Nadia & Dominique’s Washington DC Anniversary Pictures & Marriage Reflection

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Images: Vanessa Smith Photography

This weather is SO unmotivating!! We had a great (and pretty relaxing) weekend here in DC as my parents came to visit and hang with Evie just before her big F-I-R-S-T birthday tomorrow. We ate great food, watched Harry Potter 1 & 2 and otherwise just caught up on some great family time. This weekend I’ll be in crazy “make all the things” and “prep the house” for Evie’ first birthday bash the following weekend. But for today we have a darling Washington DC anniversary session.

I know I’ve said this before, but for some reason I NEVER got anniversary submissions and I really wish I got more. One because of the images, but two (and mainly) because I love the insight and marriage advice from the couple; two things I’d love to share more of on this blog as wedding blogs tend to focus way-too-much on just the wedding day (and the pricey details) and not the whole relationship and marriage part.

Dominique & Nadia have some great advice to share and their gorgeous images by Vanessa Smith clearly show how in love they are, two years after their wedding day. Happy Monday all!

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How did you two meet, how he popped the question, and where did you get married?

How we met: I moved to Cleveland, OH after undergrad at the University of Florida. I started hanging out with a sorority sister that went to Kent State University. She introduced me to Dominique since they both went to school together. We went on our first date at a sushi place in Strongsville, OH and spent everyday together after that. 3 months later I had to leave for my next position with my company to the DC area. He spent the next 3 years driving to see me in DC, Indiana and Philly until we got married in 2014.

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How he proposed:

We went on a cruise to the Caribbean for my 25th birthday, he pretended to lose his phone at one of those deck parties that the ship throws at night. Next thing I know, they call him up on stage to claim his phone, they gave him the mic to say where he was from, and then all of a sudden he says “I just want to give shoutout to my beautiful girlfriend, Nadia” (then I proceeded to smile embarrassingly and walk up to stage). Then he says “I just want to let her know , that I want to spend the rest of my life ” (at this point, the ENTIRE ship gasps out loud). Then he pulls out a ring out of his pocket (and it started making sense why he was acting so weird the whole night). First thing out my mouth was “you are kidding me!” …then I said “yes”.

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The best thing about being married & the hardest thing about being married:

Having a partner to grow with and experience life together. I cant imagine my life without him…it would be like losing a limb at this point.

Hardest thing is realizing that I cant change him, I can only change how I react to him. Loving Dominique is a choice, and my goal is to make that choice everyday.

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Any advice to couples that are getting married?

My advice to newly weds or newly engaged: Be transparent. You’re partner is not a mind reader. Be comfortable telling each other what you do and don’t like. Be comfortable accepting feedback and making an effort to adjust.

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Your biggest regret from your wedding day? Or anything you would have done differently?

No regrets. Everything happens for a reason, and those experiences made me the woman I am today. I would have relaxed more and been less worried about small details.

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Jade & Jonah’s DIY, Festival Themed Wedding Outside DC

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Images: Pangtography 

West Virginia might technically fall outside of my regional requirements but once I saw the images from this festival themed wedding and just the whole vibe of the day – I simply fell in love. Plus, the venue was in Shepherdstown, WV which is only about an hour and a half from Washington, DC and 30 minutes from the outer parts of Northern Virginia, so really not THAT far outside my radius. Plus, as the submitters stated, “it’s a great place to come and escape the city … and get more for your dollar”.

Jonah & Jade’s wedding is full of colors, DIY projects, festival-themed details, and SO MUCH LOVE. I’m telling you – I thought this was a styled shoot at first, it’s so gorgeous, but really it was just a total labor of love (the bride and her friends did a lot – and hired the perfect vendors to cap it all off). I know you’re going to love this one!

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Jonah and I met through  mutual friends at a reggae show. I remember whispering to my friend before meeting him, “Look at that tall surfer looking dude with long hair over there.” One day, my sister invited me to come along to go pontooning on the Potomac River with some friends. It was a gorgeous day out, my friends and I were playing our guitars and  singing. Jonah was there and I remember him swinging from tree branches and doing these crazy cool dives in the water.  I nicknamed him, “Tarzan.” Jonah lived on the Shenandoah River so that summer our friends would go on tube floats followed by cookouts at Jonah’s with music and t-ball. Many hikes, reggae shows, cookouts, and floats down the river later, Jonah asked me on a date and the rest is history.

