we asked about your favorite memory from your wedding day. You told us in comments below! Anngrey Saputo My favorite memory from my wedding day was when the minister said, “See that. It is your new name!”
SARAH STEPHENSON I had to reschedule my April 18 wedding to July. It’s been very hard but just praying it is all over by July.
CARRIE ANN MOORE We rescheduled our wedding from May 23 to August 15. Invitations already went out for May. We are wondering about the best way to proceed in regard to resending invitation vs. online version for the second time around. All guests were notified of change via phone!
We were married in New Orleans, and a homeless person (maybe a wee bit intoxicated) serenaded us after our pop-up ceremony in Jackson Square .
CONGRATULATIONS Hannah Currey for completing our COVID-19 survey and winning a free wedding register in the magazine.
Download our free customizable postponement notif ication card designed by Paper Hearts . wvweddingsmagazine.com/heres- everything-you-need-to-know
Hoyman We did a handfasting ceremony that was by far my favorite thing.
CONNECT WITH US
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THE OBERPORTS The Oberports—Emily and Bobby—are a married photography team based in Charleston. They specialize in weddings, elopements, and portrait sessions. Inspired by beautiful light, genuine emotions, and old films, their work highlights personal connections and the gorgeous scenery of West Virginia. After 11 full-time years of wedding photography, their couples know them as easygoing, professional, and experienced storytellers. theoberports.com
ANNA LIZ PHOTOGRAPHY
BRITTANY MCCOMAS BrittanyMcComas made her scriptwriting début on the Royal Television Society AwardWinning comedy series Liquid Soap . Her debut film, Dr. Sugarloaf, world premiered at the 69th Cannes FilmFestival and has recently been signed for global distribution with Shorts International. Brittany’s love for writing wedding features was born at the CharlestonMarriott, where she started reading WVWeddings while she sat in her mom’s office.
ANDREA SALINA FLEMING Andrea Salina Fleming is a Marion County native and the business operations manager at Fusion Technology. Andrea’s side gigs include adjunct-ing at Pierpont Community and Technical College as well as Alderson Broaddus University. She received her master's degree in corporate communications fromWest Virginia University in 2012. Andrea enjoys writing, hiking, and spending time with her family. She lives inWhitehall with her husband, Shawn, daughter Madalyn, son Draven, and plenty of fur babies.
SHANNON LARSON Shannon Larson is a wedding and family fine art photographer who strives to capture the beauty, grace, and enthusiasm of those in front of her lens. Her work is described as candid, vivid, and energetic. The goal behind every wedding is to make each and every client feel at ease and to deliver images that show the personality and beauty of a client. sweetcarolinephotography2014.com
Behind the camera at Anna Liz Photography are talented photographers specializing in luxury fine art wedding and portrait photography with an artistic touch. The gorgeous images they create can be recognized by two unique features: the use of natural light and the genuine, organic way they capture each and every client. In the end, Anna Liz Photography will provide you not only with timeless photos, but with an unforgettable experience along the way. annalizphotography.com
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—— Ideas, Advice, and Inspiration ——
THE EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK
Top 10 Covers The staff of WV Weddings shares the beautiful photos we considered for this issue’s cover. Here are the winner and top runners-up.
1. Amanda Leslie & Jordan Walsh, photographed by Anna Liz Photography 2. Brittany Sovine & Lord Walker, photographed by The Oberports 3. Jeni Peterson & Kevin Walker, photographed by Sweet Caroline Photography 4. Meghan Smith & Nathan Jones, photographed by Jenny Reese Photography 5. Adeline Schneid & Camden Boggs, photographed by Hannah Barlow Photography 6. Chelsea Guiseppi & Trevor Wolfe, photographed by The Oberports 7. Audrey File & Christopher Yambrick, photographed by Lauren Love Photography 8. Elise Carenbauer & Chase Holcomb, photographed by Hannah Hicks Photography 9. Megan Williams & Cullen Hoone, photographed by Chelsea Hellen Photography 10. Natasha Scott & Evan Boyd, photographed by Amy Wallen Photography
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THE EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK
Wedding Wisdom RSVP PLEASE! Are you missing RSVPs? If you have a planner, this is a great job for her/him. If not, email your invitee and explain that there is a deadline to let the caterer or venue know numbers, and that you need to know by a certain date.
SHOULD WE OR SHOULDN’T WE—GO ON OUR HONEYMOON THIS YEAR? Make it a mini-moon. 2020 may not be the year for big trips. Save the trip to the Bahamas or Italy for more certain times, and instead spend a few days after your wedding relaxing at a local getaway.
