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

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

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

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”

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

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


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!)


**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!


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