Gwen & Hillary’s Offbeat, Pop Up DC Wedding at DC Brau Brewery

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When I saw this one on Pop Wed Co‘s Facebook page, I just knew I had to have it. I mean, let’s be honest, I feel like I could feature EVERY wedding that Maggie & Steven deliver, but this one ESPECIALLY caught my eye thanks to the coolest DC wedding venue ever: DC Brau’s Brewery!!!

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From the lovely brides, on their offbeat DC wedding venue choice:

We got engaged a year ago at a winery in Virginia, so a brewery in DC felt like at natural choice for a wedding. It really wasn’t that simple though… We were planning a small wedding with a few friends and our parents, but after hitting a few bumps in the road we decided to scrap that idea and elope just the two of us. We wanted a wedding that we would remember and be able to enjoy, knowing we could always plan a party for a later date with everyone else.

We stumbled upon Pop! Wed Co and decided that they do the types of weddings we both envisioned. Maggie and Steven were great from the start and made all the stress of wedding planning disappear (on our end at least). We discussed a few possible venues with Maggie before realizing that DC Brau was the perfect spot.

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The folks at DC Brau were so awesome and so welcoming and who knew a brewery would be such and awesome spot for a wedding photo shoot?

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Although our friends and family weren’t physically there, they were there at heart. After the ceremony we had an awesome photo shoot at DC Brau with our Pop! Wed Co friends, Maggie and Steven, and then met with a few close friends for drinks and dinner. We will have our grand party in California in March at the arboretum on the university campus where we met nine years ago. We will have a short vow ceremony with our family and friends followed by the big party with dinner and dancing under the stars.

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Click inside for the rest of Hillary & Gwen’s totally awesome, offbeat DC brewery wedding!

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Katie & Ryan’s Quintessential Washington DC Engagement Pictures

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[Images: Photography by Steve & Jane]

Well I’m BACK! Back in the blogging groove this week with the most quintessential Washington DC engagement session and love story. It was SO NICE to take a much needed, full week off of work and blogging, but I am happy to be back in my favorite city, sharing more DC love with you guys as we prep for the end of 2014 and the holiday season. I hope you all had a GREAT Thanksgiving … we got to eat outside in Arizona, as it was 70 on Thanksgiving day! But enough about me, let’s get to Katie & Ryan:

Katie and Ryan met through Twitter – how cool is that?! And over a mutual love of DC, beer, and the Washington National’s President mascots they fell in love. I’m not sure you can get more DC than this and they’ll be capping off their DC love with a wedding at the Decatur House (eep!) next Fall.


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How they met:

We met on Twitter! Ryan followed me because he thought I was cute, and I followed him back because I thought I recognized him. We discovered we lived in the same neighborhood and chalked it up to “well maybe I’ve seen you out and about on H Street.” We kept tweeting at each other periodically for the next month or so. Then, in January 2013, the Nats announced they’d be adding a fifth Racing President to their lineup, and I tweeted a link to the Washington Post article on the subject with my commentary “C’MON CHESTER A. ARTHUR” (because, who the f is that amirite, haha). Ryan replied to my tweet with “If it’s not Millard Fillmore, I’m canceling my season tickets.” The response just so perfectly encapsulated my sense of humor, so my next tweet to him was “Can we be friends in real life?” We planned a time to meet up for drinks, and the rest, as they say, is history.

After reading this, I kinda wanna be friends in real life with these two too! So fun.

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Click inside for the rest of Katie & Ryan’s DC engagement pictures AND the awesome proposal story!

Cyber Monday Deal: BOGO DIY Watercolor Workshop Tickets – TODAY ONLY!


We’re joining in on the CYBERMONDAY fun with a little BOGO ticket deal for our LAST WORKSHOP of 2014! Buy 1 regular priced ticket to Sunday’s DIY Watercolor Workshop with Ribbons & Bluebirds, and get 1 free!

All you need to do is purchase a ticket here, and then email me ( to claim your free ticket.

Act fast — only 5 available!

