Jenny & Joe’s Personalized, DIY Rustic Virginia Wedding at Westwood Farm

Man I LOVE me a good Sarah Gormley Photography submission! I was so pumped to get to work with her this past weekend (and already can’t wait to see the images) and am super pumped to share her real Virginia wedding today. Jenny & Joe are just SO awesome, laid-back, and cool – and from their wedding write-up (titled “more than anyone ever wanted to know about Jenny and Joe’s Wedding”), I feel like we should be friends! Bright springtime colors, bike-themed details, a custom wedding ceremony, and the perfect little farm venue – what more could I ask for for a real wedding blog feature? Oh yeah, the couple also decided to bartend their rehearsal dinner (to talk to guests), and setup a pre-wedding RACE (since they met during a triathalon). The one that lost the race, had to say their vows first. There’s SO much to love in the wedding.

Jenny & Joe’s Personalized, DIY Virginia Wedding at the Inn at Westwood Farm

Photographer: Sarah Gormley Photography | Venue: The Inn at Westwood Farm, Orange VA | Officiant: Family friend | Dessert: Ice Cream Sundae bar by Moo Thru | Catering: Beggar’s Banquet  | Florist: Sugar Magnolia | Programs: DIYed by Bride | Decorations & bunting: DIYed by Bride | Table numbers: DIYed by Groom | Signage: DIYed by Couple

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Technically, our first meeting was on the run course of a triathlon, when I passed Joe and beat him. Since then, we pretend to be very competitive with each other during all of our races… so we knew we had to incorporate racing into our wedding weekend somehow. We planned a Wedding Morning Race with 5k and 5 mile run options. Joe and Craig marked the course with sidewalk chalk and cones, and Elizabeth set up coffee and water for all of the runners. We couldn’t believe how many guests showed up (especially given the number of margaritas consumed at our welcome party the night before)! We announced to the guests that we would be stopping at a line a couple hundred yards from the finish, and from there, we would sprint to the finish line. The loser would have to read their vows first at the ceremony. The run turned out to be the perfect way to spend time with our guests, chatting with friends and family we hadn’t seen in ages, while taking the edge off of any pre-wedding nerves that might have been there otherwise. Joe won (rare!), but I ended up being glad to go first as Joe’s vows made me cry!


rustic farm wedding ceremony

In the early stages of planning, we were set on finding a venue in the District. The closer to our NE DC neighborhood, the better. But then, when I was doing some research trying to figure out whether a particular bluegrass band we’d seen play at Sova did weddings or not, I discovered the Inn at Westwood Farm. It looked perfect in all of the photos: it had the outdoor space we couldn’t find in DC, it was “rustic” but in an elegant way that we knew wouldn’t trigger any questions like “WHY do you want to get married on a goat farm?” from our moms, the innkeepers sounded flexible and willing to work with couples to make the weekend personal and perfect. Then we drove out to Orange to see the Inn in person and we met Elizabeth and Jay, the innkeepers. We were sold! It was lovely in the winter, and even lovelier on our warm, sunny spring wedding weekend.

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Our color palette was inspired by the colors you see in nature early April in Virginia. I love yellow for its cheerful vibe, and while biking with Joe last April near Orange, we noticed how beautiful the yellow forsythia and pale pink cherry blossoms looked together all over the countryside. The spring weather cooperated with us fully and our wedding weekend coincided with the peak bloom for both of those flowers! Our whole drive out to Orange was pink and yellow, with pops of green and white, just like our wedding.

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Click inside for the rest of Jenny & Joe’s personalized, DIY Virginia wedding at Westwood Farm

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Kate & Eric’s Laid Back, Washington DC Engagement Pictures

I’m starting a new project at work today and I’m in the HEART of my craziest wedding planning month – so fair warning, the blog might be a bit inconsistent for the rest of May. I PROMISE to try my hardest to not let this happen, but please don’t fret if the posting and social media goings ons are a bit erratic these next few weeks. That being said, I do have a super cute DC engagement session to kick off the week from a first time Capitol Romance featured photographer - Aimee Custis! Aimee’s friends with one of my fall wedding clients and I am super excited to be the first blog feature she’s ever had! I have a feeling we’ll be sharing more awesomeness from her real soon.

