Sunday Brunch: Kirsten Marie Photography

posted by kate

Good morning DC area wedding lovers! Ready to spend another cozy Sunday with one of our sponsors? Kirsten Marie Photography, run by Baltimore wedding and engagement photographer Kirsten Zarek, serves the Washington DC area and beyond. Whether its the little embellishments or the shared glances, Kirsten loves all the little pieces that make up a wedding and soaks them all up. She goes into every wedding with a piece of who the couple is and puts together a beautiful story that will be told for many years to come. Kirsten’s style is a combination of photojournalism with romantic, airy portraits. Working in a darkroom since age 16, Kirsten adores getting to know each and every client and giving each couple a unique, personalized experience. No matter what your wedding photography needs are, Kirsten Marie Photography will make them happen! You can find more on Kirsten Marie Photography on her website or check out all of her past features on United With Love.

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Photography Credit: Kirsten Marie Photography

We hope that you’ll check out Kirsten Marie Photography for all your wedding photography needs in the Washington DC area. Join us again next weekend for Sunday brunch with another fantastic supporter of United With Love! We’ll see you back here bright and early Monday morning! If you are interested in joining us for brunch on United With Love, please send us an email.

 

Happy Friday!

posted by ally

It’s my favorite time of the year! I have been searching Pinterest for pie recipes for Thanksgiving – it’s my job to bring the dessert and it’s the first pie I’ve ever made. Yikes! Do you have any fun weekend plans going on? Today I’m heading downtown for sangria with some girlfriends. It’s certainly a happy Friday on my end! Whatever it is you’re up to, I hope you and yours have a wonderful weekend. We will see you back here on Sunday!

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Some links for your weekend…

…and what you missed this week.

Photo Credit: Photography by Marirosa

Washington DC Military Wedding Engagement Session: Lisa + Jordan

posted by kate

Happy Friday, DC wedding lovers! With Thanksgiving around the corner, I’m giving thanks for a lot of things these days: family, friends, freedom and fabulous Washington DC wedding engagement session like these! Photographed by Love Life Images, Lisa and Jordan’s sunset session is just what we need to kick a Friday off right. And if you’re looking for more military wedding inspiration and ideas, make sure to check out all of our posts from military wedding week!

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Congratulations Lisa and Jordan!

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!

Photo Credits: Love Life Images

Inspiration and Ideas: Wedding Chair Décor

posted by ally

There’s nothing I enjoy more than a good wedding inspiration round-up, and today we’re sharing ideas for wedding chair décor like signs, covers, wreaths—I love it all. Dress up your sweetheart or head table with a little something extra for the chairs where you and yours will be sitting. It’s the little details of a wedding that I can’t get enough of! Earlier today we shared an idea for Washington DC wedding chair signs, and now it’s time for more pretty pictures to help you get inspired!

Photo Credits:  Kristen Gardner Photography from Elegant Wedding in Virginia

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  • I simply can't get enough of these floral wreaths adoring the chairs! Simple and elegant! Photo Credit: Procopio Photography

    via Sophisticated Washington DC Wedding

  • These chair signs are something straight out of a Kate Spade catalog, don't you think? Translation: I absolutely love them!

    via The Wedding Chicks

  • These wedding chair covers are perfect for the wedding with a bold and modern style! Photo Credit: k. thompson photography

    via Black and White Wedding Ideas

  • Just in case there was any question as to who belongs to whom, these fun chair signs will set the record!

    via BHLDN

  • You know I love a good DIY wedding project! How cute are these Mr. and Mrs. signs!? Photo Credit: Meaghan Elliott Photography

    via Chesapeake Bay Wedding

  • This is going on my "Dream Wedding" Pinterest board: a set of wedding chair covers with the Italian words for "to have" and "to hold,"

    via Martha Stewart Weddings

  • Simple and elegant, these Mr. and Mrs. chair signs are a classic way to dress up your sweetheart table. Photo Credit: Timmester Photography

    via Maryland Vineyard Wedding

  • If you ask me, you can never go wrong with pink ribbon, embroidery and some Johnny Cash embroidery. I love, love, love these unique chair décor! Photo Credit: O’Hara Photography

    via Southern Weddings

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.

Printable Mr. & Mrs. Washington DC Wedding Chair Signs

posted by ally

One of our favorite things to do (other than share pretty wedding inspiration and helpful planning advice!) is to celebrate the city we love with locally inspired wedding ideas. Dress up your chairs with our free printable wedding chair signs with the DC skyline, of course! If you can use a printer and a pair of scissors, this project will be one of the easiest DIY wedding projects you take on. Here are the details…

Washington DC Skyline Wedding Chair Signs

Supplies:

To Make:

Download and print our free printable wedding chair signs (Here is the template for the Mrs. chair sign and the Mr. chair sign here!) cardstock. Cut along the skyline and place sign on top of the trimmed cardstock pattern/color of your choice. Secure with adhesive—double sided-tape or glue dots will help. Punch two holes on to the sign and run ribbon through to use for hanging. And there you go!

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Make sure you check out our growing collection of free wedding printables and other DIY wedding projects – we have some really great ones!

