Capitol Inspiration: Organic Greenery, Springtime Virginia Wedding Inspiration

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Image: Magnolia Street Photography

A darling shoot based in the back woods of Bluemont, Virginia. I just LOVE how green and organic everything feels with the use of ferns and honeysuckles. This shoot makes me REALLY excited for Spring – amiright!? Happy Friday Romancers! Have a great weekend!

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From the vendors:

A chance discovery of a late 1700’s home being renovated into a wedding & business retreat by owner Suzanne Eblen.  The new venue will be called Retreat at Cool Spring and is full of civil war history.   We were looking for a location that would compliment our vision of a early 1900s English garden, and we hit the jackpot with The Retreat at Cool Spring.   The stone walls and chippy paint was a perfect backdrop to our theme.  We chose a lovely dress & shoes from Ruche to fit the early 1900s theme.

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We mixed new and vintage pieces with the attire and decor.   Celebrating Love by Marcie used unique pieces from Ginger & Spice Vintage Rentals  (pink settee, bird cage, frames, farm table, place settings & plant stand +) to style wedding elements in a fun new way.  We wanted to take advantage of the amazing features within the retreat like the corner cabinets and large windows to add to the uniqueness of the shoot.   Our florist, Studio in Bloom tied it all together with the lovely floral bouquets, using a lot of ferns and trailing honeysuckle & clematis for a free garden feeling.

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Click inside for the rest!

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DIY Tutorial: How to Make Your Own Bridal Veil


Image: Brittany Goldwyn

I was pretty adamant against wearing a veil for my own wedding. It just didn’t feel like “me” and I really didn’t like the history behind veils. However, I understand that not everyone feels that way and lots of brides LOVE veils and want to wear one for their wedding day. But veils can be EXPENSIVE. Which, I never really understood because it’s basically just a piece of tulle right!? ;-p So for you DIY Brides out there that are considering making your own veil, we have Brittany on the blog today sharing how she made hers!

How to Make a DIY Bridal Veil



  • Fabric (I’m using tulle, which is cheap and available by the yard at your local fabric store or easily on Amazon: Nylon Tulle in 30 Colors)
  • Iron and ironing board/pad
  • Sewing machine
  • Needle and white thread
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape and something to mark your fabric
  • Comb (plastic, wire, they both work–it will be hidden in your hair)

There’s a LOT of up front things to consider first – the type of veil you want, the length, and the material. Brittany covers ALL that (and more) over on her original blog post. But for us, we are just going to share the step-by-step instructions.

Step #1: Gently iron out any kinks or folds in your fabric. Then, lay the fabric on  large, flat surface. I’ll be using a piece of fabric that’s 55in wide and 30in long, so the finished product will give you an idea of how the measurements I’m using look.

Step #2: Use your measuring tape, mark where you’ll need to cut. Since I’m leaving the edges of the veil raw (i.e., I am not adding a ribbon trim or something similar), I cut very carefully.

Note: If you want to round the two corners on the bottom of your veil, you are more than welcome to do so! You’ll just need something round to trace, which will ensure that each corner is evenly cut. You could also get crazy with sewing (or gluing, if you’re not up for sewing trim) ribbon or lace along the edges. There are a million different veil cuts and style, but I’m just a simple gal.

Step #3: It’s time to sew. Set your sewing machine on the longest stitch length and sew a straight line of stitches along the top (one of the width sides) of the veil. Make sure to leave a long tail from your bobbin thread.

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Click inside for the rest of this DIY Veil Tutorial!

Amanda & Lacho’s Stop Motion Wedding Invitation Video

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Sometimes I get the coolest submissions – I thought this one was one of them. Lindsay King Photography sent along this stop motion video that Amanda & Lacho decided they wanted to use for their wedding invitation!! The couple quickly realized at the beginning of their wedding planning process that they would need to send invitations to guests across FIVE DIFFERENT CONTINENTS (insane!). So instead of trying to fight “timing, lost mail, and destroyed fancy paper”, they decided to send a video instead. The video would be much easier to share AND would be able to convey & share the story of their relationship with their wedding guest list. I love seeing all the fun DC hot spots on their video!

About the couple:

Amanda (from Gloucester, VA) and Lacho (from Sofia, Bulgaria) met in Bologna, Italy in 2011 while attending Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. Before meeting in the land of tortellini, they lived separately in several locations across Europe including France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Austria, and Bosnia. Over the years, their friends and family have spread out across the globe!

Why they chose a stop motion wedding invitation video over a traditional invitation:

When planning their wedding guest list, they realized that they would need to send invitations to loved ones on five continents… causing issues with timing, lost mail and destroyed fancy paper. Amanda and Lacho wanted an invitation which would be easy to send globally and convey their relationship history starting in Italy, moving to Washington and including an amazing wedding celebration in Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria. They also wanted a medium that would allow for silly expressions, music and a way to express their goofy personalities. After a quick Google search for “Washington, D.C., photographer and stop action video,” they stumbled across Lindsay King’s website. Lindsay and her now husband posted the most adorable stop motion video of their engagement which was both lovingly personal and professionally done! One planning session, a freezing cold (but fun!) photo shoot, and a lot of hard work from Lindsay later…they couldn’t be happier with the final product! Their friends and family have loved the sweet, unique and personalized video. Amanda and Lacho will be watching the video over and over again until their big day in Bulgaria next Labor Day!

