Capitol Wedding: JD & Trey’s Personalized, Rustic Orange & Purple Northern Virginia Wedding


Words are failing me presently as I try and begin a post about one of the most amazing weddings I have ever attended. Perhaps I should start with where it began – over a year ago when I posted a tweet that I was looking for a graphic design intern to help create some graphics for my blog. Traci was sent my way, like an angel from rad people heaven, and we had an instant connection. We shared a love of Harry Potter, Andrew McMahon, alternative weddings, and so much more!

We worked together seamlessly as Trey designed my DC flag logo, helped me to update my blog template, and accompanied me to Borrowed. And then I got the fabulous email from her saying, I’M ENGAGED!” and our friendship grew further, as she asked me to be her day of coordinator. I was honored, and nervous, and oh so excited. I knew if there was ever an awesome wedding to be had, it would certainly be Trey &JDs!

And let me just tell you – their wedding exceeded every single expectation I had. Their family was insanely welcoming, their wedding party was SO fun (I had some serious friend envy), their DIY projects were executed beautifully, and the entire day was just 100% them. Oh but there is SO MUCH MORE, including a singing first look, rad paper products designed by the bride, AND a personal song written and performed by one of the bridesmaids, accompanied by the bride’s brother on guitar.

This song – seriously I wish I had a video of it to share with this post – I can STILL remember some of the lyrics and by the end of the song, almost all of the wedding guests were singing along. It was downright magical.

AH. OK enough chatting from me, let’s get this feature going. God I loved this wedding.

Trey & JD’s Personalized, DIY Orange & Purple Northern Virginia Wedding at Morven Park

DIY rad alternative northern virginia wedding DIY budget friendly purple orange


Photographer: Kristi Odom Photography | Venue: Morven Park | Catering: R&R Catering | Cake: Fluffy Thoughts | Hair Stylist: Jewel HD | Makeup Artist: The Make-up Chic | Bride’s Dress: White Swan in Vienna, VA | Bridesmaids Dresses: H&M and Nordstrom | Bulk Flowers: Wegmans

So many details from the bride, Trey:

As a photographer myself, every bit of planning for my wedding was all for the ultimate goal of, “I must have gorgeous photos!” But of course, all my details would have been futile had I not had the amazing Kristi Odom there behind the lens to capture everything with her artistic eye. It’s been 8 months since I married JD and looking at these photos makes it feel like it was only yesterday.

This wedding was almost entirely DIY, and many thanks to my bridesmaids and JD’s groomsmen, our family and friends and of course Bree for coordinating our day – it is a day I absolutely treasure.

DIY rad alternative northern virginia wedding DIY budget friendly purple orange

DIY weding bouquet rustic purple orange

On their amazing, DIY wedding invitations:

I designed the invitations myself, using a mixture of Adobe Illustrator to create the airmail border, Photoshop for the postmarks and InDesign to lay the whole suite out. It was a labor of love, to say the least! I loved doing the airmail border in orange and purple (my wedding colors) as it was just enough of a riff on the standard red/blue for my tastes.

DIY rad alternative northern virginia wedding DIY budget friendly purple orange

I also did all the bouquets myself, with the help of my maid of honor and mom. I wanted a wildflower, weedy look, so if they didn’t look super shaped and polished, it wasn’t a big deal!


I had been growing my hair out for what felt like eons to get it this long! Julie of Jewel Hair Design did a gorgeous beachy-wave waterfall braid, and tucked a bright orange lily into the side. Unfortunately that flower got crushed during portraits, so you’ll see the flower gets changed out every so often :)

DIY rad alternative northern virginia wedding DIY budget friendly purple orange


Suzanne of The Make-Up Chic did a fantastic job on my makeup! I didn’t look shiny in ANY of my photos, despite it being about 90 degrees that day. She knew I didn’t wear a lot of makeup, so she really found the perfect balance between making me feel dolled-up and like a clown.

