Kristin & Breana’s Intimate, Colorful Wedding at Hotel Monaco in Alexandria, VA

Image: Gosling Photography

2017 seems to be the year of the wedding. Our inquiries for wedding coordination clients are through the roof, and my inbox for submissions to showcase here, are equally overflowing. Not a complaint in the least (though I am sad that be turning coordination clients away since we are almost completely booked out already!), just an observation. Today we have a beautiful, intimate wedding from to cutest brides. They kept their wedding completely local to Alexandria, where their first home together was, and included some DIY touches! Check it out.

We wanted to get married in Alexandria, because it was our first home together.  Everything we did came from Alexandria.  Our dresses came from 2 blocks from our apartment- at Global Bridal.  The morning of the wedding we walked Glynn Jones Salon and then walked to the Hotel Monaco.  After getting ready, we walked around Old Town for all of our pictures- with the amazing photographer who lives on the same street as we do.

We choose the Hotel Monaco because we wanted to be able to walk down the aisle at the same time.  There are two sets of doors to the inner courtyard- both of us were able to walk out with our parents, meet in the back, then walk/dance up the aisle together.

Kristin knit the ring pillow and all the shawls worn at the wedding (most of the knitting was done while riding the metro to and from work).  Kristin’s aunt made all the flowers- and with Kristin’s father built the Chuppah.  While Kristin’s family is all Catholic, Breana’s is Jewish- and it was important to Breana to be married under a Chuppah.

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Let’s Get Personal: Little Actions Can Add Up to Big Things

Image: Amber Kay Photography

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I am hurting big time after my first wedding of 2017 (which was EPIC), finishing my first 8 mile run since pre-Evie days (and also spraining my ankle & not realizing it on mile 5), and staying up too late to watch the Falcons lose. I was a terrible blogger last week, so I am trying to get back on track and ignoring the 800 emails currently in my inbox – I promise I will respond to you all by end of day!

Last week I participated in my FIRST EVER bookclub meeting. It was inspiring, emotional, thought-provoking, and freakin’ FUN. About 10 of us met virtually from across the US via Google Hangout to discuss the Empathy Exams – a really interesting collection of essays on varying personal experiences the author has had, both personally and through other people. I haven’t exercised the analytical reading part of my brain like that, probably since High School.

The meeting couldn’t have come at a better time too, I was having a bad day (for no real reason), just super tired, moody & low and there was a big part of me that wanted to just veg on the couch and flake on the hangout. With this current political climate and everything going on in our country lately, I am just so emotionally drained & mentally exhausted. I’ve spent too much time pouring over social media, and donating half of my bank account to every charity & cause I can. I’ve fought internet Trolls, attended protests, and decked my body in head to toe Nasty Woman gear, but nothing has made me feel so re-energized and soothed like this one virtual book club meeting.

Which got me to thinking about how important small gestures & little interactions can be. Especially right now, for people like me that are driven by solutions. I am a problem-solver, a fixer, I innately see or hear about issues & conflicts and my first thought isn’t anything other than “Well what can we do to fix it?”. And right now, in our country, the problems are big, like huge, like immeasurable. Racial divide, inter-sectional feminism, banning immigrants & refugees, taking away people’s healthcare, and the list goes on. These are huge issues, on which people are REALLY divided, and quite frankly there doesn’t feel like much I can do to attempt to help solve these problems.

Or so I initially thought.

It wasn’t until last week’s bookclub meeting that I was able to take a step back and re-focus at a more micro-level, the things I could do on a small-scale, to make a difference. My sister & a friend both posted online about connections they had to refugee families and so instead of sending all my money to Red Cross and other large Refugee Support organizations (which don’t get me wrong, I still plan to do), I was able to donate baby bottles & boys’ pants, directly two two refugee families that needed these items. That felt really good.

I am also currently a member of at least 3,000 “action” Facebook groups post-Inauguration (I kid, it’s not exactly 3,000), and again, it’s starting to get overwhelming to me to try and be apart of SO many of these groups and try and tackle a ton of big issues. So instead I am going to mute a good amount of them and refocus on the 1-2, where I can actually take small actions, without getting overwhelmed. It might take some time to see the bigger result at the end, but I am confident that the smaller actions I am now taking, will end up doing more in the end.

