maryland wedding

Alysha & Jermaine’s Modern, Lilac Turf Valley Resort Wedding in Maryland


Images:  Anthony Sekellick Photography

Not only is this week at its end – so is the entire month of October. It will be November on Tuesday and I don’t think that’s fully settled in my mind. I’m headed into a little calm before the storm that is next week/weekend with the election coming up, my day job going through a major deployment, my 2nd to last wedding of 2016, Andy traveling for almost an entire week, and oh yeah … trying to launch the CapRoShop. So you know, relaxing.

If you want to hear about the shop launch first AND get your hands on a coupon code – please sign up for our newsblasts! We’ll be sharing all the fun details on Monday via our newsblast as we prep for an exciting week of giveaways to celebrate the launch. But for today I have a super sweet Maryland wedding featuring an ADORABLE couple that hand-made all the ceramic mug favors for their guests (how sweet!). Check out Alysha & Jermaine’s wedding on the blog today!


Alysha and Jermaine were the sweetest couple. They met in college at Frostburg University and have been together ever since. Today they are both teachers in the Baltimore area.

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Groom’s sister was his “best-woman,” which I think speaks volumes about him. Their relationship is so inspiring. We had the mother and father of the groom come down the aisle at the ceremony right before the bride and her parents- we wanted a special moment for both our parents as they place such a huge role in our relationship and marriage.


Jermaine and I fell in love with Turf Valleys “Garden” (where our ceremony was held). The willow trees are stunning, the scenery is perfect. We loved that everything was all in one location, because having a lot of our guests come from out of town (bride originally from NY) it meant a lot to us to have everyone together and be comfortable. So going right from the ceremony to the cocktail hour, to the reception, and then the ability to hit the elevator and go up to your hotel room after was so appealing to us. Not too mention the beautiful golf course that our family took big advantage of.

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[Our colors were] gray and Iris- we felt they complimented each other so well and were a perfect look for a summer evening wedding.


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Grace & Tolu’s Fall, Backyard Wedding in Maryland


Images: L.A. Birdie Photography

Having a day off is sort of a double edge sword. I loved the extra day to work on the #CapRoShop, catch up on some rest, and generally not be thinking about my day job, but now it’s already Wednesday and I feel SO BEHIND for the week. I just can’t win! Today’s real Maryland wedding is a stunner though – gorgeous couple, with such a sweet love story, and an adorable DIY backyard wedding full of love & music (something they share in common as they both work in the music industry in NYC). Grace, the bride, also hand-drew all the signs — lots of insight from the couple for this real wedding today. Enjoy.

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[We met] at a winter getaway camp in the mountains of Pennsylvania when we were 16.

Tolu got together family and a slew of friends to participate in a music performance video of Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me”. 5 years before, Tolu had surprised Grace at her high school with a barbershop rendition of the same song, after which he asked her to prom. Each person recorded themselves singing the song from wherever they were and Tolu cut the different performances into a film complete with his own performance and music composition.

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In place of traditional elements like tying the cord, breaking the glass, or pouring sand, we decided to write our own tradition because there was only so much we could connect to the usual. We are both avid music lovers as well as music professionals so we wrote a piece for the ceremony called the Chord Accord. In this piece, we used the symbolism of a chord (accompanied by a live performance of a piano piece that Tolu wrote followed the narration) to depict how we came together in love and life. And then the piano piece segued into music for the procession out.

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We made it a point to involve as many friends and family as we could in the ceremony. Because we work in music and a lot of our friends are musicians, we used that to our advantage. Guests arrived arrived to the sound of our friends playing the piano and guitar to set the mood. One of them, the guitarist, played the music that Grace walked down the aisle to. We had a college friend of each of us come together to sing an arrangement of a song special to us, in which Tolu did a surprise performance ( In fact, it was a complete surprise to Grace the choice of song. Tolu had rehearsed in secret with the duo.) We had Tolu’s sister read a poem. Then have another friend, a pianist, accompany the Chord Accord. It was chock full of guest appearances

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Corina & Ben’s Intimate, DIY Wedding in Maryland

