There’s something so special about late summer, don’t you think?
The balmy evenings, everyone’s in a good mood, and we’ve all got a glow from a couple of months of Vitamin D under our belts.
So, for Jacquelyn & Adrian, August in Maryland was the perfect time and place for them to throw their intimate barn wedding, laced with lavender touches and DIY details.
Their big day was captured (so beautifully!) by Audra Wrisley Photography.
With chandeliers in the trees, string lights in the big red barn, and sparklers for the send-off, this sunny wedding was literally aglow with romantic details.
Jacquelyn got her DIY on, with some thoughtful handmade decor, (she even roped in some students to make their wedding favours!).
Using her love of lavender throughout the florals, decor, and even the attire, Jacquelyn created an elegant cohesion in an otherwise laid-back and rustic wedding.
Scroll down to be inspired by this especially lovely wedding, oh and read about how Adrian popped the question – it’s pretty sweet!
Wedding Day Snapshot
Our Love Story
We met through Adrian’s sister, Grace. I met Grace in college in 2000 – we were both recruited to swim at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York where we quickly became best friends.
In the early 2000s, Adrian and I had met a handful of times in Buffalo, but it wasn’t until many years later that we reconnected when we both moved to the Washington, DC area.
We soon developed a strong friendship, love, and support for one another. We dated on and off for several years before the stars completely aligned. By 2014, I had been teaching history at Centreville High School in Virginia for several years, and Adrian was living in Baltimore, Maryland and working as a firefighter for Baltimore City.
Adrian made the ultimate sacrifice by moving to Centreville and agreeing to make the 1.5 hour commute for work in Baltimore, so I could remain close to my job.
We were in Las Vegas in November 2014 – I was running the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon and Adrian came along for support.
Las Vegas is one of my favorite cities, so it was a perfect place to pop the question.
The night before the big race, Adrian took me out for dinner at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant at the Paris Las Vegas. Adrian reserved a table with an amazing view overlooking the Bellagio fountain show.
After dinner and dessert, a silver platter was brought out… when the lid was lifted a gorgeous ring on a bed of roses was inside.
Our wedding was planned around the fact that we wanted a relaxed and intimate affair surrounded by our closest friends and family in a unique setting.
We decided that 100 guests would be our max. I am a teacher, so a late August wedding seemed like the perfect way to close out the summer before heading back to work.
I love lavender so I chose it as the base for the color palette, and I added in shades of gray, ivory, and navy to complement.
The theme of the wedding centered on lavender, as well as the rustic and romantic nature of the barn at our venue.
For our bridal party, we wanted to keep it intimate as well, so we each chose three of our best friends.
We spent money on photography and catering – two things that were very important to us.
I went middle of the road with my dress and flowers. I saved money on my accessories and the DIY elements.
We were officially married on the fourth of July, in Buffalo, NY by Father Ted Bocianowski.
Father Ted is a lifelong friend of Adrian’s parents and could not make it to our wedding in Maryland, so it was important and special for us to have him marry us earlier in July. The ceremony included just our immediate family.
Our August wedding was a way for us to celebrate and share our special day with the rest of our family and friends.
We didn’t see each other the day of our wedding until the ceremony – this was something I really wanted. We kept our ceremony short and simple.
We had a family friend officiate the ceremony and we asked Adrian’s sister, Grace, to do a reading – we chose Corinthians 13:4-8.
We wrote our own vows, and little did we know that our DJ recorded them to be used later during our first dance.
For my wedding band, we included two rings in the ceremony – one that was blessed by Father Ted in our ceremony in July and the other represented our ceremony in August.
The talented musician, Nathaniel Davis, played our ceremony music.
Earlier in the year, we had visited a brewery where we came across Nathaniel playing live music. We absolutely loved his sound and contacted him to play at our wedding ceremony.
We were so thrilled to be able to include him in our day.
I had a particular style and look I wanted for our photos and after much research I came across Audra of Audra Wrisley Photography.
She was, honestly, the BEST money we spent. When I first came across Audra’s work, I just knew she was the one.
Her photography embraces natural light and color and is just whimsical. It was important for us to really “mesh” with our photographer and upon meeting Audra, it was clear how warm, organized, and professional she was.
She also impressed us because she took such detailed notes about our vision and our style. Audra also utilizes nature so beautifully, so I knew she would capture the natural elements of the property and venue perfectly.
She ended up getting some beautiful shots in the vineyard, which were our absolute favorite.
