Brynn & Kyle’s Rustic DIY Farm Wedding at Chanteclaire Farm MD

Thanks to Two Bright Lights, I have yet another feature to share from the wonderful Amie Otto Photography !! A double whammy of sorts… if you will.

I absolutely loved the Regan Airport engagement shoot Amie shared with us last week, but this wedding feature will knock your socks off even more! There are a TON of DIY and offbeat elements throughout ~ a couple that truly did things their own way and I have ALL the details (and pictures!) for you!

Let’s first meet Brynn (name love!) and her new husb, Kyle:

My husband and I are both originally from Northern Virginia (both born in Alexandria Hospital, in fact) and we love the outdoors, so we wanted to have a very easy-going, relaxed, wedding….a big party for our friends and family. Our wedding budget was $30k and when we first started looking around Northern VA, we had a hard time finding what we wanted for a reasonable price. We have both always loved the simplicity and beauty of the countryside/farms and so we were searching for something outdoorsy along those lines.

You will quickly see why Brynn & Kyle were drawn to this amazing farm location, but it doesn’t hurt that the weather looked like absolute perfection too!

Brynn shares all the juicy details:

We actually found our venue, Chanteclaire Farm by sheer luck. My Aunt and Uncle own a cabin in Deep Creek Lake, MD and Kyle and I went up to look at The Wisp Resort as a potential venue….disliked the cold feel of the reception area…and on a whim, my Aunt said we needed to check out this farm. We showed up on a Saturday, there was a wedding going on, but the owners Fred and Christiane (former Nova natives) were so nice, they invited us in and showed us around. We were sold instantly, everything we were looking for. We went back the following weekend and booked it. Christiane is a french chef and actually makes everything from scratch in her kitchen (in the barn) – the food was amazing.

^love this shot Amie ~ so cool!

On the dress…

The dress – I am not a dress kinda gal, so it was tough for me to find something I felt comfortable in…not too sequiny/lacy/etc. I went to Leesburg Bridal in Leesburg, VA and the selection and staff there were amazing. I found my dress without having to deal with the overwhelming feel of going to David’s Bridal. I was looking for something simple with a flare of traditional. I got my dress and veil (and bridesmaids dresses) from Leesburg Bridal. I also got a “party dress” from JCrew – to change into halfway through the reception (a simple long white dress).

I am obsessed with Brynn’s shoe selection and her clutch! Seriously – so unique, and I love the practicality of a bride in flats. (Especially ones on a budget from DSW!)

The shoes – I got my shoes from DSW – since the wedding ceremony was outdoors, I wanted to be comfortable (and not fall over) – so I went with flats.

Brynn on her garter:

My husband is a huge Chicago Cubs fan, so I got a Chicago Cubs garter from Etsy. He loved it! He’s also a huge Washington Capitals fan, so an amazing friend of mine made a Cubs baseball hat and a Capitals hockey puck cakes – we surprised him at the rehearsal dinner. They were so awesome.

I LOVE this tidbit!!!!!

My husband and I really loved the movie Up. …There is a part of the movie where the couple meets as kids and exchange grape soda pins and create their own adventure club. Well, my husband found the pins on eBay. He wore his under his jacket at the wedding and I had mine in my purse.

You just have to read more to see the inside of this barn venue ~ vintage furniture, DIY floral vases, a “tree” theme, and a chandelier!!

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Kendra & Kevin’s Romantic Cherry Blossom Engagement Pictures

Today’s real capitol romance feature comes to us from Stefani Chung Photography. Stefani beautifully captured the adorable engagement session of Kendra & Kevin amidst the Cherry Blossoms in Washington, DC.

I am loving Kendra & Kevin’s style. I also love the shade of pink that Stefani manages to get throughout this entire shoot. To me, it gives the shoot an almost dream-like appearance and it’s just divine.

Kendra tells us the story of how her and Kevin met

We met at a holiday party through mutual friends. One could say it was love at first sight or that Kendra picked Kevin up at the snack table. Kevin liked her cardigan (vintage) and she liked his dance moves (wild and unrestrained).

