Classic Summer Wedding Reception in Maryland: Mariela + Brian

posted by Ally Lopez

Welcome back to the second part of Mariela and Brian’s wedding in Maryland. After they said their “I Do’s” (You can see their wedding ceremony right here!) and a few dreamy portraits with Elizabeth Fogarty Photography, they brought on the summertime goodness with lovebird details, like those adorable birdcage centerpieces! Summer weddings are the bees knees, am I right?

Maryland Wedding Reception Portarit

From Mariela: Brian and I chose the color teal when that was the first color we agreed on! The lovebird theme I incorporated into my place cards and birdcage centerpieces. For me, adding the damask pattern made it classy, so my final color choices were teal, black and white.

Maryland Wedding Reception Teal Groomsmen Accessories

Maryland Wedding Reception Teal Bridal Party

Maryland Wedding Reception Elizabeth Fogarty Photography

Maryland Wedding Reception Teal Decor Maryland Wedding Reception Teal Napkins

Maryland Wedding Reception Lovebird Theme Maryland Wedding Reception First Dance

My favorite memory from my wedding is my first dance with my husband. We danced to Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up.”

Maryland Wedding Reception First Dance (2)

Maryland Wedding Reception Cake Topper

Maryland Wedding Reception Father Daughter Dance

We wanted unique favors so we put together little boxes and put Bolivian cookies, alfajores, in them.

Maryland Wedding Reception Bolivian Cookie Favors Maryland Wedding Reception Teal Wedding Cake

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

If you can afford a wedding planner for the day-of… get one! I didn’t have an official wedding planner but I had someone designated to help with my schedule so my mom and I wouldn’t have to worry about it.

Maryland Wedding Reception

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

Ceremony Venue: St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church
Reception Venue: Hilton Washington DC North/Gaithersburg
Photography: Elizabeth Fogarty Photography
Bridal Attire: Oleg Cassini from David’s Bridal
Veil: Etsy
Hair: Martha’s Hair Salon
Bridesmaids’ Attire: David’s Bridal
Groom and Groomsmen’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Catering: Hilton Washington DC North/Gaithersburg
Cake: Classic Bakery
Transportation: A Touch of Class Limousines

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: Elizabeth Fogarty Photography

Classic Summer Wedding Ceremony in Maryland: Mariela + Brian

posted by Ally Lopez

Nothing speaks to me quite like a punch of color, and today’s wedding in Maryland is the perfect example! Mariela and Brian’s traditional wedding is filled to the brim with a summery pop of teal, from the bridesmaids to the groomsmen, a day beautifully captured by Elizabeth Fogarty Photography. See even more of their summer wedding reception later this morning where their lovebird-inspired décor brings about birdcages and baby’s breath! It’s too much pretty to handle this early in the morning!

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From Mariela: I had somewhat of a vision in my mind. I wanted it to be classy with a touch of a lovebird theme.

Maryland Wedding Ceremony Maryland Wedding Ceremony Bright Blue Bridesmaids Dresses

Maryland Wedding Ceremony Bride Getting Ready

Maryland Wedding Ceremony Bridal Party

Maryland Wedding Ceremony Bridal Gown (2) Maryland Wedding Ceremony Blue and White Flower Girl Dress

Maryland Wedding Ceremony Bridal Shoes Maryland Wedding Ceremony White Bridl Bouquet

Maryland Wedding Ceremony Groom Getting Ready

Maryland Wedding Ceremony Groom Accessories

Maryland Wedding Ceremony Portraits

Maryland Wedding Ceremony Bridal veil

Maryland Wedding Ceremony Aqua Bridal Dresses

Maryland Wedding Ceremony Rings Maryland Wedding Ceremony Groomsmen

Maryland Wedding Ceremony Lace Bridal Veil

During our ceremony we had a coin ceremony which is where you collect 13 coins together before the ceremony and during the ceremony both groom and bride drop the coins into each others hands. This represents prosperity and good stewardship; that we will mutually support each other and our family.

