Let’s Get Personal: The Price of “Doing It All”


In case you missed it, the AH-MAZING Laicie of 1000 Threads featured us on their “small business diaries” blog feature yesterday. I was insanely humbled by what she wrote and so thrilled to be featured on such an amazing blog. Please go check it out if you haven’t seen it yet, and I know you won’t find it hard to stay awhile on 1000 threads and find some amazing ideas, inspiration, recipes, and more anyway. The reason I brought it up, is because one of her questions to me fit perfectly in today’s personal post.  “2 // When and how did you decide to go into business for yourself? Was there a turning point?” – I laughed when I read this because as most of you know, I don’t just run Capitol Romance, I do have a full-time job too. And whenever I tell people that, I always get the same response “how do you do it!?”.

Let’s Get Personal: The Price of Doing It All


Yes, that is a copy of my day-planner. Putting aside the fact that I realize how “old-school” it is to still write down all my meetings and “to-do’s” by hand, that’s typically what my weeks look like these days as I manage my day job, wedding coordination gigs, blogging, Fuel DC, and now my DIY workshops. That is how I “do it all”. I plan my days to their utmost potential, oftentimes weeks in advance.

Now while the planning nature enables me to get A LOT done (like juggling 3 jobs) it certainly comes at a price. Planning your life this way leads little room for flexibility and almost no room for spontaneous adventures. And that’s tough.

I get invites to awesome openings, or “let’s grab coffee” requests, or even have personal, family things that come up, that I just can’t always make it to. I have to beg my friends to notify me of their weddings MONTHS in advance (to ensure I don’t book one that weekend) and even have to coerce my not always “plan in advance” family, to book things month ahead of time, because I don’t want to miss it. This isn’t always easy, and it’s certainly not always butterflies. I know I need to realize that just because I am a planner, and plan my days/weekends this way, not everyone is and it’s not fair to be upset or frustrated when others don’t plan like I do.

Now this post isn’t to be a downer or anything, it’s just to simply share the insight into how I, personally, “do it all”. This (so far) is what has worked best for me, though it’s by no means perfect. I view it as a way to make the best use of my time, and maximize the time I have, spent doing the things I not only NEED to do, but WANT to do too! Because let’s face it, unless your Hermoine and you have a time turner, no one can truly do it all.

Your turn – how do you get everything you need to do, done? Do you plan like me, or just take it as it comes?


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Helene & Josh’s Orange & Blue Northern Virginia Wedding at Top of the Town

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I wanted to accept today’s Virginia wedding at first because of the awesome bright orange and blue color palette (a totally nontraditional and not often seen, choice of colors for a wedding). But once I found out WHY the couple chose the colors, well then, it was a given. Helene shared, “We chose colors that represented our alma maters.  Orange for Clemson, Josh’s college, and blue for Penn State, my college.  We used the two colors throughout the wedding and I loved the playful feel of the two colors.”

I could agree more! Thanks to Documentary Associates for submitting this one our way, via Two Bright Lights.

Helene & Josh’s Orange & Blue Northern Virginia Wedding at Top of the Town

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Photographer:  Documentary Associates | Ceremony Venue: The Textile Museum | Reception Venue: Top of the Town | Catering: R&R Catering | Flowers: Flowers by Cheryl Ann | Bride’s Dress: Watters | Bridesmaids Dresses: Alfred Angelo | Groomsmen: Black by Vera Wang | Transportation: Diamond Limousine | Invitations: The American Wedding | DJ: DJ R to Da Izza | Cupcakes/cake: Family friend | Makeup Artist: Shaune with Bridal Artistry | Hair Stylist: Sonia with Bridal Artistry | Musician: Harpist, Nadia Pessoa |   Submitted via Two Bright Lights

blue bride wedding shoes orange and blue northern virginia wedding

We choose our photographer, because we had seen him work the previous year at our friend, Shannon’s wedding. We loved his photos and realized we barely noticed him at their wedding. We liked that it didn’t feel intrusive, but that we got really great photographs.  At our wedding, he got a shot of Josh retrieving the garter from over my shoulder, neither of us remember him even being there at that point!

orange and blue northern virginia wedding wedding ceremony at textile museum

I wanted a more intimate setting for the ceremony.  I’d grown up loving gardens and appreciating the outdoors.  We searched for weeks to find a venue that could accommodate the large number of guests we had AND could feel romantic.  We found the Textile Museum, it was everything we had hoped, beautiful gardens, interesting architecture and only a few miles from our reception venue.

