Capitol Wedding: Anne & Jessica’s DIY, Blue & Green Garden Wedding in Washington, DC

Happy Thursday Romancers! Another week is winding down and man has it been a busy one!! Tonight is our first rehearsal of 2013! I am so freakin’ excited for Amanda & Jason’s intimate wedding tomorrow [even with the dismal weather report – I don’t care!].

For this morning’s real DC wedding we have a gorgeous DIY, blue & green wedding from Photo LadyLove [submitted via Two Bright Lights]. Eva captured the beatiful nuptials of Anne & Jessica. Though they had been together for a long time, it took until DC legalized gay marriage for the two beautiful ladies to officially tie the knot.

They chose the All Souls Unitarian Church for their wedding ceremony & reception location because it was where the D.C. gay marriage law was signed by Mayor Fenty. They chose a garden-inspired color palette of blues & greens and used vintage details and painted wine bottles to decorate the space. Enjoy!

Anne & Jessica’s DIY, Blue & Green Garden-Inspired Washington, DC Wedding

same sex washington dc wedding all souls unitarian blue green


Photographer: Photo LadyLove | Hair Stylist:  Piaf Salon & Day Spa| Floral Design & Decor: Intrigue Designs| DJ:  Music for All of You| Linens and Coverings:  Six Star Catering | Event Venue:  All Souls Church Unitarian | Submitted: Two Bright Lights 

same sex washington dc wedding all souls unitarian blue green

Anne & Jess’ love story:

Anne and Jessica met their freshman year at American University and quickly became best friends.

“We still are!”

Along the way, they fell in love. After graduating, they moved to New York for several years, where they got engaged.

“We proposed to each other while on an amazing anniversary trip to California wine country.” (Hence the wine bottles they decorated themselves.)

When they moved back to D.C., where marriage was legal, they decided to get married in the spring shortly after their 10-year anniversary.

same sex washington dc wedding all souls unitarian blue green

same sex washington dc wedding all souls unitarian blue green

beautiful blue hydrangea bouquets!

same sex washington dc wedding all souls unitarian blue green

Love when couples get ready together!!

same sex washington dc wedding all souls unitarian blue green

same sex washington dc wedding all souls unitarian blue green

same sex washington dc wedding all souls unitarian blue green

Click inside for the rest of Anne & Jessica’s garden-inspired Washington DC wedding at the All Souls Unitarian Church.

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Capitol Inspiration: Peacock Wedding Styled Shoot with DIY Feather Backdrop Tutorial!

Bringing you the DIY today in the form of a stunning Styled Shoot from A Sweet Affair, KD Creative & Blissful Muse Photography. These ladies, along with a handful of other fabulous vendors, used the vibrant colors of the peacock to create a DIY styled wedding, in a beautiful natural setting.

I’ll let the vendors tell the rest of the story – but we also have an awesome “How to Make the DIY Feather Backdrop” tutorial instructions to share too!

DIY Peacock Wedding Styled Shoot

DIY peacock feather wedding decor bridal feathers


Photography: Blissful Muse Photography | Make up Stylist: Primrose & Co | Florist: Floral & Bloom Designs | Desserts: Dudley’s Desserts | Graphic Design: KD Creative | Event Planner: A Sweet Affair Weddings and Events| Location: Seneca Creek Park | Submitted: Two Bright Lights

DIY peacock feather wedding decor bridal feathers

Our inspiration was a peacock, with it’s vibrant colors and feathers. We wanted to portray the use of these colors and a few DIY elements (our feather backdrop) in a natural setting.

Every detail that was used were items we already had, made or were purchased from thrift stores and remade for the look we wanted.


DIY peacock feather wedding decor bridal feathers

DIY peacock feather wedding decor bridal feathers

Our desire and hope is to inspire this years Spring and Summer brides with both whimsical and colorful details on a friendly budget.

