Friday Inspiration & Link Love!


[Image by With Love & Embers – from their trip to Iceland, the next place on mine & Andy’s short travel list]

Usually I LIVE for Work from Home Fridays, but the house next door to Andy & I got bought recently and they’re just starting to demo all the walls inside and well… banging and drilling and high-pitched power tools aren’t exactly helping my sanity right now. I have Bishop Allen Pandora blasting, but I am thinking at some point I’m going to need to move to a coffee shop or something!

The next two weekends I will be wedding-free and actually IN DC and I couldn’t be more pumped. Tomorrow I am hitting up a Jay Paterno book signing (you can take the girl out of Happy Valley…) and then Sunday, Andy & I are celebrating Part 1 of our 4-year anniversary! I’ll be posting a bit more of a personal/reflection post probably next week when we actually hit the 4 year mark, but wow, I can’t believe it’s already been 4 years. But man have we accomplish and done SO MUCH since 2010!

Link love:

A Harry Potter & Lego Wedding on Rock N Roll Bride (what?!)

 10 Creative Rituals You Should Steal

 Early Bird priced tickets for our LAST DIY Workshop of 2014 are on sale now!

 Gala Darling reminds us to celebrate the little things

  Should You DIY Your Wedding?

 Being a Maid of Honor & Mismatched Bridesmaid Dresses on Simply Breathe Events blog

And just for fun….

 Wiener Dogs Stuck in Sleeves (thanks to my husband for sending me this one)

Have a great weekend Romancers!

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Washington DC Sample Sale & Pop Up at Lovely Bride

*sponsored post*

Announcing: A Sample Sale at Lovely Bride | Thursday, November 13, 2014 | 12pm to 8pm

On Thursday, November 13th, the super awesome Lovely Bridal shop in Georgetown will be hosting a Sample Sale for one day only. There is NO appointment necessary but the shop would prefer that you RSVP!

What makes this sample sale different from others you might ask? Well let me tell you!

  • Gowns will be up to 60% off from designers Anne Barge, Leeann Belter, Nicole Miller and more!
  • The sale will include a pop-up shop by our FAVORITE local hairpiece designer, CIAONina with gorgeous Ciao Sposa bridal pieces
  • Local Letterpress Designers, Typecase Industries (another one of my favvvvs) will be on hand too!

Lovely Bride + Ciao Sposa + Typecase Industries = the perfect recipe for a modern, edgy, local DC bridal look! Check out more details here:

DC bridal sample sale


So check it out – and we hope to swing by after work on Thursday too!! Let us know if you go or share your pics on social media and tag us in them. Happy Friday Romancers! We’ll be back later with some link love :)

*this is a sponsored post. this vendor paid to have this content shared on our blog, however, it was verified that this event was confirmed to meet our requirements and mission*

Trish & Ned’s Vintage Inspired, DIY Maryland Wedding at Glen Echo Park

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Images: Cassidy Duhon Photography

 It’s no secret how I feel about Glen Echo Park and I am SO pumped to get to work my first wedding there next year. However, I especially love today’s real Maryland wedding at Glen Echo because of the way the couple chose to go more vintage than bright/carnival themed. It makes the Bumper car pavilion look SO different, no? Ned & Trish picked a FABULOUS list of DC area wedding vendors and threw in a ton of vintage touches and DIY projects. Trish, being a graphic designer, had fun with the wedding invitations, and I love the pop of whimsy the oversized paper flowers throw in! Plus the couple opted for good old fashioned ice cream cake and I think this is just the BEST wedding cake idea EVER! Thanks to Rebecca Dick of Blue Canary Events for submitting this one!

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We chose the venue because we just loved the vintage aspect to it and the open air of the structure. It gave us that barn/outdoor feel without being far from the city and it just had so much more character. The carousel was amazing and we wanted something fun for our guests to experience. Actually when we saw the carousel, we were just entranced and we even moved our wedding date from October to late September so we could make sure the carousel was going to be open. A lot of our family is from out of the area, so we wanted to give them a broad view of all that DC has to offer – it’s not just all monuments and pillars!

