Marianna & Nick’s DC Engagement Pictures at Meridian Hill Park

Photos from the Harty ı Wedding, Event, & Lifestyle Photography ı

Images: Photo from the Harty submitted via Two Bright Lights

Hope you guys all had a great weekend – ours was AWESOME. We got to enjoy the outdoors, visit with family, and take a long bike ride to Yards Park so Evie could enjoy the wading pool (we could barely pry her from it!). Really was one of those weekends where we had nothing planned, but go so much done and really got to just enjoy living in this city. It was awesome. For today, a day later that planned, your DC engagement session and love story for the week! Marianna & Nick decided to take their engagement pictures in one of my favorite parks in DC, Meridian Hill Park.

Photos from the Harty ı Wedding, Event, & Lifestyle Photography ı

How they met: October 27th, 2012. Marianna went to a Halloween party near Grand Central with some new friends she had just made and saw a group of people dressed as various Simpson’s characters. She was intrigued. A guy dressed in a white suit, blue round sunglasses, and a fro wig was there and they started talking. The most enticing thing about him was his chest hair. Since Marianna was dressed as Madonna (an appropriate version) with a blonde wig, she showed this young gentleman a picture of her CT license, which she had just gotten that day. This man needed to know what she actually looked like. Deciding that she also needed to know what this man really looked like, Nick then took off his wig. They clearly both liked what they saw and numbers were exchanged. Unfortunately, Marianna had to go to another location with her friends and had to leave this cute man for the evening. Much to her surprise, Nick texted her later that night. Needless to say, they talked quite regularly after that. It only took a few weeks for them to say “I love you.” Nick was just too nice and sweet, with amazing green eyes that it was so easy to fall in love with him! And Marianna’s kindness, beauty, intelligence, and overall personality made Nick fall in love with her right away.

The Engagement: May 22nd, 2015. It was a normal Friday night- Marianna made dinner and the happy couple watched “The Dark Crystal” after Marianna finished doing her laundry. She was tired so they turned off Netflix and got ready for bed because it now had become midnight. Before going to bed, though, Nick gave Marianna a rectangular gift that was wrapped up. He told her it was a gift for their new apartment so she opened it up. As she did this, he went down on one knee and pulled out a ring. The gift was a collage of over 60 photos of the two of them together over the past 2 1/2 years. Marianna obviously teared up and said “yes.” She can’t wait to be spending the rest of her life with this wonderful, thoughtful man that she is grateful to call her best friend. Nick is looking forward to sharing his life with someone who is selfless, adventurous, loving, and exciting. Life is an adventure, and they will be embarking on that journey together. In the words of Pablo Neruda, “You are like nobody since I love you.”

Pin It

A Dark Side of the Moon Inspired Styled Engagement Session

View More:

Images: Sarah Price Photography

We made it!! ANOTHER week come and gone. Another MONTH too. We are hoping to take advantage of June – no weddings to work and lots of weekends in DC to hopefully work on all those open-ended projects Andy and I have going on. I cannot believe it’s June already … and *DEPRESSING ALERT* the year is now half-way over. Our big goal this month is to finally get these designs we’ve been hoarding & crafting in secrecy (though we leaked on in the #CapRoNewsblast yesterday!) up and into the #CapRoShop. We’ll likely be moving the shop from Square to WooCommerce as well. It’s a huge goal … but I am hoping to get it done before we head to Vermont & Cabo at the end of the month.

For today we have the MOST rad Baltimore engagement session – two adorable Baltimorians with a love of classic rock, food, and each other (LURVE). A group of local DC & Baltimore wedding vendors got together to help Chelsi & Ian celebrate their engagement and wedding coming this September. There is so much awesome happening in this shoot, I’ll just let you check it all out next:

View More: dark side of the moon inspired alternative engagement pictures (10)

Chelsi & Ian are two adorable Bawlmer hons with a love of classic rock, food, and each other. Ian tours in a Band and Chelsi is always right beside him so the theme of their shoot was a nod to their love of music. We chose Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of theMoon” album art as the inspiration so we used lots of moody rainbow colors, shadowy corners, and, of course, prisms.

View More: dark side of the moon inspired alternative engagement pictures (9) View More:


Vol 8: The Real Life of a Mompreneur – What Happened to the Details


Image: Maggie with PopWed Co!

I used to be able to multi-task with the best of them. Talking and typing at the same time, answering emails while on a conference call, or simply just doing 3 or 4 things simultaneously. Well, those days are pretty much over.

Now, while I still ATTEMPT to multi-task like I used to, I can’t quite cut it these days. What do I mean by this exactly? Well the details are falling through the cracks and I can’t quite seem to make it stop.

