DIY Hair Styling & Top Knot Tutorial with Alison Harper & Co



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Romancers! It’s time for another Capitol Romance DIY Workshop! Early bird tickets are now on sale for our April 12th workshop with Alison Harper & Co – one of the Washington, DC area’s LEADING Hair & Makeup companies. We’re SO excited to host Alison so she can share her top tips & secrets with attendees to getting gorgeous, beautiful hair for your wedding, engagement pictures, or ANY formal life event!

This DIY workshop will be one part informational (learning insider secrets from a top professional and having access to ask her ANY questions about professional hair styling) and one part DIY tutorial – with Alison teaching attendees how to perfect the art of the top knot!


The Top Knot hair style is a super popular wedding or formal event look! I can’t wait to learn how to do it properly and make my top knot bun look a little more posh ballerina, and a little less 8th grade messy bun ;-p


So check it out and I hope to see you at our DIY Hair Styling & Top Knot Bun Workshop on Sunday, April 12th at The Hill Center!



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Lauren & Michael’s Intimate Elopement Wedding at Woodlawn Manor

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Images: Jon Fleming Photography

Everyone here knows I love a good elopement but what I Really love about Lauren & Michael’s intimate Woodlawn Manor wedding is that even though it was just the two of them – they didn’t scrimp on the details! They had a full on decorated dinner table (with lace & flowers & love signs), an adorable cake with pops of teal, the most STUNNING black lace wedding dress on the bride, and one of the most romantic wedding ceremony setups I’ve ever seen! They still totally had a wedding – just for the two of them and not an entire 75+ guest list! Check all the gorgeous details out below. Thanks to Merlyn of Extravagant Elopements for the submission!

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Details from Merlyn:

The busy couple had been engaged for a long time, but finding time to plan a wedding had proven to be tougher than either one of them imagined. When Lauren heard about how a Pop Up Wedding could be planned in a short amount of time with almost no stress, she was all for it! At first the couple was unsure about whether to invite a small group of family and friends to witness the occasion. But since almost everyone on the guest list had a spouse or a plus one–after doing the math, they decided to just have an intimate elopement ​with the two of them.

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The bride knew she wanted a vintage-antique look for her special day, chocolate cake, and lavender and teal accents throughout the wedding décor. ​

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Click inside for the rest of this gorgeous, vintage inspired Woodlawn Manor elopement!

Christina & Sergio’s Offbeat Clocktower Engagement Pictures in Baltimore, MD

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What a weekend Romancers. The weather was nuts – one minute it was snowing and then next I am non-stop sneezing because everything is GROWING. Saturday was gorgeous and that was perfect because my lovely brides decided to have their wedding ceremony outdoors and it was gorgeous! Silje & Katie’s Woolly Mammoth wedding was a theater-geek’s dream (so I was right at home) but MAN is my body finally telling me to take it easy on the lifting and running around.Full disclosure: I had a hard time leaving the couch on yesterday ;)

We have some great posts planned for this week and Andy & I leave Thursday night for our Babymoon in NYC (!!!), after I have to report for Jury Duty (boo!). Today’s engagement session is REALLY cool though, it takes place in a clocktower! I love the drama and theatrics of this shoot, plus I love Christina & Sergio’s love story. Have a great week Romancers!

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Christina and Sergio met in college in 2005 while both attended UMBC. They had sociology class together and had study sessions with a mutual friend. (Ironically, the sociology class was titled, “Human Sexuality from Cross-Cultural Perspectives”.) After years of friendship, they started dating in 2009. In Sergio’s words, “like all good things, we took our time.” After college, the continued to date while Christina went to culinary school and Sergio ran a restaurant with his family- they both share a passion for food.

baltimore clocktower engagement pictures (7) baltimore clocktower engagement pictures (4)Click inside for the rest of Sergio & Christina’s clocktower engagement pictures AND proposal story!

