Rochelle & Matt’s DIY, Offbeat Block Party Wedding in Baltimore City, MD

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A couple week’s ago I got invited to this super fun DC wedding vendor party at Eastern Market and got to catch up with Rochelle (one of the editors of Charm City Wed and owner of Hair by Rochelle). She asked me if I would ever be interested in featuring her own wedding – as it was super DIY, super offbeat, and in a park in Maryland. I told her – WELL DUH, of course I would! To make the feature even more special, we decided to feature it today, the 3-year anniversary of when Rochelle & Matt actually got married, in a tiny park between traffic lanes in Baltimore city.

Happy Anniversary you crazy kids and thanks for sharing your awesomely offbeat Maryland wedding with us! Thanks to The Light in Us Photography for the images!

Rochelle & Matt’s Offbeat, DIY Park Wedding in Baltimore City, Maryland

offbeat maryland park wedding

Vendors:

Photography: The Light in Us Photography | Flowers: DIY | Cupcakes: DIY | Decorations: DIY | Bride’s Dress: David’s Bridal | Bridesmaids Dresses: Their Own | Hair & Makeup Artist: Friend of the Bride, Ashley Scheiner | Venue: Eutaw Place Median Park

On their relationship and how they decided to get married:

First of all, we got married really quickly after meeting.  From the day we met to the day we got married was just about 6 months.  We just KNEW.  And no one could tell us other wise.  (Good thing he’s perfect for me! :)

When we started discussing what we wanted for our wedding, we both independently thought, “wouldn’t a community block party be awesome?!” but didn’t want to ask each other.  It took a few days of chatting before Matt just blurted it out, and I said “NO WAY I WANT TO DO THAT TOO!”  You see, him and I met through the church we go to in our neighborhood, which has a huge heart for uniting the surrounding community.  The area we live in has a very affluent neighborhood bordering a poorer neighborhood, and we wanted to have a wedding celebration that invited everyone from all walks of life and in doing so, helping to break down socio-economic and racial barriers.  We don’t see ourselves as “rich white people” trying to help “poor black people”, which is the mentality a lot of white people have and we’re trying to buck against.  We’re merely a family living in the city that wants to build relationships and break stereotypes.

^this is awesome.

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We decided that we would have a very non-traditional wedding day.  It wouldn’t be a “ceremony” followed by a “reception”.  We would have a block party, and structure it so everyone could enjoy the block party fun first (bounce house, velcro wall, face painting, barbeque, hula hooping), then we’d break and have people sit for the short ceremony, then we’d recommence the fun stuff along with music and dancing.

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Click inside for SO MUCH more of Rochelle & Matt’s offbeat “block-party” wedding in Maryland.

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Rebecca & Chris’ Bright Blue, DIY Virginia Vineyard Wedding

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Happy Tuesday Romancers! Hope you all enjoyed the the long weekend (I took off Friday and had an extra day in NJ to relax, do some volunteering, and watch my Nittany Lions beat Syracuse!!). We’re back this afternoon with Rebecca & Chris’ bright blue, DIY Virginia wedding at Bluemont Vineyard thanks to Kelly Ewell Photography.

Rebecca & Chris planned a gorgeous DIY wedding, based on a speak-easy/1920s theme with a pop of blue! The groom and groomsmen donned bright blue shirts and the bridesmaids were in blue too! Rebecca has a stunning blue engagement ring, and she even handmade her pearl bracelet from her grandmother’s blue pearls. The rest of the decor (mostly at the reception) followed a speak-easy theme with custom drinks, scratch-off escort cards, and wanted posters!

Blue and DIY were certainly the theme for Rebecca & Chris’ big day, check it all out below.

Rebecca & Chris’ DIY, Bright Blue Virginia Wedding at Bluemont Vineyard

offbeat DIY maryland wedding bluemont vineyard

Vendors:

Photography: Kelly Ewell Photography | Bride’s Dress: Kleinfeld Bridal | Desserts: Sweets By E | Entertainment: Bobby G’s Disc Jockey | Venue: Bluemont Vineyard | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

unique blue engagement ring

How they met & the proposal story:

We met in fall of 2007, about 3 months before Becca went off to chiropractic school. We met on a Sunday and realized that we worked in the same office building and the next night we had dinner (neither one of us realizing we were on a date until afterwards). We spent almost all of our free time together before Becca left and then dated long distance for almost 3 years.

