Capitol Venue: Old Ebbitt’s Grill

[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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Capitol Romance: Lindsay & Ryan’s Washington DC Engagement Session

I am SO pumped to be featuring this engagement shoot from Terra Dawn Photography. Terra is one of the coolest people I have met so far while starting this blog of mine.  She is so sweet and kind – and her website is adorable (those owls!).  And on top of all that, she is also one fabulous photog.  Her work is already featured on a ton of other wedding blogs, so I am honored that she was willing to share Lindsay & Ryan’s engagement shoot with Capitol Romance!

I love Lindsay & Ryan’s shoot for a lot of reasons – but I think my top two favs will be easy to see: the colors & the dachshunds! Yes. Dachshunds.

Lindsay & Ryan enjoyed a gorgeous day in Foggy Bottom with some awesome shots, two types of hot dogs, and some fantastic props (love that bike!). This adorable couple also just got married and Terra was nice enough to share a few sneak peeks from their recent nuptials as well! Check Terra’s blog for the rest of the wedding pics! Thank you Terra, Ryan, Lindsay, Rylie, & Roxie for sharing your shoot with us! Congratulations on your wedding.

And now for some sneak peeks from their wedding!!!

Tales of DIY DC Duo: Chapter 3 “The Venue Search”

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 and Chapter 2 here.

After we cut our guest lists and planned a budget (only $5000) we were off in search of a venue!!! Since Claude proposed at the national mall, our first instinct of course was to have the ceremony there.  We found out from the park service that you can only get married 3 places on the national mall.

1. The World War I monument (also known as the DC war memorial, this is a small and somewhat run down dome on the south side of the mall)  It is quite hidden behind bushes and no one knows of it.  It is cute and intimate though, but difficult to walk to and we had several older people on our list, so this was vetoed (although we spent a lovely day and picnic there to check it out).  I also believe it might currently be under renovations?

2. Iwojima Memorial (also known as the marine corp war memorial). This was simply not the “feel” we were going for and so o this was out.

3.  The Jefferson Memorial.  Wow.  Scale, grandeur, water, trees, the outdoors and the “infamy” of being able to say that you got married at the Jefferson memorial.  How impressive!  Who could ask for anything else? Although you can not get married INSIDE or on the actual marble part of the memorial, they give you a nice spot on the west lawn to have your nuptials.  We looked at pictures and most show  glorious and picturesque shots of the memorial and tidal basin during the cherry blossom blooms.  SOLD!  Even though there are millions of visitors during the festival weeks, we could not resist the temptation to have pink fluffy blooms floating in the air and whirling around us as we take our vows.  Now, the festival takes place on the average bloom times, but there is no guarantee that mother nature will cooperate.  Some years the flowers have fallen off the trees long before the end of march and the latest it has ever been is April 16! http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/

Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck: “Dog Days Are Over”

Before Julia Roberts & the “Eat Pray Love” trailer made this song a success, a friend of mine had put it on a mixtape for me and I was instantly obsessed.  I love everything about Florence & the Machine’s song, the lyrics, the music, drums, the way it seems to have a momentum about it. Something about this song just makes you FEEL. I put this song on the mixtape that we made for our wedding party – and everyone shared the same sentiments I did.

This.song.is.awesome.

My sister used it for her graduate program’s thesis play, Big Love and now I invite someone else to use it for their wedding. Walk down the aisle to it, exit the ceremony to it, enter your reception to it – I don’t care WHAT you end up doing with it, just do something with it because this song rules!

Vintage is New Again – Holga Cameras for Weddings

I am a BIG fan of vintage elements in weddings. I love the idea behind taking something old and making it new or reusing things or taking something popular from years ago and updating it to reflect your own personality and style.

My sister took my mom’s wedding dress and had it tailored a bit so she could wear it at her rehearsal dinner. And, if you have seen my dress – you know I was all about the A-line and tea length style of the 1950s, so I had my mother-in-law make my dress from a 1950s pattern.

The other “new” thing in wedding land is using vintage cameras and film to shoot weddings. I fell in LOVE with Layer Cake Films when I started reading wedding blogs a few years ago. The 8mm videos, reminiscent of The Wonder Years opening, to me was just so cool. Another thing that seems to be popping up all over the wedding world and in the DC Metro Area as well, are Holga Cameras.

My own wedding photographer had her holga on hand the day of my wedding, and got some pretty cool-looking shots from the day!

Check out some other DC Area Photographer’s Holga Wedding shots!

Tales of a DIY DC Duo: Chapter 2 “Our Story”

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

Claude and I met at a BAR of all places! It may not be peculiar for a couple of normal people, but the chances of us both being at a bar at the same time and date were super slim cause neither of us like to go to bars or frequent them.  I was dragged by a friend of mine and Claude had driven a few hours that day and felt like he needed to get off his butt.  So viola… we saw each other across THE bar and he immediately wanted to introduce himself. We talked all night, and texted the following day and watched a movie together the following night.

