Bree Ryback

Hanna & Jamison’s Personal, DIY Woodend Sanctuary Wedding in Maryland

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You might remember the insanely gorgeous Hanna & Jamison from their AWESOME Union Market engagement session in DC. If not, check it out, or just scroll to begin viewing the insane beauty of their wedding day, capturing PERFECTLY by Porter Watkins Photography. I seriously cannot imagine anyone else capturing this wedding – Porter killed it, and Hanna & Jamison poured themselves into their wedding (its obvious) and the result is breathtaking. Enjoy ever pin-worthy image. I know I already have.

Hanna & Jamison’s Personalized, Gorgeous Woodened Sanctuary Wedding in Maryland

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Vendors

Photography: Porter Watkins Photography | Wedding Coordinator: The Plannery | Venue: Woodend Sanctuary | Catering: A Main Event | Cake: Room 11 Cake, Katie Ross cake, Parkway Diner cake | Ceremony Music: Randy Barrett Trio | Reception Music: DIY iPod | Florist: H. Bloom | Hair Stylist: Meg at Eastern Confederate

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- When Jamison and I got engaged, we sat in the National Arboretum and contemplated our next steps. Driving straight to Reagan National and flying to Vegas, heading to the DC courthouse then taking off to Paris, having a small ceremony on my parent’s farm, having a big party with our friends and family in our beloved city; these were all appealing options. In about 15 minutes we made the call. The decision was simple, we’d be happy getting married in a courthouse, in our living room, or on a faraway cliff so long as we had the legally binding ceremony and some sweet outfits. But, we reasoned, how many opportunities do we have in our lives to bring our tribes together? When would we next be able to bring my four big families, his close-knit extended family, and our friends from DC and all over the world together? We needed to party with our people.

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That became the core of the entire wedding process and simplified how we made decisions about the day. Instead of using the loaded “W” word, we thought Party. We host parties all of the time and we’ve never given out a welcome bag, hence we did not fret about welcome bags. Music, good food, and alcohol; these are central elements to our kind of party, so that’s where we put our money. Also, we liked the idea of snazzy outfits and I used to operate a small organic gardening business so I wanted a lot of local, seasonal flowers. We wanted the whole day to feel like a beautiful Sunday party in a park with our nearest and dearest.

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Click inside for SO MUCH MORE of this gorgeous Maryland wedding!

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Jay & Kurt’s Intimate Elopement at United Church of Christ in DC

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I’m still in Oklahoma (made a quick trip home to my parents’ house in NJ this weekend to see my husband, and family and meet my brand new niece) but will try harder to get more posts up this week. For today we have a lovely little intimate DC elopement. The perfect reminder that love really does come in all shapes and sizes. I love blogging weddings like this that don’t fit the typical “wedding blog feature” mold. Happy Monday all!

Jay & Kurt’s Intimate DC Elopement at United Church of Christ

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Photographer: Mathy Shoots People | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

On the ceremony:

Our ring bearer was our son, Isaiah, who was adopted in March and our readers were: Rebecca, a family friend who also applied for our marriage license for us, and Kort, a family friend who came from Michigan to be with us.

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We chose to have our wedding at First Cong. UCC because we are members of the United Church of Christ, and the congregation is Open and Affirming.

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Click inside for the rest of Jay & Kurt’s intimate DC elopement.

DIY Bouquet & Boutonniere Workshop Recap (and some Tips & Tricks)

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A few weeks ago with had our 3rd DIY Wedding Workshop with Love Blooms and it was SUCH a fun afternoon! For those that missed it (you missed out!) but I thought I would be nice and share the “How to DIY Your Wedding Flowers” information sheet that Emily shared with our attendees AND some pictures from the event, thanks to the wonderful Cynthia Shipp Photography.

 DIY Workshop Recap: DIY Bouquet & Boutonniere Workshop with Love Blooms DIY bouquets and boutonnieres workshop (9)

Images: Cynthia Shipp Photography

^ What a GREAT class we had!!! :) First, Emily teaches the class about how to pick your flowers, where to find your flowers, and how to start making a bouquet:
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Emily shares SUPER valuable DIY wedding flower tips:

If you end up using wine bottles, you won’t have to worry about the water spilling out, because you probably won’t have to fill the bottles very high to have the stems submerged. If you are transporting wine bottle arrangements it works best to use the boxes that wine bottles arrive to the liquor store in. These boxes can hold 12 bottles, and usually have cardboard spacers, to keep the bottles from knocking into each other. If you ask, the liquor store will provide you will a couple of these boxes.

