Amanda & Colton’s Offbeat, DIY Workhouse Arts Center Wedding in VA

I really love the fun color choices in today’s wedding: purple & red! From the groom’s grandfather’s sword to cut the cake, to their spice favors, and quotes from their email & google chat exchanges, Amanda & Colton chose so many elements from their personal experiences and families’ traditions and wove it into an offbeat, DIY wedding at the Workhouse Arts Center in Virginia. I loved how Amanda shared that their wedding was offbeat & nontraditional because they paid for it themselves. Which, I always recommend to couples if they can because then you get to make every choice yourself – and that’s exactly what Amanda & Colton did! Thanks to Amanda Dorian Photography for submitting this one!

Amanda & Colton’s Offbeat, DIY Workhouse Arts Center Wedding in Virginia

DIY offbeat Virginia wedding red purple


Photography:  Amanda Dorian Photography | Ceremony: Whole Word Fellowship, Oakton, VA | Reception: Workhouse Arts Center | DJ: Steve Burrows, MSE Productions | Caterer: Lumpia Pansit | Florist: Twinbrook Floral | Wedding Cake: Sweet City Desserts | Bride’s Dress: 4EverlyAfter | Bride’s Hair and Makeup: Jordan K. Winn

Details on their fun color palette & addition of newsprint to their decor:

Our colors were red, lavender, and newsprint. Red is my favorite color, and some online Martha Stewart quiz said that lavender would go well with that. My mother was a journalist, so we wanted to honor her memory by including that black-and-white print accent.

offbeat red purple paper flower bouquetAmandaDorianPhotography_AmandaColton_0001 AmandaDorianPhotography_AmandaColton_0004

Colton’s family was a supreme help to me. Since my mother passed away when I was in high school, Colton’s family stepped in during the planning and helped with various other details, including researching flowers (which were dedicated in honor of my mother) and hosting a super awesome rehearsal dinner.

Below, a beautiful portrait of Amanda’s mother, which was displayed while they were getting ready. Love this.

AmandaDorianPhotography_AmandaColton_0009purple red flower bouquets bride bridesmaids offbeat

As for the dress and veil, my maid of honor, Elizabeth, went with me to various mainstream dress shops and had figured out a few dresses that they liked, but I was drawn more strongly to a small boutique at a wedding expo. We went to the boutique and described what we were looking for, and the first dress that the dressmaker pulled off the rack was exactly perfect. We also chose the veil because it reminded us of a Spanish mantilla, which we thought was a nice way to pay homage to my Filipino heritage.

mismatched purple bridesmaids dresses

Click inside for SO MUCH MORE of Amanda & Colton’s super fun, offbeat DIY Virginia wedding at the Workhouse Arts Center.

Pin It

DIY Tutorial: How to Make a DIY Snowglobe Ornament

We are so insanely excited to announce a new partnership on Capitol Romance! Introducing the lovely Jenn with Ribbons & Bluebirds ~ a beautiful, stationery, design, & other superb paper products, company out of Virginia. Jenn is the ultimate jack of all trades and she is also a DIY goddess, so we are insanely pumped to be hosting some DIY tutorials, free printables, and other helpful posts from her here on the blog. Up first is an awesome DIY tutorial for making a Snow Globe Ornament (or gift tag!). Take it away Jenn!

DIY Tutorial: How to Make a DIY Snow Globe Ornament or Gift Tag


These festive snow globes can make easy tree ornaments or gift tags!  They’re also a great way to find a use for your favorite photos that didn’t quite make your holiday card, to share with family and friends – it is quite likely you have some of those maybe from an engagement session, or maybe some of those gorgeous wedding photos?

