Victoria & Jacqueline’s Vintage-loving Glen Echo Park Anniversary Session

Writing more about marriage has been a goal of mine since Day 1 of starting Capitol Romance. It was one of the reasons I left “weddings” out of my brand name, wanting to focus more on the love of a wedding and less of the details/fabrications.  But other then talking about my OWN marriage, I’ve had a hard time getting other people to share their thoughts, advice, and musings. I made it a more firm goal for 2014 though, and think I might have found a way to do it – through accepting Anniversary Sessions! I tried to hound couples that had their wedding featured here, to share a “1-year later” type post – but it went literally no-where (though I’d still accept those!! email me!). And I did get ONE bride to share a “post-wedding lessons learned” blog on her own, but that’s it.

So, long story short (too late!) I am thrilled to have not only a kick-ass portrait session from Maggie Winters Photography to share today, but some awesome marriage and post-wedding advice from the beautiful ladies in the shoot. Victoria & Jacqueline had an AWESOME wedding (you can see it over here on Offbeat Bride) so naturally, their anniversary session was just as awesome, at Glen Echo Park.

Victoria & Jacqueline’s Vintage Loving Glen Echo Park Anniversary Portraits & Marriage Advice

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Photography: Maggie Winters | Location: Glen Echo Park

The best thing about being married:

Post-wedding, what’s really been awesome has been the sense of adventure and purpose. We’re exploring this whole wide world (figuratively, for the most part, since we don’t have the travel budget we want!), and we know we’ll be doing it together, forever. There’s a sense of security in that, which in turn makes life super exciting.

Honestly, not a lot changed for us when we got married; since we were happy together before the wedding, we’re glad that’s continued! We began as best friends, and then college roommates, before finding ourselves in love with each other. So, we’ve just greatly prolonged the “roommates” situation. Except everything is way more legitimate. Like, “Of course she’s coming home with me at Christmas. We’re married.”

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For us, our marriage was a proclamation of our love. We already knew that we were going to be together for the rest of our lives, living with each other, being an integral part of the other’s life. Our marriage was simply a public announcement of what we already knew, and a chance to celebrate that with our dearest friends.

Also, since we’re a same-sex couple, the tax benefits and legal recognition of our marriage are only now starting to become a reality, which is a cause for celebration all over again.

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The hardest thing to learn after getting married:

One thing that seven years of being friends (three of them married) has taught us is the critical importance of communicating. Staying connected to your spouse, knowing what they’re feeling and thinking, is the best way to stop any potential disagreement or conflict in its tracks. We’ve said, more than once, that if you’re scared to say something, that’s a good place to start talking: a simple “I’m really scared of how you’ll react if I tell you what I’m thinking” is a vulnerable place to be, but one that lets your spouse respond out of love and care, instead of anger or frustration.

It’s not always easy to keep up this sort of connection, but for the two of us, it’s absolutely vital. We feel it when we aren’t in sync, and when we are (which, thankfully, is most of the time), there’s an enveloping sense of love and trust in our relationship.

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Click inside for more marriage advice & awesome Anniversary Portraits from Jacqueline & Victoria at Glen Echo Park!

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Capitol Inspiration: The Most Rad Bride & Groom Portrait Session. Ever.

Words cannot express the excitement I feel when I get emails telling me Amy Cloud Photography has submitted a feature for my blog. You might remember that INSANE, punk rock bride portrait session she sent my way a few weeks back. The chevron top? The purple hair? The tattoos & piercings? I was in love. Well, lucky for us all, things are going to be just as awesome this Friday on Capitol Romance, because we have the MOST rad bride & groom portrait session ever.

I’m talking tattoos, dreadlocks, gauges, and the sickest maroon suit. Ever. Why don’t more grooms rock a maroon suit? Seriously! There is also a seriously stunning bouquet, made by Soil and Stem. Less from me, more from Amy Cloud.

The Most Rad Bride & Groom Portrait Session. Ever.

