Penney & Bryan’s Super Small Budget, DIY Fall Wedding in Virginia

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  • February 26, 2015

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Images: Noe Todorovich

Penney & Bryan met at work in Arlington, VA. They have since moved to Austin, TX but decided to have their wedding back in the DC metro area, where their relationship began. They are so clearly smitten with eachother and thrilled to be getting married, but they took an extremely practical route – opting for  an intimate gathering, getting ready together, and making a lot of the “details” of the wedding day. Also, Penney’s tights are TO DIE FOR. Check it all out!

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Our Approach: We wanted to do something that would be relatively easy to plan from afar, as we lived in Austin but wanted to celebrate where we met – Washington, DC. Our families aren’t centralized and having attending a plethora of weddings, we really valued making it simple for us and our friends.

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Non-Traditional: As agnostics, we didn’t want or need a religious service, so we held an intimate ceremony in an Arlington officiant’s office, inviting only family and a few close friends. We also didn’t have a wedding party, a registry, a dress code, a bouquet toss or videographer. Our ‘reception’ was really a celebration at a bar with food and booze!

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Venues: We chose venues we were familiar with and were easily accessible, mainly centered in Shirlington. Most importantly we picked places and things that would make it fun, without too much pomp and circumstance.

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Click inside for the rest of Penney & Brian’s super DIY, small budget wedding in Arlington, VA!

Vendors: In keeping with a theme of ‘less fuss = lower stress,’ we took advantage of what the venues offered and didn’t need many vendors. Photography by Noe Todorovich, flowers by Karin’s Florist of Vienna, ceremony performed by Gerald Williams. Between the wedding and celebration, the bride, groom and photographer ate at Busboys & Poets in Shirlington. Live reception music at Samuel Beckett’s was the Lenny Burridge Duo.  Our post-reception hunger led us to raid the Harris Teeter en route back to the Hilton Garden Inn.

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Family/Friend Involvement: We wanted folks to feel connected, and asked several friends if they would be willing to make one dozen cupcakes for the reception. Any flavors, any colors, any style. And they all said yes! They went above and beyond in their fabulous concoctions; we even heard rumors of cupcake trash talk and one up-mannship. It was such a treat (pun!) to see their love and support epitomized in tasty treats.

The sister of the bride and the groom’s best friend were a big help in getting pretty and holding onto the rings. They also had double duty keeping us caffeinated, fed and watered. And what great (unexpected) speeches they gave at the celebration reception!

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Handmade: We made nothing! Well, almost nothing. Our two hands-on projects involved placing childhood and family pictures in frames for display at the reception, and adding personalized stickers to Chinese take-out boxes, which served as favors for leftover cupcakes. Our friends were the true handmade winners.

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Cost: We paid for the wedding ourselves. We managed everything we needed for about $10,000 – including travel, hotel, wedding attire, rings, reception food and alcohol, photography and flowers.

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