Capitol Vendor: Blue Birds Garage: Vintage Rentals & Concept Styling

Today I have something a little different to share – part vendor spotlight, part inspiration, and part fashion shoot! IYQ Photography submitted this collaborative photoshoot that she did with a new vintage rental company based in Virginia, Bluebirds Garage: Vintage Rentals and Concept Styling.

How adorable is the owner, Mary!?:

More from Kimie (the photographer):

Bluebirds Garage: Vintage Rentals and Concept Styling is a brand new vendor out of Va Beach. I was so excited to work with her- really excited that VA finally has a legit rental company. While she doesn’t market herself to weddings only, she’s a great resource to couples or planners of weddings that want something fun, kitschy, offbeat, rustic, vintage- her pieces are one of a kind and as a business woman she is a gem. This was her debut shoot, we call it ‘Last Days of Summer’.

From Mary:

Bluebird’s Garage is your décor and prop resource supplying vintage pieces for your party, wedding, photo shoot, or event! From flea market finds to hand me down antiques, we collect pieces that speak to you, the camera, and your guests. Come in, look around and do a little digging. Surely you’ll find something you love.

 Lover of vintage artifacts, anything with rust and Van Morrison, owner Mary Kaufman is a type of new-age flower child for this decade. Collecting various antique items for years, Mary started Bluebird’s Garage with the idea of sharing her most valued pieces and now she’s changing the way people think about décor rentals.  She has an eye for mixing what seem to most people as opposites; Modern and antique, clean and dirty, romantic and industrial. Focused on adding touches of vintage and retro elements to any wedding or event, Mary cannot wait to dive into your project by offering her collection of one-of-a-kind pieces.

So whether you are a bride, photographer, event planner, or just someone who’s looking for a unique spin on their party, Bluebird’s Garage is here to work with you in making your event unforgettable.


Click inside for a ton more photos from this awesome company, vendor, AND shoot!!

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Ryoko & Patricks’ Intimate Northern Virginia Wedding at Taverna Cretekou

This afternoon I am blogging a beautiful little intimate wedding ceremony that took place in Old Town Alexandria, at Taverna Cretekou, a Greek restaurant! This gorgeous Northern Virginia wedding ceremony was submitted by Erin Wheeler Photography [via Two Bright Lights] and though I do not have a lot of details to share with the images, the couple and their ceremony pictures are stunning.

I really loved their cute, custom cake topper and the bright punch of the color orange that they used in their wedding ceremony.

Erin shares:

Patrick & Ryoko were married this past August on a warm summer evening. They decided to have a small intimate ceremony with their closest family and friends. The beautiful ceremony took place outside of Taverna Cretekou in Old Town Alexandria. It was an amazing day to watch the love of these two come together with their family and friends.

Ryoko & Patrick’s Intimate Old Town Alexandria Wedding Ceremony


Floral Designer:  Bloom Fresh Flowers
Reception Venue:  Old Town Alexandria

Click inside for the rest of the beautiful images from this unique, intimate wedding ceremony.

Giveaway: A Styled Photoshoot for 1 Creative Couple

***Due to the Storm – we are extending this Photography Session Giveaway until Friday, 2 November!!***


That’s right! Mollie Tobias Photography & Capitol Romance are teaming up to give one lucky, creative, offbeat couple a free 4-hour, styled photoshoot!  We are looking for a couple that wants to tell their story in a creative way (maybe how you met, or through your favorite movie, or recreating your first date? the possibilities are endless.

We are hoping to schedule the shoot in January ~ so please ensure that you would be able to have a shoot then, before entering!

The couple will win a 4-hour styled photography session and will receive a disc of negatives as their prize!

Entering is easy ~ just leave a comment (using our Rafflecopter giveaway) below, sharing your offbeat, creative idea to share your story and the best story idea will win!

Contest closes: 31 October!—> See above!

We can’t wait to hear what you have for us :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Northern Virginia, Rustic Elegance, Fall Wedding Styled Shoot

Getting our inspiration on a little early this week with a beautifully styled fall wedding shoot from Jalapeno Photography & a ton of Northern Virginia wedding vendors [submitted via Two Bright Lights]! The team of vendors got together at Ekster Antiques – a dreamy barn venue in Virginia with French inspired, rustic & elegant treasure!

 Jalapeno Photography shares:

The backdrop for our shoot, Ekster Antiques, used to operate storefronts in the Northern Virginia and Maryland antiques’ districts, but Caroline Verschoor with Ekster Antiques got away from the restrictions of operating a shop on Main Street when she began selling her Frenchy-chic antiques quarterly out of her barns in Hamilton, VA.

