Capitol Wedding: Mark & Allison’s Intimate & Offbeat, Courthouse Wedding in Rockville, MD

When I saw Amber Wilkie Photography post a link to this wedding on her blog, I just knew I had to have it. A bride in polka dots? An intimate, courthouse wedding ceremony? And some of the most darling portraits, full of too many smiles and laughs between a couple that is so obviously in love? I mean, come on!

Thankfully Mark & Allison were game, and fortunately Amber Wilkie was kind enough to share her gorgeous images with me. So sit back, relax, and prepare for a ton of smiles from this one Romancers.

Mark & Allison’s Intimate, Offbeat Courthouse Wedding in Rockville MD

About the couple & their decision to have an intimate, courthouse wedding:

Mark and Allison met in Library school. Their first date was a Nationals Game and Mark, being the intelligent guy he is, did not know it was a date at first.

Allison wanted a small courthouse wedding for a number of reasons. Mostly because she is somewhat shy and wanted a more private ceremony. Also, small courthouse weddings are the norm in her family, so she didn’t feel pressured to do anything big. They planned to have the ceremony on the Rockville Courthouse on a Friday, with an Indian buffet after the ceremony. They planned a party at Mark’s parents houses the next day for all the friends and family.

Allison thought her Dad wasn’t the sentimental or traditional type, but it turned out that he wanted to walk her down the aisle. So when they came into the ceremony room they walked to the back and then walked down an aisle of their own making.

Details on the amazing, polka dot, 1950s style wedding dress Allison wore:

Allison’s choice was based on several criteria: not white (she hates wearing white), needs to be poofy (Allison loves historic clothing, especially hoop skirts and crinolines and in her mind fancy always means poofy), it can’t be too expensive, it should be a dress that could possibly be worn again, & not strapless (woo hoo .. not strapless, a girl after my own heart)

Therefore, she landed on Whirling Turban’s custom, fabric wing bust dress. Whirling Turban has been a favorite of mine for affordable, vintage wedding dress for a while. Be sure to check it out!

 Fun story! The zipper broke while Allison was in the security line at the Courthouse (thank you nice lady for telling her!) so her family had to rush to the rescue to get it shut again. Her aunt found some binder clips, that luckily did not have to be used, because her cousin forced the zipper back together, only a little crooked at the top. Allison brought safety pins for the party the next day, but never needed them. Phew!

Click inside for the rest of Mark & Allison’s intimate & offbeat Courthouse wedding in Maryland. Including the amazing portraits at where else, a library!

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Capitol Romance: Helen & Glenn’s Dramatic, Stormy Northern Virginia Engagement Sess

This weekend was a bit of a roller coaster for me. I had a nice relaxing night in with Andy on Friday [we watched Looper, I was meh about it].  And Saturday kicked off like most of our Saturdays have the past month – with our long run for our half-marathon training. At mile 6, I decided it might be fun to trip on some pavement and go arms and knees first into the gravelly sidewalk in front of the Capitol Building. Yeah, ouch. So after an extremely kind stranger drove Andy & I back to our house, I spend the rest of Saturday mostly on the couch dabbing my scrapes and icing my bruises. Not fun.

Sunday got better though – I met with KD Creative to discuss some new branding and a new website for the coordination business I now run on the side :) THAT was certainly a highlight. Anyway, enough about me, I hope you all had a great weekend [hopefully safer than mine] and onto our Monday engagement feature from Amie Otto Photography, submitted via Two Bright Lights.

Amie shared:

We had been having lots of storms and bad weather and had to reschedule the session several times. Between the couple’s work schedule and mother nature, we were having a difficult time making it happen. On the third reschedule, the weather, once again, looked questionable. We were able to delay it by a few hours, missing the rain, but getting a great dramatic sky. We were just finishing as the rain started again! Success!

Helen & Glenn’s Dramatic, Stormy Sky Engagement Session in Northern Virginia

Click inside for the rest of this dramatic, Northern Virginia engagement session from Amie Otto Photography, including the proposal story!

Capitol Inspiration: A Hot Pink, Ocean City Maryland Beach Themed Wedding

Bringing the heat with a bright, hot pink beach themed wedding in Ocean City, Maryland from Kathleen Hertel Photography [submitted via Two Bright Lights]. Nothing like a good summer, beach-side wedding to distract from the cold, dreary rain that is currently happening in DC.

Get inspired with our Friday, Capitol Inspiration, Wedding Inspiration post! Happy weekend!

Wedding Inspiration From a Hot Pink, Ocean City Beach Themed Wedding

Click inside for the rest of this awesome, beach-themed wedding at Ocean City, MD!