Then on May 12th 2012 we went down to Virginia Beach to visit a mutual friend. During our trip Chris took Becca to a beautiful park where they had a picnic. Afterwards, Chris said he had a gift for Becca and pulled at a box which had a perfect blue topaz necklace, which Becca LOVED and immediately put on. Chris then said he had another gift and pulled out a smaller box, WITH A RING! While we both got burned that afternoon, it was one of the most romantic and best days of their lives.

hipster groomsmen blue shirt plaid bowtie

blue bridesmaids gerber daisy bouquets

On their wedding theme and selecting the vineyard as their venue:

We chose the theme “vintage 20′s” since we thought it had a fun romantic feel and was different. We did a more romantic summer theme outside during the day, and a speakeasy theme inside for the reception. We had both the ceremony and reception at Bluemont Vineyard. We knew it was the right place the second we got there. The reception was in a beautiful rustic bar that has been renovated to keep the charm but also include AC. The ceremony was just outside and had a beautiful view! It had a natural 20s romantic kind of charm.

blue vineyard DIY programs

offbeat DIY maryland wedding bluemont vineyard

Click inside for the rest of Rebecca & Chris’ DIY Virginia wedding at Bluemont Vineyard!

Chris & Mona’s Washington DC Rooftop & Neighborhood Engagement

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A little something for you all this Labor Day, while I get ready to head back to DC! I hope you all had a super relaxing Labor Day weekend and it was full of awesome BBQs and college football wins!

Today’s Washington, DC engagement session comes to us from Angel Kidwell Photography – Angel actually told me this was their FIRST submission to a blog! I am honored to be your first ;) It wasn’t hard to accept after seeing these beautiful, unique DC engagement pictures AND read Mona & Chris’ DC love story (it involves a shared love of Jurassic Park! yes!). Plus, Mona is a Nittany Lion (We Are!) so naturally, I had some bias on that one. Us PSU alums are really something special ;)

Happy Labor Day!

Chris & Mona’s Casual, Alternative Washington DC Engagement

alternative washington dc engagement pictures

About Mona

I was born in Egypt, raised mostly in Pennsylvania and now live in Washington DC, where I met Chris in 2011. After four years at Penn State, I moved to DC to continue my career in marketing. Along the way I have made some wonderful friends and had some amazing experiences since moving to DC. One of them, of course, being meeting Chris.

About Chris

My whole family is from Massachusetts, our family goes way back there. I was born in Virginia and started school there and then we moved back up to Massachusetts. We spent 1996 in Kazakhstan, which I’m pretty sure gave me my travel bug! After Kazakhstan, we moved back to Virginia where I finished high school and went to college. I am so happy to have met Mona, with whom I can travel the world and share in all sorts of new experiences (even if it is not traveling, but trying a new recipe!)

alternative washington dc engagement pictures

How they met

After many years of dating we both decided to try online dating(OkCupid). Luckily Chris emailed me! And after a few emails back and forth (where I guess we each decided that the other person sounded like a nice, normal, non-crazy human being) we met for our first date at the Columbia Heights neighborhood restaurant, Meridian Pint.

We hit it off right away. We already knew we had a lot in common from our conversations online: we both love the movie Jurassic Park (especially the raptors – they really steal the show), both are close with our families, and both love to travel and collect fun souvenirs from our trips (although Chris definitely wins on most number of countries visited!).

alternative washington dc engagement pictures

alternative washington dc engagement pictures

alternative washington dc engagement pictures

alternative washington dc engagement pictures

Click inside for the rest of Chris & Mona’s awesome DC engagement AND proposal story. Plus a look at Mona’s unique, Tsavorite ring from Kenya!!

Paigh & Kristen’s Summer Light Maryland Engagement Session on the Water

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Keeping things like this morning as I start prepping for another long weekend in NJ with my family (Penn State Football! WOOO!) for Labor Day. Hopefully you guys are all taking some time to get away and relax before the Fall sets in as well.

