Wedding Advice: Why I’m Not Dieting for My Wedding

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Whenever I see advertisements or blog posts titled “Bridal Bootcamp” or “shed the pounds fast for your big day”, I cringe and a part of me dies inside. Wedding dieting is something I will NEVER promote on this blog. I will not feature events that focus on this topic, and I will not allow vendors to promote this topic through any of my advertising platforms. If you’ve read Capitol Romance before, than you should already know that I am a huge supporter of couples having a wedding that is truly reflective of their selves in every sense of the word. This includes actually looking like yourself on your wedding day, and not trying to conform to someone else’s idea of how you should look on your wedding day.

But, today’s post is not about me, it’s a beautifully penned guest post from Shalini (of our Makeup-less Engagement post) sharing why she’s not dieting for her wedding. The post was originally published in HaveHeart Magazine, but I found it too good not to share here as well.

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Why I’m Not Dieting for My Wedding

A guest post by Shalini

After I got engaged, one of the first emails I received from The Knot was about how to get in shape for my big day. During the past year I have been bombarded with messages saying that I need to look my best- better than I ever have in my entire life- for the wedding. I’m supposed to be thin, toned, have fluorescent white teeth, long nails, flawless skin, and voluminous hair, because what kind of bride wouldn’t put effort into becoming perfect for this once in a lifetime event? Who would want to marry a woman who didn’t look like a photoshopped cover girl? Regular-looking girls don’t deserve love, right?

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But what if I don’t look like a model on my wedding day? What if I just look like… me? I’m not perfect, and to the best of my knowledge, my flaws are part of what my fiancé loves about me. Rather than reverting back to my old ways of restrictive eating and over-exercising, and obsessing over my “flawed” face in the mirror, I decided to live out my engagement as if it were any other phase of life. I vowed not to give into unrealistic expectations of brides, which are ultimately fueled by the beauty industry’s desire to make money off of our insecurities. I knew that I couldn’t live a life dedicated to self-acceptance, but make an exception for my wedding.

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My fiancé has been the biggest supporter of my journey toward self-love and positive body image, and if anyone didn’t want me to lose weight for the most important day of our life together, it would be him. As a child, I always envisioned myself looking perfect on my wedding day. But then, I also envisioned myself looking perfect at prom, my college graduation, the first day of grad school, my first interview, and on the day I fell in love. I didn’t look perfect for any of those special events, but my memories of them are no less fond and fulfilling. Ultimately, it won’t matter what I look like on my wedding day. I will likely be filled with such joy and excitement that something as inconsequential as my waist size will be the least of my worries.

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We spend so much time and effort focusing on what we look like. I have enjoyed my engagement so much because I haven’t gotten too wrapped up in the superficial details. My ability to brush off questions and comments about my weight with regard to wedding preparation has become a source of pride. Instead of crash dieting or working out 6 days a week, I have maintained my usual wellness routine (eating what I want and exercising when I want), and I’ve been much happier because of that. I would much rather enjoy this exciting time with my fiancé and other loved ones, celebrating a relationship that is founded in something much deeper than looks. I will be the happiest bride as I walk down the aisle next month, looking into the eyes of the man who finds my happiness to be the most beautiful thing in the world.

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Thanks Shalini! Hoping this article helps any CapRo reader out there that might be doubting their appearance for their wedding day. You are GORGEOUS just the way you are.

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DIY Tutorial: How to Make DIY Halloween Party Invites with Washi Tape


Another week, another super rad DIY tutorial from Ribbons & Bluebirds. Today Jenn is bringing the Fall goodness with an adorable DIY Halloween Party invitation (or basic Halloween notecard). Take it away Jenn!

So I know that last week I said you can hang on to summer all year long, but personally my favorite season has always been fall. I love the crisp weather, the gorgeous leaves changing, an excuse to wear boots and jeans and a great oversized sweater… sorry, I got a little carried away there. One of the best parts about Fall is obviously Halloween, and a chance for all of us to throw crazy parties!

A great party starts with a great invitation, and I have a super simple way for you to take your party invites from ordinary to inspired – plus, a free template! (Not having a party? Just want to send some Halloween greetings? WELL you can trim the bottom off the party invitation (and a little off the top) to turn the same template into a 3.5×5 greeting card!)

Let’s get started:


  • Template, available here
  • 5×7 white cardstock and envelope
  • Washi tape in a Halloween-esque theme – mine is from Scotch (purchased at Target) or there’s a ton on Amazon: Washi Tape
  • Scissors

Step by Step Instructions:

Step 1. Print out the template (available here) on 5×7 cardstock.

Step 2. Cut a section of washi tape about 1” long or slightly shorter. To cut the “v” ends, you can either hold the tape on one finger and free-cut using your scissors -OR- you can fold the tape slightly lengthwise (good side in) and cut a diagonal notch off the end. When you unfold the tape, you should have a perfect “v” notch.