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Five years later, Jonah asked me out to dinner. Before I could get out the door, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said yes! And the wedding planning began!

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It was very special to have our wedding ceremony at the Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church, where we are both members. Jonah’s father, Randy Tremba, is the church’s minister and officiated our wedding ceremony.

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We are very close to our families, so the bridal party included our brothers, sisters, their wives, husbands, and kids. The wedding ceremony had both traditional and non-traditional elements. There was live music throughout played by several of our musician friends. Than and Mary Anne Hitt opened up the ceremony with “I Can See Clearly Now” by Jimmy Cliff. My father walked me down the aisle to the sound of two mandalins and a guitar strumming “The Wedding March” by George Frederick Handel. I carried a custom hand tied bouquet designed by one of my girlfriends, Westvirjeni. It was huge and colorful, asymmetrical and adorned with pheasant feathers.

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CLICK INSIDE FOR SO MUCH MORE OF THIS DREAMY, BRIGHTLY COLORED, FESTIVAL THEMED WEDDING

DIY Workshop Recap! Makeup Tips & Skills with Ariel Lewis

Photos from the Harty ı Wedding, Event, & Lifestyle Photography ı www.photosfromtheharty.com

Images: Photos from the Harty

The beginning of the month brought the 2nd District Bliss Workshop and now we have ALL the fabulous images and details from the event! Ariel Lewis was on hand to teach attendees all about make-up: your best colors for your skin tone, how to apply a day-to-day look, and how to transform it into an evening look, and (my personal frenemy) eyebrows! The next workshop is not yet announced, but you know we’ll be sharing all the details once it is! Be on the look out here, OR sign-up for our newsletter to be the first to know. Check out all the fun these attendees had next! Happy Hump Day Romancers.

Photos from the Harty ı Wedding, Event, & Lifestyle Photography ı www.photosfromtheharty.com

Photos from the Harty ı Wedding, Event, & Lifestyle Photography ı www.photosfromtheharty.com

Photos from the Harty ı Wedding, Event, & Lifestyle Photography ı www.photosfromtheharty.com

Photos from the Harty ı Wedding, Event, & Lifestyle Photography ı www.photosfromtheharty.com

Photos from the Harty ı Wedding, Event, & Lifestyle Photography ı www.photosfromtheharty.com

Photos from the Harty ı Wedding, Event, & Lifestyle Photography ı www.photosfromtheharty.com
Photos from the Harty ı Wedding, Event, & Lifestyle Photography ı www.photosfromtheharty.com

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Guest Post: The Difficult Decision to Change Your Wedding Date (& Going With Your Gut in General)

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We’re back to blogging after finally getting caught up from vacation and heading into an awesome (but not at all relaxing) weekend. I had my 2nd wedding of the season (and there’s already an amazing same day edit video AND some image sneak peaks from the day. total vendor dream team), and then we day tripped to Philly to surprise our two best friends for their 30th birthday party. A lot of driving, but always worth it to see good friends.

For today we have a great wedding planning advice piece about changing your wedding date. I like this post because it can be more broadly applied to most wedding decisions in general – the fact that you REALLY have to go with your gut on them … no matter how hard or difficult it might seem to make a change. It also shows how, even if it’s tough, it’s never too late to change your mind – you have options. It’s better to make a tough call after a few weeks of planning, than have a huge regret later. Weddings cost too much and take too much time to plan, to regret ANY of the choices involved. So here’s Carolyn with her story on changing her wedding date.

Changing your Wedding Date | By: Carolyn Thomb

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Life is never cut and dry, there will always be hiccups and things thrown in your path that you need to overcome. The same applies to wedding planning. No matter how organized and prepared you are, there are just some things you can’t control. This amazing thing that was thrown into Jon and I’s path was not a bad thing, but an amazing opportunity.

Back in November Jon applied for a great job and is currently still going through the application process. One thing we have found out is that if he gets the job his training is from July till October. Yes, and we had our wedding set for a gorgeous Friday in September. We also found out that they are very unlikely to let Jon have the Thursday and Friday off to get married. So for a few months I was sitting on pins and needles wondering what we were going to do. We couldn’t move the wedding to earlier or before he left and I didn’t want to make it later, not knowing what his work schedule would be like.

Finally, I made the call and asked all the essential people involved about a new date and if it was at all possible. So then came a week of so many emails and texts to family members, bridal parties and vendors. Thankfully we are surrounded by very supportive family and friends and they had no problem with it at all. The vendors were all amazing as well and assured me there was no issue with moving the wedding from the Friday to the Sunday and keeping the timing all the same. Right then I was reassured even more with my choices for vendors and was finally able to breathe and continue on in the planning.

