Capitol Inspiration: Glen Echo Park, MD

Glen Echo Park might just be the COOLEST place in the Washington, DC area for your wedding, reception, or engagement shoot. I think it all comes down to a matter of preference. Art Galleries (like Long View & Artisphere) offer the cool-factor, but have that modern feel & vibe to them, that doesn’t work for all couples.  And then you have the historical houses in DC that just drip with history and heritage (Dumbarton House, Decatur House & Halcyon House to name a few) but don’t always offer much in the way of modern or funky.

But then there is Glen Echo. This historical amusement park turned art center is the ultimate cool kid at Washington, DC’s wedding venue school.

Don’t believe me? Well, for starters, you can rent the old bumper car pavilion seen above, for your reception:

Or you can rent the old Spanish Ballroom:

And I haven’t even mentioned the fact that there is a working carousel there! Wedding or Engagement Pictures on a Carousel!? YES PLEASE!

And just in case you need some more convincing (or even if you don’t and you just want to drool over the awesomeness that IS Glen Echo Park) here are some pictures from weddings and engagement shoots at Glen Echo!

Carrie & Jon’s Vintage Amusement Park Wedding by Bellwether Events

[photos above, courtesy of Stephanie Ascari Photography]

Stephanie & Adam courtesy of Abby Jiu Photography

Renee & Gary’s Wedding by Amy Raab Photography ~ Just look at these “Table Names”!

Amber & Jon’s Eshoot!! By Procopio Photography

Emily & Andrew’s Eshoot by Justine Ungaro

Jennifer & Cody’s Adorable Vintage Eshoot by Simply Bloom Photography

An offbeat affair (the bride wore red!!) by my fav, Gabe Aceves Photography

A sassy e-shoot from Love Life Images

Love these carnival-themed details from a wedding shot by Michelle Lindsay Photography

Our very own Abby Grace‘s engagement shoot by Terra Dawn Photography!!

And finally (seriously, this was impossible for me to end, so many good pics) from Eleven Hearts Photography

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Rustic Trash the Dress with Meaghan Elliot Photography

Behold! The dazzling “Trash the Dress” shoot you are about to see is nothing short of spectacular! Meaghan of Meaghan Elliot Photography teamed up with the awesome ladies of Amie Decker Beauty (a team of freelance artists that specialize in creating uniquely tailored looks for their clients).

Though the stunning bride, Grace, doesn’t necessarily TRASH her wedding dress in the shoot – “Trash the Dress” has become a fantastic (in my opinion) way for brides or couples to get back into their wedding attire and have some fun.

I admire the brides that go the distance and actually paint their dress or swim in a lake in it … but for those that just can’t bear something that extreme, here is a great example of a TTD, minus the trashing.

Thanks again to Meaghan Elliot Photography for sharing these images!

Capitol Romance: Lola & Wale Virginia Winery Engagement Pictures

What a fantastic way to start off the week! Today’s Capitol Romance shoot is from Tracy with Timmester Photography.  Tracy is just such a cool and talented photographer in the area and you will quickly see that in the shoot you are about to feast your eyes on!

Enter Lola & Wale (uh. hello name envy.)

Tracy explains:

Meet Wale and Lola.  Wale is one of my talented second shooters, and he proposed to Lola, his wonderful girlfriend of years and years, in December.  It was great to hear the behind-the-scenes updates from Wale throughout the year as he planned the proposal – from where to buy the ring to how to pop the question.  Great guy that he is, Wale managed to create a memorable, romantic evening, and Lola was completely surprised and thrilled when he asked her!

Clearly, the good-looking, too-adorable-for-words couple deserves all the credit.  Seriously.  Couldn’t you just eat them up?  :)


Better yet, this awesome couple’s shoot took place at Barrel Oak Winery!! Why the “!!!”s you ask? Because I blogged about this fantastic place a while back as an awesome option for your bridal shower, e-shoot, or your wedding!! Be sure you saw the feature here. Ok, so here we go

Thanks again Tracy for sharing! Lola & Wale ~ all the best to you both!

Local Find: Cherry Blossom Tote Bag

Emails from local vendors make me smile. Especially when they are as cool and TALENTED as one, Elizabeth St. John. Be on the lookout for WAY MORE from this lady here on Capitol Romance, but for today I just had to share a tote bag from her Element Bags collection.

Liz is a DC based fashion designer & currently produces 3 (THREE!) fashion lines & 1 accessory line. All her items are eco-friendly and are manufactured locally.

She had me at manufactured locally.

One item from her handbag line was just too delightful to keep to myself.

This “Limited Edition” Cherry Blossom Bag is beyond adorable. It would make a great bag to tote all your wedding paraphernalia around in (I, personally, used one of those expandable filing folders … not so cute). It could also be a great DC-themed wedding gift for your mom, your mother-in-law, or even your bridal party! AND (yes, there is more) 100% of proceeds from this bag go to benefit the International Red Cross Disaster Relief for Japan.

