Robert & Samantha’s Gorgeous, Golden Light Lakeside Engagement Pictures in Maryland

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Images: LA Birdie Photography

Here we are, another Monday. I was riding the high of Friday’s blog post ALL weekend. So many awesome Instagram comments and the post has reached over 3,700 on Facebook (which is crazy considering I only have 1500 fans). We’re gearing up for our LAST DIY workshop on Sunday November 8th (come join us! tickets still available) AND tomorrow I am actually speaking at the AWP Monthly Event about bringing greater awareness to your brand/business using social media. I’ll be Periscoping the talk tomorrow night (at around 7:00pm!) so make sure to get on Twitter around that time :)

And now to kick off your week, as usual, let’s start it with some LOVE. We have Rob & Sam’s DREAMY Maryland engagement pictures and love story to share with you! Here we go…

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How they met:

Robert and I are admittedly high school sweethearts, we met when we were 17 because we both participated in a vocational program that required us to travel to another school. We were on the bus for an hour total every day, and we became friends immediately, and have been dating ever since! We have had the opportunity to truly grow together and have been able to support each other through all the changes life has thrown our way.

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The Proposal!

My mother, my sister and I had never been to New York City during the holidays. My mom’s friend was organizing a trip and she asked my sister and I to join her to have a girls trip to see the lights and all the holiday bustle. We spent the day exploring and being touristy, and we decided to finish our trip off at Rockefeller Center to see the tree lit up at night. Fighting through the crowds, I followed my sister to a slightly cleared out section. I looked up and there was Robert, along with my whole family. He was dressed to the nines (he even wore a bow-tie!) got down on one knee and proposed! I said yes and cried, of course. We hugged and everyone near us began to clap and congratulate us. We finished the evening just aimlessly wandering New York City as an engaged couple with all of our loved ones.

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Let’s Get Personal: 1 Crucial Piece of Business Owner Advice from a Stranger

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Image: This Rad Love

Last Friday I had my last wedding rehearsal of 2015! While I was waiting for everyone to arrive, a woman at the venue struck up a conversation with me, asking me if I was there for the tour. I explained that I was a wedding coordinator, and was actually there to rehearse for a wedding I was working tomorrow.

Besides being a terrible business owner and not having business cards on hand (*makes mental note to stuff more cards in ALL my bags & wallet*), we had a great small talk convo (her daughter was planning on getting married at the venue next year) about DC weddings and the venue itself and went our separate ways.

A few minutes later, the woman returned and said, “I hope you don’t mind me giving you some business owner feedback, but I am actually a life coach/mentor by profession and I just thought I would share something with you. When you introduce yourself, give your first AND your last name. Men tend to do this automatically, for some reason, women don’t.”


First, I NEVER say no to free advice. You don’t have to take it, but in this case, what an awesome point this woman made. She explained, if we left our meeting, and all she could remember was my first name, Bree, and she Googled it….how far would she get? Talk about a missed business opportunity. Or if she met someone at a bigger company, like Mary at Macys, and placed a phone call to Macys and they asked which Mary she talked to, they would have no idea which Mary she met without a last name.

Second, damn. I never even thought about it but it was SO true. I almost ALWAYS just introduce myself as only Bree, no last name. Along with never having business cards, I also terribly don’t often mention my business name after I say my name. Why not?! Where did that even start?

Well thanks to this stranger’s sage advice. I can now add this to the short list of big impact changes I’ve made as a business owner this year. Along with no longer saying just, I will now be Bree Ryback, of Capitol Romance, to any new person I meet.

Own it – your name and your business. Why shouldn’t I?

Happy Friday Romancers ~ have a great weekend!

Guest Post: Choosing Your Wedding Party


Image: George Street Photo

We’re back today with another guest post from our bride-to-be blogger, Carolyn.

Choosing your wedding party | By Carolyn Thombs

What things do you need to take into account when you choose those few or many special people for your wedding party? Eenie meenie minny moe! Luckily for me I have 3 sisters, so they obviously made the cut, not just because we are bonded by blood, but because I actually like them! Next was my cousin who is pretty much like my sister in regards to closeness. After that I decided hey! I actually really like Jon’s sister Raquel so I really want her to be a part of this. The hardest part was deciding who of my friends to choose. Just look at recent friends? Only long time friends can be contenders? Who is expecting me to pop the question? Who is the most important to me and really knows me? All of these are questions that went through my head when deciding which friends to choose, after all I did not want to have a 20 person bridal party (not saying it is wrong, just not for me).

