Sabrina & Mike’s DIY, Chesapeake Maryland Wedding with a MD Crab Theme

Sabrina & Mike’s Real Capitol Wedding has more personal, local,  and DIY touches than I know how to handle.

Set at the Philip Merrill Center in Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay, Sabrina & Mike took everything they loved and hold dear in life, and poured it into their wedding. When couples do this – it is SO obvious. The wedding pictures (captured beautifully by Mary Gardella of Love Life Images) so perfectly show an absolutely fun, non-traditional wedding that was the truest reflection of the couple.

I cannot echo my sentiments enough on how much I love weddings like this. Weddings, where the pictures alone, make you feel like you know the couple, their relationship, and their favoritest things in life. I just pine for all weddings to be this way!

But enough about me. Let’s get more from Sabrina & Mike

Sabrina shares:

I can tell you generally that Mike and I both wanted to focus on a Maryland theme with the focus being on nature, family, and friends. We had a religion neutral ceremony (I’m Jewish and Mike is Lutheran) with two of our friends officiating and the dinner was family style so that our guests could chat and mingle.

I am a non-traditional bride, hence the short dress and no veil, and Mike and I are a non-traditional couple so the wedding was really a reflection of us. I think my favorite part was when I had the University of Maryland mascot Testudo surprise Mike during the reception. It was hilarious!

^ Too. Cool.

Love a groom in sneakers! Always.

Absolutely in love with Sabrina’s dress! Tea length wedding dresses rule ;-p

Different dress and in different colors for her b’maids. Awesomeness.

Read more to see the rest of this awesome, non-traditional Maryland wedding ~ including the hand-knitted Chuppah that the bride made herself!!

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Wedding Vendor: DBI Events – Modern Floral & Event Styling & Design

Liza Bourkard of DBI Events just recently contacted me regarding her awesome Event Floral & Decor Design company. She has just recently located to Washington, DC from New York Citywhat a treat for us!!!

I hope to bring you much more from Liza & DBI Events, but for now I wanted to highlight (it is DIY Wednesday afterall) something awesome and unique about DBI Events …. the company actually offers DIY services as one of their boutique products!!!

What does that mean?

It means: couples that want DIY as part of their wedding decor, don’t need to fret if they aren’t super crafty. DBI Events will help the couple, in a consulting format, with DIY projects!

I think this is just awesome.

More from DBI Events’ website:

We offer a service for our DIY couples as well! We play a consulting role and provide the following services a la carte:

> Vision Development
> Budgeting
> Supply Purchasing
> Assembly instructions

We offer our couples an evening of assembly pointers. We bring dessert and needed supplies and you bring your helpers! A night of relaxation and flower (decor) assembly.

Contact DBI Events for prices and customized packages!

I think this is just such a rad and unique idea ~ I just had to share! I ALSO need to share a DIY Project that I found on DBI Events’ Blog:

DIY Cake Pop Favors


For the full tutorial, instructions, and more pictures ~ visit DBI Event’s blog post here.

Mandy & Spencer’s Offbeat Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market Engagement in DC

Now THAT’s what I am talking about DC!!!!

Today’s Real Capitol Romance engagement feature is the EXACT kind of alternative, individualisticness (yes I made that word up), that I search for everyday in this sometimes too up-tight and one-note city.

Meet Mandy & Spencer.

Two kids, in love, and loving life and doing it THEIR way, on their terms … with tattoos and curse words and warts and all.

Thanks to James Reyes Photography, I get to share one of my most favorite DC engagement shoots to date ~ at the Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market!


Mandy recounts the hilarious & super awesome story behind how her and Spencer met & got engaged!

Spencer is a reporter and, in November 2007, was working at Talking Points Memo. I work in the press shop at the ACLU legislative office. I already knew who he was and was a fan of his writing. I also knew he was a fan of the Clash – my favorite band as well. He called for a comment on wiretapping legislation and I totally used the opportunity to talk about our mutual musical interests. He asked me what my favorite Clash song was and I told him “Death or Glory.” He told me it was his favorite, too, and he had a tattoo to prove it. Swoon. We didn’t talk for months after that but basically I found him on Facebook as soon as I joined in April 2008 and he asked me out pretty quickly, thank god. The rest, as they say, is history.


