Misato & Chris’ Hendry House Pre-Wedding Portrait Session

Happy Monday Romancers! I am really excited to share today’s session by Love by Serena [submitted via Two Bright Lights]. Not only is it a beautifully shot love shot at the Hendry House in Virginia, but the couple’s love story is really sweet AND the bride to be, Misato, is a display coordinator at Anthropologie, so her fashion sense is envious & her outfits in the shoot are drool-worthy!

Serena explains the session:

This session was really more of a pre-wedding-celebration portrait session. They had their wedding celebration on August 25th and this session was done a couple weeks before that.  They are seriously one of the sweetest couples ever and they’re so, so in-love!

Misato & Chris’ Pre-Wedding Portrait Session at the Hendry House in Virginia

About the couple:

Misato is originally from Japan, but has been in living in the U.S. for 10 years. She has a background in Fine Arts focusing in metal working and jewelry making. She currently works for Anthropologie as the display coordinator. Chris grew up in Northern Virginia and has been cooking from a young age. He was the Sou chef at French bistro restaurant until recently and now he is currently exploring Europe.

How they met:

We met at a house party of friends of ours 8 years ago. It was a late night, Misato just got to the party and Chris had fallen asleep on a couch from working long hours as a cook. She happen to pass by him and put a blanket on him, not knowing each other yet. Chris saw her through under his arm and thanked her. We made small talk early the next morning just before Chris had to rush off to work. Chris worked with a mutual friend of ours and asked about who Misato was and she did the same, asking about who he was. When we had our first phone call, we were too excited and too nervous to talk to each other that we both remember the conversation completely differently!

With the help of friends, it did not take us very much time to have a first date and get to know each other better. In just a couple months of dating, we were starting to finish each others sentences, even with little bit of language barrier. After almost three years into our relationship, Misato was looking into going to school in New York for jewelry making , which meant we would be 7 hours away from each others. She had a difficult decision to make, but Chris said to her “We will be together for the rest of our lives, 3, 4 years is nothing compared to the many years that we will get to spend together!”  So she went!

We dated for 6 years before we married, half of which were away from each other. We called each other at least once a day but usually in the morning and night for most days.

Misato shared this adorably sweet surprise that Chris pulled off instead of a surprise proposal:

Misato had been telling Chris not to get down on his knee nor give her a diamond ring throughout their relationship. She wanted the marriage to be more of an agreement between the two of them, rather than his proposal, however, Chris still managed to surprise Misato with something. After they decided to get married, they went to call Misato’s family in Japan. While sitting in front of the computer, ready to click the “call” button, a video showed up…. Chris’ suprise was that he had made a video with Misato’s favorite songs and pictures of the two of them from all of the places they’ve been, things they’ve done, and the food they’ve eaten together.

Serena explained that the session was a sunrise session and the couple wanted to have some pictures on this bridge since it was one they walked over together, many times.

Congratulations Misato & Chris ~ thank you for sharing your beautiful Arlington, VA love shoot with us. A special thanks to Love By Serena and Two Bright Lights for making this northern Virginia engagement submission possible.


Pin It

Jen & James’ Handmade & “Family Love” Warrenton VA Wedding

Though I’ve never been to Warrenton, Virginia I think I might need to spend some time there. I have had a recent influx of wedding submissions from the area, and it’s only about an hour from Washington, DC. Also, these wedding venues/locations are STUNNING.

Thanks to Ever After Visuals [submitted via Two Bright Lights] we get to share the beautiful wedding of Jen and Jim at the Airlie Foundation Center in Warrenton VA. The couple is extremely close to their family, and it was evident in their wedding pictures that they included this closeness in all the details and events of the day.

The couple and their family spent a lot of time hand-crafting this wedding. Jen’s Godmother spent hours baking all the homemade cookies for favors and the bride’s father spent countless hours hand-carving, sanding, and staining 16 different walnut boxes, branding Jen & James’ names and the wedding date into them as well.

Jen & James’ Handmade Warrenton, VA Wedding at the Airlie Foundation

Floral Designer:  J. Morris Flowers | Reception Venue:  Airlie Foundation | Dress Store:  Ellie’s Bridal Boutique | Cake Designer: Edibles Incredible Desserts | DJ:  Good Note DJs

From the photographers:

If I had to pick a theme for Jen and Jim’s wedding, it would probably be: Family Love. We love how incredibly close to their family each of them are and how, because of that, they had an amazing wedding day. It was very important that each and every person feel loved and cherished throughout Jen and Jim’s wedding. The wedding itself Jen described as a “group effort”.

Jen designed the earrings she wore using small diamonds from a ring of her late grandmother and pearls from her great grandmother given to her by her parents as a birthday present.

