Leslie & Noah’s SURPRISE Proposal at Nordstrom in Pentagon City, Virginia

northern virginia surprise proposal pictures (2)

Images: Shoot Happens Photography via Two Bright Lights

Here I sit, anxiously awaiting the speech of the FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE and I am so stinking excited guys. I’m also prettttty pumped it’ll be Friday by the time you read this, because I’ve stayed up late the past few watching amazing, inspiring, heartfelt speeches and I am TIRED :) For today’s post I have the MOST adorable surprise proposal that took place at Nordstrom in Pentagon City Mall (you’ll find out why below!). I looooove the smiles in these images but I also love how detailed of write-up the groom to be gave me to share. So thorough! Happy Friday Romancers.

northern virginia surprise proposal pictures (9)

How they met:

We met in high school (Bishop McNamara) in August of 2002 where Leslie was a Freshman and I was a Junior. We knew of each other in high school, but never dated. I was in a young-love serious relationship at the time. I didn’t know much about Leslie in high school except that she danced & played volleyball. I was a captain on varsity boy’s basketball team around that time.

northern virginia surprise proposal pictures (8) northern virginia surprise proposal pictures (10)

The proposal story:

(Back story); Leslie and I had been in a relationship for about a year when in the Summer of 2014 I accepted a position and relocated to Miami, Florida. Leslie stayed behind in Virginia. And about 9-10 months she accepted a position at mega-retail giant Nordstrom. So she moved down to South Florida and everything is going well… Fast-forward about 9 months I decide to plan a surprise proposal! So I hold a conference-call with her best friends who are in Texas, Delaware & Maryland to plan out the proposal and all of it’s fine details. I wanted the proposal to happen in our home state of Maryland so that the majority of our friends & family could share & celebrate the moment too…

The proposal would happen at the Nordstrom at Pentagon City Mall in Arlington, Virginia. This location is significant because prior to her re-location to Miami, Leslie worked there under her “favorite” supervisor, Michael. So I thought it would only be fitting & memorable to have it there and to include Michael in the plans. The plan is to get Leslie from Florida to Maryland to pull off an epic proposal!

northern virginia surprise proposal pictures (11) northern virginia surprise proposal pictures (3)

(Proposal plan); The plan is to get Leslie from Miami, FL to the shoe department at the Nordstrom at Pentagon City Mall in Arlington, Virginia on a Saturday afternoon without raising any suspicion to propose in front of our closest friends & family with a “ghost-photographer” capturing the candid proposal process. So the conference-call with her best friends had each person conveniently coming home on the selected weekend. The weekend that was selected was March 26, 2016 because it was the Easter holiday weekend & the weekend that her family celebrated her father’s birthday. THIS WAS THE PERFECT EXCUSE TO GET HER UP TO MARYLAND! So we chose that weekend, but 2 weeks prior, I flew up to Maryland “on business”, but it was really to talk to her father (for the sake of formalities & tradition) and to meet with the photographer, Michael & the store General Manager, Stephanie. The 45 minute meeting went great! I found out that on the same weekend, the store would be having a huge internal cosmetic & fashion show, which would be great because it would provide the needed “cover” for our friends & family to blend in unseen while Leslie would make her way to the shoe department. It would also allow me to have access to a DJ so that I could chose 2 songs that would alert our “guests” that the proposal was about to happen…

northern virginia surprise proposal pictures (1) northern virginia surprise proposal pictures (6)

So now the plans are coming together perfectly… After that I purchase the ticket to send her home on the afternoon of March 25 & purchase my ticket to fly home on the evening of March 25th. To avoid the possibility of us crossing paths & ruining the entire event, I send her to Ronald Reagan National Airport while I flew into Thurgood Marshall BWI Airport. So fast forward to March 25th I drop her off at the airport, then I run straight home pack a 3-day overnight bag for her dog, drop the dog off at the dogsitter and finally get back to the airport to catch my red-eye 11pm flight.

northern virginia surprise proposal pictures (4)

