Relaxed Outdoor Wedding Reception in St. Mary’s City: Ashley + Scott

posted by Ally Lopez

It’s surely feeling like summertime over here on the blog! Ashley and Scott’s tented wedding in Maryland is the kind of celebration where lawn games and subtle nautical styling come together in the most awesome of ways. (Before you on go, be sure to check out their outdoor wedding ceremony!) This crafty couple pulled off so many pretty DIY details from the monkey knot table numbers and wooden vases, to the stationery and cornhole boards—amazing! Hannah Colclazier Photography was there to capture this sunny and fun-filled reception, and we couldn’t be more excited to share it with you!

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From Ashley: Our main focus was to have a fun and relaxed day with our family and friends. 

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One thing that we skipped was getting a huge wedding cake. We got a modest sized tiered cake and had a couple of sheet cakes to make sure we had enough for everyone. No one was the wiser and the cakes looked identical once served and were both delicious.

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My husband and I are both crafty people so our wedding contained a fair amount of DIY projects. He made the altar, corn hole game and wooden vases. I made the invitations, escort cards, table cards, menus, rope knots, ribbon wands and dyed the netting on the tables.

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The dinner menu had a Southern Maryland theme with crab cakes, oysters and stuffed ham.

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

Once you know what you want, do your research. Having reliable vendors takes the stress right out of the wedding. Limit your time on Pinterest, you don’t have time to do every idea you see! And finally, surround yourselves with your family and best friends, they will make your big day so relaxing and enjoyable. I can’t even begin to thank them all enough for their help and generousity!

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

Venue: State House Lawn, Historic St. Mary’s City
Officiant: LeRoy Finto
Photography: Hannah Colclazier Photography
Photo Booth: Smile and Click Photo Booth
Floral Design: David’s Flowers
Bridal Attire: Martina Liana
Garter: Lola in Lace
Shoes: Poetic Licence
Jewelry: Rick’s Jewelers
Bridesmaids’ Attire: Belsoie
Bridesmaids’ Accessories: Dutchpearl
Groom and Groomsmen Attire: J. Ferrar 
Groom’s Accessories: Geoffrey Beene
Guestbook: Lorgie
Cake: Almond Creek Cakery
DJ: Dance Party DJ’s
Rentals: Elite Beatz Entertainment and Bailey’s Party Rentals
Transportation: GoldStar Limousine Service

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: Hannah Colclazier Photography

Relaxed Outdoor Wedding Ceremony in St. Mary’s City: Ashley + Scott

posted by Ally Lopez

Happy, happy Monday! We’re jumping right into things with a breathtaking waterfront wedding in Southern Maryland that lends itself as some perfect summer wedding inspiration, all beautifully captured by Hannah Colclazier Photography. Ashley and Scott’s casual affair along the St. Mary’s River is wrapped in sunshine and a gorgeous outdoor setting ripe with bright florals and an adorable duo at the center of it all. Don’t forget to come back later this morning to see their nautical-inspired and DIY wedding details!

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From Ashley: Before we picked our venue I had a hundred different visions for the wedding, but once we settled on Historic St. Mary’s City, I used that as inspiration to use art nouveau and nautical touches. The color palette was dark teal, yellow and copper accents. I tried to keep the theme subtle.

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Going into into it, I knew the one thing that I wanted to splurge on was getting a top notch photographer. I love photography and having great photos was really important to both of us and our families. I researched and interviewed many photographers before I found Hannah. The photos are the one thing you get to keep from that day, besides your husband, of course.

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Maryland Wedding Blue Bridesmaids Dresses

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Most of our guests were from out of town so we wanted to give them a fun Maryland experience. Our venue is the first capital of Maryland and is on the St. Mary’s River.

