DIY Wedding

This Couple Held Their DIY Wedding at a Bowling and Bocce Venue

Tina, from Costa Mesa, California, and Jake, of Frederick, met at a St. Patrick’s Day/birthday celebration for a mutual friend in March 2016, where they say they both arrived unfashionably early with plans of slipping out equally early. However, Tina says, they ended up hitting it off immediately and chatting the night away. Tina was smitten with Jake’s sincerity and wit. He thought she was outgoing, friendly, and cute. “When a stranger came up near the end of the night and asked us how long we’d been dating, we told her that we’d just met,” Tina recalls. “She gave us a look and told us to exchange numbers. Jake took the opportunity to ask for my phone, put his number in it, and called himself. He followed up the next day with a text.”

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For their first date, they met for a wine tasting at Paul’s Liquor and Wine, where they bought a bottle of Mannequin by Orin Swift, then enjoyed drinks and darts at Tenleytown Gastropub. “We’ve celebrated our first date in different ways” since then, says Tina. “We opened the bottle we bought for our one-year anniversary; before COVID we’d made it a weekly tradition to visit Paul’s for their Friday night wine tastings; and we visited Orin Swift Cellars when we went to Napa for vacation.”

The pair dated for three years before Jake popped the question in the Bishop’s Garden at the National Cathedral. Ten months later, they exchanged vows in front of family and friends at Pinstripes in Bethesda in March 2020, just days before the Covid-19 shutdowns began. “When we look back at our wedding day we can’t believe how lucky we were,” says Tina. “We’re fairly certain we squeezed our wedding in on the last possible day (perhaps it was the miracle of Pi Day!). When we went back to Pinstripes the Sunday after to pick up our decorations, they locked the doors behind us and closed down their restaurant.”

For their big day, the couple says they wanted the celebration to be fun, no-fluff, and easily accessible to their visiting guests. “A majority of our guests were from out of town, so we wanted to make sure that the venue was metro/Uber accessible and close to restaurants and entertainment,” says Tina. “Pike & Rose was perfect!” They kept three bocce ball courts reserved all night for guests to enjoy. Instead of fresh flowers, they chose silk blooms that they’ve since used to decorate their home. The cocktail hour menu includes crispy calamari and hummus with pita chips, and for dinner, salads, pastas, maple-glazed salmon and short ribs, plus parmesan risotto and seasonal vegetables. After, the couple cut into a cherry pie in honor of their “Pi Day” date for the photo opp, served along with Frangelico chocolate cake and carrot cake, plus a self-serve gelato bar for dessert.

Tina says her favorite part of the day was her father’s speech, which he’d worked on for weeks without sharing with anyone. “It was funny, sentimental, and delivered perfectly” she says. “I asked for the written speech after, so I could always hold onto his words.” Jake’s favorite part was a fake first look: He was told pictures were earlier than they actually were, so he got dressed, was blindfolded and taken to the hotel patio where he expected to meet Tina, but instead was met by one of his best friends in a wedding dress, and other friends at the bar. “We got to enjoy lunch together and some quality time before the real pictures started two hours later.” Guests were gifted commemorative wine corks, dusty-blue pashmina scarves, and See’s gourmet lollipops.

See the details from the couple’s big day below.

The Details

Photographer: Vince Ha Photography | Venue: Pinstripes | Florist: TheBloomingWreath viaEtsy |Invitations: Minted | Hair & Makeup: JKW Beauty | Bride’s Attire: Sarah Joseph Couture from Style by TC in California | Groom & Groomsmen’s Attire: J. Crew | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Shona Joy, Revolve and Lulu’s | Music: Ryan Smetzer Entertainment Officiant: Sealed with a Kiss by Kait

Amy Moeller

Editor, Washingtonian Weddings

Amy leads Washingtonian Weddings and writes Style Setters for Washingtonian. Prior to joining Washingtonian in March 2016, she was the editor of Capitol File magazine in DC and before that, editor of What’s Up? Weddings in Annapolis.