Abby & Logan’s Sunrise Engagement Pictures on the Potomac (with Ukeleles!)

Emailing with a fellow wedding vendor tonight and he said: “Vacation > Everything Else”. Now ain’t THAT the truth?! So while I meant to have more posts scheduled last week while I was gone, it just didn’t happen and instead, I enjoyed some SERIOUSLY needed R&R down in Myrtle Beach last week. A week at the beach, reading fantasy novels and trying not to get sunburnt was exactly what I needed. My pre-vacation twitching eye would agree.

But now I am slowly getting back into the swing of things – cleaning up my inbox, kicking ass at yesterday’s DIY Workshop, and now blogging a GORGEOUS sunrise engagement session from An Endless Pursuit. While I loved every second of vacation, I can’t lie, I did miss you all a bit :) Let’s do this!

Abby & Logan’s Sunrise Engagement Pictures on the Potomac

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Images: An Endless Pursuit

The proposal story from Logan’s perspective:

I proposed to Abby by getting my best friends together to help me serenade her. With Jon on drums, John on bass, Austin on guitar and me on ukulele, we played an original love song for her on the stage of a church in Richmond, VA. I surreptitiously invited Abby and I’s parents and best friend to join in the festivities. She was brought into the church blindfolded and led onstage by me. When the song was over, I got on one knee, proposed and then turned her around to see all of our loved ones in the front row of the pews cheering us on.

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Click inside for the rest of Logan & Abby’s sunrise engagement pictures AND the rest of the proposal story!

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Giveaway: Enter to Win 50 Thank You Notes OR 50 Save the Dates OR $100 Coupon towards Invites

Hey there Romancers! I am actually on vacation this week – enjoying some sun and much needed relaxation. But I couldn’t leave you all empty handed, now could I? So for the week we will be running an AWESOME giveaway in celebration of Ribbons & Bluebirds brandy new invitation line that she just launched! She’s giving away 1 of 3 prizes (winner’s choice!) to one lucky winner and an awesome 10% coupon code to EVERYONE that enters! Just make sure to leave a comment here so we have your email to send the coupon code too! Let’s get it on!

Enter to Win 50 Thank You Notes OR 50 Save the Dates OR $100 Coupon towards a Wedding Invitation Suite

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From Ribbons & Bluebirds:

I love working with my custom clients, but I have always wanted to reach a larger audience.  I am focused on good design on quality materials, with attention to detail and personal, friendly interaction with my customers.  It’s been my goal to create an ever-expanding collection of affordable, personalizable designs for several years, and I’ve finally made it happen.  To celebrate and introduce the collection to the readers of Capitol Romance, I’m offering this giveaway!

Each suite features an invitation, response card, and optional reception cards on luxe, thick 100% cotton stock with coordinating cotton envelopes. To carry the same design through the rest of your wedding paper goods, each suite design also has options for Save the Dates, thank you notes, and reception paper like menus, table numbers, escort cards.  I also offer envelope printing for a polished, complete look.
The collection will continue to expand quarterly, so you can expect some awesome new designs this fall.  And of course, I am still working with a limited number of custom clients for a completely personal design from the ground up – right now I have a few custom openings for winter couples or 2015 weddings.

Here are some more awesome shots of her work:briar_rose_suite-7_stomped silhouettes_suite-4_stomped silhouettes_thankyou-1_stomped

Click inside to find out how to enter!!!

Robin & Julia’s Low Key, Personalized and Fun Washington, DC wedding

 We knew we wanted to keep the wedding low-key. We also knew we wanted to get married in DC, where we live, and where marriage equality has been the law for several years now.

So that is where Robin & Julia started. Knowing they wanted to get married in a low-key, relaxed fashion, and having the wedding be in Washington, DC – their city and a place that has thankfully been a frontrunner in recognizing love for all. Thanks so much to Maggie Winters Photography for sharing this beautiful, DC wedding with us!