One of our best friends introduced us to our videographer, Chris Eastman. Chris put together an amazing video with so many personal touches.
He included our voices, great music, and some beautiful footage from the day. It made us laugh and cry. If the budget allows, having a videographer is a must.
We didn’t think we needed one, but after seeing the final product, we realized how much it helped us relive our day.
We waited several months and took our honeymoon right after Christmas, when I was on Winter Break from school.
We planned the honeymoon right after the wedding – it was nice to leave it until after when things calmed down. We didn’t feel pressured and chose a place we could afford and a time that worked for us.
We went to Aruba and would definitely recommend it for a romantic honeymoon.
I wore the Olva gown by Enzoani for my dress – a strapless, ivory gown, with a tulle overlay.
I ended up only visiting one bridal boutique, Elegance by Roya, and I chose the third dress I tried on.
My mom lives in Ohio but I really wanted to include her in my dress shopping, so I Facetimed her in. When I tried on the third dress, my mom’s eyes lit up and I knew it was the one.
For my “something old” I wore my grandmother’s wedding ring and for my “something blue” I had my toenails painted in the color ‘Borrowed and Blue.’ I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on accessories, so I searched for pieces that didn’t bust my budget. I used “friends of a friend” for my hair and make-up artists and they made us all look beautiful.
When it came to the bridal party’s attire, I was inspired by the mix and match look, and I also wanted to make things affordable for them.
I made sure the bridesmaid’s dresses were under $200. I chose three different colors from Donna Morgan that fit the lavender and gray palette. I allowed them to choose their own style and my only request was that each wear a different color.
They ended up all choosing different styles they felt most comfortable in. I wasn’t picky about their shoes, so I requested they choose those as well.
The groomsmen wore gray suites and navy ties, while Adrian wore the reverse – a navy suit with a silver tie.
We were looking for a venue that was unique, as well as a place that had a lot of character.
We knew we wanted to get married in the area, as we had made the DC / Baltimore area our home for many years.
Prior to our engagement, I had seen a wedding on Facebook that took place at Rocklands Farm in Maryland. I looked up Rocklands Farm online and found out it not only is a functioning family farm, but also a winery.
Shortly after we got engaged, it was the only place I kept thinking about for our venue.
When we first toured the venue, we were blown away by how gorgeous it was – I could only imagine what it would look like in the summer.
It had everything we wanted – a place for a beautiful outdoor ceremony and the location for a reception inside a quaint barn. When I imagined the chandeliers hanging from the trees and the barn lit up at night, it just seemed like a magical setting.
We knew we were taking a risk by having an outdoor ceremony and a reception in a non-air conditioned barn in late August, but we chose August 22nd as our day and never looked back.
It wasn’t until a week before the wedding that we compulsively started thinking about the weather. We ended up having perfect weather for our wedding day!
When the barn doors were opened, a cross wind kept things cool and by the time the sun went down, the temperature outside was perfect – the guests had the opportunity to move in and out of the barn to mingle and get fresh air.
The Decor & Details
There were several DIY projects:
I made the table numbers using mason jars, lace and burlap, and chalkboard clips.
In place of a guestbook, I made a photo frame and guests were instructed to take a Polaroid and hang it with a message to us. It was so fun to look at the photos and messages the next day.
I printed several things myself: the programs, the placecards, the labels for the favors, and the gift bag tags.
My bridesmaids helped me make the programs into fans – which really helped on a hot August day. I dried my own lavender and attached a spring to each place card.
The favors were all beautiful soaps handmade by my students, who are part of the soapmaking club at the high school where I teach.
For the table scape, I wanted to incorporate a romantic feel so I purchased an array of candleholders, glitzy sequin table runners, and decorative ice crystals to add some sparkle. I purchased all of these items at Michaels Crafts and JoAnn Fabrics.
I found lettered photo holders to spell out our last name with and placed a baby or childhood photo in each.
While waiting for a drink at the bar, our guests were entertained by these somewhat embarrassing but adorable pictures of us.
Having only three bridesmaids allowed me to really treat them and thank them with personal gifts – I made sure to leave room in the budget for this.
It was important for me to thank them for all their support and for spending their summer sharing in my happiness.
I gave each of them an embroidered beach towel with their names, a candle that reminded me of each of them, a bracelet that matched my own, and I paid for their hair and make-up.
I wanted my bouquet to be primarily white, with touches of pale pink, so Maribel from Eighttree Street Floral created a bouquet combining roses, a touch of ranunculus, and hydrangeas.
