Uzair & Kaire’s Blizzard Anniversary Pictures and Marriage Reflection

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Images: Red October Photography

Ok I know the blizzard was overkill, but I was a little disappointed this week when DC only got cold rain instead of a small amount of snow. I think I’d take one more decent snow dump before the winter season is through, just me? Well in case you’d rather reminisce through pictures and not REAL snow, I have an adorable anniversary session for you today (with some rather frank and hilarious marriage & wedding planning advice from the couple featured).

The photographer shares, “Uzair and Kaire are coming up on their second anniversary and last year we did the shoot in the Spring, so this year wanted to take advantage of a different season. We had so much fun not being rushed or limited to time and just walking around empty streets of Alexandria.”

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The best thing about being married/together:

Burping and farting with no consequences. (Uzair) To always have your partner in crime next to me, he supports me but also brings me down to earth when I have my crazy moments. (Kaire)

The hardest thing to learn after getting married/being together:

Finding tampons in my glove compartment with a Britney Spears cd, explain that to your single friends. (Uzair). The beginning of living together, have to get used to the habits I was unaware of before :D Socks all over the place etc. (Kaire)

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Any advice to couples that are getting married/in new relationships:

When he/she is the one, fight for it, with your life . You will know this when you see yourself phasing your friends out and family . That ” oh she’s always with him” or ” man I wish he was here but he has a gf”. This is a sign that you are moving forward and they’re not . Remember, UNDERSTANDING between you and your spouse/gf is the key. As long as you know that you are good for each other, no one can change that perspective. (Uzair) I think Uzair gave a good one :) (Kaire)

Our biggest regret from our wedding day:

The hangover and the high was real. (Uzair) Since we haven had a huge wedding yet, I can’t say we have any. I wish Uzair had not shaved his beard for the Courthouse wedding :D (Kaire)

If we got married all over, we would have done ____ differently:

So far we have been married twice : in court and in a mosque. It’s safe to say that we both agree on a destination wedding, maybe on a vineyard in Spain (Uzair). Have a bigger party! (Kaire)

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How to Plan the BEST DC Wedding Ever with Pop! Wed Co & Yours Truly

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Image: Pop! Wed Co

Guys! I am SUPER STOKED to be collaborating with one of my favs in the industry, Pop! Wed Co (another round of PopUpRomance if you will), and hitting one of our 2016 biz goals – to really establish ourselves as the go-to for wedding & relationships in DC. So we’re hitting the pavement and getting OUT THERE to speaking engagements and workshops to make this happen.

And we’re kicking it off big, at The Lemon Bowl, to host a super awesome wedding planning workshop!

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Image: Mathy Shoots People

How to Plan the BEST DC Wedding Ever | Sunday, March 6th | 1pm – 2:30pm | The Lemon Bowl DC

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Here’s the deets:

Planning a wedding in DC can be overwhelming. But whether you’re just starting out or deep in the planning process, we’re here to help! Bree and Maggie are alternative wedding planners in DC who specialize in ignoring all the traditional wedding “rules” and helping couples plan authentic celebrations that are creative, affordable, and bucketloads of fun.

Together, they’ve come up with ten ways to hack your DC wedding — helping you spend less, enjoy the process more, and go local all the way! Join them for a chat and open Q&A. Then, hit the confetti bar on the way out!

That’s right. Confetti. Bar.

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We so hope you’ll join Maggie and I for a fun afternoon of talking wedding planning shop, giving you guys some insider secrets on how to plan not only an affordable wedding in DC, but one with wayyyyy less stress, AND be available to answer ALL and ANY questions you might have for us!

If all else fails, come for the confetti bar. Hope to see you there!

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Image: Pop! Wed Co.

Jay & Samantha’s Fall Themed, Etsy Wedding at The Mill at Fine Creek

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Images: Kathleen Hertel Photography | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

It’s amazing what a good night’s sleep can do for you. Evie has been trying to learn ALL THE THINGS these past two weeks which has made for some interesting nights of “sleep”. (The 9 month sleep regression is REAL parents and parents to be!). But I am hopeful after last night, a semi-normal night for her, we are back on a path towards sleepful nights because MAN do I need it.

