What can we say about Carly and Brian’s Northern Virginia Barn wedding? Well, for starters we wish we had been on the guest list because they look like a couple who know how to have a great party! The couple have been dating since college, for over 9 nears, and their friends and family were so excited to finally be able to celebrate them as newlyweds! When trying to decide what was most important in the planning stages they knew one thing was for certain, they absolutely must have the perfect wedding reception band. The couple are Carbon Leaf super fans, so they went for a big leaf and reached out to them to play at their wedding. Although they said it was a small splurge on their budget, for the bride, seeing the band as she entered the ceremony playing her processional music was a unforgettable moment and worth every penny. We love how they prioritized the details that were the most important to them and were able to have something so special as a part of their wedding day. A big thank you to United with Love vendor guide member Birds of a Feather Photography for sharing this rustic Hamilton wedding with us today!
From the Bride: “Our vision was primarily to have a big, celebratory party. We had been dating since college (2006) at James Madison University (GO DUKES!), so our friends and family knew we were basically married already. We wanted a simple ceremony in a place we felt comfortable, followed by a rockin’ party where everyone would have an amazing time.”
“Our priorities were photography, food, and music. We were really picky with our vendor choices, which was a little exhausting at times. But when we found them, without question, we were absolutely in love with the choices we made, and they combined to make our big day everything we hoped it would be.”
“Our splurge was 100% getting Carbon Leaf to play our wedding, which was a dream come true. We’ve had some disappointing interactions with musicians we really like in the past, but Carbon Leaf are all as personable and good-natured people as they are amazingly gifted musicians.”
Personal touches: “In choosing our vendors, we put emphasis on finding people with which we could take a hands-off approach, and who we trusted to use their skills to provide us with a final product we knew would be amazing. We were able to let them be creative, and do their thing, and it was great! I had a TARDIS, from Dr. Who, in my bouquet as my “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” I’m a pretty huge nerd, so this was my way of slipping that part of myself in there.
Brian, the groomsmen, the ring bearer and his dad all wore ties with the Kennedy clan tartan, as his family is of Scottish ancestry.The box for the rings was Brian’s grandfather’s, which his mom had refinished and his nephew, the ring bearer, carried. Carly’s aunts from Massachusetts brought down the conch shell they blow to get everyone gathered at family events- that was especially fun as Brian’s family didn’t know what was happening when everyone started blowing it!”
Favorite Moments from the Bride: “The whole day was kind of a big, happy blur for me. My mom sang a silly song to me as she walked me down the aisle. My sister and her friends trying to make more noise at their table than Brian and I’s friends from college at dinner. Seeing everyone in one place at one time, feeling the warmth and love in the room and just a glow of happiness over everything- it sounds cheesy, but that feeling is what I remember most.
From the Groom: “Being up on the deck with my groomsmen when Carbon Leaf started to play Life Less Ordinary, acoustic, out on the lawn where the ceremony was going to take place. It just hit me like a ton of bricks that over a year of planning and preparation was officially coming to fruition.”
Tips and Advice: “Step back and let your vendors do their thing. I got overwhelmed early on and decided that they were the experts, and they would do their best work if we got out of their hair. It was totally the right decision, and I wish I had realized that earlier on before I got so stressed out! Also, day-of coordinator! I was so relaxed the day of and was able to enjoy it because I knew Kelley had my back and everything was awesome. It was nice not to have to think about anything except having a good time!”
From the Groom: “I know it’s incredibly cliche, but it’s true: make sure you take a few spare moments to really soak it in. For all the work, time, and money you put into such a big event, it’s ultimately your big day. It really does fly by, so grab a couple seconds here and there to look around at all the people who’ve come to join you in celebration, and enjoy what you’ve accomplished.”
“We had an incredible wedding and were so fortunate that so many stars aligned for us to have what was, essentially, a perfect day. We can’t thank our team enough for providing us with stunning services, and our friends and families for coming out and partying with us.”
Congratulations to Carly and Brian! Thank you for sharing your Northern Virginia Barns at Hamilton Station wedding with us!
The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:
Photographer: Birds of a Feather Photography
Wedding Planner & Floral Designer: Event Studio
Beauty: SAS Studio and Salon
Bridal Attire :Vows Bridal / Dress Hanger: Etsy / Garter: Etsy
Bridal Shoes: Beholden Bridal
Groom’s Attire: Jos. A Bank / Tie: Kennedy Clan Tie
Bridesmaid Attire: Dessy / Robes: Singing Slowly
Ceremony + Reception Venue: The Barns at Hamilton Station
Catering: Magnolias at the Mill
Rentals: Classic Party Rentals
Ceremony and Reception Music: Carbon Leaf
Desserts: Sweetz Bakery
Favors: Teds Bulletin Pop Tarts
Rehearsal Dinner: 868 Estate Vineyards
For more wedding vendors, please visit our Washington DC area wedding vendor guide and for even more amazing local ideas, check out our wedding inspiration galleries and other Washington DC area real weddings.
Photo Credit: Birds of a Feather Photography