Capitol Inspiration: DIY Paper Pom Poms

Our new Guest Blogger, Vanessa, gets things started with her first guest post on a great DIY Wedding Decoration Idea – Paper Pom Poms!

Looking for an easy, affordable DIY Wedding Decoration Idea? Then look no further…

[via Martha Stewart]

Paper Pom Poms are an extremely versatile DIY project for your wedding. The Pom Poms can be used as reception decorations, ceremony decorations, alternative bouquets, centerpieces, or even for the groomsmens’ boutonnieres!

Check out some awesome Paper Pom Pom wedding inspiration shots ~ and then tune in NEXT week for our very own Tutorial on how to make these awesome DIY decorations!

Paper Pom Pom Napkin Rings!

[via Kinser Event Company blog]

Paper Pom Pom Bouquets or Centerpieces

[via Aestic Nest craft blog]

Unique Paper Pom Pom Centerpieces

[via Cherished Gifts & Favors blog]

Ceremony Decorations Using Paper Pom Poms

[via Go Blue Bride blog]

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A New Guest Blogger!

I am super excited to introduce a new guest blogger here on Capitol Romance! Everyone, let’s give Vanessa a big warm welcome!

(photo by Courtney Earll Photography)

Vanessa is a recent graduate of Radford University and is in the midst of helping her sister plan her wedding and had previously helped a good friend of hers with her October wedding.  Both came to Vanessa with their themes and colors ~ and Vanessa’s ideas just started flowing. She quickly realized she had a great eye for taking an idea and making it fit into other ideas that flowed into an overall wedding theme and look. She hopes to turn her event/wedding planning passion into a career someday!

Vanessa is going to help us out with some DIY Wednesday posts and other inspiration boards for all our couples planning their weddings!

Stay tuned this afternoon for her first guest blog post ~ Paper Pom Pom Inspiration!


Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck: “Song Away”

I can’t exactly remember where I heard this song … I am not much of a radio listener, so it might have been the gym or a spin class ~ but regardless, “Song Away” by Hockey [who is that??] is the perfect feel-good, upbeat wedding song.

It makes me think of warm summer days with the windows down on the way to the shore (or beach, for you non-New Jerseyans).

“Tomorrow’s just a song away … song away … song away…”

It be fun to have this song be your recessional song at the ceremony or have it be a reception entrance song! Either way, it’s a fun, modern song choice that might just be great to play at the reception too! Enjoy!

Aimee & Richard’s Dumbarton Oaks Engagement in Georgetown, DC

Good mornin‘ Romancers! I hope everyone had a fabulous long weekend. I myself, celebrated a bit too much for my birthday ~ but I am on vacation at the end of this week … so I won’t complain! [too much]!

This morning we are changing up the schedule a bit. First we have a cute little engagement sess from Amber Wilkie Photography and this afternoon we will have our Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suckpost.

So let’s get it started ….

This is Aimee & Richard.

How did Aimee & Richard find themselves about to get married? Well, let me tell you

They met through friends and are planning their September wedding at Camp Puh’tok [north of Baltimore].  It’s going to have lots of lovely DIY details, kegs of beer, mason jars and a campfire! Aimee works for the Library of Congress and Richard is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins in the history of science.  He is particularly interested in keeping religion out of the biology classroom – good on him!

Aimee & Richard had their engagement shoot at Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown! A super cool spot in my opinion ~ and an awesome alternative to the monuments” Washington DC shoot location!

A bit about the proposal!!!

His proposal was pretty neat.  He wanted to do something really special for Aimee and so arranged to have both their parents come into town for a little receiving party after he popped the question.  He got all of them in without her suspecting anything.  He wanted to do it at Kenilworth aquatic gardens because Aimee had been wanting to go there for a long time.  So all summer she bugged him about going and he always came up with some excuse not to go – she was getting kind of peeved, she said.  Then finally it was the big day, but they got lost on the way and when they finally arrived, the park was almost closing.  Aimee wanted to just turn around and go back, so Richard had to persuade her to at least go in and look, since they came all that way.  So they basically ran into the park and then he dropped to a knee and whipped out a ring.

I LOVE this plant-ish thing! It would be SO cool to get married in front of this or have your ceremony here!

Capitol Inspiration: Backyard BBQ Weddings

Happy Memorial Day Everyone!

