Capitol Romance: Matt & Katie’s Surprise Proposal at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC

I wanted to get this post up for Memorial Day (yesterday) but never got a chance. Mostly, to be honest, because I was too busy celebrating my birthday :)

I also wanted to let you all know that posting will be LIGHT this week. I have to go home to New Jersey for a family matter and will have little to no access to my blogging for the whole week. I promise when I am back though, that things will be extra awesome. We have a ton of sweet shoots in our arsenal AND a new giveaway!! But for today, we are kicking off the week with a beautiful DC surprise proposal by the Jefferson Memorial from Chris Ferenzi Photography (submitted via Two Bright Lights).

I also have all the rad details from the groom-to-be himself! I just love when grooms share the relationship details :)

Matt & Katie’s Surprise Proposal at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC

washington dc surprise proposal jefferson memorial

About the couple and how they met (from the Groom to be!):

About 6 years ago, I moved to Atlanta for a job. After living there for a year I met Katie. We spent most of our time going to country music concerts, Crossfitting, and looking around town for the best margaritas. Last October, I took leave from my job to join the Marine Corps Reserves. So now that we’ve been dating almost 5 years, and she has stuck with me through thick and thin (and the Marines), I decided it was time. So I got the ring, but was lacking a plan – and Katie was coming to visit the following weekend.

washington dc surprise proposal jefferson memorial

washington dc surprise proposal jefferson memorial

The Proposal Planning & Details:

I went out to dinner with a buddy and his wife and told them about my intentions (to propose), and my plan (none). She suggested I hire a photographer. It had crossed my mind at one point, but her suggestion made up my mind for me. After a little research, I got in touch with Chris. I emailed him on a Sunday morning asking if he was interested in shooting my proposal. I follow with, “you probably know the DC area better than me, and Katie really wants to cherry blossoms if there are any left” – which translates to “I want to propose, and she likes cherry blossoms, what can you do?” But there was a catch: I was leaving early the next morning for a field exercise and would be completely out of touch until Friday. After exchanging a few emails, Chris responded with “I’ll have a plan for you tonight.” I was incredibly relieved.

washington dc surprise proposal jefferson memorial

The following weekend, when Katie made it to town, we had no plans for Saturday (she thought), which was rare. I told her I just wanted to go into the city, and that the tidal basin area near the Jefferson Memorial was really pretty and might have more cherry blossoms to check out. At this point she has noticed that there really were no cherry blossoms out anymore. I wasn’t changing my mind, but was trying to stay as vague as possible. So we finally got down to the Jefferson Memorial, and I’m trying to get Katie into the position that Chris had planned (he was hiding in the trees in position). So I just start wandering around the memorial, I can feel my phone blowing up in my pocket from Chris texting me, but I can’t really pull it out and check it while being nonchalant.

washington dc surprise proposal jefferson memorial

At this point I’m trying to look down into the trees to see where he’s hiding, but I don’t see him ANYWHERE. All of the sudden, a couple walks up and asks me to take photos of them. This had to be a setup, the guy was wearing some bright green shirt, but I knew it wasn’t Chris. I snapped a few shots, and in exchange they did the same. After the guy takes our photo with our camera, Katie HAS to look at it. I hand her the camera. Now that she is distracted, I finally have the chance to look at my phone. Chris’s text have so many different instructions “stay there, go back, go up a step. STOP!! Go back AGAIN!” etc. Finally, while she is still looking at the camera, I get 1 last text that says, “go where they green guy is now!!”  Katie handed me the camera, and I start walking. She’s continually asking me questions “What are you doing? Why are we back here? I’m cold… Why are you setting down the camera?” I get into position, set down the camera, and grab her. I guess from there, we all know what happened next.

washington dc surprise proposal jefferson memorial

Click inside for the rest of this DC surprise proposal feature ~ including some beautiful Washington DC portraits by Chris Ferenzi Photography.

