Maggie & Shahul’s Intimate, Lakeside Backyard Wedding in Virginia

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It was Maggie’s blush pink wedding dress that first caught my eye in this adorable real Virginia wedding. Then it was all the amazing handmade details, the breathtaking lakeside venue, and of course, all the intimate details. I know you guys are going to love this one – though it’s intimate, the couple didn’t skimp on details and the result is just lovely. Happy Tuesday Romancers!

Maggie & Shahul’s Intimate, Backyard Lake Wedding in Virginia

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 Photographer: Photography by Anna Clark | Bride’s Dress: Jenny Yoo’s Annabelle Dress from BHLDN | Bouquet: Adorn Flowers | Veil: Crown and Sea | Zombie Cake Topper: Creative Butterfly XOX | Sand People: Unity Sand Shoppe | Bakery: Lilly Magillys | Rentals: Fredericksburg Rentals | Catering: Eco Caters | Groom’s Suit: Men’s Wearhouse | Flowers: Pier 1 | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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From the photographer:

Maggie & Shahul had an intimate backyard wedding with 17 guests & the most beautiful details. For privacy reasons we can’t share the ceremony photos but even without them you can see that this wedding is perfect. Her attention to detail is really what took this simple ceremony & dinner to the next level. I was so honored to photograph this wedding. It really was one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever witnessed.

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From the bride on their wedding colors ~ a beautiful blush, black and gold palette:

We chose blush, black, and gold as our main wedding colors. Blush because I love it’s softness and thought it would go well in an outdoor setting and black and gold because we are die hard New Orleans Saints fans (also why I chose a table runner with a fleur de lis pattern) The secondary colors ended up being green and blue because we just love them and again thought they worked well outside.

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^on that ADORABLE blush wedding dress:

This dress was exactly what I wanted. It was flowy and romantic and very affordable!

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Click inside for the rest of Maggie & Shahul’s adorable, intimate Lakeside wedding in Virginia!

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Michelle & Ron’s Laid Back, Casual Washington DC Engagement Pictures

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Happy Monday Romancers!!! We are BACK in action after a full-fledged wedding weekend down in Virginia Beach. I had the absolute pleasure of being a wedding GUEST this weekend (actually a Bridesmaid at that!) and I am still recuperating a bit from all the dancing. Working weddings is a KILLER for someone, like me, who LOVES to dance. My dance itch was nearly incurable and my husband even said to me that I was clearly making up for some lost time at the reception. My feet are still throbbing a bit (and I wore flats!). Needless to say, I cut a rug, and then some. But onto today’s blog post! Thanks to Val & Sarah (gahhhh I love these two), I have an awesome, laid-back Washington DC engagement pictures session to share. Michelle & Ron took their engagement pictures in their neighborhood and even down in the metro!

These came out SO COOL. I’ve seen a few DC Metro engagement pictures before – but naturally Val & Sarah gave it their own flare and the result is just all kinds of awesome. Check out the sess and adorable DC love story below!

Michelle & Ron’s Laid Back, Alternative Washington DC Engagement Pictures

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Photographer: Val & Sarah

 How they met:

We met at our white coat ceremony in the beginning of pharmacy school. He came across the room and said something like, “I came over to introduce myself because our moms have been trying to say hello to each other. So hi I’m Ron!” [our moms probably noticed there was another filipino family so they wanted to connect based on that commonality]. We started talking and he said he was taking his mom on a tour of DC and asked if my mom and I would like to come along. I agreed and we had a great time together.

This was actually the beginning of a new and fun FRIENDSHIP. We were actually each other’s pharmacy school best friends. We studied together, worked out together and joined the same fraternity. But halfway through pharmacy school he admitted he had feelings for me. Apparently it was obvious to everyone but oblivious me.  After some reluctance and hesitation, I gave in and gave him my heart.

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Click inside for the rest of Michelle & Ron’s adorable DC engagement pictures AND for the proposal story!

Capitol Inspiration: A Modern Pinata Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot

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Happy Friday Romancers!! I am down in Virginia Beach for the day celebrating the happy wedding weekend of my good friends Mel & Ted! I am busy with bridesmaids duties, but I couldn’t just leave you guys without a Friday inspiration post, now could I?! And this one is AWESOME. Hot pink, orange, and yellow color palette, geometric shapes, tons of modern wedding details and the best part? A PINATA THEME. Yes! The creators behind the shoot share:

I wanted to create a wedding that was full of fun and inspired by a party, and a piñata is one of my favorite ways to celebrate! There are so many emotions to experience at a wedding, but this styled shoot was inspired by joy and celebration. At the end of the ceremony, the newly married couple kicks off the party by breaking into a piñata, being showered with a spray of confetti.

Thanks to Anna Reynal Photography & ALL the amazing vendors that collaborated on this awesome shoot!

