Ross & Lydia’s Personalized, Offbeat St. Mary’s College Wedding in Maryland

“It was really important to us to have our wedding have lots of “us” in it. We’re both a little weird and nerdy in our own way so details were really important to us.”

Ross & Lydia’s St. Mary’s College Wedding in Maryland is one for the books. Gorgeous light, hand-made details, and more smiles than I can count. Ross & Lydia took the things that were most important to them (getting married in a Catholic church, their reception to be a great party, and their wedding to be a celebration of love, marriage and a GREAT time for their family and friends) and poured it all into their personalized wedding day.

A special thanks to Porter Watkins Photography (one of our Capitol Romance Vendors!) for sharing her images of this gorgeous Maryland wedding.

Ross & Lydia’s Personalized Maryland Wedding at St. Mary’s College

st marys college outdoor maryland wedding


Ceremony Location: St. Peter Claver Catholic Church | Reception Venue: St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Garden of Remembrance | Tent Rental: Tri-County Rent-a-Tent  | Photographer: Porter Watkins Photography | DJ: Mixing Maryland | Photobooth: Boothlove | Florist: David’s Flowers | Caterer: Expressions | Cake: Almond Creek Cakery  | Hair: Bella Salon and Spa| Bowties: The Tie Bar | Wedding Rings: Gold Works| All Stationery: Vistaprint

How we met (from Ross’ perspective):

Ross was up at his friend’s house in Philly for his friend’s Nate’s graduation party. As a single, young man, he was curious as to the ladies that were coming. Nate explained that there were two girls coming. One that might be interested in meeting someone and one that most likely was not. When the girls arrived, it took all of five minutes of seeing and meeting them to realize which girl he wanted to talk to…it was Lydia (who ended up being the one that most likely was not interested in meeting someone). And to add insult to injury, Nate had already talked up Ross to the other young lady.

Because Lydia was in rare form that evening, she decided to mess with Ross and try to pretend that she was into him. However, Ross’ charm got the better of her. As the night continued, Ross went up to Lydia and asked if she wanted to play in the snow. She obliged, because she loves playing in the snow. They ended up talking all night

Lydia, being the stubborn girl that she is, was convinced that it would never work out and wrote Ross off. However, Ross the resilient couldn’t stop talking about her and wouldn’t stop pursuing her. After three or four (it’s still up for debate as to how many times it actually was) denials, Lydia finally decided that he might be worth dating.

simple summer wedding bouquet

simple summer maryland wedding

The proposal story (as told by the groom):

They had been meaning to have a picnic, so Lyd was more than excited to head back to their favorite location and have a nice picnic. Unfortunately, although earlier in the week the forecast showed sun and warmth, it was showing a high likelihood of storms. They headed to their favorite picnic spot…only to find out it was closed for repairs (crap). So they searched around for a new picnic spot and an hour later (and a little bit of freaking out) they found a park! Although there was no private space, they may have drove over some not technically drive-able area and snuck back behind a hedge for a private picnic behind a barn. They got ready to take some pictures when the first storm cloud rolled in…and the clouds brought friends. They tried to set up a tent to have a picnic, but it only got half set up by the time it started POURING! So there they were, sitting in a car, half soaked eating their picnic food on the dashboard and all Ross could think was “It’s been ruined. I had a plan, it has gone to crap, and it’s just not going to work”.


