Knieriem Designs – Custom Wedding Dresses & Accessories in DC!

2015 KD Vistaprint postcard front Monika

*Sponsored Post*

I get emails from new vendors from time to time – ones just starting their business in DC or ones that just recently moved to DC from another area and are trying to get into the DC wedding scene. I love getting these emails, but one that came in a few weeks ago literally had me smiling at my laptop screen. Every single word of Christina’s email had me thinking so much YASS. We were both so equally excited to find each other, and now I am really excited to share her with you. Because I have a feeling she won’t stay a secret for long.

Custom wedding dresses & accessories, meant to be worn again post wedding, focusing on reusing & recycling, and with budgets in mind – all of these things SCREAM Capitol Romance and all of these things are the cornerstone of Knieriem Designs. So let’s learn more about the owner, her amazing custom wedding dress & accessories design business, and how she got started!


Knieriem Designs officially started in 2013, unofficially it began around age 5 or so, when I began begging my grandmother for sewing lessons and raiding her scrap fabric collection. I’ll be the first to admit that some of those early creations were more avant-garde than I tend to go now, but they were fun! I turned that passion into a career after attending design school and studying abroad in Paris.

From those early days I started to create things that were my own. I liked the feeling of having something that no one else had and loved being able to customize my clothing to be exactly what I wanted.


At Knieriem Designs, I love to create gowns and accessories with personality. The joy of making custom clothing is that it can be anything you want it to be, and for a wedding that is the perfect touch. Weddings are about celebrating the couple and the lives they are creating together, and there is no reason that clothing can’t be a part of that. The most fun I have with clients usually starts with someone saying “I don’t know if it’s possible but I’d like…”. I don’t believe in sticking to any “rules” when it comes to weddings except this one: do what feels right for you and your partner, the rest will follow.


In addition to wedding gowns, I also design custom looks for bridesmaids, flower girls or any other guest who might be looking for that perfect something to wear. My clients get to be involved in the entire design process, from the first sketch to the finished gown. I apply my expertise to their vision to create something that is beyond what they imagined. I like to work with clients 8 months to one year out for a wedding dress, but I do make occasional exceptions. In fact, one of my first brides was an elopement that was completed in just over 24 hours!”


Guysssssssssssssss are you as excited as I am yet!?!?! Well I can happily tell you this isn’t the last of Knieriem Designs you will see here. Christina and I have SO MUCH brainstorming going on behind the scenes on other ways we can collaborate to bring the awesome to DC couples, just you wait and see.

And in the meantime, find Knieriem Designs on ALL of the internets & social media spaces:
instagram: @knidesigns
twitter: @knidesigns
pinterest: @knieriemdesigns
direct email:

*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*

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Let’s Get Personal: Marriage is Not a Solution to Your Relationship Problems


Image: Maggie with Pop! Wed Co.

This post has been forming in my mind for a week now. But really it started back in college when I took a sociology class (man I LOVED soc classes) about relationships and families. One of the things we covered in class one day, stuck with me all this time, the differing views that men and women tend to have on what marriage means. Now let me preface by saying that I am paraphrasing because I don’t remember the exact details of the article/study we read and talked about (I was in college/this class like 10 years ago guys …), and the study focused only on heterosexual couples. So pardon the potential gross generalities here.

The gist was that one of the issues of couples cohabitating before marriage was that they each had different expectations and views on what would happen once they got married. In general, most men expected nothing to change – that the relationship would stay the same, and they would “just be married now”. But on the other hand, most women expected A LOT would change once they got married.

Now I am not exactly sure why women would think that getting married is like some sort of wizardry. That the act of getting married means their partner would suddenly become neater, more attentive, less grumpy, etc. But I see this happening first hand (not with my clients!) but with friends of friends and hearing of relationship qualms post-marriage.

So let me put this out there for any engaged, soon to be engaged, or maybe someday engaged in the distant future, couples out there: marriage is NOT a solution to your relationship problems. When you get married, it’s not magic, it’s not easy, and it most certainly doesn’t mean that your problems go away. I might argue that getting married might even bring you MORE challenges because there is no longer an easy out, as you have vowed and promised to be in this together, but that is probably a separate blog post in itself.