On the day of the proposal, I get to the site to meet the DJ and give him the cue songs while blasting a mass text out to the guests giving them the songs to listen out for… Around 11:30 I meet with the photographer to finalize the plans, meet department manager, get a feel for the environment post fashion show and snap some candid shots of the ring (BLING-BLING). Around the same time I’m texting the best friends and they are literally 3 minutes from the mall having lunch. And still Leslie suspects & knows NOTHING. So the time comes, I believe it was 2pm where everything and everyone is in placed. Before my descent, I send out a mass text that it is “SHOWTIME”. So I’m upstairs on the second floor and I can see that the best friends have done a great job getting Leslie into place, all while going un-detected.

northern virginia surprise proposal pictures (7)

So the cue song “Just The Way You Are” begins to play & I start my descent down the escalator. So I get to the bottom of the escalator and I see everyone even the best friends, but Leslie still doesn’t notice ANYTHING. So I walk up behind her with a shoe box full of fresh pink rose pedals with the ring and ask her if she will marry me…! Her first response was NOT to cry or say yes. Her first response was “What are you doing here? Where’s the dog? After I asked again she said yes with sheer joy & surprise once she saw the ring.

northern virginia surprise proposal pictures (5)

Pin It

Denise & Aidan’s Intimate, Perfectly Blue DC Wedding at Tudor Plaace

View More: http://candiceadelle.pass.us/deniseanda

Images: Candice Adelle Photography

I‘ve been attempting to be the Queen of multitasking this week, as Andy’s job has continued to demand most of him (physically and mentally) and I’ve been mostly consumed by politics and the day job. I’ve promised myself I would be better about blogging though and so here I sit, at just past 10pm with my cellphone streaming the DNC, the baby monitor on, and my fingers typing into WordPress on my laptop. Today’s real DC wedding is beautiful ~ full of the perfect shades of blue (even in the bride’s engagement jewel!) and a dreamy garden ceremony location. It’s nice to have pretty weddings to escape to sometimes when life is crazy or politics can be too much to handle. So enjoy.

View More: http://candiceadelle.pass.us/deniseanda

Aidan and Denise met in Ireland and now live there full time. Aidan is from Ireland while Denise is originally from the Northern VA area. They planned their wedding from across the world at one of the most beautiful venues in DC, The Tudor Place.

Tudor Place Spring DC Wedding Blue Flowers Garden Ceremony (11)

We chose the colour blue to match Denise’s sapphire ring which was chosen to match her eye colour (she didn’t want a diamond). [We chose] white because we felt it complemented the blue well.

View More: http://candiceadelle.pass.us/deniseanda View More: http://candiceadelle.pass.us/deniseanda View More: http://candiceadelle.pass.us/deniseanda

For the venue we were looking for an outdoor venue in a garden. Choose these two venues after seeing them in another couples blog, also we really like going out in the Dupont area.

Tudor Place Spring DC Wedding Blue Flowers Garden Ceremony (12) View More: http://candiceadelle.pass.us/deniseanda

CLICK READ MORE FOR THE REST OF DENISE & AIDAN’S DC WEDDING AT TUDOR PLACE

The Next District Bliss Workshop is on Aug 14th! Make Your Own Earrings with J’Adorn Designs

diy jewelry making class workshop washington dc

We seem to be all about the jewelry this week – with our Beads & Bubbly giveaway yesterday (for a private jewelry making class) and now with the next District Bliss DIY Workshop: Make your own unique jewelry with J’Adorn Designs!

The workshop is not until August 14th, but prices go up THIS WEEK, so get yours before they do!

diy jewelry making class jadorn designs august dc workshop (3)

More about the workshop:

Alison Jefferies of J’Adorn Designs will be teaching our guests all about handcrafted jewelry! Come join us to learn how to make your own pair of beautiful, unique earrings and check out some other wonderful pieces she has to offer!

*Drinks (mimosas), and snacks (Popcorn by Popcorn Queens) provided, as well as all supplies to do the craft!