What you’ll need:


  • A stack of your favorite photos (4×6 work great)
  • Sheet of acetate film OR vellum for a less translucent look
  • Colored cardstock backing – shown is PaperSource cardstock in Cement
  • Snowflake stamp of your choice, small
  • White chalk inkpad*
  • White gel pen
  • Large circle punch, 3” – available at Michaels and probably other craft stores
  • Paper glue of your choice – I prefer 3M Super 77 Spray Mount (if you have a ventilated space to spray in). Rubber cement or a glue stick also work.
  • Small hole punch
  • Ribbon or twine

Start by cutting out a circle of your cardstock backer using the 3” punch.  Place the cardstock circle underneath the acetate, near enough to an edge that your punch can reach – this will clearly show you the outline of your circle while you embellish it.

Now it’s time to get the acetate all dressed up! Using your snowflake stamp and your chalk inkpad, start building up layers of “snow” around the edges of your snow globe.  Don’t worry about clumping them too much, as you will fill in any bare spots later with your gel pen.  **DIY TIP** Why a chalk pad?  The chalk ink dries more quickly on non-porous surfaces like acetate; using a pigment inkpad might mean your ink takes weeks to dry.)


For those of you thinking, “Hey, it would be so cool if I embossed these snowflakes!” –  the acetate will melt under the heat gun.  Trust me :) If you are SUPER CAREFUL you can use the heat gun from a distance to encourage the ink to dry.

After your stamped design has dried, go back in with your gel pen to create little snow swirls, and smaller flakes. If you are a sparkly fan, this would be the time to add tiny dots of craft glue and some glitter!  Just be cautious about the drying time of glues – **DIY TIP** ZipDry glue is a great fast-dry option for those whose craft-mates are children (or cats.)


While your snow globe is drying, you can finish up the rest of the tag.  Take your stack of photos and cut out 3” circles, looking photo-side-up at the bottom of the punch to make sure it is centered how you would like.  Once punched, use your glue method of choice to attach the photo to the cardstock backer. **DIY TIP** If using spray glue, use gentle soft sprays onto the photo back to prevent wet clumping, and then carefully position the cardstock backer on top and press down lightly.


Allow the glue to dry, then write a message on the cardstock backer.  If you’re like me and always looking for places to practice your calligraphy, this is a great opportunity!


Once both halves of the snow globe are dry, put them together and punch a small hole in the top for your ribbon or twine. Tie a loop, and your tag is done!

rb_diy_snowglobes-6 rb_diy_snowglobes-7rb_diy_snowglobes-8

Voila! Let us know if you use our tutorial to make your own DIY snowglobe ornaments or gift tags ~ we’d love to see them!

Stephanie & Kyle’s Classically Elegant Mt. Vernon Wedding in Virginia

There are details about Stephanie & Kyle’s wedding that made it a perfect fit for Capitol Romance. Thought it appeared on the more traditional end of the wedding spectrum at first glance, it was the bride’s explanation about their wedding day that really got me. She said, “From the beginning, we knew we wanted our wedding to be full of meaning and to truly represent us together so we focused on “simple” and “true” and tried to check our ideas against these two words.  I know everyone says that but we really put a lot of care into each decision.”

And it’s SO apparent that they did this – from the handmade signs,  to the reception venue selection and down to the importance of having a friend marry them – even if it meant getting married during their first look instead of at the actual ceremony! That’s right! Kyle & Stephanie wanted their friend Scott to marry them, but due to Virginia’s crazy laws, he couldn’t legally marry them at Mt. Vernon Inn – so instead they got married during their intimate first look, right outside the Capitol — it doesn’t get more “Washington DC wedding” than that!