We’ve got blogging, we’ve got workshops coming up (more on this soon) and we’ve got our SUPER AWESOME Valentine’s Event collaboration with Harper Macaw this weekend (Wait, you haven’t gotten tickets yet? What are you waiting for!?). Oh and don’t forget wedding consults & planning meetings and FAMILY & FRIEND TIME TOO. So let’s get back to the task at hand, a gorgeous Fall themed wedding at the Mill at Fine Creek, for your Tuesday viewing pleasure.

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Jay and I met when we were roommates. Our first date was to Koi Koi, a sushi restaurant, which we still go to every Friday.

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^This ceremony space though.

The proposal: Jay and I would talk every day when I was leaving work just to let him know I had left work, he would look at traffic, and let me know when he would be leaving his job to come home. He told me that he was running late and wouldn’t be home at his normal time. When I got to our apartment I didn’t think anything of it but when I opened the door I saw there was a candle lit and roses on the coffee table.

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I was so confused and thought Jay had left a candle lit all day! Next thing I know Chloe, our dog, is out of her crate and has a backpack on that says “Mom look inside.” and Jay was standing in the hallway. In Chloe’s backpack there was a new book with a note that told me to go to the bookcase in our bedroom because Jay had hidden something “shiny” in a book.

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When I got to the room Jay had bought me a few new books and had made bookmarks with two pictures of us that says “Will You Marry Me?” I had to find the bookmark in a book that had the ring attached to it. When I came across the book, Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover, Jay took the bookmark from me that had the ring on it, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said “Yes.” and went on to say “I can’t believe you lied to me all day about being at work!”

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CLICK INSIDE FOR SO MUCH MORE OF JAY & SAMANTHA’S MILL AT FINE CREEK WEDDING!

The Mix Event: Baltimore Area’s Premiere Wedding Show & Discount Ticket Promo

*sponsored post*

The Mix Event

Saturday, February 27th | 6pm to 9pm | American Visionary Arts Museum

View More: http://tpoz.pass.us/themix

The Mix Event is back (and it’s better than ever … HEY NAH HEY NAH). Ok sorry guys, I am running on >5 hours of sleep and got SO MUCH GOING ON. But less about me and more about this awesome, modern Wedding Show taking place on Saturday February 27th up at Baltimore’s premiere wedding venue, the ah-mazing American Visionary Arts Museum.

View More: http://tpoz.pass.us/themix

The show will be from 6pm-9pm (think more of date night/fun night out with your girls or guys, then stuffy wedding show) up on the AVAM 3rd Floor. The show will include swag bags, cash bar, food samples, and GIVEAWAYS!!! I attended The Mix Event last year and can attest that this wedding show invites a more relaxed, lounge atmosphere that encourages conversation between attendees and vendors, with non of that salesy feeling that some typical wedding shows can give off.

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Another added bonus of attending? The Mix Event is proud to be partnering with Wish Upon A Wedding as their 2016 show Beneficiary! That means a portion of ticket sales will go towards this non-profit organization, who grants weddings and vow renewals for couples facing serious illness or a life-altering circumstance. (To read more about this amazing organization, check out their website here.)

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AND NOW FOR THE GOODS:

Capitol Romance Readers get a special ticket promo discount using our exclusive code “CAPRO5” (thats the letter O, not a number). This will get $5 off each ticket!

Don’t miss out!
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*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*

Brittany & Justin’s Intimate Virginia Inn Wedding at Poplar Springs

View More: http://kristengardner.pass.us/brittney-and-justin-wedding

Images: Kristen Gardner Photography

Hoping this blog post helps me survive the day. Excuse my pity party but things are just STRESSY right now in life and I am hoping by next Monday things will be in a better pace. Evie has gone on a bit of a sleep strike this whole week (with last night’s disaster of being awake from 1am to about 4am and then waking up at 5:30 to “start the day”), my day job is anything but simple at the moment, and I have about 5000 emails (I’m exaggerating) that I need to respond to and work on and all I want to do is lie on the couch and troll Twitter.

