Capitol Romance: Matt & Katie’s Surprise Proposal at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC

I wanted to get this post up for Memorial Day (yesterday) but never got a chance. Mostly, to be honest, because I was too busy celebrating my birthday :)

I also wanted to let you all know that posting will be LIGHT this week. I have to go home to New Jersey for a family matter and will have little to no access to my blogging for the whole week. I promise when I am back though, that things will be extra awesome. We have a ton of sweet shoots in our arsenal AND a new giveaway!! But for today, we are kicking off the week with a beautiful DC surprise proposal by the Jefferson Memorial from Chris Ferenzi Photography (submitted via Two Bright Lights).

I also have all the rad details from the groom-to-be himself! I just love when grooms share the relationship details :)

Matt & Katie’s Surprise Proposal at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC

washington dc surprise proposal jefferson memorial

About the couple and how they met (from the Groom to be!):

About 6 years ago, I moved to Atlanta for a job. After living there for a year I met Katie. We spent most of our time going to country music concerts, Crossfitting, and looking around town for the best margaritas. Last October, I took leave from my job to join the Marine Corps Reserves. So now that we’ve been dating almost 5 years, and she has stuck with me through thick and thin (and the Marines), I decided it was time. So I got the ring, but was lacking a plan – and Katie was coming to visit the following weekend.

washington dc surprise proposal jefferson memorial

washington dc surprise proposal jefferson memorial

The Proposal Planning & Details:

I went out to dinner with a buddy and his wife and told them about my intentions (to propose), and my plan (none). She suggested I hire a photographer. It had crossed my mind at one point, but her suggestion made up my mind for me. After a little research, I got in touch with Chris. I emailed him on a Sunday morning asking if he was interested in shooting my proposal. I follow with, “you probably know the DC area better than me, and Katie really wants to cherry blossoms if there are any left” – which translates to “I want to propose, and she likes cherry blossoms, what can you do?” But there was a catch: I was leaving early the next morning for a field exercise and would be completely out of touch until Friday. After exchanging a few emails, Chris responded with “I’ll have a plan for you tonight.” I was incredibly relieved.

washington dc surprise proposal jefferson memorial

The following weekend, when Katie made it to town, we had no plans for Saturday (she thought), which was rare. I told her I just wanted to go into the city, and that the tidal basin area near the Jefferson Memorial was really pretty and might have more cherry blossoms to check out. At this point she has noticed that there really were no cherry blossoms out anymore. I wasn’t changing my mind, but was trying to stay as vague as possible. So we finally got down to the Jefferson Memorial, and I’m trying to get Katie into the position that Chris had planned (he was hiding in the trees in position). So I just start wandering around the memorial, I can feel my phone blowing up in my pocket from Chris texting me, but I can’t really pull it out and check it while being nonchalant.

washington dc surprise proposal jefferson memorial

At this point I’m trying to look down into the trees to see where he’s hiding, but I don’t see him ANYWHERE. All of the sudden, a couple walks up and asks me to take photos of them. This had to be a setup, the guy was wearing some bright green shirt, but I knew it wasn’t Chris. I snapped a few shots, and in exchange they did the same. After the guy takes our photo with our camera, Katie HAS to look at it. I hand her the camera. Now that she is distracted, I finally have the chance to look at my phone. Chris’s text have so many different instructions “stay there, go back, go up a step. STOP!! Go back AGAIN!” etc. Finally, while she is still looking at the camera, I get 1 last text that says, “go where they green guy is now!!”  Katie handed me the camera, and I start walking. She’s continually asking me questions “What are you doing? Why are we back here? I’m cold… Why are you setting down the camera?” I get into position, set down the camera, and grab her. I guess from there, we all know what happened next.

washington dc surprise proposal jefferson memorial

Click inside for the rest of this DC surprise proposal feature ~ including some beautiful Washington DC portraits by Chris Ferenzi Photography.