I don’t think we have left each others sides since.  We just clicked and it felt so right together.  I moved in with Claude 2 months later and he proposed only 5 months after we met (to the day).  He brought me to a picnic at the little island in the National Mall with the weeping willows (I think it is part of the Constitution Gardens).  He handed me the classifieds section of the Washington Post and a big arrow was drawn to point out a classified add that said “Emma-will you marry me?”  He read the sweetest letter to me on bended knee and I said yes.  He slipped the ring onto my finger and we both celebrated!

We spent the day at the Newseum, so I decided to follow suite with our “save-the-date” cards and used a layout from a newspaper headline I found online.  I printed it out at home and glued it around a piece of cardstock to make it look as though it was a folded newspaper.  I put information about our date, and the proposal in “journalistic” format.

For our invites, we wanted to make it a bit more “pretty” looking and we had finalized on our pink and brown cherry blossom theme.  We bought bronze metallic flower folded self-closing envelopes and pink metallic inserts online (with a coupon of course) from http://www.paper-source.com/ We printed the text onto a piece of cream card stock at home and stamped a cherry tree next to the text (stamp from Micheals with coupon).  We colored in the branches and added pink fabric paint to give it sparkle and dimension.  The final touch was a piece of printed vellum and a ribbon closed with a dollar store pink flower.

I think they turned out great.  What do you think?

Now, you are probably thinking I am crazy to hand make all of my invitations?  But the fact of the matter is that we whittled down our guest list to only close friends and family.  We only made 18 invites for 36 invited people.  This is a second wedding for both of us and we were on our own with expenses. *TIP* THE NUMBER ONE WAY TO REDUCE EXPENSES FOR A WEDDING IS TO CREATE A SMALLER GUEST LIST.  Everything is less expensive and you are able to add personal DIY touches to everything by doing this.  I highly suggest it and it will make your wedding more intimate and memorable for all involved including yourself.

DIY Wedding Invitations: Part 2

Welcome back to our DIY Wedding Invitations series with Wendy from Weswen Design! Check out Part 1 here. Take it away Wendy …

Happy DIY Wednesday everyone! I was so excited when Bree asked me to continue with some more DIY details to help keep your invitations on-budget, on-time and PAIN free! As an invitation designer, I have major insights in what some may consider the scary world of creating your own wedding invitation. And seriously, my hat is off to you brave souls going at this major task, solo.

Last week I shared with you the first three mega important details you must know when venturing down this DIY path: figuring out your timeline, determining the size of your invitation and being mindful of postage. This week, I have two more tips/knowledge to share… hopefully after today, the fog will start to get a little clearer.

Determine the PRINTING TECHNIQUE that best suits your tastes AND your budget. This topic could lead to a few posts unto it’s own, but I will keep this short and sweet.

Scenario: you’re flipping through the latest Martha Stewart Weddings or maybe Washingtonian’s Bride & Groom (one of my faves!) you turn the page…. and there in all it’s shiny glory is your perfect invitation. Might as well cue the heavenly music and all, right? Then you research it and realize that your undeniably perfect wedding invitation costs an obscene about of money…. hence the reason you’re reading about DIYing your invitation. It happens, and it stinks, but being able to spot the different types of printing, as well as which option is best for you is ultra important.

Printing techniques you ask…. well, let me briefly explain a few:

Letterpress: This is extremely trendy and hot right now. It’s everywhere! But, be warned, while being absolutely jaw-droppingly gorgeous, invitations in this category are serious bucks. This old form of printing is done by coating a metal or wood plate with ink.

After the plate is created, ink is added to the sections of the plate to be printed. A sheet of paper is placed on top of the plate and the letterpress machine uses a rolling wheel to move back-and-forth across the surface of the paper, leaving an impression. That’s a quick and dirty explanation, so Google if this is something you’re seriously considering.

Sneak Peaks

It’s Wednesday and we know what that means.

DIY Mania.

This afternoon we will have Part 2 of our DIY Wedding Invitation Series with Wendy from Weswen Design. Missed Part 1? Check it out here.

*Also* I have some pretty exciting news to share from Wendy – she is having her first ever giveaway on her blog today! The giveaway is a new project she has designed called “Whatever Notes”. The idea is simple, yet ingenious.

Wendy explains: “My Whatever Notes stationery pack was designed out of my need for casual note cards that I could send on a whim for really, no reason at all. Hence the reason I named them “Whatever Notes.” As a stationery designer, I have a major love for hand-written cards, especially in this digital age where people are so quick to jump to emails or texts to say hi or thank you (I agree Wendy!). When I receive a hand-written note, it always makes me smile and I want to spread that joy and get people to write notes for whatever reason they might have. They are meant to be quick cards to go to, and with fun design, used year-round.

While I LOVE letterpress, I really wanted to create this note pack economically to show that digital printing is a great alternative to the fancier printing techniques that are so popular now. The pack includes five notecards, each blank on the inside, and five kraft envelopes .”

So hop on over to her blog to check out some more info, pics, and a chance to win some “Whatever Notes!” They are seriously the coolest note cards I have EVER seen. And. I am insanely jealous of her talents :)

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