Date: August 14th | Time: 1-3pm | Location: Logan Hardware 1734 14th Street NW

View More: http://brittneylivingstonphotography.pass.us/flora-corner-farm-styled-shoot

*Ticket prices raise again ($25/ticket), two weeks out from the event (July 31st). So don’t miss out – get yours TODAY!*

And Learn to make THIS \/

diy earrings jewelry class workshop dc

Giveaway: Enter to Win a Private Beads & Bubbly Party for Up to 5 Guests!

jewelry making class washington dc 2

This is the part of summer where I usually just start counting down until the Fall. I am OVER this heat. I am ready for it to not be an inferno anymore and be able to go running outside again!! In other news though, we have another giveaway this week – this one with Beads & Bubbly – a new company in DC that hosts jewelry making events focused on a creative, fun & locally focused experience. They’re perfect for an alternative bachelorette party or bridal party idea (create your jewelry for the wedding!) and we are pumped to give away a private party for up to 5 guests.

beads and bubbly class

A bit more about the company & the founders behind it:

Beads & Bubbly host social jewelry making event where attendees are given step-by-step instruction to create handmade jewelry designed by local artisans and a complimentary glass of champagne, served by the venue. Each event directly supports local designer through exposure and income opportunities while promoting and teaching the art of jewelry design. Each event includes all materials and instruction to make one-of-a-kind pieces that are designed by local artisans.

jewelry making class washington dc beads and bubbly class dc

The motivation behind our brand is rooted in the owners’ Alysse Bortolotto, Daraja Asili and Dia Karakantas-Ruocco passion to create a business model focused around handcrafted jewelry that provides women, artisans and/or entrepreneurs a way to nationally grow their own jewelry business. Our business model strives to promote the art of jewelry making for the general public, provide a national platform for up-and-coming jewelry designers, flexible income opportunities and organically build a community of creatives and entrepreneurs.

jewelry making class dc jewelry making class

GIVEAWAY ENDS AUGUST 15th!

ENTER HERE —-> http://beadsandbubbly.com/capitol-romance-contest/

Vol 9: The Real Life of a Mompreneur – Not Even Close to “Doing It All”

MaggieGaudaen-Evieis1-MJW_2419

Image: Maggie with Pop! Wed Co

One of the most common things people say to me is, “I just don’t know how you’re doing it all”. I guess my social media life must be showing a slightly altered version of my realty these days, because I couldn’t feel further from successfully “doing it all”. Yes it’s true that I wear many hats, working a full time day job, running this wedding blog & business as my side hustle, and doing the mom thing for just over a year now. And maybe to some of you it looks like I’m “doing it all”, but I am here to tell you today, that I am not. And that it’s likely impossible for anyone to “do it all” without something dropping or your priorities majorly shifting.

A few years ago I watched Shonda Rhimes’ commencement speech at Dartmouth on this very topic. This speech has stuck with me all this time, but I’ve never so fully realized the words she spoke until lately. One of my favorite excerpts is this part:

“Whenever you see me somewhere succeeding in one area of my life, that almost certainly means I am failing in another area of my life.

If I am killing it on a Scandal script for work, I am probably missing bath and story time at home. If I am at home sewing my kids’ Halloween costumes, I’m probably blowing off a rewrite I was supposed to turn in. If I am accepting a prestigious award, I am missing my baby’s first swim lesson. If I am at my daughter’s debut in her school musical, I am missing Sandra Oh’s last scene ever being filmed at Grey’s Anatomy. If I am succeeding at one, I am inevitably failing at the other. That is the tradeoff.”

Though for me it’s not as grandiose as un-edited TV scripts or missed scenes, it’s empty days on the blog, un-responded to emails, never started home projects, outstanding wedding gifts for friends, or the standing up of the #CapRoShop that I’ve been trying to finalize since January.

I’ve always been a do-er. It’s my type-A nature that has me feeling anxious when things are incomplete or unfinished and I much prefer to just DO something once the item pops up, rather than take a wait & see or “oh I’ll get to it at some point” approach. But when you become a parent, there’s a whole slew of things that get added to your to-do list, that you can’t really account or plan for. And it makes the to-do list so long, that even I can’t seem to completely cross every item off the list.

So my latest challenge has been to accept this. To understand that “doing it all” is truly impossible, and instead of being upset, angry, or depressed about the fact that I am not doing everything I want to do, to take comfort and happiness in the things I AM doing. Though I might not be blogging every single day, I am working hard at my day job to hopefully be promoted this year. Though I might be missing out on wedding vendor networking events, I am seeing Evie learn to feed herself, climb the stairs (and on the coffee table), and work on her talking skills. Though the #CapRoShop is not yet up and running, it will be, some day and it will be awesome when it is.

