Capitol Inspiration: Katie & Andrew’s Offbeat Anniversary Shoot in DC


I apologize for leaving everyone hanging on Friday with no post. Life got crazy and I didn’t have the time I thought I would to get this awesome, offbeat anniversary shoot scheduled. While I was off frolicking at the beach, I hope you all had a great end of last week/weekend as well. Now that I am back I will share Katie & Andrew’s amazing 5-year anniversary shoot thanks to Maggie Winters Photography [submitted via Two Bright Lights]. I haven’t seen a love shoot this fun and awesome since Steve & Amanda’s water balloon engagement shoot!

Maggie shares:

Katie and Andrew have been married for five years but didn’t have engagement photos taken when they were married, and they wanted to have some fun photos taken of the two of them in love! Katie mentioned that she wanted to use color dust/holi powder and I couldn’t have been more excited.

I know you guys are going to love this bright color explosion of an anniversary shoot to get your week started. Let’s do it up.

Andrew & Katie’s Offbeat Brightly Colored Powder Fight Anniversary Shoot

Katie & Andrew’s love story:

Andrew and I met in 2004 at the University of Michigan. We met after a mutual friend realized we had both worked at the same orphanage in Malawi, Africa, at different times. I sent him an email and a few weeks later we found a time to meet up on campus. The rest is history!  We graduated together in 2005 and moved to Philadelphia where we both taught for several years. We got married in 2007 and joined the the Peace Corps together in the island Kingdom of Tonga from 2007-2008 and then moved to Washington, DC.

Now THAT’s a love story!

We’ve been in DC for 4 years now and love living here. Andrew is a PhD student at the George Washington University, studying Counseling and I am a Senior Policy Analyst at ActionAid USA. We are both artists as well. Andrew does a lot of painting, on the side, and I am a part-time photographer and graphic designer.

We wanted to have a photo shoot to celebrate our anniversary for a few reasons. First, because we never had engagement photos when we got married, so most of the photos we have together are just from our wedding. Second, because I have been a photographer for a few years now and because I’m always behind the lens I have almost no photos of the two of us together from the last few years. We wanted to document our lives a little, here in this place where we had our first home together.

let the colored powder fight begin!

Click inside to see the rest of this awesome, offbeat anniversary shoot in Washington, DC. The rest of the pictures are so much fun!

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Capitol Video: Part 2 of a Traditional Indian Wedding in Maryland


A few weeks ago we shared Part 1 of Alex & Sukhmani’s traditional Indian Wedding Video that took place over 3 days in Maryland. We’re back this morning with Part 2 from Washington, DC wedding videographer KD Productions that showcases the marriage ceremony – with bountiful colors and henna everywhere!

I don’t think I’ll ever get over how intricate and detailed Indian weddings are. So many moving-parts and so many faces, they just amaze me!



DIY Tutorial: Easy, Budget-Friendly Photobooth Backdrop

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A couple weeks ago for DIY Wednesday, I shared some awesome DIY Photobooth Inspiration – many that linked to tutorials. For the Bachelorette Party that I planned this weekend, I decided to make my own budget-friendly photobooth backdrop, so that the girls could have some extra fun taking pictures with sweet props donated by a reader [more on the props to come!].

Today I thought I would share some pictures and details on how I made a super easy, and super cheap photobooth backdrop using cardboard, ribbon, and streamers. Oh, and lots of hot glue.

My Cheap & Easy DIY Photobooth Backdrop


  • Cardboard
  • Streamers
  • Ribbon [multiple colors, texture, widths]
  • Measuring Tape
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Hot Glue


1. Start by measuring the width of the space you intend to hang the photobooth backdrop on. This is how wide of a piece of cardboard you will need to cut. [I cut a piece of cardboard about 1-2 inches high by 4 feet wide]

2. Measure the height between where you intent to hang the photobooth backdrop, and the ground [so you know how long to cut the pieces of streamers and ribbon].

3. Start cutting LOTS of ribbon & streamers at a length, just a bit longer than the height you measured in Step 2. [There is not a lot of specifics here, because you can make your backdrop as lush or thin as you want ... I used purple streamers, a thick royal purple ribbon, and a thin, sheer pink ribbon].

4. Once you have cut a good amount of strips, being hot glueing the strips to the back of the cardboard base. A glued each streamer with a slight over-lap and would then go back through and hot glue a few strands over pieces I already glued:

5. Continue until your backdrop reaches the fullness and color that you deem necessary. I Used mainly streamers and added a darker, thick purple ribbon every inch or so across the cardboard, and then threw in a few strands of a light pink ribbon:

[My photobooth backdrop ... and my husband]

 6. I fastened the cardboard into the wall with nails [I tried 3M stickies first, but it didn't hold].

7. To top the backdrop off, I made [ok, actually Andy made] some letters from cardboard that I then spray painted hot pink:

 8. I hung all the letters above it and VOILA! A cheap and easy DIY Photobooth Backdrop.

Here are a few shots of the girls & I having fun with our props in the photobooth this weekend!