Capitol Romance: Robyn & Shawnee’s Snowy Richmond, VA Love Shoot

Add Kimie from IYQ Photography to the long list of people I have met online, that I am DYING to meet in person. Our email exchanges are always fun and she hands down sends me some of my favorite features to date. Today’s snowy love shoot is no different.

This shoot at Libby Hill Park in Richmond, VA, has all the makings of a Capitol Romance feature fave: the adorable dog, the snowy weather, and a gorgeous couple SO full of love and laughter.  I know you all will enjoy Shawnee & Robyn’s snowy love shoot just as much as I do. A special thanks again to IYQ Photography for the images [submitted via Two Bright Lights].

Robyn & Shawnee’s Snowy, Richmond Virginia Love Shoot at Libby Hill Park

How they met:

Shawnee and I actually met on okcupid. I made a profile a few years ago but never took meeting anyone on it seriously. But when she messaged me I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to meet her! She messaged me on valentines day of last year. We started talking and realized we had a bunch of mutual friends and decided to meet. It was peaceful and honest. She swept me off my feet! We hung out for a few weeks, until one weekend she planned a camping trip for the two of us in the Shenandoah mountains. March 19,2012 is the day she asked me to go steady!

What they love most about each other:

Shawnee: The first thing I noticed about Robyn was her incredible smile. It is very sincere and her eyes light up when she is truly happy, which I hope will be for many years to come with me. My favorite thing about her is that she can make me laugh in any circumstance. It’s impossible to have a bad day when she is around. She makes me incredibly happy.

Robyn: Shawnee’s eyes! They grabbed me the first time I saw her. What I love the most about Shawnee? What’s not to love!? She is the kindest, gentlest and most honest person I know. From the very beginning I have felt invincible with her. I felt no matter what life throws at us we have the strength to go through it together. For the first time in my life I saw true beauty; inside and out!

Click inside for the rest of this adorable love shoot, including the proposal story!

DIY Tutorial: How to Make a Custom Tufted Headboard

Ok, so this post is not really wedding related. BUT I know for a fact that a lot of my readers are already married, so I have often thought about how to broaden the blog a bit to focus on marriage & happy relationahips in general, just as much as on weddings.

So, while I get busy attempting to figure out how to do that, I am excited to share a really cool lifestyle DIY tutorial today from Kelly Ewell Photography!

DIY Tutorial: How to Make a Custom, Tufted Headboard

 [original post here]


  • your choice of fabric
  • plywood
  • 2″ foam
  • batting
  • Sharpie
  • ruler
  • spray glue
  • staple gun
  • long upholstery needles
  • wax upholstery thread
  • washers
  • crown molding
  • 2×3 wood planks (like 2×4′s but less wide)
  • wood stain and brush
  • connecting brackets and screws (I’m not sure what these are really called but I’ll show them below)
  • patience

What To Do:
1. Measure the width of your bed for how long you want your headboard to be. Now I measured my mattress and took into consideration that the duvet and all adds some width because it’s fluffy. So I maybe added an inch to each side. This was the width I made my plywood.

(As a side note and jumping ahead, I added the wood frame around this so the headboard ended up even wider. I totally didn’t consider that when measuring. Oops. It looked too wide to me, but everyone else said they would have done the same thing. So maybe it’s ok.)

2. So you have your width, and the height it really just subjective. How tall do you want the headboard to come over your mattress? Once you determine that, you’ve got your size.

3. Onto the plywood. I didn’t get one 4′x8′ big sheet and cut it down to size. We got two smaller 2′x4′ pieces. Less cutting and they fit in the car. We bracketed them together, made our measurements, and cut the length. Since our height was 2′, we didn’t even have to cut for that dimension. Now you have your base.

(As a note, the plywood is needed to give the headboard strength. I saw some websites that used peg board since it had all those little holes in it, but it’s way too flimsy in my opinion.)

Click inside for the rest of the step-by-step guidelines and pictures to make a DIY Tufted Fabric Headboard!

Capitol Wedding: Bethany & Rob’s Silly, Fun & Modern Northern Virginia Wedding

“3 words describe their style … fun, silly, and modern”

Kicking off Tuesday with a super fun & modern Northern Virginia wedding at a new area venue, the Lorton Arts Center. It’s not a surprise that a couple whose relationship was built on photo bombing and playing “chubby bunnies” turned to that same fun and silliness for their wedding.

Wedding party portraits filled with mustaches, a photobooth full of costumes, the hot pink and bright blue color palette and a non-stop dance party reception rounded out Bethany & Rob’s amazing wedding. A special thanks to Michelle VanTine Photography for submitting this awesome, modern VA wedding feature [via Two Bright Lights].

