Elisha & Josh’s Eclectic and Offbeat, Nautical-Themed Maryland Wedding

Today’s real Maryland wedding feature encompasses so many things I love! A couple took a sometimes cliched theme (nautical) and made it their own! They embraced local culture, included special and handmade details, and instead of sticking to a strict color palette, the bride answered, “Meh I’m not putting myself in a box.” HAH! I love it! The result was an eclectic, offbeat nautical-themed Maryland wedding that was mostly just jam packed with FUN. My favorite detail might be the totally NOT-bridesmaids dresses that the bride had her maid’s wear (adorable, off the rack seersucker dresses) but the mini pumpkins in the bouquet are a close second! Hold on to your hats Romancers because we have a long post for you today with images from Sugar Farms Weddings!

Elisha & Josh’s Eclectic, Offbeat Nautical Themed Maryland Wedding

offbeat alternative nautical maryland wedding


Photography: Sugar Farms Weddings | Venue: Herrington on the Bay | Bridesmaid Dresses: Jessica Simpson | Groom & Groomsmen Suits: Custom, Made to Measure suits by David Hart | Cake: Made by Groom’s Mother | Groomsmen Anchor Pocket Squares: Gap | Groomsmen Whale Tie Clips: J. Crew | Yarmulkes: Handmade | Bride’s Shoes: Ted Baker  | Bride’s Jewelry: Anthropologie | Chuppah: Handmade (from Target linens!) | Invitations: Etsy | Programs: DIY by Bride | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

While having a nautical-themed wedding in Maryland can be cliche, the bride, Elisha, is from Knoxville, Tenn., originally. Knowing that many guests would be coming from out of town and seeing the Chesapeake Bay for the first time, the couple decided to just go ahead and embrace the local culture and style for their nuptials. They wanted a lot of special details, so the wedding was chocked full of handmade touches. The color scheme came together rather organically. Instead of picking the pallet first, Elisha and Josh found the vintage nautical invitations and let them serve as the inspiration.  After finding a bridesmaid dress evocative of the invitations, everything else – the groomsmen clothing, yarmulkes and flowers – all just started to fall in place. There were no strict rules about what was or wasn’t in the scheme; everything just had to sort of “go.” It drove some people crazy when they asked the bride what her color scheme was and for the first few months, her answer was “Meh, I’m not putting myself in a box.”

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Instead of typical bridesmaids’ dresses, Elisha chose an off-the-rack Jessica Simpson seersucker dress for her friends that could be reworn for other occasions. (They were $80!) It had a fun blue-and-white stripe with triangle back cutout and tomato red piping. They wore blue nautical knot earrings (gift), their own red pumps and little gold anchor necklaces with lapis stones (gift). Full disclosure: The bride liked the dress so much, she bought one for herself, too, to wear to the next Preakness!

groom yellow nautical tie

Josh, the fathers, Elisha’s “bride’s man” (her brother) and Josh’s groomsmen wore custom-made suits and ties designed by Josh’s friend, menswear designer David Hart. Hart is originally from Severna Park, Md., and is now making his own clothing line in NY. The suits were one-of-a-kind, which David kindly made at cost for the guys.

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Elisha’s favorite DIY detail was the nearly 90 yarmulkes her mother handmade (enough for each man) for the ceremony. Elisha got the idea that she wanted quirky, nautical yarmulkes for her Jewish wedding. After searching the Internet and not finding what she was looking for, she realized her mother Megan, who is a sewing wiz, could make them. Elisha bought an assortment of coordinating nautical fabrics online and shipped them to her mom in Tennessee. She also had a custom-made rubber stamp made with the wedding details (names, date, location) and some fabric ink pads and sent them to her mom. She found a free yarmulke pattern online. Even FOB Isidor helped with the process by cutting fabric and ironing! Strips of the leftover fabric were used to wrap the bridesmaids’ bouquets.

