Meet Our New Guest Blogger, Bride to Be Carolyn!

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A few months ago I got an email from a bride to be that is also a makeup artist & hair stylist in the area. She was super pumped to get married in Northern Virginia and wanted to see if I’d be interested in sharing her insight into wedding planning & DIY projects. Seeing as I feel like nothing beats first hand experiences for helping other couples, I jumped on it. So over the next year (Carolyn gets married next September) we will have Carolyn jumping in here and there with guest blogs about her wedding planning journey!

For our first post, we thought an introduction might make the most sense. So Romancers, meet Carolyn, our newest guest blogger and real bride to be, and her fiance, Jon. Take it away Carolyn!

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Jon and I’s love story is definitely a modern one. I decided to try out OkCupid because I wasn’t necessarily meeting guys that I wanted to date and just to find some cool guys to be friends with. I wasn’t on it very long before I saw Jon through one of the quick match sessions (if you have ever done OKCupid then you know what I am referring to). Something about him just caught my eye, even though his photo didn’t have the best lighting and his other photo had him with a blonde; who I assumed was his sister because who would post a picture of themselves with their ex while looking for someone new? As you can assume the blonde was not his sister, but at least that photo showed off his handsome face better than his other photo, which showed his rocker/metal side.

He messaged me first after I rated him and we chatted about music and movies for about two weeks before he finally asked me out on a date in person! We got dinner and saw the Avengers and got to walk around and chat for awhile because the original time we had planned on was sold out. It was definitely a long date, but it was so easy and fun. I definitely did most of the talking, but he was a great listener. Our first date was everything a first date should be and more.

By the end of our first date I knew this was something special and that my searching for my perfect man was over. By the second date I knew for sure! He made me pepperoni pizza and fed me raw pepperoni while cooking. I knew then that this was the man of my dreams!  We can be goofy and candid with each other and he happens to love the fact that I have some weird-ass laughs/voices that love to pop up every once in a while. So ever since then we have binged on many series on Netflix, eaten some delicious food, seen some amazing movies, traveled together and I have become accustomed to and even like some folk metal music out there and can identify certain bands at times and Jon just tolerates the music I listen to.

My family loves him and I love his family, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect man to become my hubby! Looking forward to all the fun we are going to have planning our wedding! So stay tuned for updates on our journey through wedding planning, DIY projects and staying stress-free during a time notorious for becoming hair pulling, hectic and crazy.

Stay tuned for more guest posts as Carolyn continues to share her wedding planning journey!

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DIY Workshop: Learn to Make Mini Party Pinatas with Piccadilly Creative

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Buy Tickets

It’s time for another Capitol Romance DIY Workshop!! Join us on June 28th as we host the ladies of Piccadilly Creative to teach attendees how to create mini party pinatas!

Mini Party Pinatas are the perfect addition to spice up your next party, whether it’s for a gender reveal, a wedding, a birthday party, or just your average Taco Tuesday – life is more fun with pinatas :) The Piccadilly Creative team will provide attendees with step-by-step instructions on how to make your own mini pinata. All materials will be provided – including a confetti bar (!!) to stuff your pinata with your own special mix.

Check out more on our website or head on over here to buy tickets now!

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Ali & Adam’s DIY, Teacher Themed Wedding at Sunset Crest Manor in Virginia

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Images: Taylor & Ben Photography | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Today”s Virginia wedding is just too cute. The orange & blue colors are so bright and fun and the couple DIYed a lot of their details (including some adorable winks to the fact that Ali is a teacher). Their friends & family helped a ton with the DIY projects and that only helped them achieve the intimate feel they wanted for the wedding day, even more. Check it all out (with a TON of info from the couple) below!

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The venue, Sunset Crest Manor, was a stroke of luck. My mom’s friend had recently had a daughter who looked at the venue for herself but it didn’t work out. We got to the venue 13 months before the wedding. It was cold and nothing was blooming but we could see the mountains and it had an easy, rustic feel about it. We wanted something that felt like “us”.

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The colors evolved for us. Adam’s favorite color is blue, and mine is orange. Orange stuck as the planning continued but blue developed in to an earthy green that complimented the orange hues. The colors suited the season, bringing warmth to a chilly night and added green to the landscape that was still coming out of winter.

