Images: Ben & Sophia Photography
Judith & Will’s handmade Fall wedding in Virginia was completely crafted with love and help from family and friends. Judith, the bride, made a ton of the details, but her family is equally as crafty – with her Aunt helping to do all the floral arrangements (bouquet included!) and her sister styled hair. They both decided on the wedding venue location because of how close to family and friends it was and because it gave an intimate close feel for their wedding day.
Sit back and relax and enjoy a TON of details from Judith & Will’s DIY Virginia wedding!
My sister-in-law, Ali Kirby, is very artistic, so she put together some color schemes so we could get a better idea of what colors go together. I knew I wanted some rich colors because our wedding was going to be in the fall, so I was thinking deep red or purples. (Absolutely no orange.
We banned all things fall themed and the groomsmen hid all pumpkins that were decorating the venue). We ended up choosing purple because I found a bridesmaid dress that I really liked (almost got one for myself…) and purple seemed to go well with it. We stuck with that color, but everything that we ended up using was a different shade. The flowers in my bouquet, the napkins on the table, the groomsmen’s ties, the bridesmaid’s shoes, the printing on the invitations, the wines that were served were all different shades of purple, but it just kind of seemed to work. Besides purple, our other color was gray. William had purchased a gray suit for a friend’s wedding a few months prior to ours and really liked the look of it (even though he ended up choosing to wear a blue suit) Our groomsmen wore gray suits and the bridesmaid’s dresses had gray lace on them. And then that’s pretty much where the gray stopped.
I also made hangers for my bridesmaid with their names on them. I saw some on Etsy that I really liked, but didn’t want to pay 200 dollars for a handful of hangers. I practiced a few times bending the wire into letters and then made a hanger for each bridesmaid to hang their dress on the day of. A friend of mine did my makeup the morning of and a bridesmaid did my hair. Seeing all of the projects come together and all the work that our friends and family put into getting things ready, made the day extra special for me and William.
Our wedding would not have happened if we did not have such wonderful friends and family to help us out. My aunt Tina was always the one with the plan. Once I got engaged, she invited me and my mom down to her house to start brainstorming. She also came with me to look at wedding dresses, visited the venue with me and my parents, and came down a day early to help with wedding decorations. She started her own board on Pinterest and put lots of ideas together for us to look at. She was also the one who did the flowers for our wedding. She came with my mom and me to a wholesale florist for an afternoon and we went through and picked out what type of flowers I wanted for the bouquets, table center pieces and decorations. She was a main driving force behind all things wedding related.
Click inside for SO MUCH MORE of Judith & Will’s handmade Virginia wedding!
We had our wedding at the Inn at Vint Hill in Warrenton, VA. It was the first place that we looked at (Lots of first for us: first dress I tried on, first venue we looked at, first apartment we toured, first boyfriend for me, so it was very comforting that it fit in our pattern of “firsts”) and we absolutely loved it. The house has some historical significance to it, too. Jackie Kennedy retreated there during the missile crisis, there was a movie shot in one of the rooms upstairs, and the house was set up as a listening post during World War II. William totally loves things like that, so we tried to book as date as soon as possible. The house itself seemed a bit small for the amount of people that we had planned on inviting at first, but one of the owners, Dawn, was very accommodating (and one of the main reasons we picked that venue) and said that she could make whatever we wanted work.
We had planned on doing the ceremony on the lawn, the reception inside the house and dancing out on the patio, but Dawn had told us about their plan to expand to the side of the house and add a gorgeous tent covering one of the two lawns. The tent was officially done about three weeks before our wedding, so we last minute redid all of our plans to include that beautiful new space.
Our wedding was the 10th wedding that William and I attended together that year, so I had been mentally taking notes and saw how things worked and what didn’t work with some of the wedding that we went to.
We decorated the reception house with pictures of William and me growing up, awkward stages included. I had a lot of friends that I grew up with attend our wedding, so it was fun to hear them say, “I remember when that was taken!” For the ceremony, we decided to align the chairs in a circular pattern, so it was not the standard rows. We also had a table of wedding pictures of our family member set up near the gift table.
