You run the wedding inspiration and planning blog, Capitol Romance. Tell us about how you got started!
It was pretty organic. I got married in 2011 in Washington, DC and after the wedding was over, I was missing all the fun of wedding planning and feeling like there was a huge void in the DC wedding space to help couples that didn’t want a traditional, expensive wedding.
So I thought, hm, maybe I’ll start a blog. It will give me something to do, and it will help future engaged couples find inspiration and vendors to help them plan a wedding that was practical, locally focused, and a true reflection of themselves, not the wedding industrial complex.
The best part about Capitol Romance is, hands down, helping couples that think they can’t do what they want for their wedding.
What is it about the wedding industry that you love?
The wedding industry in Washington, DC is huge and diverse and it’s awesome. There are a ton of wedding vendors here, but that just means you have a lot of options to find your niche. I’ve made friends with a lot of the vendors I’ve met, and I am always invigorated by the vendors that might be “my competition,” but are insanely supportive & helpful. I also think one of the best things about the DC wedding industry is the diversity.
What’s been the best part about running Capitol Romance? Helping DC-area couples plan their weddings? All the dreamy wedding inspiration?
The best part about Capitol Romance is, hands down, helping couples that think they can’t do what they want for their wedding, or they can’t afford to get married in DC even though they live here and want to. I get emails from readers that thank me for showing such a varied picture of the types of weddings you can have here. I really believe there are no rules for wedding planning and I think my readers appreciate hearing that (and then relaying that to their parents or family).
Are DC weddings different than weddings in other places? Is there something that makes the Mid-Atlantic unique?
DC weddings cannot compare with the mountainscapes of the PNW, the urban lofts of NYC, or the hipster-bohemian wanderlust of Californian weddings, BUT DC weddings are awesome because of the fierce loyalty it’s citizens have to the things, places & businesses that make this city so great. For a long time people really only associated DC with historic buildings and POLITICS, but there is so much more here, and 99% of my couples love to infuse that into their weddings.
Doing what you want for your wedding. Whatever you want.
They love using the DC flag or DC skyline on their designs, serving DC locally brewed beer, and filling guests with locally made desserts. The DC creative & small business community is FIERCE and so many of my clients are either directly a part of it, or a huge supporter of it. I think that makes us pretty unique.
What are the best-kept-secret venues in the DC area?
Maybe not best-kept really, but my hands-down favorite is the Josephine Butler Parks Center if couples want the historic-home-meets-house-party feel. For more intimate weddings, it’s hard to beat the Loft on 600F with its brick walls and in-house furniture. DC really has a mix of urban/grunge art centers, stately historic homes, lush gardens, and impressive marble-column filled venues. I tend to love the more offbeat/modern spaces like Loft, Longview Gallery, and The Event Space.
If you had to cover just one aspect of the wedding industry, what would it be?
Not sure this counts, but the couples’ stories are my favorite part. Inspiration is cool, but Pinterest has got that covered. To me, it’s the personal stories behind the touches & details of the day that I love.
What are the 2016 wedding trends that you’re happy to see go? What are you most looking forward to as far as trends go in 2017?
Eh, I really don’t like using the word trends because I feel it makes couples think they can’t use something (i.e., mason jars) they might love, just because it’s “not trendy anymore” or “so overdone.” My trend: do what you love/makes you happy/has meaning for you. If you grew up catching fireflies in mason jars with your family, then hell yeah have mason jars with twinkle lights as your centerpieces.
I really believe there are no rules for wedding planning.
I will say though, at least here in DC, I’ve noticed more and more couples fore-going the traditional events of a reception—no bouquet toss, no cake cutting, no sparkler send-off. Just straight up time with family and friends, partying the night away.
What’s one wedding trend that will never go out of style?
Doing what you want for your wedding. Whatever you want.
We know you’re happily married, but if you could do your wedding all over again, what would you do differently?
Honestly, other then maybe hiring a few different vendors, I wouldn’t change a thing. My husband and I poured ourselves into our wedding. We spent money on the things that were most important to us (live. freaking. music), and forgot about the things that weren’t. As a result, our guests told us all night “this wedding is so you guys“—which was exactly what we wanted 🙂
We have a lot of couples who are looking to plan their dream wedding on a budget. What are you best tips for keeping costs down?
I tell all my coordination clients to start with a list. Write down your MUST HAVES down to your COULD CARE LESSES. Then use this when you have to make hard budget decisions. We spent a good deal of our budget on a band, and so that meant no photo booth. I also tell them to be wary of DIY projects being budget-savers.
At the end of the day, you really only need you, your partner and an officiant to get married, so try to get back to basics. Ask yourself is this something we really need for our wedding?
They might not actually cost less in the end, and they will take you way more time to do yourself. At the end of the day, you really only need you, your partner and an officiant to get married, so try to get back to basics. Ask yourself is this something we really need for our wedding?
Lastly, at Joy we believe that even though a wedding lasts a day, joy lasts forever. What does that mean to you?
To me, this is very similar to when I tell my couples that weddings need to focus on the marriage, the vows, the work to make a lasting relationship, and yes, the JOY. Weddings really are a ton of money and work for one day.
Focus on the marriage, the vows, the work to make a lasting relationship, and yes, the joy.
Yes, I understand the need or desire to celebrate, but after the wedding day is over, it’s the two of you that are left for the rest of your time together. So why not focus more on the marriage, the relationship, and the JOY—and focus less on the details and superficial pieces of the wedding.