Second Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas : Cotton, Lily of the Valley & Garnet

capro 2nd anniversary guide

It’s been a week. Andy was in California for the most of it and I always get so beat doing the single parent dance. We also have Evie’s first birthday party (of course I’ll be posting pictures on Instagram) this weekend and I have SO MUCH TO DO to prepare. Signs to make, decor to put together, and ALL the food to buy! I’d be lying though if I didn’t admit that I am kind of excited for the little favors we are making for all her cousins & baby friends (yes she has baby friends!). I hope to get some good pics to share on the blog, but in the meantime, we have an anniversary gift guide to share today! A few months ago we shared our first wedding anniversary gift guide and today we’re back with ideas for the second year. The second year is cotton, so here’s our thoughts:

#1. Have your vows printed on a canvas or pillow. I got ours designed by local graphic designer Hitchcock Creative & Rexmake also does KILLER vow prints (with gold foil) that would look SO sick on canvas!

#2. Does your partner have a favorite sports team? Grab a new t-shirt (like The Bryce is Right shirt above) or cap with their favorite team, along with tickets to a game for a fun date night!

#3. Spice things up in the bedroom with a customizable Game of Love sheet set!  

#4. If you and your partner love pour over or cold brew coffee, stock up on some reusable coffee socks

#5. I don’t know anyone that couldn’t use another storage bin to help tidy up their home or apartment. Check out these canvas, monogrammed bins from Aisle Always Love!


What’d we miss?! Add your cotton gift ideas in the comments!

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Jamilyah & Brad’s Cultural, Personalized Wedding at Smokey Glen Farm

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Images: Cynthia Shipp Photography

Practical weddings full of family, simple decor, and wedding planning decisions that make sense – just fill my heart with joy. SO much of a wedding day is excess – unneeded “details” that wedding blogs & magazines attempt to convince us we NEED in order to have a happy wedding day. Well, weddings like Jamilyah & Brad’s prove that notion oh so wrong and it’s why I love sharing weddings like these on my blog, over the super pricey, overly detailed ones. Happy (rainy) Thursday Romancers.

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From the bride:

We decided early on that we didn’t want a lavish wedding and challenged ourselves to keep the budget as modest as possible. Even still, with our big families, keeping costs down would be a challenge. Smokey Glen Farm was a big red barn with multiple playgrounds to accommodate our rustic style and the 20+ babies/children we were inviting. We wanted to throw a big, all day party! It was the perfect place to do just that.

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We had recently purchased our first home and were settling in as we planned our wedding. As we selected decor for the wedding, we envisioned how we’d use the item in our house for the “everafter” part. Most of the decor was hand-made using recycled materials.

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We chose to start our lives together in the middle of the day so that we could celebrate until the sun went down. And then celebrate some more. My grandmother told me not to worry about the weather, and we had the most amazingly beautiful (albeit a bit warm) day. For the outdoor ceremony, the chairs were arranged in a circle around us so we were surrounded by family and no one had to sit in the back.

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Our grandmothers were our flower girls and took their jobs very seriously. Bradley and I were escorted down the aisle by both of our parents. We got married under a chuppah that was shared by a family friend. We wrote our own vows, performed three circles (Polish), broke the glass (Jewish) and jumped the broom (African American). We also sent our guests home with a succulent to plant in their gardens as a memory of the special day we shared. People were the focal point of our wedding and thanks to all our “family’s” hard work, we were able to pull off the perfect wedding without a hitch!

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Our officiant had the right laid-back, personable vibe and we got to know her well through premarital counseling sessions. She helped us incorporate traditions from our African American, Jewish and Polish backgrounds.

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How to Make Your Own DIY Chalkboard Wedding Signs

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Image: Mathy Shoots People

Sometimes I really miss my DIY workshops I used to run! They were work to plan, but learning something new was so much fun (plus I loved meeting all the attendees!). Kara actually attended the DIY Chalkboard workshop we hosted with her not-yet-fiance at the time, and figured they could use the skill for more than wedding signs. Then they got engaged & started wedding crafting and turns out Justin is like a master DIY chalkboard sign crafter! So for today, Kara is sharing the DIY chalkboard signs they made for their kick-ass wedding and some tips/tricks if you want to make your own chalkboard signs as well!

DIY Chalkboard Signs Tutorial | By: Kara Britanik


Chalkboard signs as home décor, and especially as wedding décor ,have become super popular over the last couple years. Even if you have terrible handwriting or little artistic ability, you can make some awesome chalkboard signs yourself.

Before I was even engaged, my now husband and I attended the Capitol Romance DIY Chalkboard workshop. We both figured this would be a good skill to learn, and something we could use for more than just our future wedding. This technique that we learned couldn’t be easier, and we put it to good use when it came time to make signs of all sizes for our wedding.



Chalkboard paint

– Painting boards (or whatever surface you want to make into a sign)

– Pencil and pen

– Chalk or chalk pens


Step 1. Paint your surface with the chalkboard paint. You may need to use a couple coats of paint to get even coverage

Step 2. While your paint is drying, create the wording/design for your sign on your computer and print it out. Be sure to size your message to the size of your sign.

Step 3. On the non-printed side of your paper, use your pencil and scribble all over the paper. Make sure your scribbles cover your entire design.


Step 4. Once your sign is dry, place your printed design on top of your sign. You want the printed design facing up. It’s helpful to secure your design to the sign so it doesn’t move during the next step.