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Capitol Inspiration: Whimsical, Offbeat Wedding Design Inspired by the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

I took a day off from work today (as I usually do) to give myself a birthday gift! My birthday is on Monday, but I will be spending the day with my husband, relaxing and doing fun things around DC!!

But, I couldn’t leave you all empty handed! So I have some fun shots from an Alice in Wonderland inspired wedding shoot – specifically the Mad Hatter’s tea party! Though the shoot includes a bride – I think you could use a lot of these fun (and easily recreatable details) for a bridal shower or other sort of event! I really love the bold checkered linen on the dessert table, the hand-painted paper products (check out that invitation! it’s AWESOME), and the cake is just TOO awesome to even describe!

A special thanks to V.A. Photography for sharing!

A Whimsical & Offbeat, Mad Hatter Tea Party Inspired Wedding Shoot

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Vendors:

Photographer:  V.A. Photography | Venue: Glen Echo Park | Trinkets & Accessories: Hobby Lobby | Dress Store: Kate Linde Bridal | Cake Designer: Petite Sweets | Paper Design: Kristin’s Paperie | Cupcakes & Cookies: Giant | Flowers: Kroger | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

The photographer shared:

This is a fun and unique styled bridal shoot. We just wanted to do something different for a bridal stuff and use a lot of fun props. We loved all the little details incorporated from hobby lobby and of course the beautiful stuff donated for the shoot (dress, cake, and paper products). We had a lot of fun with this shoot and just really tried to embody the mad hatter tea party as much as we could!

mad hatter's tea party wedding theme inspiration details

mad hatter's tea party wedding theme inspiration details

mad hatter's tea party wedding theme inspiration details

mad hatter's tea party wedding theme inspiration details

mad hatter's tea party wedding theme inspiration details

mad hatter's tea party wedding theme inspiration details

mad hatter's tea party wedding theme inspiration details

Click inside for the rest of the shots from this fun & whimsical Mad Hatter’s Tea Party inspired wedding shoot!

Capitol Wedding: Doug & Erica’s Winter Wedding at DAR in Washington, DC

This morning’s DC wedding feature looks pretty traditional at first, but after reading the couple’s wedding story and looking a bit more at the details and choices the couple made, I thought it would be a good feature for Capitol Romance.

I really loved their love story – they met online and for Erica, Doug was the first (and only!) guy she ever met with via Match.com !! An engagement at Roosevelt Island came soon after and then the wedding planning began. Doug & Erica chose one of DC’s grandest venues, the DAR Constitution Hall, however, with an intimate guest list and many personalized details, the wedding day was completely their own.

I think my favorite detail from their wedding though, was their choice to walk down the aisle together! Erica explained:

 We felt that was a better representation of our commitment in marriage – a choice that we were making together as partners and equals.

Thanks to True Story Studios for submitting their images for this beautiful DC winter wedding feature.

Doug & Erica’s Purple, Winter Wedding at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC

DAR washington dc winter wedding purple intimate

Vendors:

Photographer: True Story Studios | Hair & Make-up: Roche Salon | Transportation: Chariots for Hire | Florist: Devers Design | Ceremony Location & Officiant: Holy Trinity Catholic Church | Reception Venue: DAR Constitution Hall (O’Byrne Gallery and Pennsylvania Foyer) | Musician (Guitarist): Michael Kolmstetter | Caterer, Cake & Baked Goods: DesignCuisine | Band: Six Stylez | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

How they met:

Doug and I are a match.com success story; maybe a bit of an anomaly (he was my first and only match.com date). Through emails and short messages, we quickly found common ground in our Buffalo roots and love for travel. He was the first guy that I had to meet. Our first date was over pizza and microbrews on a sunny September afternoon. A chance beginning that grew into something far beyond anything I could have ever dreamed.

dark grey winter wedding shoes bride sparkly

The Proposal Story:

Doug made plans for us to go hiking somewhere along Skyline Drive at the end of a weekend getaway to run the Charlottesville 10 miler. Despite it being March in Virginia, we woke up to snow and an overcast sky. Not that easily deterred, we were disappointed to find Skyline Drive closed due to poor visibility. We regrouped over a flight of wine deciding to head home and check out one of DC’s lesser known highlights – Roosevelt Island. In the time it took for us to make the drive back, the sun emerged. It was on a leisurely walk around the island that he asked me to marry him.

unique wedding dress

DAR washington dc winter wedding purple intimate

Doug & Erica chose to keep their wedding intimate and involved family where they could:

My mom and Doug’s dad served as Eucharistic Ministers in our ceremony and Doug’s former Army Commander and his wife brought the gifts to the alter.