Let’s start first with Evie’s First Birthday Invitation. I poured over this – editing and updating and trying to make it look the cutest I could on my limited InDesign skills. I sent to Andy for proofing and I must have stared at this thing a million times. I finally got as far as I could, and satisfied I sent it off for printing, and then mailing to our friends/family.


And then my sister in law texted me. While the invite is ADORABLE, she said, the date for Saturday is May 14th, not 13th. YIKES.

Fast forward a few weeks and I was busy making a book for my parents of Evie’s first year with them. Again, making the book with a few spare minutes here or an extra chunk of time there, and I was finally happy with it. Finalize, review, add to cart, send to parents. They got the book and were over the moon, but I had done it AGAIN. A picture of Evie & my parents in the hospital …. May 2016. That’s quite the time-traveling baby apparently.

I’ll be honest, I am still getting used to this – not being able to multi-task without some sort of detail falling into error. I am trying to re-read things to the Nth degree or maybe try and focus on singular tasks and not have 8 computer programs open at once, but I feel like that’s sort of hard to do when you are trying to run a business AND be a mom AND be a wife AND still function at your day job.

I think it’s going to take some time for me to try to cut back on my multi-tasking. I know I should, but I also feel like I won’t do it until something more major than a family book or 1st birthday invite, gets hit with my no-longer-detail-oriented ways. I keep hoping it will just stop and I can go back to the ways of pre-momhood where I could juggle all these things and still stay on top of my details game.

So while I’ll try my hardest to stick to 1 (ok maybe 2 max) thing at a time, I’ll also ask everyones’ forgiveness in advance, for when I inevitably mess up those future details.

Megan & Alan’s Rad, DC-Themed Wedding at Josephine Butler Parks Center

dc themed rad alternative washington dc wedding josephine butler parks center (28)

Images: Kristi Odom Photography

When your initial wedding consult is at a bar on H Street and the bride to be tells you she’s going to wear black and they’ve already booked one of the best photographers in town (and my fav wedding venue), well you just know it’s going to be an amazing DC wedding. This was my inclination for Megan & Alan’s Josephine Butler Parks Center wedding, and turns out, it was 100% on the money. DC flag coaster favors, tables named after DC music venues, tattoos, local DC beer, and yes, a bride in black. But let’s not also forget the AH-MAZING tongue-in-cheek diatribe-tribute to Ted Cruz for being the man responsible for these two meeting in the first place. I was honored to get to be their wedding coordinator and can’t wait to share all the amazing pictures & details with you guys today! Here we go:

dc themed rad alternative washington dc wedding josephine butler parks center (29) dc themed rad alternative washington dc wedding josephine butler parks center (23)

How We Met: We’re both federal employees, and met during the shutdown of the federal government in October 2013. On the first day of the shutdown, Alan was writing at a bar in the middle of the day. He saw Megan, couldn’t place from where he recognized her, only to realize later that she was his top match on OkCupid. He wrote her a message asking if she was also furloughed, and suggested they meet-up for a beer. A week later, with the shutdown in full swing, we had our first date in the middle of the afternoon on a Tuesday. Over pizza and beer, we got nerdy about policy, music, and tattoos and pretty much have carried on that way for the last two and a half years.

dc themed rad alternative washington dc wedding josephine butler parks center (24)

We started planning our wedding early. In fact, even though we had a vacation that happened a few weeks after the proposal, we used our down time abroad to research venues and get an early sense of our expected timeline. That helped us maintain our sanity, and so did the idea that what we DID NOT want mattered as much as what we DID. We had an a la carte approach to tradition, embracing some and skipping others, which meant the big day felt like ours instead of someone else’s idea of what it should be. For example, we had a more formal sit-down dinner (catered by the awesome Eat & Smile), but broke traditions with Megan’s black dress and skipping having a wedding party entirely.

dc themed rad alternative washington dc wedding josephine butler parks center (25) dc themed rad alternative washington dc wedding josephine butler parks center (26) dc themed rad alternative washington dc wedding josephine butler parks center (27)

Friend/Family Involvement: There were a few things about our wedding that were such obvious choices they barely needed any discussion: it would be in DC; there would be good beer and sing-a-long to The Mountain Goats’ “No Children”; and our friend Patrick would officiate. Luckily Patrick agreed and did an awesome job officiating the wedding, making everyone laugh and cry. We also had friends do readings during the ceremony and toasts during the reception. Instead of having any of the family related traditions at the wedding, we decided to host a small rehearsal dinner at Tabard Inn for our families the night before the wedding. This gave us the opportunity to thank them for their support and enjoy their company away from all the activity of the wedding itself.

