Anniversary Gift Guide: First Year Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas

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We’re talking Anniversary Gifts on the blog today! Thanks to guest blogger, Kara, we’ve got a round-up of rad ideas for your first wedding anniversary gift. Tradition says the gift should be Paper focused (and a Carnation if you’re giving flowers and Mother of Pearl if there is a gemstone involved) but we’re just focusing on the paper aspect today. We’ve got some ideas from local DC vendors and small biz Etsy vendors. Check it out and let us know what we missed!

#1. Custom illustrated family portrait Custom Family Portrait

Get a custom illustrated picture (on paper!) of your family or you and your partner and hang it on your wall. These are TOO CUTE.

#2. City & Neighborhood Prints

You could pick the city you live in, where you got married, or where you visited for your honeymoon, regardless of the place, City Prints makes awesome paper prints of locations. Or, shop local with our girls at Cherry Blossom Creative and get a DC Neighborhood Print. We proudly hang our H Street print at the bottom of our stairs :)

#3. Cute Anniversary Cards

Maybe your gift isn’t paper, but your Anniversary Card certainly can be. We love these anniversary cards from Aisle Always Love (and also their entire shop has great anniversary & wedding gift ideas!).

#4. Letterpress Workshops!

Instead of buying something on paper … how about you and your partner spend your first anniversary MAKING SOMETHING (on paper). Attend one of Typecase Industries’ letterpress workshops and make your own artwork or sign to hang in your home!

#5. Vintage Book Frames

Frame a wedding picture or honeymoon picture or really any other picture in one of these super cool, vintage book turned picture frames from Vintage Book Frame. Especially perfect if you or your partner is a book worm!

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Guest Post: Post Break-Up Reflection, Two Months Later

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Image: This Rad Love

We’re back today with a follow-on, update post to Laura’s raw, personal account of still living with someone you’ve broken up with and the 3 things she learned from going through it. I can’t thank her enough for being so awesome and letting us re-share her story here. I hope posts like this are helpful to my readers that aren’t yet in the engagement or wedding planning stage of their lives. And I’d like to continually remind you all out there that if you have your own experience, whether it’s about being single & reading wedding blogs, or struggles with a relationship, or success stories of wedding planning or really ANYTHING along those lines, I’d love to share it here. There is sooooo much more that goes into a healthy, committed relationship, above the wedding that, that I’d really like to share more about that end of things too! But back to Laura for today :)

Follow-Up | By Laura with The Sobriety Collective

It’s almost been two months since I wrote my heart’s contents.   I’ve had, and god, it sounds so cliché, but a roller-coaster of emotional ups and downs.  Crying, oh the crying.  And then happy days.  And then some that were definitely in between, sort of a bittersweet seesaw.  We moved out of our shared place and helped each other into our new spaces.  We’ve talked every day; seen each other a few times.  I wish there was a(n ironic) listicle for this kind of a relationship; Top Ten Ways to Navigate a Romantic Relationship Turned Friendship Without Having to Buy Stock in Ben & Jerry’s and Netflix.  That kind of thing.  Because I feel like a pioneer, at least in my own life.  I’ve never had a breakup go this, well, WELL.  There is no hatred or resentment; no slung insults or screaming matches.  We still care deeply about each other.  But we’re learning new boundaries now.  How to stay friends while respecting a) our past relationship, b) our future relationships, and c) ourselves.

It’s not easy.  But it’s so totally worth it.

Kristen & Dale’s DIY, Rustic Virginia Wedding at the Barns at Wolftrap

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Images: Kathleen Hertel Photography

So normally I would be insanely excited about the impending snow storm. I love snow and it will be Evie’s FIRST snow. But 7-10 inches sounds a bit crazy (we know DC can’t handle 2 inches) and Andy is headed out of town so being snowed in, alone, with Evie sounds a bit intimidating. Here’s hoping we just get a few pretty inches! In the meantime, we have a GORGEOUS DIY wedding to share with you today – one that our girl Alesha coordinated oh-so-perfectly. Kristen & Dale’s wedding was so full of love, community, and handmade goodness. You guys are going to love it. Let’s get to it.

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How we met: Dale and I met in middle school! We were both in a middle school production of Annie, I played Annie, Dale played the butler Drake! We didn’t really become close friends until later on in high school, and we started dating my senior year. We are high school sweethearts!

