Katie & Andy’s DIY Backyard Woodland Wedding in Virginia

Katie & Andy fell in love with the house that Katie’s grandfather built. The house is set within the tranquility of Great Falls and you will all soon see why Katie & Andy picked this place as their wedding venue. Not only is the house GORGEOUS, but Katie spent her childhood in this house – learning to bake, garden, and spend time with family. This venue held so much family emotion and history, it made for a PERFECT backdrop for their wedding day. Thanks to Douglas Pettway for this real Virginia wedding.

Katie & Andy’s DIY Backyard Woodland Wedding in Virginia

DIY Virginia backyard wedding

Photographer: Douglas Pettway | Venue: Grandparents house/backyard | Cake: Tea Time Delicacies | DJ: Friend | Catering: Tea Time Delicacies | Flowers: Tonya at Occasional Flowers | Hair/Makeup: Paola Rios | Shoes: DSW (Nina) | Dress: Jeanettes Bridal | Centerpieces: DIYed by Groom

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She spent much of her childhood there learning to cook, garden, and grow vegetables. Their house was always the location where the family got together for holidays, birthdays, and weekend dinners. When Katie met Andy, he also feel in love with the beauty the tranquility of the rare property in Great Falls. Katie’s grandfather built the house and designed all of the landscaping. They alone take care of the garden with no outside help for the last 48 years. They are two of the hardest working people we know and it is reflected in their property.  Their house has always been so special to us that it was the obvious, and the only place we considered for our wedding.

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Their house is also the place where Andy proposed. Katie thought she was going over to help work in the garden but Andy surprised her by planning a proposal with friends and family.

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We choose purples, yellows, and greens as our colors after we decided to get married in the spring. We thought they would complement the outdoor spring colors: the foliage, the flowers, and the green buds on the trees.

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Click inside for the rest of Katie & Andy’s DIY, backyard Virginia wedding.

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Heather & Jeremy’s Springtime, Mint Green Wedding in Maryland

This super-rad springtime weather has got me in a great mood, despite my new day job being insane, delving into some crazy personal life things, AND nearing the middle of my busy wedding season. I’m tired yes (as I sit here at 9:30pm writing this post, thinking about that 6:00am alarm to go for a run), but the love keeps me going. Heather & Jeremy are SUPER sweet and their springtime Maryland wedding isn’t chock full of details, but it IS chock full of beauty and love. PLUS the photographer, Elizabeth Fogarty Photography and I are working together this Saturday at C&J’s wedding – so it’s only appropriate that I’m featuring one of her weddings this week.

And man, these images make me SO freakin’ pumped that C&J booked her for their laid-back BBQ wedding in the ruins of Patapsco Female Institute. Let’s just all do a sunshine weather dance ok?

Heather & Jeremy’s Springtime, Mint Green Maryland Wedding

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Photographer: Elizabeth Fogarty Photography | Venue: Piney Branch | Flowers: Country Florals by Emily Hester | Cake: The Broken Cookie | Bride’s Dress: David’s Bridal | DJ: Source 4 Entertainment | Hair Stylist: Melissa at Aaron Robert Salon | Makeup Artist: Courtney at Aaron Robert Salon | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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From the Photographer:

Talk about a SWEET couple. These two were all smiles on their wedding day. It was a perfect, full of sunshine, day. Everything came together so perfectly, from her flowers to the bridesmaid dresses. They are actually middle school sweethearts. Well, he did call her fat. But college changed it all and Jeremy fell hard for Heather. He is an engineer and she is a pre-school teacher. They have a little boy named max. This is truly a fairy tale.

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From the bride:

“My favorite color is green and we knew that would definitely be our primary color! Originally we were going to go with green and yellow until my Sister in Law and I saw a bouquet online with a green and purple color scheme and I instantly fell in love!! We chose the green color based on the girls dresses which were Clover from David’s bridal and then knew deeper purple would work well with that!

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Click inside for the rest of Heather & Jeremy’s mint green Maryland wedding.

Rachel & Alex’s Washington DC Engagement Pictures at Boundary Stone Public House

You guys KNOW how I feel about engagement sessions in the not typical, touristy DC locations (and if you don’t, I love them). Alex & Rachel live and work in DC and so having their engagement session at one of their favorite bars, Boundary Stone Public House in the Bloomingdale neighborhood, was a no-brainer. Just two crazy kids, some good beer, the scenes of DC, and LOTS of love . Thanks to Matthew Druin for sharing this one with us!