Now don’t mistake my words here, I LOVE being married. I love having a life partner in my husband, who is really my partner in all senses of the word, but we did not go into marriage lightly, nor did we go into it blindly. We went in with the understanding that it was going to be hard, it was going to be trying, and it was going to be something we would have to work at, often.

I have a hard time understanding how others don’t see this. Like when you hear that people divorce because one didn’t want kids – isn’t that something you talk about BEFORE you get married? I think some people think “oh once we get married, so and so will change their mind about kids”. They might, or they might not. But in either case, marriage won’t be the reason that that person will or will not change their mind.

So I invite you, engaged, soon to be engaged, and possibly engaged in the distant future, couples, to think about your relationship and the challenges you face (and might face) now. I invite you to talk about these challenges and find out where you might disagree with your partner on certain big ticket items, before you get married. Because while being married is truly a wonderful thing, it most certainly will not be a solution to your relationship problems.

Matt & Lindsay’s Vintage Record Store Engagement Pictures in Maryland

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Images: Kathleen Hertel Photography via Two Bright Lights

What a weekend Romancers! We kicked off our 2016 wedding season with the most bad ass DC local wedding. Our fav venue, an insanely awesome vendor team, and the bride wore BLACK. Really can’t think of a better way to get into the wedding season this year. Hope you guys all had a great weekend too, despite the cold & rain (and even a little snow). Here’s an adoraaaable vintage inspired, record store engagement session in Maryland. The outfits alone are enough to get me through this Monday. Enjoy!

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From the photographer:

Their story is actually quite cute. He is a police officer, she is a 911 operator, and they met outside a Wawa while he was on duty. The first time they met she had a boyfriend so they just talked. Then a year later after running into each other multiple times at the same Wawa he found out she was single and finally asked her out. They love pin-up style photos so we took to Downtown Frederick for their engagement session. We went into an old fashioned record store to create the perfect Save the Dates.

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From the couple:

We met at Wawa around Feb/March 2011. I was with my friend and we had just gotten off work we were sitting in my car and we saw Matt pull up in his patrol car. He came up to us and started talking to us. We would chat at Wawa for a few months then we gave each other our numbers and went on our first date at havre de grace on June 12, 2011. We got engaged on September 13, 2016 at havre de grace where we had our first kiss! :)

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Vol 6: The Real Life of a Mompreneur – Your Schedule Is Not Your Own


Image: Maggie with Pop Wed Co

Let me tell you a little story. Two weeks ago I set out to go meet two DC business owners that own some really cool venue spaces in DC. Evie had been keeping to a pretty standard nap schedule as of late, and I figured I could drive out with her to meet these people right after lunch, much before her 2nd nap.

Boy was I wrong. On the drive over she passed out … and when I pulled up to the venue, I figured she would only snooze another 20 minutes as she hadn’t been sleeping longer than 45 minutes on her second nap in over a week. Another 30 minutes later and she was still fast asleep, as I sheepishly emailed the people I was supposed to meet with that I wasn’t sure the meeting was going to happen – even though I was LITERALLY sitting outside of their venue … in my car. So I decided to drive home because at this point when Evie woke she was going to be hangry, and I had not packed food.

An hour and 45 minutes she slept that afternoon, almost an hour and a half earlier than she had napped in weeks.

The point of this story? The realization and confirmation that when you are a Mompreneur, your schedule is no longer yours to call your own.

Now I had hints of this earlier – I would jokingly tell clients that I needed to give them ranges of when I could potentially arrive for a meeting, because babies just do what they want, and almost never stick to YOUR intended schedule and sometimes Evie would fit right into the timing I gave, and other times she would destroy it completely. Obviously, she’s a baby, this isn’t her fault, but my advice to new mompreneurs or any new work from home parents is this: learn to accept early on that your schedule is no longer yours. Your child will MOST LIKELY do whatever they want and it may make it really difficult to stick to plans you previously made.

This was a HUGE change for me. As a wedding coordinator and generally Type A person, planning and scheduling is my life. I feel anxious when I don’t have my day planner on me and typically refuse to commit to appointments unless I can confirm in my planner that the date/time is indeed free. And while I adapted pretty quickly, personally, to accept this change and the fact that my schedule was now dependent on a completely non-predictable or consistent being, I am still left worrying that others won’t understand.

