DIY virginia wedding

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

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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!

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Claire & Greg’s Whimsical Dance Party Farm & Vineyard Wedding in Virginia

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Images: Nessa K Photography

I‘ve been a fan of Nessa K Photography for quite some time – so you can imagine my excitement when I got a submission email from her! Her images are just stunning and have an almost fairy-tale, otherworldy feel to them which is hard to describe in words. Her images just make you FEEL all the things and the ones she sent over from Claire & Greg’s rad dance party wedding in a barn at Weatherlea Farm & Vineyard are no different. I know you are going to love them.

Claire & Greg decorated their ceremony with bits of paper maps, woven into stars and Greg’s mom put together all of their floral arrangements for their tables. They both wore sneakers the entire day, hung records from the ceiling, and they served pie to their guests in lieu of cake. Everyone felt perfectly at home and there was SO much dancing! Check out all the gorgeous images and details from the couple for this gorgeous Virginia wedding.

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Details from the bride & groom:

We had a pretty long engagement (to enjoy  just being together and because we both procrastinate). When we finally sat down to look at different venues we knew that we wanted something outside and low key. Claire’s sister Maggie actually found Weatherlea Farm for us. At the time we were thinking that October would be a great time of year for a ceremony. Unfortunately Weatherlea was booked solid that year.  For a lot of different reasons we ended up pushing it back to the following June and figured we would try again with the farm.

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They had an opening for our date and we went to visit. Pamela and her husband Malcolm were so kind and really wonderful to us. We fell in love with the site immediately. I mean—they have llamas! The whole experience and their help was truly fantastic.

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One of the details we liked best was our music for the ceremony. Claire wasn’t one of those girls that dreamed of her wedding day in great detail, except for one thing: what she wanted to hear walking down the aisle: Aretha Franklin’s “You’re All I Need to Get By.” And we both feel that way about each other. Our exit music was also a little different: New Order’s “Age of Consent,” one of Greg’s all-time favorite bands and a song that sounds exactly how early June feels.

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The paper stars that hung behind at the ceremony were made by Greg’s mom, Claire’s mom, dear family friends and the bride and groom over a couple afternoons in one big assembly line. Part crafts day and part planning session—that’s one of our fondest memories of the pre-wedding.

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Click inside for SO MUCH MORE of this gorgeous, handmade Virginia barn wedding!

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Kelsey & Peter’s Crafty Virginia Wedding at the Atrium at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

Kelsey and Peter are a super fun and thoughtful couple. They wanted to strike a balance between DIY and not-DIY, both to help keep the budget down and because the bride is fabulously crafty. Their wedding was very simple and classic with a couple of cute or silly twists (e.g., the placemats).  Kelsey spent weeks printing invitations (her father is a celtic-knot artwork guru and helped with the design), spray-painting various objects (she is now going through spray-painting withdrawals), and creating gifts (the bridesmaids’ robes were all handmade, for example). Kelsey spent the morning of the wedding finishing the table numbers, and keeping busy definitely helped keep her calm and happy. Thanks to Jenna M Miller Photography for sharing!

Kelsey & Peter’s Crafty Virginia Wedding at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

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Photographer: Jenna M Miller Photography | Venue: The Atrium at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens | Catering: Great Blue Heron Catering | Cake: Edibles Incredible | Bride’s Dress: Nouvelle Amsale  | Bridesmaids Dresses: eShakti  | Hairstylist: Erika Bergsagel | Makeup: Sherri Crane | Florist: Karin’s Florist | DJ: Kirkabee Deejays 

 I also made the robes for the bridesmaids, that was a biggie. I wanted them to have something special to let them know how much it meant to me that they were there, and to have something cute but also practical to wear day-of for hair and makeup, so I went out and bought the softest fabric I could find in different colors (they each needed their own, of course, carefully selected to flatter each individual) and made their robes. Thankfully I had a lot of snow days last school year or I don’t know that they all would have been done in time!

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My dad creates, studies, and teaches classes on celtic knotwork, so we asked him to design a knot for us for our invitations. He then worked with us to create the knotwork that became the borders on the invitation. Really lovely. My pearls were gifted to me by Peter over time- earrings for Christmas, bracelet for Valentine’s, necklace for my birthday- with the intention of wearing them to our eventual wedding.