Teeny & Aaron’s Surprise Wedding in Washington, DC

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Images: Gray Kammera Photography

I must admit that I audibly squeed a bit when I saw this DC wedding submission pop in my inbox. Not only did it feature one of my favorite local DC business owners (Teeny Pies) but it was a SURPRISE wedding (well, surprise proposal AND wedding). I mean come on. It doesn’t get much better than this for a local DC wedding blogger. Aaron, the groom, had been secretly planning the wedding celebration for 6 months without Teeny knowing! In one day Teeny was proposed to, surprised by friends & family at an engagement brunch, married at a courthouse and then surprised AGAIN with a wedding party reception with 70 of their closest friends from around the globe. Aaron had even tricked Teeny into baking pies for her own wedding day ;-p

This DC wedding is chock-full of love, smiles, and so many awesome local DC businesses. Just wait until you guys get a load of all the amazing details packed into their wedding day.

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From the photographer:

Teeny had no idea that for over 6 months Aaron had been planning all the details, from beautiful locations for every part of the day, to having friends and family travel from all distances, to a variety of wedding dresses supplied by Anthropologie as well as her mother’s wedding dress for her to choose from, to 3D printed rings he created himself – it was absolutely amazing, beautiful, fun, and completely Teeny and Aaron.

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Aaron planned the details of what was the proposal and wedding day for over 6 months. He chose their local favorite coffee shop (Big Bear Cafe) conveniently located just around the corner from their home – and an easy place to get Teeny to naturally go to for the surprise engagement breakfast and Boundary Road for post-wedding brunch, made an appointment at Teeny’s favorite hair salon (Fiddleheads because they focus enhancing natural beautiful curls, something Teeny is not in short supply of) for the day of, recruited his sister to pick 5 potential wedding dresses that Teeny could choose from, enlisted friends for help on flowers, had friends and family come to DC from near and far.

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Friends and family came from near and far to be part of this day. Most of them thinking they were arriving for an engagement party and enjoying along in the surprise as it turned into a well planned wedding day. A handful of their local close friends were tagged to help in details. One friend dropped by the farmers market for a few handfuls of fresh flowers. Another friend had made an embroidered handkerchief with their names and date sewn on. Aaron’s sister, Leah, brought a slew of wedding dress options, various shoes from strappy heels to chucks , and a selection of jewelry to match. And cleverly, Aaron had placed a fake order for pies from Teeny so she made her own wedding pies.

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The story from the bride:

“Aaron and I met at Ithaca College, in pursuit of acting degrees, fame and fortune. We did not fall in love, but we did become stellar friends who stayed in touch in the years following graduation. It wasn’t until we found ourselves in the same city, in the same apartment, several years later that we realized there was a something between us that went a little deeper than the usual best friendship. Fast forward a few more years, and we found ourselves living in D.C. with our newly adopted pup, Ladybird, following our dreams (Aaron creating digital games and apps for kids and me opening my own pie baking business), and contemplating getting engaged sometime within the next year but never making any definite plans. Or so I thought.

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One fine Friday, Aaron woke up at 6:45am though we’d agreed to take advantage of both having the day off, and yet the kettle was whistling and he was grinding coffee beans with unwavering determination by 7:00am. With one eye cracked open I begrudgingly accepted a cup of coffee in bed and alternated between sipping and sleeping. I’d just managed to wake up enough to sit up and sip my coffee like an adult when Aaron looked at Lady Bird, who looked back at Aaron and (I swear to god) winked, which Aaron took to mean it was time. To my absolute surprise and delight he came round to my side of the bed, got down on one knee, and asked me to spend my life with him. I said yes!

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I spent the next half hour admiring my ring, a family stone handed down from my mom, set in a white gold setting that Aaron designed with the help of Susie Brand, who created the perfect ring for me! Aaron popped a hidden bottle of champagne and we alternated sipping coffee and bubbly, giving Lady Bird only a few celebratory sips until it was time to go meet my parents for breakfast. We rounded the corner to the patio at Big Bear, the cutest coffee shop in all of D.C, and to my great and delighted surprise my parents, Aaron’s parents, my brother, his sister, and few of our bestest friends were peering around the corner, waiting to shout out their congratulations. Leah, our dear D.C. friend and wedding photographer extraordinaire was snapping pictures as I registered the shock of everyone I loved being at breakfast. I was bowled over, accepting hugs from the lot of them and sharing the story of how Lady Bird had learned how to wink, which ultimately led to our engagement.