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Maryland Wedding St Marys City Hannah Colclazier Photography (1)

Thank you so much Ashley and Scott 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: State House Lawn, Historic St. Mary’s City
Officiant: LeRoy Finto
Photography: Hannah Colclazier Photography
Photo Booth: Smile and Click Photo Booth
Floral Design: David’s Flowers
Bridal Attire: Martina Liana
Garter: Lola in Lace
Shoes: Poetic License
Jewelry: Rick’s Jewelers
Bridesmaids’ Attire: Belsoie
Bridesmaids’ Accessories: Dutchpearl
Groom and Groomsmen Attire: J. Ferrar 
Groom’s Accessories: Geoffrey Beene
Guestbook: Lorgie
Cake: Almond Creek Cakery
DJ: Dance Party DJ’s
Rentals: Elite Beatz Entertainment and Bailey’s Party Rentals
Transportation: GoldStar Limousine Service

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: Hannah Colclazier Photography

Sunday Brunch: Engaging Affairs

posted by Kate Oczypok

Good morning Washington DC area wedding lovers! We hope you are enjoying another beautiful summer morning. Today, we are featuring Engaging Affairs, wedding planners who have planning the DC area’s most seamless and spectacular weddings for nearly 20 years. Their depth of experience and wide range of event expertise mean that they bring boundless resources to the table and the skills to ensure that every detail of your wedding is flawless. The ladies at Engaging Affairs know that perfect moments are created one detail at a time and they believe that each couple’s idea of the perfect day is as unique as they are! With this in mind, Engaging Affairs specializes in designing weddings that are personalized and intimately custom, whether it be an extravagant South Asian celebration or a gracious tented affair. For more from Engaging Affairs, be sure to check out their website or check out all of their past features on United With Love.

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We hope that you’ll check out Engaging Affairs for wedding planning 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 Weekend!

posted by Ally Lopez

Hello, weekend! It’a a week like this that just screams summer cocktails! This week had been kind of nutty on my end getting ready and crafting away for a my friend’s bachelorette party this weekend. Plus, we’ve been working on some fun DIY projects ideas that you may have seen a sneak peek of on our Instagram (Go follow us on Instagram!). Don’t forget to come back this weekend – we have a few fun things planned for your weekend wedding planning.

Maryland Multicultural Bride

Some links for your weekend…

…and what you missed right here!

Photo Credit: CINEMATICbyDavidM

Sugarloaf Mountain Wedding Engagement Session: Anabella + Andy

posted by Kate Oczypok

Good morning to all you DC-area wedding lovers out there! Spend a few minutes of these dog days of summer with an engagement session from Maureen Pacheco Photography. Anabella and Andy have a love of adventures, especially visiting wineries. In fact, Andy surprised Anabella and proposed at one of their many winery picnic tours, so it only made sense for the two to go with Sugarloaf Mountain for their engagement photos, since it is one of their favorite locations! Huge congrats to you both and many more romantic wine dates ahead!

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Congratulations Anabella and Andy!

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 Credit: Maureen Pacheco Photography

Ideas for Washington DC Wedding Welcome Bags

posted by Ally Lopez

In lieu of a warm, in-person greeting, consider welcoming your out-of-town wedding guests with a welcome bag filled with hand-picked goodies (hello, midnight munchies!) and helpful niceties to make them feel at home! But what do you include? One of our bride-to-be readers, Melissa, sent us her dilemma for her wedding in DC this fall. What are some ideas for unique, locally-made products to include in her welcome bags for her Washington DC wedding? Here is Melissa’s question:

My fiancé Eric and I are currently planning our October wedding in DC. Since a majority of our guests are from out of town, we would like to make welcome bags to help greet them as they arrive in our great city. We’d like to feature unique, locally-made, and budget-friendly products. So far we’ve chosen to feature some of our favorite local treats such as mini pop tarts from Ted’s Bulletin on 14th and 2 Armadillos crispy chickpeas. We’re stumped about what else we should feature. All guests must fly, so the products we feature must be TSA-approved and travel-friendly. We’d love to hear your and other reader suggestions about which unique, locally-made products we should feature in our welcome bags!

Washington DC Wedding Welcome Bag

Here is our master list of things to consider including in your Washington DC wedding welcome bags…

Salty

Sweet

Savory

Drinks

Fun Souvenirs

Reading Materials

Out-of-Town Bags + Extras

Washington DC Wedding Out of Town Bag

More Ideas + Credits

  1. Something sweet: Macarons from Olivia Macaron
  2. Something “DC”: Rose garden soap from the White House Gift Shop
  3. Something salty: Chocolate drizzle gourmet popcorn from Popped! Republic
  4. Something to drink: Custom Washington DC water bottle labels from LabelsRUs
  5. Wedding day map + itinerary: Custom wedding map from Laura Hooper Calligraphy
  6. Something healthy: Energy bars from Nouri Bar

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And there you have it – our master list of gifts + things for your Washington DC wedding out-of-town bags. What did we miss!? If you’re making bags, what will you be including? For more wedding welcome bag ideas, check out these Washington DC area wedding bag ideas and easy, local DC theme gifts and favors.

