Did you have a good week? More importantly, do you have any fun weekend plans? I’m not quite sure what I’m going to be up to this weekend, but I am looking forward to the nice autumnn weather that is finally here! Whatever you do, I hope that you and yours have an awesome weekend! We’ll see you back here Sunday!
If you’re not too thrilled about the cooler temperatures the upcoming months bring, then look no further than this engagement session in Washington DC. Though there’s always the inevitable crowds at during peak bloom of cherry blossom season, Jillian and Cory, along with photographer Olivia Jacob Photography, were able to find many a quiet and intimate spot to capture some beautiful moments with those iconic blooms. (If you are looking for more cherry blossom engagement session ideas or ways to incorporate the cherry blossoms into your wedding, check out these past posts.) After their sunrise shoot at the Tidal Basin, they headed to Dupont Circle, where the couple currently resides, for some home-turf street shot!
You’ve chosen the perfect bridesmaids and now it’s time to find them the perfect gift! These are your nearest and dearest standing by your side (other than your partner!) when you exchange your vows—what better way to show your love and appreciation for their support than with a creative and personal gift. We gathered a few ideas and inspiration that your girls are sure to love!
With a love for romance, elegance and a hint of modern flair, this bride incorporated vibrant colors into her wedding with shades of green! Floral Design: Growing Wild Photo Credit: Sweet Tea Photography
When your wedding is inspired by your Irish heritage and love of all things preppy, you have to have a pop of green like this Virginia couple! Floral Design: Melle Fleur Photo Credit: Laurie Bracewell Photography
If you’re searching for a super cute (and not to mention, inexpensive!) idea for bridesmaids gifts, then today’s DIY wedding project is for you. A few weeks ago we gathered some ideas for personalized wedding hangers and it got us thinking about how to do it yourself. These custom bridesmaid hangers will make for some fun bridal party attire portraits, and serve as a sweet keepsake for your girls. With this project you can transform your pretty lettering into faux calligraphy, with just a few strokes of a fine-tipped acrylic calligraphic pen, or try your hand with calligraphy with just the flick of a nib. (Or just turn to the pros! Here’s our list of wedding calligraphers in the Washington DC area!)
To begin personalizing your hanger, write the name (or letters, bridal party title, monogram, etc.) using a pencil—or just freehand it. Transform your cursive handwriting into calligraphy by making each down stroke thicker and filled in (pretend you’re writing with an angled calligraphy pen). Simple + easy— with the flick of a pen, you can “fake” calligraphy. (And if you’re up for trying calligraphy, may I recommended this calligraphy starter kit.)
The key to taking beautiful photos during your wedding in the Washington DC area starts with a flawless complexion, and a great place to start is with your wedding day makeup. If you were considering doing your own makeup—hold that thought! Today Lelia of Lelia Marie Photography. is here to share her professional advice on why some things are best left to the pros. She teamed up with Jacquelyn, a local makeup artist from Enlightened Styles, to show us the difference between doing your own makeup and having a professional take charge of your bridal beauty. On that note, take it away, Lelia…
As a photographer, I’m a huge advocate of having professional hair and makeup done for your wedding day. There are so many things a pro can do (including making it look great for photos—not just in person, applying it so it stays on all day, and staying on time!) that don’t happen when it is done by the bride. However, I frequently get brides who do their own makeup. So I teamed up with Jacquelyn of Enlightened Styles to see if there really was a difference, photographically, between DIY makeup and the pros.
We had two different girls come into my studio, so that the light and the background was consistent. The only thing that we changed was their makeup. They did their own makeup first (as if they were getting married, not just every day makeup) and then Jacquelyn did what she would normally do on a wedding day. Both of these girls know how to work with makeup. They aren’t total novices, but even with their knowledge (and the fact that they looked fine in person!) the professional makeup was so much better in photos! And these were taken in an ideal and very forgiving lighting situation. On a wedding day when the sun is harsh or the lighting is dim I’m sure that Jacquelyn’s makeup would be even that much better.
Having seen the difference I can’t help by encourage ALL brides to have professional makeup done! The pros know all the tricks to keep your makeup lasting and looking good all day! They know how to make it look good in photos without looking (or feeling) like you have a ton of makeup on in person. With their help think of how great you will look in all your photos!
A big thank you to Lelia for sharing this great bridal beauty advice, and Jacquelyn for putting together these looks! If you’re on the hunt for a local wedding photographer, be sure to check out Lelia Marie Photography.
