Capitol Advice: Videographers Matter Too

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This afternoon was have a guest post from our friends at Border Row Productions (one of our Capitol Romance approved DC wedding vendors!) sharing some insight on how to plan for a wedding videographer and why you shouldn’t leave it until the last minute to hire one! They also offer up some great knowledge about the changing landscape of wedding videos – and how they aren’t just the 2-hour long, video on a tri-pod, recap of a wedding day! Take it away guys!

Wedding Advice: Wedding Videography Matters Too!

washington dc wedding videographers videography

Imagine this…

The scenario:  It’s a month out from your wedding.  Your Facebook friend just shared the cutest video of her wedding day.  You didn’t think you wanted a video, but after seeing how cool your friend’s video was, you’ve changed your mind.

The problem:  You’ve already spent the majority of your budget or gone over budget.  Since video wasn’t something you wanted from the beginning you paid top dollar making sure you had the best photographers you could get.  Now, in your last minute search for video, you are shocked at the quotes you are receiving from the videographers you want to work with.

washington dc wedding videographers videography

When working in the wedding industry, this is a scenario every videographer has experienced.  To most couples, video is an afterthought, something they can just ask Uncle Bert to do with his camcorder from the 80s.  Couples willingly seem to spend thousands of dollars on photography without blinking an eye, but then scoff at the idea of spending more than a couple hundred dollars on a video.

Wedding videos are changing.  They are no longer hour-long play by plays of your entire wedding day.  They are no longer something you will watch once, fast-forward through most of and then toss to the side never to be watched again.  They are productions; they are short-films about who you are as a couple, how you came to fall in love, and how monumental this day is. You are going to want a video.

So, on behalf of wedding videographers everywhere, I am asking you to plan for it. A quality wedding video requires work.  Here’s what goes into creating the type of wedding short-films that Border Row Productions delivers:

  • Two pre-production meetings with our clients to go over the details of your wedding day, to learn about you as a couple, to know who needs screen time, etc.
  • Two camera people on your wedding day for up to 10 hours of coverage from getting ready to the last dance at the reception.  As well as, interviews with you, with your parents, and with your guests.
  • Purchasing music licenses (about $100 per song… the good ones at least) to make sure you can share your video online with all of your friends without YouTube banning it or worse a record-label suing you or us.  30+ hours of editing your video, crafting your story, designing DVD labels and menus, and more.

Consider what ALL of that might cost and then what it’s worth to you!

washington dc wedding videographers videography

We love our job.  We love to tell stories, to capture memories, to touch people’s hearts, and to show the rest of the world that bitterness is foolish and true love exists.  In my opinion, there isn’t a price tag you can put on that.  But, we have to start somewhere. So if you are just starting to plan your wedding, repeat after me, “Videographers matter too”.

This isn’t the first time we have urged our readers to consider a wedding video! We wrote our own “Important of Wedding Videography” post a few weeks back and still stand by those sentiments! What do you think Romancers – did you realize ALL that goes into a wedding video?

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Marie & Alex’s Non-traditional DC Wedding Reception at Policy


Often when I meet with couples for initial consultations for my wedding coordination services, I hear them say “we really just want a fun party”. This is usually my sign that we are going to get along, however, that easy/fun party almost always turns into some form of a more traditional reception construct. This is not the case with Marie & Alex – today’s Washington DC wedding feature from Sandra Sitar Photography.

Marie and Alex wanted “just a fun party” – and that is exactly what they had. After the beautiful ceremony (including a 1920s gown, dried flowers, and heartfelt vows) the two opted to have their friends and family meet them at a bar on 14th street in lieu of a typical reception. Without the standard reception formula, the couple and their closest friends and family were free to kick back, enjoy some Kanye glasses & beads, and really just have one hell of a party.