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Vendors:

Photography: Amy Cloud Photography | Florals: Soil & Stem | Bride’s Dress: Gateway Bridal | Groom’s jacket: Decades (a rad thrift store in Salt Lake City) | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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Amy shared,

I am submitting one of the rad-dest bridal shoots in the history of my career to you. I had never even heard of bridal shoots until I moved to Utah. But all brides here do them. Sometimes though they want to bring their groom along and in this case they call it a groomal session or formal session. With that being said, this is Taylor and Morgan’s formal session.

In talking we had originally planned on an outdoor location that was more industrial and grunge. However on the day of the shoot, it was horrid cold outside but we had to go on because the flowers were bought and ready to go. We opted to shoot in my natural light studio and ran outside really quick to this quirky little alley way for some shots at the end. These two had the most amazing style and were so easy to work with.

Yes, yes they do. SO in love.

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Click inside for the rest of this amazing, punk rock bride & groom portrait session.

DIY Tutorial: 1 Napkin, 3 DIY Wedding Projects

We’re back with another amazing DIY tutorial thanks to Ribbons & Bluebirds. If you haven’t yet checked out her awesome DIY scratch-off tutorial OR her custom, FREE wedding party invitation printables, do that first. Then come right back here, because we have an awesome 3-in-1 for you today!

Introducing: 1 Napkin, 3 DIY Wedding Projects!

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Up first for today, the DIY Bouquet Wrap. Find the DIY Fabric Bowtie tutorial here and the DIY Ring Bearer Pillow tutorial here.

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What you’ll need:

  •  1 fabric napkin, at least 16×16” square
  •  Iron & ironing board
  •  Hem tape (optional)
  •  Ribbon, pin, or twine for finishing
  • Some pretty flowers!

napkin bouquet wrap DIY

This one is nice and easy, and is a perfect way to polish up your bouquet if you’re DIYing your own flowers. The trick is to let the napkin hems do the hard work for you, and just use your iron to keep the other raw edges neat.

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INSTRUCTIONS:

Cut a square out of one corner of the napkin, keeping a hem on two sides. If you look at the fabric as a diamond shape with the hemmed edges as the “bottom”, cut off the top, left, and right points of the diamond. The result will look just like a baseball home plate.

Use your iron to fold over the top raw edge and press to create an open hem. Pick your left or right raw edge to be your “finished” edge, and fold over and press a small hem there too. Clip the corner where the two pressed seams overlap to avoid a bulky fabric mess and to help everything lay flat. If you like, you can finish the side hem with no-sew hem tape to make sure it won’t unravel during some intense bouquet-throwing wedding day action.

To wrap your bouquet, lay the bouquet on top of the wrap and fold in the sides, starting with the edge you left unfinished. Wrap the finished edge over and secure with your choice of ribbon, twice, or a pretty pin.

DIY napkin bouquet wrap

Easy – and SO awesome right!? Totally going to be using this DIY tutorial for future styled shoots & passing along to all my clients doing DIY flowers! Check back next week for Part 2 of this series!

 

Let’s Get Personal: Knowing Your Self Worth

 Last week I shared one of my most personal posts to date. I talked about that dreaded thing called comparison and wondered if you could be too nice to run a business. The response I got was more than I could have imagined. Comments, emails, Facebook messages, and Twitter messages – my heart was so full! I didn’t write the post for that sort of self-indulging response, but it’s always nice to hear things like “you are doing the right thing” and other forms of assurance. I also got another response that wasn’t like the others, but was probably even more important than the rest. One that was brutally honest, (in a good way!!) with one key message: “You are worth every bit of what you deserve. We all are.”

