Meghan & Jeremy’s DIY, Backyard Baltimore, MD Wedding in the Woods

A beautiful Baltimore area wedding on the blog this morning. Meghan & Jeremy‘s simply stunning wedding is the perfect example of how understated, handmade details  can still be full of beauty. You will love Meghan’s unique, goddess-like dress, the lovely lavender bouquets, and a TON of details from the bride herself about why those chose to have the type of wedding they did, completely handmade & in the woods of Baltimore!

Thanks to Amie Hauck Photography for sharing the beautiful images!

Meet Jeremy & Meghan:

Jeremy and I met in college.  We didn’t actually like each other and argued in and out of class all the time.  In retrospect, our capacity for finding things to argue about looked a lot like chemistry, and when we did finally get together none of our friends were surprised.  After graduating, we both moved to Annapolis, Maryland, where we reconnected and immediately began dating.  We knew pretty quickly that we felt seriously about each other and talked about getting married (and picked out rings) months before we became formally engaged over a long weekend in another historic little town, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.


Meghan tells us how they started their wedding planning, reviewing what was important to them, and what kind of wedding they wanted to have:

When we started thinking about what we wanted the wedding to be like, we knew it was important to us to have our friends and family there with us to celebrate.  Neither of us is very traditional, however, so we rethought many of the wedding standards, wanting to keep costs down, keep things simple, and remember that the day is about celebrating our marriage.

It was also very important to us that our guests enjoy themselves.  To keep organized but not have things get totally taken over by the craziness of theknot-style to do lists, we listed everything that really mattered to us in a spreadsheet to track when things needed to be done, when they did get done, and actual and estimated costs.  Ultimately, we wanted to keep things easy and low-stress.

I love Meghan’s simple dried lavender bouquet. Like really love it.

Dried lavender, ribbons & a beautiful vintage brooch – bam, DIY bouquet made by Meghan’s sister:

 She made my bouquet out of leftover dried lavender and ribbon and attached a brooch that belongs to our elderly grandmother, who was unable to travel to Maryland for the celebration.

How dreamy are these portraits in the woods? Gives them almost an ethereal, nymph-like aura

Click inside to see more beautiful pictures from Meghan & Jeremy’s simply stunning outdoor Baltimore wedding (including a lot more details from Meghan!)

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DIY Inspiration: Alternative Wedding Hair Accessories

I am always overjoyed when I see Brides that bucked the veil tradition and went with some sort of fun/funky hairpiece instead! For today‘s DIY Wednesday, I thought I would find some fun and offbeat bridal hairpieces that were double awesome, because they were DIYed.

 DIY Hair Comb ~ this might also make for an awesome DIY bridesmaids gift for your bridesmaids to wear

[tutorial via Lemon Jitters blog]

Adorable “Something Blue” DIY Hair Pins [with buttons!]

[via Enamor blog]

Whimsical button & ribbon DIY hair accessory

[tutorial via Cap Classic blog]

DIY Fabric Flowers ~ could easily glue these onto clips for your bridal hair accessory

[tutorial via Bayside Bride blog]

this DIY Feather Bridal Hairpiece is so unique! I love it!

[tutorial via Lulu Letty blog]

Love these next two unique hairpieces using beads & buttons!!

[via Be Beautiful blog]

Finally, another beautiful beaded DIY hair piece (using a wire & comb)

[tutorial via Craft Your Own blog]

As always – please share your own DIY bridal hair piece or bridesmaids accessories if you made them for your own wedding!

Natalie & Stewart’s Whimsical, Colorful DIY Virginia Wedding

This morning’s offbeat, Washington DC area wedding comes to  us from a seriously talented DC area wedding photographer, Rebekah J. Murray. I have followed her website/blog/photography for a while now, so I am just over the moon to be able to feature one of her real weddings! And boy oh boy is it a good one. Offbeat, detailed, DIY, eclectic, and nontraditionaleverything I love and more. [Thanks to Two Bright Lights for the submission!]

Rebekah shared:

I can’t remember ever photographing a wedding with a more playful attention to detail. Stewart and Natalie were married at her parent’s beach house near Chincoteague, Virginia, in the smidge of a town called Assateague. (it consists of Front St., Back St., and Courthouse St. So cute!) Natalie had grown up visiting this house and it was only fitting to have her happiest day surrounded by her happiest memories. Their vision from the start was to have as much fun as possible and (besides the near-melting heat) it was a smashing success. The eclectic, handmade details and bright colors made it feel like a vibrant afternoon at a carnival fading into a nostalgic summer evening.

