Diamonds in the Ruff – Support Homeward Trail Animal Rescue

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I get a handful of PR emails each week – all asking me to pimp out their event, company, show, etc etc. It’s hard to sift through ones that I think are worth sharing with my readers, especially without becoming just one big PR flier themed blog.

However, one from this past week caught my eye – namely because it features two things that I find to be representative of my brand: 1 – discounts/savings for DC area wedding planning couples and 2- HELPING organizations other than themselves.

Introducing: Diamonds in the Ruff, an engagement ring trunk show (discounts!) that will benefit Homeward Trails Animal Rescue (helping others!) on August 24th and 25th.

engagement ring discounts washington DC

I mean – plus, that’s a DACHSHUND on their flier/website … how could I say no to THAT?!

event info

Click inside for all the details on this event – including how to RSVP!

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Mel & Ted’s Air and Space Museum Washington DC Engagement

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Well after a week of no blogging, I am swinging right back into action with a fun little engagement session shot at the Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. Mel & Ted’s DC engagement session is an extra special feature for me – because they are actually two of my very good friends! They were in my wedding and I am overjoyed that I get to be in theirs next June in Virginia Beach!!

When Rich Kessler told me he was doing an enagement session giveaway, I instantly sent the link to Mel – her and Ted’s love story is SO cute and her ring is SO unique (just wait until you see it). I was PUMPED when they won the giveaway and even more pumped when Rich submitted it to me for featuring, via Two Bright Lights.

Shooting engagements in the DC museums (especially in the summer) can be tricky, as there are usually tourists EVERY WHERE, but thanks to Mel, they got to get into the museum a little before the public and capture some seriously awesome shots! Check them out below – it’s good to be back Romancers ;)

Mel & Ted’s Washington DC Engagement at the Air & Space Museum

washington dc weddings engagement pictures smithsonian museums air and space

How they met:

Ted and I met freshman year of college because we were both Flyhalfs on the men’s and women’s rugby teams.  We didn’t reach the “more than friends” stage until after college at a beer festival — the beer gave us a bit of liquid courage to admit that we both had crushes on each other all through college.  Unfortunately our timing was awful.  I had just accepted a job and would be moving to DC in a few weeks.  I was absolutely crushed to lose what I had wanted for four years.

washington dc weddings engagement pictures smithsonian museums air and space

On the night before I moved, Ted surprised me and told me he was going to move to DC for me.  When I asked him why, he jokingly told me it’s because I “always give him my leftovers.”  To this day, food is still the way to his heart.

Ted found a job in DC a month later, and the rest, as they say, is history.  Five years later, we still can’t believe it took us four years of college and a beer festival to realize we were meant to be together.  But, some things are worth the wait.

washington dc weddings engagement pictures smithsonian museums air and space

washington dc weddings engagement pictures smithsonian museums air and space

washington dc weddings engagement pictures smithsonian museums air and space

Click inside for the rest of Mel & Ted’s DC engagement - including the proposal story!

Blogging this week, Vermont, a Song, & a Promise

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In case you missed it Romancers, I am currently taking a week off to enjoy the beautiful sights, sounds & beauty of Vermont, at a lake house on lake Champlain. You can imagine that I am currently staring at something that looks like this:

[via rue12]

I will be back in a week and with that I promise a brandy-new giveaway to make it up to you all, for being away from the blog for a week!

ALSO. Because it’s Monday, I thought I’d leave you with an AWESOME non-sucky wedding song to jump start your week. We recently saw American Authors at the Rock and Roll Hotel in our ‘hood, opening for The Mowglis. And they were really awesome. One of their songs in particular made me think of a wedding day, it’s called “Best Day of My Life” <- clearly appropriate.

So while you might not be able to use it in your ACTUAL wedding day (though it’d be great for a cocktail hour mix), I highly recommend listing to it on repeat the MORNING of your wedding, getting you seriously pumped for what really will be the best day of your life. Enjoy.

