Win Professional Makeup for Your Engagement or Anniversary Session!

We’re ALREADY BACK with our second giveaway of the week! This time we are giving away the chance to have your makeup professionally done by Suz the Makeup Chic for your engagement or anniversary session!!

Win Professional Wedding Makeup for Your Engagement or Anniversary Session with Suz the Makeup Chic

dc wedding makeup artist wedding giveaway

From The Make-Up Chic herself:

Engagement Photo Chic(k)-   Congratulations!  Before you can even think about all the wedding details, you know you need an engagement photo for your “Save the Dates”, Facebook, and Wedding Blog.  In order to properly prepare for hours of holding hands, skipping in the streets, rolling in the fields, gazing at one another, kicking up your heels – all to capture images of your love – start with your most photographic feature, your lovely face!

dc makeup engagement session

Offer Valid until December 2014. Travel restrictions may apply, including fees for travel requested outside of Washington DC metro area limits. Availability subject to the Make-Up Chic’s schedule.

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Win a 1-Hour Rock the Frock Session with Joanna Tillman

This is it. We are kicking off an ENTIRE WEEK of giveaways in celebration of last week’s brandy new Capitol Romance blog design! Can you feel the excitement!? I can! Each day we will giveaway one to two kickass, wedding related items and each giveaway will be open for entries for one week. There is something for everyone this week! Photoshoots, jewelry, makeup, design, and on Friday we will culminate the week with our biggest giveaway ever.


I won’t ruin the big surprise just yet, but in the meantime let’s talk the very first giveaway for the Ultimate Week of DC Wedding Giveaways. We’re kicking things off with Joanna Tillman Photography.

Win a 1-Hour Rock the Frock Session with Joanna Tillman Photography


Ladies, dust off that wedding dress and let’s get rocking! Joanna Tillman Photography is giving away a 1-hour, on-location “rock the frock” portrait session with $50 credit towards prints! This would also make a GREAT anniversary present or bridal shower gift for any of your friends or family that is getting married soon!

Entering is easy – just use our rafflecopter widget. This giveaway ends next Monday, so start entering!! And in the mean time, check out more from Joanna Tillman Photography.





Travel restrictions may apply. Offer valid 1-year after winning. Session scheduling up to availability of Joanna Tillman Photography.

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Brunch Wedding Reception Inspiration at a Virginia Winery

There has been a lot of lady love on the blog this week. It was completely unintentional, but now that it’s happened I figured, why not let it continue? So today we are blogging a styled shoot from Mollie Tobias Photography & Eight Tree Street. The theme? A casual same-sex brunch reception featuring two beautiful and inked ladies!!

The details are beautiful and totally steal worthy if you plan to have a brunch wedding – and the execution is perfect, right down to the heart-shaped bacon strips (oh and a pancake cake … let that sink in).

A Casual, Brunch Reception Inspired Wedding Shoot at Paradise Springs Winery in Virginia

same sex wedding brunch reception


Photographer:  Mollie Tobias Photography | Hair Stylist: Up-Do’s For I Do’s | Bridal Accessories: Weddingzilla | Floral Designer: Eight Tree Street | Venue:Paradise Springs Winery | Invitation Designer: Simply Designed | Caterer: The Aubergine Chef | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

From the vendors:

This Ikat inspired vineyard wedding celebrates two beautiful brides on their wedding day in an outdoors rustic wedding with interior design details and patterns. The shoot includes a gorgeous spread for an outdoor brunch, provided by The Aubergine Chef, complete with a pancake wedding cake, heart shaped bacon bites, heart shaped cinnamon rolls, and mini quiches.

same sex wedding brunch

brunch wedding pancake cake

you had me at pancake wedding cake and bacon hearts!!!

same sex wedding brunch reception

Styled but useful – this styled shoot incorporated some easy DIY projects!

A fabulous DIY component includes easy to make sparkly favor boxes and pendant decorations for table and food, the favor boxes are excellent to use for delicious goodies for your guests.

brunch wedding favors

Click inside for the rest of the details and inspiration from a styled wedding brunch reception!