Each bouquet had a special pin from Jen’s grandmothers attached to it. Jen’s bouquet attached a pin to her bouquet that Jim’s aunt gave her that belonged to his late grandmother.

Click inside for the rest of Jen & Jim’s handmade Warrenton, Virginia wedding from Ever After Visuals ~ including tons of information about their families efforts on the wedding details!

Read More

Tina & Bill’s Central Virginia Engagement Session at a Bed & Breakfast

For the afternoon, I have a beautiful Virginia engagement shoot to share courtesy of Sarah Goodwin Photography & Two Bright Lights. Tina & Bill decided to take their engagement pictures at a Bed & Breakfast in Buckingham Virginia and the B&B’s corresponding family farm.

Tina & Bill’s Bed & Breakfast Engagement Shoot in Central Virginia

About the couple:

Well, our first date consisted of me and five other gals for a night on the town, dinner & dancing… Bill was invited too, poor guy. We spend a lot of time with family and friends on the weekends, just relaxing and getting to know everyone and getting in quality time. We are very low-key homebodies – but we do enjoy a good time! (and we’ve had some pretty crazy adventures together – like the time the truck rolled in the river & sank…)

Our favorite place to spend time is at home watching movies or entertaining friends. We like to head to town for a little dinner with friends and eat Sunday lunch with the familly after church, ride the backroads in his pickup truck with the windows down. I think our similarities and our differences help balance each other out, making us fit together well.

Click inside for the rest of this darling Virginia engagement session ~ including the proposal story and a look at that gorgeous, modern engagement ring!

Read More

Gretchen & Tom’s Bicycle Riding Engagement in Old Town Alexandria, VA

I am struggling this morning. While the bachelorette party this weekend was an absolute blast, and a success, my old bones most certainly cannot handle two nights of partying & staying up until 3am and 4am respectively. Not to mention waking up at 5:30 am due to my husband’s alarm waking him up to catch a flight.

HOWEVER. I am done complaining [that is not what this blog is for] and rejuvenating myself instead with a lovely engagement session courtesy of ZADesignz, submitted via Two Bright Lights.

Photographer, Zareth shares:

Gretchen and Tom wanted a bicycle-riding-ice-cream-eating engagement session. We went over to Old Town Alexandria, and walked around the area a bit. They went to Ben & Jerry’s for some ice cream, and then they rode the bikes. The yellow brick wall over at Chadwick’s was the perfect background for some portraits. I love the way these came out.

Gretchen & Tom’s Bicycle Riding, Ice Cream Eating Engagement in Alexandria, VA

A bit about the couple:

Gretchen and Tom first met on the eleventh floor of Bradfield Hall during meteorology orientation in the fall of 2002. They instantly became friends through shared loves of weather, bowling and Cornell Dairy Bar Ice Cream. Over the years, they shared in enduring engineering math and physics courses, long treks up Libe Slope in a foot of snow and (disappointing) upstate New York stormchasing attempts, but it was not until late in their Cornell careers that Tom and Gretchen discovered they belonged with each other.

Click inside for the rest of Gretchen & Tom’s adorable Old Town Alexandria, VA engagement feature ~ including the proposal!

Read More

Capitol Romance: Tony & Taryn’s Fashionable Virginia Engagement Session

Thanks to Melissa Waller Photography [submitted via Two Bright Lights], we have a super fun & fashionable Virginia engagement session to share with you all this afternoon. Tony & Taryn are getting married this September and they decided to have a coordinated engagement session in Northern Virginia, including some really fun shots at the airport!

Photographer Melissa shares:

Tony & Taryn are an incredible couple who are getting married on September 22, 2012. Their engagement session was by far the most fun and exciting I have ever shot. They were able to have two stylists coordinate their outfits for the day and join us during the shoot. These guys were incredibly talented.

Tony & Taryn wedding website is REALLY cool and interactive!! I wish I had skills like theirs to make such a cool site back when I was planning our wedding!

How They Met [from the groom to be!]:

Taryn and I first met early on in my first semester at VCU. I had just recently transferred in, and during one of my lecture classes caught the eye of a lovely young woman. One day after class I noticed her walking ahead of me with a friend heading in the same direction I was going. They slowed their pace and once I caught up to them her friend introduced the girl to me. “Hi my name is Taryn and this is my friend Erin.  I think you two are in the same class together.”

Yes that is correct. Taryn and I first met after her attempt to put me together with her friend.

Needless to say things didn’t work out for me and her friend, but I must have made a good impression because although we didn’t speak I would catch her giving me THE EYE. It wasn’t until crossing APhiA and AKA that our paths would cross again. We became friends soon after (although she would have you believe that’s all it was she was still giving me THE EYE).

After going out on a few dates I asked her to be with me exclusively (she had been working on her shocked face for months) and after giving me said shocked face said Yes.

Fast forward five years and here we are today. I will spend the rest of my life with this amazing woman who brings me joy in every moment we share together. Why God chose to bless me with such an incredible gift I will never know. I can only say that I am grateful he has brought us to this point, and am eager to see what he has in store for our future.

Click inside to see the rest of Tony & Taryn’s fashionable & fun engagement session and to read the proposal story!

Read More

Ngoc & Jason’s Whimsical, Willow Tree Virginia Engagement Session

Welcome back to our normal Monday routine. Up now we have a beautiful engagement session and touching proposal story courtesy of Michelle VanTine Photography [submitted via Two Bright Lights].

Michelle asked Ngoc & Jason to use 3 words to describe themselves, and the one that stood out the most was whimsical. Michelle thought it would only make sense then to add some whimsy into their willow tree Virginia engagement session by infusing some vintage elements into the shoot.

Ngoc & Jason’s Whimsical, Vintage Virginia Engagement Session

A note from DC wedding photographer, Michelle VanTine:

When working with clients I often ask them to describe their style in 3 words. I can’t remember all 3 words that Ngoc used but I do remember that the word whimsical stood out to me. I wanted to do something more creative than just stand in front of something scenic so I tried to infuse some creative elements. I started with a romantic “rendez vous” under a weeping willow. Next I set up a cute scene with a vintage quilt, typewriter and books, and finally I had the idea to set up a canvas in the middle of the daffodils and had the couple paint their initials in a heart. I thought it came out very romantic, creative… and whimsical!

How Jason & Ngoc met:

I had just moved up to DC after accepting a new job offer. My friend immediately connected me and invited me to go to the Outer Banks, NC for the weekend. Figuring I needed to meet new people anyway, at the last minute, I decided I’d come along for the ride. The second day at the house, Jason stopped by and forever changed my life. I knew from the moment I saw him that this guy was different from the rest. He was witty; he was fun; and frankly, he was adorable. However, I thought there was no way I could ever keep up with him. Within an hour of meeting him, he was already asking me to drive one of his friends back to DC so he could extend his vacation. How random! But that’s Jason…

 The proposal:

Because Jason was leaving for 24 days I wasn’t surprised when he invited me to spend some quality time together the weekend before. Saturday morning, we started driving south and ended up in Williamsburg. At this point, I had figured out that we were going to Christmastown (Busch Gardens decorates the theme park like a real Christmas town).

Point one: Jason had known that I LOVE Christmas, so it was the perfect experience. What I didn’t know was that he had arranged our best friends to be there! There I was sitting in the car when Phil, Jason’s best friend, pops up out of nowhere and starts snapping pictures. Then my best friend and her hubby, Jen and John, arrive. Point two: Jason knows I love taking pictures, so he had arranged for our best friends to capture the events of the day.

Click inside to continue reading the rest of Jason’s magnificent proposal to Ngoc and to see more from their whimsical Virginia engagement session, thanks to Michelle VanTine Photography.

Read More

Jess & Ethan’s Reston Town Center Engagement in VA

We are back this afternoon with an engagement session courtesy of Abby Grace Photography. This session holds a special place in her heart as it’s actually her BROTHER that is featured in this shoot today :)

Things I love about this session: it has an adorably in-love couple, the second half of the session was taken in a parking garage [yes! alternative engagement shoot locations!] and, Ethan gave us the write-up for the “about us” and proposal story. I am not sure what it is, but I get a little extra giddy when the dudes give me the feature write-ups, maybe because weddings always seem so bride/woman-focused, I love when the guys get involved.

OH and check out Ethan’s brown attire in the shoot …. look familiar?

Jessica & Ethan’s Reston Town Center Engagement Session

About the couple:

Jessica and I met June 6 2009 (D-Day) in the Brittania Arms pub in Monterey, California. Jess had seen me around base running my Marines and inquired amongst her friends where she might find me. She walked into the pub that night and I casually remarked to my friend that “She looks so much prettier out of uniform”. He asked me if I wanted him to talk to her for me. I went ashen and said “no, no please,” because I was too embarrassed to talk to her. My friend brought her over to me and we hit it off. She gave me her phone number and said I could call her. I called her on my way home from the bar that night. We went on a date the next day and fell in love. We spent every day together for the entire month before Jessica left for Texas. We decided to break up because the distance would be too great, the day she left. About an hour after she was on the road we called each other and decided we couldn’t live without each other.

