dc wedding blog

Meg & Erik’s Washington DC Wedding at The Embassy Suites & Maggiano’s

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Images: Michelle VanTine Photography

Oh there is SO much to love from today’s real Washington DC wedding brought to us by the lovely Simply Breathe Events & Michelle VanTine Photography. A modern ceremony & reception setting with the most gorgeous shade of purple for their color palette and decor. But really, what gets me the most here is the story behind this wedding & couple: Tiffany shared that working with them was like working with your 2 closest friends; they love DC and wanted to incorporate that into the wedding, as well as, honor their family members every way they could. You guys will love this one.

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From bride, Meg:

We are both from the DC area, and really wanted to incorporate our love of DC into our wedding. I grew up in Germantown, MD while my husband grew up in Chevy Chase DC, so we felt having a metro theme was totally appropriate! We named our tables after various metro stops that had meaning to us (i.e. Cleveland Park was where I lived when I first moved to DC, my husband went to school at U of Md, and my father used to work near the Farragut North metro station) We provided explanatory notes to showcase why we chose each metro stop. We also chose to use replica paper fare cards as our place cards to tie everything together!

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We chose to have our wedding in Friendship Heights because it had a lot of meaning for us. My husband used to live there, so we spent quite a bit of time in that area (and at Maggiano’s!) going on dates and just hanging out. We wanted a venue that was easily accessible for both our friends who lived in the city and our relatives who traveled from as far as Alaska, and we felt that the Embassy Suites and Maggiano’s were the perfect combination!

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Our guests could park their cars and walk to the ceremony, and if they wanted to explore the city, hop on the metro. Our ceremony space at Embassy Suites spoke to us because we loved the openness and brightness of the space. It felt like we were outside even though we were indoors! I was way too type A to have an outdoor ceremony and Embassy Suites was the perfect compromise! We chose Maggiano’s because we LOVED their food and knew they would provide us with quality food at a reasonable price, even when making the food for 135 people. Turns out we chose right- our guests raved about the food all night and the next day!

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I chose Calla Lillies for my bouquet and my bridesmaid’s bouquets because they were my mother’s favorite flower. My mother passed away in December 2011, and I felt the Calla Lillies were a lovely, yet subtle, way to pay tribute to her.

One of my good friends had two charms made for me to hang on my bouquet- one with a picture of my mom and one with a picture of my dad. It was like they were able to walk down the aisle with me even though they couldn’t be there. It meant so much that she did that- it was such an incredibly amazing gesture.

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Both of my parents had passed away and instead of walking down the aisle by myself, I asked my best friend Colin to walk me down the aisle. Having Colin walk me down the aisle was special in so many ways- not only is he my best friend (and basically my brother at this point), but my husband and I met thanks to Colin (and Colin’s older brother). My husband’s best friend is Colin’s older brother, and Colin, his older brother, and myself all went to college together.

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Let’s Get Personal: My Rather Lofty 2016 Business Goals & Strategy


Image: This Rad Love

Romancers, it’s time. It’s time to throw caution to the wind, take that HUGE leap (hoping the net will appear) and state my (rather lofty) business goals for 2016. Things are changing over here at Capitol Romance HQ with the birth of my first kid this year and the changing waves of running a local wedding blog. Earlier this year I dropped the news about my pregnancy and the changes coming to the blog and my wedding coordination business. I was SO apprehensive as for the first time, there were SO many things out of my control.

But I am happy to say that I am still standing at the end of 2015. Though blogging has gone from daily to typically 3 posts a week, I am happy to report that that hasn’t slowed our growth. In fact, I would say that blogging less has enabled me to put out stronger content and less fluff and my views have continued to grow as a result.

I am also beyond thrilled at the year my wedding coordination business had with Alesha officially joining the team. We took on more weddings than 2013, Alesha KILLED IT with her own weddings and seamlessly took the ones I couldn’t work once Evie arrived. I am so insanely grateful, every day, that Alesha joined the team.

So let’s talk about next year. Because, well, I have HUGE goals and plans for next year guys. Like ridiculously big goals. I don’t even care how scary or risky or insane they might be. I am done playing it safe and I am ready to take on some big things. So let’s start with the ultimate goal. I am just going to lay this out here:

For 2016, it is my goal to make Capitol Romance THE #1, Ultimate Resource for Planning a DC Wedding

So what does that mean? That means a lot of things …. like:

re-designing the blog to accomplish this goal

better consolidating all the graphics, logos and branded items I have created since 2011

launching an online STORE (that’s right. ecommerce baby) of Capitol Romance branded items

creating SERIOUS resources that you can download, purchase, and use to plan your DC area wedding (whether you hire someone from our wedding coordination team or not)

upping our marketing game with a monthly newsletter, better advertising outreach, and more

expanding our wedding coordination team to bring on at LEAST 1 more coordinator for 2016

….. insane right? But it just feels right. For the first time since starting Capitol Romance in 2011, I feel like I finally have a clear goal, a finish line. It’s more of a marathon distance away then a 5K, but I can see it so clearly now, that I am wondering what took me so long.