Capitol Inspiration: A Modern Pinata Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot

Anna Reynal | Cheerful Photography


Photography: Anna Reynal Photography  | Dress: Hayley Paige from Garnish Boutique  | Hair & Makeup: Behind the Veil | Invitations: Kelly Nealon | Furniture: XOXO Vintage Rentals | Flowers & Table Linens: Bella Fiori Couture Floral & Event Design | Venue: Powerhouse DC | Desserts: Sweet Hearts Patisserie

Anna Reynal | Cheerful Photography Anna Reynal | Cheerful Photography

More from the vendors:

I loved the faceted shape of the piñata, and all of the colorful fringe, so those elements were carried over into the rest of the wedding decor! Modern color blocked wedding invitations tie everything together and set the stage for an exciting celebration. A DIY fringe backdrop adds a festive flair and faceted shapes (made out of plastic straws and nylon wire) made a fun ceremony backdrop.

Anna Reynal | Cheerful Photography Anna Reynal | Cheerful Photography Anna Reynal | Cheerful Photography

Click inside for SO MUCH MORE of this super rad, modern & brightly colored wedding styled shoot!

Katja & Alex’s Offbeat, Intimate Washington DC Wedding at Phoenix Park Hotel


What do you get when you mix Star Wars, Washington, DC and Scottish traditions? Alex & Katja’s DC wedding of course! Katja picked the date based on numerology and her favorite number 3 (March 30, or 3/30).  They included a lot of personalized and fun details in their day, including the ceremony & reception including traditional Scottish traditions such as Handfasting & drinking from the “Quaich”. Plus I just adore all the Star Wars nods. I mean, who doesn’t?

Katja & Alex’s Offbeat, Scottish Start Wars Wedding in Washington DC

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Venue: Phoenix Park Hotel | Photographer: Kathleen Hertel Photography | Dress: Andrew Adela | Dress shop: Lex’s of Carytown | Shoes: Melissa and Vivian Westwood | Florist: Mid Atlantic Wholesale | DJ: Musical DJs and Event Lighting | Cakes: Cake by Linda | Invites : awthorne House | PJ‘s: NY Cat’s Pajamas | Cake Topper: MelaboWed | Scottish Tartan: The McTavish Gray | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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Click inside for so much more of Katja & Alex’s offbeat DC wedding at the Phoenix Park Hotel!

Let’s Get Personal: The Truth About Getting Married in Offbeat Venues in DC


Last year  I wrote a blog post rounding up some offbeat venues in Washington, DC to have your wedding. At the time my wedding coordination business was just starting out and I hadn’t actually worked at any of these places. I was just going off their awesome pictures and funky vibe – which didn’t really paint the clearest picture of what it’s actually like to get married in these types of places.

Now that I’m halfway through my second year of coordinating, I’ve gotten to work in a few of the venues I listed (and after next year, I’ll have worked in almost ALL of them! woot) and man, have I learned some things.

So naturally, I want to share the things I’ve learned with all of you. Here goes.

Let’s Get Personal: The Truth About Getting Married in Offbeat Venues in DC

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[image: Val & Sarah]

Let me first start off by saying that this post is in NO way meant to paint my experience with these venues in a bad light, nor should you all take my words and experiences as the final end all and be all. The point of this post is the inform and educate and share my experiences so that you all may have the best chance at making the most informed decisions when it comes to your wedding planning. This is what I do with my clients – I provide them with options, facts, and my personal opinion, and that enables them to make the best decision, that works for them.

Ok, now that that is over with. Here are some things I’ve learned:

#1. Flexibility is a MUST

When working with offbeat venues you HAVE to be flexible. Like SUPER flexible. How flexible? Well, most of these venues are real, functioning businesses – yoga studios and art galleries. Meaning they are not at your beck and call whenever you want to go visit them for walk-throughs or even rehearsals. They do not have standard times for wedding events (like rehearsals) and so you will have to work around their schedule.

Example: At one of these venues, I had a rehearsal at 10pm on a Friday evening. Would you be OK with that?

#2 The Land of Never Ending STAIRS

Offbeat venues don’t always have all the bells and whistles that traditional wedding venues do, to cater towards an easy load-in/load-out process or your handicapped guests. Most of the venues I listed on that offbeat DC wedding venue roundup have little to no elevator access.

This means lugging ALL of your wedding items (rentals included!) up and down LOTS of stairs. This also means your elderly guests may not be able to attend all facets of your event. Would you be OK with this?

