Teeny & Aaron’s Surprise Wedding in Washington, DC

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Images: Gray Kammera Photography

I must admit that I audibly squeed a bit when I saw this DC wedding submission pop in my inbox. Not only did it feature one of my favorite local DC business owners (Teeny Pies) but it was a SURPRISE wedding (well, surprise proposal AND wedding). I mean come on. It doesn’t get much better than this for a local DC wedding blogger. Aaron, the groom, had been secretly planning the wedding celebration for 6 months without Teeny knowing! In one day Teeny was proposed to, surprised by friends & family at an engagement brunch, married at a courthouse and then surprised AGAIN with a wedding party reception with 70 of their closest friends from around the globe. Aaron had even tricked Teeny into baking pies for her own wedding day ;-p

This DC wedding is chock-full of love, smiles, and so many awesome local DC businesses. Just wait until you guys get a load of all the amazing details packed into their wedding day.

View More: http://graykammera.pass.us/teenyaaron local washington dc surprise wedding offbeat creative alternative (31)

From the photographer:

Teeny had no idea that for over 6 months Aaron had been planning all the details, from beautiful locations for every part of the day, to having friends and family travel from all distances, to a variety of wedding dresses supplied by Anthropologie as well as her mother’s wedding dress for her to choose from, to 3D printed rings he created himself – it was absolutely amazing, beautiful, fun, and completely Teeny and Aaron.

View More: http://graykammera.pass.us/teenyaaron

Aaron planned the details of what was the proposal and wedding day for over 6 months. He chose their local favorite coffee shop (Big Bear Cafe) conveniently located just around the corner from their home – and an easy place to get Teeny to naturally go to for the surprise engagement breakfast and Boundary Road for post-wedding brunch, made an appointment at Teeny’s favorite hair salon (Fiddleheads because they focus enhancing natural beautiful curls, something Teeny is not in short supply of) for the day of, recruited his sister to pick 5 potential wedding dresses that Teeny could choose from, enlisted friends for help on flowers, had friends and family come to DC from near and far.

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Friends and family came from near and far to be part of this day. Most of them thinking they were arriving for an engagement party and enjoying along in the surprise as it turned into a well planned wedding day. A handful of their local close friends were tagged to help in details. One friend dropped by the farmers market for a few handfuls of fresh flowers. Another friend had made an embroidered handkerchief with their names and date sewn on. Aaron’s sister, Leah, brought a slew of wedding dress options, various shoes from strappy heels to chucks , and a selection of jewelry to match. And cleverly, Aaron had placed a fake order for pies from Teeny so she made her own wedding pies.

View More: http://graykammera.pass.us/teenyaaron

The story from the bride:

“Aaron and I met at Ithaca College, in pursuit of acting degrees, fame and fortune. We did not fall in love, but we did become stellar friends who stayed in touch in the years following graduation. It wasn’t until we found ourselves in the same city, in the same apartment, several years later that we realized there was a something between us that went a little deeper than the usual best friendship. Fast forward a few more years, and we found ourselves living in D.C. with our newly adopted pup, Ladybird, following our dreams (Aaron creating digital games and apps for kids and me opening my own pie baking business), and contemplating getting engaged sometime within the next year but never making any definite plans. Or so I thought.

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One fine Friday, Aaron woke up at 6:45am though we’d agreed to take advantage of both having the day off, and yet the kettle was whistling and he was grinding coffee beans with unwavering determination by 7:00am. With one eye cracked open I begrudgingly accepted a cup of coffee in bed and alternated between sipping and sleeping. I’d just managed to wake up enough to sit up and sip my coffee like an adult when Aaron looked at Lady Bird, who looked back at Aaron and (I swear to god) winked, which Aaron took to mean it was time. To my absolute surprise and delight he came round to my side of the bed, got down on one knee, and asked me to spend my life with him. I said yes!

