With the chill of winter in the air, I am all about the autumn warmth of Erin and Daniel’s wedding in Virginia. (But before you go on, I insist you check out their outdoor wedding ceremony first!) It’s chock-full of rustic details from the DIY burlap pockets for utensils to the to the wood chargers crafted for each place setting. You’ll be pinning these pretty images from their Bluemont Vineyard wedding to your Pinterest board all afternoon—I promise! Cynthia Shipp Photography snapped up all the goodies and you can see it all right here…
From Erin: When we were planning our wedding, we knew that we wanted it to be a fun and care free. We wanted to balance a timeless elegant feel befitting a wedding with the openhearted love and joy that Dan and I feel when we are together. We had to make decisions about where we wanted to spend our money and where we wanted to DIY. We chose to splurge on food and drink.
In addition to the yummy wedding cake, we also had a dessert table filled with desserts baked by our family in honor of our Italian heritage including three recipes passed down from departed loved ones – Italian Sesame Cookies for my Great-Grandmother, Pizzelle Cookies for Dan’s Grandmother, and Cannoli for my Grandmother & Grandfather. Fittingly, we also used our dessert table to display wedding photos of our parents, grandparents, and great grandparents.
Each place setting had a burlap silverware pocket that was sewn by my mother and accented with lace and ribbon that matched the invitations. And the wood chargers used in the center pieces were hand crafted by the Daniel’s father.
Erin’s wedding planning advice for other DC-area couples:
One of the best things about our wedding was the individuality we put into it. Together with our vendors we were able to put together a memorable day unique to us that all our guests seemed to enjoy wholeheartedly. We would encourage any couple planning their wedding to make the day their own. There are lots of traditions, lots of obligations, and lots of feedback whether you want it or not, but in the end, the day is a representation of the bride and groom and should express their love and life together. People left our wedding smiling and saying, “that was so Dan and Erin.” What more could we have wanted?
Thank you so much Erin and Daniel for sharing your wedding reception with us! The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:
Classic meets casual elegance for Erin and Daniel’s vineyard wedding in Virginia and, let me tell you, it is simply stunning. When you have a crafty couple inspired by the colors and warmth of autumn, you know it’s going to be a good one, folks! Think rich hues of cranberry and an outdoor wedding with an incredible view all beautifully captured by Cynthia Shipp Photography! I love, love, love that they had a Celtic hand fasting ceremony, too! Stop by later this morning for the second half of their rustic affair!
From Erin: When we first started dating, we both enjoyed wine tasting and exploring different vineyards in the Northern Virginia Area. It seemed kismet when we looked at Bluemont Vineyard after getting engaged and the only date they had available in October was the day that we met three years prior, October 4. We loved the view and the rustic appeal of the remodeled barn with beautiful overlook of Loudon County. We knew we wanted a rustic, vintage feel, yet still elegant and timeless. We chose a selection of neutral tones (beige, cream, and sage) with a pop of wine to add warmth and depth.
Our favorite memory of the wedding was a rather large one – our ceremony! Our ceremony was written with our reverend (who is also my aunt!). Every aspect and word choice was a deliberate representation of our love and the life and bond we are creating.
Thank you so much Erin and Daniel for sharing your wedding ceremony with us! Be sure to come back later this morning to see their reception. The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:
Good morning DC area wedding lovers! Are you ready for another wedding engagement session to brighten up your day? Meet Kat and Matt, whose session took place on Barracks Row. Andrea & Renata captured the neighborhood to perfection, from the coziness of Ted’s Bulletin to the industrial chic architecture of the Navy Chapel and the gorgeous row houses that make the neighborhood what it is. Congratulations Kat and Matt!
As always, we love to find wedding inspiration from the city we all know and love, so when it came to creating another (super easy!) DIY wedding project for you, we thought of this pretty paper project right here! Our editor, Juli, and I were perusing through Paper Source in Georgetown when we found this Washington DC map paper and we thought that it would make for a perfect envelope liner! I know I always say our DIY projects are easy, but if you can trace a template and use scissors, this is for you! Envelope liners are just another way to add a little something extra to your save the date cards or engagement party invites, and if you’re a real trooper, the wedding invitations, too!
Choose the correct template size for your envelope and use to trace the template on the envelope liner paper of your choice using a pencil. (And be sure to track on the back of the paper!) Next, cut out your liners and insert into your envelopes. Secure the liner to the flap using double-sided tape or glue tape. Voila—you have a gorgeous
The wedding guest list might just be one of the hardest parts about having a wedding in the Washington DC area. Just exactly how many people should you invite? Will guests decline? What about the “A list” and the “B list”? We went to some of the top wedding planners in the Washington DC area and asked their advice. How do they help their clients create a wedding guest list? What are their expert tips to getting started on the daunting task. Here is what they had to say….
