Capitol Inspiration: Gorgeous Rustic Details from a Michigan Wedding

Hoping everyone enjoyed the snow day yesterday as much as I did! I took some much needed time to work on Fuel DC (my new side project!), get some Linked In things cleaned up for CapRo, and start writing a script for another 2014 project I have in the works with Border Row Productions (more to come on that soon!). For today, before we announce our giveaway winners, we have a gorgeous Michigan wedding to share courtesy of Blaine Siesser Photography. There are some seriously steal-worthy details in this one Romancers, making it a perfect fit for a wedding inspiration feature.

Gorgeous, Rustic Details & Decor from an Outdoor Michigan Wedding

stunning rustic michigan wedding


Photographer:  Blaine Siesser Photography | Event Venue: Bowers Harbor Vineyard | Hair Stylist: Pavlova European Spa & Salon | Location: Spider Lake Retreat | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

rustic spring wedding flowers glitter metallic bride shoes rustic brown paper white font wedding invites rustic dear head themed wedding invites

Click inside for the rest of these gorgeous, rustic details!

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Sponsor Love: Stephen Gosling Photography & The Mix Event

It’s been a few weeks since our last sponsor love post, so I wanted to share some awesome that’s coming from our amazing side-bar sponsors. Stephen Gosling Photography recently joined our crew and if you haven’t seen his work before (even though we’ve featured many a post here!), check out some of his latest gorgeous work:

Cait & Bill’s Adorable DC Engagement Session

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He’s kicking ass recently with features on United With Love & Borrowed & Bleu’s Online Magazine. He also recently wrote a really awesome personal post about the importance of being nice in this industry — a REALLY good read!

Additionally, we have TWO giveaways ending tomorrow! If you haven’t yet checked out The Mix Event – you must! Especially if you are still looking for your DC/MD/VA wedding vendors. We’ll be there and so will a host of other, awesome area vendors. The night is more cocktail party than wedding show, with the first 100 attendees getting a free cocktail and entertainment will be provided by Burnt Sienna (among others). We’re giving away two tickets to the show here.


And finally, our Ultimate DIY Calligraphy Gift Set from Cozy Cashmere Design (a $250 value) ends tomorrow too! It’s been one of our most-entered wedding giveaways to date. Our winner will be picked tomorrow!


Happy Snow [#Snochi] Day Romancers! We’ll be back tomorrow with our giveaway winners, a special Valentine’s Day sponsor deal & some wedding inspiration from a stunning, outdoor Michigan wedding.



The Nerdiest IT Proposal You Might Ever Read (by Dan)

A few weeks ago a friend of mine messaged me on Facebook, telling me about this “incredibly nerdy” proposal his friend just executed to his girlfriend. Naturally, I was all over it – I LOVE anything nerdy. And let me just tell you – this totally took the cake. My friend briefly explained it (it included a LOT of acronyms and TONS of techie words I did not understand) but I was totally hooked. He said, “It’s basically the purest IT geek proposal I’ve ever seen.” Enough said. A very special thanks to Dan for taking the time to write out all the details of his nerdy, IT proposal and including some fun pictures of the execution!

The Nerdiest & Geekiest IT Proposal You Might Ever Read

nerdy IT proposal

First, a little “How They Met” action (from Dan!):

Well this is embarrassing… Heather and I met… in a bar…. In Las Vegas…. We were there for incredibly different reasons, but somehow found each other on a dance floor at the Toby Keith’s bar (neither of us are country fans either). She was by far the most beautiful girl out there dancing. She claims that she came up to me. I say I went up to her. Whatever that case is, I just feel so lucky that we met each other (but, for real, I went up to her first!). For some reason, she never got tired of my horrible dance moves and I got her number before she returned home to Idaho. We texted for about a month before I even saw her face again on FaceTime. She decided to come visit me in DC about a month later and the rest is pretty much history (All I can say is thank god for FaceTime and Southwest Airlines!) I knew immediately that she was the one for me and, given the small odds at which we met each other, I knew I couldn’t risk waiting to marry her. A little over a year later we are happily engaged to be married on August 3, 2014.


