Jeff & Amanda’s Modern Gold New Years Eve Wedding in Richmond, Virginia

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Images: Ash Carr

Sometimes I am in awe of just how stylish people are! Fashion has never really been my thing (I mostly always chose comfort over “style) so when couples find ways to emulate serious style in their wedding – well I just eat it up. Amanda & Jeff did just this for their modern, gold & classy New Years Eve wedding in Richmond, VA. Set in a 1900s train station, Amanda & Jeff planned their wedding from NY and matched the glitz and glamour of the New Years Eve holiday perfectly with their gold details and romantic candles.

And their style – I just can’t get over it! The mink shrug, the mismatched bridesmaids (that look like they walked off a runway!), the dapper dudes in tuxes. It’s just gorgeous. I know you guys are going to love this Virginia wedding (I had a REALLY hard time cutting back on the images just FYI!).

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On having a New Years Eve wedding:

I was very wedding adverse at first–Jeff finally broke me down after we went to a friend’s wedding on NYE the year before. I loved that everyone was in a celebratory mood, guests looked and felt festive. Gold and white felt festive and very black tie!

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Click inside for SO MUCH MORE – including why they chose a train station as their venue (warning: the reason might make you cry!!!)

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Maya & Lee’s Intimate Old Town Alexandria Virginia Wedding in the Fall

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Images: Angel Kidwell Photography

Is it too early to pine over Fall weddings? Wait let me answer that for you … NEVER!! The pumpkins, the Fall DIY floral arrangements, the fallen leaves – there’s a lot of Fall wedding goodness in this intimate Virginia wedding feature. The details from the ceremony though are the ones I love the most. The couple’s family had never met before the wedding day (!!) and so Maya & Lee crafted a very personalized wedding ceremony that helped to really intertwine their two families and histories into one. Love it!

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Details on wedding elements:

[We wanted] a fun and personal, autumn-themed wedding in one of our favorite area neighborhoods: Old Town Alexandria. We love autumn – the colors, foliage, foods, weather, etc – and love Old Town’s history and charm. Some inspiration and guiding themes: elegant, artsy, global, fun, autumn, creative, rustic, personal.

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DIY or handmade details:

[We had] a lot of crafty DIY elements, trying to make it a reflection of our creativity, fun and global backgrounds. Ceremony programs, party favors, postcards/guestbook, table seating signs, table signs, chalkboard signs, and flower bouquet and arrangements.

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Click inside for SO MUCH MORE awesome from Lee & Maya’s DIY Intimate Virginia Wedding!

Jenn & Victor’s Casual Washington DC Engagement Pictures at Capitol Hill Books

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Images: Mathy Shoots People

If you’ve never been to Capitol Hill Books near Eastern Market – you must go! I’ll never forget the first time I went – it’s quirky beyond belief with books stacked literally EVERYWHERE. This place is NOT for anyone that is claustrophobic (some of the passageways between books are SO tight and the ceilings in the basement might not be higher than 6 feet). You have the constant feeling that touching one book might take the whole place down. I also always wonder about the fire hazard it seems to be (but that’s just me).

One of my favorite things too are the hilarious “spoilers” on some of the books near the front. Totally worth it if you find yourself near Eastern Market, once it’s not so bitterly cold anymore. Anyway – Jenny & Victor decided to take their DC engagement pictures here and I just LOVE it. The shots are stunning and fun and everything engagement pictures shoot be! Check them all out:

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In Jenny’s words:

I’m originally from San Jose, California — I met Victor, a native of Northern Virginia, a little over five years ago when I left home for school at the University of Pennsylvania. I remember making idle conversation with him in a creative writing class we shared early sophomore year, whereupon I learned we were both English majors. Our professor, overhearing, said that we’d be seeing a lot of each other. Little did I know just how right she was — I started running into Victor around campus, at study groups for Economics, and even my literary magazine meetings! A week after our first conversation he invited me out on the pretense of doing fieldwork for our latest nonfiction assignment, and we’ve been inseparable ever since.

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Click inside for the rest of this adorable DC engagement session & the proposal story!

Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck: “I See Fire” by Peter Hollens

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This one came up on my Pandora. It made me realize how much I miss doing this wedding music that doesn’t suck post (seriously guys! send in yours and help me out here ;-p). Once I researched it a bit further the song only got cooler because for one, it’s a cover, and for two it’s from The Hobbit. So yeah, what better type of music to use in your wedding than from a freakin’ fantasy novel/movie?!

