How to Have a DIY Wedding #3: Consistency

While today’s How to Have a DIY Wedding advice post doesn’t contain a shirtless Ryan Gosling, I think you will find the advice and insight here just as useful as parts 1 and 2 of our “How to Have a DIY Wedding” advice series!

We started out explaining how much time is a huge piece of a DIY wedding and then we gave you some advice on how you will need to set priorities when it comes to your life and your DIY projects.

Now we are talking #3 ~ Consistency!


One of the easiest ways to keep your DIY projects easy to plan, fairly straightforward to execute, and looking good – is to keep your design elements consistent. Pick a certain item (or two) that you can use in many of your DIY projects and center all your projects around it!

How to keep things consistent:

Step #1: Pick an element

Obviously the list of elements you could pick could go on and on – but some commons ones are listed above.

Elements for DIY projects should be generic enough that they can mold to your wedding theme (in color or style) but specific enough that they tie all the DIY projects of your wedding day together with some cohesiveness.

You could easily make bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces, seating assignment cards, favors, or decorations from any of the items listed above! Focusing on a specific element (or two) will also help you better prioritize your projects!

Step #2: Keep your colors & themes consistent

You will also want to keep your colors consistent (so pick a color palette early on!) and use it in your DIY projects. Personally, we used hot pink, black, grey, white, and polka dots. We used this color scheme for EVERYTHING so that the overall wedding had a more cohesive look.

Also be sure that you pick/use at most 2 or 3 “elements” ~ you don’t want to go crazy with the amount of items you through into your projects (and consequently your wedding) or things could not only appear messy or disorganized, but you could lose focus and make your DIY projects harder to accomplish!

I would say our elements were:

  • Christmas Ornament Balls (in shades of black, silver and hot pink)
  • The DC Skyline that we used on our paper products (invites, menus, program)
  • Polka Dot Ribbon (to finish off our paper products, on the handles of the bouquet, on the boutonnieres, etc)

Step #3: Use the same font

Our font ~ Champagne & Limousines

[Champagne & Limousines via]

You will also want to pick a font in the beginning of your planning process and use it for whatever paper products you end up making yourself. We ended up making our save the dates, invitations, menus, table names, seating cards and wedding program poster – and most of our guests thought they were professionally made because of the consistency between all of them.

What element do you plan to use for your DIY projects? Do you have your color palette or font picked out yet!? If not, be sure to check out some of these websites for color inspiration and fonts:

Feel free to share any other websites you might like for DIY wedding inspiration !

Pin It

Marissa & Trey’s Casual, Brookside Gardens Maryland Engagement

LOVE me some Tim Riddick Photography ~ one of my all-time alternative Washington, DC wedding photographers for sure. Thanks to him, I have Marissa & Trey’s beautiful, casual Maryland engagement session to share this afternoon!

Spring is a fab season for engagement session ~ and parks [personally] make one of the best engagement session locations. They are so full of beautiful, natural shots that really bring out a couple’s love & affection. Enjoy!

Marissa & Trey’s Brookside Gardens Engagement Session in Wheaton, MD

About the couple:

Trey and I met when I was 16 years old (over 7 years ago.) He was living in Miami at the time and we met through a friend, becoming inseparable immediately. We hung out as friends for months and one fateful night Trey asked me if I’d be his “girlfriend or something?” I laughed and we talked on the phone all night (I said yes of course) and since that night we have not gone to bed not as boyfriend and girlfriend or fiancées or, now husband and wife.

Just a few months into our relationship I moved with my mother to North Carolina, while Trey stayed behind in Miami. It was a tough few months but not long after he followed. We were together for 5 years when he popped the question.

Click inside for the proposal story and the rest of this adorable Maryland engagement session from Tim Riddick Photography!

Read More

Let’s Get Personal: Office aka Capitol Romance Headquarters Makeover

Another personal post to start Tuesday! If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, then you have probably already seen some of the rumblings from our office re-do [and by office I mean, Capitol Romance Headquarters … which Andy lovingly allows me to call our office].

