A Year Ago…

posted by Ally

I had so much fun this week look at back at everything we did this time last year in Washington DC area weddings. Look at all of these fun posts!

1757 Golf Club Wedding Party

Photo Credit: Ethan Yang Photography

  • Romantic Purple Wedding in Virginia :: Mary and John’s regal wedding color palette of purples and golds was quite the stunner! But perhaps the most impressive of elements? The invitations that they letterpress printed themselves.

Romantic Maryland Wedding Portrait

Photo Credit: Brian Tropiano

Thorpewood Wedding Portraits

Photo Credit: Amber Reinink

Has it been a year already!? What was your favorite thing that you missed? If you are looking for more wedding fun this weekend, you can browse our guide full of the best wedding vendors in the Washington DC area, look for more tips and advice from the local DC area wedding pros!

Happy Weekend!

posted by Ally

Hello, weekend! Let’s see – this week we went from beautiful spring weather to the return of this never-ending winter. No thank you, I’d like the warm weather back please! Especially since I’m hoping to squeeze in a baseball game tonight – Go Nats! – before I go full-force with Easter-inspired baking and crafting. On that note, I hope you and yours have a wonderful weekend. Be sure to join us again tomorrow as our Washington DC-area wedding inspiration continues this weekend!

Maryland Wedding Ceremony Deb Lindsey Photography (2)

Some links for your weekend…

…and what you missed right here!

Photo Credit: Deb Lindsey Photography

Outdoor Fall Engagement Session in Virginia: Leah + Chris

posted by Kate Oczypok

Are you ready for a cozy, colorful fall wedding engagement session in Virginia to get you through these April showers?! Meet wedding planner Leah and her fiancé Chris, who she met over eight years ago when the two were in high school. As a wedding planner, Leah knew exactly what she wanted for her wedding engagement photo session with Allyson Dempsey Photography. Cozy blankets, warm apple cider and gorgeous fall foliage were a must! As you can see, Leah and Chris had a blast on the crisp October morning at Walney Park in Chantilly, VA. Leah included many DIY aspects, like constructing a cake stand from wood and a candlestick, making her own delicious chocolate-dipped apples and creating her own save-the-date stickers out of Kraft sticker paper and white crayons.

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Congratulations Leah and Chris and enjoy your nuptials on May 3rd!

Looking for more on engagements? Check out other local DC-area engagement photography sessions, or find out what to wear for your engagement and how to do your make-up for your engagement session!

Photography Credits: Allyson Dempsey Photography

Bride and Bridesmaid Hair Ideas

posted by julianne

Up, down, short, long – there are so many choices for how you could do your hair on your wedding day! And, that’s just you – what about your bridal party?? I asked the team at Bridal Artistry, a team of on-site wedding hair stylists and make up artists serving the Washington DC area, to send me some bride and bridesmaid hair styles that they have loved creating for weddings in the Washington, DC area. When it comes to your bridal party, consider letting them choose their own hair styles. Just like Bridal Artistry’s work on the bridal party below shows, with a variety of styles everyone gets personal styling so they can look their best and be comfortable in their own style!

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Photo Credit: Connor Studios

Have fun looking through this wedding party hair gallery, I know I had a hard time picking a favorite!

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  • The flower crown on this bride's hair style takes it from beautiful to down-right gorgeous! The subtle braid also makes it modern and lovely.

    via Bridal Artistry

  • I'm partial to short, curly hair styles because that's the type of hair that I have! It can be hard to find a good hair style for your wedding day, but the good news is that short hair makes it fun to add different head pieces like birdcage veils.

    via Bridal Artistry

  • This bridesmaid's hair style is so unique and I can't get enough of it! It is soft and elegant with the curls, but very current and on trend with the braid and the side sweep. Gorgeous! Photo Credit: Softbox Media

    via Bridal Artistry

  • Your bridesmaids will really appreciate you letting them choose a hair style that looks good on them. So, it is up or down or half pulled back, they will look their best and love you for it!

    via Bridal Artistry

  • If you are going with an up-do on your wedding day, you can make it more modern (and more relaxed) with a beautiful braid worked into the style. This braided style also works well if you have short hair, but want to try an up-do.

    via Bridal Artistry

  • It is fun on your wedding day to do something you don't do every day! Opt for a classic and elegant up do that you'll love forever.

    via Bridal Artistry

  • When your hair is long, you can easily wear it down on your wedding day. With a few loose curls and pulled to the side it looks gorgeous!

    via Bridal Artistry

  • If you can't decided to put your hair up or dow, this is a great compromise. The flower makes it even more elegant!

    via Bridal Artistry

Be sure to check out more of Bridal Artisty’s work on their website. In addition to hair, they also do on-site make up for weddings! And, for more wedding hair stylists and make up artists in the DC area, check out our vendor guide.

Washington DC Inspired DIY Fondant Roses

posted by Ally

Leave it to Washington DC to lend itself as the perfect wedding dessert inspiration! I know when you think “Washington, DC” you think “cherry blossom,” of course! But, for the next installment of our DIY wedding dessert series, we were inspired by the official blooms of Washington DC, the American beauty rose. For our next treat tutorial, we couldn’t get enough of these beautiful roses! (Be sure to check out these Virginia-inspired gumpaste dogwood cupcake toppers!) Hannah Colclazier Photography was on hand to capture these pretty petals. Get your sweet tooth ready!

Washington DC Wedding Rose Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Wilton Ready-to-Use Fondant
Powdered sugar
Small bowl of water

Supplies:

Small round cookie cutter (I used one from this Ateco round cutter set)
Fondant Roller

To Make:

Sprinkler a small amount of powdered sugar on to your surface. Roll out fondant to ¼ inch thickness. Cut out five circles and remove excess fondant. Take the first circle and lay flat onto surface. Dab your finger in some plain water and moisten the edge of the circle so the next circle can adhere to it. Continue to layer the next four circles. Once that step is complete, gently push each one to make sure they are secure.

Next is where this straight layer of circles begins to look like a rose. With the very outer edge of the first circle, gently and tightly roll it toward you. This first circle will be the center of the bud. After that, you can be a little loose with the rolling so that the bloom appears more full. After you’ve rolled each layer, use your thumb to gently roll down and pull the tops of the layer to give it a more natural appearance. Pinch the bottom of the rose and cut off any excess – easy as that!

DIY Gumpaste Roses DIY Gumpaste Roses Tutorial

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A big, big thank you to Hannah Colclazier Photography for taking such pretty pictures! Where will you be using your fondant roses? Don’t forget to check out all of our other wedding DIY desserts! Can you tell we have a sweet tooth!?

Are you looking for more local wedding ideas? Be sure to look through our DC area wedding idea galleries and find wedding advice from local DC area pros. If that isn’t enough, check out our collection of local DMV weddings from the real world and the best DC area wedding vendors who make it all happen. You can also connect in our DC area wedding forums and share your wedding announcement with the world!

Photo Credits: Hannah Colclazier Photography

5 Things You Should Do The Week Before Your Wedding

posted by julianne

Did I scare you enough this morning with my list of things that you should not do the week before your wedding?? I’m back with some advice on a more positive note! Weddings in the Washington, DC are amazing and wonderful, but they definitely come with a lot of work! So, here is my list of five things that you should be doing the week before your wedding. We all know that there are plenty of things to get done in advance of your wedding day, but there are just some things that will have to wait until the last minute. Here is a list of things (in no particular order) that you can and should be doing the week before your wedding…

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Photo Credit: Brian Tropiano Photography from Patty and Josh’s wedding in DC 

Music List
If you haven’t done it already, you will want to finalize your list of songs that you want played at your wedding and the songs that you do not want played at your wedding. Most wedding vendors, like bands and DJs work week-to-week, so chances are good that a month before your wedding, they are focusing on someone else’s big day. Generally, the week before your wedding is the time that they will be focusing on you. A week before your wedding, you will want to make sure that you have your list of “to play” and “not to play” ready and delivered to your band or DJ.

Seating Chart
Right up until your wedding, you will have guests calling and sending those RSVP cards in (even though you set the response time a few weeks ago)! Late and last minute RSVPs are an unavoidable fact of any wedding. You can wait until the week before your wedding to finalize your seating chart. You should definitely start in advance and be thinking about who you want to sit where, but you won’t be able to go “final” on your chart until you have heard from everyone.

Photography Shot List
Your photographer isn’t a mind reader and they probably don’t know your whole extended family. If there are photographs that you know you want for your wedding, write it down. Your photographer will probably want some type of list, usually called a “shot list,” from you of the photographs that you must have on your wedding day. If there are certain photos or groups of people that are important to you, write it down and give it to your photographer. If your photographer has a list in advance, then they can work throughout your wedding day to get the photos that you want.

Confirm Flowers
As your guest count changes the week before your wedding, so does your flower needs. The week before your wedding, you should be confirming with all of your wedding vendors. You should check in with your florist to make sure that they have the right amount of flowers as your guest list goes up or down. This includes the proper amount of centerpieces and personal florals, such as family corsages and bridal party bouquets.

