Happy Valentine’s Day: Giveaway Winners & A Sweet Deal for Advertising

Happy Valentine’s Day Romancers! We hope you enjoyed our wedding inspiration post this morning (I so loved those deer head motifs!). We are closing our TWO giveaways today! Our Mix Event Ticket giveaway and our Ultimate DIY Calligraphy Gift Set giveaway.

First, for those of you that did not win the Mix Event Ticket giveaway, you’re still sort of in luck, because The Mix Event is running a huge ticket promo for the Valentine’s Day weekend!! Tickets are 50% off with ticket promo “VALENTINE50″ and can be purchased here.


And now… our winners! Congratulations to June for winning 2 tickets to The Mix Event!

And congratulations to Danielle P. for winning our Ultimate DIY Calligraphy Gift Set from Cozy Cashmere Studio!

And now, a little something for my vendors out there! In honor of the holiday, I thought it’d be fun to offer some discounted advertising options!  First come, first serve and for today only, qualifying applicants can get 14% off side bar advertising [apply here]!

valentines day ad deal

That means 1-month will be $60 and $3 months will be $170 (we rounded!) for TODAY ONLY!!! So go apply and we’ll hook you up :)

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day Romancers! For me it’ll be the couch + Kick Ass-2 + Andy + Sadie + and &Pizza!

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Capitol Inspiration: Gorgeous Rustic Details from a Michigan Wedding

Hoping everyone enjoyed the snow day yesterday as much as I did! I took some much needed time to work on Fuel DC (my new side project!), get some Linked In things cleaned up for CapRo, and start writing a script for another 2014 project I have in the works with Border Row Productions (more to come on that soon!). For today, before we announce our giveaway winners, we have a gorgeous Michigan wedding to share courtesy of Blaine Siesser Photography. There are some seriously steal-worthy details in this one Romancers, making it a perfect fit for a wedding inspiration feature.

Gorgeous, Rustic Details & Decor from an Outdoor Michigan Wedding

stunning rustic michigan wedding


Photographer:  Blaine Siesser Photography | Event Venue: Bowers Harbor Vineyard | Hair Stylist: Pavlova European Spa & Salon | Location: Spider Lake Retreat | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

rustic spring wedding flowers glitter metallic bride shoes rustic brown paper white font wedding invites rustic dear head themed wedding invites

Click inside for the rest of these gorgeous, rustic details!

Sponsor Love: Stephen Gosling Photography & The Mix Event

It’s been a few weeks since our last sponsor love post, so I wanted to share some awesome that’s coming from our amazing side-bar sponsors. Stephen Gosling Photography recently joined our crew and if you haven’t seen his work before (even though we’ve featured many a post here!), check out some of his latest gorgeous work:

Cait & Bill’s Adorable DC Engagement Session

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He’s kicking ass recently with features on United With Love & Borrowed & Bleu’s Online Magazine. He also recently wrote a really awesome personal post about the importance of being nice in this industry — a REALLY good read!

Additionally, we have TWO giveaways ending tomorrow! If you haven’t yet checked out The Mix Event – you must! Especially if you are still looking for your DC/MD/VA wedding vendors. We’ll be there and so will a host of other, awesome area vendors. The night is more cocktail party than wedding show, with the first 100 attendees getting a free cocktail and entertainment will be provided by Burnt Sienna (among others). We’re giving away two tickets to the show here.


And finally, our Ultimate DIY Calligraphy Gift Set from Cozy Cashmere Design (a $250 value) ends tomorrow too! It’s been one of our most-entered wedding giveaways to date. Our winner will be picked tomorrow!


Happy Snow [#Snochi] Day Romancers! We’ll be back tomorrow with our giveaway winners, a special Valentine’s Day sponsor deal & some wedding inspiration from a stunning, outdoor Michigan wedding.



