Capitol Inspiration: Orange & Grey DIY Wedding Inspiration from a Montana Wedding

We are BACK! Did you miss us?! Not going to lie, I totally missed all of you :)

Getting back into the swing of blogging with some beautiful, laid-back DIY wedding inspiration from a Montana Wedding, thanks to Patchwork Photography [submitted via Two Bright Lights]. The couple used soft oranges, neutrals, and greys in their color palette and the groomsmen went super casual with blazers and jeans! Also, I am pretty much obsessed with the bride’s dress! Happy Friday Romancers .. it’s good to be back.

 Casual Wedding Inspiration from an Orange & Grey DIY Wedding in Montana

Love these patterned grey bridesmaids dresses!

love these casual DIY boutonnieres !


Love vintage suitcase card boxes! We have a DIY tutorial for one here!

Click inside for a ton more from this awesome, DIY wedding in Montana from Patchwork Photography!

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We’re in Arizona!!


You’ve probably already seen my social media, but in case you haven’t, Andy & I leave in an hour to head to Arizona! Andy’s parents moved there in January, so we are going to see their new digs and get some sight seeing in for our 2nd wedding Anniversary (which is next week! ahhh!).

So things will be pretty dormant around here and on my social media sites until I return, next Thursday. Can’t wait to share everything we see and do with you all next week!



Kahlil & Natalie’s Eclectic, Plaid River Wedding in Bridgewater, Virginia

“When we started planning our wedding we only had a few requisites. We wanted violins and flannel, to celebrate the autumnal equinox, a ceremony by the river, and really, really good food, music, and beer. The rest would follow.”

Gah! This DIY Virginia wedding from Sara Sultan Photography is making my face hurt from all the smiling it’s causing. This couple ROCKED their wedding with flannel, plaid, suspenders, DIY lanterns & bunting, a taco food truck, and a million other personal touches. And lucky for you I have ALL the awesome details from Kahlil & Natalie themselves.

Kahlil & Natalie’s Autumnal Equinox, DIY Virginia Wedding By the River



The food: Boka Truck from Richmond, VA (This was a huge hit! Pork, tofu, and pumpkin options pleased everyone.)

The dress: Church Street Bridal (A Bridal Consignment shop!)

The band: Brian Elijah Smith and the Wild Hearts, Harrisonburg, VA

The photographerSara Sultan Photography

Natalie shares: 

We invited our guests to wear flannel/plaid and strongly discouraged high heels.

The couple’s friend, an author, wrote this about their wedding day:

“My friend and former research assistant Natalie Stade was married yesterday behind a mill and by a small river in Bridgewater, Virginia and the wedding, held in the glory of the late afternoon as autumn made its official debut, was lovely and wonderfully simple in every way.

A taco truck arrived from Richmond, each guest was given a Mason jar to both drink from and keep, and Natalie and Kahlil rode a bicycle built for two.

Natalie’s younger sister, Laura Stade, who fights fires in Utah, made ten cheesecakes that rivaled any I have ever had, and she is not even from New York:) her older sister, Chrystie, had words to offer, quite reluctant ones, that underscored the wry humor these three sisters possess.”

-Jonathan Coleman, author, Charlottesville, VA




in LOVE with Natalie’s unique wedding dress!


A perfect autumn bouquet.

Pretty much obsessed with Kahlil, the groom’s eclectic attire here: a plaid shirt with a tie with stars?! LOVE.

Click inside for a TON more awesome pictures from their handmade reception and more details from the couple on their DIY, eclectic touches!

Calvin & Stephanie’s Alexandria, VA Waterfront Engagement

Today is flying by after I try to play catch up from a weekend visiting family up in New Jersey. It’s still a disaster zone up there people, and it was shocking to see the destruction from Hurricane Sandy first hand. I invite you all again to please keep the victims affected by this natural disaster in your thoughts and if you have resources to share, consider donating money, blankets & goods, or your time. If you cannot donate, I won’t hold it against you, but I would ask that you maybe share something like this effort, “Restore the Shore” on your social media.

Ok, but back to blogging I will go and how slightly ironic that my schedule has an engagement along the waterfront as my first post back. This one is in from Carrie Holbo Photography and it features Calvin & Stephanie, a stunning sunset, and some beautiful shots along the water in Northern Virginia.