When we moved into our house last June, everything had already been re-done and the house was move-in ready. But we brought a lot of our old furniture from our old condo and have been attempting to update our house with some more long-term, permanent changes that compliment our updated style preferences. Most of you have probably seen the exposed brick project we have almost completed [if not, I will be sharing more of this project on one of my favorite wedding blogs ~ Fab You Bliss ~ in the upcoming months!].

Our style used to be fairly modern [think: IKEA] but we have been moving into a more industrial, rustic feel [think: West Elm or Anthropologie]; throw in the fact that the headquarters is centered around my graffiti art sign, and well – you only have so many options to style a smaller, office-like room when graffiti is your main focus point :)

So the first thing we did was paint the room last weekend. We went to Frager‘s set on buying the powder blue color that JP used in the artwork. But then I saw this:

Benjamin Moore’s Teal Blast … annnnnd I was smitten.

Next came the big purchase that we made this weekend: a tanker desk. Thanks to Prince of Petworth’s “Phenomenal Finds” feature, we saw this listing for a vintage 1950s tanker desk out in Chantilly. The price was right, the seller was willing to deliver … getting it up the stairs was another story though:

That’s what spackle and paint is for right?! But – last night my amazing husband cleaned the desk up and setup our iMac on it. Isn’t she lovely?! Apologies for this phone picture … one of these days I will get a proper camera:

So what’s left? Well we have some ideas. The next being this black chandelier that will be the new light fixture:

[ from Amazon]

And a Black & White Chevron Chair is pretty much a MUST-HAVE to us as well:

[from Target]

From there I don’t really have anything else solidified. We wanted to get some sort of old wood to make one long shelf across the wall where the desk is. We are hoping to find one at Community Forklift this upcoming weekend!

Something like this, but way thicker and more rustic:

[via Remodelista]

I know I want to frame and hang some of my blog stuff, like the posters from our Bridal Inspiration shoot and need to have my bouquet out somewhere too! But I am super stuck on a few things:

1. Some sort of end table next to the desk that can hold our printer

2. Shelving ideas

3. A chair!

Any help/ideas would be greatly appreciated! What do you think of Mine & Andy’s office aka Capitol Romance Headquarters makeover so far !?

Nathan & Di’s Baseball & Cherry Blossoms Engagement Session

Monday’s always put me in a funk. Cloudy Mondays – well, they are like a double sucker-punch of funk. I always look forward to saving my afternoon engagement feature until just after noon so that I can re-energize myself by staring at gorgeous pictures and sharing adorable couples in love. It always seems to instantly put me in a better mood. Thanks to Gronde Photography for sharing this Washington, DC engagement session with us [submitted via Two Bright Lights]!

Di & Nathan’s Baseball & Blossoms, Washington DC Engagement Session

About the couple:

Nate and Di met in Spain in June 2010, when Di was studying at the G42 Leadership Academy and Nate was traveling. Di knew she was going to marry him the first time she met him. He had no idea.

After a year long-distance skype calls and two visits to Washington State, Nate finally realized he was in love with Di. He hopped on a red-eye, surprised her, and she said No, that he had waited too long and she wasn’t interested anymore. He went home and thought it was the end.

6 weeks later she called Nate and said she was coming to Seattle to “see if it could work.” A 5-hour plane ride, walk on the boardwalk, and a kiss later they were dating!

 in LOVE with Di’s unique engagement ring! love the two pink sapphires encompassing the diamond!

Couple shares why they had their engagement session with the blossoms in DC:

Even though they both live in Washington State now they’re doing the wedding in Baltimore where Di grew up. She loves baseball so they’re doing it at Ripken Stadium. They decided to do their pictures in Washington DC because the cherry blossoms make amazing pictures

A baseball wedding! How fun!

Click inside for the rest of this Washington, Dc engagement session, including the proposal story!

Read More

Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck: “The Longest Time”

This Monday’s Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck might seem like a cop out – it’s not a new, modern, or alternative song – but you really can’t find fault with the awesomeness that is Billy Joel.

