Ali & Adam’s DIY, Teacher Themed Wedding at Sunset Crest Manor in Virginia

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  • June 09, 2015

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Images: Taylor & Ben Photography | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Today”s Virginia wedding is just too cute. The orange & blue colors are so bright and fun and the couple DIYed a lot of their details (including some adorable winks to the fact that Ali is a teacher). Their friends & family helped a ton with the DIY projects and that only helped them achieve the intimate feel they wanted for the wedding day, even more. Check it all out (with a TON of info from the couple) below!

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The venue, Sunset Crest Manor, was a stroke of luck. My mom’s friend had recently had a daughter who looked at the venue for herself but it didn’t work out. We got to the venue 13 months before the wedding. It was cold and nothing was blooming but we could see the mountains and it had an easy, rustic feel about it. We wanted something that felt like “us”.

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The colors evolved for us. Adam’s favorite color is blue, and mine is orange. Orange stuck as the planning continued but blue developed in to an earthy green that complimented the orange hues. The colors suited the season, bringing warmth to a chilly night and added green to the landscape that was still coming out of winter.

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We wanted simple decorations. In addition to the flowers on the table we had conversation jars. Simple burlap and lace decorated jars that we had saved over the months. Adam and I decorated the jars, with some help from his mom when she was visiting us! I took extra pencils from my classroom and used labels to attached questions. The questions all related to us. The intention was that people learn about us and each other some more so they said things like, “On the third date Adam packed a picnic for Ali at the park. If you packed a picnic, what would you include?”

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Adam and I blended faiths so the ceremony took some consideration. We both believed that the ceremony was special for us and our immediate families and most special friends. We didn’t want it to be spectacle, we wanted it to be intimate. Adam’s family is Methodist. I employed Adam’s mother to help me with the special task of adorning the Chuppah, which she did with linens that her grandmother had embroidered. Having that familial connection was very sentimental. Our friends stood at the corners of the chuppah while our families stood around us in support. Adam’s family minister wed us. She had had experience with the Jewish faith and helped us blend both in the ceremony beautifully. We broke the glass, kissed and they all shouted Mazel Tov! … Adam and I were able to slip away for a few minutes to absorb everything. That was a very touching moment. He and I were both very emotional and I had waited months to show off the dress! I was so excited!

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Click inside for the rest of Ali & Adam’s DIY Virginia Wedding at Sunset Crest Manor!

It did take some explaining for extended family to understand and accept the way that we handled the ceremony but at the end of the day that was the most important part of the night and that is how we envisioned that time. Most understood and it was awesome to have all of our large families and friends there to enjoy the night together afterward!

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I am not the kind of girl who knew exactly what her wedding was going to be like. It was all a ride, and part of that was finding the dress. My friend Lindz came down from MA when she heard I had been procrastinating! I never thought I would get the dress I did, because I was on a budget!! But, again, as luck would have it, it was on the sample rack! YES! I DID know I would wear my grandmother’s crystals. She had let me borrow them for my proms when I was in high school, and she left them to me upon her passing. It was important to me to have a piece of her with me on this day!

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Adam’s suit worked out nicely too!! It turned out to be an easy find and he found handsome ties to match. He waited longer than I did to get his outfit for the special day… two months out? But it all worked out! The engagement ring and bands were from Quinns Goldsmith in Occoquan VA. Before proposing Adam had tricked me in to going in to the store. I thought it was on a whim and that he was just being cute, when it fact he had staged it with the Kerri and he had had an appointment and in that time narrowed down my taste and ring size. They were amazing through the whole process!

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The table numbers were painted by my artist friend Lindz, and I glued heart-shaped cardboard to the back of the wood pieces to get them to stand. The flowers were low so that everyone at the table could see each other! We wanted to encourage socializing!

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To bring some more pieces of our lives to the event I had my students write a project on “Love”… they wrote all about what love means to them, from kisses from their pet dog, to time with their families. The map we printed was a lot of fun for us! Instead of a traditional guestbook we had everyone sign a tag with the name of a country we should visit. This also suited us because we like to travel and we wanted this to be reflected in our wedding.

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For the cake we had the best tasting experience. NEVER did we think that Pina colada themed cake would be on our menu but it was one of the best pieces of cake we had ever tasted and we went for it! I love carrot cake and he loves red velvet. We ended up with Triple Chocolate, Vanilla Raz, and Pina Colada! No fuss, just great cake. I took some inspiration from Pinterest and after a few conversations from with the cake artist we were set! The topper was perfect… being Ali and Adam Allen… we are triple “A” and we had to honor that. We used the rustic inspired “A” – of course!

For the Ketuba, the Jewish wedding contract, we got it off of Etsy. We used the tree because of our connection with nature.

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The trail-mix bar suited our sense of adventure. We love being outdoors, which not only inspired the décor but inspired the favors. We had stickers printed that said, “Happy Trails” and another with a silly engagement photo! I stamped all of the mini-paper bags with a flower and a thank you stamp! We enjoyed raiding the store for all of the goodies.

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The key to our decorations and planning was that it was fun! We didn’t continue working on something that was stressful and we loved seeing how all of the pieces came together. Everything was travel, outdoorsy, vintage, rustic and us!

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The DJ was another incredible find. He was spot on and read us perfectly throughout the night. His music kept us all dancing and his announcements kept the night organized! We weren’t going to do a DJ at first. The venue had a sound system and an I-pod hook-up! But, having one was a relief. There was nothing to think about and he listened to us really well.

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Vendors—> Photographer: Taylor and Ben Photography | Shoes: BHLDN | DJ:Dapper Appetite DJs | Cake Designer: Edibles Incredible | Makeup Artist:Erika Kirk | Hair Stylist:Hair Cuttery | Dress Designer: Paloma Blanca | Bridesmaid Dresses: Target | Floral Designer: The Flower Gallery | Invitation Designer: Wedding Paper Divas | Dress Store: Hannelore’s Bridal Boutique | Caterer: R&R Catering | Reception Venue: Sunset Crest Manor | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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