It was a way for us to show that we are combining two families, honoring our parents and grandparents and remembering those who could not be there with us that day. Also, all of our rings were given to us by family members. My engagement ring’s stone were from a ring William’s grandmother gave him and my wedding band is a family heirloom that my mom gave me. William’s wedding band was also from a family member of mine. It made it very special for us to know that the rings that we used to make a promise to each other were from people that we love.
The bishop that married us, Julian Dobbs, is a good friend of my family. We met the Dobbs’ at church when they moved here from New Zealand several years ago. I was roommates with their daughter (one of my bridesmaids), good friends with their son and would stay with their youngest daughter when they were out of town. William and I met at the Dobbs’ house and on one of our first dates, the Dobbs’ family made William define his intentions in front of their family, so it seemed fitting having Julian do our ceremony and have William define his intentions in front of all our friends and family. Julian is often out of the country, so we picked a weekend that he would be in town and had our wedding on a Sunday.
William and I also have some very talented friends, Chris and Rachel, that we had asked to play music for our ceremony. We got together and talked about what kind of music we wanted, what instruments we wanted played and when to play them. The music was one of the best parts of the ceremony and tied the day together.
At the end of the ceremony, we had asked our guests to stay in their seats after the family processed out so that William and I could come back and dismiss each of them from their rows. It gave us a chance to make sure that we got to go up and greet every person (we thought it was important for us to go to them instead of them coming to us) and thank them for coming at the beginning of the night.
It took a lot of stress off of trying to go to visit each table during the reception and it gave us a good amount of time to sit down and relax with each other and eat the delicious food that was served.
The weekend of our wedding, a lot of our bridesmaids and groomsmen and their significant others helped with putting things together. We had some friends at my parent’s house cutting out and stapling programs together, putting together the seating chart and finishing up decorations.
The flower girls in my wedding were the daughters of my high school youth pastor. I still keep in contact with them and would babysit for them every now and then. They were wild and crazy and beautiful.
The day of the wedding, all of our friends pitched in to decorate the venue. The groomsmen helped set up chairs, any technical support, and hide pumpkins. Our friend’s fiancé, Christy, graciously helped set up table decorations and our place card board. They were all huge helps in putting things together the morning of.
Most of our wedding decorations were done by me or someone in my family. My sister in law designed and painted our corn hole boards that William and his groomsmen Gary made. She also made a design for directional signs to make it easier for people to find the venue. My aunt and I made the boutonniere holders from old 38 cal. bullet casings that we found in her yard. My bridesmaid Grace and I made my veil the morning of the wedding. We had the sewing machine out and running to sew the lace on the sides of the tulle that we had picked out. My uncle John and uncle Phil built and painted the pergola that William and I were married underneath from reclaimed wood from a deck that my uncle Phil rebuilt. (The venue liked it so much, that they asked if they could keep it for a few months!) My uncle John also made built and painted a timeline sign from a wooden pallet to inform guests of the schedule for the ceremony and reception. William, my sister (and maid of honor) Joanna and I found plain wooden letters and painted them to have around the reception house and on our table. We had the letter “K” around the reception house and “Mr. & Mrs.” on our table.
The place we got our cake, Victoria’s cakery in Fairfax City, could not deliver on the weekend of our wedding because of a festival going on in downtown Fairfax. We had a team of friends come over (guys came directly from the bachelor party…) to help print, cut and staple the programs for the ceremony.
John, William’s friend from college, ran the music and announcements. He put together a playlist for dancing and helped do introductions for the bridal party during the reception. Our friend Sam, (Julian’s son/my good friend) helped run all technical support.
I had a lot of opinions and involvement from friends and family members when it can to the details of the wedding. My aunt Tina and my mom, Janet, were two of the biggest driving forces behind that. We started a lot of our conversations with, “I saw this on Pinterest!” which lead into “We can make that ourselves” or “I can find that for less” moments while talking about details.
Photographer: Ben & Sophia Photography | Venue: The Inn at Vint Hill | Hair & Makeup: The Bride did her own makeup and her sister who was her MOH did her hair | Wedding Dress & Sash: David’s Bridal | Florist: Bride’s Aunt! | Cake: Victoria’s Cakery
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