Vendor Spotlight: Cindy Morris with Fine Creek Candles

Meet Cindy Morris, Owner of Fine Creek Candles. Her handcrafted candles smell amazing and are perfect as a welcome gift, favor, or a “just-because” gift!

Fine Creek Candles Richmond Weddings Vendor Spotlight

What makes you or your business stand out and why should a couple hire you?

As a small local family owned business we have the time to give special attention to detail and the flexibility to meet our client’s needs. Our candles are all handmade with high quality and well-tested materials. We offer over 100 fragrances, many colors, and sizes as well as customization to meet our customer’s needs.

What’s a weird/unusual tip you tell your couples?

Don’t eat onions or garlic before the ceremony!

How did you get to where you are now?

We started with a desire to be able to work from home so I could be home with our children as much as possible. We took an idea and started from scratch. We put countless hours into perfecting our product and growing our business.

What’s something every couple should know before getting married?

Be willing to talk about anything and everything. Even when it is not easy, it pays off in the long run!

Fine Creek Candles Richmond Weddings Vendor Spotlight

What’s your go-to spot to eat in RVA?

One of our all-time favorites is Greek Cuisine. The food is always amazing.

What did you want to be when you were little?

I wanted to be a teacher.

What was your first job?

My first job was a cashier at McDonald’s in Vermont.

What did you eat for breakfast this morning?

Eggs and bacon.

What do you like to do when you are away from work?

Spend time with my husband antique shopping, visiting restaurants, and breweries.

Where is your happy place?

My happy place is in my camper and at the beach!

What’s the coolest thing you’re working on now?

Decorating our new office.

Fine Creek Candles Richmond Weddings Vendor Spotlight

What would be in your dream sandwich?

Peanut butter, jelly, and marshmallow fluff.

What about Nachos?

Pork BBQ, Coleslaw, BBQ Sauce, Cornbread, Baked Beans, and lots of cheese!

What’s your go-to dance move?

Probably best that I don’t!

To learn more about Cindy and the rest of the team at Fine Creek Candles visit their website!

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Top 5 Reasons the Richmond Weddings™ Show is a MUST!

Thinking about attending our Richmond Weddings™ Summer Show? Still on the fence? Or maybe you have a few questions you’d like answered before buying the tickets? We’re here to help!

Attending a wedding show is an easy and smart way to spend a little time with a variety of different qualified vendors. At our Show on Sunday, July 22nd, we’ll have around 100 vendors for you to chat with and get to know! From photographers to venues to cotton candy carts, you can ask questions, set up meetings, and find those dream vendors that you click with! Not to mention the amazing food and sweets you’ll be able to sample. And last but certainly not least, it is the most fun you’ll have planning your wedding!

Still thinking about it? Here are some smart reasons to attend the Richmond Weddings™ Show!

1. Check Out the Breathtaking and Magnificent Main Street Station 

We are so excited to have our show in the amazing Main Street Station train shed. You know the one, the giant glass box right off the highway that is quintessentially Richmond.

If you haven’t been inside yet, you’re in for a treat. Every time we bring someone in who hasn’t seen the space before, we hear lots of ohhs and ahhs! The massive glass-enclosed space will be filled with vendors, waiting to plan your dream wedding! Come with your entourage and enjoy the beauty that is Main Street Station! Make your way to the back and you’ll be in for a bigger treat…See reason #5 for it!

2. Meet Local Wedding Vendors

From cake bakers to event planners to beautiful wedding gowns and photographers, you have the opportunity to speak directly to the people you will work with and learn more about all the amazing products and services they offer. These are some of the finest and friendliest wedding professionals in the industry.

We will have about 100 vendors exhibiting, and you can find the list of those vendors here.

3. Get Exclusive Deals

Show-only specials and discounts are offered by many wedding vendors at the Richmond Weddings™ Show. Maybe you see a floral arrangement you thought you couldn’t afford? Or a dress that you thought was way out of your budget? One very special discount might be enough for you to plan your dream wedding!

4. Wedding Ideas and Tips

Creativity rules at our show, and this year is no exception. Looking for some delicious and late-night snack ideas? Looking for unique bridal attendee gifts? Want to have your own logo for the big event that you can also use as two become one? You’ll find all these amazing ideas for your wedding at THIS Show.

5. Our 2018 Fashion Show

There is a place for EVERYONE who wants to watch the fashion show sponsored by Tiffanys Bridal and the Groom’s Corner!  See this year’s latest fashions and trends, and get some serious #weddinginspo!