The Nerdiest IT Proposal You Might Ever Read (by Dan)

A few weeks ago a friend of mine messaged me on Facebook, telling me about this “incredibly nerdy” proposal his friend just executed to his girlfriend. Naturally, I was all over it – I LOVE anything nerdy. And let me just tell you – this totally took the cake. My friend briefly explained it (it included a LOT of acronyms and TONS of techie words I did not understand) but I was totally hooked. He said, “It’s basically the purest IT geek proposal I’ve ever seen.” Enough said. A very special thanks to Dan for taking the time to write out all the details of his nerdy, IT proposal and including some fun pictures of the execution!

The Nerdiest & Geekiest IT Proposal You Might Ever Read

nerdy IT proposal

First, a little “How They Met” action (from Dan!):

Well this is embarrassing… Heather and I met… in a bar…. In Las Vegas…. We were there for incredibly different reasons, but somehow found each other on a dance floor at the Toby Keith’s bar (neither of us are country fans either). She was by far the most beautiful girl out there dancing. She claims that she came up to me. I say I went up to her. Whatever that case is, I just feel so lucky that we met each other (but, for real, I went up to her first!). For some reason, she never got tired of my horrible dance moves and I got her number before she returned home to Idaho. We texted for about a month before I even saw her face again on FaceTime. She decided to come visit me in DC about a month later and the rest is pretty much history (All I can say is thank god for FaceTime and Southwest Airlines!) I knew immediately that she was the one for me and, given the small odds at which we met each other, I knew I couldn’t risk waiting to marry her. A little over a year later we are happily engaged to be married on August 3, 2014.


And now for the AWESOME Proposal:

The Set Up: Over the previous few months, I had written pieces of software in the form of birthday cards, games to play, and other random apps. Anything I wrote, I had Heather use or test. So this seemed like the best method to get her to play along with the proposal and not see it coming. She was to start off by logging into the software game I had created for her and was told that if she could get through the ten phases, I would give her a prize. I decided to do it on a Sunday since that is our favorite day of the week. We usually just hang out all day together and just enjoy each other’s company.


How It Worked : There were two main parts to the proposal: a software interface on her computer and a hidden box that housed the hardware and ring. The box was designed to just look like a random piece of furniture on my desk as to not draw any attention to it.

The software interface was used not only as a game for her to play, but also secretly as a communications channel to the proposal box. When she reached the end of the game, the software sent a specific email behind the scenes to the box. The box was powered by a Raspberry Pi, which waited for this email. When it finally received it, it activated servos, which opened the box and presented the ring. Since Heather loves photos and is all about capturing the moment, also hidden inside the box was a camera module, which automatically snapped three photos after the box had opened.


After she realized what was going on, and screamed in terror as the box jumped open at her (those servos are loud!), she said yes! I told her it wasn’t official, though, until she selected “yes” in the software. Little did she know, doing so automatically took those three photos and emailed and text messaged them to all of our friends and family. When her phone exploded with congratulatory texts, she again screamed in terror and slapped me for sending those photos of her without her knowing. (We were still in lounge clothes because it was Sunday, whoops!)

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How freaking AWESOME is THIS!? And now check out that stunner of a ring:


So while I barely understood half the verbiage in this proposal, I think we can all agree that it’s one of the most awesomely executed geeky IT proposal ever. Thanks SO much to Dan for taking the time to share his pictures and write out the details!

Let’s Get Personal: Happy 3 Year Blogaversary to Me

graffiti art capitol romance

So officially my 3-year blogaversary was on January 21st. For some reason I had always thought that I officially launched in February 2011, but the date stamp on my very first blog post tells me otherwise. I cannot believe it’s been 3 whole years since I started Capitol Romance. I don’t think I ever imagined it would last this long, or grow into what it has become. I can tell you though, it’s the people I have met since that very first post, that have made my journey worth it. Who knew that starting a blog, something so singular and sometimes siloed from personal interactions, could create such a plethora of connections. I’ve met SO MANY people through this thing – wedding vendors, small business owners, big business owners, DC Techies, artists, neighbors, creators, engaged couples, and more, all because I decided to start a blog. I’ve made friends, a few enemies, and met some truly amazing & inspiring couples. It’s slightly hard to even comprehend sometimes, but again, I am so very thankful for each and everyone one I’ve met. Even the crazies (yes, even them).

