Erin & David wanted to keep things simple when it came to their Northern Virginia wedding – they wanted a color palette that did not define the wedding day (so they opted for neutrals with a pop of red), a blank canvas venue, and to save money by DIYing instead of buying!

The end  result was a beautiful reflection of the couple: adorable, unique, creative & full of personality! A special thanks Kristen Gardner Photography for submitting this beautiful DIY Virginia wedding via Two Bright Lights.

From the photographer:

Erin and David’s wedding was a DIY treasure! Erin made every sign (including menu, guest seating, & table numbers), her sister did all of the gorgeous flowers, they made the table centerpieces, and Erin ordered statement jewelry for herself and her bridesmaids off of Etsy.

 Erin & David’s DIY Northern Virginia Wedding with Neutral Colors & A Pop of Red

DIY rustic budget-friendly northern virginia wedding


Photographer: Kristen Gardner Photography | Venue: Sunset Crest Manor | Catering: RR Catering | Statement Jewelry: Etsy | Bridesmaids Dresses: J. Crew | Decor, Flowers & Decorations: DIY | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

About the couple:

David and I met through a friend of mine from high school, who had met David at college (he was one of our groomsmen). We were in the same circle of friends for over 8 years before we started dating. David proposed on a random summer afternoon in our living room when I got home from work. I was so surprised, and so glad it was so intimate- We celebrated by going to dinner where we went on our first date.


Details on their budget-friendly Virginia wedding elements:

Originally, I wanted everything very neutral- partially because I didn’t want the whole wedding to be defined by a certain color. When I came across the “vivid poppy” colored dresses at J.Crew, I decided I needed at least a little pop of color, and that color was perfect. We had the guys all buy the same beige/taupe suit so that they could keep it and wear it again.

I wanted a venue that was very simple inside, so that there wasn’t “loud” carpeting or very formal lighting to force me into a certain style. I wanted it to be nice, with cute details, but not very formal. I also didn’t want to spend a lot of money on certain things that I could just do myself- which was part of the fun!

statement necklace bridal

rustic DIY red boutonnieres

whimsical DIY city map wedding invitations washington DC



Click inside for the rest of Erin & David’s amazing DIY Virginia wedding – including details on their DIY flowers, centerpieces, signs, decorations and more!

All their amazing DIY wedding details:

Our centerpieces were different sized cans that we spray-painted gold and copper- and because I did not want the flowers to be a large part of the budget, we filled the cans with baby’s breath. We made DIY mercury glass votives with plain glass votives, Krylon “looking glass” spray paint, and a mixture of water and vinegar

Our menu sign was very simple- a framed piece of burlap that I had written on with a brown sharpie marker and I made all the chalkboard signs with the guests’ seating assignments as well.

poppy red bridesmaids tan groomsmen

DIY gold frame chalkboards escort display

DIY neutral gold wedding centerpieces babys breath

Friend and family involvement in their wedding day:

DIY Flowers!: My sister ordered all the flowers, and the girls got together the morning before the wedding to make the bouquets and boutonnieres. It was one of my favorite parts of the wedding weekend!

Our friend’s dad officiated our ceremony- he has married several other couples in our group of friends. He did a great job, and used a kindle!


Our hair and make-up was done by two of my salon coworkers- one of which was in the bridal party! I could not have pulled any of my DIY things off if it weren’t for some friends that came to the venue early to set everything up for me.


Other details on their personalized, DIY wedding decor:

Instead of a cupcake tower, we decided to stain wooden boards and just line the cupcakes on the boards- I loved the way it turned out

We had a soda float bar in addition to cupcakes- there was root beer, cream soda, and orange n’ cream soda- served in mason jars with striped paper straws.


The rest of Erin & David’s beautiful DIY Northern Virginia wedding by Kristen Gardner Photography :




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