Capitol Inspiration: A Sweet, Summer California Wedding

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A few beautiful photos from a sweet, summer California wedding. Just a handful of friends and a no-frills bride (who did her own makeup AND hair and looked ABSOLUTELY beautiful!). Thanks to Your Dream Photo for submitting this via Two Bright Lights.

Happy Friday Romancers – have an excellent weekend and I’ll see you all after my vacation next week :)

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Capitol Inspiration: A Backyard DIY Wedding in the Blue Ridge Mountains

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You know a submission is going to be good when the photographer is gushing in the email. Brinn with BMW Photography stated right off the bat, that this was the #1 DIY wedding that she has attended/captured, “every single component was DIY… from the bride’s dress, to the wedding party’s clothing, to the flowers, to the reception decor, to the belt buckles, to the timber framed structure they were married under!”

Oh you KNOW this sounds like my kind of wedding :) Set against the Blue Ridge Mountains, in a little town called Rockbridge Baths, this adorable couple handmade their wedding hosted it in the groom’s backyard. Handmade attire, Fabric flowers, billy ball bouts, neutral colors ( blue, khaki and white) were the perfect compliment to this perfectly DIY and small-budget Virginia wedding!

A DIY, Backyard Wedding in the Blue Ridge Mountains

handmade DIY eclectic small budget Virginia mountains wedding

Vendors

Photographer: BMW Photography | Venue: Rockbridge Baths, VA | Rentals: Central Virginia Rentals | Catering: Southern Inn | Bridesmaids Dresses: Handmade by the Bride | Fabric Flower Bouquets: Handmade by the Bride | Wedding Dress: Handmade by the Bride | Altar: Handmade by the Groom & Groomsmen | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

More from BMW Photography:

This backyard wedding was full of sentimental DIY details from top to bottom. All the wedding party clothing and fabric flowers were handmade by the bride herself!

DIY button purse

eep! how much do you love this fabric flower bouquet? I REALLY love her unique pearl button sash too!

DIY fabric rose bride bouquet

DIY billy ball boutonniere

modern twisted updo

More on the DIY structure the couple was married under:

The beautiful timber framed structure they were married under? Made by the groomsmen! This talented couple took sentimentality to the next level and it resulted in one of the most emotive wedding spreads ever.

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Click inside for the rest of the beautiful, handmade wedding details from this gorgeous DIY Virginia wedding in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Let’s Get Personal: Competitors are the New Colleagues

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I’ve been sitting on writing this post for a while – and I am not exactly sure why. I think mostly it’s because I have only had bits and pieces of it formulated in my head, and I didn’t really have one big thought to tie it together and I was waiting for that to happen.

Alas, it still really hasn’t, but I am tired of waiting and hope that maybe it will come together as my fingers dance across the keyboard. So here goes, a personal post (it’s been too long since I’ve done one of these) on competitors vs colleagues in the DC wedding industry.

tim riddick photography (12 of 22)

[taken at At Your Service DC by Tim Riddick Photography]

I’ve heard a few vendors make the claim that the DC area is one of the most saturated for wedding vendors. Though I am not sure if it’s true (and really I have nothing to compare it against), there does seem to be a new vendor popping up every day – and that’s only within my limited view/circle that is nowhere near “all-encompassing”. For vendors that have been here for 5+ years, this can probably be frustrating – watching new vendors pop up continually, eating away at their business, cutting costs and “stealing” potential clients from their prospective client pool.

For newer vendors like me – I find it exciting. I love love love meeting new people, and personally, I am excited when a new vendors shoots me an email, or I find someone new on Twitter – to me, we are all bringing different perspective from our lives and experiences, and bringing that into the DC wedding scene.

Now, you might quickly dismiss my excitement with the fact that I am not an established wedding vendor – so of course I wouldn’t feel threatened by other, newer vendors – but I am not quite certain that it’s fair to discount me that way and here is why:

I believe that seeing your “competitors” as colleagues instead, can only help your business grow and I even have some proof!