Being asked to officiate a wedding in the Washington DC area for a couple you know and love is position that comes with great honor… and it can also be little intimidating, too! Fear not, my friends, we’re here to help. Before you help write a custom wedding ceremony, you will need to check out the legal provisions that come with the job! We did a little research and gathered some of the steps you’ll need to take to fulfill local wedding celebrant requirements. (And if you’re not having a loved one officiate your ceremony, take a look at our vendor guide for a list of wedding officiants in the Washington DC area!)
an authorized person of any religious denomination or society ($35 fee + application)
a civil celebrant ($35 fee + application)
a temporary officiant ($25 fee + application)
a judge (or retired judge of any court of record)
the Clerk of the Court of such deputy clerks of the Courts as may, in writing be designated by the Clerk and approved by the Chief Judge of the Court
a member of the Council
the Mayor of the District of Columbia
* “Temporary officiant” means a person authorized by the Clerk of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia (“Court”) to solemnize a specific marriage. The person’s authority to solemnize that marriage expires upon the filing of the marriage license.
* “Civil celebrant” means a person of a secular or non-religious organization who performs marriage ceremonies.
an official of a religious order (such as an ordained minister)
a Clerk of the Circuit Court
a deputy clerk designated by the county administrative circuit court judge
Maryland doesn’t require celebrants to register with the state; however, it’s essential that the celebrant properly validate the couple’s marriage license and sign the marriage certificate. One copy of the certificate is to be delivered to the couple, the other is to be returned by the officiant to the clerk who issues the license within 5 days of the ceremony.
Each county has a different procedure to apply; check out this directory to look for your county Clerk’s Office. For more information on persons authorized to perform ceremonies in Maryland, be sure to check out Family Law 2-401.
Virginia Wedding Ceremony Celebrants
Who Can Perform the Ceremony:
any judge or justice of a court of record
any judge of a district court or any retired judge or justice of the Commonwealth
any active, senior or retired federal judge or justice who is a resident of the Commonwealth an authorized minister of any religious denomination
a “one-time” marriage celebrant + $500 cash bond (once petition is authorized)
Individuals wishing to perform a wedding ceremony in Virginia must obtain prior court authorization. Any circuit court judge may issue an order authorizing one or more persons, resident in the circuit in which the judge sits, to celebrate the rites of marriage in the Commonwealth.
From the brides: We were really focused on making it an expression of a love that has lasted more than 25 years. We used the parts of the wedding to tell the story of our love. We focused heavily on the experience for our guests and hand made gift bags for each family that attended. These bags were waiting at the hotel and were a perfect way to welcome and begin the story of our love.
Dawn and Wendy’s wedding planning advice for other couples:
For any same sex couples considering the DC area, let us share our experience with the extrodinary level of support and engouragement we felt from the people of DC. It began with the warm and caring team at the marriage beuearu and continued out onto the street from the random stranger that congratulated us outside the marriage office. It was in the very supportive and helpful hotel staff. It was the more than 100 people who joined our wedding audience at the momument and cheered us on. It was the runners from the charity race that cheered us on as we took wedding pictures the next morning. The city opened its arms for us and made us feel like we belonged. There is nothing more special or meaningful for a wedding than acceptance.
Thank you so much Dawn and Wendy for sharing your wedding reception with us! The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:
We’re starting our morning off with a serious pop of color, ya’ll. Dawn and Wendy, two Texan beauties, planned a destination wedding in Washington DC with their nearest and dearest to witness their “I Do’s.” Their Texas-meets-DC wedding style came complete a pair of cowgirl boots, a punch of pink, and a bridal gown with a pink tulle. That’s right. Pink. Tulle. I’m in love! Their intimate wedding ceremony at the World War I memorial drew in onlookers who cheered on—including a Segway tour!—as these two brides exchanged vows with Daniel McGarrity Photography behind the camera. Join us later this afternoon as we soak in the pretty from their reception and dreamy portraits around the city!
From the brides: This single most important part of our wedding was to actually be able to be married! Being from Texas, where this isn’t possible yet, we had a handful of states to pick from. The vibrancy of the DC area both in culture, beauty and as a wonderful tourist destination made it perfect for us and our families.
Thank you so much Dawn and Wendy 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:
From the brides: We found gold and silver glitter party horns and hung escort cards from the horns, and everyone used them at midnight to ring in 2014. We bought lots of vintage alarm clocks on eBay, which we used as our table numbers – with all the clocks set to midnight, of course!
The focal point of the décor was having floating candles hung from the ceiling. Cautious of cost and the environment, we kept flowers to a minimum. The tablescapes were a collection of candles in all shapes and sizes that were accented by flowers and metallic vases. We added bare branches to some tables capture the winter feel. The Willard’s ballroom is so ornate and beautiful on its own, so we kept our decor simple.
Our guests loved being able to get into the booth with all of the silly and fun props, and we asked them to leave us a copy of all of their strips in a guest book with a note. At the end of the night, we looked through the book together and it was so fun to see all of our guests having a good time, since the night went by so fast.
During the countdown at midnight, we had a champagne toast complete with confetti cannons and, of course, the party horns. Then we served mini burgers and truffle fries on the dance floor so that our guests would have the energy to keep dancing until 1 am – and most did!
Thank you so much Sarah and Ilana for sharing your wedding reception with us! The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding: