washington dc weddings

Meg & Erik’s Washington DC Wedding at The Embassy Suites & Maggiano’s

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Images: Michelle VanTine Photography

Oh there is SO much to love from today’s real Washington DC wedding brought to us by the lovely Simply Breathe Events & Michelle VanTine Photography. A modern ceremony & reception setting with the most gorgeous shade of purple for their color palette and decor. But really, what gets me the most here is the story behind this wedding & couple: Tiffany shared that working with them was like working with your 2 closest friends; they love DC and wanted to incorporate that into the wedding, as well as, honor their family members every way they could. You guys will love this one.

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From bride, Meg:

We are both from the DC area, and really wanted to incorporate our love of DC into our wedding. I grew up in Germantown, MD while my husband grew up in Chevy Chase DC, so we felt having a metro theme was totally appropriate! We named our tables after various metro stops that had meaning to us (i.e. Cleveland Park was where I lived when I first moved to DC, my husband went to school at U of Md, and my father used to work near the Farragut North metro station) We provided explanatory notes to showcase why we chose each metro stop. We also chose to use replica paper fare cards as our place cards to tie everything together!

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We chose to have our wedding in Friendship Heights because it had a lot of meaning for us. My husband used to live there, so we spent quite a bit of time in that area (and at Maggiano’s!) going on dates and just hanging out. We wanted a venue that was easily accessible for both our friends who lived in the city and our relatives who traveled from as far as Alaska, and we felt that the Embassy Suites and Maggiano’s were the perfect combination!

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Our guests could park their cars and walk to the ceremony, and if they wanted to explore the city, hop on the metro. Our ceremony space at Embassy Suites spoke to us because we loved the openness and brightness of the space. It felt like we were outside even though we were indoors! I was way too type A to have an outdoor ceremony and Embassy Suites was the perfect compromise! We chose Maggiano’s because we LOVED their food and knew they would provide us with quality food at a reasonable price, even when making the food for 135 people. Turns out we chose right- our guests raved about the food all night and the next day!

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I chose Calla Lillies for my bouquet and my bridesmaid’s bouquets because they were my mother’s favorite flower. My mother passed away in December 2011, and I felt the Calla Lillies were a lovely, yet subtle, way to pay tribute to her.

One of my good friends had two charms made for me to hang on my bouquet- one with a picture of my mom and one with a picture of my dad. It was like they were able to walk down the aisle with me even though they couldn’t be there. It meant so much that she did that- it was such an incredibly amazing gesture.

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Both of my parents had passed away and instead of walking down the aisle by myself, I asked my best friend Colin to walk me down the aisle. Having Colin walk me down the aisle was special in so many ways- not only is he my best friend (and basically my brother at this point), but my husband and I met thanks to Colin (and Colin’s older brother). My husband’s best friend is Colin’s older brother, and Colin, his older brother, and myself all went to college together.

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Guest Post: A Real DC Bride’s Take on Her Wedding Venue

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We’re back with Carolyn, our real DC bride to be guest blogger, sharing her love of the venue she chose! If you can remember, she talked all about her DC wedding venue search a few posts back and now she’s here to share everything she loves about the one she picked. Take it away Carolyn!

Why I Love My DC Area Wedding Venue | By: Carolyn Thombs

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The first time I went to Stevenson Ridge was back in 2012 when I did hair and makeup for all of the models at the Cupcakes and Cocktails bridal show. I thought the venue was so cool and had a great vibe. Who knew then that I would be getting married at that very venue 4 years down the road!

I hadn’t thought of this venue when I initially started my venue search because I didn’t think that they could hold over 200 ppl. I finally decided to check it out when I was hitting somewhat of a dead end and I am so glad I did! They can hold 216 max! This also helps in making us have a definitive cut off for the guest list, which is a whole other can of worms to get sorted.

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I went ahead and emailed them to check out all the specs before we decided on scheduling a visit. Elizabeth was so wonderful and responded to all of my emails promptly and concisely.

The visit was wonderful! My mom and sister (MOH) came with me and got to meet Elizabeth as well. She was so welcoming and answered all of my “hardcore” questions. I had been set on a different venue when we showed up so I was trying to remain unbiased. That resolve soon faded as we talked with Elizabeth and got to look at the grounds. My mind completely switched and Stevenson Ridge became my main squeeze for venue choice!


I love the lodge feel of the main venue, just the smallest accent of rustic-ness, but mainly polished and not overly ornate. The perfect blank canvas to build Jon and I’s perfect wedding. The major bonus was the fact that they have some lodging onsite as well! This means, if we want, each year we can come back and spend our anniversary in one of the cabins and reminisce about our wedding!

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They are so great at making you feel at home and not pressuring you into anything! I can’t wait to start going over set up and everything and actually getting to see it all come together. Bottom line is that if you and your fiancé are a little opposite on style choices this venue is the perfect combination of down to earth and chic sophistication that will please any couple trying to find that balance.

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Robert & Jessica’s Summer Garden Party DC Wedding at Dacor Bacon House

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Images: The Hill Studios, LLC via Two Bright Lights

Apologies for the lack of posting on back to back days. Andy, Evie & I left SUPER EARLY Friday morning to head to NJ to put together an epic surprise anniversary party for my parents (oh you KNOW I will be blogging it once we get the pictures!). My siblings and I started planning this party two years ago and it was worth every second & dollar spent to see my parents’ faces when they arrived and were greeted by SO MANY people from their past and present. The party took on a whole other meaning too, as my parents sold our home in NJ and are moving out this month. I’ll try not to dwell on THAT because I will probably just start crying ;-p. Yesterday was spent recouping from the weekend/catching up on emails and prepping for my 2nd to last wedding of 2015. Seriously – where is this year going?!

