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Posted by on Jan 11, 2016 | 0 comments

Maria and John’s DIY Wedding

Maria and John’s DIY Wedding

As soon as Del Ray residents Maria and John closed on their 1798 Colonial home in New Hampshire, they knew it was the perfect place to host their wedding and reception last summer. A second marriage for both, the couple wanted a small, low-key DIY wedding in a place that was meaningful to them. They decided the nearly two-acre N.H. home served as the perfect location for the ceremony and cocktail hour, and the recently restored barn was ideal for dinner and dancing.


barn from outside


Handmade signs directed guests to the wedding…


…and the big tree out front was lit with votives in glass jars hung with colorful ribbon.

lights in trees1

Maria and John repurposed a farmhouse sink left by the previous owners as a place to cool drinks. They hung drink tags from a small metal ladder that was also left behind. In homage to the work they’re doing on the home, they fashioned the drink tags out of paint chips.

drink tags

For table names, they used places important to them, such as where they met, where they had their first date, and where they got engaged. Maria’s daughter Molly created the framed table names.


They also made the escort cards by hand and strung them between posts in the barn.

escort cards

Inside the barn, they hung family photos and other memorabilia, including Russian wedding cups that were gifts to Maria’s grandparents on their wedding day.

familyphotos decor

They set the tables with plates that were a mix of Maria’s grandmother’s china, together with other vintage plates that Maria borrowed from friends and found at thrift stores. They bought the sequined silver table runners and gray tablecloths and napkins from tableclothsfactory.


shot of reception

The barn was lit with string lights, accented with a chandelier that Maria picked up at the Mount Vernon Community School Big Flea and spray painted silver.

BF chandelier and lights

Two of Maria’s good friends came up early from the Del Ray area to help. They ironed table cloths, set tables, spiffed up bathrooms, and created this inspiring quote on a framed chalkboard that Maria made by painting the glass with chalkboard paint.


“One of the keys to a successful DIY wedding,” says Maria with a laugh, “is knowing what not to do yourself.” She and John found a fantastic florist, Jackie Gardner of Moonset Farms, who grows many of her flowers on her nearby farm in Maine.


Jackie also served as their designer, day-of-coordinator, and bartender, and she recommended a fantastic D.J., and a caterer who smoked pork and chicken on site and made the most amazing zucchini fritters. Many guests remarked that it was the best food they had ever had at a wedding.

Now married, the couple splits their time between Del Ray and N.H., although they see each other often. Together, they are slowly restoring the N.H. house, which once was a stagecoach stop for travelers between the New Hampshire seacoast and the White Mountains. Someday they may rent the barn for weddings, but for now their energies are focused on raising three kids, restoring the home, and getting out on the road once in a while in their remodeled pop-up camper. When Maria is in N.H., or elsewhere, she often rents out her Del Ray home as a Vacation Rental by Owner (VRBO), with a newly renovated kitchen we wrote about as well.

The accompanying photos in this post were taken by Maria’s friend and professional photographer Wendy Freedman.

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