CHANGE ARTIST Changing your name after your marriage is not a task for the faint of heart. Consider services like Newly Named, HitchSwitch, or MissNowMrs to simplify the ordeal. Companies like these send you the state and federal forms you need and step-by-step instructions.
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THE EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK
NIKKI’S Wedding Guest No-No’s
Turn off your phone. You don’t want to be that person whose phone rings in the middle of “I-dos.”
Don’t take phone pictures at the ceremony. None. Never. Major no-no. Brides pay big bucks to have photographers document their weddings. The last things they want are photos of phones raised above heads during their ceremonies.
Don’t post photos of the couple on social media before the couple does, unless they provide you with a specific hashtag and give the go-ahead.
Don’t assume kids are welcome. In fact, it is better to assume they are not invited unless explicitly told.
Don’t assume you are allowed to bring a guest. If the invitation is addressed to you alone and you aren’t sure if you’ve been given a plus one, check with the couple. Usually the invitation will specify the number of guests allowed per invitation.
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THE EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK
PARTY LIKE IT’S 2020 Second receptions or after-parties are not a new phenomenon. Couples who have destination weddings often have parties later to gather their friends and families together. So if you decide to elope or downsize your wedding due to social distancing orders, here are a few tips to consider when planning an after- party or reception. Do me a favor. We couldn’t resist this idea. Instead of a traditional favor, hand out custom face masks to your guests. Formal or casual? This is a personal decision. Are you wanting a backyard picnic with cornhole? Or do you dream of a fancy fairy-tale affair? Book your favorite restaurant, have a garden party with serving staff walking around with hors d’oeuvres, or a reception at your favorite bar. Just make sure you let your guests know about the attire. Theme it. Having a picnic? Ask everyone to wear plaid. Was your wedding supposed to happen on a beach? Invite everyone to wear Hawaiian shirts and shorts. Document it. Be sure to have your photographer and videographer present at your after- party or reception. Invite right. On your reception invitations don’t use the word “wedding.” You don’t want people to think they are attending your wedding. Instead consider something like this: Join us in celebrating our marriage. Show off. Show a slideshow of your elopement or wedding ceremony. If you decided to elope and your bridal party couldn’t attend, interview them and have them share their favorite memories of you as a couple.
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THE EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK
HERE’S EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW about Combating COVID-19 and Postponing Your Wedding
W as your wedding crashed by an uninvited guest—COVID-19? Social distancing has forced thousands of couples to alter their plans. If you’re a couple faced with the upsetting decision to postpone your wedding, WV Weddings magazine editor Nikki Bowman Mills answers your most pressing questions. What are my first steps? 1. If you have a wedding planner or venue coordinator, reach out to them. This is when you’ll be so grateful to have engaged their services. They will reach out to your key vendors and walk you through a plan of action. 2. If you don’t have an event planner, contact your venue first. Look at available dates—probably late fall or winter. Also consider non-traditional dates like Sundays or Fridays. And don’t rule out Thursdays. By the time social distancing is over, everyone will be ready for a little getaway and, depending on your venue, guests might be excited for a long weekend getaway. Choose a couple of dates so that you can coordinate with your remaining wedding vendors. Use our free Change of Date Tracker, available here: wvweddingsmagazine.com/ultimate-wedding- toolkit
It’s time to get everyone’s calendars out! I recommend looking at late fall and winter dates. But also consider non-traditional dates.You’ll probably save some money by booking non- traditional dates, and you’ll definitely run into less scheduling conflicts. Should I scale down? Uninvite people? How do I notify guests? This is a deeply personal decision. Weddings are expensive. Times are uncertain, so it is completely reasonable to reevaluate your guest list if you haven’t already sent out invitations. If you’ve sent out invitations and your adjustments mandate downsizing, then I advise making a sweeping change—not just crossing off a few people here and there and risking offending your friends and family. You could notify guests that you are changing your date and, due to the circumstances, you are only inviting immediate family members and your wedding party. You can have a bigger reception and party later and invite all of your original guests. If you do something like this, you’ll want to book your photographer as well for your future celebratory party—and yes, you’ll most likely pay extra for that. I’ve already printed my invitations, but not mailed them. Now what? For couples who have printed
3. If you were planning a tented wedding on your own property, reach out to your tent provider. If you are moving to a cooler time of the year, you may need to add sides to the tent and outdoor heaters. Make those adjustments now. 4. Once you have a few date options, check that your photographer is available. 5. Now reach back out to your venue and let them know exactly which date you’ve chosen. 6. Next, contact your band or DJ, videographer, florist, rental company, cake designer, and all other vendors. Do you have a room block? Contact the hotel to change the date. Use our tracker to track their responses to your date change. 7. Have you already planned your honeymoon? Then don’t forget about rescheduling your plans! 8. Now it’s time to notify your guests of the change of date. If your invitations have not been printed yet, stop the presses. If they have, you can send a change-of-date card with any additional information needed. Download a free customizable postponement notification designed by Paper Hearts, available here: wvweddingsmagazine.com/ heres-everything-you-need-to-know. And given the circumstances, an emailed change of date card is perfectly acceptable. How do you recommend couples go about picking a new wedding date?
