Capitol Wedding: Kate & Ben’s Handmade, Local & Sustainable Maryland Wedding Reception

  • 1
  • May 14, 2013

I love this afternoon’s real Maryland wedding feature submitted by One Summer Day. It features a completely handmade, and locally focused Maryland wedding reception (after the couple already married in Maine). The couple, Kate & Ben, wanted to have a reception back home in MD with their family and friends and they wanted the day to reflect what they hold important in their lives, namely their Chesapeake Bay pride.

One Summer Day shared that their wedding was chock-full of gorgeous vintage and DIY touches that all drew organically from elements of the Eastern Shore, both, in terms of visual details, as well as sustainability and local economy.

Lots of fun DIY, handmade details and a ton of involvement from family and friends made this beautiful MD wedding reception possible!

Kate & Ben’s Handmade, DIY & Local Maryland Wedding Reception

handmade local maryland wedding small budget DIY


Photographer: One Summer Day | Bride’s Dress: BHLDN | Groom’s suit and sneakers:  J. Crew and New Balance | Band: Flashback | Caterer: Highfield Bakery | Florist: DIY | Venue: Groom’s Uncle’s Home | Rentals: Eastern Shore Tent and Events | Lighting and dance floor: Borrowed from neighbor | Linens: Vintage from Ebay | Tablescapes: DIY, Vintage Oil Lamps & Postcards | Oysters: Marinetics Choptank Sweets | Chalk artwork: Grooms’s cousin, an art student | Parasols: Oriental Trading Co. | Wayfinding Signs: DIYed by Bride | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

 Details from the couple:

Our reception was separated from our wedding by a week and several states–we got married in Maine with 17 people, but still wanted to celebrate in Maryland with our folks and friends. I wanted to be sure it had the relaxed feel of our wedding itself, and most of that was achieved by taking time with the details I really cared about, but letting go of an ideal of perfection.

handmade DIY chalkboard sign wedding

Ben and I are both proud Marylanders, and as I work at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, it was really important to us that it reflect our local roots in a lot of those details- a chalkboard with “marriage made in Maryland” welcoming guests, Maryland flags behind the band, postcards like the ones in my museum’s collections for the tables, a family farm on the Tred Avon River.

handmade local maryland wedding small budget DIY

I also wanted it to feel timeless, so ditching the tent and going for a good old under-the-stars barbecue seemed like a way to make it fun, easy, and less formal, but still special. We were VERY lucky that it didn’t rain, and it made dancing under the clear night sky that much more incredible.

handmade local maryland wedding small budget DIY

handmade local maryland wedding small budget DIY

handmade local maryland wedding small budget DIY

handmade local maryland wedding small budget DIY

Click inside for the rest of the beautiful images from this handmade Maryland wedding, including more information on their small budget & DIY details!

Ben and I consciously tried to spend our budget with vendors we knew personally, and it really made the final result so much more meaningful. My friend Mark, whom I’ve known since grade school, turned his bakery into a catering business for the night and prepared our comfort-food menu of barbecue, pies, cornbread, coleslaw, and potato salad. He also supplied cheeses and bread from his own bakery.

parasol favors for wedding guests

handmade local maryland wedding small budget DIY

lawn games at wedding reception

The oysters were also local and sustainable, and shucked by a Tradition Bearer and friend, Douglas “Turkle” North, from my museum.

oysters wedding favors maryland wedding

The flowers were DIYed from the farmer’s market in glass bottles (which Ben brought home from a shoreline restoration that had been a 19th century dump). All the women in the family arranged them together- which was a wonderful way to take time to slow down and connect before the craziness of the party.

DIY wedding flower centerpieces


I did reach out for photography, which was really important in terms of documenting the day in a way that highlighted the feel, the special moments between guests, and the details that most of the time go by in a blur. I found One Summer Day , and Tara and Danny were great in helping to curate my vision for the pictures and make it real.

handmade local maryland wedding small budget DIY

handmade local maryland wedding small budget DIY

Tablescapes were also DIYed. They were all vintage oil lamps and postcards from the 29th century resort beaches of the Chesapeake!

DIY vintage wedding centerpieces lamps postcards

handmade local maryland wedding small budget DIY

DIY photobooth backdrop maryland wedding

handmade local maryland wedding small budget DIY

handmade local maryland wedding small budget DIY

Our band was one I had danced to many, many times (vetted, if you will), and by the end of the night, the lead singer, another family friend, was taking requests by downloading lyrics and chords on his iPhone and rocking out.

It was an incredible night- worth all of the planning, absolutely. I wouldn’t change a thing!

handmade local maryland wedding small budget DIY

Congratulations Ben & Kate!! Thank you for sharing your amazing, beautiful handmade & local Maryland wedding reception with us! A special thanks again to One Summer Day for sharing the images!


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