Attend Sunday’s DIY Watercolor workshop and learn how to make gorgeous paper goods such as:

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Kat & Dave’s 1950s, Rockabilly Wedding at National Marine Corps Heritage Museum in VA

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[Images: Stephanie Kopf Photography]

When I saw this one drop into my Two Bright Lights submission queue, I had to silence an audible squeal and instead I tweeted, “POLKA DOT BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES …. I repeat, POLKA DOT BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES”. Because omg you guys – these polka dot bridesmaids dresses, with purple-blue crinoline underneath are just to-die-for. If I got married all over again, these would be my bridesmaids. Hands down. The rest of the details from this Rockabilly/1950s Virginia wedding are no less awesome. Unfortunately I don’t have insight from the couple on this feature, but I think the images speak for themselves. Enjoy.

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Some insight from the photographer, Stephanie:

I’ve never had the pleasure of photographing such a unique celebration as Kat and Dave’s 1950’s/Rockabilly wedding, but goodness gracious great balls of fire…I’m a fan. A fan of Kat’s, a fan of Dave’s, a fan of their hilarious and fun bridal party, and a stalker status fan of their crazy-cool style.

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Take note, everyone. Kat and Dave know how to throw an incredibly happy, unique, memorable celebration. Black and white polka dots, purple bow ties and petticoats, piercing red lipstick, sweet motorcycles, and abundant “that’s what she said” jokes from the bridesmaids had me on cloud nine. Oh, and an incredibly adorable dog named Bella adorned with a purple handkerchief who was quick to adorn you with puppy kisses.

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Click inside for SO MUCH MORE AWESOME from Kat & Dave’s rockabilly Virginia wedding (with awesome, 1950s Rock & Roll wedding details!)

DIY Tutorial: How to Make DIY Glitter Heels for Shoes

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[Images & Tutorial by Ribbons & Bluebirds]

I’ve seen these beauties in more than a few “real wedding” features across the blogosphere, so when Jenn told me she wanted to take a stab at creating a DIY tutorial for Brides to create their OWN DIY Glitter Heels – well it was met with an astounding OH HELL YES. I, for one, could always use a little more sparkle in my life and I think this would be the perfect way for a bride or bridesmaid to snazz up her wedding day footwear – on the cheap! So check out the full, step by step, DIY tutorial below!

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DIY Glitter Heels Tutorial

From Jenn: I love shoes. I have no problem admitting that I spent more money on my wedding shoes than on my wedding dress. I saw a gorgeous pair of fancy glittered heels on one of my favorite wedding photographer’s blog the other day and a lightbulb went off: I could make those!!  And you’d better believe these hot heels are not just for enjoying on your wedding day – they can be for any day you want a shiny pick-me-up!

You’ll need:

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  • One pair of heels.
  • Modge Podge or your glue of choice
  • Small foam brush
  • Glitter sealer (I used Krylon)
  • Masking tape
  • Glitter

Step by Step Instructions:

Step 1. Start by making sure the heels are clean – if they have any dirt on them you’ll want to clean them with a damp cloth.  Using your masking tape, tape off the area you’d like to end up glittered.  You could very easily extend the glitter all the way up to the rim of the shoe too – I just chose to do just the heel portion below the body of the shoe.  Taping a little extra area will help protect the rest of the shoe from the glitter sealer overspray, so don’t be afraid to use a decent amount of tape.

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Step 2. Once you have masked off your glitter area, apply your glue with the foamy brush.  Sprinkle the glitter on right away, and tap the heel to knock off any excess glitter.  Make sure you coat the heel evenly!

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Step 3. Let the glue dry for a few minutes before coating the glitter with spray sealer.

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After the sealer dries, carefully remove the tape and you’re done!

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Alright Romancers! Show me those DIY Glitter Heels!!!!!! Thanks again, as always, to the fabulous Ribbons & Bluebirds for creating such an AWESOME tutorial. Be sure to check out her Etsy shop & design skills for your holiday card needs this winter!

Elicia & Karyn’s Rustic, Woodlawn Farm Estate Wedding in Maryland

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Images: Sea Starr Arts

A few weeks ago Shawn of Trebella Events dropped this lovely, rustic Maryland wedding at Woodlawn Farm Estate  in my inbox. With today’s tundra temperatures, I thought a little summer sunshine might help to warm you all up a bit. These two lovely brides packed their wedding full of personalized touches and I think my favorite was a “DIY Cupcake Bar” where guests could make any type of cupcake combo they wanted (drool!). Thanks to Shawn for submitting!