I just love how epic this song sounds. It really moves and builds and I just instantly get images of a bride/groom walking down the aisle with this moving sound ushering them down to marry their love.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Penney & Bryan’s Super Small Budget, DIY Fall Wedding in Virginia

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Images: Noe Todorovich

Penney & Bryan met at work in Arlington, VA. They have since moved to Austin, TX but decided to have their wedding back in the DC metro area, where their relationship began. They are so clearly smitten with eachother and thrilled to be getting married, but they took an extremely practical route – opting for  an intimate gathering, getting ready together, and making a lot of the “details” of the wedding day. Also, Penney’s tights are TO DIE FOR. Check it all out!

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Our Approach: We wanted to do something that would be relatively easy to plan from afar, as we lived in Austin but wanted to celebrate where we met – Washington, DC. Our families aren’t centralized and having attending a plethora of weddings, we really valued making it simple for us and our friends.

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Non-Traditional: As agnostics, we didn’t want or need a religious service, so we held an intimate ceremony in an Arlington officiant’s office, inviting only family and a few close friends. We also didn’t have a wedding party, a registry, a dress code, a bouquet toss or videographer. Our ‘reception’ was really a celebration at a bar with food and booze!

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Venues: We chose venues we were familiar with and were easily accessible, mainly centered in Shirlington. Most importantly we picked places and things that would make it fun, without too much pomp and circumstance.

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Click inside for the rest of Penney & Brian’s super DIY, small budget wedding in Arlington, VA!

Capitol Advice: Tips & Advice for Planning a Wedding with Divorced Parents

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Image: Photography by Anna Clark

Let me start off by saying that I don’t have divorced parents, so I cannot really speak from first hand knowledge on this wedding advice post. I have, however, been a wedding coordinator for many couples that have divorced parents and have family members with spouses that have divorced parents, so while it isn’t directly affecting me, it’s something I felt compelled to write about.

I felt compelled to write about this because I thought some of my past clients could help other engaged couples navigate the somewhat tricky territory of planning a wedding with divorced parents. And let’s be honest, a lot of these pieces of advice are useful for dealing with family members and wedding planning in general (listen! be patient! be communicative! etc).

As always, I have to thank my amazing readers and Facebook Fans that came out in droves with responses to my call for help on writing this piece. You guys are rockstars. So here goes…

Tips & Advice for Planning a Wedding with Divorced Parents

To make this a bit easier, I thought I would break it down into a few sections with different topics. Within each topic are advice and experiences from REAL couples in the DC area that planned a wedding with divorced parents.

“Quickly we learned that we weren’t going to please everyone and that at some point I was going to be the middle man to hear the concerns from both sides. I always tried to have understanding in the back of my mind.” – a recent Groom

#1. Consider Foregoing Traditions

ben and sophia photography

Image: Ben & Sophia Photography

Certain wedding traditions can make for awkward situations when you have divorced parents. The father-bride dance, who walks who down the aisle, the “parents table”, and so on. To help alleviate potential stress or hurt feelings here, consider foregoing any of these traditions and just doing ones that make sense for you.

“I had always loved the idea of incorporating photos from parents’ and grandparents’ weddings into the decor. However, we decided to nix this idea in order to avoid any awkwardness. As for logistics — the groom’s dad walked his wife (groom’s step mom) down the aisle and the groom’s Stepdad walked the groom’s mom down the aisle during the processional. We made sure to list both sets of parents in the program & mention them in all speeches.”

“If certain traditions are not important to you, and make it easier – skip them!  We skipped announcing the parents when we entered the reception and did the bridal party only because we didn’t want to worry about order, name announcing, etc.”

#2. Take Seating Arrangements into Consideration

Love Life Images

Image: Love Life Images

Even adults need space sometimes and even the simple act of seating divorced parents with a “buffer” could help during the reception.

“We were originally going to have a “Parents Table” but we ultimately decided to have each set of parents (both of the groom’s parents are remarried) sit at their own table, surrounded by extended family/friends. We put my parents in the middle table – between the groom’s parents – as an extra buffer to avoid unnecessary drama.”



