Josh & Maureen’s Proposal Video & DC Engagement Pictures

I get some seriously awesome submissions you guys. This is one of them. We’ve shared rad proposal videos before and now we get to share another. Josh sent in the awesome proposal video that he made for his then-girlfriend, Maureen to watch, in the theater where they first met. From the video, he appeared to proposed and had Traci J Brooks Photography on hand to capture some sneaky images during the proposal and a few after. After it all, Mauren (the bride to be!) blogged about the entire proposal on her blog, so we have LOTS of details to share from that!

So grab those tissues and be prepared, because this one is sure to put a big old smile on your face (and possibly some tears in your eyes!).

Josh & Maureen’s Proposal Video & Engagement Pictures

surprise proposal video DC theater

Photography: Traci J. Brooks Photography

First, the video Josh made for Maureen to watch:

The Gift – The Engagement Story of Maureen and Josh from 22nd Street Imaging on Vimeo.

And now, all the details from Maureen’s account! First, how they met:

About a month or so ago, Josh and I got letters in the mail from The Little Theatre of Alexandria (LTA). I’ve done three shows with LTA and this is where Josh and I met while doing a production of Oliver! in October 2010.

The letter was from our friend Rachel, who produced Oliver! and heads the marketing department at the theatre. Let’s just say the letter made me super excited – LTA was doing a focus group on the evening of November 10th with a few select participants to discuss the direction of the theatre next season. The gist was, they wanted me to come to the theatre, have a catered dinner, and discuss what shows LTA should do in the coming years to ensure it was staying current and artistically sound. It was right up my alley. I RSVP’d yes, crossed it off my to-do list, put it on my calendar, and threw out the letter.

A month went by and I didn’t think much of the focus group event. Josh brought it up a couple of times but it was always in passing. I continued to go about my life, go to work and eat delicious food. Business as usual.

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Sunday, November 10th came and it seemed like any other day. We went to church, ran some errands, I got the new iPhone, and we watched some TV while we ate a late breakfast. I had a bunch of things to do in the afternoon and evening and Josh was going to watch football with his dad, so he left and I rushed to get ready. I’m usually behind and Sunday was no exception.

surprise proposal video DC theater

As I was deep into the closet, my box phone started ringing (it was Josh). As I balanced on the chair, I took the box out of my purse, took the lid off the box and put the box with the phone (on speaker) sitting in it on the shelf in the closet while I continued to rummage.

The conversation went a little like this (note: I am fussy and Josh is super sweet in this conversation:

  • M: Hi. What is it? I’m running late and I can’t talk right now.
  • J: Hi honey, I just got a text from Rachel and she said since LTA is catering dinner tonight that we probably shouldn’t wear jeans.
  • M: What? Are you freaking kidding me?
  • J: It’s ok just we–
  • M: (interrupting) Honey, no. I’m already wearing jeans. This is ridiculous. I can’t believe how unprofessional this is. They didn’t put anything about a dress code in the letter.
  • J: Take a deep breath. I know you’re stressed. Can you just grab a dress and you can change later?
  • M: I don’t want to wear a dress!

I eventually I grabbed a dress, got in the car, and called Josh to apologize for being so upset at him when he didn’t do anything wrong.  That afternoon, dress in tow, I went to see my mom, went to see my Grandpa (where I put on the rando dress I grabbed and my make-up), and went to have drinks with my friend Maria before the meeting at LTA. After we finished dinner / drinks and I walked back to my car to put my leftovers in it (I had only eaten half a sandwich because I knew LTA was catering dinner) and then continued walking the few blocks to the theatre.

surprise proposal video DC theater

Click inside for the rest of Maureen & Josh’s proposal story!