So that’s it. My 2016 goals laid out for you to see. I can’t wait for you to tell me what you think…

Let’s Get Personal: Speaking to AWP DC Members on Boosting Your Biz with Social Media

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Images: Jon Fleming Photography

On Tuesday I got the chance to speak to a room full of fellow wedding vendors about my 5 tips for using social media to boost your business. After speaking at the Wedding Wire World Panel earlier this year, Karen from AWP DC reached out to me asking if I would be interested in speaking at an AWP DC event. I was honored to be asked and excited to get the chance to flex my speaking muscles some more, so I immediately said yes.

And then Evie arrived and everything got nuts and I was a little nervous about committing to something like this with everything going on in my life. Would I be able to put together a compelling, interesting, and HELPFUL presentation? Would the room be engaged? I was NERVOUS.

Image by www.jonflemingphotography.com

I worked for a while on putting together a Prezi (so much more visually appealing than PowerPoint) that I thought was a good mix of information, quotes, funny jokes, a video, and got to work sharing my own experiences of how social media boosted my blog from a little known hobby site, to a full blown blog that sees over 3K views a day.

Image by www.jonflemingphotography.com

Image by www.jonflemingphotography.com

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Tara, the president of AWP DC, gave me the warmest welcome and nicest introduction. And off I went!

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I had taken the time to write out everything I wanted to say, but once I got up there, I decided to just ditch my notes and TALK. Talk about my experiences, attempt to engage the room, and ask them about their own experience with their company and social media.

I had a BLAST. And my insanely amazing wedding coordinator, Alesha, filmed the WHOLE thing for me on Periscope. And we had 75 people tune in total (25 started live). If you want to watch the video (not the best quality, sorry!) you can here: https://katch.me/CapitolRomance/v/fee8ba7c-ca93-329f-b766-97beb1fb11bf

Otherwise, I am going to be breaking down the Top 5 Tips for Boosting Your Business with Social Media over the next few weeks on the blog :) So be on the lookout for those!

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AND if you or someone you know is looking for speakers for an event, I would love to throw my name in the hat. I had a blast (as evidenced by the picture above) and can really speak to a wide range of topics, as I’ve learned A TON being a blogger, wedding vendor, and business owner, (and now a #momprenuer too!) over these past 4+ years since starting Capitol Romance. So give me a ring!

That view though …. love this damn city! Have a FANTASTIC weekend Romancers. And HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Image by www.jonflemingphotography.com

Image by www.jonflemingphotography.com

#CapRoTherapy Episode 1: Advice on Tipping Your Wedding Vendors


Well it’s FAR from perfect, but hey IT’S A START. After fighting with my iPad, my internet, and way too many video editing apps, my husband SAVED THE DAY and helped me put together the VERY FIRST episode of #CapRoTherapy!!! I hope you guys enjoy it. I am SO looking forward to seeing where this goes and what kind of questions I start to get from you guys. Ask away via email or using the #CapRoTherapy hashtag on Twitter,

FIRST. It’s Friday! So let’s start with some links:

The District Bliss Couples’ Social is on SUNDAY! Get your tickets for this super rad, not-a-wedding-expo, wedding planning happy hour! A new kind of Sunday Funday.

Last night we checked out BHLDN’s Wedding Fair in Georgetown and attempted our VERY FIRST Periscope video from it. Did you catch it?! We had 13 live viewers. So cool!

There’s just two early bird priced tickets left for our Nov 8th DIY Flower Arrangement Workshop with Love Blooms! Don’t miss out.

And now…. the very first episode of #CapRoTherapy:

Wedding Advice: The #1 Thing Not to Say to Wedding Vendors You Are Persuing

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Image: This Rad Love

This one is for all you engaged couples out there that are just starting the wedding vendor inquiry process. Yes, I understand it’s a long and (sometimes) stressful process to find, vet, and confirm all your wedding vendors. But I have to let you in on a little secret. A little cautionary tale and one whopping piece of advice.