And now, their AWESOME stop motion wedding invitation video:

Bradley & Jamilyah’s Fall Engagement Pictures in DC at the National Arboretum

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Image: Cynthia Shipp Photography

I love blogging sessions “out of season” because it makes me remember just how lucky we are to actually have seasons in Washington, DC. Everyone is ‘mourning’ Phil’s prediction this morning of 6 more weeks of winter, but I’m sitting here thinking of a cool crisp Fall morning instead thanks to Bradley & Jamilyah’s lovely DC engagement session. Plus this “winter” we’ve gotten in DC this year has been PATHETIC so far. Cold rain is not winter people. Give me all the snow.

Alright let’s get this week going. Happy Monday Romancers. Hope to see you at our 4-year blogaversary party on Wednesday or our Fuel DC event on Feb 24th!

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From the photographer:

We started the evening at Bradley and Jamilyah’s new home in Mt. Rainier, where I got to snap some shots of Kody (their adorable boxer), Jamilyah and Bradley all hanging out casually. Then it was a short drive from their home to the national arboretum, it was seriously beautiful with all the leaves turning into shades of gold, and speckles of red. At the national arboretum I had a chance to snap a couple of posed portraits of the lovely couple and photograph them in their natural element while they had a blast playing in the leaves. The night came to a close with a walk through the columns at the arboretum. It was a blast to photograph Jamilyah and Bradley and I seriously cannot wait for their wedding this coming spring!

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How they met:

I met Bradley 3+ years ago, shortly after I moved to DC. After a long evening at work, I was parking my car near my house and spotted a tall man/big dog duo walking my way. I carefully timed my exit from my car to casually say hello. Noticing that Kody, the sweetest boxer/pitbull, was wearing a NYC “NQRW” subway line dog collar, Bradley and I started chatting and realized we had lived in the same neighborhood in Queens, NY years before. We also currently lived just blocks from each other. In true DC fashion, we exchanged business cards and parted ways. Later that week, after trying to accidentally run into me, Bradley actually called me (like, not a text, but an actual phone call!) and invited me to join him and Kody on their evening walk.

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Click inside for the rest of Jamilyah & Bradley’s adorable Fall engagement pictures in Washington, DC!

Join Me at WeddingWire World’s “Serving the Modern Couple” Panel on March 17th!


Well Romancers, we really can’t believe it, but 2015 is ALREADY starting to kick some major ass. This week I was invited to participate in a panel at the one and only WeddingWire World, a two day educational conference for wedding professionals, thanks to the ever-amazing Kathryn Hamm of and Capturing Love Guide fame. I’ve had the absolute honor and pleasure of collaborating with Kathryn before (she invited me to be a part of a panel at the HRC as part of her Capturing Love Guide tour AND she invited our crazy #PopUpRomance participants to be a part of the #WedWeCan group in the Pride Parade last year) and I am just so stoked to get to work with her again.

Kathryn will be moderating a Pro Panel on Day 2 of WeddingWire World called “Serving Today’s Modern Couple.” I will be joined by a handful of other incredibly talented wedding industry business owners, including Ross Knight, and Bethel Nathan, as well as Kyle Mihalcoe, a recent newlywed. We will be discussing our views on what the “modern” couple really is, what they are looking for in regards to their wedding, and how wedding vendors can best serve them. I really can’t wait to share what I’ve learned about the modern couple through blogging AND wedding coordinating these past few years.


Image: Michelle VanTine Photography

As a blogger I feel like I get to help shape this notion – as I get to choose the images and couples I publish on my website. As a wedding coordinator I get to actually work alongside these “modern” couples helping them to plan their modern wedding (in a sometimes too-traditional city). If you are a wedding professional planning on attending WeddingWire World – do please stop by the panel on Day 2 (or at least say “hi” after!).

me at Joel and Christine's wedding

Image: Elizabeth Fogarty Photography

But wait! There’s more! The fine people at WeddingWire have graciously given me a coupon code for those Capitol Romance readers & sponsors out there that might want to attend!  Just use the promo code BREE125 to secure tickets for $125 each. You can either go to WeddingWire World’s website and click register and manually enter the code on the EventBrite page, OR use the direct link here.

I truly cannot wait to be a part of this amazing event & panel and really hope to see some familiar faces (and meet some new ones too!). See you on March 17th!


