Real Capitol Weddings: An Introduction


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.

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Capitol Vendor Spotlight: Julie Napear Photography


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!


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!

DIY How To: DIY Envelope Liners

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When my husband and I started the invitation making process, I was all about keeping it simple. I was already freaking out about trying to design a map, announcement card, RSVP card, and labels.  Andy, however, had other plans.  We had seen envelope liners at Paper Source, and although I will admit that it gives the invitations a nice touch, they were just not cost-effective in my opinion.  All that money for an envelope, whose main job is to hold pieces of an invite together, that guests just rip open and throw away? My practicality wouldn’t budge, but Andy’s determination stayed strong.  I eventually caved on the idea, but was set on making them ourselves, with Andy taking the lead.

And that is how my husband found himself hand-making 100 envelope liners for our wedding invitations.

Thanks to other DIY blogs and endless Google searching, Andy was able to make the liners, and even I had to admit that the end result was really. freakin’. cool. (A couple of people even thought we had the invites professionally made!)

So without further adieu, here’s our advice and instructions for DIY Envelope Liners…  

What You Will Need:

  • 1 Manila Folder
  • 1 Pair of Small Scissors
  • Permanent Adhesive Roller (available at most craft stores)
  • Wrapping Paper (in the design you want as the liner)
  • An extra envelope that will be used for your invites
  • Time, Patience, and a Steady Hand

Introducing DIY Wednesdays


Hi Everyone,

Before we posted something wedding-related today, I wanted to mention that from here on out, we plan to make Wednesdays, “DIY Wednesdays”.  Here we will feature DIY projects, DIY inspirations, or anything else that is DIY related.

If you did something DIY for your wedding – let us know! We would love to feature it on DIY Wednesdays.

Stay tuned for an awesome DIY project this afternoon.

Local Finds: Willow Oak Flower & Herb Garden


After my first day of advertising my blog, I received my very first email. Boy was I excited! I was then even more excited to read about this AWESOME place out in Severn, MD (near BWI) that is a small, family-run farm that is dedicated to gardening, flowers, and cut herbs.  The family-run business strives to offer old-fashioned favorites, and newer, top of the line gardening breeds to offer prospective buyers a wide range of displays

One look at the bios page of their website, and you will know you have found an absolutely amazing place to have your bouquets or centerpieces made. Martin & Maria obviously know how to have a good time, while doing something they not only enjoy, but are very passionate about. Heather is the talented artist behind all the wedding arrangements and is an absolute joy to chat with.

In addition to all the arrangements they offer, they also offer classes! When I read that, I instantly thought of how cool it would be to have a bridal shower out at the farm. In a more nontraditional fashion, guests could take classes, maybe even learn how to make some DIY centerpieces to be used in the wedding!

Local Deals: Alexandria Boutique Warehouse Sale

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Looking for a deal on some swank jewelry or accessories for your upcoming wedding, or friend’s wedding? Be sure to check out the Alexandria Boutique Warehouse Sale this Saturday, 5 February 2011 from 9am to 4pm in Alexandria.

The address is: George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria 22301.

The sale is great to not only snag a deal, but to support local designers like:

Let us know if you found any great deals!

A Date Night To Feel Good About!

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Looking to go out tonight? How about going to a restaurant that is donating a percentage of its proceeds to a GREAT cause. Three restaurants in Logan Circle, Commissary, Logan Tavern and The Heights (all part of EatWellDC) are promoting Monday, January 31st, 2011 as “It Gets Better” night and will donate 10% of their proceeds to help LGBT youth.

If you are in the DC-area (Logan Circle or Columbia Heights) then check it out! The restaurants plan to have some giveaways and a few shirts too!

So grab your partner and your appetite and make it out tonight to share some romance over some great food, with some great company, for a great cause.

For more on the It Gets Better Project, please go to their website.

Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck: Alternative, Offbeat, & Modern Wedding Song Suggestions

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wedding music that doesn't suck graphic

First: an observation:

For some couples, the music throughout your ceremony and reception that you pick for the main parts of the day (Ceremony Entrance Music, Candle Lighting Ceremony Music, First Dance, Father-Daughter Dance, etc) are extremely important. Some couples might be fine with the traditional Pachelbel’s Cannon and Unforgettable, and that’s great, but I also think that a lot of couples might use that music because they think “that is just what you are supposed to do”.  Take it from a girl that walked (shimmied) down the aisle to Hall & Oats’ “You’re Makin’ My Dreams Come True”, had a Flash Mob First Dance to Weezer’s “If You’re Wondering If I Want You To (I Want You To”), and danced with her father to Bodeans’ “Closer to Free”, your ceremony and reception music does not have to suck. Your music can be YOURS, a reflection of you and the type of ceremony/reception you want to have.  Music is a really big part of Andy’s and my life; so naturally, we wanted it to take center stage at our wedding too!

Second: a regular post:

Finding the perfect music for the different parts of the day was not always easy. Some songs we knew right away, others took lots of iPod shuffling and iTunes browsing.  For those that don’t have all the time to find unconventional songs for their wedding, The Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck post will be a regular spot to help! We will feature songs that we like and will take requests as well!

Third: our very first suggestion:

The other day I was listening to Jimmy Eat World’s newest album, Invented.  The song “Heart is Hard to Find” is awesome. It is mellow enough to be suitable for a ceremony, perhaps to walk down the aisle to, and the lyrics are about finding heart, and the instrumental section of the song is beautiful.  (*Warning*: the song does contain a choice word, an edited version would most likely need to be used) Enjoy some Jimmy and let us know what you think!

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