Clients, vendors, even my friends without kids – I worry that they think I am flakey, late, or not a great planner due to this new, ever-changing presence in my life. Being on time, and sticking to your word are cores to my business, and it’s challenging to not always be able to stick to them while juggling a business and being a parent. But this is my reality and the reality of so many others and just another challenge in the journey of being a mompreneur.

So I’ll continue to face the challenge, head on, the best I can, and hope that others recognize that I am still giving it my best and my all. After all, that is really all I can control.

District Bliss DIY Workshop: Makeup Tricks, Tips & Secrets with Ariel Lewis

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The next District Bliss DIY Workshop is coming up! The ladies have snagged top make-up artist, Ariel Lewis, to teach attendees ALL the things about make-up. Ariel will be teaching guests all about what colors look best with their skin tone, how to apply a day-to-day look and transform it into evening makeup, and eyebrows!

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You’ll learn how to enhance your look by learning about what works best for YOU! Ariel states, “—empowering women to feel confident, fabulous, and gorgeous in their own skin is the passion that drives my art.” Check out some more action shots of Ariel, and get ALL the details on the workshop below!

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WHEN: Sunday, April 10, 2016 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

WHERE: Logan Hardware – 1734 14th Street Northwest Washington, DC 20009

MORE INFO: Makeup DIY Workshop Facebook Event

Happy Pi Day! From Pop Wed Co and &Pizza!


Images: Rachel Couch

GUYS!!! It’s Pi Day. I am hoping to skip work early to snag a slice or two from Dangerously Delicious after work, but some people are GETTING MARRIED today! Thanks to our favs, Pop Wed Co!, couples are having to coolest, most Pi Day appropriate pop-up weddings at &Pizza.

I love everything about this. What is more fun than weddings, pizza, rad DC businesses, and LOVE?!

Check out some of the fun! Thanks to Rachel Couch & Pop Wed Co for the images.

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Meghan & Richard’s Intimate, Laid-Back DC Wedding at the Arts Club of Washington

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Images: Love Life Images via Two Bright Lights

Our submissions these days have been pretty light, so I apologize that posting has been reflecting that. I’ve been busy behind the scenes working on some external blog events (like tonight’s Make It Happen workshop – tickets still available!) and getting designs finalized for the CapRo Shop (omg they are so so good, I cannot wait to share!). We’ll also have some exciting news (hopefully soon) about another option for the CapRo Planner. Eep, so much happening. But in the meantime, here’s a pretty and simple DC wedding at the Arts Club of Washington.

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From the photographer:

The setting for the wedding was appropriately intimate, at the Arts Club of Washington, DC. Inside was some excellent light, especially as it wrapped around Meghan’s veil, which was a family gift. First Look was outside in the back, where the Arts Club has a very private and cozy garden. The small gathering of friends and family met downstairs in the theatre space for the ceremony. I could feel the warmth of affection among the guests and the couple, and I think it came through in the photographs.

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DIY Tutorial: How to Make DIY Confetti Cannons & Poppers

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Maggie & I had so much fun at our SOLD OUT wedding hacks workshop this weekend we totally forgot to take pictures. No joke. Not a single one! I didn’t even know where my phone was, we were having too much fun! But attendees got to make super simple (& fun!) DIY Confetti Cannons that they took home as a party gift. So we thought it might be fun to share the DIY tutorial (thanks to Kara, who made these for her own wedding!).

Take it away Kara.

How To Make DIY Confetti Cannons | By Kara Britanik

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Shortly after getting engaged, I stumbled across a video online of DIY confetti cannons that were made for a New Year ’s Eve party. I loved the idea, and immediately wanted to incorporate them into my wedding day somehow, and decided to have our guests shoot them off at the end of the ceremony, as we walked down the aisle as husband and wife. They couldn’t be easier to make…just ask your friends and family to collect their toilet paper and paper towel rolls for you so you have enough.


  • Paper towel and/or toilet paper rolls
  • Balloons (9inch balloons work best – like these)
  • Duct tape (they make duct tape in a variety of colors and patterns now, so you should be able to find some that matches your color scheme – Amazon has a bunch available!)
  • Exacto knife
  • Washi tape – totally optional, but I used some to spruce up my confetti cannons and add some pizzazz, all the colors available here too

Confetti Cannons 01

Step 1. Start by cutting your paper towel/toilet paper rolls down to size. If you’re using toilet paper rolls, I suggest cutting them in half, and if you’re using paper towel rolls you can cut them in quarters. You’ll want your roll to be about as tall as your duct tape is wide, so you can use that as a guide.