Marie & Alex’s Offbeat Washington DC Wedding Reception at Policy

offbeat washington dc wedding reception


Photography: Sandra Sitar Photography | Venue: Policy | Pie: Dangerously Delicious Pies | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

How did Alex & Marie end up at a bar on 14th Street for their wedding reception? Well we have the answer for you from the bride herself:

“This is not at all what we envisioned when we started the planning process! We started out using the standard ceremony + cocktail hour + dinner + dancing formula. We aren’t formal people at all, but it seemed to work for everyone else, and it could accomplish our priority list: have all of our friends and family there for the ceremony, spend time with people, and have a kick ass party. Unfortunately, when we started doing the math, we realized that even the most basic standard-format wedding would essentially wipe out both of our savings accounts. And MAYBE that would have been okay, had the plans been adding up to exactly what we wanted, but it wasn’t even close. The thought of spending that much money on one day made us feel sick, and we weren’t excited about it AT ALL. You shouldn’t feel like your wedding is ruining your future, and you shouldn’t wish you didn’t have to have one – and that was exactly how we were starting to feel.

offbeat washington dc wedding reception

A friend suggested we drop the meal and do a dessert reception, but that would have made the day really short (to avoid meal times) and we were afraid it wouldn’t have much of a party vibe. Once we had the idea of a bar, it all came together.

So immediately after our ceremony ended at the Katzen Arts Center at American University, we had desserts, apps, and drinks, but we skipped all the traditional reception stuff – no dancing, no flower tossing. I wore a fancy dress and our wedding party was still fully suited up. Then after a three-hour break for guests to go have dinner, we had the after party.

offbeat washington dc wedding reception

Everyone was invited to the party (which was a private open bar until 10 PM, when the bar opened to the public and we moved into a VIP section), but 90% of the older guests felt the afternoon was enough for them. Our families each organized a dinner for their respective relatives and friends immediately after the afternoon reception, which gave the older folks an extended celebration and served as our parents’ contributions to the wedding. It was hard at first letting go of the idea that people wanted a meal, but it turned out no one really cared, and the family dinners that took place appeased any of our more traditional family members who might have had complaints about the lack of proper meal. It was also awesome to have the party go until people were done instead of when the vendor contracts were up – so many weddings are just getting started when the evening ends!

offbeat washington dc wedding reception offbeat washington dc wedding reception

Click inside for more from Alex & Marie’s Nontraditional Washington DC Wedding Reception at Policy!

Hanna & Jamison’s Washington DC Engagement at Union Market

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I am probably a bit biased about today’s DC engagement session. For one, the photographer, Porter Watkins Photography, is one of our hand-picked photography vendors in our DC wedding vendor guide. For two, the couple chose my own neighborhood as the location of their engagement session – Northeast DC’s Union Market!

But, bias aside – this engagement session is kickass. Porter got some seriously awesome shots of Hanna & Jamison around both the newer and older parts of the market. And Hanna & Jamison are just a super rad couple. Check out their DC engagement session and short & sweet love story below!

Hanna & Jamison’s Alternative Northeast DC Engagement Session at Union Market

union market alternative washington DC engagement pictures

How they met:

We met through friends in 2007 and fell in love over music, cooking, exploring DC, and traveling the world. We love to bike, hike, hit up local farmers’ markets, and watch Law & Order with our awesome cat, Sputnik.

I really hope that cat name is a wink to Salute Your Shorts.

union market alternative washington DC engagement pictures union market alternative washington DC engagement pictures union market alternative washington DC engagement pictures union market alternative washington DC engagement pictures union market alternative washington DC engagement pictures

Click inside for the rest of Hanna & Jamison’s rad DC engagement session at Union Market by Porter Watkins Photography.

Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck: “5 Years Time” by Noah & the Whale

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wedding music that doesn't suck graphic

Kicking off today with a Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck post courtesy of Noah and the Whale. I just love their song “5 Years Time” and considering the sunshine that I woke up to this morning, it’s a perfect one for the day or I think for a beach wedding – since the song mentions sun a good amount :) I think it’d make a cute first dance song or would be a great addition to your cocktail hour playlist!

Wedding appropriate lyrics:

Oh well I look at you and say
It’s the happiest that I’ve ever been
And I’ll say I no longer feel I have to be James Dean
And she’ll say
“Yah well I feel all pretty happy too”
And I’m always pretty happy when I’m just kicking back with you.

Give it a listen and check back in a few for an AWESOME DC engagement session at Union Market!

Eclectic, Vintage Bridal Shower Luncheon Inspiration Shoot

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Something a little different for today’s wedding inspiration post. Today Darian and Dechele Events teamed up with Little Bird Media and a handful of other awesome vendors to put together a bridal shower luncheon shoot! There are a TON of eclectic details for their tablescapes, and it’s the perfect mix of feminine and vintage with a heavy dose of edge (alert: tattooed bride! yes!). Lots of awesome hair and floral headpiece inspiration in this post, a long with some fun, dainty details. Check it all out and HAPPY FRIDAY!

An Edgy, Vintage Bridal Shower Luncheon Inspiration Shoot

edgy eclectic bridal shower inspiration


Photographer:  little bird media | Invitation Designer: bees + henny | Cake: Cakes by Z | Event Planner: Darian and Dechele Events | Dress Store: Formal Envy | Event Venue: Inn at The Old Silk Mill | Favors and Gifts: Revel in Root | Other: Snow Creek Farm | Veils and headpieces: whichgoose | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

The inspiration behind the shoot:

I love the idea of a bride getting together with her girlfriends for lunch to chat about all things wedding! Our inspiration for this styled shoot was a bride getting together with her best friends to ask them to be her bridesmaids and have some girl time. We were inspired by all things dainty and girly: pink, flowers, tea, dress up, gold touches, cake, drinks and sparkles. The use of a vintage style wedding gown paired with handmade ethereal crowns created the exact look we were going for: vintage and feminine with a bit of edge.

edgy eclectic bridal shower inspiration edgy eclectic bridal shower inspiration edgy eclectic bridal shower inspiration edgy eclectic bridal shower inspiration

Click inside for the rest of the details & inspiration from this eclectic bridal shower luncheon!

Jennifer & Shannons Intimate, Fall Maryland Wedding at Brookeville Farms

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It’s like non-stop raining up here in NE DC (and I’d imagine everywhere around the Beltway), but it’s hard to get too upset about it because it FINALLY feels like fall. I am mostly happy sitting here in my scarf, hand-knit booties, and oversized cardigan. And to make it even more appropriate, we are sharing a quintessential Fall Maryland wedding thanks to Petruzzo Photography. Jennifer & Shannon decided to get into the fall spirit with a gorgeous outdoor ceremony right outside the farm and dressed their wedding party in deep burgundy. I also love that Jennifer kept her specs on – brides in glasses rule.

This wedding also included a good amount of DIY, hand-made details. The bride made her own jewelry, her family sewed personalized details into her dress, and the bride’s mom made all the floral arrangements! Check out all the beautiful and fall wedding details below!

Jennifer & Shannon’s Intimate, Fall Maryland Wedding at the Inn at Brookeville Farms

DIY fall maryland farm wedding


Photographer: Petruzzo Photography | Cake Designer: Custom Cake Design | Invitation Designer: Melissa Wyatt | Venue: The Inn at Brookeville Farms | Dress Store: TLC Bridal Boutique | DJ:Washington Talent Agency | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Every couple cherishes their wedding day, but Jennifer and Shannon’s autumn wedding in Brookeville, Md. was made all the more special by incredible hand-fashioned details.

fall maryland wedding

Jennifer’s aunt sewed crystals, family heirlooms from a great great great aunt, onto her bridal gown, which Jennifer found at TLC Bridal Boutique. Jennifer made the beautiful jewelry worn by herself, her bridesmaids and her daughter.

burgundy vest groomsman outfit

Her mother crafted the bouquets for Jennifer and her maids — bright roses, which complimented the rich purple color theme — as well as the men’s boutonnieres and the reception centerpieces.

simple fall bride wedding bouquetsingle rose boutonniereDIY fall maryland farm weddingfall maryland wedding

Click inside for the rest of Shannon & Jennifer’s Fall Maryland wedding!

Let’s Get Personal: Love Is About All the Changes You Make, Not Just 3 Small Words


It’s time for a personal post. This time it’s more marriage/love focused and not so much wedding advice, which let’s face it, is more important any way. The whole point of having a wedding is so, ya know, you can be MARRIED to your partner!

I’ve been trying to get previous couples to share their post-wedding reflections, looking back on their weddings and now as a married couple, what advice they would share with other couples just about to step into this part of their relationship. It’s been easier said than done (turns out a lot of people don’t like to write/type), but I am still looking (email me!) and in the meantime, I will continue to share my own thoughts and experiences instead.