Ekster Antiques’ barns are a dream location for any couple. The barns are a perfect mix of rustic, mercury glass-bling, and high style.

 A Rustic Elegant Fall Wedding Inspired Shoot by Northern Virginia Wedding Vendors


Floral Designer:  Anthomanic
Invitation Designer:  The Dandelion Patch
Cake Designer:  Sugar Lips Confectionery
Makeup Artist:  MakeUp by Tiffany M

Amanda with Anthomanic incorporated beautiful and in-season flowers, which was the perfect complement to the Frenchy antiques.

The drinks were styled by Lindsay with the Well Fed Hospitality Group. Well Fed is a restaurant consulting upstart for the DC market. The cocktails were a Bulleit Bourbon Sweet Tea Mint Julep and a ginger beer float. Visually beautiful and perfectly refreshing.

The hair and makeup were spot-on and done by Make UP by Tiffany M. Tiffany ensured that the makeup and hair appeared fresh and clean, and then gentle played up the lips and curls to give our bride a little va va voom.

Click inside for the rest of this elegant, rustic Northern Virginia wedding inspiration wedding shoot~!

Misato & Chris’ Hendry House Pre-Wedding Portrait Session

Happy Monday Romancers! I am really excited to share today’s session by Love by Serena [submitted via Two Bright Lights]. Not only is it a beautifully shot love shot at the Hendry House in Virginia, but the couple’s love story is really sweet AND the bride to be, Misato, is a display coordinator at Anthropologie, so her fashion sense is envious & her outfits in the shoot are drool-worthy!

Serena explains the session:

This session was really more of a pre-wedding-celebration portrait session. They had their wedding celebration on August 25th and this session was done a couple weeks before that.  They are seriously one of the sweetest couples ever and they’re so, so in-love!

Misato & Chris’ Pre-Wedding Portrait Session at the Hendry House in Virginia

About the couple:

Misato is originally from Japan, but has been in living in the U.S. for 10 years. She has a background in Fine Arts focusing in metal working and jewelry making. She currently works for Anthropologie as the display coordinator. Chris grew up in Northern Virginia and has been cooking from a young age. He was the Sou chef at French bistro restaurant until recently and now he is currently exploring Europe.

How they met:

We met at a house party of friends of ours 8 years ago. It was a late night, Misato just got to the party and Chris had fallen asleep on a couch from working long hours as a cook. She happen to pass by him and put a blanket on him, not knowing each other yet. Chris saw her through under his arm and thanked her. We made small talk early the next morning just before Chris had to rush off to work. Chris worked with a mutual friend of ours and asked about who Misato was and she did the same, asking about who he was. When we had our first phone call, we were too excited and too nervous to talk to each other that we both remember the conversation completely differently!

With the help of friends, it did not take us very much time to have a first date and get to know each other better. In just a couple months of dating, we were starting to finish each others sentences, even with little bit of language barrier. After almost three years into our relationship, Misato was looking into going to school in New York for jewelry making , which meant we would be 7 hours away from each others. She had a difficult decision to make, but Chris said to her “We will be together for the rest of our lives, 3, 4 years is nothing compared to the many years that we will get to spend together!”  So she went!

We dated for 6 years before we married, half of which were away from each other. We called each other at least once a day but usually in the morning and night for most days.

Misato shared this adorably sweet surprise that Chris pulled off instead of a surprise proposal:

Misato had been telling Chris not to get down on his knee nor give her a diamond ring throughout their relationship. She wanted the marriage to be more of an agreement between the two of them, rather than his proposal, however, Chris still managed to surprise Misato with something. After they decided to get married, they went to call Misato’s family in Japan. While sitting in front of the computer, ready to click the “call” button, a video showed up…. Chris’ suprise was that he had made a video with Misato’s favorite songs and pictures of the two of them from all of the places they’ve been, things they’ve done, and the food they’ve eaten together.

Serena explained that the session was a sunrise session and the couple wanted to have some pictures on this bridge since it was one they walked over together, many times.

Congratulations Misato & Chris ~ thank you for sharing your beautiful Arlington, VA love shoot with us. A special thanks to Love By Serena and Two Bright Lights for making this northern Virginia engagement submission possible.


Capitol Inspiration: Bonnie & Clyde Inspired Engagement Shoot

Another week has come to an end! Wow this one feels like it flew by. Who’s got some rad weekend plans?! My sister and her husband and their new pup are coming to visit us this weekend, so we are headed to Lucketts Vintage Store and a pumpkin patch on Saturday and then have dinner reservations at the best little French place in DC ~ Le Grenier.

