Jenn & Dan’s Intimate, Modern & Local DC Wedding at the Tabard Inn


This wedding packs a bunch of my favorite things. An intimate ceremony at the Tabard Inn, a bride in an AWESOME alternative wedding dress (and neon green heels to boot), an offbeat, backyard reception in Mt. Pleasant, and so many rad, local DC wedding vendors! The photographer, Michelle VanTine Photography, sent us this one and opened the submission with, “Any wedding that starts with me walking in to the bride and groom getting ready together and the bride drinking “Raging Bitch” beer and putting on bright green shoes is automatically going to be awesome!” And man, was she right. Check out Jenn & Dan’s awesome, intimate & local Washington DC wedding!

Jenn & Dan’s Intimate, Modern & Local Washington DC Wedding Ceremony & Backyard Reception

offbeat intimate small budget DC wedding


Photography: Michelle VanTine Photography | Ceremony Venue: Tabard Inn | Reception/Party Venue: Mt. Pleasant Shabby Chic BnB | Catering: Green Plate Catering | Band: Dry Mill Bluegrass Band | Event Design: Taylor and Hov | Rentals: Something Vintage Rentals | Flowers: Local Color Flowers | Beer: 3 Stars Brewing Company | Cheese: Righteous Cheese | Lighting: Yours Truly Lighting | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Jenn & Dan had their wedding ceremony at the Tabard Inn but instead of a normal wedding reception to follow, they had a simple, vegetarian dinner with an intimate group of friends & family. Then, they next day, they through a big, backyard party in Mt. Pleasant with a bluegrass band, vintage rentals, and drinks & outdoor games! Love this idea for couples on a budget.
offbeat intimate small budget DC wedding

From Jenn:
Dan and I are a pretty laid back pair, so we decided early on to have a small wedding. Much easier said than done! But somehow we navigated those waters and ended up with 48 guests at the beautiful and quirky Tabard Inn. The outdoor patio has a fantastic secret garden-esque feel. And best of all, no decorating required!
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We wrote our own vows- Dan’s were characteristically goofy and sweet at the same time.  Let’s just say there was lots of laughing/crying all around. The service was followed by cocktail hour and dinner upstairs in the private dining rooms.  We added some personal touches to dinner, including photos of our parents and grandparents on their wedding day for guests to see.  We also made chocolate truffles as favors using my late grandmother’s secret recipe.
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Click inside for the rest of Jenn & Dan’s offbeat, DC wedding – including all the awesome decor and setup at their backyard bash!
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Sponsor Love: Pop Wed Co – DC Elopement Ceremonies & Photography

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We have a brand new sponsor on our side bar and we are THRILLED to tell you more about them! They are Pop Wed Co and, in their own words, they’re: a team of elopement-planning-awesome! A photographer & a civil celebrant planning the most fun elopement weddings for couples from all over the world, that want to get married in Washington, DC.

dc elopements

Now you KNOW we love elopements here on Capitol Romance, so obviously we think Pop Wed Co is such a rad idea! Plus they made a stop motion video, using dinosaurs, to explain the company, which is just all kinds of awesome. Check it out:

With the Pop Wed Co package, Maggie & Steven offer one-hour elopement weddings, including a legal ceremony and a wedding portrait session, plus all sorts of extra goodies! How It Works.

Want more awesome? Check out some of Maggie‘s previous elopements:

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So if you or someone you know might want to elope in DC – be sure to let them know about Pop Wed Co!

Mike & Sam’s DC Record Store Engagement Session in Adams Morgan

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I love today’s DC engagement session feature! It includes an adorable couple that bonded over their love of music – and so naturally they had part of their session in a local record store in Adams Morgan (Smash Records). After meeting online, Sam fell in love with Mike’s intelligence and humility, and Mike admired Sam for her bravery and courage in being herself and standing up for what she believes in.

I also love when couples chose to have part of their session at their home – it’s such a great, laid back place to take your engagement pictures and really shows a couple at ease, in their element. A thanks to Photography by Paulina for sharing these images with us via Two Bright Lights!