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THE EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK
their invitations but haven’t sent them yet, contact your stationery provider and ask them to create a simple insert with the new details and send that with your original invitation so you don’t waste your beautiful invitations. Should brides and grooms expect any fees or charges for postponing? Should they expect deposits back? Couples should not cancel. Just postpone. You most likely will not get your deposits back, because the deposit often covers time and labor already put into planning the wedding. Clear communication is key—and get everything in writing. Many vendors are waiving postponement fees if you move your date to a later time in 2020. If you choose to wait until 2021, you may have to pay a postponement fee. If the scope of work changes for your vendor, you could be charged additional fees, so make sure you communicate clearly with each vendor on what your expectations or changes are. Should couples shifting from a spring or summer wedding to a fall or winter wedding consider making any changes to theme and decor? This is your wedding. If you want a pastel springtime garden theme in December, then stick with it. Just know that certain fresh flowers may be more expensive during off-season. Your strapless gown may now need a shawl or wrap. This also provides an opportunity to be creative with slight pivots. If your spring wedding featured pink bridesmaid dresses and lots of greenery, just deepen the floral palette a bit by adding a burgundy accent color for a winter wedding. Instead of a summertime linen, add a touch of velvet. ❤ ❤ ❤ Remember that this is a celebration of your love story—don’t grieve the loss of the day. It is only one day in a lifetime of days. This is now a part of your wedding story. Stay positive, and don’t make any rash decisions. The date, the venue, and the guest count can all change, but the reason you are getting married has not changed. Your love for one another remains, so no matter what happens, your originally planned wedding will morph into another stunning and even more special wedding. Do you have questions for Nikki? Email her at email@example.com .
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THE EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK
U ntil 2020, I’d wager that couples never contemplated their much-anticipated wedding day could be hijacked by a worldwide pandemic. A hurricane, maybe. But a national quarantine? Who would have thought? Would wedding insurance help couples facing pandemic plans? Should couples purchase wedding insurance? We talked with Suzette Raines Ashley of Ashley Insurance Agency LLC (ashleyinsures.com) to help you make the decision and navigate the process. What exactly does wedding insurance cover? Suzette Raines Ashley: There are many types of wedding insurance, but the most common covers your liability for the people at the event and the property where the wedding occurs. This is liability insurance that is extended from the homeowner’s policy of the bride and groom or the parents of the bride or groom. If you’re looking for more comprehensive coverage than just liability, there are also specific event policies for weddings that would cover event cancellation or payments to vendors. The first question I always ask is: “Who signed the contracts?” Many brides and grooms seem to be paying for their own weddings these days, as opposed to having their parents pay. Whichever the case may be, it is the person with the contractual obligation who needs protection, and it should be their homeowner’s policy. Does it cover cancellations due to a pandemic? SRA: This coverage would not include a pandemic, as viruses and bacteria are excluded in every typical insurance policy. For a loss to be covered by a WEDDING INSURANCE 101 What is wedding insurance? And do I need it?
everyone should purchase wedding insurance if it is not already included in their homeowner’s or tenant policy. We have seen an increase in the number of clients who contact us regarding wedding insurance because venues require it. Wedding and reception venues are requiring a specific level of coverage and that they be listed as additional insured on the policy. This protects the bride and groom and the venue from lawsuits stemming from injuries and damage that could occur during the event. Do you have any stories of people who have purchased it and been very grateful they had? SRA: We experienced an instance where an expensive wedding gift was stolen by a mystery party guest. Thankfully, the bride and groom were able to make a claim on the gift and the insurance company paid to have it replaced. That is the beauty of insurance. They are there to make you whole or as close to normal when unlucky or unfortunate events strike.