Maryland Catholic Wedding Ceremony

Thank you so much Mariela and Brian 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. John the Evangelist Catholic Church
Reception Venue: Hilton Washington DC North/Gaithersburg
Photography: Elizabeth Fogarty Photography
Bridal Attire: Oleg Cassini from David’s Bridal
Veil: Etsy
Hair: Martha’s Hair Salon
Bridesmaids’ Attire: David’s Bridal
Groom and Groomsmen’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Catering: Hilton Washington DC North/Gaithersburg
Cake: Classic Bakery
Transportation: A Touch of Class Limousines

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: Elizabeth Fogarty Photography

Sunday Brunch: Photography by Marirosa

posted by Kate Oczypok

Good morning DC area wedding lovers! Are you ready to spend another Sunday morning with one of our awesome sponsors? Photography by Marirosa promises to be your go-to place for beautiful wedding photos. Before photography, owner Marirosa, who was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, always felt like something was missing. She then picked up a camera and her world totally changed. She followed her heart, capturing relationships and special moments. She feels so lucky to capture such an important day in a person’s life and her personal commitment is to photographing all of those moments in time so her clients can relive them over and over again! For more from Photography by Marirosa, be sure to check out their website or check out all of their past features on United With Love.



We hope that you’ll check out Photography by Marirosa for your wedding 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 julianne

I’m a bit sad it is Friday; only because this is my last weekend in paradise before I have to head back to the hustle and bustle of city life! I have spent the past few months with my family on the beach and it has been one amazing summer in my life and here on the blog! We have so many great DC area wedding related things planned for the fall, but for now, I think I’ll just enjoy the last few rays of sunshine and sand. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m all about the free printables, so I hope that you enjoyed this week’s wedding song request cards. My e-door is always open and I welcome your printable requests – if there is something like to see, let me know!


Photo Credit: Cassidy DuHon Photography from Sarah and Stephen’s St. Michael’s MD wedding

Here are a few links for you…

Here is what you missed this week….

Washington DC Wedding Engagement Session: Melissa + Eric

posted by Kate Oczypok

Melissa and Eric had their hearts set on a Washington DC wedding engagement that showcased the beauty of the city that played a supporting role in their romance. With Michelle Lindsay Photography on hand to capture every sweet moment, this cute duo began their day with a sunset photo shoot on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial before heading to Georgetown University (the groom-to-be’s alma mater!) with a very special guest — Jack the Bulldog, the university’s live canine mascot!



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Washington DC Engagement Session

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Congratulations Melissa and Eric! And, a special “thank you” to Shaune Hayes who did Melissa’s makeup and Beautiful Becomings for doing her hair!

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: Michelle Lindsay Photography

DIY Wedding Song Request Cards + Free Printable

posted by Ally Lopez

Get your dancing shoes ready because we have fun, free wedding printable coming your way today! Rather than have your guests line up near the DJ (or worse, pester your DJ all night while they are trying to work!), leave a stack of these song request cards at your reception tables. Another idea is to mail the cards along with your RSVP cards and then you can have some help compiling your wedding song request list for your band or DJ. (If you are still looking for wedding music, be sure to check out our list of the best wedding bands and DJs in the DC area.) Rest assured, these free printable wedding song request cards are super easy and better yet, they will keep the dance floor packed all night long!

Free Printable Wedding Song Request Cards



DIY Wedding DJ Song Request Cards DIY Free Printable Song Request Cards

To Make:

If you can use a printer, then you can do this DIY wedding project! First, download the free printable wedding song request cards and print it onto cardstock. Next, cut along the dotted lines using scissors or a paper trimmer. Share with your wedding guests and enjoy!

Free Printable Wedding DJ Song Request Cards


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.