But as he looked flustered at Lyd and saying “our picnic is ruined” they both started laughing and Lyd just said “this is so us.” And Ross knew…this completely unexpected, seemingly undesirable situation, was the perfect situation. He texted Lydia’s best friends and they called Lyd to distract her. Ross went to the trunk and switched into his tux (thank goodness he practiced tying his bow tie the night before), grabbed the bouquet he had bought for her, and waited to hear Lyd play “The Question” by The Old 97’s on the stereo. She played it, he heard it. He asked her to step out of the car, she did (nervously), he dropped to a knee and the rest is history…

maryland wedding

On choosing their venue:

Ross and I both went to St. Mary’s for college. However, we didn’t know each other when we went there. Ross was a senior when I was a freshmen. Our paths never crossed until I was a senior in college. But we both had absolutely amazing times at St. Mary’s. During Alumni Weekend (summer camp for alumni) in 2012 (before we were engaged), Ross and I were kayaking in the St. Mary’s river. We both stopped and stared at our beautiful alma mater. I turned to him and asked, “We should get married here.” He said, “I was thinking the same thing.”

simple st. marys college maryland wedding

When we started planning, there were a few things that were *really* important to both of us. The first vendor we booked was our DJ (who also happens to own the photobooth company). We wanted our reception to be a great party. We wanted  to celebrate our love and our new marriage, but we also wanted to throw a party for our family and friends who have been there for us from the beginning. We could NOT have picked a better DJ. Honestly, Ryan and Kyle from Mixing Maryland were absolutely amazing and our reception was a great time!

maryland wedding first look

Click inside for the rest of Lydia & Ross’ personalized Maryland wedding from Porter Watkins Photography!

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Lisa & Chris’ Bowling Alley Engagement in Maryland

This past weekend was my BIGGEST wedding of the season! Lisa & Chris planned a food and wine festival themed wedding for over 150 people, and mostly all the decor and tablescapes were DIYed (I think I can now add Floral Design to my resume … uh yeah right – totally kidding). It would have never been possible without the help of some seriously awesome people, and Lisa & Chris’ super awesome family! My husband dutifully hung lanterns and helped with the escort station, and Jessica with Jessica Adams Designs was key to making the tables, centerpieces, and food stations look absolutely perfect. I cannot thank both of them enough.

There will be a LOT MORE to come from Chris & Lisa’s wedding (though I did post some sneak peaks on my Instagram!) but for now while these two jet off onto their honeymoon, I thought I’d share their adorable bowling alley engagement thanks to J/K Photography.

Lisa & Chris’ Bowling Alley Engagement Session in Maryland

maryland bowling alley engagement pictures

Lisa & Chris are part of a bowling league, so having their engagement pictures at a bowling alley just made way too much sense. They also had their rehearsal dinner at a bowling alley too (which I love!).

How they met (from the bride):

We met at a party in summer 2005.  It was at a mutual friend’s house.  I worked with Ian and Chris had just joined his band.  Fast forward to Fall, and we had seen each other a bit, I’d even seen his band play.  We kept running into each other, and had become part of the same crowd.  We ate lunch together once a week (along with our friend Ian).  We spent Tuesday nights at the same party every week.  It was there that we realized we had a lot of common interests.  He not so subtly would lean closer and closer to me throughout each night as we sat in the kitchen of this house party.  Finally, after a year of hanging out at parties and with other friends, we took the plunge and started dating.  We were inseparable from that moment on.  I spent the next semester working in Disney World so we would spend hours on the phone every day. We even watched entire football games together since my roommates were not sports fans.  If he could put up with me being 1000 miles away so soon after we started dating, I figured he was a keeper.

maryland bowling alley engagement pictures

The proposal story, as told by the groom:

To say that I had a plan for my proposal is like a bunch of high school kids sitting in their parent’s basement saying ‘we should start a band!’

First I should point out that Lisa has never been a jewelry person.  No bracelets, necklaces, earrings, nothing.  She not so subtly stated to friends of ours she didn’t want an engagement ring.   As an alternative, she said that she wanted a hand-made rocking chair.  This knowledge in hand, I set out to make me (her?) a rocking chair.