Julia & Chris’ Maroon & Gold, Fall Inspired Virginia Wedding

Image: Porter Watkins Photography

I think I am finally in a space where I can start looking at & reading (and posting) non-political articles without feeling guilty. The feeling of trying to solve all the problems and save everyone and everything is getting exhausting and I know I need to step by and focus more on the things I can control. Like still bringing beautiful couples & love stories to your screens. So for today we have a lovely Virginia wedding with touches of gold and beautiful Fall scenery. A nice escape indeed.

Why did you choose the colors you did? Magenta, navy, and gold. I love pink and blue, but wanted shades that would compliment the fall season. Gold allowed for some shine and glamour – which made for a more celebratory atmosphere! Bonus: the magenta and navy made wedding party attire easy and the gold was fun to accessorize with.

We love Virginia and the mountains. After looking at several barn venues, we found House Mountain Inn and were blown away by the view. The facility itself was perfect for an outdoor cocktail hour and dancing, with a more formal seated dinner inside. The combination was ideal!

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Tips & Advice On Building A Ritual-Free, Personalized Wedding Ceremony

Guys! Our Bride to Be guest blogger, Kelsey, will no longer be a bride-to-be in just 5 short days!!! Her big day is Saturday and I cannot wait to help it go off! I hope Kelsey will write more after, but for now, we share some of her last posts! First up, her thoughts on creating a custom & personalized wedding ceremony. Take it away Kelsey!

How to Create a Personalized & Custom Wedding Ceremony | By: Kelsey

When it comes to the ceremony, it’s kind of a big deal, even though it may be the shortest part of the evening. This part of the evening is important because it’s the actual act of getting hitched, wooo! But depending on your situation, it can also be a minefield to plan because people have a lot of feelings about rituals and ceremonies.

We aren’t getting married in a church and since moving to DC we don’t really have a consistent place of worship so the first order of business was to find an offiiciant.  The internet has a zillion options and we had a handful of friends who we talked about asking. Where to start?

I’m going to tell you something very important about the ceremony: ask your parents. Sure you can make your own choices about dinner, music, even your dress, but the ceremony carries this weird importance that us unmarried people don’t understand. I had no idea how much importance my parents put on my ceremony, and I’m glad they told me, because I wouldn’t have known otherwise.

Now, you’re crafting the ceremony. The officiant is all ‘what rituals do you plan on doing?’ and automatically my mind goes –

Here’s the thing, I don’t want to pour sand into a glass or light a candle and call it magical. I don’t want to release butterflies or doves, because it’s just messy. It’s not my thing. Getting married is my thing, that’s what I’m here to do. So be honest with yourself and your officiant and say what you want. If you want to read your own vows, do it! If you want your dog to walk you down the aisle, do it! If you want to tie your hands in some sort of Houdini slash Irish tradition, well, do it!

Listen, I’m learning in planning this thing that you are going to make more decisions and think about the tiniest things ever you never thought mattered. Let this 20 minutes of the day matter. They’re important. They’re why you’re doing this. When the wine stops pouring, the dances are over, you’re going to remember looking into your love’s eyes when you said ‘I do.’

Blue & Gold Spring Wedding Inspiration at Maryland Vineyard

Images: Lindsay Eileen Photography

Going to be taking a step away from the social media world today. It’s been the longest week ever with what is happening in the news and our political landscape and I think my brain and emotional well being just need a break. So here are some wedding inspiration images from a Spring wedding at Vineyard in Maryland to help get you to the weekend. Have a great one Romancers. See you on the flip side (again Monday).

Urban Stems Launches Wedding Collections & We Have Your Discount Code!

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If you haven’t heard of Urban Stems, you must be living under a rock – it’s the BEST thing to happen to the flower delivery service since … I don’t know, but take it from me, it’s an AWESOME service: affordable, locally sourced, and able to be ordered & delivered on demand. Since launching in DC, they have expanded to NYC & Philly, and are now tackling the wedding scene!