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Photographer: Jonah Koch for MBK Photography via Two Bright Lights

Happy Friday Romancers!! Another week has come to an end, and with it (like most weeks) I wonder where the time went and I feel like I have so much to do. I wasn’t the best at blogging this week, but I did finally make it out to an “Art Club” meet-up last night with two fantabulous DC artists/designers. It’s so inspiring to meet freelance artists that create such beautifully creative and unique pieces. Though it didn’t help my to-do list, it certainly helped my mind & soul a bit. Also my belly – because we had THE MOST DELICIOUS wine & cheese during our discussion. We are NJ/PA bound for the weekend first thing tomorrow for some family time & a baby shower! Hope you guys have a great one too! Enjoy this super sweet, vintage-inspired (with a TON of DIY details) Maryland wedding for today!

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I didn’t want the wedding to be one-sided. Too often weddings tend to be about the bride, which misses the point. It’s about the marriage and the union of two people and I wanted it to be a nice balance that satisfied my husband.

We chose the venue because it was financial feasible and it worked out aesthetically. We decided on a tea ceremony – something very common in my culture – and cramped everyone in our tiny apartment, which made it ever so much more intimate.

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I’m not sure I accomplished my goal but I was going for a noir bridal themed wedding. I like my designs clean cut and uncluttered. Black and white were the tones I naturally gravitated towards and red embodied cultural significance for me and my family. I designed a wedding grocery bag because weddings tend to give away useless trinkets. I wanted to give people things they could use while reminding them of our wedding.

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We met at Duke University as undergraduates. We since have endured a 7-year long-distance relationship. At one point I was serving in the US Peace Corps in Samoa in the South Pacific and he was serving in Iraq in the military. We were able to skype during that year – pretty incredible technology feat.

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Nowhere in my wedding did I include flowers. If you can afford them, flowers can be a great accent. With my go big or go home attitude if I wasn’t going to saturate my whole wedding with flowers I wasn’t going to include them at all. Also, like I said previously, I wanted a balanced wedding that wasn’t too feminine.

I enjoy wedding planning/ designing and as I lived far from my family, I did most of the pre-wedding work myself. I also managed to squeeze out some help from my husband, much to his protest.

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I made the backdrop to the stage where the musicians played. While any bystander would have written the streamers off, those designs took three whole months to complete by myself. My brother, a concept designer from California, designed the backdrop of my dessert table – probably one of the most notable designs in the wedding.

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Sofia & Brent’s Maryland Themed Wedding at the Music Center at Strathmore

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Images: Angel Kidwell Photography

Happy Thursday Romancers! I have a super sweet Maryland themed wedding for you today. Behind the scenes I am (attempting) to put together a “year in review” for Capitol Romance’s 2015. I have ALL the ideas, but it takes some time to not only gather all the numbers but lay it out nicely (especially considering my graphic design skills are elementary at best). Hoping I can get that out to you this week! If you’re interested, it will be sent via our newsblast, so sign up if you haven’t already! Take it away Sophia & Brent!

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We chose to have the ceremony at the UMD Memorial Chapel since we met on the UMD campus our senior year there. Our wedding date is the 6-year anniversary of us meeting and is exactly 1 year after we got engaged. We are incorporating the UMD mascot (Terrapin) into parts of our wedding day – the escort cards and programs will have Terps on them, for example.

My sister gave me a pre-wedding gift, a notebook of letters she gathered from the women from both sides of the families that were now connected by Brent & I marrying. There were words of love, welcoming, support, wisdom and memories.

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We chose the Music Center at Strathmore for the reception site because we wanted a modern and dramatic reception space.o Our colors are pink and gold with accents of black. These are colors that we (mostly Sofia) were drawn to as we started planning. We are also incorporating polka dots into parts of the wedding (the groomsmen bowties, cocktail hour flowers) because Sofia loves them!

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Our two sisters are readers during the ceremony and are also in the wedding party. Sofia’s sister will also be singing a song towards the beginning of the reception (she is surprising us with the song!). Brent’s two best men are his cousins.