Rachel & Alex’s Washington DC Engagement Pictures at Boundary Stone

offbeat DC engagement pictures
Photographer: Matthew Druin | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

How they met:

I met Alex on my first day at Stanford, while biking– for the first time since childhood– to a welcome dinner. I pretty much crashed my bike into the bench alex was sitting on and practically fell trying to get off and lock it. he didnt mention anything, but I knew he must have been laughing at me! later we found out we were in the same masters program of five people- and started dating before the program even began! we kept it quiet from the department until we knew for sure it would last, though!

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I knew alex was the one almost instantly- from our first “date” (beer, burgers and Mon night football) it was obviously a special match. a week after dating, we drove to yosemite to go camping on a whim before class begun- that was when i knew for sure. anyone who was down for that was someone i wanted to share life with- we finished a big 15 miles hike, camped out- it was the best weekend ever. before we moved to the east coast, we went back to that campsite and to the spot where we finished our big hike together- it was really special.
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Click inside for the rest of Alex & Rachel’s offbeat Washington DC engagement session at Boundary Stone bar – including a look at her engagement ring!

Melodie & Jared’s Sweet, Styled Snowy Engagement Pictures & Love Story

Already today it’s POURED and now the sun is out. So why NOT share an engagement feature that has snow? From the photographer: “The session itself is a little quirky-a mix of a styled session and an engagement session. Melodie and Jared have to be THE SWEETEST couple! We set the date for the session and everything seemed to be going perfectly to plan, but next thing I know, a monster winter snow storm rolled in. Despite a location change (First place was buried. Literally.) and cold temps, everyone braved the weather and the show went on.”

Happy Friday Romancers – enjoy this beautiful love story, some fun details, and have a GREAT weekend!

Melodie & Jared’s Sweet, Styled Snow Engagement Pictures

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Photographer: Katie Estes Photography | Love Notes: Letterpress Expressions | Flowers: Green Designs, LLC | Cake: Sassy Cakes

Sassy Cakes made these sweet petit fours and Green Designs created a beautiful bouquet and headpiece with permanent blooms, which are an excellent budget-friendly alternatives to a huge cake and (at-times expensive) seasonal flowers!

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How they met:

Jared and I met in 8th grade at a dance and hit it off. I was going to move back to Iowa between 8th and 9th grade, so we broke up, but when I walked into the school the first day of 9th grade, we picked right back up where we left off. We fell in love really fast and a lot of people were skeptical of it all, but we knew there was something there. Now, 6 years later, we’re more in love than either of us expected and WE’RE GETTING MARRIED!! We’re both so excited for all of the upcoming firsts and adventures together.

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Click inside for the rest of this styled, snowy engagement session, including the proposal story and a look at Melodie’s gorgeous engagement ring!

Carolyng & Lee’s Offbeat, Fun Elopement & Courthouse Wedding in DC

 There was also a sense of excitement in having eloped without telling anyone.

I LOVE elopements and DC courthouse weddings so freakin’ much – but I love them EVEN MORE when the couple is super fun, stylish, and full of giggles. Carolyng and Lee decided to elope in DC at the courthouse, just so they could share a private, stress-free way to tie the knot. Their pictures (by Mathy Shoots People) are just so freakin’ fun. Jumping pics (of course), dogs, glasses, and SO much laughter. If this feature doesn’t brighten your Thursday, I don’t know that anything will.

Carolyng & Lee’s Offbeat, Fun Elopement & Courthouse Wedding in DC

dc courthouse wedding elopement

Photographer: Mathy Shoots People | Officiant: Paul Trudeau | Bride’s Dress: Jessica Howard Cap Sleeve Dress via Amazon | Bride’s Hair: Blow Dry Bar | Makeup: DIYed | Bride’s Shoes: Cole Haan | Groom’s Shirt: John W via Nordstrom | Groom’s Pants: Boss Jeans | Groom’s Shoes: Ben Sherman | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

How they met:

They met in their college dorm – The first day he hit on her via a note with his number asking if she wanted to hang out. Caroylng initially denied the advances but slowly, after prodding from family and friends she took the plunge and spent some one on one time with him. The rest is pretty much history. Boy gets girl, hook line and sinker. :)

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Why they decided to elope:

Lee – We wanted our own alone time, without any stress, and we didn’t want to have to worry about doing paperwork on our wedding day. We wanted it just to be us. It worked out perfectly since the government closed shortly after. It was the best decision for us and so fun.