pandemic, it would require a policy specifically written to protect against only pandemics. War and intentional loss are other common exclusions. What doesn't wedding insurance cover? SRA: The only way to really answer this question correctly is to look at the terms of your actual policy in the exclusions section. Every insurance carrier and every policy is different. If there is a loss or injury at the wedding or wedding reception, the insurance policy should provide payment for medical bills or the replacement of damaged property. But it all depends on what your specific policy excludes. Why should someone purchase wedding insurance? SRA: It is an affordable coverage that will prevent you from personally being responsible for an injury to one of your guests at your wedding or damage that your wedding partiers cause. When you purchase wedding insurance you transfer your risk to the insurance company. It’s your big day, so being afraid of having to pay for accidents your guests cause should be the last thing on your mind. Who should purchase wedding insurance? SRA: Anyone who doesn’t want to write a personal check to cover an at-fault loss. Nearly
Suzette Raines Ashley of Ashley Insurance Agency LLC ashleyinsures.com
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THE EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK
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—— Styled Ideas from Local Experts —— INSPIRATION
Looking for more ideas? The following are styled photo shoots arranged by some of West Virginia‘s most experienced wedding vendors. Enjoy the rich, bold colors, out-of-the-box decor ideas, and inspiration for a wedding event that dreams are made of.
If pink is your color, then this romantic styled shoot is the thing dreams are made of. Romance was in the air during this light and airy spring wedding shoot, and no detail was overlooked in this blush-hued session shot by Rocha & Co Photography. Florist Shyla Marie’s green thumb shone through in beautiful floral arrangements and details, while Brittany Anne’s Events’ styled flower wall made for a breathtaking backdrop. The shoot was brought together with lovely stationery by Paper Heart Invitations and handcrafted designer cookies by Love at First Bite. Blushing Bride PHOTOGRAPHER Rocha & Co Photography EVENT PLANNER Br ittany Anne’s Events CAKE Alex Robba Cake COOKIES Love at Fi rst Bite RENTALS The Mustard Couch FLORIST Love Shyla, Shyla Mar ie FLOWER WALL Br ittany Anne’s Events DRESS/SHOES/VEIL The Vow Boutique MAKEUP ARTIST Amanda Vicinelly, Professional Makeup Artist HAIR STYLIST Rachel Babb Wedding Hai r JEWELRY Lovebi rd Jewelry Col lective STATIONERY Paper Heart Invitations BALLOON DESIGN Mountain State Bal loon Designs WAX SEALS Artisai re TIE ties.com
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VENUE Mia Bel la Grand EVENT PLANNER/DESIGNER Gai l Camp Ray at Mia Bel la Or iginals OFFICIANT John Scarbro BAKER Renee’s Cakes and Things CATERER Your Grate Escape FLORIST Bessie’s Floral Designs DRESS DESIGNER Meagan Kelly Designs RENTALS: A2 Tent Rentals DJ EJ Price, BRAVO-Live DJ & Lighting Extravaganza BRIDESMAIDS’, GROOMSMEN’S, & GROOMS’ ATTIRE Jean Ann’s Prom & Bridal MAKEUP ARTIST Beauty by Kearston HAIR STYLIST Salon Bella TRANSPORTATION Roy Hardin MASSEUSE A New You Massage B&G Shannon Hansford & Brandon Hansford BRIDESMAIDS Madison Jackson, Eden Adkins, Caylin Adkins GROOMSMEN Elijah Cunningham, Josh Ray, James Dick luxury wedding with a single color palette—shades of violet. Dusty lavender hues enhanced the breathtaking views at Mia Bella Grand, while varied textures and details added up to an over-the-top glamorous experience. Bessie’s Floral Designs tied elements together with overflowing greenery and flowers, while baker Renee’s Cakes and Things delivered an intricate cake that included handcrafted edible butterflies for a playful addition. Italian Glam PHOTOGRAPHER Jamie Marie Photography Regal and majestic jewel tones were the inspiration for this dreamy styled shoot, photographed by Jamie Marie Photography. Event planner and designer Gail Camp demonstrated how to create a sophisticated,
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VENUE Honeybee Hi l ls COORDINATOR/STYLIST Alyssa B. Events FLORALS Hurr icane Floral Gal lery STATIONERY Fi refly Designs Co. JEWELRY Under the Oak Jewelry MACRAME Forget Me Knots RUGS Cedar Ol ive Or ientals MOBILE BAR Hitch Mobi le Bar BRIDE & GROOM Sarah and Chad Curd Cheery citrus tones inspired coordinator and stylist Alyssa B. Events for this styled shoot designed for the laid-back and non-traditional bride. Elements like natural wood, copper, and raw textiles set the stage, and Brooke Morgan Photography captured the pure essence and beauty of the HoneyBee Hills venue. A whimsical mobile bar by Hitch Mobile Bar made for a cheery, one-of-a-kind celebration. Boho Magic PHOTOGRAPHER Brooke Morgan Photography
BACHELOR BUTTON BLUE
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VENUE Modern Homestead at Tatham’s COORDINATOR/STYLIST Liesl and Company FLORALS Bel la Fiore Design SPECIALTY RENTALS The Mustard Couch GOWNS The Vow Boutique HAIR & MAKEUP ARTIST Ondi Parsons HANDCRAFTED ACCESSORIES Col leen Bankovich STATIONERY Al l ison Kotarsky, Paper Hearts Invitations This styled shoot is far from ordinary. C oordina tor and stylist Liesl and Company created a unique and whimsical Alice in Wonderland-themed styled wedding shoot at the Modern Homestead at Tatham’s. Vibrant florals and beautiful botanicals by Bella Fiore Design complement quirky and handcrafted accessories from Colleen Bankovich and The Mustard Couch. The theme comes alive with a tablescape that evokes the Mad Hatter’s tea party. Models Alexa Panico Cavendar, Savannah Beegle, and Sydney McBee don dresses from The Vow Boutique and look as if they just emerged from the rabbit hole. All that is missing is the white rabbit himself. Through the Looking Glass PHOTOGRAPHER Angie Candel l
CALLIGRAPHER Misty Mountain Cal l igraphy, LLC LINENS El ite Br idal & Events MODELS Alexa Panico Cavender, Savannah Beegle, and Sydney McBee
QUEEN OF HEARTS
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THE REGISTRY L ove Full Bloom After 20 years, this West Virginia couple decided on forever surrounded by the love of family and friends — and a plethora of flowers. written by Brittany McComas photographed by Sweet Caroline Photography in
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S some people spend years, decades even , planning their future wedding in their minds. They might not know yet in their daydreams just who they’ll exchange vows with, but they know every flower, the colors of the linens, and the feel of the day. But when both of the people exchanging vows work in the wedding industry, every detail matters. Beyond being a moment in time that they will remember for the rest of their lives, it’s also an opportunity to express themselves together creatively in a medium that they love.
let love grow A mutual friend introduced Jeni and Kevin when Kevin took a weekend trip home from college to Martinsburg. The two went on a few dates, but nothing much materialized, and Kevin went back to school in Morgantown and Jeni attended Shepherd University. When Kevin graduated fromWest Virginia University in 2002, he returned home, and the pair started dating officially. Jeni worked as a financial adviser for 10 years. Meanwhile, her hobby as a florist and gardener grew into a successful floral and event business. Westvirjeni grew to the point that Kevin eventually quit his sales job to join Jeni as a business partner. She got into event design and developed a style she describes as whimsical, bohemian, asymmetrical, and artistic. Kevin handled all of the mechanics, build-outs, and a good bit of the heavy farm work needed to grow their flowers. Nearly two decades into their life together, the couple became clear that they wanted to get married. There was no grand proposal—just two people in love who decided on forever.
That moment in time and that opportunity proved to be a breathtakingly beautiful one for Jeni Peterson and Kevin Walker, both floral design professionals and event planners living in Shepherdstown. And even more than the flowers, a weekend surrounded by family and friends was the most important detail that this couple planned.
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Flowers were one of the most important parts of the wedding for the couple—both professional florists working in Shepherdstown. The ceremony and reception were held on
the farm of Jay Clemens and Carolyn Seen, Wild Goose Farm. Creative touches and wild and whimsical florals were added everywhere guests turned.
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The reception was held in a barn on Wild Goose Farm. Guests dined on passed appetizers and heavy charcuterie, street tacos and nacho bar were one of our food stations during the
strolling reception portion before moving into the barn for a barbecue dinner. The wedding cake made a statement with four tiers of salted caramel cake and bourbon drizzle.
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carved out time to restore the trailer, which then served as their wedding bar. Jeni had a longtime favorite vision of her father walking her down the aisle and their first dance, and those became essential details for her on the big day. Flowers took center stage, of course. The floral motif would be wild and whimsical with a lot of texture, including garden roses. In the end, 70 percent of the flowers in the arrangements would come right from the bride’s garden, in order to match the wedding colors perfectly. “We worked up until the day of,” Jeni says. “A baker friend made our cake as a wedding gift. My best friend is a florist from St. Thomas and came in and helped with the flowers. Designers from D.C. and Baltimore even came in to help. It was a big group effort of vendors and friends coming together to help us plan and execute our wedding.” they decided on forever On the big day, Jeni got ready at home with 25 of her closest friends. While she had her hair and makeup done, her friends finished the wearable floral pieces for everyone. She wore a white boho-style dress she found online at lulus.com for only $60. Kevin had chosen a cobalt-colored suit, and he suited and booted up at the wedding venue with his family. One thing Jeni had always dreamed of was having her dad walk her down the aisle to a steel pan version of “Here Comes the Bride.” The couple exchanged traditional vows in a short but sweet ceremony officiated by Kevin’s great-uncle. Jeni and Kevin created a casual wedding reception for more than 200 guests where everyone could relax, enjoy the party, and socialize with the whole group. The strolling reception featured lounge-style seating and kicked off with a cocktail hour, passed appetizers, and heavy charcuterie by Catering by Margarita. Everyone moved to the barn after the reception to find barbecue, street tacos, a nacho bar, and hand-dipped ice cream. The four-tiered boho and eclectic-style wedding cake with salted caramel and bourbon drizzle was a gorgeous statement piece. The couple shared their first dance to “All of Me” by Jah Cure in the courtyard of Wild Goose Farm. The evening of dancing and socializing ended after the traditional reception send-off. An after-party continued at the couple’s shared home. The day after the wedding included more time for Jeni and Kevin to spend with family and friends. It was essential to the newlyweds to share the whole weekend with everyone—especially the people who traveled so far to celebrate the happy couple. Sunday brunch with a pool party was the perfect way to tie up the affair. “Just a big party with family and friends was the most important thing to us,” Jeni reiterates. “It was kinda hectic, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.”
so many details The plan was simple: They wanted one big party, yet something casual, the bride says. For the super- informal couple, a weekend surrounded by the people they love would be the perfect way to celebrate saying their “I do’s.” Wild Goose Farm served as their venue, and the couple went above and beyond to include personal details and moments in their mostly DIY wedding. “We Decided on Forever” became the theme of their wedding early on in the planning phase and was incorporated into the decor and wedding programs. The couple chose a palette of blue, caramel, and peach. An old stock trailer that Kevin’s grandfather had used for taking cattle to the stock market became a unique centerpiece for their wedding reception: He
wvweddingsmagazine.com | 35
This West Virginia couple found love in a running group that they hope leads to a lifetime of adventure together. Running written by Andrea Fleming photographed by The Oberports Love Toward
wvweddingsmagazine.com | 37
W when trevor wolfe signed up for a running group in Morgantown after seeing Chelsea Guiseppi’s picture on the group’s Facebook page, he never expected he’d be running toward love. Chelsea, a running group organizer for “Charlie’s Hash House Harriers,” didn’t attend that particular run in early July 2016, but she did attend dinner with the group afterward. Trevor tried to strike up a conversation with Chelsea at dinner, but her social butterfly personality kept her from any one spot for too long. As the meal wound down and the group began to disperse, Trevor approached Chelsea, and they walked and talked together to their vehicles. “I instantly felt an attraction to her outgoing personality and her kindness. I could tell she was driven, and she shared my passion for running, which I also admired,” Trevor says of that initial meeting. She gave him a ride to his car and was so engrossed in conversation that she stopped at a green light. When they reached his car, he got out and shut the door but then quickly backtracked to ask Chelsea Trevor and Chelsea leaned into bold choices for their summer wedding at Chanteclaire Farm in Maryland. The couple even chose pink linen suits for the groom and his groomsmen, which perfectly complemented the bridal party‘s taupe gowns.
for a dinner date on another night. She accepted the invitation, and their love story began. “We have been running, traveling, and adventuring together ever since,” Chelsea says. A year and a half after their first meeting, the couple took a vacation to the Pacific Northwest. Trevor took Chelsea to the best restaurant in Portland, Oregon. “After an amazing seven- course dinner of unique food, including salmon pie with ice cream and Voodoo Donuts, Trevor got down on one knee and popped the question,” Chelsea says. Trevor chimes in: “I proposed with one of those old viewfinder toys with the pictures you insert and click through. It had slides of our adventures together, and the last one had the big question. I’ve never seen her smile so big. As she brought down the viewfinder from her face, she gave me the biggest kiss and a resounding ‘Yes,’” he says.