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We wanted simple decorations. In addition to the flowers on the table we had conversation jars. Simple burlap and lace decorated jars that we had saved over the months. Adam and I decorated the jars, with some help from his mom when she was visiting us! I took extra pencils from my classroom and used labels to attached questions. The questions all related to us. The intention was that people learn about us and each other some more so they said things like, “On the third date Adam packed a picnic for Ali at the park. If you packed a picnic, what would you include?”

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Adam and I blended faiths so the ceremony took some consideration. We both believed that the ceremony was special for us and our immediate families and most special friends. We didn’t want it to be spectacle, we wanted it to be intimate. Adam’s family is Methodist. I employed Adam’s mother to help me with the special task of adorning the Chuppah, which she did with linens that her grandmother had embroidered. Having that familial connection was very sentimental. Our friends stood at the corners of the chuppah while our families stood around us in support. Adam’s family minister wed us. She had had experience with the Jewish faith and helped us blend both in the ceremony beautifully. We broke the glass, kissed and they all shouted Mazel Tov! … Adam and I were able to slip away for a few minutes to absorb everything. That was a very touching moment. He and I were both very emotional and I had waited months to show off the dress! I was so excited!

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Click inside for the rest of Ali & Adam’s DIY Virginia Wedding at Sunset Crest Manor!

Aaron & Lauren’s H Street Engagement Pictures in Washington, DC

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Images: This Rad Love

Come on now, we all know I am an absolute SUCKER for engagement sessions that take place in my neighborhood. Boundary Road is one of the coolest interiors on H Street, and I just love my NE neighborhood SO freakin’ much. But also, Sarah with This Rad Love takes amazing pictures and I just loved Aaron & Lauren’s vibe. After meeting at a now defunct marketing company in Bethesda, the two bonded over 12 hour days. After 6 years, they decided it was finally time to tie the knot :) Here’s their love story & DC engagement pictures!

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With Lauren’s busy work and school schedule, Aaron had difficulty slowing her down long enough to propose. He decided to be sporadic and propose over the weekend without out planning anything. “It will come together naturally,” he thought… That Saturday he tried to get her to go on a picnic, but she insisted that she wanted to see her mom instead. Aaron figured he could pop the question later that evening over a nice homemade dinner. On their drive home, however, Lauren saw a friend of theirs walking on the sidewalk and waved him over, ” hop in and get a drink with us,” she called. Classic Lauren.

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The next morning, Aaron convinced her to take a day off from work and school so they could go for a hike. Aaron, looking for the perfect spot, stopped her in front of a picturesque waterfall. Before he could drop to one knee, a child screamed “I hate this place!” and threw a bottle of water on the ground right at his feet. Aaron was running out of options. A few times Aaron asked Lauren to take a detour off the beaten path to darker parts of the trail to which she replied, “I’m not going in there.”

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Click inside for the rest of Lauren & Aaron’s SUPER awesome DC engagement pictures!

#PopUpRomance is BACK (and it’s better AND bigger than ever!)


Image: Maggie Winters Photography

Some of you might remember a little something called #PopUpRomance that Pop Wed Co & I teamed up on at last year’s PRIDE parade/weekend during the DC MEET Market. And just in case you don’t know about it, check out my recap of last year’s event here.

Well Maggie & I are super pumped to let you all know that #PopUpRomance is indeed having a sophomore year, but this time we are teaming up with & Wedding Wire as part of their #WedWeCan movement, to host one HUGE pop-up vow renewal that EVERYONE is invited to attend and take part in.


#PopUpRomance2.0 will have SO much more going on this year, all going down the morning of June 13th, at the Embassy Row Hotel – and you’re invited (encouraged!) to attend. We’re going to have flowers, desserts, a DJ, and a sign making station so that everyone can make their own awesome sign to have during the parade. Last year Rose & Nicole ROCKED the parade with their “just RE-married” sign and I can’t wait to see what people come up with this year!