Overall, keeping our guest list small really allowed us to interact with everyone and kept the feel of our wedding very personal and intimate.

purple winter wedding bouquets

DAR washington dc winter wedding purple intimate

Love the bridesmaids rocking these fur shrugs!

DAR washington dc winter wedding purple intimate

Though their wedding ceremony followed a traditional Catholic service, I loved this nontraditional element that they added: Doug & Erica walked down the aisle together!

Doug and I entered the church and walked down the aisle together. We felt that was a better representation of our commitment in marriage – a choice that we were making together as partners and equals. This ended up being really powerful. It also gave Doug and I a few quiet moments alone together outside the church before the ceremony. It was time that became even more appreciated once the momentum of the day really took hold.

DAR washington dc winter wedding purple intimate

Click inside for the rest of Erica & Doug’s beautiful, winter wedding at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington DC. Including beautiful winter wedding centerpieces!

Erika & Dave’s Offbeat Maryland Farm Wedding with Sunflowers

Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of details to share for today’s Offbeat Maryland Farm wedding – BUT I think the pictures more than make up for that. Erika & Dave got married at Woodlawn Farm – a beautiful Maryland farm wedding venue just outside Baltimore. They used sunflowers and a TON of DIY to personalize their wedding day.

The pops of yellow with the neutral burlap are such a fun, fresh summer wedding color palette choice and I just LOVE Dave’s yellow chucks. I also really enjoy any wedding that ends with a bonfire. Totally something I would have done myself if we hadn’t gotten married in the middle of DC :)

Thanks to Andrew Morrell Photography for sharing his images and submitting via Two Bright Lights.

Erika & Dave’s Offbeat, DIY Outdoor Maryland Farm Wedding

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Andrew shared:

Holy cow. This wedding was as gorgeous as it looks. Erika and David are outdoor people. When we got together for their Potomac River engagement session earlier that spring, we dove in and out of flower patches and weeping willows. So it made perfect sense that their mid-Autumn wedding would be held entirely outdoors on the Chesapeake Bay. And the weather cooperated with breathtaking perfection. From the handmade bouquets to the placeholders to the wishing lanterns and final bonfire, this was a once-in-a-lifetime wedding.

DIY yellow sunflowers offbeat outdoors maryland farm wedding

DIY yellow sunflowers offbeat outdoors maryland farm wedding

DIY yellow sunflowers offbeat outdoors maryland farm wedding

DIY yellow sunflowers offbeat outdoors maryland farm wedding

DIY yellow sunflowers offbeat outdoors maryland farm wedding

Click inside for the rest of Erika & Dave’s offbeat, Sunflower Maryland wedding!

Say I Do DC ~ LGBT Wedding Expo Ticket Giveaway

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It’s that time of year again – one of DC’s best wedding expos, Say I Do is back in DC on June 2nd at the Hotel Palomar in DC and we are so exciting to not only get to attend this year BUT giveaway two tickets to the event!

For those that don’t know, Say I Do Expo is a fun, interactive and informative wedding experience. It is chock full of Washington DC’s best LGBT-friendly vendors, entertainment, workshops, prizes, and MUCH MORE! All of the amazing wedding businesses that attend are affirming and supportive of marriage equality! (Which, shouldn’t we ALL just be that way…. but I digress).

An in case you don’t win our two-ticket giveaway, proceeds from ticket sales will benefit several LGBT organizations and you can buy them here!