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.

DIY: Dip-Dyed Napkins

posted by Kate Oczypok

We have a fun and simple DIY wedding project for you today! This project involves something that everyone will see, use and appreciate – dip-dyed napkins! Sometimes napkins are the last thing on your mind in terms of wedding details. However, when you see how easy these DIY napkins are, you won’t forget to have them at your wedding reception, bridal shower or rehearsal dinner. They are so simple, yet are a huge hit! And, the best part is that they can be done way ahead of time – no sleepless nights needed! Do you remember this fashion inspired wedding details feature using paint from Elizabeth at Elizabeth Duncan Events?? She is back with photography from Sweet Tea Photography to show us how she made the napkins and guide us through the process. Take it away, Elizabeth…

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What You’ll Need:

- Napkins or fabric of your choice
- Fabric dye (like Rit)
- Large bowls or buckets for dye bath
- Gloves
- Smock
- Water
- Salt, depending on the dye
- Drying rack

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How To:

Select and pre-wash the napkins or fabric of you choice. White fabric will give you the best contrast. (Dye works best on natural fabrics like cotton, linen, and silk.) Be sure to buy extra fabric and extra dye if you are doing a large project (over 50 napkins or multiple linens). For this project, we used Rit fabric dye in teal, fuchsia and purple. Wear gloves and a smock, and work in an area with easy clean up. Remember, this is permanent dye!

Prepare dye according to package directions for large quantities of napkins or other fabric.

Since we were dyeing a smaller quantity, we used about 1/2 of the dye packet in 2 cups of water and a couple shakes of salt for the pink and purple to get concentrated colors. For the teal napkins, we used 1/8 of the packet and 2 cups of water for a more diluted color. As with any color mixing, it’s always better to start with smaller/lighter concentrations and add dye then to try to dilute down.

Immerse the fabric in boiling water. Squeeze out excess water. We folded the fabric into thirds vertically.

Dip the length of the fabric about halfway or 2/3 (depending on how much white vs. color fabric you prefer) into the prepared dye bath and remove from the dye immediately. Remember there will be some dye bleeding up, but don’t worry, it’s good and you want it to be like that!

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Dip again, only immersing the fabric 2/3 of the way to the original dye line. Hold for 15 seconds and remove. For deeper color concentration repeat.

Dip again, only immersing the fabric 1/3 of the way to the original dye line. Hold for 30 seconds and remove. For deeper color concentration, repeat.

Dip the bottom inch or so of the fabric into the dye. Hold for 1 minute and remove. For deeper color concentration, repeat.

Rinse dyed fabric thoroughly in warm water that you progressively make colder, being careful to keep the water flow running down from white fabric to color so that the white stays white. When water runs clear, squeeze excess water and set aside while you do the other pieces. A vertical laundry rack in the tub worked well for us to line the napkins up and drip while we finished dyeing the others.

Once complete, wash like colored fabrics in the washing machine with mild detergent and line dry or air dry depending on fabric type. We used a cotton fabric, so we put it in the dryer. Iron as needed.

The great thing about using color is that a little bit goes a long way in terms of impact!

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All photos courtesy of Sweet Tea Photography

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So quick and easy right?! I love beautiful, bright colors and these napkins are just the perfect pop of color! Where will you be using your dip-dyed napkins? Don’t forget to check out all of our other wedding DIY ideas! Thank you so much Elizabeth for this great project. Be sure to check out her event planning company, Elizabeth Duncan Events.

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 share your wedding announcement with the world!

Wedding Insurance: What It Is and Why You Need It

posted by julianne

We love the pretty pictures and the romantic stories as much as the next person, but you also know that we like to dish lots of wedding advice. We like to give you the scoop on planning a wedding in the Washington DC area that no one else will tell you. Today’s topic: wedding insurance. What is wedding insurance? Why do you need it? And, most importantly, where can you get it?!