Capitol Video: Mayumi & JD’s Multi-cultural, Offbeat Save the Date Video

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Mayumi and I met a few weeks back when she sent me an email saying she was so happy she had found my blog because she and her fiance were planning a small-budget wedding in DC and they needed some help. We shared a few emails and I was ecstatic to learn that Mayumi is practically my NEIGHBOR as she is a student at Gallaudet University – the only liberal arts university for deaf and hard of hearing students, which is located near my house in NE DC.

Mayumi’s fiance JD, and her parents and grandparents (in Japan!) are all deaf. Somehow, Mayumi explained to me, she was born with the ability to hear and is what the community calls “CODA” [Child of Deaf Adults].

Obviously ASL is a huge part of both Mayumi & JD’s lives and they want their wedding to incorporate this part of their lives, into it. Personally, learning ASL is on my short-term life goals list, especially now that so many of my neighbors are deaf or hard of hearing, and it’s such a part of the greater H St./NE DC community. Meeting Mayumi and learning her love story and hearing of her wedding plans have only strengthened my desire to do so.

I apologize for all the back story – but I feel it was important to share – as so much of my blog stems from the people I have gotten to meet as a result of running it.  I consider myself lucky to get to meet so many wonderful, different, and unique people in the DC MD and  VA area and also get to learn and share their love stories.

SO – onto the real purpose of this post – Mayumi & JD’s Offbeat Save the Date Video! One part “about us” one part  “save the date” the couple made this video themselves!

Adorable right?! Mayumi shares:

We have our save-the date announcement video (it is sort of like our engagement photos…but we made it into a storybook style video).

I was born in a city famous of its extreme temperatures (BOILING HOT in the summer and FREEZING COLD in the winter) called Kumagaya, Saitama prefecture. At 15, I decided to move to Canada to study English…met my Canadian family and so many wonderful friends. After college, I made another life-turning decision to move to Fremont, California to study American Sign Language (ASL). Currently, I live in Washington D.C. awaiting to receive my Master’s in Deaf Education next May.

JD hails from Virginia. You know when you see a geek that has a fascination with comics, drawing, and ASL storytelling, well, that’s him!

How they met:

We were both students at Ohlone College, CA when we met. JD was Mayumi’s ASL tutor for two years…and we’d been friends for a while until sparks eventually developed!

The Proposal!

JD proposed on his iPad! How appropriate is this, considering his devotion to apple products (Steve Jobs would certainly be proud!). With his iPad on his left palm, he showed a receipt for a pair wedding band purchase displayed on his iPhone on his right palm.


A proposal on an iPad?! Love the geek chicness of this – can’t wait to see how their wedding turns out! Thanks for sharing Mayumi!!!

Charles & Scott’s Offbeat DC Wedding at their Apartment Building!


This offbeat, Washington, DC wedding might take the cake with most original and alternative wedding venue I’ve ever seen: the couple’s apartment complex!

I mean, regardless of the fact that it belongs to an apartment complex, why the hell NOT use a brand new club room and a fabulous open courtyard – a perfect site for both a ceremony and a reception!?

Well, that’s exactly what Charles & Scott did in order to accomplish an insanely special, personalized wedding ceremony full of offbeat and DIY details. A special thanks to Red Shoes Photography & Two Bright Lights for making this wedding feature possible!

Charles & Scott’s Alternative & Offbeat, Budget-Friendly Washington DC Wedding


Photography: Red Shoes Photography

Catering: Eat & Smile Foods, Paris Caterers

A bit about the couple and their offbeat Washington, DC wedding:

Charles and Scott met in Baltimore and moved to DC, where they decided they would have their wedding.

Their [wedding] venue was unusual, as it was their apartment building! Their complex has a great open courtyard and brand new club room, which were the sites for their ceremony and reception. Scott did all the flowers himself, and the food was an endless parade of hors d’ouevres, from sliders to s’mores. The small wedding was mainly family and close friends.

One of the most touching parts of the day was the ceremony. Charles and Scott wrote their own vows, and as they were reading them, I do not think there was a dry eye in the crowd. They also had the bands they had worn all through their engagement engraved with a special saying, which they didn’t show to each other until the ceremony. It was very special, and incredibly moving!

So many details that I love here – the DIYed flowers, the couple writing their own vows, and custom engravings on the wedding rings – all set at such a unique and budget-friendly venue in the DC area. Love it! Enjoy!

Click inside to see the rest of Charles & Scott’s super offbeat, & intimate Washington DC wedding at their awesomely alternative wedding venue!

