Capitol Venue: Long View Gallery


When I started my own alternative DC venue search, the only thing I knew was that I didn’t want a hotel reception hall. I wanted something unique or different, an art gallery or historical house. One day my search brought me to Long View Gallery. The gallery is one part art gallery, one part event venue.  It is the epitome of modern and alternative Washington, DC wedding venue.

The gallery is new – it opened its doors in 2006 – and it’s really just a blank canvas for creative and modern brides in the metro area looking for a bright, open space that you could truly mold into your own vision for your wedding day.

I did visit the gallery for a tour at the beginning of 2010 during my venue search, so I can attest to how seriously gorgeous and cool the venue is and how awesome the staff (especially Events Director, Suzi Molak) is.  The space is “5,000 square feet of superior interior with two flexible halls, impeccable lighting and all the smart tech to raise your next event to an art form. For corporate occasions, life celebrations and all sorts of hip happenings” (Long View Gallery Event Space).

For more information and pictures, head on over to their website or view the ‘Client Kit‘.


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Real Capitol Romance – Gina & Rob


I met Luke of Luke Eshlemen Photography the same way I have met most of the photographers on my blog – Google. What did people do before Google?? Anyway. I consider myself insanely lucky when I find photographers like Luke, doing exactly what I am looking to feature. I also found out that Luke is EXTRA awesome for 2 reasons:

  1. He knows my dear friend Amber of Live It Out Photo fame
  2. He is a Penn State fan!!! (I am a PSU alum for those that don’t know)

Ok wait, there are 2 more reasons … his pictures are AWESOME and he shares my desire to find more offbeat funkiness in the DC Metro Area’s wedding realm. Thanks to Luke, I have this adorable engagement shoot he took up in Baltimore, Md to share this afternoon.

Before I share more pictures from Gina & Rob’s adorable shoot (which is seriously guaranteed to make you smile), I wanted to share a little background from the couple. I always feel like I appreciate pictures a bit more when I get to briefly know the couple before I stare at their pictures …. also, it feels less creepy that you are smiling at pictures of strangers (haha I’m kidding … I don’t really care about being creepy…)

“Rob and I transferred to Messiah College in January of 2003 and just so happened to be in the same freshman seminar. On the first day of class we ended up sitting across from each other and I can still remember my first impression of Rob. He was sunken down in his seat, knit hat pulled down to his eyes and I thought to myself, “this guy thinks he’s too cool?!” And according to Rob, my presence in class was a key contributor to his attendance! We became fast friends and began dating in the winter of 2004. We dated through college and post graduation Rob moved to Connecticut. Shortly after moving, our relationship ended. During our nine months apart, our love grew up. We both had things we needed to work through on our own; overtime our feelings only grew stronger and stronger. We missed talking to one another, spending time together – we missed sharing life. Slowly, over time, our relationship was woven back together.

Last winter, while on a ski lift, Rob asked me to be his girlfriend again! The next nine months flew by and on a cold, rainy fall day I found myself at our favorite beach at sunset. The clouds parted, the sun fought its way to be seen, and Rob was leading me towards a gazebo of lit candles. I kept insisting that we were “going to ruin someone’s surprise!” After a few convincing replies for me to trust him, I realized that those were in fact my candles. Rob got down on his knee and proposed, to which “yes” was the only answer!”

^I am insaaanely jealous of how beautifully Gina writes. I wish I could tell my own stories with such humility and engagement!

And now, let’s check out some more gorgeous photos from their shoot! Thanks to Gina, Rob, and LukeEsh Photo for sharing! (and I apologize in advance for the massive amount of pictures – but I just COULD NOT help myself, they were just way too cute of a couple, and the pics were just too good).

Just love the way Rob is looking at Gina, so sweet

The love, happiness, and affection between these two is almost too much to handle!!

Now Luke is just showing off …

I couldn’t help myself with these next few, they are just beyond awesome to me

What a stunning couple!

Can’t wait to see how their wedding turns out! Thanks again for sharing :)


Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck: Jack Johnson “Better Together”

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Jack Johnson is the ultimate chill-out, makeyouthinkofthebeach music. His soothing guitar strumming and adorably sweet lyrics are what wedding music dreams are made of.

Today’s wedding music that doesn’t suck features one of Mr. Johnson’s best love songs (well, in my opinion). This song could EASILY be used for many parts of a wedding, walking down the aisle, first dance song, or even as the background to a slide show or your wedding video. This song is also a perfect lead-in for the lovely engagement shoot I am featuring this afternoon.

