Elegant DYI Wedding in Northern Virginia

Elegant DYI Wedding in Northern Virginia

Jessica + J.R. tied the knot at St. Veronica’s Catholic Church and celebrated at The Piedmont Club with all their favorite people! The two are all about DC but loved the idea of exchanging vows in Jessica’s hometown of Haymarket, VA. It was truly an honor to photograph their Northern Virginia wedding with all their amazing handmade elements. I still cannot get over their day. The two met back in 2009 through mutual friends at Virginia Tech and started dating about a year later. “We fell in love and after seven amazing years of travel, adventure, and laughter, J.R. proposed!”

Jessica is a full time physician assistant and loves DYI . She decided to make her wedding dress herself (that’s right!) as well as the florals, invitations and accompaniments . She designed and made her silk and satin gown, with a lace tulle overlay, herself, along with her cathedral length veil. Also, Jess accomplished one of the hardest parts of the wedding attire challenge- finding gorgeous AND comfy shoes! She immediately fell in love with her Betsy Johnson wedges for both the style (white lace and pearl details, blue soles) and comfort (they lasted the whole night!). The bridal party’s matching pink B.B. Dakota dresses were chosen when the bride stumbled upon them while online shopping. “I knew they were perfect as soon as I saw them!”  


From the bride:

“The aesthetic I was going for was modern and elegant, yet traditional, which began on April 28, 2018 with a 2 PM catholic mass at St. Veronica Catholic Church in Chantilly. I wanted soft, romantic lighting, which was attained by scattered gold votives on the tables and a custom made lighted backdrop. I couldn’t find anything that was perfect, so I assembled a backdrop using a sheer curtain, a strand of lights, and a backdrop, which created the perfect lighting to complement the sweetheart table.

As my father walked me down the aisle and I saw J.R. Standing at the altar, the wedding day felt real and complete. He lifted my veil, kissed my cheek, and handed me over to J.R., I was so happy. Throughout the ceremony, we looked out at all our friends and family who came to share our special day with us and we felt so blessed. As we exchanged rings and shared a few kisses, we walked back down the aisle as Mr. and Mrs. Joyce. “


The two partied the night away, celebrating with family + friends. They had an outdoor cocktail hour and the cutest Mr + Mrs table ever. Simple Desserts (of Gainesville) created such a yummy cake (lavender and swiss honey buttercream + red velvet with caramel cream cheese frosting) decorated with fresh roses. Guests left the ceremony and grabbed a favor: His and Hers snacks (His- Bold Chex mix, Hers- Lindt truffles). We ended the night with Jessica + J.R. running through a tunnel of glowing sparklers + a pretty epic kiss!!

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Hair: Agapé Hair and Makeup (Haymarket), Amanda Frank

Makeup: Lesley Hyer with Hyer Beauty

Photography: Shelly Pate Photography

DJ: DJ Bobby G (Haymarket)

Ceremony: St. Veronica’s Catholic Church

Venue: Piedmont Club

Cake: Simply Desserts (Gainesville)

Dress: custom, designed by the bride

Shoes: Betsey Johnson