Jade & Jonah’s DIY, Festival Themed Wedding Outside DC

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Images: Pangtography 

West Virginia might technically fall outside of my regional requirements but once I saw the images from this festival themed wedding and just the whole vibe of the day – I simply fell in love. Plus, the venue was in Shepherdstown, WV which is only about an hour and a half from Washington, DC and 30 minutes from the outer parts of Northern Virginia, so really not THAT far outside my radius. Plus, as the submitters stated, “it’s a great place to come and escape the city … and get more for your dollar”.

Jonah & Jade’s wedding is full of colors, DIY projects, festival-themed details, and SO MUCH LOVE. I’m telling you – I thought this was a styled shoot at first, it’s so gorgeous, but really it was just a total labor of love (the bride and her friends did a lot – and hired the perfect vendors to cap it all off). I know you’re going to love this one!

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Jonah and I met through  mutual friends at a reggae show. I remember whispering to my friend before meeting him, “Look at that tall surfer looking dude with long hair over there.” One day, my sister invited me to come along to go pontooning on the Potomac River with some friends. It was a gorgeous day out, my friends and I were playing our guitars and  singing. Jonah was there and I remember him swinging from tree branches and doing these crazy cool dives in the water.  I nicknamed him, “Tarzan.” Jonah lived on the Shenandoah River so that summer our friends would go on tube floats followed by cookouts at Jonah’s with music and t-ball. Many hikes, reggae shows, cookouts, and floats down the river later, Jonah asked me on a date and the rest is history.

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Five years later, Jonah asked me out to dinner. Before I could get out the door, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said yes! And the wedding planning began!

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It was very special to have our wedding ceremony at the Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church, where we are both members. Jonah’s father, Randy Tremba, is the church’s minister and officiated our wedding ceremony.

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We are very close to our families, so the bridal party included our brothers, sisters, their wives, husbands, and kids. The wedding ceremony had both traditional and non-traditional elements. There was live music throughout played by several of our musician friends. Than and Mary Anne Hitt opened up the ceremony with “I Can See Clearly Now” by Jimmy Cliff. My father walked me down the aisle to the sound of two mandalins and a guitar strumming “The Wedding March” by George Frederick Handel. I carried a custom hand tied bouquet designed by one of my girlfriends, Westvirjeni. It was huge and colorful, asymmetrical and adorned with pheasant feathers.

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CLICK INSIDE FOR SO MUCH MORE OF THIS DREAMY, BRIGHTLY COLORED, FESTIVAL THEMED WEDDING

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DIY Workshop Recap! Makeup Tips & Skills with Ariel Lewis

Photos from the Harty ı Wedding, Event, & Lifestyle Photography ı www.photosfromtheharty.com

Images: Photos from the Harty

The beginning of the month brought the 2nd District Bliss Workshop and now we have ALL the fabulous images and details from the event! Ariel Lewis was on hand to teach attendees all about make-up: your best colors for your skin tone, how to apply a day-to-day look, and how to transform it into an evening look, and (my personal frenemy) eyebrows! The next workshop is not yet announced, but you know we’ll be sharing all the details once it is! Be on the look out here, OR sign-up for our newsletter to be the first to know. Check out all the fun these attendees had next! Happy Hump Day Romancers.

Photos from the Harty ı Wedding, Event, & Lifestyle Photography ı www.photosfromtheharty.com

Photos from the Harty ı Wedding, Event, & Lifestyle Photography ı www.photosfromtheharty.com

Photos from the Harty ı Wedding, Event, & Lifestyle Photography ı www.photosfromtheharty.com

Photos from the Harty ı Wedding, Event, & Lifestyle Photography ı www.photosfromtheharty.com

Photos from the Harty ı Wedding, Event, & Lifestyle Photography ı www.photosfromtheharty.com

Photos from the Harty ı Wedding, Event, & Lifestyle Photography ı www.photosfromtheharty.com
Photos from the Harty ı Wedding, Event, & Lifestyle Photography ı www.photosfromtheharty.com

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Guest Post: The Difficult Decision to Change Your Wedding Date (& Going With Your Gut in General)

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We’re back to blogging after finally getting caught up from vacation and heading into an awesome (but not at all relaxing) weekend. I had my 2nd wedding of the season (and there’s already an amazing same day edit video AND some image sneak peaks from the day. total vendor dream team), and then we day tripped to Philly to surprise our two best friends for their 30th birthday party. A lot of driving, but always worth it to see good friends.

For today we have a great wedding planning advice piece about changing your wedding date. I like this post because it can be more broadly applied to most wedding decisions in general – the fact that you REALLY have to go with your gut on them … no matter how hard or difficult it might seem to make a change. It also shows how, even if it’s tough, it’s never too late to change your mind – you have options. It’s better to make a tough call after a few weeks of planning, than have a huge regret later. Weddings cost too much and take too much time to plan, to regret ANY of the choices involved. So here’s Carolyn with her story on changing her wedding date.