Fortunately, at that time I had a co-worker who did a lot of woodworking and a woodworking hobby shop on the base where I work.  I asked him how tough it would be to make a rocking chair having no experience (outside of some terrible carvings in boy scouts) with wood working.  He replied that he had not even tried something like that because of the difficulty of the rockers.  Needless to say his response was a bit of a downer.

maryland bowling alley engagement pictures

Unfettered, I started reading up on woodworking techniques and looking how I was going to actually try to go about this.  Then things went from bad to worse; due to budget cuts, the wood-hobby shop on base was closing down, with no plans to reopen in the future.  I was gutted, I felt like I was back to square one.

During one of our Friday visits to the local wine bar with our friends, Lisa hinted that rather than a rocking chair from scratch, she’d be ok with one that had be refurbished (ok hinted may not be the right word, “just propose already” might be a better phrasing).  I also discovered that a friend of ours had a small woodworking set up in his garage.  Confidence buoyed, I set about searching through the myriad of antique shops around town (we live in a beach town in southern Maryland, we probably have as many antique shops as we have gas stations) for a rocking chair I could fix up.  Easy right?

maryland bowling alley engagement pictures

Right about this time, I signed up to race in my first Ironman.  For those unfamiliar, an Ironman is a triathlon that is just long.  And when I say long, I mean “I’m hoping to finish in less than 15 hours long.”  Unsurprisingly, a race that will take 15 hours to complete takes up a fair amount of time to get ready for.  Training six days a week, with weekends being almost completely dedicated to running, biking and driving to various smaller races to prepare began to eat up most of my free time.

During my various training runs and rides, I would think to myself “man, this is race is probably going to be a day I’ll remember forever, why not make it even better and propose after the race!”   With previously stated lack of free time, this seemed like a pipe dream at best, but at this point, Lisa and I had been together for almost six and a half years and had owned a house together for the last three; this proposal was a long time coming and there probably wasn’t going to be a better chance (debatable of course, but your brain probably isn’t functioning at 100% when it’s 85 degrees and has been on a bike for five hours).

maryland bowling alley engagement pictures

Click inside for the rest of Lisa & Chris’ bowling alley engagement pictures AND the rest of the proposal story!

Win a Custom Wedding Logo, Invitation Suite & Website from Ribbon & Ink

Guys. We did it – we’ve made it to Friday. The ultimate end to our “week of giveaways” celebrating our brand new blog design. We couldn’t have done it without the amazing vendors that gifted the prizes, so please let me first thank again those fabulous people:

And now, a drumroll please. We are dropping the ULTIMATE of wedding giveaways today thanks to the oh-so-talented Katie Durski. Today you can enter to win a FREE Deluxe Wedding Design Package for one lucky couple ~ it includes a custom wedding logo, invitation suite (invitation, rsvp card & envelope, thank you card) AND a custom wedding website. This deluxe package is worth a whopping $1300!!!

Win a Custom Wedding Logo, Invitation Suite & Wedding Website from Ribbon & Ink

custom wedding invitations giveaway DC MD VA

A bit about Ribbon and Ink and some more awesome examples of her past work:

Ribbon and Ink by Katie Durski is a full service design boutique serving brides and event planners working to create awesome brands and products for fabulous events. Katie Durski is a graphic designer who loves to create customized, tailored brands for all kinds of people. She works collaboratively with each client to create a brand that will be something unique and something they’ll love! I love meeting new people and enjoy all the projects I work on wholeheartedly.

custom wedding invitations giveaway DC MD VA

The deluxe package includes us designing the following items for you: logo, invitation, rsvp card & envelope, thank you card, custom website (pages include home, about, info, bridal party, gallery, contact)

We will use the logo and brand board we create to design your printed products. We also take it a step further to create a customized website for you with the following pages: home, about, info, bridal party, gallery, contact. Use the website to show off your fabulous engagement photos to friends and families as well as share information about the important people participating in your wedding. The website is a great tool to share information!

custom wedding invitations giveaway DC MD VA

Just so you guys know, while the package includes a TON, it does not include printing costs. You may choose to receive digital PDFs of your products to print yourself or you can work with Ribbon & Ink to print them at an additional cost. Here is a link to Ribbon & Ink’s printing cost sheet where they take care of all the printing for you. Also check out their entire gallery of work here.