So take a listen and let Jack ease you into the work week …

Capitol Wedding: Niki & Jon’s 1940s, Punk Rock Vintage DC Wedding

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Most of you know that I am on a mission to find offbeat, DIY, unique, and nontraditional couples to showcase on my blog. Unfortunately in Washington, DC, tradition seems to be more mainstream than creativity. Fortunately for Washington, DC – trying to change that is the driving force behind my blog. I have been working on a new tagline for the site actually, “A creative cure to the traditional bore“. Thoughts?

Anyway, when I came across this wedding from Gabe Aceves, I nearly fell off my chair (literally, I kid you not). Not only is this couple the epitome of classic, vintage style – but they got married in Georgetown!! This is exactly the kind of thing I am looking to promote more of in this city!!

Niki & Jon took their Rock N’ Roll vibe and perfectly combined it with a 1940s fashion trend. The result was breathtaking.

Niki had a vision for HER wedding and she stuck with it, and the pictures show how truly amazing a wedding can be when you stick to being yourself (in Niki & Jon’s case, full of tattoos and rock music) instead of trying to conform to someone else’s ideas of what weddings are supposed to be.

So sit back and enjoy this insanely amazing wedding, just don’t fall off your chair like I almost did!

The amazing bird-cage veil is from Unique Vintage!

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again … I <3 groomsmen in chucks!

Click inside for the rest of this alternative, punk rock 1940s vintage Washington, DC wedding!

Capitol Vendor Spotlight: Gabe Aceves Photography


Hello there Capitol Romancers! This afternoon we have a great Capitol Vendor Spotlight for you, Gabe Aceves Photography.  We will also be featuring a wedding from him tomorrow (an astoundingly cool and vintage wedding at that!), so I thought it would be a great lead in to tomorrow’s post, to get to know Gabe a bit better and see some of his favorite work over the years.

Don’t judge me, but I totally judge people by their “about me” on their website. I love the people that write refreshingly honest “about me” sections, that give the reader a true sense of what this person is about or why they got into the business they are in. Gabe’s “about me” is the epitome of cool. Just enough background to let you know who is he, how he came upon being a wedding photographer, and why he does it.

I love the WHY, I am always, ALL ABOUT the why.

But anyway … first, let’s check out some of Gabe’s favorite & fabulous pictures:

Now let’s meet Gabe:

How did you get into the wedding photography business?
Kind of by accident. Photography has been a hobby of mine since I was in high school, and I have always had cameras around. When I got serious about it a couple years ago I knew I wanted to shoot people but I was trying to build a portfolio of models, bands, etc. I had no interest in weddings. I was ignorant. To me, wedding photography was traditional and boring. I had no idea how creative it could be. One weekend a local wedding photographer contacted me to 2nd shoot a wedding and I reluctantly said yes. I was allowed to do whatever I wanted with almost no direction. I had a blast and I showed the wedding to a few people, including some well known wedding photographers and they were very encouraging. I haven’t wanted to do anything else since. I am one of those people who loves what I do and it doesn’t feel like work to me. At least most days.


Song you can’t currently get enough of?
Anything by the Avett Brothers. I love their sound and its perfect music for when I’m working, editing or putting together slideshows for my clients.

Tales of a DIY DC Duo: Chapter 4 “The Dress”


This is Chapter 3 of an ongoing series following the journey of a couple throwing an intimate, DIY wedding in Washington, DC. Check out Chapter 1 here, Chapter 2 here, and Chapter 3 here.

So, we started with general but now we get to start talking about the specifics.  The exciting stuff.  The one thing that sets the tone for the entire wedding.


As we all know, I was on a strict budget and with that, it only takes one thing to be a HUGE budget buster!  I have seen dresses price from $50-$50000.  WOW.  I came to the conclusion that unless it is a very tiny fashion designer brand, all dresses are made in China (or Taiwan etc).  So why pay the price for the boutique (that usually didn’t have my type of style or my size anyway)?  So here were the determining factors for my dress…

  1. style of wedding (outdoors, afternoon, informal, small scale, second wedding) this lead me towards a more fun and nontraditional dress
  2. our personality (flirty, fun, nonconformists, unique) this also lead me towards a more fun and nontraditional dress
  3. body type (petite but wide – calls for a dress that gives me a waist and draws your eye up)

I saw a trend towards shorter dresses and loved the idea.  The ones that define the waist most were the 50′s style, so I knew I wanted cinching or a cummerbund to give the illusion of a “belt” and I also thought it sort of hearkened back to the Japanese large obi sash (which would be appropriate for the cherry blossom theme).