Paigh & Kristen’s Handmade “P&K” Themed Backyard Wedding in Virginia

You might remember these beautiful ladies from their “summer light engagement pictures” on the water. Well they got married with some serious style, details, laughter, excitement, and of course, LOVE. They had a completely personalized ceremony in their backyard, officiated by a dear friend, including their own vows, a moment of meditation, and a ring warming ritual ( their wedding bands were passed around to every guest so they may place their best wishes, love, and hope for the new couple upon them)!  Kristen & Paigh used their initials “p&k” for their overall wedding motif and totally customized their wedding day with some gorgeous outdoor wedding decorations.

A special thanks to What A Lovely Photo for sharing her images of this beautiful Virginia wedding with us! Check out all the awesome details below.

Paigh & Kristen’s Handmade, Personalized Backyard Virginia Wedding

same sex backyard virginia wedding


Photography: What A Lovely Photo | Venue: Private Home | Wedding Planner: A friend  | Catering: Owner of Nate’s Taco Truck | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

From the photographer:

Everything about this day was beautiful, and I feel grateful to have been a part of it. These ladies started the day off with champagne and lots of laughter, nervous excitement, and hugs. Lots and lots of hugs. Paigh and Kristen had no idea what the other one would be wearing, and the look on their faces as they saw each other for the first time was priceless. They both looked incredible! That dress, the hair, and oh my goodness…those shoes! This is one of the sweetest couples I’ve had the pleasure of working with, and I feel like I made two new friends in the process.

Yes, those shoes indeed ;)

silver patent leather shoes

Their decor was really awesome – they made their own version of a wood chandelier!

wood chandeliere virginia backyard wedding

Paigh & Kristen share all the details:

The motif of the wedding was the letters “p &k” written in a script font. This element was incorporated throughout the wedding planning and ceremony. The “p & k” was on the invitations, “save the dates,” and glasses at the wedding ceremony. One amazing feature was the live size “p&k” hanging at the wedding. The wedding planner and her husband, who were also the best friends of the brides, cut out the letters “p & K” using a laser cutter. This design was used, hanging amongst wild flowers on tweed strands, as a decorative piece between two trees next to the food and cake.

handmade backyard virginia wedding

The overall theme is best summarized in three words: natural, simple, and beautiful. Alicia, best friend/wedding planner, incorporated these interests with elegance and an impeccable eye for design. The tones of the wedding were subtle, earthy and natural. The cake was on a stand, which sat on a slice of a tree trunk. Candles, mason jars and wildflowers were everywhere.

modern backyard lesbian wedding attire

same sex backyard virginia wedding

Click inside for the rest of Kristen & Paigh’s backyard Virginia wedding from What a Lovely Photo.

And the award goes to ….

In my imagination I’ve just won an award. An award for the most amazing DC wedding blog re-design and I am really at a loss of words at this point.

Ok, just kidding – when am I ever at a loss of words?

But seriously, the plans to re-design Capitol Romance started back in MARCH. 6 months ago! That is insane, and really, honestly & truly, I could not have accomplished this without some seriously awesome people. They deserve the thanks and all the compliments in the world, so much more than me. So here goes:

First, to Stacy Kleber Design for signing up to work with me back in March. She took a chance on me and all my crazy ramblings of attempting to tell her what I wanted for a new blog template … right down to this morning (where I am still currently emailing her crazy things).

Second, to Ryan Jensen, Stacy’s husband, and the master-coder behind the blog re-design. Thank you for taking my crazy ideas (I want a slider… but this template doesn’t have a slider in it … wellll can’t you just put it in there?) and making them into a reality.

Third, to Al with nDeviX for creating a completely custom ad platform for me. I have always been terrified by taking sponsors on the blog, but thanks to you and your amazing IT skills, advertising is not all that scary any more. The platform is better than I could have ever imagined.

Fourth, to my bestest friend Steve (check out his awesome site), who let’s be honest, this blog would not at all be possible without. Steve has been there with me since day one, coaching me, solving all my IT problems, hosting my website, and giving me design advice throughout the entire re-design. There is no Capitol Romance without Steve and no amount of thanks or words here could EVER re-pay what he has done (and continues to do for me).

Fifth, to my husband for letting me do this crazy thing called Capitol Romance. Running a blog and a wedding coordination business on top of a day-job is not always easy, but Andy is so insanely supportive and helpful with everything, I couldn’t do it without him.

