Capitol Romance Best of 2014: Best Wedding DIY Tutorials

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We’re back with our second 2014 year-end “Best of” compilation, this time focusing on all the AMAZING DIY Wedding & Lifestyle Tutorials that we featured this year. And obviously this post couldn’t even begin to be started without the insanely talented and hard-working woman who made them all possible, Jenn of Ribbons & Bluebirds. I had always dreamed of finding someone that would want to guest post on the blog in a longer-term fashion, I just never knew where to find her. I LOVE all things DIY and never wanted to drift away from DIY as a focus of my blog, but unfortunately I am neither crafty enough, talented enough, NOR do I have enough time/skill to create weekly DIY tutorials.

And then I found Jenn and I was INSTANTLY excited and awe-inspired by her ability to create amazing and beautiful things. She takes design to the next level and every week I am left thinking just how lucky I am that she is willing to share her work with me and all of you – the Capitol Romance readers. Ok, I think that is enough mushy stuff for now, let’s count down the Top 5 Best DIY Wedding Tutorials of 2014, all courtesy of Ribbons & Bluebirds of course!

#5. How to Make DIY Hand Holding Peg People Cake Toppers



#4. How to Make DIY Chalkboard Wedding Signs


#3. How to Make Water Color Paper Roses (not one of the craziest DIYs, but consistently, always one of our MOST pinned DIYs)


#2. How to Make Dinosaur Cake Toppers for Your Wedding Cake


And last, my favorite, #5. How to Make Your Own DIY Glitter High Heels


Did I miss any of your favorites?! Check out ALL our amazing DIY Wedding & Lifestyle Tutorials here.


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Capitol Romance Best of 2014: Washington DC’s Best Bridal Bouquets

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It’s the week of the New Year (can you believe it?!) and so we are doing some fun “Best of 2014” compilations to celebrate an AMAZING year of DC, MD, & VA weddings on the blog. I’ll write a full recap of 2014 (and a look into 2015) sometime in early January, but for now, let’s take a walk down memory lane and check out the Top 5 Best Bouquets of 2014 on Capitol Romance!

#5. A Lettuce Bouquet! From Steph & Jeff’s Intimate Farmer’s Market Wedding Brunch in Virginia


[Image by Carrie Holbo | Lettuce from the local Farmer’s Market]

#4. A Rustic, Wildflower Bouquet from Eliza & Josh’s Nautical Maryland Wedding


[Image: Sugar Farm Weddings | Flowers from a Local Farm]

#3. A Teal & Black Origami Bouquet from Jadene & Freddy’s Offbeat Black & White Virginia Wedding


[Image: Andrew Morrell via George Street Photo & Video | Flower: DIY Origami Flower Bouquet]

#2. A Stunning Pink & Yellow Peony Bouquet from Hanna & Jamison’s DIY Woodend Sanctuary Wedding in Maryland


[Image: Porter Watkins Photography | Flowers: H Bloom]

#1. And lastly – my FAVORITE bouquet from 2014 from to us from Julice & Steve’s DIY Picnic Themed Wedding in Maryland. The flowers & bouquets were DIYed and made from all natural herbs, greens, and flora. Just stunning!


[Image: An Endless Pursuit | Flowers: DIYed (!!)]

Check back tomorrow for our next round-up of 2014 Best Of Capitol Romance DIY Tutorials!!

Allie & Elliot’s U Street Engagement Pictures in Washington DC

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Images: Aimee Custis Photography

Happy Monday Romancers! Today’s post is coming from the great white north …. otherwise known as New Jersey. I am currently up in the great garden state for the next 2 weeks to spend some quality time with friends & family and hopefully get some rest and relaxation in before the start of 2015. Because BOY OH BOY guys, 2015 is going to be NUTS.

But I will be blogging here and there over the next few weeks and for today as have an awesome Washington DC engagement session from Aimee Custis Photography. Allie & Elliot crashed the Ulah Bistro in Shaw/UStreet and just have the most adorable “how we met” story. Let’s go!

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We were introduced by our mutual friend, the Internet. Appealing to my professed love of “good jokes and bad jokes,” Elliot sent me an OkCupid message that made me laugh, and, within a few days, we were pitching fake sitcoms to each other via email. We met for drinks at Ulah Bistro and wound up talking for hours without ever getting into the obligatory listing of siblings or “What is it that you do, exactly?” So basically, well done, Internet!

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Click inside for the darling proposal story!

Jennie & Jeff’s Stop Motion Save the Date Video & LINK LOVE

Jeff & Jennie – Save the Date! from Jennie on Vimeo.