The chupah – or wedding canopy – was one of the most romantic easy-breezy ones this biased bride has ever seen! Learning that Jewish canopies can be hundreds of dollars to buy or rent, the bride brainstormed a cheaper solution. After explaining over and over to people that the fabric she was looking for would be similar to the sheer linen curtains in her living room, she decided: Why not use them? She bought five panels at Target for about $70 total and the groomsmen stapled them to the pergola making a canopy.

handmade DIY yarmulkes chuppah

Click inside for the rest of Elisha & Josh’s eclectic, handmade Nautical Maryland wedding in Annapolis!

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Giveaway: Game Time Stadium Nacho Cheese Party Pack Giveaway!

Something fun and not entirely wedding related (though the owner DID serve this at his own wedding as a late night snack!) for the afternoon. A fun little giveaway in celebration of next week’s big game (the Superbowl … in case you didn’t get that)! DJ Brad McCormick has launched a separate side biz selling nacho cheese party packs, called Game Time Stadium Nacho Cheese. Now this cheese isn’t just your regular Kraft variety – it’s the kind they actually serve in the stadiums at major sports events made by Gehl’s!

To help get his business started, he has offered to giveaway 2 prizes to 2 lucky winners on the blog! The grand prize is a Grand Prize Gift Kit (include a case of cheese, and the gift pack above [shipped separately]) and a runner up will get a nacho cheese 6 pack! Shipping can be anywhere in the country (and can get there in 3 days) but for anyone local, it would take a day to get to you! Perfect timing for your Superbowl party!


Entering is SUPER easy (as always!) just use our Rafflecopter widget below! Don’t forget to check out Brad’s website, Stadium Nacho Cheese, follow him on Twitter, or check out his Facebook page. And in case you aren’t a football fan, don’t forget that you can always serve this as a late night snack at your wedding :



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tell us ~ what would YOU do with your Stadium Nacho Cheese?

Free, Printable Wedding Party Cards! Bridesmaids, Groomsmen, Bridesmen, & Groomsladies


GUYS! We are so freakin’ PUMPED for today’s DIY tutorial/free printable from Ribbons & Bluebirds! We’ve been working with Ribbons & Bluebirds to create something extra special, something I have yet to really see out in the wedding blog scene: LGBT-friendly Wedding Party cards!

I know you’ve all see the millions of “will you be my bridesmaid?” or “will you be my groomsmen” cards online. But what I have yet to see are ones that are more inclusive and LGBT-friendly! How about ones that say “Will you join OUR wedding party” and feature two dashing grooms on the card? Or better yet, what about all of you out there asking men to stand on the bride’s side or ladies to join the groomsmen? Well we have those covered too! We’ve got your “Will you be my groomslady?” and “Will you be my bridesman?” downloads too!

OMG are you as excited about this as I am!? And not only did Ribbons & Bluebirds custom make these designs for you guys, she also wrote up the most awesome DIY tutorial to show you how to make these cards into something super special to send to your soon to be wedding party attendees – including some fancy DIY envelope liner step-by-step directions!

DIY Tutorial: Free, Printable LGBT-Friendly Wedding Party Cards & Step by Step Instructions

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These fun cards are a great, modern way to invite your nearest and dearest to be a part of YOUR wedding party!  The downloadable templates prints 2 cards per sheet or 8.5×11” paper, each card 4.25×5.5” with a half fold.

Supplies you will need:

  • Cardstock, 8.5×11 (letter) size sheets
  • Paper trimmer (or utility knife + ruler)
  • Scoring board (or bone folder + ruler)
  • Printer
  • A2 size envelopes (optional)
  • Decorative paper to line envelopes

Step 1. Download one or several of the templates available at Ribbons & Bluebird’s blog. Templates include: “Will you join our wedding party” for a bride + groom, two brides, or two grooms OR “Will you be my”: bridesmaid, groomsman, bridesman, or groomswoman – including a fun set of potential responsibilities for the wedding day.


Step 2. Print your cards!  The templates are laid out on 8.5×11 sheets, ready for your printer.  Make sure you have the print set to Do Not Scale, otherwise your printer may try and reduce the size of the cards (and they will be too small for an envelope.) Because the design goes all the way to the edge of the cards, some printers may not be able to print all the way to the edge, but if you have a “borderless” setting then try it out! (About borderless printing: most printers automatically increase the print size when set to borderless, in an attempt to try and make sure the print really does go all the way to the edge.  You need to remove this setting by setting the enlargement amount to “no enlargement.”)

**To print the inside design**: flip the cardstock over and run it back through your printer to print on the backs.  Not every printer feeds the same, so I can’t give you specifics for the orientation but you may need to print a test sheet to make sure you get the inside message printed on the correct half of the sheet.

will you be my bridesmaid free printable

Step 3. Next, trim the cards.  Each sheet needs one cut, right down the middle.  You can use the edge of the diagonal pattern to line it up perfectly – each piece of paper will then be 5.5 x 8.5”.

DIY free printable be my groomsmen cardfree printable will you be my groomslady bridesman card

Step 4. To score the cards for easy folding, either use a scoring board and score at 4.25” from the short edge (again, right down the middle) OR just use a bone folder and a ruler to score the paper.  Again, you can use the diagonal pattern as a guide.

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Step 5. Fold along the scored edge, and voila! Enjoy the cards :)

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Click inside to find out how to make your free cards EXTRA fancy with a DIY envelope liner tutorial!

Ashley & Jon’s Elegant Warehouse Wedding at the Annapolis Fairgrounds in Maryland

Yowza, I just can’t seem to get this post written. Between the snow, some personal things, my regenerating unread inbox folder, and my wedding this weekend – I am all over the place! I even had one of my crazy stress dreams last night where I flipped out/yelled at some spa pedicurist and then stole lipstick to get back at them for making me wait 5 hours to never get a pedicure. Haha – what does THAT mean ?! Anyway, today we have a super cute Annapolis Fairground Wedding from Eastport Photography. It features Ashley & John, some fun baseball themed portraits, and an elegant warehouse wedding reception. Yes, I did say elegant warehouse – because that’s exactly what their reception looked like! They DIYed a TON of the wedding and it included a Smores bar, popcorn bar, and a funfetti cake (yes!). Slightly ironic consider the bride is a dentist. Check all the full set below!

Ashley & Jon’s Elegant Warehouse Wedding at the Annapolis Fairgrounds in Maryland

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Photography: Eastport Photography | Catering: Main Ingredient | DJ: DJ K Rock | Bride’s Dress: Vera Wang | Venue: Annapolis Fairgrounds | Flowers: DIY | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Ashley and Jon’s Annapolis Fairgrounds wedding was a long time coming! The couple met almost 10 years ago when they were just young teenagers! They tied the knot this past weekend at the Annapolis Evangelical Presbyterian Church in front of 300 guests and then celebrated in an elegantly decorated warehouse at the Annapolis Fairgrounds.

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Ashley and the girls got ready in the bridal suite of the church. Ashley’s bouquet was a delicate pink paper-flower bouquet and the bridesmaids’ bouquets were simple baby’s breath and twine. Her dress was a beautiful Vera Wang gown with a white flower sash.

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Meanwhile, Jon and the guys were busy getting ready at Jon’s house. He gave each of his groomsmen personalized baseball bats as gifts. I must say, the guys look pretty tough with their bats!

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Click inside for the rest of Ashley & Jon’s Elegant Warehouse Wedding at the Annapolis Fairgrounds in Maryland!

Kali & Jason’s Alternative, Grungy Washington DC Engagement Session at Union Market

This isn’t the first Union Market DC Engagement session we’ve featured and hopefully it won’t be the last. I am an absolute SUCKER for e-sessions that include the less traditional and non-glamorous sides of DC. I think I am also super biased on this particular location because this is in my neighborhood ;) Any couple that is down for the overall ‘grungy-ness” of shooting in front of dilapidated and boarded up buildings (oh and a dude moving trash) is my kind of couple. A thanks to Megan Noonan Photography for sending this DC engagement session our way!

