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Š Always and Forever Photography

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Spring 2013 Vol. 1, Issue 1

Presenting NRV Bridals & Events Upcoming Events for 2013 Spring 2013 Vendor Showcase

Join us for an exciting day full of super-networking opportunities and a showcase of products and services offered by wedding and events professionals in our region. Presented by NRV Bridals and Events and CrossPointe Conference Center on Saturday, April 13, 2013, 12 – 5PM. Watch for more details on our website and FaceBook pages.

© Sam Dean Photography

Mass Wedding Vow Renewal – August 10, 2013

•• All inclusive – outdoor vows ceremony, indoor reception with gourmet food/beverage, personalized wedding cake, photography, live music, dancing, floral, ceremony officiate, commemorative certificate and much much more! •• Experience cool summer breezes high atop Bent Mountain, in Virginia’s smallest Church at Silver Hearth Lodge. •• Includes up to 4 guests in addition to the Vows Renewal couple. Make reservations now! This historical event is limited to only 50 couples! •• Overnight lodging & transportation special is an optional extra (ask for details). •• Casual atmosphere, incredible views, stunning facilities and the breathless majesty of nature are just the beginning of your reaffirmation of love.

2013 Make-a-Wedding Wish Come True Contest

Always wanted to have the wedding of your dreams but have limited resources to make it happen? Be one of the happy couples who have become the lucky winners of this one-of-a-kind wedding give away in the New River Valley. NRV Bridals and Events will hold its fourth annual contest during their Fall Bridal Expo at the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center in September 2013. Go to our website at to apply online.

2013 Fall Bridal Expo

With four expos under our belt, this upcoming expo, being held at the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center, is sure to be stunning! Stay tuned for more details.


Spring 2013


NRV Bridals and Events, Inc.


Remy Ozaraga


Susan Hensley


Remy Ozaraga, Susan Hensley, Kanta Bosinak and John Fox


Jill Darlington-Smith


Shannon Ainsley, Always & Forever Photo



Laura’s Focus Photography Maya McMahon Photography Luis Garcia and Marivic Gallimore Marivic Gallimore and Barbara Newton Ariel Junio


© Always and Forever Photography

To advertise with Best of NRV Bridals and Events Magazine or request a media kit, please contact us at 540-443-9289 or email at info

© Laura’s Focus Photography

EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS Email articles, news items and ideas to:

CALENDAR SUBMISSIONS Email calendar events to: Katie & Matt Eller and their wedding, June 1, 2012, at Hahn Horticulture Garden, located on the VT Campus.

A unique table setting in a rustic and romantic venue: Bluegrass Barn in Radford, VA.



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An Event to Remember with Style

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Spring 2013

WHAT’S INSIDE Letter from the President


Letter from the Editors


History of NRV Bridals & Events in Pictures


David Smith: Baking & Decorating


Cakes for a Mission …And Their Wedding Wish Came True


Our Generous Donors: 2012 Make-a-Wedding Wish Come True


It’s All About The Music


Niche Weddings in the NRV


From the Back Seat to the Front


Historic Smithfield To Host the 3rd Annual “Make-a-Wedding Wish Come True” in 2013


Directory of Services


Raegan and Dwight Farmer. at Sinkland farms, September 8, 2012.

Our Magazine Cover: Photo of Courtney and Darren Blankenship taken at their wedding at Bluegrass Barn, Radford, VA. Contact Scott Sink, for venue reservations.


Greetings Everyone!


hese past 18 months have been very eventful for NRV Bridals and Events. As you can see in the following pages, we have worked hard at establishing this organization as one that will truly benefit the weddings and events professionals in our area. This magazine is just one of the vehicles that will promote our member-businesses along with the many other marketing and business development tools we provide our members. This magazine is a dream-cometrue for me. This is something I had always dreamed of when I established this organization along with my cofounder, Barbara Newton. I wanted a local member-owned magazine that will showcase our organization, our members and our community. And now, it’s here! As the President and Founder of NRV Bridals and Events, I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for the Members of my appointed Executive and Advisory Board. They have shown perseverance and commitment, values and attributes that play an important role in our success and that help define us as a Team. I also want to express my thanks to the amazing and hard working staff of our Publication Team: Remy, Jill, Shannon, Susan, Luis, who in many ways, small or big, have contributed to what we call, Team Spirit of working together in “Coopertition”. We’re not going to find this special word in our regular dictionary. But if you’ve attended our monthly meetings, Barbara Newton,


my Co-Founder has shared what this word meant for all of us: “like businesses cooperating with each other to better compete in the marketplace”. As a result, we’re able to produce this beautiful publication, our very own Inaugural Issue of The Best of NRV Bridals & Events Magazine. It’s finally here, the day that WE can read and share this very first magazine issue to our supporters and all the Brides-to-be in our area. As we look forward to the year ahead, I truly believe that 2013 is going to be a fantastic year for all of us at NRV Bridals and Events. Our leadership team is already working on several exciting events like the Spring Vendors Showcase in April, the Make a Wedding Wish Come True charity event in July, and the Mass Vow Renewal in the summer. We expect the Mass Wedding Vow Renewal to be the highlight of the year; Bob Johnston will be hosting us at his Silver Hearth Lodge property in Bent Mountain. And of course, our annual Bridal Expo scheduled for the Fall at the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center. My hope for 2013 is that all our members will take advantage of the business tools available for free included in the membership, like the Personal and Business Development Workshops that we regularly offer. We want our members to be successful and for that reason our leadership team will ensure that together, we can equip ourselves with the skills and tools to be successful and profitable. Our great vision for this organization continues