As we planned, designed and styled this shoot, our inspiration became a peacock, with it’s vibrant colors and feathers. We wanted to portray the use of these colors and a few DIY elements (our feather backdrop) in a natural setting.

DIY peacock feather wedding decor bridal feathers

DIY peacock feather wedding decor bridal feathers

DIY peacock feather wedding decor bridal feathers

Click inside for the rest of the images from this beautiful, DIY Peacock Themed Wedding Styled Shoot!

Capitol Wedding: Natalie & Joe’s Traditional Vietnamese, Meets Modern Northern Virginia Wedding

Natalie & Joe met in high school, but started dating years later. Their relationship finally took the next step overlooking the city of DC at sunset, at a beautiful hotel in Dupont Circle. From there they planned a stunning, multicultural wedding with traditional Vietnamese cultures and modern Christian wedding themes woven together. The entire day ended with over 400 guests (yowsa!) attending a 10-course meal in Arlington, VA.

The couple used many details from their ancestry, gifts from their parents & grandparents, and then used a ton of local, Arlington VA wedding vendors to complete the rest of the day! A special thanks to Jalapeno Photography for submitting this beautiful Northern Virginia wedding to us!

Natalie & Joe’s Traditional Vietnamese, Meets Modern, Local Northern Virginia Wedding

vietnamese local arlington virginia northern VA weddings blog


Hair Stylist:  The Studeo, Sadira Vintage Do’s & Make-up| Event Designer:  Local Sixteen| Favors and Gifts:  LCI Paper Company| Floral Designer:  Wegmans Flowers, The Grower’s Box| Reception Venue:  China Garden| Invitation Designer:  Song Viet Invitations| Dress Store:  David’s Bridal| DJ:  MAXIMUM VOLUME PRODUCTIONS, DJ MiggL| Ceremony Location:  Queen of Apostles| Lighting:  DJ MAX POWERS| Makeup Artist:  The Studeo| Shoes:  Bagdley Mischka| Jewelry:  Neiman Marcus| Tuxedo and Mens Attire:  Men’s Warehouse| Bridesmaid Dresses:  Ao Dai Vinh, BCBG| Bakery:  The Bakeshop
DIY or Handmade Goods Designer:  NoviaArtesana, 2chicsthatbelieve| Submitted: Two Bright Lights

vietnamese local arlington virginia northern VA weddings blog

vietnamese local arlington virginia northern VA weddings blog

I kind of love that the couple chose to get ready together – so low key

vietnamese local arlington virginia northern VA weddings blog

vietnamese local arlington virginia northern VA weddings blog

vietnamese local arlington virginia northern VA weddings blog

vietnamese local arlington virginia northern VA weddings blog

vietnamese local arlington virginia northern VA weddings blog

Click inside for the rest of Natalie & Joe’s Traditional Vietnamese, Meets Modern & Local Arlington VA wedding!

Capitol Romance: Andrew & Ally’s Capitol Building Engagement in Washington, DC

Back this afternoon with a beautiful Washington, DC engagement sesion from Capitol Romance favorite, Tim Riddick Photography. I’ve gone on and on before about Tim’s amazing photography skills and his unique style, so I’ll save you all from sitting through it again, but his images really speak for themselves anyway.

Andrew & Ally were high school sweethearts and have been dating since they were 17 (oh hell yeah, us too!!). They have been together for a long time, but decided online recently to get married after collecting college degrees, masters, and almost a PhD. Wowza!

They decided to have their engagement session amidst the Capitol Building grounds and the results feature a stunning tree & some beautiful DC architecture. A special thanks again to Tim Riddick for submitting & sharing his beautiful images.

Andrew & Ally’s Washington, DC Engagement Session at the Capitol Building

washington dc capitol building engagement pictures wedding blog photographer

How they met:

Andrew and I are high school sweethearts who have been dating since we were 17 years old. We met when our younger sisters danced ballet together and then started dating after we went Cosmic bowling the summer before our senior year started. We’ve been in love and together ever since!

