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 less than 60 miles from Washington D.C, Charlottesville, Fredericksburg and Middleburg

Your Wedding Venue in Northern Virginia

  • Writer's pictureIsadora Martin-Dye

'Real Rixey' Valorie on her DIY, Pinterest Wedding

What did you choose to add to your wedding that raised the most eyebrows? Paper flower bouquets. I had so many comments on how creative it was to use unconventional materials for the bouquets. As a child, I loved the story of Secret Garden. I made origami flowers out of pages I took from an inexpensive reprint of that book. Meaningful and pretty! Secondarily, my DIY home-printed wedding invitations. They were a big hit! Some ribbon and embellishments really set them off for a fraction of the retail price.

Did you find people were supportive of your DIY?

On the whole, yes. There were a few projects that prompted some nervous comments, namely my self-printed invitation suite.

What was your favorite DIY element of your wedding?

It had to be the DIY flower arrangements. Though it was my favorite element, it was also the one with the most risk. It requires trusting two things: Your bulk flower retailer and your floral arranging skill, both of which were new ventures for me.

What did you gain from taking on so many projects?

A DIY wedding allows you to gain a lot emotionally. There's something about pouring your heart and soul into the details that really adds a special type of magic to your big day. It also allows you to have the look you want at a somewhat lower cost.

What did you loose?

Time. DIY projects likely take quadruple the time that outsourcing does. Think about it; you have to first stew over the ideas themselves and make a decision. Then you have to gather materials and perhaps do a practice run. Then you have to put together the project, and finally package it for transport to the venue. It is very time consuming.

How did you handle Pinterest?

With love and care, haha! Pinterest is the Mecca of fantastic ideas, some loftier than others. I pinned away, but when I'd settled on a decision, I deleted all the other "like" ideas from my board so as not to muddle my mind with misgivings. Pinterest is a fantastic resource for weddings, but once you find "your" idea, remember to promptly move along. Re-thinking DIY projects is a huge budget buster.

Words of advice for any other brides?

DIY the things you have the skill for and outsource others. Make a plan early on as to what elements you'd like to DIY, calculate your budget and time needed, and do not take on more that you can handle. I thoroughly enjoyed my year's worth of DIY projects, and I believe it was because I had enough time and resources.

Was it worth it?

A thousand times yes! I am so pleased at how everything came out. Choosing to mix your own DIY elements with some high-quality vendor services keeps the budget in check and lets you have a wedding that's truly you!

Photo by Sarah Houston

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