Gretchen & Tom’s Bicycle Riding Engagement in Old Town Alexandria, VA


I am struggling this morning. While the bachelorette party this weekend was an absolute blast, and a success, my old bones most certainly cannot handle two nights of partying & staying up until 3am and 4am respectively. Not to mention waking up at 5:30 am due to my husband’s alarm waking him up to catch a flight.

HOWEVER. I am done complaining [that is not what this blog is for] and rejuvenating myself instead with a lovely engagement session courtesy of ZADesignz, submitted via Two Bright Lights.

Photographer, Zareth shares:

Gretchen and Tom wanted a bicycle-riding-ice-cream-eating engagement session. We went over to Old Town Alexandria, and walked around the area a bit. They went to Ben & Jerry’s for some ice cream, and then they rode the bikes. The yellow brick wall over at Chadwick’s was the perfect background for some portraits. I love the way these came out.

Gretchen & Tom’s Bicycle Riding, Ice Cream Eating Engagement in Alexandria, VA

A bit about the couple:

Gretchen and Tom first met on the eleventh floor of Bradfield Hall during meteorology orientation in the fall of 2002. They instantly became friends through shared loves of weather, bowling and Cornell Dairy Bar Ice Cream. Over the years, they shared in enduring engineering math and physics courses, long treks up Libe Slope in a foot of snow and (disappointing) upstate New York stormchasing attempts, but it was not until late in their Cornell careers that Tom and Gretchen discovered they belonged with each other.

Click inside for the rest of Gretchen & Tom’s adorable Old Town Alexandria, VA engagement feature ~ including the proposal!

Capitol Inspiration: Pictures of Handmade, DIY Rustic Wedding Details

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Boy do I have a real wedding inspiration post for you today kiddos. The always lovely Sarah of Ampersand Photography dropped this nugget of DIY-goodness into my Two Bright Lights inbox and though I was hoping to get more details from the couple, I figured it would make for a great Capitol Inspiration post instead!

The couple, the bride’s Aunts and cousins DIYed the shiz out of this rustic, handmade wedding. Just WAIT until you see all the details. Handmade rustic signage and centerpieces, all to adorn the couple’s church in Virginia, where they had the ceremony and the reception!

So without further ado:

A Handmade DIY Rustic Wedding in Virginia

 Click inside for the rest of these lovely details from a real DIY rustic wedding from Ampersand Photography!

Capitol Inspiration: Metallic Wedding Invitations

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A couple weeks ago on Twitter I saw a tweet of a bride looking for a local DC print shop that would print metallic paper at a decent price. I hooked Stacy up [mentioning the printing center] and in return she agreed to share her AWESOME, modern metallic wedding invitations with me [& all of you!].

It doesn’t hurt that Stacy runs a graphic design business [Stacy Kleber] but I just love how sleek and modern the design of these wedding invitations are. Plus she went local and printed with Capital Printing Center in NE DC!

 thanks for sharing Stacy!!



Meghan & Joshua’s Downtown Washington DC Engagement

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Happy Thursday! It’s almost the freakin’ weekend! Can you stand it?! I am off of the “day job” tomorrow, but I’ll be sure to have a sweet inspiration post up for all my readers while I am off finishing errands for the Bachelorette!

This morning I have an adorable Washington DC engagement session to share. And this afternoon I have some sweet metallic wedding invitation inspiration to share from a real bride that sent hers in!

First, let’s meet Meghan and Joshua.

 Now for more pictures and their love story! A special thanks to Solas Studios & Two Bright Lights for making this DC engagement feature possible!

Josh and Meghan both spent their childhoods dreaming about studying abroad in Scotland. Both have Scottish ancestors, so the country always felt special, a place they knew they were supposed to visit.

So in January 2007, the then strangers – Josh, a junior at Georgetown University, and Meghan, a junior at James Madison University – boarded airplanes to the United Kingdom for a spring semester abroad at the University of St Andrews.

 St Andrews chartered a bus to pick study-abroad students up at the airport and drop them off at their respective residence halls, so when the bus pulled up to University Hall, both Meghan and Josh got up from their seats.

“Go ahead,” Josh said to Meghan, gesturing for her to step into the aisle in front of him.

“No you go ahead,” Meghan responded, smiling at the cute boy to whom she was instantly attracted.

“No, you go,” Josh said, gesturing Meghan forward and reaching to help her with her bag.

Josh and Meghan became quick friends. From that day through the rest of the study abroad semester, they were best buddies and travel mates. Enjoying the freedom and novelty that comes with living in a different country at the ages of 20 and 21, the two embraced the full adventure, traveling every moment they could.

They backpacked through Amsterdam, Greece, France, England, Ireland and the wilderness of Scotland together, sometimes with other friends and sometimes with just each other.

Click inside for the rest of Meghan & Joshua’s DC engagement session by Solas Studios ~ including the rest of their love story AND the proposal!

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