And now one of the best proposal stories. Ever. I literally almost spit my coffee out from the amazingness of Mandy’s response to Spencer’s popping of the question:

Last year for my birthday (November 1), Spencer got us reservations at Nora. I thought he might be up to something but by the time we were a bottle of wine in, I’d totally forgotten. After we ordered dessert, he began saying some very lovely things which culminated with him getting up and kneeling next to me at the table. Honestly, the first words out my mouth were, “What the f*ck?!” “Yes” came a few seconds later.

Read more for the rest of this adorable engagement shoot & a small tidbit about their upcoming wedding next Month!!!!

Priyanka & James’ Washington DC Engagement at the Kennedy Center

Today’s Washington, DC engagement shoot took place at the Kennedy Center. I have yet to see an engagement shoot taken here and as we all know, I love love love when couples find areas outside of the monuments to take their engagement pictures on. DC has SO much to offer people!

Porter Watkins Photography was on hand to capture the very lovely Priyanka & James.

Priyanka shares how her and James met:

Once upon a time, I (a focused & studious curly-haired freshman girl aspiring to be a chemical engineer) met a blond-haired, blue-eyed freshman boy who was on the college soccer team. We both bonded over our hatred of physics class and before we realized it, became the kind of friends who could talk about anything for hours and hours….and still do! After 4 years in Pittsburgh at Carnegie Mellon University, I went on to discover my passion for children and teeth, moving from Philadelphia to NYC, and finally to Washington DC, where I’m finishing up my 2nd year of dental residency. James decided to jump coasts and pursue a master’s degree in San Diego. Eventually, he moved back to the east coast to build “top secret” warcraft, and is finishing up the 1st year of his MBA at Carnegie Mellon, back where it all began! Whether you believe in chance or fate, we’re thankful to have found each other again, even if years and years later. After all, you know what they say….better late than never!



Click inside to see more of this adorable shoot and to get the entire proposal story from James himself (btw, it’s a fantastic & funny story)…

Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck: All I Want Is You

You might recognize this adorable little diddy of a song from the movie Juno. Its lyrics are too cute, extremely wedding appropriate, and the music has a nice, soft folk feel to it.

All I want is you, will you be my bride
Take me by the hand and stand by my side
All I want is you, will you stay with me?
Hold me in your arms and sway me like the sea.

If you were a river in the mountains tall,
The rumble of your water would be my call.
If you were the winter, I know I’d be the snow
Just as long as you were with me, when the cold winds blow.

… I mean come on …. it doesn’t get much cuter than that! Enjoy!

Kari & Ross’ Budget-friendly Sharp Rock Vineyard Wedding in VA

Get your Thursday going with this adorable vineyard wedding from Terra Dawn Photography. When Terra’s name popped up into my inbox ~ I was excited. She gets SUCH cool clients in the DC area AND her photography rocks – so I always win when I see Terra’s name.

Today‘s Real Capitol Wedding features Kari & Ross

Kari & Ross were married this past September at the Sharp Rock Vineyard, in Sperryville VA. The couple used lots of Etsy vendors and garnered a ton of help from family and friends to execute their beautiful wedding. I think you will really enjoy this one and all it’s details ~ including an amazing story from Terra about how insanely laid-back Kari was as a bride ….

Terra shares:

Kari and Ross are probably some of the most kind people I have ever met in my life.  They are nothing but relaxed, giving, loving people.

Kari’s stunning dress is from Essence of Australia D988 from Betsy Robinson’s Bridal Collection


Kari’s earrings were also from Betsy Robinson’s Bridal Collection and her gold, ruby ring was her late grandmother‘s. Truly touching and such a beautiful memory to have on you while you get married!

Ok … now it is on to the funniest story Terra shared about Kari & Ross’s big day ….