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How he proposed:I had just finished up an Indiegogo campaign to help fund my life coach training and certification, and to celebrate this big next step, Dale took me out to dinner. That night there was a super moon, and after dinner we stopped to star gaze and look at the giant moon in the sky, and he proposed right then and there. We got engaged over the summer and had a trip to Disney World planned in October – and I thought for sure it was gonna happen in Florida later that Fall! When he pulled out the ring, he said, “I know you’re probably expecting this a little later – but it’s happening now!” We took another big step forward that night :)

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Our close friends sang, played cello, read, and officiated our ceremony we created ourselves, my Uncle designed our flowers and my brother helped bring it all together, and my brother’s girlfriend hand-painted a number of beautiful signs that were all over the Barns. It meant so much to us that our incredibly talented and creative community shared their gifts with us! It made the day even more special.

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READ MORE FOR THE REST OF KRISTEN & DALE’S PERSONALIZED, DIY WOLFTRAP WEDDING!

Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck: “Easy to Love” by Ivan & Alyosha

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Happy Monday Romancers. We’re couch surfing today as I have the day off from the day-job, trying to catch up on some relaxing after a whirlwind weekend of TRAVEL. We were in NJ Thursday to Saturday. Connecticut for the day on Saturday and then the long drive back to DC yesterday. HELLOW CAR RIDES. It’ll be nice to have the “short” work week but Andy leaves me Wednesday for a little less than a week to go work Sundance Film Festival. Let’s not even talk about how jealous I am that he’s headed to Sundance!! For today just a light wedding music that doesn’t suck post (it’s been FOREVER since I did one of these! eep!).

We’ve got Ivan & Alyosha’s “Easy to Love” – a perfect little indie rock song that would make a gorgeous first dance song, or ceremony music option. Have a great week Romancers!

The sky turns black
Hmmm
We know it will from time to time
And we’ve been through that
And we came out on top because
You’re really easy to love

Vol 2: The Real Life of a Mompreneur – A Guest Post!

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Images: Anna Meyer Photography

Yesterday I launched a new series, documenting my journey & experiences as a Momprenuer and I am excited to announce another facet of it – featuring OTHER Momprenuers in the DC area. I figure no one just wants to hear about ME all the time, so I thought it might be fun to share some stories of other Moms in the area that are killing it (or struggling or rocking or rolling) at home and with their small business. So for today’s post we have Rachel Maucieri, a lifestyle and fashion wedding photographer here in DC that only recently moved to the DC area. She’s going to share her story and some FAB pictures of a recent family shoot she did at Union Market. And then at the end she has a killer Anniversary Session she shot back in Texas before she moved here. Though it’s from Texas and not DC, it was just TOO COOL not to share. So deal with it. And Happy Friday ;)

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Hi! My name is Rachel Maucieri. I am a lifestyle + fashion wedding photographer here in DC. My husband and I have been here for almost a year now, so allow me to tell you a little about where I came from and what we were up to before landing in the district.

I met Phil Maucieri when I was in 8th grade through some metal friends at my church. We quickly became good friends and remained that way all the way through high school. We both went to the same small college in western Oklahoma and had some of the best times of our lives with some of the very best people in the world. The summer before our last year in Oklahoma we both went to Elizabethtown, KY for the summer to work at my dad’s church as summer student interns. Neither of us had feelings for the other at the start of the summer but it didn’t take long at all for the flirty humor and time together to kick in! We spent every day together and everything we loved about each other as friends magnified and new things to love began to pop out of nowhere all over the place!

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We returned to Oklahoma in August for the start of our last year at school and began officially dating once we got back into a normal rhythm and realized that our feelings were, in fact, true and not just “summer lovin’”. After we said tearful goodbyes to our friends and the flat land of western Oklahoma, we packed up and didn’t stay sad for too long because we knew we were starting a new chapter and that we were starting it together. We moved to Kentucky, made new friends, got new jobs, and continued our education. That next Thanksgiving, to my surprise, Phil planned a beautiful proposal and engagement party the night before the holiday. It was the best start to the holidays and 6 months laterwe were married in May!

We lived in beautiful little Elizabethtown for 3 years. We loved the windy country roads, the tall ears of corn in the summer, and the lightning bugs illuminating our back yard. We decided to move to Austin, TX and the week after we made that decision we found out we were pregnant! I was immediately terrified, excited, and even more terrified. I was moving away from my mom and we were changing locations as well as jobs. I had every right to be scared! But as always, with the life of a new beautiful baby, there were more reasons to be joyful and thankful than anything else!

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We moved to Austin when I was entering into my second trimester. We instantly feel in love with Austin and with the people we were meeting. As much as we loved Austin, we knew our time there was going to be temporary. After almost 2 years of living in and loving Austin we moved to Washington, DC.

