“Our wedding was a deliberate exercise in being thoughtful and authentic to who we are and where we’re from. We had no problem with tradition if we could give it a slight twist to better represent who we are, our families, and our community.”
You might remember Eliza & Josh from their insanely adorable, “nerdy” library engagement session that we featured a while back. Well they’re back now (and better than ever) with their super awesome, completely DIY, rainbow-themed wedding at Adelphi Historical Mill! Eliza & Josh used a ton of awesome local wedding vendors to knit their wedding day together and also recruited the help of ALL their family and friends to make it happen. I know you guys are going to love all the awesome, personalized details in this Maryland wedding AND all the super rad, rainbox wedding decorations & details. So enough from me, more from them.
Eliza & Josh’s Rainbow Colored, Book Themed, DIY Extravaganza Wedding in Maryland
Photographer: Stephen De Leon | Wedding Planner: The Plannery | Venue: Adelphi Historical Mill | Ceremony Venue: St. Mary of the Mills, Laurel MD | Groom’s Custom Suit: MySuit | Bowties/socks: The Tie Bar | Bridal’s Gown: Two by Rosa Clara | Food: CapMac | Desserts: Red Velvet Cupcakery | Flowers: DIY with flowers from Potomac Floral | Details: Thrifted from DC’s Goodwill Stores
Our wedding was a deliberate exercise in being thoughtful and authentic to who we are and where we’re from. We had no problem with tradition if we could give it a slight twist to better represent who we are, our families, and our community. We had a Catholic wedding but chose universal readings and had friends of other faiths and identities participate, both of us were given away by our parents, and Josh arranged our own wedding march. It was with that in mind that we dropped gendered language and expectations but still promised to be there in sickness and health, good times and bad. It was with that in mind that every bit of decor was draped in rainbows and personal history. Our priest even surprised us with a homily about the friendship, love, and devotion between Frodo and Sam!
The only way to sum up our theme is to say that we celebrated the story of our five (now six!) years together and the importance of our family in writing that story — blood-related, bosom friends, and fictional voices. Our relationship bloomed with the assistance of some very important people–CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, JK Rowling, Philip Pullman, and John Green–and they all had a part to play at our wedding. And because we dated long-distance, we chose a lot of our decor to represent that.
Boutonnieres and corsages were made from dictionaries and centerpieces were built from (used!) books by the aforementioned authors.
We involved our entire community in putting together this wedding. Eliza’s mom was the DIY Guru, dipping thousands of Oreos in chocolate, cutting and gluing thousands of paper flowers, sewing hundred-plus feet crepe streamers, and wrapping several hundred books. Then, all of Eliza and Josh’s friends who helped were part of the D.A., yes, that D.A, rather than any old bridal party. Kaythi, one of Eliza’s best friends, knit the rainbow lace bolero she wore, as well as lead one of the readings in their ceremony. Even the jewelry Eliza wore came from her grandmothers and her garter was the one her mother wore.
Click inside for the rest of Eliza & Josh’s super rad, rainbow colored and book themed DIY Maryland wedding!
Their entire community of friends and family made this wedding happen:
Rachel, best friend since high school, did Eliza’s hair and makeup (for the umpteenth time). Christina, best friend since age 2, and Christina’s husband Varun, designed all the paper products and cute logos. Eliza’s brother and best man of honor built the photobooth. Josh’s best childhood friend was best man and cantor. Josh’s best friend from law school was also best man and saved him from being late to his own wedding. Tommy, another high school best friend, emceed. Josh’s sister was responsible for the corsages and boutonnieres, and also did a ceremony reading.
Danny, the cousin that started it all, was the photographer at the rehearsal dinner, and Mark, another cousin, took care of the hotel, while a whole horde of cousins and friends set-up and took-down the décor (and made off with some of the leftover wine?). Several of Eliza’s aunts even made monogrammed tissue packets! The wine itself came from Josh’s great uncle and aunt’s vineyard. Many more friends were ushers, ring warmers, and reception setter-uppers. And the two of us apologize for anyone left out in this paragraph!! Thank You Everyone!
The ceremony music list included some awesomely nontraditional wedding songs from literature (Concerning Hobbits | Susumu Hirasawa, Arr. Joshua Reece (similar to this) | Baba Yetu) and the ceremony program, was edged in the Lay of Beren and Lúthien by Tolkien.
We’re partly grinning so large because Father Mellone has switched our rings – luckily we’re only a half-size different in our ring fingers
Our guests’ placecards were bookplates they could put in whatever book they chose from the centerpieces. Other decor details include thousands of paper flowers made from maps of the places we’ve traveled and collected by Eliza’s father, LED tealights wrapped in sheet music from Josh’s favorite composer (Bach), dozens of vases of rainbow-dipped Oreos, a Tree of Gondor guestbook, and a rainbow-fro’ed monster cardbox.
Congratulations Eliza & Josh – I so adored getting to share your amazing DIY, book themed and rainbow colored wedding. A true representation of a “labor of love” wedding. A special thanks again to Stephen Deleon Photography for sharing their images for this real Maryland weddings feature, and to The Plannery and all the amazing local DC wedding vendors that made this wedding possible!