Sixth, to all the vendors that submit content, features, and guest posts. There really is no wedding blog without your submitted content, so keep those rockin’ DC wedding features coming!

and finally, and probably most importantly, to YOU, my readers who really keep this blog (and me!) going. Your views, clicks, comments, searches, and even emails keep me going. You are the lifeblog of this wedding blog, and it really would be nothing without you guys. So thank you for sticking with me for 2+ years (even if you’ve gotten married already but still read!). I can’t wait to continue this journey with you all.





Petal Share: Donating Post-Wedding Flowers to Those in Need

Last week I received an email from Heather, the founder of a recently launched DC non-profit organization called Petal Share. Petal Share’s mission is to share recycled flowers from weddings & events with people in DC nursing homes, hospice centers and hospitals.

Um how seriously awesome is this idea!?

One of the reasons I didn’t want flowers in my wedding was because of the waste-factor. I hated thinking all this money would be spent on beautiful, living flowers, for a total of one day and then they would just be thrown out. I nearly force every centerpiece and bouquet on other vendors at the end of weddings I am now working as well!! It just kills me to throw out beautiful flowers – so, sharing them with those in need in hospice, nursing homes, and hospitals!? UH GENIUS. And so, so awesome.

Petal Share: Donate Your Wedding Flowers to Those in Need

petal share donate wedding flowers

So far Petal Share has a special emphasis on Ward 8 facilities (specifically the Washington Nursing Facility) and has shared over 400 stems to people in need of a smile, but there are a handful of ways you could join in on the awesome even if you don’t live in Ward 8.

First, if you’d like to donate flowers from your upcoming wedding or event, please hop on over to Petal Share’s website and fill out a contact form!

petal share donate wedding flowers

Second, head on over to Petal Share’s Facebook page and see what items you could consider donating to help out! Petal Share operates through the generosity of donors. So we ALWAYS welcome gifts of floral foam, flower shears, aprons, gloves, floral tape/wire, small vases, gift tags and ribbon. Scraps are fine and no quantity is too small.

Third, Petal Share is currently searching for a facility they could use on Sunday afternoon/evenings to help sort & re-package the flowers. A space with a water source is needed, and one with a commercial refrigerator would be super appreciated!

Fourth, if you are an event designer or florist and want to partner with Petal Share – please contact them as well!

Fifth – Petal Share is in need of volunteers to pickup, deliver, transport, coordinate and re-arrange all the awesome flowers they get! Inquiries about volunteering can go to

petal share donate wedding flowers

Want more?? Heather did an interview with Stephen Bobb Photography and they have a TON more information on his website about Petal Share and how you can help!! Check it out here.

Hope you guys consider using Petal Share if you have live flowers for your wedding or next event! Happy Tuesday all :)

Sheena & Lissa’s Virginia Park Engagement in Libby Hill Park

Keeping the awesome coming with an adorable, giggle-filled Richmond, Virginia engagement session from What a Lovely Photo this afternoon. And talk about a LOVE STORY from this couple! It’s funny, sometimes couples write two sentences, and then other times I get novels (I love both equally). But just a warning that this one will be a bit word-heavy, as Sheena wrote a really beautiful reflection of her and Lissa’s love story!

Sheena & Lissa’s Libby Hill Park Engagement in Richmond, Virginia

same sex richmond virginia libby hill park engagement pictures

Photography: What a Lovely Photo | Location: Libby Hill Park | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

From the photographer:

Bad jokes and awkward Segway tourist kept us laughing the whole time. Y’all…get ready to tear up a little, have a big smile on your face, and say “awwww” more times than you can count. Sheena surprised Lissa with a trip to Iceland recently and popped the question during their stay in Reykjavik.  I love seeing other people head over heels in love, and I can’t think of a better example than these two sweethearts.

same sex richmond virginia libby hill park engagement pictures

And now their love story, from bride-to-be, Sheena:

I first saw Lissa on my first day at a little hole in the wall sports bar where I was slinging drinks at for a short stint.  I gawked at her the entire time, quickly turning away every time I thought she was about to look in my direction.  I don’t think she noticed me at all even though she swears she did to this day.  It really didn’t matter at the time, we were both unavailable.

