Capitol Romance: Molly & Mustafa’s Adams Morgan & Woodley Park Engagement Session in DC

Yes! I love when couples choose their neighborhood as their engagement session location. Everyone knows it’s a bit hard to find an area or shot that hasn’t been done before at the Mall or by the Monuments, so I LOVE when I get submissions from other non-typical engagement session locations in DC.

Enter Molly & Mustafa, an adorable couple that decided to do a tour of Adams Morgan and Woodley Park for their engagement photos. The fun, bright, and beautiful session was captured by Mathy Shoots People & submitted via Two Bright Lights. So, take it away Matt + Kathy (aka Mathy … get it?!).

Molly & Mustafa’s Washington DC Engagement Session in Adams Morgan & Woodley Park

Washington DC neighborhood alternative engagement pictures adams morgan

From the photographers:

Molly & Mustafa are two of the nicest people we’ve ever met! When Molly contacted us wanting to do a “walk about town” engagement session near their home we jumped at the chance! They live in a quiet tucked away neighborhood near the DC Zoo which is a gorgeous part of the city! We started bright and early on one of their friends rooftops. The morning sunrise was unreal and the sky was so clear! Afterward we slowly made our way back to their apartment stopping at various places as we walked. We enjoyed our morning stroll with these two! While we walked we talked, laughed and got to know them better.

Their love is really something special. We love the way Molly smiles at Mustafa, seriously – she beams. We also love the way he can make her laugh without even trying! They just exude comfort, as if they’d been together forever. We were so happy to capture the romance that these two share.

Washington DC neighborhood alternative engagement pictures adams morgan


About the couple:

Molly is from Columbus, Ohio, and has been living in DC for more than four years, where she works in communications for a nonprofit research organization.

Mustafa was born and raised in the DC area and works in education reform in the District.

A mutual friend organized an outing to the ballpark for the annual Orioles-Nationals series. We met there and became friends. It wasn’t until a year and half later that he worked up the confidence to ask me out. Our first date was on Nov. 3, 2010, and we’ve been together ever since.

Washington DC neighborhood alternative engagement pictures adams morgan

Washington DC neighborhood alternative engagement pictures adams morgan

Washington DC neighborhood alternative engagement pictures adams morgan

Washington DC neighborhood alternative engagement pictures adams morgan

Click inside for the rest of Molly & Mustafa’s Washington, DC engagement session from Mathy Shoots People, including the proposal story!

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Mayla Studios Giveaway Winner Announced


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Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck: Frank Turner “The Way I Tend to Be”

wedding music that doesn't suck graphic

I spent a lot of time sitting on my butt this weekend and little time sleeping – so you will have to bear with me as I am more than likely going to be cranky all week. BUT there was a few silver linings to the lack of sleep and excess bus traveling clouds:

  1. I got to visit NYC, pretend I could navigate the subway, AND see my sister direct an off-broadway show (Private Policy – it was amazing)
  2. I got to visit Live It Out Photography, her husband, and her cute little flat in Brooklyn. We also met a super awesome Aussie at a bar on 4th Ave and talked about music into the wee hours of the night.
  3. Frank Turner released his newest album this past week, Tape Deck Heart. The 10 hours I spent on Bolt bus this weekend allowed me to listen to this insanely awesome album on repeat. It’s incredible. Seriously. Buy it now.

Thanks to #3, we have today’s Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck song suggestion courtesy of Frank’s “The Way I Tend to Be”.

Sometimes when I hear certain songs, my mind is INSTANTLY taken to a wedding dance floor – the bride’s dress is swooshing across the floor as the groom dips her. I mentally watch this scene like a recording of a movie video, the couple mouthing the lyrics to each other:

…and you taught me and here’s what I learned:
That love is about the changes you make and not just three small words.

Yeah, I know how crazy that sounds – but I literally cannot help myself. I hear these certain songs and I just think they would be perfect for a modern wedding – especially today’s song that I think would make an awesome first dance song. Here is a snippet of the song (as the whole thing is not yet on Grooveshark):

What do you think? Think it could work for a first dance song? Or maybe you just think I am mentally ill for imagining fake weddings in my mind when I hear music.

No worries, that’s cool too.

Check back this afternoon for a beautiful engagement session feature!