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Click inside for more pictures from our DIY wedding bouquets & boutonnieres workshop by Cynthia Shipp Photography AND more tips and tricks from Love Blooms!

Even & Jimmy’s Washington DC Courthouse Wedding

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Hey Romancers! Happy Monday. Another weekend come and gone. I had a BLAST working Violet & Josh’s wedding at Longview Gallery this weekend with some fabulous vendors (and I’ll be sure to share images from that on my Facebook page when they are done!) but for today I have an awesome simple Washington DC courthouse wedding from you courtesy of Stephen Bobb Photography. I also wanted to let you know that posting might be pretty light these next few weeks. I am tied up in training in Oklahoma for the day job, and not sure I will have much time to blog – but I will try my hardest to schedule some awesome posts, AND at the very least I’ll strum up an awesome giveaway to do when I get back to make it up to you all :) But for now, let’s get to know Even & Jimmy.

Even & Jimmy’s Intimate, Washington DC Courthouse Wedding Pictures

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“We chose to do a DC courthouse wedding because we wanted to have a simple gathering of our family and closest friends. And despite spending many years in a long distance relationship, we always met up in DC over the years and have shared so many memories here so wanted to get married in DC as well (and we live here now!). Ultimately, we think it turned out amazing just to have a few folks there to celebrate with us. Even and Jimmy”

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Click inside for the rest of Even & Jimmy’s adorable Washington DC courthouse wedding and some lovely wedding portraits on the metro!

Leigh Margaret & Inwook’s Intimate, Korean Infused Maryland Wedding

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I was going to write something beautiful to introduce today’s Maryland wedding feature, but what photographer, Steve of An Endless Pursuit wrote, was so much better than anything I could have attempted. So I leave you with his words. Happy Thursday Romancers.

“This was Leigh Margaret and Inwook’s second wedding. The first one was in South Korea and then they came back to the states to have a wedding with Leigh Margaret’s family. This was a small simple wedding. It was actually in a small house/meeting room at a local Gaithersburg community pool. Despite the simplicity, this wedding was beautiful in every way to us. Leigh Margaret and Inwook were incredible to observe and document. They come from such different cultures, there are language barriers, and yet there is a common language they speak through their love. Inwook was so full of joy and delight with his bride, and he expressed it in continuous laughter.”

Leigh Margaret & Inwook’s Intimate, Multicultural Maryland Wedding in Gaithersburg

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Photography: An Endless Pursuit | Venue: Hadley Farms | Linens & Rentals: Gaithersburg Party Rental | Musicians: Peat and Barley | Catering: LaPrima Catering | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

From the Bride:

Inwook and I were already going to have a huge, fancy Korean wedding. For the party in Jinju, there were 400 people in attendance! That wasn’t exactly my style. It was all very princess-y. If I happened to be a fussy bride, maybe I would have pushed for more opulence with the American wedding. I am thankful for both parties but our second marriage celebration couldn’t have been more perfect. It was intimate, enjoyable, and lovely. Thanks to Mama Manning for making it all possible!

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We have an unlikely story: I was the English language teacher, he was the student. I’m American and he’s Korean (that’s South Korean, by the way.) But more than proving that two very different people can build a relationship, I hope we are able to encourage others to take a risk romantically. You might just find the most fantastic partner that way.

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I had always wondered if I might end up with a non-white person. Maybe that’s a strange goal in seeking a partner. I suppose, this idea rendered itself more as an “open mind.” Even with that kind of openness, I had never dreamed he would grow up across the world, in a totally different language and culture. Thanks to his superior English skills, we are able to have a decently communicative relationship. (Guys and girls don’t communicate well anyway, but throw in a language barrier…) I think we balance each other well. We are equal amounts adventurous, but he’s cheerful and I’m sassy. Maybe. I shouldn’t be proud of that…

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I find the most joy in our shared love for traveling, our desire to bless others, and appreciating our cultural differences. Inwook is so fascinating, I’m not sure if I will ever stop learning new things about him. He would probably confess that I’m rambunctious and dynamic (i.e. crazy), and that keeps him entertained.

