DIY maryland wedding

Lauren & Jesse’s DIY, Old Angler’s Wedding in Potomac, MD

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Images: Captures by Justine

Another super sweet DC area wedding is on the blog today (crushing it this week!). This one features two adorable people and their COMPLETELY DIY wedding in Maryland. They made a ton of their wedding details and poured themselves into the wedding. Check it all out below!

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We met at Jesse’s favorite neighborhood bar Looking Glass Lounge. On our first date, we bonded over Montessori schools, ancient Egpytian culture and the plight of the bees (they’re dying). I skipped Yoga and a dinner date with a friend. The deal was sealed when Jesse correctly answered the question: Who’s a better dancer, Michael Jackson or Fred Astaire (Michael Jackson). A second, third and fourth date ensued.

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Jesse proposed at our home and incorporated my six year old son Emerson. I knew it was coming for awhile, and it was a running joke between us for him to reach behind a pillow on the couch and pretend to pull out a ring. Well one day Emerson came over to me and said “Jesse has something to ask you,” so I wander into the living room, Jesse reaches behind the pillow and actually pulls out a ring this time! He gets down on one knee and proposes. Needless to say I was in shock. The answer was obviously yes!

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Our planning process was a bit of a whirlwind since we both work full time and also have a 6 year old who was getting ready to start first grade right before our wedding. We planned our wedding for our 3 year anniversary. It just so happened to also be Beyonce’s birthday which I was thrilled about. We didn’t have any set wedding colors, just a general garden party wildflowers theme.

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We initially wanted a small wedding that would have been more of an elopement, but wanted to invite more people than we could have doing that plan so we settled on inviting 50 people and having a brunch. Jesse and I walked in together. I loved that he was right there next to me especially since I started ugly crying halfway down the aisle and he was there to squeeze my hand. We wrote our own vows and I have to say his were so much better than mine, they were hilarious and sweet at the same time, he had everyone laughing. We also jumped the broom to honor my African American heritage.

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Having a brunch wedding was such a good idea for us. It was completely laid back which is our vibe. We had an open bar with champagne, mimosas, and bloody mary’s as well as POPSICLES! I stumbled across the idea of having a champagne and popsicle bar on pinterest and everybody really enjoyed putting the popsicles in their champagne as a mixer.

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Grace & Tolu’s Fall, Backyard Wedding in Maryland

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Images: L.A. Birdie Photography

Having a day off is sort of a double edge sword. I loved the extra day to work on the #CapRoShop, catch up on some rest, and generally not be thinking about my day job, but now it’s already Wednesday and I feel SO BEHIND for the week. I just can’t win! Today’s real Maryland wedding is a stunner though – gorgeous couple, with such a sweet love story, and an adorable DIY backyard wedding full of love & music (something they share in common as they both work in the music industry in NYC). Grace, the bride, also hand-drew all the signs — lots of insight from the couple for this real wedding today. Enjoy.

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[We met] at a winter getaway camp in the mountains of Pennsylvania when we were 16.

Tolu got together family and a slew of friends to participate in a music performance video of Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me”. 5 years before, Tolu had surprised Grace at her high school with a barbershop rendition of the same song, after which he asked her to prom. Each person recorded themselves singing the song from wherever they were and Tolu cut the different performances into a film complete with his own performance and music composition.

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In place of traditional elements like tying the cord, breaking the glass, or pouring sand, we decided to write our own tradition because there was only so much we could connect to the usual. We are both avid music lovers as well as music professionals so we wrote a piece for the ceremony called the Chord Accord. In this piece, we used the symbolism of a chord (accompanied by a live performance of a piano piece that Tolu wrote followed the narration) to depict how we came together in love and life. And then the piano piece segued into music for the procession out.

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We made it a point to involve as many friends and family as we could in the ceremony. Because we work in music and a lot of our friends are musicians, we used that to our advantage. Guests arrived arrived to the sound of our friends playing the piano and guitar to set the mood. One of them, the guitarist, played the music that Grace walked down the aisle to. We had a college friend of each of us come together to sing an arrangement of a song special to us, in which Tolu did a surprise performance ( In fact, it was a complete surprise to Grace the choice of song. Tolu had rehearsed in secret with the duo.) We had Tolu’s sister read a poem. Then have another friend, a pianist, accompany the Chord Accord. It was chock full of guest appearances

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Laurie & Ryan’s DIY Maryland Barn Wedding at Rocklands Farm

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Images: Cassidy DuHon Photography

You’re going to LOVE this one Romancers. DIY details galore, a stunning Maryland barn wedding venue, sunflowers, rainbow streamers, AND SO MUCH MORE. This stunner was planned by one of my favs, Rebecca with Blue Canary Events and it was captured beautifully by Cassidy DuHon. Enjoy.

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I read in some wedding planning book that you should get married somewhere that feels like home to you.

Rocklands Farm was the first venue we looked at, but the moment we set foot there, the sense of home knocked us backwards. Open green land, dogs and cats and sheep running around, wildflowers everywhere, the beautiful old barn. It felt so much like us. And once we picked the venue, so many details fell naturally into place around that first choice. We’d use wildflowers that grew on the farm (beautifully arranged by Anna Glenn, who lives there), the wine would come from their vineyard, we’d have a bluegrass/swing/jazz band and end the night with s’mores around the fire pit.

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We chose to have lawn games at cocktail hour because that so perfectly fit the casual, rustic vibe of the farm. And we were able to use tons of materials they already had at the farm for the smaller details: we hung the escort cards on twine between two ladders; we set up the favors on stacks of old crates. The atmosphere of the farm even helped me pick my dress; I couldn’t imagine wearing anything but the vintage, dreamy Vivienne gown from BHLDN fitting at this location.