Love Is About All the Changes You Make, Not Just Three Small Words


[Image via The Mix Event by Love By Serena]

Today’s thoughts come from one of my favorite musical artists, Frank Turner. His song “The Way I Tend to Be” (give it a listen above) has one of my favorite lyrics, “love is about all the changes you make and not just three small words”. While saying “I Love You” wholeheartedly and often is a good practice in a happy marriage, it’s not simply enough. Changing, evolving, growing, and compromising are all things that will help your love stay alive and equate to a happier life together with your partner.

Personally, I’ve had to change in certain ways since marrying Andy almost 3 years ago. While we had already been together a long time before getting married (about 7 years), officially signing that certificate and announcing our commitment to each other for life, in front of our family and friends, makes it a bit more official. We were now, for better or for worse, in this thing TOGETHER. My failures were his failures, my successes were his successes, and our lives, problems, financials, etc, were now shared.

Some of the changes have been bigger (attempting to be more patient, less critical) and some have been minor (letting Andy answer questions that are directed his way, instead of answering for him – why do I do THAT?!). But no matter the size, the changes are present, and they certainly don’t end magically after 1-2 years of marriage. There will always been changes to make and work on in our marriage and our relationship. Some we will make together and some I will have to make myself. And as we evolve and continue to grow in our marriage, we will continue to utter those 3 small words all along the way too.


For Sale: Used Wtoo by Watters Bria Gown Style 19595

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Attention Ladies looking for a gently used, GORGEOUS wedding gown! One of my past brides is selling her modern, one-shoulder dress because, as she puts it, “It is way too pretty to be hiding in my closet”. It’s being offered at 65% off original price, not including alterations or cleaning. Check out this stunner, and all the details below if you are interested! And for more pictures, check out Holly & Andrew’s Alexandria VA Wedding at Lee Fendall House on Bayside Bride!

bria wtoo used wedding dress for sale

[Image: Rebekah Hoyt Photography]

Selling Price: $350 (65% off original price, not including alterations or cleaning!)

Color: White

Label Size: 0

Street Size: 2

Condition: Gently used

Style Tags: Bria Gown Style 19595, Wtoo by Watters

Fabric: Textured Organza

The Story: The dress was purchased in August 2012 for a June 2013 wedding. A copy of the original receipt will be included with the sale. Both the ceremony and reception were outdoors and the bottom has wear because of it. Almost all of the markings on the bottom have been removed, however, some of the markings on the very bottom still remain. None of these markings are visible in bride and groom photos are minimal to even the searching eye. Additionally, the dress has a few pulls at the bottom where it was stepped on at the dance floor. It was very well loved and is a great steal for another fun-loving gorgeous bride!

bria wtoo used wedding dress for sale

[Image: Rebekah Hoyt Photography]

Alterations: A layer of tulle has been removed from underneath to make the dress more light weight for the outdoor wedding. A bustle has been sewn into the back and has color cording for easy guidance on your big day!

Preservation Method: The dress has been professionally cleaned and steamed. A copy of the preservation receipt is available, at buyer’s request.

Terms of Sale:  Sale is final once the seller has receipt of payment. Interested buyers in the DC Metro area are welcome to set-up an appointment with the seller. Shipping terms are negotiable.

How do I make it mine? Email the seller directly at to discuss sale or set-up an appointment to try on the dress

bria wtoo used wedding dress for sale

[Image: Rebekah Hoyt Photography]

Ross & Lydia’s Personalized, Offbeat St. Mary’s College Wedding in Maryland

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“It was really important to us to have our wedding have lots of “us” in it. We’re both a little weird and nerdy in our own way so details were really important to us.”

Ross & Lydia’s St. Mary’s College Wedding in Maryland is one for the books. Gorgeous light, hand-made details, and more smiles than I can count. Ross & Lydia took the things that were most important to them (getting married in a Catholic church, their reception to be a great party, and their wedding to be a celebration of love, marriage and a GREAT time for their family and friends) and poured it all into their personalized wedding day.

A special thanks to Porter Watkins Photography (one of our Capitol Romance Vendors!) for sharing her images of this gorgeous Maryland wedding.