and I thank you for coming along with us to make things happen. We hope to see everyone at our upcoming monthly & quarterly networking events. Our monthly Calendar is now fully booked, thanks to our members who are hosting us to visit their venues this year! May this New Year of 2013, bring you and your businesses more success! Cheers to all our Success! Marivic Gallimore, President and Founder of NRV Bridals and Events, Inc.

Spring 2013

Letter from the Editors


elcome to the Inaugural Issue of the Best of NRV Bridals and Events Magazine. We aim to make this magazine a bi-annual publication dedicated to wedding and events happenings in the area, featuring useful information for brides and others who are planning a special event that they want to make memorable. In addition, we will also focus on our member businesses who are expert in their particular field and excited to share their expertise with our readers. The New River Valley might be on our name but we aspire to reach a much broader geographical area in terms of the member businesses, clients and customers we want to reach. The New River Valley and the surrounding communities are getting to be known more and more by people outside the area as a venue for weddings and other special events. As such, our Leadership Team has partnered with wedding and events organizations outside of Southwest Virginia, like Virginia Wedding and Events Network (VAWE) and Virginia Bride so our member businesses can have state-wide exposure. The exceptional mountain and pastoral backdrops that surround this area makes it ideal for these special occasions and the variety of venues you find here attest to this growing trend. An informal survey made with some of our members indicates that more and more people outside the region are holding their weddings, anniversaries, reunions, retreats and other occasions in the area. The

natural beauty of the surroundings is a big draw but the relatively low cost of services is also a major reason for holding these special occasions here. In this issue, our stories include a historical perspective on how the NRV Bridals and Events organization was formed, a touching story of a cake-maker, David Smith, who donate all his profits to his mission work, a lovely and romantic wedding of the winners of our 2011 “Make-aWedding Wish Come True” wedding giveaway in the beautiful Nesselrod Bed and Breakfast in Radford, and an inspiring story about Patrick Helvey, a professional wrestling title-holder turned limousine services owner. We also have articles from our membercontributors, DJ John Fox “Tunes You Remember” and the Rev. Kanta Bosinak on Interfaith rituals. We hope you enjoy this first issue. Our hope is that, through this magazine, we can draw even more people to have their special life events in our beautiful region. We are very proud of the communities that comprise the New River Valley and surrounding towns; through the unity and cooperation of the wedding and events professionals in our organization, we can offer a unique stress-free experience to our clients and encourage them to promote our area. Remy Ozaraga & Susan Hensley


Fall Expo

History of NRV Bridals

Highlights of the Fall Bridal Expo held at the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center on September 16, 2012, presented by Chantilly Lace Bridals of Blacksburg, VA


Spring 2013

& Events in Pictures

NRV Skyfest

Visit NRV Skyfest Airshow website for additional photos and information.

Promotional wedding of Jessica and Jason Hiner at the NRV Skyfest held Sept. 9, 2012.




May Monthly Networking

October Quarterly Soiree



November Monthly Networking

December Monthly Networking


Spring 2013

& Events in Pictures 2012 MAKE-A-WEDDING WISH COME TRUE

WINNERS ~ Ashley Wilkerson and Ryan Ege


RUNNERS UP ~ Ashley Bales and Seth Davis


For more meeting, soiree and event information please visit our website,, and facebook pages.


David Smith: Baking & Decorating Cakes for a Mission by Remy Ozaraga


© Always & Forever Photography

eet David Smith… He has a Masters in Criminology from Sam Houston State University in Texas and he spent over 25 years working for the prison systems in Texas and Virginia, retiring as the warden of the Pulaski Correctional Center in Dublin, VA in 2003. He then became the General Manager of Quality Inn, Christiansburg, managing a 124-room facility that has won numerous awards from Choice Hotels including the Gold and Platinum Awards for service and quality accommodations.

One of David’s creations, NRV Skyfest wedding cake.


Spring 2013


hat’s a former prison warden doing with a bridal and events group, you ask? David Smith’s two main passions: baking and decorating cakes and his charity mission for underprivileged kids, mostly in Third World countries.


avid has been baking and decorating cakes for 26 years. He remembers clearly when he got started: his son was born on Valentine’s Day and on his son’s first birthday, he got a baker’s starter kit so he can make him a birthday cake. He enjoyed it so much, he has been baking and decorating cakes ever since. He calls his business Dave’s Delicious Cakes. During all these years, he comes home from his regular job and bakes and decorates cakes for any and all occasions, including wedding cakes. “God blessed me with a little bit of creative talent and I use it for His glory,” David says. David gets three cake orders a week, on average. David donates 100% of the proceeds of his cake-making business, including ingredients, to his missionary work.


avid started his missionary work in 2000, when his church sponsored a family mission trip to work among Somali refugees in Toronto. David took his two pre-teen kids to Toronto for that first mission. Since then, he and his family have been doing mission work every year; they’ve traveled to Macau, the Philippines, Mississippi, Thailand and Cambodia returning more than once to these places to follow through on their prior work. On several occasions, volunteers from his church also came with him. David works through local ministers or missionaries in these countries.