Let’s first start with my new DC wedding coordination business – it’s brand new, and therefore just starting to grow, but instead of shunning myself from other wedding coordinators in the city, seeing them as my new competition, I’ve befriended them! I’ve asked for advice, shared stories, conversed about experiences with other vendors (and asked for more than a few recommendations) AND sent inquiries I’ve gotten their way, if the fit wasn’t right for me and I’ve been booked.

Yes, that is right – I’ve sent my “competitors” business. Why? Because I feel that the action is really only beneficial to me and it’s proven true because more than half of them have returned the favor, and sent business back my way too!

And now onto the blogging side of things – which really, is a different beast, but thanks to the ladies at Charm City Wed & Bayside Bride, has found to be no different for me.

Even though we are all wedding blogs, in similar geographic areas, we find camaraderie is more beneficial to our sites than shutting each other out as competitors. Charm City Wed honorably displays badges of both of our sites on their side bar, deeming us “sponsors” instead of traffic stealers and I cannot tell you how many comments and link shares I have gotten from the ladies at Bayside Bride. In return, I read their site, and share their content with my readers too (and when I finally get my new blog up and running – I’ll be proudly showcasing their blog badges as well!).

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Because let’s face it, no wedding planning couple out there only reads one blog any way – so why not help send traffic to each others’ sites, instead of casting each other out? And in all honesty, my blog is for my readers, so if Charm City Wed or Bayside Bride has something that will benefit my readers – I am going to share it with them, regardless of who’s blog it’s on.

So now it’s time for you all to sound off: am I crazy? Am I a terrible business owner for sending ‘business’ to my ‘competitors’? Or is there really a place in this industry for us ALL (vendors and bloggers alike) to be colleagues?

 

Jenn & Brent’s Offbeat, Video Game Infused Washington DC Wedding

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It’s funny how connections are made sometimes. A year or so after my wedding, my videographer told me he got an inquiry for another wedding in DC that found him, through me (and this was when little ole Capitol Romance was brandy new!). Fast forward and now you have Jen & Brent – the same couple that found Tim through me, are now back on the blog sharing their seriously awesome, video-game infused DC wedding!

Their love story was so awesome, that the Washington Post’s On Love section decided to feature it too (with a few wedding shots). After Tim sent me their wedding video (below) I just knew I had to know more about their awesome, DC wedding and share all their video game wedding details here!

Jenn & Brent’s Offbeat, Video Game Themed Washington DC Wedding

offbeat video game nerdy DC wedding

Vendors:

Photography: Nancy Anderson Photography | Videography: Tim Alan Smith | CeremonySixth & I Synagogue | Reception: Clarendon Ballroom | Flowers: DIY through Potomac Wholesale | Cake: A friend

The love story:

Jennifer and Brent tried in vain to get friends to accompany them to a lecture by inventor Ray Kurzweil at Sixth and I Synagogue. So each went alone. Two years later, they were married.

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On the bride’s awesome choice of keds:

During the bachelorette party / bridal shower, I had everyone sign my white Keds. I have always had problems when wearing heels, so I wanted the day to be completely comfortable!

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The couple loves video games – so the green mushrom 1-up cufflinks were a must for the groomsmen:

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We chose green to match the jade engagement ring. I wore my grandmother’s jade necklace and earrings on the day of the wedding.

green statement jewelry bride

On having their wedding at Sixth & I – even though neither are Jewish!

The Sixth and I Historic Synagogue in DC’s Chinatown was where we originally met (as you know!) for the documentary screening (titled “Transcendent Man”), and it was also where we got engaged.