Mike & Sam’s Washington DC Record Store Engagement Session in Adams Morgan

hipster dc engagement pictures

Photography: Photography by Paulina | Venue: Smash Records | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

hipster dc engagement pictures

How the met:

Sam: We met on OKCupid, an online dating website.
Mike: I sent Sam a message and she was so man-hating that it took her forever to reply. I thought she wasn’t interested but then, a week later, I finally got a reply. I was so happy to see her on our first date, even if it was incredibly awkward at first.
Sam: He didn’t recognize me as the girl he had been talking with online because I decided not to wear glasses that day. (I was wearing glasses in all of my pictures.) I didn’t want to look too nerdy for our first date. Guess I didn’t know who I was dealing with…
Mike: When I walked in, she popped up immediately, got right in my face and said, “HEY!” And I was like, “What? Oohh, yeah…it’s you…”

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Click inside for the rest of Mike & Sam’s adorable, alternative DC engagement session!

Karen & TJ’s Art Deco Wedding at the Carlyle Club in Alexandria, VA


Amie Otto Photography sent me this awesome wedding a few months back on Two Bright Lights and I was holding onto it for a while to see if I couldn’t get more details from the couple. Alas, not everyone has a time on their hands to sit around and type up details on their wedding (and that’s OK) and so I decided to use the beautiful images for today’s Friday Wedding Inspiration feature instead. Karen’s dress is an awesome, 1950′s styled, tea length dress which reminds me so much of mine (so naturally I love it) and I loved how they really played into the art deco vibe of their venue, the Carlyle Club. The accessories (vintage/gold!), table numbers, and cake all carried the art deco theme. They even requested that their guests wore black and white to keep that vintage vibe. Topping things off with a motown band – and they were all set! Take it away Amie.

Karen & TJ’s Vintage, Art Deco Inspired Virginia Wedding at the Carlyle Club

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Photographer: Amie Otto Photography | Venue: The Carlyle Club | Band: Blue Tips Rhythm Revue | Cakejoys cake studio | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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Click inside for the rest of Karen & TJ’s vintage-inspired, Art Deco wedding at the Carlyle Club in Alexandria, VA

Ophelia & Ana’s Hot Pink & Black Maryland Wedding at Ceresville Mansion


Today’s real Maryland wedding features not just one, but two beautiful brides! Eastport Photography sent us the beautiful union of Ophelia & Ana at Ceresville Mansion in Frederick Maryland. These ladies got married in some serious style with the super fun & modern black, white and hot pink color palette (one of my favs!) and some chic style. There ceremony space was gorgeous and their DJ had them rocking the night away. Take it away ladies!

Ophelia & Ana’s Modern, Hot Pink & Black Maryland Wedding at Ceresville Mansion

same sex modern hot pink wedding


Photographer:  Eastport Photography | Reception Venue: Ceresville Mansion | DJ: Champion Sounds | Floral Designer: Flowers by Eden | Makeup Artist: Silver Immersion | Cake Designer: Sugar Bakers Cakes | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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Ana and Ophelia chose the picturesque Ceresville Mansion in Frederick, Maryland for their special day. Ana and Ophelia got ready for their nuptials upstairs in the Mansion, across the hall from each other, being very careful not to see each other until the wedding ceremony!

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Click inside for the rest of Ophelia & Ana’s modern, Maryland wedding at Ceresville Mansion in Frederick!

Kim & Ryan’s Offbeat, DC Themed Wedding at Mt. Vernon Inn

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Very excited to introduce a Capitol Romance first-timer (The Girl Tyler!) to the blog today and my oh my is she kicking things off with a bang. Let me just say that her submission included, “I have a great DC wedding I’d love to send your way … complete with a Tina Turner Drag Queen performance”. Well hell yes, you had me at Drag Queen performance. At a wedding?! I LOVE IT.