This amazing wedding was also featured over on the awesome “Elizabeth Anne Designsblog ~ so for more details from Natalie [and full vendor listing] hop on over to the feature there.



gorgeous shot of Natalie’s dress hanging from a tree

i love this shot of the bride’s [blue!] shoes on the window sill!



how amazing is Natalie’s hairpiece!? the colors, the size, the ruffles, everything

Stewart awaits the First Look at his bride-to-be

Read more to see the rest of this eclectic & whimsical intimate Virginia wedding, including some awesome squirt guns at the reception, vintage details, and more from Rebekah J. Murray Photography!

Capitol Videos: KD Productions – DC Wedding Videographer

As I mentioned this morning, instead of the usual Washington, DC area engagement feature for this Monday afternoon,  I have an awesome wedding video, from Washington, DC videographer: KD Productions!

I am SO stoked to be sharing this video for a few reasons. One, because I want to be able to help other couples in the DC area find [good] videographers for their wedding and two, because I love having a different medium for my readers to check out, instead of just pictures all the time!

I also just want to say [real quick] that I also hope these “Capitol Videos” help my readers see the importance of hiring a videographer [in addition to your professional wedding photographer]. Video gives you such a different look at your wedding day, and personally, I couldn’t imagine not having both my wedding photos AND my wedding video to look at a million times over, once the day goes by in a flash. Believe me, as a recent bride, with NO vendor/business affiliations, I would wholeheartedly recommend you hire both a videographer & a photographer for your wedding. You won’t be sorry.

So, thank you Katie for finding me and submitting this awesome Annapolis wedding video [which, I will now call any Washington, DC wedding videos that I get, Capitol Videos, as an fyi].

First a bit about the wedding featured in the video, from Katie herself:

I had the privilege to film a wedding at the US Naval Academy Chapel and William Paca House in Annapolis, MD. The couple’s name was Michael and Katy Thomas. Michael is a pilot in the Navy, who is stationed in Florida. Their wedding happened to fall on August 27, 2011 which is the day Hurricane Irene struck! The reception was in a tent…outside…during Hurricane Irene. Even though the Paca House had no power, it poured outside, the wind howled, the dance floor had puddles, the tent flaps blew in knocking things over, and there was a mandatory evacuation at 7, we all still had a good time! Everyone seemed to have smiles! I think the coolest part of this day was witnessing the sword ceremony. This is done as the couple exits the chapel. Eight Naval officers line up on the stairs in pairs with swords crossed and the couple has to kiss in front of each pair before crossing. It was awesome!

Second, the awesome wedding video itself, enjoy!

My favorite part is around the 3:45 mark, with the couple kissing down the stairs, and the editing matches the beat in the music! I love it!!! You’d seriously never know there was a hurricane raging outside … awesome video!

Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck: White Dress

Today’s alternative & modern wedding song suggestion comes from KD Productions. KD Productions is a local Washington, DC wedding videography company that I couldn‘t have been happier to find! I have been searching forever for more videography companies in the DC area to feature, so I am hoping Katie & her awesome company are just the beginning.

We will have an actual wedding video of a beautiful Annapolis Wedding to share from KD Productions this afternoon, but first, check this awesome, upbeat modern wedding song by Ben Rector that would be perfect for your wedding processional at your ceremony OR for your first dance.

The lyrics … are just perfect for a wedding (if you couldn’t tell by the name of the song already):

I never knew
That I could love someone
The way that I love you


So what do you think? I mean, I can just see the doors to the church opening and the wedding party/bride entering to this song, or it would also make a great addition to your cocktail hour playlist or wedding video soundtrack!

Thanks KD Productions (and a side note: I am kinda digging Ben Rector’s entire album right now he’s sorta John Mayer meets the Fray)


Elle & Eric’s Offbeat, Arlington County Fair Engagement in Virginia

Elle & Eric are having a destination wedding, but wanted to have a local engagement session ~ so they chose the Arlington County Fair with some beautiful, bright colors, and some seriously snazzy style. This gorgeous Northern Virginia engagement session is SURE to brighten up this dreary Friday. Thanks to Maggie Winters Photography [submitted via Two Bright Lights], I get to share this with you!