Furthermore, it was where we actually got to meet Ray Kurzweil when he came into town for a book signing last November. We waited in line to get our book signed… and to give him a wedding invitation  :)  It was only appropriate to invite the man who was the reason for our initial meeting.

offbeat DC weddings first look

As we told him our story, the Director of Communications at Sixth and I (Jackie Levanthal) was standing next to him listening. They were both slack jawed as we told them the whole thing. Excitedly, she jumped in and said, “That is the cutest story I have ever heard! You two should get married here!” However, we had already sent out invitations at that point, and were planning on having the ceremony at the Unitarian Universalist (UU) Church of Arlington. We thanked her for her gracious and generous offer. It was such a wonderful feeling to have them share in our excitement.

offbeat DC weddings first look

LOOK at that stunned groom!

offbeat DC weddings first look

Click inside for the rest of Jenn & Brent’s offbeat, video game themed DC wedding – including a TON more details AND their wedding video sneak peak!

Tiffany & Ben’s Casual Washington DC Engagement Pictures

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I was having some issues getting the images together for this post – so I apologize in advance for how late it is. BUT I promise it’s totally worth it. Tiffany & Ben are awesome people. They are laid-back, cool as ice, and have a seriously rad love story. They are getting married this October at one of Baltimore’s coolest wedding venues (the Corradetti Glass Blowing Studio) and I am absolutely honored that they have chosen me to be their coordinator for their wedding day!

They are pretty much the epitome of my ideal couple and I am so excited to get to share their wedding day with both of them! But first, they had a super rad Washington DC engagement session with their photographer, Olivia Jacob Photography. They casually went around their NW Washington DC neighborhood to take some gorgeous images and they so perfectly capture just how calm, collected and IN LOVE these two are!

Tiffany & Ben’s Casual, Washington DC Engagement Session

hipster washington DC engagement pictures

About the couple:

We were born and raised in different hemispheres but somehow had similar upbringings that featured lots of trees, books, church and Led Zeppelin. The differences of a long standing itinerant lifestyle and a commitment to the town of one’s birth converged in 2011 when we both found ourselves living in NW/DC. We were brought together through equally contentious relationships with the internet, a similar appreciation for Doc Martin boots and common recognition of the genius of Nick Cave.

hipster washington DC engagement pictures

Our differences were evident from the start. One of us liked whisky, the other preferred whiskey. Somehow we overcame this. After a particularly compelling Bass Drum of Death show we fell upon the conclusion that we were onto something good. Whisky, whiskey and rock ensued. A vinyl collection started to grow.

hipster washington DC engagement pictures

hipster washington DC engagement pictures

hipster washington DC engagement pictures

Click inside for the rest of Tiffany & Ben’s DC engagement session, including the proposal story!

Locally Source your DC Wedding at the DC MEET Market!

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On Saturday there is an awesome event happening from 11am to 5pm in Logan Circle (15th & P St NW)! It’s called the DC MEET Market and its an event full of over 40 local vendors (designers, artisans, local businesses, and food vendors).

Personally, I am extra excited to meet two artists that I have been emailing with (scheming giveaways to come!) Fast Snail and Type Case Industries – BUT there are a TON more awesome vendors worth checking out that could totally help you plan a locally sourced DC wedding!

More on the event, from the DC MEET Market Facebook event page:

Awesome music provided by Rock-n-Romp! In the mood for a summer kid-friendly concert series? You’re in luck! Rock-n-Romp, a local rock show series highlighting local musical talents will be providing music at the DC MEETMarket. We Were Pirates and Your Pal Pete will be performing this Saturday at the market, with music starting at noon. Plus, kids can rock out with free inflatable guitars and temporary tattoos!

Cool, Refreshing, & Healthy! In addition to handing out complimentary samples of their popular drink products at the DC MEETMarket, Honest Tea will be giving away free reusable Honest bags to customers, who purchase $10 or more at this Saturday’s market!

Attention all Zipsters! Bring your friends to Zipcar’s booth at this Saturday’s market, and Zipcar® will give them $40 in referral driving credit! Plus, they will take $30 off of their first year membership fee (just for being your friend) … so you can tell them how sweet it is to be their friend!

Help spread the word to your friends and family on Facebook today

What do you say Romancers – meet me there?! I’ll be there first thing at 11am on Saturday!

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