Changing your Wedding Date | By: Carolyn Thomb

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Life is never cut and dry, there will always be hiccups and things thrown in your path that you need to overcome. The same applies to wedding planning. No matter how organized and prepared you are, there are just some things you can’t control. This amazing thing that was thrown into Jon and I’s path was not a bad thing, but an amazing opportunity.

Back in November Jon applied for a great job and is currently still going through the application process. One thing we have found out is that if he gets the job his training is from July till October. Yes, and we had our wedding set for a gorgeous Friday in September. We also found out that they are very unlikely to let Jon have the Thursday and Friday off to get married. So for a few months I was sitting on pins and needles wondering what we were going to do. We couldn’t move the wedding to earlier or before he left and I didn’t want to make it later, not knowing what his work schedule would be like.

Finally, I made the call and asked all the essential people involved about a new date and if it was at all possible. So then came a week of so many emails and texts to family members, bridal parties and vendors. Thankfully we are surrounded by very supportive family and friends and they had no problem with it at all. The vendors were all amazing as well and assured me there was no issue with moving the wedding from the Friday to the Sunday and keeping the timing all the same. Right then I was reassured even more with my choices for vendors and was finally able to breathe and continue on in the planning.

We are now just sending out the Save the Dates, which is being done a little later than I wanted to, but it is better late than having to send out a separate note with the change of date.

My advice to anyone out there facing this predicament is to just look at all of the possibilities and then choose the best option for you as a couple and then take into consideration the rest of the essential people involved in the decision process. Try and do the deciding sooner rather than later so you don’t have to lose any of your deposits or vendors.

If any of you couples out there are going through this, don’t worry you aren’t alone! Everything will work out how it is supposed to and as long as you are with your honey you can get through anything.

An Alternative Wedding Cake Idea – A Literal Cheese Cake

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Image: Julie Napear Photography

We had a great time in Arizona. We survived the 5 hour plane ride there and back, but did not survive the “baby doesn’t understand time change” challenge and so we saw a lot of sunrises as we mostly got up in the 3 to 4am time frame. But our friends’ wedding was GORGEOUS (& it had a freakin’ BEER DONKEY), we stumbled upon an amazing Farmer’s Market in Phoenix, we introduced Evie to Sedona and got some off-roading done in Andy’s parent’s Bobcat. It was a great vacation, but it’s back to the grind of blogging, prepping for this weekend’s wedding, and shipping out CapRo Planners.

For today I have a super fun guest post from the Cheese Mongers at Righteous Cheese. I always say that I could survive on cheese alone and that I really don’t trust someone that doesn’t like cheese. Because cheese, is amazing. So what better way to have a truly alternative wedding cake, than to have a literal CHEESE cake. Plus these cheese mongers are #madeinDC, serving up local cheese out of Union Market. If you haven’t been, check them out AND consider this non-traditional wedding cake option!

Cheese Wheel Wedding Cake Trends | By: Carolyn, the Cheese Expert at Righteous Cheese

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Image: Taylor & Ben Photography

A rapidly growing trend for cutting-edge, food-loving couples is the cheese wheel wedding cake. Cheese-loving brides and grooms who are looking to incorporate unique & distinctive wedding elements are quickly discovering this delicious alternative to a traditional cake.

Each “cake” is formed by stacking several cheese wheels in varying sizes and colors, chosen based on appearance or taste. Some cheese shops have standard cheeses they prefer to use for cakes; but many also craft custom pieces, which creates a bespoke wedding experience. Cakes can be decorated with flowers, fruit, ribbon, and even a traditional cake topper. In addition to being a delicious wedding addition for any food-lover, a cheese wheel cake is an ideal gluten- and sugar-free option, to either replace a traditional cake or even served alongside more conventional desserts.

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Image: Rodney Bailey

What to know before you go:

  • If you don’t already have a favorite cheese shop, ask your caterer if they work with any area cheese shops that might be able to create a cheese wheel cake. Although you can ship cheeses, the best option is a local business that can walk you through the process and avoid shipping.
  • When choosing a cheese shop, make sure that you will be able to taste the cheeses before making a final decision. Balance what you prefer yourselves with what you think your guests will like. The cheesemonger will be a great resource for this – they often know what cheeses are most popular.
  • The cheese shop can provide accompaniments for the cake (fruit, nuts, crackers, etc) so inquiring is never a bad idea. Otherwise, your caterer may be able to provide delicious accompaniments.
  • Be sure to reach out in advance, as many cheese shops are small and will need to schedule a tasting to truly give each couple their full attention. Since the shop may have to special-order the cheeses for you, try to set up a tasting at least 2-3 months in advance of your wedding, and have a contract or agreement in place at least 1 month prior.
  • The size of your event will likely influence the size of your cake, so discuss sizing options at the shop, and have an idea of how many people will likely be attending.
  • Many shops will offer to deliver or decorate for you on the day-of and some will only provide the cheese. Whatever services you choose may come with additional fees. Find out what your services your cheese shop offers (and pricing) before committing.
  • It is also entirely possible to keep with the cake-cutting tradition, if your cake is topped with the right cheese! Ask the cheesemonger if they have any good options to incorporate a cake-cutting into the event.
  • Artisanal cheeses are small-batch, which means that sometimes, unforeseen forces prevent a particular cheese from getting to the shop. At your tasting, talk about the consistent availability of the cheeses you’ve selected, and backups in case the cheese is not available.

Drew & Kelly’s DIY, Family-Oriented, Coral & Grey Wedding

View More: http://cynthiashipp.pass.us/drewandkelly

Images: Cynthia Shipp Photography

When your brother is the groom and the bride is (now) your sister-in-law, the regional requirements of your blog can be ignored. So while Drew & Kelly tied the knot up in Connecticut this past September, and technically this is a DC area blog, the details of their wedding & love story were too perfect to not share. Plus I had the absolute HONOR to serve as their officiant, and so naturally I needed to share this moment with you all. Warning, it’s next to impossible to narrow down pictures that you have such an emotional attachment to, to this one is picture heavy. Happy Thursday you guys.

View More: http://cynthiashipp.pass.us/drewandkelly View More: http://cynthiashipp.pass.us/drewandkelly

We knew we wanted our family involved in everything!  We decided that our wedding parties would be strictly family – Drew’s sisters and brother-in-law’s and Kelly’s brother and step-sister were all included in the wedding party.  Even at the last minute Kelly’s teenage step-brothers became “flower-boys!”

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While working on wedding planning it was very important to us that the ceremony fit our personalities and was meaningful to us.

Coral Grey Mill on the River Connecticut DIY Wedding Pictures1 View More: http://cynthiashipp.pass.us/drewandkelly

Our ceremony included many family elements along the way as well!  Each of our bridal party pairs walked into the ceremony holding their babies (our 4 “flower babies!”) and we recessed from the ceremony with our 8 month old to a live acoustic guitarist version of “Send Me on My Way” by the Rusted Roots!

View More: http://cynthiashipp.pass.us/drewandkelly View More: http://cynthiashipp.pass.us/drewandkelly

We were married under a gazebo overlooking a small reservoir at dusk! We decided who better to ask officiate than Bree – Drew’s sister and wedding coordinator extraordinaire! She knew us and knew what we wanted so she was the perfect officiant fit. She did the most amazing job making us laugh, making us cry, and simply just making us feel comfortable!

^excuse me while I go cry again, after reading these amazingly kind words from Kelly. Love you guys. I was HONORED to be your officiant!

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 During the ceremony our mom’s read excerpts from two children’s books – Kelly works in early childhood so this was important to her!  Drew’s mom read from “Oh the Places You’ll Go” while Kelly’s mom read from “The Velveteen Rabbit”.

View More: http://cynthiashipp.pass.us/drewandkelly

^ I tried HARD not to tear up myself during the ceremony. No one wants to see the officiant crying … butttt I couldn’t help it. Everything was just so damn beuatiful, and I was SO happy, and OK, only 5 months post-partum, so let’s just blame that ;-p

View More: http://cynthiashipp.pass.us/drewandkelly Coral Grey Mill on the River Connecticut DIY Wedding Pictures6

We were far from traditional when planning our wedding – our men wore tangerine converse and picked out their own gray suits, our girls wore coral pumps and picked out their own gray dresses!  Overall, we stuck with a gray theme with highlighting undertones of coral and gold.

View More: http://cynthiashipp.pass.us/drewandkelly View More: http://cynthiashipp.pass.us/drewandkelly View More: http://cynthiashipp.pass.us/drewandkelly

READ MORE FOR THE REST OF DREW & KELLY’S CORAL & GRAY, MILL ON THE RIVER WEDDING (INCLUDING THE WEDDING VIDEO DREW EDITED HIMSELF!)

Bride to Be Guest Blogger: Our DIY Wedding Centerpieces

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Our guest blogger Carolyn is back again, taking her DIY frame serving trays and making them into their final, wedding centerpieces. They came out SO SO good, incorporating both her DIY project and the floral stylings of EightTreetStreet. Check it all out below:

DIY Wedding Centerpieces | By: Carolyn Thomb

For Jon & I’s wedding I knew I didn’t want a cookie-cutter setting for the reception and that for the most part I wanted a different centerpiece for each table. I thought this would add to the over-all feel of the wedding that I was going for, slightly eclectic and vintage-y with some modern pieces added.

