Danielle & Braxton’s Offbeat, Bright Green Wedding in Alexandria, VA

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Getting back into the swing of things with a super fun & offbeat Northern Virginia wedding from Rebekah Hoyt Photography [submitted via Two Bright Lights]. Danielle & Braxton decided to infuse their fun personalities into their wedding day in the form of a BRIGHT kelly green color palette and wearing high top chucks. We all know how I love me some brides & bridesmaids in chucks :)

Danielle & Braxton’s wedding was chock full of personal touches, including handmade crocheted clutches for the woman of the wedding,  and the incorporation of their love of wineries and movies into their DIY reception centerpieces.

I have a TON of details from Danielle that I know you all are going to love. Plus, any bride that self-proclaims geekiness & a love of jeans and t-shirts, is my kind of bride.

Danielle & Braxton’s Offbeat, Bright Green & Grey Northern Virginia Wedding

Vendors:

Dress Store: David’s Bridal
Cake Designer:  Chandlers Bakery
Tuxedo and Mens Attire:  Joseph A. Bank
Bridesmaid Dresses:  Alfred Angelo

How they met:

            The story of how we met can vary anywhere from “with a group of church friends” to “at a bar” based on who we’re talking to.  We did in fact meet at EatBar with a group of friends from church and immediately hit it off.  I am most comfortable in jeans and a geeky tee with my mismatched socks and favorite chucks with mismatched shoelaces, whereas he’s most comfortable in khakis and a polo with his boat shoes.

Somewhere in there are two of the craziest, most awkward, but also most organized people you will ever meet and this is what made planning our wedding equally a blast and, at times, difficult.

How Braxton proposed:

Braxton proposed on December 10th and the following day we had a 7 page Google doc written out with just about everything we could think of that needed to be done.  This helped us out tremendously in that never once were we feeling like we had to rush.  I ended up getting really sick the week before our wedding and while I wanted to be up doing things in all honesty there was very little that needed to be done.

LOVE the fabric flower bouquets!

More on the awesome fabric flowers:

I really enjoy finding ways to try and be crafty so almost everything was handmade by ourselves.  While discussing our initial thoughts on flowers we concluded two things.  There should probably be some.  And they should have petals.  From there I ended up scouring the internet for alternatives/cheap flowers for the bouquets and boutonnieres as we knew those were the only flowers we cared about.

I ended up coming across a tutorial for making ribbon roses and from there the decision was made, all of the bouquets and boutonnieres would be ribbon roses.

Why they chose bright kelly green & slate grey as their color palette:

            We picked Kelly Green and Slate Grey as our colors mostly because we couldn’t decide and didn’t really care.  I happened to be wearing a Kelly Green shirt that day which we both decided we really liked and it’s actually ended up becoming one of my favorite colors.  From there we wanted something to tone it down and picked the Grey.

While most would have used the Green as an accent to pop against the Grey I fell in love the Green so much I tried to use it for the most part.

Click inside for the rest of Danielle & Braxton’s kelly green & grey Northern Virginia wedding by Rebekah Hoyt Photography!

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DIY Inspiration: DIY Wedding Programs

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I have been a terrible blogger since the long weekend this past weekend. I have been super swamped at my day job and really, all excuses aside, I apologize and will promise to do better next week, with getting posts scheduled and published in the mornings.

Yesterday I had a friend ask some advice on wedding programs ~ she was getting stressed out, and I offered my thoughts:

  • programs, while a nice addition, are not a necessity
  • programs oftentimes get overlooked or simply thrown out after the ceremony anyway
  • programs can be a waste of time AND money

But while I shared those thoughts, I also realize that they are a nice gesture for your guests to see what will be happening in your ceremony AND it gives the couple a vehicle to recognize the special people that made their wedding day possible.

So for today’s DIY Wednesday post, I thought I would share some links to DIY Wedding Programs [inspiration & tutorials] to help couples keep programs simple and affordable and not kill a ton of their precious time.