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I spent the next half hour admiring my ring, a family stone handed down from my mom, set in a white gold setting that Aaron designed with the help of Susie Brand, who created the perfect ring for me! Aaron popped a hidden bottle of champagne and we alternated sipping coffee and bubbly, giving Lady Bird only a few celebratory sips until it was time to go meet my parents for breakfast. We rounded the corner to the patio at Big Bear, the cutest coffee shop in all of D.C, and to my great and delighted surprise my parents, Aaron’s parents, my brother, his sister, and few of our bestest friends were peering around the corner, waiting to shout out their congratulations. Leah, our dear D.C. friend and wedding photographer extraordinaire was snapping pictures as I registered the shock of everyone I loved being at breakfast. I was bowled over, accepting hugs from the lot of them and sharing the story of how Lady Bird had learned how to wink, which ultimately led to our engagement.

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A few minutes later, Aaron pulled me aside and gave me my two options for the day. The first option was to celebrate. It was a lovely thing, to be engaged, and if I wanted we could spend the whole day toasting the momentous occasion. That option sounded great until he came to the second option, which was to get married that afternoon. I looked at Aaron, who had the beginnings of a mischievous grin on his face and then back at our friends and family who were all peering around the corner, trying in vain to overhear our conversation and said yes! Again.

View More: http://graykammera.pass.us/teenyaaron

Click inside for SO MUCH MORE of this amazing DC wedding!!

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Out of the Office Today: Speaking at Wedding Wire World!


Romancers! No blog today because I am rushing around the house trying to find something to wear for my panel today at Wedding Wire World! Everyone has been tweeting and instagramming and OH MY WORD I am getting slightly nervous! A few vendors even tagged me in pictures of the program yesterday and I feel so damn official!

If you are at Wedding Wire World today – PLEASE come join us in Potomac AB at 11:40am as Kathryn Hamm of gayweddings.com moderates the “Pro Panel: Serving the Modern Couple”! That’s where I will be, discussing all things modern couples with Ross Oscar Knight, Photocultarist, Bethel Nathan, Owner of Ceremonies By Bethel, and Kyle Mihalcoe, Regional Manager – Customer Success, WeddingWire.

Kathryn has schemed up a GREAT panel with engaging questions about who the modern couple is and how, as vendors, we can best serve them. I hope to see some of you there!!


Christian & Denise’s DC Metro Station & Coffee Shop Engagement Pictures

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Images: Thread & Feather Photography

WHAT a weekend Romancers! I’d be lying to you if I didn’t admit that I am a complete hot mess at my desk right now though. Andy, Sadie & I got home later last night after a WONDERFUL weekend in NJ filled with so much magical awesome & love & laughs & AH I think I need a day to recover. If you didn’t see it – I shared a sneak peak on Facebook of the insane Harry Potter Baby Shower that my family threw us (don’t worry, I will be blogging the whole thing once my brother sends me the pics). The details they designed and executed – well I think I need to start hiring some of them to work my weddings ;-p And Wedding Wire World starts TODAY (but we will only be there tomorrow) and I am SO excited for the panel that I’ll be on tomorrow!!!

So sit back and enjoy the week as we kick it off with Denise & Christian’s gorgeous Washington DC metro engagement pictures (with a bit at a coffee shop too!). They love living in DC and wanted an engagement session that reflected that – so Metro & coffee shops it was!

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Denise and Christian met at Old Dominion University in 2008.  After bonding and singing along to Disney classics and Alicia Keys “ If I Ain’t Got You”, their friendship blossomed into a romance.  In the summer of 2009, Denise went back home to Springfield, VA and Christian was working in Nebraska. Every night they would reminisce the first year of their friendship.

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On August 23rd, 2009, Denise and Christian started dating. From that day forward they became inseparable. They were “in love” with each well before they started dating, but it wasn’t until their second month of dating, that they admitted the love they had for each other.

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Click inside for the rest of Denise & Christian’s adorable DC engagement pictures!

Bright & Modern Citrus Wedding Inspiration & LINK LOVE

View More: http://leliamarie.pass.us/bright-inspiration

Images: Lelia Maria Photography

Here we are! Another Friday and end to the week. It’s hard to believe that a week ago we had 5 inches of snow on the ground. I am happy to say goodbye to winter though and be able to walk my dog again. The spring weather & sunshine was completely altered my mood too (has anyone else noticed this?!) I just feel so much more optimistic and it’s pretty awesome! Andy & I are headed up to NJ this weekend for our baby shower! I cannot believe it’s already time for that. Minus the drive, I cannot think of a better way to spend this weekend than with our families & friends. ALWAYS a good time. I hope you all have fabulous weekends too and I’ll meet you back here on Monday to get another week started!