custom wedding invitations giveaway DC MD VA

Alright, enough from us … now it’s YOUR turn. Enter below using the widget and let us know how you’d describe YOUR style to Ribbon and Ink! Extra chances to win for liking pages on Facebook AND sharing the giveaway on Twitter. Ready …. set …. go!
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Win an Engagement Session & Coffee Table Book

It’s the second to last day of our “week of giveaways” already. Can you believe it!? Let’s recap real quick before we get to today’s…

You can enter to win one (or more) of the following awesome prizes:

And now for today we are giving away an engagement Session with Stephanie Leigh Photo Design which will also include a custom coffeetable book of your images ~ a value of over $400!!!!

Win an Engagement Session & Custom Coffeetable Book with Images


The deets:

Engagement sessions are a great way to get some pictures for your save the date, or just celebrate your engagement with your new fiance! Surprise your fiance with this session, or get pictures in the city you love (even if you are getting married in a different state!). This giveaway includes a one-hour engagement session AND a custom designed coffee table book to hold all your beautiful images!!

Entering specifics:

This one is a little different – instead of randomly selecting our winner, we will require the entrant to submit a little something about their engagement or love story and why they should win. Travel is included, but may be restricted if you are outside the greater Washington DC area (DC, MD, VA).

dc engagement shoot giveaway

dc engagement shoot giveaway

But wait there’s more!

Included in this giveaway is an opportunity for ANY couple to get a free one-hour engagement session with Stephanie Leigh Photography & Design (a $200 value if booking a 4-hour wedding or more), just by mentioning this giveaway/post on Capitol Romance. It’s that easy :)

This offer does end by March 2014 (the ad must be mentioned/shoot scheduled by then). So hurry!

dc engagement shoot giveaway

So get entering Romancers!

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Win a 100 Custom Letterpress Coasters from Typecase Industries

I know I shouldn’t show favoritism, but today’s giveaway might just be my favorite (well next to our ULTIMATE giveaway being thrown down on Friday – are you excited yet?). The girls behind Typecase Industries (one of our favorite DC graphic design vendors too) are just so insanely cool and talented and I think this giveaway is a far-reaching one that could be used for A LOT of things! It’s also over $150 value! Egads!

Typecase Industries will work with you on the design (or you can provide your own). And the 100 letterpress coasters include 1 color, single-sided on 220lb bright white or pearl paper, and free shipping within the US!

Win a 100 Letterpress Coasters from Typecase Industries

letterpress custom wedding coasters

I may be biased as I did just have Typecase Industries design a new business card for me, but seriously, aren’t they just the COOLEST?! This would be the perfect detail for any couple to have at their wedding reception or any business could use them for their next event. Or possibly you’d like to win them for a friend as a Christmas (ugh, yes I did just use the C word) gift or a wedding gift?! Really, the possibilities are endless!

Annnnnd just in case you guys might be interested, Typecase Industries is on the cusp of some really huge & big moves in their business. First, they are looking to move into a new location so that they can offer workshops, events, rental space and continue to grow and spread their awesome talents with our city. Check that all out here.

And second, if you are looking for something fun to do this Sunday, they are hosting a fundraising gallery show and art auction at Toki Underground in my ‘hood! Find out more about that event here.

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Win a Signature Glass Bead & Rhinestone Bridesmaid Necklace from Everistta

Up now, a gorgeous signature jewelry piece from the oh-so-fabulous Everistta !! They are sponsoring this afternoon’s giveaway of one of their signature bridesmaid necklaces, The Knot Czech Glass Necklace – a $75 value!!!

From Everistta:

This is one of our signature necklaces perfect for your bridesmaids. Made from czech glass beads and accented with a vintage rhinestone bead and either a silver or rose gold bead.  The beads are chunky enough to make a statement, but won’t overpower your neck.