Let’s Get Personal: Knowing Your Self Worth

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The emailer was zeroing in on the point I made about not needing to make financially based decisions because of the crutch of having a full-time salary through my day job. She said:

I walked that line a few years ago of having income that meant I didn’t need to “rely” on that money and I made poor business choices financially (like charging $750 for day-of services and thinking that was enough). Ultimately, I wasn’t respecting myself or my business enough to charge what I was worth and I would hate for you to be doing the same. But you deserve more than “SOME” compensation for your time. You deserve full compensation for your time, your expertise, your personality, your brand and overall what you bring to the table.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have a very hard time knowing what I am worth. As a blogger, you are behind a computer screen, so cut off from your readers (that only show up as hit counts & views in an analytics tracker). Sure I get emails from readers that express their gratitude for the resources & information I am sharing, but it’s difficult to truly calculate or know what my “services” are worth! I do know a few things though: I know that I spend A LOT of time on this blog. It takes HOURS, every day, to answer emails, gather content, lay it out properly in WordPress, insert all the necessary hyperlinks, tags & categories, and eventually hit publish. It then takes even more time (probably double the publishing time) to market my posts. Facebook albums, twitter, Google+, Pinning every image, and uploading to a few other websites. This takes up a significant amount of my time, and my time is worth being compensated, and not at only a partial rate.

To put it another way (thanks to our email responder):

If you went to a restaurant and was constantly only being charged for “some” of the meal, initially you might be excited but after a few visits, you might start to wonder what’s wrong with it. Was it being dropped on the floor and they weren’t telling you? Maybe it was old moldy vegetables? You’d start to think something was up, right?

This is such a true statement, and I really love the way it was laid out. But what does that mean for me and for Capitol Romance (moreso the blog in this instance than my coordination business)? Well, it means that I need to do some serious soul searching and find out how to better compensate myself for the time, effort, and resources I am providing. Which means, yes, there are going to be some changes to Capitol Romance soon (hopefully for the better) and hopefully my readers will understand. And if they don’t? Well, that’s just something I am willing to sacrifice to realize my true self worth :)

Margaret & Justin’s Vintage Carnival Themed Wedding at Union Mills

Love this simple Maryland wedding feature today! It features a TON of DIY and the most adorable vintage carnival theme! Margaret & Justin got married at Union Mills Homestead and wanted something rustic and vintage. So once they decided upon the historic mill as their venue, the vintage carnival theme fell right into place. They shared, “It allowed us to play up both of our tastes. I love everything vintage and Justin likes the rustic look, so it was the perfect compromise. The theme came together beautifully and was perfect for our venue.”

Thanks to Brenda Murphy Photography for sharing this one with us!

Margaret & Justin’s Vintage Carnival Themed Wedding at Union Mills in Maryland

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Vendors:

Photographer:  Brenda Murphy Photography | Flowers: Blossoms & Baskets | Catering: Kountry Kafe Katering | Bridesmaids Shoes: Blowfish Shoes | Bride’s Shoes: Chinese Laundry | Bride’s Dress: David’s Bridal | Groom & Groomsmen Attire: JCPenney | Bridesmaids Dresses: Old Navy | DJ: Shewsical | Hair & Makeup: Bladerunner | Bride’s Jewelry: Antique Stores | Event Venue: Union Mills Homestead Foundation, Inc. | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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All paper ware (like the place cards and table numbers) my husband made and we printed at Kinkos. My brother made the cut out face board and we borrowed the popcorn machine. Basically we made pretty much everything ourselves.

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Click inside for the rest of Margaret & Justin’s vintage carnival themed wedding at Union Mills in Maryland.

Kate & Scott’s Laid Back Engagement Pictures in Virginia

I am WIPED OUT. This weekend was awesome – but it totally kicked my ass. On Friday I met with Sarah to talk about some collaborative workshops that we are planning to host with The Ulysess Room – I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am about this. So much more to come on those. Then we hit up Union Kitchen’s 1-year anniversary party and checked out the AWESOME new restaurant at Union Market, Bidwell. And then Saturday we made the drive up to Baltimore to hang out with some rad wedding vendors & couples at The Mix Event. We got to see some of our favorite vendors and meet some new ones too. We also got to rock out to the amazingness that is Burnt Sienna – seriously guys, if you need a band for your wedding, hire them … and then let me come to your reception too ;) Then the weekend closed with a lovely 8 mile run and a walk to a park on Capitol Hill to get to enjoy the beautiful weather. All in all a great (but busy!) weekend.