The absolute, #1 thing you SHOULDN’T say to any wedding vendor you are inquiring about, is that you are looking to work with them because of their price. I won’t speak for ALL wedding vendors here, but I can tell you that when I get this in an inquiry, I am almost ALWAYS completely turned off to the inquiry.

Here’s another secret I’ll let you in on: there’s a reason I have “Why do you want to work with Capitol Romance Wedding Coordination” on my contact form. I judge inquiries based on their response to this, because it’s the easiest way to begin the filtering process of inquiries that I know might be a fit, and ones where I am not at all a match for the couple.

But engaged couples, put yourselves in our shoes for a second. Think about what YOU might think if someone told you they ONLY wanted to work with you because of your price point. That that was the #1 reason for wanting to hire you. How would that make you feel?

Well it doesn’t make ME feel very good and chances are, I most likely won’t be available on your wedding date if that’s all you put in your contact form. For me, the couples that mention Harry Potter fandoms, that they found me through my blog, or that they are just looking for someone to help them throw a personal party to celebrate their nuptials, are the ones I gravitate towards and end up having SUPER awesome experiences with.

So engaged peeps – keep this in mind as you begin your wedding vendor search. Take the time to find vendors that fit your vibe AND your needs, not JUST your wallet requirements.

The Importance of Prioritizing & 3 Tips to Help You Prioritize


Image: This Rad Love

Priorities. We’ve all got them, but some of us are better at putting them in the right order and some of us aren’t. And whether you’re running a business, planning a wedding, or just trying to get things done, nothing is more important than prioritizing. I don’t think I truly realized this until having a baby. Having a baby (or planning for some other major life event) puts things into perspective, and fast, because you suddenly don’t have the luxury of time anymore. Really the ONLY way I can get anything done these days, is by making sure I have my priorities straight, focusing on what REALLY needs to get done, and in what order.

So whenever anyone asks me, “how do you get it all done?”, my answer is simple, I prioritize.

Prioritizing really isn’t that hard either, it takes little extra time and thought and can REALLY help make your life SO MUCH easier! So here’s my top 3 tips for prioritizing that will hopefully make your life a bit easier and help you get it DONE. (Whatever “it” may be).

#1. Make a List

Seriously. Write it down. The things you NEED to do and the things you WANT to do. Then order that list from most important to least. Then get crackin’. Making a list might sound like a “duh” item, but seriously, the mere action of writing things down will help you prioritize because you will most likely drop things from the list right off the bat. There, you’ve already started making your life easier.

#2. Ask Yourself What the Benefit Is

From that list you just made, quickly scan items and decide which ones will bring you the most benefit. When I start my day, my mind is FULL of things I need to get done. Then I start to realize, cleaning the carpet, while it might make ME happier, just isn’t as important as spending 30 minutes answering emails that other business owners, clients, and prospective clients are waiting on. If the benefit is low, drop it down (or even cross it off the list!). Focus on the things that will bring you the best returns, first.

#3. Keep It Big Picture

Start with the big boys and then work your way down to the smaller items on your list. If you start your day tackling the big things, then by the time you make it to the small ones, it will seem like smooth sailing. If instead, you try to tackle a bunch of tiny things first, you’ll be half way through your day (or week!) and still have BIG ticket items hanging over your head. This will cause you some SERIOUS stress and will most likely throw your priorities out of wack for the rest of the week.

OK Romancers! What are your tips for prioritizing and keeping your priorities straight?! Sound off below!


Guest Post: Choosing Your Wedding Catering Company

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And we’re back with the latest installment of our REAL bride-to-be guest blogger series with Carolyn. Today we join her to learn more about her experience with finding the perfect catering company! Don’t forget to check out her past posts too on why you should have an engagement party, how to choose your wedding theme, and advice on finding the perfect wedding venue in the DC area!

*warning: this post may cause drooling*

The Wedding Catering Decision | By Carolyn Thombs

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Before starting the fun part of finding the caterer, which is the tasting, I did a lot of research online. I found out menus and pricing and other little details that would go into the decision process. In the end we decided to just go ahead with two catering companies to schedule tastings, so as not to make it harder to decide in the end.

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Caroline Street Catering was referred to me by a fellow bride-to-be. Shane, the owner and chef, was so great about getting back to me quickly through email and taking all of my questions seriously and giving me straight to-the-point answers. He kept adjusting the proposal each time I changed something and never got exasperated with me. Finally when we did the tasting – OMG! The food was so amazing!! Even plates that Jon & I were iffy about turned out to be surprisingly delish. There were so many amazing things we tasted; it was pretty difficult to narrow things down. The most amazing dish was the beef tenderloin topped with bacon butter (I mean does anything sound more delish than that?!). Shane was extremely patient with me in my decision process and would check in once in awhile to see how everything was going.