Gratuity
You might want to tip or give some sort of gratuity for your wedding vendors. The week before your wedding is the time that you should be thinking about how much you want to give and to which vendors you want to give it to. (For help in this department, don’t miss our post about wedding tipping in the Washington DC area.) You can start to get cash and put it in different envelops the week before your wedding. You definitely don’t want to be running out the day of your wedding to get cash!

I know I said five things, but here is a bonus!

Thank You Notes
The week before your wedding is a great time to start on any thank you notes that you may need or want to write. You might want to write a thank you note to give to your parents or your bridal party members on your wedding day, so get started on these the week before your wedding. You can also write thank you notes to any vendors, or even start to send thank you notes to any guests that sent a present in advance of your wedding. 

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So, what did I miss?? What are some things that you are saving until the week before your wedding? While you are at it, be sure to check out my post from this morning on five things to not do the week before your wedding.

Are you looking for more local wedding ideas? Be sure to look through our DC area wedding idea galleries and find wedding advice from local DC area pros. If that isn’t enough, check out our collection of local DMV weddings from the real world and the best DC area wedding vendors who make it all happen.

5 Things You Should NOT Do The Week Before Your Wedding

posted by julianne

It is spring time (finally!) and that means lots of weddings in the Washington DC area are coming up, and many of you are getting ready for your weddings in the summer and the coming fall. As you begin to set a wedding schedule, here are five things that you should not save until the week before your wedding. Start planning now and get some of these things done and out of the way.  Really start to think about all of those little things that you are going to want and need for your wedding and do want you can in advance. (Don’t forget to come back later this morning for my list of five things that you should do before your wedding too!) These are in no particular order…

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Photo credit: Sarah Culver Photography. from Melanie and Matthias’ Annapolis courthouse wedding

DIY Projects
Do not wait until the week before your wedding to start putting any DIY projects together, including things like packaging favors, writing escort cards, making centerpieces and more. This is not the time to be running around to craft stores, gathering supplies and staying up all hours of the night. Ideally, you should start your projects months in advance, so that you’ll have time to create and re-create. As you plan your DIY projects for you wedding really try to pick things that can be done in advance. If you do find yourself with DIY projects to do at the last minute do your best to delegate to a bridesmaid, a friend or family memebers. To this end, the week before is not the time to decide you want to start any new projects. Stop the wedding blog and magazine reading and just focus on your wedding!

Bikini Wax + Spray Tan
It is true. You should not save your body waxing and/or spray tanning until the week before your wedding, unless you are an expert and these are things you’ve done many, many times before. If waxing and tanning is something you want to do for your wedding or perhaps your upcoming honeymoon, then you should have plenty of trails well-before the week before your wedding. Your body needs time to get used to the experience and any potential complications, like soreness and redness, that can arise. You just don’t want to have to deal with any unexpected drama right before your wedding and these things are harder to recover from with such little time before the big day.

Bachelorette Party / Bachelor Party
Some groups of friends are tame and can keep it together, but if you know that you and your friends aren’t the mild ones, then schedule those bachelorette and bachelor parties well before your wedding. I know that the week or the weekend before might seem like an ideal time with friends coming in from out of town, but you never know what disasters can arise from a fun night out with friends. If there is any way to avoid it, have your parties with plenty of time for everyone to heal and re-hydrate! I’m having flashbacks of a bridesmaid in a sling and another with a black eye…

Cut Your Hair
The week before your wedding is not the time to get a new haircut or try out new hair color. You may be thinking that you want to get your hair highlighted before your wedding, but the week before is just not the time (unless you’ve done it many, many times before and you know exactly how your hair will react). It is traumatizing enough to be getting married, you don’t need the added stress of a new haircut or new hair color. Well before your wedding, you should be looking at hair styles and talking with your hair and make up professionals about the wedding day look that you want. This way, you can plan ahead and know exactly what you need to do in advance!

Stress
It seems like a “no brainer,” but you should really try to avoid any kind of stress the week before your wedding. Guests will cancel their RSVPs, because they always do, your bridesmaid might not have had her dress hemmed exactly how you wanted it, and so begins the unavoidable wedding drama, but there comes a point where you just need to let it all go and start to enjoy the moments! The last thing you want is to be stressed out the week before your wedding. Make up can only cover up so much of that stress and lack of sleep! You are marrying the love of your life, and the week before your wedding is a great time to start focussing on that. So, keep your eye on what matters – your marriage! The rest will all just happen (or not)!

