Introducing Limited Time Cherry Blossom Designs on the #CapRoStore

Happy Friday Romancers! The temps are about to plunge, but we’re thinking SPRING over in the #CapRoStore with the launch of our limited time, brand new cherry blossom designs: “Our Capitol Life” & “Our Capitol Love”, available right now, but only until May!

The cherry blossom trees are just about to bloom along the tidal basin, and we can’t think of a better Spring-time representation for our city, than the blossoms. Our design is a hand-painted, watercolor cherry blossom tree, with some CapRo branding mixed in, that you can get on mugs, prints, & pillows. And to celebrate the launch of these limited time products, we’re giving away a pillow in square OR rectangle size, to a lucky winner on our #CapRoStore Instagram!

Just head on over to our CapRoStore Instagram, give us a follow, like the post, & tag a friend, for your chance to win! We’ll close the giveaway down on Sunday and announce our winner on Monday! And as always, we’d love to hear your feedback on the new designs (or any past designs), ideas for new products, or anything at all to help the shop grow!! Have a great weekend all!

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Guest Post: Tips & Advice on Wedding Venue Searching in Washington, DC

We’re getting back into the swing of things with our bride-to-be guest blogger, Rebecca, back today, as we’re still playing catch-up on LIFE after an amazing (albeit exhausting) #daywithoutawoman strike. Everyone go to the Sewell-Paul National Women’s Equality Monument ASAP!!!! You will not be sorry. We’ve also go BIG NEWS over on the #CapRoStore today (and check out the giveaway on Instagram!). Here we are tackling the insane task of finding a wedding venue in DC … it’s certainly one of the biggest challenges about getting married here, so it’s a topic I like to get fresh & new perspectives on. Take it away Rebecca!

Tips & Insight on Finding a Wedding Venue in Washington DC | By: Rebecca Grawl

D.C. is a great city.  We have incredible history, diverse culture, delicious food, amazing beer, awesome people, civil disobedience, and a gorgeous display of cherry blossoms every year.  It’s basically the perfect city to get married in.  The only problem is a LOT of other couples feel that way too.  If you are going to get married in D.C., planning ahead is your friend.

Finding a venue is a pivotal aspect of the wedding planning process.  Your venue is going to play a role in determining the wedding date, the vibe, the budget, the aesthetic, the location, and possibly your guest list.  Finding the right venue isn’t easy – and then you have to find the right venue with your date AND in your budget while dozens of other couples do exactly the same thing?  It can be daunting.  But worry not – I’ve got you.

My Five Step, Fool-ish Proof Venue Plan:

  1. Guest List – Venues in D.C. tend to come in two categories – small and quaint (>75 guests) or large and roomy (150 or more!)  You will save yourself a lot of trouble by having a good sense of your guest list before visiting venues.  Sit down with your beloved, grab a bottle of wine and make a list.  Trim the list.  Add to the list.  Trim again.  Have a fairly solid idea of the number of guests that you will have and only visit venues that will accommodate that number.  Also, err on the side of caution.  If you’ve ever been to a wedding where you are pushing the fire code limit, you know it’s not fun.  Save everyone the anxiety.  Plan for an extra body or two.
  2. Budget – A good rule of thumb is to plan for your venue to be 35% of your total budget, whatever that is.  If your venue includes tables, chairs, decorations, catering, etc, that percentage could change.  Don’t forget to consider taxes, deposits, and insurance, if required.  Have an idea of what your number is for a venue (and the amenities it might provide for the price) and only visit venues that fit your budget.  That said – don’t be afraid to consider a off-season date, an unusual time of day, weeknight wedding, or whatever strings you can pull to get a discounted rate.
  3. Get Involved – Go see your venue!  The Internet is amazing but real life is needed for this part of wedding planning.  Go ask lots of questions and take LOTS of notes.  Visiting venues can be overwhelming.  Some places will take prospective couples on a guided tour and give you a ton of useful information all at once.  Other venues will tour you around one-on-one and send you home with packets of information.  If you’ve researched the venue in advance, try to come prepared with one or two questions specific to your event.  After each our venue visits, my fiancee and I would grab a coffee and take notes on what we immediately loved or didn’t love about a venue.  It was very helpful to be able to look back at those gut instinct reactions.
  4. Deliberate – We came up with a reasonable number of venues to visit (four in total) and were able to whittle down to two after visits.  For those two venues, we drew up mock budgets based on what the venues included, what would be needed to be done to the space, and what the vibe of each space would mean for our wedding.  We called in a few trusted advisors and took a couple of weeks to try to imagine our wedding in that space.  This is a big decision.  It’s okay to take a little time to think about the big picture.
  5. But Don’t Hesitate – The biggest caveat here is not to wait TOO long.  The best venues in town will get booked up.  The ones that are awesome AND reasonably priced will get booked up even faster.  If you have a specific venue or a specific time of year in mind, the earlier you book, the better.