I’ll close with this awesome quote I saw on Instagram from a fellow DC blogger, Queserasahra, where she said “life’s been less about blogging and more about loving life…”. Loving and living life these days has felt so much more important than attempting to do it all. Sometimes it’s ok to step back from the doing, and just live instead.

Enter to Win a Free Month of LIPP Fan Lipstick’s Monthly Subscription Services

custom lipstick monthly subscription (1)

Images: LIPP Beautifully

I feel like I should call this the summer of giveaways because they just keep coming. I LOVE sharing the rad local businesses in the Washington, DC area that are coming out with some of the coolest & most useful products & services. Today’s giveaway is for you lipstick lovers out there. Professional makeup artist & lipstick genius, Aleah, has recently launched LIPP Beautifully – an e-commerce site with a simple mission, to reinvent the way you buy lipstick.

custom lipstick monthly subscription (3)

The beautiful site features 12 ready-to-wear LIPP Matte shades, 95 semi-custom LIPPstick colors (where you choose the finish and tube) and the first EVER monthly lipstick sample subscription service – making it easier than ever to build your lipstick wardrobe, one perfect tube at a time.

To celebrate the launch of this amazing site & service, we’re hosting a giveaway for a free month of the monthly lipstick sample subscription services! All you have to do is leave a blog post comment here, and follow @LippBeautifully on Instagram to enter!

custom lipstick monthly subscription (4)

Last month I got to try a month of the lipstick sample subscription service and let me tell you – it was AWESOME. I got three shades, in the cutest trial packages, and a delicious lip scrub to boot. I really do wear the “everyday” shade almost every day – it’s literally perfect for any outfit I wear to work.

And if you haven’t tried Aleah’s lipsticks before, this might be your perfect introduction. All the lipsticks are mixed by hand and made right here in the DC area! They also smell delicious. So enter away using our Rafflecopter widget below.

custom lipstick monthly subscription (2)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Dramatic, Vaudeville Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot

dramatic edgy wedding bride inspiration pictures (11)

Images: Sarah Price Photography

It’s been a week Romancers. The first week back after vacation is always rough, but let’s throw in a sick child (still fighting a fever!), crazy early work hours at the day job, and a husband that’s about to go on business travel for a week … and well, yeah, I think TGIF is on a whole new level this week. So not much more from me – I am looking forward to a weekend of being in DC, cleaning our house, and relaxing a little before I dwell into a week of single parenting. Also, send us some good vibes that Evie gets better soon.

Here’s a super dramatic & edgy wedding inspiration shoot from Sarah Price Photography & Capital Society.

dramatic edgy wedding bride inspiration pictures (2) dramatic edgy wedding bride inspiration pictures (4) dramatic edgy wedding bride inspiration pictures (7)

For this shoot, we were very inspired by the drama, lighting, and textures of the vaudevillian era. The entire set was very DIY, complete with Ikea curtains and baskets.

dramatic edgy wedding bride inspiration pictures (5) dramatic edgy wedding bride inspiration pictures (12) dramatic edgy wedding bride inspiration pictures (10) dramatic edgy wedding bride inspiration pictures (9) dramatic edgy wedding bride inspiration pictures (1) dramatic edgy wedding bride inspiration pictures (8) dramatic edgy wedding bride inspiration pictures (6) dramatic edgy wedding bride inspiration pictures (3)

Vendors ~> Planning: Capital Society | Photography : Sarah Price | Gowns & Accessories: Ellie’s Bridal | Flowers: Taffy Floral | Makeup: Izzy B Makeup | Hair: Caitlin Gibbons | Model: Amy Chi | Props & Fun Mystical Gypsy Things: BethKaya Design | Garters: Garter Girl | Snakes: My Animal World

Gillian & Mark’s Personalized & Fun, Washington DC Wedding at Arena Stage

modern purple dc wedding arena stage (20)

Images: Anne Simone

Happy Thursday Romancers. I’ve been trying my hardest to get back into a more regular blogging groove and so far I think I’ve been doing pretty good this week (but let’s not talk about the July newsletter which still hasn’t been created … never enough time!). Coming back from vacation has been a bit harder than I thought it would be, but this adorable Maryland & sports-infused wedding certainly helps. Check out Mark & Gillian’s Arena Stage wedding, details & love story below!

modern purple dc wedding arena stage (4)

Mark and I met while I was interning at DC United. I had moved to the area for that internship and Mark helping out the Operations team there on game days. After a few months we realized that we lived close to each other in Maryland and decided to start seeing each other outside of RFK Stadium.

