DIY Inspiration: DIY Boutonnieres

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For today’s DIY Wednesday, I thought a nice post of DIY Inspiration would help us get over the hump day and onto the second half of the week.

One thing I was adamant about with my wedding was that I didn’t want to have flowers. It seemed like an ingenious idea at first … until I realized how much of a wedding/reception is decorated by flowers. Things came together in the end, but one of the things I enjoyed making ourselves was the men’s boutonnieres.  It was easier than I thought once I read through a few DIY blogs and decided that simple, was better.

For today, I started with ours and then hope you enjoy some other examples of DIY boutonnieres.

Paper flower boutonniere!

paper flower boutonniere

The tattoo inspiration here is to die for!!

Button DIY!

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Local Find: Stitch DC

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While doing my usual internet surfing to find unique and local things in DC that could help couples with their offbeat wedding planning, I stumbled upon Stitch DC’s blog. Marie, owner and operator of “the District’s local yarn shop”, is a life-long crafter that designs knit and crochet items and also writes books.  Check the blog for Stitch’s hours over on Capitol Hill.

I saw on the blog that Stitch DC offers classes and party opportunities. I then had the idea – what a fantastic idea for an alternative bridal shower location. My brain even took it a step further and thought, what if any crafty or DIY brides out there grabbed their bridesmaids and went to a class to DIY sweaters for their outfits for the wedding. How cute would it be to have your bridesmaids donning cropped crocheted sweaters that they made their selves? Or perhaps you are a crazy crafter yourself and could whip up some of these for your BMs as a gift:

Capitol Venue: The Candy Factory – Manassas VA

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I am always on the hunt to find non-hotel reception halls for weddings. I searched for hours when I was engaged and will plan to continue the search so I can help others in the area that want unique places to have their wedding. I heard about this place a few weeks ago by word of mouth, but honestly, it had me at “old candy factory”.

It turns out that the building now houses a Center for the Arts (officially titled, “Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory“), but prior to 1984, the building was actually a functioning factory.  Since 1984, the building was transformed by a group of artists and art lovers with hopes of enriching the quality of life in Northern Virginia through art performances and education.

Within the building, there are a few different rooms and floors you can rent for your wedding. There is a theater that would make for a fun and different ceremony location. Also, the art gallery floors would be awesome for a more modern reception. The exposed brick on the walls are to die for.  Click here for a virtual tour of the different rooms. The rental prices are extremely budget friendly as well for this area!

For more information on booking The Candy Factory, you can contact the center’s Events Coordinator at 703-330-2787.

Let us know if you plan on having your wedding here! We would LOVE to feature some real wedding pictures from this awesome venue!

Capitol Gifts: Ork Posters

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Morning everyone!

Today I wanted to share a gift idea that I had found while searching for gift ideas for my husband sometime ago.  I know in general, bridesmaid, groomsmen, and wedding party gifts can tend to be more of a pain than a virtue sometimes (I mean how many flasks or monogrammed mirrors can people own?). Therefore, I wanted to share ideas to help couples with unique, different, or dc-inspired gifts to give to anyone involved in their wedding day.

Here I present you with Ork Posters:

These awesome posters are available for multiple cities and can be printed in either a typical poster or screen-printed format. There are also other colors available.  We have Andy’s poster hanging in our office/den and it looks awesome!

Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck: Ben Kweller’s “Run”

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Welcome to our second ever post of Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck. Curious on what the heck this post is about? See our first publication of this ongoing column here.

Even if you aren’t an Indie Music lover, it’s hard not to find Ben Kweller’s soothing voice, catchy tunes, and poetic lyrics, somewhat addictive.  This song would be great for a couple that was high school sweethearts (the lyrics say:

“Since fifteen

I have ran

Everywhere

You Can Run”

This one would make for an ADORABLE first dance song. Especially for couples that are not exactly fluent in the rhythmic arts. Other perfect lyrics include:

“It doesn’t matter that they say we’ll never make it
It’s so strong that nothing can ever break it
You and I can tackle anything of any size
All anyone can ever want is a co-pilot”

Hope you enjoy the song and let us know if you end up using it for your wedding!

Capitol Views: Love and Consuming Are Intertwined

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Consider this diamond ad: “She already knows you love her. Now everyone else will too.”

Before we get cracking with this Monday’s edition of “Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck”, I wanted to share an article I found over the weekend while reading the Huffington Post.  “Giving Up Half of Our Possessions Made Our Family Whole“, might not seem like a wedding blog appropriate article at first, but there were elements of the article that I thought easily transferred into the wedding realm and the relationship world in general.

The article is about a daughter in a family, who after noticing the juxtaposition of a black Mercedes against a man begging for food, decided the gap in our society between the rich and poor is just too wide.  She urged her family to take action, to help shrink the space between those that have everything and those that have nothing, and she convinced her family to sell their too-large house to one half its size and give the proceeds to help people across the planet.

Articles like this are what the media need to spend more time on. Hannah and her family help reinstate my faith in humans.  The rest of the article then focuses on the repercussions of what selling their house and reevaluating the things they actually needed as a family, did to their relationships.

The part, to me, that most easily transfers to the current state of our wedding world was when the author, Kevin Salwen, Hannah’s father, explains, “We lose track of what truly makes us happy, replacing love of community and connection with love of stuff.” He gives the example of the diamond ad above, how keeping up with the Jones’ and the Smiths, has become more important to than focusing on what people truly need.

I said in my first ‘Real Capitol Wedding’ post, that “weddings are not a competition”.  Although it might feel like it sometimes, the elements that make up your wedding is not the most important part of this time in your life, it’s the fact that you are marrying the love of your life.

