Welcome back for part two of Katie and Paul’s laid-back Leesburg wedding from Michelle VanTine Photography (Don’t miss their outdoor wedding ceremony, too!)! Their reception is chock full of unique ideas to steal, so get ready. They utilized a canoe for a beverage cooler, had custom-made cornhole sets, DIY peony centerpieces, a barbeque feast and (to top it all off!) an ice cream bar. Can you handle all that!? I love how casual and fun every element of their wedding was, and how important it was to both Katie and Paul to be involved in every single detail of the day.
From Katie: We borrowed a canoe from a friend to use as a cooler because we’re both outdoorsy and our first date was actually on a boat. We also had cornhole sets with bride and groom designs on them.
We really wanted everyone have a good time and enjoy everything. The only thing we splurged on a little more than planned was catering. We wanted to make sure we had more than enough food and that we had good food, of course. We chose to do a buffet with barbeque, salmon, mac & cheese, green beans, and salad.
I loved our reception venue and the decorations we set up. Morven Park has a lot of different places where you can choose to have your ceremony and reception and we had our reception in the courtyard. We kept it pretty simple and set up bistro style lights and lanterns. My maid of honor did all of the center pieces with peonies we bought from a wholesale florist and they were so beautiful.
We also did an ice cream sundae bar instead of a traditional wedding cake.
Katie’s advice to other DC-area couples:
Plan ahead as much as possible in order to stay within budget. If you have to scramble for things at the last minute then you’re more likely to spend more. A friend suggested that we get a day-of wedding coordinator, which I was hesitant about at first but am SO glad that we did. We wanted to do everything about the wedding ourselves, but Janice (our wedding coordinator) was a life saver and we definitely could not have done it without her. We were worried about the cost, but a day of coordinator isn’t as expensive as you think and Janice was way worth it (and more!). We struggled a lot with catering because we found some that were really professional and had years of experience working with weddings, but we weren’t “wowed” by the food and we knew that was important to us. We ended up choosing a caterer that didn’t have as much wedding experience but had phenomenal food and it worked out very well.
The following Washington, DC area wedding vendors contributed to Katie and Paul’s wedding:
Venue: Morven Park
Catering: Smokin Willy’s
Wedding Planner: Bellwether Events
Photographer: Michelle VanTine Photography
DJ: DJ Steve, Davis Entertainment Group
Favors: Alexandria Cake Pop
Paper Flower Bouquets: BHLDN
Don’t forget to visit our vendor guide for more fabulous Washington, DC area wedding professionals or our real wedding gallery for more beautiful Washington, DC area weddings!
Photo Credits: Michelle VanTine Photography
Submitted via Two Bright Lights