Bethany & Rob’s Silly, Fun & Modern Northern Virginia Wedding


Catering: Main Event Caterers

Venue: Lorton Arts Center

Photography: Michelle VanTine Photography

Photobooths: Bash Booths Photobooths DC

Whoopie Pies: Confections Cupcakery

 About the couple:

Rob and I met at our church’s summer retreat in 2008. I was hanging around a bonfire with my friends, when I saw an opportunity to participate in one of my favorite sports- “photo crashing”. I jumped in the background of a picture that Rob was taking of the crowd.  He caught me crashing his photo and introduced himself. He challenged my friends and I to a game of “chubby bunny” (you stuff as many marshmallows in your mouth as you possibly can and try to say “Chubby Bunny”.I don’t know if it was our mutual love for photo crashing or chubby bunny, but our friendship was solidified that night.

After three years of friendship, we had this genius idea to try dating each other, which was even more fun!

About their wedding:

We wanted our wedding to reflect our love for having fun and our loving for traveling! Rob is an animator, so he created a you tube save the date for us featuring places we had traveled together-.

He also designed our invitations which were cartoon magnets of ourselves. You could dress cartoon versions of us with different accessories- including sunglasses, a mustache, or a scuba mask. Rob also made the programs which folded into airplanes to go with our travel/adventure theme.

From Michelle VanTine Photography:

The wedding was in Lorton, in an festive river-side main street similar to Old Town Alexandria. The reception was really was hoppin’! This is a new-ish reception venue to the DC-area and I’m so happy to maybe be the first to introduce many to it. Workhouse Arts Center is a beautiful space. Large, well lit, decorated with lovely contemporary art, and apparently very well priced.

chaotic & candid + mustaches = my favorite wedding party pictures

the hot pink scarves and shoes totally pop against the periwinkle bridesmaids dresses. MODERN. love it.

Two of our favorite parts of the ceremony was our “cake” and our photobooth. Call us crazy- but Rob and I do not like cake, so we served cookie sandwiches from Confections Cupcakery. They also made us a large whoopee pie for the cake cutting!

Click inside for the rest of this super fun & modern Northern Virginia wedding!

Capitol Romance: Becca & Matt’s Busch Gardens Engagement Session in Virgina

Happy Monday Romancers!!

As I mentioned on social media, I am on a bit of a hangover this morning [though not of the alcohol kind]. My Sunday started with an awesome styled shoot [more on that coming soon] and then we had friends over for the Superbowl, so we were up late cleaning up. Couple that with an exciting Saturday night [again, no alcohol!!] – there was a fire at my friend’s apartment complex and we were evacuated!

PHEW. So, yeah, a BIT sleepy here, but pushing through thanks to some excellent emails in my inbox and this adorable Virginia engagement session from Katie Nesbitt Photography. Katie thought Becca & Matt’s super fun Busch Gardens engagement session would be a good fit, and she was exactly right. This couple has so much love & laughter in their relationship, and how could we not love that it was all set against an amusement park?!

Becca & Matt’s Busch Gardens Engagement Session in Virginia

About the couple:

Matt and I met our freshman year at Virginia Tech. We had seen each other around before, but the stars didn’t align until one night in April at Relay for Life, an all-night charity fundraiser event hosted at VT.

We ended up crossing paths through a group of mutual friends, and we hit it off really well. I remember being struck by how easy he was to talk to and how much fun I had with him. I felt so comfortable and so free to just be myself, right from the start. We talked for hours that night and even snuck into the Tech football stadium to watch the sunrise after the event was over! I regretted that we hadn’t gotten to know each other sooner.

Click inside for the rest of this fun Virginia engagement session by Katie Nesbitt Photography

Capitol Inspiration: Hot Pink & Green Modern Washington DC Wedding

Oh hey there Friday! This week has been a crazy one. The weather has been something out of a Sci-Fi movie and at times it felt like we might NEVER get to Friday. But, here we are, and with it, another fabulous wedding inspiration post to bring us to the weekend.

This time we aren’t traveling far for our Capitol Inspiration, modern wedding inspiration. In fact, we aren’t traveling at all – because this rockin’ hot pink and green wedding took place right here in Washington, DC! The whole thing was captured beautifully by Stephen Gosling Photography & was designed by Karson Butler Events [submitted via Two Bright Lights].

Hot Pink & Green, Modern Washington DC Wedding Inspiration

DC Wedding Vendors:
Event Designer: Karson Butler Events
Invitation Designer:  Little Bit Heart
Dress Designer:  Hitched
Ceremony Location:  St. Peters Catholic Church
Lighting:  Truly Yours
Tuxedo and Mens Attire:  Alton Lane
Bakery:  Cakes Plus
Event Venue:  The Capitol Hill Club

Click inside to see the rest of the amazing details from this modern, Washington DC  Wedding by Stephen Gosling Photography!

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