On their wedding day, Kari and Ross decided to do a “first look session” with me before their wedding started.  Ross was due to be in a certain place near where Kari was getting ready at 3pm.  (Kari would be able to see him through her bridal suite window).  3:15 rolled around and Ross did not appear.  Poor Kari was looking out her window WAITING for him to walk over the hill!! So finally, we decided that I should go and find out what was keeping him. Remember…they got married at a vineyard.  *sigh*

When I found Ross, he was smiling and laughing and playing Monopoly Cards (and drinking a nice glass of Merlot) with his best man!  He won the round (in 20 seconds under my stern glare) and I ushered him out the door to get ready and meet his bride.  Yeah….you read that right.  HE WASN’T EVEN DRESSED!!  He was playing cards in his button down short sleeve shirt!
Read more for the Kari’s reaction and the rest of the gorgeous pictures from this beautiful & sweet Virginian, vineyard wedding!

Capitol Nontradition: An Uneven Wedding Party

I am thinking of starting a new recurring post on Capitol Romance called “Capitol Nontradition“, wherein I take some traditional wedding element, discuss it, give my opinion on it, and then share some other weddings and couples that bucked the tradition as well.

I am claiming to beDC’s creative cure to its traditional wedding bore” after all

Today’s first “Capitol Nontradition” post ~ An Uneven Wedding Party

[via Live It Out Photo]

A couple days ago I did my best to Google the history behind the even numbers in a wedding party tradition. Other than some fairly corny wedding etiquette sites that look like they were created in 1990, I couldn’t find anything that really explained where this notion came from … that you and your partner had to magically have the same number of close friends/family to be on your respective sides of the wedding party.

I couldn’t fathom not asking one of my best friends to be in our wedding party, just to keep the number of bridesmaids and groomsmen even. I also couldn’t hold back my look of shock when a good friend told me that her friend had asked a cousin to be a “back-up” bridesmaid in her wedding in case one of her fiance’s groomsmen dropped out …

Some people are concerned with how it looks when you walk down the aisle without even numbers. Again – no one wrote a rule that you have to walk down the aisle in boy-girl pairs. My brother walked both my sisters down the aisle ~ and it looked fabulous.

Some people are also concerned about how the wedding party picture will look – my advice to you on that is to scratch the prom-style portrait and get a little bit unique or creative with your wedding party pose.

Need more help being convinced that your wedding party selection shouldn’t be a numbers game? Check out the following wedding parties that went uneven and survived …

this might be my favoritest uneven wedding party picture. ever.

[via Green Wedding Shoes]

[via Danielle Cover Photography]

Prom-style with uneven numbers and it still looks good!

[via Sweet Tea Photography]

There’s more than the just the number of wedding party members that is mismatched as this wedding ~ and it still looks phenomenal!

[via Bridal Buds]

This “uneven” wedding party also features some groomsgirls – totally awesome!

[via Glamour & Grace blog]

Now THIS is an alternative wedding party picture !

[via The Loveliest Day blog]

Wedding Inspiration: DIY Wedding Dessert Displays

Dessert displays are an awesome wedding cake alternative ~ they are also a great way to be able to DIY your wedding dessert and not spend a fortune on a cake no one wants to eat. Today, Guest Blogger Vanessa, shares with us some awesome DIY Wedding Dessert options. Take it away Vanessa …

#1. Wedding Dessert Bar Featuring Movie Theater Candy!

[via Project Wedding]

#2. 1950s Style DIY Dessert Bar (perfect for a 1950s themed wedding!)


#3. Tubs of Popcorn!

[via Wedzilla blog]

#4. Cotton Candy! {love this}

[via Project Wedding]

and finally … #5. S’Mores (my new favorite DIY Wedding Dessert Bar idea!)

[via The Kitchen]

As always … let us know if you are planning on having a cool, DIY  dessert spread at your wedding! We’d love to share it!

Need Help Making DIY Projects for Your Wedding? Attend Our Workshops!