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Image: Aimee Custis Photography

The answer came out to be three of my closest buddies, one from childhood, one from high school – college and then my college roomie! They have all been with me through so many different stages and I couldn’t image not having them as a part of my bridal party. I also know all of the ladies I have chosen will help create a fun, yet stress-free wedding day!

In conclusion, when choosing your wedding party think about the different personalities involved and what their effect is on you. Are they your true biddies that always have your best interest at heart? And last but not least do they know how to have a good time?


Image: Stephen Gosling Photography

I hope this helps all of you out there! How did you decide on your bridal party?



Wedding Planning Advice: 3 Ways to Incorporate Family & Friends That Can’t Be at Your Wedding

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Image: Mathy Shoots People

A quick note on this post … I wrote this post originally on Wednesday, but the blog server crashed and I lost the original. So this is my best attempt to re-create what I wrote! I hope it does the original post justice ….

Sometimes your family & friends cannot attend your wedding. Whether it’s due to illness, weather, military service, or just bad timing, it’s an unfortunate thing but thanks to modern technology and a few other ideas, there are some ways you can incorporate them into your wedding to make it feel as though they are there! We’re breaking down 3 ways you can incorporate your family & friends into your wedding, even when they cannot be there in person.

3 Ways to Incorporate Family & Friends That Cannot Attend Your Wedding in Person

#1. Technology

One of the easiest ways these days to incorporate friends/family that cannot attend your wedding in person, is using technology to stream the event, or video chat (or hell even the old fashioned telephone) to talk with the person unable to make it. The image above shows recent Bride, Kara, Facetiming with her Grandma who was unable to make the trip to DC for Kara’s actual wedding. Kara shares, “[my grandma] had a stroke a few years ago and my mom has been taking care of her. A couple weeks before the wedding my family decided it would be too difficult to bring grandma out to DC for the wedding. It was disappointing, but I know it made the weekend a lot less stressful for my family. So we had her caregiver get her all dolled up and we Facetimed with her when i was getting ready. it was a nice way to include her in the day since she couldn’t physically be there.”


Another recent bride, Chelsey, used Livestream to stream their wedding ceremony online, LIVE, so friends/family could watch via their computer. The image above is a screenshot of Chelsey’s friend watching their wedding ceremony from South Korea! Chelsey shares some tips on using Livestream for your wedding ceremony:

  • Make sure your venue has wifi (you can’t live stream without it)
  • Create your event/ link at least one week in advance so your not-so-computer-saavy friends/family can create an account and figure it out before the “big day”
  • Set up your iPad on a tripod (make sure people can see/hear what is happening but also make sure it’s not in the way of your photographer/videographer)
  • The LiveStream is only available for a limited time after your event (unless you pay) – we figured put how to upload to YouTube so we could have access after the actual Live Stream was deleted!


Finally, photographer Karen Rainier shares this pre-recorded video from a wedding she shot. The bride’s best friend couldn’t attend the wedding because she was super pregnant, so she filmed a video that was projected at the reception. The Bride (right) was SO surprised!

#2. Tangible Tributes

Another way to include family & friends unable to attend your wedding is through visual homages at your wedding. Lots of brides like to keep pictures on their bouquets of family/friends that have passed away. Karen Rainier shares another example from one of her weddings where the groom put out a picture of his mom and Little Debbie Snacks. Karen shares, “One groom’s mom passed away before the wedding. Her name was Debbie and she always packed him little Debbie snacks in his lunch so they had a tray of Little Debbie snacks at the reception with a photo and tribute!”


#3. Funky Representations

When all else fails, you can always use cardboard thanks to the Huffington Post:

You Can Send a Cardboard Cutout of Yourself to Weddings

Alright Romancers what did I miss? Sound off in the comments below.

Molly & David’s High School Sweethearts Engagement Pictures in Virginia

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Images: Crystal Reyns Photography via Two Bright Lights

Oooooo dog I am HURTING this morning Romancers. Midnight bedtimes are really tough when your little one still gets up at 6:45 ;) But MAN what a way to go out of my 2015 wedding season. Amber & Marshall crushed it and I just cannot WAIT to see the pictures from their truly personalized DC wedding. Check my Instagram if you want any sneak peaks of their wedding awesome (flamingoes! the time warp! animal ear headbands!).

But for today we have a lovely Virginia engagement session and love story – the tale of high school sweethearts that took most of highschool to finally get together. For their engagement pictures, they went back to their high school (SO CUTE) which was actually going to be torn down soon after. What a great way to honor where they met and where their love story began! This one is a bit of a long read, but totally worth it. Plus who wants to do work on a Monday anyway? Enjoy Romancers.

