Bree Ryback

Capitol Inspiration: Offbeat & Modern Tattooed Brides ~ Dresses, Hair & Makeup

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A safe haven, for the offbeat bride.

That is the tagline of the dress store that is featured in today’s drop dead gorgeous bridal inspiration shoot from Desjar Photography. Photographer, Melissa, explained, “I am originally from New Hampshire, but have lived here in Richmond, VA for nearly two years.  I quickly realized ‘the south’ is quite different than up north and I do not fit the mold of the typical ‘southern belle,’ nor was it the Bride I wanted to attract.”

So she went to find unique, confident, REAL women with amazing personalities, and even better smiles. And then she dressed them up in some super rad, modern wedding dresses, with some fun offbeat details (red combat boots? yes please!) and the result is just stunning.  Plus both the brides are rockin’ some seriously awesome short hairdos and tattoos and really the inspiration from this shoot is just endless. So no more from me – just lots more from these two gorgeous ladies.

Offbeat, Modern Tattooed Brides Inspiration ~ Dresses, Hairpieces and Makeup

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Vendors

Photographer:  Desjar Photography | Veils and headpieces: Helena Noelle Couture | Dress Store: Urban Set Bride | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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Click inside for the rest of these stunning, tattooed brides & their bridal inspiration!

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Sharon & Michele’s Intimate, Localized Washington DC Wedding

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I love a good intimate, DC wedding – I think you guys all know this by now. Sharon & Michele got married at The Old Stone House in Georgetown and their lunch reception followed at Founding Farmers. Their cupcake (cake cutting) was from Baked & Wired – well it doesn’t get much more DC than this, does it? Thanks to Kat Forder for the beautiful images!

Sharon & Michele’s Intimate, Localized Washington DC Wedding

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Vendors:

Photographer: Kat Forder Photography | Ceremony: Old Stone House | Reception: Founding Farmers | Cupcake: Baked & Wired | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

From Kat:

“This past August Sharon and Michele reached me from their home in Louisiana and explained their plans for their fun filled road trip wedding weekend. They were looking forward to a long weekend family celebration in Pennsylvania, and while en route they thought they’d stop over in DC and get married! I immediately fell in love with their adventurous spirit and was thrilled to be invited to document their day.

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Their day began at The Graham Hotel in Georgetown where I learned about how all the details of their day came together with surprising ease. Everything from their wedding outfits, to their shoes and accessories seemed to “jump out at right when we needed them”. Their outfits were found brand new in second hand shops, and little details were contributed by family and friends.

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At first they weren’t sure if they would get a professional photographer for their celebrations. Their DIY entrepreneurial spirit has served them well in their own small business The Avatar Course and, with the help of their friends, they enjoyed a DC wedding celebration with many personal touches. In the end they decided that their story should be told in a beautiful and lasting way.

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Click inside for the rest of Sharon & Michele’s gorgeous, intimate DC wedding.

DIY Tutorial: How to Make a “Ooh La La” Lingerie Shower Garland

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Another awesome DIY tutorial on the blog today thanks to Ribbon & Bluebirds! Jenn shares:

I just got back from one of my best friend’s bachelorette celebration, and I was inspired to share this DIY with you! When we were prepping for the party I volunteered to help decorate, I really wanted to get away from the typical cheesy bachelorette décor and go for something more classy (and still sassy) that better represented our bride-to-be. While I was shopping for a gift for the lingerie shower we were planning as a surprise for her, it hit me that the perfect thing would be pretty paper lingerie pinned to a clothesline – just like the actual lingerie we would be gifting her.

This one is just TOO CUTE guys! Enjoy.