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The colors: Honestly, one day at the beginning of planning I was thinking about colors for the wedding and I looked down at my outfit and was like “huh, light blue, dark blue, and orchid look good together.” Then I looked at my white kitchen table and saw my light blue placemat next to my orchid placemat with my dark blue dishes and that was it. Lightbulb moment.

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Dress: I had to find a dress that was classic, clean lines, pretty details, AND it had to look good with pearls. back when we had been dating for a year or so, Peter had given me a set of pearl jewelry in stages: earrings for Christmas, bracelet for Valentine’s Day, necklace for my birthday. He asked one of my friends for help choosing the set and confessed that he hoped the next piece of jewelry he would give me would be an engagement ring (and that he was hoping I would wear them on our wedding day). My mom, who went with me to all of the dress shops, had only one rule about the dress: it had to be made out of “good fabric.” I found the one at Nordstrom Wedding Suite in Tyson’s Corner. It was down to two dresses, both of which fit the bill, so I brought a team of friends with me to help me make the decision. I came out in one and they all smiled and said “that dress is BEAUTIFUL.” I came out in the other – the Nouvelle Amsale gown I ended up with – and they all started crying. That was the response I was looking for.

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Click inside for more pictures and details from this beautiful Virginia wedding!

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Abby & Logan’s Thrifted, DIY Cloverdale Barn Wedding in Virginia

Logan & Abby, the adorable couple from Monday’s sunrise engagement feature with ukeleles, are back! This time with their ADORABLE thrifted, handmade barn wedding at Cloverdale Barn in Virginia. With a set decision on having their wedding at a barn, Abby & Logan picked the other details along the way, like the lack of color scheme, an adventure theme, and lots and lots of tchotchkes! There is a TON to love in Abby & Logan’s Adventure themed Virginia wedding. So take it away guys!

Abby & Logan’s Thrifted, Adventure Themed Virginia Barn Wedding

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Photographer:  An Endless Pursuit | Venue: Cloverdale Barn | Caterer: Boyd’s Nest | Floral Designer: Wild Green Yonder | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Logan and I started with a barn. We both knew we really wanted to have our wedding in a barn, and we thought it would also make everyone feel more casual and like they could really let loose and relax. We found Cloverdale Barn in Winchester, VA tucked away on a back country road on this huge hill with tons of sky overhead, which was important to us. After walking into the barn with all of it’s twinkly lights we looked at each other and said, “Are you done? I’m done.”

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I think we went through about 10 color palette possibilities before we eventually said “Let’s just not pick colors!” Which actually went pretty well if you stay in a general idea of what you want it to look like, which we knew was muted pastels, and quirky whimsy.

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Click inside for SO much more awesome from Abby & Logan’s Virginia wedding.

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Zoey & Wade’s Rustic, DIY Red, White, & Blue Wedding in Virginia

The 4th of July has come and gone but that doesn’t mean that a Red White and Blue theme can’t be a fun wedding theme to share. I love the rustic, DIY take Zooey and Wade put on the holiday theme – mismatched bridesmaids in different colors, red chucks, s’mores favors, picnic-style florals and so much more. Here we go!

Zooey & Wade’s Rustic, DIY Red White & Blue Virginia Wedding at the Inn at Kelly’s Ford

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Photography: Amber KayPhotography | Venue: The Inn at Kelly’s Ford | Bride’s Dress: Formal Envy | Florist: Buttercups Floral Design | DJ: Eric Herod Entertainment | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Zoey and Wade met in the Navy while both on active duty. Their wedding was red, white, and blue themed and they were married surrounded by all of their family and friends.
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From the Bride:

“When it came to our wedding I had a hard time picking a color scheme, or theme. Wade and I are not very fashion forward or fancy people so we knew it had to be fun and us. Wade called me at work one day and said what about red and light blue and I said wow that works! So we just stuck with it, the only stipulation was that because both of us are Navy Veterans we didn’t want it to turn into a nautical theme!

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“We chose the inn because my dad had been there for a wedding and made me go see the venue and as soon as wade and I saw it we fell in love. It was secluded, beautiful views, and the ceremony site was what we were looking for. Our families could stay there all weekend and not have to get lost around town.”

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Click inside for the rest of Zooey & Wade’s rustic, DIY Virginia wedding!

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Katie & Andy’s DIY Backyard Woodland Wedding in Virginia

Katie & Andy fell in love with the house that Katie’s grandfather built. The house is set within the tranquility of Great Falls and you will all soon see why Katie & Andy picked this place as their wedding venue. Not only is the house GORGEOUS, but Katie spent her childhood in this house – learning to bake, garden, and spend time with family. This venue held so much family emotion and history, it made for a PERFECT backdrop for their wedding day. Thanks to Douglas Pettway for this real Virginia wedding.

Katie & Andy’s DIY Backyard Woodland Wedding in Virginia

DIY Virginia backyard wedding

Photographer: Douglas Pettway | Venue: Grandparents house/backyard | Cake: Tea Time Delicacies | DJ: Friend | Catering: Tea Time Delicacies | Flowers: Tonya at Occasional Flowers | Hair/Makeup: Paola Rios | Shoes: DSW (Nina) | Dress: Jeanettes Bridal | Centerpieces: DIYed by Groom

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She spent much of her childhood there learning to cook, garden, and grow vegetables. Their house was always the location where the family got together for holidays, birthdays, and weekend dinners. When Katie met Andy, he also feel in love with the beauty the tranquility of the rare property in Great Falls. Katie’s grandfather built the house and designed all of the landscaping. They alone take care of the garden with no outside help for the last 48 years. They are two of the hardest working people we know and it is reflected in their property.  Their house has always been so special to us that it was the obvious, and the only place we considered for our wedding.

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Their house is also the place where Andy proposed. Katie thought she was going over to help work in the garden but Andy surprised her by planning a proposal with friends and family.

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We choose purples, yellows, and greens as our colors after we decided to get married in the spring. We thought they would complement the outdoor spring colors: the foliage, the flowers, and the green buds on the trees.

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Click inside for the rest of Katie & Andy’s DIY, backyard Virginia wedding.

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Kelly & Harry’s Rustic Meets Modern, “Backyard Party” Barn Wedding in Virginia

The thing I loved most about Kelly & Harry’s wedding submission from Vness Photography was the perfect mix of modern & rustic. I LOVE when couples (or my clients) want to mix themes and styles. They end up being some of my favorite weddings. Kelly & Harry chose the Adams International School for their venue  a rustic VA barn venue that fit their desire to have a backyard party! But their bright blue colors with a splash of chevron patterns really took this one from a traditional rustic Virginia barn wedding to one with some serious modern flare.

Kelly & Harry’s Rustic Meets Modern, “Backyard Party” Virginia Wedding at the Adams International School

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Photographer: Vness Photography / Second shoot: Corina Chevalier | Venue:  Adams International School | Florist: Vogue Flowers | Caterer: Q BQQ | DJ: Tim Jackson, Jackson Pro Audio | Makeup Artist: Ashley Swilley – Drama Artistry | Hair: Jaimie Moeller (Friend) | Dress Designer: Paloma Blanca | Cake: Sweet and Tasty Cakes | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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Our wedding was a chilly, rainy fall day – Oct 12, 2013, in Maidens, VA at the Adams International School (a Montessori school for kids). We selected the venue because we wanted something different and special that felt more like a rustic, backyard party (with a little bling of course) than a stuffy wedding. It was amazing and just what we dreamed of.

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Our colors were navy and gray, partly because my (now) husband is active duty Navy and partly because they looked great in front of the bright red barn in which the ceremony and reception took place. We chose hydrangeas and babies breath as our bouquets and center pieces, largely because I just adore the subtle beauty of both.

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Almost everything, from the table runners to the aisle runner were all DIY. It made it so special to us that we had a hand in making and selecting all our details.

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Click inside for the rest of Kelly & Harry’s rustic meets modern, DIY Virginia wedding!

