Are you ready for more fun with Erin and Nate’s wedding in Maryland? If you missed their outdoor wedding ceremony in the “Cuddle Up” pavilion at Glen Echo Park, then you must go back first and check it out! Erin and Nate opted for portraits with Jennifer Prophet Photography before their ceremony, so they could get right to the dinner and dancing in the “Bumper Car” pavilion. To keep the “old time” feel of Glen Echo, they incorporated a few vintage inspired touches. But, one of my most favorite (and theirs too!) DIY projects from this wedding is that they research and found old photographs or rides and games from when Glen Echo was a functioning amusement park. They turned the photos into vintage table numbers and decor. Very creative and festive!
From Erin: We chose to forgo some of the more traditional elements that seemed a bit stuffy to us, in order to maximize the time we could spend (and dance with) our guests. We took pictures before the ceremony so we’d be able to enjoy the cocktail hour with friends and family. We skipped the garter/bouquet toss. We combined father/daughter and mother/son dances into 1 joint dance, rather than doing them separately. We skipped traditional wedding favors and splurged on a photo booth. That better exemplified our idea of fun, and guests were able to take a copy of their photo booth pictures home so it served as the favor. We skipped a formal, sit-down dinner in favor of a more casual free-flowing buffet. We gave guests the option to completely spoil their dinner with candy and dessert if they wanted to, leaving the dessert station up from cocktail hour to the end.
From Erin: Keeping the integrity of the vintage theme of the venue was also important. We wanted as much “real” vintage as we could find to provide the finishing touches, not new things made to look vintage. We scoured flea markets and yard sales to find old Coke bottles, vintage tins, gumball machine, etc. e did a fair amount of DIY. We made our flag programs in a variety of bright colors, and guests waved them for us as we walked back down the aisle. We made our table number signs by scouring the Internet for vintage pictures of actual rides at Glen Echo, spray painting frames with glitter paint, and hand stenciling the name of the ride/table. We made our place cards ourselves, printing them to resemble an admission ticket, hand wrote all the names, and arranged them on a length of string secured by mini clothes pins. We made several candy centerpieces from rock candy and swirly lollipops. We searched high and low at candy stores to find the perfect mix of vintage candy for our display. We made our cupcake tower, and all the props used in our photo booth. For the ceremony, made the arch ourselves with lots of brightly colored ribbons. My mother-in-law knitted me a gorgeous Angora wool shrug that I wore for part of the reception.
Erin’s advice for other couples getting married in the DC area:
The best decision I made was hiring a day-of wedding coordinator! I was so gung-ho on doing everything myself and didn’t think I possibly needed a coordinator and was a stupid expense. But it was the best money we spent – having them set up everything and decorate and keep everything flowing without a hitch. Don’t be afraid to comparison shop and get several different quotes on services. Also don’t be afraid to hunt for unique touches at flea markets, yard sales, online – everything doesn’t have to be brand-new to make it nice! Don’t get too swept up trying to “Keep up with Jones'” – no one will remember how expensive things were, or if you had every single bell and whistle that you’re “supposed” to have. Focus on what is important to you and think about how you can provide the best experience for your guests so everyone can ENJOY the day!
Thank you so much Erin and Nate for sharing your wedding love story with us! The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:
Venue: Glen Echo Park
Officiant: Laura Cannon
Photography: Jennifer Prophet Photography
Wedding Planner: Graceful Weddings
Floral Design: Flore Floral
Bride’s Dress: Maggie Sottero
Bride’s Shoes: Badgely Mischka
Bridesmaid Dresses: Anne Taylor
Catering: Main Event Caterers
Cupcakes: Georgetown Cupcake
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Photo Credits: Jennifer Prophet Photography