Let’s start with an origami fortune teller program. Um, I love this

Bride Goggles Blog

The ever popular DIY Wedding Program Fan

via Intimate Weddings blog

An idea similar to our “poster program” ~ using a window!

via Adore Wedding blog

Simple & quick to make ~ A Chalkboard Wedding Program

via Dynamite Weddings

Ok ~ your turn! Share some of your favorite DIY wedding programs or even your own!!

Let’s Get Personal: My First Jump into Wedding Coordination!

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This weekend I had the absolute honor of coordinating my first, real wedding. I say “real” because I have had a bit of exposure to wedding planning and coordinating through the awesome styled shoots I have collaborated on over the past year ~ but they do not come close to the excitement, stress, joy and overall emotional [and physical!] roller coaster of coordinating a real wedding!

I had so much fun being introduced into Trey & JD’s inner circle of family and friends and sharing in one of the most important parts of their lives.

As I mentioned on social media this weekend – man was I exhausted on Sunday [the day after the wedding] and promptly exclaimed that ALL couples planning a wedding should have to work one first. It gives you SUCH an appreciation of how hard it really is to be a wedding vendor.

A sneak peak of the centerpieces from the wedding!

I learned SO MUCH this weekend and it has certainly given me so much to think about in terms of possibly getting into wedding planning & coordinating officially/in addition to blogging!

I was so pumped to meet some new vendors and see some of my favorites. Julie of Jewel Hair Design was on site Saturday morning to do Trey’s hair and then I got to meet and work with the awesome Kristi Odom Photography, and her second shooter, Christina, Heather from Morven Park, Fluffy Thoughts brought a stunning wedding cake, and RR Catering worked TIRELESSLY alongside me, the entire reception, answering my every request [and boy did I have requests!] to ensure everything went well.

the bride & i in the photobooth!

If you’ve read my blog for a bit, then you might have seen the post I did a while back on how awesome my husband Andy is. Well, if I thought he was awesome before, I think he is infinitely MORE awesome now after all the help he provided me and supported me with on Saturday. He hung birdhouses, made makeshift table numbers [when only half of the ones the bride made were found], made a picture display, and SO much more – never once did he complain … even in 90+ degree heat. I honestly could not have completed all the coordination tasks on Saturday without Andy.

Finally, I leave you with some lessons learned from coordinating my first wedding!

1. Always pack extra craft paper or a book you don’t mind stealing pages from [I happened to pack one this weekend, and ended up being so thankful I did ~ we couldn't find all the book table numbers when we were setting up and ended up making a few numbers out of the book pages instead!]

2. Make sure your coordinator or officiant has a detailed overview of your ceremony, prior to the rehearsal [I totally forgot to ask Trey for this ahead of time ~ my fault entirely ~ and it caused the rehearsal to go longer than it probably needed to]

3. Don’t let your mother’s wear high shoes & dance on cobblestone or uneven terrain [the dance floor at the awesome venue was COOL but it wasn't completely flat, and during the Cupid Shuffle, the mother of the groom took a tumble and actually hurt her wrist ~ and had to go to the ER!]

4. Give yourself more time than you need. [The catering company was a good 45 minutes late in setting up the tables and chairs and it caused Andy & I to have a bit of a rush to get the rest of the decor setup. Luckily we got to the venue earlier than we planned, and it was all done in time - but don't cut it close on a wedding day!]

I learned even more in my first venture into wedding coordinating, but figure I’ll save further advice for future blog posts.

Until then, thanks for listening to my recap :) I am super excited to see where this takes me!

 

Capitol Inspiration: Shel Silverstein Inspired Wedding Shoot ~ Clouds, Lightbulbs, Glittery Gold & More

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Another Friday is upon us. Not only that, but another month too! Tomorrow is September and I couldn’t be happier. Now if only the weather would play along.

I love fall more than anything – the sites, the sounds, the smell of fall all put me in the best mood. So while I sit around waiting for the weather to get cooler, I’ll give you today’s Capitol Inspiration post ~ pictures and details from our Shel Silverstein Wedding Shoot!

This one started like most of my collaborative styled shoots do ~ with random emails between Abby Grace Photography & I. A quick “hey we should do this!!!” always ignites a firestorm of imagination inside me as I start visualizing color schemes, details, and of course all the awesome vendors we want on board.

Pictures & Details from a Shel Silverstein Inspired Wedding Shoot ~ “The Dreamer”

Abby and I both love Shel. I grew up reading “Where the Sidewalk Ends” “A Missing Piece” and more. For this we tried to stay mainly focused on his poem “An Invitation” from “Where the Sidewalk Ends”

If you are a dreamer, come in.
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer . . .
If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire,
For we have some flax golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!

From there we used words like: dreamy, whimsical, ethereal and mixed them with a hint of industrial. We focused on motifs like the lightbulbs and clouds and decided our color palette would be pale pink, white, charcoal, and glittery gold!

When it came time to find our stationery/graphic designer – well it was a no brainer. Off to Weswen Design we went a-callin’. Wendy hit it out of the Quidditch pitch with our Harry Potter Wedding designs, so we knew she would be the perfect person to interpret Abby and my’s oftentimes slightly elusive and overly hyper description of what we want.

Weswen Design nailed it – designing the wedding invitation like a window, literally inviting the reader to “come in” and reader more.

Abby had some fun with our RSVP wording, and we wanted to use a mix of fonts to evoke that childlike wonder that Shel so beautifully did with his poetry.

Next we brought on Anthomanic to design the florals. Again, we described a shoot based on clouds, dreams, and lightbulbs. Anthomanic brought us the wonderful centerpiece here, that actually had lightlbubs IN the floral design. So cool.

Abby and I were worried the sweetheart tablescape might have appeared a bit too bland, so we found some ways to incorporate our color palette, without overwhelming. Abby scored these light pink tinged glasses and the beautiful venue, The Black Horse Inn, had perfect gold chargers on hand.

We had Wendy design up a cute little menu, and I DIYed the flatware gold. We thought the gold wire would be a nice little hint again at the “industrial” side of the wedding inspiration and I sprinkled some glitter on the table to glam up the white table cloth a bit.

Another look at the styled ceremony space we crafted ~ including those DIY clouds I talked about on Wednesday. The “bride and groom” are actually an actual bride and groom to be ~ the stunning Alex [of Alexandra Nicole Design] & her fiance Seamus.

I had been dying to work with Julie of Jewel Hair Design, ever since she did my hair for my own wedding! Her work is unparallelled, and again I knew she would be able to translate what we wanted [Dreamy-Cloudy-Puffy-Romantic-Soft-Artistic] into the perfect hair styles. We had her style the hair down for the “ceremony” pictures and then later you can see how she changed the style into a beautiful updo.

The hairstyles were perfectly accentuated by awesomely unique & offbeat hair accessories from Two Back Flats. Check out the details on her two pieces that we used [this stunning offbeat veil and the top hat later in the post, here]

Makeup was executed flawlessly by the super talented, Dainty Artistry. Rachel, again, captured everything we wanted for Alex’s makeup. Pale pink lips, soft but gorgeous lashes and a touch of gold on her lids.

The signature drink was something I had found online. I loved it because of the perfect color match to our shoot and the cool whip topping, again, evoked the cloud motif.

 

Click inside for the rest of the details & pictures from our Shel Silverstein “Dreamer” Inspired Wedding Shoot!

Tate & Julie’s Whimsical Orange & Green Wedding in Fairfax, VA

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I’ve been super pumped to share this whimsical orange & green Virginia wedding from Kelly Ewell Photography [submitted via Two Bright Lights] ever since it dropped in my inbox. I fell in love with the fun colors, the bride donning chucks, and all the awesomely fun details they included at there reception – namely legos at the tables for guests to have fun with! The venue was also pretty freaking cool – a library!! A pretty perfect option for couples looking for offbeat, intimate wedding venues in Northern Virginia!

