Caitlin & Michael’s Intimate Maryland Wedding on a Boat

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Images: Daysy Photography via Two Bright Lights

It’s been a week. This one felt long – maybe because it was officially my last week in an office until September (not sure that has really hit me yet). These next few days will mostly be me & my laptop, trying to get a bunch of posts scheduled for the next few weeks in case Baby Ryback decides to show up early (though my official due date is Thursday, so not that early!). I’ll keep you guys posted on the arrival and what the blog will look like during my leave, but please be patient as I really don’t know how it will all shake out!

In the meantime, we’re celebrating Friday and another end of the work week with a super cute, intimate Maryland wedding that took place on the water and then a boat!! It was planned in only a month – but everything came together so beautifully! Have a great weekend Romancers! We will be announcing our return address stamp giveaway winner soon AND launching a SUPER AWESOME giveaway on Monday. So stay tuned!

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We decided we wanted the wedding to be intimate and just the two of us. St Michaels was at the top of our list and we were blown away by its beauty and charm. The inn at Perry Cabin was both luxurious and cozy all wrapped into one and from the moment we first arrived to preview the location we knew it was the perfect setting for our wedding.

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I loved how relaxed and stress free the day was it gave us the opportunity to focus on each other and what the day was truly suppose to be about.Tell us about your wedding day fashions. Since we planned our day in only a month I ordered my dress and accessories all online from BHLDN.

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We wanted to stay in theme with our location on the water so blue was our main color. The bouquet was something I made myself using some flowers we purchased at the market their pinkish purple color was a nice complement to the blue.

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We took a boat ride right after the ceremony and it was the perfect setting to spend our first moments as newlyweds.

Ousler Nautical Elopement

Click inside for the rest of Caitlin & Michael’s intimate Maryland boat wedding!

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Sarah & Matt’s Casual, Handmade Wedding at Stillhouse Manor in Virginia

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Images: Holly Cromer Photography | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Sarah and Matt were married at Stillhouse Manor in Hillsville, Virginia which is not your typical wedding venue, the families rented out the house for a long weekend so the true wedding celebration lasted much longer than just the wedding day. Sarah wore a pair of blue lace Toms as her “something blue”. Her mother brought along a bracelet for her to wear that had a church charm on it because her grandfather was a pastor. The whole wedding was handmade by family and friends and made for a very sweet & touching affair.

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From the couple:

The venue/weekend was special for multiple reasons.  Not only was the venue perfect in my opinion (130 acres with no cell phone reception down in a valley) it was the same weekend as my husband’s family’s annual family reunion in the town his dad is from.  The same weekend the previous year we found out Matt’s dad had cancer, and had experienced other family losses.  We just wanted a place where we could get together with loved ones, relax and celebrate together.

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Matt and I met at Campbell University my freshman year, he was a junior. A friend introduced us during welcome week activities. We shared mutual friends and throughout the school year we would see other at activities off and on campus. We were dating other people that year. My sophomore year we contacted again during early move in/welcome week activities. This time we were both single and started dating :)

Matt and I talked about marriage off and on for many years. After Matt’s uncle, Charles passed last June we decided we were ready to have a celebration of something we knew was going to be forever with our closest family and friends. We started planning (I actually bought my dress the day before he proposed). I had been gone for almost a week for work and when i returned, it was late and I needed to repack because we were leaving the next day to meet my matron of honor in DC. Matt made me go down to the sound by our house and proposed so we could celebrate with friends while in DC.

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Our colors…I knew the venue would be lush and green so we just really wanted soft romantic colors.  Pinks, off whites, pale blue…to be honest it didn’t really matter too much.  My bridesmaids were told they could pick their own dresses they wanted to wear and we purchased Khaki pants and ties for the groomsmen.  I just wanted everyone to feel comfortable, happy and like themselves as much as possible.

