offbeat

Natalie & Melissa’s Hot Pink Wedding Brunch at the Eastern Shore

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Another week has come and gone. This one surprised me – it was one of my first FULL weeks back at my day job, and I thought it was going to CRAWL. Fortunately, it blew by in a whirl and another Capitol Inspiration ~ Friday’s Wedding Inspiration post is upon us already!

Hoping everyone has some nice weekend plans in store. Andy & I are off to traverse the Garden State [our hometown - NJ! What? What! ... ok, i'll stop], while I attempt to recover from my first Bikram yoga class last night [good LORD I have NEVER sweated like that in my life]. Anyone else got some fly weekend plans?

While you ponder and hopefully share, please enjoy today’s offbeat wedding inspiration, courtesy of  Andi Grant Photography. Andi submitted [via Two Bright Lights] this beautiful brunch reception wedding that took place on the Eastern Shore, after the beautiful couple, Natalie & Melissa, had their civil service in Washington, DC.

Natalie & Melissa’s Summery, Hot Pink Wedding Brunch in Maryland

i never get tired of adorable doggies at weddings (especially when they have a “Dog of Honor” bandanna! awwwwwww!)

 Click inside for the rest of these beautiful images from Andi Grant Photography ~ of Melissa & Natalie’s hot pink and yellow wedding … lots of wedding floral design inspiration to come!

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Capitol Inspiration: Katie & Andrew’s Offbeat Anniversary Shoot in DC

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I apologize for leaving everyone hanging on Friday with no post. Life got crazy and I didn’t have the time I thought I would to get this awesome, offbeat anniversary shoot scheduled. While I was off frolicking at the beach, I hope you all had a great end of last week/weekend as well. Now that I am back I will share Katie & Andrew’s amazing 5-year anniversary shoot thanks to Maggie Winters Photography [submitted via Two Bright Lights]. I haven’t seen a love shoot this fun and awesome since Steve & Amanda’s water balloon engagement shoot!

Maggie shares:

Katie and Andrew have been married for five years but didn’t have engagement photos taken when they were married, and they wanted to have some fun photos taken of the two of them in love! Katie mentioned that she wanted to use color dust/holi powder and I couldn’t have been more excited.

I know you guys are going to love this bright color explosion of an anniversary shoot to get your week started. Let’s do it up.

Andrew & Katie’s Offbeat Brightly Colored Powder Fight Anniversary Shoot

Katie & Andrew’s love story:

Andrew and I met in 2004 at the University of Michigan. We met after a mutual friend realized we had both worked at the same orphanage in Malawi, Africa, at different times. I sent him an email and a few weeks later we found a time to meet up on campus. The rest is history!  We graduated together in 2005 and moved to Philadelphia where we both taught for several years. We got married in 2007 and joined the the Peace Corps together in the island Kingdom of Tonga from 2007-2008 and then moved to Washington, DC.

Now THAT’s a love story!

We’ve been in DC for 4 years now and love living here. Andrew is a PhD student at the George Washington University, studying Counseling and I am a Senior Policy Analyst at ActionAid USA. We are both artists as well. Andrew does a lot of painting, on the side, and I am a part-time photographer and graphic designer.

We wanted to have a photo shoot to celebrate our anniversary for a few reasons. First, because we never had engagement photos when we got married, so most of the photos we have together are just from our wedding. Second, because I have been a photographer for a few years now and because I’m always behind the lens I have almost no photos of the two of us together from the last few years. We wanted to document our lives a little, here in this place where we had our first home together.

let the colored powder fight begin!

Click inside to see the rest of this awesome, offbeat anniversary shoot in Washington, DC. The rest of the pictures are so much fun!

Victoria & Curtis’ Offbeat, Rock & Roll Northern Virginia Wedding

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The bride wore a purple, ombre wedding dress.

Do I really need to tell you anything else about this wedding?! I nearly DIED when Kate Triano Photography submitted this bad-boy to me via Two Bright Lights. I guess this is just what happens when a fashion blogger gets married – she pulls out all the stops with her purple wedding.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a ton of details to share from this wedding, but the pictures really do speak for themselves. The wedding is so unique & offbeat, and Kate’s photography skills are crazy good. Plus, if all else fails, just keep staring at that purple ombre wedding dress. I know I am.

Victoria & Curtis’ Offbeat Purple Northern Virginia Wedding at the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

About the couple:

Vyque is the Director for New Media for the USO  and runs the fashion blog, fasshonaburu. Curtis works for Carosel30 as a web designer.

On the stunning, custom purple ombre wedding dress:

The dress is the bride’s own design,  in collaboration with a local seamstress, Angie Caballero.  It was inspired by ombré fabric she happened to find during a trip to fashion week,  combined with visions of Gwen Stefani’s pink ombre wedding dress.

The ceremony was held at Meadowlark Gardens and the couple’s friend, local magician Brian Curry, was the officiant.

Click inside for the rest of Victoria & Curtis’ offbeat, purple ombre wedding at the Meadowlark Gardens in Northern Virginia.

Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck: Imagine Dragon’s “It’s Time”

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I admit that I am actually a bit ashamed of how long it’s been since the last time I did a “wedding music that doesn’t suck” post. I apologize, but also need to admit to you and myself, that thinking of alternative music song suggestions every week was a way bigger task that I had originally thought, once I had exhausted my playlist.

So apologies aside, I have a great alternative wedding song suggestion for you today from Imagine Dragons called “It’s Time”. The music itself is powerful, very moving and the lyrics are totally appropriate for an alternative wedding ceremony or great addition to your cocktail hour playlist.

I don’t ever want to let you down
I don’t ever want to leave this town
‘Cause after all
This city never sleeps at night

I’d really love to see someone use this song as a modern processional song [please let me know if you do]. I can just imagine the doors opening and the bride walking down the aisle as the chorus reigns in with “it’s time to begin, isn’t it?”.

Hope you all enjoy this upbeat, modern wedding song suggestion to get this week started!

 

 

Wedding Advice: Unity Candle Alternatives with Ribbon Box Events

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Today we have a wonderful, nontraditional wedding inspiration post for you courtesy of Washington, DC wedding & event planning company, Ribbon Box Events!

Unity Candle Alternatives!

Personally, Andy & I did a take on the traditional Unity Candle ceremony [we lit candles first for our family members that had been deceased and then had our moms light our candles and then finally we lit a candle together]

But for today I am letting Tiffany take over for some really awesome, Unity Candle Alternatives. So take it away Tiffany!!

You’ve probably attended a wedding with a unity candle, sand ceremony, or wine- all in their own way representative of the uniting of two individuals and two families coming together as one. However, not exactly the most original, or off beat.. so… for those of you longing for something a bit more.. YOU… here are some options to consider!

1. Soil & Unity Tree Planting

Two of our fabulous couples chose iterations of a soil/tree ceremony to share with one another at their wedding ceremony.

Christie & Tim’s mother’s contributed soil from their family homes, and during a beautiful rendition of Adele’s Make You Feel My Love, sung by a talented family member, Christie and Tim added the soil to a potted tree they would be planting in their yard at home together.

Laura and Ryan chose to use soil from their childhood yards to plant an apple tree that they’ll put in their first yard together. Here’s an excerpt from the potted tree wedding ceremony:

As we are here today, Ryan and Laura’s marriage is like the velvety roots of this young, yet resolute sapling. As they have found each other and chosen to share their lives together, two roots will burrow through the mysterious unknown until they find their true counterpart. Intertwined, supporting and being supported by each other, they shall grow stronger in their union into endless depths. The soil they will use to nurture this young sapling has been gathered from the gardens of their parents’ homes. Fertile by nature and nourished with love and attention, this blend of life’s ingredients will be the foundation of great things to come

[image via Studio Juno]

2. Anniversary Box

L&E created an anniversary box in lieu of a traditional unity candle ceremony. They gathered 12 objects and souvenirs from their first year together, as well as numerous birthday, holiday, and Valentine’s Day cards they have shared with one another throughout their relationship. They drafted ceremony wording to explain to their guests the symbolism of the box and the items collected.

Here’s a snippet from the “Anniversary Box” portion of their ceremony:

“Each year, on their anniversary, they will open this box to reflect on the foundation of their relationship and how their relationship has grown. Each year, they will add new cards and new memories. This Anniversary Box will be a tangible reminder of their love.”

 

[Image by Lesko Photography ]

3. PB& J

Seriously, we go together like peanut butter and jelly! The classic couple. We found loads of inspired couples who have integrated.. wait for it.. a peanut butter and jelly unity ceremony!

[image via Camp Spoonhowopic]

Wedding Pastor Dave shared a story about one of his couples, Jules and Ben, who created their own “Eating the Unity Sandwich.”

Here’s a snippet from his description, “Together they each took a bite of a Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich that was shaped like a heart. Separately Peanut Butter and Jelly are very different, together they are magnificent! Ben is Peanut Butter and Juliana is Jelly. Nothing goes together better than Peanut Butter & Jelly!”

Here’s a peek from another PB&J sandwich, unity candle alternative inspired couple! Sharon Moss, from the American Humanist Association, wrote a ceremony after a groom hokingly brought up the idea in a pre-wedding meeting. It ended up being quite poignant, and quirky, all at the same time!

“Throughout history, couples have chosen many symbolic rites, from medieval European handfasting to modern unity candles, to mark the joining of their lives. Joe and Lisa choose to mark the combining of the flavors and textures of their lives—all the sweetness, stickiness, and nuttiness—with the creation of a Unity Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich.”

4. Lei Ceremony

[image via The Wedding Cafe]

How about a lei ceremony instead of a unity candle? You don’t need to be on the beaches of Hawaii to participate in this beautiful ceremony. The bride and groom exchange leis with one another (bride presents the first lei to groom). Incorporate your families by wearing leis down the aisle, then exchanging with your parents during the ceremony, so each of you are wearing one another’s- a symbol of unifying the new family, and the love and respect you all have for one another.

5. Unity Wish Lanterns

[via wishlantern.com]

Made famous by Hangover 2, wish lanterns are a beautiful and symbolic way to celebrate your marriage. The release of the lantern symbolizes a release of worries and problems. Consider having each guest sign, or write a wish on a single lantern as they enter the ceremony.  Then, during the ceremony, the bride and groom can release it. Or, have each guest write on their own during the reception, and you can release them all at once after a short speech or gathering (what an AMAZING visual!)

[via wishlantern.com]

**WARNING! these can be highly flammable and there is a large danger of fire if especially windy. Consult your venue and rental agreement before committing to this.**

6. Cairn Stone Building Ceremony

Thanks to Gabrielle & Marc’s beautiful, DIY, small-budget Maryland wedding, I was introduced to this unique wedding ceremony idea.

From early civilization to the present, cairns have been created for both practical and meaningful reasons. Often created simply as directional markers pointing the way home or to safety, the cairns are also a symbol of the spirit of friendship and hope. The rock sculptures were built by those who had been down a path, to mark the way for others to follow.

The couple now keeps the stone “art” in their house!

Have you ever attended a ceremony (or maybe it was your own?) with a personalized ceremony? Comment below and share your story with us!

A special thanks again to Tiffany with Ribbon Box Events for today’s guest post on Unity Candle Alternatives. I can’t wait to see and hear more from YOU guys!

 

Megan & Chris’ Modern Dark Purple Arlington, VA Wedding

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I met Megan & Chris in person at the Nonconforming Bridal Fair over a year ago, when Capitol Romance was pretty brand new. Megan was the first person ever to come up to me and say, “I read your blog!”. I think I actually blushed.

Since that day, Megan and Chris stayed in email contact with me – they wanted to do something unique for their Northern Virginia wedding and they didn’t want to break the bank either. I think what the ended up with was perfect – a stunning, modern wedding at the Le Meridien Hotel in Rosslyn, VA with gorgeous, deep purple details.

A special thanks to Andrew Morrell Photography & Two Bright Lights for making this Northern Virginia Wedding feature possible!

Megan & Chris’ Modern Northern Virginia Wedding with Deep Purple Details

Just look at that statement necklace! I DIE!

A few days before the wedding, Megan, Chris and I sat outside at their venue – a large serene patio tucked in between the tallest buildings in the Washington DC metro area. It was sunny and nearly 70 – in early March! While they sipped champagne (the venue manager is a very generous person), we all put our most strenuous faith and hope into changing the fog and rain and dreary weekend weather forecast to reflect the current conditions… When dawn broke on Saturday, March 17, it was indeed foggy. But the fog cleared and our midweek champagne session chased the clouds to reveal a stunning day – which would inform the whole day’s events.

Venue: Le Meridien Hotel in Rosslyn, VA

Photographer: Andrew Morrell

Hair & Makeup: Alison Harper & Company

graffiti on the bottom of the bride’s shoes?! yes please!

now THIS is bridal statement jewelry!

loving these deep purple bouquets

and matching boutonnieres of course!

another shot of megan’s super modern bridal shoes – glittery black heels!

DIYing bouquets the morning of the wedding – love this!

Megan heads up the stairs to the Lincoln Memorial to meet her groom for their first look!

Click inside for the rest of these gorgeous, modern purple wedding pictures from Washington, DC wedding photographer, Andrew Morrell.

Capitol Wedding: Vi & Harmonie’s Offbeat Baltimore Wedding at Gutierrez Studios

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Excuse me while I fangirl over this amazing offbeat Baltimore, MD wedding that Voula Trip Photography submitted to me on Two Bright Lights.

*FAN GIRLS* [I am not even certain what this action would be]

Harmonie & Vi’s wedding was awesome; inspiring, offbeat, eclectic, and 100% their own. It included custom vows, a TON of DIY, a rainbow color palette, lightbulb wedding design & motif, and an industrial wedding venue that included an umbrella chandelier. Yes, a chandelier full of lit-up umbrellas was present at this wedding.

And now you know why I am fan-girling ;)

Vendors:

Reception Venue:  Gutierrez Studios
Dress Designer:  Maggie Sottero
Ceremony Location:  The Village Church

From the photographer:

One of the first things that Harmonie said to me in our initial conversation was that people were describing her as very untraditional.

Their wedding was very DIY.

how much do i love the bride’s blue flats? oh … ever so much!

Harmonie’s Aunt Kim, a hair-stylist from Toronto did the bride’s hair and also did all the bridal bouquets and the flower arrangements at the reception.

love this french braid bridal hairstyle!

Harmonie & Vi’s church reminds me so much of the non-denominational one Andy & I found in DC! A perfect place when you want to “create your own” wedding ceremony like Harmonie & Vi did!

Both Harmonie and Vi are Vietnamese, but Harmonie’s family are Buddhists and Vi’s family is Catholic. The couple decided to create their own ceremony. Instead of a unity candle the bride and groom decided to plant seeds of a tree to symbolize their future growth together.

They both wrote their own vows and read them to each other. After their vows they then read a second set of vows to each other that their friends and family took part in writing for them.

Yet again – another couple that wrote their own wedding vows – and just look at the natural emotion that comes from it! Also love the absolute family involvement of having your friends/family help write a SECOND set of vows! LOVE LOVE LOVE

Really love brides with chunky statement necklaces !

Click inside for the rest of Harmonie & Vi’s amazing, offbeat, industrial Baltimore MD wedding ~ including shots of some seriously awesome personalized wedding details AND that umbrella chandelier that I have been fawning over for weeks!

Rebecca & Matt’s Offbeat, Intimate Washington DC Wedding at the Tabard Inn

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The Tabard Inn. How do I love thee, let me count the ways.  The Tabard Inn is quickly becoming one of my FAVORITE offbeat, intimate wedding venues in Washington, DC. Already this amazing venue has given me Jess & Mitch’s alternative, intimate Washington DC wedding feature [from Michelle VanTine Photography]. And now I get to share yet another amazing offbeat DC wedding feature thanks to Red Shoes Photography [submitted via Two Bright Lights].

A small ceremony, a brunch reception, a short wedding dress from Etsy [with a pink petticoat!], and freshly baked donuts instead of a cake – all the makings of a Capitol Romance favorite; an alternative DC wedding that I am over the moon to get to share with you all [thank you Alison!].

Rebecca & Matt’s Intimate, Offbeat DC Wedding at the Tabard Inn

More from Red Shoes Photography:

They wanted the day to be casual and laid back, mingling with guests before the ceremony while sipping mimosas and bloody mary’s and foregoing a grand entrance. Rebecca’s dress was from Etsy, with a fantastic pink petticoat underneath. They did not have a cake, but chose freshly baked donuts instead.

Later that night they held a party for friends at an empty restaurant two doors down from the bar where Matt works as a bartender. He cleaned up the space, their friends hung decorations, and a DJ spun tunes all night. Their beverage choices were simple: champagne, whiskey and miller light. Matt loves cookies, so there was a table heaped with cookies for friends to nibble on while they danced.

Vendors

Reception Venue & Catering:  The Tabard Inn
Floral Designer:  Petal’s Edge Floral Design
Makeup Artist:  Bridal Beauty Associates

I really love the intimacy of just one long table for an intimate wedding reception

Pretty much in love with the vintage wedding attire they are sporting – that blue suit is awesomesauce.

Click inside for the rest of Rebecca & Matt’s offbeat DC wedding from Red Shoes Photography!

Capitol Inspiration: Harry Potter Engagement Shoot [Slytherin-themed]

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Hey, have I told you lately how much I love twitter - Oh, right … I think I tell you all this about ten times a day. ANYWAY thanks to Twitter, I found Geekvites [don't forget our discount promo we have going on with them!] and through Geekvites, I found the amazing Danielle – a fellow Harry Potter obsessee. My kind of girl ;)

Images courtesy of photography Alyson Hickey.

Danielle entered our Geekvites discount promo and through there we got to talking – she was buying the amazing Harry Potter invites and then told me about her awesome Harry Potter themed engagement shoot – with Slytherin flare.

More from Danielle:

 I had seen some other great Harry Potter engagement photos out there and knew that if I was going to put me and my fiance through the rigors of an engagement shoot it would at least have to be nerdy and fun. We’re both big Harry Potter fans, so it fit.

My fiance’s name is Kyle and we are an internet dating success story.  I knew as soon as I met a guy that didn’t object to the fact that I still loved stuffed animals, actually liked that my apartment looks like JK Rowling and Tolkien actually barfed all over it and didn’t mind that I talk to my cats (their names are Edgar and Allan Frog) he was the one for me.

I was looking to keep costs down, so I didn’t want anything overly stylized.  So I took a couple of brooms that I bought from Alivan’s for our Halloween costume a couple of years ago (we were Quidditch players on opposing teams, him Slytherin, me Gryffindor).

Since then we’ve both been officially sorted on Pottermore (which you NEED to do if you haven’t already) and I discovered that I am in fact a Slytherin, which makes sense to me now.

Click inside for the rest of Danielle & Kyle’s Harry Potter engagement session ~ with a cauldron full of Slytherin styling.

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