Our ticket giveaway ends in just one week! So enter soon by leaving a comment on this post!

Capitol Wedding: Amy & Tom’s Beautiful, Intimate DC Courthouse Wedding

“Our wedding was a reflection of our desire to focus on our marriage itself.

This morning I have a beautiful DC Courthouse Wedding to share with you all, courtesy of Sarah Gormley Photography. Amy & Tom’s intimate DC wedding is simple, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t downright beautiful. I love Amy’s poof-like birdcage veil and Tom is seriously rocking his pink tie, blue plaid jacket, and billyball boutonniere.

So sit back, relax, and prepare for a whole lot of love in today’s DC wedding post!

Amy & Tom’s Intimate, DC Courthouse Wedding

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From the bride:

“Neither of us wanted the reason we were getting married to be overshadowed by all the minutiae and expense of a big wedding, so we skipped it and got married at the court house instead. It was exactly the experience we both wanted to have, and we’re grateful to our fabulous photographer, Sarah, for capturing our happiest moments together (so far!) I hope every couple is as satisfied with their wedding as we are!”

dc courthouse wedding intimate

loving Amy’s wildflower, springtime bouquet!

dc wildflower bouquet

dc courthouse wedding intimate

dc courthouse wedding intimate

dc courthouse wedding intimate

dc courthouse wedding intimate

dc courthouse wedding intimate

Click inside for the rest of Amy & Tom’s beautiful, intimate DC courthouse wedding and some gorgeous portraits by the Jefferson Memorial!

Capitol Romance: Thuy & Phillip’s Burke Lake Park, Northern Virginia Engagement

A beautiful Northern Virginia engagement session is kicking off the week. Whenever I get submissions from An Endless Pursuit – I know I am going to love them and Thuy & Phillips engagement pictures at Burke Lake Park were no exception.

Today’s post will be light as the couple wished to keep their love story & proposal story private. An Endless Pursuit assumed this meant I didn’t want to feature the couple, to which I replied, “no way – a couple’s right to privacy is way more important to me than added content in a blog post”. And I stand by that statement. In the world of wedding blogging, we seem to be getting further and further from the heart of the stories being shared and mostly only about the surface-level exteriors of the way things look.

I could probably rage on about this – but I won’t (not now any way). Instead I will leave you with some beautiful images of a fun, quirky couple that is truly in love!

Thuy & Phillip’s Burke Lake Park Northern Virginia Engagement Session

northern virginia engagement pictures burke lake park

Vendors:

Photographer: An Endless Pursuit | Engagement Session Location: Burke Lake Park, VA | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

northern virginia engagement pictures burke lake park

northern virginia engagement pictures burke lake park

northern virginia engagement pictures burke lake park

northern virginia engagement pictures burke lake park

northern virginia engagement pictures burke lake park

northern virginia engagement pictures burke lake park

northern virginia engagement pictures burke lake park

northern virginia engagement pictures burke lake park

 

Capitol Inspiration: A Bold Green & Gold, Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding Shoot

Happy Friday Romancers!!! Today we are traveling to Savannah, GA to bring you an ornate, dazzling styled shoot based on The Great Gatsby! I’ve seen a few of these styled shoots floating around the wedding blogosphere, so when Lone Pine Photography submitted this one our way, I just knew I had to share one too. Mostly because I felt it had some unique and different takes on the Gatsby theme.

Lone Pine Photography shares:

[Our] styled shoot in Savannah GA was at a 19th century Italianate mansion. We chose Emerald green and gold for the colors for accents and clothing.  We had 10 different higher-end vendors collaborate on this vision for the shoot, and it was powerfully done, just like Gatsby.

I love the mix of modern and vintage in this wedding shoot. The bridal headband, chandeliers, and overflowing florals take us back to the roaring 20s, but the addition of an emerald green reception dress, and glittering gold details add that splash of modern that gives it something unique!

Hope you all have a great weekend!!