Kate & Eric’s Laid Back, Washington DC Engagement Pictures

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Photographer: Aimee Custis Photography

How They Met:

Kate and Eric have two “how we met” stories… the cover story, and how things really went down. The cover story: Kate, who was living in Dupont Circle at the time, was hanging out at Eric’s favorite beer bar, Churchkey. Eric saw Kate, and the rest is history. The real story: Kate and Eric were both on, trying to find someone awesome. Kate’s a little bit older than Eric, so the first two times he contacted her online, she didn’t think she was interested. But Eric was smitten, and when a guy reaches out to you for the third time (and lies about his age!), you can’t help but respond, right? Their first date really was at Churchkey…and the rest really is history!

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Click inside for more of this adorable DC engagement session – including Kate’s super unique engagement ring!

Kate & Baris’ Pastel, Lightly Styled Washington DC Engagement Pictures

I just LOVE this slightly slighted, totally dreamy DC engagement session from One Summer Day. It features a gorgeous multicultural couple, Kate from Russia, and Baris from Turkey – who met and fell in love in the USA. They decided to have their engagement pictures at the National Cathedral (they loved the serene & beautiful, vast, yet intimate feeling of the grounds) and included pastel colors with a pop of cobalt blue. The blue being inspired by the sapphire engagement ring Baris surprised Kate with! Lots to love and be inspired by for today’s capitol inspiration post. Have a great weekend everyone!

Kate & Baris’ Pastel Washington DC Engagement Pictures at the National Cathedral

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Photography: One Summer Day | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

They brought their favorite game – backgammon! Kate chose a palette of pale pastels (inspired by Easter), combined with a deep cobalt blue (inspired by the sapphire in the engagement ring that Baris surprised her with!) Of course, no celebration involving these lovebirds would be complete without Baris’ trusty guitar, which is what he used to steal Kate’s heart all those years ago.

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Behold – an amazing diamond & blue sapphire engagement ring!

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Click inside for the rest of this dreamy, springtime DC engagement session!

Letter to the Editor: Emergency Repairs at the Fairmont DC

This is my first ever “letter to the editor” type post – but I got an email yesterday from a bride to be that is dealing with some unfortunate issues with her wedding venue. I wanted to share her letter so that you all, my readers, could be aware of this – not only if The Fairmont is your venue, but also to reiterate the importance of obtaining venue insurance, and thoroughly vetting your venue before you book with them.

PLEASE be sure to ask your venues what their policies are if something like this were to happen at their space. The more you know and the more you ask, the better protected you will be. Thanks to Katey for sharing.


**UPDATE – Please read the bottom for The Fairmont’s response**

I am not sure if you would post anything like this – also curious if you have heard from any other brides –  but our wedding is June 29 (of this year) at the Fairmont in DC and we were informed yesterday that there will be a major construction project undertaken to address an external water leakage. They will be erecting scaffolding on the external walls that face the street and in the interior courtyard. It essentially ruins the aesthetic of the space. I understand that an issue like this is out of the hotel’s control, however this is the issue:

The hotel insisted to me over and over again that they only just found out about this issue on Friday of last week. However, after pressing them, I learned that another couple learned last week at their tasting. We also are in the process of pulling the permit applications, which we may have identified but need to confirm. If these are one in the same for this project, the hotel was seeking permits for this work  in March.

The Fairmont is letting people out of their contracts with full refunds, but we believe that because this emergency project must take place during the high season of weddings, they are purposefully withholding this information until closer to the event to make it difficult for people to find alternatives.

Also people should be warned that their guest rooms may be impacted.

Would you be willing to let people know about this potential issue? In addition to the couple we met, they know of two other couples potentially impacted.

We don’t want other couples of DC to be caught flatfooted.

I also plan on contacting other local wedding blogs. I would like to get the word out to as many couples as possible.

Thank you for listening.



The Fairmont has since responded:

I just spoke with the director of sales and marketing, Shannon Schneider, and she apologized profusely for what happened and acknowledged that we should have been told sooner. She assisted me with all of the questions our contact could not. And in addition to refunding our money, the hotel has compensated us for our trouble. I did not even ask for it – I just wanted to be made whole. It would be great if you could share this update on the blog as well.  Even though our experience with Mark was not up-to-par, the management has taken steps to rectify the situation, very graciously. Always good to point out when they make it right or you get to the competent person who can help you.