(As always, we’d love to hear from you if you bought this bag!)

Be sure to check out ALL her sites, and as I mentioned previously, we hope to be featuring a TON more from this amazing designer in the not-so-distant future. – Atelier Bridal & Eveningwear – Bridal Party & Flower Girls – Cocktail & Party Attire – Fashion Bags




Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck: “Hit Me Up”

When it came time to find our reception entrance song, Andy & I were STUMPED. Every other music choice came so easily and naturally. But the reception entrance song – well you want the right beat, the right tone, this song sets the mood for the entire reception (just like your ceremony entrance song sets the tone for your ceremony. duh).

We had a good amount of road trips up to NJ and other places, and we used that time to dive into our iTunes libraries to find the perfect song. Some had great lyrics, but the wrong beat. Others had the right beat, but we had already used the artist for other songs. (Yes, we took our music choices THAT seriously).

Then Andy put on a song that at first he meant to be a joke – but the second it started on my stereo, we both looked at eachother and knew. THIS WAS IT. Our reception entrance song (if you haven’t read my ‘My Wedding‘ page):

The Jock Jams Megamix

It certainly set the “pumped up”, funny, good-time, vibe we were aiming for. And our parents & wedding party had a blast being announced to it.

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnyway! I heard this song in Spin Class the other night – and I think it would just be such a great way to kick off a wedding reception if you are looking for an up-beat, modern, makes-you-want-to-dance, song for your reception entrance! (PS- It is actually from Happy Feet!!)

Capitol Wedding: Amber & Jon’s Offbeat & Intimate Maryland Wedding

Today’s Real Capitol Wedding is extremely near and dear to my heart. Amber & Jon, as you may or may not know, are the talented duo behind Live It Out Photography. My husband and I hired them to be our wedding photographers, through my friend Janet, but little did we know then, that these two crazy kids would quickly become two of our bestest friends in the area.

Amber has gotten pictures of me featured a million times over, and it was the very least I could do, to show my absolute appreciation to her and her mad photography skills, to share her UBER-ADORABLE wedding on my blog.

Amber & Jon actually got married (the legal way) at a courthouse. But they also had a ceremony & reception at Stony Creek Farm, a bed and breakfast on one of the oldest farms in Boonsboro, MD. Their wedding was the absolute perfect reflection of who they are as individuals and a couple, right down to the aisle entrance song.

Amber & Jon, thank you both for the immeasurable and insurmountable amount of memories, laughs, and good times we have shared together. I look forward to the many, many more that we will undoubtedly create :)

Thank you to Procopio Photography & Studio Juno for letting us share these images!

These pics make me want fall again already!

Amber is the ULTIMATE animal lover. Just seeing these pics makes me think of her and how happy they’d make her!

A little insight from the magnificent Amber, herself:

my hair was a tad ridic [that morning]. i got fed up with all the hooplah and refused to blow dry the back of my head. why you ask? who the f*ck knows. i ended up eating my lunch on the bathroom floor in my underwear.

-Amber Mahoney

Love this ring shot!

This is one of my FAVORITE details from the wedding – and maybe I could even convince Amber to let me share the video of this … but they danced down the aisle to “99 Luft Balloons” and had guests participate in the entry.

Talk about an entrance! :)

TOO CUTE! Jon’s dad was the officiant, just love that!

These next two shots are my favs!!

Again, these food shots totally make me crave Fall. Fall is the best IMO.

I love you both SO freakin’ much! And that doesn’t even come close to how much you love each other … wishing you many, MANY more years of happiness together.

Non-Diamond Engagement Ring Ideas & Inspiration

One trend that I would love to see more of is the non-diamond engagement ring! Some girls dream of that perfect diamond for a long time – and some girls don’t.

I was one of those girls that didn’t.

If you have seen my wedding pictures, than you know that I love hot pink. (And this is also obviously reflected on this blog). So I knew for a while that when it came time to send my boyfriend some friendly ring ideas (let’s face it, I am way too much of a control freak to be completely surprised), I would be sending him pictures of pink tourmaline stones and pink sapphires. I also had a big issue with the cost of a diamond – but I will stay off my soapbox on that one!

At any rate, I just love seeing other brides that choose the non-diamond approach and wanted to share some of the ones I have found for some funky alternative engagement ring inspiration! Enjoy.

My hot pink tourmaline ring, shot by Live It Out Photo from Rock N Roll Bride feature

Laura & Jeff’s Wedding Courtesy of Shelley Elena Photography

I am in LOVE with this blue stunner courtesy of Wedding Paper Divas, shot by Terra Dawn Photography!

The Loveliest Day feature this gorgeous ring from Lilia Photography

Some from Turtle Love Committee (you HAVE to check out their website!)

And of course from my FAVORITE Washington, DC Jewelry Store, I.Gorman


Have a non-diamond engagement ring?? Send us a shot of yours!!

