Announcements, Links & Other Fun Things for Today

Kicking off this Friday with a few announcements, followed by a STUNNING gothic bridal portrait session, later this morning. Then I am mostly hiberating (aka ignoring Twitter) to tackle the inbox I neglected yesterday and get to work on some new projects I have in the works for 2014.

FIRST – Our amazing Stella & Dot giveaway with Liz ended Wednesday. We are PUMPED to announce our winner:

Kate G!

Thanks to everyone that entered – it was a hugely entered giveaway! (I mean that necklace was GORGEOUS!). And don’t forget that Liz was offering FREE shipping on orders over $25 for anyone that entered the giveaway (valid for the rest of March 2014). Details are back on the original giveaway post. Feel free to contact Liz as well,  for other fun opportunities to see and earn free jewelry!

SECOND – In case you haven’t seen all my tweets & instagramming, tonight is the Grand ReOpening Party for one of our favorite vendors, Typecase Industries! Check out the event details here and I hope to see you there!

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THIRD – We are really REALLY excited to announce two upcoming partnerships for 2014. We will be working with The Ulysses Room to host a series of DIY Wedding Workshops (!!!) so much more coming on this soon. And we will also be working with Pop Wed Co. & the DC MEET Market to co-host a SUPER rad event (#PopUpRomance) during the Pride Festival in June. Also more to come on this too – but we are too excited to not at least share the news that these things are HAPPENING.

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We are looking for SPONSORS for the workshops – so please email me if you might be interested in collaborating!

Happy Friday Romancers!

 

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Capitol Inspiration: Gothic Bridal Portraits & Inspiration at the Edgar Allen Poe Museum

I always love a submission from IYQ Photography – they are always so rich, brooding, and DIFFERENT. Today’s wedding inspiration post is no different, this time featuring some bridal portraits and wedding details from a vow renewal. The bride renewed her vows with her husband and featured some awesome vendors to create a gorgeous, dark & slightly gothic bridal portrait session. Check out all the amazing vendors below!

A Gothic Bridal Portrait Session at the Edgar Allen Poe Museum

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Vendors:

Photographer:  IYQ Photography | Makeup Artist: Beauty by Ayonna | Venue: Edgar Allen Poe Museum | Hair Stylist: LaWalta’s Hair Design | Hats & Fascinators: Two Back Flats | Black Wedding Cake: Sweets & Soirees | Custom Black Wedding Gown: Christi Bell Owen of Sacre Noir AtelierSubmitted via Two Bright Lights

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From IYQ Photography:

Mary Alice renewed her vows this past fall with her husband Andrew in a customed gown designed and created by Christi Bell Owen of Sacre Noir Atelier. For her bridal session, we brought on a few vendors to showcase their incredible talents in addition to creating a fun beautiful shoot that was gorgeous, dark, a little broody and sophisticated-sexy.

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SMOKIN! Thanks to IYQ Phtoography for sharing this gorgeous, dark & beautiful gothic bridal portrait session!

Let’s Get Personal: 5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started This Blog

Last week on Twitter I saw Lacie from A Thousand Threads post this article: 5 things I wish I knew when I started blogging. I told her on Twitter what a great post it was – and she urged me to do my own. So here I am, attempting to sum up SO MANY THINGS that I have learned since starting Capitol Romance in 2011. I’ll try to stick to just 5, and keep it to the biggies – things that I wish I had known (not necessarily all the things I’ve learned).

5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started This Wedding Blog

offbeat dc wedding blog

1. Step Away From the Computer

I think the #1 thing I wish I had known and done sooner, was engage with the wedding community and its vendors. I hid behind my computer for way too long, opting to reach out to people via email or other more impersonal channels. It wasn’t until I did my first wedding show, and then starting actually meeting vendors IN PERSON through laid-back channels, that my business was really able to grow. I wish I had reached out to people and engaged in person, sooner.

2. You Have to Spend Money to Make Money

My very first WordPress template makes me cringe – it was so, so bad. It was also F-R-double-E, free. This isn’t an earth-shattering piece of advice (it’s actually a very common, famous one) but I wish I had realized this sooner. I wish I had pumped some money into things like a logo, a decent WordPress template, and some other add-ons for my site. First impressions are everything after all, and I am sure I lost vendors and readers early on with my embarrassingly bad (free) logo and template. The only excuse I’ll give myself is that I never really dreamed back in 2011 that CapRo would be a real business – it was a hobby first.

3. Just Say No

It’s OK to say ‘No’. This is a lesson I am STILL trying to exercise. When I started, I was young and naive – I was shocked when anyone read my blog, let alone, sent content to me to share. Looking back, I should have said no to crappy content (bad images, content that didn’t fit my brand). No content would have been better than crappy content.

4. How Much Time Blogging Takes

Back to that young and naive – sometimes I wish I had known just how much TIME running a blog takes. Not that it might have caused me to do anything differently, but man was I unprepared for the total time commitment that is, running a wedding blog.

5. Join Twitter ASAP

I fought Twitter for way too long. Looking back – I don’t even really know why (other than the inane “I don’t know how to use it”). I wrote a blog post on this a while ago, but it’s still something I wish I had done sooner. I wish I had known just how valuable this social media tool could be. Always makes me wonder if I could have been further along in my business than I am right now.