They help him set up the agenda for the trip and select and gather the junior and senior high aged youth for the Bible study classes and teambuilding activities that he integrates into the program. Spreading the Word is not the only goal of these missions; working with the local ministers, they identify other needs of the people in these communities such as ways to make them financially selfsufficient to overcome conditions of abject poverty that most of these communities suffer through.


avid is currently focused on meeting his goals for his last mission in Cambodia. He is working with the leader of the Cambodia Youth Mission, Sam Ang Dang, who is managing a key project being financed by David’s mission. Mr. Dang has organized a cottage industry among the villagers


to make flip-flops and shoes to be marketed in Phnom Penh and other local villages. Sewing machines and materials for shoe making were purchased from donations raised by David’s mission. The proceeds are used to fund the training of village pastors while providing a source of income for their families. The village pastors are not paid for being pastors, so they have to find other means to support their families. By having a vocation they can pursue right in their homes, instead of working in factories far from their villages, they can take care of their congregation while being able to provide for their families. In addition to pastor training, the mission also provides college scholarships to deserving students who need financial assistance. “It is very fulfilling to see the appreciation and gratitude on these children’s faces when they receive these gifts or donations. For the most part, education is the only way out for them from the cycle of poverty, “ David adds.


avid participated in the first Blacksburg Bridal Expo in 2010, which at that time, was managed and organized by Marivic Gallimore of Elegance by Marivic, LLC. David’s continuing participation in NRV Bridals fits perfectly with its mission. The organization is all about promoting and providing exposure to member businesses so they can grow while supporting charitygiving activities to give back to the community and society as a whole. Marivic Gallimore, President and Founder of NRV Bridals and Events, says “When I heard about the good work generated by David’s mission, it inspired me to have my 52nd birthday celebration with a fund-raising canoe run at the Little River in Floyd, with my friends and some members of NRV Bridals. We have raised a significant amount of money from that and I would like to have another one soon. It was so much fun!”



f you need a cake for a birthday, anniversary, wedding or other special occasion, give David a call at 540-257-0733. Not only will you be getting a delicious cake, you’ll be helping people all over the world!

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…And Their Wedding Wish Came True By Remy Ozaraga


hen Amanda Huff and Stephen Martin applied for the 2011 Make-AWedding-Wish-Come-True, they thought winning would be a long shot. But they had to try. This was their only chance to have a wedding anytime soon. The couple describe themselves as classic underdogs, explaining that they have both endured a lifelong fight to keep their heads above water in the face of challenges. When they were selected by the panel of judges at the Fall 2011 Blacksburg Bridal Expo, they could hardly believe it. “This will be the first formal and planned wedding in my family,” said Huff, teary eyed. Martin echoed it saying his parents were married in a courthouse. The couple first met at the Christiansburg Macado’s, when they were introduced by a mutual friend.

“The first thing I saw was her eyes,” Martin said, describing the encounter as “love at first sight.” “I had that feeling,” he said. But it wasn’t just her beauty that caught Martin’s eye. He also respected her independence – the fact that she was living with a roommate, working and going to school. Huff said that she was put off at first because he had tattoos. “But then when I got to know him better, I found him to be kind, gentlemanly and loving. Just goes to show that you can’t judge a person by his appearance,” Huff added. Huff said that she admires Martin’s perseverance amidst life’s challenges; he’s working fulltime while going to school to get a degree in metalwork, which is a very physically demanding skill to acquire. Huff is also working on her degree in education and has

gotten a full scholarship from Hollins University. The panel of judges who had to select from seven other couples saw these qualities during the interview process, as well. They sensed the couple’s independence and drive to overcome difficulties as well as their love for each other. The couple, very much in love and dreaming of getting married, knew financial woes would stand in the way of a wedding. “We don’t have that kind of cash. We live paycheck to paycheck,” Huff said. Both Huff and Martin came from humble beginnings. They explained that although their parents love them, they could never afford to give them a wedding. The wedding, which was originally scheduled during Valentine’s Week 2012, had to be postponed due to a

A loving kiss under the gazebo of the Nesselrod Bed and Breakfast” where the intimate wedding ceremony was held.