The official site isn’t yet launched, but it’s coming SOON and when it does, you can mention you found out about the awesome from yours truly, and you’ll get 7% off your total order (discount applied before final payment, minimum order of $100, cannot be combined with other offers or promotions). Just mention Capitol Romance when you order!!

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BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!! Urban Stems is hosting a First Look event this Sunday, January 29th, from 1pm to 4pm, at the Loft at 600F and YOU’RE INVITED! At this event you’ll get to check out the new bouquets, centerpieces, corsages, and more, while meeting some local wedding vendors too! Just head on over and RSVP on the site. We can’t wait for our clients to have a new option for their wedding floral needs!

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What I’ve Learned From the First Few Months of Wedding Planning

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Image: Capitol Romance Wedding Planner Download

We have a new wedding-planning guest blogger joining the blog today, Rebecca! Kelsey gets married in less than 2 weeks, so she will be retiring her bride-to-be crown (I hope she stays on as a newlywed guest blogger though … nudge nudge, hint hint). Rebecca wanted to share a little about herself for today, and the 3 things she’s learned from her first few months of wedding planning. Take it away Rebecca!

The Three Things I Learned Early in My Wedding Planning Journey | By: Rebecca G.

I am so excited to be guest blogging for Capitol Romance!  CR was recommended to me very early in our wedding-planning process and it has already become my go-to resource for everything DC-wedding related.  It’s so fun to get to share our wedding planning experience!

My name is Rebecca and I am a newly-engaged DC tour guide.  My fiancee and I have taken a somewhat less traditional route in our journey to happily-ever-after.  We basically skipped the surprise proposal/engagement ring-combo in lieu of secretly jumping into wedding planning when we were ready to make our forever love official.  We started telling people slowly (family and close friends first) and made the official announcement after we had already shot our engagement photo session!  While this path may not be for everyone, I believe that it made the first few months of our wedding planning a lot simpler by having only our closest people helping to weigh in with their opinions and ideas.

We’re getting married in September 2017 and we have all the big stuff figured out (venue, food, booze, dancing – the stuff that was most important to us) but there are still so many decisions to make!  I’ll be using my blog posts to share what we’ve learned and hopefully provide in a calming, pragmatic voice in the Industrial Wedding Complex insanity.

So what have I learned in our first few months of wedding planning?  Three very important things:

1. Sticker shock is real – No matter how modest your budget, no matter how low-key you aim to make your wedding, it will cost money.  Like, real, grown-up money.  Despite all the ladies’ brunches I’ve been to where brides-to-be divulged what they were spending and all the blog posts I’d perused, I was still taken aback by what the wedding basics cost.  There are ways to stick to a budget (and you should!) but be prepared.

One of the best pieces of financial wedding advice I read was called the “Olive Garden Theory.”  It’s simple – if you were to take your closest family and friends to the Olive Garden to celebrate your nuptials, even with the unlimited breadsticks, soup, and salad, you’ll spend about $50 for every guest to have an entree, dessert, and glass of wine.  This was an eye-opener for us – even keeping it simple and tossing out some of the more traditional elements that didn’t fit us, finding a space and feeding people is going to cost some money.  Once you accept this fact, you can get to work on figuring out what works for you financially.

2. Know your priorities – ideally early in the process – When we first started planning, my fiancee and I sat down and figured out the three elements that most important to each of us for our wedding day.  This gave us a great baseline for what really mattered (and where to allocate our precious, limited money!)  After each venue visit or chat with a vendor, we went back to the list of the key elements.  It helped keep us focused, even when overwhelmed by wedding possibilities.

3. To thine own self to be true – By complete stroke of luck, I happened to read Amy Poehler’s book, Yes, Please just a couple of months before we began wedding planning.  In it, Amy shares what should be the motto of every modern, awesome woman – “Good for her, not for me.”  Although Amy isn’t referring to weddings specifically here, it applies beautifully to the process.  Whether it’s pushy vendors (which, run as fast as you can from that) or a well-intentioned friend, once you are engaged, everyone will want to share advice.  You will have so many wonderful people in your life who will want to make suggestions and share ideas and that’s GREAT – but remember, what was good for one bride may not be good for you.  It’s also easy to want to compare your wedding to every other wedding you’ve attended (or the ones you see in perfect Instagram posts or bridal magazine spreads) but when all is said and done, it’s YOUR wedding day – you have to do what’s right for you and your partner, not for anyone else.