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Click inside for some adorable details form Leigh Margaret & Inwook’s simple, intimate Maryland wedding!

Let’s Get Personal: My Makeup-less Engagement Shoot (a guest post!)

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A few weeks ago I saw this post on Facebook (what do you know, Facebook brought some good) by Michael Munoz Photography. It was a gorgeous engagement session (his sessions always are) but what struck me was that the bride to be decided to go makeup-less for the shoot. Now, I have my own personal struggles with makeup and the need to wear it, but that’s not what this post is about. This post (a guest post from the bride to be, Shalini) is about empowerment and doing what you feel comfortable doing – even when it comes to your wedding or engagement pictures. If you would normally go without makeup, NOT dressed to the 9s, then why wouldn’t you do the same thing for your engagement pictures?

At the very least Shalini’s poss “My Makeup-less Engagement Shoot” gives us all something to think about, and though it was originally posted on the blog, Body Loving, I thought it was too important to not re-share here for my readers. A special thanks to Shalini for sharing and to Michael Munoz Photography for sharing his images from the engagement session!

Let’s Get Personal: My Makeup-Less Engagement Pictures (A Guest Post)

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About a month ago, my fiancé, Scott, and I had one of those popular (read: overdone) engagement photo shoots. I spent the days prior considering what to wear, what image to portray. Cute and girly? Sophisticated and timeless? “Effortless” and casual? These are pictures that I hope to pass along to our future children and grandkids, so I wanted them to truly represent who we are as a couple.

More confusing than what to wear clothing-wise was whether or not to put on a full face of makeup and go for a “flawless” look or to stick to the bare face I am learning to accept. The ladies at Beauty Redefined have written about photoshopping ourselves out of reality, and I feel like when I wear enough makeup to create a “perfect” image, I no longer look like myself, and am indeed doing just that. It wasn’t until the night before the shoot that I decided: I want to look like myself in these pictures, “imperfections” included, because that’s the Shalini that Scott loves. I also didn’t want to spend an extra 40 minutes primping, or have to worry about getting concealer on Scott’s shirt, or having to re-apply makeup halfway through the shoot. These are often the reasons I don’t wear makeup on a daily basis anyway; it’s just so much easier to go without it.

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I was a bit nervous opening up the photos last week, afraid that I’d look horrible, and that I’d made a poor decision in not giving in to societal standards of flawless beauty. I wondered, what if my grandkids remember me as ugly? But then I thought of the pictures I’ve seen of my grandparents in their youth, and it’s not their looks that I notice; rather, I see the love, hope, certainty, and excitement in their eyes, and that is the most beautiful thing you can witness in a couple. When I look at our engagement pictures, I see Scott and myself in our element, happy and goofy, and so in love with each other for who we truly are. I am lucky to have found a man who sees beauty in my “flaws” and has challenged me to see it for myself. I’m slowly starting to see the beauty, and for that, I am ever grateful, Scott.

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I’m at a loss for words with how eloquently Shalini described the true importance of engagement pictures (and really, I am going to extend this to all of weddings in general). The love, the hope, the laughter, the emotions – so much more important (and classic) than the material side of things. So I turn this to you Romancers – would you go make-up less for your engagement pictures?

Melissa & Telly’s Intimate MD Courthouse Wedding & Charthouse Reception

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Hey Romancers! I am up in Boston this weekend for a dear friend from highschool’s wedding (yay! wedding guest! woo hoo!). But wanted to leave  you with a little something something for your Friday. Have a fabulous long weekend and a very happy Labor Day (Go Penn State!).

Melissa & Telly’s Intimate Annapolis MD Courthouse Wedding

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Photography: Angel Kidwell Photography | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Melissa and Telly decided to have a relaxed Annapolis courthouse wedding with their nearest and dearest ending the night with a delicious sunset dinner at the Chart House.

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Click to see the rest of Melissa & Telly’s adorable Maryland Courthouse wedding!

Kris & Emma’s Space Themed, New Years Eve Wedding in Arlington, VA

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“[We] were very focused on making our wedding exactly what we wanted. Our motto was that, “There are no have-to’s.”

So Kris and Emma (together they are Kremma) decided to have a New Years Eve wedding bash with an oh-so-excellent SPACE theme! Seriously, this wedding rocks so hard. Thanks to Leo Druker Photography for sharing his images! Take it away Kremma!