DIY Photo Booth Backdrop Ideas

posted by julianne

We showed you a great idea this morning for how to make your wedding’s photo booth, but now comes the fun part – designing the photo booth! The key with your photo booth backdrop is to make it unique and fun – maybe with a bright pop of color or something personalized. For example, check out this photo booth backdrop made from old 45s! From walls to sparkly fringe, here are a few great ideas for making a backdrop that will pop and get your guests having tons of fun! After all, if your guests are feeling festive, you know those candid photos in the booth will be amazing!


Photo Credit:  Ever After Visuals from Jennifer and Daniel’s wedding in Virginia

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  • This floating confetti backdrop would add the perfect pop to your photo booth! It is bright and festive and will make great photos of your guests having fun! Photo Credit: Mary Costa Photography

    via Studio DIY

  • This DIY Polariod prop would be so cute as a photo booth addition! Your guests would have a blast getting in (or out!) and taking all types of candid photos. Photo Credit: Love Ala

    via Style Me Pretty

  • This oversized chalkboard sign couldn't be more perfect as a photo booth backdrop! Photo Credit: Aimee McAuley Photography

    via Wedding Chicks

  • This photo booth background has major impact and with cool or vintage wallpaper it will look even better in pictures. With these step-by-step instructions from a past couple, you can definitely do it yourself!

    via Ruffled

  • As it says in this DIY project, it isn't hard to polka dot paint this photo booth backdrop, but it does take time. Start early on this project for your wedding and you'll be stress free!

    via Love and Lion

  • This DIY project for your wedding will give your photo booth a unique pop in the background!

    via Confetti Pop

  • By changing up the ribbon colors, you can create different looks for your photo booth. It is the perfect make-ahead project!

    via Michaela Noelle Designs

  • Not only can you make this backdrop yourself, it is sparkly and pretty - perfect for the background of any photobooth. Photo Credit: Ruth Eileen

    via Style Me Pretty

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 Photo Booth

posted by julianne

Photo booths might be one of the most fun parts of a wedding reception! From the backdrops to the props to the hilarious out-takes, what’s not to love!? There are lots of options for photo booths such a hiring a photo booth company, or getting one through your photographer, so be sure to check out our list of local DC, MD and VA photographers and photo booth experts. We had a reader write in recently asking different DIY photo booth options. So, if you are looking to save money or are last minute with the planning, Janice from Bellwether Events is here to share a DIY photo booth that she pulled together using her computer and some really fun props. Take it away, Janice…


Photo Credit: Kurstin Roe Photography

Photo booths are all the rage at weddings, but not everyone can afford the price tag, so we decided to create a DIY pop art themed photo booth. This photo booth was created to go with a pop art wedding ideas feature that we put together, so be sure to check out all of the other ideas and inspiration that go along with the photo booth.

There is a photo booth application built into the Mac laptop with a pop art feature. We set the computer to that setting and let the guests do the work. We created some awesome props and set it all up on a table with two chairs in front of a solid, fabric backdrop. Most of these props were homemade, or picked up from Target. Throughout the night, the guests can come and take (and re-take!) their own photos using the props.

For the props, we used loads of fun, pop art ideas, including classic pop art items like Campbell’s Tomato Soup cans, Coca Cola bottles, and masks of famous faces including Marilyn Monroe, Mickey Mouse, the Paul Frank monkey and John Lennon. Putting a spin on the current mustache trend, there is the Rolling Stones mouth too!




Here are some DIY photo booth tips:

  • Space: You’ll want to create a separate space for the photo booth such as off to the side or in a corner at your reception. This way, guests can take their photos when they want and not bother the dancers or create a crowd near a doorway or the bar area. When you do your venue walk-through before your wedding, be sure to mention that you’d like to have a photo booth so that your planner or site representative can give you some good location options. You want to make sure it is in a spot that your guests will notice, but that won’t be in the way.
  • Instructions: Be sure to leave instructions for your guests. The idea of a DIY photo booth is that no one needs to operate the booth, so you can set it up and walk away. Do leave instructions so your guests can figure it out and enjoy.
  • Funny Photos: Props and backgrounds help to set the mood for your photo booth and they also help to break the ice with your guests so they loosen up and take funny pictures. You’ll get the formal photos with your photographer, the photo booth is a chance to get those hilarious photos that you can’t plan for. We picked our props up at Target and used fabric for the background. You can easily make your own props, search the dollar store for props or there are loads of photo booth prop vendors online and Etsy.
  • Sharing: Once your wedding is over, with this model the photos are already on your computer for sharing on social media with your friends and family. You can also upload the really good ones to a third-party site like Shutterfly to have them printed.

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Thank you so much, Janice, for sharing your DIY photo booth with us! You can find Janice with her great wedding ideas and wedding planning experience on her website at Bellwether Events. Be sure to check back later this week because we’ll have more DIY photo booth advice and research for you. In the meantime, check out our collection of DIY weddings and free wedding printables.

Are you looking for more local wedding ideas? If you are in the mood for more projects, 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.

Photo Credits: Kurstin Roe Photography

Modern Summer Wedding Reception in Washington DC: Rachael + Savvas

posted by julianne

Welcome back to part two of Rachael and Savvas’ wedding in Washington, DC! After their ceremony (Don’t miss their wedding ceremony right here!) and a trip around the city for portraits with their wedding party, they turned up the volume with a reception at one of DC’s most modern wedding venues, the Newseum, with pops of bright pink all captured by Ethan Yang Photography. I love all the special touches that they added to their wedding day to make it their own!


From Rachael: We had specific taste in music (lounge and dance music over the traditional wedding songs), food, and wine (champagne available at all times!) and wanted to find the right partners to create what we loved. We were so lucky to have such a beautiful day and everyone that participated made it special. Everyone we partnered with became wonderful friends afterwards. We brought them into our life! I only wish the day hadn’t gone by so fast! At least we had our second ceremony in Greece to look forward to afterwards. And luckily….our photographer was willing to be at both of them! 


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More from Rachael: We wanted to have dance and lounge music, and loved Spanish and jazz for the cocktail hour so we wanted a DJ that understood we didn’t want all the typical wedding songs. We also prioritized good food and drinks – which the Newseum absolutely delivered on. We went a little light on flowers – but you wouldn’t have been able to tell from our amazing florist who gracefully reused pieces and suggested arrangements that made sense for the season. She brought flowers from the ceremony to the reception and from the reception to brunch at the Hotel Monaco the next day. And, my loving mother for creating a beautiful arrangement for the escort table (copying from scratch something we found on United with Love!) and delivering lanterns to the Newseum to set them up on the balcony at night for a romantic touch.

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Rachael’s wedding planning advice for other couples:

I recommend keeping a full budget in Excel. We thought we might not be able to have our wedding at the Newseum, but when we estimated everything in it was do-able. Different venues often structure their costs differently so it’s important to understand how everything adds up. Also, don’t be afraid to find vendors that match your own style. We wanted specific music and food — you never know — just ask. You want the day to reflect the both of you — not anyone else. It’s your day to celebrate your love and include everyone in that — you want it to be authentic!


Thank you so much Rachael and Savvas for sharing your wedding ceremony with us! The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:

Ceremony Venue: Holy Trinity Catholic Church
Officiant: Fr. Joseph Sobierjaski
Reception Venue: Newseum
Wedding Planner: Mary Cline from the Newseum
Photography + Videography: Ethan Yang Photography
Stationery: Delphine Press
Floral Design: Nosegay
Hair: Bridal Hair by Remona
Makeup: Maid of Honor
Bridal Dress: Melissa Sweet
Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Veil: Hannelore’s
Groom’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Transportation: Prime Transportation
Catering: Wolfgang Puck at the Newseum
Linens: Party Rental Ltd.
Lighting: Newseum
Reception Music: DJ Heather Femia

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: Ethan Yang Photography