Questions to ask your Hair Stylist over on United with Love

40 Ways to RELAX (because you totally deserve a break!)

 Tips for Creating Simple Graphics for your website over on Stacy Kleber Design Blog (or join us on April 7th to learn more in person at our FuelDC event!)

Colorful vs Neutral Bouquets over on Amanda Veronee’s blog

35 Ideas for Mismatched Bridesmaid Dresses over on Bridal Musings

Now, a stunning brightly colored, citrus themed wedding inspiration shoot! The idea behind this shoot was how to use bright colors instead of pastels in late winter/early spring weddings. I think they nailed it, don’t you?

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Photography: Lelia Marie Photography | Planning: Simplicity Events by Johanna | Flowers: Buttercups Floral Design | Hair/Makeup: Enlightened Styles (& Ammoura Makeup line) | Dress: Soliloquy Bridal | Venue: Stone Tower Winery | Jewelry: Kimberley Jennings Shull with Chloe & Isabel

Allie & Dylan’s DIY Washington, DC Wedding at Stroga

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Images: Aimee Custis Photography

I‘ll apologize in advance for how much I might gush over today’s real DC wedding feature. I had the absolute pleasure of not only getting to blog this gorgeous wedding, but actually be a part of it (in SO many ways). Allie & Dylan reached out to me last November and I just LOVED their inquiry:

“It’s been so refreshing to go through your blog and find someone interested in low-key, off-beat weddings! We’re really excited about keeping our day about us, and not getting wrapped up in what we “should” do, and finding someone that can help us with that in DC has been a challenge! Also both Dylan and I are severely-profoundly obsessed with Harry Potter, so it’s always nice to find another kindred spirit. I look forward to talking to you!”

These are the things I keep hearing over and over from readers & prospective clients, “we just want a wedding that’s about us’ “we don’t need all the traditions or expensive details” “we just want something low-key & fun, without spending a million dollars” and these are the things I keep in mind when I blog here.

Allie & Dylan (I hope they don’t mind me saying) were like the poster couple for Capitol Romance. They attended my DIY Bouquets & Boutonnieres workshop (and then DIYed all their bouquets & bouts for their wedding), they used some of the DIY tutorials Ribbons & Bluebirds created on my blog (you’ll see those soon), and they just NEVER stopped working towards their ultimate goal of planning a wedding that was true to who they were as individuals AND as a couple. I am so honored to get to share their wedding with you today. Ok, enough gabbing from me!

Landers-Nelson Wedding - October 25, 2014

love love love these DC wedding invitations from Typecase Industries!

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From the photographer:

Allie & Dylan are college sweethearts, and when Allie finally moved to DC a couple of years ago to settle in DC with Dylan (they’ve been together FOREVER), our friends were so excited to have her — we adored Dylan, and couldn’t wait to be friends with the amazing woman who lived up to the standards of everything he deserved. I feel like we all knew a wedding was coming, but I couldn’t — literally COULD NOT — have been happier when Allie + Dylan asked if they could hire us as their photographers. I swear, being asked by friends to photograph gives me bigger giddy butterflies than being asked to be a bridesmaid!

Landers-Nelson Wedding - October 25, 2014


Just look at these DIYed bouquets!!! SO STUNNING!

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Click inside for SO MUCH MORE of Allie & Dylan’s super awesome, DIY Washington DC wedding.

DIY Canvas Print Workshop Recap!

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Images: Brandilynn Aines Photography

I can’t believe it, but our very first DIY Workshop of 2015 has already come and gone and OH MAN was it a huge success (with some obvious lessons learned as always too!). We had a new venue, a new expanded scope, some new vendors, and LOTS of new faces. As always it starts with a huge THANK YOU to everyone that made it possible. Thank you to the new attendees that came out (24 people! our biggest workshop attendance yet!), a thank you to the vendors that make the workshops, and a VERY special thank you to our host, Jenn of Ribbons & Bluebirds for running the class! As always, I was amazed by how creative and awesome the projects came out! Check out all our fabulous images from Sunday’s workshop below. Thanks to the wonderful Brandilynn Aines Photography for shooting the workshop & sharing her images!