© Always and Forever Photography


Spring 2013

serious accident involving Huff’s mother who was disabled as a result. Postponing it to July 2012 worked well for everyone including the vendors. Nesselrod Bed and Breakfast in Radford graciously donated their lovely venue for the wedding ceremony for a small group of family and friends. They also offered a night’s stay for the couple after the event. With the meticulous planning of the staff of Elegance by Marivic, the intimate and elegant wedding attended by 40 guests went off without a hitch. The theme selected by the couple was black and red as the color black is symbolic of special occasions throughout their relationship. Martin proposed last November 7, on Huff’s birthday, presenting her with a black diamond ring, which followed a tradition of black jewels he had given her for past special occasions. The wedding was made even more poignant by a stirring ceremony performed by Rev. Karen Osborne, an Interfaith Minister, who customized the rite for the couple. “I wanted to create a meaningful and joyful ceremony that would be remembered by Amanda and Stephen and their families for a lifetime”, said Rev. Osborne. During the ceremony, Julia Fallon of Valley Harps, provided the music. “The solo harp performed by Ms. Fallon enhanced the romantic, elegant ambiance of the wedding”, said Barbara Newton, one of the officers and member of NRV Bridals and Events who attended the wedding. Another elegant touch to the ceremony is the release of 50 butterflies by Butterflies in Flight. Why butterflies? “Butterflies are symbols of love, hope, freedom, growth, beauty, life and new beginnings”, says Catherine Short, proprietor of

this unique business enterprise. It brought a beautiful and memorable moment to the occasion that will not be forgotten by the couple and their guests for a long time. After the ceremony, the wedding party and their guests moved to the nearby Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech for the reception. Bull and Bones catered a sumptuous dinner composed of three meats, vegetables, and dessert while DJ John Fox of Tunes You Remember played his variety of music during the reception. The couple and their guests danced the night away. A total of 22 vendors that are members of the NRV Bridals and

Events organization contributed a variety of products and services including hair and nails, make-up, wedding announcements and invitations, wedding flowers, rehearsal lunch, pre-nuptial photos and wedding photos, videography, jewelry gifts for the bride and her bridesmaids, limousine service and vendor coordination and overall planning.

The lovely bride on the lawn of Pete Dye River Course where the reception was held.


Our Generous Donors: 2012 Make-a-Wedding Wish Come True Our Exclusive Charity

Nesselrod Bed & Breakfast Wedding Venue


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Spring 2013

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It's All About The Music by John Fox


t’s all about the Tunes You Remember or current genre of music you listen to. And having access to these tunes to make your special event even more memorable is what I’m all about. The lessons I’ve learned over the years have enabled the services I provide make these special occasions become unforgettable.

© Always and Forever Photography


How our favorite music is delivered to us has changed ten fold in the last 5 years than the previous 5 decades. Music formats and playback devices have changed in so many ways. As a consumer you may use a mp3 player or smart phone, in years past it was a portable radio or Walkman. For the DJ it was a turntable or tape deck, today we use a laptop or external hard drive connected to a controller. I started with an LP music collection that I recorded to ¾” open reel tape for playback. The LPs stayed home for protection. At the time I had a Teac 3300 and Pioneer 1020L open reel that used 10 ½” reels. Each reel could hold 2 hours of music recorded at the second highest speed for best sound quality. Each deck weighed about 50 pounds. The decks were connected to a receiver, amplifier, and two speakers. My experience in providing DJ services started accidentally when a friend asked if I would play for a group of cavers at a campground in West Virginia. At the time I saw this as another party. So I said yes. Just needed to load up the home stereo and decks, and drive 4 hours. I borrowed a cassette deck, though I felt it was of inferior sound quality to the open reels. Little did I know at the time, that I was starting a new path and I would still be on it 3 decades later. Experience only comes from doing multiple jobs in various situations and learning from your mistakes. My first job taught me lesson #1 – the music you like to party to is not always the same as that of the people who hired you. Fortunately, there was a guy who had a cassette tape with a music mix that worked for the group. Since that day, I make sure that I know the music taste of my clients as part of my preparation for an event. I continue to provide my music library and sound system with microphones for caving

Spring 2013

events twice a year at campgrounds in West Virginia and Virginia. My passion for music took me to another path when in the fall of 1980, I was asked to produce and DJ a radio show on WRRC, Radford University’s radio station. They wanted a rock show that would span rock classics prior to 1979. So with my desire to collect rock LPs I took up the challenge. Talking on the radio microphone was a little scary at first, but now it’s just like having a conversation with some one, albeit, a bit more restrained, with no colorful language per FCC regulations. The call letters are now WVRU. I still do this weekly radio show. Music format is CD and the genre has expanded beyond classic rock or oldies. Within a two-hour period, you may hear folk, bluegrass, country, traditional blues, rock, Carolina and West coast beach music. The show is “See You at Nine”, Friday night 9 – 11 PM, 89.9 FM or Then this music journey took me to another path: DJ’ing for wedding receptions. This was in1985. It taught me Lesson #2: have the music the guests want. I thought I had everything covered; I had the music the bride and groom wanted and their special dances. Then, a guest requested beach music, I was thinking Beach Boys; he wanted Chairmen of the Board. Needless to say I was not familiar with shag style dancing. Experience has taught me that whenever some one asks for a song I don’t have, I need to get it because some one later on will ask for it too. It has taught me to broaden my collection and be on the lookout for new trends. Another opportunity was playing for Radford University Faculty club dances. This was in 1998, and continues to this day. Though many of them have the same music favorites as I do, their members got me to expand my music