So for my 3-yeary blogaversary, in addition to reminding you & inviting you all (seriously ANY ONE!) to my meetup tonight (yes I know there’s a possibility of snow … but there’s also going to be wine … and cupcakes soo…..) I thought it might be fun to take a little jog down memory lane. Here we go:

  • My first WordPress template was this ugly thing called Elegant Grunge. I was so punk rock back then. Also, it was free.
  • My first logo was something I made myself. In Powerpoint. Using a free font & one of my wedding pictures.


  • I had 2 comments on my first blog post. One was from my sister, and one was a trackback.
  • I attended my first wedding show in April of 2011. It was called the Nonconforming Bridal Affair & one of the attendees told me “she read my blog” and I nearly died.


  • I did my first styled shoot with Abby Grace Photography, based on our mutual love of Harry Potter & it was amazingly featured on Green Wedding Shoes – I STILL get hits from that post. Harry Potter lovers are everywhere.
  • I could have never done ANY of this blog without my friend Steve, who I met my Sophomore year of college at Penn State. 3 years later, and he still answers all my IT help pleas, questions, and is somehow still my friend.
  • Since starting the blog, I’ve had to learn how to form an LLC, register as a business in DC, and pay taxes (awesome!)
  • I’ve learned how to use WordPress, Twitter, Google+, StatCounter, Google Analytics, Domain transfers, basic HTML & CSS, Blogstomp, and so many other IT applications.
  • I’ve forced my husband to model in more than 1 photoshoot and been fortunate enough to have my picture taken by Gabe Aceves, Val & Sarah, Tim Riddick Photography, Live It Out Photography, Stephen Gosling Photography, & more.


  • I’ve been asked to contribute to articles and was even interviewed/filmed for a project about DC relationships!
  • I’ve emailed with tons of couples in the DC area about their weddings, challenges, thoughts, hopes, and feedback on this site.
  • I’ve grown, but stayed true to my initial mission from 3 years ago: to create a resource for the Washington, DC area that focuses on alternative, creative, and nontraditional & budget-friendly weddings. To find REAL couples from all different backgrounds to show a true representation of the DC wedding scene.

I cannot thank all of you (my readers!) enough for being here with me. A blog could be a pretty lonely thing without readers, so for you, I am eternally grateful. Here’s to another 3 years? (eep! that thought is terrifying!)


xo, Bree


Jadene & Freddy’s Offbeat, Black & White Virginia Wedding at Rosemont Manor

And now for something completely different … a bride in a stunning black gown and her bridesmaids in white! We love to keep you guys on your toes here at Capitol Romance, trying to keep our features as varied and possible to show the REAL side of DC weddings for the majority of us that live in and around the metro area. Such is the case with Jadene and Freddy – married at Rosemont Manor in Virginia and completely turning tradition on its head. Photographer, Andrew Morrell shares, “Jadene wore a shimmering black dress, contrasted by her three bridesmaids, all in white. This devilish switch-up was the cornerstone of the day’s bewitching charm – the groom’s ironic top hat, the traditional and the playfully clear skies all made this a day to remember.

 Jadene & Freddy’s Offbeat, Black & White Virginia Wedding at Rosemont Manor

offbeat virginia wedding black wedding dress


So many fun details from the bride!

I had so much fun planning our wedding!  Everything started with the dress, I wanted black and I wanted my husband in a top hat.  I purchased my dress from Curvy Girl Bridal, which I am sad to say has gone out of business.  They were truly the only dress shop that I went to that was excited that I wanted a black dress.  I love damask print so that is why I tied in white but I still felt that something was missing.  The problem with black and white in the fall every color either looks like Halloween or Thanksgiving.

offbeat virginia wedding white bridsmaids dresses

I was wandering Michaels looking for ideas and I saw this wreath made out of peacock feathers and I starting thinking…I could not only add a peacock blue/teal but a peacock feather element as well…I felt that the feathers softened the hardness of the black and damask print. We didn’t want our wedding to be about “what you are suppose to do.”  As I was talking to my husband about the damask and feather idea, he started laughing and said it was perfect because the damask reminded him of his personality and the peacock feather of mine.  Totally different but somehow work together.

