This may be one of the most unique weddings we’ve ever had the pleasure of featuring on United With Love! Laine and Matt’s Virginia wedding was captured by photographer Jennifer Prophet and began with a family-only church ceremony, followed by an art-filled reception at Arlington Arts Center. As an artist and teacher, Laine was inspired by one of her favorite poems and used that inspiration to guide her DIY projects, from craft masks for the students she invited to the reception to the vintage object centerpieces. As if that wasn’t enough, Laine wore three dresses throughout the day – each thrift store finds that she altered herself!
From Laine: As an artist and educator, I have always worked with found objects. My wedding was no different. Working from Edwar Lear’s poem “The Owl and the Pussycat” I began collecting objects for centerpieces, cake toppers and favors. The poem is a favorite to read aloud to my students and is always a crowd pleaser with its simple and lyrical message of happiness and spontanaity. Once the theme was selected, with a little flexibility and an eager and explorative eye, everything fell into place. My wedding was both a celebration of shared happiness and a reflection of my personal style.
My wedding dress was very personal in that it was composed of multiple dresses and lace sewing notions purchased at local thrift stores. Assembling the dress from used pieces is definitely at odds with the generic wedding dress shopping. The something new was certainly not my dress! I was inspired by my sister-in-law’s recent wedding in which she wore 3 gowns honoring her Chinese heritage. I also donned 3 dresses – altered thrift store creations again satisfying my creative propensity and green aesthetic.
The simple church ceremony – which was just for family alone – granted a peace and solemnity to the occasion. Also the photos taken outside in front of “Noah’s Ark” were both symbolic and memorable. I’d seen it many times before and always thought it would be a swell place to take a lad and, as it turns out, it was!
Our main wedding priorities were celebration and merriment. Sharing our happiness with friends and family in a lovely, open environment was key. Like the owl and the pussycat, we were happy and I think it was contagious. It never hurts to splurge on a little liquor to accentuate the merriment!
One of the memories that seems to bring the most amusement to me now concerns the owl and pussycat masks designed by my elementary students. Crafted as a means to involve their insistent and eager natures in the planning and to be used as decoration, the masks were a definite homespun success. At the close of the reception I witnessed – to my delight – many a couple, old and young, carrying away their souvenir masks.
Don’t be afraid to make your own bouquet. There are many videos online and it is SO easy. If you are having a large wedding, handmade centerpieces would probably just lead to stress. However, try that bouquet!
Laine’s advice for other DC-area brides and grooms: Flexibility is required. Don’t get carried away with pre-planned perfection. Perfection has a way of meeting you on its own terms. Remember, it’s the people that make the occasion. The good news is that a bottomless budget won’t guarantee success but many a joyful heart united in celebration will. Relax and enjoy the day.
The following Washington, DC area wedding vendors contributed to Laine and Matt’s wedding:
Ceremony Venue: Arlington Forest United Methodist Church
Reception Venue: Arlington Arts Center
Photography: Jennifer Prophet
Catering: Helga’s Catering
Music: Wicker Lee Band
Floral Design: DIY
Photo Credits: Jennifer Prophet Photography