Image: Sarah Gormley Photography

Listening is one of those things that is crucial to wedding planning no matter the status of your parents. This is important for dealing with vendors, your soon to be spouse, your friends, your wedding party AND your parents.

“Listen to their concerns. Listen to their ideas. Listen to them vent about the other side. I think I realized that the majority of the time, they just wanted to be heard. Make some of your ideas their own if they really have to have a say. We didn’t realize until way too late that one parent wanted to have something to call their own – the ability to say “I planned that part of their wedding, wasn’t it great?” It would’ve been a lot easier if we had talked about it with both sides early on, so that we wouldn’t have been so caught off guard.”

#4. Plan Ahead & Communicate

lovingly caputred by Sarah Danaher (Ampersand Photography, © 2012)

Image: Sarah Bradshaw Photography

Again, another one that fits universally for wedding planning advice – the earlier you and your spouse can sit down and be on the same page with regards to a “plan”, the better. As a recent groom explained, planning helped to limit surprised and possible hurt feelings.

“Planning helps a lot. It helps to limit surprise interactions and possible hurt feelings. We knew where each parent would sit, how they would be introduced, and the order of family photos among other things. When either side would try to insert themselves differently, we could fall back to “the wedding plan.” Talk to each parent early on in the process to find out their expectations. Be prepared with your plan, but also listen to what they had been thinking, and try to incorporate at least a little of that into your plan.”

Another recent bride in the area found an ally in her brother and found help with talking to him ahead of time to help her guide conversations with her parents.

“Anyway, finding an ally in a sibling is helpful! And framing the conversation to be about family (meeting the new family, reconnecting with other family members) outlines the importance of the wedding weekend: it is not just a party, it is about a life commitment and joining families together.”

And in the end, remember that though it can be stressful and difficult at times, the end goal is marrying the love of your life!

Almost all the couples I talked to mentioned that while it wasn’t easy to plan a wedding with divorced parents, in the end, everyone was happy and enjoyed themselves on the wedding day.

“It seems like the end of the world at the time, but in the end, that is not the part they are going to remember.  We had our share of issues, and when I think back to our wedding, all I really remember are the happy parts…”

Kate & Patrick’s Quintessential Washington DC Engagement Pictures in Georgetown

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Images: Michael Munoz Photography

I‘m not going to lie, it was Kate’s perfect black & White striped dress that first caught my eye with this engagement session. Coupled with Michael Munoz Photography’s beautiful images and SO many smiles, I thought this would make a perfect DC engagement session feature.

This week is a busy one with our first 2015 Fuel DC event on Tuesday and my finally getting to go to a “The Hour” Gluten Free Happy Hour on Wednesday, so I was happy to have some time this past weekend to catch up on emails and mostly relax. Andy spent the weekend hard at work trying to finish the office floors & starting our bedroom floors (which now has us temporarily sleeping in the #CapRoHQ office) AND two of our good friends got engaged Saturday night AND I watched Harry Potter 7 (Parts 1 and 2) this weekend. so all in all, a great weekend.

So let’s get Kate & Patrick to help us kick off the week!

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How they met:

Kate and Patrick first met on a sunny summer day in our nation’s capital. It was Kate’s second day of work at a local university. She stopped for coffee in the student center café when Patrick walked through the door wearing mesh shorts, earbuds and a backward baseball cap- most likely Yankees. A co-worker introduced them and Kate learned that Patrick also worked at the university, was training for a half marathon and shared her affinity for television science fiction dramas. Kate thought Patrick was handsome and charming. Patrick thought Kate had a beautiful smile.

After seeing her during several summer orientation sessions and campus projects, Patrick sent Kate a riddle that led her to their first date at the National Zoo. A few dates later- including a choose-your-own-adventure date, an epic eight-hour date, most of the Smithsonian museums and gelato on the Waterfront, Patrick knew he found the one!

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The proposal story:

Patrick selected the engagement ring on his birthday. He wanted to remember the moment when he found the perfect one and he knew Kate wouldn’t suspect he was shopping for her that day. Although he had been plotting elaborate proposal schemes, including a fake fall during a run downtown, Patrick decided to pop the question at one of the couple’s favorite places– Georgetown Waterfront Park. The couple held their engagement photo session at the same location. “Kate and Patrick told me that their favorite D.C. locations were in the old part of town, including some contemporary locations along Georgetown Waterfront Park and some archetypal locations such as the old Aqueduct Bridge.

