“I met Emily and J.T. for the first time at their beautiful home in Virginia. I found out that they had just recently built their home, and when I say they built it that is what I mean… they literally built it themselves every bit of it! From digging the footers, pouring the concrete, framing, hanging the drywall, painting, putting in the cabinets and floors, landscaping, and the list goes on and on. I was so amazed at this grand accomplishment! There was no question where their wedding would take place… in the backyard of their gorgeous custom built home in Linville, Virginia.” – Gayle Driver Photography
What is your favorite wedding day memory?
“The entire day was special to me because we were able to host the wedding at our own house! This was particularly meaningful because we got engaged on our property and then built the house together ourselves (and when I say we built it ourselves, that’s exactly what I mean-we literally did almost all the labor which took several years!). We’ve had so many special memories with our family and friends at our house that it was the icing on the cake to be able to have the wedding there! Speaking of icing, another favorite memory that I have to share came at the end of the night. We had brought the cake in from outside earlier, but discovered hours later that our Golden Retriever had somehow managed to reach the table and lick all the icing off the side of the cake! We actually caught him in the act and he looked so happy we couldn’t be mad at him!
What did you DIY for your wedding?
..Yes, we DIY-d many things for our wedding! We didn’t have an official wedding planner, so family and friends prepared all of the food, helped to get the outside venues ready, DJ’d, and helped with decorations. The wedding was still expensive even though the venue was at our house, but we saved quite a bit of money by doing these things ourselves. And as busy as we were, we created unforgettable memories of the preparations that extended beyond the wedding day!
Any advice for brides currently in the planning process?
..My advice for brides currently in the planning process would be to decide as many things as possible about your big day way in advance! If you’re going to DIY it, do and plan as many things as you can beforehand and/or enlist lots of family and friends to help! The day DOES really go by fast, as everyone says, so try to relax and enjoy every moment!” – Emily, the bride
photography: Gayle Driver Photography // venue: the Bride & Groom’s home // dress: J. Crew // shoes: Ivanka Trump, Nordstrom // tuxedos: Classic Tuxedos, Harrisonburg, VA // food, music, invitations and more: DIY by couple and family // hair + makeup: The Studio Hair Salon & Day Spa // cake: Cakes by Cathy Stewart // flowers: arranged by Flowers by Kay – purchased from Costco online and some gathered from family and friends gardens! // rentals: CVR Rentals