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The favor provided by the ever-delicious Banana Love Muffins:

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Snacks, sangria & tea from Runningbyrd Tea Co, Simply Breathe Events, Popcorn Queens & catering by Ris DC.

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Jen teaching the class:

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Click inside for the rest of the images – including a class photo AND everyone’s finished DIY Canvas Prints (that came out SO AWESOME)!!!

Hannah & Colin’s DIY, DC Local Wedding at the Whittemore House


Images: Shot in the Dark Photography

They met in college and moved to Dupont in DC for grad school. So naturally DC was the perfect place for their wedding! Hannah & Colin decided on the Whittemore House as their venue because they wanted something local to their neighborhood and appropriate for their more intimate size! They planned their DC wedding on a budget and kept things as easy, DIY, and intimate as possible!

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They met in college and moved to Dupont just after finishing grad school. Their wedding ceremony and reception was held at the Whittemore House as they wanted to have a local venue in their neighborhood. The DC culture was very important to them. The color for their wedding was royal purple, the bride’s favorite color, and an added bonus that the grooms favorite football team are the Vikings who sport Purple and Gold as their team colors.

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The brides brother Sumner presided over their non traditional ceremony and the brides other brother Caleb (in his Navy dress whites) gave a reading. The wedding invitations were designed by Colin’s sister Annie. Before the wedding the groomsman set out all of the hand assembled centerpieces.

Wedding Photographer, DC, VA, MD

Click inside for the rest of Hannah & Colin’s intimate Washington DC wedding at the Whittemore House.

Sarah & David’s Dupont Circle Neighborhood Engagement Pictures

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Images: Hay Alexandra Photography

WHAT A WEEKEND Romancers! We kicked off our 2015 wedding season with a bang on Saturday with Stef & Joe’s GORGEOUS Carnegie Institute wedding and then kept the fun going with our first DIY Workshop of the year yesterday. I cannot wait to share pictures from BOTH of these amazing days. They were too much fun (though my feet and back officially hate me this morning … and let’s not even talk about DST, because I REALLY needed that hour of sleep it stole from me ;-p)

We’re kicking off the week as we normally do – with a lovely little DC engagement session. Today’s features Sarah & David, a DC couple that loves their Dupont Circle neighborhood and so naturally they had their engagement pictures there! They often frequent Glen’s Garden Market & Krammerbooks, so these two places made perfect settings for their pictures. Happy Monday Romancers!

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 We actually met at dinner! Which is great, because we both love food :) We met a mutual friends birthday dinner. I had tried online dating but wasn’t interested in doing that any more. I was the last person to show up to dinner and I sat at the end of a very long table of couples both married and dating. I was at the single end and was ranting about how there are no more fish in the sea. I assured them that my dating stories were worse than anything they’ve heard and had the whole table laughing. I’m pretty outgoing, and used to talking a lot, so I didn’t notice the adorable man sitting across the table from me. The one who I’m now going to marry! If I had known he was going to remember this night for the rest of his life, I might have censored myself. I was wearing a patagonia hoodie and no make up and I cringed when we finally locked eyes thinking “Today! Why did you do this TODAY! With this cute guy right across from you!!!”

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The first words David ever said to me as I finally stopped talking for food and water were, “You, I like you.” I remember going home and telling my mom how horrifically unlady like I was and how maybe I shouldn’t have been talking about single life around this new cute guy at church, that I should practice taking my foot out of my mouth instead of putting it in. David still remembers me saying I was single way more than I wish he would, but the most important part he remembers is that he was drawn to me. I think its great he fell in love with me that way. You know, when I wasn’t at my best. It just shows how perfect he is. And the rest is history.