We knew we would be together forever 10 years ago, but after waiting until we collected two college degrees, two masters degrees, and getting halfway through a PhD we couldn’t wait any longer! :)

washington dc wedding blog engagement pictures capitol building

washington dc wedding blog engagement pictures capitol building

washington dc wedding blog engagement pictures capitol building

washington dc wedding blog engagement pictures capitol building

Click inside for the rest of this beautiful Washington, DC engagement session from Tim Riddick Photography ~ including the adorable proposal story!

Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck: Ska Wedding Music & Playlist

wedding music that doesn't suck graphic

Kicking off April the right way, with a Ska wedding music & playlist guest post from Maggie Winters Photography, or as Maggie calls it, a “Skawesome Playlist”.

From Maggie:

Not only is ska the best music of all time (I’m only a little opinionated here), it’s great for inducing happiness and awesome wacky dancing. Let’s face it: skanking would make epic wedding photos. Epic.

People of all ages love ska–your grandparents will totally skank with you. If they do, please please send photos.

Starting with some lovey dovey songs, pretty, happy–some craziness and goofy ones in the middle–and an epic end (SB6 hell yes!). Enjoy!

Check out this awesome ska wedding playlist & then click inside for a copy of the songs via Grooveshark!

Thrill Me Up // The Toasters

The loviest of love songs. Buck has a romantic-y voice. First dance song?!

Moment // The Pietasters

I don’t know why this isn’t the #1 love song of all time. It’s hard to write about ska because it so amazingly beautifully happy and awesome and writing does not include a horns section. If the first one wasn’t your first dance, this one totally is.

Special Brew // Bad Manners

Beer, love, trumpets, ya know. The live version.

Truly Madly Deeply // The Dualers

The Dualers are this awesome little ska/reggae band over in music paradise (London) who play on the streets all the time. Their cover of this song is amazing. So much love!

Click inside for the rest of this ‘skawesome’ ska wedding song playlist from Maggie Winters Photography!

Capitol Inspiration: A Snowy, Red Hearts & Love Inspired Styled Shoot in New Mexico

Happy Friday Romancers! Today’s post will be short, sweet, and right to the point. It does include some of that dreaded “s word” stuff (SNOW) but I think you won’t mind it too much seeing as it’s FINALLY warming up in DC and tomorrow is supposed to reach the 60s AND I mean, this shoot is from New Mexico, so it’s really quite beautiful with the snow against the deep red hues and pops of light teal of the styled decor and theme.

A thanks to Ideology Photography & Two Bright Lights for giving us today’s wedding inspiration shoot!

A Snowy, Red Hearts Themed Styled Wedding Shoot in New Mexico

red hearts snowy new mexico wedding inspiration


Photographer:Ideology Photography | Event Planner:  Mint Weddings and Events| Floral Designer:  Fiori Events and Flowers | Invitation Designer:  agstudiodesign| Bakery:  Hannahe’s Patisserie | Submitted: Two Bright Lights

red hearts snowy new mexico wedding inspiration

Love the bride’s poofy tulle skirt with the teal sweater ^

red hearts snowy new mexico wedding inspiration

simple outdoor, DIY altar inspiration alert! tying fabric between two trees!

red hearts snowy new mexico wedding inspiration

red hearts snowy new mexico wedding inspiration

really digging this groom’s style – a sweater jacket!

red hearts snowy new mexico wedding inspiration

Click inside for the rest of this beautiful Red Hearts & Teal, Styled Wedding Shoot!

Capitol Wedding: Gabrielle & Marc’s Budget-Friendly, Peacock Themed Maryland Wedding

Sometimes I am a bit overwhelmed when I get write-ups from couples for a wedding feature. I open the document and it’s PAGES long and I am immediately struck with anxiety over how the hell I am going to fit this into one post.