But the fun doesn’t stop there, this DC wedding is chock-full of DC themed wedding details! A Washington, DC themed wedding cake & a Capitol Bikeshare groom cake, whimsical DC-themed map invitations, and mini pie favors from a Georgetown pie shop made up their wedding details (amid others) and the whole thing was captured beautifully by The Girl Tyler.

Kim & Ryan’s Offbeat, Washington DC Themed Wedding at Mt. Vernon Inn

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Photographer:  The Girl Tyler | Heirlooms and extras: Bethany Lorelle | Bride’s Dress: Curvaceous Couture | Floral Designer: Fifi Flowers | Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Mens Warehouse - Vera Wang Collection | Bakery (Favors): Pie Sisters | Hair Stylist: Red Door Spa | Musicians: Spencer Bates | Groom Cake Designer: Sticky Fingers Bakery | Wedding Cake Designer: Sweets by E | Invitation Designer: The Girl Tyler: Design & Photography | Other: Tina Turner Impersonator | Bride’s Shoes: TOMS | Etsy Designer: Anthology on Main | Officiant: Divine Transformation Weddings | Reception Venue: Mount Vernon Inn | Cake Toppers: Pegged – Custom Kokeshi Doll Cake Toppers on Etsy | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Ryan and I met in 2009 on where we both bonded over being on the college newspaper and mutual interest in exploring the DC area.  Ryan’s first phone call to Kimberly was from a bike ride he did to Mount Vernon.  Mount Vernon was Ryan’s favorite destination in DC and he’s very fond of his bike rides on the Mount Vernon trail.

When it came time to pick a wedding location, we really wanted to get married at a historical location that reflected our love of DC. Mount Vernon had a special place in my (Kimberly’s) heart as I had moved often as a kid when her father was in the Navy but always thought of DC as home.  Kimberly’s parents had also loved taking her and her siblings to Mount Vernon.

whimsical dc themed wedding invitations

Our invitations were custom illustrations of us happily riding on our bicycles to Mount Vernon as we wanted to let our guests know that they were in for a whimsical and beautiful journey on GW Parkway to the venue. Our canvas welcome bags had a custom Mount Vernon logo with our names and a drawing of the venue on it. We had a custom Map from The Girl Tyler in our invitation package and the two of us had lists of our favorite things to do in the area and area pamphlets in the bags.

blue engagement ring

We originally were going to do all black suits and dresses to make it easy for the bridal party but Kimberly’s friends convinced her to go with what she really wanted which was blue and yellow.  Kimberly’s favorite colors are blue and yellow, partially because of her allegiances to Georgia Tech, her undergrad alma mater, and Georgetown, her graduate school.  Plus Kimberly has always loved the simple and beautiful look of yellow sunflowers.  Ryan’s first flowers for Kimberly were also sunflowers.  The gray tuxedos were chosen to pop against the blue.


The bride’s bouquet was a mixture of white and yellow flowers that were intended to look like they came from Martha Washington’s garden.  The bridesmaids had bouquets of yellow sunflowers and hydrangeas.  Our ceremony began with an introduction to Mount Vernon.

And the bride wore TOMS because she loves TOMS!

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 We really wanted to show our guests the kind of hospitality that Martha and George Washington were famous for showing their guests at Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant.  The Washingtons were known for welcoming anyone, poor, rich, friends, strangers, into their homes and showing them kindness.

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Click inside for the rest of Kim & Ryan’s personalized, DC themed wedding at Mt. Vernon Inn!

Rose & David’s Simple, Vintage Inspired Alexandria Wedding

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Nothing like a wedding full of beautiful details. No over the top decor, no over embellished design, just a simple, vintage inspired wedding centered around two lovely people, in love. Rose & David met online many years ago and one day found themselves ready to plan their wedding. Rose explained that they wanted to strike a balance between wanting an elegant affair, one that was a great experience for their friends & family, but also one that was on a reasonable budget.

