Deanna & Rikki’s Rustic, Heartfelt & Intimate Washington DC Wedding

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“We don’t feel wholly comfortable in the limelight and we didn’t want our wedding details to overshadow the significant commitment we were about to make.”

I apologize for the lack of posting yesterday. It’s been an adjustment to say the least, into my new project at the day job and things in my personal life are a bit crazy too. I’m going to need to re-adjust my blogging schedule a bit and not leave these massive real wedding posts until 9pm the night before ;) Anyway, this real DC wedding feature is going to knock your socks off – ok, and let’s be honest, probably tear up, so hold onto your butts.Douglas Pettway Photography sent me this one a few weeks ago and I literally wrote back to him “now THAT’s a REAL wedding feature” the second I finished reading Deanna & Rikki’s write-up. These two lovely ladies poured their souls into their wedding day, with handmade details, custom vows, and even a brand new last name that they decided upon together (more on that later). You really won’t want to miss ANY image or any of the write-up that these two shared.

Deanna & Rikki’s Rustic, Handmade, Heartfelt & Intimate DC Wedding

intimate rustic modern DC samesex wedding

Vendors:

Photographer: Douglas Pettway | Flowers: Eastern Market Vendor | Officiant: Friend | Placements: Handmade by couple

Rikki and I both wanted our wedding to reflect our personalities and our relationship.  We don’t feel wholly comfortable in the limelight and we didn’t want our wedding details to overshadow the significant commitment we were about to make.

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A little backstory: if it were up to us, we would have gotten married in Oregon (Rikki’s home) on top of a mountain.  But, since that wasn’t possible, we wanted our atmosphere to reflect our love of the outdoors.

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Before the wedding day, I was able to pull off the biggest surprise of both our lives, which is truly remarkable because I can’t keep anything from Rikki.  Her brother lives in Oregon and was not going to be able to make it to DC for our wedding.  So, in sneaky fashion, I arranged for his trip and even caught Rikki on video after seeing him for the first time.  We both still cry each time we watch it.  Seeing DC through his eyes, a combat veteran with a brilliant heart and mind, reminded us how privileged we are to be in this place.

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With a total of 14 guests (plus our two sweet pups), we walked from our house to the Capitol Building where we were surrounded by our closest friends and family who witnessed the best day of our lives.  In the shadow of the Supreme Court, we reflected on the institution of marriage and our gratitude for being granted this right.

It felt important to us to take a moment of silence to acknowledge the many couples who are not yet afforded the chance to marry.

I don’t think I’ve ever read anything so beautiful as that…

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We wrote our own vows (that were eerily but unsurprisingly similar) and exchanged rings on which our respective fingerprints are engraved.

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Click inside for SO MUCH MORE of Rikki & Deanna’ amazing DC wedding ~ including all the awesome handmade details at their intimate dinner reception!

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Jessica & Mark’s Rock & Roll, Backyard Engagement in Maryland

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I am hurting worse this Sunday night from being a wedding guest, than from having to work a Saturday wedding. Go figure. Apparently I can’t “hang” and drink like I am still 21 and in college ;) But it was a great weekend witnessing my two good friends get married, in a total Penn State themed wedding up at State College, PA. And this weekend we have PopUpRomance on Saturday! You better stop by and join in on the communal art project or witness the vow renewal event at 4pm! Hope to see some of you there :) And now for a little love this Monday morning. Jessica & Mark’s adorable backyard engagement session – I am IN LOVE with Jessica’s rad tattoos and Rosie the Riveter styling. Happy Monday Romancers.

Jessica & Mark’s Backyard, Rock & Roll Maryland Engagement Pictures

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Photography: Kathleen Hertel Photography | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

How they met:

We met through my work. And went on our first date on my 28th birthday and instantly hit it off and have been pretty much inseparable since then.

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Click inside for the rest of Jessica & Mark’s adorable, backyard punk rock engagement session and the proposal story!