Capitol Inspiration: A Modern, Couture James Bond Inspired Colorado Wedding

Well thanks goodness our government passed a temporary measure to stop TSA furloughs and help alleviate the insane delays that have been happening at airports this week – because we’ve got a plane to catch to Colorado for today’s Capitol Inspiration, wedding inspiration feature. (Too much? Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself).

Today, Selah Photography brings us a beautiful mountain wedding with a really fun James Bond-esque theme! The bride’s dress is like THE most modern, couture thing I have ever seen (super unique, and super stunning) and their entire wedding party dressed the part. The photographer obviously had a blast shooting the couples’ James Bond styled portraits, which totally look like they could grace a movie poster.

Happy Friday Romancers – let’s get inspired!

A Modern, Couture James Bond Inspired Colorado Mountain Wedding

mod ultra modern wedding fashion james bond themed


Photographer: Selah Photography | Floral Designer:  Palmer Flowers | Reception Venue:  Della Terra Mountain Chateau | Dress Designer:  D’Lola Couture | DJ:  AmoreDJ | Makeup Artist:  Steele the Spotlight | Tuxedo and Mens Attire:  Calvin Klein, Al’s Formalwear | Submitted: Two Bright Lights

From Selah Photography:

Steve and Jamie were a refreshing drink of wedding couple creativity and we have several amazing photos to prove it.

Not only did we do the James Bondesque shoot, but there were other things involved that kept your assigned bloggers/photographers excited to be shooting out of book. I’m talking handstands. I’m talking video games. I’m talking wild turkeys, deer, and a massive smoke cloud from a nearby forest fire. I am also, since you are still here, referring to Jamie’s amazing wedding dress, which was a three piece ordeal involving some removable shell-like pieces that almost took her paragliding.

mod ultra modern wedding fashion james bond themed

Prepare yourself for what’s next. This couture bridal gown is seriously gasp-worthy!

mod ultra modern wedding fashion james bond themed

mod ultra modern wedding fashion james bond themed

Love love love the first look shots – of course!


mod ultra modern wedding fashion james bond themed

mod ultra modern wedding fashion james bond themed

Click inside for the rest of this fun, modern couture wedding with a James Bond inspired feel – including some fun glitter fruit decor & some seriously awesome wedding party portraits!

Capitol Wedding: Alex & Jim’s Modern Meets Rustic, DIY Small Budget Virginia Wedding

“When we started out planning our wedding, we knew our families would graciously help us out with paying for things like my dress, the rehearsal dinner etc, but we knew the biggest chunk of the wedding expenses would be paid for by ourselves. This meant we could make the wedding ours: a simple wedding with DIY details that made us happy.”

Sometimes I cheat when it comes to being a wedding blogger. How, you ask? Well, I don’t have to always track down awesome DC, MD, and VA weddings or wait for them to be submitted my way … because I KNEW the couple and was either invited to the wedding or just forced them to be on my blog ;)

You remember Alex & Jim from their adorable Alexandria, VA engagement session, yes? You might also remember that Alex’s mom and my mom are best friends, so naturally our whole family was invited to Alex & Jim’s beautiful wedding. And what a beautiful day it was – especially since it was practically hand crafted (and paid for) by the bride and groom themselves.

Alex & Jim poured their personalities into their wedding day and it 100% showed. Just wait until you see all the beautiful images by Stephen Gosling Photography, which truly prove you do NOT have to spend a million dollars to have a classy, gorgeous wedding in the DC metro area!

Alex & Jim’s DIY, Classy Small Budget Virginia Wedding at Osprey’s Landing

northern virginia small budget DIY rustic modern wedding pictures


Photography: Stephen Gosling Photography | Reception & Ceremony Venue: Osprey’s Landing | Bride’s Dress: Ellie’s Bridal | Bridesmaids Dresses: Ann Taylor | Cake: Fluffy Thoughts | Officiant: Rev. Laura with Divine Transformation | Submitted: Two Bright Lights

From the bride & groom, on prioritizing their wedding details and selections:

The one thing we knew that we didn’t want to skimp on was the food and the drinks. We love cooking and we love cocktails so this was a major point for us.

This we think is the most important first task when budgeting to pay for your own wedding: make a short list of things that you are willing to spend money on or that you don’t want to DIY. This helps to prioritize your budget. Want a dual plate like we had? Then be prepared to get creative with flowers and decorations.

northern virginia small budget DIY rustic modern wedding pictures

All the flowers were DIYed by the bride & groom:

Bouts: Lavender, baby’s breath, silk bout leaves, flower wire, flower tape, twine. Voila! Rustic, simple and inexpensive.