I am hoping to get some InDesign time in on Sunday – but we also have some NY Giants football to watch AND a consultation with a couple in Maryland. So I have a feeling it will be Monday and back to blogging before I know it ;)

For today’s Inspiration Friday post, we have an awesome Bonnie & Clyde themed engagement session that was shot by Le Boudoir Studio & submitted via Two Bright Lights. I really love the styling of this shoot – it looks more like a movie set than an engagement session! The couple is gorgeous and the Arizona ghost town was the perfect setting.

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Bonnie & Clyde Inspired Engagement Session

Photographer:  Le Boudoir Studio
Makeup Artist:  Beauty by Erica


Capitol Advice: An Alternative Bridal Shower Idea (from a REAL bride-to-be)

A few weeks ago this article was posted on the Huffington Post: “Stop Inviting Me to Your Bridal Shower“. I had some initial reactions to the somewhat over-the-top article, and posted it on Twitter and Facebook to get some feedback from my followers.

A few months ago my sister attended her best friend’s bridal shower. It wasn’t your typical shower, and I (naturally) begged the bride to be to let me blog about it here.

After a few days I realized that blogging about Julia’s alternative bridal shower coincided perfectly with my desire to blog a response to the HuffPo article.

So first, the HuffPo article:

While I can somewhat understand the author’s point – I think her words come across extremely angry and somewhat bitter. Sure, I haven’t loved every bridal shower I attended, and I, myself, PLEADED with my mom to let me have a more informal shower (with men allowed, no silly games, and for the love of god, NO gift opening). However, my shower remained female only, games were played, and gifts (all of them) were opened.

And you know what? I didn’t mind it at all – in fact, I’d say I had a damn good time at my ‘traditional’ bridal shower. You know why? Because, at it’s heart, it really wasn’t about the games or the gifts, it was about sharing a day with some truly awesome people in your life.

My bridesmaids and I at my bridal shower

Sure, showers can be over the top, gaudy, and down right expensive (especially if you are in them) – BUT what this author misses is that no one is forcing you to attend! You could easily decline the invite and send a manageable gift, no angry HuffPo post required!


You know how I feel about the traditions of things when it comes to weddings – so I am ALL about couples finding ways to start new traditions, or throwaway traditions and make weddings their own – and that is EXACTLY what my sister’s friend Julia did.

Meet Julia & Matt

Instead of being angry about Bridal traditions, Julia decided to make her shower her own and opted to have her close family and bridesmaids join her and her fiance in a day of service.

How freakin’ awesome is that?

I asked Julia a few questions about her alternative bridal shower idea, and here is what she said:

“Why did you chose to have an ‘alternative’ to a traditional bridal shower”

We chose an alternative to a traditional bridal shower for a couple of reasons. First, asking our loved ones to watch us open gifts that we chose ourselves just wasn’t our style. Also, we already have a lot of the things we need and if we want to “upgrade” we are fortunate enough to be able to do it ourselves so we didn’t want a major component of our of celebration to be about getting kitchen things and linens.

 “What made you think to do a ‘day of service’?”

Service has always been important to both of us as individuals even before we met, so it only made sense that we incorporate it somehow into our celebration. Weddings can cost so much money and be epitome of uncontrolled spending. We felt that a time when we are investing so much in one weekend, we had to harness the power of our friends and family to invest in providing for those who aren’t as fortunate as we are.

SEE! Exactly people – this is what I am talking about. Service is something Julia and Matt do all the time, so why WOULDN’T they incorporate it into their wedding somehow!? I love what she said so much!

“Tell us about the charity you chose!”

We brought together our families and bridal party plus their significant others (about 25 people) to spend an afternoon at Philabudance in Philadelphia. They are an awesome organization that focuses on eliminating hunger in the Delaware Valley. Through a variety of programs and agencies, they get healthy food to those people who would otherwise go hungry. Our afternoon was spent sorting through thousands of pounds of produce and boxing it up to be distributed in the community. For more information about what they do, you can visit

“What would you say to other couples that might want to do an alternative bridal shower, but are worried what guests might think?”

I was actually very worried that our friends might think a day of service was stupid, but also feel obligated to show up.

I was totally wrong!!

Our group made it into a competition to sort more produce in our shift than had ever been done before. The previous record was 8,800lbs of produce sorted and packed. Our group did 18,500lbs!!! Needless to say, no one thought it was dumb! Ultimately showers are about a celebration of love, so if you choose to celebrate your union in a way that reflects you as a couple, your friends and family will (hopefully) support you.

