Guest Post: A Real DC Bride’s Take on Her Wedding Venue

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We’re back with Carolyn, our real DC bride to be guest blogger, sharing her love of the venue she chose! If you can remember, she talked all about her DC wedding venue search a few posts back and now she’s here to share everything she loves about the one she picked. Take it away Carolyn!

Why I Love My DC Area Wedding Venue | By: Carolyn Thombs

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The first time I went to Stevenson Ridge was back in 2012 when I did hair and makeup for all of the models at the Cupcakes and Cocktails bridal show. I thought the venue was so cool and had a great vibe. Who knew then that I would be getting married at that very venue 4 years down the road!

I hadn’t thought of this venue when I initially started my venue search because I didn’t think that they could hold over 200 ppl. I finally decided to check it out when I was hitting somewhat of a dead end and I am so glad I did! They can hold 216 max! This also helps in making us have a definitive cut off for the guest list, which is a whole other can of worms to get sorted.

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I went ahead and emailed them to check out all the specs before we decided on scheduling a visit. Elizabeth was so wonderful and responded to all of my emails promptly and concisely.

The visit was wonderful! My mom and sister (MOH) came with me and got to meet Elizabeth as well. She was so welcoming and answered all of my “hardcore” questions. I had been set on a different venue when we showed up so I was trying to remain unbiased. That resolve soon faded as we talked with Elizabeth and got to look at the grounds. My mind completely switched and Stevenson Ridge became my main squeeze for venue choice!

 

I love the lodge feel of the main venue, just the smallest accent of rustic-ness, but mainly polished and not overly ornate. The perfect blank canvas to build Jon and I’s perfect wedding. The major bonus was the fact that they have some lodging onsite as well! This means, if we want, each year we can come back and spend our anniversary in one of the cabins and reminisce about our wedding!

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They are so great at making you feel at home and not pressuring you into anything! I can’t wait to start going over set up and everything and actually getting to see it all come together. Bottom line is that if you and your fiancé are a little opposite on style choices this venue is the perfect combination of down to earth and chic sophistication that will please any couple trying to find that balance.

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Houston & Sarah’s Laid Back, Casual Washington DC Engagement Pictures in Georgetown

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Images: Mathy Shoots People via Two Bright Lights

Guys this week! It’s just going to FLY BY. I am leaving on Wednesday to start my journey north for an EXTRA SPECIAL wedding weekend – my brother’s. At which I am officiating!!!!!!!!! (I’m not sure that has 100% set in yet!). But I am PUMPED. And then from the wedding I am taking my husband on a super secret trip to celebrate his 30th birthday so posting will be LIGHT these night few weeks just FYI!

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. I said goodbye to some great friends that are moving to St. Thomas, watched my PSU boys win a football game (and watched my Gmen blow another), and then literally didn’t leave the house yesterday (sometimes you just need those days). But let’s kick off the week with some LOVE shall we? An ADORABLE Georgetown engagement session, featuring Houston & Sarah – two happy kids, oh-so-in-love. What better what to start a week? Get it.

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Houston and I started chatting online late one night in March 2010. We talked almost every second of every day after that first night, me from my dorm room in DC and him from his in South Carolina. After he graduated college a few months later, I flew down to visit him and his family for a week. We immediately clicked and everything just felt right. In August 2011 he found a job in DC and we were finally and very happily not 500 miles apart anymore.

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On our 4th anniversary, I was fairly certain he was going to propose, but he was acting so chill that I started thinking maybe I was wrong. After an amazing dinner at Filomena in Georgetown, we decided to stroll along the waterfront, which is one of our favorite places. By the time we found a nice place to sit, he was visibly nervous. I wanted to help him out, so I said, “Wow, this has been the best day. I can’t imagine what could make it any better,” setting him up for his response: “Well, I can think of one thing…” It was perfect.