Richmond Wedding Expo by Richmond Weddings

Sit up close and personal with our VIP tickets where you’ll receive a Swag Bag full of goodies and coupons for your big day!

The fashion show will take place towards the back of Main Street Station, where you’ll watch this year’s gowns against the beautiful backdrop of Downtown RVA!   You’ll have to get in quick to get a close spot, but there will be space for everyone!!  Tiffanys always puts on a great show, and we can’t wait to see what they have in store for us this year!

Bonus! Free Gifts and Our LATEST Magazine! 

Every couple who comes to the show will receive a FREE copy of Richmond Weddings™ magazine hot off the press!  There will also be some RW swag for each of the first 200 couples who enter!

Remember, the show is Sunday, July 22nd.  For a more intimate experience, you can purchase early entry tickets to get into the show at 11:00 AM!  General Admission ticket holders will enter at 12:30 PM.  You can get your tickets HERE.

To receive updates on the show and get all sorts of great tips on getting the most out the show, like us on Facebook & follow us on  Instagram at @RVAWeddings!

Can’t wait to see you there!

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Former Times-Dispatch Reporters Leading an Online News Startup

The Virginia Mercury will go live next month.

Three former Richmond Times-Dispatch reporters have joined a state policy-focused news outlet that will go online next month. The Virginia Mercury’s offices will be in the Stearns Iron-Front Building, near the Virginia State Capitol. Robert Zullo, who most recently covered environmental news for the Times-Dispatch, will be editor. For reporters, he’s hired Ned Oliver, Katie O’Connor (both from the RTD) and Mechelle Hankerson from the Virginian-Pilot.

In an effort to overcome problems rattling the news industry, the Virginia Mercury will not depend on ad or subscriber revenue. Instead, it will adhere to a nonprofit model. New Venture Fund in Washington, D.C. is pooling donations from numerous sources, in state and out of state, says Zullo. The organization will also be funding a group of sites similar to the Virginia Mercury, countrywide. Some will be brand-new projects and some will be a revamp of pre-existing papers, like the Colorado Independent. Zullo hopes to partner with other state outlets, print and digital, in order to spread coverage beyond the site.

The Virginia Mercury is intended as a supplement, not a replacement, to local news coverage, Zullo asserts. But the news team will cover a Richmond story, particularly if it illustrates a larger topic related to state government.

“There are a lot of interconnections,” Zullo says. “What I would like us to be is almost akin to a Vox. We’re looking at an issue, we’re trying to explain why it exists and identifying the barriers to addressing it.”

Broadly, coverage will include energy and the environment, transportation, health care, criminal justice, and eventually education. “FOIA and elections are what we want to cover right out of the gate,” Zullo says. “As the capitol press corps has shrunk, a lot of meatier issues tend to get left by the wayside. I think there are a lot of issues with Virginia’s FOIA laws. Lots of exemptions, lots of loopholes.”

The website will aim to be attractive and easy to navigate, Zullo says. He uses words like “rigorous,” “thorough,” and “unimpeachable” to describe the brand of journalism he’s after. But he also doesn’t want the policy deconstructions to lose sight of the fact that people’s lives are affected.

Former Style reporter Ned Oliver, who became known for his City Hall beat at the Times Dispatch, says his coverage will range from curiosities like small state committees to serious stories on immigration, poverty and housing. Oliver’s also known for being a drone footage enthusiast, and he’s excited about the site’s technical flexibility. It’s the words, though, that matter.

“The internet is primarily a textual format,” he says. “It’s really exciting to start something new. Endless possibilities, but then a lot of pressure, because I want to make sure this launch makes a good impression. Especially the first stories we’re writing, we feel are going to define us to a certain extent.”

Katie O’Connor says she plans to cover all aspects of health care, from the business of hospitals to how people can improve health outcomes. She joined the Times-Dispatch as a health care reporter in 2016 and was selected in 2017 for a year-long fellowship with the Association of Health Care Journalists. She also previously wrote for Richmond Biz Sense and the Northern Virginia Daily.

Experimenting with different article formats “is one of the most appealing parts of coming here,” she says. She’s prepared to write long-form stories, quick hits and other narrative styles. “I learned a lot at all the places I’ve been … and this is an opportunity to use what I’ve learned and start something fresh, and have a bit more say in where the health coverage goes.”

Hankerson will be covering state government. Before the Pilot, she previously worked at the Raleigh News & Observer and is a Virginia Commonwealth University graduate.

Zullo worked at the Times-Dispatch on two occasions, first from March 2012 to August 2013. He then went to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette until the dawn of 2016, when he returned. The travels allowed him to observe the nationwide disruption happening to newsrooms, particularly smaller local ones. Ironically, his wife found the Virginia Mercury job listing on the day of the Times-Dispatch’s last round of layoffs.