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However, with this awesome unique venue, we didn’t want to go too overboard with a carnival theme. A lot of people suggested things like balloons, pin stripes, and lollipops, but we really just wanted to let the setting speak for itself. I also tried to steer away from having set colors and make it a broad color palette. We ended up going with a lot of pinks, peaches, neutrals and turquoise.

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Click inside for vintage cars, DIY oversized paper flowers, ice cream cake, and MORE!

DIY Makeup Workshop with Suz the Makeup Chic ~ Recap, Pictures & More!

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[Images: Melissa Nyman Photography]

Happy DIY Wednesday Romancers! For today I wanted to share a recap of our latest DIY Wedding Workshop ~ DIY Wedding Makeup with Suz the Makeup Chic! On Oct. 26th, we had a great group of ladies that joined Suz and I to talk about (and learn) how to DIY your makeup for your wedding or an event. Suz ran through a GREAT overview of how to do everything involved with event makeup – including what part of the face to start and SO MANY “pro tips” for helping our attendees to learn how to recreate what they learned, at home.

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As always, attendees were treated to a bunch of awesome freebies, from our rad, local sponsors – notepads for taking notes thanks to Ribbons & Bluebirds, chocolates from Chocotenango, Apple Cider Tea from Runningbyrd Tea, delicious snacks from Eat & Smile, and sangria from Simply Breathe Events!

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Each attendee was setup with a great work space for creating an overall makeup look – but the focus of this workshop was creating the PERFECT signature eye look. A look that could could be recreated with many colors, and built upon to be a smokier look if you wanted!

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Suz demonstrated her techniques and tricks on yours truly and then our attendees practiced on themselves:

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Click inside for the rest of the images from our DIY Makeup Wedding Workshop!

Capitol Advice: Tips, Tricks, and Advice for “DIYing” Your Wedding DJ & Music

emily clack photography how to DIY your wedding band

[Image: Emily Clack Photography]

A few months back Slate wrote a somewhat infuriating article titled, “Can’t decide between a band or a DJ? Easy: pick neither“. There was so much in this article that was OBVIOUSLY written by a very uneducated person when it comes to the REAL logistics of wedding music/entertainment. I was so angered by it that I couldn’t write a rebuttal anytime soon. But after working my last wedding a few weekends ago, which was sans-professional DJ/Band and “DIY”ed, I felt compelled to finally respond to that Slate article.

And no, not with anger, but with the reality of what it’s like to actually DIY your wedding music and opt out of a professional DJ or Band. I’ve worked a few weddings now that have gone this route and I can tell you it’s not nearly as easy (or cheap!) as the Slate article portrays. I also asked my Facebook fans for some input to see if they had any other advice or thoughts on going DIY with your wedding DJ or Band. What we are left with is a REAL look at what it takes to successfully “DIY” your wedding music – the good, the bad, and the ugly! Let’s break it down.

the girl tyler how to DIY your wedding music

[Image: The Girl Tyler]

1. Quality Sound System

If you hire a professional band or DJ they should (hopefully) be bringing along with them a PROFESSIONAL grade sound system. This means multiple speakers, (in case you want music for your ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception … and they are all in difference places) a microphone for the ceremony (this is huge), the ability to actually fade in and out of songs, and someone that knows how to setup and work this sound system, and probably a ton of other things that I don’t know of because I am not a professional DJ or Band member.

I cannot emphasize enough that this is the most important item if you are going to DIY your wedding music. Being able to actually hear the music (that you will undoubtedly spend countless hours planning) is the whole point of having wedding music, isn’t it? And no, that Bose speaker you have is NOT loud enough. If you want to DIY your wedding music the right way, so that people can actually hear it, you will need to rent a quality sound system, which includes a microphone for your ceremony. I cannot stress this second point enough. Even if your “I can project and I am loud enough” officiant thinks they can talk over 80+ people moving, whispering, laughing, etc, they can’t. And I cannot tell you how awful it is for a guest to not be able to hear your wedding ceremony – you know, the whole REASON you are having a wedding. So I implore you, if you are going to DIY your wedding music, PLEASE rent a proper sound system.