Capitol Inspiration: Coffee Wedding Details & Decoration Ideas

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We’ve been working the last for weekends in a row at some AMAZING weddings. I loved every single one of them, but MAN am I excited to be headed to a wedding this weekend as a GUEST. Not only is it going to be a super fun, laid-back wedding (wedding trivia! cake centerpieces! a bar crawl!) but it’s at one of my favorite places ~ my alma mater, Penn State :)

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend, whether you are working, relaxing, traveling, or just GSDing. Here’s a little coffee themed wedding inspiration to get you to the weekend.

Coffee Themed Wedding Details, Decorations, and Inspiration from a Styled Shoot

coffee wedding details ideas

Vendors:

Photographer:  Megan Chase Photography | Etsy Designer: Borden Specifics | Makeup Artist: Carolyn Thombs Makeup Artistry & Consulting | Jewelry Designer: J’Adorn Designs | Event Venue: Cervantes Coffee | Etsy Designer: Charonel Designs | Floral Designer: EightTreeStreet | Etsy Designer: milk & honey llc | Invitation Designer: Moments of Happiness Designs and Novelties, Inc. | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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 Entitled “Coffee Lovers” this shoot is inspired by the idea that many of us fall in love over a cup of coffee, that our first dates today are mostly at our local coffee shop, chatting for hours as we get to know each other and fall in love. The color palette is not your traditional coffee shoot colors but a spring combination of grey, pinks, terracotta, and peach with hints of copper. You’ll see this palette reflected in the decor and the florals, which include lovely “coffee break” roses in that dark terracotta color.

coffee wedding details ideas

The venue is Cervantes Coffee, a contemporary coffee house and roaster. Located in an industrial complex, the venue features exactly the combination of details the shoot included, contemporary chic designs, with hints of rustic and organic, along with rough industrial edgy details. This you’ll see in the details of the shoot.

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Click inside for the rest of the images from this inspirational coffee lovers themed wedding shoot!

Modern, Affordable DC Wedding Transportation Idea ~ Use Uber!

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*sponsored post*

One of the most frequently asked questions I get from my wedding coordination clients is what to do about transportation. No one wants to drop hundreds of dollars on shuttles or limos – especially if the ceremony and reception venues aren’t that far away from each other. And for most couples nowadays, the idea of wedding day transportation isn’t so much of an added “must have” detail – it’s simply a matter of logistics.

So what’s the modern DC couple to do? Use Uber of course. And now Uber has gone and made it EVEN easier for couples to use their on demand car service, for their wedding day!

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While you still cannot book Ubers ahead of time, the Uber Weddings website does allow couples to create a custom code for their guests to get $20 off their first ride AND the couple even gets a free ride of their own (up to $40)!! Add in some customizable graphics, and you and your guests will be getting to and from your DC wedding locations easily, affordably, and in style!

The customizable code makes it pretty simple for couples to share Uber with their guests. My friends used it last November for their wedding and I had fun helping some of the out of town guests get the app setup on their phone. Everyone thought it was the spiffiest thing ever, and they loved climbing into a sleek black town car at the end of the night.

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You can also use Uber for other wedding related activities – rides to rehearsal dinners, picking up guests from an airport, or even for bachelor/ette parties. Personally, we used Uber SUV a few summers ago for a girlfriend’s bachelorette party in DC and it was a huge hit!

So if you might be interested, just head on over to Uber’s Weddings website and apply for a custom code. Within 1-2 days, someone from the Uber team gets back to you with: email graphics to share with guests/add to your wedding site, your customized new user code, and the personal code for your free ride!

But wait, there’s MORE. In case you are BRAND NEW to Uber and haven’t ever tried it before, couples can give it a try for a free ride up to $25, using the code DCWEDDING. That way you can try the app for yourself ahead of time and see how easy it is to use. Believe me, you’ll never consider hiring a shuttle service or limo company again!