Your turn – what have you learned since you started your business?

DIY Tutorial: How to Make a Bowtie from a Fabric Napkin

We’re back with Ribbons & Bluebirds and Part 2 of our DIY Tutorial series – 1 Napkin, 3 DIY Projects (Part 1: How to make a DIY bouquet wrap is here). Today we are bringing the second project – how to make a DIY bowtie! If you’ll remember, first you need to cut your initial fabric napkin like so:

DIY fabric napkin tutorials how to

DIY Tutorial: How to Make a DIY Fabric Bowtie

These bowties are SUPER easy, fun to make, and look sharp! I love how choosing different fabrics totally changes the feel of the bowtie, but they all start with the same formula.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 fabric napkin, at least 16×16” square
  • Iron & ironing board
  • Hot glue gun (low heat if you’re like me and end up touching the glue a lot!)

DIY bowtie tutorial

Directions:

Step 1. Cut a rectangle of fabric for your bowtie: standard bowties want a rectangle 4.5 x9”, but you can use any dimensions you want as long as you keep the ratio of width to height 1:2. For my larger bowtie (so you can see it when my super furry dog is wearing it) I went with a 6.5×13” rectangle.

*When you’re cutting the napkin up, save the hemmed edges to use as the center wrap (or be prepared to do some extra ironing with scrap fabric.)

Step 2. Start by folding your napkin length-wise, so that the outside edges will meet in the center. This means your folds are at the ¼ marks in from each edge – for a standard bowtie, this means 1 1/8” in from the edges. Iron those folds nice and flat.

Then do the same thing in the short direction – fold the edges inwards so they meet in the center. For a standard bowtie, this means you’re folding at 2 1/4” from the edges. Iron these folds flat too.

Step 3. Now comes the glue-up! I like to pre-pinch the bowtie, to get the fabric used to folding the right way before I add hot glue since you need to work fast for maximum stickiness. Once you’ve got a shape you like, start by adding two lines of glue in the center of the back, and pinch the middle of the bowtie while it dries. Then, glue each top flap down (glue goes on the front.) When you’re finished this step, the bowtie should hold its shape even when you put it down.

Step 4. To finish, glue one end of your saved hemmed edge (or a ribbon, or a piece of scrap that you’ve ironed the raw edges inward…or whatever you want!) onto the back of the tie. Wrap it around the front, back to the back, trim, and glue the end in place. If you want to make a loop (like if you bowtie is for a dog collar) then instead of trimming, wrap your finishing fabric around one more time, and glue on the underside.

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You’re all done! If you wanted this bowtie to have a clip, you can glue one right onto the back with your hot glue so it’s ready to wear.

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Wasn’t that EASY?! A perfect way to match your bouquet to your four-legged friend! Especially if he or she is going to be a part of your wedding day. A special thanks again to Ribbons & Bluebirds for sharing yet another, super awesome DIY tutorial with us!

Gillian & John’s Washington DC Brunch Wedding at Sequoia in Georgetown

I love brunch. I also love weddings. So obviously I REALLY love brunch weddings (sometimes I wonder why the heck I didn’t have one myself). I am also considering specializing in only brunch weddings for my wedding coordination business (I kid – but seriously, getting home at 5pm is awesome). But other than the food, the thing I think I love about brunch weddings is how relaxed they are. Other than the super early wake-up time, brunch weddings have a different vibe to them – one that is more focused on enjoying a casual setting with your guests and one that is less focused on crazy “blog-worthy” details.

All of this is apparent in Gillian & John’s DC Brunch wedding today. They kept things light, cool, and easy, but still personalized and fun, by hosting a crazy cool rehearsal at the Mansion on O, and then throwing a brunch wedding the next morning and an afterparty later in the evening. They kept things local with DC wedding details and super awesome wedding vendors. Everything was planned to a T by Rebecca Dick with Blue Canary Events & captured beautifully by Procopio Photography. Check it all about below!

Gillian & John’s Washington DC Brunch Wedding at Sequoia

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 Vendors

Photographer: Procopio Photography | Wedding Planner: Rebecca Dick, Blue Canary Events | Wedding Rehearsal Venue: The Mansion on O | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Sequoia, Georgetown | Band at Reception: The Winn Brother’s Band | After Party: Bar George | After Party Band: 90’s cover band “White Ford Bronco” | Hair Stylist: Alison Harper & Co. | Makeup Artist: Blend | Floral Design: B Floral Event & Design | Photobooth: Majestic Photo Booth

From the photographer:

Their rehearsal was at this crazy cool old mansion called The Mansion on O. You can have dinner on the main floor and then explore the rest of the mansion. This place is covered from head to toe with chotchkies and music memorabilia. It has secret doors and passageways that will really get you lost! Guests found and put on vintage hats as they meandered about. It was not only unique but a great ice breaker for folks that didn’t know each other prior to the wedding.

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From the bride:

Basically- our goal was to have our friends all become friends. Having the wedding on a holiday weekend, we knew people would be foregoing time with their families, so we wanted to make it worth while. Our main focus was the music, even with a brunch wedding, we wanted people to dance – and they did! John grew up in DC proper, and I grew up in Fairfax county, so we are both local -which is rare in DC!

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Click inside for the rest of Gillian & John’s Washington DC brunch wedding reception at Sequoia!

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