Christine & Phillip’s Spring DIY Wedding at Top of the Town in Arlington, VA

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  • March 20, 2014

This Spring Northern Virginia wedding at Top of the Town is REALLY getting me in the mood for pastel colors and sunshine. I LOVE the mix of teal and pink in their color design and the couple kept things eclectic with a mix of understated vintage details. Plus they did their first dance to a Red Hot Chili Peppers song – how awesome is that? Check out Christine & Phillip’s DIY Spring Wedding feature. Thanks to Kirsten Marie Photography for submitting this one to us – a perfect Spring wedding to celebrate the first day of Spring!

Christine & Phillip’s DIY Spring Northern Virginia Wedding at Top of the Town

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Photographer:  Kirsten Marie Photography | Cake Designer: Dama Pastry | Invitation Designer: Mayla Studios | Floral Designer: MelleFleur | Reception Venue: Top of the Town | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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We included pastel colors everywhere to deliver a vintage kaleidoscope effect , an eclectic mix of glassware for the fingers to touch, which we’ve also recently noticed to be popular in trendy speakeasies, and pink up lighting that bridged classic ambiance with views of a global city.

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Click inside for SO MUCH more from Christine & Phillip’s Spring DIY wedding at Top of the Town

We both hail from large families, and it was important to incorporate this into the ceremony. All siblings were included in the wedding party, from bride and groom, brothers and sisters, while cousins and friends—who border on family—were invited to do readings.

One of the groom’s brothers handed the rings over to the priest, parents sat in the front row taking videos and leaking tears, and the bride’s niece and flower girl, three years old mind you, wandered about during the ceremony chucking flowers at unscripted moments.

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There are too many fantastic vendors out there. That’s the sweet-and-sour world we live in. But, to save money, we designed and printed our own programs. All typos aside, they were an amazing success. The majority was your standard wedding program. However, on the back was the seating chart, names in alphabetical order, table numbers adjacent. It was extremely helpful for our guests, who didn’t have to hunt for charts or name tags.

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Unbeknown to our parents, grandparents, wedding party, best friends, colleagues, name it, we organized twenty doves for release upon “I do.” Even during the ceremony no one knew of their presence or heard their chirps. And when we were pronounced man and wife, white birds blasted into the sky from behind the aisle and everyone erupted. It was a huge talking point for weeks. Bride and groom wins ☺

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We wanted a venue in Washington DC or one with an impressive view—there were people coming from out of town. The moment we saw Top of the Town in Arlington, VA, the search was over. It is the perfect setting for guests, both from DC and from afar, because the view looks over the Iwo Jima memorial, across the Potomac, past the Lincoln Memorial, through the National Mall, around the Needle, and to the Capitol.

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 We designed our own table numbers and laid out a map instead of a guest book. The bride’s mother made an assortment of her well-known cookies for takeaways, which guests gushed over, especially one of the groomsmen. And, most importantly of all, while it wasn’t something we “made” ourselves, something we “did” ourselves, bride and groom only, was doves.

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To incorporate vintage appeal, we collected photos from our parents’ and grandparents’ weddings and placed them on the table settings. In one photo, Christine’s grandmother stands next to a car with a suitcase. She is waving to the crowd and it’s only moments before she departed for her honeymoon. That same suitcase was present at our wedding and used to collect cards from guests.

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In the past, the first wedding dance was commonly a waltz. We went with The Red Hot Chili Peppers, baby. The song was “Hard to Concentrate” to be exact. A true American classic, and—as many of our guests confirmed—one of the best Chili Peppers songs they’d never heard.

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Later, because we knew we wanted to after party with our friends, we secured a reservation at a bar in Dupont Circle. The bar was not fancy and not a dive, which ironically meant that everyone loved it. It was located some five miles from the venue, which in city terms might as well be fifty. So we printed business cards that included the name of the bar, address, and phone number of the best man. When we arrived, the bar was packed with more people than expected. It was a secondary invitation, one which made the guests feel special, and one which potentially broke Facebook…

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Congratulations Christine & Phillip! Thank you for sharing your beautiful Spring vintage Northern Virginia wedding with us! A special thanks again to Kirsten Marie Photography for sharing her images with us via Two Bright Lights.

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