Love Jadene’s origami flower bouquet!~

origami teal wedding bouquet

I had to have makeup that stood up to the black birdcage veil I was wearing and added color to my bridesmaids white dresses.  So we had more of a vintage/pinup make up done.  My girls with a bright red lip and heavy liner.  For their hair I found peacock feather flowers.  They were made to be Christmas tree decorations but I turned them into hair clips.  As for my makeup  we went more for the eyes.  Heavy lashes and more of a smokey shadow.   A lot darker then most would do for wedding makeup.  The makeup artist was recommended by Rosemont (KLH) and I’m glad they did.  She understood what I was looking for outgoing and non traditional yet classy and sophisticated.  I was scared at the trial that I was going to end up looked to Vampy or Gothic but she did neither.  As for my hair I went with pin curls to add that touch of vintage to it.  When hair and make up were done I could not believe how pretty I looked.

groom in chucks bride black birdcage veil white bridesmaids dresses

As for the white bridesmaid dressed, I had to add something to them besides make up and feathers.   The dresses had this lace detail that I fell in love with, so I added black lace gloves and black heels to off set the white.

offbeat virginia wedding black wedding dress

Click inside for more of Jadene & Freddy’s stunning, offbeat Fall wedding at Rosemont Manor in Virginia!

Ronalyn & Chris’ Old Town Alexandria Engagement Pictures in Virginia

We’re back this afternoon with a sweet little engagement session from Jeffrey Ocampo Photography. Jeff explained that Ronalyn & Chris love living and working in Old Town Alexandria, and so they are using it as the backdrop for their entire wedding theme. They met in college and their friendship eventually blossomed into more. I’m pretty much in love with Ronalyn’s style (that mustard hat, the top bun) and who can say no to an engagement session that features an adorable Corgi too !?  Check out their entire engagement session and love story (including a fun family BBQ proposal) below!

Chris & Ronalyn’s Old Town Alexandria, Virginia Engagement Pictures

old town alexandria alternative engagement pictures

“How we met” told from Ronalyn:

Ronalyn and Chris met at Virginia Commonwealth University 10 years ago.  At a party one evening, Ronalyn engaged in an unusual conversation with mutual friends — the subject?  Her bed.  Apparently, it’s too small to be a Queen, but too big to be a Full.  Chris rudely interrupted and said, “well, then it must be Princess-sized.”  *Wink wink*

Their friendship blossomed shortly after, but when Chris revealed his true feelings, Ronalyn freaked out and ignored him for about a month and now they’re set to marry on November 2014.  They live in Old Town Alexandria with their corgi, Kirby.

old town alexandria alternative engagement pictures old town alexandria alternative engagement pictures old town alexandria alternative engagement pictures old town alexandria alternative engagement pictures

Click inside for the rest of Ronalyn & Chris’ adorable Old Town Alexandria, VA engagement pictures & proposal story.

Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck: Brett Dennen’s “Sweet Persuasion”

wedding music that doesn't suck graphic

Last weekend Andy & I drove up to NJ to visit my parents and see my mom in a local production of Annie. These NJ roadtrips always give Andy & I time to catch-up on all the tunes he has downloaded, that haven’t yet made it to my ipod ;) Brett Dennen’s most recent album, Smoke & Mirrors, was one of the albums we listened to and I was immediately taken with the first track, “Sweet Persuasion”.

My mind, as it always does, went right to a wedding reception. A sweet couple dancing to this upbeat, modern first dance song, singing the words to each other.

I know you got my number
And I know your spell I’m under
I won’t break this
I got something on you

You know me
And my weakness
And you know my little secret
Still I think that I got something on you

Please tell me that I’m not the only one that visualizes imaginary peoples’ weddings…

Happy Monday Romancers. We’ll be back this afternoon with a sweet engagement session (it’s Monday after all).

Breaking Bridal Trends: Behind the Trial & Wedding Appropriate Ponys!

