Bree Ryback

Let’s Get Personal: My Weekend at the Washington, DC Blogcademy

blogcademy washington dc recap (5)

Image: A Muse Photography

A few weeks ago I attended The Blogcademy in Washington, DC – a 2-day long workshop focused on blogging, branding, and monetizing your business. I’ve been smitten with the workshop (and it’s amazing tagline, “No boredom. No bathering. No bullshit”) since I first saw it pop-up on Rock & Roll Bride’s social media accounts and blog a few years ago. I dreamed of attending, and lived vicariously through the instagram pictures of the workshops occurring across the world, never thinking that I would ACTUALLY get to attend.

blogcademy washington dc recap (10)

Image: Val & Sarah

And then one day on Twitter I saw Kat tweet that they were launching a class in Washington, DC. I almost fell out of my chair in excitement. I couldn’t believe it – I never really thought they’d come to my city! I signed up immediately (Kat confirmed this at class) and was literally the first person to sign up. I then waited in anticipation for 6 months for the first day of The Blogcademy to arrive.

blogcademy washington dc recap (2)

Pics from my Instagram!

I was SUPER pumped when Sarah of Val & Sarah and Maggie of Pop Wed Co! decided to attend too. While I am a totally type A person, I am not always that out-going/great at meeting people, so it was nice to have some friends that I knew AND also pretty rad to get to share the incredible weekend with 2 of my favorite friends in the DC wedding scene.

blogcademy washington dc recap (4)

Click inside for the rest of my recap of The DC Blogcademy!

Pin It

Meg & Trey’s Virginia Farm Engagement Pictures

virginia farm engagement pictures (1)

I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I am slightly exhausted this morning. Rest wasn’t exactly on my to-do list this weekend as I had my last wedding of 2014 on Saturday and then a DIY Workshop yesterday. The warmth of Trey & Meg’s gorgeous Virginia farm wedding is helping slightly though – as THEY look pretty darn relaxed and happy in their engagement pictures. Thanks to Allison Kuhn Creative for sharing her images for this one.

virginia farm engagement pictures (4) virginia farm engagement pictures (3)

How thee met:

Trey and I met in 2008 on St. Patrick’s day in St. Louis. I had flown there from Virginia to visit a few friends and he was stationed at an Air Force Base there. My friends and I were hanging out in an Irish bar that afternoon and when he walked in, we immediately noticed him- he looked just like one of our old high school friends. I guess his friends noticed our stares, because they brought him over to our table. Trey and I hit it off pretty quickly…. and so started a long distance Missouri to Virginia relationship.

2014-10-27_0001 virginia farm engagement pictures (9)

Click inside for the rest of Meg & Trey’s beautiful Virginia farm engagement pictures!

Baltimore Record Store Engagement Pictures & Friday Link Love

baltimore MD record store engagement pictures (3)

Photo: Karen Rainier Photography

IT’S FRIDAY. And while I refrain from belting out some Rebecca Black, I’ll try and contain my excitement. But BOY OH BOY do I have a weekend ahead of me. Tomorrow is my last wedding gig of 2014 (where has the time gone?! seriously?!) and then Sunday is our 2nd to last DIY Wedding Workshop of the year too! (Tickets still on sale for today if you are interested!). I am hoping to squeeze in some Farmer’s Market shopping, some yard work (our yard is COVERED in leaves and I won’t even tell you how high our grass is), and hoping I can catch SOME of the big Penn State – Ohio State White Out game post wedding.

In the meantime, here are some links to get you to the weekend AND the rest of this adorable Baltimore record store engagement session from Karen Rainier Photography below!

Link love links:

9 Pieces of Wedding Advice Married Couples Wish They Had Known on Their Wedding Day (#3 is my FAVORITE – I think I need to write a whole blog post on this!)

Your Moments of Self Doubt (an older post, but it’s SUCH a great reminder)

How Much Should Your Wedding Cost?

DIY Spa Favors Tutorial - perfect for a bachelorette or bridal shower favor!