Kali & Jason’s Alternative Washington DC Engagement Session at Union Market

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Photography: Megan Noonan Photography | Location: Union Market | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

How they met:

I met Jason through mutual friends 8 years ago. At the time we were both involved with other people but we formed a friendship that would last. After several years Jason says hearing me speak of possibly moving away made something click and he realized he couldn’t let me go without telling me how he felt. We started dating and now three years later we’re getting married! I think we both feel as if we are marrying our best friends and we look forward to spending the rest of our lives together.

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Click inside for the rest of Kali & Jason’s alternative, DC engagement session!

Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck: “High Hopes” by Kodaline

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So I think one of the biggest surprises from my 2014 reader survey (have you taken it yet?!) was that there are people out there that actually enjoy my Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck song suggestions. This was something I decided to do back before I had even written my first blog post. I did one EVERY Monday in my first year, but as my list got shorter, and no submissions came in, (and little views and comments on the posts) I sort of phased it out as a weekly feature and instead just featured a song when it came to me.

I’ve toyed with the idea of dropping the post all together, but after the survey, I’ll try and keep to at least a 1/month suggestion for those of you that actually like it! And for today, we have “High Hopes” by Kodaline.


But I’ve got high hopes, it takes me back to when we started
High hopes, when you let it go, go out and start again
High hopes, oh, when it all comes to an end
But the world keeps spinning around

This song has got EVERYTHING for a modern wedding song suggestion. Beautiful lyrics, soft & slower tempo (that slightly builds), and piano! Personally I could see it working as a fun processional song, a modern first dance song, or somewhere else in your wedding ceremony playlist. Or if all else false, add it to your cocktail hour playlist :)

What do you think Romancers – do you love “High Hopes” like I do?

Capitol Inspiration: Details & Decorations from a Laid Back Beach Wedding

Well we’ve made it to another Friday. The week is over and I am ready for some retail therapy, a consultation with my May brides, and going to see American Hustle with Andy. There will also (mostly likely) be housework in here somewhere. A weekend where we are home? There is always housework :)

So for today I leave you a casual beach wedding from Bryce Lafoon Photography, submitted via Two Bright Lights. It features bridesmaids in neutrals, some fun beach wedding details, and some really pretty floral inspiration. Happy Friday Romancers!

Details, Decoration & Inspiration from a Casual North Carolina Beach Wedding



Photographer:  Bryce Lafoon Photography | Caterer: Art Catering | Rentals: Sweetwater Bamboo Beach Wedding Events | Officiant:Reverend Lee Ann Politas | Event Designer: The Three divas | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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Click inside for the rest of the images of this beautiful, laid-back beach wedding!

Sarah & Colin’s Celebration of Love & Life, Maryland Summer Camp Wedding

I’ve been struggling with how to open today’s real Maryland wedding feature. When I got an email saying “you have a submission from An Endless Pursuit“, I was immediately elated because their submissions are some of my absolute FAVORITES.  Steve’s email outlined a perfect Capitol Romance submission:

“The gist of the big day was: Two desperately in love individuals enjoying the company of those they cherish for a weekend, surrounded by elements which represent who they are as a couple, individuals, and members of a cherished community (i.e. having a whole lotta fun while immersed in mother flippin’ beautiful rustic chic details)”

And then he explained why this wedding was so extra special: the bride’s family suffers from a degenerative muscular disease and the reality is that they don’t have much time left – so every moment they spend together is that much more precious. The bride, Sarah, said, “If my brothers are still standing by [the wedding], it will probably be the last event they do.”

The enormity and gravity of this is hard to capture in words. It really puts things into perspective, doesn’t it? I mean, for me, it makes a lot of the wedding industry fairly trivial and inconsequential in comparison to what it should truly be about: two desperately in love individuals enjoying the company of the ones they cherish, surrounded by the elements that represent who they are ….

