The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


February 3, 2013

Holy matrimony!

A pre-show preview of wedding advice from the experts


Location, location, decoration

April Taylor, conference sales director at Tamarack has a forecast of her own — more outdoor, earth-conscious ceremonies.

“I am definitely seeing natural, earthy and elegant. One couple we have is planting a tree together instead of the unity sand ceremony.”

Another element of earth she sees incorporated into ceremonies and onto reception tables is feathers — especially feathery centerpieces.

Taylor believes the hottest wedding color this year is mint green, the lighthearted fraternal twin to 2013’s interior design color choice — emerald. Taylor also expects gray to continue its neutral kingship, paired with a pop of sunny yellow or orange.

“People are really wanting lots of draping fabric and flower petals at their receptions,” she adds.

The most creative food bars cropping up in the last year with an expected continuation are dessert stations — with mini petit fours, cake pops and different varieties of candy. On the savory side, mashed potato bars are popular.

“We serve the mashed potatoes in martini glasses, then guests can put bacon, cheese, scallions and other toppings on.”

Getting warmer is the bridal pursuit of the perfect DIY decoration, rather than relying on the florist for everything. “It may be a little because of the economy, but more brides are going to Pinterest for ideas to make themselves.”

Picture these

Joe “JK” Kerner heads a full-service professional photography, DJ and videography service, AAA Entertainment ( out of Cross Lanes. His business structure meets the current economic atmosphere by offering what many brides are looking for, steep discounts on bundled services.

“Ask us how you can get our DJ entertainment for free. Also ask us how you can get $1,000 off the regular price of our photography and videography and still get our DJ for free.”

And while Uncle Ed may have a tricked-out digital camera of his own, the discerning bride still selects a professional photographer to preserve her special day.

“Shooting a wedding is about like shooting a sporting event. There are NO do-overs. Only experienced photographers can anticipate when the first kiss is coming and who the grandmothers are. Professionalism comes on many levels, but on the day of your wedding you should get the most professional,” states Kerner.

Charles Shiflet with Shifoto Photography (, rents photo booths for receptions, a trend that has risen in popularity in the past few years. He has seen his requests for traditional wedding photography transform altogether, spending more time with his booths, booking them not just for betrothals, but for bar mitzvahs, Sweet Sixteen celebrations and corporate events.

In addition to Mountain State locales, he travels to Louisville, Ky. Philadelphia, Pa. and Baltimore, Md. — covering the eastern central United States at about 60 events per year.

“We offer the booths for the reception providing free unlimited pictures to them and their guests. We also offer to do a custom memory album for the bride and groom, where guests take one of their strips and write a personal message to them.

“People get in there and giggle, laugh and pose however they want to,” says Shiflet.  “We have props we provide, from funny glasses and boas to wigs— anything to make the pictures fun.”

Shiflet predicts the photo booth trend is not set to peak in popularity for years to come.

“We’ve had bids this year for 2015 for events and have several booked in 2014 already.” Shiflet will be showcasing one of his booths at the event.

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