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Our wedding was basically hand crafted with the love and generosity from all of our family and friends.  Our flowers were mostly wildflowers handpicked in the area that morning by my husband’s two brothers.  The bouquets were assisted with purchasing some roses and hydrangeas and my matron of honor made the bouquets and flower arrangements.
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Some of my favorite things were the boutonnieres and corsages I ordered from a shop on Etsy called dustyluck-I wanted something that would last.  The flowers were made out of lace, burlap leaves and little details like buttons.  I LOVED our bourbon barrels that we wrapped in these little wire lights as cocktail tables.
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The mason jars we used for the flower arrangements were from Matt’s aunt/godmother that she had at her house and I decorated them with burlap and lace. Our officiant was my husband’s best friend from college and he wrote our ceremony for us.  I did not want things to be too matchy-matchy.  Instead of renting linens I bought different fabrics from the store for the tables.  I made the banner that hung above the sweets table with burlap and fabric.  My husband made the mason jar lights and wine bottles lights that were either hung or placed around the venue.  Our videographer/late night DJ was a good friend of ours from the OBX.
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Click inside for more of Sarah & Matt’s handmade Virginia wedding!

Grace & Ben’s Laid Back, Historic City Richmond Virginia Engagement Pictures

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Images: Imani Fine Art Photography

Did you all have a good weekend? Yesterday was gorgeous! Andy & I got some relaxing in and were mostly up to our eyeballs in all things baby prep. Now that we know how to swaddle we officially feel ready (well pending Andy making me the ultimate labor music playlist ;) so I guess it’s just a waiting game from here! I plan to blog as much as I can up to whenever this little guy or gal arrives and will keep you posted on when I will return to blogging as well. But in the meantime let’s get to today’s adorable engagement pictures thanks to Nadiya of Imani Fine Art Photography. She sent me the beautiful engagement session & love story of Grace & Ben. Check it out and HAPPY MONDAY!

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From the photographer:

Grace and Ben are an awe-inspiring couple. They are quirky, down to earth and deserve to be featured for they are the real deal times a million. They’re both from the D.C. area, and I’m based out of Richmond, so they planned a night stay in the lovely historic city in order to do engagement shoots with me that evening. As fate would have it took them a crazy 5+ hours to even get to Richmond from D.C. #justno. On top of everything it got mad cloudy and rainy, and I was actually supposed to go out of town right after the shoot! Tragedy? A cancellation? Nope, alas we made it work. I postponed my trip, and we planned a sunrise shoot at Libby Hill park overlooking the city.

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Before our shoot I got a chance to chat with them, and I knew right away that we would be friends. Grace is a high school English teacher, and Ben left a life of finance to start his own catering company up in D.C.: B.Lin Catering. He totally stepped out on faith and has been crazy successful, I loved it. We sat on my wide southern porch in the misty rain and just got to know each other a little better. Grace told me the back story about the engagement ring that I seriously could not stop starring at.

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Click inside for the rest of Grace & Ben’s adorable Richmond, VA engagement pictures!

Taylor & Nate’s Intimate Washington DC Pop Up Wedding at

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Images: Pop Wed Co

It’s FRIDAY! We made it. Woof what a week. Maybe it’s the whole pregnancy thing but this week just kicked my ass! Andy & I will be wrapped up in baby classes all weekend, but I am kind of excited for them! Hoping you all have a fantastic weekend too (how could you not? It’s the WEEKEND!). For Friday we have a super fun & awesome Washington DC elopement wedding from my favs, Pop Wed Co. Taylor & Nate didn’t want to spend a fortune on their wedding so they opted for a pop-up elopement instead. Naturally they picked the BEST elopement company in DC too. Here are all the amazing pics and details – have a great weekend!

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From the couple:

We went to high school together, and actually our younger brothers played baseball together for years when they were kids. Taylor’s mom used to point out Nate at the baseball field and say how cute he was and that they should date. Then a few years later, our German teacher and Taylor’s mom told us each that the other wanted to go to the prom together and essentially tricked us into being each others’ dates. We went, and started dating shortly after…that was nine years ago!