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How we met:

In 10th grade, I had Honors English class, and so did many of my friends. Across the room from me sat David Henderson – I had never heard him talk, he was really shy, and all I knew was that we had taken the same Geometry class freshman year. One day my friend and I were talking about how he (and other boys in the class) were cute, and I looked at him when it struck me that this was the David Henderson from first grade! I was mainly surprised because 1. I remembered him being blond, and 2. I remembered him being loud. Neither of which he was in 10th grade English. In our first grade play, I was the lead role, Ibis, a whale, and David was a tourist, and he wore his dad’s Hawaiian shirt and played the role very enthusiastically. We never interacted in 10th grade English, and I assumed he didn’t know who I was.

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It was pre-homecoming week in high school, our junior year. On October 9th 2008, that same friend came up to my locker in the hall and asked if I knew David. I said yeah, because we had English with him in 10th grade, and then I got all excited because her face lit up and I asked: “Oh my gosh! Is he going to ask you to homecoming?!” She said, “No, stupid, he wants to ask you!” I was surprised and thought he might have asked about the wrong person because we had never spoken and I didn’t think he knew who I was. So I asked her if she was sure, and she said yes. I had Spanish class with him that day, and I kept looking at him and wondering if he had actually meant me, since we had never interacted. I knew he played lacrosse and I knew and was friends with some of his friends. That day in Spanish I thought he was really cute and I decided he was out of my league and that if he did ask me to homecoming, people would wonder why he would want to go with me, so maybe I should say no.

The next night, October 10, was a Friday, and at a football game I did my casual laps around the field with my friend, except she kept making us walk past David and his group of friends who stood by the fence. Every time we came around she pushed us closer to them, and we ended up passing them with more frequency. I wouldn’t look at the boys though. Then, during one walk-by all of a sudden David was at my side and saying “Hi, Molly,” and I looked to my other side for my friend but she was walking quickly away from us into the crowd ahead. I said hi, he said he was wondering if I would like to go to homecoming with him. I said “Sure!” and he asked if he could get my phone number. I gave it to him, he put it in his phone, and then he said “Okay, see you later!” and turned around and walked off. I thought that was weird. We still laugh about that – he says he was so nervous that he didn’t know what else to do so he just left. He’s like: “You probably thought you were making a huge mistake after that!”

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He called me for the first time on the weekend, and I had written out a list of things to talk about on the phone in case I ran out of things to say, and after we said hello I said, “So I don’t know very much about you, tell me about yourself.” And we started talking, and I didn’t end up using my list for the rest of the conversation, or any of our conversations after that, even though I continued to make lists just in case. I later found out that ever since 10th grade English, David had wanted to get to know me and for about a year his friends told him that we would be great together, but he didn’t make a move for so long because he thought I was out of his league. He said he put it in the back of his head and went along with high school until that 11th grade homecoming season when once again his friends told him that we would be a great match, and finally he decided to talk to me. He took me to homecoming and that night, when he dropped me off at my friend’s house, he asked me to be his girlfriend, and I said yes.

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#CapRoTherapy Episode 1: Advice on Tipping Your Wedding Vendors


Well it’s FAR from perfect, but hey IT’S A START. After fighting with my iPad, my internet, and way too many video editing apps, my husband SAVED THE DAY and helped me put together the VERY FIRST episode of #CapRoTherapy!!! I hope you guys enjoy it. I am SO looking forward to seeing where this goes and what kind of questions I start to get from you guys. Ask away via email or using the #CapRoTherapy hashtag on Twitter,

FIRST. It’s Friday! So let’s start with some links:

The District Bliss Couples’ Social is on SUNDAY! Get your tickets for this super rad, not-a-wedding-expo, wedding planning happy hour! A new kind of Sunday Funday.

Last night we checked out BHLDN’s Wedding Fair in Georgetown and attempted our VERY FIRST Periscope video from it. Did you catch it?! We had 13 live viewers. So cool!

There’s just two early bird priced tickets left for our Nov 8th DIY Flower Arrangement Workshop with Love Blooms! Don’t miss out.

And now…. the very first episode of #CapRoTherapy:

Our Last DIY Workshop of 2015: Mini Pumpkin Floral Centerpieces

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Somehow the FINAL Capitol Romance DIY Workshop of 2015 is upon us. There will be some changes to the workshops for next year (more to come on that) but I’d love to see my last DIY workshop really go out with a bang. So we saved the best topic, for last – a floral arrangement workshop with Love Blooms where attendees will learn to create mini pumpkin flower centerpieces!

Buy Tickets


These stunners would make killer wedding centerpieces, beautiful Fall home decor, or the PERFECT centerfold to your Thanksgiving table. Attendees will get to pick from a variety of pre-painted pumpkins, and will be taught how to create a stunning floral centerpiece inside of it!