A Modern, Green & Gold Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding Styled Shoot

green gold wedding great gatsby theme

Vendors:

Photographer:  Lone Pine Photography| Equipment Rentals: Amazing Event Rentals| Dress Store: BleuBelle Bridal | Bakery: Brown Sugar Custom Cakes | Floral Designer: EightTreeStreet | DIY or Handmade Goods Designer: French Knot Studios | Event Designer: Harvey Designs | Event Planner: Larger Than Life Events and Design | Makeup Artist: Simone Simmons | Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Simons Formal Wear | Personal Stylist: Taliyba Reinberry | Invitation Designer: Wiregrass Weddings | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

green gold wedding great gatsby themed wedding invitation

green gold wedding great gatsby themed bride

green gold wedding great gatsby theme

green gold wedding great gatsby theme

Click inside for the rest of the beautiful gold & emerald green details from a Great Gatsby inspired wedding!

Capitol Wedding: John & Jennie’s Sweet, Classic Fredericksburg Virginia Wedding

Though the details of this wedding are slightly more on the traditional end of things, it was the couple’s story that I was drawn to, and why I chose to feature it. The couple wanted something sophisticated and elegant and “expressive of who we were as a couple”. <- boom. That right there is what says it all. Go ahead and be traditional – if that’s who you are as a couple, then that is totally right on with me!

The couple chose the Inn at Fredericksburg Square for their venue and included a classic color palette of pale pink, ivory, slate grey, and black. I think my favorite detail of this wedding though was what Jennie shared about their choice for flowers. I got teary reading this:

All of the flowers were wrapped with chiffon lace detailing from my grandmother’s wedding dress that she had designed herself. It was really important to have a part of my grandmother with us since she wasn’t able to meet John. I know she would have loved him.

Just beautiful. A special thanks to Ampersand Photography for submitting this beautiful Virginia wedding.

Jennie & John’s Classic, Intimate Fredericksburg Virginia Wedding

elegant intimate frederiskcburg va wedding

Vendors:

Photographer:  Ampersand Photography | Hair Stylist: Barbarella Hair Design | Transportation: Marriage, Carriage and More, LLC. | Venue: Inn at Fredericksburg Square | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

About the couple:

John and I met via e-harmony in March of 2011. That June, I bought a fixer upper house in historic downtown Fredericksburg and we spent the summer renovating the entire house. We spent endless nights putting up drywall, fixing electrical outlets, pealing wallpaper, painting walls, etc… We used that time to really get to know each other and to share what we both wanted in a relationship.  Buy the end of the summer, we were happily engaged with a  ready to move in house. Most people think 5 months into a relationship is too soon to get engaged (I had thought that too!) but when you know, you know. It was a pretty easy choice to make.

^Is it me, or could this easily be the premise for a Rom Com?! Spending a summer renovating a house together? I want to do this!

elegant intimate frederiskcburg va wedding

elegant intimate frederiskcburg va wedding

Details on their wedding elements:

Overall we wanted a wedding that was sophisticated, elegant, a little traditional, and expressive of who we were as a couple. We chose the Inn at Fredericksburg Square for many reasons, but mainly because of its “wow” factor. The first time we stepped into the building we were amazed by the beauty and elegance of the interior. Its’ location in historic downtown Fredericksburg was also ideal. 

elegant intimate frederiskcburg va wedding

elegant intimate frederiskcburg va wedding

We chose a soft pink, ivory, slate gray, and black because of the juxtaposition between the delicate pink and ivory with the edgier slate gray and classic black. 

The flowers were a special touch in that we added olive leaves which symbolize glory, peace and abundance.  On a more personal level, the leaves represented an important life experience I had while studying art in Paros, Greece. All of the flowers were wrapped with chiffon lace detailing from my grandmother’s wedding dress that she had designed herself. It was really important to have a part of my grandmother with us since she wasn’t able to meet John. I know she would have loved him.

elegant intimate frederiskcburg va wedding

 Click inside for the rest of this beautiful, intimate & elegant Virginia wedding in Fredericksburg Virginia!

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