Eight months later, she caught me staring at her from across a busy bar.  I was there with two friends having a drink.  Immediately when I saw her come in, I couldn’t turn away.  I knew that if I didn’t say something to her my ogling was going to seem creepy.  So I turned to my buddies, telling them about my plan to go talk to this stunning woman.  “Oh Lissa!!!  I grew up with her!!! “, my friend hollered.  They both knew her!

same sex richmond virginia libby hill park engagement pictures

I pleaded with them not to go into stealth wing-man mode and I headed to the bar to buy us a drink, mostly for the simple fact that I needed a little liquid courage.  As soon as I walked away, my friend b-lined it to her.  I turned around, drinks in tow.  She was standing right there.  Of course, there was the uncontrollable perma-grin introduction.  We took the shots and as soon as her glass hit the bar she said, “So, you think Im hot?”  Stumped and annoyed at my friend’s lack of creativity, I just said “Absolutely!”  Her perfume was intoxicating.  And so, I leaned into every single thing she said, for the next three hours.  Unfortunately, I learned that she was at the tail end of a rocky long-term relationship.  I completely understood, having gone through the same thing about six months prior.  I gave her my phone number and told her that if she is ever available that she should give me a call and that was that.

same sex richmond virginia libby hill park engagement pictures

Six months later, serendipity at its finest, I saw Lissa again.  I was going to meet some friends and was yapping it up at a table.  I had turned around to grab my drink on the other side of me and it was as if she just came out of nowhere, just talking to the same person I was just talking to!  I froze.  I knew that if I talked I would have stuttered horribly through some ‘Hey, how are you?s’.  So in attempts of not sounding like a blubbering idiot, I gently pinched her elbow and smiled hello.  Once she recognized me, I had a completely different look, up flailed her arms, spin around tornado move into I’m sure some kind of crazy yoga bend and up to an elated and surprised hello.  We sat down face to face, knees interlocked and talked intently about everything under the sun for the next few hours.  She asked me to dinner at the end of the night.

same sex richmond virginia libby hill park engagement pictures

Click inside for the rest of Sheena & Lissa’s beautiful Libby Hill Park engagement session AND the rest of their beautiful love story

Enter to Win 5 Custom Label Groomsmen Socks from Cute N Crafty Shop

Well you might have noticed that things are a BIT different around here today! That’s because for the past MANY months, we have been working with Skleber Design & her husband Ryan to create a new, custom Capitol Romance!!! This week might be a bit rough as I continue to clean up posts, ensure everything is working properly, and hopefully give all you, my readers, an improved experience finding the BEST alternative, offbeat & creative resources for DC weddings!!

So, to kick things off, we are hosting a giveaway!! And then next week, we will be running 1-2 giveaways PER DAY leading up to our final, HUMONGOUS giveaway from KD Creative in celebration of our brandy new blog. Just you wait and see how awesome it is! But first things first, let’s get today’s awesome giveaway from Cute N Crafty up and running!

Enter to Win 5 Custom Label Groomsmen or Father of the Bride/Groom Socks

custom groomsmen socks unique gift[Photo: Kristen Monroe]

From Cute N Crafty Shop:

Every Bride and Groom wants their big day to be unique and memorable. I love that our products give couples a chance to add that “something special” to their day. The “Cold Feet” socks help chase away pre-wedding jitters by putting a smile on the grooms face and the groomsmen socks are a great way to say thank you (and make sure they aren’t wearing gym socks to your wedding). I also know that wedding expenses can add up fast! So getting freebies rocks! I am happy that I can offer that to couples as they embark on this new journey.

So basically these make a PERFECT gift to your groomsmen! Entering is easy, just leave a blog comment and enter via our Rafflecopter widget below! Extra chances to win by liking Capitol Romance and Cute N Crafty on Facebook and by tweeting about the giveaway! Giveaway ends next Wednesday, 1 October 2013.

Giveaway entitles 1 lucky winner to win 5 pairs of black socks, with either a standard “Cold Feet” label, custom groomsmen name labels, or a father of the bride/groom labels – in whatever combination you want! Shipping anywhere in the US is also included!

custom groomsmen socks unique gift

[Photo: Kristen Monroe]

BUT WAIT …. there’s more! Click inside for more AND to enter this awesome giveaway from Cute N Crafty shop!