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Capitol Inspiration: Whimsical, Offbeat Wedding Design Inspired by the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

I took a day off from work today (as I usually do) to give myself a birthday gift! My birthday is on Monday, but I will be spending the day with my husband, relaxing and doing fun things around DC!!

But, I couldn’t leave you all empty handed! So I have some fun shots from an Alice in Wonderland inspired wedding shoot – specifically the Mad Hatter’s tea party! Though the shoot includes a bride – I think you could use a lot of these fun (and easily recreatable details) for a bridal shower or other sort of event! I really love the bold checkered linen on the dessert table, the hand-painted paper products (check out that invitation! it’s AWESOME), and the cake is just TOO awesome to even describe!

A special thanks to V.A. Photography for sharing!

A Whimsical & Offbeat, Mad Hatter Tea Party Inspired Wedding Shoot



Photographer:  V.A. Photography | Venue: Glen Echo Park | Trinkets & Accessories: Hobby Lobby | Dress Store: Kate Linde Bridal | Cake Designer: Petite Sweets | Paper Design: Kristin’s Paperie | Cupcakes & Cookies: Giant | Flowers: Kroger | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

The photographer shared:

This is a fun and unique styled bridal shoot. We just wanted to do something different for a bridal stuff and use a lot of fun props. We loved all the little details incorporated from hobby lobby and of course the beautiful stuff donated for the shoot (dress, cake, and paper products). We had a lot of fun with this shoot and just really tried to embody the mad hatter tea party as much as we could!

mad hatter's tea party wedding theme inspiration details

mad hatter's tea party wedding theme inspiration details

mad hatter's tea party wedding theme inspiration details

mad hatter's tea party wedding theme inspiration details

mad hatter's tea party wedding theme inspiration details

mad hatter's tea party wedding theme inspiration details

mad hatter's tea party wedding theme inspiration details

Click inside for the rest of the shots from this fun & whimsical Mad Hatter’s Tea Party inspired wedding shoot!

Capitol Wedding: Doug & Erica’s Winter Wedding at DAR in Washington, DC

This morning’s DC wedding feature looks pretty traditional at first, but after reading the couple’s wedding story and looking a bit more at the details and choices the couple made, I thought it would be a good feature for Capitol Romance.

I really loved their love story – they met online and for Erica, Doug was the first (and only!) guy she ever met with via !! An engagement at Roosevelt Island came soon after and then the wedding planning began. Doug & Erica chose one of DC’s grandest venues, the DAR Constitution Hall, however, with an intimate guest list and many personalized details, the wedding day was completely their own.

I think my favorite detail from their wedding though, was their choice to walk down the aisle together! Erica explained:

 We felt that was a better representation of our commitment in marriage – a choice that we were making together as partners and equals.

Thanks to True Story Studios for submitting their images for this beautiful DC winter wedding feature.

Doug & Erica’s Purple, Winter Wedding at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC

DAR washington dc winter wedding purple intimate


Photographer: True Story Studios | Hair & Make-up: Roche Salon | Transportation: Chariots for Hire | Florist: Devers Design | Ceremony Location & Officiant: Holy Trinity Catholic Church | Reception Venue: DAR Constitution Hall (O’Byrne Gallery and Pennsylvania Foyer) | Musician (Guitarist): Michael Kolmstetter | Caterer, Cake & Baked Goods: DesignCuisine | Band: Six Stylez | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

How they met:

Doug and I are a success story; maybe a bit of an anomaly (he was my first and only date). Through emails and short messages, we quickly found common ground in our Buffalo roots and love for travel. He was the first guy that I had to meet. Our first date was over pizza and microbrews on a sunny September afternoon. A chance beginning that grew into something far beyond anything I could have ever dreamed.

dark grey winter wedding shoes bride sparkly

The Proposal Story:

Doug made plans for us to go hiking somewhere along Skyline Drive at the end of a weekend getaway to run the Charlottesville 10 miler. Despite it being March in Virginia, we woke up to snow and an overcast sky. Not that easily deterred, we were disappointed to find Skyline Drive closed due to poor visibility. We regrouped over a flight of wine deciding to head home and check out one of DC’s lesser known highlights – Roosevelt Island. In the time it took for us to make the drive back, the sun emerged. It was on a leisurely walk around the island that he asked me to marry him.

unique wedding dress

DAR washington dc winter wedding purple intimate

Doug & Erica chose to keep their wedding intimate and involved family where they could:

My mom and Doug’s dad served as Eucharistic Ministers in our ceremony and Doug’s former Army Commander and his wife brought the gifts to the alter.

