Hanna & Jamison’s Washington DC Engagement at Union Market

I am probably a bit biased about today’s DC engagement session. For one, the photographer, Porter Watkins Photography, is one of our hand-picked photography vendors in our DC wedding vendor guide. For two, the couple chose my own neighborhood as the location of their engagement session – Northeast DC’s Union Market!

But, bias aside – this engagement session is kickass. Porter got some seriously awesome shots of Hanna & Jamison around both the newer and older parts of the market. And Hanna & Jamison are just a super rad couple. Check out their DC engagement session and short & sweet love story below!

Hanna & Jamison’s Alternative Northeast DC Engagement Session at Union Market

union market alternative washington DC engagement pictures

How they met:

We met through friends in 2007 and fell in love over music, cooking, exploring DC, and traveling the world. We love to bike, hike, hit up local farmers’ markets, and watch Law & Order with our awesome cat, Sputnik.

I really hope that cat name is a wink to Salute Your Shorts.

union market alternative washington DC engagement pictures union market alternative washington DC engagement pictures union market alternative washington DC engagement pictures union market alternative washington DC engagement pictures union market alternative washington DC engagement pictures

Click inside for the rest of Hanna & Jamison’s rad DC engagement session at Union Market by Porter Watkins Photography.

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Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck: “5 Years Time” by Noah & the Whale

wedding music that doesn't suck graphic

Kicking off today with a Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck post courtesy of Noah and the Whale. I just love their song “5 Years Time” and considering the sunshine that I woke up to this morning, it’s a perfect one for the day or I think for a beach wedding – since the song mentions sun a good amount :) I think it’d make a cute first dance song or would be a great addition to your cocktail hour playlist!

Wedding appropriate lyrics:

Oh well I look at you and say
It’s the happiest that I’ve ever been
And I’ll say I no longer feel I have to be James Dean
And she’ll say
“Yah well I feel all pretty happy too”
And I’m always pretty happy when I’m just kicking back with you.

Give it a listen and check back in a few for an AWESOME DC engagement session at Union Market!

Eclectic, Vintage Bridal Shower Luncheon Inspiration Shoot

Something a little different for today’s wedding inspiration post. Today Darian and Dechele Events teamed up with Little Bird Media and a handful of other awesome vendors to put together a bridal shower luncheon shoot! There are a TON of eclectic details for their tablescapes, and it’s the perfect mix of feminine and vintage with a heavy dose of edge (alert: tattooed bride! yes!). Lots of awesome hair and floral headpiece inspiration in this post, a long with some fun, dainty details. Check it all out and HAPPY FRIDAY!

An Edgy, Vintage Bridal Shower Luncheon Inspiration Shoot

edgy eclectic bridal shower inspiration


Photographer:  little bird media | Invitation Designer: bees + henny | Cake: Cakes by Z | Event Planner: Darian and Dechele Events | Dress Store: Formal Envy | Event Venue: Inn at The Old Silk Mill | Favors and Gifts: Revel in Root | Other: Snow Creek Farm | Veils and headpieces: whichgoose | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

The inspiration behind the shoot:

I love the idea of a bride getting together with her girlfriends for lunch to chat about all things wedding! Our inspiration for this styled shoot was a bride getting together with her best friends to ask them to be her bridesmaids and have some girl time. We were inspired by all things dainty and girly: pink, flowers, tea, dress up, gold touches, cake, drinks and sparkles. The use of a vintage style wedding gown paired with handmade ethereal crowns created the exact look we were going for: vintage and feminine with a bit of edge.

edgy eclectic bridal shower inspiration edgy eclectic bridal shower inspiration edgy eclectic bridal shower inspiration edgy eclectic bridal shower inspiration

Click inside for the rest of the details & inspiration from this eclectic bridal shower luncheon!

Jennifer & Shannons Intimate, Fall Maryland Wedding at Brookeville Farms

It’s like non-stop raining up here in NE DC (and I’d imagine everywhere around the Beltway), but it’s hard to get too upset about it because it FINALLY feels like fall. I am mostly happy sitting here in my scarf, hand-knit booties, and oversized cardigan. And to make it even more appropriate, we are sharing a quintessential Fall Maryland wedding thanks to Petruzzo Photography. Jennifer & Shannon decided to get into the fall spirit with a gorgeous outdoor ceremony right outside the farm and dressed their wedding party in deep burgundy. I also love that Jennifer kept her specs on – brides in glasses rule.

This wedding also included a good amount of DIY, hand-made details. The bride made her own jewelry, her family sewed personalized details into her dress, and the bride’s mom made all the floral arrangements! Check out all the beautiful and fall wedding details below!