Bouquets: Girls-Baby’s breath and lace. Myself- Dried Lavender and lace ribbon with pearl pins. All made 2 days before the wedding.

lavender bridal bouquet small budget DIY rustic wedding

On styling the bridesmaids:

Girls dresses- Ann Taylor. No tailoring. What more can we say? I loved the eggplant color and all the girls totally rocked the dress. They all picked their own gray/charcoal shoes which I thought looked awesome.

Girls necklaces- Etsy amazingness. I knew I wanted them to wear a statement necklace and these gray ones knocked my socks off.

eggplant purple bridesmaids babys breathe bouquets

babys breath bouquets

That stunning lace wedding dress!

Lace and not strapless. I fell in love with Jim Hjelm and the girls at Ellie’s Bridal picked this one out and made me try it on (by myself…no putting the dress on me and feeling awkward in the dressing room) LOVE.

Advice: I HATED the look of this dress online. The model was stick thin and it just didn’t suit her. Listen to the people in the shop and be open to trying on what they think might work on you.

northern virginia small budget DIY rustic modern wedding pictures


On their beautiful venue selection:

We picked Osprey’s Landing in Belmont Bay, which was in our middle range for our budget. Their coordinator Jessica Hatter is amazing. She is SO organized and was great at keeping us on track. It was so helpful to have someone young who understood that we didn’t want a traditional wedding.

northern virginia small budget DIY rustic modern wedding pictures

On their personalized, custom wedding ceremony:

The second thing that we knew we wanted was a great officiant would would let us do a ceremony that was COMPLETELY ours. We had two amazing friends lined up to do our wedding but Prince William county has very strict laws about non-registered officiants so after emailing Capitol Romance in a panic, Bree (ohhh heyyy) gave us some suggestions.

We loved Divine Transformation’s Web page and emailed Rev. Laura Cannon right away. Let me tell you she is straight up cool. She’s done a million weddings and is TOTALLY accommodating to every request.

northern virginia small budget DIY rustic modern wedding pictures

Click inside for the rest of Alex & Jim’s DIY, elegant & rustic Northern Virginia wedding by Stephen Gosling Photography.

Capitol Wedding: Lauren & Langdon’s Rad Sky Diving, Virginia Wedding

In terms of badass ways to enter into your wedding ceremony, I’d have to say that sky-diving might just take the top prize. But for Lauren & Langdon – a sky diving certified, and loving, couple – it was a no-brainer.

Photographer, Andrew Morell shares:

When I first met Lauren at a Starbucks in suburban Washington DC, she floored me with her wedding plan. She said, “well, Langdon and I are going to do something unusual – skydive into our wedding.”

OK. That’s cool. Wait, what? Skydive?


Just wait until you get a load of these pictures! Freakin’ sweet.

Lauren & Langdon’s Rad Sky-Diving Wedding in Virginia

offbeat extreme wedding sky diving wedding ceremony virginia

So cut to September 9, 2012. A day that dawned cool, clear and perfect for skydiving. After some spirited prep photography with both Lauren and Langdon at the elegant Belmont Country Club in Ashburn, VA, they donned their wedding-themed jumpsuits and we headed off to Leesburg Airport.

offbeat extreme wedding sky diving wedding ceremony virginia

offbeat extreme wedding sky diving wedding ceremony virginia


offbeat extreme wedding sky diving wedding ceremony virginia

offbeat extreme wedding sky diving wedding ceremony virginia

offbeat extreme wedding sky diving wedding ceremony virginia

Nearly 30 minutes later, back at the wedding venue, the guests gasped as they looked up and saw their Cessna 182 circling above (only to find out later that nearby Dulles Airport actually shut down airspace around the airport – THE major international terminal for the entire Washington DC area). Moments later, greater gasps as 2 parachutes opened up, a bride and groom suspended thousands of feet above the earth, slowly descending to their ceremony. Speechless.

offbeat extreme wedding sky diving wedding ceremony virginia

offbeat extreme wedding sky diving wedding ceremony virginia

Click inside for the rest of Langdon & Lauren’s seriously rad wedding ceremony entrance – by sky diving!