DCist Rounds Up the Top Places to Find a Suit in DC!

baltimore MD record store engagement pictures (4)

From the photographer:

We met at Celebrated Summer Records in Hamden to start out the session. They even brought along some of their favorite records that symbolized important moments in their relationship. Any couple that shares my love of Huey Lewis is at the top my list of awesome people!

baltimore MD record store engagement pictures (5)

From the couple:

Steve used to play in a band that toured for a large portion of the year. In the summer of 2006 while he was on tour, the print shop where he worked was hiring a temp to fill his position while he was away. A mutual friend also worked there and told Sherry about the job opening and she started working there while he was gone. When he returned, they kept her on as extra help and that was when she and Steve met. They immediately became good friends, spending every day working together, cracking jokes, and creating iPod playlists to make our time at work more enjoyable. They started to spend time together outside of work too, going to see local bands play, browsing through the shelves of local record stores, and seeing movies. The following spring, before he left for another tour, Steve bought 2nd row tickets for them to see Huey Lewis and the News upon his return. From that day forward, their hearts were totally inseparable. Steve proposed on Christmas Day 2013 and he and Sherry are super excited to spend the rest of their lives together taking on new adventures and making memories that will last forever.

baltimore MD record store engagement pictures (2) baltimore MD record store engagement pictures (6) baltimore MD record store engagement pictures (1)

Have a great freakin’ weekend Romancers.

Kristen & Nicki’s Intimate, Washington DC Courthouse Elopement

washington dc courthouse wedding elopment (7)

Two beautiful brides and one simple courthouse elopement. We’re keeping it simple on the blog today with Angel Kidwell Photography. Don’t forget about our DIY Makeup Workshop this Sunday too! Tickets are still on sale until tomorrow evening. Hope to see some of you fabulous CapRo readers there :)

washington dc courthouse wedding elopment (1) washington dc courthouse wedding elopment (2)

Photographer, Angel, shares:

Kristen and Nicki planned a small courthouse elopement in Washington DC with family and friends that were filled with love, joy and tears. We all planned to meet outside of the H. Carl Moultrie Courthouse and then head in together. I first ran into Nicki who was wearing the same wedding dress her mother wore on her wedding day. The joy that everyone exuded was contagious! Hugs were shared all around.

washington dc courthouse wedding elopment (5) washington dc courthouse wedding elopment (4)

DIY Tutorial: Wedding Appropriate Carved Pumpkin Table Numbers

 

pumpkin_tablenumbers-14_stomped

Another week in October means another Fall/Halloween themed DIY tutorial! Today Ribbons & Bluebirds is sharing some SERIOUSLY rad carved pumpkin table numbers that are wedding appropriate! I love pumpkins SO much they make a natural (and cheap) addition to your Fall wedding decor. But sometimes the overly orange color isn’t a fit – so I love the way Jen used gold paint and drips of white to snazz these pumpkins up. Full step-by-step DIY tutorial below!

pumpkin_tablenumbers-15_stomped

In our spooky DIY series this October we’ve covered awesome DIY Halloween party invites spiced up with washi tape, and tombstone placecards – now for the big one! Pumpkin carving is something I have always loved doing, so I love the idea of translating it into a wedding setting for people with awesome October or November wedding dates! While you can certainly paint a number on a pumpkin more easily, there is something so charming about a carved lit pumpkin that I think would be worth a little cleanup. You’d want to do these pretty close to the wedding date to make sure the carving would stay fresh – I’d suggest having people over to assembly-line the cleaning process, just like if you were having friends and family help arrange flowers!

Just like for flowers, I found that Trader Joes has great prices on pumpkins, but shop around in your area to make sure you’re getting a good deal. At $3.99 and acting as a centerpiece for the whole table, these pumpkins are a killer deal versus traditional floral centerpiece!

Let’s get started:

  • A medium sized pumpkin
  • A printer and printer paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Pumpkin carving kit, or a kitchen knife plus an awl
  • Paint (optional)

pumpkin_tablenumbers-1_stomped

Step 1. Use your computer to pick a font you really like for the numbers. I liked the idea of a clean, modern sans serif – I used Century Gothic. Keep in mind that for numbers that have a fully enclosed part – 4, 6, 8, 9, and 0 – you’ll need to “break” the continuous number to keep the center holes from falling in. Print the numbers at a good size for your pumpkins onto plain paper.

Step 2. Prepare your work area, and clean your pumpkins! This part is my least favorite, I will admit. When you cut a hole in the top to remove the gunk and allow you to put in the candle, make sure you angle your cut inward so the resulting top won’t fall into the pumpkin when you put it back! Scrape out all the goop and throw away, unless you want to roast the seeds (sugared and spiced and given as favors? I could see that working well.) Make sure you scrape the side you’ll be carving as clean as possible – the thinner the pumpkin wall, the easier and cleaner the carving will be.

pumpkin_tablenumbers-2_stomped

Click inside for the rest of our DIY Pumpkin Wedding Table Numbers tutorial!