Jennifer & Shannon’s Intimate, Fall Maryland Wedding at the Inn at Brookeville Farms

DIY fall maryland farm wedding


Photographer: Petruzzo Photography | Cake Designer: Custom Cake Design | Invitation Designer: Melissa Wyatt | Venue: The Inn at Brookeville Farms | Dress Store: TLC Bridal Boutique | DJ:Washington Talent Agency | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Every couple cherishes their wedding day, but Jennifer and Shannon’s autumn wedding in Brookeville, Md. was made all the more special by incredible hand-fashioned details.

fall maryland wedding

Jennifer’s aunt sewed crystals, family heirlooms from a great great great aunt, onto her bridal gown, which Jennifer found at TLC Bridal Boutique. Jennifer made the beautiful jewelry worn by herself, her bridesmaids and her daughter.

burgundy vest groomsman outfit

Her mother crafted the bouquets for Jennifer and her maids — bright roses, which complimented the rich purple color theme — as well as the men’s boutonnieres and the reception centerpieces.

simple fall bride wedding bouquetsingle rose boutonniereDIY fall maryland farm weddingfall maryland wedding

Click inside for the rest of Shannon & Jennifer’s Fall Maryland wedding!

Let’s Get Personal: Love Is About All the Changes You Make, Not Just 3 Small Words

It’s time for a personal post. This time it’s more marriage/love focused and not so much wedding advice, which let’s face it, is more important any way. The whole point of having a wedding is so, ya know, you can be MARRIED to your partner!

I’ve been trying to get previous couples to share their post-wedding reflections, looking back on their weddings and now as a married couple, what advice they would share with other couples just about to step into this part of their relationship. It’s been easier said than done (turns out a lot of people don’t like to write/type), but I am still looking (email me!) and in the meantime, I will continue to share my own thoughts and experiences instead.

Love Is About All the Changes You Make, Not Just Three Small Words


[Image via The Mix Event by Love By Serena]

Today’s thoughts come from one of my favorite musical artists, Frank Turner. His song “The Way I Tend to Be” (give it a listen above) has one of my favorite lyrics, “love is about all the changes you make and not just three small words”. While saying “I Love You” wholeheartedly and often is a good practice in a happy marriage, it’s not simply enough. Changing, evolving, growing, and compromising are all things that will help your love stay alive and equate to a happier life together with your partner.

Personally, I’ve had to change in certain ways since marrying Andy almost 3 years ago. While we had already been together a long time before getting married (about 7 years), officially signing that certificate and announcing our commitment to each other for life, in front of our family and friends, makes it a bit more official. We were now, for better or for worse, in this thing TOGETHER. My failures were his failures, my successes were his successes, and our lives, problems, financials, etc, were now shared.

Some of the changes have been bigger (attempting to be more patient, less critical) and some have been minor (letting Andy answer questions that are directed his way, instead of answering for him – why do I do THAT?!). But no matter the size, the changes are present, and they certainly don’t end magically after 1-2 years of marriage. There will always been changes to make and work on in our marriage and our relationship. Some we will make together and some I will have to make myself. And as we evolve and continue to grow in our marriage, we will continue to utter those 3 small words all along the way too.


For Sale: Used Wtoo by Watters Bria Gown Style 19595

Attention Ladies looking for a gently used, GORGEOUS wedding gown! One of my past brides is selling her modern, one-shoulder dress because, as she puts it, “It is way too pretty to be hiding in my closet”. It’s being offered at 65% off original price, not including alterations or cleaning. Check out this stunner, and all the details below if you are interested! And for more pictures, check out Holly & Andrew’s Alexandria VA Wedding at Lee Fendall House on Bayside Bride!

bria wtoo used wedding dress for sale

[Image: Rebekah Hoyt Photography]

Selling Price: $350 (65% off original price, not including alterations or cleaning!)

Color: White

Label Size: 0

Street Size: 2

Condition: Gently used

Style Tags: Bria Gown Style 19595, Wtoo by Watters

Fabric: Textured Organza

The Story: The dress was purchased in August 2012 for a June 2013 wedding. A copy of the original receipt will be included with the sale. Both the ceremony and reception were outdoors and the bottom has wear because of it. Almost all of the markings on the bottom have been removed, however, some of the markings on the very bottom still remain. None of these markings are visible in bride and groom photos are minimal to even the searching eye. Additionally, the dress has a few pulls at the bottom where it was stepped on at the dance floor. It was very well loved and is a great steal for another fun-loving gorgeous bride!

bria wtoo used wedding dress for sale

[Image: Rebekah Hoyt Photography]

Alterations: A layer of tulle has been removed from underneath to make the dress more light weight for the outdoor wedding. A bustle has been sewn into the back and has color cording for easy guidance on your big day!

Preservation Method: The dress has been professionally cleaned and steamed. A copy of the preservation receipt is available, at buyer’s request.

Terms of Sale:  Sale is final once the seller has receipt of payment. Interested buyers in the DC Metro area are welcome to set-up an appointment with the seller. Shipping terms are negotiable.

How do I make it mine? Email the seller directly at hmolchany@gmail.com to discuss sale or set-up an appointment to try on the dress

bria wtoo used wedding dress for sale

[Image: Rebekah Hoyt Photography]

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!

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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