Words are failing me presently as I try and begin a post about one of the most amazing weddings I have ever attended. Perhaps I should start with where it began – over a year ago when I posted a tweet that I was looking for a graphic design intern to help create some graphics for my blog. Traci was sent my way, like an angel from rad people heaven, and we had an instant connection. We shared a love of Harry Potter, Andrew McMahon, alternative weddings, and so much more!

We worked together seamlessly as Trey designed my DC flag logo, helped me to update my blog template, and accompanied me to Borrowed. And then I got the fabulous email from her saying, I’M ENGAGED!” and our friendship grew further, as she asked me to be her day of coordinator. I was honored, and nervous, and oh so excited. I knew if there was ever an awesome wedding to be had, it would certainly be Trey &JDs!

And let me just tell you – their wedding exceeded every single expectation I had. Their family was insanely welcoming, their wedding party was SO fun (I had some serious friend envy), their DIY projects were executed beautifully, and the entire day was just 100% them. Oh but there is SO MUCH MORE, including a singing first look, rad paper products designed by the bride, AND a personal song written and performed by one of the bridesmaids, accompanied by the bride’s brother on guitar.

This song – seriously I wish I had a video of it to share with this post – I can STILL remember some of the lyrics and by the end of the song, almost all of the wedding guests were singing along. It was downright magical.

AH. OK enough chatting from me, let’s get this feature going. God I loved this wedding.

Trey & JD’s Personalized, DIY Orange & Purple Northern Virginia Wedding at Morven Park

DIY rad alternative northern virginia wedding DIY budget friendly purple orange


Photographer: Kristi Odom Photography | Venue: Morven Park | Catering: R&R Catering | Cake: Fluffy Thoughts | Hair Stylist: Jewel HD | Makeup Artist: The Make-up Chic | Bride’s Dress: White Swan in Vienna, VA | Bridesmaids Dresses: H&M and Nordstrom | Bulk Flowers: Wegmans

So many details from the bride, Trey:

As a photographer myself, every bit of planning for my wedding was all for the ultimate goal of, “I must have gorgeous photos!” But of course, all my details would have been futile had I not had the amazing Kristi Odom there behind the lens to capture everything with her artistic eye. It’s been 8 months since I married JD and looking at these photos makes it feel like it was only yesterday.

This wedding was almost entirely DIY, and many thanks to my bridesmaids and JD’s groomsmen, our family and friends and of course Bree for coordinating our day – it is a day I absolutely treasure.

DIY rad alternative northern virginia wedding DIY budget friendly purple orange

DIY weding bouquet rustic purple orange

On their amazing, DIY wedding invitations:

I designed the invitations myself, using a mixture of Adobe Illustrator to create the airmail border, Photoshop for the postmarks and InDesign to lay the whole suite out. It was a labor of love, to say the least! I loved doing the airmail border in orange and purple (my wedding colors) as it was just enough of a riff on the standard red/blue for my tastes.

DIY rad alternative northern virginia wedding DIY budget friendly purple orange

I also did all the bouquets myself, with the help of my maid of honor and mom. I wanted a wildflower, weedy look, so if they didn’t look super shaped and polished, it wasn’t a big deal!


I had been growing my hair out for what felt like eons to get it this long! Julie of Jewel Hair Design did a gorgeous beachy-wave waterfall braid, and tucked a bright orange lily into the side. Unfortunately that flower got crushed during portraits, so you’ll see the flower gets changed out every so often :)

DIY rad alternative northern virginia wedding DIY budget friendly purple orange


Suzanne of The Make-Up Chic did a fantastic job on my makeup! I didn’t look shiny in ANY of my photos, despite it being about 90 degrees that day. She knew I didn’t wear a lot of makeup, so she really found the perfect balance between making me feel dolled-up and like a clown.

The bride’s advice on the “First Look”:

I can’t say this enough: Do a first look! It relieves so much stress and makes the day go so much smoother to have that intimate moment with your soon-to-be husband without the eyes of guests on you when you see each other for the first time.



How freakin’ amazing is that?! A singing, guitar playing  first look?! GASH! So in awe of Trey’s talents!

When I started planning, I knew I wanted to do something special for our first look. My fiancé had never heard me sing or play guitar before, so I decided to start our marriage off by serenading him with “Terrified” (a la Didi Benami from American Idol) as I walked up to him in the garden. I barely made it through without crying, but he tells me to this day, that is one of his favorite parts of the wedding.



DIY rad offbeat northern virginia wedding pictures

Click inside for the rest of Trey & JD’s ah-mazing DIY wedding, including all the beautiful details, their gorgeous ceremony under a willow tree, hilarious reception photos, and SO MUCH MORE!

DIY Decorations and Decor:

I have to give credit to my (at that time) roommate, Matt – he was a lot of the driving force behind my wedding decorations. He and I were on the same wave length as I planned what kind of décor I wanted, and he was there to make sure it happened!

The ceremony site is where you can see a lot of his genius – check out those bird houses.



Ceremony details:

Getting married under a tree was never a particular must on my wedding list, but seeing these photos… I’m so glad it worked out this way!

DIY ceremony decorations willow tree northern virginia outdoor wedding

God i love this picture ~ such beautiful, raw emotion!

DIY rustic northern virginia wedding outdoors ceremony

How cute is this!? The Bride teaches piano lessons, so she had her students play the music for their ceremony

My “day job” is teaching piano, and one of the special details of the day for me was having some of my students perform the music for the ceremony. As a musician, I chose the pieces with care, and I will always remember walking down the aisle to “The River Flows in You” and exiting to Taylor Swift’s “Mine”!

diy outdoors northern virginia wedding

diy outdoors northern virginia wedding big tree pictures

LOVE these portraits:

offbeat hipster groomsmen awesome portrait pictures

mismatched grey bridesmaids parasols pictures





The DIY reception details:

We knew that after hours of prep, the photos and the ceremony, once it was time for the reception we would be ready to PARTY! Thankfully, Bree had everything under control, and we could truly relax and enjoy the time celebrating and dancing without worrying about the details.

When I walked into the courtyard, it was everything I had wanted it to be! Rustic with bold purples and oranges, burlap everywhere and tons of lanterns!


rustic DIY wedding centerpieces decor burlap

One of my favorite touches at the reception was that Bree found a bird punch and printed out sheet music from our first dance “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” by Iron and Wine and scattered them over the tables. Too cool!!

typewriter guestbook

DIY rustic typewriter escort cards pictures

Our friends were ready to throw down – you’ve never met a bunch of more enthusiastic dancers!




“Who wants to be normal anyway!? I’d take your brand of crazy, any day….”

^best original song EVER!




oh hey that’s me and andy! Trey & JD not only gave us seats, but let us party the night away with their awesome friends and family – AHmazing!



Congratulations Trey & JD. I cannot thank you two enough for inviting me to share in such a truly special day. Your family and friends are insanely special, amazing people and it was so evident in your wedding just how caring and wonderful they are.

I only hope every wedding I work from here on out can be as magical and inspiring as Trey & JDs. Love you both!





  1. Any lover of Andrew McMahon is A-OK in my book! :) Gorgeous photos and love the color combination! The typewriter idea is adorable, as well.

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