*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*

Wade & Zoey’s Vintage, Rockabilly Themed Engagement Pictures

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Currently blogging from the couch as it’s my BIRTHDAY today! Posting will be pretty light this week as it’s a holiday week and I am just getting out of 4 back to back wedding weekends. Lots coming up in June (including our next DIY workshop!) as well, but for now, here’s a super awesome rockabilly inspired engagement shoot from Amber Reinink Photography!

Wade & Zoey’s Vintage, Rockabilly Engagement Pictures

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Photographer: Amber Reinink Photography | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

“Wade and I first met on board USS Wasp back in Fall 2011, we worked in the same department and same space out to sea. The first time I actually remember meeting him and noticing who he was at duty section turnover one morning. I turned to my friend Heather and said “ummm don’t judge me but Brightwell is so freaking cute. “ Honestly from that moment I couldn’t stop thinking about him and finding ways to run into him on the ship. It was hard attempting a relationship because we worked in the same department on the same ship it was something that was really frowned upon. I would stay up extra late out to sea so I could hang out on watch with him and eventually we started talking more and more on the ship. We were spending between 12-16 hours  day together underway between watches, evolutions and meals.  When you spend that much time with the people you work with you talk about everything. I mean we were sitting in a dark room for 8-12 hours a day. We quickly learned A LOT about each other and honestly became best friends. Due to certain circumstances we didn’t start dating till the next spring.

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Our first “date” happened when our ship pulled into New Orleans for a week around April 18th 2012 . We went out as liberty buddies and went down to Bourbon Street to get drunk and dance, and we did just that. I remember being at some bar with a live band playing the song Brown Eyed Girl, this was the first song we ever danced to. Literally every bar we went to played that song that night and we danced to it every time! Later on in the evening after quite a few drinks we stopped at a diner before we had to be back on the ship. We sat down ordered some crappy diner meatballs and I remember after the waitress left, Wade said “What’s the first country that comes to mind, and I didn’t really understand but I do know I said Germany (I have no idea why) Wades next words were “Leave your phone and wallet on the table and lets run away to Germany. For a few moments I thought it was a great idea, I also realized at that very moment I was in love with him. I talked some sense into him about how we couldn’t do that because The Navy would find us, we ate and went back to the ship. He walked me to my berthing and we hid away from one of the security cameras so we could kiss goodnight.

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Click inside for the rest of this adorable vintage inspired, rockabilly engagement session and proposal story!

Book Review: The New Art of Capturing Love

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It’s no secret that inclusiveness is one of the pillars of operation here at Capitol Romance. We only accept sponsors and submissions from vendors that also practice the same inclusiveness, and we strive hard to ensure our language and posts on the blog are all-inclusive of ANY type of couple that wants to get married.

Well it seems that some people have started to notice and we can’t express enough, just how awesome that is. A few weeks ago I received an email from Kathryn Hamm – you know, the president and editor of GayWeddings.com (whoa!), asking me if I’d be interested in reviewing  an advance copy of her latest book, The New Art of Capturing Love. Apparently I left an impression on her after meeting her on a panel up in Baltimore a year ago! Plus, we have a mutual friend in the amazing Maggie Winters (featured in the first Capturing Love) so naturally I was super excited to get an advance viewing of her new book! PLUS She just asked me to participate with her on a panel at the HRC on June 19th! If you are interested in attending this AMAZING event, you can register here. Tickets are free, but you have to register.

Check it out…

Book Review: The New Art of Capturing Love Guide

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The New Art of Capturing Love Guide is one part gorgeous wedding & love inspiration and one part instructional guide. It features some seriously gorgeous images of couples in love, but it also instructs photographers (and really anyone looking to capture the modern couple) how to implement easy poses and techniques to bring today’s diverse couple into the real focus of the image. I love how the guide shows the old standards to really make an impact on how anyone can better capture love.

The book is a collection of over 180 same-sex portraits with 72 different couples and 48 different photographers. Obviously this makes the guide THE most comprehensive one out there!