Happy International Women’s Day!

 

Thanks for stopping by the blog today! I am off standing in solidarity with women in DC and women all over the US that are celebrating International Women’s Day, by recognizing a strike called A Day Without A Woman (more here: https://www.womensmarch.com/)

While there are countless articles about this strike, who it’s for, and who it harms, I am lucky to be a privileged woman that can use paid time off, and her nanny for day-care, so that I can take this day. I recognize my privileged ability here and plan to use the day to support causes I believe in, and woman-owned businesses in Washington, DC.

Whether you plan to partake or not, there is no judgement here. Do whatever makes the most sense for you – and acknowledge how awesome it is to get to make that choice for yourself. For those of you taking the day, I’ll hopefully see you at the 12pm Planned Parenthood Rally at the Capitol, or the 3:30pm Women Workers Rising event downtown. Hope to see you guys there!

Let’s Get Personal: Get Uncomfortable, Listen, & the Necessity of Diversifying the Views in Your Life

Images: Sarah Williams

With all the doom & gloom happening in the country (world?) right now, and constant fury & fear on my Twitter, I am constantly searching for slivers of positivity, or good that game from November’s election. For one, it’s opened my eyes to the need to participate in our government, and no longer be a privileged bystander. I’ve had multiple conversations with friends and family at this point, that if you are not called to action at this point, then you have the privilege to be complacent.

But this post is meant to be less about privilege (though I plan to tackle that topic again because I’ve never been more aware of mine, personally), and more about the need to diversify the people you talk to and interact with on a daily basis. After the election, I was one of those women that was SHOCKED that white women voted so heavily for Trump and I was also one of those women that considered myself a feminist, though had never heard the term intersectional feminism before. I consider myself to be aware of others, however I was aware only as much as I was exposed to from the media I ingested and the people I surrounded myself with. One of the best things (for me personally) that came from the Women’s March, was reading about intersectional feminism, and understanding that there are different degrees & levels of feminism, and that feminism for women of color is a whole other arena. When I thought of feminism, I thought of the most basic version: equality for women! What I never even considered was dividing that group of ‘women’ up further to look at black vs hispanic vs muslim vs poor vs trans women.

One of the first things I started doing (thanks to the countless op-eds I started reading post election & women’s march) was to start following women of colors on Twitter. We all know how I feel about Twitter (it is my everything), but when I took a hard look at my feed, it was filled with mostly white women, neighbors (still heavily white), and DC area businesses. Yikes – this needed to change.

I also keep going back to this video I watched recently about implicit bias. So much of this video has been swirling in my mind – the need to diversify the vantage points in your life, the way children assimilate to similar groups they are brought up in, and how humans naturally assimilate toward more comfortable groups of beings because it’s just that, comfortable. Well it’s time to get uncomfortable. It’s time to follow accounts that are having completely different experiences and are being affected differently by this currently political climate/current administration’s dealings. And in my discomfort, it is time to LISTEN (yes I see the irony in writing that as I type my own thoughts/opinions out in this blog post), and for those of you that know me, you know that I am much more likely the one sharing my opinion, than listening to someone elses.

But that needs to change too. So while I settle into my new realm of discomfort, taking harder looks at my privilege, the people I have in my life, and the circles I keep, I must continue to push myself harder to diversify further and listen more. I think we could all benefit from this. So if you have Twitter accounts for me to follow, books to read, or columns to check out – please send them my way.

Kate & Mike’s Hahn Horniculture Garden Engagement Pictures at Virginia Tech

Images: Jasmine White Photography

Rest wasn’t exactly in the weekend playbook, at least as far as Evie was concerned. Friday was packed with venue walkthroughs (May weddings are just around the corner!!), and Saturday was spent in a no-sleep zombie haze. We got a few things done around the house, but mostly hung around as I head into another week (and upcoming weekend) of single parenting with Andy headed to SXSW. Ah, I’ll sleep again some day right …. RIGHT!? On another note, we have a cute little Virginia Tech engagement session on the blog today. So let’s kick off another week with LOVE, shall we?

Mike and Kate met in Blacksburg in 2013. They initially met online and had their first date at the Au Bon Pan on the Virginia Tech campus, where they each drank multiple cups of tea and chatted for hours.

In the summer of 2016, they planned a two-week trip to Europe. Mike proposed in the small town of Bacharach, Germany, on a hill overlooking the Rhine River.

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