“It’s a business problem, not necessarily a content problem or a readership problem,” Zullo says, with respect to the disruption. “How to pay for it has been the challenge that no one seems to be able to solve, except on the biggest scale, like the New York Times or the Washington Post. What they’ve shown is it takes investment and a real purposeful shift … to build your paying online audience around journalism as the brand.”

“My goal is to adhere to that same ethos, we just have a different publishing mechanism. But we’re all experienced journalists that come from very traditional journalism backgrounds, and I hope that lends some credence to what we do.”

Henry Giroux: Striking Teachers Fight for Public Education and the Public is With Them

Henry Giroux places the recent wave of teacher strikes in historical perspective. The teachers are fighting a battle on behalf of the public good against an assault by reactionary neoliberalism.

He writes:

“The power of collective resistance is being mounted in full force against a neoliberal logic that unabashedly insists that the rule of the market is more important than the needs of teachers, students, young people, the poor and those deemed disposable by those with power in our society. Teachers are tired of being relentless victims of a casino capitalism in which they and their students are treated with little respect, dignity and value. They have had enough of corrupt politicians, hedge fund managers and civically illiterate pundits seduced by the power of the corporate and political demagogues who are waging a war on critical teaching, critical pedagogy and the creativity and autonomy of classroom teachers.

“Since the 1980s, an extreme form of capitalism – or what in the current moment I want to call neoliberal fascism – has waged a war against public education and all vestiges of the common good and social contract. In addition, this is a war rooted in class and gender discrimination – one that deskills teachers, exploits their labor and bears down particularly hard on women, who make up a dominant segment of the teaching force. In doing so, it not only undermines schooling as a public good, but also weaponizes and weakens the formative cultures, values and social relations that enable schools to create the conditions for students to become critical and engaged citizens.

“Schools have been underfunded, increasingly privatized and turned into testing factories that deliver poor students of color to the violence of the school-to-prison pipeline. Moreover, they have also been restructured in order to weaken unions, subject teachers to horrendous working conditions and expose students to overcrowded classrooms. In some cases, the dire working environment and dilapidated conditions of schools and classrooms appear incomprehensible in the richest nation in the world…

“Moreover, as state and corporate violence engulfs the entire society, schools have been subject to forms of extreme violence that in the past existed exclusively outside of their doors. Under such circumstances, youth are increasingly viewed as suspects and are targeted both by a gun culture that places profits above student lives and by a neoliberal machinery of cruelty, misery and violence dedicated to widespread educational failure. Instead of imbuing students with a sense of ethical and social responsibility while preparing them for a life of social and economic mobility, public schools have been converted into high-tech security spheres whose defining principles are fear, uncertainty and anxiety. In this view, a corporate vision of the U.S. has reduced the culture of schooling to the culture of business and an armed camp, and in doing so, imposed a real and symbolic threat of violence on schools, teachers and students. As such, thinking has become the enemy of freedom, and profits have become more important than human lives…

“Rejecting the idea that education is a commodity to be bought and sold, teachers and students across the country are reclaiming education as a public good and a human right, a protective space that should be free of violence and open to critical teaching and learning. Not only is it a place to think, engage in critical dialogue, encourage human potential and contribute to the vibrancy of a democratic polity, it is also a place in which the social flourishes, in that students and teachers learn to think and act together.”

Watch the Trailer for “The Yellow Birds” Based on Chesterfield Native’s Powerful War Novel

The trailer for the film version of “The Yellow Birds” is out. The movie is based on the highly acclaimed war novel by VCU grad and Chesterfield native, Kevin Powers, which was a finalist for the National Book Award.

Directed by Alexandre Moors, the film stars Alden Ehrenreich, Tye Sheridan, Toni Collette, Jason Patric and Jennifer Aniston. Reviews have been mixed; it opened in limited release and video on demand this week. But the New York Times did make it a critic’s pick, see their review here.

We recently spoke to Powers, who now lives in Austin, when he was in town promoting his new book, “A Shout in the Ruins,” which is set in his hometown.

Keep on Trend with a Flower Crown

By John & Victoria Zachary with Designs by Victoria Floral

As you explore the world of bridal traditions, you may not be familiar with the term, “Bridal Trousseau.” It’s one of the most important traditions as it includes all the possessions the bride assembles for her wedding and goes beyond “the dress.” The trousseau may include bridal accessories, jewelry, lingerie, toiletries, and makeup.

Designs by Victoria Floral Flower Crowns Wedding Inspiration Richmond Weddings
Kristine Pringle Photographers

Your wedding flowers should be considered an important finishing touch to the trousseau. Add additional charm and softness to your wedding attire with the new trend of a floral crown. Whether you’re going for a bohemian-look or just want to include the bountiful goodness that comes with living in Virginia, a flower crown can add an unexpected ethereal touch to your special day.

Florists nowadays are seeing more and more of them, and they can be used in any wedding setting. Try Spray Roses for a more formal event, or a crown made from greenery and Baby’s Breath for a more natural look. Here is a partial list of flowers that could also work: Waxflower, Hypericum Berries, Stock Blossoms, Chrysanthemums, Limonium, and Larkspur. Stay on trend with some lavish greenery in your flower crown by using Seeded Eucalyptus, Italian Ruscus, or Ivy.

Keep your details traditional with white and cream ribbons. Or if ribbons aren’t your style, a veil can easily be attached. Consult with your local florist on what exactly you envision for your flower crown. Also, consider using them for your flower girls. The precious addition will have the little ones looking and feeling like a princess for the day.

Victoria Floral Designs opened in South Richmond in August 2014. The owners, Victoria and John Zachary are intimately involved in every access of their thriving business and love meeting and working with any couple.

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How to Entertain Your Littlest Guests

By Nicole Vance with Nicole Vance Photography

Photographers love it when couples include children in their celebration. There’s nothing cuter than little ones walking down the aisle right before the bride makes her grand entrance.

But as we all know, kids can only behave for so long. Wedding days are long for grown-ups and can be the most exhausting possible day for children. They are off their sleep schedules, they aren’t eating at normal times, and they are in a new place surrounded by new people. It’s overwhelming! After a busy day of prepping, by the time everyone is ready for photos, the kids can be at the point of entering colossal meltdown mode, and your time slot for photos becomes a battleground.

Relish Photography by Lee

So, how can you avoid this potential temper tantrum? Here are a few tips to make the day go smoothly so you can include your children in both your wedding party and photos.

1. Make a Schedule – Collaborate with your wedding photographer to streamline the photo process so that the kids are required to be present for just a short amount of time. Naturally, children don’t have long attention spans, so try and make the most of it. Have a list of photos with the kids to take first so they can go to the reception and have fun sooner.

2. Make a Plan – Children are included in wedding parties because they (and their parents) are very important in the couple’s lives. If mom and/or dad are also in the wedding party, plan ahead to have someone that the kids are comfortable around and can watch them after they are done being in the spotlight. Don’t hold up the wedding party photos because there’s no one to watch the little ones while the adults take their turn in front of the camera. A quick hand-off keeps things moving on schedule!

Kristine Pringle Photographers

3. Bring Snacks! – This one cannot be stressed enough. Tell mom and dad to pack non-staining snacks the kids will enjoy, making sure the kids eat often. Wedding days include weird schedules and there isn’t time to stop and eat in the middle of it all. Strategically packed snacks will help keep the kids full and on their normal eating schedule. Anyone that has kids can tell you for a fact, if a kid is either tired or hungry, you can usually get them to cope…but if they’re both, it’s a recipe for disaster!

4. Provide Motivation – Bring along a treat or toy that can be used as a motivational tool (also known as a bribe). You can give this job to mom and dad, or plan a gift into the day as a thank you surprise for their participation.

5. Entertain Them – It’s exciting for them to be in the spotlight on your big day, but their attention spans just aren’t in it for the long haul. Have a few quiet activities planned to entertain for those in-between moments. Everyone will be happier. It’s even great to have some family or kid-friendly activities during your reception to keep everyone included in case they don’t want to dance the night away.

Nicole Vance Photography

6. Plan for the Inevitable – Kids in good clothes will find a way to get dirty – stain sticks, baby wipes, even something to wear OVER their nice clothes while they have a snack will help avoid disasters. Bring extra underwear, socks, tights, or even an emergency backup outfit in case an accident of some sort happens.

7. Hire Help – There are actually childcare professionals you can hire to help wrangle the kids at your wedding. Your wedding vendors will be able to recommend someone for you to contact.

8. Comfort – Make sure the kids are comfortable in their clothes, shoes, hair, and accessories. Sore feet or too-tight pants can be easy triggers for little ones to have a mid-reception meltdown.

Nicole Vance has been photographing weddings in Richmond and throughout Virginia for over 10 years. Her experience ensures she can capture amazing moments in any environment beautifully and she is passionate about telling your story through photographs. You can find her at

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