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Pete & Kelly’s Laid Back, Maymont Park Engagement in Richmond, VA

It’s Monday. Are you looking forward to tackling another week? I can’t lie, I really enjoyed the winter weather we had yesterday. It really gave me that final push into the holiday season. I baked some [paleo] Christmas cookies, hosted a Friendsgivingmus and attacked some of my client gifts. Andy built us some shelves in the kitchen yesterday too – so all in all, a pretty productive weekend here at the Rybacks :)

Today’s engagement session comes to us from the wonderful Wolfcrest Photography, who you might remember from Catherine & Kevin’s intimate Fall Virginia wedding that we featured last week. We have an adorable, laid-back couple that met through Friends and decided to get married 6 years later in their relationship. Enjoy!

Pete & Kelly’s Laid Back, Maymont Park Engagement Pictures in Richmond, VA

alternative richmond virginia maymont park engagement pictures

Photography: Wolfcrest Photography

How they met:

We’re Pete and Kelly Cathell. We met six years ago while we were out and about with friends at the Bank restaurant. And as we were talking and getting to know each other Pete told me he was going to marry me one day to which I told him he was a little crazy. So we dated for a few months but went our separate ways when the summer was over. We spent about four years apart but both of us kept thinking of each other. One random Saturday afternoon in October, Pete found me and sent me a message over facebook and we started talking just like old times again. I immediately knew that this time was it and we would end up getting married.

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Click inside for the rest of Pete & Kelly’s Richmond, VA engagement session, the proposal story & a shot of the stunning engagement ring!

Capitol Inspiration: A Modern, Winter Jewish Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot

We’re closing down the week with a really bright & modern styled wedding shoot from B. Mingled Weddings & Events and Rachel Lowe Photography (and a ton of other awesome, local DC wedding vendors). The vendors wanted to take a modern, urban space like Long View Gallery and give it a splash of glam, all mixed together with an overall, Jewish theme. I LOVE when people mix genres and themes and this styled shoot certainly does that! Check it all out below and hopefully it gives you the inspiration you need to kick this gloomy weather and push through to the weekend. Have a good one Romancers!

A Modern & Bright, Jewish Inspired Wedding Shoot

modern glam Jewish pink blue wedding


Photography: Rachel Lowe Photography | Venue: Long View Gallery | Floral Design: EightTree Street | Planning, Design & Decor: B. Mingled Weddings & Events | Makeup: Julie Page Makeup | Models: Rialand Jones & Esther Servais | Stationery: B. Mingled Weddings & Events

The inspiration behind the shoot:

Think Urban, Modern, and Glam. Our styled shoot had an inspiration of taking elements from a traditional Jewish wedding with an added urban flair during one of the most celebrated seasons in the Jewish community. The decor combined traditional blue and silver colors, with an added “pop” of pink accents. The centerpiece of the head table displayed a modern-made menorah—> branches dotted with small clusters of pretty flowers and 9 hanging glass orbs with tea lights representing the traditional 9 candles.

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Click inside for the rest of the images from this styled Winter Jewish wedding shoot & more details!

Sponsor Love: Check out the awesome coming from our sponsors this week!

Kicking off this Friday with a little sponsor love. We are SO excited to have a handful of new sponsors this week thanks to a CyberMonday deal we ran. So check out the seriously awesome things that are coming out from our amazing sponsors this week!

Capitol Romance Sponsor Love

Amber Wilkie Photography states that her photography is “for awesome people” – and really, it’s so insanely true! She gets some of the most AWESOME clients I have ever seen! Check out her most recent blog post on Leslie & Katie’s Community Center wedding in Virginia!

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If you are in need of a videographer for your wedding, look no further than Border Row Productions. These guys are SO insanely talented and I am super pumped to announce a new joint venture that we will be launching with them next year. Hold on to your butts, because it’s going to be insanely awesome.


Floral design company, EightTree Street is killing it with a feature on Fox News Magazine! They created this gorgeous Cockscomb centerpiece!

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Julie Napear Photography is on its way to becoming Julie Napear Photography AND VIDEO! How exciting for Julie to be growing her business in a new direction! Check out more details on her new venture, here.


We all know I am an absolute sucker for weddings at the Decatur House (since I got married there, I can’t resist!). Vita Images has a gorgeous Decatur House DC Wedding up on their blog! Go check it out.

