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!
Bride's bouquet made from handmade ribbon and fabric roses
Handmade ribbon flowers in small flower pots reserving the first row for family.
Sweet DIY alter decorations - Handmade ribbon flowers and hand painted "R" & "B" for Rachel and Brett.
DIY program basket filled with programs. Rachel bought their wedding invitations, programs, and place cards at Office Depot.
Beautiful DIY ailes decorations and Bride's bouquet made from handmade ribbon (from papermart.com 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.
DIY Bulletin board holding the place cards. The frames and fabric were purchased at IKEA.
Flower girl's basket and hair piece made of handmade ribbon roses.
"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".
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".
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,