DIY Tutorial: How to Make a “Ooh La La” Lingerie Shower Garland Decoration

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Materials you’ll need:
Downloaded template from Ribbons & Bluebirds blog, printed out
• 2 sheets cardstock for the “outer” colour, and one sheet of your accent [I used a shimmer quartz for the top layer, and a blush for my accent] • Lightweight sheet of paper (copy paper will work great) for “lace”
• Ribbon – I used both 3/8” for lacing, and 1.5” for both the banner strand and the bigger bows
• Edging craft punch – I used Martha Stewart’s “Doily Lace”
• Paper crafting glue – I recommend Glue Dots or similar
• Hot glue gun
• Scissors & x-acto knife
• Hole punch

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This tutorial may look complicated, but none of it is difficult, and the pieces are totally customizable! You could also provide the templates of the undies too, and let shower guests personalize a pair – there are so many possibilities!

1. Start by downloading the template – visit this page at Ribbons & Bluebirds’ website to download – and printing the template.
2. Cut out your template (including stitch lines) and punch holes as shown.

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3. Trace your templates onto the card stock (including tracing the holes and stich lines). I recommend saving time by using as many of the paper’s straight edges as possible! It will take two sheets to fit all your pieces, and the corset and bra each need 2 halves. You’ll also need two rectangular strips of ½” x 4” for the bra straps.
4. Cut out your cardstock pieces, using your x-acto to cut out the stitching lines on the bra and panty, and punch out the holes.

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5. Next, it’s time to make the lace accents. Using the punch, cut along the long edge of a sheet of paper from top to bottom, then trim the edging off the paper leaving about ¼” below the pattern as a gluing strip. You’ll need at least 4 strips to finish the lingerie as I’ve shown, but you’ll need more if you plan to trim out the text like I’ve shown.

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Click inside for the rest of the step by step instructions for this awesome Lingerie Shower Tutorial!

Jess & Joe’s Tattoed, Graffiti Engagement Pictures in Maryland

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I’m so sorry I never got this up in time yesterday. The holiday weekend really got away from me and then I was slammed all day on Monday. But excuses aside, I love Jess & Joe’s grungy, urban Maryland engagement pictures in Graffiti Alley, Maryland (of course). Photographer, Brea, gets to pull double duty as this couple’s photographer AND bridesmaid, as Joe & Jess are two of her best friends! They all met while working at the Apple Store and the Apple logo even gets a little love during their shoot. Check it out!

Jess & Joe’s Graffiti Alley Maryland Engagement Pictures

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 Photographer: Photography By Brea | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

How they met:

“We met while working at the Apple store together. It’s funny we had never met before since we had so many mutual friends. We started dating and 5 years later he asked me to marry him, to which my response was “what?!” What started off as a regular Tuesday, ended in our happiest day thus far.”

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Click inside for the gorgeous engagement ring and more pictures from their awesome Maryland engagement session!

Alexis & Jason’s Modern Washington DC Wedding at the W Hotel

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If it’s one thing I love about the DC wedding scene, it’s the VARIETY you get. One second it’s a super DIY art gallery wedding, the next is a rustic, barn wedding and then it’s like Jason and Alexis’ DC wedding – super chic and modern. I love changing it up on Capitol Romance and trying not to stick to much to one theme or look of a wedding and really just finding weddings that have true personality – where the couples’ own personalities really shine through. I think Alexis & Jason really accomplished this. They met their freshmen year of Business School at GW, but it took them 10 years of friendship to finally realize that what they had been looking for in a partner, was actually each other!

Thanks to Rebecca Dick of Blue Canary Events for submitting this one and Jpix Studio for the images!

Alexis & Jason’s Modern, Chic Washington DC Wedding at the W Hotel

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Vendors:

Planner: Rebecca Dick, Blue Canary Events | Photographers: Catron and Jermaine Turner, Jpix Studio | Ceremony and Reception VenueW Hotel | DJ: Van Petty, My Deejay | Ceremony Music: Damon Foreman, Bialek’s Music | Florist: Barbara Von Elm, Growing Wild Floral Company | Hair: Jeanice Davis, Bouvier International Salon | Makeup: Marcia Green | Officiant: Jonathan Poling, Friend of the Couple | LightingPSAV | Draping: Drape Kings | Bride’s Dress: Vera Wang from Saks Jandel | Bridesmaids Dresses: Tadashi Shoji from Neiman Marcus | Groom’s Tuxedo: Yves Saint Laurent | Groomsmen Tuxedos: Vera Wang at Men’s Warehouse | Invitations and Save the DateDigby & Rose | DC Themed Escort Cards and Table Numbers: Shanna Wirtz, Shanna Michele Designs

