Amber & Obi’s Engagement Pictures at Busboys and Poets in Shirlington

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Images: Lissa Ryan Photography

It was a really nice weekend over here at Capitol Romance HQ. Andy & I enjoyed an excellent impromptu date night (margaritas!) on Friday night and then Saturday I got to work a truly beautiful & awesome wedding at Glen Echo Park. We capped it off yesterday with some shopping at our favorite local vintage shops (Miss Pixies, Good Wood & Simon Vintage) and Andy watched Evie while I hit up some MUCH NEEDED yoga at Maketto (it’s FREE on Sundays! Join me next time!). It’s a busy week here as its full of personal and professional appointments – so let’s get it going!

Amber and Obi are getting married in August at Meadowlark Gardens, and they started their adorable engagement pictures at Busboys & Poets before heading over the bridge to Georgetown.  The gorgeous graffiti, beautiful couple, and Amber’s stunning offbeat engagement ring (a yellow diamond!) make these two a perfect Capitol Romance couple!

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From the Bride (How they Met):

Obi and I met randomly outside of the gym at my apartment complex. Obi lived in the townhouses next door, and was using his coworker’s access key to use the gym. I don’t remember the reason, but I got off work early and was headed to the leasing office which is right next to the gym. Obi saw me walking and came outside to introduce himself, and the rest is history!

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Guest Post: Picking a Wedding Venue for Your Washington DC Area Wedding

Image: An Endless Pursuit from Julice & Steve’s DIY Picnic Wedding at Woodlawn Manor

Our guest blogger, Carolyn is back today to share with you her venue search for her DC area wedding! Carolyn shares not only the venues she was looking for but how she went about her search. As a reminder to all my readers, my favorite resource for venue searching in the DC area is Partyista! Take it away Carolyn.

Searching for the Perfect Venue | by Carolyn Thombs

I am also a makeup artist and quite familiar with the wedding industry, however that has not made this as easy as I had originally thought.

What helped me in my search was researching places first and then having a list of questions for them when we visited the venues. Scheduling visits can be difficult but we were able to mostly knock it all out in one day. If someone doesn’t get back to you promptly give them a week, but after that kick them off of your list because who knows if that is how it will be while the planning is going on when time is of the essence. It is always good to mesh well with the manager of the property since you will be dealing with them quite a bit and you don’t want to be butting heads with them and having that turn you into a dreaded bride-zilla.

I was definitely stressed a bit in the beginning but, now I feel so relieved and ecstatic about this venue and know that my wedding is going to be so dreamy and everything I have ever wanted!!

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Since Jon and I got engaged, finding the perfect venue was one of the aspects about planning that I was the most stressed about. So of course, that is the first thing I wanted to get out of the way; though I am starting to see that finding the perfect caterer (delicious food and budget friendly) is going to be an even more painful headache to deal with. But more on that later….

I had quite a few limitations when looking for a venue for our wedding. I wanted to keep it somewhat close to my parents house so they wouldn’t have to dish more for travel costs and for some level of convenience for them and something budget friendly, not made of money here! I am cursed with always loving the more expensive item on any list out of any category, so many of my first glance choices had to be knocked off the list immediately. Other restrictions included a large enough location for a ceremony and reception that could fit over 175 people. Not as easy to find as I thought it would be. Most locations that I liked had a 150 limit. I have a large extended family and love them all, and quite a few friends between Jon and I as well as industry friends and family friends. Eeks! So many stipulations, I know, but I promise I am not the bridezilla type! At least I hope I am not…yet!

Image: Olde Silk Mill by Amber Kay Photo from A Modern Grey & Yellow Industrial Styled Shoot

The first venue we looked at was the Old Silk Mill in Fredericksburg, which honestly I thought was going to be “The One”, it could fit the whole wedding and ceremony and bonus it has an inn attached to it, so out of town guests would have a very convenient place to stay. I loved the industrial elegance of the mill and the fact that it was a great combination of both Jon and I.

Image: Woodlawn Manor by Voula Trip Photography from Kim & Brandon’s DIY Maryland Wedding

The next location we checked out was Woodlawn, which is a historical house near Springfield. Kaitlin was so wonderful to talk to and was very prompt in replying to my emails. The venue was beautiful and could accommodate our estimated wedding size and could house a ceremony and reception. The only downside was we needed to get tents and everything had to be outside. Also they only allow you to use their approved caterer, which would have cost us the whole budget plus some. Unfortunately that nixed Woodlawn off the list.