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Why they wanted a pop-up wedding instead of a traditional wedding:

We knew we didn’t want to spend a lot, and didn’t want a lot of stress. We weren’t really sure what that would look like until we saw the Pop Wed Co. piece in the Washington Post back in the summer; after investigating further, we knew a popup wedding fit our budget and sounded so cool and easy. Plus, good pictures were really important to us, and Maggie’s pics from previous weddings were so awesome!

Since we had to keep it small, and our family is not local, we limited it to parents, siblings, and our good friend/sorta-maid of honor. That gave us a good core group that included all the most important people but wasn’t too cumbersome to wrangle and lead around the city!

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In the spring our parents are also hosting a reception in Pittsburgh (back home) for our extended families so they’ll have a chance to celebrate with us too. It worked out really well and is the best of both worlds.

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Advice for other couples planning a more intimate or pop-up wedding:

The planning process was overall pretty easy, and we were lucky to have families who supported our popup vision. Advice for prospective popup couples: you WILL have to explain the concept to everybody, all the time, multiple times, because easy weddings blow people’s minds. This breaks all the rules! But there are no rules, and in the end almost everyone will think it’s a very cool idea and many will confess to wishing they’d thought of it when they got married.

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Click inside for SO MUCH MORE awesome from Nate & Taylor!!

DIY Workshop Recap: Top Knots & Hair Styling with Alison Harper & Co

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 Images: Brandilynn Aines Photography

Somehow we’ve already had our 2nd DIY Workshop of the year – I really cannot believe how fast 2015 is flying. We had a more intimate group this time around, but that didn’t mean we didn’t have FUN. I was super pumped to offer an ASL interpreter for this workshop after getting a request from a bride-to-be for her, her maid of honor, mother and mother in law. I really do want to ensure these DIY workshops are accessible and open to ALL and any couples or participants in the DC area.

Alison Harper & Co was our host this time around, teaching attendees how to create 2 different “top knot” looks. One a bit more informal, on top of the head, and a second, more formal look, in more of a low side bun. Check out all the fun images of the workshop and our sponsors below and don’t forget to SAVE THE DATE for our next workshop, Mini Party Pinatas with Piccadilly Creative on June 28th!

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We have the BEST sponsors! The world’s best tea from Runningbyrd Tea:

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Delicious snacks from RIS DC:

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Chocolate chip banana muffins from Banana Love Muffins:

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And now it’s TOP KNOT TIME!

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Click inside for the rest of the images from our Top Knot DIY Workshop!

Amanda & Sean’s Romantic Winter Wedding at Josephine Butler Parks Center

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Images: Candice Adelle Photography

Blush, white, and gold makes SUCH a romantic color palette for a wedding – especially when you throw in fireplaces and a wintry Josephine Butler Parks Center – one of my favorite venues in DC! Amanda & Sean wanted their wedding to feel more like an intimate dinner party, then a crazy reception and their decor & design (executed by Pure Whimsy Events) accomplished this perfectly. Check out the beautiful details of this intimate, DC wedding below!

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Our wedding party was family only. The best man was the grooms father, and the brides brother was the officiant. Having the brides brother marry the couple and write the entire program, coupled with the candle lit only ceremony made for a very romantic wedding.

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The bride hand lettered all the wedding signs, painted the monograms, and provided all the vases for the venue.

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Click inside for the rest of Sean & Amanda’s beautiful, intimate Washington DC wedding at Josephine Butler Parks Center!

Giveaway: Custom Return Address Stamp from Pomp Creative

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It’s been way too long since we’ve had a giveaway on the blog! Well that’s about to change thanks to Pomp Creative - a full-service design studio that specializes in wedding day branding for unique couples! I actually met the owner, Liz, after my panel participation at Wedding Wire World and was so happy I did! Lots of my clients & I would assume my readers, don’t know what “wedding branding” is OR they often ask me “how do I make our wedding custom/look like it’s “ours”? Well hiring a vendor like Pomp Creative would be the perfect place to start!

