LINK LOVE and My Top 5 Moments of 2014 (& some big news for 2015)

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2014 was a pretty crazy year. We launched a lot of things and did a lot of things with Capitol Romance that I never really dreamed possible. If someone had told me in 2011 (when I started this blog) that I not only would still be blogging, but would have grown the blog into 3 separate businesses … well I probably would have laughed in their face. It’s really amazing what you can do when you put your mind to something AND surround yourself with awesome people that help get you there. So for today I wanted to first share some LINK LOVE and then countdown the Top 5 Moments of 2014 for Capitol Romance. Then I’ll round it out with some BIG NEWS that I’ve been waiting to share with everyone.

First. LINK LOVE:

The Celia Grace Trunk Show at Soliloquy Bridal Couture lasts just 2 more days! Don’t miss your chance to try on & hopefully purchase a beautiful, fairtrade wedding dress!

Richmond Tourism & Say I Do! are teaming up to giveaway a DREAM wedding to one lucky LGBT couple! Check it out!

You can now access The Blogcademy online!! Check it out.

Danielle of DPNAK Weddings rounds up some floral bouquet alternatives for bridesmaids. Love this.

Learn to make & sew your own striped pillows with this tutorial!

Second. My Top 5 Moments of 2015!!

#5. Launching the Capitol Romance Classifieds

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In just 2 weeks, our classifieds section turns 1 year old! We get new posts each week and I hope our readers find it as valuable as I thought it would be for them! Keep buying, sharing, saving, and going local when it comes to your DC wedding!

#4. Launching Fuel DC

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image: steven gosling photography

In early 2014 we decided to team up with Studio DBI & Fortique to launch a series of workshops that could help other creatives and small business owners better and grow their business. We hosted 2 events last year and hope to plan some more for this year! If you have any ideas for events – let us know!

#3. Attending the Blogcademy

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In October I attended my first ever business workshop. I had (slightly) obsessively followed The Blogcademy for a long time and never really dreamed that I would be able to actually go. But then the headmistresses offered a class in my very own city and I was the very first person to sign up! (no joke, Kat confirmed this). I learned SO MUCH that weekend and can’t wait to put what I learned to good use for 2015.

#2. #PopUpRomance Collaboration for 2014 Pride Weekend

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During the Capital Pride parade & weekend this past year, I teamed up with my favs, Pop Wed Co & the DC MEET Market to create the first ever #PopUpRomance celebration. 1-part giveaway, 1-part vow renewal, and ALL parts awesome, this day was one I will NEVER forget. We got to meet SO MANY awesome couples that day that shared messages of LOVE with us and then we got to help Rose & Nicole renew their vows. The amazing day ended with getting to march in the Pride Parade. Seriously. Best day ever.

#1. Launching the Capitol Romance DIY Wedding Workshops

Capitol Romance DIY Workshops from Kian McKellar on Vimeo.

Sometimes I can’t believe these still happened. The DIY wedding workshops were a tiny idea I had that I never thought would come to fruition. I didn’t think I had the balls to do it and really didn’t know how to get started. But then a conversation at one of my meetups quickly turned into signing a contract to host 5 DIY wedding workshops in 2014 and boom – things just ballooned from there. Amazing local artists/vendors agreed to join me on my crazy new journey and host the workshops, and amazing local companies agreed to provide sponsored items for each of the events. I was (and continue to be) eternally grateful for all the amazing vendors that helped make the workshops a reality.

We’re planning on hosting another slate of DIY Wedding Workshops for 2015 – so be on the lookout for more information soon! And if you have an idea for a workshop, would like to host a workshop, or want to be involved SOME way – please email me!!

YOWZA. 2014 WAS INSANE.

Recapping it like that makes me slightly overwhelmed for how I will top it in 2015. But I got some ideas and some collaborations already in the works and really who cares if I don’t top 2014? It’s all about trying new things and pushing myself to make Capitol Romance the best it can be for me and YOU. So let’s get cracking on 2015. With this year comes some BIG business and personal changes for me because … well … the Capitol Romance family is growing in 2 ways. First, with a baby (!), as Andy & I are super excited to announce that we are expecting our first in May of this year.