The bride’s advice on the “First Look”:

I can’t say this enough: Do a first look! It relieves so much stress and makes the day go so much smoother to have that intimate moment with your soon-to-be husband without the eyes of guests on you when you see each other for the first time.



How freakin’ amazing is that?! A singing, guitar playing  first look?! GASH! So in awe of Trey’s talents!

When I started planning, I knew I wanted to do something special for our first look. My fiancé had never heard me sing or play guitar before, so I decided to start our marriage off by serenading him with “Terrified” (a la Didi Benami from American Idol) as I walked up to him in the garden. I barely made it through without crying, but he tells me to this day, that is one of his favorite parts of the wedding.



DIY rad offbeat northern virginia wedding pictures

Click inside for the rest of Trey & JD’s ah-mazing DIY wedding, including all the beautiful details, their gorgeous ceremony under a willow tree, hilarious reception photos, and SO MUCH MORE!

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Capitol Romance: Keetah & Diego’s Laid Back, Golden Hour DC Engagement in Columbia Heights


It’s Monday. And I’m SICK. Those two things should NEVER be combined.

But since they are, I will try not to dwell on it too much and instead focus on this beautiful DC engagement session that we are sharing today courtesy of the wonderful Sarah Gormley Photography.

I finally had the chance to meet the super talented Sarah last week and my OH my was I pumped that I did. She is awesome – the exact type of vendor that look forward to sharing with my clients and hopefully featuring a lot more here on Capitol Romance.

Besides the obvious name envy with these two (Keetah & Diego – I mean, seriously rad names) I am totally digging their laid back love. The casual batman tshirts, the relaxed feel to their engagement shoot, and the LAUGHTER. It was almost impossible to find more than a few frames from the set that didn’t have Keetah & Deigo laughing. I love it. A pretty good way to get my mind off this stupid cold and the fact that it’s Monday, don’t you think?

Keetah & Diego’s Laid Back, Columbia Heights Engagement Session in Washington, DC

casual dc hipster engagement pictures columbia heights

From Sarah Gormley Photography on the couples’ session:

These two make each other laugh – and how gorgeous do they look doing it?? Keetah & Diego are such a kind, happy & laid-back couple, and I think their warm personalities really shine through in these photos. Walking around Columbia Heights during DC’s gorgeous golden hour, shooting in beautifully lit back-alley ways and ending the session with tacos & beers, I was struck by how insanely lucky I am that photography has connected and reconnected me with people like these. So looking forward to shooting Keetah & Diego’s wedding in a jazz club in November.

casual dc hipster engagement pictures columbia heights

casual dc hipster engagement pictures columbia heights

casual dc hipster engagement pictures columbia heights

casual dc hipster engagement pictures columbia heights

casual dc hipster engagement pictures columbia heights

casual dc hipster engagement pictures columbia heights

Click inside for the rest of Keetah & Diego’s laid back, Columbia Heights engagement session in DC by Sarah Gormley Photography.

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Capitol Inspiration: Details & Decor from a Winter Themed Wedding Shoot

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FRIDAY! We did it! I wasn’t so sure I was going to make it this week. I think it took me until yesterday to finally make up for that 4am bedtime last Saturday (Brooklyn + Live It Out Photography = No Sleep ;) But I am looking forward to sharing today’s wedding inspiration post AND this weekend is a wedding weekend for me – but I don’t have to work, I get to be a guest! Woooo!

Today’s winter themed styled shoot is brought to us by Terri Baskin Photography and Miraculous Events (oh yeah and a TON of other talented Virginia wedding vendors!). The team came together to create an entire styled wedding around the winter season – which seems to be growing in popularity as of late. There are pinecones, snowflakes, hints of spice, spiked eggnog, and a stunning chevron wedding cake.

The tablescape is top notch and the florals (by Wedding Muse) are to die for – super unique and stunning! Plenty of details that would be beautiful for any type of winter or woods themed wedding. Enjoy!

