DIY maryland wedding

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! <<<

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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!

Kayte & Luke’s Brightly Colored, DIY Newton House Mansion Wedding in Maryland

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[Images: Liz Fogarty Photography]

I loved the way you could totally feel this couple’s personality from their wedding images. From the bright orange, pink, and yellow color palette, to all the DIY projects – it was no wonder that this Maryland wedding totally rocked, with the bride being a SUPER talented musician. (Check her out!). The wedding has a slight bohemian meets Rock N Roll vibe and I am pumped to get to share some awesome insight from the couple to go along with their gorgeous wedding images from Liz Fogarty. Enjoy!

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Since we were long distance engaged (I was in MD where we’d be getting married & Luke was in LA), Luke gave me free reign to make a lot of the design choices, although I tried to run things by him whenever I thought he might have a preference :)  We wanted the wedding (which we referred to as ‘the party’) to feel young and colorful and delightful and casual.  We wanted all of our friends and family to have an amazing time. We went with a palate of shades of hot pink, fuchsia and orange for the bridesmaids, navy blue suits on the (12!) groomsmen, and pops of yellow to tie it all together – DIY-ed billy ball bouquets for the girls and (also DIY-ed) boutonnieres for the guys.

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Our invitation photo, which came before all of our wedding design choices, totally encapsulates the feel of the wedding – Luke and I sat on a bench in LA front of a hot pink wall and asked random strangers walking by to snap photos of us with his iPhone.  The very first one was the best and when I was back in Maryland, we designed our invitation together over Skype. When a cousin we’d invited noticed the lack of formal wording and fancy calligraphy on our invitations I was super happy because I knew it felt like “us” … as a couple we’re more “print” than “cursive.”

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The gorgeous grounds and architecture and round reception room with floor to ceiling windows at Newton White Mansion sold us on the venue. I knew the pictures would be gorgeous.  Luckily the rain on our wedding day held off long enough for us to get pictures outside, but by the time the ceremony started it was pouring, so we were glad we decided to move everything into the reception space as our rain plan. Having windows on all sides made us feel like we were outside and in at the same time.

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Kayte’s friend and former band mate Kevin accompanied her on guitar from his seat as she sung to Luke during the ceremony. Luke’s friend Adrian sweet talked a store into opening early and picked up Luke’s tie the morning of the wedding (don’t ask!) and got it to him just in time for the ceremony. Our friend Peter put together amazing playlists of music for before the ceremony, the cocktail hour, eating and dancing.  Luke’s friend Stephen drove all night from Ohio to be at the wedding and pick up the beer in time for the cocktail hour and reception. Our friend Nicole was the crazily organized ring master who was the “Day Of Coordinator” for us.  And our amazing bridal party made sure we had a great time.

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Click inside for more of Kayte & Luke’s adorable DIY Maryland wedding!

Julice & Steve’s DIY, Picnic Themed Woodlawn Manor Wedding in Maryland

Thrift store finds, DIY bouquets from herbs, pops of orange, and dreamy photography courtesy of An Endless Pursuit. What more could I ask for in a gorgeous real Maryland wedding submission?! (Answer: nothing). Julice & Steve poured their hearts and souls into their wedding and the end result is so beautiful. I know you guys are going to love this one.

Julice & Steve’s Natural, Picnic Themed Woodlawn Manor Wedding in Maryland

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Photographer: An Endless Pursuit | Venue: Woodlawn Manor | Catering: Stone Soup Catering | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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My main goal was shooting for a picnic type feel. Very casual and let nature just do its thing as far as visual aesthetics, and decorations went. I relied heavily on the trees, gardens, fences, little shacks, and the grass area from our venue.

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I chose herbs and such as our bouquets and cake decorations because I didn’t want to hire a florist and pay $3,000-5,000, even 10,000 on flowers! Therefore I opted to make my own bouquets and boutonnieres, herbs were the most affordable, easy to work with, could withstand a few days after we had assembled them.

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The reason I chose blue plaid table runners is because my favorite artist Degas used a lot of blues and orange complimentary colors, which is why I chose orange flowers.

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Click inside for the rest of Julice & Steve’s adorable, picnic themed, Woodlawn Manor wedding in Maryland!

Caitlin & Susie’s Super DIY Literary Themed Wedding in Maryland

Words can’t really describe the feelings I get when I remember Caitlin & Susie’s wedding day this past May. I had the absolute honor of getting to be a part of their big day (as their coordinator) and I knew from the minute I met them, I wanted to be a part of their love, their relationship, and of course, their wedding day. And boy, was I right – their super DIY, complete labor of love, wedding day was something so so special. I have never seen so many family and friends that were so open, so welcoming, and so full of love. I was welcomed in by their families and friends, as if I had been a long-time family friend all along.

