dc wedding blog

Let’s Get Personal: Capturing Love Panel at the HRC Event Recap

A couple weeks ago we had the absolute honor of sitting on a panel at the HRC’s Capturing Love press event. I was invited by the super amazing Kathryn Hamm of GayWeddings.com and I could not have been more touched to have sat amongst her and some other amazing people in the LGBT & wedding communities. I also got to meet two amazing photographers in person, that I had only ever known online (eKate and Kat Forder! whatsssss up?!). Thanks to Kat Forder Photography for sharing some amazing images of this event. Truly an evening I will not forget any time soon.

Let’s Get Personal: Capturing Love Panel at the HRC Event Recap

capturing love HRC panel (12)

In addition to Kathryn (and her lovely wife, that had to play Kathryn’s voice that nice, due to Kathryn losing hers) and her co-author, Thea Dodds, I joined Kyle Mihalcoe of WeddingWire and Noel Gordon from the HRC. The panel was moderated by Jay Brown, the Director of Foundation Program Strategies at HRC.

capturing love HRC panel (4) capturing love HRC panel (5)

Though the main focus of the event was the launch of Kathryn & Thea’s new book, The New Art of Capturing Love: The Essential Guide to Lesbian & Gay Weddings,Jay also led the panel into a greater discussion about the limitations of traditional notions of gender roles in wedding rituals and photography; the ways in which understanding the dynamics of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) couples can open new doors for straight couples; and how the mainstream industry is receiving this niche market.

capturing love HRC panel (2)

[Oh hey, I see a Maggie Winters Photography photo above!]

capturing love HRC panel (8) capturing love HRC panel (3)

Click inside for the rest of our recap!

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Giveaway: Stella & Dot “Sutton Necklace” Giveaway ($128 Value!)

Romancers! We are back this afternoon with an AWESOME giveaway from Stella & Dot consultant, Liz. She is graciously sponsoring a giveaway of the gorgeous Sutton Necklace – a whopping $128 value! Liz shares, “the Sutton Necklace is our most versatile fashion necklace yet! It is a great necklace because it can be dressed-up for special events, worn casually every day or layered with other pieces for a different look.

I’d LOVE to see a bride rock this edgy necklace on her wedding day. Check out the necklace details, a bit about Liz, and how to enter our giveaway, all below! Liz is also offering a special shipping promo to anyone that enters the giveaway.

Stella & Dot Sutton Necklace Giveaway


Liz continues,

I’m looking to share my love of Stella & Dot with everyone!  It’s the perfect gift for your friends, family, or yourself!  There are pieces you can wear on your special day or while just out running errands.  I’m always looking to do trunk shows where we can play with the jewelry and see what pieces are your favorites.   I’d also love to collaborate on styled shoots or work as your personal stylist when you need something special!

There are 4 ways to wear the Sutton Necklace:

  1. Long and loose for a laid-back look.
  2. Clasped into a statement when you’re feeling bold.
  3. Plus or minus the sparkle strand.
  4. Or just the sparkle when you’re in the mood to shine.

Since it can be worn four different ways it offers tons of versatility in just one piece of beautiful jewelry.”

stella dot sutton necklace giveaway 2stella dot sutton necklace giveaway 1

Get to know the lady behind Starlite21L & why she decided to become a Stella & Dot consultant:

I went to a Catholic high school and wore a uniform so the only way you could really express yourself was with a bit of jewelry.  I was a huge fan of earrings and was constantly in trouble for breaking dress-code because my ears were pierced so many times.  However, my parents were okay with it because they said “piercings aren’t permanent just don’t get a tattoo or we’ll kill you!”  (When I did decide to get a tattoo that was fun conversation lol)

Through college and working in the real-world I slowly realized what my style encompassed and I’ve come to be a huge fan of statement necklaces or earrings.  I stumbled upon Stella & Dot after complimenting one of my co-workers a few times on her accessories.  I loved the fact that everything could be mixed and matched and worn to work or out with friends.  I decided to become a stylist when I realized how much fun I had showing everyone the versatility of the jewelry while just hanging out in a comfortable environment.