Liza & Mike’s Personalized, DIY Rustic Barn Wedding in Maryland

Douglas Pettway Photography has been killing it lately! Sending me some of the most awesome, personalized, and moving real weddings. This one, Liza & Mike’s, is no different. The couple both grew up in Virginia, so they knew they wanted something laid-back, and natural when it came to their wedding. They came across a barn in Southern MD at Jefferson Patterson Park and just fell in LOVE. They loved the casual barn and knew the natural setting would make for some killer portraits (they were right!).  They hired their family & friends to come together to make this wedding possible, and it’s so apparent just how much love was involved in this wedding day. Take it away Liza & Mike!

Liza & Mike’s Personalized, DIY Jefferson Patterson Park Wedding in Maryland

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Photographer: Douglas Pettway | Venue: Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum | Wedding Coordinator: Erica – friend of bride | Desserts: Cakes and Confections – no wedding cake only bite size desserts | DJRich Barreto | CatererWhitman’s Catering | Flowers: DIY – assembled by friends and family | Hair: Platinum Hair Salon

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We loved the casual barn setting with simple decorations. This was a DIY wedding so we didn’t want to go overboard with the decorations since we were in charge of taking it all down and being cleaned up by 10 pm. The natural setting was beautiful so we didn’t need to do too much. We bought lace runners and used juice glasses to do simple flower arrangements.

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A coworker had told me about the venue. We had looked at a ton of places in VA. Since we both grew up in VA I assumed that’s where we would get married, but we fell in love with this venue in Southern MD. The water and beach was a great background for our couple pictures.

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Click inside for the rest of Liza & Mike’s gorgeous, handmade Maryland barn wedding.

Introducing #PopUpRomance ~ A Vow Renewal Giveaway & Collaborative Art Event


Guys!!! Pop Wed Co & I are teaming up to bring something EXTRA AWESOME to the DC MEET Market on June 7th! For starters, it’s Capital Pride weekend, and for seconds, the market is going to be taking on a PRIDE theme, as it sits right on the parade route. So Maggie & I though – why not up the ante and do something EVEN more awesome to help celebrate love on such an amazing weekend!?

Boom. We give you, #PopUpRomance.

One part collaborative art installation, and one part vow renewal giveaway, #PopUpRomance is going to be SO SO AWESOME. We have lots of goodies in store for our vow renewal giveaway winners (ENTER BELOW!!) and the art installation is going to be going on all day at the DC MEET Market. So PLEASE come join us on Saturday, June 7th and help spread the LOVE.


Want to enter our Vow Renewal Giveaway?!!? Leave a blog post comment to tell us about YOUR love story and why you want to renew your vows on Capital Pride Weekend at the DC MEET Market!

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Giveaway: Win a Custom, Stoneware Wedding Ring Holder

Giveaway: Enter to Win a Custom, Handmade Stoneware Wedding Ring Holder

Thanks to the ever-awesome Love, Lori Michelle, I was introduced to another talented, local DC artist that makes custom items for weddings & special events – this time, from pottery! Meet Sarah (the lady behind Why Food Works) and check out her pottery company, Stoneware By Sarah. You can check out her Facebook page, Stoneware By Sarah, or the store to order a customized piece. All the pots are fired at over 2000F, so they’re oven, microwave, and dishwasher safe! She even has an entire “wedding collection” of pieces that would make for an awesome, local DC wedding gift idea!


A bit about Sarah & her pottery company:

Sarah has been doing pottery for 2 years – she started on a whim, and now thinks she’s hooked for life.  Her main business is nutrition – doing healthy, interactive dinner parties in people’s homes – so it only makes sense that her hobby ends up on the table, too!  After seeing some glass-bottom pieces in a studio, she got the idea to give wedding gifts to friends with glass from the wine served at their reception melted into the bottom of mugs, ring dishes, and spoon rests.  It’s a perfect way to preserve the memory of the day, and would be a great use of the glass broken at Jewish ceremonies, too, since only a small shard is needed to incorporate into the piece!
Pretty rad right?! Well Sarah is giving away a custom wedding ring holder (seen above!) to one lucky reader! Just comment on this post, what you’d use the wedding ring holder for and like Sarah’s Facebook page, and share on Twitter for extra chances to win!


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Let’s Get Personal: New Years Resolution Check-In & Grade

This year I set a New Years Resolution (who didn’t), but I also had some REAL resolve to actually work on the resolution and work to meet it this year. I knew 2014 was going to be a crazy year – personally and professionally, and so far it hasn’t disappointed. With a full set of weddings, starting a new project at the day job, launching the Classifieds, launching the DIY Wedding Workshops, changing up our vendor guide … and SO MUCH MORE, 2014 has already turned out to be one crazy year. And it’s only just May!