“Creating a guest list. is one of the hardest tasks for the newly engaged couple. As you begin the planning process, you have a magic number in mind and think that it is going to be a breeze to make that number. My advice is that shortly after getting engaged, together with your fiance, type up a wedding guest list in an excel file with one guest per line. This allows you to easily count the number of guests and gives you a true picture from the onset of the number of guests that you would potentially invite. Have a meeting with both sets of parents and review the list with them so that there are very few surprises as you get closer to wedding date.” – Shawn at TreBella Events
GROUP YOUR GUESTS
“Start with the number that would be ideal for the style of wedding you are planning. Then, split the list by three. That is the number that the couple and each family should invite, including guests of guests. Then, write down guests in order of importance and see where you land. Double check the list for omissions such as leaving off only one of your many cousins and adjust accordingly. Resist the urge to control the parents’ lists unless you have a really compelling reason.” – Ginger, owner of Gingerwood Creative
A AND B LISTS
“Make a list of everyone you and your parents want to invite. Perhaps you need to group your guests. Keeping in mind the kind of wedding you want to have and your venue’s capacity, you may need to trim your list. Alternatively, you can create an A and B list. No need to go more than that. Your initial list is your A list. These are the people you send invitations to. Once you receive a decline from someone on the A list, you can send an invitation to someone on the B list. The B list should be kept very short.” – Vicky, owner of Event Accomplished
“Your guest list is the very first thing you should work on when planning a wedding, as it will affect everything from your budget to your venue choice to room layout and decor. While you don’t need to have a final guest list before you start making wedding decisions, you should have a firm handle on the range of guests you’re going to invite. Keep in mind that typically, 15-20% of invited guests will not attend your wedding. The key word here is typically, though. If you’re guests are all local, you’re likely to have fewer declines than if guests are traveling from out of town; similarly, if your family treats weddings as family reunions, that will lead to a higher acceptance rate. Every now and then a wedding will only have a 5% decline rate, so make sure you’re prepared (in terms of space and budget) for most of your guests to accept when creating your list.” – Sara at Bella Notte
CREATE THE DREAM LIST
“I think the best thing to do is to is first create a list of absolutely everyone you would possibly want to invite to your wedding.If you’re including parents in the process, start early and send them the list you’ve come up with and see if they have any additions (or subtractions) but MAKE SURE they know that this is the ‘dream’ list and that it will likely be cut down based on a number of factors including your budget, type of wedding you want, etc.But I think the best way to go is to know how many people you’re working with at the start.Then based on the TYPE of wedding you want to have (you haven’t chosen a venue at this point, just do you want something formal and inside the city?That’s more expensive than a casual BBQ in a park — can you afford formal and inside the city with that size guest list?) start the discussion on making cuts to the list.” – Rebecca at Blue Canary Events
“To create a realistic wedding guest list, couples will have to consider their extended family and parents friends, in addition to their own friends. Some couples choose to pick a max invite number and then divide that number by the couple and each set of parents. Other couples will compile a list of all the people they would invite (to include individual and mutual friends, and possibly colleagues). And then ask parents to provide a list of family members and friends they would like to invite. Once the big list is completed, they may scale back based on space and budget.” -Margo, owner Bright Occasions
“We recommend creating a draft guest list as a first step in the planning process – before any decisions are made about venue or budget. Sometimes it’s easiest to start with everyone putting together their invite wish list and then whittling it down from there based on budget and venue availability. For others, they know they want a wedding that’s a certain size from the beginning, e.g. intimate or grand. If the target guest count is known, one of the most common pieces of advice we give is that traditionally, if the bride’s family is hosting, the bride’s parents and bride should have the majority of the invite list.” – Elizabeth at Elizabeth Duncan Events
SET THE RULES
“Make a rule and stick to it for everyone.If kids below 12 aren’t invited, then that has to be the rule for all kids.Or if you aren’t inviting boyfriends or girlfriends, stick with that for everyone. If you make exceptions for some, that is when feelings really get hurt.” – Aimee and Cindy at A. Dominick Events
ABOUT THE BUDGET
“In creating an accurate guest list, its important to remember that more guests mean more money. At the end of the day its important to remember that the core of the guests that are there should really be about quality and not quantity. Start with family and bridal party, then people that you actually correspond with. Do not start verbally inviting neighbors, coworkers, extended family, etc. Once you say it to someone, they will expect an invite. Start big and then separate an A List and a B List. We always suggest that the B List is never a definite to be invited but something to be considered. If your engagement is long its also feasible that your guest list will change over time just as friendships do. You don’t mail invitations out until three months before hand at the earliest so if you aren’t absolutely positive about a guest don’t send them a Save The Date either.” – Laura at Events in the City
“Guest lists can get very large very quickly!Start with taking a look at your budget so you will have a rough idea of how many people you can affordably invite and then start by adding your immediate family and closest friends.If there’s still room within the budget, add some extended family, co-workers, etc. and then add anyone else after this.” – Jennifer at Elegantly Chic Events
“My biggest and best guest list tip is that nothing drives the cost of your wedding like the guest list. More guests = more money; fewer guests = less money. Set aside some time to dedicate to your guest list. If your parents or other people will be contributing names as well, then ask them to do the same. If you take a more casual approach and just write down names as you think of them, then you’re likely to leave out somebody important. Have your guest list as close to finalized as possible prior to booking your venue, so that you know how much space you’ll need.” – Stephanie at Pretty Entertaining
Thank you so much to all of the wedding planners in the DMV who offered such great advice for creating a wedding guest list. Be sure to visit them on their websites to find out more of their services.