Robin & Julia’s Low Key, Personalized Washington DC Wedding at 701

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We had the idea to get married at a restaurant, so our venue and catering would come hand-in-hand and we could count on the food being excellent. We looked for restaurants that offered private event space (on OpenTable of all places!) and came across 701. We’d had an excellent dinner there during Restaurant Week, and remembered the space as being really cool-looking inside. Once we realized they also had an outdoor patio on the Navy Memorial where we could have our ceremony, we were sold!

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Going in, we quickly decided that some things — like photography — were important to us, but other things — like traditional wedding gowns — were not. We wound up changing our minds on some points, though. For example, we had felt strongly about being our own DJs through the magic of an iPod … but then we found out that 701 had a pianist who would play musical theater songs. But for the most part, deciding early in the process what we wanted to prioritize made it easier in the end to figure out how to use our budget and organize the day.

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Click inside for so much more of Robin & Julia’s low key DC wedding!

Let’s Get Personal: Submitting to Blogs & Blog Submission Requirements

As a blogger and a wedding vendor, I hold the unique perspective of being on both sides of the blog submission game. As a blogger I get to sift through endless entries of submissions that completely ignore my submission requirements, and as a wedding coordinator, I get to attempt to find time to sift through endless submission requirements of other blogs. Recently a photographer friend of mine submitted her first editorial to me and it made me realize that I could probably provide some interesting perspective to both sides of the blog submission game and hopefully make the process a better one for EVERYONE involved. Let’s do this, shall we?

Let’s Get Personal: How to Submit to Blogs & Playing the Blog Submission Requirements Game

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[Image: Val & Sarah]

Let’s start with the blogging side of things.

As a blogger, I can’t tell you how frustrating it can be some times to attempt to streamline your blogging processes and tailor the content you want to share through submission requirements, only to have 75% of vendors completely ignore those requirements. On Two Bright Lights I get submissions daily of weddings that are from every state other than DC, MD, or VA. I get super traditional submissions and others that don’t at all fit my blog’s vibe/mission (outlined here!). I get submissions with only 1 vendor listed, and I get submissions with absolutely no information from the couple (which is one of my submission requirements – to have couples share their reasons for why they did things the way they did). I know that as a blogger, I am nothing without submitted content, however, I’d say half of my time spent as a blogger is responding to submissions, asking for vendors to read my submission requirements and get the required details.

Now that the frustrating rant part of this is over – let’s get on to the advice. Vendors, if you want to get published on a blog, I implore you to:

  • At least check out and browse the blog you are submitting to see if your content is a fit
  • Read the submission requirements. Seriously. Read them.
  • FOLLOW the submission requirements. Seriously. Follow them.

These are the 3 golden rules of blog submitting – it’s really that simple. Now, whether or not you will actually be accepted is a whole other story (and probably whole other blog post). But doing these 3 simple things will at least increase your chances of publication ten-fold.

Now let’s move on to the submitting side of things.

As a wedding coordinator, I can’t tell you how frustrating it can be some times to attempt to submit to all these blogs with their crazy and different submission requirements (see what I did there?). I spend tons of time pouring over the 3 simple rules above, only to be rejected. Each blog has a different requirement of details, information, picture sizes, number of pictures submitted, and so on and so forth – don’t these blogs realize that we have other jobs to do?!

Now that the frustrated rant part of this is over -let’s get on to the advice. Bloggers, if you want great content published on your blog, I implore you to:

  • Clearly define your blog submission requirements (and please make them as short and sweet as possible)
  • Give us real feedback on why our submissions weren’t accepted, so we can do better next time
  • Understand that your blogs are nothing without submitted content from other vendors

These are 3 rules that I try to govern Capitol Romance by. I try to give every submitter a real reason why their submission was not accepted. I give vendors 2nd and 3rd chances to get my submission requirements right and complete, and most importantly, I realize that Capitol Romance is nothing without all the amazing content that couples, vendors, and others send my way.

The bottom line.

Let’s be nice. Let’s try and make things easier for everyone on both sides of this process. Let’s try and be understanding – that both blogging AND submitting are time-consuming and oftentimes frustrating processes. Because really, let’s remember why we are all in the wedding game to begin with right?

DIY Tutorial: How to Make a Mini Balloon Bunch Cake Topper

A little out of order this week – but we have Ribbons & Bluebirds today, sharing another one of her amazing DIY wedding tutorials from our DIY Cake Topper series (Part 1 and Part 2). Today she shows us how to make little mini balloons that you can add to figures, or really anything else that might need balloons on your cake or dessert! Balloons are awesome.

DIY Tutorial: How to Make a DIY Alternative Mini Balloons Cake Topper

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You will need:
• Smooth Styrofoam balls,1 1/2”
• Acrylic paint
• Fine sandpaper (I used 220 grit)
• Paintbrush
• Gloss sealer (Modge Podge)
• Iridescent powder (optional)
• Hot glue gun
• Straight wire lengths of about 6”
• Twine/string

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Step by Step Instructions:

1. First step is to sand the foam balls, to remove any ridges from their manufacturing and to give the balloon a slightly more oblong shape. I found it easiest to rub the ball onto the sandpaper rather than the other way around (ignore the fact that my sandpaper is a disc for an orbital sander – it was the only 220 grit I had lying around the house.) Give a little extra sand to two opposite spots near the middle of the ball to flatten it out just a bit – this will make the balloon feel like a more natural shape than a pure sphere.

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2. Paint! I used acrylic paint, which you’ll be able to see right away soaks better into the areas you sanded. Avoid leaving ridges of paint – it will take two coats, and that’s ok. To let it dry without smudging, I slid it onto a wire stick and stood the wire in a container of glitter.

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3. While the balloons are drying, paint the wire sticks for your balloon strings (optional). I wanted mine to be white instead of their original green, so I painted them with white paint and used clothespins to help them dry upright without touching anything.

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Click inside for the rest of this DIY mini balloons cake topper tutorial!

Capitol Inspiration: A Classic Black & White Themed Wedding in Missouri

Not a lot from me today – just some beautiful balck + white wedding inspiration from a wedding in Missouri thanks to Sonya Lalla Photography. Have a FANTASTIC weekend Romancers. I will be enjoying my last weekend before the next 2 months fly by!

Capitol Inspiration: Wedding Inspiration for Black & White Themed Weddings

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Photographer:  Sonya Lalla Photography | Reception Venue: The Vineyard at Riverbend Chapel | Lighting: Weinhardt Party Rentals | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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Click inside for the rest of this gorgeous, modern black & white themed wedding.

Becky & Bonnie’s Rustic, DIY Maryland Wedding at Agricultural History Farm Park

“Well, not only did we get married, but we a dream-come-true celebration, surrounded by the people we love the most.”

You might remember Becky & Bonnie from their adorable Libby Hill Park engagement pictures. Well their gorgeous, rustic DIY Maryland barn wedding will KNOCK YOUR SOCKS off! A Lovely Photo killed this one – with gorgeous light, beautiful details, and two stunning brides in a truly stunning real Maryland wedding.

Becky & Bonnie’s DIY, Rustic Maryland Wedding at Agricultural History Park Farm

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Vendors:

Photography: A Lovely Photo | Venue: AG Farm Montgomery Parks | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

From the photographer: Alright y’all, grab some snackies and a tissue, and prepare yourself for a long and tear worthy post. This wedding was spectacular, in every way possible. You may remember Becky and Bonnie from their super cute engagement session last year. I already knew after meeting this couple for the first time that their wedding was going to be a dream to shoot. I am so incredibly happy that I was able to capture such a beautiful and heartfelt celebration. You know a wedding is great when you get misty eyed just looking at the photos.

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From the couple about their wedding day:

We knew we wanted an outdoor wedding, someplace with lots of green space and off the beaten path. We fell in love with our venue the moment we saw it – the gravely path leading up to the gorgeous red barn, big trees and rolling green hills in every direction. We loved that it was a real, working farm, complete with goats, chickens and pigs, and that the space is a public park, accessible for anyone to visit. Our family and friends trekked from all over to be with us on that day, from California to New York to Singapore!