And now for the AWESOME Proposal:

The Set Up: Over the previous few months, I had written pieces of software in the form of birthday cards, games to play, and other random apps. Anything I wrote, I had Heather use or test. So this seemed like the best method to get her to play along with the proposal and not see it coming. She was to start off by logging into the software game I had created for her and was told that if she could get through the ten phases, I would give her a prize. I decided to do it on a Sunday since that is our favorite day of the week. We usually just hang out all day together and just enjoy each other’s company.


How It Worked : There were two main parts to the proposal: a software interface on her computer and a hidden box that housed the hardware and ring. The box was designed to just look like a random piece of furniture on my desk as to not draw any attention to it.

The software interface was used not only as a game for her to play, but also secretly as a communications channel to the proposal box. When she reached the end of the game, the software sent a specific email behind the scenes to the box. The box was powered by a Raspberry Pi, which waited for this email. When it finally received it, it activated servos, which opened the box and presented the ring. Since Heather loves photos and is all about capturing the moment, also hidden inside the box was a camera module, which automatically snapped three photos after the box had opened.


After she realized what was going on, and screamed in terror as the box jumped open at her (those servos are loud!), she said yes! I told her it wasn’t official, though, until she selected “yes” in the software. Little did she know, doing so automatically took those three photos and emailed and text messaged them to all of our friends and family. When her phone exploded with congratulatory texts, she again screamed in terror and slapped me for sending those photos of her without her knowing. (We were still in lounge clothes because it was Sunday, whoops!)

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How freaking AWESOME is THIS!? And now check out that stunner of a ring:


So while I barely understood half the verbiage in this proposal, I think we can all agree that it’s one of the most awesomely executed geeky IT proposal ever. Thanks SO much to Dan for taking the time to share his pictures and write out the details!

Let’s Get Personal: Happy 3 Year Blogaversary to Me

graffiti art capitol romance

So officially my 3-year blogaversary was on January 21st. For some reason I had always thought that I officially launched in February 2011, but the date stamp on my very first blog post tells me otherwise. I cannot believe it’s been 3 whole years since I started Capitol Romance. I don’t think I ever imagined it would last this long, or grow into what it has become. I can tell you though, it’s the people I have met since that very first post, that have made my journey worth it. Who knew that starting a blog, something so singular and sometimes siloed from personal interactions, could create such a plethora of connections. I’ve met SO MANY people through this thing – wedding vendors, small business owners, big business owners, DC Techies, artists, neighbors, creators, engaged couples, and more, all because I decided to start a blog. I’ve made friends, a few enemies, and met some truly amazing & inspiring couples. It’s slightly hard to even comprehend sometimes, but again, I am so very thankful for each and everyone one I’ve met. Even the crazies (yes, even them).

So for my 3-yeary blogaversary, in addition to reminding you & inviting you all (seriously ANY ONE!) to my meetup tonight (yes I know there’s a possibility of snow … but there’s also going to be wine … and cupcakes soo…..) I thought it might be fun to take a little jog down memory lane. Here we go:

  • My first WordPress template was this ugly thing called Elegant Grunge. I was so punk rock back then. Also, it was free.
  • My first logo was something I made myself. In Powerpoint. Using a free font & one of my wedding pictures.


  • I had 2 comments on my first blog post. One was from my sister, and one was a trackback.
  • I attended my first wedding show in April of 2011. It was called the Nonconforming Bridal Affair & one of the attendees told me “she read my blog” and I nearly died.


  • I did my first styled shoot with Abby Grace Photography, based on our mutual love of Harry Potter & it was amazingly featured on Green Wedding Shoes – I STILL get hits from that post. Harry Potter lovers are everywhere.
  • I could have never done ANY of this blog without my friend Steve, who I met my Sophomore year of college at Penn State. 3 years later, and he still answers all my IT help pleas, questions, and is somehow still my friend.
  • Since starting the blog, I’ve had to learn how to form an LLC, register as a business in DC, and pay taxes (awesome!)
  • I’ve learned how to use WordPress, Twitter, Google+, StatCounter, Google Analytics, Domain transfers, basic HTML & CSS, Blogstomp, and so many other IT applications.
  • I’ve forced my husband to model in more than 1 photoshoot and been fortunate enough to have my picture taken by Gabe Aceves, Val & Sarah, Tim Riddick Photography, Live It Out Photography, Stephen Gosling Photography, & more.


