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

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

capturing love HRC panel (12)

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.

capturing love HRC panel (4) capturing love HRC panel (5)

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.

capturing love HRC panel (2)

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

capturing love HRC panel (8) capturing love HRC panel (3)

Click inside for the rest of our recap!

Pin It

Shannon & Jae’s Eclectic, Handmade Woodend Sanctuary Wedding

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

handmade maryland wedding at woodend sanctuary (14)

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

handmade maryland wedding at woodend sanctuary (2)

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.

handmade maryland wedding at woodend sanctuary (6)handmade maryland wedding at woodend sanctuary (4) handmade maryland wedding at woodend sanctuary (5) handmade maryland wedding at woodend sanctuary (9)

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.

handmade maryland wedding at woodend sanctuary (12)

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

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.

Feel free to use these images, unaltered and uncropped, on your washington dc engagement pictures Hirshhorn Museum (6) Feel free to use these images, unaltered and uncropped, on your

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

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

modern intimate arlington virginia wedding (11)

Vendors:

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

modern intimate arlington virginia wedding (10) modern intimate arlington virginia wedding (3)

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.

modern intimate arlington virginia wedding (4)

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.

modern intimate arlington virginia wedding (12)modern intimate arlington virginia wedding (5)

Click inside for the rest of this adorable Virginia wedding!

DIY Tutorial: How to Make a DIY Tissue Paper Tassel Garland Sign

Tassel garlands are all the rage in the wedding industry right now. It’s easy to see why – they are awesome. They add perfect pops of color and a modern flare to a dessert display or sweetheart table. For DIY Wednesday, Ribbons & Bluebirds tackles the DIY Tassel Garland tutorial with flare – adding her own special addition to it (of course). I hope to try my hand at this tutorial sometime soon!

DIY Tutorial: How to Make a DIY Tissue Paper Tassel Garland

diy_tissue_tassels (22 of 29)

What you need:

  • Tissue Paper, in whatever colours you like
  • Mylar sheets, if desired (I purchased mylar foil emergency blankets)
  • Cutter – I used a rotary cutter but x-acto or scissors will work
  • 18” ruler and cutting mat if using a cutter or x-acto
  • Twine
  • Ribbon for hanging
  • Cardstock – 4.25×5.5” per letter
  • Paint pen

diy_tassel_garland (1)

Garlands and banners make an awesome backdrop for your party, whether for a birthday or your wedding day! These tissue garlands combine with a festive message in the center for a colourful punch in your decorations. They’re also so easy to make, with no glue or drying time needed.

A couple of tips on purchasing your materials: As we saw in yesterday’s awesome DIY details, you don’t need to use conventional packaged tissue paper, as long as you’re using lightweight material. You can use paper tablecloths, mylar foil, or fabric too. I purchased a multi-pack of foil blankets intended for emergency warmth for a fraction of the cost of one small pack of mylar “tissue” foil for my silver flashes, and a multi-colour bulk pack of tissue for lots of colour choices.

Step by Step DIY Tissue Paper Tassel Tutorial Instructions:

diy_tassel_garland (8)

Step 1: Cut Tissue. To save time with cutting your tissue, start by layering the sheets if they aren’t already (most pre-packaged tissue will come stacked already.) Fold in half cross-wise to make each strip as long as possible. Using whatever cutting method works for you, cut a long strip from about 2” from the fold down through the tissue to the bottom to create a fringe. I cut mine in ½” strips, and after 4 inches I cut the through the whole sheet top to bottom. You should be able to get at least 3 fringed 4” sections from your folded tissue – I then cut the remaining tissue into 1” wide separate strips (see photo.) Repeat with all your colours.

diy_tassel_garland (2)

Step 2: Cut Mylar (if using). The mylar is more finicky, so I chose to use masking tape dots to hold it down to my cutting board as I progressed. Because I found the mylar tore more easily, I didn’t chose to cut any fringed pieces, and instead cut it all into 1” individual strips.

diy_tassel_garland (4)

Step 3: Make pennants for message. If starting with 8.5×11 sheets, cut into quarters for 4.25×5.5 final size. To add the flag detail at the bottom, measure up ¾” from the center of the bottom, and cut from the bottom corners to that point. Use a paint pen to draw your letters (or purchase pre-cut out letters to use) and finish by punching holes at the corners for mounting.

diy_tassel_garland (3)