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A few minutes later, Aaron pulled me aside and gave me my two options for the day. The first option was to celebrate. It was a lovely thing, to be engaged, and if I wanted we could spend the whole day toasting the momentous occasion. That option sounded great until he came to the second option, which was to get married that afternoon. I looked at Aaron, who had the beginnings of a mischievous grin on his face and then back at our friends and family who were all peering around the corner, trying in vain to overhear our conversation and said yes! Again.

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Click inside for SO MUCH MORE of this amazing DC wedding!!

Out of the Office Today: Speaking at Wedding Wire World!


Romancers! No blog today because I am rushing around the house trying to find something to wear for my panel today at Wedding Wire World! Everyone has been tweeting and instagramming and OH MY WORD I am getting slightly nervous! A few vendors even tagged me in pictures of the program yesterday and I feel so damn official!

If you are at Wedding Wire World today – PLEASE come join us in Potomac AB at 11:40am as Kathryn Hamm of moderates the “Pro Panel: Serving the Modern Couple”! That’s where I will be, discussing all things modern couples with Ross Oscar Knight, Photocultarist, Bethel Nathan, Owner of Ceremonies By Bethel, and Kyle Mihalcoe, Regional Manager – Customer Success, WeddingWire.

Kathryn has schemed up a GREAT panel with engaging questions about who the modern couple is and how, as vendors, we can best serve them. I hope to see some of you there!!


Christian & Denise’s DC Metro Station & Coffee Shop Engagement Pictures

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Images: Thread & Feather Photography

WHAT a weekend Romancers! I’d be lying to you if I didn’t admit that I am a complete hot mess at my desk right now though. Andy, Sadie & I got home later last night after a WONDERFUL weekend in NJ filled with so much magical awesome & love & laughs & AH I think I need a day to recover. If you didn’t see it – I shared a sneak peak on Facebook of the insane Harry Potter Baby Shower that my family threw us (don’t worry, I will be blogging the whole thing once my brother sends me the pics). The details they designed and executed – well I think I need to start hiring some of them to work my weddings ;-p And Wedding Wire World starts TODAY (but we will only be there tomorrow) and I am SO excited for the panel that I’ll be on tomorrow!!!

So sit back and enjoy the week as we kick it off with Denise & Christian’s gorgeous Washington DC metro engagement pictures (with a bit at a coffee shop too!). They love living in DC and wanted an engagement session that reflected that – so Metro & coffee shops it was!

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Denise and Christian met at Old Dominion University in 2008.  After bonding and singing along to Disney classics and Alicia Keys “ If I Ain’t Got You”, their friendship blossomed into a romance.  In the summer of 2009, Denise went back home to Springfield, VA and Christian was working in Nebraska. Every night they would reminisce the first year of their friendship.

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On August 23rd, 2009, Denise and Christian started dating. From that day forward they became inseparable. They were “in love” with each well before they started dating, but it wasn’t until their second month of dating, that they admitted the love they had for each other.

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Click inside for the rest of Denise & Christian’s adorable DC engagement pictures!

Bright & Modern Citrus Wedding Inspiration & LINK LOVE

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Images: Lelia Maria Photography

Here we are! Another Friday and end to the week. It’s hard to believe that a week ago we had 5 inches of snow on the ground. I am happy to say goodbye to winter though and be able to walk my dog again. The spring weather & sunshine was completely altered my mood too (has anyone else noticed this?!) I just feel so much more optimistic and it’s pretty awesome! Andy & I are headed up to NJ this weekend for our baby shower! I cannot believe it’s already time for that. Minus the drive, I cannot think of a better way to spend this weekend than with our families & friends. ALWAYS a good time. I hope you all have fabulous weekends too and I’ll meet you back here on Monday to get another week started!


Questions to ask your Hair Stylist over on United with Love

40 Ways to RELAX (because you totally deserve a break!)

 Tips for Creating Simple Graphics for your website over on Stacy Kleber Design Blog (or join us on April 7th to learn more in person at our FuelDC event!)