I heard “For the Longest Time” on the radio the other day [80s on 8 I think!] and really just love everything about this song. If you were going to have a more classic wedding – I think this love song would be perfect to incorporate into your wedding. It’d make for a fun, more upbeat first dance song or personally, I think it would be a great way to end your ceremony, and make for a fun recessional wedding song as well.

I don’t care what consequence it brings
I have been a fool for lesser things
I want you so bad
I think you ought to know that
I intend to hold you for the longest time

Happy Monday everyone ~ we’ll be back this afternoon with a bright & cheery engagement session to hopefully brighten this otherwise gloomy Monday in Washington, DC!


Capitol Inspiration: Paper Flower Wedding Decorations & Centerpieces from Whimsical, Real PA Wedding

Our DIY origami flower bouquet tutorial and our paper flower tutorial are two of our most popular posts on the site. So when I came across a real wedding, from talented wedding photographer, Jillian McGrath Photography, that used paper flowers instead of real flowers, among other gorgeous, hande wedding decorations and details – I knew I just had to feature them on Inspiration Friday.

Ryan & Amanda’s Whimsical Vegan PA Wedding

Over on Jillian’s blog you can see the full set of Amanda & Ryans wedding pictures [and believe me, you will want to see these gorgeous images], but for today I wanted to focus specifically on all their gorgeous paper flower details, handmade decorations, and more!

Amanda shares why she decided to go flower-less for her bouquets & centerpieces:

Although flowers are gorgeous, I knew that I did not want flowers for the bouquets and centerpieces. The majority of cut flowers are not even locally grown. They come from other places miles and miles away, and in some cases from other countries.

I wanted to have a wedding with the least amount of carbon footprint as possible. I’m also not a fan of pesticides and it is very challenging to find organic and locally grown flowers. I remember reading that Valentine’s day alone accounts for tons of CO2 emissions which is equivalent to the yearly footprint of about 500 Americas. That’s not something I want to contribute to. ;) Also, I loved the idea of being able to keep the flowers as they will never die.

[However] there were some flowers there because my best friend Amanda actually ordered some flowers. I tried incorporating pumpkins [too] because they are seasonal in October.

Amanda & Ryan’s beautiful paper flowers were provided by Etsy shop artist, Danas Paper Flowers, but if you had the time you could make the flowers using our step-by-step origami paper flower or sheet music flower tutorials!

A special thanks again to Jillian McGrath Photography for sharing her beautiful detail images with us!

How adorable are these unique paper flower centerpieces?!

I also love the simple addition of wine bottles, pumpkins and wood hearts. Adorable handmade wedding centerpieces for sure!

Click inside for the rest of these gorgeous, handmade & flower-less paper wedding details & decorations from Jillian McGrath Photography!

Read More

Cecelia & Wasim’s Hip Modern Washington, DC Wedding

When a new message popped up in my inbox from Megan Noonan Photography, with the subject “Cecelia & Wasim’s wedding” – well, I was pumped. Cecelia & Wasim’s awesome Washington, DC art gallery engagement had made my “Best of 2011 Engagement Features“, so naturally, I knew their wedding was going to be unique, ultra-hip, and 100% them.

Cecelia confirmed my suspicions:

After getting engaged, I seriously tried to convince Wasim that we should go to the courthouse, get married, have a small dinner with family and friends, and call it a day.  Wasim, however, was very adamant about having a full blown wedding. I am so very glad that I “caved in” because we had a blast.

Wasim and I said that our goal was for our guests to eat, drink, and dance well at our wedding. Personally, I wanted to make sure that in the process we stayed true to ourselves without getting locked in traditions that didn’t fit our personalities, and that we didn’t break the bank while doing so.

I mean what could be more Capitol Romance than what Cecelia said – a wedding that “stayed true to ourselves”, not “locked in traditions that didn’t fit” them and “didn’t break the bank” – I mean those are practically my commandments!