So for this afternoon, I have a handful of beautiful images from A Lovely Photo, submitted via Two Bright Lights. They feature two beautiful ladies, their gorgeous engagement session on the water, and their love story. Scroll on down to read & see it all!

Paigh & Kristen’s Summer Light Engagement Session on the Water

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How they met:

Well… I first noticed paigh after she just came home from work as a habitat for humanity supervisor. She was wearing desert combat boots and a “women’s build” shirt. I later found out she was a veteran and was wearing her boots from Iraq.

We later met at Godfrey’s drag brunch. It was close to love at first site. Or maybe infatuation? Regardless, we scared each other because the attraction was so strong. Kristen was in grad school at VCU and Paigh had no idea she was looking for love, but found it just the same.

offbeat same sex virginia waterfront engagement pictures

offbeat same sex virginia waterfront engagement pictures

Click inside for the rest of the images AND the proposal story!

Giveaway: Custom 3D Printed Jewelry or Cufflinks from Love, Lori Michelle

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**This Giveaway Has Ended – Thanks for Entering!*

Here’s the AMAZING giveaway I promised you after leaving you for an entire week while I was off vacationing in Vermont. I hope this makes it up to you! Introducing Love, Lori Michelle – a 3D-printed jewelry company!

Lori is a digital artist and designer by day, creating architectural renderings and animations for local architecture firms.  Her work with 3D models inspired her to begin creating 3D-printed jewelry designs, mostly as birthday or wedding gifts for close friends.

She has graciously agreed to giveaway one of her custom pieces – a 3D Printed Washington, DC Heart Necklace OR a set of her 3D Printed Washington, DC cufflinks (metal or color).

Enter to Win a Custom 3D Printed Washington, DC Heart Necklace!

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— OR —

Custom 3D Printed Washington, DC Cufflinks

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How freakin’ awesome is this necklace?! I am in LOVE. Lori explains, “I love the ability to design and create a wearable object with someone specific in mind. The result is always one-of-a-kind — something that speaks to someone’s personality and aesthetic or memorializes a special day or moment for them.”

Click inside to learn how to enter AND to learn a ton more about Lori and her awesomesauce 3d Printed Jewelry company!

Let’s Get Personal: Going It Alone – Starting a Business By Yourself

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The DC wedding scene seems to be full of partnerships – husband and wife photography teams, event planning businesses full of teams, videography duos, and even blogs that are managed & run by two editors.  For me though – it’s a one woman show and sometimes, to be quite honest, it can get pretty lonely.

offbeat dc wedding blog[Val and Sarah]

I’ve tried before to find interns, long-term guest bloggers, editorial partners, and even mutually beneficial co-op situations to try and bring more “partners” into my business (both the blog & the wedding coordination biz) but nothing has stuck. People flake, get busy (I know I am guilty of this too) or their business grows and it no longer includes me.

Now, the point of this post is NOT a pity party (I am not asking people to feel sorry for me at all!)- it’s more of a reflection on what it’s like start to start a business alone and maybe a reflection on why I haven’t been able to nail down any sort of partnership or team. Hopefully this post helps to connect to others that have found some ways to help with this.

offbeat alternative dc wedding blog[val & sarah]

So sometimes I wonder why – why haven’t I been able to find a counterpart? Why can’t I find a solid co-editor, or partner in this business. Is there something wrong with me? Or maybe I am looking at it wrong way.

Do I really need one? Isn’t it a bit more “free-ing” to be able to do whatever I want, without having to worry if my decisions and choices impact someone else. Or better yet – what happens when teams or partnerships disagree?

The journey from starting a blog over 2 years ago … to starting a wedding coordination business just recently … on my own has been an interesting one for sure. And at least I am happy to say that I have met a TON of amazing vendors and people along the way that have been nothing sort of amazing. I know I will prevail and I know by just DOING I am already a great step ahead of the rest of people that might never actually even make it to that execution part of a dream, but I will say that I still think it might be easier, or at least a bit more fun, to have someone to do this all with.