And so obviously things will be a bit different for me this year (in ways I can’t even imagine or plan for) and so I have decided to officially hire someone to my Capitol Romance Wedding Coordination business to help me with my Spring/Summer 2015 weddings and officially take on her own clients under the Capitol Romance umbrella. Meet Alesha – our new wedding coordinator associate!!

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She is so awesome and I cannot wait to work with her this year, and share her with my awesome clients too! Lots more coming on this and if you are looking for a wedding coordinator for your wedding, be sure to check out our new structure/plans!

So yeah. 2015 is going to be crazy.

And I just can’t wait for all of it. It will certainly be the craziest year of my life to date, but I can’t wait to take it on and of course, share it all with you. Thanks for reading this far (if you made it this far) and stay tuned for a lot more exciting things coming out from me these next few months! As always, I’ll continue to try my hardest to give YOU my readers the best content and resources possible to help you plan your DC area wedding AND have a happy, loving life together.

xo, Bree

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Melissa & Trent’s Sparkling Gold Winery Wedding in Virginia

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Image: Love Life Images

Usually Virginia winery weddings lend themselves to the super rustic, but that’s not AT ALL what Melissa & Trent wanted for their wedding. They upped the chic factor with a “light” theme using a color scheme of black, white, and glittery gold. With some rad glitter heels, a champagne tower, an awesome marquee LOVE light, and lots of personal touches, Melissa & Trent had a gorgeous wedding day that was completely their own.

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We chose Cana for the gorgeous view, and the flexibility of the space.  It was a fancy wedding with all the benefits of the outdoors, but not the inconvenience of it.
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Click inside for the rest of Melissa & Trent’s golden light themed Virginia wedding

DIY Inspiration: Handmade “Will You Be My Bridesmaid?” Gift Box & Keepsake

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Images: Cynthia Shipp Photography

Sharing a sweet & simple DIY post today thanks to one of our favorite area photographers, Cynthia Shipp Photography (ps check out her STUNNING new website – including an adorable video). Her friend asked her to be a bridesmaid in her wedding with a special “DIY Bridesmaid Box” after seeing the idea originally on Wedding Chicks. I thought this was such a fun idea because it not only served a purpose, but could also be a gift to your wedding party attendants and a keepsake that they will actually use. Check out the details!

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From Cynthia’s friend (and bride-to-be):

So… about the bridesmaid box. I knew I wanted to do something cute to ask my most special women to be involved in my wedding. I wanted them all to feel special and really, truly appreciated. Then I found this DIY bridesmaid box via Pinterest. Loved it! So I took the idea and made it my own.

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First stop was Michaels – I found these cute wooden boxes for just a few bucks apiece. I bought some sandpaper to smooth down the edges and some simple “antique white” spray paint. A little sanding, a couple layers of paint, a little more sanding and voila! A pretty, polished box!

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Next, a wrote up little cards with the information I wanted to share, like when and where the wedding would be, who was involved, criteria for choosing a bridesmaid dress and a little about the bridesmaid tradition. I was pleased with how they turned out. :)

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Next, just a little gift. I bought a nail polish for us all to wear, but honestly, I think most of us totally forgot about it! In retrospect, I would have done perhaps a lip gloss or a pair of earrings. I do really love this nailpolish though – L’Oreal Sweet Nothings. It’s the perfect soft pink for natural-looking nails!

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Next, to pull it all together! I added a tiny clothespin to hold my cards together and some simple brown tissue paper to fill in the empty space. Finally, I tied up the boxes with a little twine and added a paint swatch in one of my wedding colors. I wanted the boxes to convey the style of the wedding – simple, natural and a little bit vintage. These were lots of fun to put together and really got me into the DIY wedding mood!

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Voila! A perfect DIY bridesmaid gift that doesn’t break the bank, is completely reusable, and provides a personalized touched to asking some of the most important people in your life, to be a part of your wedding day! Thanks again to Cynthia Shipp Photography for sharing & capturing such being images of the box.

Kelly & Tree’s Vintage, Rock N’ Roll Virginia Wedding in Yorktown

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Photo: Kian McKeller & Aimee Custis Photography

“Every single aspect of my wedding was so hand tailored with such love. It was completely beyond amazing. Everything from my catering, my decorating, my ceremony was all done by people that I know and love.”

