Let’s Get Personal: A Loss of Direction & Need for New Goals

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 Image: This Rad Love

As I sit on my couch next to my (almost) sleeping 2.5 month old, I find myself in the midst of a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts. The 2016 wedding inquiries are coming in, my 2nd to last workshop of 2015 is drawing near, my blog editorial calendar is nearly empty, and I have to admit that I am struggling.

I am struggling with a focus for how to keep up on all the things I planned for this year, how to better align my priorities (both personal and business), and how to plan my 2016, when that seems nearly impossible with a new top priority in my life. I know there are parts of Capitol Romance that I want to continue (the blog, working weddings, new ventures), but I think I am struggling with ones that I should probably let go of (the workshops, working weddings).

I think a lot of this stems from a problem I have had with Capitol Romance since Day 1 – not having a clear goal or business plan for this little biz and while flying by the seat of my pants worked before, it’s just not going to work going forward. Having Capitol Romance as my “fun side gig” worked when my day job was stable, and my life was fairly free. But with the new addition to mine and Andy’s lives, I know I need to refocus for 2016 on what I REALLY want to do with CapRo and honestly, what’s worth pouring my (slightly tapped) energy into.

And here’s where I am REALLY struggling – I have literally NO idea how to do it. I’ve started some things – a blog, a wedding coordination business, a workshops venture, a forthcoming collaboration with Typecase Industries and I’ve really enjoyed all of them, but something has to give. And I’ll be honest, I am terrified to let any of them go because it will seem like a failure – like I couldn’t succeed. But honestly, it’s just that I don’t have the time anymore to put myself 100% into ALL of these things and as the great Ron Swanson once said “never half-ass two things, whole ass one thing.” (god I miss this show).

So it’s time Romancers. It’s time to finally do something I should have done MANY years ago (and probably kept up with each year). It’s time to say goodbye to some parts of Capitol Romance and re-focus on what I really want to do with this business for 2016. I have some thoughts lingering and I think I just need to sit down this weekend and really write it out. I hope you guys will all continue on the ride no matter what I decide :)

Thanks for listening.

 

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Robert & Jessica’s Summer Garden Party DC Wedding at Dacor Bacon House

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Images: The Hill Studios, LLC via Two Bright Lights

Apologies for the lack of posting on back to back days. Andy, Evie & I left SUPER EARLY Friday morning to head to NJ to put together an epic surprise anniversary party for my parents (oh you KNOW I will be blogging it once we get the pictures!). My siblings and I started planning this party two years ago and it was worth every second & dollar spent to see my parents’ faces when they arrived and were greeted by SO MANY people from their past and present. The party took on a whole other meaning too, as my parents sold our home in NJ and are moving out this month. I’ll try not to dwell on THAT because I will probably just start crying ;-p. Yesterday was spent recouping from the weekend/catching up on emails and prepping for my 2nd to last wedding of 2015. Seriously – where is this year going?!

But for today we have the lovely summer garden wedding of Robert & Jessica; college sweethearts that moved to DC from Pennsylvania after college and starting their careers. Their intimate affair at the Dacor Bacon House is a perfect summer wedding that was both elegant and fun. A great DC wedding venue if you are looking for that “garden wedding” feel. Check it all out!

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We wanted a DC themed wedding that felt elegant and timeless, but most importantly fun. After months of venue searching we found the Dacor Bacon House just blocks away from the White House with a huge outdoor garden that would make for a great place to dance the night away.

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Rob’s father married us and wrote incredibly touching vows. It was short and sweet and while we never said I do it was beautiful and memorable.

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—> CLICK INSIDE FOR THE REST OF THIS SUMMER GARDEN DC WEDDING <—

“The Wedding Party” A Comedy About a Bridal Party on the Wedding Morning

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When I started Capitol Romance (just over 4 years ago!) I had all sorts of recurring posts that I aimed to blog each week. The structure of a weekly/daily topic helped me to create content when I was too unknown to be getting any sort of submissions/content sent my way. As CapRo grew, so did incoming content, and I mostly stopped with the weekly recurring posts (RIP Capitol Venues). Though I do post a random “Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck” post here and there (man, how did I used to do those weekly?!), it’s mostly all things real weddings with some advice posts sprinkled in.