Details & Decor Inspiration from a Winter Themed Wedding Styled Shoot

rustic winter wedding DIY wedding details decorations centerpieces tablescape


Photographer:  Terri Baskin Photography| Hair & Makeup Artist: Brooke Stone Stylist, LLC | Chevron Wedding Cake Designer: Lil Tea’s Specialty Desserts | Cupcakes, Cakepops & Cookies Designer: Fat Girl Cakes LLC | Brides & Bridesmaids Attire: Ava Laurenne Bride | Groom’s Attire: Formal Envy | Floral Designer: Wedding Muse | Event Planner: Miraculous Events | Jewelry & Accessories: Lindsay Clark, Premier Designs Jewelry | Stationery Design: Sage Letterpress | Rental Company: Fredericksburg Rentals | Venue: Eden Try Estate | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

From Miraculous Events:

As a wedding planner, I always try to come up with ways to do the impossible for my clients and make them happy in any way possible. I live in Northern VA, so the possibility of snow is pretty much a no-go, but what happens for DMV brides who just HAVE to have a winter-themed wedding, but still would like to be married in the area. Well, while snow may not be present, there is always room to integrate some cool winter touches to their special day.

Our special winter-themed touches included the beautiful tablescape, snowflaked-kissed cupcakes, and spiked eggnog. I believe this inspiration shoot would put a smile on any VA bride wanting a winter wonderland wedding!

vintage pin curls bridal hairstyle

vintage wedding dress lace back

rustic winter wedding flowers floral bouquet

bridesmaids in pale pink AND tights!!! LOVE!

light pink bridesmaids rustic wedding winter flowers

love this all green, leafy bridal bouquet – so unique & simple, but beautiful!

rustic winter wedding florals bouquets

Click inside for the rest of this beautiful Winter Wedding Themed Styled Shoot from Teri Baskin Photography & Miraculous Events!

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Capitol Inspiration: A Styled Bohemian Wedding Shoot

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This morning I have a beautiful styled shoot to share that takes the Bohemian style and adds a flare of whimsy with A LOT of DIY projects that you could easily recreate for your own wedding! Most of the wedding details and decor were made with twine, lace, and feathers and the color palette included one of my favorite spreads: ivory, blush pink and that pop of glittery gold!

Photographer Liz Fogarty shares the inspiration for their whimsical styled shoot:

We wanted a fun styled shoot with two words in mind: bohemian and whimsical. Our models did an amazing job, even though it was a bit cold outside. The vendors worked very hard to bring all the detail together, and the result was simply amazing! And so many of the elements were DIY, so it is super doable for brides.

All the details are beautiful, but I think the speckled, polka dot cake might just be my favorite! Also, check out the DIY tassel garland in the shoot – we’ve included a link to the DIY tutorial in case you want to make one yourself!

Details & Decor Inspiration from a Bohemian Wedding Styled Shoot

bohemian bride wedding inspired styled shoot pictures whimsical


Photographer:  Fogarty Photography| Venue: The Martin Farm at Timberleigh Springs | Personal Stylist: Casey| Cake Designer: Ana’s Cakebox| Event Planner: Crystal Q Events | Invitation Designer: Just Ink On Paper | Dress Store: Lily’s Bridal | Makeup Artist: Primrose&Co | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

bohemian bride wedding inspired styled shoot pictures babys breathe whimsical

bohemian bride wedding inspired styled shoot pictures babys breathe whimsical

bohemian bride wedding inspired styled shoot pictures babys breathe whimsical

bohemian bride wedding inspired styled shoot pictures feather table setting whimsical

bohemian bride wedding inspired styled shoot pictures whimsical

Click inside for the rest of this DIY Bohemian, Whimsical wedding styled shoot from Fogarty Photography, including the DIY tutorial to make your own tassel garland!

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Capitol Romance: Jeff & Tracy’s Stylish Washington DC Engagement Session in Georgetown


This little dose of astonishing beauty comes to us from Abby Grace Photography. This DC engagement session is one part love, one part fashion, and a whole lotta parts of beautiful people! I feel like Jeff & Tracy just walked out of a J.Crew magazine!