We’re getting back into the swing of things for 2015 with our first real Virginia wedding feature of the year. Kelly & Tree planned a completely DIY wedding created entirely by themselves, their family, and friends. And they did it in some SERIOUS vintage styling. These bridesmaids dresses are ones to remember (though unfortunately no longer for sale on Etsy) – they are GORGEOUS. And Kelly ROCKED her vintage hair & dress. Check it out!

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Each of the paper flowers I made had button centers from my mom’s button jar so each one came from a coat or sweater that some one in my family wore at some point. They are made out of scrap paper books which are comprised of several different patterns in coordinating colors so it made it really fun and easy to mix and match while still having a really cohesive feel. I went with dusty blue and yellow because I’m not really a fan of traditionally fall colors.

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We wanted to use the freight shed in Yorktown because of its beautiful view of the river its also where we took our engagement photos. Its the beach we spend our summers at. It was very important to me to not spend an arm and a leg on anything I love the idea that something doesn’t have to be expensive to be beautiful. my husband is a local police officer and I am a bar manager so neither of us wanted to break the bank. I got my dress and shoes off of ebay! One of my favorite details is a vintage mirror from the 1920 that I found at the habitat for humanity store for $20 a friend of mine painted it with the blue that matched our colors but distressed it so the original gold came through and repurposed into a frame to hold my seating assignments.

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Click inside for the rest of Kelly & Tree’s vintage Virginia wedding!

Capitol Romance Best of 2014: Best Washington DC Weddings of the Year

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When I started this blog it was my mission to find Washington DC weddings that did not fit the traditional, opulent norm of what most people think of when they hear the term “DC wedding”. I wanted the offbeat, the nontraditional, the funky, and the downright awesome – and I am ecstatic to say that I have been able to find ALL of these. Maryland & Virginia were amazing this year – delivering some of the most beautiful and personalized weddings I’ve seen …. but the variety we got from our DC proper weddings – well, I just have to admit that DC killed it. We had DC themed details, a lightsaber fight outside the Capitol, two brides in red, a truly modern affair, and a legit Mardi Gras style parade – just to name our favorites.

We’re counting down the Top 5 Washington DC weddings of 2014, but be sure to check out ALL the amazing weddings we featured this year, here.

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

Ok so I cheated  a little with this one – Mt. Vernon Inn isn’t technically in DC proper, but every single detail of this wedding was Washington, DC themed (mini pie favors from a Georgetown pie shop, DC map invitations) – including the Capital Bikehsare groomscake, that I just love so much.

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Image: The Girl Tyler

#4. Katy & Shamena’s Intimate Dupont Circle Elopement in Washington DC

It’s not a round up of best DC weddings without highlighting one that occurs between two people that don’t actually live in DC. Thanks to our marriage laws, DC gets TONS of couples from all over the map that just want to be married. As these lovely ladies put it: “we came to DC because we didn’t just want a civil union; we wanted to be married”.

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Image: eKate Photography

#3. Alexis & Jason’s Modern Washington DC Wedding at the W Hotel

In a complete 180 from the others on this roundup, Alexis & Jason upped the modern factor with their stunning DC wedding at the W. Everything about this DC wedding screamed chic and modern and I love how much fun everyone seemed to have.

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Image: JPix Photography

#2. Katja & Alex’s Offbeat & Intimate Washington DC Wedding at the Phoenix Park Hotel

This was such a close call between #2 and #1 – Katja & Alex completely personalized their wedding day with mentions of Zombie Apocalypses in their ceremony, stunning vintage attire, Grooms in kilts, German rituals, lego ring holders, and the ultimate DC wedding picture: a Star Wars light saber fight in front of the Capitol building. Yup, this wedding ruled.

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Image: Kathleen Hertel Photography

#1. Zach & Maria’s Offbeat, Personalized Washington DC Wedding at Hillyer Art Center

Zach & Maria packed SO MUCH of their personalities into their wedding. Janet Reno masks, a New Orleans-style Brass Band, family skits, a push-up contest (which the bride joined in on!) and my absolute favorite: a legit Mardi Gras style parade that took the guests from the ceremony to dinner. Masks, umbrellas, feathers, and a band leading the way. This wedding was just SO cool – I wish I could have been there!