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Chris & Maggie’s Summer Rustic Wedding at Swan Harbor Farm Maryland

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Images: Jennifer Smutek Photography via Two Bright Lights

I really loft the softness of this Maryland wedding, with the wildflowers, touches of wood, and tons of greenery in the images thanks to the wedding happening at a farm. It makes perfect sense that the couple would have their wedding at a farm, as they LOVE doing things outdoors like backpacking and hiking! In fact, they even got engaged during one of their hikes in Europe ! This adorable wedding has some super sweet details, check it all out below!

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Nature is at the heart of our relationship.  It’s what brought us together and drives most of our fun.  We knew instantly that Swan Harbor Farm was the venue for us.  An old farm mansion with beautiful landscaping poised on a majestic waterfront property was the perfect location to celebrate the union of our lives with friends and family.  SHF provided an “at ease” feel with elegant features that made the night feel both “homey” and “classy.”

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To keep with the natural theme, our flowers, from TALMAR Garden varied in both colors and types like we often swoon over in meadows and mountain fields when hiking.  TALMAR Garden was an easy choice.  Being a teacher, I was proud to support a company’s whose mission is to serve individuals with special needs through their carefully designed horticulture therapy program.  I recently read an article about how they are expanding to include a Veteran’s program as well to help soldiers assimilate back to civilian life by involving them in meaningful and rewarding work.  I couldn’t be any happier that we chose them as our florists!

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The cameo pin on the back of my dress which served as my something blue, new, and old.  A wonderful lady by the name of Alice Grenier Roe was the matriarch of the Toolin family for a long time, but sadly passed away this past winter.  This pin was hers and I felt so honored to be wearing it all night.

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Kristy & Chrissy’s Red & Teal, Modern Maryland Wedding at Glen Echo Park

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Images: The Happy Couple

Chrissy & Kristy were DREAM CLIENTS. Super rad, super organized, looking for DIY projects, OH AND MY NEIGHBORS. I won’t forget their hilarious inquiry email to me that sheepishly fessed up that they had stalked me (just a little) and found that we were actually neighbors! It made planning meetings and consults SO easy (I literally walked across an alley). They wanted a FUN wedding that had lots of DIY projects and lots of colors. Naturally Glen Echo Park was the perfect venue for their day and they incorporated SO many personalized details.

My favorite might have been how much thought they put into the wine and beer served at the wedding. Their ceremony included a beer pouring ceremony and their reception included the COOLEST DIY pallet beer service counter ever. This one is PICTURE heavy so I am warning you there, but it was nearly impossible to narrow down a smaller subset of the images I was given! Enjoy.

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From the brides:

It was all about bringing our family and friends together for the first time and just making it a great party. We kept it casual and even got school buses to transport guest to and from the venue.

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We went with shades of teal and turquoise with some pops of red for our color scheme to really tie everything together. We wanted to include a lot of elements to reflect who we are, both individually and as a couple.

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My cousin officiated and pulled off a ceremony that was personal, heartfelt, and funny. We wrote our own vows and instead of a candle, we did a black and tan unity beer. My cousin captured it perfectly by saying “neither is lost in the other. Each retains its own unique character and flavor. Yet, when put together, they become something new and even more interesting than before.” He did such a fantastic job! We couldn’t believe how many compliments we got on the ceremony. Surprisingly Kristy and I didn’t cry at all. I think we were just having so much fun and enjoying the moment.

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We incorporated a lot of other DIY elements including our table centerpieces, a candy buffet, a ceremony backdrop that was later re-purposed into garlands for the reception that my mom made, table runners that Kristy’s mom sewed, and paper flower bouquets for the wedding party that Kristy and I made together.

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Nicole & Dean’s Offbeat, Personalized Maryland Wedding at Brookeville Academy

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Images: Shanna Edberg Photography | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

I mean I can never say no to a real DC area wedding features a bride in a dress color other than white! Nicole ROCKED her red wedding dress and all the details of this adorable, intimate & small budget Maryland wedding are just so fun. As self proclaimed “geeks”, Nicole & Dean opted for a “first video game” instead of a first dance and they walked down the aisle to Battlestar Galactica – um hell yes. Their wedding was a 100% them and was made possible by all their family & friends. Enjoy!