Win a Signature Knot Czech Glass Bridesmaid Necklace from Everistta

Shipping is included and color options can be found here:

Check out this gorgeous signature piece in red. And enter to win this beautiful piece of jewelry that is sure to dazzle on your maid of honor, one of your bridesmaids, or Y-O-U!

Enter by next Tuesday October 8th at midnight!!

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Win a $50 Coupon Towards Wedding Desserts with Dudley’s Desserts

Kicking off day-two of our “Week of Giveaways” with something delicious from Dudley’s Desserts! They are one of our hand-picked DC wedding vendors for desserts, so you KNOW you are in good hands when hiring them to make something sweet for your wedding or event!

Dudley’s Desserts is dedicated to creating specialty cakes, cupcakes, and sweets customized to reflect your taste, vision and personality! They strive to satisfy your sweet tooth by creating the tastiest treats using the finest ingredients.  AND they specialize in Dairy-Free and Vegan desserts, and other dietary desserts such as Gluten Free can be made to order!! In addition to cakes and cupcakes, they love to create lavish dessert tables and displays paired with your choice of our delicious baked goods, cake pops and truffles.

They are giving away a $50 coupon towards a wedding dessert package (good for 1 year from today). Your wedding can be in 2015/beyond, but you will need to sign a contract with them before October 1, 2014. Make sense? Well then, let’s get to that YUMMY, mouth-watering picture.

Win $50 Towards a Wedding Dessert Package with Dudley’s Desserts

Enter by next Tuesday, October 8th for your chance to win!!

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Win Professional Makeup for Your Engagement or Anniversary Session!

We’re ALREADY BACK with our second giveaway of the week! This time we are giving away the chance to have your makeup professionally done by Suz the Makeup Chic for your engagement or anniversary session!!

Win Professional Wedding Makeup for Your Engagement or Anniversary Session with Suz the Makeup Chic

dc wedding makeup artist wedding giveaway

From The Make-Up Chic herself:

Engagement Photo Chic(k)-   Congratulations!  Before you can even think about all the wedding details, you know you need an engagement photo for your “Save the Dates”, Facebook, and Wedding Blog.  In order to properly prepare for hours of holding hands, skipping in the streets, rolling in the fields, gazing at one another, kicking up your heels – all to capture images of your love – start with your most photographic feature, your lovely face!

dc makeup engagement session

Offer Valid until December 2014. Travel restrictions may apply, including fees for travel requested outside of Washington DC metro area limits. Availability subject to the Make-Up Chic’s schedule.

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Win a 1-Hour Rock the Frock Session with Joanna Tillman

This is it. We are kicking off an ENTIRE WEEK of giveaways in celebration of last week’s brandy new Capitol Romance blog design! Can you feel the excitement!? I can! Each day we will giveaway one to two kickass, wedding related items and each giveaway will be open for entries for one week. There is something for everyone this week! Photoshoots, jewelry, makeup, design, and on Friday we will culminate the week with our biggest giveaway ever.


I won’t ruin the big surprise just yet, but in the meantime let’s talk the very first giveaway for the Ultimate Week of DC Wedding Giveaways. We’re kicking things off with Joanna Tillman Photography.

Win a 1-Hour Rock the Frock Session with Joanna Tillman Photography


Ladies, dust off that wedding dress and let’s get rocking! Joanna Tillman Photography is giving away a 1-hour, on-location “rock the frock” portrait session with $50 credit towards prints! This would also make a GREAT anniversary present or bridal shower gift for any of your friends or family that is getting married soon!

Entering is easy – just use our rafflecopter widget. This giveaway ends next Monday, so start entering!! And in the mean time, check out more from Joanna Tillman Photography.





Travel restrictions may apply. Offer valid 1-year after winning. Session scheduling up to availability of Joanna Tillman Photography.

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