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Image: De Nueva Photography 

Celia Grace Fair Trade Wedding Gowns ~ Trunk Show at Soliloquy Bridal Couture

 *sponsored post*

Celia Grace Trunk Show at Soliloquy Bridal Couture ~ Fair Trade & Eco Wedding Gowns

Happening NOW through Jan 11th!

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“Stunning wedding dresses with a heartwarming story, for brides who are beautiful inside & out.”

Celia Grace is hosting a trunk show at the DC area’s Soliloquy Bridal this week and these gowns are not only gorgeous, but fair trade and eco-friendly too! Celia Grace wedding dresses are handcrafted using vintage-inspired lace, hand woven silks, and stunning bead and detail work. Celia Grace wedding dresses are all made in safe, fair, and empowering Fair Trace conditions and each dress sold gives something back, locally. To find out more, read here.

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When you wear a Celia Grace wedding dress you are adorning yourself in love and helping to create the kind of world we all want to live in – one where people respect each other and protect our precious planet.

Each dress has a story all its own and each dress helps with fair trade social consciousness and environmental sustainability. Celia Grace works with small sewing groups who fairly and safely employ local tailors and seamstresses. They were even featured on Bridal Musings! But don’t just take our word for it, check out a few more stunning images of these gorgeous wedding gowns.

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So be sure to swing by Soliloquy Bridal this week and check out the Celia Grace Trunk Show!!

*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*

Capitol Romance Best of 2014: The Best Virginia Weddings of the Year

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We’re back with our Top Virginia Weddings of 2014! Pop-up books, light sabers, boho flowers, a bride in black, and the RADDEST polkadot bridesmaids dresses. Virginia kicked ASS this year when it came to offbeat & alternative weddings in the area. Let’s break it down.

#5. Abby & Logan’s Thrifted, DIY Travel Themed Barn Wedding in Virginia

The ultimate barn wedding mixed with SO MANY personalized details. Abby & Logan personally handcrafted each part of their wedding. It was awesome.

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Image: An Endless Pursuit

#4. Alexa & Tucker’s Whimsical, Boho Wedding at Bluemont Winery in Virginia

Whimsical boho to a T – Alexa & Tucker are a gorgeous couple (and I unknowingly/consequently went to highschool with Tucker!) and their flowers were a perfect compliment to this Fall winery wedding in Virginia.

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Image: Kristen Gardner 

#3. Tim & Megan’s Offbeat Film & Literature Themed Wedding in Virginia

Pop-up books based on the couple’s favorite books & films. I mean it doesn’t get cooler than that for alternative wedding centerpieces.

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Image: Stephen Gosling Photography

#2. Jadene & Freddy’s Offbeat Black & White Wedding at Rosemont Manor in Virginia

A bride in a black dress with peacock feathers for bridesmaids bouquets. This Virginia wedding was SO fun and offbeat. Loved it.

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Image: Andrew Morrell via George Street Photo & Video

#1. Kat & Dave’s 1950s Inspired, Rockabilly Wedding in Virginia

Rockabilly decor inspiration, a tattooed bride with pincurls, and bridesmaids in the MOST DARLING polka dot bridesmaids dresses (with purple crinoline under them to boot!!). Kat & Dave stole my heart with their 1950s themed Virginia wedding.

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Image: Stephanie Kopf Photography

Capitol Romance Best of 2014: Best Maryland Weddings of the Year

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I tried hard to narrow down ALL our real weddings of 2014, but I just couldn’t do it down to 5. So I decided to do a Top 5 for Maryland, Virginia, AND DC Weddings, because the features this year were just THAT awesome. So we’ll start things off with our Top 5 Maryland Weddings of 2014 ~ check them out:

#5. Kimmie & Marios Modern Bright Orange & Grey American Visionary Arts Museum Wedding

I just loved the bright colors of this one and how MODERN Kimme & Mario went with the decorations of one of my fav Maryland wedding venues.

