Marie & Alex’s Modern’s Katzen Arts Center DC Wedding Ceremony

In the fall we shared Marie & Alex’s AWESOMELY nontraditional DC wedding reception party at Policy and now we are super pumped to get to share their beautiful DC wedding ceremony at the Katzen Arts Center (at American University) thanks to The Plannery & Roman Grinev Photography. Similar to their awesome reception, Marie & Alex did things their way – keeping their vendors local and making decisions based on importance to them. Marie shared, “We focused on the details that mattered to us, and both loved how things turned out. ” Amen sister!

Alex & Marie’s Modern, Nontraditional DC Wedding Ceremony at Katzen Arts Center

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Vendors

Photographer: Roman Grinev Photography | Wedding Planner: The Plannery | Venue: Katzen Arts Center | Officiant: Rev. Julie Price | Cake Topper: The Bride’s Parents | Dried Bouquet: New Hampshire Woods Creation on Etsy | Bride’s Dress: Purchased through The Brides’s Project

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On their modern DC venue choice:

Katzen is an AMAZING venue – if you are flexible (it’s only available mid-May through mid-August and you can’t book until January), it’s a beautiful space and the folks there are great to work with.

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On doing something nontraditional for their DC wedding:

None of the other traditions were particularly important to us, and we figured with a short afternoon, the fewer “traditional” wedding reception things we did, the more time we could spend with our guests!

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Rev. Julie Price was a wonderful officiant. She helped us write our own ceremony and it was perfect – beautiful, personal, and a great representation of what we want our marriage to be.

Click inside for the rest of Marie & Alex’s super awesome, nontraditional DC wedding!

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Giveaway: Stella & Dot “Sutton Necklace” Giveaway ($128 Value!)

Romancers! We are back this afternoon with an AWESOME giveaway from Stella & Dot consultant, Liz. She is graciously sponsoring a giveaway of the gorgeous Sutton Necklace – a whopping $128 value! Liz shares, “the Sutton Necklace is our most versatile fashion necklace yet! It is a great necklace because it can be dressed-up for special events, worn casually every day or layered with other pieces for a different look.

I’d LOVE to see a bride rock this edgy necklace on her wedding day. Check out the necklace details, a bit about Liz, and how to enter our giveaway, all below! Liz is also offering a special shipping promo to anyone that enters the giveaway.

Stella & Dot Sutton Necklace Giveaway

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Liz continues,

I’m looking to share my love of Stella & Dot with everyone!  It’s the perfect gift for your friends, family, or yourself!  There are pieces you can wear on your special day or while just out running errands.  I’m always looking to do trunk shows where we can play with the jewelry and see what pieces are your favorites.   I’d also love to collaborate on styled shoots or work as your personal stylist when you need something special!

There are 4 ways to wear the Sutton Necklace:

  1. Long and loose for a laid-back look.
  2. Clasped into a statement when you’re feeling bold.
  3. Plus or minus the sparkle strand.
  4. Or just the sparkle when you’re in the mood to shine.

Since it can be worn four different ways it offers tons of versatility in just one piece of beautiful jewelry.”

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Get to know the lady behind Starlite21L & why she decided to become a Stella & Dot consultant:

I went to a Catholic high school and wore a uniform so the only way you could really express yourself was with a bit of jewelry.  I was a huge fan of earrings and was constantly in trouble for breaking dress-code because my ears were pierced so many times.  However, my parents were okay with it because they said “piercings aren’t permanent just don’t get a tattoo or we’ll kill you!”  (When I did decide to get a tattoo that was fun conversation lol)

Through college and working in the real-world I slowly realized what my style encompassed and I’ve come to be a huge fan of statement necklaces or earrings.  I stumbled upon Stella & Dot after complimenting one of my co-workers a few times on her accessories.  I loved the fact that everything could be mixed and matched and worn to work or out with friends.  I decided to become a stylist when I realized how much fun I had showing everyone the versatility of the jewelry while just hanging out in a comfortable environment.

The giveaway widget is below – just let us know what you’d wear the Sutton Necklace for and there are some extra ways to enter also in the widget. Liz is also offering FREE SHIPPING to ANY one that enters this giveaway on orders over $25! Just pay the initial $5.95 and Liz will send you a refund! Happy shopping: www.stelladot.com/LizG

GIVEAWAY ENDS: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 5TH!

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Let’s Get Personal: Being Too Nice to Run A Business

Let’s Get Personal: Social Media Overload & Being Too Nice to Run a Business

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On Saturday I was in one of those moods. Where I spent entirely too much time on social media, watching other wedding vendors share pictures of an event that I wasn’t invited to (not that I would have went anyway, but you get the point). From there it only got worse, reading about all the awesome things people were getting from other vendors in exchange for referrals, and all the exciting new business deals and partnerships that were going down and happily benefiting everyone (re: not me) involved. I was frustrated and feeling down and so in a moment of weakness, I tweeted this:

“Today I decided I’m too nice and suck at running a business. I think this needs to change. #whatsinitforme

Like most people that share status updates like that, I was insecurely looking for a response (though I am openly ashamed to admit that), but the responses I got weren’t exactly what I imagined and one in particularly gave me the EXACT perspective I needed to get out of the funk. A fellow DC business owner wrote back, “From afar, I am in awe of your business acumen! I regularly feel like a slacker when reading your tweets :)”

There it is. The jolt I needed to realize that while things appear one way on social media to me, (only from my point of view) the things I am saying & doing cause others to have opinions and thoughts about ME just from my social media. My “feeling sorry for myself” mood lifted (the nice bitch fest about it all to my amazing husband helped too) and I was able to concentrate on the initial thoughts I had about being too nice with more clarity and less self-pity.