Julia also added:

After the service part of the day, we went to a near by park and had picnic with everyone. We just hung out and played outdoor games. It was the perfect way for our closest friends and family to get to know each other in a laid back, fun way!

So what do you think guys!? Would you do an “alternative bridal shower” and how’d you feel about that HuffPo article? A very special thanks to Julia & Matt for sharing their shower with us :)

DIY Tutorial: How to Make An Album Cover Photobooth Backdrop

Amanda & Brad & their music-themed DC wedding are back again, this time sharing all the details on their simply fabulous album cover photobooth backdrop! Brad graciously took the time to write out all the steps and back story to making this fabulous DIY wedding project ~ I know you will love this!

DIY How To Make A Decoupage Vinyl Album Cover Photobooth Backdrop

From Brad:

I wanted to have a cool photo booth backdrop at my wedding and was inspired by an online photo of a table someone had decorated with the 45 LP labels using decoupage. I had never heard of decoupage before, so I started reading up on it and watching youtube tutorials and thought it would be cool to make a collapsible screen out of vinyl record covers.

I love how Amanda & Brad particularly chose so many of the albums – their first dance, ceremony music, etc …

I first had to gather all the records I wanted, some were from my personal collection, others I bought at used record stores and a few I sought out on Ebay. My wife and I both selected albums that meant something to us, some were favorite artists, others were songs we liked when we were younger or memories from childhood.  My wife Amanda is from Boston so we added Aerosmith and the Boston album that had the song Amanda. I found a copy of Lou Rawls “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy” which was our first dance.  I put on Back to the Future Soundtrack cover since we used The Power of Love by Huey Lewis as our recessional song at the end of the ceremony. We both have Scottish backgrounds so I added a bag pipe players record. Other albums were selected just for fun and interesting album artwork or there is a story behind it.

One Lionel Richie album was a gatefold and the inside of the album spread it looks like he autographed it to us, his signature just so happened to be printed on all of the albums as part of the artwork so I added our names with a sharpie, it was funny, some of our guests at the wedding really thought he signed it for us. My first job out of college was at WASH-FM and Lionel Richie came to the station for a morning show interview, he stopped by my desk and said hello. Then many years later I went to Jazz Fest in New Orleans and I happened to be with one of my groomsmen at the time and we randomly ran into someone on the streets he knew from the DC area and she just so happened to have some connection with Lionel Richie and invited us to his trailer to meet him and then Lionel Richie gave us seats on the side of the stage to watch him perform.

How Brad made the photobooth backdrop:

I bought four 4×8 panels of ply wood and cut them down to about 7 feet since vinyl records are not quite 12×12 inch squares, but about 12.5×12.5 inches. You can fit 12 covers to a panel this way and have about a half inch border on the bottom. You need to cut about .25 inches on both sides to have the covers line up side by side without overlapping. If left alone you should be able to put 14 covers on one 4×8 panel and have some space for a border on the bottom, just keep in mind you need to transport it.


Click inside for the rest of the DIY vinyl cover backdrop tutorial!

Lissette & Tim’s Virginia Wedding at the Bel Air Mansion

Happy Tuesday! The InDesign training class I was supposed to take back in September got re-schedule to today! So for today and tomorrow I will be down in Alexandria, hopefully learning how to make some sweet graphic design products (yeah right).

But I didn’t want to leave you with nothing to read, even if I might be a bit MIA on social media, so I thought a sweet little Lancaster, VA wedding from Ever After Visuals (submitted via Two Bright Lights) would hold you over until I am back!

 The photographers share:

 Under bright blue skies, Tim and Lissette declared their love for each other, witnessed by family and friends who traveled from near and far, surrounded by all that mattered. Gardening, the beautiful outdoors and everything French had to be incorporated in this special day for it to truly represent all that is unique about this couple.

Lissette & Tim’s Bel Air Mansion Wedding in Lancaster, Virginia with French Inspired Details


Reception Venue:  Bel Air Mansion
Caterer: Willaby’s
Dress Designer:  Elizabeth Fillmore
Cake Designer:  Costco




Bel Air Mansion was the perfect backdrop for the ceremony. From the warm glow of the sun as it sparkled across the beautiful view of the Rappahannock River, their love of the water was perfectly incorporated!

Click inside for the rest of Tim & Lissette’s beautifully personal Lancaster, VA wedding at Bel Air Mansion

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