Ross & Lydia’s Personalized Maryland Wedding at St. Mary’s College

st marys college outdoor maryland wedding


Ceremony Location: St. Peter Claver Catholic Church | Reception Venue: St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Garden of Remembrance | Tent Rental: Tri-County Rent-a-Tent  | Photographer: Porter Watkins Photography | DJ: Mixing Maryland | Photobooth: Boothlove | Florist: David’s Flowers | Caterer: Expressions | Cake: Almond Creek Cakery  | Hair: Bella Salon and Spa| Bowties: The Tie Bar | Wedding Rings: Gold Works| All Stationery: Vistaprint

How we met (from Ross’ perspective):

Ross was up at his friend’s house in Philly for his friend’s Nate’s graduation party. As a single, young man, he was curious as to the ladies that were coming. Nate explained that there were two girls coming. One that might be interested in meeting someone and one that most likely was not. When the girls arrived, it took all of five minutes of seeing and meeting them to realize which girl he wanted to talk to…it was Lydia (who ended up being the one that most likely was not interested in meeting someone). And to add insult to injury, Nate had already talked up Ross to the other young lady.

Because Lydia was in rare form that evening, she decided to mess with Ross and try to pretend that she was into him. However, Ross’ charm got the better of her. As the night continued, Ross went up to Lydia and asked if she wanted to play in the snow. She obliged, because she loves playing in the snow. They ended up talking all night

Lydia, being the stubborn girl that she is, was convinced that it would never work out and wrote Ross off. However, Ross the resilient couldn’t stop talking about her and wouldn’t stop pursuing her. After three or four (it’s still up for debate as to how many times it actually was) denials, Lydia finally decided that he might be worth dating.

simple summer wedding bouquet

simple summer maryland wedding

The proposal story (as told by the groom):

They had been meaning to have a picnic, so Lyd was more than excited to head back to their favorite location and have a nice picnic. Unfortunately, although earlier in the week the forecast showed sun and warmth, it was showing a high likelihood of storms. They headed to their favorite picnic spot…only to find out it was closed for repairs (crap). So they searched around for a new picnic spot and an hour later (and a little bit of freaking out) they found a park! Although there was no private space, they may have drove over some not technically drive-able area and snuck back behind a hedge for a private picnic behind a barn. They got ready to take some pictures when the first storm cloud rolled in…and the clouds brought friends. They tried to set up a tent to have a picnic, but it only got half set up by the time it started POURING! So there they were, sitting in a car, half soaked eating their picnic food on the dashboard and all Ross could think was “It’s been ruined. I had a plan, it has gone to crap, and it’s just not going to work”.


But as he looked flustered at Lyd and saying “our picnic is ruined” they both started laughing and Lyd just said “this is so us.” And Ross knew…this completely unexpected, seemingly undesirable situation, was the perfect situation. He texted Lydia’s best friends and they called Lyd to distract her. Ross went to the trunk and switched into his tux (thank goodness he practiced tying his bow tie the night before), grabbed the bouquet he had bought for her, and waited to hear Lyd play “The Question” by The Old 97’s on the stereo. She played it, he heard it. He asked her to step out of the car, she did (nervously), he dropped to a knee and the rest is history…

maryland wedding

On choosing their venue:

Ross and I both went to St. Mary’s for college. However, we didn’t know each other when we went there. Ross was a senior when I was a freshmen. Our paths never crossed until I was a senior in college. But we both had absolutely amazing times at St. Mary’s. During Alumni Weekend (summer camp for alumni) in 2012 (before we were engaged), Ross and I were kayaking in the St. Mary’s river. We both stopped and stared at our beautiful alma mater. I turned to him and asked, “We should get married here.” He said, “I was thinking the same thing.”

simple st. marys college maryland wedding

When we started planning, there were a few things that were *really* important to both of us. The first vendor we booked was our DJ (who also happens to own the photobooth company). We wanted our reception to be a great party. We wanted  to celebrate our love and our new marriage, but we also wanted to throw a party for our family and friends who have been there for us from the beginning. We could NOT have picked a better DJ. Honestly, Ryan and Kyle from Mixing Maryland were absolutely amazing and our reception was a great time!

maryland wedding first look

Click inside for the rest of Lydia & Ross’ personalized Maryland wedding from Porter Watkins Photography!

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