What do you think? If you are a solo business owner, do you like it? Or do you wish you had a partner or team too? If you are a duo – is it all its cracked up to be?

 

Megan & Geoff’s Classy, Intimate DC Wedding at the Mandarin Hotel

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Happy Tuesday Romancers! Today we are sharing a beautiful, intimate Washington DC wedding thanks to Inspired Photography. Megan & Geoff opted for a super intimate wedding – just the couple, the bride’s sister and husband, and Geoff’s best friend (oh and of course an officiant!) but that doesn’t mean their wedding wasn’t a beautiful reflection of their love story, with some inspiring details!

Megan held a gorgeous dried flower bouquet from Etsy and the most rad BHLDN, short wedding dress. I love that they got ready together, took some beautiful wedidng portraits around Eastern Market … even ending up on the same exact bench where Geoff had not only asked Megan to wait for him as he did a tour in Afghanistan, but also proposed once he returned!

^are there tears in your eyes yet? Check out the beautiful images next!

Geoff & Megan’s Intimate, Classy Washington DC Wedding

intimate washington dc weddings

Vendors:

Photographer: Inspired Photography | Venue: Mandarin Oriental Hotel | Officiant: Rev. Daniel Kane | Bride’s Dress: BHLDN | Bouquet: New Hampshire Woods Creations | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

How they met:

Geoff and I met in a long line at Peregrine Espresso in Eastern Market. He struck up a conversation and after we finished our coffee, we made plans to meet again. Since I lived on the Hill we spent a lot of our time in the neighborhood and it seemed like we always ended up on the same bench in Stanton Park when having serious discussions about our relationship and future together.

intimate washington dc weddings

He brought me back to that same bench to propose.

dried flower bouquet

intimate washington dc weddings

We’re moving to another city this fall but given that DC has been the backdrop of our relationship and we have so many fond memories here, we felt strongly about having the wedding in DC.

intimate washington dc weddings

intimate washington dc weddings

Click inside for the rest of Megan & Geoff’s intimate Washington DC wedding!

Grant & Kelly’s Adams Morgan & Blossoms DC Engagement

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A new to Capitol Romance photographer is sharing a gorgeous DC engagement with us today! The beautiful love of Grant & Kelly, set amidst the Cherry Blossoms and then in the couple’s home neighborhood of Adams Morgan. Audra Wrisley Photography wrote to us, excited to submit her session which featured two “Very DC” elements: blossoms in the Basin and good ole AdMo.

We get a lot of cherry blossom engagements, but some shine above the rest – and obviously the fact that the session involved an ADORABLE pup named Ellie, totally swayed my vote on featuring ;) Special thanks again to Audra Wrisley for sharing her images!

Grant & Kelly’s Cherry Blossoms Washington, DC Engagement

adams morgan washington dc alternative wedding engagement pictures

^I totally can’t get enough of this DC mural. Or Ellie appearing to “look away” as her masters smooch. LOVE.

How they met:

Grant and I met in Washington, DC in 2009, after returning from Peace Corps in Guatemala and Ukraine, respectively. We saw each other for the first time at the Peace Corps Career Center, where we both used to go there to work on our resumes and job applications. After a couple weeks of seeing each other there and at other events around DC, Grant asked me on our first date. The following Saturday, he took me to dinner in Chinatown and to the National Portrait Gallery.

DC engagement cherry blossoms

DC engagement cherry blossoms

DC engagement cherry blossoms

adams morgan washington dc alternative wedding engagement pictures

Click inside for the rest of Kelly & Grant’s DC engagement session – including their proposal story!

Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck: Wild Cub “Thunder Clatter”

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Happy Monday Romancers! We are kicking off the week with a “Wedding Music That Doesn’t’ Suck” song suggestion and will be back this afternoon with a lovely engagement feature!

Today’s song is from the new artist, Wild Cub, with their song “Thunder Clatter” and I think it would make a great addition to your cocktail hour playlist OR would be a great upbeat recessional song.

Wedding appropriate lyrics include:

Waiting on love to call
Hidden in the fall

I hear it call in the center of it all
You’re the love of my life, the love of my life

Check it out:

What do you think of this one ?

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