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Photo Credit: Birds of a Feather Photography from Tracy and John’s Virginia wedding

Wedding insurance is special insurance coverage for your wedding that protects you from unforeseen circumstances. We are always talking about planning, planning and more planning when it comes to your wedding, but, sometimes things will happen that you just can’t plan in advance. This is where wedding insurance comes in. It gives you peace of mind for the unexpected wedding drama.

Here are some nightmare scenarios that have happened:

What do you do if one of your wedding vendors goes bankrupt a week before your wedding? Or worse, doesn’t show up? What if your photographer never sends you your photos after your wedding? What happens if someone crashes your wedding and steals your gifts? What if the weather is extreme (think hurricane or tornado) and you have to cancel your wedding? What if one of your guests causes damage to your venue or if one of your guests gets seriously hurt at your wedding?

What if, what if, what if! There are so many variables when having such a major event like your wedding. Having wedding insurance can help in these potentially scary situations.

So, now that you are officially freaked out, what should you do about it? Let me introduce you to Markel Event Insurance.

Markel offers event cancellation coverage, which includes protection against lost or damaged wedding gifts. Their coverage also includes protection from other wedding nightmares, such as if a vendor goes bankrupt or just doesn’t show up to your wedding. It covers damaged photography or even if a hurricane causes you to have to cancel or postpone your wedding.

Markel’s policies start as low as $130, and can be purchased up to 14 days prior to your wedding. Markel also offers event liability insurance coverage to help protect you if someone causes property damage to your wedding venue or if someone is injured at your event, for as little as $75.  If you purchase both event cancellation and event liability coverage, you can save up to 15%!

Not convinced yet? Visit Markel Event Insurance or call 1-855-480-9757 to get a quote and learn why you should protect your special day.  With policies starting at $75 (the actual price of your specific policy is based on location, the coverage you choose, and your total wedding budget), it is highly worth it!

Even though we love to plan, there are just some things we can never know about in advance!

This post was sponsored by Markel Event Insurance.

Multicultural Spring Wedding Reception in Baltimore: Erin + Devinder

posted by Ally Lopez

Are you ready for more from Erin and Devinder’s wedding in Maryland!? After their two wedding ceremonies, (Make sure you check out both of their multicultural wedding ceremonies first!), this adorable duo celebrated with their family and friends at the Legg Mason Tower at Harbor East which was dripping in purple and gold elegance, all beautifully captured by CINEMATICbyDavidM. And the number one detail that caught my eye? That henna inspired wedding cake—such an intricate design, I just love it!

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From Erin: The Indian and American wedding venues were located right next to each other in Harbor East – making it easy for our guests to walk to each event. We hired an Indian DJ so that we could have both American and Indian music at our formal reception. 

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We chose flowers, linens and decor that we thought reflected henna patterns, bright golds, beading and other Indian motifs. These decisions truly unified our events, and helped to create the multicultural wedding we envisioned.

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Maryland Wedding Reception Henna Wedding Cake

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

When planning your own wedding, stick to what your vision is! My husband and I doubted our dream of two weddings in one day many times along the way, and lots of people suggested we could not pull it off, but ultimately, we did and it truly was spectacular!

Maryland Wedding Reception

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

Ceremony Venues: Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel and Legg Mason Tower at Harbor East
Reception Venues: Legg Mason Tower at Harbor East
Photography: CINEMATICbyDavidM
Videography: Joel Salindong Video
Day-of Wedding Coordinator: Simply Created Events
Stationery: MLC Designs
Floral Design: Nature of Design with Janet Flowers
Bridal Attire: Jim Hjelm from Garnish Boutique
Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Jewelry: Tiffany & Co.
Hair and Makeup: Amie Decker Beauty
Bridesmaids’ Attire: AriaDress
Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A. Banks
Rentals: Party Rental Ltd.
Cake: SugarBakers Cakes
Catering: Restaurant Associates at Legg Mason Tower at Harbor East
Linens: Table Toppers
Music and Lighting: DJ Raj Entertainment
Favors: Charm City Cook

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: CINEMATICbyDavidM