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Pretty much *all* of our wedding was offbeat. We’re a very geeky, nontraditional couple, and like many couples, we have a lot of student loan debt. We wanted to show our family and friends a fun, meaningful time without breaking our (very small) budget, which was a challenge in the area. We also paid for the wedding pretty much on our own.

I chose to wear a red dress because I almost never wear white. I wanted to wear a color that I felt beautiful and comfortable in. We chose red and black because they’re bold, striking, beautiful colors. Folks on the groom’s side wore fighter jet lapel pins to showcase Dean’s love for planes, and folks on the bride’s side wore neuron lapel pins or necklaces to showcase my love of brains! We wrote our own ceremony and vows to incorporate our love of science, video games, and other geeky things.

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We were very fortunate to be able to use our ceremony venue. We were married at the Smith Center near the Meadowside Nature Center, which generally doesn’t allow large groups (besides non-profits) to use their venue. They actually usually don’t allow members of the general public to rent their space. However, Dean’s grandpa, who passed away years ago, used to take Dean there when he was little. The staff at the Smith Center worked with us and with the Meadowside Nature Center to find a way to allow us to have our ceremony on their property. It was really meaningful for Dean and his family, because it felt like his grandfather was able to be there in spirit.

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Click inside for all their fun science & geek themed wedding details!

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Matthew & Ian’s Laid Back Patapsco Female Institute Wedding in Maryland

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Images: Russ Hickman Photography

Couple-submitted weddings just never get old to me. Especially when the submission comes with an amazing email thanking me for my blog and the resources I provide. Such was the case with the grooms of today’s real Maryland wedding feature. Matt & Ian emailed me to not only tell me they used Capitol Romance to find venues, resources, and inspiration for their wedding, but would love to have their wedding featured back on the blog. This just gives me all the feels. Sometimes it’s still hard to believe that people want to be featured on this little blog I started over 4 years ago :)

Anyway, Matt & Ian planned and executed a STUNNING wedding – full of DIY projects, focusing on the things that were super important to them (a mixologist! a country/swing band!) AND hiring only vendors from jurisdictions where same-sex marriage was legal. The end result is a wedding that is completely their own and SO much fun to blog! You guys are gonna love this one :)

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When Ian and I first sat down to start wedding planning, we came up with some non-negotiables – the things that mattered most to us. For me, I wanted the event to reflect us, which meant something classy, but casual. I also wanted good food and good music. Ian wanted handmade cocktails from an old-school mixologist, and also felt very strongly about only working with vendors in jurisdictions where same-sex marriage was legalized.

The wedding stationary (Save the Date, Invitation, Menu’s, etc.) were designed by us and printed by a local printer. It was important that we continue the playful, laid-back feel of the wedding through the stationary, as this was going to set the tone for the wedding and our guests. We chose recycled paper and a young, fresh font that was used on all stationary items. The colors dusty blue, orange, and slate were chosen as they felt modern yet masculine.

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The venue came first, and we were challenged with finding a unique venue that was not too stuffy, had a laid back atmosphere, and wouldn’t break the bank. I think we checked out half-a-dozen, which was entirely too many, before we happened upon the Patapsco Female Institute (PFI).

We first saw PFI on Capital Romance and fell in love. The feature was gorgeous, and the wedding looked so interesting that we couldn’t stop coming back to it over and over during our venue search. Initially, there were some aspects of PFI that scared us off: no bathrooms, no indoor rain plan, and just the notion of having to rent and place every piece of furniture, every decorative element, and every light fixture in order to warm up the space and make it our own. However, as other venues got ruled out along the way, PFI kept moving higher on the list, and the challenge of taking the dilapidated ruins of an old girl’s school, and turning them into a cool event space were appealing.

