northern virginia weddings

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

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


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!

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Capitol Inspiration: Jenn & Brian’s Intimate, Yellow & Green Wedding in Leesburg, VA

Not a ton of details for today’s Virginia wedding feature, which is mostly why I am keeping it more as an inspiration post, instead of a real wedding post! Regardless of the lack of details though, there is a lot to love about Jenn & Brian’s intimate, yellow wedding at the gorgeous Morven Park venue in Leesburg, Virginia.

I actually worked my first wedding at this venue – so I can attest to its beauty firsthand. The gardens surround the historic home, with their brick walk ways and iron gates, look like something from a fairytale, and the carriage house rental space is SO unique – with both indoor and outdoor space, strung lights, and cobbled stone floors – it’s really, really, awesome, I just wish it wasn’t so far from DC ;) (hey, over an hour is far to me!).

Photographer, Kelly Ewell Photography shares some beautiful moments, telling the story of Jenn, her new husband Brian, and her father in their moments before the walk down the aisle. In addition – there are a ton of bright yellow wedding decor & design elements in their flowers, centerpieces, & decor – so I know you guys will love them! Happy Friday – hope you all enjoy your weekend!

A Bright Yellow, Intimate Northern Virginia Wedding at Morven Park



Photographer: Kelly Ewell Photography | Venue: Morven Park | Submitted via Two Bright Lights



Photography, Kelly Ewell recounts the high emotions and moments of the bride, groom, and father of the bride before the walk down the aisle:

When I last saw Jenn, she had just finished apply her makeup. Calmly sitting inside the Laundry and Dairy Building with a handheld mirror and surrounded by half eaten bagels and bags of cosmetics. After putting on her dress with the help of her mother and soon-to-be mother-in-law, her yellow feather shoes slipped on and she was ready to go.


When I last saw Brian, he was pacing the grass. A cracked joke slipped from his lips in between heavy sighs and last checks of his cufflinks and straightening his jacket and tie. As he stepped to the front of the reflecting pond, his brother stood by his side and he exhaled one last heavy sigh.



When I saw Jenn’s father, he was leading her down the aisle. Emotion strained on his face and a lip began to quiver. His eyes began to well with each step closer, and closer still. Jenn laughed to hold back her own tears, clutching her flowers closer.

bright yellow northern virginia wedding morven park

When the three met at the base of the well trodden brick steps, Jenn’s dad kissed his daughter and took a seat next to his wife. He was about to watch his only daughter become a wife of her own.

outdoor wedding ceremony northern virginia morven park

Click inside for the rest of this intimate, Northern Virginia wedding at Morven Park – including some awesome yellow wedding decor & design details from the reception!

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Capitol Wedding: Lauren & Tom’s Summer Sunflower Wedding in Old Town Alexandria, VA

I am super excited to share today’s Northern Virginia wedding for a few reasons. One, I know one of the bridesmaids (hi Bekah!!) and she is marrying one of my really good high school friends this year. Two, it takes place at the Lee-Fendall House, a stunning outdoor Northern Virginia wedding venue I am working at with Holly & Andrew this June (!!). And three, it features groomsladies with the COOLEST detail that I think we will certainly see more grooms ladies use in the future.

Lauren & Tom used the summer, outdoor garden scene to their benefit, incorporating beautiful shades of green and sunflowers into their wedding design [and adding some modern fun with a splash of hot pink]. The whole wedding was captured beautifully by Vita Images [submitted via Two Bright Lights].

Lauren & Tom’s Summer Garden Wedding at the Lee-Fendall House in Alexandria, VA


Hair Stylist:  Hair Design By Diane
Floral Designer:  Trader Joe’s

About the couple:

Lauren and Tom  chose to wed on a perfect sunny summer afternoon in the historic gardens of the Lee-Fendall House in Old Town Alexandria, Va. These college sweethearts met, dated, and fell in love at the University of Maryland. It is also the special place Tom chose to propose to Lauren on the weekend of their six-year anniversary.

A sneak peak of that awesome groomslady detail I mentioned above …

First look time! I love that Tom used his tie to cover his eyes – so cute!

Boom!! I LOVE THIS detail! Tom had his groomsladies use ties as belts to incorporate all the designs/colors. So awesome, right?!

This unique couple went against tradition and created a stunning bridal party. Not only did they have four bridesmaids, in a romantic bright pink, standing up for Lauren, but Tom included three “groomsladies” in addition to his groomsman. These “groomsladies” coordinated perfectly with their effeminate grey dresses and matching ties around their waist, just like Tom’s around his neck.

Click inside for the rest of this summer garden wedding at the Lee-Fendall House in Alexandria, VA from Vita Images!

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Capitol Wedding: Tess & Joe’s Offbeat, Dr. Seuss Inspired Virginia Wedding

“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”  – Dr. Seuss

No truer words have ever been spoken, or I guess in this case, written. I love so much about this Dr. Seuss quote, and so did Tess & Joe. So much so, that they decided to base their entire Northern Virginia wedding upon Dr. Seuss and his quote about mutual weirdness and love. This offbeat wedding feature has a ton of color, fun, love, and CANDY. Just wait until you see their Dr. Seuss inspired candy display!!

A special thanks to the amazing Leo Druker Photography & Two Bright Lights for making this feature possible!

Tess & Joe’s Offbeat and Colorful, Dr. Seuss Inspired Northern Virginia Wedding in Manassas

Other Vendors:

Catering: Helga’s Catering

Cake Designer:  Edibles Incredible

Brooch Bouquets: Always & Forever Brooch Bouquets

Corsages & Boutonnieres: Songs from the Garden Etsy Shop

 How they met:

Joe and I met through a mutual friend. . . of sorts. We were both invited to the same football get-together on Facebook. I love football, so why not? For Joe, my picture on the “invite list” was reason enough to attend. A cute girl who loves football and doesn’t mind hanging out with “the boys?” Must be a keeper. He introduced himself at the party and the rest is history. We began dating a week later, and three years later we were married.

^uh how much do i LOVE Tess’ striped & funky socks?!

The proposal!

Joe’s proposal is quite the story. Being the gentleman that he is, he knew that he would have to ask my parents for their permission for my hand in marriage. The week before Valentine’s Day my mother sent Joe a text with some tips on gifts for me (i.e., my hints). He responded back with a text message stating he needed to talk to my parents about a gift he had planned. (By the way, my mother still has that text message saved on her cell phone.) To keep me out of the loop, my parents came down to our house for a visit. We had been tackling routine homeowner maintenance issues and Joe made me think that there might be “squirrels” in our attic. As my mother and I sat inside talking girl talk, Joe took my Dad outside to “look for squirrels” and at that time asked for my hand in marriage. He told Dad that he had big plans for the next day, Valentine’s Day, for proposing (candlelight dinner, flowers, the works), and was delighted when my Dad told him that he and my Mom were in total agreement.

My parents left an hour later and less than twenty minutes later, on February 13th, Joe came running down the stairs, got down on one knee next to my La-Z-Boy chair and asked me to marry him. He was so excited he did not want to wait another 24 hours to give me my ring. No muss, no fuss, just the two of us. And it was absolutely perfect.

 We decided on an October 2012 date. My Mom and I sat down and while we knew the date dictated Fall, Joe and I were not big fans of orange/yellow/magenta/pumpkins/corn stalk themes. I settled on a “Enchanted Forest” theme and set out to gather ornate antique bronze leaf patterned table lanterns,patchwork pumpkins, moss and felted acorns for table centerpieces. Silk flower bouquet and boutonniere samples were made up in my favorite colors, shades of plum and apple green.

Something was off. I liked the concept but not so much. What really bothered my Mom was Joe saying, “Do whatever you want.” She wanted him to be as enthusiastic about the planning as we were.

 I sat down one evening to search the Internet for wedding vow ideas. Several examples of Dr. Seuss rhyming vows popped up. Taking it one step further, I Googled “Seuss” and “love.” The following appeared:

“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”

That was it. This fit Joe and I to a “T.” Joe loved it. With a bit of trepidation I approached my Mom with the idea of a Dr. Seuss wedding. She was thrilled that we had found something we truly felt was “us” and the “Enchanted Forest” disappeared. We hit the books and found that Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” was a popular springboard for life changing events:

Congratulations !Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!A wedding was born.

