An Intimate Handmade DC Wedding: Annie and Brendan

If you can have a smaller, intimate wedding, that is a great way to keep the wedding budget much more reasonable – as Annie + Brendan learned. Keeping their wedding small also helped them focus their efforts on the things that were most important to us. One of those elements for them was having the wedding in Washington DC, where they both live. It meant both families had to travel (Annie’s from Nebraska, Brendan’s from Pennsylvania and Maryland), but allowed them to make the day full of the pieces of the life they’ve built in DC, including so many of their dear friends. Keeping the wedding small also allowed them to enjoy the day and the celebration by spending time with all of their guests. Thanks so much to the lovely and talented Kate Headley for the gorgeous photos + adorable film.

bride with vintage wedding dress

dolly couture wedding dress

For the invitations, Annie scoured flea markets, Ebay and Etsy collecting vintage handkerchiefs with blank centers. Annie + Brendan screen printed the handkerchiefs together at the Pyramid Atlantic Arts Center where Annie has taken several classes. It was a great team bonding activity and really fun to print each unique handkerchief. Annie also hand embroidered “Annie & Brendan April 30, 2011” inside his suit and inside her wedding dress – how sweet is that!? :)

embroided wedding date on dress suit

vintage short wedding dress

Our Favorite Memory From The Wedding

Among the more memorable part of our wedding day was during our first look pre wedding portrait session with our photographer. We were walking around the neighborhood, which is a fairly busy city block, taking some pictures, and people were stopping and staring. A lady we didn't know asked if she could take our picture, cabs stopped and honked, people yelled congratulations from their front stoops – it was kind of surreal and strange and blissfully happy all rolled into one. We giggled and looked at each other and simultaneously had that "Holy crap we're really getting married!" realization.

dolly couture wedding dress

black and white wedding photos

Annie loved the idea of a vintage brooch bouquet (as do I as seen here). Annie had seen brooch bouquets before, and since funky vintage brooches are something she’s loved and worn since high school, she thought it would be an excellent option. She collected the vintage brooches and earrings from all over, some she’s had for years, some were her grandmother’s, some came from yard sales and ebay, and others came from friends once they heard her plan. She collected several brooches and earring sets of the Sarah Coventry Waterlily style and used them as her “signature flower” in the bouquets, boutonnieres, and on her shoes. Annie said making the bouquet wasn’t difficult, but it did require a good chuck of time and some serious trial and error. Once the stems were attached she arranged  them just as you would any hand tied bouquet, and then wrapped it in a vintage handkerchief. Annie’s handkerchief was a vintage Nebraska handkerchief as a nod to her home state, while her bridesmaid’s bouquet was wrapped in one of our wedding invitation handkerchiefs. It is important to note that once finished the bouquet was very heavy! Annie created the boutonnieres using the vintage earring sets, floral wire, floral tape, and a pin backs. What’s really nice about all the floral pieces is because there was no glue used, everything can be easily disassembled and used once again as earring and brooches.

brooch bouquet

wedding programs illustrated

Annie + Brendan made bunting for their ceremony site using more Italian cotton ribbon and their stash of vintage handkerchiefs. They thought the bunting would make for a pretty visual and make the site feel festive without being too over the top. Plus, they already had all the materials left over from the invitations. Annie and Brendan used a portrait print of themselves by the artist Nan Lawson on their Save the Date cards, dessert flags, and wedding program cover. Annie purchased the print and digital file a few years ago from the artist and thought the wedding was a great way to repurpose it. They printed the wedding program cover and “Just married” dessert flags with their portrait on fabric designed to run through the printer. Cotton stock was used for the inside pages and the program was machine sewed together to bind it. Each program was embellished with a mini handkerchief banner sewn across the top to mimic the one at our ceremony. And here is Annie’s secret, though she is really crafty, she is terrible at machine sewing (not a little bad, but rotten). Happily though, Brendan had a hidden talent for it and machine stitched all the programs and handkerchief bunting. :)

handkerchief bunting wedding ceremony

handkerchief bunting wedding ceremony

handkerchief bunting wedding ceremony

dolly couture wedding dress

yellow wedding shoes

dc wedding

black and white wedding photos

dc wedding photos

wedding exit

From Annie + Brendan, “Having great photographs was so important to us and we are so glad we invested in Kate. Kate has a great eye and was totally in sync with our vintage aesthetic. Working with her was a complete dream and we couldn’t be more smitten with her fine art prints of their special day.” Kate also filmed a super 8 film of their day which is just the sweetest!

photography + cinematography: Kate Headley // ceremony venue: Morrison Clark Inn // reception venue: Henley Park Hotel // wedding dress: Dolly Couture // hairpiece: Nicole & Co from BHLDN // hair: Bride // makeup: Blue Mercury // shoes: Miz Mooz for under $30! Since the shoes weren’t too fancy, I added some glitz by adding matching vintage Sarah Coventry waterlily  brooches. Total cost of the shoes+brooches+shipping etc. was well under $50, and I’ve already worn the shoes five times since my wedding // bridesmaid dress: Beribboned Dress from BHLDN // groom suit: Hugo Boss // invitations: vintage handkerchief with the invitation screen printed on it in black ink, an enclosure card featuring location information, vintage Washington, DC postcards for reply cards, tied together with grey Italian cotton ribbon from Angela Ligouri // music: Nancy Simone // catering: Coeur de Lion at the Henley Park Hotel