So our resolution this year was to work on “follow-through”. Actually doing the things I said I would do. This meant everything from ACTUALLY making that dinner date with a friend or colleague, after the common place “we should get drinks!” is exchanged, to completely some huge projects that we dreamed up and have started. For today’s personal post, I thought it might be fun to check in on my resolution and grade myself for the year so far. Because believe it or not, come June, 2014 is already half-way over (Mind. Blown).

Let’s Get Personal: New Years Resolution Check-In & Grading

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I’ll start by saying that this post will include 2 grades, one for my personal life and one for my professional. In both areas I think “follow-through” is important for different reasons. Personally, I had grown pretty tired of the ever-growing flakiness of people in my personal life. Plans are made, and so easily broken or never seen through completion. Cell phones make it too easy to flake out on promises of “texting you later”. Now let’s be honest here. I am 100% guilty of doing this too! Last year I often told friends that I would be somewhere and when the time came, the couch seemed like the better option and that half-truth text message got sent.

“Ah sorry! I didn’t see my phone until just now, probably not going to make it ….” This needed to stop. I needed to be better at following-through on the commitments I made, no matter how informal. So I resolved to do that this year – make those dinner/drink plans we always TALKED about making (but never did).

So far, I’ll give myself a C+ personally (thanks in part to the 2 emails, I literally JUST sent to friends I’ve been meaning to grab drinks with for a few months now). I’m still doing the “sorry I just saw this” text a bit too much, but all in all, I think I’ve been better about making concrete plans with people and actually following through on those plans. The funny thing is – once you ACTUALLY follow-through with the plans, you’ll find that you end up having a GREAT time.

Professionally, I’ll give myself a B. I’ve followed-through on some HUGE things this year already, but there have been 2 projects that fell victim to lack of follow-through on my part. One was probably for the best (and probably won’t come to fruition this year – and that’s OK) but the second, I need to just GET DONE. I’m not sure what it is, but I just can’t bring myself to do the things that need to be done on it.

I guess I should realize that I do have 6+ months left to get my grades up, but hey, at least I am passing ;)

Your turn! How are you doing on your New Years Resolution?

Sarah & Dave’s Modern, Intimate Washington DC Wedding at Fathom Gallery

It’s been far too long since we’ve had Sweet Tea Photography on the blog! But she sent us this darling, modern DC wedding at one of my favorite new(ish) venues in DC and I just couldn’t say no! Fathom Gallery is SO much awesome. Located right in Logan Circle, super industrial meets modern design (the barn doors Sarah & Dave got married under will make you want to move in – I always do every time I’m there), lots of the furniture is provided, and the gallery even prints YOUR photos and hangs them around the gallery during your event!

Seriously. This place is so rad and I am SO pumped that I get to work there in June! I loved how Sarah & Dave used pops of red in their flowers against the sleek, white of the gallery. I also love how even though their wedding was small, it didn’t stop them from having SO much fun once the party started. Thanks again to Sweet Tea Photography for sending us this one!

Sarah & Dave’s Modern, Intimate Washington DC Wedding at Fathom Gallery

modern intimate DC wedding Fathom Gallery


Photography: Sweet Tea Photography | Venue: Fathom Gallery | Wedding Planner: Some Kind of Wonderful Events | Bride’s Dress: Heidi Elnora via Soliloquy Bridal Couture | Catering: 42 Degrees of Catering | Florist: Lynn Vale Studios | DJ: DJ Rich, Bialek’s Music | Celebrant: Capitol Hill Celebrant

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In a truly artful fashion, Sarah and David were married at Fathom Gallery. The couple’s immediate family gathered for a touching and intimate ceremony in front of the gallery’s sliding silver doors (the feature that sold Sarah on the location). Immediately following the ceremony, the rest of the guests hit the dance floor while sporting sunglasses made for the special day, dancing to music provided by DJ Rich from Bialek’s.

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Special touches included linens from the groom’s sister’s wedding for the buffet, framed pictures of the couples hanging throughout the gallery, markers at a dry erase wall for the children to draw on and guests to write greetings and best wishes, and a beautiful roof top deck where guests cool down from dancing.

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Click inside for the rest of Sarah & Dave’s intimate, modern DC wedding at Fathom Gallery.

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