low-budget

Charles & Scott’s Offbeat DC Wedding at their Apartment Building!

This offbeat, Washington, DC wedding might take the cake with most original and alternative wedding venue I’ve ever seen: the couple’s apartment complex!

I mean, regardless of the fact that it belongs to an apartment complex, why the hell NOT use a brand new club room and a fabulous open courtyard – a perfect site for both a ceremony and a reception!?

Well, that’s exactly what Charles & Scott did in order to accomplish an insanely special, personalized wedding ceremony full of offbeat and DIY details. A special thanks to Red Shoes Photography & Two Bright Lights for making this wedding feature possible!

Charles & Scott’s Alternative & Offbeat, Budget-Friendly Washington DC Wedding

Vendors:

Photography: Red Shoes Photography

Catering: Eat & Smile Foods, Paris Caterers

A bit about the couple and their offbeat Washington, DC wedding:

Charles and Scott met in Baltimore and moved to DC, where they decided they would have their wedding.

Their [wedding] venue was unusual, as it was their apartment building! Their complex has a great open courtyard and brand new club room, which were the sites for their ceremony and reception. Scott did all the flowers himself, and the food was an endless parade of hors d’ouevres, from sliders to s’mores. The small wedding was mainly family and close friends.

One of the most touching parts of the day was the ceremony. Charles and Scott wrote their own vows, and as they were reading them, I do not think there was a dry eye in the crowd. They also had the bands they had worn all through their engagement engraved with a special saying, which they didn’t show to each other until the ceremony. It was very special, and incredibly moving!

So many details that I love here – the DIYed flowers, the couple writing their own vows, and custom engravings on the wedding rings – all set at such a unique and budget-friendly venue in the DC area. Love it! Enjoy!

Click inside to see the rest of Charles & Scott’s super offbeat, & intimate Washington DC wedding at their awesomely alternative wedding venue!

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Stella & Terence’s Irish & English Inspired Northern Virginia Wedding

A groom from Ireland & a bride from Wiltshire [a Southerner!], England – throwing a DIY, handmade wedding in Northern Virginia. I think I love everything about the sentence I just typed.

Douglas Pettway Photography dropped this stunner of a wedding in my Two Bright Lights inbox, and the minute I got the details from Stella – I was smitten. Terence & Stella used a TON of DIY, borrowed, thrifted, & low-budget purchases to create the wedding of their dreams. They also relied heavily on my 4th DIY Wedding Tip, having friends & family volunteer a lot of time & talent to their wedding. I know you will love this one :)

Terence & Stella’s Handmade, Budget-Friendly Northern Virginia Wedding

About the couple:

Terence and Stella met at the 21st birthday party of a mutual friend in Terence’s hometown of Limerick, Ireland in 2001. They started dating the following year, while Stella was at University in Liverpool. After a few years in a long-distance relationship, Terence moved to England, and in 2006 they began their American adventure by moving to the DC area. Terence is an engineer in the aerospace industry, and Stella is an interior designer. They live in Sterling, VA with their Alaskan Malamute, Madra.

Stella tried on lots of dresses in stores and finally found one she liked that was way over budget. So she searched online and found a vendor to recreate the dress for a third of the cost.

Since it was still winter, darker rich colours seemed more appropriate, but we still wanted to have some fun, and to get away from the typical winter wedding colours, so we paired navy dresses with orange shoes for our ladies outfits, the bride wore blue shoes, and we used cream, blue and orange flowers to tie things together elsewhere.

Looking for a barn wedding venue in Northern Virginia? Coomber Hall sounds amazing! The couple shares why they chose it as their wedding venue:

 We knew we wanted an older venue, but struggled to find a place that would allow us to fit all our guests in one room without using a marquee (it was a February wedding), and to have flexibility while still having charm and authenticity. Stella’s step-mother came across the civil war era venue Coomber Hall and emailed a link to her. Once we visited, we knew it would be perfect, and it was only a couple of miles from St Joseph’s church where the ceremony was taking place. The estate has a gorgeous old house which backs to a pair of barns – one derelict, one renovated and used as a school of music, dance venue and now wedding venue.

I love this detail about the yellow car they used for the wedding:

A friend volunteered to drive from Baltimore with their daughter’s pre-restoration 1967 Chevy Impala to use as the wedding car. As huge fans of the tv show ‘Supernatural’, it was the couple’s dream car!

Click inside for the rest of Stella & Terence’s handmade, family-run Northern Virginia wedding ~ with lots more details on their DIY projects!

Ngoc & Jason’s Modern Multicultural DIY Wedding in Virginia

A multicultural wedding … with lots of DIY projects … a bright pink & yellow color scheme … all planned in 3 months ?! This sounds like a feature for Capitol Romance :)

Yesterday we shared Ngoc & Jason’s adorable, whimsical engagement under a willow tree and today we are so pumped to share their beautiful, DIY wedding. Ngoc made a TON of the DIY projects in this wedding, and the couple used their favorite colors [yellow and pink] to turn an ordinary gold-course, tented wedding into a whimsical, magical, colorful party.

Thanks to Michelle VanTine Photography & Two Bright Lights for the submission!