We made our programs by downloading fonts that matched our invitations.  We printed the grams and attached them to popsicle sticks.  Honestly, that process was much more tedious than I thought!

whimsical orange blue wedding programs

Click inside for the rest of Helene & Josh’s Orange and Blue Northern Virginia wedding!

DC Wedding Show: Style to the Aisle (Ticket Promo Available!)

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*sponsored post*

 Style to the Aisle: A Bride’s Runway is back and better than ever, just in time for Bridal Fashion Week.

One of the DC area’s most chic wedding shows is coming up again and we’ve got all the details for you AND an awesome ticket promo discount for our readers. Check out all the details below for the exciting wedding show at The Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD this weekend!

Style to the Aisle | April 27, 2014 | 3pm to 7pm


WHAT: Style to the Aisle Magazine is bringing the excitement of Bridal Fashion Week at Style to the Aisle…a Bride’s RUNWAY 2014.  The Fillmore Silver Spring will be transformed into a high-end fashion runway hosting some of the best bridal designers & boutiques showcasing some of the latest trends in bridal couture.

WHO: TULLE New York, Justin Alexander, Christopher Schafer Clothier, Cat Reinheimer, Lillian West and more.

WHY: This one-of-a-kind fashion forward bridal event brings the the concept of fashion to the world of brides.

WHEN: Sunday, April 27, 2014 from 3pm to 7pm

WHERE: The Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD


Thinking of attending the show? Well be sure to use our discount code for your tickets! Code “STYLE” will get you $10 off general admission and $5 off Fashion Insider VIP Tickets!

*this is a sponsored post. this vendor paid to have this content shared on our blog, however, it was verified that this event was confirmed to meet our requirements and mission*

Hand Crafted, Conflict Free, Amethyst Silver Pendant Necklace Giveaway!


Welcome back and welcome to another SWEET giveaway on the blog! This time we are giving away a GORGEOUS amethyst, silver pendant necklace from the newly launched Drukker Designs - a conflict free, handcrafted jewelry company out of the Ukraine. How the heck did I find this company, you might ask? Well, it’s from the family of one of our FAVORITE wedding photographers, Leo Druker! And thanks to Leo and his family’s amazing new company, they are giving away this gorgeous necklace ~ a whopping $179.00 value! WOWEE!

Enter to win a handcrafted & conflict-free Silver, Amethyst Pendant Necklace from Drukker Designs

amethyst silver pendant conflict free handmade wedding jewelry

A bit about Drukker Designs:

Our company sells beautiful and unique Silver and Gold rings, earrings, bracelets, and pendants (like the one we’re giving away) with gorgeous semiprecious stones, including Amethyst, Sapphire, Garnet, Amber, and Opal in numerous combinations, designed by our company co-founder, Elena Drukker.

Due to the intricacy of our designs, our jewelry is entirely hand-crafted, with each gemstone being individually prong-set by hand and not glued, which allows our jewelry to stand the test of time.

As of today, we have more than 1,500 earringsringspendants, and bracelets in 15 different and unique thematic collections.

 We have a huge selection of colorful rings too. All of the gemstones we use in our jewelry are conflict-free, and our jewelry is made in Ukraine to fair trade standards.

Awesome right?! Plus, they have a huge selection of gorgeous gemstone rings that could make for beautiful, alternative non-diamond engagement rings. And we all know how I feel about nondiamond engagement rings. Here are just a few of them:

alternative nondiamond engagement rings

[1 | 2 | 3]

Gorgeous right?! Gah, I love the Topaz one so much! Be sure to check out so many more of their gorgeous designs on their website and enter the giveaway below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kara & Jonathan’s Laid Back, At Home Engagement Pictures in Washington DC

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Guys! I’m back!!! Did you miss me?! I heard that Indie Bridal Party was amazing (I’m still so sad I missed it) and everyone seemed to like our DIY Workshop Sponsor Love posts while I was gone. Now it’s full steam ahead this week, back to blogging, gearing up for our first DIY workshop on May 4th (tickets still available here!!!), AND working weddings the first 4 weeks of May! Woo hoo!! Let’s get this week going with a casual, laid-back engagement session from Pier23. I love this engagement shoot because the couple decided to keep things super relaxed, and shoot it at their apartment, in their every day clothes. Love.

