A Homespun Wedding at a Pennsylvania Inn with Tons of DIY Projects

Our favorite handmade detail? The couple's sweet wedding favor!

Updated 12/22/16

Photo by Alison Dunn Photography

When Dana Turek agreed to join her friend at a weeknight party in April of 2013, she had no idea that it was a birthday party for the man who would be her future husband, Jay Moneymaker. The pair spent the evening getting to know each other, and on their first date Jay admitted to asking his friends to invite her after seeing a photo of her on Facebook. “He’s just lucky, or I guess I am, that I decided to tag along to the party that night,” Dana says.

Almost exactly two years after their first date, Jay planned an elaborate proposal during the couple’s dream vacation to Napa, California. With help from both his family and Dana’s, Jay arranged for a beach proposal followed by an engagement photoshoot complete with a romantic picnic for two.

The pair then began preparing for their June 18, 2016, wedding at The Inn at Barley Sheaf Farm in Buckingham, Pennsylvania. “While I wanted a wedding venue that had a beautiful countryside property with rustic charm, Jay’s style leans more toward traditional elegance,” Dana says. The charming venue was a perfect compromise. Dana’s dream of getting married in nature and her vision of a relaxed and intimate celebration came to life with help on the day from Deena, the owner of the Inn. The pair invited 110 guests to share in the romance, and you’ll start to feel like one of them when you see the images below captured by Alison Dunn Photography.

Photo by Alison Dunn Photography
Photo by Alison Dunn Photography
Photo by Alison Dunn Photography

When it was time to look for her wedding dress, Dana invited her mom to have the “Say Yes To The Dress” experience at Kleinfeld’s in New York. There, the bride-to-be chose an A-line Watters gown with an illusion neckline and plunging back. The stunning dress featured hand-placed Carina lace, elegant covered buttons, a satin ribbon at the waist, and a sweeping train. With a firm budget, Dana says she was nervous that she'd be hard pressed to find “the one” right away, but the reaction of strangers in the store and tears from her mom sealed the deal.

“When I put it on and stepped out of the dressing room, there were gasps from women I didn’t even know!”

She paired her gown with a cathedral-length veil by Symphony Bridal and a flower and pearl headpiece. Dana accessorized with a vintage opal ring (originally gifted from her grandfather to her late grandmother over 40 years ago) along with a delicate bronze knot cuff. Her bouquet was comprised of blush pink peonies, white polo roses, blush ranunculus, silver brunia berry, blush stock, white godetia, spray roses, and soft blush garden roses.

Photo by Alison Dunn Photography
Photo by Alison Dunn Photography

Jay went with a custom gray wool suit from My Suit in Philadelphia. “Jay wanted a classic look without wearing a tuxedo,” Dana says. He also wore an Aquaracer watch by Tag Heuer that Dana gave him on their wedding day. “He had been eyeing the watch for almost as long as we had been dating. I started saving for it right after we got engaged,” Dana says. Jay’s tie and pocket square matched the color palette of the bridesmaids' dresses.

Photo by Alison Dunn Photography
Photo by Alison Dunn Photography

Dana chose a handful of floor-length dresses in colors ranging from creamy latte to blush primrose and let her bridesmaids choose the style they liked best. The result was a coordinating mix of styles and romantic hues that complemented their bouquets, which featured blush ranunculus, pink spray roses, polo white roses, apricot stock, and white godetia. The stems of each bouquet was wrapped in white silk ribbon and the exposed ends were secured with pearl tipped pins.

Photo by Alison Dunn Photography
Photo by Alison Dunn Photography

Groomsmen wore tailored dark gray suits, which they paired with custom-fit monogrammed shirts, a gift from the groom. Going for a more casual look, they ditched the ties and wore playful socks and boutonnieres made up of open majolica spray roses with a touch of eucalyptus and dusty miller.

Photo by Alison Dunn Photography
Photo by Alison Dunn Photography

"I love that you drive down the long, tree-lined driveway and you’re tucked away on a secluded private estate," Dana says of her wedding venue. "In a way, it allowed us to have a very intimate weekend with our loved ones and that’s not something you see at a typical commercial wedding venue." The couple's ceremony took place in the Inn’s open field, where the bride and groom kept the aisle clear to accentuate the natural beauty of the open field.