Time to brag a little. These cool kids in this awesome stop motion save the date video happen to be clients of mine. They love DC, they love Penn State, and they love each other! I am SO pumped to get to work Jeff & Jennie’s wedding at Virtue Feed & Grain next April. I just love how fun their save the date video is – even featuring some rad DIY chalkboard signage that Jennie learned how to make at one of our Capitol Romance DIY workshops!! Now while everyone else is gearing up for the weekend and the holidays, here are just a few LINKs to get you to the weekend!

How awesome is this DC hoodie?! I need it!

While I really cannot stand Taylor Swift … these Jewish boys pulled off a pretty spectacular parody.

In a funk lately? Consider putting your phone down and trying one of these things instead.

I think I am classifiably obsessed (and need help) with this song by Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars. Like I cannot stop listening (and let’s be honest, dancing) to this song. In my car, my kitchen, my couch – doesn’t matter.

And with that … have a GREAT weekend Romancers! Andy & I are NJ bound tomorrow, but I’ll be blogging here and there next week and the week after! Happy Holidays!


Gretchen & Babtunde’s Multicultural Washington DC Wedding at Glenview Mansion

lovingly caputred by Sarah Danaher (Ampersand Photography, © 2012)

[Images: Sarah Bradshaw Photography]

I love the bright pop’s of color in Gretchen & Babtunde’s DC wedding feature. Their relationship started young (they met in Middle school!!) but 10 years later is when the friendship blossomed into something more than friends. The wedding is beautiful in its simplicity and I just LOVE the blend of American and Nigerian traditions that made this wedding 100% them.

lovingly caputred by Sarah Danaher (Ampersand Photography, © 2012) lovingly caputred by Sarah Danaher (Ampersand Photography, © 2012)

We wanted a wedding that was classy and sophisticated but also down to earth. Our wedding ceremony was at our beloved church, Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC. The church building is beautiful with stained-glass windows and has a classic feel to it. Our reception was at Glenview Mansion and we absolutely loved it. When we were looking for venues, we instantly loved it for it’s beautiful garden and stunning architecture. Our colors were purple and teal and made our late summer wedding even more lovely!

lovingly caputred by Sarah Danaher (Ampersand Photography, © 2012) lovingly caputred by Sarah Danaher (Ampersand Photography, © 2012) lovingly caputred by Sarah Danaher (Ampersand Photography, © 2012)

People were at the heart of our wedding! We had so many friends help us with our wedding! From our wedding coordinator to florist, we were extremely blessed by the love of our family and friends.

lovingly caputred by Sarah Danaher (Ampersand Photography, © 2012) lovingly caputred by Sarah Danaher (Ampersand Photography, © 2012)

Click inside for the rest of Gretchen & Babatunde’s multicultural wedding at Glenview Mansion

DIY Tutorial: Make Your Own Mulled Wine Spice Sachets

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 [Images: Traci J Brooks]

Still need a gift for some co-workers or family members? Then our DIY tutorial from Ribbons & Bluebirds today has got you covered! Jenn is going to teach you how to make super adorable DIY mulling spice sachets – a perfect DIY holiday gift ideas!

DIY Tutorial: How to Make Mulling Spice Sachets ~ a Perfect DIY Holiday Gift!

We are deep into the season of warm pick-me-up winter beverages, and one of my absolute favorites is mulled wine! My friends always put me in charge of preparing it when we have holiday get-togethers, so I had an idea this year of how to create a perfect pre-measured spice bag as a hostess gift!  These sachets include all the spices (and instructions!) you need for perfect mulled wine except granulated sugar, and they’re ready for the recipient to literally drop into a pot of wine and start simmering!

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You’ll need:

  • Mulling spices tag template, available here
  • Spices, all whole: Allspice, Cloves, and Cinnamon Sticks
  • Cheesecloth, which can be found at your local grocery story
  • Corner clipper punch, optional (available at Paper Source or Amazon)
  • Petite paper bags for final packaging
  • Baker’s twine – food safe!
  • Washi tape
  • Stapler
  • Scissors or X-acto

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Step by Step Instructions:

Step 1: Download the tag template here – each sheet prints 8 tags on a standard 8.5×11 sheet. Start by preparing the tags – cut them down from the whole sheet into (8) 5.5 x 2” strips.

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Step 2: Cut a section of baker’s twine long enough to float the spices in a large pot, and still wrap around the handle to prevent the tag from falling in.  Tie a large knot at one end, and wrap some excess around two fingers to bundle it in a neat coil – this will be stored inside the tag until the spices are being used.  Set the coiled twine aside briefly.

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Step 3: Clip the corners of each unfolded tag, using either a punch or scissors.  Fold the tag in half lengthwise – the tag should now remind you of an oversized tea bag tag.  Place the coiled twine inside the fold, with the knot on the inside and the tail of the twine coming out the bottom of the folded card.  Use a stapler to staple the two ends of the folded card closed, with the tail of the twine coming through the middle of the stapled section.  If tugged gently, the twine should be able to slide out of the folded section.