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[Maggie Winters Photography]

 The guide has been getting some SERIOUS PR lately too! Buzz Feed picked it up, and so did HuffPo Weddings! And it’s really not at all hard to see why – the book has some of the most AMAZING images, but really, to me, what makes the book so special and unique, is it’s ability to teach and instruct without a ton of text or demonstration. It’s the visuals that educate and leave a lasting impact on the reader. If you have any uncertainties or hesitations about styling or shoot same-sex couples, this guide instantly clears those up and shows you the way. (Hint: it’s pretty simple, since it’s really about capturing not just two people but the LOVE they share).

same sex wedding photographers DC

[Kat Forder Photography - at Church of the Holy City (where I got married!!)]

A couple weeks ago a vendor friend of mine told me about a local floral/event design/photography business that will only do florals for same-sex couples, not photography. The reason? “Because we don’t really know how to style/shoot same sex couples”. At first I was pretty angered at this ‘excuse’ but maybe I was being naive – maybe there is a difference between styling same-sex and heterosexual couples. Now after reading The New Art of Capturing Love – maybe I was too hard on the company, maybe I should just send them a copy of this book instead.

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[Kristina Hill Photography]

Ok, but enough from me – don’t just take my word for it, go buy the book now and check out all the amazing information and images to help your photography business flourish and better capture LOVE. You’ll be happy to notice that a handful of couples that we have featured here, made the guide!

Check out all the awesome places Kathryn & Thea will be:

June 2 – Books & Books (Coral Gables, FL)
June 3 – WeddingWire World (Miami, FL)
June 4 – New Hampshire Professional Photography Association (Manchester, NH)
June 16 – WeddingWire World (Washington, DC)
June 19 – HRC’s Equality Talks (Washington, DC)  <– We’ll be joining Kathryn for this event!! Come check it out :)
July 17 – Tattered Cover (Denver, CO)
Sept 16-18 – Wedding MBA (Las Vegas, NV)

The New Art of Capturing Love guide is out now! Get it now and be on the look-out for more exciting things from yours truly & Kathryn Hamm!

Katie & Andy’s DIY Backyard Woodland Wedding in Virginia

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Katie & Andy fell in love with the house that Katie’s grandfather built. The house is set within the tranquility of Great Falls and you will all soon see why Katie & Andy picked this place as their wedding venue. Not only is the house GORGEOUS, but Katie spent her childhood in this house – learning to bake, garden, and spend time with family. This venue held so much family emotion and history, it made for a PERFECT backdrop for their wedding day. Thanks to Douglas Pettway for this real Virginia wedding.

Katie & Andy’s DIY Backyard Woodland Wedding in Virginia

DIY Virginia backyard wedding

Photographer: Douglas Pettway | Venue: Grandparents house/backyard | Cake: Tea Time Delicacies | DJ: Friend | Catering: Tea Time Delicacies | Flowers: Tonya at Occasional Flowers | Hair/Makeup: Paola Rios | Shoes: DSW (Nina) | Dress: Jeanettes Bridal | Centerpieces: DIYed by Groom

DIY Virginia backyard wedding DIY Virginia backyard wedding

She spent much of her childhood there learning to cook, garden, and grow vegetables. Their house was always the location where the family got together for holidays, birthdays, and weekend dinners. When Katie met Andy, he also feel in love with the beauty the tranquility of the rare property in Great Falls. Katie’s grandfather built the house and designed all of the landscaping. They alone take care of the garden with no outside help for the last 48 years. They are two of the hardest working people we know and it is reflected in their property.  Their house has always been so special to us that it was the obvious, and the only place we considered for our wedding.

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Their house is also the place where Andy proposed. Katie thought she was going over to help work in the garden but Andy surprised her by planning a proposal with friends and family.