Kris & Emma’s New Years Eve, Space Themed Wedding in Arlington, VA

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Vendors:

Photography: Leo Druker Photography | Hair & Makeup: Bridal Artistry | Officiant: Ceremonies by Jeff | Flowers: Edge Floral | DJ: Marquee Artists, Bobby Jae | Day of Coordinator: JEM Events | Venue: Renaissance Arlington Capital View

 Wedding philosophy: Kris and I (together, we’re Kremma) were very focused on making our wedding exactly what we wanted. Our motto was that, “There are no have-to’s.” Neither of us is very traditional, and we wanted the wedding to really feel like “us.” We absolutely resonate with Bree’s statement on her wedding post that, “you don’t HAVE to do what everyone else does when it comes to your wedding. You really can do exactly what YOU want to do, and still have the best day of your life.” Bravo!

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We are huge space/sci-fi/aviation nerds. We met at the International Space University (we swear – it’s real). I have a degree in Space Policy and work at NASA Headquarters. Kris is an emergency doctor who also specializes in aerospace medicine. Space is a shared passion of ours, and many of our friends work in the industry as well. It wouldn’t have been “us” without a few spacey and sci-fi elements.

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Click inside for SO MUCH MORE of Kris & Emma’s space themed, New Years Eve wedding!

Ashley & Jason’s Simple Linden Row Inn Wedding in Virginia

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Ashley and Jason definitely know how to throw an unforgettable party. This wedding came standard with taco costumes, a surprise mariachi band, and a vintage trolley to transport guests to a concert at Brown’s Island. Thanks to A Lovely Photo for sharing this simple, FUN Virginia wedding at Linden Row Inn.

Ashley & Jason’s Simple Linden Row Inn Wedding in Virginia

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Vendors:

Photographer: A Lovely Photo | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

 Jason and my story begins back in September of 2009. I was living in Columbia, South Carolina after college and looking for a job in Richmond, where my at the time boyfriend had just been transferred. I got a call from Mapcom Systems and arrived for my interview on a Tuesday morning, talked with the CFO and some other folks before he told me he wanted me to meet Jason. When Jason walked in to the room there was instant attraction; butterflies I had always heard about but never felt. We spent a long time talking about traveling and our personal interests, completely disregarding the fact that I was on a job interview, almost as if we were on a first date. Shortly after talking with Jason, I was hired for the job on the spot and living in Richmond that October, with my boyfriend. I started work and instantly created a connection with a small group of friends in the office, Jason included, however he happened to be dating someone as well (who sat directly across from my cubicle) and because of that was always a little shy around me and somewhat distant.

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Over the next several months, both of us still in other relationships, Jason would always include me in email invites to lunch with the group or on skiing trips to Wintergreen; I always declined because of my dating situation, although I always wanted to be around him. Late that summer, my boyfriend was transferred again to North Carolina, and I stayed behind for my job and knew that long distance relationships were hard. Come October, one of our co-workers had a Halloween party. I had no idea who would be going, didn’t see Jason’s name on the evite RSVP list, yet decided to go anyways. I arrived at the party, had a beer and talked with some of my co-workers when I heard someone yell, “Taco is here”! (Jason came in second place in a taco eating contest in college and since has had an extreme obsession with Mexican food, dones a taco costume every Halloween and even has worn that costume in many a half marathons, hiking trips and it even made it to Iceland on a trip Jason took with his dad).

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Back to Halloween, once Jason arrived, I felt myself instantly come alive! We had such a fun time, more fun than I had had in as long as I could remember. I couldn’t remember the last time I had laughed as much as we did that night. Extremely hung over and tired from the night before, Jason asked me the next day if I wanted to go on a hike with him. He picked me up at my apartment and we had a long ride in his white Tacoma (which I always looked for every morning I pulled in the parking lot at work hoping he was in that day) and talked and talked and got to know each other on a level we had not yet done at work. We shared a beautiful (and grueling) hike together and then ate Subway on the tailgate of his truck and continued to talk and laugh and get to know each other more and more. We spent the next month or so hanging out, going on dates here and there but being fresh out of a relationship (and working right next to his ex-girlfriend) we both decided that maybe it would be best to slow down a bit and try this later.

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Click inside for the rest of Ashley & Jason’s beautiful Virginia wedding at Liden Row Inn

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