Step 5. With your pen, trace your design. This will transfer your design to your sign with the pencil lead that is on the back of the paper.


Step 6. Once you’ve traced the entire design, lift your paper. You should be able to see the outline of your design on your sign.


Now you can use your chalk or chalk pens to outline/fill in your design on your sign. Using a chalk pen will give you clean, crisp lines, and the design will be permanent.

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Last step!! And your done! If you want a more authentic chalkboard appearance, use the side of a piece of chalk to shade in the entire sign. Then blend it all together with a dry paper towel.

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Rose, Eggplant, & Teal Inspired Elopement Styled Shoot

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Images: Nikki Schell Photography via Two Bright Lights

This weekend did not actually flash by in an instant. It was actually quite great. Friday night Andy & I pretended to be young again, got a babysitter, and hit up the Zoo for a corporate party for my day job. Saturday I got up nice and early for some new CapRoWeddings team headshots (thanks again Amber Kay Photo!) – I am SO PUMPED to have some pro photos of my rockstar coordination team. Then Andy & I cleaned the house (I mean CLEANED) even after I had two too many glasses of red wine the night before. Seriously, how amazing does cleaning out your closet feel?!

Yesterday we cleaned up our front yard, mulched, planted new plants, and enjoyed the GORGEOUS weather. The rain was so depressing last week, it was so insanely amazing to see the sun. Oh, I also got a massage (mmmmmmmmmm so needed), some gorgeous flowers, a wood crate for my bike & dinner for a wonderful Mother’s Day. Like I said, a GREAT weekend. Now it’s all systems “DO ALL THE THINGS” for Evie’s big 1st birthday bash this weekend. I am so behind.

So instead of dwelling on how many things I have to do still for the party, let’s enjoy these REALLY gorgeous styled elopement that features a stunning color palette of dusty rose, eggplant purple, and the brightest, deepest, teals. Love. Happy Monday Romancers.

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The decision to shoot in Old Town Manassas came when the cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin hadn’t hit peak bloom yet! There were magnolia blossoms all over Manassas and the whole feel of Old Town really fit what we were going for. Not only did the blossoms look lovely, they also matched the color palette (pinks, purples, deep teals) and the bride model’s hair!

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The bride and groom model are Kristin Mastrangelo and her husband, who have been together for many years. The dresses were all provided by Kayla Dreesen.

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Vendors ~> Photographer: Nikki Schell Creative, LLC | Hair & Makeup: Britin Artistry | Event Planner: Kayla Dreesen | Locations: Old Town Manassas | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

DIY Tutorial: Make Your Own Scented Soy Candles!


So freakin pumped to have Jenn Heller Design Co. back in action with her super rad DIYs on the blog! Today we have a DIY scented soy candle tutorial that would make an awesome wedding favor, shower gift, or really just fun to have for your own house. My husband LOVES candles, so my wallet my thank us if I just started making them instead of buying them! Check out all the details for this DIY tutorial below and have a VERY happy Friday Romancers!

DIY Scented Soy Candles Tutorial | By: Jenn Heller Design Co.


One of my favorite things to come up with DIYs for are wedding favors, for a number of reasons.  The first is that what to do about favors seem to be an uncomfortable choice for couples unless they have a great idea for a personal choice, and that translates to awkwardness for your guests too! Edibles are great but can be a problem due to a growing awareness of food allergies. I also love a favor that does double duty as a décor item for you, because if you’re spending the money you should get bang for your buck!  The other day I realized I had a perfect DIY on my hands that could be an awesome wedding favor – scented candles!

What you’ll need:


  • Wax chips (I used this brand)
  • Vessel to melt wax chips (I bought this aluminum pitcher, to avoid getting wax in my measuring cups and to let me melt the wax in bulk! You can also use a glass measuring cup like this one that can withstand heat, but be cautious if the handle can heat up too.)
  • Container for finished candles (I used these metal tins that seem perfect for favors, but you can use lots of things here! Mason jars, wine bottles that you’ve cut open – any container that won’t be damaged by the heat. You can also use larger canister-style containers for large candles.)
  • Wicks – make sure you get some appropriate to your container size! For my tins, I bought these 6” ones, and they were unnecessarily tall! I’ll be getting the 3.5” version next time.
  • Chopsticks or wick centering devices – if you’re making a ton, splurge for the centering thing. If you’re making 1 to try it out, use chopsticks. I bought the centering tool since I plan to make a bunch, so you’ll see it in the photos.
  • Essential Oils or Scent Additive of your choice! I love this brand of essential oils and use them for many homemade cleaning products.
  • Pot with water for melting wax, and optional metal cookie cutter (see instructions.)
  • Optional: Labels! The candle tins I used will take a 2” or 2 ¼” round circle perfectly. I have formatted your freebie design sheet for these circular labels but I’ve also provided the images as jpegs so you can make your own! Make sure you head to my site to download the label images I’ve designed for you!

Candles are super easy to make yourself, and with just a touch of essential oils you can enjoy a scented candle that is not only nice to smell, but has the benefits of aromatherapy without extra crazy chemicals! As favors, buying the components in bulk makes them reasonably inexpensive as well, and your rooms will smell amazing for a while after you make them.

PRO TIP: A note about craft store goods: You can find a lot of the tools/gear for making candles at larger craft chain stores.  I would be happy to use their tools but generally more wary about their raw materials like wax chips and ESPECIALLY their scents, as they might contain low quality stuff that you don’t want to be breathing in.


Let’s get started!


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