Calvin & Stephanie’s Alexandria, VA Waterfront Engagement


How they met:

Calvin and I met my sophomore year of high school, unfortunately timing just didn’t work out for us then.  Both of us were unavailable then, but I’ll admit I enjoyed seeing his smiling face everyday at school.  He also always tells me, “…ever since screen printing…”, claiming that he’s loved me ever since a screen printing class we were in together.  What a sweet talker.  

Anyway, fast forward about five years…I was moving back to Virginia from Ohio (where I finished up college) and came across Calvin’s facebook page.  Of course, I added him and the rest is history! I came back to Virginia and we’ve pretty much been inseparable ever since.

i LOVE the shade of Stephanie’s lace dress! – how awesome would bridesmaids look in that ?!

Click inside for the rest of this beautiful Northern Virginia engagement session & for Calvin & Stephanie’s proposal story!

Let’s Get Personal: Struggling to Blog Post Hurricane Sandy

I posted on Facebook earlier this week about my struggle to get back into wedding blogging with everything that is going down in the North East (especially New Jersey, my hometown). A vendor commented that weddings symbolize hope – and that that is something I could focus on to try and placate my feelings.

I’ll admit though, while hope is a great thing to believe in and follow, I am still struggling. Especially as I am headed to NJ tomorrow morning to celebrate my sister’s birthday with family and friends. What awaits me is my parents house – still without power and gas station lines that have an average of over an hour wait (my dad waited 90 minutes yesterday).

But their part of New Jersey is nothing compared to the coast, where I also have family and friends located. In addition to peoples homes and lives being destroyed, it’s the destruction of some of our favorite small businesses that is also tugging at my heart.

Bay Head – New Jersey (that bridge was a highway …)

My good friend Sean sharde with me some more stories of destruction from his grandparents. They have/had a house on the NJ shore in Bay Head. Apparently business insurance is, not shockingly, incredibly complicated and overly difficult to deal with. Sean’s family’s favorite bakery was ruined by Sandy, but the bakery’s insurance will only cover the cost of fixing the  building of the bakery – not all the ruined equipment inside (which is estimated at over 600K).

I am struggling at this point to not only get back into wedding blogging, but with the absolute helplessness I feel. I want to DO something to help – but I just don’t know what.

People say “donate to the Red Cross“, donate blood … and I will do that, but, I also want to do something that directly impacts at least ONE small business. So, I am in the process of trying to get something started to help Muellers (the bakery above). Please bear with me as I try and work this out AND get back into the swing of regular blogging.

And if you feel so inclined, please do donate to the Red Cross or donate blood :)

Thank you :)


Allison & Andrew’s Puppy Love & Carnival Infused Engagement Session in Annapolis, MD

I mean it’s damn near impossible to say no to an engagement session that features an ADORABLE weiner dog puppy! But even without Allison & Andrew’s new puppy, Molly, this engagement session in Annapolis was too cute, I had to share. Photographer Erin Wheeler Photography shares:

Allison & Andrew will be getting married October 2013. They are planning a vintage carnival themed wedding so they wanted to incorporate some of those details into their engagement sessions. They brought along colorful balloons, old fashion coke bottles, yummy popcorn, carnival save the date signs and their new adorable puppy Molly.

What a great idea to incorporate the wedding theme into the engagement session! I love this … annnnd I know everyone will too! A special thanks again to Erin Wheeler Photography & Two Bright Lights for making this Annapolis engagement feature possible.

that puppy … right?! right?!

more puppy awesomeness!

Click inside for the rest of Allison & Andrew’s adorable Annapolis, MD engagement session!

Capitol Video: Keri Kae & Andy’s Rooftop Party Save the Date Video

A couple months ago we hit 500 Fans on Facebook and gave away a “Save the Date” wedding video as a prize, courtesy of our AWESOME friends at Friends with Cameras.

The winners were Keri Kae & Andy, lovers of travel and music, and self proclaimed “geeks” aka my kind of people :) Jason, the leader of Friends with Cameras chatted with the couple and learned that one of their most favorite things was spending time with friends on the roof of their building. So they decided to feature a rooftop party for their save the date video!

Friends with Cameras puts it:

We had fun, and the video I think it’s fun, and shows their personalities.

So check it out for yourself!

Keri Kae & Andy’s Rooftop Party Save the Date Video in Arlington, VA

keri kae + andy – save the date from Jason Stewart on Vimeo.