The giveaway widget is below – just let us know what you’d wear the Sutton Necklace for and there are some extra ways to enter also in the widget. Liz is also offering FREE SHIPPING to ANY one that enters this giveaway on orders over $25! Just pay the initial $5.95 and Liz will send you a refund! Happy shopping: www.stelladot.com/LizG


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Let’s Get Personal: Happy 3 Year Blogaversary to Me

graffiti art capitol romance

So officially my 3-year blogaversary was on January 21st. For some reason I had always thought that I officially launched in February 2011, but the date stamp on my very first blog post tells me otherwise. I cannot believe it’s been 3 whole years since I started Capitol Romance. I don’t think I ever imagined it would last this long, or grow into what it has become. I can tell you though, it’s the people I have met since that very first post, that have made my journey worth it. Who knew that starting a blog, something so singular and sometimes siloed from personal interactions, could create such a plethora of connections. I’ve met SO MANY people through this thing – wedding vendors, small business owners, big business owners, DC Techies, artists, neighbors, creators, engaged couples, and more, all because I decided to start a blog. I’ve made friends, a few enemies, and met some truly amazing & inspiring couples. It’s slightly hard to even comprehend sometimes, but again, I am so very thankful for each and everyone one I’ve met. Even the crazies (yes, even them).

So for my 3-yeary blogaversary, in addition to reminding you & inviting you all (seriously ANY ONE!) to my meetup tonight (yes I know there’s a possibility of snow … but there’s also going to be wine … and cupcakes soo…..) I thought it might be fun to take a little jog down memory lane. Here we go:

  • My first WordPress template was this ugly thing called Elegant Grunge. I was so punk rock back then. Also, it was free.
  • My first logo was something I made myself. In Powerpoint. Using a free font & one of my wedding pictures.


  • I had 2 comments on my first blog post. One was from my sister, and one was a trackback.
  • I attended my first wedding show in April of 2011. It was called the Nonconforming Bridal Affair & one of the attendees told me “she read my blog” and I nearly died.


  • I did my first styled shoot with Abby Grace Photography, based on our mutual love of Harry Potter & it was amazingly featured on Green Wedding Shoes – I STILL get hits from that post. Harry Potter lovers are everywhere.
  • I could have never done ANY of this blog without my friend Steve, who I met my Sophomore year of college at Penn State. 3 years later, and he still answers all my IT help pleas, questions, and is somehow still my friend.
  • Since starting the blog, I’ve had to learn how to form an LLC, register as a business in DC, and pay taxes (awesome!)
  • I’ve learned how to use WordPress, Twitter, Google+, StatCounter, Google Analytics, Domain transfers, basic HTML & CSS, Blogstomp, and so many other IT applications.
  • I’ve forced my husband to model in more than 1 photoshoot and been fortunate enough to have my picture taken by Gabe Aceves, Val & Sarah, Tim Riddick Photography, Live It Out Photography, Stephen Gosling Photography, & more.


  • I’ve been asked to contribute to articles and was even interviewed/filmed for a project about DC relationships!
  • I’ve emailed with tons of couples in the DC area about their weddings, challenges, thoughts, hopes, and feedback on this site.
  • I’ve grown, but stayed true to my initial mission from 3 years ago: to create a resource for the Washington, DC area that focuses on alternative, creative, and nontraditional & budget-friendly weddings. To find REAL couples from all different backgrounds to show a true representation of the DC wedding scene.