Capitol Nontradition: Bouquet & Garter Toss Alternatives

The more client meetings I have as a wedding coordinator, the more I hear “we don’t want to do that traditional bouquet toss/garter toss stuff”. Personally, that is music to my ears – I for one am not a big fan of doing traditional things, for the sake of tradition. I’d much prefer couples choose meaningful events to happen throughout their wedding day. Plus, as one photographer so eloquently put it, “wedding guest reactions to garter toss are almost always 100% awkward & uncomfortable”. So yeah.

So for today’s post we thought we’d share some ideas and inspiration around some bouquet/garter toss alternatives! These are just suggestions to get your mind going – because as I just stated, you should mostly pick something that works/means something to YOU/your partner/your family and not just do one of these because you saw it on a blog ;)

See what I did there?

Bouquet & Garter Toss Alternatives

1. Throwing something OTHER than a bouquet/garter

So this one involves still tossing SOMETHING to a myriad of your guests, but maybe not your precious bouquet, or that garter you just fetched from under a dress. Take a page out of Emily Porter’s book and throw and angry bird:

[Emily & Bobby's Wedding | Image: Ken Kienow]

Or possibly a gamer-themed “Companion Cube”, like  Jenn did. I mostly loved Jenn’s throwing choice because she shared, “I threw a Companion Cube from the video game Portal 2. It was “for LOVE”, so all women, single and married, would be blessed with more love in their lives.”

[Jenn & Brent's Video Game Infused Wedding | Image: Nancy Anderson Photography]

2. The Anniversary Dance

Instead of forcing your single friends to fight for your bouquet, try honoring the couple that’s been married the longest at your wedding! It’s called the “Anniversary Dance” and it requires your DJ or Band to call all the married couples to the floor. A song plays & then the MC calls out years, and asks that if you have been together shorter than that time frame, you leave the dance floor. You are then left with the couple that has been married the longest. We did this at our wedding – and it was a huge success! I was also pretty impressed to find out that my Aunt & Uncle had been married over 40 years!

[My parents dancing at my wedding | Image: Live It Out Photography]

3. Bouquet Passing & Honoring

At my cousin-in-law’s (is that a thing?) wedding, the bride decided to pass her bouquet to the lady at the wedding that was next in line to get married. I’ve seen this a few other times before and I really like it – it’s a great way to recognize the next wedding instead of just embarrassing your single friends.

bouquet alternatives

And then there is Allison & Jay that decided to pass/honor their grandmother with the bride’s bouquet! Alison shares, “There are certain wedding traditions that just didn’t really make sense to us so we either opted out entirely or changed them to suit us. We didn’t do a garter toss at all but when it came to the bouquet I just thought that giving it to someone to honor them would have more meaning than tossing it at one of our two single lady friends. :)

My grandparents have now been married for 64 years and their relationship has always been an inspiration to me. They still hold hands when they walk together. I wore my grandmother’s wedding ring during the ceremony and afterwards when I gave it back she told me there were “63 years of love in that ring.” So for the bouquet I presented it to my grandmother and talked a little but about how much of an inspiration they were and then the DJ played their wedding song: “Believe” by Perry Como.

[Allison & Jay's Wedding | Image: Leo Druker Photography]

And Heidi & Jason passed the bouquet to their grandparents as well – in honor of their 65th wedding anniversary! So, basically an anniversary dance, without the dance. ;)

bouquet toss alternatives

[Amber Wilkie Photography]

4. And last but not least, you could always just do the Dollar Dance!

Recent bride, Jennifer shared, “Instead of doing the garter/bouquet toss, we did a money dance. I know it sounds so corny and outdated, but it was awesome. Everyone was really into doing it with us and we were given enough money to pay for all our meals on our honeymoon:) Basically the best man and maid of honor wear aprons and collect money when someone comes up to dance with the bride or the groom as long as one really fun and fast song still plays. Its supposed to be a race to make the most money of course and its a lot of fun.

bouquet toss alternatives

[Image: Eric Shaughnessy]

OK Romancers – that rounds up what we found – but I KNOW we missed other equally awesome ideas! Please share any rad ones you might have and we will work to keep this post updated as they come in! Happy Friday!

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