BUT you don’t come here to hear me complain, so let’s focus on the positive. We’ve got THE COOLEST Valentine’s Event coming up (#BiteMeDC tickets on sale now!) that was featured on Popville blog, our designer just sent me a first round of designs to start outfitting the Capitol Romance Shop (and omg they’re AMAZING), AND we’re teaming up with one of our FAVSSSSSSSS (Maggie at Pop Wed Co!) for a wedding workshop at The Lemon Bowl! So no more pity party here, let’s focus on the positives ok. And in the meantime, you guys enjoy this super sweet, intimate Virginia wedding, why I go setup my IV of coffee.

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Brittney and Justin grew up just miles from one another. They went to different schools and traveled in different circles, but they knew of one another in a way that is possible when you grow up in a small town. They were even “friends” online, and when Justin wished Brittney a happy birthday a few years ago on Facebook, she noticed that he too had moved to the DC area from their home town in Pennsylvania. (She also noticed that he was pretty cute!) So she responded to his message… and the two went on their first date just a few days later!

View More: http://kristengardner.pass.us/brittney-and-justin-wedding

When Justin and I began thinking about our wedding day, we originally planned on eloping. We wanted the day to be all about us – our memories together and the promises we would be making for our future together. We didn’t want to take on the stress of planning a large wedding, just to feel like the whole ceremony and reception passed by in a FLASH (like we had heard from so many of our close friends!) We also felt that a more intimate ceremony would suit our personalities – we were both on the same page about saving money for the future and couldn’t fathom spending the average $27k on just ONE day. Instead, we discussed all the fabulous places we could visit with the money we would save. We were able to splurge on our Cabo honeymoon. We were also able to spend our first married Christmas exploring Iceland for 8 days. It was beautiful!!

View More: http://kristengardner.pass.us/brittney-and-justin-wedding intimate spring virginia wedding poplar springs (10)

—> click READ MORE for the rest of Brittany & Justin’s intimate, Springtime Virginia wedding <—

Guest Post: Our Bride to Be Guest Blogger Says Yes to the Dress

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We’ve got our girl, bride-to-be guest blogger, Carolyn back on the blog today to share ALL the details of her wedding dress shopping excursion! She shares not only the background of what went into planning it (the dress she wanted, finding the right shops, etc) but HOW to go about the process of finding the right one.

I’ll admit – the idea of a dress store overwhelmed me entirely, so I opted for a completely hand-made dress that enabled me to skip the dress shopping experience completely. This worked for me, but some people want a dress you can only find at a shop, so I hope that Carolyn’s advice on shopping this way for your wedding stress, takes some of the stress out of it! Here we go :)

Choosing Your Wedding Dress | By Carolyn Thombs

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When I went into this wedding planning whirlwind, the one thing I knew was what style of dress I wanted. The only difficult part was going to be finding it, and actually being able to afford this amazing dress I had designed myself (before I actually got engaged, not crazy, right?!).

The reason I decided to design/draw up my dream dress was because I have seen so many gorgeous dresses, but each one was either missing that one major element or a few of them that would make it MY perfect wedding dress. So I decided to combine all of my favorite elements that I have seen into one dress. Once I had it visualized it was treasure hunting time!

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The first dress that took my breath away was a gorgeous navy satin Zac Posen dress, definitely not a realistic option. But this dress has just always stayed with me, so when I saw that Zac (yes we are on a first name basis…I wish!) and David’s Bridal were doing a collaboration I nearly lost my mind!!!! So I hopped online immediately to check out the collection, only to my dismay. All of his wedding dresses just didn’t have that same sexy elegance that was perfectly portrayed in that initial dress I fell in love with. However… One of his dresses for his formal collection was pretty close to perfect, but it only came in red. Obviously this collection just was not working out for me.