But for today we have the lovely summer garden wedding of Robert & Jessica; college sweethearts that moved to DC from Pennsylvania after college and starting their careers. Their intimate affair at the Dacor Bacon House is a perfect summer wedding that was both elegant and fun. A great DC wedding venue if you are looking for that “garden wedding” feel. Check it all out!

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We wanted a DC themed wedding that felt elegant and timeless, but most importantly fun. After months of venue searching we found the Dacor Bacon House just blocks away from the White House with a huge outdoor garden that would make for a great place to dance the night away.

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Rob’s father married us and wrote incredibly touching vows. It was short and sweet and while we never said I do it was beautiful and memorable.

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Guest Post: Picking a Wedding Venue for Your Washington DC Area Wedding

Image: An Endless Pursuit from Julice & Steve’s DIY Picnic Wedding at Woodlawn Manor

Our guest blogger, Carolyn is back today to share with you her venue search for her DC area wedding! Carolyn shares not only the venues she was looking for but how she went about her search. As a reminder to all my readers, my favorite resource for venue searching in the DC area is Partyista! Take it away Carolyn.

Searching for the Perfect Venue | by Carolyn Thombs

I am also a makeup artist and quite familiar with the wedding industry, however that has not made this as easy as I had originally thought.

What helped me in my search was researching places first and then having a list of questions for them when we visited the venues. Scheduling visits can be difficult but we were able to mostly knock it all out in one day. If someone doesn’t get back to you promptly give them a week, but after that kick them off of your list because who knows if that is how it will be while the planning is going on when time is of the essence. It is always good to mesh well with the manager of the property since you will be dealing with them quite a bit and you don’t want to be butting heads with them and having that turn you into a dreaded bride-zilla.

I was definitely stressed a bit in the beginning but, now I feel so relieved and ecstatic about this venue and know that my wedding is going to be so dreamy and everything I have ever wanted!!

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Since Jon and I got engaged, finding the perfect venue was one of the aspects about planning that I was the most stressed about. So of course, that is the first thing I wanted to get out of the way; though I am starting to see that finding the perfect caterer (delicious food and budget friendly) is going to be an even more painful headache to deal with. But more on that later….

I had quite a few limitations when looking for a venue for our wedding. I wanted to keep it somewhat close to my parents house so they wouldn’t have to dish more for travel costs and for some level of convenience for them and something budget friendly, not made of money here! I am cursed with always loving the more expensive item on any list out of any category, so many of my first glance choices had to be knocked off the list immediately. Other restrictions included a large enough location for a ceremony and reception that could fit over 175 people. Not as easy to find as I thought it would be. Most locations that I liked had a 150 limit. I have a large extended family and love them all, and quite a few friends between Jon and I as well as industry friends and family friends. Eeks! So many stipulations, I know, but I promise I am not the bridezilla type! At least I hope I am not…yet!

Image: Olde Silk Mill by Amber Kay Photo from A Modern Grey & Yellow Industrial Styled Shoot

The first venue we looked at was the Old Silk Mill in Fredericksburg, which honestly I thought was going to be “The One”, it could fit the whole wedding and ceremony and bonus it has an inn attached to it, so out of town guests would have a very convenient place to stay. I loved the industrial elegance of the mill and the fact that it was a great combination of both Jon and I.

Image: Woodlawn Manor by Voula Trip Photography from Kim & Brandon’s DIY Maryland Wedding

The next location we checked out was Woodlawn, which is a historical house near Springfield. Kaitlin was so wonderful to talk to and was very prompt in replying to my emails. The venue was beautiful and could accommodate our estimated wedding size and could house a ceremony and reception. The only downside was we needed to get tents and everything had to be outside. Also they only allow you to use their approved caterer, which would have cost us the whole budget plus some. Unfortunately that nixed Woodlawn off the list.

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A Recap of Our Last 2014 DIY Workshop & A Look Ahead to 2015 Workshops


Image: Cynthia Shipp Photography

We ended last year’s slate of 2014 Capitol Romance DIY Workshops with something beautiful: watercolor techniques with Ribbons & Bluebirds. I was astounded (as I usually am) by how talented the attendees are. People seemed to create watercolor wreaths, their own logos, and beautiful flowers with ease! I think some of this is the fact that I get the coolest attendees at these workshops, but I also think most of it is due to our amazing professional vendor hosts.


Jen walked our attendees through a general overview of working with watercolor paints – where to get the good ones, what brushes to use (and which you certainly should NOT use) and let attendees know a super watercolor success secret: a lot of it comes down to the type of paper you use! Attendees each got a brush, some paints, and a color wheel for their setup (along with the other goodies that come with each Capitol Romance DIY Workshop: a notepad & favor treat).


Yes, those are BOURBON flavored marshmellows!

Jen took attendees through different designs and ideas, teaching everyone how to master a simple watercolor technique and then letting them “have at it” using their creativity to come up with and practice their own ideas.



Click inside for more from our last 2014 DIY Workshop AND read about our 2015 DIY Workshops!

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