 Click inside for the rest of Tess & Joe’s amazing, offbeat Dr. Seuss wedding from Leo Druker Photography. You won’t want to miss the bright colors that adorned every corner of the reception venue!

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Capitol Wedding: Carla & Kevin’s Multicultural, Backyard Wedding in Northern Virginia

There is A LOT to love  in this morning’s offbeat, multicultural Northern Virginia wedding. The couple met in an International Studies program, which is appropriate considering their multicultural backgrounds. The bride is Honduran and the groom, German. Their amazing, nontraditional wedding ceremony was in their Aunt’s back yard with DIYed florals by the bride’s sister and the celebration ended at 2941 restaurant in Falls Church.

This beautiful union comes to us courtesy of Photography by Susie [submitted via Two Bright Lights].

Oh … and just wait until you see the bride’s white & gold dress. STUNNING and amazing and so unique!

Kevin & Carla’s Multicultural, Offbeat Backyard Wedding in Northern Virginia

About the couple:

Carla & Kevin met in school in an International Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University. Her family moved to the US from Honduras years ago, and Kevin is from Germany.

Wedding details:

Their wedding was held in the backyard of Carla’s Aunt’s home, and included their closest friends and family. Kevin’s family flew over from Germany to attend, and Carla’s parents and sister flew up from Florida. The decorations and flowers were all made by the bride’s sister.

Their offbeat, personalized wedding ceremony:

Carla & Kevin’s friends are gifted in music, and there was live music for the ceremony. The guests all got involved with the processional music by playing the wooden maracas that were on their seats. The bride’s Father gave marriage advice in Spanish with the bride’s mother translating, to the bride and groom during the ceremony, and the groom’s mother also spoke to the bride & groom during the ceremony.

After the ceremony, the bride and groom danced back down the aisle to folk music, played by the bride’s brother and close friends.

Click inside for the rest of Carla & Kevin’s beautifully offbeat, multicultural backyard wedding in Northern Virginia!

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Capitol Wedding: Thea & Aaron’s Northern Virginia Creative, DIY Wedding

In keeping with our unintentional theme this week, we have another beautifully understated DIY wedding to share courtesy of Rebekah Hoyt Photography [submitted via Two Bright Lights].

Thea & Aaron used the church where Thea works for their wedding and reception, and the entire day was a labor of love of their entire family. They had friends cater & make the cake, and along with her family, Thea made over 500 tissue paper flowers to adorn the reception.

The beautiful coral and navy color palette perfectly accentuated their bright summer wedding day. Enjoy!

Thea & Aaron’s DIY, Paper Flower Northern Virginia Wedding


Hair Stylist:  Victoria Station Salon
Invitation Designer:  Courtney&Co. Design
Dress Store:  Anne Taylor Loft
Dress Designer:  Maggie Sottero
Tuxedo and Mens Attire:  Express Men

About the couple

There are more than a few people who would like to “take credit” for Aaron and I being together, but Aaron and I really hit it off during the car ride to a beach trip that his church hosts in the Outer Banks.  We both had to go late (he was at a wedding, I was running youth group) and so after some awkward Facebook exchanges initiated by a mutual friend who was trying to set up us, we rode down together.  On the ride to the beach, I (Thea) remember thinking, “I’m probably going to date Aaron.”  And on the car ride back to Northern Virginia I thought, “I’m probably going to marry Aaron.”

Six months later we were engaged and 7 months after that we were married!  Neither of us were expecting to end up in a serious relationship after that trip and that’s part of what makes it so fun.  We both love to read, hike, and serve and minster to others.  Thea enjoys cooking and trying out new dishes, and Aaron happily obliges to be the taste tester.  Aaron works for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Thea is the High School Youth Director at Vienna Presbyterian Church.


About their DIY wedding [and the importance of recycling & reusing their wedding elements]:

We were married and had our reception at Vienna Presbyterian Church, where I work as a high school youth pastor.  It was meaningful to have it at a church that has meant so much to me and besides that, is beautiful.