Are you looking for more local wedding ideas? If you are in the mood for more projects and printables, you can check out all of our Washington DC area DIY weddings right here! Be sure to look through our DC area wedding idea galleries and find wedding advice from local DC area pros.

Sophisticated Wedding Engagement Session Inspiration

posted by kate

We have such a fun treat for all of our lovely engaged readers today! Your engagement session is the perfect time to capture the excitement and style for your upcoming wedding in the Washington DC area. This styled engagement lends itself as some perfect inspiration for a stylish shoot with your photographer. When you have a stunning setting, a rock star team of local wedding pros, and a seriously handsome pair of grooms-to-be, you have all kinds of pretty! It’s image after image captured by Michelle Lindsay Photography of pure perfection. Alison of Alison Harper & Company is here to share a little more behind the inspiration…

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From Alison: We wanted something edgy, editorial and high end. We had the very talented team at Christopher Schafer Clothier​ come in to fit Sean and Drew. I am so happy with how the shoot came together. The Corcoran Gallery of Art was a perfect backdrop. With clean lines, beautiful hard wood and marble as far as the eye could see, we knew we had the ability to make this space fit our vision. We chose some of the strongest vendors in the metro area to participate and we ended up with a dream styled shoot. One that shows off our collective style, some sophistication and a lot of raw, beautiful love.​

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Thank you so much for giving us such classy engagement session inspiration! The following Washington DC area wedding vendors contributed to this styled wedding engagement session:

Venue: Corcoran Gallery of Art
Photography: Michelle Lindsay Photography
Attire: Christopher Schafer Clothier 
Floral Design: Studio DBI
Hair and Makeup: Alison Harper & Company

If you are looking for more local wedding inspiration, look in our DC area wedding idea galleries and real DC area wedding features, and don’t forget to look through our amazing DC area wedding vendor guide for all of the pros who can make it happen!

Photo Credits: Michelle Lindsay Photography

How to Build a Personalized Wedding Website

posted by ally

If you are looking to create a personalized website for your upcoming wedding in the Washington DC area, then read on my friend! In today’s digital world, a website is a convenient and paper-free go-to for the all the details of your day. We’re talking everything from engagement photos and travel accommodations to gift registries and venue details! But where do you begin? Lucky for us, our girl Margo from Bright Occasions is here to share her advice for the essentials of what to include on your website!

Photo Credit: Kristin Gardner Photography from Equestrian Themed Wedding

The wedding website is not only a great tool for sharing wedding information with guests; it’s also a fun way to share your personal story, engagement photos and journey to the big day with family and friends. It really is a must for every couple and will be where your guests go to for wedding (and wedding weekend!) event details, venue address, travel/accommodation and registry information and more.

If you are just getting started, I recommend using Wedding Wire for pre-existing wedding website templates. Wedding Wire tools make the process really easy and there are a lot of design options to pick from.  If you wish to build your own site, I like Wordpress; I find WordPress to be user-friendly and the templates are easily customizable. Here’s the rundown for creating a great wedding website…

Create a Simple URL 

The first step is checking availability for your URL, especially if you are purchasing a domain. You may want to create a few domain names and test them out to see if they are taken. The best website domains are short combinations with your name(s) and possibly year.  Such as: ryanandjohn2014.com or margoanddavewed.com.

Use a Consistent Style

Think of your website and one of the first wedding impressions your guests will have. It’s a good idea to keep the look of your website in line with your wedding style. If you are planning an outdoor wedding, then go with a rustic style for the site, and/or earthy colors. For classic ballroom weddings, something more traditional would be perfect.

Start With the Basics

…where, when and how! Remember to give as much information as possible for the venue location, time, etc. so that your guests can easily find your venue and arrive on time. There can never be too much information where the wedding is concerned! Here is what should be listed:

  • Wedding date and location(s) for ceremony and reception
  • Venue(s) address, phone number and website
  • Ceremony start time, or list when guests should arrive
  • A map and directions to the venue
  • Depending on where the wedding is taking place, include walking directions from the hotel, driving directions for local guests, and/or parking information for the venue
  • Transportation information; i.e. if you are providing shuttles to/from the ceremony or reception and the pick-up/drop-off time
  • Taxi information if you are not planning to provide a shuttle
  • Any other special instructions or information

Hotel Accommodations 

Chances are many guests will be traveling for your wedding, so you will want to have a dedicated page for hotel block information.  If you aren’t planning to set aside rooms at a specific hotel, then list hotel options near the venue.  For the hotel block information include the following:

  • Hotel name, address, phone number and website
  • Room rate(s) and room type(s)
  • Dates available for the block
  • A cut-off date or deadline for reserving a room
  • Parking information (if applicable)
  • Nearby Metro locations (if the wedding/hotel is in the district)

Travel Details

As with any big city, travelling to and from the Washington DC area may be totally foreign for out of town guests. They won’t know which airport to choose and how the DC Metro system works. Make sure to have a page with instructions on traveling in and out of DC. Depending on where your wedding is taking place in the DC area include the following:

  • Suggested airport(s) closest to wedding location
  • Shuttle service, metro information and/or taxi information
  • Information for how to get around town via metro or bus (if wedding/hotel is in the district)