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Step 2. Tie a knot in the bottom of your balloon, and then snip off the top.

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Step 3. Stretch the top of the balloon over one end of your roll. Put the balloon over the cut end of your roll. This way, if you accidentally don’t cut it straight, no one will know ;)

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Step 4. Cover your roll with duct tape to secure the balloon in place. The easiest way to do this is to line up the top of your roll along one edge of the duct tape, and just wrap it around your roll. At this point, you can also spruce up your cannons with some washi tape if you like.

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Step 5. Now just fill your cannon with confetti and you’re set to go! To use the cannon, just pull down on the knotted end of your balloon, aim, and let go!

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Note: For confetti, I had a lot of random scrapbooking paper laying around, so I just cut those up into small pieces, and made my own confetti. But you can certainly just buy bags of confetti to fill your cannons.

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Let’s Get Personal: Women Who Inspire Me (It’s #IWD2016!)


Image: Brandilynn Aines

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged since Thursday – I am sorry guys! Submissions have been a bit light (photogs, vendors, and recently married peeps, where you at?!) and life has gotten in the way (doesn’t it always?), but I wanted to share a post today in support of the fact that it’s International Women’s Day. Now while a part of me wants to sit here and rant about all the travesties that women still face in this world (unequal pay, rampant sexism, the lack of access to healthcare, paid maternity leave … and oh the list goes on), the better half of my brain took over and thought it’d make a much better and inspiring post to blog about women who inspire me today.

So there they are – the top 3 ladies in that picture above, are the most inspiring women in my life. And if you are thinking they look familiar, it’s because they’re actually my mother and two sisters. So let’s start with my mom.

When you become a parent, your view on your own parents changes DRASTICALLY (in a good way!). I always knew my mom was the best, and I thought I had recognized the sacrifices she had taken in life to be a mother of four, but I really didn’t understand until becoming a mother myself, recently. This woman is strong. She raised four kids (FOUR!). She stayed home and did the rockstar stay-at-home mom game for half of us, then went back to work (and still works) to help put us all through college. She has been an amazing writer for as long as I can imagine, and I’d like to think I get my rad blogging skills from her. She wrote a children’s book (you can buy it on Amazon – it’s awesome!) and travels to schools to use her book to teach children about kindness and inclusion. Talk about a rockstar, right? My mom has taught us so much and as a speech pathologist, she teaches children at a public school in NJ. Teachers have to be some of the most undervalued people in our society and I will never understand why. To me, they are some of the most important, and that is why my mom is one of the most inspiring women in my life.

So let’s move along the picture to the next fabulous #ladyboss in my life. That would be my older sister Jill. Along with all the life lessons you get from having an older sister, my sister has always been an inspiration to me because she is probably one of the MOST determined people I’ve ever met. I’ve never watched someone other than my sister work SO HARD to accomplish what they wanted. Whether it was striving to get straight As growing up, or her determination to obtain a MFA in Directing, or her daily work to advance the craft of theatre directing through a service organization she founded (and currently is the Exectuive Director of), Directors Gathering. Oh yeah, she does this all while being a kickass wife & mother to that adorable Stella up in that picture too. Yup, inspiring.

And finally, my younger sister Kristen. Kristen’s ability to persevere has always inspired me. She has faced many challenges in her life, but has always pushed through, including the ardous journey she took (and completed!) to become a RN. Next to Teachers, Nurses have to be one of the most selfless professions in the world. Unless you know a Nurse, you can’t possibly begin to understand what they go through at their jobs (12 hour shifts, where she is often unable to sit, eat, or even take a bathroom break!). I listen to her stories with my jaw on the floor – of the patients that take her for granted, of the thankless hours spent cleaning up after people, of the Drs who aren’t always the kindest, of the family members who cry on her shoulder, thanking her for helping their loved one. I just cannot believe she does this every day! She is a TRUE rockstar.

So those are my lady inspirations for #IWD2016. Who are yours?!

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