I just know you will love today’s real Maryland wedding which comes to us from Washington, DC wedding photographer, Tara Welch Photography (courtesy of Two Bright Lights).  Amazing Brooklyn couple, Josh & Christen, planned an entirely DIY, travel themed wedding (including the Travelocity Gnome!) at the Strong Mansion in Maryland.

Or, as Josh told me, “Christen handled like 99.9% of the wedding, but I was there to err. offer my advice. =)

Tara told me that this couple just loves loves loves to travel and have been traveling over the world for years together! Christen works for Foursquare and Josh works for Tumblr now but worked for Flickr for years so he loves photography. You will all quickly see how this  combination of things, makes for one amazing real wedding!

From Josh:

We started off thinking of a destination wedding in Turkey before coming to the realization that we wanted to be near Christen’s family — but still, we evolved the idea of a Mediterranean summer wedding with the colors of purple and green (figs and grapes/olive) to a classy summer afternoon party (a la Great Gatsby but with a summer fair/carnival feel) where the colors would be pink and green.

A lot of our inspirations came from website searches and we set up a Tumblr blog to document our findings: http://wedday.tumblr.com/ (if you go to http://wedday.tumblr.com//archive and go to the beginning, you can see how things evolved from Turkey to finding the perfect invitation cards, etc.).

The common theme that runs through our event was our love of traveling and photography and food. We also wanted to be us: casual if you want and upscale if you must.

Get excited people, this real Maryland wedding, full of chucks, bright colors, outdoor games, gnomes, photo booth props, and travel theme decor is about to rock your socks!

The travel themed wedding invites from Minted

More on their travel themed wedding invites & Save the Dates:

For the Save the dates we wanted to do a personal touch, so we asked strangers to take Polaroids of us from our recent travels to S. America, Australia and the West Coast.  We then tied the polaroids to the save the date cards we got from Etsy with a ribbon and a micro card with two cups of coffee.

– Card from Etsy: http://wedday.tumblr.com/post/1441064853/scallop

– Ribbon: http://wedday.tumblr.com/post/1441236768

– Video of all our polaroids that we sent to family and friends: http://christenandjosh.com/post/4100976394#notes

For the wedding invites we followed up with the travel theme and sent out these wedding invites we found on minted: http://www.minted.com/customizer/sku/MIN-WEF-INV

Here is the awesome video of all the polaroids from their travels!

More on the venue selection:

We started looking for venues all over Virginia and Maryland – some were too big, some were too far from DC and some just didn’t feel right — before settling on Strong Mansion.  It was perfect.  The space was big enough for guests to stroll around yet intimate enough for our friends and family to group together and have catch ups and conversations.  It was also flexible enough for a lot of personal touches. http://www.flickr.com/photos/yuppienomad/5971850184/

Love these shots with the big yellow balloon!

I love these portrait shots with the globe too! Perfect for a world-traveling couple

Click inside for the rest of this awesome, DIY travel-themed real Maryland wedding!

Love Christen’s birdcage veil & feather fascinator. also love the hot pink and green bridesmaids dresses!



We all know I love grooms in chucks … Josh agreed that they make a great summer look! http://wedday.tumblr.com/post/165931302/pixie-dress-and-vest-combo-i-like-the-comfort

 How adorable is this fun ring shot ~ on the travel gnome!?

I really love these next two shots of the reception venue ~ it looks like such a fun, laid-back party for a fantastic outdoor wedding venue

Photos! We also developed old photos of our parents and family – when they were a couple, and framed them and laid them about the drawing room at Strong Mansion. I also got my ipad to set up a slideshow of all the things Christen and I have done together for the 6+ years we’ve been with each other.

Lemonade stand! Christen really also loved the idea of lemonade for summer: http://wedday.tumblr.com/post/445206686/eunice-and-daniel-wilbur-hot-springs-california

So we looked up a few recipes online and decided to make our own. Inspirations:


– http://wedday.tumblr.com/post/5686367779/via-green-punch-recipe-yummly

In the end we went to Restaurant Supply Depot in Virginia and got a bunch of lemons and limes along with other things and got our groomsmen squeezing citrus through the night before the wedding! =)

– http://www.flickr.com/photos/yuppienomad/5971318283/

– http://www.flickr.com/photos/yuppienomad/5971317181/

 Can you see the awesome DIY lemonade stand in this shot with the green wagon!? love this.

More of the chucks I just can never get enough of!

A sno-cone machine at a wedding reception!? I love this!

Games! The Sno Cones, photobooth and bocce ball we rented from Fun Events Rental in Maryland.  We also rented a helium tanks and got a bunch of big and small balloons in our colors to hang around the venue. We got a few of our friends to run around three hours before the reception to help set up as we took a breather!

Also love that they had backyard games at their wedding reception – bacce ball. awesome.

 Prepare for the amazingness that is Josh & Christen’s DIY Dessert Bar (all with the continued, travel theme of course!)

Christen really wanted a dessert table instead of a big wedding cake. It was more fun, more variety for the guests and more casual and inviting for people.  We took direct inspiration from a travel-themed dessert table from the Sweetest Occasionhttp://wedday.tumblr.com/post/3831986760/travel-inspired-dessert-buffet-the-sweetest


 We got a really sweet green wagon from Craigslist, got the balloons from a vendor, borrowed the cake trays from Christen’s mom and our friends pitched in with the whoopie pies and rice krispie treats.  The cakes we got from Bake Shop in Arlington, VA and the cream puffs from Christen’s favorite Asian bakery Le Bledo in Springfield, VA.  The globe we also found on Etsy. The suitcase was a find from the Brooklyn Flea and the rest was a Michael‘s run! I thought it turned out pretty well: http://www.flickr.com/photos/yuppienomad/5971841134/


Ok this detail is just amazing … seriously awesome.

Gnomes! Christen got a bunch of gnomes from Travelocity:  http://www.roaminggnomestore.com/ and hid them around the venue.  We tied tags around them with a bit of snarky comments, as if the gnomes had personalities and names. For example, for a gnome we hid under a stone bench, the sign read “What the devils are you doing down here?!”

– http://www.flickr.com/photos/yuppienomad/5970933931/

Friends had fun trying to find all 12!




Their colorful reception table displays look SO awesome ~ the teal and hot pink colors are perfect for a summertime wedding .. not too mention the fun games and toys at the place settings!

Talk about a beautiful view from the reception tent!

Josh & Christen’s first dance

And now a beautiful, emotional shot of the father daughter dance

Prepare yourself for some truly fun, funky, and all around good freakin’ time reception shots!

Another great shot of the hot pink & green bridesmaids … with the groomsmen in grey!

Congratulations Josh & Christen … and thank you both so much for taking the time to share all the awesome details of your DIY, travel-themed Maryland wedding! A special thanks again to Tara Welch Photography & Two Bright Lights for sharing these awesome images!

 For more on this awesome real Maryland wedding (including vendors & inspiration):

Josh & Christen’s inspirations/planning journey: http://wedday.tumblr.com/

Josh & Christen’s wedding site: http://christenandjosh.com/

All of the events photos are on Christen’s Flickr account: http://www.flickr.com/photos/yuppienomad/collections/72157627147783525/


  1. This looks like it was so much fun! I love all the personal details. Any couple can come up with a bajillion little accessories to make a wedding day cute, but they made their wedding day THEIR OWN. So lovely.

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