In order to help guests with their destination wedding [and keep those that can’t attend, in the loop] they created an adorable wedding website via Wedding Wire. For way more info on this couple [and maybe some tips for those of you also considering a destination wedding] you can check it out here.

Elle & Eric’s adorable “how we met story”:

I first approached Eric while waitressing at Caprock Cafe. He came into to study for an important appellate case, and I immediately noticed him. In the six months I spent waiting tables, I’d never seen someone come in to actually study. He also stuck out because he was using a black Macbook, which was an uncommon site back in 2008.

He sat in another waitress’s section, but I really wanted to talk to him. So I  quickly created a reason to start up a conversation, “hey, is that a MacBook?” Lame, but it worked!

That night, I sat down at his booth every chance I had to speak with him. I had never met anyone so open and easy to talk to, and I found myself sharing all kinds of personal details with him. Only a couple of hours after meeting, I knew he was someone very special. He stayed there and we chatted all evening until the manager kicked him out to close up for the night.

Over the next 7-months, Eric came in to Caprock countless times to “get a burger.” I remember hoping he would come in every day and always had butterflies when he did. On one such night, Eric finally invited me out to a polo-themed college party. I asked, “Polo party? So there’ll be a lot of fraternity guys there?” Hesitantly, Eric replied, “Well, yeah, there will probably be a lot of frat and sorority-types.” Despite how much I wanted to go out with Eric, I declined his offer, “Sorry, but I really don’t like frat boys.”

Taken a bit by surprise, Eric agreed that a polo party probably wouldn’t be much fun and changed his offer: “how about dinner instead?” My eyes lit up…

Enjoy the rest of these beautiful Northern Virginia County Fair engagement pictures!

I wish I had the courage to cut my hair that short! Elle looks amazing!

this next shot is my favorite!

Congratulations Elle & Eric! Best of luck with your upcoming wedding! Thanks again for sharing your story with us and thanks again to Maggie Winters Photography for sharing these seriously beautiful images [via Two Bright Lights].



Indoor Engagement Session Locations in Washington, DC area

Happy Friday! Even if it is a rather dreary one, I promise today’s posts [there will be two, both equally awesome] will help brighten it up and get you safely to the weekend.

This morning, one of my twitter followers had asked me if I knew of any good indoor engagement session locations in the Washington, DC area. Her session is set for tomorrow, and not so surprisingly [seriously, it feels like we moved to Seattle] the weather report is calling for rain.

Fortunately for Abby & anyone else having their engagement session in Washington, DCin the rainDC gives us a TON of awesome, cool, and beautiful indoor locations to have an engagement shoot.

Here‘s what we got:

The Hirshhorn Museum

[Katherine & Sami’s eshot – one of my all-time favs by Emily Porter Photography]

The National Portrait Gallery

[Christine & Eddie’s Engagement Shoot by Cory Brodzinkski Photo]

The Corcoran Gallery of Art

[Lena & Buzz’s engagement session by Leo Druker Photography]


[Justin & Lauren’s Capitol Hill Bookstore Engagement from Red Shoes Photography]

Not an engagement shoot [an adorable sister shoot], but still at a bookstore ~ Politics & Prose in NW DC

[Lesley & Natalie’s Sister Shoot by Live It Out Photo]

Inside Cafe’s ~ like Georgetown Cupcake!

[Lydia & Cesar’s Engagement Shoot by Natalie Franke Photography]

[Jennie & Julius’ engagement session from Astrid Photography]

and finally … even Washington, DC’s Metro Stations!

[Lindsay & Ryan’s Engagement Session by Terra Dawn Photography]


Liz & Jack’s Small Budget, Offbeat Washington DC Wedding

Jack & Liz … Went Legit

I have a fantastically offbeat Washington, DC wedding for you today, courtesy of Amie Hauck Photography.  Liz & her husband Jack had an awesome, DIY and budget-friendly wedding in DC and today I get to share a TON of DIY details on how they did it all.  I also hope to get to share some more specifics on her DIY projects in upcoming DIY Wednesday posts!!! So, sit back, relax and be prepared to see one of our most offbeat & DIY-packed wedding features to date!