And then I start to read, and like magic, all the anxiety washes away as I am transformed by a beautiful, unique love story – full of passion, creativity, and some seriously amazing descriptions of love. I don’t care how long these posts become, or how long they might end up taking me to put together – their story must be shared and I am honored to get to retell it.

This is the case with Gabrielle & Marc’s budget-friendly, Peacock themed Maryland wedding. The two met online through and though they both brought a lot to the new relationship, their connection on their first date was electric and their love story quickly unfolded. Naturally their wedding was an absolute labor of love from their entire family and friends. They had a small budget and a tight timeline, so they called in ALL the reinforcements to put together a beautiful, hand-crafted and personalized Peacock themed wedding. Images via You Are Raven Photography.

Gabrielle & Marc’s Budget-Friendly, Family Infused, Peacock Themed Maryland Wedding

family low-budget maryland parks wedding peacock themed


Photographer: You Are Raven | Caterer:  Anne Arundel Community College | Musicians:  Alex Mitchell | Other:  Quiet Waters Park | Submitted: Two Bright Lights

How They Met:

Marc & I met online!

I put my profile online because Heather was suffering from 3rdwheelitis. Of course, I was the oblivious 3rd wheel. Problem was, I wasn’t interested in dating at all! Not that I wasn’t “lonely” but I just didn’t want the hassle of being with someone else. I had been blissfully single for over a year, after being a serial monogamist my whole adult life. It was AWESOME to be able to do anything I wanted, whenever I wanted, without having to clear it with anyone. Yes, I had my kids but – sharing custody with their Dad meant I was kid-free every other week. This made it so easy to have a very good/conflict-free life – but then when I lost my running buddy to her romance, I had to do something so –



teal blue peacock themed small budget maryland wedding

I met Marc in about 2 weeks. He had been online for 2 years. (grin). I knew immediately that this was “the one.” The second he touched my arm – I felt a ZING. My first thought was “It’s only been an hour, why is he touching me?” And then immediately after that “Wow – that was a physical reaction if ever there WAS one, hmmmm…”


We talked till the place closed, and set a date for the next day. I cancelled the Match meetings I had previously set up so I could meet up with Marc. Everything clicked – our outlook on life, our physical hobbies (active/physically demanding hobbies, racing with half-marathons, trails runs, and for him triathlons), our eating philosophies (very healthy, abundant foods) – our plans for the future.. etc.


As the months wore on, we introduced each other to our kids (he has 3 I have 2) – and then introduced the kids to each other. Everyone seemed to get along really well! We went on camping trips, trips to the beach, and supported various kids’ sporting events (cheer-leading competitions, soccer state champs, etc, etc.)

budget-friendly peacock themed maryland wedding

love these next few images of friends/family making so many of the wedding details!~


 DIYed bouquets & centerpieces above, and DIYed flower girl headbands below!


small budget maryland parks wedding peacock theme

Click inside for a TON MORE from this awesome, DIY, small-budget Maryland wedding from You Are Raven Photography!

Giveaway: Win a Love Bracelet and $50 to Stella & Dot Statement Jewelry!

****THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! Thanks to all that entered!****

Oh MAN I am excited for this afternoon’s giveaway!! A while back I did an inspiration piece on brides with chunky necklaces and that post continues to get a ton of hits all the time. Possibly because statement jewelry can REALLY spice up a bridal or bridesmaids look.

So for today, I am thrilled to announce that we have Stella & Dot here to not only share some serious statement jewelry inspiration, but also giveaway a Love Bracelet & a $50 gift certificate to one lucky commenter!! Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. Giveaway closes Friday, 5 April 2013.

Plain Jane…meet Stella & Dot: Statement Jewelry for the Modern Bride, Bridesmaids & Wedding Guests!

Wedding dresses cost more than a honeymoon these days! So how can a bride create a unique look when she wants to wear a less intricate dress? Jewelry! A statement necklace can instantly turn a $50 dress into a one-of-a-kind presentation.