Photo by Alison Dunn Photography
Photo by Alison Dunn Photography
Photo by Alison Dunn Photography

Mason jars were filled with apricot stock, Queen Anne’s lace, silver dollar eucalyptus, and clematis vine, and were attached with twine to chairs lining the aisle. With established trees as their backdrop, Dana and Jay exchanged personalized vows underneath a birch wedding arch decorated with a eucalyptus garland and embellished with natural groupings of flowers.

They worked closely with their officiant to incorporate personal touches throughout the ceremony. “Coming from different backgrounds in terms of our faith, Jay and I were able to include special readings and traditions that spoke to both of our religions and incorporated our family members,” Dana says.

Photo by Alison Dunn Photography
Photo by Alison Dunn Photography
Photo by Alison Dunn Photography
Photo by Alison Dunn Photography

Much of Dana and Jay's reception décor was inspired by a laurel wreath, which they first featured on their invitations, and then worked into their wedding signage, table numbers, favor hang tags, and on the mirror that adorned the barn’s mantle during dinner. With a public relations and event planning background, this bride tackled just about every planning project, with help from her fiancé of course. “The little projects brought us closer. In the end, we both high-fived each other for a job well done,” Dana shares.

Photo by Alison Dunn Photography
Photo by Alison Dunn Photography
Photo by Alison Dunn Photography
Photo by Alison Dunn Photography

For the reception, the venue’s barn was set up with a mixture of rectangular and round tables topped with gray linens and ivory napkins. Mason jars, vintage bottles, and vintage ceramic urns were placed on wood slabs and filled with a mix of pastel-hued flowers, including garden roses, peonies, majolica spray roses, dahlia, Queen Anne's lace, and hypericum berries. Table numbers, complete with the couple's laurel wreath symbol, were displayed in a willow wood card holder.

Each place setting was finished with a printed menus and a sprig of fresh, fragrant rosemary.

Photo by Alison Dunn Photography

Dana began collecting wood from her father’s woodpile about a year before her wedding day to use for her DIY projects. She transformed the pieces she saved into Mr. and Mrs. chair signs for the couple's head table, which were embellished with jasmine vine and tied with ivory ribbon.

Photo by Alison Dunn Photography
Photo by Alison Dunn Photography
Photo by Alison Dunn Photography

A four-tiered vanilla sponge cake with fresh berries and whipped cream was served for dessert. Topped with fresh flowers, the confection sat atop a wood slab that the father-of-the-bride sanded and finished himself. Jay had his own Snickerdoodle groom’s cake with whipped cinnamon icing, adorned with blush roses.

Photo by Alison Dunn Photography
Photo by Alison Dunn Photography

For a unique and meaningful wedding favor, this couple looked no further than the bride's own father, a professional beekeeper. The couple filled small fabric-topped jars with honey that Dana’s dad had harvested a year out from the wedding and finished them with DIY hang tags featuring the laurel wreath.

Photo by Alison Dunn Photography

For other brides looking to plan a DIY-heavy affair, Dana shares this piece of advice: “Sometimes it seems like you might not have enough time to get it all done, but stepping away from that to focus on your love and relationship is the key to feeling fulfilled by your hard work toward the wedding!”

Venue & Catering: The Inn at Barley Sheaf Farm || Bride's Wedding Dress: Watters || Veil: Symphony Bridal || Jewelry: LUMO; BHLDN || Shoes: Klub Nico || Bride's Hair & Bridesmaids' Hair & Makeup: Janelle on Location || Bride's Makeup: Victor Henao || Bridesmaids' Dresses: WTOO; Jim Hjelm Occasions; Sue Wong || Groom's Attire: My Suit || Groomsmen's Attire: Combatant Gentlemen || Engagement Ring: Martin Flyer || Wedding Band: Hamilton Jewelers || Flowers: Sebesta Design || Invitations & Paper Products: Smitten on Paper || Music: Jaclyn Duncan Music; Silver Sound Entertainment || Cake: The Caketeria || Videographer: Between Sleep and Awake || Photographer: Alison Dunn Photography

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