Capitol Wedding: Jamelyn & Chris’ Edgar Allen Poe Themed, Offbeat Virginia Wedding

Oh MAN today’s real Virginia wedding feature is going to be good. I caught a glimpse of this awesome wedding on photographer, Leo Druker’s blog, and I just KNEW I had to have it. I was PUMPED when he submitted it to me.

“Our wedding was vintage inspired and very intimate. We tried to incorporate different elements from the Victorian and Edwardian time periods but in general we kept it simple which is a common theme of times past.”

This wedding has so much awesome. Tons of tattoos, piercings, Etsy details, top hats, canes, and sick, steam-punk pocket watches. Jamelyn & Chris executed that Victorian/Edwardian theme perfectly and just WAIT until you see how Leo Druker captured it all [magnificently of course]. Oh and the getaway car – oh just you wait ….

Jamelyn & Chris’ Offbeat, Victorian Richmond, VA Wedding at the Edgar Allen Poe Museum

offbeat victorian richmond va wedding pictures blog


Photographer: Leo Druker | Ceremony Location: Edgar Allen Poe Museum | Reception: The Douglas Baird House | Flower Girls’ Dresses: Etsy | Floral Design: Flowers by Mona Ray | Cake: Shyndigz

Details from the bride & groom:

The girls got ready at an early 1900’s Bed and breakfast, Maury Place at Monument along historic Monument Ave, which was also where the bride and groom spent their first night.

offbeat victorian richmond va wedding pictures blog

offbeat victorian richmond va wedding pictures blog


We started with the flower girls and found on a seamstress from England who made the dresses. The dresses were made from unbleached cotton and had only small handmade flower establishments. Next, we focused on newsboys and fedoras for the ring bearers and guests to bring in all of the early 1900s influence to life.

offbeat victorian richmond va wedding pictures blog

The colors for the wedding, orange and green,were chosen because the brides favorite color is orange and green complimented very well.

The bride’s family made headbands in the wedding colors for the flower girls, which were garnished with hand spun cloth flowers and the baskets for the rose petals the flower girls used.

offbeat victorian richmond va wedding pictures blog

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For the groom and groomsmen we got tailed tuxedos which were common and accented them with the ascots instead of more modern ties and/or bow ties. We further carried this vintage theme into our venues.

For the bridesmaids and brides mother, we gave them vintage replica cameo necklaces and the groomsmen were given steam punk inspired working pocket watches.

steampunk wedding groomsmen hipster pictures

offbeat victorian richmond va wedding pictures blog

The ceremony at The Museum of Edgar Allen Poe seemed a natural choice for us since it holds a special place in our relationship and Poe’s sense of the macabre appeals to our sensibilities. The location is also the oldest building/house in Richmond (circa 1740).

jamelyn-chris-richmond-va-wedding (29)

We used lanterns topped with cymbidium orchids to line the aisle and used the same orchids in a cascading fashion to accent the water fountain at the ceremony; the flowers were from Flowers by Mona Ray in Richmond.

The bride’s mother made the ring bearer pillows with burlap and ribbon and embellished them with spare skeleton key replicas.

jamelyn-chris-richmond-va-wedding (35)

Click inside for the rest of Jamelyn & Chris’ offbeat, Victorian inspired Richmond, Virginia wedding at the Douglas Baird House!

Capitol Romance: Eliza & Josh’s Offbeat, Nerdy Library Engagement Session

I met Eliza (the bride to be in this rad engagement I am about to unleash on you) after she was reffered to me for her awesomely sounding “DIY, small budget, internet hipster meets Tolkien & CS Lewis” wedding. It PAINED me to not be available to work their wedding, but I made Eliza promise I could share it here on Capitol Romance ;) We then shared some emails about Quidditch teams and other Harry Potter interests (she played on a team called the Badassalisks … I think I immediately called my husband to tell him this after reading her email). And then I cried a bit more about not being able to work their wedding.

But seriously though – Eliza and Josh are awesome and so naturally their offbeat, nerdy library themed engagement session was too! A special thanks to Stephen Deleon for the images.