This wedding day was so full of happy tears, smiles, hugs, and absolute, blissful joy. I am so happy I got a chance to meet these two wonderful women and share in their special day. A warning ahead of time, this one is PICTURE HEAVY people. It’s nearly impossible to chose between all the gorgeous images Sarah Gormley Photography sent me!!!

 Caitlin & Susie’s Ultimate DIY, Literary Themed Wedding in Maryland

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Photographer: Sarah Gormley | Wedding Coordination: Me ~ Capitol Romance  Venue: Episcopal Church of the Ascension | Susie’s Dress: Wendy’s Cincinnati Bride | Caitlin’s Dress: Fabulous Bridal | Susie’s Shoes: Custom Designed Chuck Taylors | Caitlin’s Shoes: TOMS Wedding Wedges | Hair: Marlow Prado-Blankenship | Flowers: Eight Street | Cake and Cupcakes: Sweets By E | Invitations: Type Case Industries | Hairpieces: Etsy | Flower Girls’ Kissing Ball: Etsy | Decorations: DIY | Catering: DIYed (seriously …. by Susie!!) | Cake Topper: Etsy |

Cait & Susie’s wedding was also featured on A Practical Wedding!

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 We had a really wonderful vintage-spring-literary-fun wedding. Suz and I both really wanted a wedding that reflected us, both as individuals and as a couple. We are pretty different (opposites attract, yes!) but one thing we definitely have in common is our ridiculous love of books. Suz is an especially large fan of Jane Austen’s writing and I will pretty much read whatever you place in front of me, so when it came time to pick a trend for our wedding, books were an easy choice. The best part was having an excuse to track down every library-estate-book sale this side of the Chesapeake! We both really loved combing through stacks of dusty, old books and giggling at some of the titles. It was a wedding chore that wasn’t so much a chore, as it was an excuse for a fun date with my lovely wife-to-be.

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Colors were an easy choice; Susie loves anything bright and vibrant so she went with orange. Turquoise is my favorite and a perfect complement to orange so bam, easy choice. We decided not to be too strict with our color palette so you’ll see many different interpretations of turquoise and orange in our wedding pictures.

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Click inside for SO MUCH MORE of Caitlin & Susie’s Super DIY Wedding! Including all the gorgeous book page details and literary themed items!

Liza & Mike’s Personalized, DIY Rustic Barn Wedding in Maryland

Douglas Pettway Photography has been killing it lately! Sending me some of the most awesome, personalized, and moving real weddings. This one, Liza & Mike’s, is no different. The couple both grew up in Virginia, so they knew they wanted something laid-back, and natural when it came to their wedding. They came across a barn in Southern MD at Jefferson Patterson Park and just fell in LOVE. They loved the casual barn and knew the natural setting would make for some killer portraits (they were right!).  They hired their family & friends to come together to make this wedding possible, and it’s so apparent just how much love was involved in this wedding day. Take it away Liza & Mike!

Liza & Mike’s Personalized, DIY Jefferson Patterson Park Wedding in Maryland

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Photographer: Douglas Pettway | Venue: Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum | Wedding Coordinator: Erica – friend of bride | Desserts: Cakes and Confections – no wedding cake only bite size desserts | DJRich Barreto | CatererWhitman’s Catering | Flowers: DIY – assembled by friends and family | Hair: Platinum Hair Salon

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We loved the casual barn setting with simple decorations. This was a DIY wedding so we didn’t want to go overboard with the decorations since we were in charge of taking it all down and being cleaned up by 10 pm. The natural setting was beautiful so we didn’t need to do too much. We bought lace runners and used juice glasses to do simple flower arrangements.

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A coworker had told me about the venue. We had looked at a ton of places in VA. Since we both grew up in VA I assumed that’s where we would get married, but we fell in love with this venue in Southern MD. The water and beach was a great background for our couple pictures.

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Click inside for the rest of Liza & Mike’s gorgeous, handmade Maryland barn wedding.

Sarah & Colin’s Celebration of Love & Life, Maryland Summer Camp Wedding

I’ve been struggling with how to open today’s real Maryland wedding feature. When I got an email saying “you have a submission from An Endless Pursuit“, I was immediately elated because their submissions are some of my absolute FAVORITES.  Steve’s email outlined a perfect Capitol Romance submission:

“The gist of the big day was: Two desperately in love individuals enjoying the company of those they cherish for a weekend, surrounded by elements which represent who they are as a couple, individuals, and members of a cherished community (i.e. having a whole lotta fun while immersed in mother flippin’ beautiful rustic chic details)”

And then he explained why this wedding was so extra special: the bride’s family suffers from a degenerative muscular disease and the reality is that they don’t have much time left – so every moment they spend together is that much more precious. The bride, Sarah, said, “If my brothers are still standing by [the wedding], it will probably be the last event they do.”