Overall, keeping our guest list small really allowed us to interact with everyone and kept the feel of our wedding very personal and intimate.

purple winter wedding bouquets

DAR washington dc winter wedding purple intimate

Love the bridesmaids rocking these fur shrugs!

DAR washington dc winter wedding purple intimate

Though their wedding ceremony followed a traditional Catholic service, I loved this nontraditional element that they added: Doug & Erica walked down the aisle together!

Doug and I entered the church and walked down the aisle together. We felt that was a better representation of our commitment in marriage – a choice that we were making together as partners and equals. This ended up being really powerful. It also gave Doug and I a few quiet moments alone together outside the church before the ceremony. It was time that became even more appreciated once the momentum of the day really took hold.

DAR washington dc winter wedding purple intimate

Click inside for the rest of Erica & Doug’s beautiful, winter wedding at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington DC. Including beautiful winter wedding centerpieces!

Erika & Dave’s Offbeat Maryland Farm Wedding with Sunflowers

Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of details to share for today’s Offbeat Maryland Farm wedding – BUT I think the pictures more than make up for that. Erika & Dave got married at Woodlawn Farm – a beautiful Maryland farm wedding venue just outside Baltimore. They used sunflowers and a TON of DIY to personalize their wedding day.

The pops of yellow with the neutral burlap are such a fun, fresh summer wedding color palette choice and I just LOVE Dave’s yellow chucks. I also really enjoy any wedding that ends with a bonfire. Totally something I would have done myself if we hadn’t gotten married in the middle of DC :)

Thanks to Andrew Morrell Photography for sharing his images and submitting via Two Bright Lights.

Erika & Dave’s Offbeat, DIY Outdoor Maryland Farm Wedding


Andrew shared:

Holy cow. This wedding was as gorgeous as it looks. Erika and David are outdoor people. When we got together for their Potomac River engagement session earlier that spring, we dove in and out of flower patches and weeping willows. So it made perfect sense that their mid-Autumn wedding would be held entirely outdoors on the Chesapeake Bay. And the weather cooperated with breathtaking perfection. From the handmade bouquets to the placeholders to the wishing lanterns and final bonfire, this was a once-in-a-lifetime wedding.

DIY yellow sunflowers offbeat outdoors maryland farm wedding

DIY yellow sunflowers offbeat outdoors maryland farm wedding

DIY yellow sunflowers offbeat outdoors maryland farm wedding

DIY yellow sunflowers offbeat outdoors maryland farm wedding

DIY yellow sunflowers offbeat outdoors maryland farm wedding

Click inside for the rest of Erika & Dave’s offbeat, Sunflower Maryland wedding!

Say I Do DC ~ LGBT Wedding Expo Ticket Giveaway

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It’s that time of year again – one of DC’s best wedding expos, Say I Do is back in DC on June 2nd at the Hotel Palomar in DC and we are so exciting to not only get to attend this year BUT giveaway two tickets to the event!

For those that don’t know, Say I Do Expo is a fun, interactive and informative wedding experience. It is chock full of Washington DC’s best LGBT-friendly vendors, entertainment, workshops, prizes, and MUCH MORE! All of the amazing wedding businesses that attend are affirming and supportive of marriage equality! (Which, shouldn’t we ALL just be that way…. but I digress).

An in case you don’t win our two-ticket giveaway, proceeds from ticket sales will benefit several LGBT organizations and you can buy them here!

Our ticket giveaway ends in just one week! So enter soon by leaving a comment on this post!

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