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Amanda & Colton’s Offbeat, DIY Workhouse Arts Center Wedding in VA

I really love the fun color choices in today’s wedding: purple & red! From the groom’s grandfather’s sword to cut the cake, to their spice favors, and quotes from their email & google chat exchanges, Amanda & Colton chose so many elements from their personal experiences and families’ traditions and wove it into an offbeat, DIY wedding at the Workhouse Arts Center in Virginia. I loved how Amanda shared that their wedding was offbeat & nontraditional because they paid for it themselves. Which, I always recommend to couples if they can because then you get to make every choice yourself – and that’s exactly what Amanda & Colton did! Thanks to Amanda Dorian Photography for submitting this one!

Amanda & Colton’s Offbeat, DIY Workhouse Arts Center Wedding in Virginia

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Photography:  Amanda Dorian Photography | Ceremony: Whole Word Fellowship, Oakton, VA | Reception: Workhouse Arts Center | DJ: Steve Burrows, MSE Productions | Caterer: Lumpia Pansit | Florist: Twinbrook Floral | Wedding Cake: Sweet City Desserts | Bride’s Dress: 4EverlyAfter | Bride’s Hair and Makeup: Jordan K. Winn

Details on their fun color palette & addition of newsprint to their decor:

Our colors were red, lavender, and newsprint. Red is my favorite color, and some online Martha Stewart quiz said that lavender would go well with that. My mother was a journalist, so we wanted to honor her memory by including that black-and-white print accent.

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Colton’s family was a supreme help to me. Since my mother passed away when I was in high school, Colton’s family stepped in during the planning and helped with various other details, including researching flowers (which were dedicated in honor of my mother) and hosting a super awesome rehearsal dinner.

Below, a beautiful portrait of Amanda’s mother, which was displayed while they were getting ready. Love this.

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As for the dress and veil, my maid of honor, Elizabeth, went with me to various mainstream dress shops and had figured out a few dresses that they liked, but I was drawn more strongly to a small boutique at a wedding expo. We went to the boutique and described what we were looking for, and the first dress that the dressmaker pulled off the rack was exactly perfect. We also chose the veil because it reminded us of a Spanish mantilla, which we thought was a nice way to pay homage to my Filipino heritage.

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Click inside for SO MUCH MORE of Amanda & Colton’s super fun, offbeat DIY Virginia wedding at the Workhouse Arts Center.

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Virginia & Ron’s Personalized, DIY Virginia Farm Wedding

Cutting down a submission from An Endless Pursuit is nearly an impossible task. I want to include every. single. image. that they send my way! There is a reason they are one of our recommended DC wedding photography vendors, which if you haven’t seen before, you will quickly learn why. They can just capture emotion in its purest sense and it’s slightly intoxicating to look at. Their images are breathtaking (seriously) and they perfectly cultivate each wedding to perfectly reflect the couples they work with.

Virginia and Ron’s wedding is no different, as An Endless Pursuit captured all the elements of their beautiful, outdoor DIY wedding. Virginia & Ron blended cultures, DIY projects, personalized touches (Krispy Kreme favors!) and so many gorgeous details into their Virginia wedding.

Virginia & Ron’s Personalized, Outdoor DIY Farm Wedding in Virginia

DIY rustic outdoor Virginia farm wedding


Photographer:  An Endless Pursuit | Event Planner: MeZo Events | Caterer: Captain Cookie | Flowers: DIYed by Bride’s Sister! | Musicians: Cherry Blossom String Quartet | Event Designer: My Simple Details  | Groom’s Suit: Ted Baker | Videographer: Toy Box Productions | Bride’s Dress: Jenny Packham Bridal | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

From An Endless Pursuit:

This outdoor, country wedding was a glorious day blended together with so many amazing elements that came together in one fantastic story. Virginia and Ron had DIY touches around the ceremony with programs that also served as fans to cool off guests in the August heat.

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^This bouquet was hand-picked and made by the bride’s sister! UH AMAZING!

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They had a Nike-themed ring box to represent where they both currently work and how they met.

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Click inside for SO MUCH MORE of this stunning, rustic Virginia farm wedding from An Endless Pursuit!

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