Stella & Dot specializes in statement pieces, and half of our line is always under $50. Here are some ideas on how to jazz up a low cost dress just by adding stunning jewelry.

Vintage Lace

This white maxi dress is a great weekend dress with flip flops…or add a birdcage veil, some vintage-inspired pieces from Stella & Dot, and it’s a wedding dress! These lace pieces were created from actual lace designs found in our Chief Creative Officer’s grandfather’s lace factory. (Whew! Say that 5 times fast.)

lace gold bride statement jewelry bridesmaids modern

Casual Chic

This dress is as comfortable as a t-shirt. Add an easy-to-wear bib necklace and instantly transform your look. This would be so modern with a fascinator and a bouquet full of white blooms and greenery. Some Naval Academy brides have worn a similar piece, the Bahari Necklace, in their weddings to match the Navy Blues!

casual statement necklace modern wedding attire

Breezy Blooms

Inspired by antique brooches, the Dot Bloom Necklace instantly creates a wow factor. Add it to this easy breezy dress and you’re ready for your bridal photos.

vintage chic statement necklace bride bridal bridesmaids

Garden Wedding

Give your garden wedding a creative touch by adding a pop of color to your springy dress, like the green from the La Jolie shown here. Stack eclectic bracelets from antique shops, add a flower in your hair and a birdcage veil, and you’re ready to walk down the aisle!

[this one is Capitol Romance’s favorite!!!]

teal statement necklace jewelry modern bride bridal bridesmaids

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Picture1Stella & Dot is known for our bold and joyful pieces, and brides will often select a statement piece for themselves and jewelry for their bridal parties as gifts. (Brides can even receive their jewelry for FREE when ordering pieces for their bridal parties!)

By: Jocelyn Carpenter is an Independent Stylist for Stella & Dot. She grew up in Maryland and was married on the eastern shore in 2009 in an old-fashioned, grandma-style-meets-funky-glasses kind of wedding. It’s also widely reported that the Royal Family stole their love of fascinators from Jocelyn.

Capitol Advice: Why Planning a Wedding is Like Producing Theater – Part 2

We are back with Part 2 of our advice guest posts from The Plannery (check out Part 1 here, in case you missed it). I hope everyone is enjoying this guest post, I certainly am. Even though my theater background consisted mostly of playing inanimate objects (a balloon girl in Gypsy & a jello box dancer in Annie … just to name a few), I grew up with theatre in my life thanks to my two sisters and my parents bringing us to NYC often to see Broadway shows.

Not sure everyone will be surprised to know this about me or not, but I am actually a theater geek at heart and think it’s a fantastic place to find inspiration for a wedding! So without further ado, Part 2 starts now.

Why Planning a Wedding is Like Producing Theatre – Part 2

by The Plannery

Production schedules are important. Before the first rehearsal we’d always start from opening night and work backwards to create a production schedule detailing all necessary moments such as casting, rehearsals, production meetings, costume fittings, set building, and tech rehearsal. Whether you or your planner create one, make a planning timeline for yourself to use as a guide throughout the months of planning. This will not only keep you organized, but it will make sure you don’t forget important items!

Lists by Katie Wannen

Communication is key. As a producer, communicating what you expect from your team, the actors, and even the audience is so important. When people know what to expect and what is expected of them, issues don’t usually arise. As a producer I always gave welcome speeches (along with helpful handouts) to give my team, as well as the actors, a clear sense of my expectations and the schedule. Be sure to do that not only with you vendors, but with family-members and your bridal party. Just like the marketing or advertising for a play should reflect the piece of theatre, be sure your invitations and wedding website reflect and clearly communicate what kind of an event this is going to be. That way your guests will know what to expect and have a blast. Clear communication and managing expectations is a great way to head off potential problems before they ever happen.

Gypsy by Katie Wannen

Click inside for the rest of Part 2 of our wedding advice guest post from The Plannery!

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