Is there really such thing as being “too nice” to run a business? The decisions I make for Capitol Romance are mostly tied to my initial mission for starting the blog: to HELP couples in the DC area with wedding planning. But I am fortunate enough to be able to do that. With having a full time job outside of Capitol Romance, I don’t NEED* to make money-based choices (*disclaimer, I do and will, as I spend a great deal of time blogging and feel I do deserve SOME compensation for my time ;). I really can make decisions, like having a non-paying vendor guide, or offering free wedding Classifieds, that truly have my readers and clients in mind. I always HATED when I found out “preferred vendors” at venues or on other blogs were only preferred because they paid to be there. They weren’t vetted or the best or even tied to the site’s brand in anyway … they were just paying and that was good enough.

A million years ago I wrote a post called The Wedding Blog Business that talked about how too many wedding bloggers seemed to only be in this for the money and how that’s just not “how I roll”. I’ve tried to stay true to that post (I hope I have) but in doing so, and comparing myself to all the other business owners in DC, I don’t always feel like it’s rewarding, or the right direction to be in. I often hear feedback, “you need to charge for that, you need to make money, you need to make a business decision” and maybe I just can’t. And maybe that’s OK. Maybe it’s also OK that I don’t get things in return when I chose to promote certain vendors or do things for people – maybe just doing it because I believe in their service or because I think it will help my readers, is enough. Everyone is in this game for different reasons afterall.

So maybe I am just “too nice” and maybe I won’t ever turn Capitol Romance into a money making machine and you know what? Maybe that really is, OK. I need to stop focusing on what everyone else is doing (and Instagramming) and instead focus on what I want to do and feel good doing. Really that is the only thing that should matter at this point and probably the only thing that will truly make me happy.

Kelly & Harry’s Rustic Meets Modern, “Backyard Party” Barn Wedding in Virginia

The thing I loved most about Kelly & Harry’s wedding submission from Vness Photography was the perfect mix of modern & rustic. I LOVE when couples (or my clients) want to mix themes and styles. They end up being some of my favorite weddings. Kelly & Harry chose the Adams International School for their venue  a rustic VA barn venue that fit their desire to have a backyard party! But their bright blue colors with a splash of chevron patterns really took this one from a traditional rustic Virginia barn wedding to one with some serious modern flare.

Kelly & Harry’s Rustic Meets Modern, “Backyard Party” Virginia Wedding at the Adams International School

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Vendors:

Photographer: Vness Photography / Second shoot: Corina Chevalier | Venue:  Adams International School | Florist: Vogue Flowers | Caterer: Q BQQ | DJ: Tim Jackson, Jackson Pro Audio | Makeup Artist: Ashley Swilley – Drama Artistry | Hair: Jaimie Moeller (Friend) | Dress Designer: Paloma Blanca | Cake: Sweet and Tasty Cakes | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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Our wedding was a chilly, rainy fall day – Oct 12, 2013, in Maidens, VA at the Adams International School (a Montessori school for kids). We selected the venue because we wanted something different and special that felt more like a rustic, backyard party (with a little bling of course) than a stuffy wedding. It was amazing and just what we dreamed of.

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Our colors were navy and gray, partly because my (now) husband is active duty Navy and partly because they looked great in front of the bright red barn in which the ceremony and reception took place. We chose hydrangeas and babies breath as our bouquets and center pieces, largely because I just adore the subtle beauty of both.

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Almost everything, from the table runners to the aisle runner were all DIY. It made it so special to us that we had a hand in making and selecting all our details.

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Click inside for the rest of Kelly & Harry’s rustic meets modern, DIY Virginia wedding!

Becky & Bonnie’s Libby Hill Park Engagement Pictures in Richmond, VA

A sweet Libby Hill Park engagement session today from A Lovely Photo. They sent in the adorable engagement session of Becky & Bonnie, two marine corp marathon runners that are planning a beautiful May wedding (at a working farm! can’t wait to see the pictures of that one!). They were all smiles during their session and I love all the different places and poses they did!

Becky & Bonnie’s Libby Hill Park Engagement Pictures in Richmond, VA

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Vendors:

Photographer: A Lovely Photo | Location: Libby Hill Park | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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From the photographer:

This couple is ridiculously adorable, and I am so very excited to share their engagement session with you! We ran around The Canal Walk and Libby Hill park, chatting and getting to know each other between shots. Becky and Bonnie are so much fun and compliment each other perfectly.