But beyond their physical beauty, their love story was another reason I was attracted to this feature – I am a SUCKER for long love stories and for Jeff & Tracy, that was the case. It took them 7 years to get engaged and another year to start the wedding planning process, but they both knew how their story would end, even if they both vowed they would never get married!

A special thanks again to Abby Grace Photography & Two Bright Lights for making this beautiful DC engagement feature possible.

 Jeff & Tracy’s Stylish, Beautiful Washington DC Engagement in Georgetown

stylish modern washington dc engagement pictures georgetown

How they met:

A guy walks into a bar…little did he know he’d meet someone that had lived her whole life just 20 minutes away from him, who happened to be looking to meet someone as kind (and single) as him.

Luckily, for the girl in this story, the guy was stood up on what was supposed to be a first date with another girl. So, fate saw it fit for the two to huddle up in a corner of the bar and talk for the next few hours. He made her swoon when he gently put his hand on the small of her back as he leaned in and asked her over the noisy room, if he could call her sometime. They had their first official date about a week later on Jan. 7, 2005 and talked for several more hours late into the night, closing down two restaurants and a bar. They began a long-distance relationship while the girl attended her last semester at James Madison University and a few trips to visit each other later, they both realized their search was over.

stylish modern washington dc engagement pictures georgetown

stylish modern washington dc engagement pictures georgetown

stylish modern washington dc engagement pictures georgetown

stylish modern washington dc engagement pictures georgetown

Click inside for the rest of Jeff & Tracy’s DC engagement by Abby Grace Photography and the proposal story!

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Capitol Video: Jackie & Jon’s Multicultural Frederick, MD Wedding Video

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“It’s a beautiful little series of vignettes that translates well no matter what language you speak :)” – Jackie, a recent bride on her wedding video

Kicking things off with a beautiful wedding video from KD Creative. The video captures Jackie & Jon’s stunning multicultural wedding in Frederick, MD.  For whatever reason, wedding videography tends to be the most common thing that couples chose to leave off their wedding vendor must-haves. I can see how initially it might seem like you can’t justify the cost [videos are expensive] – but I, personally, couldn’t imagine not having actual, live footage of my wedding to watch again after your day flies by in a blink. I think after watching this video, it might give some of you planning couples a second thought if you are on the fence about hiring a wedding videographer!

KD Creative shares:

Jackie & Jon were wed on a Sunday morning at Ceresville Mansion in Frederick, MD. They really wanted to capture all the special moments of the ceremony to be able to share with Jon’s family overseas in Taiwan. I was there to capture the before ceremony action and the ceremony to create this sweet highlights video.

Jackie & Jon’s Multicultural, Frederick MD Wedding Video

Jackie shares:

Our wedding was really the coming together of two (well, really three) different worlds as we tried to marry traditions (pun intended) from Jackie’s Italian and African American background and Jon’s Taiwanese heritage.

Some advice on having a wedding video from the couple:

We went back and forth for months trying to decide if we really wanted to have video done at the wedding.  Early on we decided to have parts of the ceremony translated into Mandarin for Jon’s family and when we realized his grandparents, who are too old to travel, wouldn’t be able to attend the special day we knew we wanted to have something on video they could share in.

We are so happy with how the video turned out and can’t wait to share it with Jon’s family in Taiwan when we head there as newlyweds this summer!

One other thing that I LOVE about the video every time I watch it is that it captured the mood of the day and tells a story, full of all of the details of the day (the nervous anticipating, the flowers, the flower girl’s shoes falling off), without using any words.  It’s a beautiful little series of vignettes that translates well no matter what language you speak :)

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Capitol Romance: Molly & Mustafa’s Adams Morgan & Woodley Park Engagement Session in DC


Yes! I love when couples choose their neighborhood as their engagement session location. Everyone knows it’s a bit hard to find an area or shot that hasn’t been done before at the Mall or by the Monuments, so I LOVE when I get submissions from other non-typical engagement session locations in DC.