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So with this in mind I got together with Maribel, of EightTreeStreet and our floral stylist, to come up with some great centerpiece options created with some of the pieces I have collected or made for the wedding. It was such a fun day and she truly amazes me everytime I work with her because of how effortless it is for her to grab some flowers and create a beautiful masterpiece.

This is the formula a created for us to stick to as a guideline for us as well as any other brides looking to do this without help.

Step 1. Use a Tray (like our DIY Frame Serving Tray tutorial) or just a piece of tile, which can be bought from Home Depot for a fairly low price.

DIY wedding centerpieces

Step 2. Use any of the following (choose 1-3) items:

  • large vase
  • candle stick
  • votive glass
  • wine glass
  • small jar
  • tumbler
  • mason jar, etc…

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Step 3. Use any of the following (choose 1-3)

  • tall tapered candle
  • flowers
  • crystals
  • tea lights
  • greenery

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Add them together and you get a simple, but beautiful DIY centerpiece for Reception or Cocktail Hour

 >> READ MORE FOR THE REST OF CAROLYN’S DIY WEDDING CENTERPIECES <<

Introducing the “DIY” Capitol Romance Wedding Planner – Download, Print, Plan

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Holy Moly am I excited to be dropping this news today. This one has been in the works for weeks (ok, months) and I am SO STOKED to finally get this off my to-do list and out into the world.

Today we are OFFICIALLY making the Capitol Romance Wedding Planner accessible to even more couples – by setting up a PDF printable version so that you can purchase, download, and print at home, to make your own customized wedding planning binder, with all the goods that our planner includes.

Boom. Wedding Planning Made Easy.

Just visit our online store, select the “DIY” Wedding Planner Download (only $15!):

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We’ll get your order and send you the PDF:

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You can pick any of the current cover options in Hot Pink:

 

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Then you just print at home:

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3-hole punch your print out:

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And boom – you’ve got your very own Capitol Romance Wedding Planner, ready to rock your wedding planning and start saving money AND sanity.

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We can’t wait to see your DIY planners – be sure to tag us (@capitolromance) in any pictures you take of it!

Upcoming Event: Ask the Newlyweds with GayWeddings

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Join GayWeddings and a Panel of just-married couples at the WeddingWire HQ to hear first-hand what they learned from planning their wedding! “Ask the Newlyweds” will feature three, super cool same-sex newlywed couples that plan to have a laid-back, real-talk chat about what it’s REALLY like to plan a wedding, share some advice, and be free to answer questions.

The event is open to ALL couples (plus their crew!) but space is limited and RSVPing is required.

RSVP here!

The event will feature cocktails, the MOST delicious treats from Buttercream Bakeshop (seriously, the best) and tunes by DJ Tezrah. For more information check out the website. Hope to see you there!

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Image: Mathy Shoots People

Vol 7: The Real Life of a Momprenuer: Real Life is Not Full of White Backgrounds

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I follow some other fellow moms and a general mom lifestyle account on Instagram and these past few weeks I can’t help but get frustrated at the images they post. Staged, polished, perfected, and (my biggest grudge) full of eternal white backgrounds.

White walls, white bed sheets, white onesies, white everything.

Why does this irritate me so, you might ask? Because anyone with a kid (or let’s be honest here, anyone that has ever even just met a kid), knows that kids are insanely messy. Putting Evie on a white comforter would give me heartburn as I know it would be only a matter of seconds until she did something to stain it.

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But I am going to take this one step further and say that to me, these endless white backgrounds and staged photos give the impression that these women’s lives are pristine, clean, and perfect. But that is not real life. Real life is messy. Real life is dirty. And real life is unpredictable. And having a kid only augments those things. I see these pictures and I get funny images of the reality behind it … “no wait, we can’t take a picture until we find a white wall!”.

And seeing endless images of perfectly clean and staged images of kids is not inspiring to me, it’s exhausting. Because my life most certainly does not look like that (it looks much more like the image above – messy hair on my head, attempting to keep Evie from my laptop, and no white backgrounds in sight), and I can’t imagine that in reality, anyone else’s life is really like that either.

So why do we put these images on social media? If this isn’t reality, then what’s their point? I really don’t know. But I can guarantee you that you probably won’t ever see pictures like this on my social accounts, because in all honesty, as a mompreneur, I don’t have the time to stage my images, or spend extra time searching for that perfect white background. I am much too preoccupied with my perfectly messy, dirty, & unstaged life.

Get Organized with Our Brand New Wedding Planner! Buy the Planner