Here is the amazingness and some insights and tips from Kelsey, the bride:
While planning our wedding- Erik and I always wanted to keep in focus what the day was all about for us- First of all the serious commitment taking place between us, and secondly the many important people in our lives who were making the trip to be a part of that celebration of our love. We had a very small budget but really wanted to still pay attention to details, and make the whole day specific and special to us.
The wedding itself took place at the Bethesda School for Boys- it was exactly what we were hoping to find- something old, southern and simple. We wanted the whole wedding to have a similar feel- a mix of the old south and European charm. I had all of the bridesmaids choose whatever cream colored dress they thought would fit this idea, and bought silk rust colored ribbon online for them to tie together the look. We ordered brown suspenders and rust colored ties for all of the guys in our wedding party and had them wear whatever grey pants they wanted. It ended up being just what we had envisioned- and the fact that everyone wasn’t perfectly matching added to the charm.
I would definitely encourage DIY brides to learn to delegate tasks to friends you trust. The thousands of things to take care of before the big day REALLY add up! One of the most beautiful things about our whole wedding ended up being everyone’s generosity in helping us make it happen. A close friends parents offered their house for the reception. So many wonderful friends and parents cooked like mad in the few days right before the wedding- with the produce and recipies we provided. Susie Brown made the delicious lemon and raspberry wedding cakes all from scratch. Other friends and coworkers brought fresh breads and cheeses and helped man the drink station we had set up that offered wine, a friends homemade beer and mint juleps served in mason jars (just about as old south as it gets!). To supplement the tables we rented, we also bought a few old quilts for people to lounge around on. One of the things everyone ended up being most grateful for were the straw hand fans we ordered in bulk online (they were life savers in the August heat). We made all of the programs and invitations ourselves and had them printed.
I wanted to be classic but comfortable on in my dress- I found one by J Crew in a magazine that I absolutely fell in love with! I ended up finding it on eBay- not in my size- but much closer to my budget. My friend Alyssa Couturier-Herndon was so generous and did an AMAZING job of altering it to fit me and adding details to make it more personal (We took the train off of a vintage dress and she reattached it with some taupe ribbon). I bought the flowers wholesale and the night before the wedding I had each bridesmaid put together her own bouquet. We also used them to fashion boutonnières for the men, a flower crown for the flower girl and filled old jars with buds to scatter around the reception site.
Favorite Moments: Having that many of the dearest people to us in one place, and watching them celebrate with us was the most beautiful thing, especially to have the unconditional love and support of our families. Our dear friends Peter and Angela and my siblings wrote and sang us songs at the reception, which was so touching. Everyone dancing into the night in the unbearably humid heat on a small wooden platform with the paper lanterns above us was such a triumphant feeling. Ultimately though nothing will ever beat the moment I saw Erik’s face when I walked into the chapel on my fathers arm, and the complete joy there was to finally be married to the love of my life.
Advice for anyone getting married- plan it together! Then it really is a celebration of both of you. I kept notebook filled with all our thoughts, contacts and wedding ideas- it was a lifesaver to have it all in one place. Ultimately- decide what things are most important to you, and know that you may have to shrug off some details that just don't pan out, but when it comes down to that day- just try and soak it up as much as you can!
Photography | Jessica Keener
Ceremony | Bethesda School for Boys
Dress | J Crew
Make Up | Mary Clarke from See Jane
Hair | Amanda Rose Gilbert from Project Rose