Fun Local Activities + Spots

If your wedding is in our nation’s capital, your guests may want to plan a long weekend to the district and take advantage of the sights while in town for your wedding.  The following should be included:

  • Your favorite restaurants, you can restrict the list to restaurants near the hotel/wedding location or go with your favorite places in the area to dine
  • Information for Smithsonian, other museums and the National Zoo
  • Noteworthy monuments on the National Mall and suggested times to sightsee
  • Weekend events happening in DC; especially if wedding is held on a holiday weekend
  • Other – areas to shop, walking/running/biking trails, and concert/theater venues

Wedding Registry Information

Be sure to include registry information via your website. Guests will want to know this information prior to wedding events.  Most stores will provide direct links for your website, which is super easy for family and friends.

Your Love Story

While many friends may already know your story, there is a good chance that not all of your guests will know the exact story of how you met and/or got engaged.   You can also include brief bios since some family members/friends may not have met your fiancé.

Favorite Engagement Photos

Your website is the perfect place to display engagement photos.  After the wedding you can also share wedding and/or honeymoon photos.

All About the Wedding Party

Couples may wish to honor those family and friends by listing them on their website.  Many will share stories of how they met and a brief bio of each attendant.

More Ideas

Your wedding website is mainly a place for guests to get wedding information, but it is also a way to personalize your wedding. Couples can always pick and choose what they feel is most important.  For example, if you are planning to donate on your guests behalf (instead of traditional favors), then include that information on your website! Or if you are planning a wedding with customs and traditions that some may not know, have a page that describes what guests can look forward to seeing at your wedding. Additional website items include:

  • Electronic RSVP form — Paper is still the preferred method, but some are going digital and asking guests to RSVP online.
  • Vendors — If you are especially proud of your vendors and want to share this information with you guests, include a list with links to their sites and a short description of how they made your day so great.
  • Guest book— You may wish to have a place for guests to leave comments and well wishes for your day.

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Thank you so much, Margo for your ideas for wedding website! I hope you’re feeling inspired and ready to create your wedding website. If you’re looking for a local wedding planner, be sure to check Margo out at Bright Occasions!

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.

Laid Back Rustic Barn Wedding Reception in Virginia: Hannah + Abe

posted by ally

For those of you who might be craving a rich dose of elegant simplicity, we’ve got just the inspiration for you. Hannah and Abe’s relaxed and rustic barn wedding is brimming with it! (Make sure you take a look at their traditional wedding ceremony first!) The Barns at Wolf Trap provided the perfect rustic backdrop for their wedding in Virginia. These images from Griffin Harrington Photography are a dream!

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Thank you so much Hannah and Abe for sharing your wedding reception with us! The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:

Ceremony Venue: St. Joseph’s Catholic Church
Officiant: Fr. Mike Ciski
Reception Venue: The Barns at Wolf Trap
Photography: Griffin Harrington Photography
Stationery: Minted
Floral Design: My Wedding Flowers
Bridal Attire: David’s Bridal
Shoes: Ivanka Trump from Nordstrom
Hair: Maude Hair Salon
Bridesmaids’ Attire: J.Crew
Bridesmaids’ Jewelry: Anthropologie
Groom and Groomsmen’s Attire + Shoes: Jos. A. Banks
Cake: Sweets by E
Catering, Linens + Rentals: Main Event Caterers

For more vendors, please visit our Washington DC area wedding vendor guide and for even more local ideas visit our wedding inspiration galleries or check out our other Washington DC area real wedding features.

Photo Credits: Griffin Harrington Photography

Laid Back Rustic Barn Wedding Ceremony in Virginia: Hannah + Abe

posted by ally

Oh, my dear readers, get ready to feast your eyes on some seriously pretty rustic wedding goodness! Inspired by their Midwestern roots, Hannah and Abe planned for a wedding in Virginia that was a laid-back affair packed with tons of pretty details. I say they nailed it. Griffin Harrington Photography was on hand to capture every moment of their sweet traditional ceremony. Make sure to come back later this morning to see the all the pretty details of their barn wedding reception!

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Thank you so much Hannah and Abe for sharing your wedding ceremony with us! Be sure to come back later this morning to see their reception. The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding: 

Ceremony Venue: St. Joseph’s Catholic Church
Officiant: Fr. Mike Ciski
Reception Venue: The Barns at Wolf Trap
Photography: Griffin Harrington Photography
Stationery: Minted
Floral Design: My Wedding Flowers
Bridal Attire: David’s Bridal
Shoes: Ivanka Trump from Nordstrom
Hair: Maude Hair Salon
Bridesmaids’ Attire: J.Crew
Bridesmaids’ Jewelry: Anthropologie
Groom and Groomsmen’s Attire + Shoes: Jos. A. Banks
Cake: Sweets by E
Catering, Linens + Rentals: Main Event Caterers

For more vendors, please visit our Washington DC area wedding vendor guide and for even more local ideas visit our wedding inspiration galleries or check out our other Washington DC area real wedding features.

Photo Credits: Griffin Harrington Photography