So I started my search for poofy tea length dresses.  I wanted it to be a bit more delicate and free-flowing then a heavy satin so I decided I wanted a lacy element.  I found many interesting web pages like Dolly Couture and Whirling Turban who specialize in dresses like this, but I always wanted to customize it.. you know, make it my own and with American designers, this got expensive.  They were going to have to custom make my gown anyway.

That is when I found out that you can order online from China.  There are many forums about Milly Bridal and it just looked like a complicated process with inconsistent results.  So I decided to look for smaller Chinese dress makers.  Light In The Box seemed like a good option.  I ordered my first dress from  Bust! they made it HUGE.  It could have been my measuring of course, but there was no way I could wear it.  I learned some things about dealing with china dress makers on that experience…

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DIY Wedding Invitations: Part 3 (The Finale)

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This post is the final part of a series by Weswen Design on DIY Wedding Invitations. See Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Happy DIY Wednesday Capitol Romancers! Wendy here from Weswen Design. I’ve had such a great time sharing my tidbits for a successful DIY invitation these past few weeks. If you haven’t been keeping up, make sure you check the earlier posts for some of my most valuable tips and tricks to ensure your DIY adventure goes smoothly.

My last tip I will share with you is about wording. I’ve put together this handy tip sheet with common mistakes people often make. Print this out and use it when you’re working on the wording of your invitation. Trust me, you’ll thank me later!


Thanks for all who have joined me on my guest blogging adventure, I hope I have helped shed some light on questions you may have had. I would love to hear from you and am always available to help with any other questions I may not have covered!

And, I would love even more to see all the beautiful DIY invitations you crazy cats make. I’m sure they are b-e-a-utiful! Email me at:

DIY How To: Silk Flower Hair Clip, Pin, or Corsage

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Not having flowers or a florist for my wedding was the ultimate DIY challenge. Especially for someone like me, who is not all that crafty! When it came time to find something to make for my Aunt, who was doing a reading during our ceremony, I knew I didn’t want a corsage.  I felt that corsages reminded me of proms and high school dances or felt more appropriate for grandmothers.

So, I decided that I was going to make my Aunt a pin. I told her she could either pin it to her clutch the day of the wedding or wear it on her dress, whatever she wanted! She loved the idea, which was awesome, but then I had to find how I was going to make said pin!

Having my mother-in-law make my dress was amazing for a lot of reasons, one of them was that it left me with a ton of leftover fabric to be used for a hair piece for me, hair clips for my sisters, and now my Aunt’s pin too! I kinda loved the sentimental feelings behind having these little mementos share the same fabric as my dress (apologies if that was too “aww”).

Anyway – it took me FOREVER to find a DIY Silk Flower tutorial that didn’t involve sewing! I can usually follow DIY directions really well, but sewing is just not one of my forte’s.  Luckily, I finally found a DIY Silk Flower tutorial that was not only easy, but also contained required supplies that I already had ‘on-hand’ around my condo!

Thank’s to Simply Vintage Girl’s Blog, I was able to make the pin above for my Aunt and she loved it! Keep reading for instructions and more how-to information!

Capitol Venue: Old Ebbitt’s Grill

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[via downtown dc ]

Looking for a restaurant venue in Washington, DC? Or how about a non-hotel venue that is in a prime downtown location, for a decent price? Look no further than the Old Ebbitt Grill. If you live in DC, then you more than likely have heard of this place. It is chock full of history (established in 1856) and is located right next to the White House on Lafayette Square! Talk about location, location, location.

I actually had my rehearsal dinner here (which I would also recommend!) The staff was courteous and willing to help us reserve a room and build a menu that fit our budget and tastes.

That being said, Old Ebbitt Grill has a wide option of rooms for all different sized weddings.  The atrium can be rented for up to 250 guests! They have packages available for $95-$125pp, that include a 5-hour rental of the Atrium, premium open bar, a there course menu, cutting/service of wedding cake, champagne toast, AND wine service tableside  (Additional gratuity and tax will be added to the per person cost).

If you have done ANY research on Washington, DC venue & catering (and if you haven’t, then I will tell you now) THIS IS A DEAL!

You can find more information, pictures of real weddings, and sample menus on their website, under the wedding section here.


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