Cecelia & Wasim’s Non-traditional, Modern Wedding at the Hotel Palomar in Arlington, VA

Cecelia shares how they chose Hotel Palomar in Arlington, VA as their wedding venue:

I am a huuuuuge fan of modern art (hence my choices for the   engagement session), so I was originally looking a venues with a modern and artistic vibe.  Once we stepped in the Hotel Palomar, I absolutely fell in love with the theme, “Art in Motion” and the artwork.  The fact that Wasim loved it and actually picked the hotel as his number one choice completely sold me on the venue.  We knew we made the right decision when we had our tasting…can you say Yuuuuummy!!??

We also wanted to make sure that we could have the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception at one location since the vast majority of our guests were from out of town.

i mean have you ever seen sexier, hipper bright blue wedding shoes than Cecelia’s? love.

love her sophisticated, twist bun wedding hairstyle!

Their invitations used the cobalt blue, smokey grey, and white color palette. so modern!

And just this last peak before I make you click inside to see the rest! Cecelia went non-traditional and opted for clutches over bouquets. I have been talking about that alternative bouquet idea for ever – and am THRILLED to get to show how awesome it looks in a REAL wedding!

Click inside to see the rest of Cecelia & Wasim’s Modern, Nontraditional Washington, DC wedding by Megan Noonon Photography.

Read More

Capitol Advice: How to Write Your Own Wedding Vows

Writing your own wedding vows isn’t for everyone. I get that.  But personally, I love all-things custom when it comes to weddings and so it was a no-brainer for me when the time came to discuss our wedding vows.

Now that I look back, I don’t think I gave Andy much of a choice – I was adamant that we would write our own vows. Traditional vows just weren’t for me – I wanted something personal, something custom to us and our one-of-a-kind relationship [and therefore, one-of-a-kind wedding].

So for this morning’s post, we have a two-parter. First I thought it would be fun to share mine & Andy’s vows and some pictures from our ceremony that truly show why I wanted personalized vows so bad. The emotional roller coaster of reading our vows in front of our wedding party, parents, closest friends & family just wouldn’t have been the same if we went the traditional route.

And then, we have Heather from Digby By Rose, a Washington, DC luxury wedding invitation design & print shop, sharing some helpful guidelines and advice for couples that are considering writing their own wedding vows ~ if you are planning on going the “custom” vows route too!

Writing Your Own Wedding Vows ~ Why & How

Andy went first:

“I’d like to start by coming clean. Yesterday when you asked if my vows were finished and I replied, “just about”, I may not have been truthful. The reason I’m telling you this now is because we are standing in front of our family & friends in the process of getting married and there is no way you can get mad at me at this moment.

So as I sit here writing these vows at my hotel room, at 12:17am,the night before our wedding …

[insert my reaction to Andy coming clean about when he wrote his vows … ]

…I am attempting to find a new way to say what I’ve been saying to you for the past 7 years – I love you.

I love that you’re obsessed with Harry Potter and that I’m afraid to admit that I kinda am too. I love that I can look past the fact that you enjoy Twilight and I love that you can look past the beard hairs in the sink. I love that we can endlessly quote from Arrested Development and still laugh. I love that we’re both content with spending our Sundays watching the Giants and I love that you think Tony Romo is an over-rated quarterback too.

I love that we have spent the past 7 years together and that we will continue to spent the rest of our lives together. Last, and most importantly, I love being in love with you.

I vow to honor, protect, support and cherish every second of every day that we are together. I vow to never stop doing what I have continually done since we first began dating – I vow to always love you.”

[*insert copious amounts of tears here*]

And then it was mine turn. Which of course I started off with announcing that I had naturally prepared my vows WEEKS ago and not the night before :)

“When I look into your eyes I see over 7 years of memories and milestones.

I see the day I drove you to Six Flags, where everything all began. I see your birthdays and prom and Good Charlotte shows. I see your ever-changing hairstyles and the night in your room where you asked me to be your girlfriend and I said, “No.” [and then I said “yes”] I see handwritten notes and the daily emails, and the time I made you get out of bed to talk to me on Instant Messenger.

