Alex + Enid's DIY Spring Garden-Party Wedding // Valley Mill Special Park // Silver Spring, MD

Alex and Enid's intimate wedding was hosted in a quaint public park and was a true DIY, family affair. At the top of a hill sat a small wooden pavilion, decorated in classic white bunting, twinkle lights, and simple wildflower arrangements in recycled wine bottles. Their invitations asked guests to dress for a "picnic-chic garden party" and everyone had their prettiest florals on, which provided an abundance of pastel colors to compliment the decor! When I asked Alex to share her vendor list with me, she came back with the most heartfelt email describing all the things her friends and family had done to make this day so special. Scroll to the bottom of this post to read more! It's so fun to read!!

Alex and Enid planned their spring wedding ceremony to begin at 1pm, which meant direct, overhead sunlight. Normally this wouldn't be the most optimal time for taking photos (harsh shadows, squinting eyes, etc.) but we made a few choices to embrace it! First and foremost, the ceremony was tucked away near the entrance to the woods so their guests faced the shade of trees. Much easier on the eyes!

Because the pale green spring canopy didn't provide much shade at all,  their portraits have a dramatic and sometimes light and airy feel to them from the full-sun. Perfect for a delicate garden party wedding! Finally, we originally planned for family portraits near a huge barn but when the time came, the sun was much too direct there (and hot!!) and everyone would have been squinting their eyes and sweating. Instead, we utilized a large hillside nearby that had the most beautiful filtered light coming over it. I think the moral of the story is that no matter what time of day you get married, no matter where the sun is in the sky, there are so many ways to make your guests comfortable and get lovely images to look back on! 

VENDORS (in Alex's words)

Signs - Enid's brother's girlfriend, Sarah Curry, spent days working on all of the beautiful signs--the detail that really elevated the whole event, in my opinion. She has since opened an Etsy shop, Museum of Sign Arts

Wedding planner / day-of coordination - My BFF of almost 20 years, Katie Ernst of Bizzy Bashes, does event planning on the side, so I was referring to her as our "unpaid wedding planner" since I relied HEAVILY on her. She was amazing and coordinated everything the day of (and helped with a million and one things beforehand too) by wrangling up friends and family to unload cars, hang lights, buy ice, place signs, etc. Last minute we decided to pay to have a friend and colleague of her's help, Kevin (don't have his last name at the moment), but we're soooo glad we did that! Kevin was there refilling drink jugs, refreshing ice, telling us when to walk down the aisle, etc, and was an integral part of the setup and tear down. 

Katie and Enid really organized a whole army of friend and family helpers for set up on the day of. Enid and his brother and best man, Denis, were there hanging lights, moving tables, hanging lanterns, delivering kegs, etc all morning. They did an insane amount of work and because they're both so efficient and strong, we really don't think we would have been able to get everything ready without them there.

Other friends and family helped by playing music for the ceremony, getting ice, setting up the game area, acting as greeters/ushers, hanging lanterns, etc. They did an incredible amount of work for us and we really can't thank them enough.

Flowers - Another dear friend of mine, Elanna Edwards, owned all things related to flowers. I picked her for the job because I knew she'd be able to really get and deliver my vision for imperfect wildflowers and not think they looked too cheap or like not enough. She also insisted on making a bouquet for me, even though I had decided not to do one just to simplify, and I'm so glad she did. The bouquet was soo beautiful and really made my look. She also decorated our coconut cake with flowers so it looked a little more like a wedding cake. 

Cakes - My uncle was incredibly kind and offered to provide the cakes for us. He is a founder of Foodie Direct, a company that works with restaurants, bakeries, etc. to make it possible to ship and deliver some of the most delicious, foodie approved, food. He works with Smith Island Cake and suggested ordering a few of their cake (via Foodie Direct-https://www.foodydirect.com/restaurants/smith-island-baking-co/dishes) for the wedding. They were SOOOO good. Especially the caramel one. *McKenzie here- sadly, my time was up before the dessert even made an appearance at this wedding! YUM!

Baklava and other Albanian dessert - Enid's mom made homemade baklava (really homemade - she rolled out each layer of phyllo - something I didn't even know people did until I met Enid's family!) that we had out with the cake. Another friend of their family brought a similar, homemade dessert (name escapes me at the moment).

Pretty cans for knock over the cans game - My mom made those for us at my request. I saw the flower paper on sale and bought it on a whim. I thought it would be a good job for her because she's an expert present wrapper. :)

Officiant - Kathy Gracenin - The Wedding ProOfficiant

Caterer - Cava Mezze

Wedding Dress - BHLDN

Jewelry/Accessories - Franchesca's

Hair - Glamsquad

Flower Crown Headband - H&M

Suit - SuitSupply

Tie- Nordstrom Rack