I think what they ended with was a classic wedding – perfectly executing their initial vision. Don’t you think? A thanks to the wonderful Tim Riddick Photography for sharing these images.

Rose & David’s Classic, Simple, Vintage-Inspired Wedding at Hollin Hall in Alexandria, VA

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Photography: Tim Riddick Photography | Venue: Hollin Hall

Their love story:

David and I have been together since August 2007 after having met on He insists it was his incredible good looks and what he wrote on his profile, I insist that I just wanted to know what internet company he worked for and to let him know that his little dog wasn’t very manly, but we continued to communicate over the course of a couple of weeks and decided to meet. Our first date was for drinks at Clyde’s in Reston, and a week later we went out for dinner with his manly dog and relationship grew from there. As time passed, we stuck together through thick and thin and he decided he was ready to pop the question in late 2011. So, he snuck into my jewelry box, took a ring and had an engagement ring made. I had no clue it was coming so it was quite a shock when he placed the ring in front of me while we were waiting for dessert on Christmas Eve.

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As we started to plan for the wedding, we had to strike a balance between wanting an elegant, great experience for our family and friends but needing to keep within a reasonable budget. We are lucky to have many people in our life who were willing and able to help us with many aspects of our wedding which helped keep us within our budget, including a lot of the DIY touches. The look and feel of the wedding was simple and classic with hints of vintage flair. The day was not perfect- the officiant arrived 20 minutes late which pushed everything else back really making the remainder of the evening feel rushed, but it was still a beautiful day! And it gives a fun story to tell about our wedding day.

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Click inside for the rest of Rose & David’s Classic, Vintage Virginia wedding at Hollin Hall!

Katie & Wyatt’s Post-Deployment Engagement Session at Dulles Airport

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Something a little different to start the week courtesy of the amazing Sarah Gormley Photography. Sarah was asked to be on-hand at the Dulles Airport arrival gates when Katie would see her fiance Wyatt for the first time after 6 months of being apart due to his deployment. Sarah captured some seriously beautiful and raw moments of Wyatt’s arrival and then the two escaped outside Dulles for a few “engagement session” styled pictures. I really can’t imagine what it would be like to be away from Andy for 6 months. I give military couples so much credit and will forever be in awe of their strength and courage to endure the lengthy time apart (and through such stressful and sometimes dangerous circumstances).  So cheers to Katie & Wyatt, cheers to all couples that deal with a deployed loved one or partner, and cheers to Sarah for sharing these raw images as a reminder of love in its truest form.

 Katie & Wyatt’s Post-Deployment Reunion & Engagement Session at Dulles Airport in Virginia

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Photography: Sarah Gormley Photography

Katie shares her thoughts on having Sarah there to capture these moments:

I would say that having [Sarah] capture that moment was something unexpected/so great. I know I will never forget how I felt in the days/weeks waiting for Wyatt to get back–with Wyatt only having been home for two weeks total in a year, having him finally be back was overwhelming–a mix of happiness, relief, nervousness, excitement, all wrapped into one.  When I finally did see him right in front of me–hugging my niece, his sister, my mom– all I could do was smile. I could barely get hello out because I was so taken with the moment. Like all military couples–we know we will have our times where we will be a part, and it will be hard, but having [Sarah] be there to capture that time for us –the good part for us and our family–was something I will never forget.

Just so much awesome.

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Happy Monday Romancers. Hope you guys have a great week and stay warm out there!

Announcing the 2014 Capitol Romance Reader Survey

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reader survey

The name of the game for 2014 is follow-through. We’ve been talking about a reader survey for probably over a year now – to get a better handle on our readers and what they (you!) want to see. Are we hitting the mark? Are there other things you want to be seeing? Let us know by filling out this super easy & hopefully painless 10-question survey.

Take our survey here:

As a way of saying THANKS to you for filling it out (and for reading the blog) one lucky person that answers will win a $50 Visa gift card!

As always, I cannot thank you all enough for reading Capitol Romance – it would be nothing with you all!

<3 Bree

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