Arfa & Irfan’s Vibrant, Traditional Pakistani Wedding in Washington, DC

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Image: Boraie Photography

For those of you that know me, you know the term “I’m at a loss for words” doesn’t normally come out of my mouth. I almost ALWAYS have an opinion or something to say or a comment to make (just ask my family … or my husband …). I mean I guess that’s one of the reasons why I started a blog. But sometimes you get submissions that really require no words, or really, quite honestly, leave me “at a loss for words”. Arfa & Irfan’s vibrant Pakistani wedding does just that. The colors, the rich textures, the traditions, the stunning beauty – it all literally jumps out of these images from Boraie Photography and really nothing I could write could ever compliment these images. So I’ll stop typing now and instead just leave you with some of the MOST GORGEOUS images you will see this week.

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From the photographer: Arfa and Irfan’s Pakistani wedding took place over one week in May 2014 in the Washington, DC area through multiple traditional events, including the Mehndi and Baraat. The celebration included lots of food, vibrant colors, fun dances, family and friends and most of all, the sentiment of the hour – love.

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Our families were introduced through mutual family friends, and after our families, and Irfan and I got to know each other, we had a simple “baat pakki” (essentially an engagement) at my home with just our immediate families. Later on, Irfan and his family came to my house to give me the engagement ring, and our families decided on a May 2014 wedding that evening (It’s traditional in Pakistani culture to set an approximate wedding date range the day the engagement ring is given).

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Click inside for SO much more of this gorgeous Pakistani wedding!

A Recap of Our Last 2014 DIY Workshop & A Look Ahead to 2015 Workshops


Image: Cynthia Shipp Photography

We ended last year’s slate of 2014 Capitol Romance DIY Workshops with something beautiful: watercolor techniques with Ribbons & Bluebirds. I was astounded (as I usually am) by how talented the attendees are. People seemed to create watercolor wreaths, their own logos, and beautiful flowers with ease! I think some of this is the fact that I get the coolest attendees at these workshops, but I also think most of it is due to our amazing professional vendor hosts.


Jen walked our attendees through a general overview of working with watercolor paints – where to get the good ones, what brushes to use (and which you certainly should NOT use) and let attendees know a super watercolor success secret: a lot of it comes down to the type of paper you use! Attendees each got a brush, some paints, and a color wheel for their setup (along with the other goodies that come with each Capitol Romance DIY Workshop: a notepad & favor treat).


Yes, those are BOURBON flavored marshmellows!

Jen took attendees through different designs and ideas, teaching everyone how to master a simple watercolor technique and then letting them “have at it” using their creativity to come up with and practice their own ideas.



Click inside for more from our last 2014 DIY Workshop AND read about our 2015 DIY Workshops!

Amanda & Neal’s Bull Run Winery & H Mart Engagement Pictures in Virginia

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[Images: Love by Serena]

This weather SUCKS. I tried really hard not to get my hopes up for a snow day (but I did anyway) and now I am obviously disappointed to not be on my couch in PJs. So all you peeps in NJ/NYC/Boston – enjoy your snow, we’ll be sitting here in DC enjoying COLD. RAIN. For today’s post we do have a beautiful engagement session from Love by Serena. So at least there’s that ;) Amanda & Neal had one part of their engagement pictures at The Winery at Bull Run and then the second part at H Mart (an Asian grocery store!). The bride to be is part Asian and they shop at H Mart, so they found it to be a perfectly fun & appropriate place to have their engagement pictures (love this!).

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How they met:

Comet Ping Pong hosted a records swap & music event, which Amanda and Neal both attended.  In the sea of people, Neal stood out to Amanda because of his height and the bright, yellow Miles Davis t-shirt he was wearing at the time.  They both found each other in the crowd and began talking.  After speaking at length about music and records, they exchanged contact information. Not long after, he asked her on a date to his favorite pho restaurant at Eden Center in Falls Church, VA.

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Click inside for the adorable proposal story and awesome pictures from H Mart!

Quentin & James’ Modern, Intimate DC War Memorial Wedding & Dinner Reception

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Images: Robin Shotola Photography

I‘ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, just because you don’t have 100+ people at your wedding, doesn’t mean you can’t pick super fun and personalized details to make your wedding day shine & be truly “you”. This is EXACTLY what Quentin & James did and why I had SUCH a hard time narrowing down images from Robin Shotola Photography to include in today’s real DC wedding feature! Using pops of purple, some serious style choices, and a super modern font for their “Q & Chu” themed details (even embroidered onto their shirts!) these grooms ROCKED their intimate DC wedding. A beautiful ceremony at the DC War Memorial, with some awesome portraits and a gorgeous reception (which their friends designed & styled!) – I love it!

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Your favorite part of the wedding planning? The creative parts selecting flowers, designing the invitations, creating the feel of the reception. Vendor selection, we were very careful when selecting vendors. We interviewed each vendor to ensure they were of like mind and shared our vision of our wedding day.

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Wedding advice?

Keep is simple, be true to how you are as a couple and don’t let outside voices tell you what you day should or should not be. Think out side the box, weddings do not have to conform to any standard, and make it fun and something you and your guest will remember for years to come!

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Click inside for the rest of Quentin & James’ intimate, modern DC wedding!

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