Ngoc & Jason’s Pink & Yellow DIY Wedding in Virginia

From photographer, Michelle VanTine:

This Vietnamese-American wedding was a really neat fusion of cultural tradition and modern elements. The highlight for me as a photographer was arriving at the reception and seeing how Ngoc single handedly transformed a ordinary at-the-golf-course-tent into a whimsical, colorful party. We had so much fun taking the balloons around the course and being silly for pictures. So much fun in fact, that I fell off the bridge while shooting right into the swamp! No harm done… still got the shot. It was a wonderful event and neat to see how all of Ngoc’s DIY projects came together beautifully.

Details from the bride:

We wanted our wedding to be described in 6 words: sweet, whimsical, cute, fun, simple and classic.  Our tag line was {a sweet beginning}.  Pink and Yellow worked perfectly because Ngoc’s fav color is pink and Jason’s is yellow.  Not to mention, pink and yellow are bright, happy, and fun.

love the buttons on the bouquet stem!

Their friends & family pitched in with a TON of duties since they were planning on a 3-month timeline AND on a budget:

The whole wedding process was such a humbling experience to see how family and friends selflessly pitched in to help and were there to support us every step of the way.  Our friends helped us with executing every detail of the wedding from being the florist, the decorations to being the day of coordinators.

 i love love LOVE their invitations ~ booklet style with the modern font/design. love!

All the details were DIYed by Ngoc!

 Almost all the items from the wedding were DIY and made by the bride herself! – the programs, the decorations, the invitations, escort cards, the design.

You will definitely want to click inside to read the rest of this DIY Virginia wedding feature ~ the wedding party shots are some of the most fun I have EVER seen.

Zoe & Kenyon’s Offbeat, DIY Northern Virginia Wedding

Zoe & Kenyon’s Northern Virginia wedding has many Capitol Romance elements involved ~ the bride did her own hair & makeup, wore a white dress with black details, made almost everything 100% DIY, AND included one of my favorite non-traditional elements: SHE proposed to HIM!

Their wedding was a beautiful, multi-cultural affair that was extremely intimate [only 15 people on the entire guest list!], but still beautifully designed and wonderfully personal. Proving again that small budgets can still yield gorgeous weddings. Thanks to Charo Photo [submitted via Two Bright Lights] for this beautiful, offbeat Northern Virginia wedding submission!

Zoe & Kenyon’s Intimate, Non-traditional Northern Virginia Wedding

For more photos & a TON of inside details from Zoe on their love story, wedding planning and details, hope on over to Poptastic Bride’s feature!

From Charo Photo:

This is one of those weddings I won’t forget. Almost 100% DIY (I was the only vendor aside from the hotel), multi-cultural, intimate, limited-budget, 30-something couple… with so much emotion, laughter, hope for the future… so freaking great. Even with her small budget and a very short engagement, Zoe pulled details together that were adorable, and appropriate for the 15-person guestlist and the setting.

now THIS is a “first-look, groom’s reaction shot” if i have ever seen one!

Click inside for the rest of Zoe & Kenyon’s beautiful, intimate small-budget Northern Virginia wedding ~ including the touching proposal.

Capitol Wedding: Elizabeth & Oliver’s DIY Embassy Row Wedding in Washington, DC

“All in all, it was true to us and I think all of our guests were happy to see that!”

Elizabeth & Oliver’s DIY Washington, DC Embassy Row wedding is further proof that you can have an amazing wedding in DC without a huge budget. For them it just meant lots of DIY and working within their strict budget! Thanks to Softbox Media Photography [submitted via Two Bright Lights] for sharing!

Elizabeth & Oliver through an offbeat Washington, DC wedding by showcasing their love & spunk through a homemade photobooth, a Star Wars themed wedding cake, an awesome taco bar [in lieu of traditional catering] and using an iPod as their “DJ”.

Elizabeth & Oliver’s Offbeat, Budget-Friendly Washington DC Wedding at the Cranford House

Vendors:

Hair Stylist:  Belle Soeur Styles
Floral Designer:  Flowers by Sidra Forman
Event Venue:  Cranford House

From the bride, Elizabeth:

Well, our wedding was very much us and pretty heavy on the DIY. We were working on a strict budget so we had no choice but to do a lot of it on our own (homemade magnets, the signage for the food, the invites, the sound system, the cupcakes & the photo booth).
Ollie and I are both creative people – I was a graphic designer before I went back to school for nursing and he was in a band for 8 years – so we definitely had a good handle on all the creative stuff. Our invites were pretty rad.
We didn’t have a set color, but instead opted for fall tones – orange and red. Our small bridal party meant that my matron of honor could wear any thing in that color range.

Looking for an alternative [& budget-friendly!] wedding venue in Washington, DC? Well, look no further than the Cranford House on Embassy Row!

Cranford House was a GREAT venue. It is very affordable and a unique space with different rooms, downstairs seating etc.

Click inside for the rest of Elizabeth & Oliver’s budget-friendly, offbeat Washington, DC wedding ~ including a seriously awesome alternative engagement ring and a Star Wars themed wedding cake!