But for today, I am going back to my roots with a “Capitol Find” type post. A reader who actually was a recent bride AND is also a local theater director, reached out to me because she is directing a play in DC as part of the oh-so-awesome Capitol Fringe Festival, called The Wedding Party. You guys know I love all things local, and have a total soft spot for theater (with my own sister being SO involved in Philly’s theater scene) so I couldn’t help but share this promo on a play about a bridal party on the morning of a wedding. I hope to make it to one of the showings and thought you guys might enjoy it too! Here’s all the info on the play:

THE WEDDING PARTY | A comedy by Megan Dominy & Mimsi Janis | Directed by Abigail Isaac Fine

Starring Madeline Burrows, Megan Dominy, Kristen Garaffo, Mimsi Janis, and Jonathan Lee Taylor.

Trisha’s getting married! The dress is divine, the catering is farm-to-table, the mason jars are aglow—it’s a Pinterest addict’s wet dream. But when one of the bridesmaids receives a surprise message from the groom, and Trisha disappears, the bridal party is left wondering whether there will be a wedding at all.

Filled with irreverent wit and a dash of disaster, The Wedding Party is a world premiere by Megan Dominy and Mimsi Janis about friendship, courage, and the carnage created by a trip down the aisle.

PERFORMANCE TIMES:

  • Saturday July 11 at 4pm
  • Thursday July 16 at 6:15pm
  • Sunday July 19 at 2:45pm
  • Thursday July 23 at 7:35pm
  • Saturday July 25 at 8:20pm

VENUE: W&S Jenks and Son | 910 Bladensburg Rd NE | Washington, DC 20002

(This venue has plenty of street parking nearby, and air conditioning!! Plus you can shop in a really nice hardware store before the show, and it’s a 5-minute walk to many restaurants/bars on H Street).

Tickets are on sale NOW through Fringe. And there’s already some great reviews of the show: DC Metro Theater Arts and DC Theatre Scene.

Let us know if you go!

DIY Workshop Recap: DIY Mini Party Pinatas with Piccadilly Creative

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 Images: Brandilynn Aines Photography

This past Capitol Romance DIY Workshop might have been one of my favorites. I got to actually participate in the craft full-on and I am SO glad I did. Confetti, stripes, polka dots & fringe – we had SO much fun with Piccadilly Creative at the helm! And as always, the attendees completely blew me away with the pinatas they made. Check out all the fun we had below & don’t forget to get your tickets to our NEXT workshop on August 2nd – DIY Pearl & Flower Pendant Necklaces!

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Brittany & Dan’s Classy, Gold Infused DC Wedding at Carnegie Institute

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Images: Shandi Wallace Photography

This wedding makes me EXTREMELY excited for my friends that are getting married here next year. Carnegie Science Institute is quickly becoming one of my all time favorite venues in the city. It’s got that perfect mix of “DC” vibe without being overly stuffy, traditional, or pretentious. You can have an classy affair here, but as my clients Stef & Joe proved earlier this year, and as this couple also proves, you can also have some SERIOUS fun at this venue. Brittany & Dan used a combination of gold & plum for their wedding decor, and Uncloudy Studio just killed it with the florals. Check out this amazing DC wedding from a fab team of DC area wedding vendors, next!

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From the couple:

We planned our wedding from Indianapolis, Indiana.  Finding a venue was difficult because we couldn’t just pop on over to check them out. I saw wedding photography done at the Carnegie Institution and I knew I wanted to be married there. We booked the space without seeing it in person, and I am so glad we did! The space is elegant and makes an impression, but is still small enough for the intimate, small wedding we wanted. We also loved the fact that you can get married in the round.

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Plum and gold seemed perfect for Fall. Plum has always seemed to me to be a romantic color, and it looked beautiful in our flowers.