Step 3. Stick the washi tape to the paper with the flat end just overlapping the printed orange line at the top of your cardstock.


Step 4. Repeat to fill out the printed line. I chose to alternate colours, but this would look great either randomized with a bunch of colours, or all one colour too!


Step 5. When you get to the ends, allow the tape to overlap the edge of the paper and trim off any excess.


Step 6. You’re all done! Don’t forget to fill out your party details on the invitation, and remember too that you can use the same technique to decorate the envelope!

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Let us know if you use our DIY tutorial to make these ADORABLE Halloween party printables & notecards! Thanks so much to Ribbons & Bluebirds for yet another awesome DIY!

Adoniram & Lucy’s Romantic Red and Gold Wedding at the Lodge at Little Seneca Creek

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Adoniram and Lucy are both Brazilian and decided to have their wedding at the Lodge at Little Seneca Inn in Maryland – mixing a romantic palette of red and gold to up the romance and sophistication factor. I don’t usually find myself loving more traditional wedding dresses (ie ones that aren’t a tea length, 1950s style) but Lucy’s is just GORGEOUS and fits her so perfectly! I know you guys are going to love their Maryland wedding, especially if you are planning a winter wedding – as this would be a perfect palette for that!

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Lucy shares, “Red is my favorite color. I wanted it to stand out (with a pop of color).”

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Click inside for so much more of Lucy & Adoniram’s Maryland wedding

Giveaway: Luxury, Organic Hair Oil Treatment from Kumari Luxury

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Today we are featuring a new, local Washington DC small business that just recently launched to bring natural, organic hair, bath, and beauty products to the marketplace AND take on the one-dimensional (and often unhealthy) view of women and beauty in society. Whoa – can we say powerhouse lady business CEO?! Meet Aarti, the founder and owner of the brandy new Kumari Luxury.

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Aarti shares, “You can see from our blog, that Kumari Luxury is about a happy, playful and peaceful way of life. I’m hoping that we can start sponsoring some discussion/Q&A type events in DC to start forming a dialogue about modern femininity, which I’ll definitely keep you posted about. Additionally, being a typically ambitious Washingtonian, I feel like life can can hectic before you even realize it. The products I’m designing are meant to be mini-retreats from our crazy lifestyles; a reminder to unplug and relax every so often.”

Pretty darn awesome, right? So now, to help Aarti celebrate the launch of her new business, she is giving away a bottle of their debut product, an organic hair oil treatment, to one lucky reader! The treatment would be a great way to get your hair looking super healthy before your wedding day.

About the hair oil: basically, it’s a deep conditioning treatment made entirely of natural, food-grade ingredients and it’s 95% organic. The formula, which includes organic coconut oil and organ Argan oil, actually penetrates the hair shaft and nourishes the scalp resulting in healthier, shinier hair.

So get entering (using our easy Rafflecopter widget below) and extra chances for sharing the giveaway on Twitter! Enter by Sunday evening, October 12th and we’ll announce the winner in a week! Also, Aarti is running a campaign to raise some money to fund her new business, so feel free to find out more about her campaign (and donate!) here.

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Emily & Tim’s Yellow & Purple, Super Fun Artisphere Wedding

One part simple country club ceremony, another part art gallery reception with a theme of FUN! Emily & Tim rocked their wedding with bright purple and yellow colors, Monsters Inc details, and a rockin’ dance floor (with some seriously amazing dance floor shots). Thanks to The Girl Tyler for submitting today’s real Virginia wedding.

Emily & Tim’s Yellow & Purple, Super Fun Virginia Wedding at Artisphere

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Photographer:  The Girl Tyler | Ceremony Venue: Army Navy Country Club | Hair Stylist: Hair Gallery | Caterer: Spilled Milk catering | Groomsmen Shaving: The Art of Shaving | Reception Location: Artisphere Submitted via Two Bright Lights

We chose purple and yellow for two reasons: It’s the Fraternity colors of the Coed Honor Fraternity, Phi Sigma Pi, that we met in (I married my brother……lol). It also happens to be the colors of James Madison University which I was willing overlook seeing as I’m a Wahoo :-) I originally chose multiple colors (think the Skittles rainbow), but with Tim’s input we together decided that purple/yellow best represented us.

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My cousin, Marisa, was my make-up artist. She texted me the day of the wedding saying “should we tell everyone?” When she was like, “what isn’t Chris [her husband] responding!” she realized she texted the wrong person. She then told all of us that she was pregnant which was fabulous news because she had been trying for a little while and we were all soooo happy for her.

