DIY wedding

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

No Comments

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

crafty Meadowlark botanical gardens virginia wedding (14)

Vendors:

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!

crafty Meadowlark botanical gardens virginia wedding (26)

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.

crafty Meadowlark botanical gardens virginia wedding (24)

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.

crafty Meadowlark botanical gardens virginia wedding (27)

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.

crafty Meadowlark botanical gardens virginia wedding (25)crafty Meadowlark botanical gardens virginia wedding (15)

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

Pin It

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

One Comment

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

ultimate DIY book themed Maryland wedding (13)

Vendors:

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!

 ultimate DIY book themed Maryland wedding (7) ultimate DIY book themed Maryland wedding (10)

 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.

ultimate DIY book themed Maryland wedding (9) ultimate DIY book themed Maryland wedding (8) ultimate DIY book themed Maryland wedding (1)

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.

ultimate DIY book themed Maryland wedding (11) ultimate DIY book themed Maryland wedding (12) ultimate DIY book themed Maryland wedding (14)

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

Maggie & Shahul’s Intimate, Lakeside Backyard Wedding in Virginia

One Comment

It was Maggie’s blush pink wedding dress that first caught my eye in this adorable real Virginia wedding. Then it was all the amazing handmade details, the breathtaking lakeside venue, and of course, all the intimate details. I know you guys are going to love this one – though it’s intimate, the couple didn’t skimp on details and the result is just lovely. Happy Tuesday Romancers!

Maggie & Shahul’s Intimate, Backyard Lake Wedding in Virginia

intimate backyard wedding virginia (6)

Vendor:

 Photographer: Photography by Anna Clark | Bride’s Dress: Jenny Yoo’s Annabelle Dress from BHLDN | Bouquet: Adorn Flowers | Veil: Crown and Sea | Zombie Cake Topper: Creative Butterfly XOX | Sand People: Unity Sand Shoppe | Bakery: Lilly Magillys | Rentals: Fredericksburg Rentals | Catering: Eco Caters | Groom’s Suit: Men’s Wearhouse | Flowers: Pier 1 | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

intimate backyard wedding virginia (17) intimate backyard wedding virginia (20)

From the photographer:

Maggie & Shahul had an intimate backyard wedding with 17 guests & the most beautiful details. For privacy reasons we can’t share the ceremony photos but even without them you can see that this wedding is perfect. Her attention to detail is really what took this simple ceremony & dinner to the next level. I was so honored to photograph this wedding. It really was one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever witnessed.

intimate backyard wedding virginia (1)

From the bride on their wedding colors ~ a beautiful blush, black and gold palette:

We chose blush, black, and gold as our main wedding colors. Blush because I love it’s softness and thought it would go well in an outdoor setting and black and gold because we are die hard New Orleans Saints fans (also why I chose a table runner with a fleur de lis pattern) The secondary colors ended up being green and blue because we just love them and again thought they worked well outside.

intimate backyard wedding virginia (15)

^on that ADORABLE blush wedding dress:

This dress was exactly what I wanted. It was flowy and romantic and very affordable!

intimate backyard wedding virginia (2)intimate backyard wedding virginia (4)

Click inside for the rest of Maggie & Shahul’s adorable, intimate Lakeside wedding in Virginia!

Jenny & Joe’s Personalized, DIY Rustic Virginia Wedding at Westwood Farm

2 Comments

Man I LOVE me a good Sarah Gormley Photography submission! I was so pumped to get to work with her this past weekend (and already can’t wait to see the images) and am super pumped to share her real Virginia wedding today. Jenny & Joe are just SO awesome, laid-back, and cool – and from their wedding write-up (titled “more than anyone ever wanted to know about Jenny and Joe’s Wedding”), I feel like we should be friends! Bright springtime colors, bike-themed details, a custom wedding ceremony, and the perfect little farm venue – what more could I ask for for a real wedding blog feature? Oh yeah, the couple also decided to bartend their rehearsal dinner (to talk to guests), and setup a pre-wedding RACE (since they met during a triathalon). The one that lost the race, had to say their vows first. There’s SO much to love in the wedding.

Jenny & Joe’s Personalized, DIY Virginia Wedding at the Inn at Westwood Farm

Photographer: Sarah Gormley Photography | Venue: The Inn at Westwood Farm, Orange VA | Officiant: Family friend | Dessert: Ice Cream Sundae bar by Moo Thru | Catering: Beggar’s Banquet  | Florist: Sugar Magnolia | Programs: DIYed by Bride | Decorations & bunting: DIYed by Bride | Table numbers: DIYed by Groom | Signage: DIYed by Couple

wedding race bib

Technically, our first meeting was on the run course of a triathlon, when I passed Joe and beat him. Since then, we pretend to be very competitive with each other during all of our races… so we knew we had to incorporate racing into our wedding weekend somehow. We planned a Wedding Morning Race with 5k and 5 mile run options. Joe and Craig marked the course with sidewalk chalk and cones, and Elizabeth set up coffee and water for all of the runners. We couldn’t believe how many guests showed up (especially given the number of margaritas consumed at our welcome party the night before)! We announced to the guests that we would be stopping at a line a couple hundred yards from the finish, and from there, we would sprint to the finish line. The loser would have to read their vows first at the ceremony. The run turned out to be the perfect way to spend time with our guests, chatting with friends and family we hadn’t seen in ages, while taking the edge off of any pre-wedding nerves that might have been there otherwise. Joe won (rare!), but I ended up being glad to go first as Joe’s vows made me cry!

^I LOVE THIS!

rustic farm wedding ceremony

In the early stages of planning, we were set on finding a venue in the District. The closer to our NE DC neighborhood, the better. But then, when I was doing some research trying to figure out whether a particular bluegrass band we’d seen play at Sova did weddings or not, I discovered the Inn at Westwood Farm. It looked perfect in all of the photos: it had the outdoor space we couldn’t find in DC, it was “rustic” but in an elegant way that we knew wouldn’t trigger any questions like “WHY do you want to get married on a goat farm?” from our moms, the innkeepers sounded flexible and willing to work with couples to make the weekend personal and perfect. Then we drove out to Orange to see the Inn in person and we met Elizabeth and Jay, the innkeepers. We were sold! It was lovely in the winter, and even lovelier on our warm, sunny spring wedding weekend.

rustic virginia farm wedding rustic virginia barn wedding

Our color palette was inspired by the colors you see in nature early April in Virginia. I love yellow for its cheerful vibe, and while biking with Joe last April near Orange, we noticed how beautiful the yellow forsythia and pale pink cherry blossoms looked together all over the countryside. The spring weather cooperated with us fully and our wedding weekend coincided with the peak bloom for both of those flowers! Our whole drive out to Orange was pink and yellow, with pops of green and white, just like our wedding.

farm first look wedding farm first look wedding farm first look wedding rustic Virginia farm wedding rustic DIY farm wedding details

Click inside for the rest of Jenny & Joe’s personalized, DIY Virginia wedding at Westwood Farm

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

One Comment

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

DIY maryland barn wedding

 Vendors:

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

 map bunting wedding decoration

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.

DIY maryland barn wedding DIY maryland barn wedding

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.

DIY maryland barn weddingoutdoor wedding ceremony benches jefferson patterson wedding ceremony

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

Eliza & Josh’s Rainbow Colored, DIY, Book Themed Wedding in Maryland

One Comment

“Our wedding was a deliberate exercise in being thoughtful and authentic to who we are and where we’re from. We had no problem with tradition if we could give it a slight twist to better represent who we are, our families, and our community.”

You might remember Eliza & Josh from their insanely adorable, “nerdy” library engagement session that we featured a while back. Well they’re back now (and better than ever) with their super awesome, completely DIY, rainbow-themed wedding at Adelphi Historical Mill! Eliza & Josh used a ton of awesome local wedding vendors to knit their wedding day together and also recruited the help of ALL their family and friends to make it happen. I know you guys are going to love all the awesome, personalized details in this Maryland wedding AND all the super rad, rainbox wedding decorations & details. So enough from me, more from them.

Eliza & Josh’s Rainbow Colored, Book Themed, DIY Extravaganza Wedding in Maryland

Eliza_0659 (533x800)

Vendors:

Photographer: Stephen De Leon | Wedding Planner: The Plannery | Venue: Adelphi Historical Mill | Ceremony Venue: St. Mary of the Mills, Laurel MD | Groom’s Custom Suit: MySuit | Bowties/socks: The Tie Bar | Bridal’s Gown: Two by Rosa Clara | Food: CapMac | Desserts: Red Velvet Cupcakery | Flowers: DIY with flowers from Potomac Floral | Details: Thrifted from DC’s Goodwill Stores

dog bowtie wedding plaid rainbow coloredDIY rainbow colored Maryland wedding

Our wedding was a deliberate exercise in being thoughtful and authentic to who we are and where we’re from. We had no problem with tradition if we could give it a slight twist to better represent who we are, our families, and our community. We had a Catholic wedding but chose universal readings and had friends of other faiths and identities participate, both of us were given away by our parents, and Josh arranged our own wedding march. It was with that in mind that we dropped gendered language and expectations but still promised to be there in sickness and health, good times and bad. It was with that in mind that every bit of decor was draped in rainbows and personal history. Our priest even surprised us with a homily about the friendship, love, and devotion between Frodo and Sam!

^Love this.

DIY rainbow colored Maryland wedding

The only way to sum up our theme is to say that we celebrated the story of our five (now six!) years together and the importance of our family in writing that story — blood-related, bosom friends, and fictional voices. Our relationship bloomed with the assistance of some very important people–CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, JK Rowling, Philip Pullman, and John Green–and they all had a part to play at our wedding. And because we dated long-distance, we chose a lot of our decor to represent that.

Boutonnieres and corsages were made from dictionaries and centerpieces were built from (used!) books by the aforementioned authors.

DIY rainbow colored Maryland wedding

We involved our entire community in putting together this wedding. Eliza’s mom was the DIY Guru, dipping thousands of Oreos in chocolate, cutting and gluing thousands of paper flowers, sewing hundred-plus feet crepe streamers, and wrapping several hundred books. Then, all of Eliza and Josh’s friends who helped were part of the D.A., yes, that D.A, rather than any old bridal party. Kaythi, one of Eliza’s best friends, knit the rainbow lace bolero she wore, as well as lead one of the readings in their ceremony. Even the jewelry Eliza wore came from her grandmothers and her garter was the one her mother wore.

DIY rainbow colored Maryland wedding bride rainbow bolero

Click inside for the rest of Eliza & Josh’s super rad, rainbow colored and book themed DIY Maryland wedding!

Natascha & Scott’s DIY Backyard Wedding in Leesburg, Virginia

3 Comments

The sun is finally out in DC and I am FINALLY getting in the zone for wedding season (the cold didn’t exactly make me want to think about being outside in any sense). I had two awesome consultations this weekend with my first two May weekend brides and I am overflowing with timelines, layouts, and last minute confirmations before I head to Portland & Seattle next week. In the spirit of sunshine and love, I have a fun backyard wedding in Leesburg, Virginia to share today. Natascha & Scott got married in Natascha’s parents’ backyard in a laid-back, intimate ceremony and backyard reception. This backyard Virginia wedding had it all – handmade details, DIY projects, an intimate venue, and of course, a food truck! Thanks to VNess Photography for sharing this one!

Natascha & Scott’s Intimate, DIY Backyard Wedding in Leesburg, Virginia

intimate backyard wedding in virginia

Vendors:

Photographer: Vness Photography | FloristPurcellville Florist | CatererThe Q Company – Leesburg VA (BBQ) D.J.: Family Friend | Cake: Baked by a family friend | Food Truck: Curley’s Q | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

backyard wedding dress Simon_Koopman_Vness_Photography_copyrightvnessphotographytaschascott402_low ruffled wedges bride wedding pink wedding bouquet

Tasha and Scott are just about the most easy-going and all-around friendly people you’ll ever meet! They wanted their wedding to be fun, easy and relaxed – just a memorable and beautiful get-together with their family and close friends. They had an intimate ceremony surrounded by people that love them the most. It was the perfect wedding for a perfect couple. They followed it with a a laid-back reception with barbecue from Curley Q’s Food Truck and their details helped create the perfect setting.

backyard wedding casua wedding attire backyard wedding details backyard wedding details

Click inside for the rest of Natascha & Scott’s backyard wedding!