My goal was to be able to reuse any of the decorations from the wedding in our home afterwards.  Since our wedding, I’ve repurposed the burlap squares used on the tables into a wreath, changed the windowpanes from our seating chart into a headboard, displayed the paper flowers, and the various vases now hold baking ingredients and flowers in our home.

Oh my I love this so much:

I work with the youth at my church and they are SO important to me.  We invited all of the youth and their families to the ceremony, but didn’t have room at the reception (there’s a lot of them!).  I was so excited to get to share a few moments with them and some of the adult volunteers following the ceremony and before our reception – a cake and celebration in our youth space!

We (and by “we” I mean Thea J) chose Coral and Navy for our colors.  Coral has always been my favorite color for as long as I can remember and we used navy to accent.  I wanted the bridesmaid dresses to be a color that was universally flattering and navy fit that need!  We wanted something classic but still summery.

loving those coral statement necklaces against the navy blue bridesmaids dresses!

Aaron’s father is a pastor of another church in the area and he officiated our ceremony.  It was really meaningful to have him involved in that way.  One of Aaron’s sisters was a bridesmaid – I actually knew Katherine for quite some time before I met Aaron because she led the Bible study I attended.  I was honored to have her standing beside me.  She was a large part of how Aaron and I even met and has continued to be an important part in both of our lives.

Click inside for the rest of Thea & Aaron’s amazing DIY Northern Virginia wedding!

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Capitol Wedding: Ashley & Pete’s Whitehall Manor Wedding in Virginia

Sometimes couples don’t care about fancy escort cards, the latest floral designs, or what the latest wedding dessert trend is. Sometimes couples just want to get married, and have a simple, yet elegant wedding to celebrate the beauty of their two lives coming together. I love featuring weddings like this every now and then to remind us all that while wedding details and DIY projects are some of my favorite things, it’s really your wedding ceremony that is the most important part of your day.

A special thanks to Red Shoes Photography & Two Bright Lights for this beautiful Whitehall Manor wedding.

Ashley & Pete’s Whitehall Manor Wedding in Virginia


Caterer:  Whitehall Manor
Floral Designer:  Affordable Arrangements
Reception Venue:  Historic Whitehall
Cake Designer:  Connie’s Cake Creations

simply beautiful wedding invitations

love the darker grey, wide ribbon with the orange florals!

Click inside for the rest of Ashley & Pete’s Whitehall Manor in Virginia, by Red Shoes Photography

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Capitol Wedding: Shannon & Jeremy’s Purple Fairy Tale Wedding at Murray Hill in Leesburg, VA

Today’s Washington, DC area wedding feature is somewhat dreamlike and totally fairy tale inspired.  Shannon & Jeremy used a mix of rustic details with shades of purple to create a stunning wedding at the gorgeous, historic Murray Hill in Leesburg, VA.  The entire wedding was captured by Softbox Media Photography [submitted via Two Bright Lights].

Shannon & Jeremy’s Rustic, Fairy Tale Wedding at Murray Hill in Leesburg, VA.


Floral Designer:  Twinbrook Floral Design
Caterer: Savoire Fare
Event Planner: A Sweet Soiree
Dress Designer:  Galina Signature
Equipment Rentals:  Capital Party Rentals
Event Venue:  Murray Hill

About the couple:

He’s a Caps fan from VA, she’s a Pen’s fan from Pittsburgh but they don’t let that get in the way of their love! In fact, they even celebrate it!

The wedding was a the gorgeous historic Murray Hill in Leesburg, VA and Courtney of A Sweet Soiree really helped them to roll out some amazing details.

Perhaps my favorite part of the ceremony was the Oathing Stone. The bride and groom and guests were all given stones to hold. In Celtic tradition, you hold these stones during the ceremony and all your well wishes for the couple are said to permeate the stone.

At the end, you deposit them in a beautiful urn for the couple to take home with them where they’ll be surrounded by all the love and prayers of their guests for their married lives!

^love this unique wedding ceremony idea!

Click inside for the rest of this beautiful fairy tale inspired Leesburg, VA wedding by Softbox Media Photography!

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