Enter Molly & Mustafa, an adorable couple that decided to do a tour of Adams Morgan and Woodley Park for their engagement photos. The fun, bright, and beautiful session was captured by Mathy Shoots People & submitted via Two Bright Lights. So, take it away Matt + Kathy (aka Mathy … get it?!).

Molly & Mustafa’s Washington DC Engagement Session in Adams Morgan & Woodley Park

Washington DC neighborhood alternative engagement pictures adams morgan

From the photographers:

Molly & Mustafa are two of the nicest people we’ve ever met! When Molly contacted us wanting to do a “walk about town” engagement session near their home we jumped at the chance! They live in a quiet tucked away neighborhood near the DC Zoo which is a gorgeous part of the city! We started bright and early on one of their friends rooftops. The morning sunrise was unreal and the sky was so clear! Afterward we slowly made our way back to their apartment stopping at various places as we walked. We enjoyed our morning stroll with these two! While we walked we talked, laughed and got to know them better.

Their love is really something special. We love the way Molly smiles at Mustafa, seriously – she beams. We also love the way he can make her laugh without even trying! They just exude comfort, as if they’d been together forever. We were so happy to capture the romance that these two share.

Washington DC neighborhood alternative engagement pictures adams morgan


About the couple:

Molly is from Columbus, Ohio, and has been living in DC for more than four years, where she works in communications for a nonprofit research organization.

Mustafa was born and raised in the DC area and works in education reform in the District.

A mutual friend organized an outing to the ballpark for the annual Orioles-Nationals series. We met there and became friends. It wasn’t until a year and half later that he worked up the confidence to ask me out. Our first date was on Nov. 3, 2010, and we’ve been together ever since.

Washington DC neighborhood alternative engagement pictures adams morgan

Washington DC neighborhood alternative engagement pictures adams morgan

Washington DC neighborhood alternative engagement pictures adams morgan

Washington DC neighborhood alternative engagement pictures adams morgan

Click inside for the rest of Molly & Mustafa’s Washington, DC engagement session from Mathy Shoots People, including the proposal story!

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Mayla Studios Giveaway Winner Announced

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Congratulations to Entry #17, Christie for winning our Mayla Studios Thank You Card giveaway!

Don’t forget that entering the giveaway gives you access to 15% off any order for the next 30 days. Just email me for the code!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck: Frank Turner “The Way I Tend to Be”

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wedding music that doesn't suck graphic

I spent a lot of time sitting on my butt this weekend and little time sleeping – so you will have to bear with me as I am more than likely going to be cranky all week. BUT there was a few silver linings to the lack of sleep and excess bus traveling clouds:

  1. I got to visit NYC, pretend I could navigate the subway, AND see my sister direct an off-broadway show (Private Policy – it was amazing)
  2. I got to visit Live It Out Photography, her husband, and her cute little flat in Brooklyn. We also met a super awesome Aussie at a bar on 4th Ave and talked about music into the wee hours of the night.
  3. Frank Turner released his newest album this past week, Tape Deck Heart. The 10 hours I spent on Bolt bus this weekend allowed me to listen to this insanely awesome album on repeat. It’s incredible. Seriously. Buy it now.

Thanks to #3, we have today’s Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck song suggestion courtesy of Frank’s “The Way I Tend to Be”.

Sometimes when I hear certain songs, my mind is INSTANTLY taken to a wedding dance floor – the bride’s dress is swooshing across the floor as the groom dips her. I mentally watch this scene like a recording of a movie video, the couple mouthing the lyrics to each other:

…and you taught me and here’s what I learned:
That love is about the changes you make and not just three small words.

Yeah, I know how crazy that sounds – but I literally cannot help myself. I hear these certain songs and I just think they would be perfect for a modern wedding – especially today’s song that I think would make an awesome first dance song. Here is a snippet of the song (as the whole thing is not yet on Grooveshark):

What do you think? Think it could work for a first dance song? Or maybe you just think I am mentally ill for imagining fake weddings in my mind when I hear music.

No worries, that’s cool too.

Check back this afternoon for a beautiful engagement session feature!

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