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Mette Morgan

Mette Morgan

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Rachel & Brett - Leesburg, VA

When Rachel sent us all her beautiful wedding photos we knew this wedding would be perfect for our website.

Rachel & Brett met during Rachel’s first year teaching and his third year teaching at Key Elementary School in Washington, DC. The two dated for 3 1/2 years before getting married. Today they teach at the same school and live in Alexandria, VA with their two dogs, lovely Jack and Beatrice.

The couple incorporated lots of crafty DIY projects into their big day; aisle & alter decorations, bride’s & bridal bouquets, wedding programs, favors, place cards and place card display, birdhouse centerpieces, and so much more. It took about 9 months to put this beautiful wedding together with lots of help from family and friends. Rachel and Brett celebrated their wedding outdoors June 2 at Rose Hill Manor, Leesburg, Virginia together with 120 guests. What a magical day!

Rachel's and Brett's DIY Summer wedding
Rachel's and Brett's DIY Summer wedding
Bride's bouquet made from handmade ribbon and fabric roses

Rachel's and Brett's DIY Summer wedding
Rachel's and Brett's DIY Summer wedding
Handmade ribbon flowers in small flower pots reserving the first row for family.

Rachel and Brett's Beautiful DIY WeddingRachel and Brett's Beautiful DIY Wedding
Sweet DIY alter decorations - Handmade ribbon flowers and hand painted "R" & "B" for Rachel and Brett.

Rachel and Brett's amazing DIY wedding
Rachel and Brett's amazing DIY wedding
DIY program basket filled with programs. Rachel bought their wedding invitations, programs, and place cards at Office Depot.

Rachel and Brett's amazing DIY wedding
Beautiful DIY ailes decorations and Bride's bouquet made from handmade ribbon (from and Michaels) and fabric roses.

“I invited friends over one afternoon to help make flowers and add second coats of paint to the birdhouses. I also had a couple friends take home spools of ribbon to make a few flowers each night.  My sisters in law also helped with some of the flowers. My mother made the ring bearer pillow and the men’s boutonnières.

Rachel and Brett's wedding ceremony
Rachel and Brett's wedding ceremony
Rachel and Brett's amazing DIY wedding
Birdhouse centerpieces on each table

DIY Bulletin board holding the place cards. The frames and fabric were purchased at IKEA.

Rachel and Brett's DIY wedding
Flower girl's basket and hair piece made of handmade ribbon roses.

The beautiful tables with DIY favors and centerpieces
"The green envelopes with the blue bows were favors created by my Aunt Marlene who owns Mrs. Robinson’s Tea Shop.  Inside were two tea bags…one flavor labelled bride’s blend and one labelled groom’s blend".

Rachel and Bretts's DIY wedding dayRachel and Bretts's DIY wedding day
Birdhouse centerpieces on each table
Birdhouse centerpieces on each table. The birdhouses were bought from A.C. Moore and Michaels and painted with paint from Home Depot.

"I came up with the ideas from surfing the internet and walking the aisles of my local craft store.  I did not want to spend money on flowers that die so I decided to make them from fabric. I chose the birdhouses because I wanted a themed centerpiece people would want to take home but would not be large or obtrusive during dinner.  I also wanted to create a very relaxed, outdoor atmosphere as if the guests had been invited to a backyard gathering".

Rachel and Brett's DIY wedding day

Rachel and Bretts DIY wedding day
Rachel and Bretts DIY wedding day
Rachel and Bretts DIY wedding day
Rachel and Bretts DIY wedding day

We asked Rachel to share a few tips & advice with our readers and here is what she had to say: 

What was the biggest DIY project/challenge you took on?
"The biggest challenge was making the hundreds of flowers for the bouquets and the aisle decorations."

What would your tip or advice be to other DIY brides?
"Do a little at a time. Browse the aisles of craft stores for ideas."

Is there anything, you think is really important to keep in mind when planning your own wedding?
"Make sure that the catering company is prepared to set your decorations. Provide them with very clear instructions of where everything should go and what you want it to look like. The catering company I used was not prepared for the amount of decorations I had and was late getting things set up."

Bride: Rachel Colton, 28, teacher
Groom: Brett Colton, 32 Teacher and Soccer Coach
The Date: 06-02-2012
Location: Rose Hill Manor, Leesburg, Virginia
Wedding Colors: Navy blue & Sage Green
Type of Wedding: Outdoors

Honeymoon: Grand Cayman, 1 week

Photographer: Neil Colton

Also photos by: Wedding guest Karen a friend of Rachel’s mom,

Professional Printing

Professional Printing Techniques & Styles

Our Files & Your Professional Printer
All the template files in The DIY Store has been designed to be printed at home but if you wish to have your stationery printed professionally then simply contact us and we will provide you with a high resolution PDF file for professional printing instead. So if you don't feel like printing your stationery at home you can always give your stationery files to a professional printer.

There are plenty of great online printers that you can simply upload the file to, or pop it onto a USB stick and take it to your local printer or copy shop. A large choice of printing methods is available which you may wish to consider. The look and feel and the difference in price can be extreme. Here are a few of the most common professional printing methods...

Digital Printing – Cost-Effective Flat Print
Inexpensive and fast “on demand” printing with a short turn around. Many modern invitations etc are now produced with digital printing. Digital printing is now offered at an affordable price and you get better ink coverage, sharper images and more vivid colours than a home printer. You can also choose heavier weight card stock/papers. The text and image are printed onto the page at the same time. Digital printing has a higher cost per page than more traditional “offset printing/flat printing” methods but this price is usually offset by the cost saving in avoiding all the technical steps in between needed to make printing plates.

Offset Printing – Flat Print
A traditional and commonly used printing technique where a plate is made of each colour used then the ink is transferred to the paper, one colour at a time, and set to dry. Offset printing is very well suited for producing large volumes (commercial quantities) of consistent high quality prints at a cost-effective price. A variation of this process is thermography.

Thermography – Cost-Effective Raised Print
Simply put, thermography is a modern printing style and technique combining wet ink with a special powder creating a raised effect similar to that of traditional engraving. Thermography is therefore commonly used on wedding invitations, letterheads, business cards, greetings cards etc. Letterpress – Costly Raised Print Quality Letterpress is an involved, old form of printing which requires technical skill and competence. It is therefore also more costly than most other printing methods. In brief - A reverse raised surface (typically movable metal type or zinc plate) is coated with ink and pressed into a sheet of paper to produce a “positive” image. The physical impression onto the paper produces a beautifully defined and “richer” look than offset printing. Letterpress is particularly well suited for fine typography and is a class of its own for invitations, stationery etc.

Not all printing processes described above will be appropriate for our template files in The DIY Store.

If you are interested in using something other than home or digital professional printing, please talk to us before you buy any of our products so we can advise if the design you would like to purchase will work.

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