And if you chose to rent a sound system, you will also need to appoint someone on your wedding day to:

  • lug HEAVY boxes of said equipment into your wedding space
  • setup all the equipment
  • test the equipment
  • ensure the equipment works during the wedding
  • troubleshoots the equipment if it fails

Still think it’s “easy” to be a DIY DJ or Band like Slate suggested?

Real wedding experience: “I made the cardinal sin of DJs. I thought since I had a small wedding I could set up the whole system before the event and not have to tend to any problems during the reception. BIG MISTAKE. I will strongly suggest getting someone to assist you so you are not having to leave your bride when something needs attending. Notice I said WHEN something needs attending and not IF.”

sarah gormely how to DIY your wedding DJ

[Image: Sarah Gormley Photography]

2. Appointing an MC

This has got to be the #1 thing I see when my couples want to go the DIY DJ route. They COMPLETELY forget that a DJ or Band ALSO serves as your wedding MC. They help push your timeline, they make announcements, they keep the flow of your wedding going. I have had to be the MC for one of my weddings (never again!) because the couple never appointed anyone and needless to say I now ensure that any of my couples that do DIY music re-select a trusted friend or family member to serve as the MC. I also advise them to write a script for the MC, so that the MC doesn’t say anything too off-book (or doesn’t pre-prepare and then has nothing to say at the actual wedding).

So if you are going to DIY your music for your wedding, make sure you also have a wedding timeline of when you want certain things to happen. Think about the weddings you attend, do you:

  • Want someone to announce the wedding party? You and your partner?
  • Want an announcement for Toasts, parent dances, the cake cutting?
  • Want someone to run the anniversary dance? the shoe game?

If you responded YES to any of those questions, then you need to plan for this and find someone to be your MC.

Real wedding experience: “I would recommend writing and giving the script to your friend who will be doing the announcing AT LEAST a week ahead of time. We had a few botched last names, but nothing we don’t laugh about now.

leo druker how to DIY your wedding music

[Image: Leo Druker Photography]

3. Keeper of the iPad

Another thing about a band or DJ that you might forget is that they control the music. That means they will ensure that your playlist/must-have songs are played and the “do not play” songs are not. Sometimes, when a couple decides to use an iPad or a playlist, things can get a little hairy. I’ve seen guests takeover the iPad (and thus you hear the same song a few times, or maybe only 30 seconds of another song) and the result isn’t always great – sometimes it kills the vibe and can lead guests to be a little confused.

If you are going to DIY your wedding music, and use an iPad (or the like) then I do highly recommend the WeddingDJ App (I’ve helped couples use this app at a few weddings). But more importantly, I recommend entrusting a friend or family member with being the “keeper of the iPad”. That means fending off guests (usually the drunk ones) that just HAVE to hear Timber (that would so be me) or want to search for a very specific song that nobody else really wants to hear. You might also want to consider not placing the iPad in a highly visible place and ensuring you have a back-up iPad in case the one you plan to use dies.

Real wedding experience: “We did our own using pre-made Spotify playlists and borrowed speakers from a friend who was in grad school for music and is now a DC DJ, producer, etc. Somehow the music during brunch got switched to a Frank Sinatra xmas playlist (as you may remember), which was more of a laugh than anything. During the dance party people started picking and choosing their own songs, which was fine bc it kept the dancing/sweating/fun going, but we have noticed over the last year that because of that a few of our favorite songs were missed. It’s really nothing to cry about, just something to note if it would bother someone else.”


[Image: Ken Pak Photography]

 In sum, whenever I write these types of posts, it’s not to really sway you from doing one thing or the other – the point is for you all to make an educated decision about whether or not DIYing is really the best route to go – in this case with your wedding music. Most people claim that it is cheaper (and yes, DIYing usually is…) but they never seem to mention the things you still need to buy, the friends/family you need to lean on to make the “DIY” vendor action happen, and the things that could go wrong if you leave something like your music, up to a friend instead of a professional.