Our first date was at a dive bar, where we had beers and shots, which led to an uninhibited conversation (the first of many), but not our first kiss. That would come later on a bridge in the middle of winter…4 years later Kevin was down on one knee – on that same bridge – asking Kendra to be his wife, as strangers cheered from balconies.

A whirlwind romance, Kevin swept Kendra off her feet with his good looks and Trini-love of just having a good time, and Kendra caught Kevin off guard with her innocent looks and spicy attitude. She was born on Friday the 13th and he was born on Easter Sunday – who knew , that two Aries would be so good at keeping each other in balance? But we are.

Proposing on the same bridge that they had their first kiss on?! Fantastic job Kevin and best of luck to the both of you on your upcoming wedding!!

Thank you again to Stefani Chung Photography for sharing these images







Love this one!!!



This one is also my fav ~ two cool kids in their stylin’ shades. Awesome!





Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck: “Geraldine”

Sometimes my husband listens to music that I don’t always care for ~ or sometimes he plays a song, and I am SHOCKED that he likes it/is listening to it. An artist that produces this type of music scenario in our relationship is Chuck Ragan.

Mr. Ragan is a bit too country/folk for me ~ but his lyrics are poetic and this particular song is beyond perfect for a mother – son dance song at a wedding. Just look at these lyrics:

And I must call on your sweet soul
In the times when we walk
In shadows of sorts
I cherish the mother you are.

Uh. I am crying right now as I type this because of how perfectly amazing and appropriate this song is for a mother son dance. Don’t even attempt to argue with me on this one, you will fail.

It’s FRIDAY people!

We all know how I love Fridays

… today is no exception. The weather might have made my hair the size of Montana, and we may be spending the weekend in thunderstorms watching my brother graduate from Penn State (congrats little bro!!!!), and I still need to pack and move, AND … who cares?! It’s FRIDAY!

Things to get you to the weekend:

1. Ask and Ye shall receive … a Real Wedding from the Carnegie Institution of Science!

Thanks to Ribbon Box Events & 5Rings Photo

2. Are you sick of pics of me and my husband yet? No? Ok me either …

Seriously, how freakin’ awesome is Live It Out Photo!?

3. I heard this song on the radio this morning and I nearly swerved off the road in excitement. I LOVE this song!

Uh yeah, that is def Soul Decision

4. I know this song is ridiculous and stuff … but comon, how could you NOT love Glee’s version of it?

thanks the for photo!

5. Not sure how I feel about this casting choice for Haymitch yet …. what is a Haymitch you ask? Read THESE! Now.

6. Ok this wedding picture is faint worthy – I only wish I had done something as cool as this Harry Potter inspired shot.

That’s it folks! Have a great weekend!!

Capitol Venue: Carnegie Institution for Science

Looking for a wedding venue with a prime downtown Washington, DC address, historic, monumental architecture, and at a price you can afford?

Well, look no further because the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, DC. is it.

This unique DC wedding venue is a perfect alternative to hotel ballrooms ~ and at a rental fee of only $5K, it is truly one of the most affordable places in the city, given the location, size, and overall look & feel of the venue.

Reception Rental Rates

4-hours of event time: (Plus 2 ½ hours to set-up prior to event and 1 ½ hours to break down after the event)

$5,000: Ballroom, Rotunda, and Boardroom with access to the kitchen for food service
$800: to add on the Portico and 16th Street Entrance
$1,000: to add on the Auditorium

(Additional hours may be pre purchased for $300/hour up to two-weeks prior to the event)

Capacities & Time Information:

Seated Reception: 170
Ceremony and Reception: 160

Events must conclude by 11:00pm on Sunday – Thursday and 12:00am on Friday and Saturday

Budget Friendliness Alert:***[The] venue is able to provide banquet tables and ballroom chairs based on availability and at no additional charge, please contact building management with your requirements.***

Contact Information:

Alexis Fleming, Special Events and Facility Coordinator – 202-939-1139
Laura Unterholzner, Special Events and Building Assistant – 202-939-1138

The Carnegie Institution for Science has a bunch more information, pictures, and even a virtual tour on their website! So be sure to click on over ~ and if you are interested, I would call ASAP, as I am sure this venue is in HIGH demand!