And it’s not like any rest is in site, as we have our first Fuel DC event on Wednesday (are you coming?!) and my bestest friends from Pittsburgh are coming Thursday night to visit for the weekend!! So while not much rest is in my future, I am thoroughly looking forward to this week and weekend. Now if only this stupid cold will go away….

So for today’s post I am sharing a beautiful laid-back engagement session from IYQ Photography. Not a lot of details in this one, just two beautiful people, totally in love & full of smiles. I mean, what else could you want for a Monday? Let’s get it going ….

Kate & Scott’s Laid Back Engagement Pictures in Virginia

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Photographer: IYQ Photography | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

I always love when couples are un-posed and candid in their engagement pictures. It feels so much more natural and is much more engaging to look at (and blog!). Kimie also shared that Kate & Scott found her through my blog – so I just had to share that extra little detail :) Happy Monday Romancers.

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Thanks again to IYQ Photography for sharing this adorable Virginia engagement session with us!

Capitol Inspiration: A DC Couple Gets Married in Antigua, Guatemala

Tiffany and Solomon live in the DC Area, but chose to have a charming destination wedding in Antigua, Guatemala instead. For those of you that don’t know, Atigua is a Spanish colonial town surrounded by 3 volcanoes that features cobblestone streets, multi-colored houses, and fascinating ruins. Like most couples that chose a destination wedding, Tiffany & Solomon preferred to spend their money on a more intimate guest count, but in a dream location. Plus, their love of Spanish speaking countries is at the foundation of their relationship – they got engaged on a mission trip in Bolivia! Thanks to Eye Wonder Photography for sending us this one!

Tiffany & Solomon’s Romantic, Antiqua, Guatemala Destination Wedding

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Vendors

Photographer: EyeWonder Photography | Wedding Planner: I DO, Guatemala | Ceremony/Reception Site: Ermita de la Santa Cruz ruins | Gown Designer: Alfred Angelo | Florist: Hugo Mejicanos | Groom’s Suit: Jos A. Bank | Bridesmaids/Groomsmen’s Clothing: Alfred Angelo/ Jos A. Bank | Videographer: Rodolfo Walsh | Caterer: Kolibri Restaurant | Makeup: Perfekt Revisions | Invitations: Custom Designs | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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After getting engaged under a waterfall on a mission trip to Bolivia, getting married in Guatemala did felt like the right choice for us as a couple. We never visited La Antigua, Guatemala prior to the wedding, but we trusted our photographers, Kristiaan & Lionel from EyeWonder Photography, who had their ceremony in the same town just 10 months prior. Their stories of how beautiful the country was and how much their guests were wowed by the culture assured us we made the right choice. With the help of our planning team, we decided to get married at La Ermita de Santa Cruz, an exclusive venue and old church ruins dating back to the 1600s, with breathtaking architecture. We really wanted all of our guests to be blown away by our venue choice and what the country of Guatemala has to offer.

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Tiffany and Solomon could not have chosen a more visually stunning location for their wedding. 25 guests flew in from the mid-west and east coast to witness their vows in this magical setting.

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Click inside for more of Tiffany & Solomon’s insanely awesome Antigua wedding – including the MOST romantic wedding ceremony & reception decor I have EVER seen!

Marie & Alex’s Modern’s Katzen Arts Center DC Wedding Ceremony

In the fall we shared Marie & Alex’s AWESOMELY nontraditional DC wedding reception party at Policy and now we are super pumped to get to share their beautiful DC wedding ceremony at the Katzen Arts Center (at American University) thanks to The Plannery & Roman Grinev Photography. Similar to their awesome reception, Marie & Alex did things their way – keeping their vendors local and making decisions based on importance to them. Marie shared, “We focused on the details that mattered to us, and both loved how things turned out. ” Amen sister!