Can I just say that i LOVE that Jess is rockin’ a hoodie here – she looks adorable! Dress like yourselves at your engagement shoots … Ok people?

Abby shares a bit on the session:

The e-session took place on a chilly morning in Reston Town Center. Ethan and Jess’s e-session was really special to me because I’ve seen the effect she has on him. No one’s ever been able to tame Ethan’s more sarcastic side, but then Jess came along and, well, Ethan’s still sarcastic. But I’ve never seen anyone love the way he loves Jessica. I can’t wait to have her as my sister-in-law; she is the BEE’S. KNEES.

Click inside for the rest of this adorable Reston Town Center engagement session from Abby Grace Photography ~ including the adorable proposal story from Ethan!

Read More

Alex & Jim’s Alexandria, Virginia Engagement Session

One of the awesome perks of being a wedding blogger for the city in which you live, is that you personally know not only a bunch of the vendors that you feature, BUT the couples too – such is the case with today’s Alexandria, Virginia engagement session!

I actually know the bride-to-be from a LONG long time ago [it turns out our moms are best friends from like 8th grade or something!], so I have actually known Alex for a REALLY long time. After years of forced awkward meetings when our parents would get together, Alex & I re-connected when we both found ourselves in DC post-college and became friends. I also apparently crashed her first date with her now-fiance Jim [I did not know this!] and am super excited today to share that story AND her beautiful Alexandria, VA engagement from Stephen Gosling Photography [submitted via Two Bright Lights]

Alex & Jim are getting married early next year ~ and will be having a totally Capitol Romance-like affair, as Alex is footing most of the wedding costs herself. Which means: DIY & non-traditional wedding details … all things we love here :)

A bit about how Alex & Jim met:

A ginger and a semi-ginger walk into a bar.  I never thought you could meet someone at a bar in Clarendon and spend the rest of your life with them, but lo and behold here we are.  It was one of those Friday night happy hours where the “hour” turns into a few.  We were at Spider Kelleys and my friends bumped into a few of Jim’s friends. Both groups got to talking and I was about to turn back to the bar when Jim suddenly appeared across the circle that our friends had formed, grinned and shouted a simple “hi!”  Within the first five minutes of talking we realized we had a ton in common, including loving hockey and being the palest people we know.  Jim asked me to go to dinner with him the very next day, and the rest is history.

And now, the story of how I Crashed Their First Date [!!]

The night I met Jim, I was dogsitting Bree’s dachshund, Sadie Monster.  The next day we decided to go to dinner somewhere in Courthouse so I could be close to my apartment for the pups (I have one of my own, a pointer/boarder collie mix, London)

When we were finishing our first date dinner at Fireworks and trying to figure out what to do next, Bree called to say she was ready to pick Sadie up and would be there in a few minutes. Jim and I both decided we weren’t ready for our first date to be over, so we   ran over to my apartment building to meet Bree.  So Bree, you’ve been able to watch our relationship develop from the very start!

Click inside for the rest of this adorable Alexandria, VA engagement session ~ including a shot of Alex’s STUNNING solitaire engagement ring & their proposal story!

Read More

Katie & Hondo’s Alexandria, VA Engagement Session at the Torpedo Factory

This morning’s Northern Virginia engagement session comes to us from Anna Bruce Photography [via Two Bright Lights]. I always loved the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA. It was on the short list for our offbeat Washington, DC wedding venue search and it really is just such a cool place in the DC area. How could an old torpedo factory, turned art gallery, not be cool?

Katie & Hondo have a beautiful love story that has many ties to the Alexandria, VA area ~ so it was only natural to head back there for their engagement session. Enjoy!

Katie & Hondo’s Alexandria, VA Engagement Session

A bit about the couple from DC wedding photographer, Anna.

I met Katie in Mr. Smith’s World History 1 class back in 2001. I was new to Virginia and Katie was a Freshman in high school (I was set back one year in history since I had moved to VA from CA). Katie quickly became one of my best friends. We shopped together, we ran spring track together but better yet we got to go to Prom together.

Enter Hondo.

Hondo and I ran indoor track together and I knew he had a thing for Katie. I remember we would plot ways (cute ways) for him to ask her to the senior prom (we were both in the same graduating year). Katie had broken her wrist that year and was carrying around this blue cast. When Hondo showed up to take her to prom, he showed up wearing a blue cast on his wrist too because he knew she was so embarrassed to be wearing it.



and of course, this one is my favorite ~ a couple fake fighting? i think I do this with my husband Andy daily….

Click inside for the rest of Katie & Hondo’s gorgeous Old Town Alexandria, VA engagement pictures!

Read More

Rad Things For Your Big Day & Life Together Go Shopping!