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My boss at the time, Carla, and coworker Holly were our “florists” They put together all the bouquets, corsages, and boutonnières and stayed up into the wee hours of Saturday morning to ensure everything was fresh and on time.

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Click inside for so much more of this awesome, FUN Virginia wedding!

DIY Tutorial: How to Make Paper Strawberry Terrarium Centerpieces

We love paper flowers as much as the next person, but today’s DIY tutorial from Ribbons & Bluebirds is something extra special and cool to do with paper – paper strawberries!! Jenn shares, “Well, summer is officially over – but that doesn’t mean you can’t have strawberries all year long!  I have been enjoying all kinds of paper flowers recently, but I wanted to think of something that was unique and summery and came up with the idea for these cloche terrariums.” Excited yet?

How to Make a DIY Paper Strawberry Terrarium Centerpiece


Materials you will need:

  • Tissue paper in white, yellow, strawberry red, and pale green
  • Lime green crepe paper (or tissue)
  • Green cardstock
  • Wire
  • Modge Podge gloss sealer
  • White and brown/gold acrylic paint
  • Florist tape
  • Hot glue gun
  • X-acto knife
  • Scissors
  • A cloche or upside-down vase for presentation. (Like this Plymor Brand Glass Doll Dome with Walnut Base – 4″ x 7″)
  • Template for leaves and petals, printed on cardstock, found here.


Bear with us because this is a long one, but none of the individual pieces are difficult!

*Tips for working with floral tape* – Floral tape is only sticky once stretched – you will want to pre-stretch the beginning of each tape segment to get it to stick right away.  The rest of each piece should be held tightly and stretched as you wrap, to maximize stickiness on the wire and minimize glue on your fingers.

For the strawberry blossoms:

Step 1: Begin by cutting out your cardstock template. For the blossoms, you will need the petal template and the “star”.

Step 2: Cut a 1” wide strip of white tissue paper with 4 layers, at least 5” long.  Cut this strip into 5 1” squares (each 4 layers of tissue).  Hold one stack firmly with your thumb, lay the petal template on top, and cut out the petal shape with scissors.  I find that the x-acto knife tends to drag and tear the tissue, so scissors will work better here. Continue to hold the stack firmly as you rotate to cut the petal – this will help stop the tissue layers from shifting.


Step 3:  Once you have your petal cut out, continue to hold firmly with your thumb towards the “stem” of the petal.  Using your other hand, twist the stem of the petal while using your thumb to encourage the tissue to crease into a cup shape – the twisted base will keep the layers of tissue in place without separating.  Repeat 4 times, for 5 petals total.


Step 4:  Trace the star template onto green cardstock, and cut out using your x-acto.  In the center of the star, cut lines in the form of an asterisk ( * ) symbol – this will help you slide the stem through the leaf and petals.


Step 5: Now begin to assemble the flower, starting with the bud center.  Cut a 2” strip, single ply, of yellow tissue at least 6” long.  Cut off two 1.5” lengths, and leaving a longer piece about 3.” Cut this longer piece into a fringe using scissors (or special fringing scissors, if you have them.)  Take the two 1.5×2” pieces, and crumple one into a flat ball.  Take a piece of wire and press the ball onto the wire, and then wrap the second rectangle of tissue around the ball and wrap with floral tape to secure.  Then, take the fringed piece and wrap it around the base of the ball, fringed edge out, to create a halo of fringe around the ball center.  Wrap this with floral tape also, and trim the fringe to approximately ¼”.


Click inside for the rest of our DIY Paper Strawberry Terrarium Centerpiece tutorial from Ribbons & Bluebirds!

Julice & Steve’s DIY, Picnic Themed Woodlawn Manor Wedding in Maryland

Thrift store finds, DIY bouquets from herbs, pops of orange, and dreamy photography courtesy of An Endless Pursuit. What more could I ask for in a gorgeous real Maryland wedding submission?! (Answer: nothing). Julice & Steve poured their hearts and souls into their wedding and the end result is so beautiful. I know you guys are going to love this one.

Julice & Steve’s Natural, Picnic Themed Woodlawn Manor Wedding in Maryland

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Photographer: An Endless Pursuit | Venue: Woodlawn Manor | Catering: Stone Soup Catering | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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My main goal was shooting for a picnic type feel. Very casual and let nature just do its thing as far as visual aesthetics, and decorations went. I relied heavily on the trees, gardens, fences, little shacks, and the grass area from our venue.

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I chose herbs and such as our bouquets and cake decorations because I didn’t want to hire a florist and pay $3,000-5,000, even 10,000 on flowers! Therefore I opted to make my own bouquets and boutonnieres, herbs were the most affordable, easy to work with, could withstand a few days after we had assembled them.

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The reason I chose blue plaid table runners is because my favorite artist Degas used a lot of blues and orange complimentary colors, which is why I chose orange flowers.