So, what about you? Are you stressed up creating that guest list? What are you doing to get it all together?
In all honesty, my jaw dropped the minute I saw these gorgeous images from Sarah Culver Photography. Yes, folks. It’s that good. Libby and Joe’s farm wedding in Virginia is a rustic dream come true. (And you will just have to check out their outdoor farm wedding ceremony!) Between the simple pink and orange blooms adorning the wedding cake to the custom stamp for their cookie favor bags—it’s seriously hard picking a favorite part of their wedding day at Khimaira Farm.
From Libby: I think one of the most important ways we achieved this vision was in the choice of our venue. The first time we visited Khimaira Farm, we immediately felt comfortable and we knew our guests would, too. The open air barn with multiple decks, areas to explore outside, and the beautiful backdrop created a vibe that did much of the work for us. The soft color tones created the light, summery feel we envisioned.
Joe’s mom baked hundreds of Italian wedding cookies as favors to be put out towards the end of the night. We used a sketch created by Joe’s cousin to stamp the cookie bags and create a temporary tattoo that everyone received in their welcome bags.
Libby’s wedding planning advice for other DC-area couples:
Don’t feel rushed when you first get engaged. Take some time to really figure out together what is meaningful and important to you. If you figure that out in the beginning, it will be easier to re-focus when you find yourself discussing the pros and cons of a certain type of fabric for table runners. A foundation in what is really important to you is key!
Thank you so much Libby and Joe for sharing your wedding reception with us! The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:
Since it’s a snow day here in the Washington DC area, I figured you needed something pretty to cozy up to. Don’t worry, I’ve got the perfect wedding for you to swoon over! Libby and Joe’s outdoor wedding in Virginia will warm you right up with its summery goodness! Their timeless farm wedding perfectly pairs summer elegance and rustic farm style all beautifully captured by Sarah Culver Photography. Make sure to check back in later this morning to see their laid-back barn wedding reception.
From Libby: We wanted our wedding to reflect who we are together: fun and easygoing.
My dad built the altar table used during our ceremony, creating the most beautiful complement to the mountains behind us.
Thank you so much Libby and Joe for sharing your wedding ceremony with us! Be sure to come back later this morning to see their reception. The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:
From Myaa: We love the colors red and black and have an offbeat style so we wanted to showcase that in a classy way. We purposefully got married on Friday the 13th, for luck. It was very unique to us.
I made all of the centerpieces. We collected red wine bottles for about six months and asked those who attend the bridal shower to bring some as well. I bought the personalized labels from Etsy, ordered the beans that filled the bottles and candles, then hand made every fan
Myaa’s wedding planning advice for other DC-area couples:
Splurge on food if your budget allows. Six months later we still have people who tell us how much we enjoyed it!
Thank you so much Myaa and Jon for sharing your wedding reception with us! The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:
I think Mondays have a bad rep when it comes to choosing your favorite day of the week, but sit tight my dear readers, because that’s about to change. Myaa and John’s wedding in Maryland was jam-packed with DIY details for days and plenty of love to go around. From the traditional Vietnamese Catholic ceremony to the pretty paper flower bouquets, see how this couple celebrated in the happiest of styles, all captured by Mike Stog Photography. And, of course, as a Maryland girl myself, I absolutely love the groom’s Maryland flag socks. Come back later this morning to see their modern red and black reception!
Thank you so much Myaa and Jon for sharing your wedding ceremony with us! Be sure to come back later this morning to see their reception. The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding: