Tinita & Jerrod’s College Rivalry Engagement Pictures in Maryland

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 Images: Terri Baskin Photography submitted via Two Bright Lights

Hope everyone had a WONDERFUL weekend. It’s my last wedding-free one for a bit and I was happy to have Andy back home and get some things cleaned up around the house. I cannot believe it’s June. Seriously, where did May go!? For today we have an adorable “college rivals” engagement session featuring Jerrod & Tinita. They both wanted to pay homage to their alma maters during their engagement pictures (with insanely awesome collegiate sweaters), which also happen to be rivals. Check it all out below!

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Jerrod attended North Carolina A&T State University and Tinita attended Howard University. The two schools have an athletic rivalry that spans many years, so the couple made fun of one another in cute and playful ways during their engagement session. Currently, Jerrod is working on his second Master’s Degree and Tinita has her Ph.D! They met at church and what was once a casual friendship has blossomed into a love story that they will share with all of their friends and family at their wedding at the Bolger Center in Potomac Maryland.

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Giveaway: Win Wedding Photography Package from Stephen Gosling Photography


A few months ago Stephen Gosling Photography emailed me about helping him to celebrate the re-brand of his photography business with something BIG. He said he’d like to give away a wedding photography package to one of my readers and I was STOKED. So to help Stephen celebrate his new logo, designed website, & blog, we are teaming up to host a giveaway for one lucky couple!

If you are unfamiliar with Stephen’s work (IDK how! We’ve featured him a ton here!), Stephen Gosling Photography is a boutique wedding photographer based in Old Town Alexandria who photographs couples all over the DC area and also further afield. Check out his snazzy new logo/brand:


Stephen shares, “Based in the DC area since 2007 I have been lucky enough to shoot many amazing couples at some of the DC areas most beautiful and interesting wedding venues.  And to celebrate the new look for my business I want to celebrate by shooting your wedding!” Here are a few of his favorite images:

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So let’s get down to the details! The first and foremost is that there IS a date specification for this wedding photography giveaway:


So now that you know that, here’s how to enter!

  • Email your submission for the giveaway to studio@goslingphotography.com | with the subject line: Wedding Photography Competition via CapRo
  • Your submission must include:
    • Full names of the couple to be married
    • Location of wedding
    • Date of wedding
    • A description of your wedding (include info on a theme if there is one)
    • Why you read Capitol Romance and why you should be chosen to win the competition!


Chicago Sky v Washington Mystics

Terms and conditions:

Wedding must be between Dec 31st 2015 and April 2nd 2016. | Wedding must be in Washington DC or within 60 miles from Old Town, Alexandria. | Availability is based on photographers schedule. | You must not have already booked a wedding photographer.  If you have signed a contract with a wedding photographer for your wedding date then you are exempt from applying for the competition. | Stephen Gosling Photography must be the only contracted wedding photographer shooting at the event. | A Stephen Gosling Photography wedding contract must be signed. | Prize has no monetary trade-in value.

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Prize package is for Stephen Gosling Photography’s #1 wedding package, which includes:

  • 8 hours of wedding day coverage
  • High-resolution images edited for quality and clarity delivered on USB drive and FTP download
  • Online gallery with e-commerce capabilities

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We can’t wait to see the submissions and look forward to helping one lucky couple score a seriously awesome deal for their 2016 wedding!

Alli & Mark’s Washington DC Themed Wedding at Keswick Vineyards

Allison + Mark; September 10, 2011; Keswick Vineyards

Images: Jodi Miller Photography

 I really love when couples self-submit their weddings to my blog because they are usually readers that have a similar outlook to me on the DC wedding scene (or really just weddings in general). Alli emailed me last month, excited to submit her DIY, DC themed wedding that took place at a gorgeous winery in Charlottesville and I know you guys are going to love it too! The darling yellow & grey colors, the DIY projects, and the DC Metro table names – just to name a few! Check out all the images and details from Alli & Mark!

Allison + Mark; September 10, 2011; Keswick Vineyards

Mark and I are about as nontraditional as you can get – who meets on the Metro and then gets married? We wanted our wedding to reflect that as well.

Allison + Mark; September 10, 2011; Keswick Vineyards

We chose Charlottesville because we wanted to get away from the city, but still be equidistant from our families in North Carolina and Michigan.  I go to Charlottesville every year to visit family during Christmas, so it feels like home, and Mark has always loved it because it reminds him of his college town of Ann Arbor, MI. We looked at seven vineyards in one day, but once we saw Keswick Vineyards, with its beautiful white estate, it’s “Edgewood Room”, which was the name of the street where we first lived together, and its views of the rolling hills, we knew it was the place we wanted to get married. The theme of our wedding was very easy to come by since we met on the DC metro; all of the details really figured themselves out from there.