Let’s Get Personal: Pumpkin Carving with My Family

Today doesn’t really lend itself to wanting to blog about weddings. While weddings are beautiful things – a gorgeous reminder of love and happiness; there is something to me that I find even more important: family. As we all watched the “Superstorm” Sandy ravage the East Coast these past few days, we are reminded just how precious and important the loved ones in our lives are.

For those of you that don’t know me personally, my family is extremely important to me and we try as often as we can to be together. It is becoming increasingly harder as we are now mostly spread out across the Eastern seaboard (my brother in CT, my parents in NJ, my sister and brother in law in Philly, and my younger sister down in DC near Andy and I). But last weekend we got a chance to spend some time together and then Saturday morning half the family was around to carve some pumpkins!

Welcome to Pumpkin Carving with My Family:

The classic “before” shot that my mom took of our pumpkins. And then the carving began:

My mom is concentrating pretty hard on her pumpkin and here is Jill (it’s her birthday today!) and her husband Tom focusing on theirs:

Andy told me he had our pumpkin ‘covered’ as he knew exactly what he wanted to carve. I was responsible for taking the insides of the pumpkin out – and then he worked his magic with this wonderful knife.

Naturally, our pumpkin had some sort of fabulous mustache. Andy carved it out – and I then told him we probably should have carved an outline of a ‘stache, not the entire stache out. Advice that Andy told me “would have been useful before he carved it”.

It’s a good thing he did carve it out though, because I got to snag this BEAUTIFUL portrait of myself rocking a pumpkin mustache.

In the end, here is how our pumpkins ended up! The first became a glittery ’30’ (it’s Jill’s 30th Birthday), a beautifully carved “BOO” by Tom, A George Washington-looking pumpkin carved by my Mom, and of course a Mustache Jack-O-Lantern by Andy.

 Hoping everyone and their families stayed safe in the recent storm. Happy early Halloween and back to normal wedding blogging soon.

Bernadette & Mike’s Book Loving, Washington DC Engagement Session

While Hurricane Sandy begins to rear it’s ugly head our way, I’ll be taking this opportunity to catch up on blogging, my email, and some hardcore pinterest action for some of my 2013 couples :) Kicking off my couch-working day is this adorable Washington, DC engagement session from Porter Watkins Photography [submitted via Two Bright Lights].

Bride to be, Bernadette, shared:

We are giant nerds, and part of what we share the most is our love of books. Idle Time is one of our favorite bookstores, especially the mix of old and new. We also love DC, and Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park is close to home, and the monuments are one of the things that make this city really special, so we wanted to include all of that in our engagement shoot.

A love of books = the bookstore as your engagement session location. Duh – plus I loved that they incorporated a TON of DC into the shoot AND just wait until you see what Porter does with their shots by the monuments. Probably some of my favorite engagement pictures ever! Enjoy.

Bernadette & Mike’s Book Store, Washington DC Engagement Session

 About Bernadette:

I grew up in LA in a strong Chinese-American community and decided to explore other places and went to the University of Pennsylvania for undergrad. I thought I was going to do politics – which is funny considering how bad I am at schmoozing with people i don’t know – and while working, I found out about the Master’s in Public Health/Master’s in International Development Studies program at George Washington University, and decided I wanted to work in public health, especially HIV/AIDS and reproductive health and family planning, in developing countries.

 About Mike:

I grew up in Northern Virginia, and moved to upstate NY for high school and college when my father retired from the government. I thought I was going to be a veterinarian in my Freshman year at Cornell, but after organic chemistry decided to go with my strengths in history and international relations. I did volunteer stints in Belfast and Peace Corps in Nepal, working on Maternal and Child Health programs. After working at Peace Corps HQ, I figured it was time to go to grad school and was impressed by the International Development Studies program at George Washington University, and now I work for the government on emergency disaster assistance programs in sub-Saharan Africa.

 How they met:

So, clearly we met through the GW International Development Studies program, where we were also fortunate to meet some great friends we still have in our lives today. Mike asked Bernadette out first, and while she was a little reluctant and there was a bit of rocky start, we became good friends and started officially dating shortly after graduating. Mike lived in a group house of graduate school friends, who all feel like they’re responsible for bringing (and keeping) us together.

It’s been a great six years of working towards causes we both care about, being surrounded by equally devoted and awesome friends in DC, and exploring the city we work, love, and live in.


Click inside for the rest of Bernadette & Mike’s adorable Washington, DC lovin’ engagement session by Porter Watkins Photography ~ AND their proposal story!

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