library even further to Glen Miller and 40s swing, and disco. The music has always been the centerpiece John Fox of what I do as a DJ. I let the music speak 540-639-5739 for itself. I mix tunes based upon style and tempo. I know from experience that you can play a couple of fast tunes followed by slow ones for older clients; a younger audience can dance all night to fast tunes while everyone likes the slow (belly rubber) dance no matter what age. I work best when the client and their A full service DJ guests request the with the experience music and I am able and music for any job. to provide that tune within seconds. Their company picnics, church socials, smiles or a thumbs-up from a fatherbirthday parties, anniversaries, even of-the-bride makes the evening for dinner parties. Since 2001 I have also me. Over the years, my experience provided a sound system and music has taught me to plan and be orgato charity events such as the Radford nized because the reception activity Relay for Life, located in the Radford sequence changes. Communication Recreation Center. It’s the only gig between the bride, the bride’s mom, that lasts 15 hours. These experiences wedding coordinator, photographer and have made my life richer as a result. other reception professionals are very So you have a special event coming important. A wedding reception like a up? An experienced DJ can save you a ceremony is like a theater production. lot of grief during the event and your The better the event is planned the guests will enjoy their time, than if smoother it will run for the clients. a friend were to play their iPod. We When the bride says, “thanks for carry professional sound equipment looking after the details” that means with wired or wireless microphones, a lot to me as their DJ. make announcements, play the music My DJ services has allowed me to you want, and keep the show on track. observe and experience the happy, If interested in my DJ services, memorable events and life’s mileplease contact: Tunes You Remember stones of the New River Valley and with John Fox, surrounding communities, from high school class reunions, city staff and


Niche Weddings in the NRV: Authentic, Personal & Meaningful

by Rev. Kanta Bosinak


lerted by a jazzy marimba sound, I dug in my bag, found its source, and glanced at the North Carolina number as I touched the green icon. The young woman’s voice bubbled over with excitement. “I know this is a cliché, but my fiancé and I are ‘spiritual but not religious.’ We want a non-denominational wedding in natural setting and we heard that Floyd is a beautiful place to get married.” In fact, the entire New River Valley has a lovely, gentle charm that lends itself to sweet and personally meaningful events. Keywords: personal and meaningful. The trend to client-centered, independent and niche is what’s happening. This cultural phenomenon has influenced other aspects of our lives. With satellite, cable, and online entertainment, the three basic channels plus PBS have morphed into a myriad of choices. Now every individual can broadcast thoughts, images and ideas via YouTube and social media. Increasingly, the publishing industry has gone indy. Gone are the days when “self-publishing” was less-than, as even established writers have chosen to shape and promote their own creations and big box stores compete with online outlets. Creative doors have opened for all of us. And so it is with weddings. Engaged couples have more choices and they feel empowered to make those choices match their lives. In addition to the traditional church wedding, many are opting for one that is nondenominational. They want to take the path less traveled, blaze their own path entirely, blend old traditions with new ones or include cross-cultural features that honor their beliefs and/or adopted spiritual paths. For example, many couples incorporate the Celtic “handfast” in their ceremony, because of Irish or Scottish heritage, or because they find beauty and personal meaning (those words again!) in the ritual of literally “tying the knot.” This preference is so often-requested that I maintain close contact with the region’s top bagpiper and Celtic band so that couples who want the full-tilt experience can have their scone and eat it too. As a wedding minister, the task of personalizing and meaning-making begins with interviewing both bride


and groom. Times may have changed, but it’s still the bride’s dream day, so I begin with her. How would she characterize the two of them? If they are two overlapping circles, where are the common qualities in the Venn diagram that is created? In a second conversation, I ask for input from both of them. What are their most important shared values? What does “spiritual” mean to them? What inspires them? Sometimes couples follow slightly different paths from one another. I recently wrote a ceremony for the wedding of a Buddhist-oriented bride and a groom who resonates more with Hinduism. Finding the language of common ground is especially important for weddings in which the couple’s spirituality differs from the more traditional roots of their extended families (and their families may differ from each other). It’s the couple’s day and the service must be authentic to them. That’s why they hired an interfaith minister, after all! At the same time, we all want the ceremony to invite, include, honor, and feel joyous for everyone attending. Today’s couples may blend families as well as faiths. Ceremonies may include children from previous marriages. Sometimes weddings may formalize longstanding marriage-like relationships that have produced children. I know of a wedding a colleague officiated in which one of the couple’s grown sons (in his late thirties, I’m guessing, from pictures) escorted his mother down the aisle. I recently performed a wedding in which the couple had small children who were so precious as ring-bearers and flower girl that they (almost) stole the show. While this couple may not typify the usual wedding couple in some ways, it did represent a trend I’ve noticed of weddings that are a bit different from past generational models. Yes, it’s the bride’s “dream day.” Their fiancés know this and let them have the pleasure of being the Wedding Princess: being in charge of the overall vision and working with the party planner or other folks who make it happen.