Allison + Mark; September 10, 2011; Keswick Vineyards

After trying on many so-called “traditional” wedding dresses, I fell in love with one with a modern twist – the back was cut out and it had a trumpet shape – completely opposite of the romantic lace dress I had in mind.  I also didn’t want my girls in traditional bridesmaids’ dresses, so they were welcome to wear different versions of a casual grey dress and yellow shoes with whatever hair, make-up and jewelry they were comfortable in (they are all incredibly beautiful, so I knew none of those details would make any difference)!

Allison + Mark; September 10, 2011; Keswick Vineyards

The grey and yellow was only really used in the wedding party attire and my yellow shoes.

I started my wedding day with a morning yoga class, led by my bridesmaid (and friend since kindergarten), with all of my girls – bridesmaids, flower girls and cousins.

Allison + Mark; September 10, 2011; Keswick Vineyards Allison + Mark; September 10, 2011; Keswick Vineyards

The wedding coordinator at the church was my Aunt Karen.  With my cousin on the drums and his bandmate as pianist, they performed music by Sigur Ros to accompany us all down the aisle.  Two of our best friends read scripture and my cousin Avery read a passage from the Velveteen Rabbit.

Allison + Mark; September 10, 2011; Keswick Vineyards


DIY Tutorial: How to Make a DIY Storage Ottoman – Part 1


Images & Tutorial: Ribbons & Bluebirds

We’re back for DIY Wednesday with Part 1 of a DIY tutorial to make a super awesome upholstered storage ottoman – perfect for a home office, bedroom or nursery. I took the easy way out and bought a super cheap yellow one from IKEA for our nursery, but DIY maven Jenn’s is SO MUCH more awesome. One because she made it, and two because it’s completely customized! Take it away Jenn!

How to Make a DIY Storage Ottoman – Part 1: Building the Box


Perhaps you have noticed a trend in my DIYs lately: I am very deep into my nesting phase. This is coming from someone who is pretty much always in a nesting phase, pregnant or no, so you know when it comes to my nursery I have been going a little overboard.

One of the trends I have been seeing a lot of in design and retail right now is the small storage ottoman – perfect for small spaces and a great way to keep clutter neatly tucked away.  I see this little ottoman as being a perfect place to tuck toys, books, or spare blankets! This tutorial is long, but definitely not complicated, and would be a great place for a beginner upholsterer to start.  Today we’re looking at part one: building the box. Check back soon for part 2 when we dive into the upholstery!

Materials (should all be available at your local hardware store or of course via Amazon)


Tools needed:

  • Saw, if you are not having your pieces cut at the hardware store
  • Power drill and 3/8” drill bit
  • Hammer
  • Wood Glue and clamps

*NOTE* if you use a thickness other than ½”, you will need to resize some of the pieces of this list as some factor in material thickness. See diagram to determine your cut list.



Let’s Get Personal: Oh Hey There. It’s Been a While

View More: http://cynthiashipp.pass.us/bree-maternity

Images: Cynthia Shipp Photography | Our nursery

In case you don’t follow me on social media, I wanted to write a quick post about my utter disappearance on the blog these past 3 weeks (eesh! 3 weeks flew) – well my little bundle of joy decided to come 4 days earlier than her due date, leaving her mom no time to setup a bunch of blog posts to hold you all over while I adjusted to my new life.

But I am slowly getting back into things as I try to start a new routine for myself with Andy headed back to work today – a big adjustment after the biggest adjustment of my life that was 3 weeks ago. I hope to be back to blogging 4 posts a week but hope you’ll understand if that doesn’t happen every week.

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To make things even a bit more spicy, tomorrow is also my 30th birthday! Can we say, “feeling all the feels”? Two huge milestones in such a short time and I am just trying to take it all in stride. I can say that my readers, my wedding vendor colleagues, and my clients have been some of the MOST amazing people during these past 3 weeks. I mean, I already knew you all were super awesome, but man was it humbling to witness first hand.

We had dinners & desserts dropped off, cards & flowers delivered, offers of babysitting, and more congratulatory messages than I can count. It REALLY meant so much to me – so thank you again if I didn’t get a chance to thank you personally.

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For the rest of today’s post I wanted to share a few more images from our maternity shoot with Cynthia Shipp Photography – a mere 3 days before baby showed up! It’s so insane to look at these pictures and attempt to comprehend how much has changed in such a short time.

One of the cards we got from friends said, “and just like that , your lives are changed forever.” Indeed, no truer words have been written.

I hope you all had a fabulous memorial day weekend and I look forward to be back in the swing of blogging!!

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Caitlin & Michael’s Intimate Maryland Wedding on a Boat

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Images: Daysy Photography via Two Bright Lights

It’s been a week. This one felt long – maybe because it was officially my last week in an office until September (not sure that has really hit me yet). These next few days will mostly be me & my laptop, trying to get a bunch of posts scheduled for the next few weeks in case Baby Ryback decides to show up early (though my official due date is Thursday, so not that early!). I’ll keep you guys posted on the arrival and what the blog will look like during my leave, but please be patient as I really don’t know how it will all shake out!

In the meantime, we’re celebrating Friday and another end of the work week with a super cute, intimate Maryland wedding that took place on the water and then a boat!! It was planned in only a month – but everything came together so beautifully! Have a great weekend Romancers! We will be announcing our return address stamp giveaway winner soon AND launching a SUPER AWESOME giveaway on Monday. So stay tuned!

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We decided we wanted the wedding to be intimate and just the two of us. St Michaels was at the top of our list and we were blown away by its beauty and charm. The inn at Perry Cabin was both luxurious and cozy all wrapped into one and from the moment we first arrived to preview the location we knew it was the perfect setting for our wedding.

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I loved how relaxed and stress free the day was it gave us the opportunity to focus on each other and what the day was truly suppose to be about.Tell us about your wedding day fashions. Since we planned our day in only a month I ordered my dress and accessories all online from BHLDN.

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We wanted to stay in theme with our location on the water so blue was our main color. The bouquet was something I made myself using some flowers we purchased at the market their pinkish purple color was a nice complement to the blue.

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We took a boat ride right after the ceremony and it was the perfect setting to spend our first moments as newlyweds.

Ousler Nautical Elopement

Click inside for the rest of Caitlin & Michael’s intimate Maryland boat wedding!

Sarah & Matt’s Casual, Handmade Wedding at Stillhouse Manor in Virginia

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Images: Holly Cromer Photography | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Sarah and Matt were married at Stillhouse Manor in Hillsville, Virginia which is not your typical wedding venue, the families rented out the house for a long weekend so the true wedding celebration lasted much longer than just the wedding day. Sarah wore a pair of blue lace Toms as her “something blue”. Her mother brought along a bracelet for her to wear that had a church charm on it because her grandfather was a pastor. The whole wedding was handmade by family and friends and made for a very sweet & touching affair.

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From the couple:

The venue/weekend was special for multiple reasons.  Not only was the venue perfect in my opinion (130 acres with no cell phone reception down in a valley) it was the same weekend as my husband’s family’s annual family reunion in the town his dad is from.  The same weekend the previous year we found out Matt’s dad had cancer, and had experienced other family losses.  We just wanted a place where we could get together with loved ones, relax and celebrate together.

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Matt and I met at Campbell University my freshman year, he was a junior. A friend introduced us during welcome week activities. We shared mutual friends and throughout the school year we would see other at activities off and on campus. We were dating other people that year. My sophomore year we contacted again during early move in/welcome week activities. This time we were both single and started dating :)

Matt and I talked about marriage off and on for many years. After Matt’s uncle, Charles passed last June we decided we were ready to have a celebration of something we knew was going to be forever with our closest family and friends. We started planning (I actually bought my dress the day before he proposed). I had been gone for almost a week for work and when i returned, it was late and I needed to repack because we were leaving the next day to meet my matron of honor in DC. Matt made me go down to the sound by our house and proposed so we could celebrate with friends while in DC.

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Our colors…I knew the venue would be lush and green so we just really wanted soft romantic colors.  Pinks, off whites, pale blue…to be honest it didn’t really matter too much.  My bridesmaids were told they could pick their own dresses they wanted to wear and we purchased Khaki pants and ties for the groomsmen.  I just wanted everyone to feel comfortable, happy and like themselves as much as possible.

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Our wedding was basically hand crafted with the love and generosity from all of our family and friends.  Our flowers were mostly wildflowers handpicked in the area that morning by my husband’s two brothers.  The bouquets were assisted with purchasing some roses and hydrangeas and my matron of honor made the bouquets and flower arrangements.
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Some of my favorite things were the boutonnieres and corsages I ordered from a shop on Etsy called dustyluck-I wanted something that would last.  The flowers were made out of lace, burlap leaves and little details like buttons.  I LOVED our bourbon barrels that we wrapped in these little wire lights as cocktail tables.
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The mason jars we used for the flower arrangements were from Matt’s aunt/godmother that she had at her house and I decorated them with burlap and lace. Our officiant was my husband’s best friend from college and he wrote our ceremony for us.  I did not want things to be too matchy-matchy.  Instead of renting linens I bought different fabrics from the store for the tables.  I made the banner that hung above the sweets table with burlap and fabric.  My husband made the mason jar lights and wine bottles lights that were either hung or placed around the venue.  Our videographer/late night DJ was a good friend of ours from the OBX.
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Click inside for more of Sarah & Matt’s handmade Virginia wedding!

Grace & Ben’s Laid Back, Historic City Richmond Virginia Engagement Pictures

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Images: Imani Fine Art Photography

Did you all have a good weekend? Yesterday was gorgeous! Andy & I got some relaxing in and were mostly up to our eyeballs in all things baby prep. Now that we know how to swaddle we officially feel ready (well pending Andy making me the ultimate labor music playlist ;) so I guess it’s just a waiting game from here! I plan to blog as much as I can up to whenever this little guy or gal arrives and will keep you posted on when I will return to blogging as well. But in the meantime let’s get to today’s adorable engagement pictures thanks to Nadiya of Imani Fine Art Photography. She sent me the beautiful engagement session & love story of Grace & Ben. Check it out and HAPPY MONDAY!

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From the photographer:

Grace and Ben are an awe-inspiring couple. They are quirky, down to earth and deserve to be featured for they are the real deal times a million. They’re both from the D.C. area, and I’m based out of Richmond, so they planned a night stay in the lovely historic city in order to do engagement shoots with me that evening. As fate would have it took them a crazy 5+ hours to even get to Richmond from D.C. #justno. On top of everything it got mad cloudy and rainy, and I was actually supposed to go out of town right after the shoot! Tragedy? A cancellation? Nope, alas we made it work. I postponed my trip, and we planned a sunrise shoot at Libby Hill park overlooking the city.

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Before our shoot I got a chance to chat with them, and I knew right away that we would be friends. Grace is a high school English teacher, and Ben left a life of finance to start his own catering company up in D.C.: B.Lin Catering. He totally stepped out on faith and has been crazy successful, I loved it. We sat on my wide southern porch in the misty rain and just got to know each other a little better. Grace told me the back story about the engagement ring that I seriously could not stop starring at.

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Click inside for the rest of Grace & Ben’s adorable Richmond, VA engagement pictures!

Taylor & Nate’s Intimate Washington DC Pop Up Wedding at the National Portrait Gallery

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Images: Pop Wed Co

It’s FRIDAY! We made it. Woof what a week. Maybe it’s the whole pregnancy thing but this week just kicked my ass! Andy & I will be wrapped up in baby classes all weekend, but I am kind of excited for them! Hoping you all have a fantastic weekend too (how could you not? It’s the WEEKEND!). For Friday we have a super fun & awesome Washington DC elopement wedding from my favs, Pop Wed Co. Taylor & Nate didn’t want to spend a fortune on their wedding so they opted for a pop-up elopement instead. Naturally they picked the BEST elopement company in DC too. Here are all the amazing pics and details – have a great weekend!

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From the couple:

We went to high school together, and actually our younger brothers played baseball together for years when they were kids. Taylor’s mom used to point out Nate at the baseball field and say how cute he was and that they should date. Then a few years later, our German teacher and Taylor’s mom told us each that the other wanted to go to the prom together and essentially tricked us into being each others’ dates. We went, and started dating shortly after…that was nine years ago!

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Why they wanted a pop-up wedding instead of a traditional wedding:

We knew we didn’t want to spend a lot, and didn’t want a lot of stress. We weren’t really sure what that would look like until we saw the Pop Wed Co. piece in the Washington Post back in the summer; after investigating further, we knew a popup wedding fit our budget and sounded so cool and easy. Plus, good pictures were really important to us, and Maggie’s pics from previous weddings were so awesome!

Since we had to keep it small, and our family is not local, we limited it to parents, siblings, and our good friend/sorta-maid of honor. That gave us a good core group that included all the most important people but wasn’t too cumbersome to wrangle and lead around the city!

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In the spring our parents are also hosting a reception in Pittsburgh (back home) for our extended families so they’ll have a chance to celebrate with us too. It worked out really well and is the best of both worlds.

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Advice for other couples planning a more intimate or pop-up wedding:

The planning process was overall pretty easy, and we were lucky to have families who supported our popup vision. Advice for prospective popup couples: you WILL have to explain the concept to everybody, all the time, multiple times, because easy weddings blow people’s minds. This breaks all the rules! But there are no rules, and in the end almost everyone will think it’s a very cool idea and many will confess to wishing they’d thought of it when they got married.

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Click inside for SO MUCH MORE awesome from Nate & Taylor!!

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