As with all our DIY workshops, ticket prices include ALL items needed to make the craft, including any tools or accessories. Tickets also include complimentary snacks, treats, food, & beverages!

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Our 2014 DIY floral workshop with Love Blooms SOLD OUT last year! So be sure not to miss out and get your tickets now! Just a handful of early bird priced tickets are available (one is already gone!).

Buy Tickets

Hope to see you there!


Kris & Michelle’s Offbeat, Intimate 1950s Drive-In Wedding in Virginia

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Images: Vness Photography via Two Bright Lights

Hold onto your butts Romancers, today’s vintage drive-in wedding is TOO DIE FOR. There was SO MUCH DIY in this wedding that it’ll make your facemelt. But first, let’s just talk about how insanely cool this wedding venue is – a freakin’ drive-in! I LOVE IT. The bride & groom met while on tour, as they are both talented musicians with a love of vintage cars. Well doesn’t that just make a drive-in the perfect place for their wedding?! Their entire day was DIYed, from the flowers, to the cake, to even the bride’s shoes! Check out so many awesome details below.

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Kris has always told Michelle she has a “classic” beauty, so when it came time to “say yes to the dress”, she knew it had to be a classic style. All the outfits and accessories, Alfred Sung dresses, suits, shoes, the veil bow, the DIY bouquets, were selected with a 60’s timeframe in mind to match Michelle and Kris’s looks alongside the look of the classic car.

Michelle’s heels were bought and designed by Michelle, and painted by Kris.

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Our wedding revolved around two pieces: Kris’s car and the Drive-in. The car’s color scheme is a deep red and pearlescent white, and that was the color choice Michelle maintained for the wedding party. On the other hand, the drive-in’s colors are salmon and teal so the cake (a mini-drive in) and many of their paper goods (ceremony bulletin, thank you cards, etc) followed the color scheme of the venue.

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They met on-tour, but their first date was putting a small block engine together in Kris’s garage. They both grew up in-love with old cars: Michelle’s first car was a ’74 Dodge Dart, and his was a ’72 Chevy Chevelle, and Kris had been restoring his current ’69 Chevelle for over 10 years. When they decided to get married, Michelle offered Kris a deal: let’s get married at a drive-in, but only if you promise to have your car done in time for the wedding to drive us to the altar. Kris instantly agreed, and the rest was history and a lot of hard work.

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The particular location in Lexington, VA, HULLS DRIVE-IN, was chosen because of its perfectly-preserved look of the 1950s, speaker boxes and all, and its convenience as a middle-ground between families. Jeremy Reter, Hull’s wonderful director, sealed the deal with his excitement, flexibility, and professionalism as he helped to bring their vision to life.

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Amanda & Mike’s Washington DC Engagement Pictures in Logan Circle

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Images: Ken Pak submitted via Two Bright Lights

What a weekend Romancers. Andy, Evie & I were up in NJ all weekend having some SERIOUS Fall fun (pumpkin picking! yes!) and celebrating the love of two dear friends at their gorgeous NJ wedding. I think I’ve FINALLY (almost) kicked this sinus cold too. So I am SO READY to get to enjoy some nice Fall weather runs this week and gear up for my LAST wedding coordination gig of 2015. But really, where has this year gone?! I hope you all had a great weekend, this week on the blog is going to be great. Let’s kick it off with a super rad DC engagement session featuring one SERIOUSLY gorgeous couple. Like really, these two are magazine ready. Happy Monday Romancers.

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How they met, as told through the groom to be, with commentary from the bride to be:

Amanda and I first met our senior years at James Madison University. On the first weekend back, I saw her at a friend’s place. Too shy to go up to her, (Or busy playing beer pong ;)) I spent the entire evening and rest of the week trying to figure out who she was, there was something special about her. Later that week a mutual friend of ours told me they were friends and invited me to a party that weekend where Amanda was going to be. At the party, I had a deck of cards in my hand and knew one good card trick. (There’s just something about a magician, right ladies?) The seat next to me on the couch opened up, I made eye contact across the room with Amanda, and asked her if she wanted to see a card trick. Cheesy right? (A bit, but really adorable) Well it worked. We dated through college and eventually moved to Northern Virginia.

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After a few years of living at different places with some roommates we decided we should shack up together. (Roomies!) This was the best decision ever as we continued to grow closer and closer to one another, and learned that life living together was fun and easy. (Life truly feels fun and free with him) Amanda always made me feel special, happy, and free. After about 5 years of dating and living together for a year I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my days with her by my side. (Swoon)

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Click inside for the proposal story!

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