WeddingWire has built an event page where you can find out lots of information, including a schedule for #PopUpRomance2.0:

  • 10:00am-10:45amEnjoy complimentary beverages and snacks and mix and mingle with local Wedding Professionals, couples, and President of, Kathryn Hamm.
  • 10:45am-11:15am: THE MAIN EVENT! A Pop-Up Vow Renewal with Pop Wed Co!
  • 11:15am-12:00pm: Continue to mix and mingle and make your “Just Married!” sign! When the event concludes, we invite you to take part in the festivities around the DuPont Circle area.
  • 3:00pm: Meet us back at the Capital Pride Parade Wed We Can staging area (location to be announced at the event) and get ready to march! *T-shirts will be provided!

Personally, I am SO VERY excited to get to renew my vows with Andy (as we approach our FIVE YEAR wedding anniversary this November!) at the 40th anniversary of Pride! I REALLY hope some of you are able to join – I hope to see you there :)


Brad & Matt’s Laid Back Wedding at the Winery at Bull Run in Virginia

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Images: Chamberlin Photography | submitted via Two Bright Lights

Blogging late today with some friends in town meeting Evie but I wanted to just start today’s post with a little plug for my favorite wedding show in DC that is this Sunday – The Say I Do Expo. We, unfortunately, will not be able to attend this year, but have been lucky to be a part of it in the past and it’s truly a GREAT wedding show (with FABULOUS LGBT vendors & resources!). Check it out.

And now for today’s real wedding! Brad and Matt have been together for 16 years and engaged for 4. They have a great love of travel, and so the variety of wedding cakes they had designed, each represented a country/city they visited!

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The gentleman chose to have their ceremony and reception at The Winery at Bull Run, as they love wine and history~ the venue is adjacent to the Historic Manassas Battlefield. Both of the grooms mothers gave them away!

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The theme of the wedding was ‘Five’… Five colors: red is Matt’s favorite, blue is Brad’s favorite, green and purple are their second favorites and gold just ties all of the colors together. Matt also likes to collect Mardi Gras masks, so gold represents that, as well! The five cakes each had photographs that the grooms took, themselves, while visiting each destination. The gift jars, for guests, incorporated the wedding color scheme.

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Click inside for the rest of this gorgeous Virginia winery wedding!

DIY Tutorial: How to Make a DIY Storage Ottoman ~ Part 2

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Images & Tutorial: Ribbons & Bluebirds

And we’re back with Part 2 of our DIY Storage Ottoman tutorial. Part 1 is back over here, which shows you how to make the box portion. Now Jenn is back for the second part – how to upholster your ottoman! Take it away Jenn.

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If you started with a cube already  or you followed along with our DIY Storage Ottoman Part 1 tutorial, we’re ready for part 2: tackling the upholstery.

Upholstery can be intimidating, but it’s not hard!  Once you pick up a few tips and techniques, and you get a feel for the fabric you’re using, you’ll be upholstering like a pro.  On that note, if you love upholstery projects I can’t recommend Design Sponge’s Upholstery Basics series enough – they do a fantastic job of walking you through the professional method for a bunch of projects step by step.


Materials, should all be available at your local fabric store:

  • Storage ottoman box, (buy: Home Basics Storage Ottoman, or make yourself from our Part 1 DIY Storage Ottoman Tutorial)
  • Furniture feet, from Part 1
  • 1” High Density Foam (I used 2 yards, 24” wide)
  • 2” High Density Foam (I used a 15×17” chair pad)
  • Dacron batting (I used just over 2 yards at 54” wide
  • Outer fabric – yardage will depend on fabric width. I used 3 yards of fabric at 42” wide for my ottoman, which was slightly larger than the dimensions we used in Part 1.
  • Felt or other heavy lining fabric
  • Ribbon or other trim for finishing
  • Fabric covered button kit, 7/8” size

Tools needed:

  • Staple gun (I use a light-weight gun and it works great without killing my hands.)
  • Marker/pen
  • Hot glue gun
  • Spray glue
  • Xacto knife
  • Fabric scissors
  • Kitchen paring knife
  • Fabric glue
  • Sewing machine
  • Straight pins
  • Iron

So when we left off last, we had a bare box with the hardware installed for furniture feet, and a separate lid.  Now it’s time to finish it off with cushy foam padding and fabric.