Ribbons & Bluebirds creates stunning stationery and other paper goods and their blog is something you def want to add to your reader as their posts are insanely inspiring! Check out these awesome Parisian-inspired tablescapes and details from a bridal tea party! Gorgeous!


Catherine & Kevin’s Intimate Fall Wedding at a Private Home in Fredericksburg, VA

Today we have a perfectly intimate Fall wedding from Wolfcrest Photography! Catherine & Kevin wanted to keep things smaller and intimate (around 70 guests total) and the Gari Meclhes Belmont House & Studio was the perfect space! This real Virginia wedding includes some pretty awesome vendors – so though they kept it intimate and a bit more casual, they did not hold back on the beautifully designed details! Anthomanic killed it on the bouquets and centerpieces and the whole thing was beautifully pulled together and executed by Miraculous Events! Check it all out below!

Catherine & Kevin’s Intimate, Fall Wedding at Belmont Studio in Fredericksburg, Virginia

intimate fall fredericksburg virginia wedding


Photographer: Wolfcrest Photography | Venue: Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont | Florist: Anthomanic | Wedding Planner + Coordinator: Miraculous Events | Catering: Caroline Street Catering | Makeup + Hair Stylist: BobbyPins & Blush | DJ: In Step Entertainment | Officiant: Weddings by Ginny | Cake: Happy Tiers by Lisa

How they met:

Kevin and I first met in middle school!  We were friends throughout high school (had some mutual friends as well).  We didn’t start dating, however, until our Freshman year of college. We’d be dating for ten years prior to getting married :)

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On their venue selection:

After some debate and visits to other venues, we settled on having the ceremony and reception at Gari Melcher’s estate, Belmont in Fredericksburg.  I think we both felt the space to be a good fit for our smaller, intimate wedding (around 70 guests total).  I also went to Mary Washington and Belmont is affiliated with the school. It was important to Kevin and I both that the wedding have a more casual, less traditional feel so an outdoor space seemed to fit the bill.  I, in particular, was drawn to the vintage, southern feel of the place in addition to the great gardens.  Thought it was a good match partially because I knew it would fit in with my plans to use mason jars in the decor!

modern fall intimate virginia wedding

Click inside for SO MUCH MORE of Catherine & Kevin’s beautiful, intimate Fall Virginia wedding!

Let’s Get Personal: Being a Bridesmaid Means You Do Whatever the Bride Wants

Writing a quick personal post for the afternoon before I get my butt to the gym and then ready for tonight’s Capitol Romance meetup! A few weeks ago I was having some intense email discussions with a friend and one of the topics we were writing about was being a bridesmaid. Now, let me just admit that being a type-A, control freak, opinionated wedding blogging/coordinating lady does not exactly lend itself to being the best, most easy-going bridesmaid. So let’s just get that out there now. But during the convo, my friend made the statement that, “being a bridesmaid means you just do whatever the bride wants.” And it just STUCK with me. I couldn’t get over this notion, so much so that I decided to blog about it and get some insight from you, my fabulous readers. So let’s get personal….

Let’s Get Personal: Being a Bridesmaid Means You Do Whatever the Bride Wants

bree me personal blogging

So as I mentioned above, being someone with an opinionated personality, I am not one to usually keep my mouth shut when I don’t agree with something. Even outside of being a bridesmaid, this is the way I am, as a friend, as a sister, as a wife – I personally feel that communication is key and if there is something worth saying, then say it! I think we could all benefit from being more honest and open with eachother.

Now, don’t get me wrong – this doesn’t mean I go around shouting insults in peoples’ faces or saying ANYthing and EVERYthing that is on my mind! This requires tact and consideration of peoples’ feelings and time spent deciding whether or not what you are about to say is worth the result it might cause. I’ve lost friends over my honesty because I just can’t simply be the type of person that looks on idly while things are happening that I don’t believe to be good or right. Believe me, sometimes I wish I could be that person – but I’ve accepted that I am not.