So now that you know some hard facts, some advice, and some real life wedding experiences, you will understand that a DJ or Band’s job isn’t so easily replaceable (as the Slate article makes it out to be). So I’ll leave you with this last  real wedding experience and leave the decision up to you!

“We rented some speakers and my husband’s groomsmen had no problem setting them up earlier in the day, hooking up our laptop w/pre-made playlists for the cocktail reception and dancing. Neither my husband, nor I, like being the center of attention, so we didn’t have any big announcements to make (e.g., just went from dinner to dancing, no cake caking…). It definitely helped that we had access to the venue all day, with amazing family and friends to help set up everything!! I still love listening to the playlists we made for our wedding.”

Did we miss anything on our “how to DIY your wedding music” post? Got any other personal experiences to share? Sound off in the comments!


Nate & Amy’s Maryland Engagement Pictures at Heysers Farms

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Images: Katy Murray Photography

What a weekend Romancers. We got slammed with Trick or Treaters on Friday (running out of almost 300 pieces of candy in less than an hour) and then made our way to Not-So-Happy Valley on Saturday to watch my Nittany Lions lose a bad one to Maryland. The drive to State College is always long, but we meet our best friends from college there, so regardless of the game outcome, it’s always worth it to see them. Then yesterday was a glorious one with that extra hour (seriously, can we get an extra hour EVERY Sunday?!) as Andy & I started on our DIY wide plank floors upstairs! I posted a picture on Instagram of the progress so far (mostly prep worked), and I’ll continue to share updates there over the next few weekends. Hoping to do a full post on the entire project once we finish!

In other news, it’s Monday and I am already slightly dreading it being so dark when I leave work, but until then, let’s enjoy some happiness and a love story courtesy of Katy Murray Photography, submitted via Two Bright Lights.

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About the couple:

Nate and Amy have been acquainted since 1996 when they attended the same church where Amy’s father is the associate pastor. Nate and Amy attended the same Sunday school, retreats and other church events. Once Nate returned from the air force, and Amy graduated college in 2012 they attended the same young adult group at church. Their social circles began intermingling. Nate asked Amy to coffee one day after church because he was interested in something she said at bible study. The rest is history. The weekend of July 4th, 2013 after a drive-in movie Nate made it official. Nate and Amy share hand written letters and crosswords together.

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Click inside for the rest of Nate & Amy’s adorable Maryland farm engagement pictures!

Day of the Dead Wedding Inspiration & Friday Link Love

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Image: Jordan Zobrist Photography

IT’S HALLOWEEN! But you already knew that. I think, more importantly, it’s my first wedding-free weekend in a LONG TIME. Instead of relaxing though, I will be driving up to freezing cold Happy Valley to cheer on my Nittany Lions (can we PRETTY PLEASE win this weekend?!). Then on Sunday I am SUPER excited because Andy & I are starting the next big-ish DIY project in our rowhouse – tackling the upstairs floors!!

We’ve had GROSS carpets up there since we moved in. Andy & I have gone back and forth about what to do to change that (he wanted reclaimed wood again, I was voting for something cheaper) but we’ve landed on this: DIY Wide Plank Floors. The plan is to paint our with a shiny black paint – I’ll be sure to post pictures as we go along!

Link Love:

An older post – but I’ve written a similar one before about how I hate “Wedding Trends”. Rock N Roll Bride kills the subject too.

Typecase Industries is selling the CUTEST letterpress holiday gift tags! (I already bought 3 sets)

  Pretty Entertaining launched a new recurring post called The Little Things and I love it! This one focuses on what to do with your engagement ring before you walk down the aisle.

  The new OK GO music video rules:

And now, more from that DELICIOUS Corpse Bride // Day of the Dead Bridal Inspiration Shoot!