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We choose purples, yellows, and greens as our colors after we decided to get married in the spring. We thought they would complement the outdoor spring colors: the foliage, the flowers, and the green buds on the trees.

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Click inside for the rest of Katie & Andy’s DIY, backyard Virginia wedding.

Heather & Jeremy’s Springtime, Mint Green Wedding in Maryland

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This super-rad springtime weather has got me in a great mood, despite my new day job being insane, delving into some crazy personal life things, AND nearing the middle of my busy wedding season. I’m tired yes (as I sit here at 9:30pm writing this post, thinking about that 6:00am alarm to go for a run), but the love keeps me going. Heather & Jeremy are SUPER sweet and their springtime Maryland wedding isn’t chock full of details, but it IS chock full of beauty and love. PLUS the photographer, Elizabeth Fogarty Photography and I are working together this Saturday at C&J’s wedding – so it’s only appropriate that I’m featuring one of her weddings this week.

And man, these images make me SO freakin’ pumped that C&J booked her for their laid-back BBQ wedding in the ruins of Patapsco Female Institute. Let’s just all do a sunshine weather dance ok?

Heather & Jeremy’s Springtime, Mint Green Maryland Wedding

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Vendors:

Photographer: Elizabeth Fogarty Photography | Venue: Piney Branch | Flowers: Country Florals by Emily Hester | Cake: The Broken Cookie | Bride’s Dress: David’s Bridal | DJ: Source 4 Entertainment | Hair Stylist: Melissa at Aaron Robert Salon | Makeup Artist: Courtney at Aaron Robert Salon | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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From the Photographer:

Talk about a SWEET couple. These two were all smiles on their wedding day. It was a perfect, full of sunshine, day. Everything came together so perfectly, from her flowers to the bridesmaid dresses. They are actually middle school sweethearts. Well, he did call her fat. But college changed it all and Jeremy fell hard for Heather. He is an engineer and she is a pre-school teacher. They have a little boy named max. This is truly a fairy tale.

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From the bride:

“My favorite color is green and we knew that would definitely be our primary color! Originally we were going to go with green and yellow until my Sister in Law and I saw a bouquet online with a green and purple color scheme and I instantly fell in love!! We chose the green color based on the girls dresses which were Clover from David’s bridal and then knew deeper purple would work well with that!

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Click inside for the rest of Heather & Jeremy’s mint green Maryland wedding.

Rachel & Alex’s Washington DC Engagement Pictures at Boundary Stone Public House

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You guys KNOW how I feel about engagement sessions in the not typical, touristy DC locations (and if you don’t, I love them). Alex & Rachel live and work in DC and so having their engagement session at one of their favorite bars, Boundary Stone Public House in the Bloomingdale neighborhood, was a no-brainer. Just two crazy kids, some good beer, the scenes of DC, and LOTS of love . Thanks to Matthew Druin for sharing this one with us!

Rachel & Alex’s Washington DC Engagement Pictures at Boundary Stone

offbeat DC engagement pictures
Vendors:
Photographer: Matthew Druin | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

How they met:

I met Alex on my first day at Stanford, while biking– for the first time since childhood– to a welcome dinner. I pretty much crashed my bike into the bench alex was sitting on and practically fell trying to get off and lock it. he didnt mention anything, but I knew he must have been laughing at me! later we found out we were in the same masters program of five people- and started dating before the program even began! we kept it quiet from the department until we knew for sure it would last, though!

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I knew alex was the one almost instantly- from our first “date” (beer, burgers and Mon night football) it was obviously a special match. a week after dating, we drove to yosemite to go camping on a whim before class begun- that was when i knew for sure. anyone who was down for that was someone i wanted to share life with- we finished a big 15 miles hike, camped out- it was the best weekend ever. before we moved to the east coast, we went back to that campsite and to the spot where we finished our big hike together- it was really special.
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Click inside for the rest of Alex & Rachel’s offbeat Washington DC engagement session at Boundary Stone bar – including a look at her engagement ring!

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