Be sure to check the blog again this afternoon for an AMAZING jewelry giveaway! It’s good to be back.

Kara & Jonathan’s Laid Back, Washington DC Engagement Pictures at Their Apartment

casual at home engagement pictures Washington DC

Photography: Pier23

How they met:

Aside from friends and family, Jonathan and Kara are most thankful for Al Gore, because without his creation of the Internet, they would have never found each other. In a city of 646,449 people, there is no way that two witty, astrologically-incompatible, cat-loving, TV binge-watching lovebirds who are absolutely perfect for each other would have sat down at two adjacent bar stools at The Black Squirrel and started a romance they never knew was possible. That’s where we’ll be having a welcome happy hour the evening before the wedding.

For more on the couple, check out their awesome wedding website.

casual at home engagement pictures Washington DC casual at home engagement pictures Washington DC casual at home engagement pictures Washington DC casual at home engagement pictures Washington DC casual at home engagement pictures Washington DC

Click inside for the rest of Kara & Jonathan’s super laid-back and awesome DC engagement session feature, including the proposal story!

DIY Wedding Workshop Sponsor Love: Runningbyrd Tea

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I first got to try the amazingness that is Runningbyrd Tea at Union Kitchen‘s 1-year anniversary party. Never had I ever tasted tea SO delicious. Seriously – I am not even close to exaggerating, this stuff is AMAZING! Ben is a brewmaster and the tea is so refreshing – it’d be a perfect addition to your outdoor wedding reception or your next BBQ/outdoor event! Throw a little whiskey or bourbon in one of these babies and you’ve got your new favorite summer cocktail.

DIY Wedding Workshop Sponsor Spotlight: Runningbyrd Tea Co

runningbyrd tea brewed tea Washington DC

About the company:

Runningbyrd Tea Company makes full-flavored seasonal teas. Sold in either pint-sized mason jars or 3 gallon party containers, Runningbyrd teas are perfect for enjoying at a picnic, when preparing food from your recent trip to the local market, as a mixer, or as a paired non-alcoholic option in place of wine or craft beer.

Runningbyrd Tea is not just about flavor or refreshment. Runningbyrd Tea is about the experience of drinking a cool glass of tea on a hot day. It is about the memories we associate with iced tea. Runningbyrd Tea is about sitting on your front porch listening to the stories of friends and family. It is about sharing a glass of tea with your grandfather, poured from a carafe he always kept full. It is about creating your own stories, steeping your life with the flavor of your travels and experiences. Because of this focus, each Runningbyrd creation comes with a story, in the grand tradition of the storytelling South, so that no matter who you are with when drinking your tea, you have a companion.

best brewed tea washington DC

Check out all their amazing flavors:

Spicy Thai: While visiting tea plantations in Thailand, I met an elderly man who spent his entire working life tasting teas, judging and critiquing their flavor. I created Spicy Thai for him, melding the flavors of my trip with an idea that he might taste something different after all these years, gifting him a new experience that still felt like an old friend.

Chocolate Peppermint: Legend has it that John Henry, after bursting his heart defeating the steam powered hammer, asked for two cool drinks of water. I imagine Chocolate Peppermint as those two cool drinks; two flavors, blending to provide a refreshing calm. It is a tea to give pause, to separate your long hard day from the relaxing evening to come.

Summer Rain: On hot nights, nothing compares to sitting on the front porch swing feeling a thunderstorm roll in, its wind ruffling your feathers, its fire making you cool. It’s  a long summer, so open a bottle of this spiced tea to swing the breezes your way. If slowly savored, lightning will crash on your palate.

Apple Pie: Independence Day in my Georgia home meant deciding whether to make the run to Carolina for fireworks. Everyone has a different tradition for the 4th, but across the south, sweet tea and apple pie come standard. Runningbyrd Tea combines those flavors for an Independence Day Special, Apple Pie Tea. Fireworks not included.