Lay your box on the 1” thick upholstery foam, and use a marker to trace the size you need.  For the first two pieces, measure the foam to exact the size of the panel (should be 12.5”wide x 11” tall), and cut using a pair of sharp, heavy-duty scissors. Use spray glue to attach the foam panels to the sides of the box, on opposite panels.


Use the box, now with two sides covered in foam, to measure out the longer sides for your second pair of panels, to overlap the first corner – these should be approximately 14.5” wide but can vary based on how accurate the rest of the your construction has been.  Attach the third and fourth panels to your box with spray glue.  If you don’t have enough foam in a continuous piece to cover a side, you can splice two pieces together to form the full panel: just cut the two pieces you need and use spray glue to attach a thin piece of fabric over the joint. When you’re finished with this step, the outside of your box should be covered in 1” foam.

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For the top, take your piece of 2” foam and trace the exact size of your top piece.  Cut this piece out – it will be more difficult to keep your cuts straight vertical, but it can still be done with the fabric scissors.



Katie & Michael’s Pop Up Pi Day Wedding at &Pizza in DC

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Images: Maggie Winters for Pop Wed Co.

Guys. This DC wedding is so freakin’ rad it’s making my face hurt from smiling so hard at all the pictures. Not only did this rad wedding come from my favs, Pop Wed Co, but it took place on Pi Day … AND at a pizza place! But not just any pizza place, one of my favorites in DC – &Pizza! The pictures are so fun of course, but I love all the details from Michael & Katie too. Sharing why they wanted a small wedding and the reasoning why they chose Pi Day for their wedding date! Check it out :)

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We wanted to get married, but I knew that I didn’t want a formal wedding. I was having trouble with the idea of a wedding, and we tossed around different ideas. I saw an article about and I knew that’s what I wanted to have- a quick, low key, small, laid-back wedding. We had also recently moved to the DC area together, and getting married in DC seemed like a way to mark our time here.

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Maggie did a great job in putting together most of the fun details. She was also excited about us getting married on Pi Day. We had no particular ties to any specific date or time, but knew we wanted to get married within the year, and hopefully during pleasant weather.

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As a math teacher, I knew that the upcoming Pi Day (March 14) was going to be the most epic Pi Day of the century- 3-14-15, and I lightly suggested that we get married then. Michael thought it sounded fun (and I bounced the idea off a few math teacher friends to see if I was being too nerdy- they assured me I was not!). Once we had the date nailed down, Maggie suggested the venue. We thought it was perfect- we love pizza, and we love the idea of &pizza (that I can get something with unique vegetarian ingredients and Michael can get pizza covered with pepperoni and sausage).

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We originally invited just our parents and siblings (and their husbands/wives/kids), but we had close friends who really wanted to attend. So we gave up on limiting the number of guests, and told friends they were welcome to come if they wanted, but not to expect a traditional reception (we held a larger reception for all family and friends in Ohio a few weeks later). A couple weeks before the wedding, we had a few other friends call us and say that they were coming. As more and more friends decided to come, we felt so very loved! It was really fun to be surrounded by our close friends and family- about 20 people total- who traveled all the way from Ohio.

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Click inside for the rest of Katie & Michael’s super rad Washington DC wedding on Pi Day!

Tinita & Jerrod’s College Rivalry Engagement Pictures in Maryland

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 Images: Terri Baskin Photography submitted via Two Bright Lights

Hope everyone had a WONDERFUL weekend. It’s my last wedding-free one for a bit and I was happy to have Andy back home and get some things cleaned up around the house. I cannot believe it’s June. Seriously, where did May go!? For today we have an adorable “college rivals” engagement session featuring Jerrod & Tinita. They both wanted to pay homage to their alma maters during their engagement pictures (with insanely awesome collegiate sweaters), which also happen to be rivals. Check it all out below!

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Jerrod attended North Carolina A&T State University and Tinita attended Howard University. The two schools have an athletic rivalry that spans many years, so the couple made fun of one another in cute and playful ways during their engagement session. Currently, Jerrod is working on his second Master’s Degree and Tinita has her Ph.D! They met at church and what was once a casual friendship has blossomed into a love story that they will share with all of their friends and family at their wedding at the Bolger Center in Potomac Maryland.

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