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Click inside for the rest of Julice & Steve’s adorable, picnic themed, Woodlawn Manor wedding in Maryland!

A Fashion Forward, Modern Washington DC Wedding Styled Shoot

A little “fashion forward” wedding inspiration from you today from one FABULOUS team of DC wedding vendors! Alison Harper & Company teamed up to bring you the STYLE with a super edgey and modern bride & groom fashion shoot. Happy Friday and hope you all have a GREAT WEEKEND (Go Penn State!!).

A Fashion Forward, Modern Washington DC Wedding Styled Bride & Groom

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Venue: Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. | Photographer: Michelle Lindsay Photography | Suits: Christopher Schaffer Clothier | Dress: Fabulous Frocks of Alexandria | Florals: Studio DBI | Hair & Makeup: Alison Harper & Company | Garter: The Garter Girl | Head Piece: Katie Burley Millinery | Lighting: Yours Truly Lighting & Decor

From Alison Harper & Co:

We wanted to style the couple in a little more of a modern and editorial style. We wanted to see an over the top dress and a very dapper groom. We were lucky enough to have access to the beautiful corcoran gallery of art. They allowed us to shoot Emily and George in the stunning room, I refer to as the Marie Antoinette room. This gold gilded room was rarely open to photography and only intimate wedding events. Emily was stunning and she and George hammed it up for us. They were great to work with. Emily even said she’d have to get a dress this stunning for her own wedding with George when they are ready!

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I mean. Stunning right? Now GO OUTSIDE and enjoy this GORGEOUS weather.

Kelsey & Peter’s Crafty Virginia Wedding at the Atrium at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

Kelsey and Peter are a super fun and thoughtful couple. They wanted to strike a balance between DIY and not-DIY, both to help keep the budget down and because the bride is fabulously crafty. Their wedding was very simple and classic with a couple of cute or silly twists (e.g., the placemats).  Kelsey spent weeks printing invitations (her father is a celtic-knot artwork guru and helped with the design), spray-painting various objects (she is now going through spray-painting withdrawals), and creating gifts (the bridesmaids’ robes were all handmade, for example). Kelsey spent the morning of the wedding finishing the table numbers, and keeping busy definitely helped keep her calm and happy. Thanks to Jenna M Miller Photography for sharing!

Kelsey & Peter’s Crafty Virginia Wedding at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

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Photographer: Jenna M Miller Photography | Venue: The Atrium at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens | Catering: Great Blue Heron Catering | Cake: Edibles Incredible | Bride’s Dress: Nouvelle Amsale  | Bridesmaids Dresses: eShakti  | Hairstylist: Erika Bergsagel | Makeup: Sherri Crane | Florist: Karin’s Florist | DJ: Kirkabee Deejays 

 I also made the robes for the bridesmaids, that was a biggie. I wanted them to have something special to let them know how much it meant to me that they were there, and to have something cute but also practical to wear day-of for hair and makeup, so I went out and bought the softest fabric I could find in different colors (they each needed their own, of course, carefully selected to flatter each individual) and made their robes. Thankfully I had a lot of snow days last school year or I don’t know that they all would have been done in time!

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My dad creates, studies, and teaches classes on celtic knotwork, so we asked him to design a knot for us for our invitations. He then worked with us to create the knotwork that became the borders on the invitation. Really lovely. My pearls were gifted to me by Peter over time- earrings for Christmas, bracelet for Valentine’s, necklace for my birthday- with the intention of wearing them to our eventual wedding.

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The colors: Honestly, one day at the beginning of planning I was thinking about colors for the wedding and I looked down at my outfit and was like “huh, light blue, dark blue, and orchid look good together.” Then I looked at my white kitchen table and saw my light blue placemat next to my orchid placemat with my dark blue dishes and that was it. Lightbulb moment.

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Dress: I had to find a dress that was classic, clean lines, pretty details, AND it had to look good with pearls. back when we had been dating for a year or so, Peter had given me a set of pearl jewelry in stages: earrings for Christmas, bracelet for Valentine’s Day, necklace for my birthday. He asked one of my friends for help choosing the set and confessed that he hoped the next piece of jewelry he would give me would be an engagement ring (and that he was hoping I would wear them on our wedding day). My mom, who went with me to all of the dress shops, had only one rule about the dress: it had to be made out of “good fabric.” I found the one at Nordstrom Wedding Suite in Tyson’s Corner. It was down to two dresses, both of which fit the bill, so I brought a team of friends with me to help me make the decision. I came out in one and they all smiled and said “that dress is BEAUTIFUL.” I came out in the other – the Nouvelle Amsale gown I ended up with – and they all started crying. That was the response I was looking for.

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Click inside for more pictures and details from this beautiful Virginia wedding!

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