Ken and Melissa’s DIY Virginia wedding was awesome! Their handmade wedding ceremony and reception were held at the Prince William Forest Park in Triangle, VA. The wedding’s fall time scenery combined with this couple’s creative DIY talents made for one great event! Capturing Ken and Melissa’s wedding day, detail by detail, was Debi from Debi Parker Photography.
DIY Virginia Wedding
Their photographer Debi tells us, “Melissa and Ken spent nearly four months hunting for the perfect venue. They finally found that perfect venue at Cabin Camp #5 at Prince William Forest Park, part of the National Park Service, about 25 miles south of Washington, DC. Not wanting a standard cookie-cutter wedding, Melissa and Ken designed nearly everything themselves.”
“Ken wrote software to create a DIY photo booth at the wedding and also set up cameras all around the venue to do a timelapse recording of the wedding. Ken also figured out all the equipment they would need to self-deejay the wedding and, once again, he set it up so that all the music could be controlled from his iPhone during the wedding! Oh, and he designed their wedding card box out of a computer case and customized it with lighting (much like “case modding” popular among computer geeks!) and custom designed a slideshow that showed both a mix of our photos and old home movies. Ken may win the award for the most involved groom ever!”
“The campground venue had very limited lighting outside of the main buildings, and to make sure that guests could find their way around, Melissa and Ken ordered customized flashlights for the adult guests, and gave glow necklaces, bracelets, and sticks to the kids.”
“Incidentally, Melissa found the inspiration for her hairstyle on Emmaline Bride https://emmalinebride.com/hairstyles/bridal-fishtail-braid/! This post about a fishtail braid was the lightbulb moment of trying to figure out what Melissa wanted to do with her hair! Melissa has long, un-layered, waist-length hair that she wanted to showcase at the wedding, but since the wedding was going to be outside, she didn’t want to leave her hair completely down because she was afraid it would blow around too much. The fishtail braid was great! And when Melissa suggested it to my hair-stylist vendor during the trial, she loved the idea! Melissa had to wear my braid a little tighter than the one in the original post, but she loved that style so much.”
“Ken designed the entire lighting scheme for the wedding and was able to control it from his iPhone during the wedding! He also custom designed and built a lego ring bearer box after we discovered that Melissa’s nephew was scared to be ring bearer because he thought bears were involved (he kept calling it ring bear). So, Ken designed the Lego box and they called Melissa’s nephew Lego Boy instead of Ring Bearer.”
“Melissa hunted down vintage vases at thrift stores and made her own wheat, craspedia, and cinnamon centerpieces, accented with pumpkins on the tables.”
“Melissa designed the save-the-date cards, photo book wedding invitations, table “numbers” (which were actually postcards and descriptions of places and things important to her and Ken), and wedding programs.”
“Melissa also came up with an idea for a guestbook that could be framed and hung as art in their home after the wedding.”
“They also wanted to make sure that folks of all ages had fun (nearly 20% of their guests were children!) So Melissa and Ken had a dedicated kids’ table that had crayons, coloring books, fun sunglasses, pipe cleaners, footballs, and other fun stuff just for kids. For the adults, Melissa and Ken wanted to make sure that guests who don’t like to dance could also enjoy themselves by playing one of the dozen board games at the wedding, like Taboo, Apples to Apples, Poker, and Jenga.”
“After attending one too many weddings that had awkward toasts, Ken and Melissa decided to not have toasts at their wedding, and they also opted out of the bouquet and garter tosses. But they did embrace their first dance, taking nearly 20 dance lessons before the wedding!”
“Melissa made the escort card display, did her own wedding day makeup, and even had LED lights sewn into the hem of her reception dress!”
Photographer: Debi Parker
Hair: Jewel Hair Design
Caterer: BBQ Brothers
Ceremony Dress: JCrew via Ebay
Dancing Dress: Macy’s. LED lights sewn in by tailor Angie Cavallaro
Groom’s Suit and Alterations: Macy’s
Day of Coordinator: NOVA Concierge
Cakes and Cupcakes: Sweet Ladies Bakery
Rentals: Capital Party Rentals
If you loved these photos from this DIY Virginia wedding and are interested in seeing more from this Northern Virginia wedding photographer, check out Debi’s site Debi Parker Photography.
All images courtesy of Debi Parker Photography. All Rights Reserved.