Moving to DC has been our family’s biggest adventure yet. We had never moved somewhere that we didn’t know a single person. We had never lived in the northeast. We had never lived in the heart of a city. We had an 11 month old, Judeth, and I was 8 months pregnant with our son, Samuel. All of these things were huge life changes for us and they all happened in the dead of DC winter. We felt nervous, excited, and scared, but also content because we knew what we were doing was right and the next step for our family. We absolutely love this city, our lifestyle, and the wonderful community we have been submerged into in the last year. Our kids are now almost 2 and 9 months and they love each other so much. We love the way our family has been designed and are so thankful.

That is just a bit about me, my family, and our love story.

READ MORE TO SEE SOME OF RACHEL’S WORK AND SEE SARAH & TYLER’S RAD LOVE STORY!

Vol 1: The Real Life of a Mompreneur – The Struggle is Real

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Images: Maggie from Pop Wed Co

A friendor of mine (friend vendor) recently told me she was pregnant and wanted to know “how I did it all”. She said she’d be interested in reading posts about my newest job, being a mom, on top of running a side hustle and maintaining a full-time job and still being a good partner to my husband (and the job list goes on). I was apprehensive at first, because I don’t want this place to become a momblog, but I have written about my trials and tribulations as a small business owner in the past (to great response) and so I thought maybe I could throw a post in here and there.

Plus, I am really struggling as of late, and any time I find myself in such a low place, writing a blog post about it almost always helps. So here I am, a “momprenuer” and apparently to some people on the outside I am successfully “doing it all”. Well let me tell you, quite frankly, I am so very far from that. To me, I am “getting by” at present. I am furiously doggy paddling to keep my head above the waters as I watch so many of my friendors doing so many things that I wish I could do.

There’s a million events I am not attending. There are blog posts collecting dust in my mind, never finding their way to WordPress. There’s a million items for the online shop I haven’t yet designed, and there’s the unanswered survey I started in December to get a promo video for CapRo shot. There’s my already forgotten video series (boy 1 episode, that was short-lived ;-p). And probably more items than I can rattle off right now because my brain is absolute mush (almost always these days).

But this isn’t meant to be a SAD or “feel bad for me” post. (I swear!). Because while there are a million things I feel like I am NOT doing, I am simultaneously doing ten thousand more. I’ve hired another coordinator for the coordination team, I’ve got round 2 of our wedding planner in the print shop, I’m somehow blogging 3-4 times/week since the new year, and I am somehow still married to an incredible man and attempting to parent & teach an equally awesome baby.

For every event I miss, there’s an equally cool milestone I am witnessing at home. Evie learned to crawl this week AND feed herself! It’s truly amazing to watch such a little creature have to LEARN SO MANY THINGS in such a short time, all while having no way to express his/herself and also grow teeth at the same time.

So while the Instagram accounts might show you that motherhood is an endless amount of white backgrounds and impeccable kids clothing, I am hear to tell you that it’s neither of those things – it’s a rollercoaster ride. It’s a rollercoaster ride unlike one you’ve ever been on. Happy one minute and crying the next (both Evie and I). Logically sane, but emotionally unstable (Just me). It’s a struggle and it’s REAL and it’s daunting to think that it won’t be going away any time soon. But I look forward to at least sharing some of that ride with you here. I hope you don’t mind.

DIY Tutorial: How to Make DIY Marbled Clay Dishes

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We’ve got our guest blogger, Kara, back today to share another DIY tutorial that she initially planned to make as bridesmaids gifts, but ran out of time and made some for herself instead (and the leftovers made great holiday gifts!). Take it away Kara!

DIY Clay Marble Dish Tutorial | By: Kara Britanik

I love having little dishes around the apartment where I can stash my rings, earrings, and other jewelry as I take them off throughout the day. As soon as I saw these DIY versions floating around Pinterest, I knew I needed to try making them myself.

Supplies:

  • Oven bake clay in multiple colors (like these)
  • Rolling pin or large jar
  • Ramekins or any small oven-safe dish (like these)

Marbled Dish 1

Step 1. Roll each color of clay into ropes about 5 inches long. I recommend using white as your base, and then choosing other colors that complement each other and look good when mixed. You’ll want your white rope to be about twice as thick as your colored ropes.

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Step 2. With all your ropes rolled out, twist them together into one big rope. Roll them out so the colors start to combine, and your rope is about twice the original length.

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Step 3. Fold your rope in half, twist the ends together, and roll it into one big rope again. Repeat this 2-3 times, until your colors are nicely combined.

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Step 4. Smoosh (that’s a technical term, right?) your clay rope into a ball. Make sure you can see your colors on the outside of your ball. Using your rolling pin or a large jar, roll out your ball of clay. Try to roll it into a circle. You want it to be about ¼ – ½ inch thick.