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My father (the bride) is an ordained minister who officiated the ceremony & my two sisters were my maids of honor. Our vows. Dan and I spend a lot of time writing our own back and forth vows.  Having our ceremony in the round was incredibly intimate, and it was wonderful to say them to each other and share them with our friends.

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—> CLICK INSIDE FOR SO MUCH MORE OF BRITTANY & DAN’S CLASSY PLUM & GOLD DC WEDDING AT CARNEGIE SCIENCE <—

Amber & Obi’s Engagement Pictures at Busboys and Poets in Shirlington

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Images: Lissa Ryan Photography

It was a really nice weekend over here at Capitol Romance HQ. Andy & I enjoyed an excellent impromptu date night (margaritas!) on Friday night and then Saturday I got to work a truly beautiful & awesome wedding at Glen Echo Park. We capped it off yesterday with some shopping at our favorite local vintage shops (Miss Pixies, Good Wood & Simon Vintage) and Andy watched Evie while I hit up some MUCH NEEDED yoga at Maketto (it’s FREE on Sundays! Join me next time!). It’s a busy week here as its full of personal and professional appointments – so let’s get it going!

Amber and Obi are getting married in August at Meadowlark Gardens, and they started their adorable engagement pictures at Busboys & Poets before heading over the bridge to Georgetown.  The gorgeous graffiti, beautiful couple, and Amber’s stunning offbeat engagement ring (a yellow diamond!) make these two a perfect Capitol Romance couple!

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From the Bride (How they Met):

Obi and I met randomly outside of the gym at my apartment complex. Obi lived in the townhouses next door, and was using his coworker’s access key to use the gym. I don’t remember the reason, but I got off work early and was headed to the leasing office which is right next to the gym. Obi saw me walking and came outside to introduce himself, and the rest is history!

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—> CLICK INSIDE FOR THE REST OF AMBER & OBI’S MODERN DC ENGAGEMENT PICTURES & PROPOSAL STORY <—

Guest Post: Picking a Wedding Venue for Your Washington DC Area Wedding

Image: An Endless Pursuit from Julice & Steve’s DIY Picnic Wedding at Woodlawn Manor

Our guest blogger, Carolyn is back today to share with you her venue search for her DC area wedding! Carolyn shares not only the venues she was looking for but how she went about her search. As a reminder to all my readers, my favorite resource for venue searching in the DC area is Partyista! Take it away Carolyn.

Searching for the Perfect Venue | by Carolyn Thombs

I am also a makeup artist and quite familiar with the wedding industry, however that has not made this as easy as I had originally thought.

What helped me in my search was researching places first and then having a list of questions for them when we visited the venues. Scheduling visits can be difficult but we were able to mostly knock it all out in one day. If someone doesn’t get back to you promptly give them a week, but after that kick them off of your list because who knows if that is how it will be while the planning is going on when time is of the essence. It is always good to mesh well with the manager of the property since you will be dealing with them quite a bit and you don’t want to be butting heads with them and having that turn you into a dreaded bride-zilla.

I was definitely stressed a bit in the beginning but, now I feel so relieved and ecstatic about this venue and know that my wedding is going to be so dreamy and everything I have ever wanted!!

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Since Jon and I got engaged, finding the perfect venue was one of the aspects about planning that I was the most stressed about. So of course, that is the first thing I wanted to get out of the way; though I am starting to see that finding the perfect caterer (delicious food and budget friendly) is going to be an even more painful headache to deal with. But more on that later….

I had quite a few limitations when looking for a venue for our wedding. I wanted to keep it somewhat close to my parents house so they wouldn’t have to dish more for travel costs and for some level of convenience for them and something budget friendly, not made of money here! I am cursed with always loving the more expensive item on any list out of any category, so many of my first glance choices had to be knocked off the list immediately. Other restrictions included a large enough location for a ceremony and reception that could fit over 175 people. Not as easy to find as I thought it would be. Most locations that I liked had a 150 limit. I have a large extended family and love them all, and quite a few friends between Jon and I as well as industry friends and family friends. Eeks! So many stipulations, I know, but I promise I am not the bridezilla type! At least I hope I am not…yet!