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Karyn and Elicia are two adventurous souls that found love.  With love for family, the beautiful outdoors, and great wine, they selected Woodlawn Farm Estates as their wedding venue.  Nestled in the historical and serene Southern Maryland, the planning began.  This Estate, a late 18th century manor, also hosts a bed and breakfast.  Family from far(as far as England) and near were able to stay on the property.

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The ceremony was held next to the river’s edge behind the main house.  Guests were greeted with the amazing sounds of local guitarist, Dylan Galvin.  A family friend presided over the ceremony under the most amazing tree.  After the ceremony, guests enjoyed cocktails and food near the farm’s “Wine Cottage” which also serves local wine made by the owners of the property.

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Click inside for the rest of Karyn & Elicia’s rustic, DIY Farm wedding in Maryland!

Maggie & Steven’s Laid Back, FUN, Vintage Trailer Engagement Pictures

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Images: Val & Sarah

It was a glorious weekend. I am not going to lie. Friday we hosted our 4th annual Friendsgiving and there’s just nothing like 12 of your favorite friends crammed into your rowhouse with amazing Thanksgiving food. Turkey, cranberry stuffing, sweet potatoes, secret recipe cheesy mashed potatoes, bacon wrapped asparagus, pumpkin bread, AND MORE. I think I am STILL full. Then on Saturday, Andy & I got up first thing to go volunteer at the Capital Area Food Bank. Three hours of sorting apples, putting together meals, and building boxes, was a great way to spend my Saturday morning. I really need to be better about volunteering more!

Then we treated ourselves to some massages as a 2nd-part anniversary gift to our selves and capped off the evening with an amazing concert at 930 club. Sunday was spent relaxing (a bit) with some house cleaning, more DIY plank floors work, a quick visit to The Emporiyum & a wedding meeting. All and all, a fabulous weekend that can only be topped off by the fact that I leave for vacation on Thursday night!!! Posting will be pretty light (if at all next week) while I am away. But honestly, you all should be spending time with your families, eating delicious Thanksgiving meals, on not on computers and blogs ANYWAY ;) Happy Monday Romancers! Take it away Maggie, Steven & your SUPER AWESOME engagement pictures!

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You might recognize that vibrant, electric pink hair as the insanely awesome Maggie of Maggie Winters Photography. Together with her fiance, they make up the equally rad Pop Wed Co, who we collaborated with earlier this year at the first ever #PopUpRomance. Maggie & Steven are two of the coolest kids I know, so it’s really no surprise that their engagement pictures (shot by the always amazing Val & Sarah) are too fun & cool for words. They bought this vintage camper recently and decided to include it in their pictures. The result is nothing short of awesome. Enjoy!



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How they met:

We went to the same schools and ended up with six classes together freshman year of high school, and Steven had a Bad Religion album on his desk that I thought was awesome, and then I guess we ended up dating somehow! We kind of just never broke up and then decided we make a fucking awesome team so we’ve been together ever since, almost ten years. Along the way we’ve adopted a tiny evil kitty, bought a house, lived in at least five different apartments, and launched Pop Wed Co together in January.

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Click inside for their ADORABLE proposal story and some details on their forthcoming “microwedding”.

Capitol Inspiration: Bold, Striped, Black White & Gold Wedding Inspiration

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[Images: IYQ Photography]

FRIDAY!!! Finally! I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off – trying to cook sides and a turkey for my annual Friendsgiving gathering tonight (not to mention decorating the table!), clean the house, get some errands done, BLOG, and still do my job. Ya know – typical days for me. I am SO EXCITED for this weekend. Andy & I are volunteering tomorrow at Capital Area Food Bank, getting massages, and then seeing one of our FAVORITE artists at 9:30 club. I seriously am so freakin’ pumped for this weekend. Can you tell? Hope you guys have a good one too! For today, some dreamy, black white and gold wedding inspiration, featuring two stunning & bold brides, and some modern & striped wedding details from IYQ Photography!

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We were inspired to create this beautiful shoot by the gorgeous backdrop of Richmond’s own Historic Mankin Mansion, This shoot incorporated beautiful shades of gold and brasses to compliment black and white elements. The bride wore a custom made ballerina style wedding gown while the groom wore a reinvented tux inspired suit- completed by a mini top hat and black heels. Raegan from Sweets and Soirees provided the dreamiest pale bouquet- perfectly pretty and slightly unkempt that paired perfectly with the sweets she also provided. She was able to infuse the sweets spread with decedent flavors of dark chocolate, back berries, blueberries, strawberries, ect. Emily Dionne provided gorgeous hand crafted invited that kept the integrity of the color palette. Kelly Harrison beautifully arranged all of the the different elements of textures, colors, and flavors to create two beautiful arrangements. Tremayne Hill was the makeup artist assistant and Erin Eaves was the photography assistant.