I cannot thank all of you (my readers!) enough for being here with me. A blog could be a pretty lonely thing without readers, so for you, I am eternally grateful. Here’s to another 3 years? (eep! that thought is terrifying!)


xo, Bree


Let’s Get Personal: Committing 100% to Being LGBT Friendly

offbeat alternative dc wedding blog

[image: Val & Sarah]

A few weeks ago I made the decision to practice what I preach and go a bit further with keeping Capitol Romance a place that is open, accepting, and resourceful for ANY couple in the Washington, DC metro area. It was always a goal of mine to feature couples of all ages, shapes, sizes, and sexual preferences, but it wasn’t until a late night conversation over pizza with a fellow wedding vendor, where I realized that just featuring diverse couples only goes so far. What about the vendors they see in the blog posts? What happens if a same-sex couple loves the style of a photographer I am in essence promoting by accepting to feature their work, only to find out after an inquiry, that the photographer does not have an LGBT-friendly business.

That is not ok here. Call me naive – but I guess until that late night conversation, I assumed that vendors submitting to this blog were down with my view points. I thought I made my views known enough. I figured, why would a non-LGBT friendly vendor even want to be on Capitol Romance when we so clearly preach love for all? But then I went to the Say I Do Expo this past spring and one of the attendees mentioned how a photographer I was running a discount with, was not open to her and her partner.

I was embarrassed. I stuttered out an apology, mortified, and was a bit mystified at what to do next. But, I knew I had to do something.

So then came that late night pizza conversation, where among other constructive criticism, I finally learned that it was better to have content on this site that 100% reflected my vision, beliefs, and goals for this blog, then to just have enough content to be able to blog every day.

This has been tough. I used to have enough content to plan out my posts 2-3 weeks out, now I am lucky if I have enough posts for a week out. Sometimes I am still thinking of, or finding content for the day before. Now that I am committed to vetting every submitting vendor, the process is slower, and the submissions are thinner. I have had some awkward email conversations with non-LGBT friendly vendors and I am sure my blog has losts some readers too. Blog posts have been a bit late on certain days, and some days there is no content at all.

But so what? Who cares? I don’t. This blog was never started so that I could have a well-oiled wedding blog machine, with overflowing content planned months out. This blog was started to HELP people … ALL people and help change the notion of the DC wedding scene.

So while content might be a bit thinner and my submitting vendors pool might have shrunk. I don’t care. I am committed to making this blog a place for all couples to get inspiration and resources to plan the DC wedding they want to have, no matter their beliefs or sexual preferences.


Win a 1-Hour Rock the Frock Session with Joanna Tillman

This is it. We are kicking off an ENTIRE WEEK of giveaways in celebration of last week’s brandy new Capitol Romance blog design! Can you feel the excitement!? I can! Each day we will giveaway one to two kickass, wedding related items and each giveaway will be open for entries for one week. There is something for everyone this week! Photoshoots, jewelry, makeup, design, and on Friday we will culminate the week with our biggest giveaway ever.


I won’t ruin the big surprise just yet, but in the meantime let’s talk the very first giveaway for the Ultimate Week of DC Wedding Giveaways. We’re kicking things off with Joanna Tillman Photography.

Win a 1-Hour Rock the Frock Session with Joanna Tillman Photography


Ladies, dust off that wedding dress and let’s get rocking! Joanna Tillman Photography is giving away a 1-hour, on-location “rock the frock” portrait session with $50 credit towards prints! This would also make a GREAT anniversary present or bridal shower gift for any of your friends or family that is getting married soon!

Entering is easy – just use our rafflecopter widget. This giveaway ends next Monday, so start entering!! And in the mean time, check out more from Joanna Tillman Photography.





Travel restrictions may apply. Offer valid 1-year after winning. Session scheduling up to availability of Joanna Tillman Photography.

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Capitol Inspiration: Monica & David’s Offbeat, Playa del Carmen Mexico Wedding

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Ours was fabulous, but WHOA did the weather change quickly between Friday and Saturday. Usually I am all about the colder weather (snow!), but for some reason this year, I am just not ready for it yet. Maybe it’s not wanting to say goodbye to Fall or perhaps it’s the 6 hours we were outside in 32 degrees & flurries yesterday; regardless, I feel the need to hold on to the warmth just a BIT longer.