dc themed rad alternative washington dc wedding josephine butler parks center (30) dc themed rad alternative washington dc wedding josephine butler parks center (32)

DIY: To limit our to-do list, we decided to not do too much DIY for the wedding. Luckily, between our beautiful venue (Josephine Butler Parks Center) and flowers from Local Color Flowers, we didn’t need to add much to the space. Some of our projects included painting DC flags on the koozies for favors, painting frames, putting together the DC music venue table names, and writing out the menus. The last project was printing our barf bag programs. We had decided early on that our hashtag would be #barfmeganalan so when I saw these barf bag programs on Off Beat Bride, I knew we had to make them. We changed the template up a little bit from the tutorial, and put a thank you note to our guests on the back. Getting them to print properly was a pain at first, and more than once I considered just dropping the whole thing, but I am really glad we didn’t. They are so funny and weird and perfectly suited to us as a couple.

dc themed rad alternative washington dc wedding josephine butler parks center (33)

Read more for soooo much more awesome at Megan & Alan’s DC Themed Josephine Butler Parks Center Wedding!

DIY Tutorial: Make Your Own DIY Household Cleaning Sprays

natural_cleaning_sprays-26 copy

Images: Jenn Heller Design Co.

I‘ll admit that I am super excited for today’s DIY tutorial from Jenn Heller Design Co. Though I have to be honest that Andy does more of the cleaning in our house than I do (he stress cleans and actually LOVES to clean our kitchen … no joke), though I am usually the one buying the cleaning supplies on Amazon. It’d be SO NICE to make some of our own cleaning supplies, so I am pumped Jenn put together these DIY Household Cleaning Spray tutorials (a countertop cleaner and an appliance cleaner). CHECK IT OUT:

How to Make DIY Household Cleaners | By Jenn Heller Design Co.


Ah cleaning.  Who doesn’t love cleaning?  Oh wait – almost no one likes cleaning. The only thing I like less than cleaning is thinking about all the stuff in commercial cleansers, and how much I have to fork out for a single bottle of an eco-friendly(er?) version.

Get ready for a boost to your cleaning power, because these two sprays are a cinch to mix up, work wonderfully, will save you money, and smell awesome! Plus, they’re simple and free from all the crazy superfluous stuff companies add to their products to make their lives easier.

Generally, the supplies for natural cleaning come in quantities that allow you to make dozens of batches from the initial purchase.  While you’re not saving money instantly, you will after a few batches and bonus, that’s one fewer thing to have to remember at the store.

General note on essential oils: they can eventually cause plastic to deform or corrode, which is why they are always stored in glass bottles.  For this reason, glass bottles are preferred for these sprays.  If you have a glass bottle with a threaded cap lying around like for bottled water or cooking wine, it will work great with a spray nozzle you can get from a home improvement store. If you want to buy the pretty bottles pictured in this DIY, I got these from Amazon.

Natural Cleaning Spray: All Purpose Cleaner


This cleaner is soap based, not vinegar based, so it is safe for all surfaces including natural stone countertops!

For each 1 cup warm water, add:

(These ingredients should also be available at Target or other big box stores.)


Stir to dissolve the powdered ingredients, then pour into a spray bottle.  Add essential oils to your taste, but my recommendation is 10 drops lemon oil and 2 drops of rosemary oil. Citrus oils help with cleaning, and both the citrus and rosemary oils have antibacterial properties.


For my glass bottles I needed 2 batches total.

Natural Cleaning: Countertop & Appliance Spray


Because this cleaner is vinegar based, it is not recommended for natural stone counters.

For each 1 cup warm water, add:

Mix the liquids, then pour into a spray bottle.  Add essential oils to your taste, but my recommendation is 15 drops eucalyptus oil and 10 drops tea tree – both have excellent antibacterial properties and a strong fresh scent to counterbalance the vinegar.


Don’t forget to visit my blog and download the labels for  your bottles – complete with instructions right on the bottle!!


To attach your labels to the bottles, I used a simple method favored by home-brew enthusiasts: milk!  Print your labels using a laser jet printer (an ink jet-printed label will run once wet!) and wet the back with milk.  Carefully place the wet paper on your glass bottle and voila! It will stick fast almost immediately, so make sure you position the label carefully the first time.  Smooth out any bubbles and let dry, and you’re good to go.


I hope you enjoy!


This post contains affiliate links that help make Capitol Romance DIYs possible.  Thank you!

Rad Things For Your Big Day & Life Together Go Shopping!