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Natural, Modern Wedding Ideas ~ Design & Inspiration

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Images:  Kim Stockwell Photography via Two Bright Lights

We did it! FRIDAY. Another week has come and gone and we are more than halfway through September. Um seriously, it’s sort of creeping me out how fast time is flying these days. Andy is traveling for work, so it’s just me and E until Sunday but we’ll be making the most of this beautiful weather with some running, (hopefully) a trip to H Street Fest, and a visit to the Satellite Room to say farewell to some good friends that are moving to St. Thomas (yes like the island. yes I am jealous). Hope you guys have a FANTASTIC weekend too! A heads up that next week will be light on posting as I gear up to head to CT for my brother’s wedding (which I am officiating !!!!! more to come on that !) and a short surprise vacation to follow for my husband’s 30th!

Then September is over. Insanity.

But enough about me – I have a gorgeous styled shoot for you today. The vendors wanted to take an outdoor setting, which most go rustic with, and use translucent and sleek details to instead give the apple orchard a modern wedding design. I LOVE when couples & designers mix genres like this. Just gorgeous. PS- Don’t forget that our supercoolawesome giveaway with Makeup Meltdown ends TODAY! Enter here.

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The inspiration behind the shoot was sheer, translucent, and modern in a natural setting. The focus was set on the over all beauty of the venue and the purpose was to inspire brides that less is more and sleek modern details can accentuate the natural backdrops of southern venues. We used a clear acrylic table with copper hairpin legs set with translucent china and ghost chairs in an apple orchard. The ceremony site was set as a night time ceremony with ghost chairs and candles to overlook a valley.

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Our goal was to inspire brides to think outside the box when it comes to outdoor venues to invoke the idea that outdoors does not always have to be rustic.

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Vendors —> Photographer:  Kim Stockwell Photography | Event Planner: Events by Elizabeth Palmer | Equipment Rentals: paisley and jade | Invitation Designer: Sue Corral Ink | Dress Store: Urban Set Bride | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Wedding Advice: The #1 Thing Not to Say to Wedding Vendors You Are Persuing

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Image: This Rad Love

This one is for all you engaged couples out there that are just starting the wedding vendor inquiry process. Yes, I understand it’s a long and (sometimes) stressful process to find, vet, and confirm all your wedding vendors. But I have to let you in on a little secret. A little cautionary tale and one whopping piece of advice.

The absolute, #1 thing you SHOULDN’T say to any wedding vendor you are inquiring about, is that you are looking to work with them because of their price. I won’t speak for ALL wedding vendors here, but I can tell you that when I get this in an inquiry, I am almost ALWAYS completely turned off to the inquiry.

Here’s another secret I’ll let you in on: there’s a reason I have “Why do you want to work with Capitol Romance Wedding Coordination” on my contact form. I judge inquiries based on their response to this, because it’s the easiest way to begin the filtering process of inquiries that I know might be a fit, and ones where I am not at all a match for the couple.

But engaged couples, put yourselves in our shoes for a second. Think about what YOU might think if someone told you they ONLY wanted to work with you because of your price point. That that was the #1 reason for wanting to hire you. How would that make you feel?

Well it doesn’t make ME feel very good and chances are, I most likely won’t be available on your wedding date if that’s all you put in your contact form. For me, the couples that mention Harry Potter fandoms, that they found me through my blog, or that they are just looking for someone to help them throw a personal party to celebrate their nuptials, are the ones I gravitate towards and end up having SUPER awesome experiences with.

So engaged peeps – keep this in mind as you begin your wedding vendor search. Take the time to find vendors that fit your vibe AND your needs, not JUST your wallet requirements.

Morgen & James’ Super DIY, Anthropologie Inspired Rockland Farms Wedding

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Images:  Porter Watkins

This WEATHER! Amiright?! Football is back, there’s a crisp & coolness to the air and MAN what an amazing wedding I have for you today. I mean, of course it’s super rad, it’s from one of my favs, Porter Watkins, and the bride’s friends are supic designers and made chandeliers & backdrops and really it’s almost hard to believe just how DIY this wedding was. A complete army of family & friends made the flowers, the cake, the pies, and MORE. Happy Tuesday Romancers.