Colorful vs Neutral Bouquets over on Amanda Veronee’s blog

35 Ideas for Mismatched Bridesmaid Dresses over on Bridal Musings

Now, a stunning brightly colored, citrus themed wedding inspiration shoot! The idea behind this shoot was how to use bright colors instead of pastels in late winter/early spring weddings. I think they nailed it, don’t you?

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Photography: Lelia Marie Photography | Planning: Simplicity Events by Johanna | Flowers: Buttercups Floral Design | Hair/Makeup: Enlightened Styles (& Ammoura Makeup line) | Dress: Soliloquy Bridal | Venue: Stone Tower Winery | Jewelry: Kimberley Jennings Shull with Chloe & Isabel

Allie & Dylan’s DIY Washington, DC Wedding at Stroga

Landers-Nelson Wedding - October 25, 2014

Images: Aimee Custis Photography

I‘ll apologize in advance for how much I might gush over today’s real DC wedding feature. I had the absolute pleasure of not only getting to blog this gorgeous wedding, but actually be a part of it (in SO many ways). Allie & Dylan reached out to me last November and I just LOVED their inquiry:

“It’s been so refreshing to go through your blog and find someone interested in low-key, off-beat weddings! We’re really excited about keeping our day about us, and not getting wrapped up in what we “should” do, and finding someone that can help us with that in DC has been a challenge! Also both Dylan and I are severely-profoundly obsessed with Harry Potter, so it’s always nice to find another kindred spirit. I look forward to talking to you!”

These are the things I keep hearing over and over from readers & prospective clients, “we just want a wedding that’s about us’ “we don’t need all the traditions or expensive details” “we just want something low-key & fun, without spending a million dollars” and these are the things I keep in mind when I blog here.

Allie & Dylan (I hope they don’t mind me saying) were like the poster couple for Capitol Romance. They attended my DIY Bouquets & Boutonnieres workshop (and then DIYed all their bouquets & bouts for their wedding), they used some of the DIY tutorials Ribbons & Bluebirds created on my blog (you’ll see those soon), and they just NEVER stopped working towards their ultimate goal of planning a wedding that was true to who they were as individuals AND as a couple. I am so honored to get to share their wedding with you today. Ok, enough gabbing from me!

Landers-Nelson Wedding - October 25, 2014

love love love these DC wedding invitations from Typecase Industries!

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From the photographer:

Allie & Dylan are college sweethearts, and when Allie finally moved to DC a couple of years ago to settle in DC with Dylan (they’ve been together FOREVER), our friends were so excited to have her — we adored Dylan, and couldn’t wait to be friends with the amazing woman who lived up to the standards of everything he deserved. I feel like we all knew a wedding was coming, but I couldn’t — literally COULD NOT — have been happier when Allie + Dylan asked if they could hire us as their photographers. I swear, being asked by friends to photograph gives me bigger giddy butterflies than being asked to be a bridesmaid!

Landers-Nelson Wedding - October 25, 2014


Just look at these DIYed bouquets!!! SO STUNNING!

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Click inside for SO MUCH MORE of Allie & Dylan’s super awesome, DIY Washington DC wedding.

DIY Canvas Print Workshop Recap!

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Images: Brandilynn Aines Photography

I can’t believe it, but our very first DIY Workshop of 2015 has already come and gone and OH MAN was it a huge success (with some obvious lessons learned as always too!). We had a new venue, a new expanded scope, some new vendors, and LOTS of new faces. As always it starts with a huge THANK YOU to everyone that made it possible. Thank you to the new attendees that came out (24 people! our biggest workshop attendance yet!), a thank you to the vendors that make the workshops, and a VERY special thank you to our host, Jenn of Ribbons & Bluebirds for running the class! As always, I was amazed by how creative and awesome the projects came out! Check out all our fabulous images from Sunday’s workshop below. Thanks to the wonderful Brandilynn Aines Photography for shooting the workshop & sharing her images!

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The favor provided by the ever-delicious Banana Love Muffins:

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Snacks, sangria & tea from Runningbyrd Tea Co, Simply Breathe Events, Popcorn Queens & catering by Ris DC.

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Jen teaching the class:

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Click inside for the rest of the images – including a class photo AND everyone’s finished DIY Canvas Prints (that came out SO AWESOME)!!!

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