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Rachele & Josh’s Surprise Engagement in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia

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Images: Sweet Root Village

This surprise proposal plus mini engagement session from Sweet Root Village has it all. A gorgeous couple, a dreamy setting, floating candles, a groom to be in waiting, and a super surprised bride to be. Rachele is actually a part of the Sweet Root team and they were more than ecstatic to help Josh surprise propose to her. The ladies from Sweet Root share:

When we met Rachele a little over a year ago, we were immediately smitten. She joined the Sweet Root team soon after and brings joy and laughter to every day with her infectious personality. We didn’t think she could possibly get any happier, until Josh slid in to the picture. We are so grateful for his oh so wise decision to reach out and involve us in his big plans to propose!

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We were initially a little surprised that he wanted to ask her on our studio patio given that she works there nearly every day! But it ended up being SO perfect because we were able to transform our dreary wintery patio into a lush spring garden filled with twinkling candlelight. On her day off, we snuck in to plant herbs, ferns, and flowering plants and pulled out dozens of pillars and hanging candles. We filled vases with fresh green and white blooms to coordinate and added some blankets and pillows for a more relaxed setting. We added a little personality by creating a moss lettered backdrop to their celebratory champagne toast.

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What makes the story even more interesting is that Rachele wasn’t feeling well and tried to back out of our “triple date dinner.” It took a bit of convincing but we got her to agree to come meet us at the studio with a little dayquil and promises of cutting the evening short. Josh standing on the patio waiting for her was absolutely the last thing she expected to find. She did quite good though because she showed up in some really killer heels! “

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And from Rachele:

“I was sincerely shocked the day that Joshua proposed to me. I had spent the entire weekend asking him to pick up medicine and tissues for the cold I was battling. I spent that entire Monday (my day off) laying on the couch sniffling and sneezing. We had made plans to go out for a triple date that night but I simply wasn’t feeling motivated to get ready and be out with friends.

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DIY Workshop: Learn How to Make Pearl & Flower Pendant Necklaces

Sunday August 2nd | DIY Pearl &  Flower Pendant Necklaces | The Hill Center at Old Naval Hospital

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The next Capitol Romance DIY Workshop is all set to go! Early bird tickets (only 8 available) are now on sale for our August 2nd workshop with J’Adorn Designs. Attendees will be learning how to make the gorgeous pearl & flower pendant necklace you see above. This necklace would be a perfect gift for your bridesmaids, mother, sister, or even just a great addition to your jewelry box (which is what I plan on doing with mine ;)

Buy Tickets


Additional information from the workshop event page:

Attendees will learn tips and tricks from a professional jewelry designer & creator. Each attendee will also learn how to create their own pearl & flower necklace to take home. Workshop ticket prices include all tools and items needed to create the craft, snacks and beverages provided by local vendors, and a sponsored favor!

So don’t wait, get your tickets now and we’ll see you on August 2nd!

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Dana & Bart’s Low Key Washington, DC Wedding at Logan Tavern

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Images: Vness Photography | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Today we have an awesome, modern Washington DC wedding feature for you thanks to Vness Photography! Dana and Bart met through a mutual friend at a roller derby match (love) and decided pretty early on that they wanted to have their wedding reception at a restaurant to help make planning easier. When it came time to pick the place, Logan Tavern seemed to make the perfect place as they actually had their very first date there too! Check out all the fun details from this intimate, modern DC wedding below!

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From the couple?

Overall, we tried to keep things really simple, but meaningful, and focus on the guest experience.  For example, we hunted for small glass vases and candle holders at thrift stores and used those for our centerpieces, just sticking some sea glass, flowers, or candles in each one.  We also used wine corks I already had to hold the table seating cards – we tried to incorporate meaningful wine corks where possible, like giving my grandparents’ table a cork from Oliver Winery (Bloomington, IN) because that’s their last name.

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We both love color, but didn’t feel too strongly about which colors (or sticking to any in particular) until my maid of honor found that great blue and green dress she and my sisters wore.  That settled it!  I mean, how great are those dresses?!  It didn’t hurt that my favorite color is green and Bart’s is blue, so everything just sort of fell into place.

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We decided to do our first look photos at the Kennedy Center and then to take bridal party photos at the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials because we wanted some classic DC wedding photos!  We loved using the Kennedy Center’s terrace because no one else was out there (didn’t hurt that it was cold and cloudy that day…) and we got some fantastic photos.  We love how the contrast between the concrete terrace, the metal railings, and the lush greenery really comes through in our photos.