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Let’s see, why we chose stuff…  James found the farm doing a search of the area because we wanted to be married outside and liked the idea of a barn reception.  We met in college in rural Vermont so we have a fondness for outdoors settings.  We went to visit and just fell in love with the site, its beautifully secluded for being right outside DC and the people who own the farm are so friendly and excited about people’s weddings happening there.

My bouquet was tied with a ribbon that was made from leftover fabric that was used when my grandmother made my mother’s wedding dress.

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We knew we wanted a large suite of wedding colors because we knew we didn’t want the attendants all in the same color so we picked a range of greens from chartreuse to aqua to dark teal with accent colors for the flowers of mauve and peach.  Our flower girls (James’ nieces) wore dresses made by my mom that combined the three greens and the groomsmen and groomswoman wore ties and a scarf in those shades.

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We chose Ruie&Grace to make the chandelier in the barn and the backdrop for our ceremony because I had worked with them in their previous capacities as Display Coordinators for Anthropologie and loved their work, they are so talented at creating whimsy and beauty!

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For the ceremony:  We found A.C. through an internet search and had such a great rapport with her right away, she rose to the very tough challenge of finding Nietzche quotations to include in our ceremony.  The music was performed by Bill Perdue (brother in law of the bride), Ben Perdue (brother of Bill), Anastasia Pavlovic (cousin of the bride), and Liz Pavlovic (cousin in law of the bride).  The music was one of the Bach suites for Cello performed by Bill Perdue, This Must be the Place by the Talking Heads arranged by Ben Perdue and performed by all, and Us by Regina Spektor performed by all.

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—> CLICK INSIDE FOR THE REST OF JAMES & MORGEN’S DIY, ANTHROPOLOGIE INSPIRED MARYLAND BARN WEDDING <—

Bright Orange & White Themed Modern DC Wedding Inspiration

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 Images: Mathy Shoots People via Two Bright Lights

It’s Friday. But I don’t have to tell you that. It’s also the first week in a REALLY freakin’ long time where I blogged EVERY DAY. I think that deserves some celebrating. We have a gorrrrrrrgeous modern DC wedding inspiration shoot today that took a whole bunch of awesome DC wedding vendors to happen. We’re talking bright orange florals & design, seek wedding attire and hair & makeup, and a CHEESE wedding cake. Yup, a wedding cake made from local cheese monger, Righteous Cheese. YUM. Hope you guys have a GREAT weekend, enjoy.

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—> CLICK INSIDE FOR THE REST OF THIS AWESOME MODERN ORANGE & WHITE WEDDING <—

Chris & Maggie’s Summer Rustic Wedding at Swan Harbor Farm Maryland

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Images: Jennifer Smutek Photography via Two Bright Lights

I really loft the softness of this Maryland wedding, with the wildflowers, touches of wood, and tons of greenery in the images thanks to the wedding happening at a farm. It makes perfect sense that the couple would have their wedding at a farm, as they LOVE doing things outdoors like backpacking and hiking! In fact, they even got engaged during one of their hikes in Europe ! This adorable wedding has some super sweet details, check it all out below!

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Nature is at the heart of our relationship.  It’s what brought us together and drives most of our fun.  We knew instantly that Swan Harbor Farm was the venue for us.  An old farm mansion with beautiful landscaping poised on a majestic waterfront property was the perfect location to celebrate the union of our lives with friends and family.  SHF provided an “at ease” feel with elegant features that made the night feel both “homey” and “classy.”

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To keep with the natural theme, our flowers, from TALMAR Garden varied in both colors and types like we often swoon over in meadows and mountain fields when hiking.  TALMAR Garden was an easy choice.  Being a teacher, I was proud to support a company’s whose mission is to serve individuals with special needs through their carefully designed horticulture therapy program.  I recently read an article about how they are expanding to include a Veteran’s program as well to help soldiers assimilate back to civilian life by involving them in meaningful and rewarding work.  I couldn’t be any happier that we chose them as our florists!

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The cameo pin on the back of my dress which served as my something blue, new, and old.  A wonderful lady by the name of Alice Grenier Roe was the matriarch of the Toolin family for a long time, but sadly passed away this past winter.  This pin was hers and I felt so honored to be wearing it all night.