The enormity and gravity of this is hard to capture in words. It really puts things into perspective, doesn’t it? I mean, for me, it makes a lot of the wedding industry fairly trivial and inconsequential in comparison to what it should truly be about: two desperately in love individuals enjoying the company of the ones they cherish, surrounded by the elements that represent who they are ….

It’s not about the money, it’s not about the blogs, it’s not about the details. It’s about the love. The love between two individuals. The love between a family. The love between you and your friends. The love between these things is what a REAL wedding is.

Maybe it’s this gloomy foggy day, but I am having a hard time not tearing up through writing this. It’s just an incredibly moving story, and I am just emotional that Sarah & Colin were brave and amazing enough to want to share it with not only me, but my readers. Sarah & Colin, your celebration of love & life through your amazing Maryland Summer Camp wedding will be a post I will come back to again and again when I am frustrated with the wedding industry. I will read this and look at the insanely stunning images An Endless Pursuit captured, and I will be reminded of what weddings truly mean. So thank you, times a million, for sharing.

Sarah & Colin’s Celebration of Love & Life, Maryland Summer Camp Wedding

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Photographer:  An Endless Pursuit | Dress Designer: Kenneth Pool | Makeup Artist: Beyond Brides Hair & Makeup | Event Venue: Camp Puh’Tok | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

From their photographer Steve (one half of An Endless Pursuit):

This may have been our favorite wedding of the year, plus they found us on Capitol Romance! Sarah’s immediate family suffers from a degenerative muscular disease, Myotonic Dystrophy. In order to truly celebrate family together, including those members that might not be around much longer, Sarah and Colin rented a summer camp in northern Maryland for a full weekend of fun and festivities with all of their dearest family and friends. The guests slept in log cabins in the woods (including me). Everyone stayed up late each night with a celebration around a bonfire with s’mores and beer. There was a sunday pool party to relax after the big wedding day on Saturday.

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From the groom, Colin:

“I have spent many nights trying to figure out where all of her patience and persistence came from, let alone why in the world she was so intent on loving me. I have yet to answer that question, but I do know at least that she loves me almost as much as I love her which is a whole freakin’ lot! So as of this point in my life, two and a half years later, I am now the most honest man you will meet, I am no longer a smoker (YAY!!!!!!!), my meals consist of half vegetables, I finished my bachelors degree in math, I rarely drink more than what I can handle, and my family and I are getting along wonderfully. This is all in addition to the tons of adventures Sarah and I always end up on. So, in the end, I owe Sarah my life because I will now live a long and very happy life. If it weren’t for her, God only knows what trouble I would have gotten into. She truly is my everything.”

^Are we crying again yet?! (I mean, I am).

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Click inside for SO MUCH MORE of this amazing, moving Maryland wedding – including their beautiful handmade details inside the summer camp & some more beautiful portraits.

Matt & Kirsten’s DIY, Vintage Maryland Backyard Wedding

Today’s Maryland wedding is the perfect mix of classic charm and backyard DIY. Kirsten & Matt had a tight budget but also had some specific style ideas in mind. Kirsten always loved the 40s and 50s and decided to use that famous midshipman kissing the nurse picture as their inspiration. They used common Maryland waterfront themes, a bright color palette of navy & yellow and some fun vintage touches to execute their small budget, backyard wedding.

They also relied one lots of family and friends to make their wedding come to fruition. The bride’s sister made the invitations and friends made everything from the bouquets & arrangements to the cake and even appetizers! The groom’s parent’s backyard was the perfect venue, and the strings of globe lights adorned the property perfectly! A special thanks to Horace & Mae Photography for the submission!

Matt & Kirsten’s DIY, Backyard Maryland Wedding with Vintage Touches

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Photography: Horace & Mae Photography | Flowers: DIY | Venue: Groom’s Parents’ House | Signs: DIY | Cake: DIY

From the bride:

I’m one of four girls in my family and the first to get married, so to be nice on my parents, I wanted to keep the wedding as low budget as possible. Our colors were navy and yellow with a nautical meets vintage feel. I’ve always been fond of the 40s and 50s and seeing as how I was marrying a boy from Maryland, the photo of the midshipman kissing the nurse was the perfect inspiration. We had the wedding in a small church, and the reception in the backyard of my in-laws’ waterfront house.

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Unfortunately, none of my family could really be involved in the planning being on the other side of the country and all. But my sister Sarah made all of the wedding invitations, and my mother in-law was instrumental in helping me organize and keep track of everything we borrowed. The week of, however, all family members in both sides helped set up and prepare for the wedding. We had friends making the appetizers, the bouquets, boutonnieres, and flower arrangements, and the wedding cake.

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Click inside for the rest of Kirsten & Matt’s small-budget, backyard Maryland wedding!

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