We are now just sending out the Save the Dates, which is being done a little later than I wanted to, but it is better late than having to send out a separate note with the change of date.

My advice to anyone out there facing this predicament is to just look at all of the possibilities and then choose the best option for you as a couple and then take into consideration the rest of the essential people involved in the decision process. Try and do the deciding sooner rather than later so you don’t have to lose any of your deposits or vendors.

If any of you couples out there are going through this, don’t worry you aren’t alone! Everything will work out how it is supposed to and as long as you are with your honey you can get through anything.

An Alternative Wedding Cake Idea – A Literal Cheese Cake

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Image: Julie Napear Photography

We had a great time in Arizona. We survived the 5 hour plane ride there and back, but did not survive the “baby doesn’t understand time change” challenge and so we saw a lot of sunrises as we mostly got up in the 3 to 4am time frame. But our friends’ wedding was GORGEOUS (& it had a freakin’ BEER DONKEY), we stumbled upon an amazing Farmer’s Market in Phoenix, we introduced Evie to Sedona and got some off-roading done in Andy’s parent’s Bobcat. It was a great vacation, but it’s back to the grind of blogging, prepping for this weekend’s wedding, and shipping out CapRo Planners.

For today I have a super fun guest post from the Cheese Mongers at Righteous Cheese. I always say that I could survive on cheese alone and that I really don’t trust someone that doesn’t like cheese. Because cheese, is amazing. So what better way to have a truly alternative wedding cake, than to have a literal CHEESE cake. Plus these cheese mongers are #madeinDC, serving up local cheese out of Union Market. If you haven’t been, check them out AND consider this non-traditional wedding cake option!

Cheese Wheel Wedding Cake Trends | By: Carolyn, the Cheese Expert at Righteous Cheese

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Image: Taylor & Ben Photography

A rapidly growing trend for cutting-edge, food-loving couples is the cheese wheel wedding cake. Cheese-loving brides and grooms who are looking to incorporate unique & distinctive wedding elements are quickly discovering this delicious alternative to a traditional cake.

Each “cake” is formed by stacking several cheese wheels in varying sizes and colors, chosen based on appearance or taste. Some cheese shops have standard cheeses they prefer to use for cakes; but many also craft custom pieces, which creates a bespoke wedding experience. Cakes can be decorated with flowers, fruit, ribbon, and even a traditional cake topper. In addition to being a delicious wedding addition for any food-lover, a cheese wheel cake is an ideal gluten- and sugar-free option, to either replace a traditional cake or even served alongside more conventional desserts.

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Image: Rodney Bailey

What to know before you go:

  • If you don’t already have a favorite cheese shop, ask your caterer if they work with any area cheese shops that might be able to create a cheese wheel cake. Although you can ship cheeses, the best option is a local business that can walk you through the process and avoid shipping.
  • When choosing a cheese shop, make sure that you will be able to taste the cheeses before making a final decision. Balance what you prefer yourselves with what you think your guests will like. The cheesemonger will be a great resource for this – they often know what cheeses are most popular.
  • The cheese shop can provide accompaniments for the cake (fruit, nuts, crackers, etc) so inquiring is never a bad idea. Otherwise, your caterer may be able to provide delicious accompaniments.
  • Be sure to reach out in advance, as many cheese shops are small and will need to schedule a tasting to truly give each couple their full attention. Since the shop may have to special-order the cheeses for you, try to set up a tasting at least 2-3 months in advance of your wedding, and have a contract or agreement in place at least 1 month prior.
  • The size of your event will likely influence the size of your cake, so discuss sizing options at the shop, and have an idea of how many people will likely be attending.
  • Many shops will offer to deliver or decorate for you on the day-of and some will only provide the cheese. Whatever services you choose may come with additional fees. Find out what your services your cheese shop offers (and pricing) before committing.
  • It is also entirely possible to keep with the cake-cutting tradition, if your cake is topped with the right cheese! Ask the cheesemonger if they have any good options to incorporate a cake-cutting into the event.
  • Artisanal cheeses are small-batch, which means that sometimes, unforeseen forces prevent a particular cheese from getting to the shop. At your tasting, talk about the consistent availability of the cheeses you’ve selected, and backups in case the cheese is not available.
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