Plus, any wedding that makes mention to Mighty Ducks – certainly sounds like my kind of wedding ;)

Tate & Julie’s Whimsical, Orange & Green Wedding in Fairfax, VA

Vendors:

Catering: RR Catering

Venue: Old Town Hall

The proposal story:

Tate & Julie enjoy geocaching, which involves finding hidden containers using GPS coordinates. They decided to go out to search for a particularly tough cache that they hadn’t been able to find before.

Once they got out to look, they broke off in different directions. Julie was certain she was looking in the right spot, but Tate kept telling her that it was 25 yards further up.

As Julie got closer she saw the cache sitting in a tree trunk. She opened it and started looking through the contents when Tate pointed out a folded up piece of paper that said “Read Me“.

The note was a story about a boy and a girl who liked to go on adventures together and eventually fell in love.

The end of the story trailed off without an official ending, so Julie looked over to Tate a little confused.

It was then that she saw Tate down on one knee with a ring in his hand.

It had been a story about them and Tate had left it there the night before, so he finished off the story by asking if she would marry him. Of course Julie said yes!

Freaking LOVE this proposal story!! Click inside to see the rest of this awesome Virginia wedding ~ including games at the reception [legos!], an AWESOME & offbeat wedding invitation, and paper flower centerpieces!

DIY Inspiration: DIY Wedding Projects from our Shel Silverstein Shoot

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A few months ago I collaborated with a ton of awesome wedding vendors to create a wedding styled shoot based on Shel Silverstein, specifically his “Dreamer” poem. We were incredibly pumped to hear that the shoot would be featured on Wedding Chicks and now that the feature is finally live, I thought I would break out some of the DIY projects that Abby Grace Photography & I did for today’s DIY Wednesday post!

DIY Lightbulb & Gold Wedding Details from our Shel Silverstein Inspired Wedding Shoot

Up first was our DIY Lightbulb Boutonniere, which to be honest, was sort of an accident. Abby & I realized the day of the shoot that we hadn’t asked Anthomanic to make us a boutonniere! So I grabbed a smaller lightbulb that we had on hand, grabbed an extra lose flower, and went to town with some floral tape and wire.

I was pretty happy with the simple, yet created lightbulb boutonniere that we ended up with. What do you think?

I DIYed their kiss?! – No, not exactly. If you focus on the top left of this picture, you will actually see some clouds that I DIYed to go with our “Dreamer” theme. I found a picture of a DIY cloud on Pinterest and I was SMITTEN. Thankfully I then found this DIY Cloud tutorial on Wedding High.

It was day, so they couldn’t really light up ~ but I thought they still added a nice, whimsical touch to our “ceremony” space.

In addition to the clouds, we thought it might be fun to add some hanging glitter gold lightbulbs from the trees for an added touch. Plus, we all know how I love hanging things from trees … [this might become my signature decor detail].

I used some Martha Stewart glitter paint in gold, painted the lightbulbs with 2 coats, and then hung them from the tree branches using light grey string. Easy Peasy!

The DIY details here included spray painting the flatware gold and using some gold wire to tie the napkin, menu & flatware together. Simple, but nice touches that add that extra something to the display.

When you do styled shoots [or really, this can work for real DIY weddings too, as I pointed out in my How to Have a DIY Wedding Advice series] you really want to make things that can be used twice. These lightbulb escort cards were taken down from the tree above, and then re-made into the seating cards with some simple paper name tags & double sided table!

Spray paint & gold glitter paint were obviously my best friends for this shoot. We mixed a bit of both into a mason-jar like vase and had it to adorn the dessert spread. This awesomely industrial wedding decor item now sits on my mantle at home and i LOVE it.

Finally ~ the Dessert Spread was basically all DIYed by Abby & me! The charcoal grey treys were purchased from goodwill and then spray painted a dark matte grey. All the desserts were meant to fit our “dreamer”, cloud theme – with angel food cake, cotton candy, meringues, and cream puffs! A truly unique wedding dessert display, if I do say so myself.