Stephanie & Kyle’s Classically Elegant & Simple DC Wedding at Mt. Vernon Inn

simple classic elegant washington dc wedding pictures


Photographer: Carley Rehberg Photography | Hair Stylist: Alison Harper & Company, LLC | Event Planner: JEM Events | DJ: Mike Blaufeld | Reception Venue: Mount Vernon Inn | Officiant: Wedding Ceremonies by Jeff | Flowers: DIYed by Mother of Bride | Bride’s Hair: Styled by Step Sister | Chalkboard Signs: Hand drawn by Bride’s Brother | Submitted via Two Bright Lights


It takes a village – Kyle & Stephanie’s family pitched in tenfold to help make their wedding day special & customized:

We are incredibly fortunate to have a whole team of family and friends who rallied around us throughout our relationship but especially during the engagement and wedding planning.  Kyle’s best friend since grade school was our officiant at our first ceremony in DC and helped facilitate part of the ceremony with our pastor in Virginia.  My mother arranged all of the flowers and Kyle’s mom helped us create a lot of the décor elements including handcrafting the gorgeous macramé backdrop for the altar.

Graffiti Warehouse urban wedding styled shoot Baltimore MD_0006

My brother created our beautiful signs, my step mother made gorgeous bows for the aisle way and my step-neice helped ice the cookies I baked for the bags to greet out of town guests.  Our good friends graciously let us store our wedding supplies at their house (which had more space than our apartment) and also helped us with many projects from cutting and staining wooden altar pillars to painting the chalkboard signs.  My father and Kyle’s father ran a million errands the week of the wedding to help pick up supplies for the rehearsal dinner we hosted, pick up our flower order and more.

Graffiti Warehouse urban wedding styled shoot Baltimore MD_0008 Stone_Stearn_Carley_Rehberg_Photography_StearnsWedding1380_low

My step sister who is an amazing hair stylist in California did my hair!  Most all of our friends and family helped in some way leading up to the big day.  We are truly blessed to have so many talented and gracious people in our lives supporting us without hesitation.

Graffiti Warehouse urban wedding styled shoot Baltimore MD_0007 Stone_Stearn_Carley_Rehberg_Photography_WashingtonDCWeddingCapitolMountVernon1101_low

Click inside for SO MUCH more of this classically elegant & personalized DC wedding from Carly Rehberg Photography!

Laura & TJ’s Casual, Fall Park Engagement Session in Virginia

Back this afternoon with a lovely Virginia engagement session from Chris Ferenzi Photography. I feel like Fall came and went entirely too fast this year, and I barely got to enjoy the fall foliage. Luckily for me (well and you!), Chris’ engagement feature is full of gorgeous fall foliage. It also features an adorable couple, Laura & TJ who shared an awesome his and hers love story write-up – including how their relationship, and consequently their proposal, was based on their love of bikes. Oh I also ADORE Laura’s yellow dress in these pictures. What a great color and a perfect compliment to the natural beauty of the park they had their engagement session in. Enjoy!

TJ & Laura’s Casual, Fall Park Engagement Pictures in Virginia

casual fall park Virginia engagement pictures

Photography: Chris Ferenzi Photography

How they met (from Laura’s perspective):

We were pseudo-set up but a mutual friend of ours who knew of our mutual love for bikes. This friend claims that she had been telling me about TJ for months and that I eventually came to my senses and decided to go out with him, but I only remember her telling me the once. Our first 10 or so “dates” were bike rides in Philadelphia, with the occasional stop for good food and beer.

On one of our first we went to an annual professional bike race that goes all throughout the City of Philadelphia. There was a little boy sitting in front of us where we were watching who kept trying to play with us with a toy that he had. He would not give up and it was honestly quite annoying to me. TJ, on the other hand, was so interested in playing with him the whole time and never got frustrated by him once. I knew immediately what a kind and patient person he was, and was in love pretty much from day one.

casual fall park Virginia engagement pictures casual fall park Virginia engagement pictures casual fall park Virginia engagement pictures casual fall park Virginia engagement pictures

Click inside for the rest of TJ & Laura’s beautiful Fall engagement session and proposal story!

Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck: “Ends of the Earth”

wedding music that doesn't suck graphic

You can thank a Christmas Zales commercial for today’s Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck post. Which is slightly ironic, but after listening a few times to this song, I decided that I’ve heard it before, I just can’t for the life of me, remember where! Any ideas!?