Salwen says that their bigger house and multiple possessions caused the family to communicate less and become separate both physically and spiritually. The house, that they had originally saw as a symbol of their love for their children and family, in fact weakened their ability to express love.

When you are planning a wedding, it is so easy to get caught up in the presentation, the appearance of everything. I was guilty of this myself.  I think couples should find themselves stopping amidst the wedding planning more often, refocusing on their communication, connection, and love of not only their soon to be marital partner, but their family and friends involved in the wedding as well, instead of what guests are going to think of the $5,000 flower display, over the $6,500 one. Focusing more on love, less on consumption will bring you greater happiness in the end.

Real Capitol Weddings: An Introduction

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I am super pumped to be blogging on my very first Real Capitol Wedding. When I was engaged, most of my days were spent gawking and pouring over “Real Weddings” on major wedding blogs (unless my old boss is reading this, and in that case I was actually working. Very hard.) I was enamored by the pictures I saw…but then I got to the point where instead of happiness, I started to feel dread. How could I ever hope to have a wedding that looked even a fraction as cool as these “Real Weddings”? I don’t have a million dollars to spend, and although I want to DIY things, I am really not THAT crafty. And wait a minute, how REAL are these weddings anyway?

With my blog’s version of wedding picture posts, “Real Capitol Weddings”, I hope to keep my mission alive, focusing more on real, authentic, couples that did things on a budget or planned a wedding that reflected who they truly were, not just because it looked cool. I want viewers to look at these weddings and see the true emotions of the couple, and feel the moments of their big day.  I want couples to see these pictures and only feel happiness, not feel the dread I felt when attempting to compare my visions to the other “real” weddings.

One of the best sources I had found for planning my unconventional wedding was the Offbeat Bride.  On the website, owner Ariel states that weddings are not a competition.  I loved that. I couldn’t have said it better. I think sometimes couples get a bit wrapped up in the presentation and production of it all.  They lose touch with what really matters on their wedding day.  When Andy and I were faced with making decisions for anything involving our day, we always asked ourselves; does this really matter to us or someone in our family? Is this truly important to our relationship? Often times asking ourselves these questions made the decision fairly easy to make.

Capitol Vendor Spotlight: Julie Napear Photography

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I am THRILLED to be posting my very first “Capitol Vendor Spotlight” on such a kind, energetic, and talented photographer.  I met Julie a few weeks ago via my aimless craigslist posting, trying to find vendors or just ANYone interested in helping me with my blog. I got Julie’s email and I just knew it was going to be the start of a great relationship. She is almost as excited as I am about my blog and it turns out, she is also a fan-freakin-tastic photographer too.  First, let’s showcase some of her skills:


Second, let’s get to know more about Julie, that wonderful woman behind Julie Napear Photography!

Capitol Romance (CR): Why and how did you get into the Wedding Photography Business?

Julie: In the summer of 2005, my boyfriend-now-husband’s brother got married in Jamaica. (I know what you’re thinking — how awesome! But sadly Erik and I had just met two months prior and so I wasn’t invited to join them.) Theirs was a small, family-only ceremony, so when they came back to Virginia they had a reception for friends and extended family. Knowing they didn’t want to spend a lot of money, I offered to shoot the affair as my gift to them. I had never shot a wedding before, but I was pretty good at taking pictures of people and figured I couldn’t do any worse than them having no photographer at all!
Anyway, when I came back with the pictures, everyone was really impressed, and I thought, “hey, maybe I should consider weddings as a way to make some extra income.” So I put some feelers out to friends and family, letting them know I was available (and cheap, because of my lack of experience), and started getting inquiries from friends of theirs. In 2007, I had gotten fed up with my day job and decided to quit, figuring the few weddings I had booked for the year would help float me through until I found another job. But my timing was really good — it was January, which is known in the business as “engagement season”, and I booked enough weddings to realize I already had a full time job lined up!

CR: Why the interest in being featured on a blog that hopes to cater mainly to alternative, unusual, and original DC Area weddings?

Julie: I really do love my job, but like anything, if you get stuck doing the same thing over and over again, it gets old. So I love the idea of people who have different ideas — I am truly inspired by the people that I photograph. I tell my clients to feel free to steal ideas — colors, centerpieces, hairstyles, etc. — from the sample albums that I show them, and seeing what other people come up with kinda makes me want to get married again… or at least just have an awesome photo shoot in a gorgeous wedding gown and my handsome husband in a tux!

CR: Anything exciting or different you are working on in the upcoming months?

Julie: Yes! I am frequently asked about doing boudoir sessions, but most women do not want to do them outdoors where they can be seen in their unmentionables (understandably), and my small in-home studio is a really boring place to get them done. So I’ve teamed up with the historic George Washington Hotel in Winchester (check them out here) and a professional hair and make-up artist to offer a weekend of boudoir sessions in an awesome luxury suite. I still have slots open on Sunday, February 20 if any women out there in Capitol Romance-land are interested! Did I mention there will be wine? ;-)

Local Deals: iGorman Annual Storewide Sale!

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Attention couples thinking about getting engaged …. or looking for a last minute valentine’s day gift … anniversary gift … or a “whoops I spent a ton a money on myself again” … gift ….

Whatever the case, iGorman (an AMAZING jewelry store in DC) is having their Annual Store-wide sale NOW through February 14th! Up to 70% off select items. You cannot beat that.  I will be doing an entire post on the amazingness that is iGorman, but for now, check out the shop, the sale, and meet the wonderful people that work there for yourself!

You will not be sorry!

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