Jen Causey-Kidder
Jen Causey-Kidder November 04, 2013

DIY wedding | Kevin + Tatiana

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“As a new photographer in my area I could not be more honored to have photographed Tatiana and Kevin’s wedding! This couple is truly amazing. Tatiana is the queen if DIY and is as kind as she is beautiful. She’s always looking for ways to donate and help others. Her dress is consignment from Brides Against Breast Cancer, and all her details were carefully thought out with the perfect rustic farm feel. Everywhere I looked there were more details to shoot! The reception incorporated so much for guests to do: corn hole, putt putt, dancing, chalkboards, an art canvas… it was incredible. Tatiana and her amazing family worked tirelessly to make everything creative and original. Kevin and his groomsmen were so adorable in their denim and suspenders, I just couldn’t get enough of this wedding! I loved this couple since I met them when my little business was just getting started. I will forever be grateful to them and they have become so much more than clients! Keep your eye out for Tatiana because her styling and DIY skills are catching on fast, she’s so talented!” – Elizabeth Henson Photos


“My husband blew me away with his vows. Showing his mushy emotional side is not the norm for him – especially in front of 100 of our closest friends and family! He was so intimate, sweet, and vulnerable. I think I speak for everyone there, especially those who know him well, when I say it was powerful to listen to him. At one point he started to choke up and couldn’t quite get his words out as he fought back tears. Without even thinking I grabbed his hand and told him “It’s Ok”. He collected himself and finished the most amazing set of vows I have ever heard. It was a simple moment, but at that moment time stood still. The whole day went by so fast, but at that moment things slowed down and I was able to truly appreciate the love he and I have for one another as well as the love and support that sat all around us. It was beautiful!!

The crazy fun dancing of all our wild guests would surely come in second place!! Followed by the hysterical and heart felt speeches given by the best man and the maid of honor…


..The entire wedding was DIY!!!

My sister created our engagement party invitation, our save the date, and the print of our wedding invitation. I  purposely distressed each invitation and Modge-podged them to pieces of burlap for a rustic feel.

I wanted the bridesmaids to pick their own dresses. So, I gave them several inspiration pictures and let them run with it. They coordinated with one another via Facebook message throughout their dress buying process. It came together beautifully!

I styled the men myself. Kevin had one outfit request and that was to not wear a suit. He wears a suit every day to work and he really wanted something different. I selected the converse and tie/suspender for each guy. It was a surprise until the morning of the wedding. They were so afraid of the unknown, but I think they were all very happy with their outfits.

I hand painted all the signs, picture frames, and  decor.

My mother and I picked out various fabric prints to lay over the tables and bring some color into the mix. I made a couple of the chalkboards from old pictures found at the thrift-store and then wrote on them. I had the baby’s breathe delivered to my door and we created the centerpieces the day before the wedding. I designed the wooden structures (the bar, the arches, and the chalk board guest book) and my parents built them.

I had a very specific image in mind with the second arch. Because our ceremony and reception were held at the same site, I wanted an entry way for guests to walk from the ceremony to the reception. The bridesmaids and I walked down the aisle to the “All You Need Is Love” Beatle’s cover from the movie “Across the Universe”. I was pretty certain of the song choice from early on in my planning, so I decided to give the wedding a theme of some sort, and I really wanted to incorporate that quote in the second arch. I hand painted the letters and we secured them below the chalk board. 

I took on the task of providing all the cocktail food. Because we were having Italian food, I went with an antipasto themed cocktail table. I bought a variety of selections and a good family friend set everything up before the reception began.

We had popcorn bags and homemade chocolate chip cookies using a family recipe. We bagged everything ourselves and attached homemade tags. My mom unexpectedly spent a couple days in the hospital right before the wedding and several of her closest friends, women I consider family, showed up with wine in hand ready to help bag and tag everything!! They were amazing!!!

I had a vision for the wedding and several people chipped in to help bring it to life. They say it takes a village…. and mine is pretty great!


..I wore an old family ring as my something old. My something borrowed was the garter my sister wore during her wedding. And we forgot something blue… but that was OK cause my husband-to-be was waiting for me at the alter in his blue jeans!! That counts right?


..Stay true to yourselves! We did a lot of unconventional things but those things screamed us – Tatiana and Kevin. (Leopard Print, Pizza, Apple Fritters etc.) When it comes to weddings, there should be no rules. Don’t sweat the small stuff. You are surrounded by people who love you and they are there to celebrate your new marriage. Some things will turn out perfectly and others not so much. But thats ok… in fact it’s pretty normal. Have fun with it. Because at the end of the day you get to marry your best friend, the rest is just frosting on the cake.” – Tatiana, the bride


photography: Elizabeth Henson Photos // planner/decorator: The Bride Tatiana ~ Smittenly Styled // venue: Back Bay Farms, VA // dress: Kenneth Pool purchased from Brides Against Breast Cancer // rentals: Grand Rental Station of Newport News // dinner: Primos Pizza and Ristorante // centerpiece flowers: Sam’s Club Online // apple crates: The Cullipher Farm // bouquet flowers: Trader Joe’s // popcorn: Jody’s Popcorn // groomsmen ties: The Tie Bar // groomsmen suspenders: Belt Outlet // special bridesmaid bracelet gifts: International Sanctuary (an organization joining the fight against human trafficking) // DJ: Endless Mic Entertainment 

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