So what more perfect way to do this, than to blog a wedding in Mexico?! Monica & David actually live right here in the Washington, DC metro area, but decided to have their wedding in Playa del Carmen, Mexico and they did a lot of cool and creative things for their gorgeous destination wedding! So sit back and relax on our post-Thanksgiving Monday (with a full work week ahead, woof!) and jet off to the beautiful Mexican beaches.

Monica & David’s Creative, Gorgeous Playa Del Carmen, Mexico Destination Wedding

Images submitted by bride, captured by Del Sol Photography

 About the couple:

Monica lives in Herndon, VA.,a graphic designer who graduated from Virginia Tech. Loves to make jewelry, play tennis, food and bright colors. David is originally from Pittsburgh. He is a network engineer who graduated from University of Pittsburgh. Loves to skim board, skate and snowboard.

Up first Monica shared a few from their adorable Beach engagement shoot. They were too cute not to share!

How they met:

My brother introduced couple and all attend St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church where they are both Coptic Christians.

And now the STUNNING wedding pictures!

Monica explains why they chose to have their wedding in Mexico, instead of in the DC area:

 We decided to do a destination wedding because of the large number of guests we would have had to invite if we stayed in our hometown of Fairfax, Virginia. We both love the beach and the groom proposed on a beach so we thought it would be fitting. We had chosen the Paradisus Playa del Carmen, La Esmeralda because our wedding planner recommended it to us and it had just opened up. This is a 5 star restaurant so we wanted to have our guests have the best experience. The resort is very upscale and the décor doesn’t lend itself to “Mexican” at all, so our wedding theme centers on “Mexican” and bringing back that feel and flavor.

We also did a “first look” before the wedding. We found a secret hideaway in one of the hidden locations on the beach. The bride was waiting there, shaded with a parasol as the groom came to meet her.

We had ordered hand painted maracas from a local artist for our table cards and gift. We had papel picado flags and banners for the décor, Spanish lit up stars, stringed lights. The colors were teal and yellow also inspired by Mexican art. Every single part of the wedding reflected either travel or Mexico.

The invitations were passports filled with “Mexican” style stamps and images. The guest book was very different and not traditional. Instead of a book, I created a page full of travel passport stamps, which were empty. In each of the stamp, guests could sign their name and leave a message. The table cards all had Mexican images such as sombreros, flamenco dancers and the Mayan ruins.

Click inside for the rest of Monica & David’s offbeat Destination wedding in Mexico!

Giveaway: 1 Washington DC Cityscape Print ~ An Alternative Guest Book Option

Today’s giveaway comes to us from Studio KMO ~ Artwork by Karen M. O’Leary. Karen reached out to us a few weeks back, offering to giveaway one of her Washington DC city prints ~ [a $35 value] that would make a fantastic, alternative guest book for those getting married in DC!

I think it’d be so cool to have your guests sign around the outline of the city you got married in ~ maybe even putting a little heart over the location of your ceremony/reception!

For more pictures and sizing specifications, please check out the Etsy listing.

Enter away ~ contest ends Thursday, 20 September 2012!

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Best of 2011: Top 5 DC Wedding Blog Moments of the Year

Just one more of those “Best of 2011” posts … I promise :) I wanted to share a few things that happened over this past year, that weren’t related to the features. I have met so many amazing people, vendors, and couples through starting this wedding blog, and it really has turned into something infinitely more than I ever imagined it would.

So, please bear with me just one last time, as I countdown [yes, this one is actually in particular order] the Top 5 Moments of my 2011 as a Washington, DC wedding blogger!

#5. Starting Capitol Romance

It turns out, this blog isn’t even a year old yet – so naturally one of the best moments of 2011 was when I decided to stop thinking about starting a wedding blog to help offbeat DC couples planning a wedding … and actually started it. Thanks to my bestest friend Steve, I started Capitol Romance, “A Creative Cure to DC’s Wedding Bore” with my first post on January 21, 2011.  I had NO idea what I was getting myself into, but, I couldn’t be more thrilled with where this grand experiment has taken me. One of these amazing things that Capitol Romance has given me is actually #4!