#3 Communication Can be a Challenge

So far in my experience, communication has been a CHALLENGE (like a big risk/issue) with the venue POCs at these offbeat venues. Why? Well my best guest is two-fold. One, chances are the venue coordinator is not a full time coordinator, devoted only to event management. The coordinator probably wears multiple hats at the venue and isn’t at your beck and call, to only answer wedding related questions. Two, most of the venues on that list are new to the wedding scene. Weddings require a LOT MORE coordination and questions and logistical planning than most other events. Think about what goes into an art gallery opening vs a wedding. Weddings just have SO MANY other moving pieces, not to mention the whole emotional factor that goes into a wedding day. Because these venues and their coordinators don’t often understand all these moving pieces, or the emotions attached, things get lost in translation.

My advice here – get everything in writing and write EVERYTHING down. Make sure the contract you have with the venue is EXACTLY what you want and what you need. Do not be afraid to ask questions, often. Also, you need to be willing to deal with difficult situations related to lack of communication and miscommunication. This means misunderstanding, misconceptions, things popping up at the last minute, big changes (with little advance notice) —> ALL things I just dealt with at a recent wedding at one of these venues.

Again, I ask, would you be OK dealing with this? Could your stress levels handle it and are you willing to be all up in #1?

#4 Facilities Are Not Always Wedding Appropriate

This also goes along with #2, stairs. Most offbeat venue weddings are offbeat for a reason – they will lack facilities and amenities that more traditional venues will be equipped with. These means lack of appropriate electrical staging for a band or DJ, strange bathroom setup or location, and even lack of air conditioning!

Yup, you read that right. Some of these venues do not have proper ventilation and A/C dependency for a wedding (ie, hundreds of people dancing, drinking, and milling around). Are you OK with this – are you willing to have your wedding somewhere that might not be so cool in the summer (or maybe warm in the winter?), that might have strange things hanging on the walls (hey, most of these places are full-fledged businesses, not wedding venues, remember?), that might only have 2, 1-stall bathrooms. Again, are you OK with this (or more importantly, will your guests be OK with this?).

I am going to sum this up now, but I might continue to add to this post as I get more feedback from other coordinators, and work at more of these offbeat venues. I want to reiterate again, that this post is not meant to deter you from choosing offbeat venues for your wedding – you KNOW I love me some offbeat, and really these spaces are so much more interesting than the traditional venue, BUT you must be willing to accept/deal with all of the above (and more). So you have to ask yourself if dealing with all this, is worth it to you, on one of the most important days of your life!

I’ll leave that decision up to you.

DIY Wedding Workshop ~ How to Make Perfect Chalkboard Wedding Signs

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Our next DIY Workshop is already less than 2 weeks away! I cannot believe it!! I am especially excited about this one because I think it will be one of the most useful. SO MANY of my couples use chalkboard signs as a way to inform guests throughout their wedding day. It’s a great (affordable) way to display your program, your bar drinks, your menu, or even your chair back signs.

But. The kicker is that writing with chalk really isn’t easy. I’ve had clients say “oh we’ll just ask someone” or “do you have good handwriting?” and even if I did (I don’t) writing with chalk is a whole other thing altogether. So luckily we have professional artist Sarah Perez, for our June 29th workshop to teach attendees how to perfectly craft chalkboard signs for weddings or events using a stencil method!

How To Make Perfect Chalkboard Wedding Signs ~ June 29th DIY Workshop

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Attendees will get two boards at this class. One will be to practice and the other will be a take home. The end project will be a chairback sign – either Mr, Mrs, or whatever you dream up! I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with :)


Date: Sunday, June 29th

Time: 2pm to 4pm

Location: The Ulysses Room – 52 O Street NW, Washington DC 20001

Details: Attendees will learn the basic steps to create their own chalk board signs, including how to create the perfect work surface, the tools available to create different lettering styles, and tips and tricks for hand lettering for crafters of any skill level.

Using a transfer method, each participant will chose from different lettering styles and boarder designs to create their own, unique Mr. or Mrs. sign.

Sarah’s technique can be used to create large wedding program signs, chalkboard signage for your bar, desserts, or dinner spread, or really ANY signage at your wedding or event. This project is budget-friendly and easy to re-use again and again!

Buy Tickets

As always, we’ll have sangria from Simply Breathe Events, snacks from Eat & Smile, homebrewed tea from Runningbyrd Tea, and a new addition this time around, desserts from MeShell Desserts! We’ll also have some sweet tunes and yours truly hanging out. I mean, what more could you want?!?!

And in case you are wondering, the workshops are FUN (whether your are planning a wedding or not) – don’t believe me? Check out the amazing promo video Key In Films made for us after our first workshop! Hope to see you on the 29th! Get your tickets now :)

Capitol Romance DIY Workshops from Kian McKellar on Vimeo.