I wanted my bridesmaids to carry lavender, so Maribel combined lavender and sweet peas for their bouquets. Adrian and the groomsmen all wore lavender boutonnieres.
For the centerpieces I wanted to do flowers in small vases, so Maribel suggested a trio of small vases of roses, hydrangeas, lisianthus, astilbe, and ranunculus.
Maribel also designed the floral arrangement to drape the sides of the archway – this included white hydrangeas and purple roses.
Advice for Other Couples
Planning your own wedding by yourself can be stressful, but also very rewarding. I wouldn’t say I am the most do-it-yourself type of person, but I was certainly willing to learn in order to save money.
Pinterest, Etsy, Wedding Chicks, Style Me Pretty, The Knot, and Wedding Wire are sites that helped me the most. We planned our wedding in a little less than 10 months, so I tried not to choose things that would become too overwhelming or burdensome in the long run.
I learned that sometimes…simple is best.
The best advice I can give is to research your vendors and then prioritize each. For us, photography was the most important, so I researched and researched until I found our perfect match.
It’s also important that your photographer and DJ help you develop a doable timeline for the day of the wedding and reception.
Not only did we research online for vendors and reviews, but we also asked for recommendations and utilized our friends that are in the industry. We were beyond lucky that our DJ is also a very good friend.
Our day-of-coordinator is one of my best friends and she also led us to her close friend, who was our videographer. Our friend is an aesthetician who did my lashes and in turn, she led me to my make-up artist and hair stylist.
When planning the wedding, we kept our guests in mind too. We thought a lot about what we could do to make sure they were happy, having fun, and felt accommodated.
We realized that it was, in fact, our day, but making sure our friends and family were happy and having a good time just made the whole experience go that much more smoothly.
We have such different tastes in music that it was fairly difficult for us to settle on our first dance song.
We finally decided on something that included both our styles – we chose ‘Heaven, the Candlelight Remix’ by DJ Sammy (original by Bryan Adams). The techno version of the song was often played in Buffalo in the early 2000s, so the song just reminded us of our college years.
Processional: The bridal party walked to “Canon in D” by Pachelbel and I walked to “Here Comes the Bride.” These were both played by our guitarist, Nathaniel Davis.
Recessional: Nathaniel sang “Good Life” by One Republic – we thought it was the perfect tune to exit to.
Father Daughter Dance: “Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong.
Mother Son Dance: “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King.
Our Favourite Moments
It was a magical day that we still can’t stop talking about. The weather was amazing – 85 degrees and sunny, and almost every detail went off without a hitch. All in all – we did not have one single regret. Not one.
Our wedding was intimate enough that we had the chance to personally greet and thank each and every one of our guests – this was very important to us and we will remember that moment forever.
Neither of us is from the DC area, so our families had to travel from out of the area, and even out of the country. My family came as far as Taiwan, Canada, Ohio, and California and Adrian’s family came from Poland, Canada, and Buffalo, NY. It was so touching for us to have all our loved ones travel so far to help us celebrate.
Another special moment was when our DJ, Dustin Prievo, replayed our vows at the beginning of our first dance. He recorded our vows during the ceremony and surprised us.
Our DJ was amazing and kept the guests dancing to the end of the night – we can honestly say that even though the wedding and reception flew by, we had so much FUN with each other, and with our guests on the dance floor.
Two moments really embraced the nature of our wedding, which was all about bringing our family and friends together to have a good time and share in our happiness.
Towards the end of the night, the party really got going and the Polish women on Adrian’s side of the family broke out in a traditional Polish wedding dance, and all our friends jumped in. People were jumping around in a giant circle and dancing carefree.
Another moment was my dad’s toast. My dad is probably the most giving and caring person I know (next to my mom), hearing his words of happiness for us was something I’ll never forget.
My dad is a retired firefighter and Adrian is currently a firefighter for Baltimore City, so it was so cool for my dad to meet some of Adrian’s firefighter friends – one of them even gave my dad a t-shirt from his station.
We both agreed that seeing the happiness and smiles on our parents’ faces, as they shared our special day, was one of the most priceless moments of the entire day.
I’m such a big fan of a sparkler send-off! What a charming wedding, Rocklands Farm looks like a pretty special venue.
Thanks so much to Audra Wrisley Photography, and of course, Jacquelyn & Adrian for sharing their sweet barn wedding with us.
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