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From the Photographer:

The concept behind this shoot was to create an alternative bridal inspiration shoot that drew deeply from the traditions of the season. There are two different brides presented here, a bride inspired by the festive and vibrant colors of Dia de los Muertos, and a bride that is my personal take on the Corpse Bride. With both brides, I wanted to do something more dark, raw, and unique to show that there is exceptional beauty in the non-traditional bride. And show that not every bridal session has to be light, airy, and whimsical to be beautiful. There is a very real, raw, and emotional beauty to this shoot that I hope you connect with. It is perfect for getting in the Halloween spirit and celebrating the non-traditional bride!

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Dia de los Muertos
For this shoot we used the vibrant colors of the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos as our inspiration. The beautiful purple headpiece by Amber Dickson of Amber Reverie was inspired by a headpiece worn by Lana Del Rey. We used the fading fall hills as our back drop and used vintage treasures such as a tarnished jewelry box and old mid-century wooden chair. Jaden looks hauntingly beautiful in this shoot and her fair skin and pale green eyes literally glow in the fading light.

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The Corpse Bride
This shoot made all my dark and twisted dreams come true. Jaden is wearing a slim and sleek black lace vintage dress with a long white drop veil for a dramatic and eerie effect. She looks so ghostly yet beautiful surrounded by the barren landscape. The bouquet designed by Amber was full of deep purples and greens and worked perfectly with Jaden’s skin tone and lip color. The low light worked in our favor as we created a scene fitting for a corpse bride.

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Vendors ~ Photography: Jordan Zobrist Photography | Floral and Design: Amber Reverie| Model  | Jaden Johnson | Floral Dress: Vintage | Black Lace Dress: Vintage


Andrea & Nate’s Colorful, Offbeat Maryland Wedding at American Visionary Arts Museum

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I mean COME ON. A bride rocking short red hair? With tattoos? An AWESOME wedding color palette? Mismatched bridesmaids dresses AND set at the American Visionary Arts Museum?! I mean, what else can I say?! I am IN LOVE with this Maryland wedding. Abram (of A.E. Landes Photography) emailed me about being a fellow PSU alum (we are!) and then dropped THIS stunner of a wedding in my inbox and I was pumped. I hope to have more awesome weddings like this from Abram. Happy Thursday all!

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From the couple:

We chose AVAM because we are both art lovers. Nate teaches music, and I teach visual art. The quirkiness of the venue made it so easy to incorporate lots of DIY details, like our table adjective flags. We chose adjectives instead of numbers because we wanted our guests to feel really special. For us, the most important part of our wedding planning process was creating our dream party, where we and everyone that we love could feel loved and joyful.

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Click inside for SO MUCH MORE awesome from this wedding feature – including dinosaur details and bridesmaids in a gorgeous mismatched palette of blue!

Let’s Get Personal: My Weekend at the Washington, DC Blogcademy

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Image: A Muse Photography

A few weeks ago I attended The Blogcademy in Washington, DC – a 2-day long workshop focused on blogging, branding, and monetizing your business. I’ve been smitten with the workshop (and it’s amazing tagline, “No boredom. No bathering. No bullshit”) since I first saw it pop-up on Rock & Roll Bride’s social media accounts and blog a few years ago. I dreamed of attending, and lived vicariously through the instagram pictures of the workshops occurring across the world, never thinking that I would ACTUALLY get to attend.

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Image: Val & Sarah

And then one day on Twitter I saw Kat tweet that they were launching a class in Washington, DC. I almost fell out of my chair in excitement. I couldn’t believe it – I never really thought they’d come to my city! I signed up immediately (Kat confirmed this at class) and was literally the first person to sign up. I then waited in anticipation for 6 months for the first day of The Blogcademy to arrive.

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Pics from my Instagram!

I was SUPER pumped when Sarah of Val & Sarah and Maggie of Pop Wed Co! decided to attend too. While I am a totally type A person, I am not always that out-going/great at meeting people, so it was nice to have some friends that I knew AND also pretty rad to get to share the incredible weekend with 2 of my favorite friends in the DC wedding scene.

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Click inside for the rest of my recap of The DC Blogcademy!

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