It’s not about the money, it’s not about the blogs, it’s not about the details. It’s about the love. The love between two individuals. The love between a family. The love between you and your friends. The love between these things is what a REAL wedding is.

Maybe it’s this gloomy foggy day, but I am having a hard time not tearing up through writing this. It’s just an incredibly moving story, and I am just emotional that Sarah & Colin were brave and amazing enough to want to share it with not only me, but my readers. Sarah & Colin, your celebration of love & life through your amazing Maryland Summer Camp wedding will be a post I will come back to again and again when I am frustrated with the wedding industry. I will read this and look at the insanely stunning images An Endless Pursuit captured, and I will be reminded of what weddings truly mean. So thank you, times a million, for sharing.

Sarah & Colin’s Celebration of Love & Life, Maryland Summer Camp Wedding

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Photographer:  An Endless Pursuit | Dress Designer: Kenneth Pool | Makeup Artist: Beyond Brides Hair & Makeup | Event Venue: Camp Puh’Tok | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

From their photographer Steve (one half of An Endless Pursuit):

This may have been our favorite wedding of the year, plus they found us on Capitol Romance! Sarah’s immediate family suffers from a degenerative muscular disease, Myotonic Dystrophy. In order to truly celebrate family together, including those members that might not be around much longer, Sarah and Colin rented a summer camp in northern Maryland for a full weekend of fun and festivities with all of their dearest family and friends. The guests slept in log cabins in the woods (including me). Everyone stayed up late each night with a celebration around a bonfire with s’mores and beer. There was a sunday pool party to relax after the big wedding day on Saturday.

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From the groom, Colin:

“I have spent many nights trying to figure out where all of her patience and persistence came from, let alone why in the world she was so intent on loving me. I have yet to answer that question, but I do know at least that she loves me almost as much as I love her which is a whole freakin’ lot! So as of this point in my life, two and a half years later, I am now the most honest man you will meet, I am no longer a smoker (YAY!!!!!!!), my meals consist of half vegetables, I finished my bachelors degree in math, I rarely drink more than what I can handle, and my family and I are getting along wonderfully. This is all in addition to the tons of adventures Sarah and I always end up on. So, in the end, I owe Sarah my life because I will now live a long and very happy life. If it weren’t for her, God only knows what trouble I would have gotten into. She truly is my everything.”

^Are we crying again yet?! (I mean, I am).

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Click inside for SO MUCH MORE of this amazing, moving Maryland wedding – including their beautiful handmade details inside the summer camp & some more beautiful portraits.

Giveaway: The Say Yes Specialists – Consultants for Your Perfect Proposal

You all remember that amazing DC proposal video we shared a few months back, right? That perfectly executed video of his girlfriend watching a video of their love story, while driving her to the Capitol, where Caleb was waiting to propose? (If you don’t then seriously go watch it, but I warn you in advance, it will make you cry … ok now I am watching it again …. and crying … dammit!).

Well, in case not all of you are like Caleb, with that perfectly planned proposal (and access to resources he had) in place, I think you are really going to like today’s post and giveaway. Introducing….

The Say Yes Specialists – Consultants for Your Perfect Proposal


My girls, Ali & Danielle, are look for ANY one in the DC metro area that is looking to propose to their significant other – and just needs some help to make it extra special. And because they are just launching this awesome biz, they are giving their services away to one lucky planner for FREE!


A Washington, DC Proposal | Maria Linz Photography

I mean, who WOULDN’T want two awesome, free consultants to help them plan an amazing proposal to your soon to be fiance?

The bottom line: Ali and Danielle will plan and coordinate the proposal for free but any costs incurred (photographer, flowers, etc) would be picked up by the proposer. Their the Say Yes Specialists and they plan your personalized proposal so you can pop the question perfectly!

Want to learn more or possibly use their services? Then shoot them an email:



A Navy Memorial Proposal | Marcella Treybig

It’s really that easy! Just contact Ali & Danielle, The Say Yes Specialists, today and have your soon to be husband or wife looking like this:


A Surprise DC Proposal | Sandra Sitar

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