Introducing Bloompop Weddings ~ Artisan Wedding Flowers at Affordable Prices


*sponsored post*

We seem to be unintentionally all about the flowers this week. Admittedly flowers were something that were initially lost on me when I planned my wedding. I didn’t understand the cost or the allure and so I didn’t have any but after working weddings now for 2 years, I can honestly say my outlook on flowers has changed drastically. I love seeing all the different types of flowers my clients use (and let’s face it, I LOVE bringing home the leftovers) plus the smell or fresh flowers just doesn’t hurt either ;). They definitely add something special to a wedding day decoration setup. And with Petal Share around to save your post wedding day flowers, there is no need to be concerned with the waste.

Now we’d like to introduce Bloompop Weddings ~ making your wedding day flower selection not only easier but more affordable too! Check out how it works AND enjoy a special coupon for Capitol Romance readers only, below!

Artisan Wedding Flowers at Affordable Prices ~ Bloompop Weddings

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So why use Bloompop Weddings for your wedding flowers? Well for one, IT’S EASY!!

Online booking, ability to quickly customize quantities depending on your unique wedding party needs (yup that means even 2 bouquets or 2 boutonnieres as well!), and beautiful visuals that describe and match your wedding theme. Also, there’s no proposals either, you buy what you want and get what you see!

For two, it’s AFFORDABLE!

There are no hidden fees and delivery is a flat fee.

Finally (for three!) it’s local. And you know how we feel about local!

Bloompop Weddings teams with local artisan florists (Uncloudy Studio & Sweet Root Village!) to provide packages that are already designed and ready to go.

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How it works:

Browse wedding collections from Bloompop’s Weddings launch partners on Select a collection that matches the style and palette for your wedding. Adjust quantities to suit your unique wedding party. Select your date, then book your wedding flowers! You’ll be put in touch with your Weddings florist to coordinate day-of delivery logistics of your gorgeous artisan flowers.

YUP IT’S THAT EASY! But let’s sweeten the deal even more …

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Bloompop Weddings has graciously offered to give Capitol Romance readers a deal for $50 off any package you book the rest of this month. Just use “CAPROMANCE” at checkout.

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So check out Bloompop Weddings and let us know what you think!

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

Alissa & Nathan’s Springtime, Washington DC Engagement Pictures


Keeping the love going this Monday with a beautiful little DC engagement session from one of our fabulous blog sponsors, Sweet Tea Photography. Alissa & Nathan fell in love in DC, so it made perfect sense for them to do their engagement portraits in the District. Happy Monday Romancers.

Alissa & Nathan’s Springtime, Washington DC Engagement Pictures

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How they met:

While Alissa and Nathan had both lived in D.C. for several years, it wasn’t until mutual friends planned a tubing trip in 2012 to Blacksburg, Virginia that the two met. After drinks at one of Nathan’s favorite college bars, TOTS, and a fun weekend on the river, Nathan called Alissa when they returned to D.C. for their first official date at Smith Commons.

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Click inside for the rest of Alissa & Nathan’s adorable DC engagement session and proposal story!

Giveaway: Flowers & Doughnuts & Romance = The Most Rad Giveaway


It’s Monday. But there’s no moodiness around here. Why you ask? Uh, because we are about to drop a giveaway on you that will make your mouth, nose, AND heart happy. Introducing our most rad giveaway to date, Flowers & Doughnuts & Romance – the ultimate giveaway for someone planning a proposal or special anniversary celebration. We’ve team up with the fabulous people behind UrbanStems and District Doughnut to offer not 1, but 2 lucky winners, 1 gorgeous flower bouquet, and 2 doughnuts for local delivery on a mutually agreed upon date. Yup. Amazing.

Enter to Win 1 Bouquet & 2 Doughnuts for Your Special Someone!


Doughtnuts make the perfect gift. District Doughnut is even available for weddings! They share:

We would love to work with you on your special day! Our lovely chef, Christine Schaefer, is well versed in wedding events. She has worked with several brides to achieve the look they want, and she’s done custom flavors like Sweet Potato Pie, Pumpkin Spiced, and Blueberry Almond Creme. We’ve also done custom boxing and packaging for favors and gifts. We actually created a tiered doughnut display at a recent wedding in April, and everyone loved them! Christine created custom flavors, colors, and design to match the atmosphere of the wedding. Check out a review of a recent wedding here.


What makes doughtnuts even better? Sending them with a gorgeous bouquet of local flowers. If you haven’t used UrbanStems yet – then you are missing out. For only $35, they send a handmade, beautiful bouquet to the person of your choice! What better way to put a smile on someone’s face than with flowers (AND doughnuts?!)


Ready to enter? Just use the rafflecopter widget below! 2 lucky winners will get 1 bouquet and 2 doughnuts to help celebrate an anniversary, special romantic occasion, or even help with a proposal! The giveaway will run for 2 weeks, and then the winners will work with UrbanStems & District Doughnut to pick the delivery date of their flowers & doughnuts (date must be within the next 3 months). And naturally we want to see the pictures!

Entries close on Monday June 30th!

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