  • I’ve been asked to contribute to articles and was even interviewed/filmed for a project about DC relationships!
  • I’ve emailed with tons of couples in the DC area about their weddings, challenges, thoughts, hopes, and feedback on this site.
  • I’ve grown, but stayed true to my initial mission from 3 years ago: to create a resource for the Washington, DC area that focuses on alternative, creative, and nontraditional & budget-friendly weddings. To find REAL couples from all different backgrounds to show a true representation of the DC wedding scene.

I cannot thank all of you (my readers!) enough for being here with me. A blog could be a pretty lonely thing without readers, so for you, I am eternally grateful. Here’s to another 3 years? (eep! that thought is terrifying!)


xo, Bree


Jadene & Freddy’s Offbeat, Black & White Virginia Wedding at Rosemont Manor

And now for something completely different … a bride in a stunning black gown and her bridesmaids in white! We love to keep you guys on your toes here at Capitol Romance, trying to keep our features as varied and possible to show the REAL side of DC weddings for the majority of us that live in and around the metro area. Such is the case with Jadene and Freddy – married at Rosemont Manor in Virginia and completely turning tradition on its head. Photographer, Andrew Morrell shares, “Jadene wore a shimmering black dress, contrasted by her three bridesmaids, all in white. This devilish switch-up was the cornerstone of the day’s bewitching charm – the groom’s ironic top hat, the traditional and the playfully clear skies all made this a day to remember.

 Jadene & Freddy’s Offbeat, Black & White Virginia Wedding at Rosemont Manor

offbeat virginia wedding black wedding dress


So many fun details from the bride!

I had so much fun planning our wedding!  Everything started with the dress, I wanted black and I wanted my husband in a top hat.  I purchased my dress from Curvy Girl Bridal, which I am sad to say has gone out of business.  They were truly the only dress shop that I went to that was excited that I wanted a black dress.  I love damask print so that is why I tied in white but I still felt that something was missing.  The problem with black and white in the fall every color either looks like Halloween or Thanksgiving.

offbeat virginia wedding white bridsmaids dresses

I was wandering Michaels looking for ideas and I saw this wreath made out of peacock feathers and I starting thinking…I could not only add a peacock blue/teal but a peacock feather element as well…I felt that the feathers softened the hardness of the black and damask print. We didn’t want our wedding to be about “what you are suppose to do.”  As I was talking to my husband about the damask and feather idea, he started laughing and said it was perfect because the damask reminded him of his personality and the peacock feather of mine.  Totally different but somehow work together.

Love Jadene’s origami flower bouquet!~

origami teal wedding bouquet

I had to have makeup that stood up to the black birdcage veil I was wearing and added color to my bridesmaids white dresses.  So we had more of a vintage/pinup make up done.  My girls with a bright red lip and heavy liner.  For their hair I found peacock feather flowers.  They were made to be Christmas tree decorations but I turned them into hair clips.  As for my makeup  we went more for the eyes.  Heavy lashes and more of a smokey shadow.   A lot darker then most would do for wedding makeup.  The makeup artist was recommended by Rosemont (KLH) and I’m glad they did.  She understood what I was looking for outgoing and non traditional yet classy and sophisticated.  I was scared at the trial that I was going to end up looked to Vampy or Gothic but she did neither.  As for my hair I went with pin curls to add that touch of vintage to it.  When hair and make up were done I could not believe how pretty I looked.

groom in chucks bride black birdcage veil white bridesmaids dresses

As for the white bridesmaid dressed, I had to add something to them besides make up and feathers.   The dresses had this lace detail that I fell in love with, so I added black lace gloves and black heels to off set the white.

offbeat virginia wedding black wedding dress

Click inside for more of Jadene & Freddy’s stunning, offbeat Fall wedding at Rosemont Manor in Virginia!

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