So how does this translate to being a bridesmaid? Well, if you’ve ever gotten married and had bridesmaids, or been one yourself, you know there are a lot of things that are asked the ‘maids! You will most likely need to purchase attire, shoes, hold some sort of bouquet, and possibly do (and purchase!) even more than that. You will potentially be asked to do and spend a lot.

So where do we draw the line here? Do brides really have the all-encompassing power to make all and any decisions and bridesmaids should just be expected to fall in line? Should I put my personality/self aside in honor of my friend’s big day or do I try to still maintain some semblance of myself? If I’ve never been that way as a friend, why should I suddenly start being that way as a bridesmaid? These are the things I often wonder and can’t help but think I am not alone in these thoughts.

I think what it mostly comes back to is the point that I made earlier: is what I want to say or what I am thinking worth the result it might create? Yes, it’s my friend’s big day and it should certainly be all about her and her partner – but when I am being asked to spend time, effort, and money on things, shouldn’t I get a say? I’ll continue to muse on it, because I am still really not sure.

What do you think Romancers? Should I just “suck it up” and do whatever the bride wants, or should I stand by my personal beliefs and be the type of person that I always am? Have you dealt with a similar situation before?


Giveaway: Washington DC Thank You Cards from Tabibi Design

Kicking off hump day with a GIVEAWAY! We are SO pumped to announce this awesome giveaway sponsored by one of our favs, Tabibi Design. Tina took a spin on a custom, Washington DC wedding invitation that she designed and made them into a rad thank you card design. And now we are giving away 2 A2 packs of 12 to one lucky winner!

Enter to Win Two 12 Packs of Washington DC Thank You Cards from Tabibi Design

washington dc wedding thank you cards

Each are a 12 pack set of A2 folded note cards with white envelopes. Use our nifty Rafflecopter widget below to enter! Just leave a comment, like Capitol Romance & Tabibi Design on Facebook and BOOM you are entered! Giveaway ends next Friday, December 13th!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

James & Olivia’s DIY, Rustic Fredericksburg, Virginia Bed & Breakfast Wedding

Olivia & James’ Rustic Fredericksburg Virginia wedding might look like “just another rustic wedding” on the surface – but there is really SO much more to this personalized, DIY wedding. They are both in the military and really wanted their wedding day to be small & intimate, including a Bed & Breakfast reception dinner and their small Jewish ceremony. They had a trolley take all the attendees around downtown Fredericksburg dinner and even stopped at a local ice cream shop to treat their guests — how awesome is this?! This is why I really love intimate weddings, because you can afford to really create some special, detailed moments for your guests.

Olivia, James & their family & friends made a TON of the details and decor in this wedding, including a stunning ribbon banner that hung above their dinner table! Olivia selflessly decided to donate her handmade details back to her vendors for future couples to us. Enjoy Olivia & James’ beautiful rustic Virginia wedding thanks to Erin Forehand Photography!

James & Olivia’s Rustic DIY Virginia Wedding at Lavender Heights Bed & Breakfast

rustic DIY offbeat Virginia bed and breakfast wedding


Photographer:  Erin Forehand Photography | Event Planner: Amore Events by Cody | Cake Designer: Cakes by Z | Caterer: FOODE | Event Venue: Lavender Heights Bed and Breakfast | Invitation Designer: |Bouquets & Boutonnieres: DIYed | Ribbon Banner & Decorations: Handmade |  Submitted via Two Bright Lights

How they met:

In the age of technology, James and I met in a very old fashioned way, while volunteering at a nursing home in Fredericksburg, Virginia on Christmas Eve. James was there with his church; I was there with my Synagogue. As we walked together and visited with the residents, we took advantage of the opportunity to talk and get to know each other which eventually led to us exchanging e-mail addresses before departing. James worked at the Pentagon while I was home from Iraq visiting my family.

Shortly thereafter, the emails led to three-hour phone calls, which led to us watching movies on our laptops while talking on the phone. After two months of long distance dating, I returned home to visit my family and we finally had our first proper date. For the most part, it’s been a very long-distance relationship but we have managed to make it work.