Step 4: Assemble. For each tassel, whether using 4” fringed pieces or 1” individual strands, the method is the same: gather 4-6 sheets of fringe or 10-15 individual strands in your hand at the center, twist into a strip, then around to form a loop. Finish by tightly wrapping a strand of twine 5-6 times around the loop, then tie in a knot to secure.

diy_tassel_garland (7)

Step 5: String the tassels and letters onto a ribbon for hanging. To finish the garland, wait until everything is strung then trim the ribbon edges with a clean cut and dab with clear nail polish to prevent fraying.

diy_tassel_garland (6)

All done! I love all the fun colour combinations possible, plus the variety of textures from mylar or other lightweight materials of your choice.

diy_tassel_garland (10)

Let us know if you use our tutorial! A very special thanks again to the very awesome & talented Ribbon & Bluebirds for sharing this awesome step by step wedding DIY tutorial!

 

 

 

Maggie & Shahul’s Intimate, Lakeside Backyard Wedding in Virginia

It was Maggie’s blush pink wedding dress that first caught my eye in this adorable real Virginia wedding. Then it was all the amazing handmade details, the breathtaking lakeside venue, and of course, all the intimate details. I know you guys are going to love this one – though it’s intimate, the couple didn’t skimp on details and the result is just lovely. Happy Tuesday Romancers!

Maggie & Shahul’s Intimate, Backyard Lake Wedding in Virginia

intimate backyard wedding virginia (6)

Vendor:

 Photographer: Photography by Anna Clark | Bride’s Dress: Jenny Yoo’s Annabelle Dress from BHLDN | Bouquet: Adorn Flowers | Veil: Crown and Sea | Zombie Cake Topper: Creative Butterfly XOX | Sand People: Unity Sand Shoppe | Bakery: Lilly Magillys | Rentals: Fredericksburg Rentals | Catering: Eco Caters | Groom’s Suit: Men’s Wearhouse | Flowers: Pier 1 | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

intimate backyard wedding virginia (17) intimate backyard wedding virginia (20)

From the photographer:

Maggie & Shahul had an intimate backyard wedding with 17 guests & the most beautiful details. For privacy reasons we can’t share the ceremony photos but even without them you can see that this wedding is perfect. Her attention to detail is really what took this simple ceremony & dinner to the next level. I was so honored to photograph this wedding. It really was one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever witnessed.

intimate backyard wedding virginia (1)

From the bride on their wedding colors ~ a beautiful blush, black and gold palette:

We chose blush, black, and gold as our main wedding colors. Blush because I love it’s softness and thought it would go well in an outdoor setting and black and gold because we are die hard New Orleans Saints fans (also why I chose a table runner with a fleur de lis pattern) The secondary colors ended up being green and blue because we just love them and again thought they worked well outside.

intimate backyard wedding virginia (15)

^on that ADORABLE blush wedding dress:

This dress was exactly what I wanted. It was flowy and romantic and very affordable!

intimate backyard wedding virginia (2)intimate backyard wedding virginia (4)

Click inside for the rest of Maggie & Shahul’s adorable, intimate Lakeside wedding in Virginia!

Michelle & Ron’s Laid Back, Casual Washington DC Engagement Pictures

Happy Monday Romancers!!! We are BACK in action after a full-fledged wedding weekend down in Virginia Beach. I had the absolute pleasure of being a wedding GUEST this weekend (actually a Bridesmaid at that!) and I am still recuperating a bit from all the dancing. Working weddings is a KILLER for someone, like me, who LOVES to dance. My dance itch was nearly incurable and my husband even said to me that I was clearly making up for some lost time at the reception. My feet are still throbbing a bit (and I wore flats!). Needless to say, I cut a rug, and then some. But onto today’s blog post! Thanks to Val & Sarah (gahhhh I love these two), I have an awesome, laid-back Washington DC engagement pictures session to share. Michelle & Ron took their engagement pictures in their neighborhood and even down in the metro!

These came out SO COOL. I’ve seen a few DC Metro engagement pictures before – but naturally Val & Sarah gave it their own flare and the result is just all kinds of awesome. Check out the sess and adorable DC love story below!

Michelle & Ron’s Laid Back, Alternative Washington DC Engagement Pictures

alternative washington dc engagement pictures (10)

Vendors:

Photographer: Val & Sarah

 How they met:

We met at our white coat ceremony in the beginning of pharmacy school. He came across the room and said something like, “I came over to introduce myself because our moms have been trying to say hello to each other. So hi I’m Ron!” [our moms probably noticed there was another filipino family so they wanted to connect based on that commonality]. We started talking and he said he was taking his mom on a tour of DC and asked if my mom and I would like to come along. I agreed and we had a great time together.