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So, that’s my list of five things that you shouldn’t do the week before your wedding. What did I miss?? I’m sure there are plenty more things to avoid in those crucial days before your wedding. Come back later this morning because I have a list of five things that you should do before your wedding!

Are you looking for more local wedding ideas? Be sure to look through our DC area wedding idea galleries and find wedding advice from local DC area pros. If that isn’t enough, check out our collection of local DMV weddings from the real world and the best DC area wedding vendors who make it all happen.

Intimate Outdoor Wedding Reception in Maryland: Talisha + Monica

posted by Ally

Welcome back to Talisha and Monica’s outdoor Maryland wedding reception! Intimate and just downright lovely, this small and personal wedding reception from Deb Lindsey Photography is the kind of garden party that just seriously warms your heart. (But, wait, before you go on, be sure to check out their outdoor wedding ceremony first!) I love a wedding that has an air of simplicity and allows the couple to really shine. To completely the beauty of an outdoor spring celebration on the water, Talisha and Monica added in pops of blue and yellow for a bright and cheerful atmosphere!

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From Talisha: The only thing I really wanted was a candy table. Sadly, I didn’t even eat any at the wedding. I heard it was a hit. We ran out of popcorn, which I think came in handy later in the night.

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Maryland Garden Wedding Reception

Maryland Wedding Reception Deb Lindsey Photography (1)

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I didn’t do traditional place settings. I wrote our guests name on river rocks and placed them at their assigned seats. I used yellow and blue paint and tried to make place settings alternate as you walked around the table.

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Talisha’s wedding planning advice for other DC-area couples:

I think hiring people you connect with is so important. Our photographer and caterer took such good care of me and kept me calm. Because I spoke with them frequently, they got to know me and I them – that helped me to trust them. They got my vision, they knew what we wanted and it felt so good to just not have to worry.

Maryland Wedding Reception Deb Lindsey Photography (5)

Thank you so much Talisha and Monica for sharing your wedding ceremony with us! Come back later this morning to see their reception. The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:

Venue: Private Residence
Officiant: Rev. Debby Altomonte
Photography: Deb Lindsey Photography
Floral Design: Studio DBI
Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas
Bridal Attire: J. Crew
Veil: David’s Bridal
Bridal Attire: Geoffrey Lewis
Shoes: BCBG
Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal
Shoes: Jessica Simpson
Makeup: Myla Young
Signs: DIY
Catering + Linens: The Main Ingredient

Visit our vendor guide for more fabulous Washington, DC area wedding professionals, our real wedding gallery for more beautiful Washington, DC area weddings!

Photo Credit: Deb Lindsey Photography

Intimate Outdoor Wedding Ceremony in Maryland: Talisha + Monica

posted by Ally

For Talisha and Monica, the idea of a small, intimate Maryland wedding overlooking the water in Annapolis sounded like pure romance—and it was! This intimate wedding features the prettiest backyard setup and a true celebration of love right down down to the simplest of blue and yellow details captured by Deb Lindsey Photography. To honor Talisha’s African American roots, this cute duo included jumping the broom as part of their ceremony! Come back later today to see more of their intimate affair and backyard wedding reception!

Maryland Same Sex Wedding Attire

From Talisha: We wanted it to be small and intimate. I wanted everything to feel relaxed and not overly “bridal”. Because our wedding was in the spring, we chose light yellow and blue. I think more yellow was seen, just because of the flower selection and bridesmaids’ outfits. Because the yard was beautiful and green, the yellow and whites seemed to pop.

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I did want to jump the broom, as an African American. I bought the broom on Esty, but decorated it myself. I didn’t use real flowers because I wanted to keep it and it think it worked out for the better.

Maryland Wedding Ceremony Deb Lindsey Photography (1)

Maryland Wedding Ceremony Deb Lindsey Photography (2)

Thank you so much Talisha and Monica for sharing your wedding ceremony with us! Come back later this morning to see their reception. The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:

Venue: Private Residence
Officiant: Rev. Debby Altomonte
Photography: Deb Lindsey Photography
Floral Design: Studio DBI
Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas
Bridal Attire: J. Crew
Veil: David’s Bridal
Bridal Attire: Geoffrey Lewis
Shoes: BCBG
Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal
Shoes: Jessica Simpson
Makeup: Myla Young
Signs: DIY
Catering + Linens: The Main Ingredient

Visit our vendor guide for more fabulous Washington, DC area wedding professionals, our real wedding gallery for more beautiful Washington, DC area weddings!

Photo Credit: Deb Lindsey Photography