I can see high school graduation and the summer in Maine. I see the countless miles you drove to Penn State all those weekends for 4 years. [**ok, even typing this, this part ALWAYS gets me for some reason … I mean … he drove A LOT to see me**].

I see Penn State football, and weekends at Kutztown, and our senior year and college graduation. I see anniversary celebrations, holidays together, family vacations at the jersey shore and at lake houses in Vermont. I see Penn State Bowl Games & road trips to Florida.

I see our first real jobs and first apartments in DC, kickball, and Obama’s Inauguration. I see the night at the Washington Monument where you proposed and made me the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.

When I look into your eyes, I see selflessness, patience, and the absolute love you have for me. I see the love of my life, my best friend, and the only eyes I want to look into for the rest of my life.

I see our future together and many more years of memories and milestones.

I love you and promise to love you for the rest of my life. Always & forever.

 And then this happened [notice the laughter on our wedding party’s faces]:

I was SO swept up in the emotion of reading my vows that I naturally went in to kiss Andy – and Andy leaned away, with a look of shock on his face, as we “weren’t supposed to kiss yes”.

Everyone laughed at Andy’s reaction – and then we got the “a-ok” to kiss anyway from our officiant:

PHEW! Even just reading the vows as I typed them up here got me misty-eyed! And that, right there, is why I wanted custom vows, written by us!

So now for Part 2 ~ click inside to read advice on HOW to write your own wedding vows from Digby Rose!

Read More

How to Have a DIY Wedding: #2. Prioritize

We are back at it again with our second round of advice for all those couples out there that are thinking about having a DIY wedding.

Last DIY Wednesday we opened with our first big piece of advice, that DIY weddings require a lot of TIME. We mentioned that you need to decide whether it might be better just to hire a pro/vendor [get help deciding by using this handy DIY decision flowchart that one of our readers shared!] or perhaps you might need to do a little of #2. Prioritize.


You need to prioritize both the things you are doing in your life AND all the items that you plan on making for your wedding.

If you don’t think you have the time to make things for your wedding – think again. Think about the time you spend on Facebook or Twitter – the time you spend watching reality TV or any TV for that matter. All that time you spend on social media or in front of the boob tube could be time spent working on DIY wedding projects instead!

My advice to you here is to maybe start out by making just one night a week your “wedding projects night” and be certain to start at least 6 months out from the wedding so that you don’t feel stressed or rushed. Leaving that much time also allows you to decide if maybe a vendor might be the better option for a project you originally thought could be DIY. - Your wedding plans sound really interesting to you

[i kid! i kid! credit: someecards]

The second thing you should prioritize are the projects you plan on making. List them all out and really think about the ones that are the most important to you – or the ones that you know you can accomplish.

[credit: Sweet Cuppin Cakes Bakery]

For instance – I had originally planned to make the cupcakes for my wedding – my mom told me I was nuts, but I didn’t believe her. I knew I wanted funfetti (yes, pillsbury, from the box, see above) cupcakes and I didn’t want to pay $3 a cupcake, for something that costs $3 for an entire box.

But, a few months out I started realizing that maybe I wouldn’t have all that much time two days before my wedding to make 150 cupcakes … and I, rather last minute, outsourced the cupcakes to a vendor. In retrospect, I should have better prioritized the cupcakes and realized earlier on in the process that that was something I shouldn’t have DIYed.

Bottom line:

1. Make a list of all the proposed DIY projects you plan on making

2. Evaluate your proposed list of DIY projects and take a hard look

3. Use the handy DIY project flow-chart from 100 Layer Cake to help with your decisions

4. Set your priorities and decide early on whether some thing might be better left to the pros!


Did anyone else miss out on setting priorities earlier in their DIY wedding planning process? Or perhaps you have some other ideas on how to better set life priorities to meet your DIY projects goals!

Rad Things For Your Big Day & Life Together Go Shopping!