Here are a few of my other favorite images from the venue:

A vintage themed cocktail hour would be dynamite in here!

Doesn’t get much more “Washington, DC” than that!

Love this bar in the Board Room.

Let us know if you end up getting married at this venue! We would LOVE to feature some “Real Wedding” pictures from this awesome, alternative DC venue!

Kristin & John’s School Themed Wedding in Virginia

Today’s Real Capitol Wedding is for all the teachers out there ~ Kristin & John have the most adorablehow we metstory. Their wedding paid some homage to how they met and included some other fun details and awesome vendors and the uber talented, Emily Porter Photography, was on hand to capture it all.

Kristin shares:

John and I first met at school…I teach 1st grade and John was a special ed. teacher at the time.  We starting dating after John asked me out with a “check yes or no” letter.  I’m not joking!  He sent a note down with a student that said “Will you go to dinner with me?  Check yes or no”.  :-)  So, obviously I checked yes and we got engaged two years later in the Dominican Republic…John wrote the proposal in the sand!

A “check yes or no” letter?? Flippin’ a-dorable. Now let’s  check out some of Emily‘s favorite shots of the day after a quick vendors list:


Flowers: Rick Thompson of Flower Gallery in Chantilly
DJ: Joe Schwarz, Storm Productions DJ Services (husband of a coworker)
Cookies:  Megan Ferrey,
Hair/Make-up: Anna Michelle, Modern Concepts, Ashburn

More from Kristin, on incorporating the theme into the wedding:
For the wedding, we wanted to make a nod to how we met, but in a subtle way…so we adorned the programs with pencils with our names and wedding date and did apple shaped cookies as wedding favors.

[Kristin & John] were married at Our Savior’s Way Lutheran Church in Ashburn…

Click inside for more!!

Capitol Inspiration: DIY Wedding Ceremony Altars

Two weeks ago I met an engaged couple at the Nonconforming Bridal Fair. They were in the midst of planning their offbeat nuptials (being held at the Hotel Palomar in Arlington, VA) and had just learned that their outdoor ceremony required them to have/get/make some sort of altar.

They were stumped. I offered some quick advice on the spot ~ namely that altars don’t need to be anything huge, over the top, or expensive. For all intensive purposes, altars for weddings are really just a piece of decoration that centralizes the focal point onto the couple and officiant at the ceremony. It helps to encompass the specific area where you will be saying your vows and actually tying the knot.

I also shared that I had a similar issue with our “altar” for our wedding. We got married at the Church of the Holy City in Washington, DC – so although there was an altar, it was HUGE and too open. Lucky for me, my sister had a great idea to use two candelabras (already on site at the church), two tall glass vases, and two of our DIY Christmas Ornament Pomanders, to bring that centralized focus to where we would be standing. It turned out great (or so I thought)!

In order to help Megan & Chris out, I told them I would put together a DIY Wedding Altar Inspiration post ~ Believe it or not, it wasn’t as easy as I thought to find, but hopefully some of the pictures and decor items below will help them out!!

Ok so this first one (courtesy of The Knot) probably won’t help Megan & Chris (sorry guys!) – but it is just sooo creative I couldn’t help myself! A surfboard altar!

Here are some that used potted plants or trees for a DIY Altar

(via Elizabeth Anne Designs)

(via Wedding Party Network)

A Ribbon “Altar” ~ this will give you ah-mazing pictures for sure!

(via Intimate Weddings)

Similar to the Ribbons – this Pennant Banner could work for a DIY Altar Idea!

(via Martha Stewart Weddings, with a DIY Tutorial here!)

This next one is my FAVORITE ~ it might look familiar because I used it on my Balloon Inspiration feature too, but it would make for such a fantastic ‘altar’ or ceremony background!!

(via Weddings & Cookies Blog)

Along with the balloons above, you could also just use two big bundles of smaller balloons (like the bundles the ladies are holding in the next picture) and place on either side!

(via Whimsical Wonderland Weddings blog)

These next two inspiration pictures are some of the coolest ideas I have ever seen – using FURNITURE for an altar! My mind just exploded.