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Kate and Patrick are set to tie the knot on June 21, 2014 in downtown D.C.

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Capitol Inspiration: DIY Alternative Snow Inspired Bridal Shoot

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Images: Amber Wilkie Photography

It was the first real snow fall in the DC area a few weeks ago (before our bigger storm this past week) and an impromtu shoot formed over Facebook for some local DC wedding vendors to get together and have some fun. Once I saw the result, I knew I had to share it here. I love the contrast between the snow and the darker, glam styled models. Plus that vintage candelabra is everything. Happy Friday Romancers, stay warm!!

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More from the shoot coordinator, Simply Breathe Events:

During our first “snow” of the year in the DMV, Amber Wilkie Photography reached out via Facebook to coordinate a last minute styled shoot. Although we all thought she was joking at first (even herself), a bunch of really cool vendors stepped in at the opportunity and I’m sure Amber never would have expected for it to come out as awesome as it did!

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Nothing was purchased for this shoot! Everything was selected from past photo shoots, or knick knacks from around our homes. That’s what made everything that much more eclectic and “vintage-glam”. The dark features of the shoot were completely unplanned. When Liz from Studio DBI offered her amazingly cool candelabra and the black candles, we knew we had to run with it.To achieve this look on your own, get ready to be adventurous. Think outside of the box! Shop at vintage and thrift stores. Anything goes!

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Click inside for the rest of this fun, dramatic snow filled bridal inspiration shoot!

Vendor Spotlight: Just For The Day Wedding Coordination with Jasmine Smith

*sponsored post*

JFD Wedding Logo

Sometimes you meet people and its uncanny how many similarities you have with them right off the bat. This is exactly what happened when I started emailing with Jasmine, owner of Just for the Day, a DC-based wedding coordination business. Jasmine started her wedding business on the side while working a full-time consulting job (like me!), runs an awesome side business that helps small business owners on PR & marketing (like me!), and is focused mainly on providing coordination services over full wedding planning to her clients. I am so excited to get to share more with you guys today about Jasmine & Just For The Day Weddings – and if you are in need of a wedding coordinator, please check her out!

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First, a bit more about Jasmine:

Jasmine is the owner of Just For the Day (JFD), a D.C. based day of wedding coordinating business. JFD works primarily with DIY couples who enjoy the planning process but need help pulling it all 2015-02-18_0002together and seeing all of the couples plans through on the wedding day. Jasmine has an extensive event management  background that includes producing televised events and exclusive high profile award shows. She has coordinated weddings all around the D.C. metro area for the past eight years and lives for making things  happen! Follow Just For the Day on Twitter or Instagram!

 Second, here’s a bit about her ideal clients:

A couple that has enjoyed wedding planning but wants to make sure all of the loose ends are tightened and  that the wedding day goes according to plan perfectly (yes, I said perfect). And if something comes up  unexpectedly, they don’t worry but defer to our team.

How her booking schedule works:

We’ve had couples to book us as early as 1 year out and as late as 1 month before the wedding. Either way,  we can make it work.

Her wedding coordination experience:

We’ve coordinated weddings at hotels, private homes, county properties, parks, and international banquet halls. (Check out one of her weddings featured on United with Love!)

We help our clients build out their day of timeline, coordinate the wedding rehearsal, arrive a few hours before the wedding to ensure the vendors have arrived and oversee set up, manage the wedding ceremony and reception, and make sure the reception flows nicely. Occasionally, we will help with special decor needs like laying out the place cards and wedding favors, setting out centerpieces, and hanging paper flower pomanders.

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Remember, although most wedding venues have coordinators, their coordinators are responsible for the venue (planning and logistics). A day-of coordinator, is there to be responsible for the wedding party, guests, the actually wedding and reception coordination (we cue the music and tell folks when to walk) and we ensure the wedding vendors adhere to their contractual and service obligations.

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So if you are in need of a day-of wedding coordinator, be sure to consider Jasmine with Just for the Day Weddings!

*this is a sponsored post. this vendor paid to have this content shared on our blog, however, it was verified that this event was confirmed to meet our requirements and mission*

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