Matt & Taylor’s Dreamy Great Falls Maryland Engagement Pictures

dreamy rock creek park engagement pictures (10)

I don’t usually pick a black and white for the main image of a post – but DAMN Rachel with A Muse Photography really killed it on these black and whites. Matt & Taylor are just adorable and I love their love story. They also chose Rock Creek Park, one of the BEST places in Washington DC for your engagement pictures. The foliage is stunning and there’s just so much to do. Thanks to Rachel for sharing these!

dreamy rock creek park engagement pictures (6) dreamy rock creek park engagement pictures (9)

How we met:

Matt and I first met the night before the start of the 2009 Fall Semester at UVA at a rowing social event. I was starting my 1st year, while Matt was entering his 3rd year. Over the next couple weeks, we would frequently run into each other and shyly chat. By mid-September, Matt was taking me out on dates and we’ve going strong ever since! Despite being in a long-distance relationship since Matt graduated UVA in 2011, the distance has made our relationship stronger and we have learned to treasure their time together whether it’s a 24-hour visit or 24-minute phone conversation. Matt now resides in Princeton, NJ and trains with the US Rowing National Team. I am currently a Speech-Language Pathology graduate student at UVA. After my May 2015 graduation, I’m super excited to settle down in Princeton, NJ and finally be in a “close-distance” relationship with Matt before the big day!

dreamy rock creek park engagement pictures (5) dreamy rock creek park engagement pictures (4)

Click inside for the rest and Matt & Taylor’s proposal story!

Marcia & Zach’s Offbeat, Personalized Washington DC Wedding at Hillyer Art Center

offbeat personalized washington DC wedding hillyer art space (17)

This Washington, DC wedding had it all. A ceremony in an art gallery, a push-up contest, the Jewish chair dance, dinner, dancing, and a legit New Orleans style parade to take the guests to dinner.

No joke. Just wait until you see these parade pictures – they’re amazing. Marcia & Zach had a DC wedding and did it THEIR way, including some Janet Reno masks. Man, I love when couples do what they want. I know you guys are going to love this one. Thanks to De Nueva Photography for sharing her images.

offbeat personalized washington DC wedding hillyer art space (10) offbeat personalized washington DC wedding hillyer art space (12)

Saturday: a friend from New Orleans who is a hairdresser did my hair and all my sisters.  Katy from Alison Harper & Co did my makeup and my sisters.  She was incredible and I set it up only 2 days before the wedding!

offbeat personalized washington DC wedding hillyer art space (27)

Our ceremony was in Hillyer Art Gallery in Dupont. There’s a shot of all my sisters in the gallery (in red). My sister Nancy married us.

2014-10-15_0002 offbeat personalized washington DC wedding hillyer art space (42)

Our band was Mike Flaherty’s Dixieland Direct. They were probably the highlight of our wedding.  These guys have a New Orleans-style brass band in DC and they go down to New Orleans frequently to play.  They got totally into the spirit of our wedding and played Oh When the Saints when we marched out and coordinated a fabulous number with my 86yo uncle which took them a lot of time to organize with him but they were really into.  They worked in all my crazy friends and a skit to “You Can’t Hurry Love.” The coup de grace was when they led a New Orleans 2nd Line parade all the way from Hillyer to Kababji Grill – quite a scene!

offbeat personalized washington DC wedding hillyer art space (47) offbeat personalized washington DC wedding hillyer art space (45)

My mom’s friend did the flowers and one her other friends made the corsages, etc.

offbeat personalized washington DC wedding hillyer art space (44)2014-10-15_0003

Click inside for SO MUCH MORE of this super rad Washington DC wedding – including the New Orleans style parade from the ceremony to dinner!

DIY Tutorial: How to Make Halloween Tombstone Place Cards

DIY halloween tombstone placecard tutorial

After you finishing making your DIY washi tape Halloween invitations, and invite all your friends to your rockin’ Halloween party, you can now set the table with some spook-tacular (yes, I typed that) tombstone place cards to set the table! Another ridiculously awesome DIY tutorial thanks to Ribbons & Bluebirds!

How to make DIY Tombstone Placecards

Rolling with this Halloween theme, let’s make some placecards!  These would also make great food or drink labels for your party spread, and are a cinch to make.