Spring 2013

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However, more and more often I encounter a groom who has established a strong sense of personal identity and spiritual perspective. He knows who he is as an individual and as a partner. And though he may not have been dreaming of this day since childhood in quite the same way as has his beloved, it’s important to him that the language, style and meaning authentically reflect his deeply held values. One final thought about the importance of personal meaning in wedding events. I regularly attend NRV Bridals gatherings and I will share with you that we have a common bond; we all love weddings! They have personal meaning for us. That’s why we have chosen to do what we do. There is a sense of enthusiasm that permeates our involvement with NRV Bridals as well as the work we do with wedding couples. We feel honored to serve you and look forward to helping you create your sacred and special event. Whether you choose a traditional church wedding or you wish to “tie the knot” in a garden setting, we want to help you make your “dream day” a reality, exactly as you envision it.

Rev. Kanta Bosniak is an author, artist, coach, and interfaith minister with over 40 years experience as an educator in spiritual growth and guided meditation. She is a frequent speaker at churches, universities and conferences throughout the US, on radio and television. She appeared on HBO/CINEMAX and PBS as herself in the film The Gospel According to Jesus. She paints vibrant folk art portraits that honor individuals and celebrate wedding couples. She is listed in Who’s Who in American Women. For Kanta’s books and audio publications, visit For more information, visit or call (540) 577-8854.


From the Back Seat to the Front By Remy Ozaraga

Š Always and Forever Photography



e was a professional wrestler, seating in back seats of limousines as he went around the various venues of his wrestling tournaments. He was at it for 16 years under the name of Ric McCord. But Patrick Helvey realized that he could not wrestle forever.

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His profession was changing considerably and he had to find another occupation that he could be passionate about. He evaluated his options and decided on the luxury ground transportation business. While transitioning out of his former profession, he chauffeured part-time for a company in Kansas City and realized that this was it. In 1994, Helvey hung up his wrestling belt and moved back home to Roanoke, VA and started his luxury sedan business, Executive Town Car and Limousine Services, Inc. Helvey felt that having used limousine services extensively during his wrestling years gave him a unique perspective. He says, “Sitting in the back of limousines all those years, especially after an exhausting wrestling competition, gave me a feel for what will make customers enjoy and be comfortable back there”. With his continued association with officials in his former profession, his company gets to provide service to the World Wrestling Entertainment when they come to town. Starting out in a completely new industry was tough at first. Using his networking savvy and innate personal charm, Helvey was able to find an investor who loaned him $20,000 seed money to buy his first sedan. He also took advantage of assistance given by a local organization in developing his business plan and start-up strategy. He listed his business in the phone book and was surprised at the number of calls he received for a luxury stretch sedan. This confirmed to him that this is the business for him. With that first sedan, Helvey went on to build a fleet of luxury vehicles consisting of regular and “L” series of Lincoln Town Cars, 6 to 10-passenger limousines, 6 to 14-passenger

vans, a 10 to 12-passenger Mercedes Sprinter Limousine, and their newest addition – the Chrysler 300 stretch limousine. Some of the limousines are equipped with high-end amenities including flat-screen DVD/TV’s, premium sound systems, wet bar with glassware, crystal decanters and fiber-optic lighting. The business caters to a variety of clients: Transportation Services – including transportation for the corporate business traveler, airport pick-up, or courier service; student or senior services; Special Occasions – including weddings, anniversaries, proms, homecoming and graduation; Seasonal Packages – including fall foliage tours, winery, concert tours; Holiday Packages and other Special Events. Helvey’s advice for small businesses starting up is to become a member of

the Chamber of Commerce in your area as well as a local or national association in your industry. He says, “These organizations can help you with what you need to do and the networking events will introduce you to people you can talk to for other ideas to make your business a success”. Helvey is a member of local Chambers in Roanoke and New River Valleys and joined trade associations such as the NRV Bridals and Events to further enhance his exposure and presence in the wedding and special events industry. Helvey’s continuing focus is “to survive the economy and to keep going”. He hopes to buy additional vehicles to service the needs of the region that is expected to expand with the building of a new medical center, a prospective casino and an anticipated PGA tour.


Historic Smithfield To Host the 3rd Annual “Make-a-Wedding Wish Come True” in 2013 By Remy Ozaraga and Susan Hensley


nother lucky couple will make wonderful memories when they tie the knot at the Historic Smithfield Plantation that will host the 3rd Annual “Makea-Wedding Wish Come True” 2012 winners. Located within the Virginia Tech campus, the beautiful secluded grounds of Smithfield Plantation

provide a mortise and tenon 36’ x 60’ pavilion with seating for 150 people and a masonry fireplace encircled by century old trees. The setting is a great location, rain or shine, for a wedding or special event. What is even more noteworthy about this location is its historic significance to the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Smithfield Plantation was home

to several generations of the descendants of Col. William Preston and his wife Susanna who moved there in 1774. Their descendants created a gubernatorial legacy with three becoming governors of Virginia and three others as First Ladies. Col. Preston played a significant role in the Revolutionary War and served increasingly important positions