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Ryan’s best friend since 3rd grade, Alex London, wrote the ceremony and officiated the wedding. He’s a YA author and does a ton of public speaking to promote his books, so he was absolutely perfect for it. We had three friends from different facets of our lives do the readings (excerpts from Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet and Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses), and our niece carried the rings. We also had an awesome group of friends and family who helped with the DIY elements.

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>>Click inside for the rest of this gorgeous DIY Maryland Barn Wedding! <<<

Heather & Pedro’s Offbeat, DIY Multicultural Maryland Wedding at the Tea Barn at Fair Hill

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Images: Amber Wilkie Photography

It amuses me sometimes how some couples will write a few sentences and others write novels when I ask for more details on their wedding day. For me, I was the noveling writing type – I couldn’t STOP talking and writing about our wedding day because we just poured SO MUCH of ourselves in to it. I felt compelled to have to share every item we made, every decision we delicately made, every detail we had discussions over. Heather is a bride after my own heart – still excited about everything they did for their Maryland wedding. So a fair warning to you all that this one is LONG today – but there are just too many fun details that I could cut back. Sorry I’m not sorry.

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We had initially discussed a courthouse wedding, which was totally his preference. But then I started thinking about wanting our people there, and that led to thinking of all of the fun things a couple can do for their wedding, and since he’s super easygoing he was fine with going for a more traditional type of wedding. Autumn has always been a really amazing time of year for me – I love the colors of the trees, especially. The rustic/vintage theme is, obviously, super popular right now, and when I went looking for ideas for venues, it just fit in with the Autumn bit so well! I showed him some ideas and he loved them, so we ran with it.

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When we were looking for venues, a lot of places were asking for thousands of dollars for just a few hours of time, and when you’re DIYing and hate to ask for help, that window of time just isn’t feasible. We chose the Tea Barn because you get to keep the place for three days (Friday through Sunday…I hear you can add Thursday as well for an additional fee), decorate it and use the space as you please, and it was insanely cheap. When we booked in 2013, it was $400 for three day rental, $150 for the adjoining paddock area, $10 reservation fee and $35 alcohol permit fee. It turned out we did require a lot of help, however, as my parents did most of the set up themselves and a bunch of us worked hard to break it all down.

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Details are important to me, and Pedro didn’t really give me much in the way of unique Portuguese traditions so I improvised. For example, I found pictures of old maps of Maryland and Portugal and we folded our paper airplanes out of the printed out maps. I started to make a traditional portuguese fiance handkerchief for him but I gave up on it half way through because I wasn’t too pleased with my handiwork. I might finish it some day haha.

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Stationery: we got our invitations and rsvps from Minted, made maps using art from someone found on Fiverr and printed by Vistaprint. Most of our signage was made using clip art I purchased from Digicrafts on Etsy and our programs were made with templates purchased from Purple Trail.

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Click inside for SO MUCH MORE of Pedro & Heather’s eclectic, Maryland barn wedding!

Meg & Ray’s Sunny BBQ Wedding at Smokey Glen Farm in Maryland

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[Images: Aimee Custis Photography]

SO many darling details from this real Maryland wedding from Aimee Custis Photography at Smokey Glen Farm. The couple took the farm theme to heart with so many handmade details that really came together beautifully!  Meg shared SO many details on their wedding day (that are all below) but I always love when the couple makes it a point to create a wedding that is a reflection of them. It’s always so apparent too (and they always seem to be the MOST fun weddings as well!). Meg & Ray depended on family & friends alike to create this beautiful BBQ farm wedding and if nothing else, the summery weather will hopefully bring you some warmth on this chilly December day :)

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From the bride:

It was important to both Ray and I that our wedding be a reflection of us, and most of all, we wanted the day to be super fun for all involved. Early on, Ray instituted the wedding planning motto “More fun, less formal!” Though there were plenty of traditional elements to our wedding, we did not want a cookie-cutter wedding ceremony & reception. And like the average bride & groom, we had to be extremely mindful of our budget when making decisions. What helped us out a lot was imagining the party we were throwing wasn’t a wedding. How would we go about spending our money to maximize fun? That helped us focus more on what we really wanted, and less on conventions.

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We decided to DIY the wedding as much as possible, without driving ourselves crazy. We tried to keep it relatively simple, and enlisted the help of family and friends. My mom created the cloth banners to hang from the rafters and is turning them into a wedding quilt for us now. We created handstamped silverware pakcets using baker’s twine and kraft paper pouches. The bridesmaids and I also got together and created the centerpieces using dried flowers. My dad designed and built a wooden stand strung with twine for us to clip the seating cards onto. Ray got his Pinterest on and made wedding day madlibs for the guests, in lieu of a guest book (we are considering binding those into a keepsake book). My aunt Mary hand-painted pebbles as wedding favors for the guests – which was a nice family touch because Mary always handpaints gorgeous ornaments for the family every Christmas. Ray’s mom handpainted the table numbers, and also made an unforgettable pie-topper caricature of us out of clay. I have to admit, I was a little nervous about this one. She has made clay caricatures of a lot of family members, so we asked her to do a bride and groom one of us, maintaining veto power from the start. We laughed and laughed when we saw it, and the guests loved it. It will surely be a family treasure, even if Ray looks a little like Woody Allen and I a bit like Frida Kahlo! The whole event was a labor of love.

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Click inside for the rest of Meg & Ray’s DIY summer farm wedding at Smokey Glen Farm in Maryland!

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