Our love of music and going to see live shows played greatly into the proposal. We had discovered Bears Den, a band from the UK, when they opened for Mumford & Sons and I quickly fell in love with them. Through some connections Mark was able to reach out to the band and plan a secret proposal when they were going to be in town for a show. It was a normal Wednesday afternoon and Mark had asked me to stop by his parents house to help out with some things before we were going to head into DC to see Bears Den perform that evening. When I stepped into his parents living room, there was my favorite band playing my favorite song and Mark with a big smile on his face. After many heartfelt words and getting down on one knee I of course said YES! To make the day even better he had my mom fly out from Ohio for the day to be there and be a part of the celebration. We then went into DC where he had organized a big happy hour with all of our friends before the show!

modern purple dc wedding arena stage (16) modern purple dc wedding arena stage (21)

We got engaged in November and then took a few months off planning and started the process in January. It took about a month and we got all of our big vendors nailed down. With the wedding in October I knew that we wanted to be able to enjoy the summer before having to buckle down and get all the last minute details done closer to the big day. The biggest help was having a wedding coordinator for the last 6 weeks. It took a lot of the decisions and hard work off my shoulders and I was able to be more excited rather than stressed.

modern purple dc wedding arena stage (17) modern purple dc wedding arena stage (2)

The colors for the wedding were something that came very easy for me. I love a mostly neutral color palette and we threw in some fun colors here and there. Mark and his groomsmen had custom suits made with amazing liners that showed off their personalities. Mark is an alumni of the University of Maryland and currently works there, so the Maryland flag made perfect sense for him.

modern purple dc wedding arena stage (14) modern purple dc wedding arena stage (3)

We chose Arena Stage as our venue as we wanted something different than a normal hotel or wedding hall. We love going to shows and live performances and our story started in DC, so Arena Stage was a perfect fit. The building is absolutely beautiful and the space that we were able to utilize could not have been better. We held both the ceremony and the reception in the Molly Smith Study while cocktail hour was outside on the rooftop terrace. The building was modern and elegant which also set the perfect background for all of our photos.

modern purple dc wedding arena stage (5) modern purple dc wedding arena stage (6) modern purple dc wedding arena stage (7)

READ MORE FOR THE REST OF THIS MODERN WASHINGTON DC WEDDING

District Bliss Online DIY Workshop: Learn How to Make Giant Paper Flowers!

DIY Online Workshop Paper Flowers

The next District Bliss DIY Workshop is here and this one you can attend AT HOME! Learn how to make giant paper flowers with Doable You at this month’s online DIY workshop! This workshop offers two different types of classes: the first, July 25th is a FREE mini-class that gives attendees a sneak peak at the craft. Then, the second, full class (purchase required) is on July 26th, where Doable You will share LOADS more tips, tricks, and insight. The best part is once you pay for the 26th class, you can access this DIY workshop ANY time you want!

diy giant paper flower workshop how to (3)

All the details, including if you want to purchase the longer, more in-depth workshop, are here on the Eventbrite Page. Both workshops are in the evening (for you day jobbers like me!) and both allow you to craft in your PJs. You will need some supplies for your workshop:
-Tissue Paper (2 colors for the flower plus green for the stem)
-Dried Moss
-Roll of Hex Netting (1-inch mesh, 20 gauge wire)
-Wire Clippers
-Work Gloves
-Pliers
-Scissors
-Tape
-Glue (glue stick, glue gun, tacky glue, your choice.)
-Floral wire (20 gauge)
-Small tub of cement
-Plastic Cups (2)
-Styrofoam

diy giant paper flower workshop how to (2)

Registration information & links:

July 25th Mini Class: FREE —> RSVP link.

July 26th Full Class: $30 —> RSVP link (once you buy this webinar, you have it forever!)

Hope you guys check this one out!

Make Wedding Planning Fun Again with the CapRo Wedding Planner Buy the Planner