© Always and Forever Photography


Spring 2013

Wedding of Bentley and Bradley Kensinger on September 1, 2012 - photos courtesy of Laura’s Focus Photography.


when the colonies declared their independence from Great Britain and Montgomery County was formed in 1776. At this juncture, he was appointed County Lieutenant. One of the descendants, William Ballard Preston served in the Virginia General Assembly and was appointed Secretary of the Navy in 1849 under President Zachary Taylor. A college in Blacksburg, Preston and Olin Institute, was named for him. It was from this school that Virginia Tech evolved. William Ballard Preston was the last Preston to make Smithfield his home but it remained in the possession of the family for two more generations. In 1959, Janie Preston Boulware Lamb, great great granddaughter of Col. William Preston, presented


Smithfield to the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities with the stipulation that they would restore, maintain and open the house to the public. Smithfield first opened to the public in 1964. The house and grounds have been restored to their original state, so this venue exudes the history and atmosphere of the elegant colonial era. However, modern conveniences have also been installed to make special gatherings easy to plan. Photo opportunities abound in front of the manor house, in the orchard, at Weaver’s cabin or their grand entryway. There is a service entrance for food and floral deliveries located next to the pavilion and lighted parking for guests. Public

bathrooms are available behind the manor house. The lucky winners of the 3rd Annual Make-a-Wedding Wish Come True contest who will celebrate their union at this lovely historic setting are Ashley Wilkerson and Ryan Ege. Historic Smithfield recently participated in the 2012 Fall Bridal Expo hosted by NRV Bridals & Events at the Inn at Virginia Tech on September 16, 2012. Historic Smithfield Plantation 1000 Smithfield Plantation Road Blacksburg, VA 24060 Phone: 540.231.3947 Fax: 540.231-3006

Spring 2013

Virginia Mass Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration! High atop Bent Mountain, Virginia, just imagine Reaffirming Your Love… on the top of a sacred mountain in Virginia’s smallest Church! Sometimes it’s time to stop and remember the most important thing in your life… LOVE. •• All inclusive – outdoor vows ceremony, indoor reception with gourmet food/beverage, personalized wedding cake, photography, live music, dancing, floral, ceremony officiate, commemorative certificate and much much more! •• Experience cool summer breezes high atop Bent Mountain, in Virginia’s smallest Church at Silver Hearth Lodge. •• Includes up to 4 guests in addition to the Vows Renewal couple. Make reservations now! This historical event is limited to only 50 couples! •• Overnight lodging & transportation special is an optional extra (ask for details). •• Casual atmosphere, incredible views, stunning facilities and the breathless majesty of nature are just the beginning of your reaffirmation of love. The Sacred Heart Chapel, Virginia’s Smallest Church, is located on the very top of Bent Mountain at an elevation of 3000’ above sea level. The facility was partially constructed during the beginning of time and will be restored during the summer of 2013. This wee house of worship measures 8’ x 10’ and will accommodate 7 within the sanctuary, including the pastor. In addition to the main structure, a roofed porch flanks each side of the sanctuary for outdoor overflow seating. “Our non-denominational Church is perfect for small private weddings, elopement ceremonies, religious

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services, spiritual readings or quiet contemplation,” said Bob Johnston, proprietor. The Church features an antique sacred heart stained glass panel, vintage French doors, a glass alter wall, milled wall panels, gothic cathedral lighting, 100 year old heart pine pews, a European Church bell and it has the flexibility to include a congregation of up to 300 with garden oriented seating. An indigenous ‘crown of thorns’ surrounds the tiny church which is located on the grounds of Silver Hearth Lodge - the only private mountain top wedding venue in the entire southeast.

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Elegance By Marivic, LLC Always Eventful Adorned Affairs by Jessica

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Bianca Norton Bob Johnston Ashley Vest/ Lynda Rakes Joann Sutphin Emily Wilkinson/ Tom Deutsch Linda Robinson Susan Sink Stephanie Huckestein Mark Gordon Stephanie Miller Ellen Reynolds

The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center Silver Hearth Lodge Diamond V Farm Historic Smithfield Plantation Blacksburg Country Club Selah Springs Sinkland Farms Hahn Horticulture Garden at Virginia Tech Nesselrod Bed & Breakfast Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech Beagle Ridge Herb Farm & Environmental Education Center

Jill Justice/ Molly Vinson Susan Lyons David Smith

Gobble Cakes Grrreat Cakes Dave’s Delicious Cakes

Randall Spencer Noah Shanks Jim Elliott/ Mark Shrader Scott Sink Rhonda Cox Lindy Mann

Blue Ridge Mountain Catering Custom Catering Center Bull & Bones at the River Hethwood Market Four Seasons Restaurant, Catering and Bakery/Deli Lindy’s Good Foods Catering

