Melissa & Steve’s DIY Travel-themed Wedding with a Rose Ceremony and Personal Craft Beer


travel-themed wedding

Apart from being all sorts of sweet, today’s featured wedding is a wellspring of creative DIY inspiration and personalized details! Steve and Melissa met at Georgetown’s Latin American Studies program and love to travel, so a travel theme was present in their elements. They also made sure that the celebration was 100% theirs so touches that reflected the two of them, individually and together, were prevalent throughout. From the flowers and cake to the beer and jam served at the reception, everything was lovingly crafted by friends and family.

We have Rachael Foster Photography to thank for the delightful images and here she is with the details of the day:

Steve and his best man brewed 250 bottles of beer in five flavors for guests to enjoy at the reception. He and Melissa chose fun names for each flavor and had a friend design labels for them. Melissa’s mom did double duty as the designer of both the cake and the florals. She used silk flowers for the bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces, and aisle decor–both to save on cost and create lasting keepsakes for the entire wedding party. (In another special touch, she wrapped Melissa’s bouquet with lace from her and Melissa’s grandmother’s gowns). For favors, she and Melissa made raspberry jam using raspberries grown in her yard.

Rather than lighting a unity candle, Steve and Melissa chose to have a “rose ceremony”. Each member of their family put a red rose in a vase for the couple. Their mothers gave them two white roses, which they exchanged and put in the vase.

Steve and Melissa also included a travel theme in their reception details. Guests were assigned to tables named after countries and cities the coupled had visited or hoped to visit. Each centerpiece included a post card from the appropriate country. Guests got in on the fun by writing their own postcards for the couple and leaving them on the gift table, which featured a “suitcase” created by Melissa’s sister.

travel-themed wedding

travel-themed wedding

travel-themed wedding

travel-themed wedding

travel-themed wedding

travel-themed wedding

travel-themed wedding

travel-themed wedding

From this point on I will let the lovely bride Melissa tell you all about her and Steve + how they made their wedding uniquely their own:

Steve and I both met at Georgetown University, in our Master’s programs. We both were studying Latin America. Steve currently works as a geospatial analyst and I work in the non-profit sector on Latin America. We are both avid sports fans – including baseball, football, and basketball. Steve has turned me into a Detriot Tigers fan.  Prior to getting engaged, we had been dating for under four years. One of the things we always did together for dates is go to concerts of our favorite artists. Steve actually proposed to me at a Colbie Callait concert (her song Bubbly, was “our” song, and our first dance at our wedding).  We also both have a pembroke welsh corgi, named Lily.

travel-themed wedding

travel-themed wedding

travel-themed wedding

travel-themed wedding

We did not want to do a traditional unity ceremony, so we did a rose ceremony to incorporate all of our family! My sister also did a piano solo, and Steve’s step-dad officiated the ceremony.

travel-themed wedding

travel-themed wedding

travel-themed wedding

travel-themed wedding

My husband and his best man have been brewing beer over the course of the past four years. To make the wedding special, they decided to brew the beer for the wedding. They did 250 bottles of 5 different beers.

travel-themed wedding

travel-themed wedding

I like to say our wedding had a “travel” theme. My younger sister made a suitcase card box, and showed off most of Steve and I’s adventures together. Each of the tables was associated with a place (we used postcards as table numbers).

travel-themed wedding

travel-themed wedding

Both Steve and I have an interest in Latin America, that interest had a significant influence on our wedding. I incorporated Pablo Neruda poems in the readings of the ceremony (both English and in Spanish). In the reception, we used Latin American post cards, and picked only Latin American wines for the reception.

travel-themed wedding

travel-themed wedding

My mom and I also made raspberry jam favors (made from raspberries from my parents’ house).

travel-themed wedding

I think one of the pieces of advice I followed was making sure the wedding represented not only myself but also my husband. Many times the ceremony and the wedding ends up being a reflection of the bride. I really took to heart making sure our wedding reflected both what I wanted and my husband’s wishes.

travel-themed wedding

Thank you Rachael for sending this sweet wedding my way, and congratulations Melissa and Steve! Here’s wishing you guys a blissful life together! :)

Photographer: Rachael Foster Photography
Venue: Hollin Hall
Caterer: R&R Catering
Makeup: H&M Artistry, Norma Rios
Hair: Hair by Diane
Wedding Dress: Ellie’s Bridal Boutique, Ella (designer)
Veil & Bridesmaid Dresses: Alfred Angelo
Groom’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Dress Designer: Alfred Angelo Bridal
Ceremony Music: Christopher Wyton, Guitarist
Reception Music: Family DJ
Floral Designer: Bride’s Mother
Cake: Bride’s Mother
Stationery: Copy Katz, in Pennsylvania
Favors: Raspberry jam made by the bride and mother of the bride (From Melissa: raspberry is our favorite, and the raspberries used were grown in my parent’s own yard)
Beer: Brewed by Michael Coe (Best Man), Steve Gilbert (Groom)
Beer Label Design : Mary Soumphant

Image submission via Two Bright Lights

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you, Cynthia, for this lovely feature! Melissa and Steve put so much thought into the details of their wedding. I hope other couples will be inspired by their example and feel free to think outside the box.

  2. It was a blast brewing all that beer!

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