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One evening I was watching one of those addicting prime time shows with my mom and I was checking my email and came across an article about great wedding dresses under $900!!! Now this article was singing my tune! When I opened up the article in a browser, the first dress that popped up made me double take and catch my breath. It was the basic shape, material and cut that I had been searching for! My mind immediately added the other elements that would take it to the next level and I saw it… I saw THE dress!!!

CLICK READ MORE FOR THE REST OF CAROLYN’S POST

Valentine’s Weekend Event: DC Pairing Menu from Local Eats & Drinks

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Still looking for something fun and different to do for Valentine’s Day? I got your plans right here – and the best part? You don’t even have to be in a relationship to enjoy this one – you just have to love local food, local drinks, and CHOCOLATE. Local DC chocolate maker, Harper Macaw, has created a sensational evening of food & drink pairings, all provide by local DC makers.

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From Harper Macaw:

Indulge your senses while enjoying some local DC love. Curated and hosted by Harper Macaw, DC’s new chocolate factory in Northeast, this incredibly unique collaboration pairing of local eats and drinks includes 16 local makers and purveyors in a 4 course fixed pairing menu.

Local purveyors include Atlas Brew Works, Baku Beverage, Capital Kambucha, Compass Coffee, Dangerously Delicious Pies, DC Brau, Element [Shrub], Gordy’s Pickle Jar, Harper Macaw, Leonora Bakery (Northside Social), On Rye, Pie Sisters, Red Apron, Sona Creamery, True Tonics and wines provided by Schneider’s of Capitol Hill.

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And we’re super excited to announce that we’re also helping out to decorate & coordinate this awesome, local event. So we really hope to see some of you there! I’ve gotten a sneak peak of the menu, and let me tell you, you will NOT be disappointed ;)

You can attend 1 of the 3 tastings, Friday night at 7pm or Sunday at 3pm or 7pm. All tastings take place at Harper Macaw’s Factory in NE DC. Tickets are listed as per person, so be sure to select the correct number of tickets. Guests must be 21+ Please bring a government issued form of ID; we will be verifying age upon entry.

So grab your partner, your mom, your best friend or all your roommates and GET YOUR TICKETS NOW before they’re gone! A great way to avoid over-priced restaurants on Valentine’s Day and support local food & drink makers instead! See you there.

Troy & Manuel’s Surprise Potomac Point Winery Proposal in Virginia

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Images: Chamberlin Photos submitted via Two Bright Lights

Yikes, noon. This weekend was really nice – I felt like I got SO MUCH done (We cleaned the house! The ENTIRE house! I got to run. I got a massage! We watched Inside Out (and cried a bunch) and even went for a walk yesterday). And then Monday hits and I am feeling SO over whelmed by everything going on. Let’s through in the fact that Evie is on a sleep strike and well, let’s just say it’s a wonder I got a blog up at all today ;) We have a super sweet SURPRISE proposal for your Monday. So let’s get to it.

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From the photographers:

We originally met Troy and Manuel while shooting a styled session, back in November of 2014. The pair had been dating for just a couple of months, at that time, but they played the part of a marrying couple for the day! We remained friends with these great guys and during the first week of November, 2015, Troy contacted us to ask if we’d capture his surprise proposal to Manuel, which we were thrilled to do!? We pretended to just ‘run into’ the guys, at a local winery, on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Manuel had absolutely no idea what was about to happen. When we all took a little stroll down the vineyard, to a bridge, Troy dropped to one knee and the magic began!

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Troy began his proposal with “… you came into my life like a wrecking ball…” and it just got better from there. Troy purchased two, identical rings, so Manuel also ended up on bended knee, proposing to Troy! It was a great celebration of love between two very special people.

