For any crafty brides out there, this wedding is for you! Sent to us by Photography by Susie, Clarise and Peter were married just a few weeks ago and chose to customize their garden wedding in Maryland through vintage-inspired DIY projects, from the centerpieces and floral arrangements to an illustrated family tree guestbook and adorable mad-lib note cards for the guests to fill out and leave behind. The couple also incorporated details to honor Clarise’s Filipino heritage, including barongs for the men and the wedding cake.
From Clarise: Our wedding was a DIY vintage garden inspired wedding. We had a very clear vision of what we initially wanted, but it came out even better than we anticipated! We wanted to be very hands-on and make it a 100% Clarise and Peter wedding which is why we went the DIY route. But we also wanted it to be timeless, which is why we choose to go vintage.
In keeping with the hands-on vision, we made practically everything from the invitations to the centerpieces. We made about 700 tissue paper flowers made from floral wire and store-bought tissue paper for gift bags and we attached them to styrofoam balls and propped them up using wooden poles, rocks and terra cotta pots. We wanted to mix it up a bit, so we also made smaller versions using mason jars and we put tea-lights in each of them.
One of my favorite details during the wedding were the pictures I attached to my bouquet of my grandparents. It was nice to have them remembered.
We made the bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres the morning of the wedding with red and white carnations and orange gerbera daisies. We also made program fans detailing the events for the ceremony and reception.
Our guests were the main priority for our wedding. We had almost 200 people and because we were having a garden ceremony in mid-July, we wanted to make sure they were comfortable throughout the ceremony and reception. Thank goodness we lucked out with the weather! Still, our pastor really took into consideration the amount of time we spent out there, especially since we had a lot of elderly guests. She was amazing throughout the entire wedding planning process! We met with her multiple times and she really helped make our wedding special.
Our favorite memory was our first kiss as husband and wife. It was dramatic, exciting, and perfect.
To have a part of the Filipino tradition in our wedding, we chose to have the men dressed in barongs. My grandmother and aunt had them made for us in the Philippines. The material is very thin and is hand woven out of banana and pineapple fibers. It was PERFECT for our July wedding! My aunt also sent us fresh water pearls that matched perfectly with the yellow bridesmaid dresses!
I drew a “family tree” with bare branches for our guests to fill up with their fingerprints using watercolor paint to represent themselves in our new combined family.
We also made wine-cork place card holders, ceramic plate table numbers, program fans, pinwheels out of cardstock and old calendars, guest notes, bride and groom wreaths, and flower petal soap for the bathrooms.
As a couple, we also LOVED making our “guest love notes,” which we had in lieu of a guest book. We made up things that guests could fill out about us. We even made up a mad-lib! We had them fill some out and drop it in a suitcase. During our flight to Denmark the next day for our honeymoon, we had a blast reading them on the plane and seeing what people answered!
Another Filipino touch was the cake. It was a buttercream frosted ube root cake with coconut filling, which a friend of the family made.
Clarise’s advice to other Washington, DC-area couples:
We were very lucky to have such amazing support from family and friends during our wedding. It’s always worth it to ask around and get advice and references from people. If you want to do a DIY wedding, I would also recommend doing anything you can do now as early as possible. Our two months were fully booked and we couldn’t believe how fast time flies and all of a sudden, you’re walking down the aisle! Also, have FUN! You’re getting MARRIED to the LOVE OF YOUR LIFE!
The following Washington, DC area wedding vendors contributed to Clarise and Peter’s wedding:
Venue: Stone Manor Country Club
Photography: Photography by Susie
Catering: Carriage House Catering
DJ: Party-Up Entertainment
Bridal Attire: Distinctive Designs Bridal
Officiant: Pastor Susan Halse, Middletown United Methodist Church
Floral Design: DIY
Photo Credits: Photography by Susie
Submitted via Two Bright Lights