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 —> CLICK INSIDE FOR THE REST OF THIS BEAUTIFULLY SIMPLY SWAN HARBOR FARM MARYLAND WEDDING <—

Giveaway: Enter to Win a Custom Lipstick Shade from Makeup Meltdown

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I‘m SUPER pumped to share today’s giveaway. I met Aleah, owner/Lip Mixologist behind Makeup Meltown LLC a few weeks ago at the A Creative DC PROMO workshop and I just knew we had to work together. Aleah makes CUSTOM lipshades that are 100% unique and 100% awesome. She has the option to come to you in person to create your perfect and customized shade OR she also has a super rad mail-order service which she calls “CC Lippie“.

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Here’s how it works:

After purchasing a “CC Lippie” listing on the Etsy site, customers are able to create the lipstick color of their dreams through a simple and efficient email/mail process. You provide Aleah with colors you like, a picture of yourself, and fill out a questionnaire so Aleah can get a feel for your perfect shade. She then sends you 3 trial options and you let her know which you like/don’t like and she then works from that to create your final, custom shade. This mail order process is currently available to customers in the US, UK and Canada.

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Here’s some more about Makeup Meltdown, LLC:

Aleah Rae Dorsey is the founder and lead lip mixologist at Makeup Meltdown, LLC. She has several years of experience behind the counters of some of the world’s most well known cosmetic lines as a professional makeup artist, and has now taken that passion to the next level creating customized lipsticks that fit the unique needs of each client. To learn more about Makeup Meltdown, visit her website.

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Now the details on HOW TO ENTER! Makeup Meltdown is teaming up with us to giveaway 1 custom lipshade “CC Lippie” to one lucky reader (in the USA/Canada/UK only), a $40 value! Entering is easy, just follow Makeup Meltdown on Instagram AND tag 3 of your friends on our iIstagram post about this giveaway.

 

ENTER HERE. GIVEAWAY ENDS FRIDAY 18TH AT MIDNIGHT

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Ariel & Michael’s Softly Romantic Spring DC Wedding at Meridian House

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Images: Roman Grinev Photography via Two Bright Lights

Well hello there Romancers. It’s been a WEEKEND but at long last, I return to work today and will therefore (hopefully) be a bit better about blogging on schedule with the little one being cared for during the day by someone other than me! I hope you guys all had a fabulous long weekend. We were up in NJ visiting my parents, NYC visiting (and picking up) Andy from a work gig, and then Philly for my niece’s FIRST birthday! We also got news that our house was featured on Houzz yesterday (check it out)! For today we have a beautiful Springtime DC wedding that had a secret garden/enchanted forest theme. Check it out and have a GREAT week. We have a SUPER RAD giveaway launching tomorrow, so be sure to come back for that!

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 I was torn between a wedding theme of secret garden/enchanted forest, so I kind of went with both! In either case I love the idea of something that’s been somewhat neglected, and due to that neglect has become something beautiful and magical. The stone vases for the center pieces felt to me like secret garden and the birch chuppah with twigs and babies breath added the enchanted forest element.

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We didn’t have a wedding planner, but we were both very involved with the wedding planning, but probably not as much as my Mom! We were so lucky that she took it on herself to find a venue and go through caterers ad so much more. We also had a lot of help from Mike’s mom and my Aunt. But with so many cooks in the kitchen it became really important to stay organized. We used lots of planning charts to keep track of who was doing what and when.

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It’s also nice to incorporate DIY touches whenever you can. Mike’s mother is very crafty so she and I worked together to make all of the day of stationary – the programs, the menu and the escort cards. It’s also really nice to include personal elements – for example, our chuppah cover was my late grandmother’s old table cloth. Also it’s important to compromise – for example, our Wedding Cocktail the Kentucky royal contains both whiskey, Mike’s favorite alcoholic beverage, with sparkling wine, which is my favorite alcoholic beverage.

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—> CLICK INSIDE FOR THE REST OF THIS ROMANTIC MERIDIAN HOUSE DC WEDDING <–_

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