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The other place we did a tasting with was the venue’s caterer at Stevenson Ridge. Elizabeth had such a beautiful set up waiting for us when we got to the tasting. I always feel at home when I am at Stevenson Ridge because they are always so friendly and welcoming. My favorite dishes from the tasting were the spring rolls and the mouthwatering pork loin with Dijon cream sauce. I even got to try this delicious grapefruit infused wine, perfect for a hot summer day.

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Both are very accommodating to all diets and food allergies and can have customized plates specifically for those with a limited diet. Both are delicious and open to changing things on the menus to meet our specific wants. But when it came down to decision making time Caroline Street Catering and their amazing bacon-butter topped beef tenderloin won!! They also fit into our budget a bit more.

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But if you are looking for a place where you can have everything accomplished pretty much by one vendor, then Stevenson Ridge is the place for you!!!

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Now on to getting started on DIY projects and finishing up the rest of the items on my bridal to-do list!

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Kristen & Alex’s Modern Meets Vintage, Intimate DC Wedding at Darlington House

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Images: Love Life Images submitted via Two Bright Lights

I always love hearing from couples that they used my blog to find vendors or help plan their DC wedding! Such is the case with Kristen & Alex, who found the OH-SO-FABULOUS Emily of Love Blooms through me and planned a TOTALLY “Capitol Romance” wedding with a DC War Memorial engagement, dinner & dancing at The Darlington House, no bridal party, a DIY music playlist, and lots of personal details throughout the wedding.

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From the bride:

I knew two things going into wedding planning-  I wanted to get married outside and we really wanted a DC wedding- in the District.  We don’t have a car, and a lot of decisions I made we based around that. If it was too hard for us to get to a place on public transit  it was off the list. Our friends were tireless in their help and support for us. They helped me run so many errands, gave valuable opinions and just let me vent for months, I couldn’t have done it without them.

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That said, I really didn’t want us to be relying on friends to schlep us and wedding decor all over either. For these reasons finding Metro or at least taxi/Uber accessible locations were very important for us. I started searching online and even making phone calls about ceremony and reception locations. I found the DC War Memorial pretty quickly, there are some other local couples on blogs who have gotten married there and the pictures were always beautiful when I saw them.

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I actually found my photographer, Love Life Images, by googling DC War Memorial weddings. Dealing with the Parks Service, wasn’t hard per se, but you pay the fee, apply for your date, and then wait.  Lucky for us the date we picked was free and it was only $90 for the permit!

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Let’s Get Personal: Why I Love Personal Posts & a New Blogging Goal


 Image: This Rad Love

A couple weeks ago I wrote a personal post on my current struggles with the direction of my business, the need to refocus and the need to better layout my goals and plans for 2016. The post was more of a spontaneous one, it wasn’t on my editorial calendar, and it wasn’t one I had planned to write. It just came to me as I was sitting on my couch (which I spend a lot of time on these days while home on Maternity leave).

Like most personal posts, the act of writing them is almost therapeutic. After it’s written (and I’ve proofread it once or twice) and I hit that little “publish” button, I almost always feel SO MUCH better. But what happens after is really why I love writing personal posts – the interactions and engagement that ensue! The post got more than 20 comments (which is a damn near miracle these days with the death of blog comments) and reached almost 6,000 on Facebook. It also got me MULTIPLE emails from all sorts of readers/friends/vendors and a shout-out at A Creative DC’s recent PROMO workshop. People responded with advice, similar feelings, praise, and offers of help!

Being a blogger can sometimes be a lonely job – you sit behind a laptop/computer/mobile screen, putting content out there, wondering if anyone is actually reading what you are writing. Sure my Google Analytics tells me I have over 4k pageviews a day, but WHO are these people? Do they really care about what I write? Find it useful/funny/etc? But then I write a personal post and the interactions and feedback pour in and it gives me ALL the feels. It reminds me that yes, there are LOTS of people out there, and they have similar thoughts and similar struggles to me and I really am not just a faceless blogger with no connection to my readers.

And so I LOVE writing personal posts and because of that, I have already started a new goal for the blog – 1 personal post a month. It’s on the editorial calendar, and it’s official. I can’t wait to see where this takes me and I cannot wait for all the interactions (good and maybe even bad) that will come from it. Until then, Happy Thursday Romancers.

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