Our wedding outfits were kept secret from each other until the wedding day, and in fact no one (except our tailor) had seen both the dresses up until that day. We decided to do a “first look” and we’re so glad we did – seeing each other and having a moment alone before the ceremony was one of our favorite parts of the day.

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The ceremony itself was officiated by a dear family friend. We worked hard with her in the months leading up to the wedding to make sure that every element of our ceremony was meaningful to us – we wanted to combine tradition that made sense to us with things that define us as individuals and as a couple. Our officiant did an incredible job, and we felt that every word of the ceremony was intentional and personal. We integrated pieces of each of our backgrounds into the ceremony, resulting in an awesome mash-up of both of our heritages and histories. Family and friends read blessings (and an excerpt from the Little Prince!), and we read the vows we’d each written for each other. We walked down the aisle and back up again to violin and viola tunes provided by two of Bonnie’s former classmates from her time in music conservatory.

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Click inside for so much more of this gorgeous, DIY rustic Maryland wedding!

DIY Tutorial: DIY Glitter Encrusted Mini Champagne Favors

A few posts ago we shared a super gorgeous Speakeasy Inspired Wedding shoot full of glitter gold goodness. One such piece of glitter gold goodness were the DIY Mini Champagne Favors. Thanks to Travis Curry & Barnhill Designs we have the super simple tutorial to make these babies yourselves! Check it out.

DIY Tutorial: How to Make DIY Glitter Dipped Champagne Favors

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Supplies Needed:

  • Mod Podge Glue
  • Gold Glitter
  • Flat head paint brush
  • Gold twine
  • Mini Champagne bottle (187ml) [we used Freixenet Cordon Negro]

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Directions:
1. Using brush, paint Mod Podge onto bottle – start at the neck of the bottle and paint in stripes down to the bottom. Paint around a quarter of the bottle.

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2. Next, sprinkle gold glitter over the glued area of the bottle. Pour enough glitter to cover the glue completely, so you can’t see the bottle or label underneath.

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3. Continue this process with the rest of the bottle.

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4. When done, let stand for at least an hour.
5. Adorn the top of the bottle with a bow of gold twine, ribbon or even a favor tag!

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Boom. Voila! Super easy and super awesome DIY wedding favor. Thanks to Travis & Allison for sharing!!

 

 

DIY Workshop: Learn to Make Your Own DIY Wedding Bouquet & Boutonnieres

Our next DIY Wedding Workshop is just over 2 weeks away and ticket sales have already been our strongest yet! Early bird tickets sold out in less than a week, and we now have just 14 total tickets left to what is going to be our most popular workshop to date – DIY Flower Details with Love Blooms. Who doesn’t want to learn how to tackle DIY flowers for their wedding? Plus, add in all the awesomeoness of Love Blooms and all the goodies from our Capitol Romance Workshops and really, it’s a no-brainer that you should attend :)

DIY Wedding Workshop: Learn to Make Hand Bouquets & Boutonnieres with Love Blooms

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Buy Tickets

Attendees will learn the basic steps to create their own hand bouquet and matching boutonniere – perfect for the DIY couple (or their friends and family)! Hand bouquets are smaller bouquets, perfect for bridesmaids or in place of corsages. Attendees will get to chose between a few different budget-friendly flower types and wiPhoto-1ll learn about how to pick and work with flowers for your wedding or event.

Attendees will also learn how to select and care for flowers for their wedding day or event, as well as other DIY flower tips/tricks. Each attendee will leave class with a printed, custom DIY flowers tips and tricks sheet from Emily herself!

Like all our workshops, the DIY Wedding Flowers workshop with Love Blooms is from 2pm to 4pm at The Ulysses Room in NW DC. Tickets are ON SALE NOW and will continue to be on sale until they sell out, or up until the day before the event.

So please come join us on Sunday, August 17th. Sip some peach sangria, try out Runningbyrd Tea’s delicious sweet tea, taste Eat & Smile’s delectable food, make some new friends & learn something new, all while supporting awesome, local small businesses in Washington, DC!

Hope to see you there :)

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Need Help Making DIY Projects for Your Wedding? Attend Our Workshops!