DIY wedding

Corey and Peter // Pinstripes Wedding, Washington, DC // DC Wedding Coordinator

Photo by TellChronicles Corey and Peter's wedding was a total blast and right up my alley (pun intended). Their non-traditional wedding was held at the Georgetown Pinstripes - a restaurant/bar/event space/bocce court and bowling alley. Hells to the yes. Corey was a DIY master, creating tons of great little details that made their day super special and unique.

After getting ready they started their day with a first look and portraits around Georgetown - the couple met at Georgetown University. We then had the ceremony at Pinstripes, with cocktails, bocce and bowling downstairs for cocktail hour while we somewhat frantically flipped the space for the reception!

In addition to Corey's awesome DIY details, which included hand-made notecards for the guests to fill out for each of their upcoming anniversaries (I've said it before and I'll say it again - I LOVE this guest book alternative), this wedding was also FULL of surprises. Corey's Mom did a surprise "rap" toast (to Fresh Prince of BelAir, obviously). Corey and her brothers surprised the guests with a choreographed dance, followed by ANOTHER surprise dance flash mob that Corey's family had put together. It was awesome. Needless to say, dancing, dancing and more dancing followed.

Big thanks to TellChronicles for the great photos - and can we talk about how freaking hot Corey and Peter are? Hot damn. (and a shout-out to Peter's Mom for a truly awesome hat - we need more hats and fascinators at weddings, please).

Congrats again to Corey and Peter!

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Photo by TellChronicles

Corey and Peter's Vendors:

Venue and Catering: Pinstripes

Coordinator: Katie Wannen, The Plannery

Photographer: Emily from TellChronicles

DJ: Dominick from DJ Paul Entertainment

Florist: Dahlia Floral and Vallena Ferguson

Cake: Catherine Cullen

Cocktail Music: Wentworth Richardson

Eliza and Josh // Adelphi Mill, MD // MD Wedding Planner

You folks may remember Eliza and Josh from their adorable library engagement session over on Capitol Romance. These two are quirky, awesome, creative, and bubbling with energy - as you can tell from their rainbow theme!

Their reception was at the Adelphi Mill, which is where I, along with many friends and family, helped put this DIY reception together. This was not an easy one, and like Linn and Dave’s wedding, hopefully a good reminder to you all that DIY demands a lot of effort. We lugged chairs and tables up and down stairs. There were lots of staple guns, floral shears, vans, and boxes. But as always, it was certainly worth it. Eliza (and her mother) caught DIY fever and went nuts (I mean this in seriously the most positive way). They created rainbow hand-dipped oreos. They created over 1,000 paper flowers. They created the beautiful crepe paper garlands that hung at the venue. My favorite detail was that Eliza and Josh bought lots of second-hand books, wrapped them, and put them at the tables to double both as centerpieces and favors. Their escort cards were book plates so each guest could mark their new book (the children ran around like crazy trying to gather all the Harry Potter books they could find - and, duh,  of course there were Harry Potter books).

Guests were treated to an amazing Mac N Cheese meal by CapMac, followed by dancing downstairs with cupcakes by Red Velvet Cupcakery (and check out those Monsters Inc cake toppers).

Congrats to this super-fab couple - it was such fun being a part of your day!

Linn and Dave's DIY Outdoor Wedding, Patterson Park Baltimore

Linn and Dave got married in Patterson Park, Baltimore this summer. I worked with them as their Month-Of Coordinator to help their beautiful outdoor celebration go off as planned. I have to say, I adored this wedding. It was a perfect example of an easy, breezy, budget-friendly celebration. They worked with the parks department to rent one of the park pavilions - got married  under a tree in the park, with a reception catered by Blacksauce Kitchen and beautiful (seriously... BEAUTIFUL) photography by Debi Parker.

Now, don’t get me wrong. This wedding was a serious labor of love for these two, their friends, and their family. It was a hot day in June, and they thoughtfully supplied personalized water bottles to all the guests as their favors. They provided their own lace linens, DIYed beautiful bunting, and created lovely floral arrangements themselves. They lugged a generator to the park (which stopped unexpectedly in the middle of the party - thanks to a log provided by the caterer from their wood oven, we propped the generator back into position and it worked like a charm the rest of the evening). They provided their own kegs of beer, chalkboard menus, and stunning placemats (designed by Bmore Papercuts).

This is the kind of work you need to be prepared for when DIYing a wedding. For example, one’s day-of coordinator might have to run around cleaning up knocked-over flower arrangements before the guests arrive because the wind was too strong. And she might have to re-clip all of the arrangements to a lower height so they stay put the rest of the night. Hypothetically, of course.

But.

It’s worth it. Cause with all that hard work, come amazing moments like these:

A gorgeous ceremony

A tasty, family-style meal

An evening of drinking, dancing, and laughing with family and friends

And beautiful flower arrangements one would (hopefully!) never notice had been cut 2 inches shorter than originally intended.

Worth. It.

And p.s. Reason you should have a day-of coordinator? She'll have the parks permit on hand when the cops roll in

The pressure to be crafty

Guys... I have been terrible about blogging. Terrible. Per my Valentine's day post, my Puritan heritage is lashing myself for being so awful. Lots of craziness in my personal and professional life lately, so I do apologize for my absence. Trying to get back into the swing of things by getting something off my chest. Oh Happy Day, one of my favorite blogs, had a great post about what to have in stock so that you're ready to celebrate at a moment's notice, providing some great advice and ideas. It actually really ties in with this post I wrote recently, about how we quickly pulled together my Mom-in-Law's birthday celebration. All that being said, I have to respectfully disagree with the idea that you need 1 hour of crafting to prep for a party. One HOUR of crafting? For a party? The 1 hour of errands, yes. But you don't need to be crafty to party. Seriously. Like, seriously. Let's stop it with the craft pressure, ok?

I recently had two separate clients express in the MOST apologetic way (when talking about what kind of wedding reception they want) that "well, I'm... I'm not really crafty" (hung head in shame).

I got pissed. I screamed at them (in a loving way, I swear) that THEY DO NOT NEED TO BE CRAFTY TO BE BRIDES. Weddings do not need crafts to make them legitimate. Hell, they don't even need guests to be legitimate! Wedding receptions should reflect the couple who have just gotten married. Not crafty? People will be royally confused why you have hand-made burlap escort cards, a hand-made wedding cake topper, DIY-ed floral arrangements, and crafted pennant banners. Similarly, if you're not crafty then don't try and craft things for your kids birthday party, your next bbq, or the Superbowl. Let's focus on why we party and celebrate in the first place, right?

Now please don't get me wrong. My Mom is crafty. I love lots of crafty people, and if you love crafts - more power to you. They are a wonderful way to be creative and fun. And I do realize that sometimes crafting can save money (but keep in mind, it also takes time. Sometimes that time isn't worth the money saved). But this bizzarro pressure that now all weddings and celebrations need to have multiple handmade projects is absurd. So let's all take a deep breath and let this crafty DIY sh!t go with the exhale. If it's right for you, do it (and I'll help you hang the pennant banners). But if it's not, give yourself a break and realize you can and will throw an amazing, excellent celebration sans crafts.