Carolyng – Once our wedding day got closer, we realized that we wanted part of the day to be just about us. Having an elopement helped us focus on each other, on our relation and honestly let us geek out about finally being married.

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There was also a sense of excitement in having eloped without telling anyone. It was super romantic! Plus, we knew that on your wedding day things can go wrong so we wanted to have our elopement, so not mattered what happened later we were already married. Lucky for us both days were absolutely perfect, and we wouldn’t have had it any other way.

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Click inside for SO MUCH MORE from Carolygn and Lee’s adorable DC courthouse wedding!

Our First DIY Wedding Workshop ~ Recap, Pics & Videos!

Our First DIY Wedding Workshop – Recap, Pictures & our Promo Video!

DIY wedding workshops washington dc weddings

I can’t believe it, but our first ever DIY Wedding Workshop went off a few few weekends ago without any major hitches. Everyone had a great time (well at least those that responded to my survey), one of our attendees was already putting her new skills to use and our amazing photographer, Cynthia Shipp Photography and videographer, Key In Films, got some amazing visuals from the day. None of it could have been possible without the amazing Nina of CIAO NINA – our first ever vendor host!

Our next workshop is with Sarah Perez Studios on June 29th, same time and place (2pm to 4pm at The Ulysses Room) – tickets will be going on sale SOON!.Attendees will learn how to create chalkboard signs for their wedding or event!

But for now, we are so excited to share some images from our first workshop and the AWESOME promo video Key In Films created for us to use for promotional activities going forward! Check it all out below!


Capital Romance DYI from Kian McKellar on Vimeo.

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Click inside for the rest of the images from our very first DIY Wedding Workshop thanks to Cynthia Shipp Photography!

Jenny & Joe’s Personalized, DIY Rustic Virginia Wedding at Westwood Farm

Man I LOVE me a good Sarah Gormley Photography submission! I was so pumped to get to work with her this past weekend (and already can’t wait to see the images) and am super pumped to share her real Virginia wedding today. Jenny & Joe are just SO awesome, laid-back, and cool – and from their wedding write-up (titled “more than anyone ever wanted to know about Jenny and Joe’s Wedding”), I feel like we should be friends! Bright springtime colors, bike-themed details, a custom wedding ceremony, and the perfect little farm venue – what more could I ask for for a real wedding blog feature? Oh yeah, the couple also decided to bartend their rehearsal dinner (to talk to guests), and setup a pre-wedding RACE (since they met during a triathalon). The one that lost the race, had to say their vows first. There’s SO much to love in the wedding.

Jenny & Joe’s Personalized, DIY Virginia Wedding at the Inn at Westwood Farm

Photographer: Sarah Gormley Photography | Venue: The Inn at Westwood Farm, Orange VA | Officiant: Family friend | Dessert: Ice Cream Sundae bar by Moo Thru | Catering: Beggar’s Banquet  | Florist: Sugar Magnolia | Programs: DIYed by Bride | Decorations & bunting: DIYed by Bride | Table numbers: DIYed by Groom | Signage: DIYed by Couple

wedding race bib

Technically, our first meeting was on the run course of a triathlon, when I passed Joe and beat him. Since then, we pretend to be very competitive with each other during all of our races… so we knew we had to incorporate racing into our wedding weekend somehow. We planned a Wedding Morning Race with 5k and 5 mile run options. Joe and Craig marked the course with sidewalk chalk and cones, and Elizabeth set up coffee and water for all of the runners. We couldn’t believe how many guests showed up (especially given the number of margaritas consumed at our welcome party the night before)! We announced to the guests that we would be stopping at a line a couple hundred yards from the finish, and from there, we would sprint to the finish line. The loser would have to read their vows first at the ceremony. The run turned out to be the perfect way to spend time with our guests, chatting with friends and family we hadn’t seen in ages, while taking the edge off of any pre-wedding nerves that might have been there otherwise. Joe won (rare!), but I ended up being glad to go first as Joe’s vows made me cry!


rustic farm wedding ceremony

In the early stages of planning, we were set on finding a venue in the District. The closer to our NE DC neighborhood, the better. But then, when I was doing some research trying to figure out whether a particular bluegrass band we’d seen play at Sova did weddings or not, I discovered the Inn at Westwood Farm. It looked perfect in all of the photos: it had the outdoor space we couldn’t find in DC, it was “rustic” but in an elegant way that we knew wouldn’t trigger any questions like “WHY do you want to get married on a goat farm?” from our moms, the innkeepers sounded flexible and willing to work with couples to make the weekend personal and perfect. Then we drove out to Orange to see the Inn in person and we met Elizabeth and Jay, the innkeepers. We were sold! It was lovely in the winter, and even lovelier on our warm, sunny spring wedding weekend.

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Our color palette was inspired by the colors you see in nature early April in Virginia. I love yellow for its cheerful vibe, and while biking with Joe last April near Orange, we noticed how beautiful the yellow forsythia and pale pink cherry blossoms looked together all over the countryside. The spring weather cooperated with us fully and our wedding weekend coincided with the peak bloom for both of those flowers! Our whole drive out to Orange was pink and yellow, with pops of green and white, just like our wedding.

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Click inside for the rest of Jenny & Joe’s personalized, DIY Virginia wedding at Westwood Farm

Kate & Eric’s Laid Back, Washington DC Engagement Pictures

I’m starting a new project at work today and I’m in the HEART of my craziest wedding planning month – so fair warning, the blog might be a bit inconsistent for the rest of May. I PROMISE to try my hardest to not let this happen, but please don’t fret if the posting and social media goings ons are a bit erratic these next few weeks. That being said, I do have a super cute DC engagement session to kick off the week from a first time Capitol Romance featured photographer - Aimee Custis! Aimee’s friends with one of my fall wedding clients and I am super excited to be the first blog feature she’s ever had! I have a feeling we’ll be sharing more awesomeness from her real soon.

Kate & Eric’s Laid Back, Washington DC Engagement Pictures

dc engagement pictures

Photographer: Aimee Custis Photography

How They Met:

Kate and Eric have two “how we met” stories… the cover story, and how things really went down. The cover story: Kate, who was living in Dupont Circle at the time, was hanging out at Eric’s favorite beer bar, Churchkey. Eric saw Kate, and the rest is history. The real story: Kate and Eric were both on match.com, trying to find someone awesome. Kate’s a little bit older than Eric, so the first two times he contacted her online, she didn’t think she was interested. But Eric was smitten, and when a guy reaches out to you for the third time (and lies about his age!), you can’t help but respond, right? Their first date really was at Churchkey…and the rest really is history!

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Click inside for more of this adorable DC engagement session – including Kate’s super unique engagement ring!

Kate & Baris’ Pastel, Lightly Styled Washington DC Engagement Pictures

I just LOVE this slightly slighted, totally dreamy DC engagement session from One Summer Day. It features a gorgeous multicultural couple, Kate from Russia, and Baris from Turkey – who met and fell in love in the USA. They decided to have their engagement pictures at the National Cathedral (they loved the serene & beautiful, vast, yet intimate feeling of the grounds) and included pastel colors with a pop of cobalt blue. The blue being inspired by the sapphire engagement ring Baris surprised Kate with! Lots to love and be inspired by for today’s capitol inspiration post. Have a great weekend everyone!

Kate & Baris’ Pastel Washington DC Engagement Pictures at the National Cathedral

national cathedral engagement pictures

Photography: One Summer Day | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

They brought their favorite game – backgammon! Kate chose a palette of pale pastels (inspired by Easter), combined with a deep cobalt blue (inspired by the sapphire in the engagement ring that Baris surprised her with!) Of course, no celebration involving these lovebirds would be complete without Baris’ trusty guitar, which is what he used to steal Kate’s heart all those years ago.

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Behold – an amazing diamond & blue sapphire engagement ring!

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Click inside for the rest of this dreamy, springtime DC engagement session!

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