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Vol 3: The Real Life of a Mompreneur – The Need to SLOW DOWN

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Image: Trinity Walker Keefer

Happy Friday Romancers. With the craziness this week, I can’t believe it’s even Friday. We have another Momprenuer guest post today. These are quickly becoming my favorite blog posts to write and share and I really hope you guys are liking them too (I’d appreciate all/any feedback here). Today we have Taryn from Taryn Blake Events sharing her business and momprenuer experiences. She runs a wedding planning company in York and also is a mom of 2. Running her own business and being a rockstar mom has taught her how to prioritize (and continue to learn this) and juggle. But her biggest lesson to share today? The absolute need to SLOW DOWN once you add “parent” to your job list. Take it away Taryn.

Momprenuer Series Vol 3: Learning to Slow Down | By Taryn Blake Events

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Hi, I’m Taryn, owner of Taryn Blake Events, a wedding planning company based in York, PA – about 2 hours from DC. When I decided to start a wedding planning business, I was a newlywed living in the city of Baltimore. I would sit on our rooftop deck answering emails, sipping wine and not giving a second thought about filling my calendar a year in advance. This was my dream! Afternoon coffee dates with potential clients, staying up half the night working on design layouts – it was part of the job and I couldn’t get enough.

A few years later, life started changing. We relocated to PA and I built the business all over again – but then, we started thinking about a family. My type-A planning personality figured I could pinpoint exactly when this new little one would join us (not in wedding season, of course) and struggling with infertility definitely knocked me down a few pegs. Finally, I was pregnant – and due in December – so wedding season rolled on. Through a very rough and complicated pregnancy, I coordinated until 36 weeks and had our baby boy 2 weeks later.

I didn’t take maternity leave. None of my clients were taking 6 weeks off, so neither was I. It was crazy, looking back. I slowly learned how to blend my old life with this new one. I have an amazing team who works their ass off too. But I didn’t slow down. I felt like I HAD to rock the mom life just as much as the wedding life. I couldn’t let anyone see that I was tired or overwhelmed – that’s just not who I was. Who would trust a planner who didn’t look like she had it all together? The craziest part is that I was able to keep it up – our weddings were amazing and couples were happy. I booked styled shoots, did interviews, and never missed a deadline. I also gave it my all at home. My baby and husband were happy. We hosted friends. I threw parties. I always just figured that was how it had to be – that’s what moms do – especially mompreneurs. We just can’t quit. I was tired and stressed but that’s what it takes to “have it all.”

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Fast forward 2 years. After another few rounds of treatments, we were pregnant again – this time, due in August, prime wedding season. My last wedding was at 38 weeks and I was back at another one TWO WEEKS after giving birth. I’m not even proud to write that – I was insane. I was focusing so much on being the perfect wife, perfect mom, perfect wedding planner that I was totally forgetting about being ME. It took me three years since having my first kid to realize that was the most important thing to focus on. I was lost in the haze of running a successful business as a mom.

This fall, I made a drastic change in how I’m “doing it all.” Being a mompreneur now has a totally different meaning for me. It means I need to slow the hell down. And it’s changed my priorities. I think twice about how full I want my calendar to be. I don’t do as many coffee dates or styled shoots. It’s made me learn to say no – which is hard! Our slogan at TBE is “Authentic Love. Awesome Weddings” – I had to make sure I was continuously living that.

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Image: Jennifer Rotz

The biggest change is that I’ve narrowed my focus and figured out the ideal client for me. I still want to rock at weddings and rock at being a mom – but now I make a conscious effort to fill those wedding weekends with couples who inspire me and push me creatively. It also means I’ve started doing what no one ever tells you to do as a business owner – I turn clients away. I tell them we aren’t a good fit. It feels wrong as a business woman but it feels exactly right as a mom. It’s what I want to teach my kids – be honest to others, but first, be honest with yourself. Chase your dreams and work with people who make you better.

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I’ve never half-assed a wedding. I don’t ever intend to. Choosing to work with only those who I really vibe with will keep me on this path. I want to give each couple 100% of me as a planner – it’s what they deserve.

I wish I could have learned that a few years ago. But I guess being a business owner is a lot like being a mom – sometimes you really don’t know what you’re doing and hindsight is 20/20. Just know that you can have it all. When I look at my husband and my two wonderful kids, I realize that I do. The weddings are the icing on the cake.

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