Alexandra and Ryan’s wedding in Virginia from Jesscia Schmitt Photography is full of some awesome DIY and personal touches, from hand painted signs at the reception to paper flower bouquets made by the bride’s brother made paper flowers from dyed coffee filters!  In addition to handmade elements, Alex and Ryan wanted their wedding to be eco-friendly, with locally-sourced food and items that could be reused or composted following the reception.

From Alex: In two words, fun and family were at the center of our wedding planning process.  From the handmade flowers and the dessert buffet to the lawn and table games – everyone had something to do with the event!  We also used a lot of Etsy vendors for our accessories – it’s always so nice to support small businesses!

Ryan and I made a list of top ten priorities as we went into the process, which was crucial later on.  Among them were lawn games, a laid-back atmosphere, and having everything recycled or composted after the reception.  We were able to use a friend’s family farm as our reception venue, so we splurged on a nice tent with the dance floor and a bluegrass band for the cocktail hour – they were just the right touch for when guests arrived!

My brother made nearly 150 paper roses from cut and dyed coffee filters for the centerpieces – we even snuck a few into the bridal bouquet!

A local catering company made some amazing food in keeping with our laid back wedding and tended the bar with style!  The menu included burgers, baked beans, cole slaw, roasted veggies and watermelon slices.  Many family members made delicious desserts in lieu of a wedding cake.

Since it was such a gorgeous day and evening, our photographer grabbed Ryan and I at just the right moment to grab some evening photos.  They turned out beautifully, and it gave us a chance to have some one on one time amidst the reception craziness.

Alex’s advice for other DC-area couples:

One of the most important things Ryan and I did was sit down at the start and individually write a list of things we wanted to be a part of our wedding, then made one list together incorporating what we both had as highest priorities and went from there.  It kept us focused through the process instead of getting too hung up on little details of the day.  Try to consider what stands out at other weddings you attend – not every detail will be remembered, so take it easy on yourself!  Have fun with the process; we had a lot of DIY projects, and it ended up being a great time to spend time with my family while cutting and assembling flowers!

The following Washington, DC area wedding professionals contributed to Alex and Ryan’s wedding:

Ceremony Venue: Our Lady of the Visitation Parrish, Darnestown, Maryland
Reception Venue: Private residence
Photography: Jesscia Schmitt Photography
Catering: Cafe Jefe’s Java Cruiser, wine purchased via FineWine.com
Bridal Attire: Jim Hjelm bridesmaid dress in ivory, purchased at Claire Dratch in Bethesda, Maryland, 301-656-8000
Bridal Hairpiece: Velvet Owl
Hair Styling: Bella Bethesda
Groom Attire: Brooks Brothers
Boutonnieres: Fuzzy Rose
Floral Design & Handpainted Signs: DIY
Paper Flowers for Bouquets: Paper Love
Tent & Rentals: Sugarplum Tent Company and Gaithersburg Party Rental
Bluegrass Band: Drymill Road
Transportation: Coughlin Transportation Company, 301-977-8500
Composting: Growing Soul
Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas

Don’t forget to visit our vendor guide for more fabulous Washington, DC area wedding professionals or our real wedding gallery for more beautiful weddings!

Photo Credits: Jesscia Schmitt Photography

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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