Berry Season

Most of the country has a season in which local berries are abundant. In Seattle, blackberries are available all summer. At times in Georgia, mulberries rain down. Folks in the Twin Cities pick free raspberries. Runningbyrd Tea is bringing berry season to a bottle in DC, saving you the flights and sticky fingers.

Apple Cider Tea

Apples mean fall is here, the weather grows cooler, and it might be time to move inside from the porch.

We gather fresh apples in myriad ways. I used to wait for my little brothers to waltz back down Rural Route 2 pushing a stroller filled with Jonagold, but my godsons race through crunchy leaves to beat each other to the best Braeburn. If time or circumstance keeps you from picking your own apples this season, pluck a bottle of Apple Cider Tea from the shelf instead.

Apple cider tea is a perfect mix of mulling spices, apple and tea. Let it keep you company in your orchard this autumn.

Winter Sun: On a dreary winter day it can seem like months since you’ve seen the sun. Fortunately, Runningbyrd Tea Co has figured out how to bottle this precious resource. Let Winter Sun tea light up your life with its warming blend of orange and spiced teas

Candy Cane: Every year, my brother and I found a giant candy cane log in our stockings. We’d work on them for a month, keeping them untidily wrapped in the fridge, making sure not to grab the wrong stick. Candy Cane tea, a wintry mix of cinnamon and mint, stores more nicely on the shelf and can be shared more readily with friends.    Or not…

Shenandoah Smoke: Shenandoah Smoke is hand crafted from the finest smoked teas, blended with hazelnut and spices for an almost coffee-like flavor. No storytelling is needed for this substantial tea; it’s just hard-hitting flavor for the lumberjack in us all.

Montgomery Mint: The Montgomery house in Georgia is a place where travelers, family and friends meet on the front porch, sharing stories between sips. Our childhood there began with a swing from the walnut tree out back, grew into a climb up the magnolia in front and ended with a glass of tea, poured from a carafe always kept full. Without that tea and those fine people, RBTea would not exist. We pay homage with a smooth, welcoming mint tea. Find a friend and some shade; brew your story.

Lemongrass White Peach: Over the past year, the RBTea Co has welcomed the opportunity to share our stories with DC

and listen to your stories. It has been a great experience. We have heard from many customers who just can’t have sugar and others who want to enjoy tea at night but need less caffeine.And so we have created Lemongrass White Peach,a no sugar, lower caffeine blend that fits the best parts of our story to the needs of yours. DC, enjoy your story.

Thirsty yet?! This stuff is so good, you have to try it, to believe it! So pumped to get to have awesome Runningbyrd Tea on hand at our first workshop!

DIY Wedding Workshop Sponsor Love: Eat & Smile Catering

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Oh man are you workshop attendees in for a TREAT. I’ve been lucky enough to have had Eat & Smile‘s amazing food before and I couldn’t be more pumped that they joined on to provide some snacks for all our fabulous workshop participants! And the only thing that could possibly make them better is that they are DC’s first locally sourced cater – meaning they support local farmers, bakers, fisherfolk and other producers, all within a 150 mile radius of DC! And we ALL know how I feel about the importance of thinking local! Don’t just take my word for it though, you won’t be sorry if you attend our first workshop and get to try their food OR hire them for your wedding or event.

The food porn will speak for itself.

DIY Wedding Workshop Sponsor Spotlight: Eat & Smile Catering

DC wedding caterer

About Eat & Smile:

Serving delicious food since 2007, Eat & Smile Catering is proud to be the first locally sourced caterer in the Washington DC area, supporting local farmers, bakers, fisherfolk, and other producers within a 150 mile radius whenever possible. We believe that high quality local foods are more ecologically friendly, economically sustainable, better for you, and taste fantastic. We also work hard to incorporate sustainable business practices beyond just our ingredient sourcing. We use biodegradable and compostable cups, cutlery, and plates when necessary, compost our kitchen and event food waste, recycle our fryer oil into biodiesel, and source our commercial kitchen’s electricity from renewable energy sources. In addition, we pay our great staff a living wage, and provide health care for our full-time employees despite the small size of our business. All staff, both full-time and part-time, are encouraged to carpool, bike, and take public transport to work and events. The mark of true success for us is when both our clients and our team members are happy!

