We’ve got another gorgeous real wedding for you from the ever amazing ladies of Sweet Tea Photography. This beautiful, backyard Virginia wedding is the perfect combination of casual and elegant.

Kelly & Michael tied the knot on May 7th, 2011 at Cabell’s Mill in Centreville, VA. The historic property was the perfect backdrop for a real Virginia wedding filled with unique touches created by the bride, groom, friends, and family.

Hello there Kelly & Michael

Michael tells us how they met:

We grew up in the same town outside of Pittsburgh, started dating in high school…broke up after Kelly’s first year in college…reconnected over six years later, dated for two and a half years, got engaged on the Crim Dell bridge at William and Mary (Kelly’s alma mater).

Ok, now it’s time to bring on those DIY & personal touches…

Quite possibly the cutest, funniest “First Look” ever.

Kelly shares …


We wanted our wedding to be casual and fun, with a few simple, elegant touches.  It was important for every aspect of the day to reflect who we were as a couple.  We like browsing in antique stores on the weekends, and I fell in love with the antique blue mason jars I found in various stores around Virginia.  I knew this was going to be a central theme in our wedding.

Read more to see the rest of this awesome, DIY backyard Virginia wedding!

Check it! An uneven wedding party! woot!

I looked to J. Crew for the bridesmaid dresses because I wanted something that my girls could wear again.  The Matisse blue color was just what I wanted.  After I picked the bridesmaid dresses color to fit the blue theme, I decided on yellow and white flowers, that would really pop against the blue.

As a fellow music lover, my husband and I also did the mix CD for one of our wedding party gifts. Every time I listen to the CD it takes me instantly back to different parts of our wedding day. Our wedding party agreed & I am so happy to see another couple do this awesome DIY wedding party gift.

We chose to use clear mason jars with wire hangers on shepherd hooks to line the aisle, and we had drinks in mason jars that featured write on tags stamped with a custom made “love” mason jar stamp from Etsy.

Some more from Kelly on the personal touches from their big day:

We asked Michael’s dad to play guitar for the ceremony, to keep with the personalized feel.  The minister was the same minister that we had growing up in Pittsburgh, which was another way to make the wedding truly ours.

In LOVE with this awesome holga wedding photograph. So vintagey. So lovely.

And another awesome holga shot!

Dessert included these awesome cupcakes from Cupcakes Actually, including a dozen Steelers themed cupcakes as a surprise from the bride, to her groom. The couple also had a cookie table ~ a shout out to their Pittsburgh roots (it’s a tradition in Pittsburgh to have a cookie table at weddings)

And yet another personal touch ~a basket of flip flops with ribbons for guests to take if their feet were tired at the end of the night (or throughout) from dancing.

Tailgate games are the perfect addition to a backyard wedding! Check out the “cornhole” set that the groom’s aunt made!

In my book, photo booths are a wedding must-have


These next few pictures at the reception on holga are just my absolute favorite. Sweet Tea does holga wedding photography so fantastically well.

Congratulations to Kelly & Michael!!! Your casual, DIY backyard wedding was an absolute pleasure to blog, and I cannot thank you enough for sharing your details with me!!! Another special thanks to Lisa Marie & Michelle Repici of Sweet Tea Photography for letting us share their images.


Venue:  Cabell’s Mill in Centreville, VA (a Fairfax County Historic Property)

Wedding “day of” Coordinator:  Krisit Hartig of Glow Weddings and Events

Photographer:  Lisa Marie & Michelle Repici of Sweet Tea Photography

Florist:  Nevien Tadross of Fifi Flowers

Wedding Gown store & Designer:  Nordstrom, Suzi Chin tea length dress in ivory

Suits & Ties:  Navy blazers already owned by all the guys, ties were from Jos. A. Bank

Bridemaids:  J. Crew

Hair Stylist:  Bubbles in Reston Town Center, flower from Nordstrom

Caterer: Red Hot and Blue, Manassas, VA

Cake & Cupcakes: Cupcakes Actually, Fairfax, VA



  1. I had the honor of being in this wedding and it was absolutely gorgeous! All of the DIY projects were just beautiful and brought a personal touch throughout the day. The wedding was full of fun, happiness, and love– truly perfect! Congratulations Kelly and Michael!!

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