Christine & Phillip’s Spring DIY Wedding at Top of the Town in Arlington, VA

No Comments

This Spring Northern Virginia wedding at Top of the Town is REALLY getting me in the mood for pastel colors and sunshine. I LOVE the mix of teal and pink in their color design and the couple kept things eclectic with a mix of understated vintage details. Plus they did their first dance to a Red Hot Chili Peppers song – how awesome is that? Check out Christine & Phillip’s DIY Spring Wedding feature. Thanks to Kirsten Marie Photography for submitting this one to us – a perfect Spring wedding to celebrate the first day of Spring!

Christine & Phillip’s DIY Spring Northern Virginia Wedding at Top of the Town

vintage spring wedding dress northern virginia

Photographer:  Kirsten Marie Photography | Cake Designer: Dama Pastry | Invitation Designer: Mayla Studios | Floral Designer: MelleFleur | Reception Venue: Top of the Town | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

teal bride heels pink bouquet washington dc wedding invitations

We included pastel colors everywhere to deliver a vintage kaleidoscope effect , an eclectic mix of glassware for the fingers to touch, which we’ve also recently noticed to be popular in trendy speakeasies, and pink up lighting that bridged classic ambiance with views of a global city.

vintage spring wedding dress northern virginia simple bridal hairstyle 2014 vintage spring wedding dress northern virginiavintage spring Northern Virginia wedding

Click inside for SO MUCH more from Christine & Phillip’s Spring DIY wedding at Top of the Town

Maureen & Jess’ Intimate DIY Wedding at Bull Run Winery in Northern Virginia

2 Comments

I’m always in awe of couples that plan their wedding from afar. One of the reasons Andy & I opted to get married in DC (instead of in our hometown of NJ) was that I just couldn’t imagine planning from 4+ hours away. I guess I am too hands-on (and let’s face it, just an absolute control freak) to have been able to do that. But for Maureen & Jess, it worked out perfectly. They planned everything from their home in California, DIYing dozens of fabric flowers for the bouquets, bouts, corsages, and decor, and making their own wedding paper products too. Their ceremony was personalized and I love how they got ready in the house that Maureen grew up in. Thanks to Katie Nesbitt Photography for sharing this one, and thanks to Maureen & Jess for sharing personal details and TONS of wedding advice from their Northern Virgina wedding!

Jess & Maureen’s Intimate, DIY Wedding at Bull Run Winery in Northern Virginia

DIY Northern Virginia wedding Bull Run Winery

 Vendors:

Photographer:  Katie Nesbitt Photography | Venue: The Winery at Bull Run | Catering: RSVP Catering | Flowers: DIY, by the bride | Paper Products: DIY, by the bride | Officiant: Family Friend | DJ: Marc Augenbaum DJ Services | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

bride purple flats

If you decided to DIY your own paper products (Save The Dates, Invites, RSVP cards, menus, etc), try to figure out whether it would cost you more money and hassle to print at home or to go to Costco or FedEx Office. As it turns out, for all the paper we printed at FedEx Office, we could have bought ourselves a nicer printer and had something to show for it afterward!

DIY wedding invitations

All of the flowers and decorations were DIY’d by us and our families. Making the bouquets was certainly a labor of love that took a lot more time than we had originally anticipated. We never could have finished them had it not been for our amazing bridal party’s help.

DIY fabric flowers bouquet DIY Northern Virginia wedding Bull Run Winery

Our favorite part of the day was the First Look, which was on a Civil War-era bridge next door to our wedding venue. I had been nervous since waking up the morning of our wedding day. When I saw Jess I felt an overwhelming sense of calm. It really set the tone for the entire rest of the day.

DIY Northern Virginia wedding Bull Run Winery DIY Northern Virginia wedding Bull Run Winery

Click inside for so much more from Maureen & Jess’ DIY Northern Virginia wedding – including a ton of advice from the couple on DIYing their wedding & their biggest wedding regret!

Need Help Making DIY Projects for Your Wedding? Attend Our Workshops!