Today’s wedding song is Lord Huron‘s “Ends of the Earth”. It reminds me of Of Monsters and Men and I feel like it belongs in everyone of those Wes Anderson movies.


To the ends of the earth, would you follow me
There’s a world that was meant for our eyes to see
To the ends of the earth, would you follow me

I feel like this would make a KILLER processional (or recessional) song choice or easily fit into your wedding ceremony song lineup. At the very least, use it for your cocktail hour playlist OR just listen to it on repeat today at your desk, like I plan to do.

Happy Monday Romancers! We’ll be back shortly with an engagement feature!

Modern GQ-Inspired Groom Portait Session

Keeping it short & simple today as I am nursing quite the hangover from a holiday party last night. I may or may not have drank my weight in white wine ;) Lucky for me, today’s post does not require much explanation – it’s just a bunch of total, groom, eye-candy. Brandilynn Aines Photography (whose website I am totally digging BTW) submitted this GQ-inspired Groom portrait session and I couldn’t say no! I feel like there are a million Bridal portrait sessions, but not many for the grooms — so let’s change that! Happy Friday to all!

A Modern, GQ-Inspired Groom Portrait Sessionmodern gq groom portrait pictures

Photography: Brandilynn Aines Photography | Groom’s Suit: Men’s Warehouse | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Brandilynn shares the inspiration for her shoot and some details on the location & styling:

I had thought about all the Bridal sessions that we see, but we never see anything for the grooms. So I came up with the idea of doing a GQ Inspired Groom Session. My lovely model Brad was awesome, the truck in the images is his grandfathers award winning restored 67 Chevy.

We did the shoot on location at an abandoned warehouse in Manassas, VA. We rented the tux through Men’s Warehouse, and Brad even brought along an awesome pocket watch his grandmother got for him!

modern gq groom portrait pictures modern gq groom portrait pictures modern gq groom portrait pictures

Click inside for the rest of the images from this modern, GQ Groom portrait session!

Rob & Libby’s DIY Fat Cat Farm Wedding in Charlottesville, VA

Brace yourselves Romancers, we’ve got a stunning Charlottesville, Virginia wedding to share today thanks to one of my FAVS, Porter Watkins Photography! Rob & Libby used the beautiful natural setting of their wedding venue, along the Blue Ridge Parkway, as the inspiration for the theme and overall wedding design. They wanted “simple nature” to be their influence and didn’t confine themselves to a specific color scheme, instead, “decided that [they] would not let [themselves] get too caught up in being overly concerned about matching colors, as [they] began to decide on certain elements [they] really liked, the color palette sort of began to reveal itself.” The casual, calm & collected approach to their stunning Virginia farm wedding, is so apparent through Porter’s images.

I love a wedding that really focuses on the couple’s true loves & inspiration – throw in some beer, barbeque, live music, and really awesome handmade details (like the bride’s sister making the bridesmaids dresses!!) and well, you’ve got a perfect wedding blog feature! Enjoy! (*Warning, this one is picture heavy! I could NOT narrow it down!*)

Rob & Libby’s Rustic Elegance, Virginia Farm Wedding in Charlottesville

elegant rustic fat cat farm Charlottesville Virginia wedding


Photography: Porter Watkins Photography | Venue: Fat Cat Farm | Flowers & Decor: Beehive Events | Food: BBQ Connection | Music: Morwenna Lasko & Jay Pun | Beer: Locally brewed by a friend | Bridesmaids Dresses: Handmade by bride’s sister | Favors: BBQ Sauce from caterer | Wedding Cake & Cupcakes: Sweethaus

Check out their awesome & unique engagement and wedding rings:

Tavia Brown of taviametal in Charlottesville, VA is the genius behind the design of our rings. Rob made his proposal to me a complete surprise, and he went through Tavia to design my engagement ring without my knowledge.  We naturally went back to her to ask her to create the compliment to the work of art I am lucky enough to call my ring, and since Rob surprised me with mine we decided that I was going to take over the design of his. Tavia and I worked together to infuse the concept behind my ring into Rob’s, and I surprised him with it for the first time at the altar.

unique engagement wedding rings

Details on the wedding:

The Blue Ridge Parkway, arguably the most beautiful scenic drive in America, was the major source of inspiration behind the greater details of our wedding. We’re slight fanatics of it, and good portion of our relationship has been spent exploring it in depth, so the inspiration was really embedded within us from the start. Being in close proximity of the Parkway was also one of the key factors in the reason we chose our venue, although it happened to be pure coincidence that we found a connection to this perfect farm through a friend.

rustic elegant virginia wedding bride

Long before we ever set a date for our wedding we were determined to spend our honeymoon traveling the entire 469 mile scenic highway through the Blue Ridge Mountains, taking our time and stopping to camp and hike along the way. So just short of having the ceremony on the parkway itself, we chose a destination as close as possible. And ultimately – beer, barbeque, and live music were the main components we wanted our wedding to have, and so the farm was the perfect venue for all of that to take place.

Oh man do I love these next two frames: the bride seeing her father for the first time, and the father seeing his daughter as a bride. TEAR.

real virginia farm wedding bride father of bride picture

The talent we had within our reach did not stop at the beer – my sister got the chance to show off her amazing self-taught seamstress skills to make both of the bridesmaid dresses and they were so perfect there’s no way we could have come across the same thing in any store. The two of them decided on a fabric they both loved, and she used similar patterns for both dresses but designed each to be unique.

rustic handmade bridesmaids dresses pale pinkgrey suits groomsmen virginia farm weddingrustic elegant Virginia wedding at Fat Cat farm

Click inside for SO MUCH MORE of this gorgeous, handmade farm wedding from Porter Watkins Photography!! You will LOVE the ceremony details, backdrop & reception design!

DIY Inspiration: Furniture Thrifting Tips for Brides & Grooms

Another hump day, means another DIY feature from our editorial partner, Divinity with LoveBuggs Weddings. Today Divinity is sharing some awesome bargain hunting tips for thrifting and upcycling furniture for your wedding. Couples use vintage and thrifted furniture to adorn their ceremony space, use instead of tables in the reception place, OR just have around the house (sans wedding related all together!). We love a good thrifted piece of furniture (my house is full of them) as much as the next bargain hunter, so I really enjoy Divinity’s guest post today! Take it away girl…

Bargain Hunting Tips: Thrifted Furniture for Brides & Grooms

One thing my friends know about me is that I am a thriftoholic! I love a good sale and can’t resist a great bargain.   I will let you in on one of my biggest wedding day secret.  Mostly all of the items that I used for my wedding I purchased from Craigslist or the thrift store.   If you are a budget friendly bride and have not made a trip to the thrift store yet, you have no idea what you are missing out on.

You know those amazing mixed matched plates that are totally in?  Well I found tons of dinner and dessert plates, on multiple visits to the store of course, for a steal! In addition to the plates I found vintage glassware and decanters.

vintage plates

If you see something that you like but the color isn’t right, PAINT IT!  This is a great way to add personality to your wedding by adding a monogram or a cool design! Natty By Design has a great tutorial on painting old furniture with milk paint.

thrifted furniture weddings thrifted furniture weddings upcycled

Craigslist and the thrift store carry tons of very unique and vintage pieces.  You never know what hidden gems you might find.  So make sure to visit any of your local thrift stores or travel to other areas for some great deals!  Would love to hear what great items you find!

thrifted thrift store furniture dc weddings



What’s your favorite thrift store find?! Andy & I scored an AWESOME tanker desk & metal barrister bookcase, both from Craigslist. But I think my favorite might be the steel vintage vanity desk I scored (that coincidentally was being sold on CL by Andy’s co-worker – small world!). Happy Hump Day!