In lieu of our typical Monday line-up, I thought I’d post a light inspiration feature on the Memorial Day-appropriate theme of backyard BBQ’s!

I just LOVE the simplicity and budget-friendliness of backyard BBQ weddings. It feels so much more personal sometimes than the big hoopla at the hotel reception halls.

Hope everyone has a fantastic day!

[via Sweetest Occasion blog]

Awesome take on a wedding cake – a hamburger cake! love it!

[via Ruffled blog]

[via The Perfect Palette]

how insanely gorgeous is this?

[via Big Wedding Tiny Budget]

[via Cachic Design blog]

[ via CuisinEtc ]

This entire backyard wedding is a must see ~ click the picture to see more!

[via Love & Lavender blog]

It’s My Birthday!

Happy Friday Romancers!!! Today is actually extra special on top of it being Friday … it’s also MY BIRTHDAY!

(this is me ~ being pumped to get married)

So, while I am busy pampering myself and dealing with turning 26 … I thought I’d leave you with a more personal article today. It’s my birthday, so I am allowed to do that.

The Wedding Blog Business

I hear it all the time from my photographer friends, the frustration of dealing with submitting to wedding blogs. The inane exclusivity rules, the weeks of never hearing a response or the constant rejection. When I started my own wedding blog, I swore I would never be like that. My main reason for starting a blog was that I wanted to help people and I wanted to help change the idea that DC area weddings had to be prim and proper or cost over $50K. Who cares that someone else out there might have a blog post exactly like mine, trying to help people as well?

I think what I have grown to learn and see over the past few years of reading wedding blogs, submitting my own wedding to blogs, and now running a blog myself ~ is that some wedding blogs aren’t in it to help. They are in it for the business, the money. While that might be fine with some people, it is not fine with me. It is not fine with me, because I do not think that these “business wedblogs” make it widely known that, that is their M.O. They use words like “fresh”, “unique” and “one-of-a-kind” in their slogans, yet all their features look the same … and most of the features come from ad-paying vendors. I am not sure who that is really helping …

I wish wedding blogs were in it for the help factor ~ and not the business. It kills me to see some of my photog friends’ work be rejected because couples aren’t holding inanimate objects in their hands, or staging a picnic, or holding balloons. Sure, that looks awesome in a lot of the posts, but I think we also need to be aware that not all shoots look like that, and not all shoots SHOULD, and that shouldn’t be a reason to reject a photog’s feature. Every in-love couple deserves a fair shot at being featured on a wedding blog ~ no matter what they look like, believe in, or might NOT be holding in their hands.

A very wise woman once vented her repeated wedding blog rejection frustration with me and said:

“i think we just have to remember what’s really important here: the couple and their love and this amazing thing they’re doing…this isn’t a magazine, this is real life.”

See, told you she was wise and I couldn’t agree with her more.

So while other blogs continue to ignore, post the same types of shoots & couples, and cater to the $$ paying vendors, I’ll continue to try my hardest to feature variety. I’ll continue to search for different types of shoots, photography, and couples to help the Washington, DC metro area be different AND get the help they need to become different, no matter who submits it to me!

Local Find: Paperspade Creative Stationery

So, as far as considering this “local” to Washington, DC metro area ~ it is probably a stretch. But – I will never be opposed to promoting local and small businesses (wherever they might be!). That being said, this afternoon I bring you an adorable little papery called PAPER SPADE!

PAPER SPADE is a Pittsburgh-based studio that specializes in helping brides create distinctively personal stationery for their big day.

The woman behind it all is Lauren Spadafora, who started the business last year:

I created PAPER SPADE so that brides could have access to a full-range of custom stationery products and services.  They can select an invitation from designer catalogs, work with me to create a custom invitation suite from scratch, or simply obtain the paper products they need for a DIY project.  It all depends on their specific preferences.

By choosing PAPER SPADE, brides receive more than just invitations: they receive personal attention, etiquette guidance, creative suggestions for other aspects of their wedding, and useful planning resources.

More from Lauren:

I consider my role in working with brides to be part designer, consultant, and friend.  I enjoy getting to know each bride and taking time to understand their wedding from the inside out.  The end result is stationery that’s authentic – it’s infused with the couple’s personality, style, and wedding vision.  We always have a lot of fun.