(via Heather Jagger Photography)

Bookshelf Altar – flippin’ GENIUS. I am freakin’ out about this one …

(via Funny Wedding Cake Toppers)

Finally – I have seen couples use these hanging plant holders for along the aisle, like such:

BUT! You could very easily just get two of these and place on either side of the couple to make a simple, easy, DIY altar!

Hopefully some or all of these pictures helped Chris & Megan get some more ideas pumping to get a simple, DIY altar together for their outdoor wedding! Hope everyone else enjoyed it as well! Let us know if you end up using any of these ideas – we would LOVE to see them in action!

Capitol Wedding: Bryan & Sarah’s Casual Hipster Farm Wedding in Virginia

And the bride wore …. TOMS!

This afternoon’s Real Capitol Wedding will rock your world, the DIY details, the Fall weather & colors, and the bride AND her maids rocked Toms! Thanks to Natalie Gibbs Photography, I can share it with all of you!

I am over the moon with these b’maid dresses, the bride’s dress & the Toms. Oh the Toms. So, why Toms? Sarah (the bride!) shares:

Well, I have ALWAYS loved TOMS, and wanted something comfortable and practical for the girls to wear again after the wedding. We decided to give the TOMS–along with earrings made from my best friend Julie, who uses recycled sari scraps from India to create these lovely earrings, and sells them on Etsy (–as gifts to the girls as a thank you for being such a special part of our wedding. We loved that it was a gift that kept giving–that not only did each lady get a ridiculous cute and comfy pair of shoes, but they were each able to give a pair of shoes, too.

Natalie is one awesome photographer, and she artifully captured Bryan & Sarah’s beautiful & perfect wedding day at Montfair Resort Farm in Charlottesville, VA. So without further ado….

Congratulations Bryan & Sarah!

Sarah shares the deets on her adorable dress and the bridesmaids’ dresses:

Oh how I simply love my dress! I found it on Ann Taylor online, one of their only full length gowns! And so affordable!

The purple bridemaid’s dresses are from Jcrew, their cotton candy line, and then the green ones are from the cotton line at David’s Bridals.

I just love groomsmen in suits – so relaxed and the khaki just looks so clean! The suits were rented from a local retailer called Bernard’s Formalwear.

Want to see all of the DIY Decorations & Details? Click inside!

Vintage Place Settings with Wedding Muse

Today’s inspiration feature brings you some LOVELY vintage goodness. Fabienne Laveau of Wedding Muse designs and styles fresh flower arrangements, brooch bouquets, and now vintage table settings!

Thinking of having an intimate, vintage wedding or going vintage-chic for your bridal shower?? Well, let Fabienne’s place settings melt your mind and vision:

From Fabienne:
My love for flowers, gardens, vintage and romance has been with me as long as I can remember. Fortunate to incorporate those loves into a business, especially vintage, is a dream come true. When put together with a professional, creative eye, vintage can be romantic, glamorous, funky, quirky, glamorous, traditional and all of the above. That is why I love it – I have yet to meet the bride that doesn’t melt for it. It is also a lovely way to incorporate generational ideas. Best of all, there is nothing more satisfying to me than searching second hand stores for special pieces and embellishments, inspired by a particular bride and her tastes. My offerings include fresh flower arrangements, sparkle bouquets, vintage collections, styling, DYI consultations…and more!

Certainly a jack of all trades, insanely creative, and uber talented (I am so very jealous). I am warning you now peoples, this post is IMAGE-HEAVY! I have been sucked into Wedding Muse‘s vintage dream world, and I do not intend to leave it soon …. enjoy …

The muse herself, Fabienne, holding an amazing honeycomb bouquet!

How GORGEOUS is this next one? Could you imagine your entire wedding like this!?

I am in love with this vintage inspiration setup. Your guest book or card box next to these vintage details? To. Die. For.

What a creative, vintage (and easily DIY!) idea for table numbers!

Click inside for more inspiration photos, sample vintage table settings, and some shots of Fabienne’s famous brooch bouquets!

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