Images: Ash Carr Photography

Our blog game is strong this week. We’re sharing one of our FAVORITE #CapRoWeddings of 2016: Matt & Mel’s super beautiful, alternative, rustic affair at the Barns at Wolftrap. So much love and personalization went into this wedding, and Mel’s dress is drop dead gorgeous — an all star vendor team (including our girl Kara!) and a ton of details from the couple, make this a perfect CapRo blog feature. Take it away!

When we started planning for the wedding we knew we wanted an indoor venue, as our wedding was going to be held toward the end of November when weather can be a bit unpredictable. We also knew we weren’t looking for a typical banquet hall or hotel location. We found the Barns at Wolftrap, which had all the rustic charm of a barn, but also nice modern amenities. They also had a great setup where we could do the ceremony and reception all in one venue. It was the first and only venue we saw in person and immediately decided that it was the one for us.

The first thing people would ask about the wedding was “what are your colors?” This was a hard one to answer, as we had chosen not to have a bridal party, so there were no bridesmaids to choose dresses for. Our wedding was a Fall wedding, but we were not too interested in a Fall theme. We also knew that we were interested in fairly neutral colored table linens for the reception. We figured we could use floral elements to represent the colors or our wedding. We decided to work with Emily at lovebloomsdc, to help us design floral décor for our ceremony and reception. We told her we loved succulents, billy balls, garden roses, and moss. She shared some options that included gorgeous tiny bud vases, which led us to choose long tables for part of the reception set up.

We consider ourselves to be pretty crafty and artistic people and knew we wanted to design a lot of our own décor, as well as our invitations.

What started as a joke sketch for an invitation design ended up being my guide for the actual invite design. We wanted the invites to be letterpressed. I contacted a letterpress shop about getting a quote, and I never heard back from them (their response had gone to spam, oops!), which lead me to start researching how to do letterpress at home. I sent my designs out to be printed on polymer plates, and using a store bought die-cut machine for scrapbooking, and a few extra parts, Matt and I were able to letterpress our entire invitation suite by hand.  We were exhausted from the process, but very happy with the outcome, and felt great about having had such a hands on involvement with our wedding invites. I ordered grey envelopes to match our table linens, and found super cute wrapping paper from Rifle Paper Co. that very closely matched the colors of our flowers, which I hand cut and used as envelope liners, as well as belly bands to hold together the invitation suites. And since we’re extra crazy, I also hand addressed all of the envelopes after just learning the tiniest bit about how to do calligraphy.

When Emily was setting up, she had all of the flower vases lined up on the stage with candles, and suggested we use this set up during the ceremony, which was an awesome idea and helped make our ceremony even more beautiful.

We aren’t traditional people, and we knew we weren’t going to have a religious ceremony, or a wedding party, so we always knew that we wanted our ceremony to be fairly simple. We had one of our longtime friend officiate the ceremony, and had two friends do readings we chose. Even after that, we knew we still had to fill out the ceremony a little bit longer, so we adopted a wine box ceremony and changed it to a “scotch box” ceremony, with scotch and love letters that we’ll open up and read for the first time on a future anniversary.

Succulents had always been in our mind as giveaways. We ordered the succulents from Etsy, and they came in a several varieties. We found tiny terracotta pots to plant them in, which we hand dipped in white paint to give them some extra visual interest. We killed two birds with one stone by also using them as escort cards that would be set up on each table.  We hand water colored paper flags in colors that would coordinate with meal choices, and hand lettered every name on each flag. I also wanted to stamp the back of each flag with the meal choice the guest had made to remind them what they ordered. I wasn’t happy with any of the stamp designs I was seeing online, so I designed my own beef, fish, and vegan stamp.

We couldn’t find any table numbers, or table number DIY ideas that caught our attention. We knew we would be using moss on the reception tables, so Matt had the awesome idea of using fake turf meant for miniature towns with model trains. We glued it to cheap wood numbers from the craft store and it looked convincingly like real moss covered numbers. Someone saw it and actually thought we grew moss on numbers! We attached the numbers to dowel rods and wooden stands that we stained a darker color.

We thought a great way to entertain people during cocktail hour would be a photobooth, however most photobooth rentals were more than we cared to splurge on. We also already had two instax wide cameras, similar to a polaroid. We thought creating a photobooth with these cameras would be a fun way for people to interact with each other, as well as act as a guestbook, where they would write special notes on their photos for us and hang them up. To display the photos during the wedding we got a $10 clothes rack from IKEA, strung twine across it, added some clothespins and LED fairy lights and it was good to go.  Everyone loved it, people were running around during cocktail hour taking photos and writing funny notes.

Vendors -> Photographer: Ash Carr Photography | Wedding Coordinator: Kara with Capitol Romance Wedding Coordination | Venue: The Barns at Wolf Trap | Caterer: Purple Onion Catering | Florist: Love Blooms | DJ: Les Talusen, DJ D-Mac & Associates

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