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So, this is where I am so far.  With 271 days to go, the excitement is growing but so is my to-do list!  Looking forward to sharing some of our craziness and joy with y’all!

Alexandria Wedding Showcase on February 19th at Westin Alexandria

*sponsored post*

View More: http://dyannajoyphotography.pass.us/wedding-lauren-and-will

Image: Dyanna LaMora

The Alexandria Wedding Showcase will be held on February 19, 2017 at the Westin Alexandria and you won’t want to miss this!! This event will feature nearly 50 vendors from the DC area, and have special guest, Monte Durham (TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta). Attendees will also be able to enter to win the use of the Virginia LOVE letters seen below, for their own wedding!

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Image: Sarah Marcella

Alexandria Wedding Showcase attendees who purchase tickets before February 12, 2017 will be entered in a drawing to attend a VIP champagne reception with Durham at the beginning of the Showcase.  Twenty-five individuals will be selected at random, each winning two tickets to the reception!  Advance tickets to the Alexandria Wedding Showcase can be purchased online for $15 each or $20 per couple or $25 per person the day of the event.

The Alexandria Wedding Showcase will celebrate couples, families & wedding planners, who can visit the 50+ vendors including bakeries, boutiques and caterers; dress and tuxedo boutiques; entertainment and music providers; florists; photographers; salons and spas; transportation and other service providers; and hotels and other unique venues.

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The Alexandria Wedding Showcase will also benefit for Brides Across America, a national nonprofit that provides wedding gowns and entire weddings to both military and first responder couples nationwide.  For more information on this great event, visit the website: alxweddingshowcase.com and their social media sites:

Facebook: facebook.com/AlexandriaWeddingShowcase

Instagram: instagram.com/alxweddingshow

Pinterest: pinterest.com/alxweddingshow

*this is a sponsored post as part of our event promotion advertising package. this vendor paid to have this content shared on our blog, however, it was verified that this event was confirmed to meet our requirements and mission*

Christina & Hunter’s Fall Engagement Pictures in Vienna, VA

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Images: Lola Snaps

Where do I even begin with this weekend guys? Certainly more to write about than my 3 sentence blog post opener for the week. The highs are high and the lows are still low, but the marches on Saturday have given me new energy, new spirit, new drive. It was quite literally a tonic for my soul and I feel like I now have the fire I need to get moving on my 2017 word: action. Longer blog post on the weekend will come, but for today, as always, let’s start our week with love.

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The first place is where the story starts; at FedBid Inc where both Christina and Hunter worked. Despite being on opposing teams of the company (and both being in other relationships), a friendship formed over chocolate pudding cups, specialty teas, stolen teddy bears, dominoes, sushi, and movie recommendations. Before long, people around the office began to talk, wondering exactly what was going on.

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The second place is Wolftrap National Park, where Christina and Hunter attended a Jill Scott concert together as friends on July 15th 2013. On the green lawn of the venue, before the end of the concert they had admitted that there was something more than friendship there. Three days later (after someone had broken things off with her boyfriend) they were dating. They have been inseparable ever since.The third place is Manhattan, where Christina moved to pursue her Masters, with full support from Hunter. Over two years, dozens of four hour bus rides up and down the stretch between DC and NY as well as hundreds of late-night Skype dates only made the heart grow fonder; as distance is known to do.

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Manhattan would become an even more special place for the two of them on February 13th 2016, when after a romantic evening on Broadway, Hunter proposed to Christina in the room he had reserved at the top of the W hotel in New York.The pair returned to Wolf Trap a few months later, and in a private ceremony surrounded by the woods on all sides, they made their union legally official.

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This year they intend to cement that union publicly, in front of their family and friends, and usher in one more special place: the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, Virginia.

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