Real Capitol Romance:

Cameron & Morgan

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again … the thing that keeps me insanely happy right now is finding photographers in this area that not only love what I am trying to accomplish with my blog, but are 100% in-line with finding the same kind of people in this area to photograph!

Enter Erin Lassahn. An effortlessly cool wedding & portrait photographer in the DC Metro Area. I can’t lie (and I have already told Erin this) but I was hooked on her/her photography from her logo! I LOVE sparrows. I also remember loving her about me because it was just so honest, admitting that she didn’t always dream of being a wedding photog like some other about me sections claim.

I am so excited (and always, honored) to share her pictures from an engagement shoot she shot recently in Rock Creek Park & Dupont Circle. Now                       let’s meet Morgan & Cameron:

Morgan and Cameron were college sweethearts. Really – they met the first day of their freshman year on the same floor of the same dorm. After graduation they moved to Mount Pleasant, D.C. to pursue careers in media, sharing the joy and stress of their capitol city lives. After a few years of growth together, Cameron finally popped the question on a visit to Morgan’s hometown of Lafayette, Louisiana (asking her parents’ permission first, of course) on Mardi Gras, no less. Because the wedding would naturally be ‘on the bayou’, they wanted to celebrate their engagement where they had grown together and worked with Erin Lassahn to paint them in their urban home. What they got was a perfect blend of their life, work, and home away from home

Happy Thursday Romancers – take it away Erin, Cameron, & Morgan…


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DIY Decor Inspiration: Wedding Decorations & Decor from Balloons

For whatever reason, there were only a few things about my own wedding that I had my heart set on:

  1. A non-hotel reception hall as the venue
  2. Some sort of cheap vintage dress, not a gown
  3. No veil
  4. Paper Lanterns

I really have no idea why, but I had my heart set on using paper lanterns for the reception tent.  I saw a TON of other couples use the lanterns and then I found a picture where the lanterns were made into something of a ‘paper lantern chandelier‘.  I was sold.  I NEEDED a paper lantern chandelier.

The problem?

The tent company wanted to charge me over $2,000 for their paper lantern package. I had already bought 30+ assorted lanterns on the cheap, all I needed was someone to hang them. I just couldn’t justify spending that much money for lantern hanging. This was another one of those curve balls that not using a florist threw into my decor planning and execution.

In the end, I finally found a company in DC (the amazing Elegance & Simplicity) to hang my lanterns (after my parents convinced me that I was insane to attempt to hang them myself the night before the wedding). Although I was thrilled with how they came out, it still ending up costing us more than I had planned.

So, the point of my paper lantern back story? To lead into my suggestion that balloons are a simpler & cheaper DIY decoration that give a similar feel to paper lanterns, but without the hassle or cost for hanging.

I found some great balloon wedding decoration inspiration (even our very own guest blogger, Wendy of Weswen Design, used balloons for her reception and they were gorgeous!).  Let us know if you used balloons for your DIY wedding decorations, we would love to share some pics!

Wendy’s balloon decor

I love the colors of this wedding & balloons via Green Wedding Shoes

Such a cool use of the letter balloons – what a FANTASTIC picture

You HAVE to check out more pics from this colorful wedding over at Whimsical Wonderland

A sweet & creative outdoor wedding via Ruffled Blog

You just HAVE to click into the rest of this couple’s pictures via Elizabeth Anne Designs. Ah-mazing.

Seriously, people have thought of EVERYTHING. Balloon Table Numbers via JolieJolie Design Blog

Simple balloon centerpieces

[via Dot Com Bride]

PS – Don’t forget water balloons! (click the picture for more from this insanely fun e-shoot via Ruffled Blog)



Introducing a new Guest Blogger: Abby Grace

I am so PUMPED to be introducing a new guest blogger on Capitol Romance! Everyone, meet Abby of Abby Grace Photography.

Abby was recently married (in an insanely gorgeous wedding that was beautifully captured by the awesome Terra Dawn Photography here) and we got to chatting thanks to everyone’s favorite social network, The Facebook.  Other than the fact that Abby has just started her own photography business and is launching a brand new website at the end of the month, she is also a DIY goddess.  (I am so jealous of you types of people!!) She did a TON of DIY projects for her own small-budget wedding and has graciously agreed to blog about it here on Capitol Romance!!

I know everyone is just going to love Abby (she’s sweet, talented, funny, & gorgeous … what’s not to love?). Need more proof, then hop back over to Terra’s blog again to check out another shoot Abby was involved in – in front of the camera. If I didn’t already want to be Abby’s bff … then this picture collage from her engagement shoot post would have 100% convinced me that I needed to be:

Enough. Said.

Already looking forward to Abby’s first guest blog next week on DIY Wednesdays … so be sure to tune in!

Tales of a DIY DC Duo: Chapter 5 “The DIY Projects Begin”

This is Chapter 5 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!

OK, enough about the background, let’s get into our DIY projects!  That’s what everyone wants to see, right?  Well, the first thing we did was not even supposed to be for our wedding, it was just a craft project we started:  a Popsicle stick bird house.  It was so cheesy!!

We initially put it together with glue and what seems like bubblegum.  Not all of the pieces fit exactly and to make it worse, it was hyper color.  When we were done (8 months later) we looked at it and said “Great, now what should we do with it?”  It was obviously not going to withstand weather or pecking birds and it sure as heck wasn’t going to pass off as decorative.

It was a disaster!  Until…. da da da daaaaaa….. Spray paint!!!!  Yes Krylon is pure magic!  We got a satin espresso coat on it and voila… it looked so nice.  We decided to hot glue “blingy” rhinestones from Joanne’s to it and also some ribbon and silk flowers from Micheal’s.  What a transformation.

It was finally at least presentable, but still… being newly engaged… what function can it have at our wedding?

*Light bulb moment!*

It became our “Wishing Well” or guest book (but if you made one, it could also double as cash/card holder).

We paired it up with providing little wooden tags to everyone.  I printed directions to write us a good wish, sign the back and deposit it into the  wishing well.  I then wrote the words “Well Wishes” on the birdhouse in fabric paint.

Did we think this was cute? yes.  Did we think it was enough?  NOOOOOO!

We also bought twig-like colored pencils from amazon and glued a silk flower onto the unpointy end.  I have also seen directions on how to make these yourself from real branches in your back yard with a dremel and raw graphite, but it seemed a lot easier to just buy 6 of them for $2.

Boy, we really surprised ourselves on how we manage to turn an old ugly craft project into part of our concept!  What do you have lurking in your garage or basement that you are afraid to show the world?  Try some spray paint and hot glue …it could do wonders.

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‘.


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”

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

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.
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