We are so pumped to announce yet another brand-new partnership on Capitol Romance for 2014! You’ve already seen our awesome free printables & DIY tutorials coming from Ribbons & Bluebirds and now we’ve teamed up with The Makeup Chic  to offer some alternative bridal makeup & hair inspiration for all you brides out there, looking for styling outside of the same old side chignon and cat eye liner.

For today we have a bit of a two-parter. Suzanne, owner and lead makeup artist of The Makeup Chic, shares the behind the scenes of pre-wedding trials (which she calls a balancing act) and then shares some fresh looks for a more casual bride: wedding appropriate pony tails & orange shaded lip color! Take it away Suz!

Breaking Bridal Trends: Behind the Trial and Wedding Appropriate Pony Tails & Orange Lip Colors!

alternative bridal hairstyles makeup 2014


Makeup: Suzanne, The Makeup Chic | Hair: Ky, Richie Beauty | Photography: Alison with Sugarfarm Weddings | Hair Accessories: Petal Pushers Hair | Venue: Wrabyn Boutique | Clothing and Jewelry: Wrabyn Boutique

“During a pre-wedding makeup and hair trial,” Suzanne explains, “[hair & makeup artists] have to stay true to our art and make sure to give our brides what they want, all the while, working with each brides individual style and features.”

The Makeup Chic notes, “Often brides get stuck in what they think is trending or a certain bridal look that everyone is doing and lots of times brides want the exact replica of something that they see on Pinterest and they forget that there is so much creativity out there for them in the makeup and hair department.”

So when Suzanne’s newly engaged friend Sam called to book her makeup and hair trial for her 2014 wedding, Suzanne thought, what a perfect way to have a little fun!


Bride to be Sam was open and willing to explore some different looks for her upcoming wedding and for this pre-wedding day makeup and hair trial- Suzanne called one of her favorite bridal hair stylists, Ky Washington, and the duo got to take full rein in the makeup and hair studio!

“What bride ever asks for orange lipstick and a pony tail? In fact, I haven’t ever been asked by a bride for orange lips and Ky never gets asked to do a ponytail, not even a sleek and chic one. However; brides may surprised to hear that in the fashion world right now- orange is the new red and the ponytail has been seen all over the spring 2014 runways! In this beauty post, our mission is to show Capitol Romance readers that they can venture out from the “bridal norm” and do something a little different and still look pretty,” shares Suzanne

alternative bridal hairstyles makeup 2014

The first lipcolor Suzanne chose in the orange family is a soft coral shade called, Flatter by Artistry. A sheer coat is natural and demure and when layered, Flatter has a beautiful coral sheen.

alternative bridal hairstyles makeup 2014

Bride to be Sam, checking out her long and sleek ponytail by Ky.

breaking bridal trends

The second shade of orange lipstick Suzanne chose is the hottest color on all the spring runways- Neon Orange. A soft shade of this neon color can look very boho-chic and is perfect for an outdoor wedding! The color used for this look is Party Starter by Bareminerals.

alternative bridal hairstyles makeup 2014

There are many variations of the classic ponytail. For instance; this variation is a modern twist on boho-chic.

alternative bridal hairstyles makeup 2014

Sam looked fashion forward in this bold Mandarin lip color by Smashbox- perfect for a evening wedding and chic enough for daytime nuptials!

“I love this Mandarine orange lip color because its less fierce than the ‘pin-up’ red lipstick, but it still makes a statement”, describes Suzanne

alternative bridal hairstyles makeup 2014

Sam looked stunning in all the bridal looks from her pre-wedding day makeup and hair trial. Her favorite lip color was the soft coral shade in, Flatter.

alternative bridal makeup orange lipcolor 2014

Congrats Sam on your upcoming wedding and thanks for letting us go behind the scenes of your beauty trial!

*Sam’s real bridal look is not photographed for this blog post so that she can keep it a surprise from her fiance and wedding guests… shhhh!

So what do you think Romancers?! Would you rock the orange shades of lip color, or a pony tail for your wedding!? We’d love to know what you think in the comments below!

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