A note about their wedding from the event planners:

I would describe their wedding as DC chic with a modern, non-traditionalist focus.  In fact, their invitation didn’t even include the word “wedding” on it!  Their goal was to share a decadent meal with their friends and spend the rest of the night bringing down the house on the dance floor. Their reception entrance song, Justin Timberlake’s “Suit and Tie,” probably sums it up about perfectly!

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Click inside for the rest of Alexis & John’s super chic & modern Washington DC wedding!

Let’s Get Personal: Capturing Love Panel at the HRC Event Recap

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A couple weeks ago we had the absolute honor of sitting on a panel at the HRC’s Capturing Love press event. I was invited by the super amazing Kathryn Hamm of GayWeddings.com and I could not have been more touched to have sat amongst her and some other amazing people in the LGBT & wedding communities. I also got to meet two amazing photographers in person, that I had only ever known online (eKate and Kat Forder! whatsssss up?!). Thanks to Kat Forder Photography for sharing some amazing images of this event. Truly an evening I will not forget any time soon.

Let’s Get Personal: Capturing Love Panel at the HRC Event Recap

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In addition to Kathryn (and her lovely wife, that had to play Kathryn’s voice that nice, due to Kathryn losing hers) and her co-author, Thea Dodds, I joined Kyle Mihalcoe of WeddingWire and Noel Gordon from the HRC. The panel was moderated by Jay Brown, the Director of Foundation Program Strategies at HRC.

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Though the main focus of the event was the launch of Kathryn & Thea’s new book, The New Art of Capturing Love: The Essential Guide to Lesbian & Gay Weddings,Jay also led the panel into a greater discussion about the limitations of traditional notions of gender roles in wedding rituals and photography; the ways in which understanding the dynamics of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) couples can open new doors for straight couples; and how the mainstream industry is receiving this niche market.

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[Oh hey, I see a Maggie Winters Photography photo above!]

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Click inside for the rest of our recap!

Shannon & Jae’s Eclectic, Handmade Woodend Sanctuary Wedding

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Every detail and decision was made with this in mind, everything had purpose.

Today we have a lovely, handmade Maryland wedding at Woodend Sanctuary thanks to The Happy Couple! Shannon & Jae had been together for 7 years before deciding to get married. Shannon wrote such lovely words about this time spent together and what that meant for their wedding – I really can’t do a paraphrase justice, and so, I’ll just do a direct copy/paste of her words:

Jae and I had been together for seven years when we were married. Over the years we have found that while we come from different backgrounds, we share many experiences and have far more in common than what separates us. On our wedding day, we wanted to celebrate our love for each other and share our gratitude for our friends and family who have helped us to grow into who we are both individually and as a couple. On our wedding day we wanted to feel like ourselves, to make our guests feel comfortable, and to enjoy the time bringing our friends and family, our community, together in celebration. Every detail and decision was made with this in mind, everything had purpose.

Shannon & Jae’s Personalized, Family Oriented Maryland Wedding at Woodend Sanctuary

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Vendors:

Photographer:  The Happy Couple Photography | Bride’s Dress: Justin Alexander | Event Planner: Denise Robinson Simms | Bride’s Earrings: DIYed by Bride | Hair Stylist: Elena Gioacchini, Bang Salon Metropole Caterer: Windows Catering Company | Floral Designer: Wollam  Gardens | Reception Venue: Woodend Sanctuary | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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I was very close to my Grandmother who passed away the year before I met Jae. The lace wrapped around my bouquet was found in my Grandmother’s sewing kit and was a way of keeping her close to us that day. I (also) made my own earrings, piecing together elements of different pairs I had seen and liked.

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We were married by Brenda, a very close friend and extended family member. She and her husband Scott traveled from New Mexico to be with us for our wedding day and Brenda worked with us ahead of time to create our own ceremony. With the help of Jae’s parents, we incorporated an important aspect of his culture and family tradition during private family time prior to the ceremony.