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Click inside for the rest of this adorable, low key Washington, DC wedding!

Megan & Don’s Super Fun Engagement Pictures at Glen Echo Park

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Images: James Jollay Photography

What a weekend Romancers! I hope you all had a fabulous 4th of July! We had such a great time visiting family & friends up in NJ, going through old pictures and memorobilia as my parents pack to move from my 2nd childhood home. Little Evie celebrated her 2 month birthday and we ate entirely too much food – but what else is the 4th of July for? We have a full week of blogging before gearing up for Chrissy & Kristy’s Glen Echo Park wedding on Saturday! How appropriate that today’s feature is a Glen Echo Park engagement session (not planned!). Megan & her fiance Don are just TOO cute and I actually got to meet Megan at my last DIY CapRoWorkshop!

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How They Met (From Megan’s perspective)

I had just moved back to the area, and we had mutual friends who had invited us both to a Zumba class. I first noticed Donald because he went straight to the front of the class and was blocking my mirror space. The first words I ever said to him were after the class: “Hey you, you were making up your own moves.”

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We both continued attending Zumba with our friends and grew closer during many Saturday nights swing dancing at Glen Echo Park, which is why we decided to take our engagement photos in Glen Echo Park’s Spanish Ballroom. I distinctly remember standing at the corner of the dance floor when one guy was slowly sauntering up to ask me to dance — but Donald quickly swooped in and offered his hand first. I just had to say yes!

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Our first date was at his place. It had snowed, but he wanted to show off his culinary skills, so he let me watch Die Hard as he dug a path in the snow to his grill so he could prepare steaks for lunch. It sounds like a ridiculous fairy tale, but it’s all true!

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Nepali Bridal Inspiration & Lifestyle Pictures & LINK LOVE

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Images: Jessica Maida Photography | submitted via Two Bright Lights

Tomorrow is the 4th and I am currently up in NJ visiting with family and saying goodbye to the place I called a home from my freshman year of high school until now (so a LONG TIME people). My parents sold their house and we’ll be spending the weekend going through my old stuff, most of which I will want to keep, and all of which Andy will want to throw out ;) But I couldn’t leave you guys without some Friday inspiration & LINK LOVE to help get you to the weekend! Today’s wedding inspiration is a collection of bridal styled looks based on the life and culture of Nepali people. It was captured by photographer, Jessica Maida, at the Beyond Workshop hosted by Nina & Wes Photography.

The set closes with some lifestyle images that I thought were too mesmerizing not to include, though they have no wedding ties, they’re gorgeous images, worth seeing. Not to mention that Jessica took these photos just 3 weeks before earthquakes and aftershocks devastated this very place. Jessica’s insight to the images and time in Nepal are so inspiring to me, so please take the time to read the post if you can.

Happy Friday Romancers. Hope you all have a fabulous & safe 4th of July weekend.


Bridal Musings put together the ULTIMATE list of “Wedding Blogs for EVERY Couple” and we were downright honored to be mentioned!

John Oliver’s take on Transgender Rights is a must see.

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5 GREAT Tips for getting your social media into gear!

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This past March, I spent 12 days between Kathmandu and Nagarkot attending their workshop and traveling myself and what I found was just amazing – in culture, traditions, people, practices, religion and above all, the soul and spirit of the country. Within 3 weeks of returning home Nepal was then devastated by 2 7.8 earthquakes and countless aftershocks, leaving it’s people and historic structures in shambles. I wanted to include several images from the lifestyle and street photography aspects of the workshop as well as my own time exploring due to the now damage of many of the structures, temples and even the event venue for the styleshoots and how some or all of them are likely changed or destroyed forever.

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During the workshop, it was a pleasure to learn not only more about film but to experience the Nepali inspired styleshoots that highlighted our 3 days spent at the Fort Resort in Nagarkot. With the Himalayas in clear view every morning and terra cotta pots lining the edges, this resort boasted not only immaculate views and backdrops for the styleshoots but a peace and calm around every corner. It was also during these 3 days that we enjoyed walks into town, experienced their Holi festival, and met some of the villagers that inhabit the only main road up the mountain and who would soon look at us even as familiar friends for the limited time.

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Once back in Kathmandu, we delved into the street photography and humanitarian work that was incorporated into the workshop. It was not only a humbling and renewing experience both personally and professionally, these experiences also presented an opportunity to be moved not only behind the camera but without it.