Alex & Marie’s Modern, Nontraditional DC Wedding Ceremony at Katzen Arts Center

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Vendors

Photographer: Roman Grinev Photography | Wedding Planner: The Plannery | Venue: Katzen Arts Center | Officiant: Rev. Julie Price | Cake Topper: The Bride’s Parents | Dried Bouquet: New Hampshire Woods Creation on Etsy | Bride’s Dress: Purchased through The Brides’s Project

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On their modern DC venue choice:

Katzen is an AMAZING venue – if you are flexible (it’s only available mid-May through mid-August and you can’t book until January), it’s a beautiful space and the folks there are great to work with.

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On doing something nontraditional for their DC wedding:

None of the other traditions were particularly important to us, and we figured with a short afternoon, the fewer “traditional” wedding reception things we did, the more time we could spend with our guests!

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Rev. Julie Price was a wonderful officiant. She helped us write our own ceremony and it was perfect – beautiful, personal, and a great representation of what we want our marriage to be.

Click inside for the rest of Marie & Alex’s super awesome, nontraditional DC wedding!

Giveaway: Stella & Dot “Sutton Necklace” Giveaway ($128 Value!)

Romancers! We are back this afternoon with an AWESOME giveaway from Stella & Dot consultant, Liz. She is graciously sponsoring a giveaway of the gorgeous Sutton Necklace – a whopping $128 value! Liz shares, “the Sutton Necklace is our most versatile fashion necklace yet! It is a great necklace because it can be dressed-up for special events, worn casually every day or layered with other pieces for a different look.

I’d LOVE to see a bride rock this edgy necklace on her wedding day. Check out the necklace details, a bit about Liz, and how to enter our giveaway, all below! Liz is also offering a special shipping promo to anyone that enters the giveaway.

Stella & Dot Sutton Necklace Giveaway

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Liz continues,

I’m looking to share my love of Stella & Dot with everyone!  It’s the perfect gift for your friends, family, or yourself!  There are pieces you can wear on your special day or while just out running errands.  I’m always looking to do trunk shows where we can play with the jewelry and see what pieces are your favorites.   I’d also love to collaborate on styled shoots or work as your personal stylist when you need something special!

There are 4 ways to wear the Sutton Necklace:

  1. Long and loose for a laid-back look.
  2. Clasped into a statement when you’re feeling bold.
  3. Plus or minus the sparkle strand.
  4. Or just the sparkle when you’re in the mood to shine.

Since it can be worn four different ways it offers tons of versatility in just one piece of beautiful jewelry.”

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Get to know the lady behind Starlite21L & why she decided to become a Stella & Dot consultant:

I went to a Catholic high school and wore a uniform so the only way you could really express yourself was with a bit of jewelry.  I was a huge fan of earrings and was constantly in trouble for breaking dress-code because my ears were pierced so many times.  However, my parents were okay with it because they said “piercings aren’t permanent just don’t get a tattoo or we’ll kill you!”  (When I did decide to get a tattoo that was fun conversation lol)

Through college and working in the real-world I slowly realized what my style encompassed and I’ve come to be a huge fan of statement necklaces or earrings.  I stumbled upon Stella & Dot after complimenting one of my co-workers a few times on her accessories.  I loved the fact that everything could be mixed and matched and worn to work or out with friends.  I decided to become a stylist when I realized how much fun I had showing everyone the versatility of the jewelry while just hanging out in a comfortable environment.

The giveaway widget is below – just let us know what you’d wear the Sutton Necklace for and there are some extra ways to enter also in the widget. Liz is also offering FREE SHIPPING to ANY one that enters this giveaway on orders over $25! Just pay the initial $5.95 and Liz will send you a refund! Happy shopping: www.stelladot.com/LizG

GIVEAWAY ENDS: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 5TH!

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