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READ MORE FOR THE REST OF THIS DIY TUTORIAL!

Serefina & Jacob’s Flower-Inspired, Vegan Maryland Wedding at Church & Company

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Images: B.O.B Photography | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

We figured if were all a little mismatched, we would match. I suppose you could say that’s our philosophy on life.

Today’s real Maryland wedding is filled with SO much awesome. A laid back couple that used their love of flowers, their mismatched outlook on life, and really just wanting a fun, relaxed day that was a reflection of their personalities. Can we say the perfect Capitol Romance wedding feature?! All the details on Serefina & Jacob’s beautiful Maryland wedding are below! Enjoy.

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Jacob asked me to marry him in April and since we both were excited to get married as soon as possible, we decided on a fall wedding (six months of planning!). To be perfectly honest, our date was determined by the availability of our church and our photographer, Jillian at B.O.B Photography. We both knew we wanted to take our vows at our neighborhood parish and I knew that *only* Jill could photograph our wedding!

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In essence, we wanted our wedding to reflect our personalities: we didn’t care about the niceties so much as the actual wedding and reception to be fun and laid-back. I was so non-committal about the details that I basically just chose a palette of colors that I affectionately called, “autumn.” Jacob was the same way. We figured if were all a little mismatched, we would match. I suppose you could say that’s our philosophy on life.

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We chose Hampden as our location because we got to know each other here, we fell in love here, and now we live here… growing our little family. Our story could be mapped in this area. It was natural to have our wedding at our neighborhood parish, St. Thomas Aquinas. A friend of mine mentioned that he knew Alex of Church and Company and that we should check out the place for a reception site, knowing my tastes. We walked into this former church on Falls Road and knew *immediately* it was of our aesthetic: quirky paintings, old, old furniture, gray walls, antique taxidermy.

Alex is a buff on the history of the neighborhood as well! (Turns out our church was designed by the same architect that built Church and Company over a hundred years ago!)

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I told my bridesmaids that I wanted each girl to wear something long and flowy, each of a unique color. They ended up choosing maroon, sage, navy blue, lavender/gray dresses. (Yes, I was super non-committal.) The groomsmen chose navy suits (because Jacob figured either most men had one already or would likely need one) with white shirts. He chose for pocket squares and ties, a brown cloth with pink anemones. All wore brown wing-tips. My dress was from BHLDN, sweetheart top, mermaid-cut. My tailor, Ann from Ann’s Silver threads in Arbutus, Maryland, worked *wonders* – essentially giving me a butt though I don’t have one. I was very lucky with my dress! I tried it on at the store with two girls holding it closed in the back since their sample was a size 6 and ha! I am not a 6. Bought the dress online on the hope that a larger size would fit. Between good luck and a very good tailor, the dress fit wonderfully!

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READ MORE FOR THE REST OF SEREFINA & JACOB’S GORGEOUS MARYLAND WEDDING!

Danielle & Tyler’s Colorful Richmond Virginia Engagement Pictures with Murals

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Images: Amber Kay Photo

It’s MONDAY. Where does the weekend go? We spent ours completely cleaning out and re-organizing the office (aka CapRo Headquarters). It felt good but took SO LONG. This weekend we’ll be trekking up north (NJ and CT) for my neice’s 1st birthday! Just crazy how fast the days, months, years fly lately. So without more from me, I can’t WAIT to share this super rad engagement session this morning. Tattoos, GREEN HAIR, murals, and so much love & laughter. Let’s get to it.

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Danielle and Tyler were high school sweethearts and have been dating for over 6 years. They are a fun couple full of inside jokes and off beat humor and they couldn’t be more awesome if they tried. Danielle is a hair stylist and you just never know what color hair to expect from her…but it’s always fun and colorful! Tyler is finishing up his degree at VCU and the couple lives in Richmond, VA. When they were thinking of places for engagement photos I knew it had to be fun and colorful just like them and support their sense of personal style. There’s no place better than the many colorful murals that are painted all around the city and a back alley or two also worked out awesome.

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Danielle and I met sometime freshman year of high school at North Stafford High School through marching band; though neither of us can recall a specific instance of us actually communicating that first year of knowing each other. We began actually talking to each other and getting to know one another during our sophomore year, and soon began officially dating. We were kind of “that couple” throughout high school, who were always seen together no matter what time of day, or what class we should have been in. I do not think it was a surprise to anyone when we moved away to Richmond for college together, where we have been very happy ever since.

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CLICK READ MORE FOR THE PROPOSAL STORY & MORE PICS!

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