Eliza & Josh’s Offbeat, Nerdy Library Engagement Session

creative unique hipster engagement pictures in library

About Us & How We Met:

Josh and Eliza met via a classic rom-com cliche — a wedding. Actually, the real story is a bit more convoluted. In 2007, Josh left behind a career as a classical pianist to enter law school in New York City. But his best friend and former roommate, Danny, asked Josh to play piano at his 2008 wedding in Richmond. Danny happens to be Eliza’s cousin, from her vast — and close! — Irish family. At this wedding, Josh caught sight of Eliza and was immediately enamored. Eliza was similarly enamored when introduced later that evening.


creative unique hipster engagement pictures in library

The two talked the rest of the night (completely ignoring friends and family) and promised to continue talking despite the distance between Pittsburgh (Eliza’s home) and New York. Several months and many hours of conversations later, Eliza told Josh she wanted to explore grad schools in NYC. Josh kindly offered a place to stay, which Eliza gladly and excitedly accepted.

In New York, Josh took Eliza to all his favorite places, and even a few schools, and Eliza gave Josh a hand-knit hat. Finally on the day before Eliza had to leave, Eliza and Josh confessed to one another their feelings and decided to give this long distance relationship a try.


creative unique hipster engagement pictures in library

The next year saw their relationship straddle the distance between Pittsburgh and New York, DC and New York, and Dublin (Ireland) and New York, until Eliza got that acceptance letter to a grad school in the city. Eliza moved in the fall of 2009. Still, she spent her summers in DC interning at federal agencies while Josh stayed in New York finishing his degree and working at law firms. When Eliza graduated, she moved back to DC to work as an embedded librarian while Josh remained in NYC working as lawyer.

Both are super-psyched for Eliza to move permanently to New York this fall.

creative unique hipster engagement pictures in library

creative unique hipster engagement pictures in library

creative unique hipster engagement pictures in library

creative unique hipster engagement pictures in library

Click inside for a TON more from Eliza & Josh’s super hip & slightly nerdy library engagement session! AND the proposal story!

Let’s Get Personal: My weekend

Hoping you all had a great weekend. Friday was, well, crazy with everything that went on with the Boston bombing suspects. I couldn’t bring myself to blog when those crazies were still on the lose, so I stayed low key and glued to Twitter and was relieved to find out, while shopping at Whole Foods, still glued to Twitter, that they finally got the second suspect.

Friday night was a low key one for my husband and I, but we were up bright and early Saturday to run a 5k Fun Run in support of the Boston Marathon victims. We joined Sarah (from Val&Sarah fame) and about 50 other DC area runners to run a quick route down on the mall. It was amazing – gorgeous weather, lots of tourists cheering in the name of Boston, AND we raised over $900 to send to the Mayor of Boston’s charity!

[a headless Andy with our makeshift bibs]


Then we headed home to paint our house!! And Sarah, being the awesome person that she is, not only hung around the rest of the day, but helped us paint! What an awesome lady ;)



And after:


After painting we cut our jungle of a lawn and did some general housework. We were EXHAUSTED Saturday night, and mostly just fell asleep on the couch watching Game of Thrones (just Season 1)!!

Sunday we were up again to make some knobs for our bathroom medicine cabinet, run to Home Depot (of course…we pretty much do this every weekend), clean the INSIDE of the house, and work a little more on our bedroom. Our bedroom is coming along – we recently got a stunning mirror at IKEA and some pretty gorgeous lamps that I love. We also splurged a bit on some brand new, white dressers and painted the room a grey-ish purple. Then I was on the hunt for a vanity for my end table/makeup desk. I had no idea what would fit next to the bed and work in our theme and then I came across this AWESOME steel vanity on Craiglist.

It was listed as a Norman Bel Geddes steel desk – and I had no idea what that meant. But a quick google search led me to some pretty pricey (and freakin’ awesome) industrial furniture online. I made an offer on the desk and was SO ecstatic that the seller took it! Also, DC is such a small world – the seller turned out to be one of my husbands coworkers. No joke.


Sweet right?! Though it’s pretty dirty and and I have no idea how to clean/polish/care for it – anyone have any experience with steel out there?! Other than the fact that the piece is the perfect size and look for what we wanted, I was also pretty stoked to read more about Norman Bel Geddes – how he designed furniture “of the future” back in the early 1900s and was even commissioned to help design a part of the 1939 World’s Fair. I pretty much love the fact that we have a unique, one-of-a-kind antique in our bedroom!

After a long Sunday I am going to shut this down and will finish blogging my engagement session tomorrow! Hope you all had a great weekend, thanks for stopping by & reading the recap of mine :)

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