Let’s get started:

tombstone_placecards-1_stomped

  • Template, available here
  • 8.5×11 grey cardstock
  • Scissors
  • White Gel Pen
  • Grey brush marker
  • Tape

1.       Print out the template (available here) on your grey cardstock.

2.       Cut out your individual tombstones along the thin black lines.  If you have a scoring board, not would be a great time to score the cardstock for future folding, at the dashed lines.  If you don’t, not to worry!

tombstone_placecards-2_stomped

3.       While your cardstock is still flat, start by adding highlights to your tombstone using the white gel pen.  To the left and top of every printed line, trace the shape with the white pen for a highlight effect.

tombstone_placecards-3_stomped

4.       To add shadows to the tombstone, use your grey brush pen and trace to the right and bottom of the printed lines.  This will give you a great 3-d effect!

tombstone_placecards-4_stomped

5.       I recommend adding either individual names, or food and drink labels BEFORE folding – it’s much easier to write on the tombstones when they’re still flat. I wrote the name with my grey brush marker, then added highlights like I had done with the rest of the tombstone.

tombstone_placecards-5_stomped

6.       Time to fold!  Fold each section inwards on the dashed lines, and press to crease.  You should end up with a flat section for the tombstone to stand upright on, and another flap behind.  Line the inside of the flap with tape (sticky side out.) Using your fingers to temporarily fold the tape inwards, align the flap with the back of the tombstone, more than halfway towards the top.  This will make sure the tombstone is nice and visible, by causing the tombstone to lean back slightly.  Press the folded tape to the back of the tombstone to secure.

tombstone_placecards-7_stomped

 

You’re all done!

tombstone_placecards-10

Boom!!

Washington DC Area Wedding Gown Cleaning, Preservation, & Advice

princess strapless wedding gown

[Image: Eastport Photography]

A few weeks ago I got a reader email, asking me to do a round-up on Washington, DC area wedding gown cleaners and preservers. Karol had already done a great deal of research finding some places, but I thought I would take it a step further and find some REAL past brides that got their wedding gown cleaned and preserved and share their experiences with you.

First, let’s share a roundup of places in the Washington, DC Metro Area that offer this service:

Imperial Gown Restoration (Silver Spring, MD)
Wedding Gown Specialist (Arlington, VA)
Soliloquy Bridal (wedding gown preservation company authorized dealer )(Herndon, VA)
Gowns Remembered (Crofton, MD)
Parkway Custom Cleaning (Chevy Chase, Md)
Mclean Cleaners (Mclean, VA)
Ellie’s Bridal (Alexandria, VA)

Did we miss one you’d recommend? Leave it in the comments below!

silver bridal heels lace wedding dress

[Image: Marcella Treybig]

Now let’s talk about the ADVICE piece here. Some past brides shared the good, the pricey, and the “why bother” of wedding gown preservation:

The Good.

“I went to the cleaners in my neighborhood, waterfront cleaners…can’t really say if they did a good job bc it is in a HUGE box!”

“I did mine at Old Dominion Cleaners & Shirt Finishers on Lee Highway. It was less than $200 including the box. The box has a velcro flap that lifts up to reveal a window, so I can peek at my dress whenever I want. She even arranged my veil in the window as well.”

“Ellie’s Bridal Boutique offers dress preservation. I can’t remember how much it was but I just dropped my dress off and they sent it away to be boxed up and it came back absolutely beautiful. You can display the dress in the box if you want. Was thinking of hanging it on a wall of my closet.”

The Pricey.

“Parkway Custom Cleaning (Chevy Chase, Md) has the most reviews on this place and most people recommended them however the price range on site says 300 to 700 (wow) and most reviews do mention cost was expensive.”

“I got mine done at McLean Cleaners. They specialize in wedding dresses. It’s crazy packed in this awesome box and preserved. It was pricey, but worth it… you know, if my daughter ever wants to wear it (ha, unlikely!)”

The Why Bother.

“I did my with gownpreservation.com – I found out a lot of the stores use it anyway…”

“Those preservatives are pretty nasty to have on your skin. I never intended to wear my gown again, and I would never save it for a daughter or daughter-in-law to wear, so I donated mine. Keeping wedding gowns around just doesn’t make sense to me, especially for city dwellers where space is at a premium!”

intimate backyard wedding virginia (20)

What do you think Romancers!? Is wedding dress preservation for you? Mine is still hanging in my closet … completely un-preserved. I kinda like the faint stains and reminder and of the ROCKIN’ PARTY we had on our wedding day <3 Any other places we missed? Sound off below!

Need Help Making DIY Projects for Your Wedding? Attend Our Workshops!