Natascha & Scott’s DIY Backyard Wedding in Leesburg, Virginia

The sun is finally out in DC and I am FINALLY getting in the zone for wedding season (the cold didn’t exactly make me want to think about being outside in any sense). I had two awesome consultations this weekend with my first two May weekend brides and I am overflowing with timelines, layouts, and last minute confirmations before I head to Portland & Seattle next week. In the spirit of sunshine and love, I have a fun backyard wedding in Leesburg, Virginia to share today. Natascha & Scott got married in Natascha’s parents’ backyard in a laid-back, intimate ceremony and backyard reception. This backyard Virginia wedding had it all – handmade details, DIY projects, an intimate venue, and of course, a food truck! Thanks to VNess Photography for sharing this one!

Natascha & Scott’s Intimate, DIY Backyard Wedding in Leesburg, Virginia

intimate backyard wedding in virginia

Vendors:

Photographer: Vness Photography | FloristPurcellville Florist | CatererThe Q Company – Leesburg VA (BBQ) D.J.: Family Friend | Cake: Baked by a family friend | Food Truck: Curley’s Q | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

backyard wedding dress Simon_Koopman_Vness_Photography_copyrightvnessphotographytaschascott402_low ruffled wedges bride wedding pink wedding bouquet

Tasha and Scott are just about the most easy-going and all-around friendly people you’ll ever meet! They wanted their wedding to be fun, easy and relaxed – just a memorable and beautiful get-together with their family and close friends. They had an intimate ceremony surrounded by people that love them the most. It was the perfect wedding for a perfect couple. They followed it with a a laid-back reception with barbecue from Curley Q’s Food Truck and their details helped create the perfect setting.

backyard wedding casua wedding attire backyard wedding details backyard wedding details

Click inside for the rest of Natascha & Scott’s backyard wedding!

Pin It

Nilam & Aatman’s Pre-Wedding, Turmeric & Henna Ritual Ceremonies

With last week’s Maryland handfasting ceremony and now today’s stunning Hindi pre-wedding ceremony features, we’re on a pretty non-traditional wedding roll and I LOVE it. Today’s feature centers on two pre-wedding events for bride to be Nilam and her friends and family. In the Hindu wedding tradition, the pre-wedding ceremonies involve one day of prayers and the traditional application of turmeric paste on the bride’s skin, and another day of bridal shower and henna festivities. The tradition explains that the turmeric paste is applied to beautify the bride’s skin for her wedding (more here). With all the beautiful colors, striking patterns, and all the raw emotion packed into this feature – it’s an honor to get to share something to rich in culture and so different from the usual DC wedding submissions  we get!

Nilam & Aatman’s Pre-wedding, Turmeric & Henna Ritual Ceremonies

turmeric pre-wedding ceremony

Photographer, Michelle VanTine, explains “the event was rich in beautiful cultural traditions, bright colors, intricate patterns, delicious Indian food, and beautiful décor. It was truly an honor to play even a small role in the ceremonies and something we will not soon forget. Nilam and her fiancé will be getting married in their home country of Sri Lanka.”

turmeric pre-wedding ceremony turmeric pre-wedding ceremony turmeric pre-wedding ceremony turmeric pre-wedding ceremony

Click inside for the rest of the beautiful images from Nilam’s turmeric & henna pre-wedding ceremonies.

Super Easy Wedding Invitation Timeline Download from The Peacock Press

Back in February we attended The Mix Event (I swear I will have a recap and images from the show up at SOME point) and got to meet a few new, awesome wedding vendors – including our booth neighbors, The Peacock Press. Lauren and her husband’s booth were SUPER rad, but so were some of their handouts. One in particular caught my eye, and I couldn’t help but ask Lauren if I could share it on the blog.

A Super Easy Wedding Invitation Timeline Download from The Peacock Press

ThePeacockPressWeddingStationeryTimeLine

^awesome design. awesome wedding advice. and awesome company – what’s not to love? Go download and print your own copy of this essential wedding planning tool on Peacock Press now!

Happy Friday Romancers! Have a great weekend – and stay dry!

Chuck & Marcia’s Renaissance Fair, Handfasting Ceremony in Maryland

Lately I’ve found myself in a few situations where the topics of wedding themes have come up and those around me have been super judgey about couples doing something “tacky” “nerdy” or “weird” for their wedding. I really don’t understand why people feel the need to judge someone else’s wedding. It’s not your wedding – so it really doesn’t matter what you think. I’ve always taken the mindset that as long as the couple is making meaningful decisions (and not decisions based soley on ‘how can I get my wedding on a blog?!?!?!’), then really, that’s all that matters.

It’s YOUR wedding day. Do what makes you and your partner happy – and that’s exactly what Chuck and Marcia did. Thanks to Douglas Pettway for sharing his images of this offbeat Maryland wedding ceremony to us!

Chuck & Marcia’s Handfasting Ceremony at a Maryland Renaissance Fair

maryland renaissance fair handfasting ceremony

We met through match.com. At the time my dad’s health was declining, and I had decided to sign off for a while since most guys I was meeting didn’t understand. The night I was going to sign off, I was sent some new matches for the week and he was among them. His profile included some photos of him at Renaissance events. I had been attending Renaissance fairs for a few years and really loved them, so I figured I would go ahead and email him. He emailed back and the rest is history!

In addition to our common interest in Renaissance festivals, we discovered a shared love of the outdoors, camping, family, and interest in our Celtic heritages.

maryland renaissance fair handfasting ceremony maryland renaissance fair handfasting ceremony maryland renaissance fair handfasting ceremony maryland renaissance fair handfasting ceremony maryland renaissance fair handfasting ceremony maryland renaissance fair handfasting ceremony

Click inside for the rest of Marcia & Chuck’s Maryland Renaissance Fair handfasting ceremony!

Let’s Get Personal: The Importance of Thinking Local & the DC Wedding Industry

When I started to think about what 2014 would look like for Capitol Romance, I tried to focus on my differentiators. What makes me different from other wedding blogs in and outside of DC; why would someone continue to read my blog over others? My mission is simple but too easily overlapped by other blogs and so I did a bit of soul searching to try and find my special sauce. I thought, if I could find this thing and really focus on it, then Capitol Romance could really thrive and grow in 2014.

Let’s Get Personal: The Importance of Thinking Local (and How it Pertains to the Wedding Industry)

offbeat alternative dc wedding blog

I heard a few rumblings of it with my 2013 clients, but it was my 2014 clients that REALLY started to utter the same phrase over and over. We want our wedding to be “local”; we want “local” vendors; we want our DC wedding to have a “local” feel. There it was, my special sauce – thinking (and focusing on) local! This was something I had started from the first week of blogging (if you saw my #1 blogging tip article, then you saw my editorial calendar which had “Local Finds” as one of my initial blog topics) and something that I always internally focused on – I just didn’t really make it so widely known here, or associate it strongly with my business.

But that is changing.

Thinking locally is important to me, both as a citizen of Washington, DC AND as a small business owner. I believe that our city and the people in it, only have good things to gain if we all focus locally on the people, places, and things that live, work, and create here. I believe this SO much that I recently applied to be a part of Think Local First DC – an entire organization that is dedicated to driving sustainable economic development in DC through working with independent businesses, consumers, and policymakers.

Yes We're Local

I was THRILLED to be accepted (see my handy Made in DC Certified Local stamp of approval on my sidebar) and this organization has already opened me up to a world of other businesses that could help Capitol Romance and my readers. Through Think Local First DC I found some of my sponsors for my upcoming DIY wedding workshops and I was also connected to the DC MEETMarket & Fenton Street Market (2 places that would be a GREAT stop to find local wedding vendors) and currently drool over Trohv.

So how am I living the local pledge? Well, for starters I’ll be at opening day of the DC MEETMarket on April 5th to promote my workshops and the awesome vendors & sponsors that are making them possible. Please stop on by and check us out, as well as all the other amazing vendors that will be participating:

DC local market wedding vendors

I’m also teaming up with the ladies behind Fenton Street Market to help them with their launch of Indie Bridal Party - a wedding show that exclusively focuses on local DC area wedding vendors! It’s on April 17th at the Darlington House – and you should DEF go to this too! We’ll be on hand to facilitate a DIY crafting station and showcase our DIY wedding workshops a bit more (are you sensing a theme here?).

indie bridal party logo

So this will be one of my main 2014 business goals – to truly focus Capitol Romance and the DC wedding industry on “thinking local”. I’ll be doing this through the blog and outside of the blog (ya know, in real life), attending events and workshops, meeting other small business owners, shopping local, eating local, promoting local to my clients and even taking the scary step of hosting my own workshops to further connect engaged couples with amazing local wedding vendors.

Main DIY Workshop Header

We’ll see how this goes :)

Dori & Geoff’s Intimate DC War Memorial Wedding in Washington, DC

This intimate Washington, DC wedding at the DC War Memorial is the PERFECT example of how, just because you are having a small, low-key wedding, doesn’t mean you have to skimp on details! Dori & Geoff had a TON of awesome details in their DC wedding – a custom wedding dress, an intimate ceremony performed by the groom’s uncle and the coolest crest that they had a graphic designer create that represented their union. They used the crest on paper products and decor throughout the wedding and reception and the result was SO awesome! Check out their entire wedding from Love Life Images below.

Dori & Geoff’s Intimate, Modern DC Wedding at the DC War Memorial & Hanks Oyster Bar

intimate modern Washington DC wedding

Vendors:

Photographer: Love Life Images | Ceremony Location: DC War Memorial | Reception Location: Hank’s Oyster Bar | Wedding Coordinator: Events by Sofia | Bride’s Dress: Original design by Coren Moore | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Makeup Artist: Jan Scott | Groom’s Tux: Bonobos | Florist: Jackie Kanatzar | Cupcakes: Baked and Wired | Transportation: Corporate Chauffeured Services | Officiant: Groom’s Uncle | Ceremony Music: Pamela Ferguson | Invitations: Hannah Learner, Illustrator and Caroline Friedman at Paper Becomes You.

Love Life Images adorable ring bearers

We both wanted a small, intimate, family gathering. Geoff’s uncle is performing the ceremony. We also wanted the dinner to be relaxed and a lot of fun.

intimate modern Washington DC wedding intimate modern Washington DC wedding ceremony DC war memorial

The ring bearer is the Bride’s nephew and godson. Geoff’s goddaughter, Charlotte is our flower girl and my godson, Henry is the ring bearer; both of these kiddos are very special to us.

intimate modern Washington DC wedding ceremony DC war memorial intimate modern Washington DC wedding ceremony DC war memorial

Click inside for the rest of Dori & Geoff’s intimate Washington DC wedding!

Capitol Advice: The Number One Tip for Blogging

I’ve been asked a few times how the heck I manage to blog (almost) every day. People give me credit or say “I don’t know how you do it” or complain that they hate blogging. I’ve even had someone ask me to blog for them! I can’t say that I am an expert blogger, but I have learned a few things that have worked for me since starting Capitol Romance in 2011 and I figured it couldn’t hurt to share my #1 tip. It’s so easy and simple and honestly I did it without even thinking twice back in 2011. Are you ready for it?

Capitol Advice: The Number One Tip for Blogging

offbeat dc wedding blog

Create an editorial calendar.

That’s it – I’m serious, it’s that simple. And you don’t even need anything fancy! Mine is in Google Docs (excel!) and literally just has the days of the week across the top and the beginning date of the week on the left. When I first started blogging I gave each day of the week a topic, so that I could plan out a few weeks in advance, what I would blog about. Mondays used to be “Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck” days, Tuesdays were Local Finds & Venues, Wednesdays were DIY, Thursdays were Real Capitol Weddings, and Fridays were Vendor Spotlights.

I don’t keep to that topic per day structure anymore (based on submissions, a lack of music song suggestions, and the work that goes into vendor spotlights and venue posts), but funny enough, they still sit at the top of the calendar days in my editorial calendar. Proof? Here’s a screen shot of my editorial calendar – from the very first few months that I ever blogged!

Editorial Calendar

I probably plan posts out anywhere from 1-3+ weeks in advance, but nothing is ever concrete. Sometimes I am awaiting details from a photographer or other times a giveaway pops in my inbox that shifts my schedule around, but at any rate, when I get an idea or a submission in my inbox, I go right to my editorial calendar and plan a date to blog about the topic.

I cannot express how easy this single document makes my life. It keeps me organized and is literally the #1 thing that makes blogging easier for me. If you are just starting out, and you don’t have content coming in like I do, then try to blog just 2-3 days a week and have some generic topics for each of your blogging days. It can be simple: inspirational quotes Monday, what I am wearing Tuesday, vendors who inspire me Wednesday …. and so on and so forth!

I hope this tip helps you guys like it helped (and continues to help me!). Now go get blogging!

 

 

DC LGBT Wedding Show: Say I Do! is Back in DC on June 1st

Romancers! Save the date for one of our favorite DC wedding shows, Say I Do!. We’ve been so fortunate to be involved with this amazing show in previous years and are excited to be involved again this year. Say I Do! returns to DC this year on June 1st at the Hotel Palomar in Dupont Circle. We’ll have a ticket giveaway happening in the next few weeks, but for now, check out their website and Facebook page and look for more here on ways to interact with DC’s best LGBT-wedding expo.

say i do

The Best Nontraditional & Nonreligious Wedding Ceremony Readings

Trying to Google “non-religious wedding readings” or “alternative wedding readings” brings you to a BUNCH of different websites, with no real, concise display of options. A million years ago I did this search myself, and landed on a SUPER LONG thread over on Offbeat Bride - but I just knew there had to be an easier way (or place) to list these. So when my co-worker asked me last week for some suggestions on nonreligious and alternative wedding readings, I knew just where to go – Facebook. Thanks to my amazing fans, I have a GREAT roundup of alternative wedding readings from literature, poems, songs, movies, and MORE. Check out the list we have (and leave us comments to continue adding to this post!).

The Best Nontraditional & Nonreligious Wedding Ceremony Readings

offbeat alternative wedding readings

[Anne & Jessica’s Summer Garden Wedding by Photo Lady Love]

 

From Literature:

William Shakespeare: Sonnet 116

The Irrational Season By Madeleine L’Engle

A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton

To Love Is Not To Possess by James Kavanaugh

Oh the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss

To Keep Your Marriage Brimming – Ogden Nash

From Poetry:

On Friendship by Roy Croft

How Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog by Taylor Mali

Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

I’ll Always Belong to Myself by Rex X

The Master Speed by Robert Frost (originally written by him for his own daughter’s wedding!)

From Quotes:

Love Is… by Captain Corellis Mandolin

Instructions For Life In The New Millennium – by His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama

From Movies:

I vow to help you love life, to always hold you with tenderness, to have the patience that love demands, to speak when words are needed, and to share the silence when they are not, to agree to disagree about red velvet cake, to live within the warmth of your heart, and always call it home – from THE VOW

 

Ok  – keep adding! What did I miss!?


Need Help Making DIY Projects for Your Wedding? Attend Our Workshops!