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The proposal:

After a year of dating, we entered a Super Spartan race in Illinois with friends and after completing the grueling course, while covered head to toe in mud, James “officially” proposed to me. Planning our wedding in Fredericksburg was a challenge, while I was stationed in Indiana, James was deployed to Dubai, and because of our busy schedules we’d sometimes  go a week or so without speaking.

offbeat nontraditional blue engagement ring

Details on their wedding & wedding planning:

Though it was overwhelming at times, I am thankful that I found Cody at Amore Events in Charlottesville, Va., her experience and support were invaluable. She was always a text or a click away if I needed advice or just a little reassurance. She helped me find my wonderful photographer, Erin, and wedding planner, Karen.

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Click inside for the rest of Olivia & James’ beautiful rustic, DIY Virginia wedding ~ including that awesome, handmade ribbon banner over the reception space!

Ashley & Jason’s Manchester Bride Engagement Session in Richmond, VA

We’re back this afternoon with another adorable engagement session to share! This one comes to us from What A Lovely Photo and it features Ashley & Jason and their adorable dog under the Manchester Bridge in Richmond, VA! It also includes a really beautiful love story all from the bride to be. Be back tomorrow with an awesome wedding feature!

Ashley & Jason’s Manchester Bridge Engagement Session in Richmond, Virginia

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Photographer: What A Lovely Photo | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Their love story:

Jason and my story begins back in September of 2009. I was living in Columbia, South Carolina after college and looking for a job in Richmond, where my at the time boyfriend had just been transferred. I got a call from Mapcom Systems and arrived for my interview on a Tuesday morning, talked with the CFO and some other folks before he told me he wanted me to meet Jason. When Jason walked in to the room there was instant attraction; butterflies I had always heard about but never felt. We spent a long time talking about traveling and our personal interests, completely disregarding the fact that I was on a job interview, almost as if we were on a first date. Shortly after talking with Jason, I was hired for the job on the spot and living in Richmond that October, with my boyfriend. I started work and instantly created a connection with a small group of friends in the office, Jason included, however he happened to be dating someone as well (who sat directly across from my cubicle) and because of that was always a little shy around me and somewhat distant.

richmond virginia engagement pictures bridge

Over the next several months, both of us still in other relationships, Jason would always include me in email invites to lunch with the group or on skiing trips to Wintergreen; I always declined because of my dating situation, although I always wanted to be around him. Late that summer, my boyfriend was transferred again to North Carolina, and I stayed behind for my job and knew that long distance relationships were hard. Come October, one of our co-workers had a Halloween party. I had no idea who would be going, didn’t see Jason’s name on the evite RSVP list, yet decided to go anyways. I arrived at the party, had a beer and talked with some of my co-workers when I heard someone yell, “Taco is here”! (Jason came in second place in a taco eating contest in college and since has had an extreme obsession with Mexican food, dones a taco costume every Halloween and even has worn that costume in many a half marathons, hiking trips and it even made it to Iceland on a trip Jason took with his dad). Back to Halloween, once Jason arrived, I felt myself instantly come alive! We had such a fun time, more fun than I had had in as long as I could remember. I couldn’t remember the last time I had laughed as much as we did that night.

richmond virginia engagement pictures bridge

Extremely hung over and tired from the night before, Jason asked me the next day if I wanted to go on a hike with him. He picked me up at my apartment and we had a long ride in his white Tacoma (which I always looked for every morning I pulled in the parking lot at work hoping he was in that day) and talked and talked and got to know each other on a level we had not yet done at work. We shared a beautiful (and grueling) hike together and then ate Subway on the tailgate of his truck and continued to talk and laugh and get to know each other more and more. We spent the next month or so hanging out, going on dates here and there but being fresh out of a relationship (and working right next to his ex-girlfriend) we both decided that maybe it would be best to slow down a bit and try this later.

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Click inside for the rest of Ashley & Jason’s beautiful Richmond, Virginia engagement session and love story!

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