Jack, Liz, & their offbeat, DIY, budget-friendly Washington, DC wedding

First, let’s meet the lovely couple, from Liz herself:

Jack and I met at work in May of 2008. I moved from the DC area to Raleigh for a summer job while finishing up a last few online courses before graduation.  He worked in the office next to mine and I may or may not have swept him off his feet with mediocre burritos at lunch and waxing poetic about about steel and concrete. (We worked at an engineering company.)

We dated on the sly and by the end of the summer I think we both knew we were in it to win it, so we rented a townhouse and decided to see how things would work. I got a permanent job more related to my degree and we started to put down roots. Things went well and we got engaged in late August 2010.

Jack & Liz begin their wedding theme discussion:

From the earliest discussions about what kind of wedding we were looking to have, it was agreed on that we have been to far too many “typical” weddings.  We wanted something relatively small, something we could afford without debt, and something that resembled a family dinner and a kick ass party.  Also agreed upon from the beginning: no DJ, no buffet, no limos, and no color scheme. I am not knocking these choices, but they just didn’t feel like “us”.

And now Liz gets into the location selection [Washington, DC] and their budget:

For number of reasons, DC became the obvious choice and it was a smart decision because my mom and friends proved to be endlessly helpful with the preparations. Living in Raleigh made it a little harder to plan the wedding, but Google really helped out!

We set a budget that is a small fraction of what the typical wedding in the area costs and set out on the strategy of doing DIY for as much as possible. Budget was a huge obstacle and at times it felt insurmountable, particularly when a well-known DC caterer laughed at me on a phone call and told me that my entire budget is what their basic dinner packages start at.

To anyone that is planning a reasonably priced affair in a city as expensive as my beloved DC, I want to yell and scream to tell them that it IS possible with flexibility and a lot of planning!

…*sigh* a girl after my own heart! I am SO happy to find Liz shares my thoughts/feelings on getting married in Washington, DC. It’s a truly awesome city, and I wish people wouldn’t flee just because of the dollar signs. Like Liz said, it just takes some planning … flexibility … and a whole bunch of awesome, DIY :)


All the signage and design was DIYed by Liz:

I designed all of the printed materials myself and had them printed at a local print shop. I got exactly what I wanted and saved so much money it’s not even funny. I didn’t sleep a lot for a few weeks, but as a designer who is trying to get more into graphic design, I couldn’t settle for something that wasn’t exactly what I wanted.

When all was said and done, I made save-the-dates, invitations with several inserts and a custom map, a big framed table seating list, printed map and directions given out at the ceremony to help people navigate to the reception, the sign for the card box, and thank-you cards. I also designed a monogram and had it made into a rubber stamp along with our address for stamping envelopes.


Click inside to read the rest of this amazing feature ~ including way more on Liz’s offbeat Washington, DC wedding reception location, all of their DIY projects, and continued hints & help on getting married in Washington, DC with a small budget!

DIY How To: Origami Paper Flower Bouquet

I am SUPER excited for today’s DIY Wednesday tutorial feature coming to us from Lindsey of Elusive Photo Design. You all know how much I love the unique, different, and offbeat when it comes to weddings [especially in the Washington, DC area], so naturally, I jumped out of my seat when Lindsey sent me this:

DIY Origami Paper Flower Bouquet

From Lindsey:

These kusudama origami bridal bouquets are remarkably simple to make, and can be made to your taste using a variety of different types, colors, patterns and sizes of paper. I recommend doing a few practice flowers with pre-cut, thin origami paper first.  Once you’ve become more adept, try cutting squares out of magazines, vintage books — not antique (!!!),  just old — or using thicker scrapbook paper for a different “look.”

As someone who didn’t use live flowers in my own wedding, I am always pumped when I find other ideas for non-floral bouquets. Other than the vintage brooch bouquet, I haven’t seen any other newer, alternative wedding bouquet ideas, so I am just so excited to get to share something to unique, but also new & fresh!

I love how unique this bouquet is, and that it’s a DIY bouquet! I can just imagine smaller ones being held by all the bridesmaids too!

So now, here is the best part ~ Lindsey has given us the actual DIY Tutorial, including step-by-step instructions and a TON of pictures, so that you can make this totally unique & alternative wedding bouquet too!


You will need:
Read more to get the full-on tutorial, with step-by-step pictures to make your own, DIY Origami Paper Flower Bouquet!
Need Help Making DIY Projects for Your Wedding? Attend Our Workshops!