[my very first logo/header attempt! it already seems ages old]

#4. Meeting DC Vendors & Becoming Friends

When I started, the only wedding vendors in the Washington, DC area that I really knew, where the ones from my own wedding. Thanks to many of those amazing vendors, and the power of Google, I came to meet some seriously awesome wedding vendors in the area. Little did I know that some of these vendors would grow into more than a quick email relationship. Abby of Abby Grace Photography & Wendy of Weswen Design have become so much more than vendors to me. They are an incredible inspiration, support system, and even more, now a friend to me. Totally one of the top 5 moments of my year as a blogger was meeting and working with both of them on MANY, many posts, features, & projects.

#3. Attending My First Wedding Show ~ The Nonconforming Bridal Fair

I was shocked when I received an email from Tammy of Pink Dot Concepts, inviting me to attend the Nonconforming Bridal Fair in Washington, DC. The wedding show was exactly what I was looking to do with my blog and it was in DC! I was also shocked that someone had even found little old me and my blog, and I was absolutely honored to be invited to the show. Oh, I was also super nervous too. What the heck was I going to bring and talk about?! I eventually decided to showcase my own offbeat Washington, DC wedding & DIY projects that I had made for the wedding – and it was a success! I met a ton of local couples looking to plan an offbeat wedding & gained some new readers in the process. I was also thrilled to have the experience and opportunity to network with other wedding vendors that were looking to be a part of the offbeat world! It was an amazing day for sure.

#2. My First Styled Shoot … and having it featured on Green Wedding Shoes!!

Remember those fantabulous ladies from #4 ?? Yeah, well thanks to them and a ton of other insanely awesome wedding vendors, I was able to help design my first styled wedding shoot. I won’t go into too much more detail here on the shoot … mainly because I already re-capped it, probably ad naseum, here. So check that out if you haven’t seen it yet. Otherwise, just know that this was certainly one of the absolute best moments of my year as a blogger, and probably my life too :) [is that sad?]

#1. Drum roll please …. Starting to re-brand & re-design my blog!

That’s right … Capitol Romance will soon be getting a facelift!! No details yet, because things are still being worked out – but sometime soon in the beginning of this year we will be updating our logo and the header/design of the blog! Thanks to the amazing Traci Brooks, there are some big things in store that I just cannot wait to share with everyone!

Like I said this morning, I just have this feeling that it is going to be a great 2012.





offbeat affordable DC weddings

Welcome to Capitol Romance, the wedding blog that showcases all things nontraditional when it comes to real, authentic Washington, DC area weddings.

Here at Capitol Romance, we like to use words like nontraditional, unconventional, and unique. What these words really mean to us, is that couples found a way to throw a wedding that was a legitimate reflection of their personalities, inspirations, and the things they love most in life. It is important to remember that weddings aren’t a contest and they certainly shouldn’t all be the same. After all, if no two people are alike, then no two couples are alike, and if no two couples are alike, than no two weddings should be alike either.

So throwout everything you thought you knew about the typical Washington, DC wedding (including that on average it costs about $50,000 to get married in DC). We are here to show you how awesome and genuine weddings in our nation’s capitol really can be.

Hotel reception halls not your thing? Can’t see yourself in a strapless, floor-length wedding gown? Feel like you are more sneakers than heels or headbands than tiaras? Good. Then you are in the right place. Capitol Romance welcomes all DC area couples that pushed wedding traditions out the window, dared to be different, and endeavored to throw the most heartfelt wedding that their budget could allow.

Please stick with us as we work to bring you updated posts over these next few weeks as we get the blog up and running smoothly. In the meantime, please send all ideas, inspiration, and thoughts on non-conventional Washington DC weddings and vendors to CapitolRomance@gmail.com

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