Before I talk about the great details of Elizabeth and Jay’s wedding reception, captured by Lelia Marie Photography, can you just scroll down a few photos and check out the dramatic back of Elizabeth’s dress!? Gorgeous! And it was handmade by her mother! Wow! After their outdoor cocktail hour, everyone moved inside for a reception fit for two English majors! Think book inspired table decor and library card escort cards. BBQ catering and a DIY’d cigar bar kept the second half of their wedding celebration feeling just as relaxed and comforting as the first!
From Elizabeth: I was so happy to have a wedding that felt relaxed, with dogs, jeans, and cowboy boots, but also elegant: antique books, mint juleps, and lots of pretty springtime flowers.
Instead of table numbers, I named each table after a book (Jay and I are both English majors, and I’m a writer). Library cards served as the escort/table cards, and each guest’s card had a quote on it that I had selected for them. I also collected the antique books that served as the centerpieces.
We hired the most incredible bluegrass band called Bull Run Grass. As we were working to put together the song list, I asked if it would be possible for them to learn to play the hava nagila. Amazingly, they didn’t balk at all, despite it being a bit of a cultural stretch! So after Jay and I finished our bluegrassy first dance (Scotty Wiseman’s “Have I Told You Lately that I Love You?”) the band immediately switched gears and began the hava nagila, which thrilled Jay’s Jewish family. It was a great moment that brought together Jay’s Jewish heritage and my Virginia family in perfect, if not quirky, unison.
The other personal touch that was my project was creating the cigar bar with Kentucky bourbon for my Dad. It was a complete surprise for him and one of the rare moments where he could have a cigar without my Mom complaining!
Elizabeth’s advice to other DC-area couples:
I am fortunate in that my family is very creative and loves to make and do lots of things. From the moment we got to our venue they were all hanging decorations and getting everything looking just so! I think it’s good to balance handmade elements with convenient, store-bought items, and would definitely recommend mixing the two for a personal touch without horrendous amounts of labor. Don’t get too bogged down in feeling like everything needs to be perfect; you’ll get to a point where things are good enough, and they are. Also, I think it’s really important to remember to schedule some relaxation time into the day! Even if it’s just 10 minutes, find the space and time to sit down and catch your breath.
The following Washington, DC area wedding vendors contributed to Elizabeth and Jay’s wedding:
Venue: Briar Patch Bed and Breakfast
Caterer: Smokin’ Willy’s BBQ
Photographer: Lelia Marie Photography
Wedding Planner + Floral Designer: Kara Malcolm (Bride’s Cousin)
Reception Music: Bull Run Grass
Officiant: Reverend Heidi Dupree
Hair: Ashley Rohr
Bridesmaid Dresses: Nordstrom’s
Desserts: Sweetz Bakery
Chocolate Truffle Favors: Dan’s Chocolates
Don’t forget to visit our vendor guide for more fabulous Washington, DC area wedding professionals or our real wedding gallery for more beautiful Washington, DC area weddings!
Photo Credits: Lelia Marie Photography
Submitted via Two Bright Lights