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First – a little more about Pomp Creative:

At Pomp Creative, sophisticated style meets modern simplicity. Pomp is a full-service design studio that creates wedding day branding as unique as you are. Specializing in foil stamping, letterpress and engraving, Pomp will design custom fine stationery for your Big Day. But it doesn’t end there! Pomp can also style the entire occasion. From favors to maps to gobos, we’ll design a cohesive look that is totally you. Call 516.514.POMP or visit pompcreative.com to start styling your wedding day today.

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And now onto that giveaway! We are excited to announce that Liz has offered to giveaway one custom return address stamp to one lucky winner. The winner will get to chose between 5 designs and will also have the option between a wood mounted stamp or a self-inking stamp. Details on the stamp types are as follows:

  • a wood mounted stamp which is made of high-quality, commercial-grade red rubber and mounted to traditional wood. Imprint size is approximately 2.5 x 1.25”.
  • a self-inking inking stamp which is good for up to 10,000 impressions before needing to be re-inked. Imprint size is approximately 2.45″ x 0.97”. Ink color is black.

Check out these GORGEOUS custom wedding return address stamps:

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Giveaway ends FRIDAY MAY 1st!

Details for entering are within the widget below! Leave a blog comment to enter before the contest closes on Friday and extra points for following Pomp Creative on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram! Good luck and Happy Monday :)

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The Ultimate Harry Potter Bridal Shower – Details & Decorations

Jenny's Harry Potter Themed Bridal Shower

Images: Saperstone Studios | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Sometimes I swear that being a self-proclaimed Harry Potter fanatic is one of my best marketing tools. I get inquiries for wedding coordination clients that reference being fellow Harry Potter fans, I get SUPER RAD Harry Potter gifts from clients and I also get super awesome Harry Potter submissions – like today’s Harry Potter Bridal Shower. I know I just blogged our Harry Potter baby shower, but I just couldn’t help myself on blogging this HP shower so soon after – it was just so well done!

So once again I must apologize to my non-Harry Potter fan readers and wish you a very happy Friday & weekend now. We have an AWESOME wedding tomorrow that we’ll be prepping for and looking forward to the return of our neighborhood farmers market! Have a great weekend Romancers!

www.SaperstoneStudios.com

My sister in law, Jenny, got married last year. One of my first thoughts when she asked me to be a bridesmaid was ‘we’re going to have SO much fun planning her events’. I knew we could get away with out of the ordinary, out of the box ideas so when us bridesmaids sat down to brainstorm ideas for her shower, Harry Potter was an obvious choice.

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Outside was a ‘witch way’ sign stating you were at Jenny’s shower but also pointing towards Diagon Alley as well as the Three Broomsticks and Honeyduke’s. Decor just inside was the 9 3/4 station along with a Nimbus 2001. We also had an Owlery for guests to place their parcels for the bride, a Three Broomsticks location for potions and food to be consumed as well as a Honeydukes table with everything from ferrero rocher Snitches to Cauldron Cupcakes.

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For games the sorting hat distributed guests into teams where they had to guess the delicious (and some not so delicious, grass jellybeans, anyone?) flavors of Bertie Botts Beans. For favors guests were rewarded with Dementor Relief chocolate bars to sooth the soul.

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The theme of the party was kept a secret up until the event so needless to say she was pretty excited when she finally got to see it all :) A lot of items were DIY but one of my favorites was her wand.

Jenny's Harry Potter Themed Bridal Shower

Instead of tying the brides ribbons and bows from her gifts to a paper plate, we came up with the idea to make Jenny her very own Harry Potter wand to tie things to. I used a wooden dowel and rounded the end with sandpaper. I then painted it purple (her favorite) and formed some clay around the bottom for a base, intertwining aluminum wire as I went, being sure to make some loops for the ribbons to be tied to later. After the clay baked and set, I added a second set of aluminum wire around the wand which spelled out ‘Bride’.