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If you are so inclined, a friendly reminder of the organizations that are helping in the aid and rebuilding of Nepal (bboth in structure and in its people):

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Photographer:  Jessica Maida Photography | Floral Designer: Abany Bauer – Styling & Flowers | Fashion Designer: Carol Hannah LLC | Cinema and Video: Colletta Films | Event Designer: Drops Of Honey Designs | Heirlooms and extras: FrouFrou Chic | Makeup Artist: Heather Smith Hair Stylist  | Jewelry: Mickey Lynn Jewelry | Dress Store: Shop Gossamer | Event Venue: The Fort Resort | Other: The Mrs Box | Event Planner: Type A Society | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

#PopUpRomance 2.0 Recap & Baby’s First Pride


 Images: Maggie Winters Photography

Earlier this year I got a phone call from Kathryn Hamm of, wanting to know if Maggie and I were down to taking #PopUpRomance to the next level this year – joining forces with WeddingWire to do something extra special for Pride. At the time it was perfect for Maggie & I, because we were both DYING to do #PopUpRomance again, but with me being pregnant and Maggie being up to her eyeballs in work, we just didn’t have the time like we did last year to put it together again.


So we were pretty pumped when Kathryn suggested that Wedding Wire wanted to team up, and do one big vow renewal/renewal of our commitment to support the LGBT community. They scored the sick rooftop at The Embassy Row Hotel in Dupont Circle, and helped us put together an awesome balloon backdrop!

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Steven, the other half of Pop Wed Co, led the group in an AWESOME commitment ceremony and there was a TON of press on hand to capture the awesomeness! Steven asked the crowd if anyone would like to speak about what the event & Pride meant to them … and naturally I didn’t stay quiet. It meant SO much to me to get to reaffirm my support of the LGBT community, in such a cool space, with my husband and daughter in attendance. I am so thrilled that my daughter will grow up, never knowing a time where ALL couples did not have the right to marry whoever they love.


And then we all joined hands and reaffirmed our commitment to support the LGBT community together.

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We made signs for the Pride parade happening later that day and I was downright honored to wear the awesome LOVE > ALL tshirts that Maggie & Steven made for me, Andy & Evie.

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Though it was ungodly hot outside, the storms held off and #PopUpRomance 2.0 was another one for the books! I can’t wait to see what #PopUpRomance becomes for next year’s Pride weekend ;)


Guest Post: Engagement Party Advice from a Real Bride To Be

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A few weeks ago we introduced you to our new guest blogger, Carolyn, a real bride to be that will be sharing her wedding planning journey with us! Today’s post highlights her engagement party, with lots of fun ideas for you all if you are planning one yourself! Take it away Carolyn…

Engagement Party: The Meeting of the Families | by: Guest Blogger Carolyn Thombs

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Sometimes Engagement parties can be a larger soiree where all of the friends of the couple get together to give their congratulations. Another option is to include the families. My younger sister, Colleen, (my maid of honor) thought it would be a wonderful time for both of our immediate families to fully meet each other and spend some time together. This was the best option for us since our families live a few hours apart.

My sister arranged the whole thing! She really did a wonderful job from sending the invites (specially made) to planning the meal and styling the decor. She truly amazes me!

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For the menu she wanted to choose items that Jon and I love. What is better than meatloaf with bacon on top and mashed potatoes! For the dessert she did a red velvet cake for me and a fun-fetti cake for Jon.

Colleen cut out C & J from cardboard and painted them in gold for the cake toppers. For the décor she used wine bottles and kept it simple and elegant with hydrangeas. We ate outside, which was lovely except for the muggy heat, which by the end of the meal had us all putting our hair up and dabbing peppermint oil on the back of our necks. This helps to cool the whole body down. It truly is a great trick as well as a great thing to keep in a wedding day rescue kit.

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Here is a funny little anecdote from the party: Before we started the dessert I wanted to get a few more photos of everything she had set up. So I moved things around to get the best lighting and angle. I of course forgot that the cake was on a make-shift cakestand and wasn’t very steady. As I go to grab both cakes… the fun-fetti cake slides off the stand and crashes to the ground. Oops! Quickly my older sister and brother-in-law assembled to help clean up. Half of the cake survived. Of course no dinner can go by without some fiasco happening.

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By having the engagement party as a meeting of the families we were able to have some great laughs over wine and become friends instead of just strangers meeting for the first time at the wedding.

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