Bill Altizer Karen Handel Teresa King

D’Rose Flowers & Gifts Best Wishes Flowers & Gifts Petals of Wytheville

Derek Bohon Danielle Donaldson Alex Phillips/ Glen Aylor

Aztec Rental Center Hullabaloo Photo Booth Tidy Services

DJ John Fox Gary Moench Julia Fallon

Tunes You Remember Gizmo DJ Services Valley Harps

Shannon Ainsley Maya McMahon Laura Matney Lynsey Callahan Carri Behal Sarah Greene Rhonda Withington Fallon Kreye Marissa Yi

Always & Forever Photo Maya McMahon Photography Laura’s Focus Photography Lynsey Callahan Photography Studio 590 Greene Photography Photography by Rhonda Fallon Kreye Photography Bella Muse Photography

Ariel Junio


Bianca Norton Linda & Bernie Wutzburger

The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center The Oaks Victorian Inn

540-315-2779 540-239-1639 540-808-3555

VENUES 540-231-0115 540-929-4221 540-537-3912 540-230-2920 540-552-9165 540-320-2240 540-382-4640 540-231-5970 540-731-4970 540-633-1807 276-621-4511


540-951-4121 540-951-4261 540-257-0733

540-449-1438 540-951-8295 540-633-2667 540-493-5531 276-781-1411 540-320-2346

540-552-8647 540-953-2715 276-227-0031

540-552-7474 540-641-1804 540-345-0168





540-250-4115 540-951-5013 540-951-3888

PHOTOGRAPHY 540-808-4979 607-756-9028 540-808-9018 540-239-4818 540-808-5091 540-808-0086 540-520-9930 540-558-8905 706-888-0552



540-231-0115 540-381-1500



Spring 2013

DIRECTORY OF SERVICES Nancy Creed Rhonda Cooper Brooke Cox Tara Ogle/ Jocelyn Dugan David Smith Trish Cook

Hilton Garden Inn Blacksburg Holiday Inn University Comfort Suites University Blacksburg Hampton Inn Christiansburg/ Blacksburg Quality Inn Christiansburg Holiday Inn Christiansburg/ Blacksburg 540-552-5005 540-552-7001 540-552-5636 540-381-5874 www.ChoiceHotels/hotels/VA391 540-382-2055 540-381-8100

OFFICIANT Rev. Kanta Bosniak Rev. Karen Osborne Ceremonies For All

540-577-8854 540-552-1392

540-552-3241 540-230-5255 540-381-2890 703-727-8077 540-315-1556

JEWELRY & GIFTS Marla Kemsey/ Bailey Workman Kent Jewelers Barbara Newton Susan Brickhouse Filamina Jewelry Laurel DeMoss Edgy Girl Jewelry Tabitha Kim All That Sparkles


Chantilly Lace Bridals

Ken Jones Patrick Helvey

Blacksburg Hooptie Ride Executive Town Car & Limousine Service

Danielle Donaldson Debbie Tawney

Wanderlustable Travel Cruises, Inc. Conner Travel

Vanesa Aguirre Teal Mitchell Dee Dean Laura Godfrey

Soluna Hair Salon Plus Hairstylist/Author Mary Kay by Dee Dean Polished by Claire V.



540-449-3748 540-345-5600


540-315-7130 540-250-3191


540-381-0099 540-557-3224 540-392-3555 540-904-6868

540-953-2210 540-552-5433 704-661-7051 540-449-3035 540-320-1045 540-257-0885 540-239-6423 804-745-2428

540-449-3596 540-951-1840 540-552-4646 540-489-4284 540-580-2735 804-843-3723 540-309-7436 540-320-9185 540-980-6541 540-382-0232 540-838-5319 540-505-9983

WEDDING PREP Ashley Brown New River Aesthetics Dr. Damon Thompson Real Life Dental Care Jackie Martin Isagenex by Jackie Martin Carrie Boucher Body Balance Spa Luis Garcia SendOutCards Jill Darlington-Smith Darlington Smith Graphics Remy Ozaraga/Sandra Sanchez Nerium International Karen Cundiff The ArtMaker, Inc.

FAVORS & GIFTS Susan Hensley Donna Vitaliano/Sam Savla Eugenie Ranck Susan Thompson Katherine Keesee Catherine Short Charlotte Jarvis-Peters Becca Imbur Faith Chumbley Andrew Howerey/Jay Nagle Donna Smith Rebekah Harless

Frost Feathers Edible Arrangement The Chocolate Spike Whimsy Doodles Pampered Chef Butterflies in Flight Tastefully Simple Bimbur Books Longaberger Co. New River Engraving Pure Romance Thirty-One

Diana Francis Lynda Rakes Brenda Eanes

The Creekmore Law Firm PC Rakes Insurance Services Allstate Insurance Co.


540-443-9350 540-362-9657 540-639-4196


2013 BEST of NRV Bridals & Events Magazine  

Welcome to the Inaugural Issue of the Best of NRV Bridals and Events Magazine, a bi-annual publication dedicated to wedding and events happe...

2013 BEST of NRV Bridals & Events Magazine  

Welcome to the Inaugural Issue of the Best of NRV Bridals and Events Magazine, a bi-annual publication dedicated to wedding and events happe...