A Pretty DIY Wedding at Robin Hill Farm in Brandywine, Maryland

Just about every part of Bethany Strumpell (26 and a children's creative coordinator) and Ryan Strumpell’s (26 and an accountant) wedding was full of

Just about every part of Bethany Strumpell (26 and a children's creative coordinator) and Ryan Strumpell’s (26 and an accountant) wedding was full of meaning and gave back. Bethany found her lace wedding dress at a non-profit bridal shop called Fairytale Brides on a Shoestring Budget, whose proceeds go toward local charities that empower women. They served coffee during cocktail hour from a a fair trade, philanthropic brew house called Redeeming Grounds. And both families were ultra-involved in helping pull off the details. Ryans’ dad built the self-serve beer bar for their cocktail hour and Bethany’s dad officiated their ceremony at Robin Hill Farm. All of the centerpieces for the day were DIY too, put together with the help of their family and friends. Bethany’s dad cut the wood slabs for the bases, friends and family contributed wine bottles for the vases and her aunt collected the flowers to fill them. Photographer Jessica Crews was there to capture all the pretty details!

"I wanted the money that I spent on my dress to go toward a good cause," Bethany says of her wedding dress shopping experience at a local non-profit. Her mom originally came across Fairytale Brides on a Shoestring Budget, where all proceeds from their sales go toward women in domestic violence shelters and crisis pregnancy centers.
"I love lace bridesmaid dresses," Bethany says. They found the perfect style at David's Bridal. On the day-of each bridesmaid carried a pretty bouquet made up of pink and white roses and dusty miller. They wore their hair half-up or down and accessorized with nude heels to complete the look.
"We wanted our ceremony to really reflect us," Bethany says. Bethany’s father officiated the ceremony. “He spent a few minutes honoring Ryan’s parents, my mother and my step-parents, and it was exactly what I wanted." A close friend of theirs also sang acoustic cover songs, hand-picked to make it all the more meaningful.
Newlyweds in Brandywine, Virginia
Ryan's father actually made this beer bar for cocktail hour using wood pallets to conceal the refrigerators below. There were three different types of beer -- all sourced from nearby Apocalypse Brewery in Lynchburg, Virginia. Mini chalkboard signs listed the beers on tap.
These custom mason jars served a dual purpose. Guests used them to serve themselves beer and wine during cocktail hour. Later at the reception, more mason jars were set at each place setting for guests to use at dinner and then take home as a wedding favor.
Cocktail hour was casual and laid-back. There were outdoorsy picnic tables on the barn patio for seating and mingling. And for a nostalgic twist, the escort card display was made up of twine, place cards and pictures of Bethany and Ryan from their childhood and relationship.
In the months leading up to the wedding, Bethany collected wine bottles that would later make up their simple centerpieces.  “Our friends would drop off empty wine bottles at my house, and I cleaned nearly 200 of them!" she says. To put them together, they tied the bottles together with twine and displayed them on wood slabs from a tree that fell in Bethany’s dad’s backyard.
Blue Virginia Groom's Cake
A brewery called Redeeming Grounds set up a stand to serve coffee at cocktail hour. This non-profit organization incentivizes farmers in Columbia to grow coffee beans instead of cocaine. “The coffee was so great and we loved sharing such an incredible cause with our guests!" Bethany says.
Bethany and Ryan's wedding cake was designed by Sweetri Pastries. Inside, the buttercream cake had two flavors: chocolate cake with mocha fudge ganache and vanilla cake with lemon and raspberry filling. Fresh pink roses and wild flowers topped it off.
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