Image: Olde Silk Mill by Amber Kay Photo from A Modern Grey & Yellow Industrial Styled Shoot

The first venue we looked at was the Old Silk Mill in Fredericksburg, which honestly I thought was going to be “The One”, it could fit the whole wedding and ceremony and bonus it has an inn attached to it, so out of town guests would have a very convenient place to stay. I loved the industrial elegance of the mill and the fact that it was a great combination of both Jon and I.

Image: Woodlawn Manor by Voula Trip Photography from Kim & Brandon’s DIY Maryland Wedding

The next location we checked out was Woodlawn, which is a historical house near Springfield. Kaitlin was so wonderful to talk to and was very prompt in replying to my emails. The venue was beautiful and could accommodate our estimated wedding size and could house a ceremony and reception. The only downside was we needed to get tents and everything had to be outside. Also they only allow you to use their approved caterer, which would have cost us the whole budget plus some. Unfortunately that nixed Woodlawn off the list.

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—> CLICK INSIDE FOR THE REST OF CAROLYN’S WASHINGTON DC AREA WEDDING VENUE SEARCH <—

Rachele & Josh’s Surprise Engagement in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia

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Images: Sweet Root Village

This surprise proposal plus mini engagement session from Sweet Root Village has it all. A gorgeous couple, a dreamy setting, floating candles, a groom to be in waiting, and a super surprised bride to be. Rachele is actually a part of the Sweet Root team and they were more than ecstatic to help Josh surprise propose to her. The ladies from Sweet Root share:

When we met Rachele a little over a year ago, we were immediately smitten. She joined the Sweet Root team soon after and brings joy and laughter to every day with her infectious personality. We didn’t think she could possibly get any happier, until Josh slid in to the picture. We are so grateful for his oh so wise decision to reach out and involve us in his big plans to propose!

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We were initially a little surprised that he wanted to ask her on our studio patio given that she works there nearly every day! But it ended up being SO perfect because we were able to transform our dreary wintery patio into a lush spring garden filled with twinkling candlelight. On her day off, we snuck in to plant herbs, ferns, and flowering plants and pulled out dozens of pillars and hanging candles. We filled vases with fresh green and white blooms to coordinate and added some blankets and pillows for a more relaxed setting. We added a little personality by creating a moss lettered backdrop to their celebratory champagne toast.

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What makes the story even more interesting is that Rachele wasn’t feeling well and tried to back out of our “triple date dinner.” It took a bit of convincing but we got her to agree to come meet us at the studio with a little dayquil and promises of cutting the evening short. Josh standing on the patio waiting for her was absolutely the last thing she expected to find. She did quite good though because she showed up in some really killer heels! “

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And from Rachele:

“I was sincerely shocked the day that Joshua proposed to me. I had spent the entire weekend asking him to pick up medicine and tissues for the cold I was battling. I spent that entire Monday (my day off) laying on the couch sniffling and sneezing. We had made plans to go out for a triple date that night but I simply wasn’t feeling motivated to get ready and be out with friends.

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–> CLICK INSIDE FOR THE REST <—

DIY Workshop: Learn How to Make Pearl & Flower Pendant Necklaces

Sunday August 2nd | DIY Pearl &  Flower Pendant Necklaces | The Hill Center at Old Naval Hospital

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The next Capitol Romance DIY Workshop is all set to go! Early bird tickets (only 8 available) are now on sale for our August 2nd workshop with J’Adorn Designs. Attendees will be learning how to make the gorgeous pearl & flower pendant necklace you see above. This necklace would be a perfect gift for your bridesmaids, mother, sister, or even just a great addition to your jewelry box (which is what I plan on doing with mine ;)

Buy Tickets

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Additional information from the workshop event page:

Attendees will learn tips and tricks from a professional jewelry designer & creator. Each attendee will also learn how to create their own pearl & flower necklace to take home. Workshop ticket prices include all tools and items needed to create the craft, snacks and beverages provided by local vendors, and a sponsored favor!

So don’t wait, get your tickets now and we’ll see you on August 2nd!

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Need Help Making DIY Projects for Your Wedding? Attend Our Workshops!