Unlike most caterers, we don’t create set packages for services or menus. Instead, we provide our services a la carte, allowing you to select and suggest what you want us to take care of, and leaving off what isn’t important to you. Our proposals are customizable, as are our menus. We’re happy to create event proposals to suit your needs, and can accommodate dietary restrictions, including gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, etc.; our chefs love the opportunity to use seasonal ingredients to get creative with requests!

DC wedding caterer DC wedding caterer DC wedding caterer

Yeah well that just made me SUPER hungry! I can’t wait to see what they cook up for our first workshop on the 4th!

DIY Wedding Workshop Sponsor Love: Cynthia Shipp Photography

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Our vendor love series continues! Up next is the amazing Cynthia Shipp Photography, who will be on hand to capture each of the workshops! I am SO pumped to have such a talented wedding & lifestyle photographer at our workshops, capturing the DIY projects and all our attendees having fun and crafting something special. But enough from me, I want you to meet Cynthia and get to see her amazing work! Check her out:

DIY Wedding Workshop Sponsor Spotlight: Cynthia Shipp Photography

DC wedding photographer

About Cynthia:

I’m a Petite Sirah loving, Southern Utah raised girl. Three years ago, I  married my best friend and love of my life, Kory (after six years of dating!)  Every day that I wake up next to him reminds me of the lucky  girl I am to have him by my side.  We both have family and went to school in the Midwest but recently moved to the DC area.

I absolutely love marriage, weddings, and wedding photography.  In my opinion there is nothing that quite lives up to the energy found on a wedding day.  It’s this crazy beautiful  mix of emotion: excitement, fun, love, union and of course it wouldn’t be a wedding day without a bit of stress.  To me it’s beautiful because it’s such a genuine expression of what life is and ought to be.

On my days off you can probably find me either in my kitchen, snuggled up to a great book, or out and about picture taking.

And more of her gorgeous work:

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Be sure to hit Cynthia up if you need an amazing photographer for your wedding or portrait session!

DIY Wedding Workshop with CIAO NINA Ticket Giveaway!


Learn to make a custom haircomb at our first DIY Wedding Workshop with CIAO NINA on May 4th!

At this point I’ve hopefully survived my 2nd half-marathon in Portland and made it to Seattle (sorry for the weird tenses but I am blogging this in advance of our trip!). But I couldn’t help but leave you with a little something special and a friendly reminder that tomorrow is the LAST day for early bird pricing for our first DIY Wedding Workshop with CIAO NINA!

Buy Tickets

ciao nina slider

Tickets are only $25 today and tomorrow, but on Wednesday they will go up to $30! So go get them while you can at this AWESOME price!

Sunday, May 4th | The Ulysses Room – 52 O Street Studios #302 | 2pm to 4pm

And just in case this is the first time you are hearing about our first DIY Wedding Workshop, let me tell you briefly about it. On May4th we will be hosting CIAO NINA to teach attendees of our workshop how to make a custom gold, haircomb from a wire and beading technique! This technique can be used to create boutonnieres, centerpieces, and even decorations. The unique haircomb you will make will be a perfect addition to your veil, a snazzy splash of sparkle to your rehearsal dinner, or just a nice custom piece to have in your hair for your reception.

The hairpiece is so versatile though, it could really be worn for ANY event ~ so bring your friends, sister, mother or partner and learn to make something AWESOME for your own wedding OR an event you are attending!

But WAIT, there’s more …

CR DIY combs blue and brass

In honor of our first workshop, we are going to give away two tickets to one lucky entrant! Just use our rafflecopter widget below and let us know what you are most looking forward to about our first workshop!

Don’t forget that we’ll have SO MANY awesome goodies for our attendees provided by our amazing sponsors [who we have been spotlighting last week and this week]. We’ll have a photographer and videographer on hand to capture the awesome and lots of snacks, desserts, and drinks for you to enjoy while you are crafting away! We are SO pumped for the first workshop and can’t wait to see you there!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t want to wait and see if you’ve won? No worries you can just BUY TICKETS NOW!

Buy Tickets

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