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The proposal:

After coming back from California David had planned a speech and asked my dad for my hand in marriage in September, it’s kind of like my dad said yes first. David and I were both planning a trip up to NYC for his 29th birthday and we knew most of our days would be dictated by great food and drinks. Again, this is something we love. It only makes sense, since we fell in love over great food and great drinks in the first place! In our hunt for the perfect place for what I thought was David’s birthday dinner we found the restaurant Robert atop the Museum of Art and Design. We wanted a place with great views and that is exactly what we got. Little did I know David had called a few weeks in advance to get the best seat in the house where we were overlooking both Columbus Circle and Central Park. We had taken a cab to Robert and David his normal chatty self was indeed not. I thought to myself something was up but engagement, we had only really been dating for five months. In the cab I asked him, “you’re not going to do anything dramatic are you? It’s your birthday I am suppose to be surprising and showering you with gifts, not the other way around.” I was certain it wasn’t an engagement, but definitely something was up, what was it I thought? David’s so selfless that he would be the one to make his birthday all about me. I wanted to make it about him! He assured me he wasn’t but once we arrived and sat down the waiter brought over two dozen beautiful long stem roses. I was floored, they were beautiful I was all dressed up in NYC and my boyfriend had just gotten me flowers after he said he wouldn’t. Because he’s adorable and romantic and again, selfless. I kissed, hugged and thanked him for being the sweetest man. We ordered and I tried to talk about our trip but David wasn’t back to chipper self. He started acting weird. The weird you always hear about before somebody is about to propose and the girl starts thinking maybe its a break up dinner. It wasn’t more than a few minutes later he took out a card and I read the front and it was kind and loving, he had memorized what he had written inside and recited it. The very end of the card read, “you know how you say you love doing life with me? I want to do every day and the rest of my life with you, will you marry me?” Through out dating I would say I love doing life with you when we would be checking out at the grocery store, dry cleaners, grabbing a drink at Glenn’s or leaving someones house after dinner. It meant more than I love you, but less than marry me, it means I love my life with you. He opened the ring box and it was a beautiful round and brilliant diamond on a yellow gold band. I thought I said yes right away but David says it was nearly 10- 15 seconds. The rest of dinner was just us and champagnge. I had completely lost my apetite for the amazing food and kept joking with David saying, “I’M A BRIDE NOW!” He was more than happy to eat for the two of us now that his nerves had subsided and he recalls it as the smartest night of his life.

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Alternative Bridal Inspiration in the Snow & Link Love!

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Images: Liz Fogarty Photography

Are you sick of the snow? I’m actually not – this storm was particularly beautiful and because it happened on a Thursday, I got to work from home, and hopefully there will be enough sunshine and rising temps to clear everything up before my first wedding of 2015 tomorrow and our first DIY workshop of the year on Sunday!! But, it can be done now. This can totally be the last snow of the season and starting Monday we can have warm weather (you hear that weather Gods?). But before we say goodbye to the snow, I have ONE last snowy inspiration shoot for the day (the bride/dress was just too gorgeous to resist) and some LINK LOVE to get you to the weekend! Have a great one and I hope to see a bunch of you on Sunday at our DIY Canvas Print Workshop!!


Love this adorable Make Crafts Not War printable over on By Brittany Goldwyn

How to Chose a Wedding Venue (thanks to our friends The Plannery over on A Practical Wedding)

Mike Isabella (of Kapnos, G, & Graffiato fame) is now offering off-site catering & hosting events in their restaurants. So go get married at Graffiato & hire me to work it – ok?

5 Things to Know Before You Start Hiring Wedding Vendors over on Every Last Detail blog

This can never be stated, shared, or blogged enough: couples, PLEASE FEED YOUR WEDDING VENDORS!

And now some lovely inspiration from Liz Fogarty & company. Liz explains the styled shoot inspiration:

The theme for this mini styled shoot was simple- elegant and timeless. I was super excited to team up with Jackie from Beauty by Jackie to bring together a winter styled shoot. We kept the color palette slightly neutral so our model Djenny wore both a bridal gown and a grey sequin dress from Lord and Taylor. The flowers were the color accent and they provided just the right amount of color. We used plant dyed silk ribbon from Silk and Willow, which was perfect to get those motion shots in the snow.

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Here are the vendors:

Photographer: Liz Fogarty | Hair & Makeup: Beauty by Jackie | Florals: Bealls Florist | Accessories: Silk & Willow | Dresses: Lord & Taylor

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