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Matthew & Ian’s Laid Back Patapsco Female Institute Wedding in Maryland

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Images: Russ Hickman Photography

Couple-submitted weddings just never get old to me. Especially when the submission comes with an amazing email thanking me for my blog and the resources I provide. Such was the case with the grooms of today’s real Maryland wedding feature. Matt & Ian emailed me to not only tell me they used Capitol Romance to find venues, resources, and inspiration for their wedding, but would love to have their wedding featured back on the blog. This just gives me all the feels. Sometimes it’s still hard to believe that people want to be featured on this little blog I started over 4 years ago :)

Anyway, Matt & Ian planned and executed a STUNNING wedding – full of DIY projects, focusing on the things that were super important to them (a mixologist! a country/swing band!) AND hiring only vendors from jurisdictions where same-sex marriage was legal. The end result is a wedding that is completely their own and SO much fun to blog! You guys are gonna love this one :)

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When Ian and I first sat down to start wedding planning, we came up with some non-negotiables – the things that mattered most to us. For me, I wanted the event to reflect us, which meant something classy, but casual. I also wanted good food and good music. Ian wanted handmade cocktails from an old-school mixologist, and also felt very strongly about only working with vendors in jurisdictions where same-sex marriage was legalized.

The wedding stationary (Save the Date, Invitation, Menu’s, etc.) were designed by us and printed by a local printer. It was important that we continue the playful, laid-back feel of the wedding through the stationary, as this was going to set the tone for the wedding and our guests. We chose recycled paper and a young, fresh font that was used on all stationary items. The colors dusty blue, orange, and slate were chosen as they felt modern yet masculine.

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The venue came first, and we were challenged with finding a unique venue that was not too stuffy, had a laid back atmosphere, and wouldn’t break the bank. I think we checked out half-a-dozen, which was entirely too many, before we happened upon the Patapsco Female Institute (PFI).

We first saw PFI on Capital Romance and fell in love. The feature was gorgeous, and the wedding looked so interesting that we couldn’t stop coming back to it over and over during our venue search. Initially, there were some aspects of PFI that scared us off: no bathrooms, no indoor rain plan, and just the notion of having to rent and place every piece of furniture, every decorative element, and every light fixture in order to warm up the space and make it our own. However, as other venues got ruled out along the way, PFI kept moving higher on the list, and the challenge of taking the dilapidated ruins of an old girl’s school, and turning them into a cool event space were appealing.

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The history of PFI is really interesting, and slightly dark. We were intrigued by rumors that the venue was haunted by the ghost of Annie Van Derlott, a girl who died in the Institute after coming down with pneumonia. We wanted to own the uniqueness of the space, and make it our own, so we paid tribute to the ghost by naming one of our speakeasy cocktails, “Annie Van Derlott’s Punch.” It was made with aged rum, xo cognac, lemon, sugar, and green tea, served over hand hewn ice with a lemon wheel and freshly grated nutmeg. It must’ve worked because no one reported any hauntings. In fact, on the day of our wedding it rained starting at sunrise. Once we arrived to the venue, however, it stopped. Literally as we pulled up, the clouds parted and the sun came up. I think maybe Annie made that happen, as a way of saying thanks for the booze…

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With a venue nailed down, we were able to piece together other big elements. I’m a vegetarian, have been since high school, so we needed to find a caterer with a good vision for exciting vegetarian options. Ian and I wanted to go with an eco-friendly caterer who worked with locally sourced ingredients, so we did some research on caterers who fit that bill. It didn’t take us long to find Catering By Seasons, a newer eco-caterer that had sprouted up in DC. Bob Sieralta, the catering manager, is a gem; he’s just one of the most energetic people you could meet. Hearing our vision, he got to work on executing it.

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Click inside for SO MUCH MORE of Matthew & Ian’s amazing, homegrown Patapsco Female Institute Wedding in Maryland!

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