38 | WV WEDDINGS Spring/Summer 2020
A palette of rich hues was chosen for the florals, including wine- colored dahlia, blush-colored and cream-colored
spray roses, and assorted greenery. The outdoor ceremony was held in front of a small pond on the farm property.
wvweddingsmagazine.com | 39
An Italian cookie table added to the wedding cake display. Guests enjoyed five cakes—three were lemon- flavored blueberries and two
were cornmeal honey cakes with buttercream icing. The bride‘s grandmother made the cookies.
let the wedding preparations begin
Chelsea and Trevor selected the Chanteclaire Farm in western Maryland as their wedding venue. “The farm matched our personalities and is tucked away in a beautiful spot in the hills of Garrett County,” Chelsea says. The European vibe boasts both modern and pastoral elements that add to the farm’s aesthetic appeal. Chelsea also admired the small pond and the old farmhouse, and she liked the beautiful black barn where guests could be entertained in one central location for the evening. Chanteclaire Farm is recognized as a first-class wedding venue in the region. The estate-like property is picturesque and has all the amenities to host a wedding weekend full of family, friends, and fun. The family cabin and farmhouse are where brides, grooms, and their wedding parties spend the weekend bonding with the farm and each other. All wedding-related activities happen on-site, making matrimony logistics seamless and elegant. “Chanteclaire farm took care of every detail and took the stress off of planning, which made the day utter perfection,” says Chelsea. “I wanted something to show off the beautiful landscape that we live in and some unique pieces, like the silo bar and French Revolution designs, that aren't seen at typical weddings. From our first visit with the Chanteclaire team, we knew that the venue was meant for us, and nothing else compared.” memorable moments As Chelsea was escorted down the aisle by her grandfather Julius Guiseppi, “I’m Yours” by Vitamin String Quartet serenaded guests in the background. “I’ll never forget the way she looked that day with the sun behind her. She was so beautiful, and time seemed to slow down as she walked towards me,” Trevor says. “The moment was perfect.” The ceremony was non-religious and focused on celebrating the pair’s bond. They wrote their own fun, lighthearted vows, including promises to remain each
40 | WV WEDDINGS Spring/Summer 2020
An antique Volkswagon photo bus was one of the highlights of the reception. Trevor and Chase celebrated with family and friends well into the night.
other’s baristas, to never stop adventuring, and a mutual agreement that popcorn is always a suitable dinner option. The reception kicked off to spicy Latin music to introduce the wedding party and the bride and groom. Slowing things down for their first dance, the couple chose a shortened version of “Eyes on You” by Chase Rice. Guests feasted on a duet plate of brie and apple stuffed chicken, an heirloom tomato stack with hummus and fresh mozzarella, and a salad bar inside of a canoe, with fresh roasted broccolini and potatoes. let them eat cake The cake table displayed a quintet of cakes. Three were lemon-flavored with lemon curd and blueberries, and two were cornmeal honey– flavored with buttercream icing, ombre wine coloring, and a golden honey drizzle. Festivities continued late into the summer evening with a s’mores bonfire on the property. Traditions like the bouquet toss and dollar dance provided excitement during the reception, which ended with a true West Virginian send-off as the couple and guests sang “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” From breathtaking mountain views to stunning florals, fine cuisine, and a silo bar serving creative cocktails, the event was enjoyable for everyone involved. “Everything turned out amazing,” Trevor says of the day he married his best friend and soulmate. “The venue, the music, our friends and family around us, all made for an unforgettable night that went way too fast. I wish I could do it all again.”
wvweddingsmagazine.com | 41
Amanda and Jordan’s July wedding in Petersburg was as close as you can get to picture-perfect. written by Holly Leleux-Thubron photographed by Anna Liz Photography Love
wvweddingsmagazine.com | 43
A amanda leslie walsh spends her days designing events. It would make sense, then, that her own wedding might look like it belonged in the pages of a magazine. It absolutely did, and here are those pages. Amanda and Jordan met as theater students at the University of Pittsburgh in 2009. They were cast as factory workers in a severe-sounding play called Gas Masks. Amanda describes it as a translation of a Russian propaganda play and says it was every bit as ominous as it sounds. Jordan kept his crush on Amanda a secret until the last night students were on campus before summer break. He sent her a text that night admitting to his affection for her. The next day would see her return home to Petersburg and him to Bethel Park, Pennsylvania—and three hours between them. The pair spent the summer exploring their newfound coupledom during visits with one another in her hometown and his.