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Click inside for MORE!

Let’s Get Personal: Marriage is Awesome & Today I Celebrate 4 Years of It!


[Image: Live It Out Photography]

Marriage is AWESOME. It should be CELEBRATED.

This quote appears on the website of one of my favorite DC wedding photographers, An Endless Pursuit and when I started to formulate today’s post in my mind, I kept coming back to this. You see, today is my 4-year wedding anniversary and I wanted to write some sort of reflective, personal post on marriage to celebrate that milestone (without just spending 500 words gushing about my amazing husband). I wanted to share real insight into what 4 years of marriage has been for me and I think this quote perfectly sums it up. Because, while our wedding was the best day of my life, marriage has been nothing short of AWESOME and I think it’s important to re-emphasize that.


[Image: Tim Riddick Photography]

It’s important because (I know I’ve typed this here before) marriage is the REAL reason for a wedding. While we all continue to get caught up in the details of a weddingday – the look, the invites, the attire, the music …. it’s really the wedding ceremony, your vows, the MARRIAGE, that is the most important part. I think I was probably guilty of this a bit myself when I planned my wedding 4+ years ago. While I poured over my vows, and really couldn’t wait to marry Andy, I know I spent just as much time (maybe more) fretting over the shades of pink we incorporated, finding the perfect pink pump for my bridesmaids, painstakingly making each ornament pomander by hand, and so on and so forth.


[Image: Live It Out Photography]

And while I still love every single detail we put into our wedding, the 4 years of marriage that have followed have far exceeded every single one. To know that I have someone in my life that supports me, helps me, loves me, and is accompanying me on this journey called life …. well… it’s just nothing short of awesome. I can say without any reservation, that I absolutely LOVE being married. It is indeed the most wonderful feeling I have ever felt and something I hope to never take for granted.

When I sit here and think about these past 4 years, I can’t help but be a little shocked at how much Andy & I have accomplished together. We sold our condo in Arlington, and made the move to Washington, DC. We took a chance on a neighborhood in Northeast DC and bought a flipped rowhouse that we’ve spent (and continue to spend) lots of time and money, customizing it to our design aesthetics. We’ve traveled to some amazing places (Chicago, Mexico, Boston, Arizona, Seattle, Portland, Paris, London, Amsterdam …. and probably so many more that I am forgetting). We’ve celebrated new lives being born into this world, and we’ve lost some important lives too (ones that live on in our wedding video, wedding pictures, and memories). We’ve watched (and been lucky to actually be a part of) friends and family take their relationships to the next step, joining us in the married world. All of these things making our wedding day feel simultaneously SO long ago, yet only yesterday.

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[Image: my phone(?) haha]

I think the thing that might be the most important reflection I have on these past 4 years is how much our lives have grown (both individually and together). I’ve watched my husband grow personally and professionally and enjoyed the ability to not only witness but get to share in his growth. I, too, have grown personally and professionally and realize that there is NO WAY I could have grown Capitol Romance to what it is now, without Andy’s help.Whether it’s coming along to my weddings to be the notorious hanger of things, or staying home and cleaning the house because he knows I’ll be too tired after working a wedding all day, Andy has supported me in ways I could never truly re-pay him for.


[Image: Love by Serena Photography]

So why is marriage awesome to me? Marriage is awesome to me because of all the immeasurable little things that come with it. The staying up late in bed, laughing until we cry, probably about the SILLIEST of things, like two 5th graders at a sleepover party. The long car rides together made bearable by our mutual love of Andrew W.K. The trips, the concerts, the dinners, the milestones, the happy, and even the sad – all shared together. The way we often say things at the exact same time, or finish each other’s (sandwiches) sentences. The understanding of commitment and partnership that we have in this thing called life, and the unending desire to make our marriage work, and to make our marriage awesome, and to keep the love we found in highschool …. over 10 years ago … alive.


[Image: Live It Out Photography]

So with this last image, one of my favorites from our wedding day, I’ll just end it the way I started. Marriage [truly] is awesome and it really should be celebrated.

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