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Image: Kathleen Hertel

#4. Trish & Ned’s Vintage, DIY Maryland Wedding at Glen Echo Park

The vintage dreaminess of this Glen Echo Park Wedding has stayed with me since I blogged it. One of my readers even commented that if I had a chance to plan my own wedding again – it might look like this (she’s so right). So much gorgeous happening here.

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Image: Cassidy Duhon Photography

#3. Chuck & Marcia’s Handfasting Wedding Ceremony at a Renaissance Faire

This was one of our most unique wedding features this year – a handfasting ceremony AT a Renaissance Fair. I loved it.

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Image: Douglas Pettway

#2. Caitlin & Susie’s SUPER DIY, Literary Themed Wedding in Maryland

What else can I say about Cait & Susie’s AH-MAZING DIY wedding. I was fortunate to actually be a part of this one, and it will be one that stays with me for a while. So much love between these two ladies, their families, and their friends. This entire wedding was thrown for around $10K and was completely DIYed by the brides and their family members.

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Image: Sarah Gormley

#1. Andrea & Nate’s Colorful, Offbeat Maryland Wedding at the Visionary Arts Museum

I’m a sucker for bright colors, brides with short hair, and tattoos – what can I say?! AVAM makes this list twice, but Andrea & Nate’s wedding couldn’t be more different than Kimmie & Marios’.

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Image: A.E. Landes Photography

Capitol Romance Best of 2014: The Best Engagement Pictures in the DC Area

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We’re back again, getting closer to the ultimate Best of 2014 compilation, our best MD, VA, & DC weddings of 2014; but for today we rounded up our FAVORITE engagement sessions from the year. Photographers submitted DC area engagement submissions in DROVES (seriously, e-sessions are the most submitted items I get) and I think what we had for 2014 was all around awesome. So many different couples, with dreamy love stories, stunning backdrops, abundant smiles, and so. much. love. Check it out, our top 5 favorite DC Area Engagement Sessions of 2014!

#5. Kathy & Doff’s Washington DC Engagement Pictures at the Hirshhorn Museum

I am a sucker for art museum engagement pictures and none is better than the Hirshhorn. Kathy & Doff’s adorable personalities and love story only made this session that much better.

Feel free to use these images, unaltered and uncropped, on your

 [Image: eKate Photography]

#4. Michelle & Ron’s Laid Back, Casual Washington DC Engagement Pictures

This image by Val & Sarah might be one of my favorite pictures ever on the blog. Seriously. It gives me the feels and it’s just SO DC (to me). Michelle & Ron gallivanted across U Street and the metro for their engagement pictures and the result is being #4 on our top 5 list ;)

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 [Image: Val & Sarah]

#3. Ronalyn & Chris’ Stylish Old Town Alexandria Engagement Pictures

I’m not going to lie, it takes a little something extra for me to want to feature engagement pictures from outside of DC proper. But Ronalyn & Chris had it. The stylish wardrobe changes, the dreamy morning light, bike rides through Old Town, and stunning images to capture it all. I really loved this one :)

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[Image: Jeffrey Ocampo]

#2. Mike & Sam’s DC Record Store Engagement Pictures in Adams Morgan

I mean come on – a bespectacled couple, with rad style & a love of records? This engagement just screams Capitol Romance.

photo by www.photographybypaulina.com

[Images: Photography by Paulina]

#1. Maggie & Steve’s Super Rad, Vintage Trailer Engagement Pictures

I don’t think anyone will be surprised to see that Maggie & Steven take our #1 Engagement Session of 2014 spot with their SUPER RAD engagement pictures by Val & Sarah. Other than their adorable cat, the awesome vintage trailer (they bought to roadtrip in), AND the fact that they are highschool sweethearts (aww!), I love this session the most because it’s just SO perfectly them. I have the honor & pleasure of getting to call these two not only colleagues, but friends of mine and I couldn’t be happier that they are tying the knot in 2015 (in totally their own way of course – a pop up wedding followed by a “reception” at the 930 Club Pie Tasters show).

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[Image: Val & Sarah]

Check back tomorrow for our last compilation post – the BEST WEDDINGS of 2014!!

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