burning love—take one The church was an important part of Amanda’s life growing up, and the couple chose to return to her childhood church for their wedding ceremony. The pastor presiding over the congregation when Amanda was a child returned to officiate the wedding. Amanda’s uncle played the piano for the processional as the mother of the bride was escorted by Amanda’s older brothers and Amanda was escorted to the altar by her father for a traditional Protestant vow exchange. She wore a wedding gown that was designed by her mother, Kay Leslie, and her aunt Jo Chaconas. She searched for a dress in the usual places but never found one that felt just right. Her aunt, also her mother’s twin sister, offered to create something for her. The trio went through a couple revisions before they arrived at the final version of the simple yet elegant crepe, bias-cut dress that she wore with a white veil encrusted with pearls. The bride fashioned a statement necklace from her grandmother’s brooch, offering a touch of art deco and a perfect complement to the simplicity of her dress. During the ceremony, Amanda’s high school friend read a passage from Song of Songs, and a college friend of Jordan’s read a passage from Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare. The couple was presented as husband and wife and departed the church to the day’s first rendition of “Burning Love” by Elvis Presley. A second, livelier rendition would come much later in the evening.
It would take Jordan almost 10 years to propose. Not because he wasn’t ready, Amanda says, but because he thought she wouldn’t say yes. She was focused on her career, she explains, and he knew that. Their relationship was long-distance much of the time after their graduation from Pitt. She was waiting to see where they would land before giving any indication she was ready to settle down. That signal finally came and, in the fall of 2018 during a planned hike in Dolly Sods Wilderness, Jordan asked Amanda to marry him.
44 | WV WEDDINGS Spring/Summer 2020
Amanda and Jordan were married on property owned by the bride’s parents near Petersburg. The bride is
an event designer and delighted in addressing
every detail of the couple’s big day.
wvweddingsmagazine.com | 45
build it and they will come The reception was held in a brand new wedding venue called Highlands View in Petersburg. It was so new, in fact, that Amanda and Jordan were the first couple to be married there. It was built for them and their wedding day by the bride’s parents on property they own in the Eastern Panhandle. The intention is to open the venue up to other couples planning weddings in the region. Kay, the mother of the bride, loves projects. She is no stranger to construction, having spent the better part of her adult life flipping houses. She’s always making, building, and designing, Amanda says. Kay and Bruce Leslie built a greenhouse on their property that proved to be an elegant reception venue. Amanda says it was a mad dash to get the structure completed in time, since the couple was engaged in October and set their wedding date for the following July. They traveled to the property many weekends to help her parents with construction. A good eye for design must be in their genes, because Amanda created a striking logo for the couple’s wedding that was used in all of the stationery and the programs for the day and was even used to create decorative metal chargers that were part of the reception decor. “I just wanted something that showed the mountains, but that was still simple and that could be incorporated in a lot of different ways,” Amanda says.
46 | WV WEDDINGS Spring/Summer 2020
Highlands View proved to be the perfect venue for the couple’s wedding—from the outdoor
ceremony to the chic greenhouse reception. The decor certainly looked like it was put together
by a professional event designer, which the bride—Amanda— happens to be.
wvweddingsmagazine.com | 47
burning love—take two A cocktail hour followed the ceremony, allowing Amanda and Jordan time for pictures together with their families and with the wedding party. They served mini pepperoni rolls in homage to the bride’s West Virginia roots and pierogies as a nod to Jordan’s Pennsylvania heritage. Dinner included a buffet-style meal with classic foods like beef tenderloin and mashed potatoes. Nikki Miller, a college friend of the bride, offered to make the couple’s wedding cake. She made a beautiful cake, Amanda says, that fell victim to the hot temperatures of their July wedding date. There was a mad dash on the day of the wedding to find a suitable substitute from a nearby Walmart, or at least parts that Nikki could use for repairs. She still managed to present a gorgeous miracle cake, and Amanda didn’t sweat it. She knew well enough as an event designer that things can and will go
Guests joined the couple for a reception in a greenhouse that the bride‘s parents built just for the occasion. One highlight
of the reception was a rendition of “Take Me Home, Country Roads” with guitar accompaniment by the bride.
wrong in every wedding, no matter how well- planned it is. Guests danced the night away, ending with a chorus of “Take Me Home, Country Roads” as Amanda played guitar. She says that, when the song ended, guests were cheering and still wanted more. So Jordan, ever the performer, joined in for another rousing rendition of “Burning Love” by Elvis Presley—fueled almost entirely by liquid courage, the bride recalls. The pair planned a honeymoon in Cambodia and Thailand but didn’t depart until six months after their wedding. Amanda says the trip was incredible, with time spent first in Cambodia, then in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Thailand. The last five days of their adventure allowed them to finally relax at an idyllic island resort off of Phuket, which the bride describes as heaven on Earth.
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