Josh & Maureen’s Proposal Video & DC Engagement Pictures

I get some seriously awesome submissions you guys. This is one of them. We’ve shared rad proposal videos before and now we get to share another. Josh sent in the awesome proposal video that he made for his then-girlfriend, Maureen to watch, in the theater where they first met. From the video, he appeared to proposed and had Traci J Brooks Photography on hand to capture some sneaky images during the proposal and a few after. After it all, Mauren (the bride to be!) blogged about the entire proposal on her blog, so we have LOTS of details to share from that!

So grab those tissues and be prepared, because this one is sure to put a big old smile on your face (and possibly some tears in your eyes!).

Josh & Maureen’s Proposal Video & Engagement Pictures

surprise proposal video DC theater

Photography: Traci J. Brooks Photography

First, the video Josh made for Maureen to watch:

The Gift – The Engagement Story of Maureen and Josh from 22nd Street Imaging on Vimeo.

And now, all the details from Maureen’s account! First, how they met:

About a month or so ago, Josh and I got letters in the mail from The Little Theatre of Alexandria (LTA). I’ve done three shows with LTA and this is where Josh and I met while doing a production of Oliver! in October 2010.

The letter was from our friend Rachel, who produced Oliver! and heads the marketing department at the theatre. Let’s just say the letter made me super excited – LTA was doing a focus group on the evening of November 10th with a few select participants to discuss the direction of the theatre next season. The gist was, they wanted me to come to the theatre, have a catered dinner, and discuss what shows LTA should do in the coming years to ensure it was staying current and artistically sound. It was right up my alley. I RSVP’d yes, crossed it off my to-do list, put it on my calendar, and threw out the letter.

A month went by and I didn’t think much of the focus group event. Josh brought it up a couple of times but it was always in passing. I continued to go about my life, go to work and eat delicious food. Business as usual.

maureenjosh-capro-13surprise proposal video DC theater

Sunday, November 10th came and it seemed like any other day. We went to church, ran some errands, I got the new iPhone, and we watched some TV while we ate a late breakfast. I had a bunch of things to do in the afternoon and evening and Josh was going to watch football with his dad, so he left and I rushed to get ready. I’m usually behind and Sunday was no exception.

surprise proposal video DC theater

As I was deep into the closet, my box phone started ringing (it was Josh). As I balanced on the chair, I took the box out of my purse, took the lid off the box and put the box with the phone (on speaker) sitting in it on the shelf in the closet while I continued to rummage.

The conversation went a little like this (note: I am fussy and Josh is super sweet in this conversation:

  • M: Hi. What is it? I’m running late and I can’t talk right now.
  • J: Hi honey, I just got a text from Rachel and she said since LTA is catering dinner tonight that we probably shouldn’t wear jeans.
  • M: What? Are you freaking kidding me?
  • J: It’s ok just we–
  • M: (interrupting) Honey, no. I’m already wearing jeans. This is ridiculous. I can’t believe how unprofessional this is. They didn’t put anything about a dress code in the letter.
  • J: Take a deep breath. I know you’re stressed. Can you just grab a dress and you can change later?
  • M: I don’t want to wear a dress!

I eventually I grabbed a dress, got in the car, and called Josh to apologize for being so upset at him when he didn’t do anything wrong.  That afternoon, dress in tow, I went to see my mom, went to see my Grandpa (where I put on the rando dress I grabbed and my make-up), and went to have drinks with my friend Maria before the meeting at LTA. After we finished dinner / drinks and I walked back to my car to put my leftovers in it (I had only eaten half a sandwich because I knew LTA was catering dinner) and then continued walking the few blocks to the theatre.

surprise proposal video DC theater

Click inside for the rest of Maureen & Josh’s proposal story!

Make Wedding Planning Fun Again with the CapRo Wedding Planner Buy the Planner