Capitol Wedding: Jess & Mitch’s Intimate Washington, DC Wedding at the Tabard Inn

Back when I first started my dc wedding blog over a year ago, I received an email from a photographer that had just moved to DC and was in awe of how overly traditional and one-note the DC wedding scene was. I told her that I couldn’t have agreed more, and that was one of the main reasons why I started Capitol Romance  – to try and change that. A year later, Michelle emailed me again – this time to tell me that she couldn’t believe how my blog had grown and that she still had faith that people like her and I could really help change DC’s weddings … and to submit an absolutely amazing, intimate DC wedding to me.

Thanks to alternative DC  wedding photographers like Michelle VanTine and to amazing wedding submissions like this, I still have faith that DC can have a creative, funky, offbeat wedding scene too – all the believers just need to work together to make it happen.

Jess & Mitch’s Intimate, Offbeat Washington, DC Wedding at the Tabard Inn

From photographer, Michelle VanTine:

This October wedding was a beautiful offbeat DC wedding. When I walked in the bridal suite I wasn’t caught up in the usual frenzy of primping bridesmaids, nervous mothers, and scrambling florists as is typically the case. It was a totally different story.

There were Jess and Mitch together, joyfully getting ready for their day in the most relaxed natural manner, as if they were getting ready to go on a date. Mitch was zipping up Jess’ gown as they enjoyed coffee, scones, and fruit.

How much do I love this nontraditional way of getting ready for your wedding day – a bride and groom getting ready together? Stress-free and playing a guitar?! I love love love this ….

Mitch was playing his guitar and signing to Jess and she fastened her necklace in the mirror. It was adorable. That was pretty much set the scene for the entire day. No bridal party or typical traditions.

The Tabard Inn is a perfect intimate, alternative wedding venue in Washington, DC!

I adore Jess’ short & simple wedding dress!

Click inside to see the rest of Jess & Mitch’s adorable, nontraditional & offbeat wedding at the intimate Washington, DC wedding venue, the Tabard Inn.

Olivia & Eric’s Small-budget Maryland Wedding

I have a really gorgeous, small budget Maryland wedding to share with you this morning. When Amber Wilkie Photography dropped this beauty in my Two Bright Lights inbox, I nearly jumped off the couch with excitement.

This wedding is GORGEOUS.

And has all those hand-made details and personal touches that I just swoon over. Plus, the bride, Olivia is one of the nicest people I have encountered, and she has shared some really amazing, and personal details with me to post along with her gorgeous pictures.

You are all in for a real treat :)

Olivia & Eric’s beautiful, small-budget Maryland wedding

About the couple from Amber Wilkie Photography:

Olivia and Eric met in Afghanistan while working on various military projects. When Eric ended up stationed in Williamsburg, they knew they could continue their relationship.

I always tease my couples about having kids and most of them get nervous and evade the question (makes for good laughing photos!) but Olivia didn’t blink and said they’d be trying for children right away. These two didn’t want to have a big party and instead opted for a very classy but still relaxed event at a local restaurant.

Olivia on the Maryland wedding venue selection:

Venue:  We wanted an all-in-one, indoor location to avoid weather, transportation, and herding issues.  Because a few guests would be making our wedding into a day trip, we decided on a late morning ceremony with lunch.  I searched opentable.com for well-reviewed restaurants that people had voted as “good for groups”.  From there, I perused a few menus and photos before narrowing the list down to three restaurants.  I emailed all three to ensure availability (explaining we were planning both a ceremony and reception), and lunched at them to get a sense of their ambiance, service, and food.

From the moment I drove up to La Ferme and met with the owner, Alain, I knew this was the place.  Charming, intimate, unpretentious…perfect.  The layout of La Ferme was conducive for the small, intimate ceremony and reception we wanted.  Alain was very accommodating and flexible, and through his experience with past weddings at the restaurant, had good ideas and suggestions for flow, seating arrangements, where to hold the ceremony, and so on.

 

How it all began …

  Eric and I met on deployment, but it took us a while to become friends because our lives were tightly defined by our jobs and mission. We eventually became work-out buddies and developed a routine of eating chow together after the gym.  Maybe because we were in a war zone, our conversations tended to be soul-searching and meaningful.  Still, it took several thousand miles, a couple of unsuccessful relationships, and a few, long months before Eric and I reconnected at home and saw the potential in “us”.  We were engaged the following May, and planned the wedding for July!

Despite only having a couple of months and a budget of $3000, the wedding planning was smooth, surprisingly stress-free, and done almost completely online.  Having a guest list of 30 helped quite a bit.  At first, I went to theknot.com for planning advice and tips, but was quickly overwhelmed.  I definitely didn’t need that many checklists or reminders, so instead, I made a simple list of things we needed and how much I was willing to spend.

Olivia’s friend Kim made all the flower arrangements from flowers purchased from Whole Foods! Talk about DIY flowers.

My friend, Kimberly, volunteered to do the flowers as her gift to me.  We went to Whole Foods, I picked out what I liked, and she put it all together!  She’s pretty talented that way.

Click inside to see more of Olivia & Eric’s intimate, small-budget Maryland wedding!

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