PAPER SPADE is a licensed dealer and designer for several prominent paper lines and works with a variety of professional printers to produce top-quality wedding stationery.  To learn more about their products and services, visit:

Let’s check out some shots of their work

A cute photo save the date!

Elegant invitation series

The eco-chic invitation series

Bridal Shower invites & other paper goods/design involved

Thanks for sharing Lauren ~ let us know if you end up using PAPER SPADE for your invitations or save the dates!

Kristin & Dave’s Modern Blue & Green Art Gallery Wedding in Roanoke, VA

We’re getting a double dose of Sweet Tea this week ~ with another fabulous feature from Sweet Tea Photography ….

Meet Kristin & Dave

Married on January 29th at the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, VA

I just adore this holga shot of the couple AND their art gallery wedding! Art gallery weddings are just the coolest. Plus ~ you don’t need much decorating in the venue, because it’s already adorned with fabulous works of art!

And besides, where else could you get formal shots in your wedding attire like this??

A bit about the lovely couple:

Kristin and Dave met in Dallas in January of ’08 in Starbucks; after a successful cup of coffee they decided to grab a beer for happy hour at a local dive bar, and they continued on to have dinner at the Italian restaurant around the corner!  Their first date was the last Sunday in January, so by marrying on the last weekend of January, they have sneakily and successfully managed to combine 2 anniversaries into one, cutting down on gifts and things Dave has to remember.  They were initially drawn to each other (animal magnetism aside) by their shared love of travel, wine, food, SEC football, and the fact that they could talk for hours about anything and everything from the moment they met.

It didn’t hurt that the first time Dave was invited over Kristin cooked him seared scallops with sherry cream sauce served over cheese grits soufle. No, that did not hurt at all.

Haha! Love their sense of humor! Now onto their amazing vintage meets modern meets colorful wedding!

I love Kristin’s pink nails against the blue & lace ~ so unique

Her vintage dress (Jasmine Couture from White Swan Bridal in Vienna, VA) is gorgeous & I love the blue ribbon

Kristin shares why they chose an  art gallery for their wedding:

For the look of the wedding … we were going for something unique and modern that would also provide an experience for our guests- after deciding on the Taubman as the venue, with its architectural lines and clean and open space, it helped to guide us the rest of the way in creating the look of the wedding.

and THAT is how you make an entrance!

in LOVE with this shot of the groomsmen! also love the non-matching tie colors!

Click inside for more on this fabulous, modern art gallery wedding! A lovely candy display and some super artsy formal shots!

DIY How To: Fabric Flower Hair Clip Tutorial

A couple weeks ago my husband and I participated in a shoot with the ever-so-talented Gabe Aceves Photography. For the shoot, his equally talented girlfriend, Sarah, DIYed a ton of the decor and ‘props’, including the lovely DIY flower hair clip you see here:

Thanks to Sarah (who, BT Dubs, runs an ah-mazing food blog called the Chubbette ~ you must check it out. Though I warn you that it will make you constantly salivate) we have the tutorial to make this awesome DIY wedding accessory!

This flower hair clip ~ I can attest ~ would look adorable on your bridesmaids, your own bridal ‘do, or even for just everyday wear! I’ve already worn it a few times outside the shoot and gotten rad compliments on it!

thanks again to Sarah Jameson & Gabe Aceves for this tutorial!

DIY Flower Hair Clip Tutorial

You will need:

  • Fabric of your choosing (2 feet minimum)
  • Needle and thread
  • Small, medium, and large circular objects for tracing.  Each size should have about ¼ inch difference (I used coasters and mugs)
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun
  • Hair clip


  • Trace 9 circles onto the fabric with the largest circle, 1 circle with the medium circle and 1 circle with the small circle.
  • Cut out each circle.
  • Take a large circle and lay it on a flat surface.
  • Take a second large circle and fold it into quarters.  Place the quartered circle on top of the flat circle.
  • With your needle and thread, sew the tip of the fabric onto the flat circle, sewing through all the layers.

  • Take 3 more large circles and fold them into quarters, and sew them in the same manner, covering the entire surface of the original circle. Make sure that the opening to each circle is facing the same direction as the others.

Click inside for the rest of this tutorial!

Need Help Making DIY Projects for Your Wedding? Attend Our Workshops!