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How they met:

Bonnie and Becky met in the aisles of a well-loved grocery store in Foggy Bottom… where Bonnie was assigned to train Becky on her first day on the job. The two became fast friends working part-time at the grocery store while each finishing second degrees. They exchanged several mix-tapes and recipes, as each tried to figure out the best way to pursue the relationship outside the produce aisle. Finally, after a few months, Bonnie, who was training for her first marathon, mustered up the courage to invite Becky over to her apartment for a carbo-load after a twenty-mile run. Becky, eager to impress Bonnie, made a homemade vegan pizza that Bonnie still talks about today. They went on their first official date on Becky’s birthday a week later, and the rest is history.

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Click inside for the rest of Bonnie & Becky’s Libby Hill Park engagement pictures and proposal story!

Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck: “Sing Loud” by Alpha Rev

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You can thank Pandora for today’s wedding music that doesn’t suck wedding song suggestion. “Sing Loud” by Alpha Rev is anthem-like in it’s full sound and beating bass line. It sounds like it belongs in a movie soundtrack (the likes of Secret Life of Walter Mitty at that!) and so obviously a wedding video came to my mind when I first heard it. It’d also make a powerful processional song, but at the very least add it to your cocktail hour playlist!

Lyrics:

Lay down these promises broken
Take me into your hurricane
While violent clouds roll over
I’ll hold your hand till the colors fade
I’ll be here till your dying day

Give a listen:

What do you think? Wedding appropriate or not so much? Check back in a few hours for a sweet Libby Hill Park engagement session!

Happy Valentine’s Day: Giveaway Winners & A Sweet Deal for Advertising

Happy Valentine’s Day Romancers! We hope you enjoyed our wedding inspiration post this morning (I so loved those deer head motifs!). We are closing our TWO giveaways today! Our Mix Event Ticket giveaway and our Ultimate DIY Calligraphy Gift Set giveaway.

First, for those of you that did not win the Mix Event Ticket giveaway, you’re still sort of in luck, because The Mix Event is running a huge ticket promo for the Valentine’s Day weekend!! Tickets are 50% off with ticket promo “VALENTINE50″ and can be purchased here.

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And now… our winners! Congratulations to June for winning 2 tickets to The Mix Event!

And congratulations to Danielle P. for winning our Ultimate DIY Calligraphy Gift Set from Cozy Cashmere Studio!

And now, a little something for my vendors out there! In honor of the holiday, I thought it’d be fun to offer some discounted advertising options!  First come, first serve and for today only, qualifying applicants can get 14% off side bar advertising [apply here]!

valentines day ad deal

That means 1-month will be $60 and $3 months will be $170 (we rounded!) for TODAY ONLY!!! So go apply and we’ll hook you up :)

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day Romancers! For me it’ll be the couch + Kick Ass-2 + Andy + Sadie + and &Pizza!

Capitol Inspiration: Gorgeous Rustic Details from a Michigan Wedding

Hoping everyone enjoyed the snow day yesterday as much as I did! I took some much needed time to work on Fuel DC (my new side project!), get some Linked In things cleaned up for CapRo, and start writing a script for another 2014 project I have in the works with Border Row Productions (more to come on that soon!). For today, before we announce our giveaway winners, we have a gorgeous Michigan wedding to share courtesy of Blaine Siesser Photography. There are some seriously steal-worthy details in this one Romancers, making it a perfect fit for a wedding inspiration feature.

Gorgeous, Rustic Details & Decor from an Outdoor Michigan Wedding

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Vendors

Photographer:  Blaine Siesser Photography | Event Venue: Bowers Harbor Vineyard | Hair Stylist: Pavlova European Spa & Salon | Location: Spider Lake Retreat | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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Click inside for the rest of these gorgeous, rustic details!

Sponsor Love: Stephen Gosling Photography & The Mix Event

It’s been a few weeks since our last sponsor love post, so I wanted to share some awesome that’s coming from our amazing side-bar sponsors. Stephen Gosling Photography recently joined our crew and if you haven’t seen his work before (even though we’ve featured many a post here!), check out some of his latest gorgeous work:

Cait & Bill’s Adorable DC Engagement Session

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He’s kicking ass recently with features on United With Love & Borrowed & Bleu’s Online Magazine. He also recently wrote a really awesome personal post about the importance of being nice in this industry — a REALLY good read!

Additionally, we have TWO giveaways ending tomorrow! If you haven’t yet checked out The Mix Event – you must! Especially if you are still looking for your DC/MD/VA wedding vendors. We’ll be there and so will a host of other, awesome area vendors. The night is more cocktail party than wedding show, with the first 100 attendees getting a free cocktail and entertainment will be provided by Burnt Sienna (among others). We’re giving away two tickets to the show here.

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And finally, our Ultimate DIY Calligraphy Gift Set from Cozy Cashmere Design (a $250 value) ends tomorrow too! It’s been one of our most-entered wedding giveaways to date. Our winner will be picked tomorrow!

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Happy Snow [#Snochi] Day Romancers! We’ll be back tomorrow with our giveaway winners, a special Valentine’s Day sponsor deal & some wedding inspiration from a stunning, outdoor Michigan wedding.

 

 

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