Check back on Friday for my FULL recap of our Shel Silverstein inspired “Dreamer” wedding shoot!!

Capitol Inspiration: A Washington DC Trash the Dress Session

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Baltimore MD based photographer, Joanna Tillman, dropped this gorgeous “Trash the Dress” meets “Rock the Frock” shoot in my gmail inbox a few weeks ago! She thought it would be perfect for Capitol Romance since it’s equal parts classy and offbeat.

I’m honored that someone thinks I’m classy ;)

Anyway, the couple decided to jump back into their wedding attire for a fun jaunt around Washington, DC. They hit up Ben’s Chili Bowl on U for some half smokes and then got into more of the ‘trashing’ of the dress in Meridian Hill Park. I always love hearing the bride or couple’s response to why they chose to do this sort of shoot. Bayside Bride has a great post on the “Trash the Dress” debate if you want to weigh in!

 Washington DC Trash the Dress Shoot

Here is are the details from Kristen, the bride:

“A few years after I graduated college I started working for an organization that assists people with intellectual disabilities in the city. During my time there I met Dick, a fellow assistant, and it didn’t take long for us to start spending lots of time together. We took long walks in the city, ate awesome food together, and soon we both knew that this was it!

We got married in early fall at a vineyard (it was beautiful!), but after the wedding we decided we wanted to take the time to do a fun photo shoot that showed off our personalities and also some of the local treasures DC has to offer!”

Click inside for the rest of the images from this Washington, DC Trash the Dress session by Joanna Tillman Photography!

Giveaway: Two Custom Sweetheart Chair Backers from Eight Tree Street

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It’s time for another giveaway! Today we are teaming up with the lovely Eight Tree Street [a local DC VA MD floral & wreath design company] to offer 2 custom sweetheart chair backers [not just for sweetheart tables!] for the married couple to be!

Eight Tree Street will work with the couple to design custom chair backers modeled after the following designs. Colors and ribbon [and additional bling] can be made to suite your wedding design.

Offer includes shipping to anywhere in the US and is valid from 1 year from today, August 28, 2013.

Giveaway entries close Thursday, September 6th! Entering is easy [as always!], just leave a comment here on your favorite design, and Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter for an extra shot at winning. If you already follow us on social media, then share the giveaway for that extra chance!

The lovely chair backer designs:

Enter to win NOW!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Sudanese Wedding Bead Ceremony in Maryland

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Happy Monday Romancers!

Boy do I have something different for you today, on this beautiful Monday morning! We are taking a break from our usual DC area engagement session feature to share a different sort of wedding ceremony ~ a Sudanese Wedding Bead Ceremony, courtesy of IYQ Photography [one of my absolute favorite Richmond VA wedding photographers]. Kimie is just the bees knees and she is always sending me unique & alternative wedding features to share. This one is no different.

Kimie teased the ancient, awesome ceremony with this:

It was held at the bride’s parents house and was very DIY (her family made all of food, set up all the tents, chairs, etc). The actual ceremony was held in her parents den and even though they were down for me to come and shoot I felt like I was watching an ancient super secret ceremony. It was so packed and so intense in the room I almost felt like I was going to pass out from the heat and adrenaline.

Sounds pretty intense, but equally awesome. Let’s get this Monday rolling.

A Sudanese Wedding Bead Ceremony in Maryland

From the bride, Yathrib:

The traditional Sudanese wedding ceremony is held for the groom’s family to meet the bride’s family. Blessings of longevity, prosperity and fertility are given to the couple by the elders of both families. I was dressed in traditional Sudanese wedding attire; which includes red silk, gold, and jewels. While my husband also dressed in traditional groom attire of white linen. My hands and feet were adorned with bridal henna patterns. The ceremony involves being anointed in sandalwood oil, joining the couple together with a string of beads, and the lighting of incense. The ritual also includes the use of dates, henna, and pure milk; each item symbolizing an aspect of marriage.

Click inside for the rest of the images from this truly amazing wedding ritual. The reception included even more family involvement!

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