Capitol Wedding: Amanda & Jeff’s Winter Morrison House Wedding in Alexandria, VA

I know that not everyone is a fan of the colder temperatures recently (and we won’t even mention that WHITE STUFF that has been seen falling from the skies). BUT - for Capitol Romance, it means that we get to enjoy one last winter wedding courtesy of the ever talented Sarah Hodzic of Blink Photography! And boy, is it simply stunning.

Sarah shot this gorgeous wedding at the Morrison House in Alexandria, VA a few months ago and captured the event in both digital and Holga form. Remember how I blogged a few weeks ago about how Holga photography seems to be popping up everywhere in wedding photography?  Well, Sarah couldn’t agree with me more and even told me that her clients from 2010 and 2011 have indeed been requesting Holga photography as part of their packages, sometimes up to 50% !!

Feast your eyes upon today’s Real Capitol Wedding staring Amanda, Jeff, and Blink Photography!

Sarah writes:

My last wedding of the 2010 season could not have been more perfect. Amanda and Jeff were married  December 11th at the Morrison House in Old Town Alexandria.  Jeff and Amanda had their engagement photo session this fall at my cottage in McLean, VA. I was over joyed to be able to do a photo shoot at my home, and knew right away that we were going to have a blast at the wedding in December.  Well, Jeff and Amanda did not disappoint. The wedding at the Morrison House was elegant, warm, intimate, joyful, and very touching.

Let’s rock and roll romancers…

I love the pine cones in Amanda’s bouquet!

How adorable is this shot??

This shot is one of my absolute FAVS. It is so full of vintagey richness, I could explode.

Sarah shares more about the intimate and certainly unconventional “reception”:

… in lieu of dancing, there was a lavish four course meal with wine paring and during that time the floor was open for toasts. I loved that many of their friends and family got up to share fun stories of Jeff and Amanda, it was yet another touch that made this night so personal.

Yet another unconventional and uber-personal touch to Amanda & Jeff’s wedding: a private first dance while the rest of the wedding guests were finishing dinner. The newlyweds danced to a classical guitar version of the Dixie Chicks. I love this idea!! What a super precious moment to share with just eachother.

Sarah shares again:

As the night wound to a close, the rain began to fall. Our pre-planned walk down King St was almost nixed. Bravely Amanda and Jeff along with a few friends took to the streets of Old Town Alexandria with no fear of the wet stuff. We ended up having the most divine photo shoot along the tree lined streets in the soft rain, which ended up producing my most favorite (and dare I say, spectacular) shots of the night! To think, we almost decided against the walk.

WOW!!! Sarah was not kidding! That shot is eye-popping amazing. It reminds me of the end of a movie or something!! Congrats again to Amanda & Jeff and thank you once more to Sarah from Blink Photography for sharing with us!!!


Reception & Ceremony Site: Morrison House in Old Town Alexandria

Bouquets & Flower Arrangements: Growing Wild Floral Company

Makeup: Sally Sagarese

Music: Mr. Richard Barry


DIY Wedding Signs with Abby Grace Photo

This is the third post of a recurring series by Abby Grace Photo. Abby did a TON of DIY projects for her stunning wedding this past winter and will be sharing them with you over the next few weeks!

Hey there, Romancers! We’re back with the third installment of DIY with Abby Grace Photography. This week- Episode III: Signage.

For the months leading up to our wedding, I scoured wedding blogs like it was my job. I’m a huge fan of detail, and I wanted our wedding to be rife with them. As you know, we had a relatively small budget for our wedding ($7K), but I wanted the wedding to look priceless. Through handcrafting enough details, we added enough of an air of attention to the wedding that it didn’t look like a $7K wedding at all.

One of my favorite details to make was the signs for the cake table and car. I’d seen a similar cake sign from another wedding, but I was determined to make mine unique. Seeing as we’d decided on a snowflake theme (I know, so creative for a winter wedding), I went in search of the perfect die-cut flakes. If you’ve been reading my entries, you already know where I went first. That’s right, folks- PAPER SOURCE! My favorite store in the whole world! They had snowflakes in all different sizes, so I was able to choose the one that was big enough to show up from far away, but not so big that they became impossible to work with.

After finding my die-cuts, I headed over to Michaels to find white circular cutouts. I picked out a semi-opulent, textured paper and cut out the circles using a Cricut (look it up- coolest machine ever for scrapbooking, card making, you name it). I also found silver cardboard letters while at Michaels, so I was ready to go.

I used my favorite brand of adhesive, Zots, to attach the circles to the snowflakes, and used them again to attach the letters to the circle-snowflake combination. Once they were all done, I tied each snowflake onto a long piece of silver ribbon, making a loop around each flake to keep them from sliding.

*DIY Budget Tip*:

If you’re in the same boat I was with a low budget, but you want your wedding to look as priceless as possible, do yourself a favor and start looking into detail-attentive project that you can do yourself. It will make all the difference in the world, and your wedding will be that much more YOURS.

Stay tuned for the final installment next week- the hot chocolate bar!

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