offbeat washington dc wedding

Capitol Wedding: Ben & Jen’s Offbeat, Local Surprise Wedding in Washington, DC

Happy Thanksgiving Eve everyone! Personally, Thanksgiving is one of my most favorite holidays of the year. There is little to no stress involved [I’m looking at you Christmas] and it’s filled with three of my favorite things: food, family & football!

Before we sign off for the holiday [though we will be back on Friday with a gorgeous destination wedding], I wanted to share the CUTEST “surprise” wedding that a super sweet & down to earth DC couple had! They planned an engagement party with the help of a planner and some local DC businesses and actually had the party morph into a surprise wedding! The bride wore green, and there were two food trucks: a Macaroni & Cheese food truck, CapMac, AND one of my favorite pie shops, Dangerously Delicious Pies!! I mean, what more could I ask for in an Offbeat, Washington DC wedding feature?! A big thank you to Leslie Maron Photography & Two Bright Lights for making this feature possible!

Ben & Jen’s Offbeat, Homemade Surprise Wedding in Washington, DC

About the couple & their surprise DC wedding!

Ben and Jen are an adorable down to earth DC couple that pulled off one of the best weddings this year. With the help of a wedding planner, some local flavors, and their adorable downtown DC home as the setting, they turned their engagement party into a surprise wedding.

As DC residents, they couldn’t have imagined having their wedding any other way. They are proud to call DC their home and couldn’t think of a better place to tie the knot.

The plans were set for guests to arrive for what they believed was a lovely weekend engagement party. Both family and friends arrived to find a beautifully decorated house, tons of local foods only to be found in DC and back yard patio for guests to enjoy the absolutely perfect June weather.


Mid party, guests were escorted outside for a special announcement and a fantastic surprise. Jen waited atop the front porch of their home with her “best man” Marvin (the cutest boston terrier), while Ben anxiously rode his bike around the corner with his “best maid” Eleanor (also a boston).

The idea behind this was too sweet, as they were reenacting how they first met! Guests were aw-struck.

Click inside for the rest of this adorable, Washington DC “Surprise” wedding from Leslie Maron Photo!

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Capitol Inspiration: Neon Wedding Decorations, Details, & Inspiration

“Let Your Love Shine Bright”

A few months ago, an email from Lisa Marie with Sweet Tea Photography popped into my gmail. “Let’s do a neon shoot!”. I was hooked.

After meeting Kristen with Molly Cat Designs at Borrowed Event, I just knew I had to bring her on board too! A neon wedding , to me, meant ultra modern, bright, and for some reason, flowerless. Kristen specializes in creating unique wedding decorations from paper and other non-floral goods, and I knew she would be the perfect addition to the shoot!

From there ideas just started to bounce in every direction, but the one thing that remained constant was the word BRIGHT.

We wanted the shoot to be in Washington, DC ~ as the area tends to be overly traditional and sometimes one-note when it comes to weddings. One day on my way home from work, I nearly drove into parked cars on 8th St SE as my eye caught The Tabula Rasa ~ a brand new event space on Capitol Hill.

The name literally means “blank slate” – and that is exactly what it is. To me, this was the PERFECT place to have our shoot, as it would allow us to really let the neon colors pop against a blank, white background.

The space was PERFECT to setup a mock, intimate wedding. It had 3 distinct spaces for a cocktail setup, a ceremony in the courtyard, and then a sit-down dinner in the back room.

We brought on some other awesome Washington DC vendors to complete the shoot. Stationery & Paper Design was rocked by Tabibi Design .

And when we decided on a modern, unique shoot, naturally we had to get the dresses from Punk Rock Bride

Our bride’s look was topped only by the amazing hairstyle, Zara Design and SUPER BRIGHT makeup by Makeup Artist, Danelle Cook

The grooms attire was pretty makeshift and we topped both off with accessories from Lou Lou of Washington, DC .

Our neon dessert spread, including neon sno cones (!!) came from Sugar & Ice DC:

At some point we decided that silly string needed to happen in this shoot. We decided to make it the “favor”/”escort card” at each of the place settings, and then we let our bride and groom have some fun with it at the end of the shoot:

The day would have never came together without help from Sweet Tea’s assistants:  Allison Perrin & Jaclyn Sinesi . They were a huge help with our alternative post-it note “guest book” and just about everything else that was setup that day!

This was one of my favorite ideas [not to brag!] – naming the “specialty cocktails” Flourescentinis to go with our “bright” theme:

For a TON more images, check out the feature on the amazing wedding blog, Bridal Musings or check out Sweet Tea Photography’s blog.

Finally – the day was topped only by the amazing “behind the scenes” video that was captured by the super talented,  Craig Schattner Video

Kimberly & Judd’s Offbeat, Eclectic Park Wedding in Arlington, VA

 Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I hope you are all giving and receiving some serious signs of love today. I know not everyone loves this “holiday” – but I say, instead of hating on it, or spending time being angry about it, use it as a day to say “I Love You” to anyone special in your life. Your parents, a friend, your dog … the way I see it, spreading love is ALWAYS a better option then spreading hate.

And with that, I have an AWESOME offbeat wedding to share with you today, courtesy of Jan C Photography [submitted via Two Bright Lights].

This wedding has everything that a Capitol Romance, offbeat Washington DC wedding feature should have – mismatched bridesmaids, casual, outdoor setting, intimate details ~ with a focus on the couple & their love, not all the flashy add-ons.

Not the mention that I got all the amazing details from the groom(!). I LOVE when Grooms get involved in the wedding :)

So here goes, Kimberly & Judd’s Intimate, Offbeat Washington, DC wedding:

From the Groom:

Once we started planning our wedding, we knew we wanted a few key things. We wanted it to be outdoors, weather permitting. We wanted it to feel intimate, regardless of size, and we wanted it to be as much about our friends and family as it was about us. Lastly, we wanted delicious, casual food and drink that would accentuate the summer season of our wedding.

 We ended up choosing a former Civil War fort outside of Washington, DC that is now a beautiful park that includes a wild flower meadow.

When the big day finally arrived, we woke up to a dreary, wet, rainy day—something we had been mentally prepared for. Luckily the forecasts proved correct, and two hours before the start of our ceremony, the sky cleared up, the sun came out and dried everything out for the remainder of the evening. The temperature was also uncharacteristically cool and breezy for July in DC, thanks to the recent storm.

Click inside for the rest of Kimberly & Judd’s intimate, offbeat Washington, DC wedding ~ including details on their amazing, unique ceremony!

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