As part of our ceremony, we asked friends and family to read quotes that reflect our thoughts on marriage. The four quotes also represented the four directions.

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Click inside for the rest of Shannon & Jae’s eclectic, handmade wedding at Woodend Sanctuary

Kathy & Doff’s Washington DC Engagement Pictures at the Hirshhorn Museum

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The Hirshhorn is one of the best places in DC to do your engagements pictures, especially if you are a total typography nerd like me. It’s weather-proof, right on the Mall, and gives you some of the most modern and FUN engagement pictures. Kathy & Doff actually had their first date at the Hirshhorn, so really for them, it was a no brainer. Thanks to eKate Photography for submitting this lovely DC engagement session our way!

Kathy & Doff’s Washington DC Engagement Pictures at the Hirshhorn Museum

Feel free to use these images, unaltered and uncropped, on your

Vendors:

Photographer: eKate Photography | Venue: Hirshhorn Museum | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Feel free to use these images, unaltered and uncropped, on your

How they met:

How do a freshly minted Biochemistry Ph.D. and a busy chef meet in this day and age? The internet of course. In 2012, after a can-your-schedule-please-meet-and-compromise-with-my-schedule coffee meeting a friendship that turned into a relationship began. Our first official date was at the Poste Moderne Brasserie at the Hotel Monaco DC, followed by The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

Feel free to use these images, unaltered and uncropped, on your Feel free to use these images, unaltered and uncropped, on your

The proposal:

For the Thanksgiving holiday, we decided to spend a couple of days at a local bed & breakfast in Columbia, MD (no family, no friends, just us). The goal was relaxation. I was banned from bringing my laptop. We lounged and managed to get out for a long walk. On November 29, 2013, Doff got down on one knee in the middle of our room (after our walk) and asked me to marry him. I was totally surprised. A hard feat for anyone to accomplish in my life. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect moment for just him and I.

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Congratulations Kathy & Doff! Best of luck with your wedding planning. Thanks again to eKate Photography for sharing her images for this DC engagement feature. Check back this afternoon for a recap from our Capturing Love panel event from a couple weeks ago!

Marielba & Also’s Modern, Intimate Purple Virginia Wedding on a Rooftop

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I’ve been a terrible blogger lately guys and I apologize. Things should hopefully slow down a little on my end, as this weekend marks the last weekend that I’ve either worked or attended a wedding since May 3rd. That’s almost 2 straight months of wedding weekends. I swear I love this job though ;) For Friday we have a beautiful modern, intimate rooftop wedding in Arlington, Virginia. Marielba’s short wedding dress is to die for and I LOVE all the pops of bright purple. Most of the bride’s family traveled from Venezuela to be here for this wedding.

Thanks to Stephanie Kopf for sharing her images for this Virginia wedding. Have a great weekend Romancers!

Marielba & Aldo’s Mondern, Intimate Rooftop Wedding in Arlington, Virginia

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Vendors:

Photographer:  Stephanie Kopf Photography | Dress: David’s Bridal | Reception Venue: Dorchester Towers | Cake: Hemibry Cakes & Food Services |
Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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I don’t think it really hit her until Marielba stood in front of her adoring Mother, Father, and Grandmother, who had traveled all the way from Venezuela for this very moment, to see their beautiful girl in her wedding dress. This was it. It was time. The tearful smiles beaming back at her as she stood in front of them assured her that she looked stunning, and that joyful moment would set the tone for the rest of Marielba and Aldo’s beautiful wedding day.

It meant so much to them to have family come from such a distance for their big day, to laugh together and share both hugs and happy tears in each others’ arms.

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We decided to do our wedding at the Garden Terrace of the Dominion Tower because it’s perfect for a intimate style wedding with such an amazing view of the city, a modern indoor party room and also a gorgeous garden. The venue’s service was great, they were always open to our ideas.

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Click inside for the rest of this adorable Virginia wedding!

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