This was actually the beginning of a new and fun FRIENDSHIP. We were actually each other’s pharmacy school best friends. We studied together, worked out together and joined the same fraternity. But halfway through pharmacy school he admitted he had feelings for me. Apparently it was obvious to everyone but oblivious me.  After some reluctance and hesitation, I gave in and gave him my heart.

alternative washington dc engagement pictures (7) alternative washington dc engagement pictures (9) alternative washington dc engagement pictures (8) alternative washington dc engagement pictures (11) alternative washington dc engagement pictures (16)

Click inside for the rest of Michelle & Ron’s adorable DC engagement pictures AND for the proposal story!

Capitol Inspiration: A Modern Pinata Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot

Happy Friday Romancers!! I am down in Virginia Beach for the day celebrating the happy wedding weekend of my good friends Mel & Ted! I am busy with bridesmaids duties, but I couldn’t just leave you guys without a Friday inspiration post, now could I?! And this one is AWESOME. Hot pink, orange, and yellow color palette, geometric shapes, tons of modern wedding details and the best part? A PINATA THEME. Yes! The creators behind the shoot share:

I wanted to create a wedding that was full of fun and inspired by a party, and a piñata is one of my favorite ways to celebrate! There are so many emotions to experience at a wedding, but this styled shoot was inspired by joy and celebration. At the end of the ceremony, the newly married couple kicks off the party by breaking into a piñata, being showered with a spray of confetti.

Thanks to Anna Reynal Photography & ALL the amazing vendors that collaborated on this awesome shoot!

Capitol Inspiration: A Modern Pinata Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot

Anna Reynal | Cheerful Photographyhttp://annareynal.com

Vendors

Photography: Anna Reynal Photography  | Dress: Hayley Paige from Garnish Boutique  | Hair & Makeup: Behind the Veil | Invitations: Kelly Nealon | Furniture: XOXO Vintage Rentals | Flowers & Table Linens: Bella Fiori Couture Floral & Event Design | Venue: Powerhouse DC | Desserts: Sweet Hearts Patisserie

Anna Reynal | Cheerful Photographyhttp://annareynal.com Anna Reynal | Cheerful Photography http://annareynal.com

More from the vendors:

I loved the faceted shape of the piñata, and all of the colorful fringe, so those elements were carried over into the rest of the wedding decor! Modern color blocked wedding invitations tie everything together and set the stage for an exciting celebration. A DIY fringe backdrop adds a festive flair and faceted shapes (made out of plastic straws and nylon wire) made a fun ceremony backdrop.

Anna Reynal | Cheerful Photographyhttp://annareynal.com Anna Reynal | Cheerful Photographyhttp://annareynal.com Anna Reynal | Cheerful Photographyhttp://annareynal.com

Click inside for SO MUCH MORE of this super rad, modern & brightly colored wedding styled shoot!

Katja & Alex’s Offbeat, Intimate Washington DC Wedding at Phoenix Park Hotel

What do you get when you mix Star Wars, Washington, DC and Scottish traditions? Alex & Katja’s DC wedding of course! Katja picked the date based on numerology and her favorite number 3 (March 30, or 3/30).  They included a lot of personalized and fun details in their day, including the ceremony & reception including traditional Scottish traditions such as Handfasting & drinking from the “Quaich”. Plus I just adore all the Star Wars nods. I mean, who doesn’t?

Katja & Alex’s Offbeat, Scottish Start Wars Wedding in Washington DC

offbeat intimate Washington DC wedding (25)

Vendors

Venue: Phoenix Park Hotel | Photographer: Kathleen Hertel Photography | Dress: Andrew Adela | Dress shop: Lex’s of Carytown | Shoes: Melissa and Vivian Westwood | Florist: Mid Atlantic Wholesale | DJ: Musical DJs and Event Lighting | Cakes: Cake by Linda | Invites : awthorne House | PJ‘s: NY Cat’s Pajamas | Cake Topper: MelaboWed | Scottish Tartan: The McTavish Gray | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

offbeat intimate washington dc wedding (31) offbeat intimate Washington DC wedding (2) offbeat intimate Washington DC wedding (3) offbeat intimate Washington DC wedding (4) offbeat intimate Washington DC wedding (5) offbeat intimate Washington DC wedding (9)

Click inside for so much more of Katja & Alex’s offbeat DC wedding at the Phoenix Park Hotel!

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