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The history of PFI is really interesting, and slightly dark. We were intrigued by rumors that the venue was haunted by the ghost of Annie Van Derlott, a girl who died in the Institute after coming down with pneumonia. We wanted to own the uniqueness of the space, and make it our own, so we paid tribute to the ghost by naming one of our speakeasy cocktails, “Annie Van Derlott’s Punch.” It was made with aged rum, xo cognac, lemon, sugar, and green tea, served over hand hewn ice with a lemon wheel and freshly grated nutmeg. It must’ve worked because no one reported any hauntings. In fact, on the day of our wedding it rained starting at sunrise. Once we arrived to the venue, however, it stopped. Literally as we pulled up, the clouds parted and the sun came up. I think maybe Annie made that happen, as a way of saying thanks for the booze…

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With a venue nailed down, we were able to piece together other big elements. I’m a vegetarian, have been since high school, so we needed to find a caterer with a good vision for exciting vegetarian options. Ian and I wanted to go with an eco-friendly caterer who worked with locally sourced ingredients, so we did some research on caterers who fit that bill. It didn’t take us long to find Catering By Seasons, a newer eco-caterer that had sprouted up in DC. Bob Sieralta, the catering manager, is a gem; he’s just one of the most energetic people you could meet. Hearing our vision, he got to work on executing it.

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Click inside for SO MUCH MORE of Matthew & Ian’s amazing, homegrown Patapsco Female Institute Wedding in Maryland!

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Kayte & Luke’s Brightly Colored, DIY Newton House Mansion Wedding in Maryland

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[Images: Liz Fogarty Photography]

I loved the way you could totally feel this couple’s personality from their wedding images. From the bright orange, pink, and yellow color palette, to all the DIY projects – it was no wonder that this Maryland wedding totally rocked, with the bride being a SUPER talented musician. (Check her out!). The wedding has a slight bohemian meets Rock N Roll vibe and I am pumped to get to share some awesome insight from the couple to go along with their gorgeous wedding images from Liz Fogarty. Enjoy!

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Since we were long distance engaged (I was in MD where we’d be getting married & Luke was in LA), Luke gave me free reign to make a lot of the design choices, although I tried to run things by him whenever I thought he might have a preference :)  We wanted the wedding (which we referred to as ‘the party’) to feel young and colorful and delightful and casual.  We wanted all of our friends and family to have an amazing time. We went with a palate of shades of hot pink, fuchsia and orange for the bridesmaids, navy blue suits on the (12!) groomsmen, and pops of yellow to tie it all together – DIY-ed billy ball bouquets for the girls and (also DIY-ed) boutonnieres for the guys.

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Our invitation photo, which came before all of our wedding design choices, totally encapsulates the feel of the wedding – Luke and I sat on a bench in LA front of a hot pink wall and asked random strangers walking by to snap photos of us with his iPhone.  The very first one was the best and when I was back in Maryland, we designed our invitation together over Skype. When a cousin we’d invited noticed the lack of formal wording and fancy calligraphy on our invitations I was super happy because I knew it felt like “us” … as a couple we’re more “print” than “cursive.”

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The gorgeous grounds and architecture and round reception room with floor to ceiling windows at Newton White Mansion sold us on the venue. I knew the pictures would be gorgeous.  Luckily the rain on our wedding day held off long enough for us to get pictures outside, but by the time the ceremony started it was pouring, so we were glad we decided to move everything into the reception space as our rain plan. Having windows on all sides made us feel like we were outside and in at the same time.

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Kayte’s friend and former band mate Kevin accompanied her on guitar from his seat as she sung to Luke during the ceremony. Luke’s friend Adrian sweet talked a store into opening early and picked up Luke’s tie the morning of the wedding (don’t ask!) and got it to him just in time for the ceremony. Our friend Peter put together amazing playlists of music for before the ceremony, the cocktail hour, eating and dancing.  Luke’s friend Stephen drove all night from Ohio to be at the wedding and pick up the beer in time for the cocktail hour and reception. Our friend Nicole was the crazily organized ring master who was the “Day Of Coordinator” for us.  And our amazing bridal party made sure we had a great time.

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Click inside for more of Kayte & Luke’s adorable DIY Maryland wedding!

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