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!!)

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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!

Tales of a DIY DC Duo: Chapter 9 “DIY Centerpieces & Table Runners”

This is Chapter 8 of an ongoing series following the journey of a couple throwing an intimate, DIY wedding in Washington, DC. Be sure to check out the earlier chapters from this series for some great DIY tips & inspiration!

That’s right.  You can make your own wedding centerpieces.  It all starts with your table linens and chairs.  Are you renting them?  What color, size and quantity of tables are you using?  What does the table layout look like?

There are many options for your tables, but in general there are 3 types…

1. Round: (usually of 8-12 people) this lends itself to an individual, varied-size, matching centerpiece on each table
2. Square: (usually 8) this lends itself to groupings of items that create a larger clustered centerpiece on each table
3. Long Banquet (multiple options) this lends itself to low and linear centerpieces, usually of multiple items spread out the length of the table

Something to consider about centerpieces…
*Don’t block a view across the table!!!*  You want people to talk to each other and be social, so either choose a centerpiece that is lower and fuller below eye level of guests or a taller and thinner centerpiece.

We knew we wanted to have 3 long tables of banquet-style seating so we made our own table runners in lieu of renting the generic ones.

To do this, I bought a surplus roll of inexpensive burlap from an online fabric store.  To make it nice and make sure it didn’t fray, I sewed wide satin ribbon ($1 per roll from Michaels) to the edges.  I bought 3 rolls of pink tulle from the dollar store to pile up on top of the burlap and give the runner extra depth.

The long banquet tables allow for centerpieces that include either randomly spaced items or orderly repeated items.  I decided to go with the random method due to the fact that our entire wedding has more of a casual feel to it.

*To see how Emma made her DIY centerpieces, read more!

Capitol Venue: Artisphere

There is a new arts center in town. The Artisphere is a brand new art facility in Arlington, VA that I am sure will quickly become a new favorite wedding reception venue in the Washington, DC metro area. The incredible space is available to rent for private functions and has a ton of different facilities and rooms available.

Some of the spaces include:

  • Four performance spaces: The Ballroom,  Dome, Black Box, Spectrum Theatre
  • 3,000 square foot dance floor in our Ballroom
  • Three art galleries: Terrace, Mezz and Works-In-Progress
  • Outdoor terraces
  • Two story Town hall and Video Wall

I have seen pictures from wedding ceremonies performed in theaters before – and to me, it is just one of the most unique and coolest ideas ever! Especially if the couple is into theater or the performing arts!

They also have over 5,000 feet of outdoor terraces that you could have your ceremony or cocktail hour on. Views on the terraces include ones of Washington, DC :

Be sure to check out the entire Artisphere Website for more pictures and information on available space or just to visit the galleries! The Artisphere also has a TON of awesome events going on all the time if you are looking for something fun to do!

In addition to all these amazing options in space, the rentals include:

  • Dedicated catering kitchen
  • Free parking evenings and weekends (<- a NICE budget saver!)
  • Projection/presentation capabilities
  • Metro is two blocks away
  • Coat Check

For more information on private event rentals, please contact Leslie Pelzer, rental and special events manager,  at 703-875-1116 or

Capitol Inspiration: Cherry Blossom Bridal Shoot

The cherry blossoms have arrived in DC (and along with them, the usual hoards of tourists … and my allergies … ). Cherry blossoms are beautiful flowers and along the tidal basin, with the DC monuments as the backdrop, there really just isn’t a more astoundingly gorgeous place in our city right now.

I know the blossoms are a huge attraction for couples looking to have their engagement pictures, bridal portraits, or even wedding pictures (god bless the brides that trudge out there, with crowds of people in their gowns!). Luckily for you, I just happen to have some gorgeous bridal portraits from Amber Wilkie Photography.

Amber heard the words snow & cherry blossoms and that was all she needed to hear to get convinced to get out early Sunday morning to “be her own bride” and shoot some lovely pictures! I know you will just love these shots and a special thank you Amber for sharing!

Let us know Romancers, if you have any great shots from the Cherry Blossom Festival!

I think this one in the tree is my favorite!


How adorable is this shot?


OK, I lied … this one with Amber, the twirl, and her boots – my absolute fav!

Capitol Romance: Rebecca & Vince’s Manassas Battlefield Engagement Pictures

Early in December, Rebecca & Vince met with Debi (of Debi Parker Photography) to have their engagement shoot in the Manassas Battlefield. Uh … how freakin’ cool is that? They had their engagement shoot in a BATTLEFIELD people. Excuse my french, but … bad-ass. Also, there was a v-dub bus. My heart swoons.

Debi graciously shared with me a bit of background on this lovely couple:

When Vince, Rebecca and I were deciding on where to do their engagement photos Rebecca suggested the Manassas Battlefield because of a blog post of mine she had seen of some personal photos I had taken there.  It worked out really well because it was a beautiful fall day but just a little chilly.  We started off doing photos with their dog Bear and then we did some photos of just the two of them.  They were really laid back and we all just had a lot of fun.  Rebecca is so beautiful and her red jacket just popped against the background of the yellow grass and the blue sky.  We then went to Occoquan, VA.  It’s such a cute little town and we had a great time walking around there.  They were up for anything so when I saw the VW bus they sat down in front of it for me and I just love how that photo came out!  They made an enlargement of that photo and framed it to use at their wedding.  It looked so good!

Bear is so freakin’ adorable. And I am openly in love with Rebecca’s coat. And Debi’s pictures are gorgeous. AND JUST WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE THE VW BUS!

Ok … enough from me, check out these awesome shots:

Rebecca is just stunning in this shot!

Hah! Vince’s face here is just too cute.

Someday I will own one of these, and only then I will be completely happy with life.

Impromptu dance party in the street anyone? Love it!

Congratulations Vince & Rebecca! Debi was already raving about their wedding pictures and I cannot WAIT to see them myself! Best of luck to the both of you.


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