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Click inside for the rest of our DIY holiday mulling spices tutorial from Ribbons & Bluebirds!

Capitol Advice: My Mom & Friends Hate the Wedding Dress I Love

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[Image: Desjar Photography]

Last week I got an email from a friend of mine (a wedding vendor who is also planning her own wedding). She asked for advice on something rather touchy – her wedding dress. I, personally, didn’t do the whole wedding dress shop thing – I knew EXACTLY what I wanted for my wedding dress, and I had my mother-in-law make it for me. So easy! But for most brides to be, the wedding dress shop thing is an EXPERIENCE and there’s a lot that can happen there.

But in this specific instance, the issue was that the bride tried on a dress she had loved online for 3 months, had her “this is the one” moment, then walked out of the dressing room to a bunch of “mehs” “nos” and “nexts”. It seems this dress was not the dress that her mom and best friend imagined for her, and now she was stuck. Does she go with the dress she loves, even if some of her nearest and dearest don’t like it ? Or does she cave to friends and family, picking one that they think looks good on her?

Lucineia & Adoniran Wedding Day

[Image: Daysy Photography]

Personally, I told her to go with what SHE loves. It’s HER wedding day, HER dress … and I think she will regret it if she settles. But I decided to run a little “ask the crowd” on my Facebook page on this topic, and the responses from past brides were OVERWHELMINGLY awesome! I thought the responses would be a great resource for anyone that might find themselves in a similar situation with their wedding (wedding dress, or styled detail otherwise). So let’s break it down.

It’s OK to be a little selfish here ….

“Get what makes you FEEL good. If you’re smiling from the inside out, it will radiate all day and they will see you were meant to rock that dress. As a photographer, I think you should be comfortable, you should be empowered by what you wear that day, you should rock what you’ve got. And it will show in the images how happy and blushing you really were. Too many people try and make the wedding about them. And while I appreciate that weddings are about community, and recognizing the support you have, and coming together as one… the dress is about you. Just you. Not mom. Not Bff. Not even your fiance.”

“Whose wedding is it? It should be the brides choice and no one else’s!”

“I’ll echo others comments; your wedding; your dress; YOUR CHOICE!”

” I wasn’t exactly a “this is MY day” kinda bride – but there is something to be said to feeling comfortable and happy with what you’re wearing – despite what other people may think.”

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[Image: An Endless Pursuit]

But make sure it’s REALLY “the one”…

“Go back to the shop all alone. try on 3 dresses with the one you love second or third. If you unconditionally love the dress (how you feel in it + how it fits) buy it on the spot and don’t look back. If you have ANY doubts, keep shopping…”

“Sometimes I get dressed and think I look incredible and then I see a picture of myself and I think “oh dear, what was I thinking”. So I have two thoughts here. First, is there a chance to maybe have one of your doubters take a picture of you in it? You can only see yourself from so many angles and MAYBE they are seeing something that you aren’t. Second, have you tried on the dresses that they like? Sometimes, it’s just a matter of trying things on for them to say “You know what? Maybe we were wrong about what we thought you’d look good in.”

“I say maybe go back with two other friends or maybe your partner’s mom and two friends- get their opinion and also try on more dresses. You might love the dress but it doesn’t hurt to get second and third opinions from people who can see it from all angles. Your wedding photos won’t all be front on, maybe the dress doesn’t suit you from the back or side which is what your mom/best friend are seeing. Of course if you do try on more dresses and you still love that one, then get it! My mom hated my dress the first time she saw it because the sample was massive on me, but I tried it on 5 times with different people and realised it was the one! She loved it once alterations started! Go with your gut but realise people close to you may have insights you can’t see!”

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[Image: A Lovely Photo]

The regret might be worse than disappointing your mom/friends…

“She will regret it if she settles. Some people hated my wedding dress and then ended up loving it when they saw it on me and in photos. Glad I didn’t budge. :)”

“I went with a very pretty but more traditional to please others, and regret it every time I look at my wedding photos. I am not a traditional person and I am bummed I didn’t let the dress represent me like I should have!”

“I caved to pressure from my mom and the dress seller about my dress. I wanted a something a bit non-traditional but went with one she liked instead. I wish I had stuck to my guns and gotten the dress that I really wanted.”

“Go with your gut. I settled for a dress, and then ended up buying the one I couldn’t stop thinking about anyway. I wore my dream dress to my wedding.”

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[Image: Kathleen Hertel Photography]

What do YOU think Romancers? Did our Facebook fans miss any other advice you would give (or experienced yourself)? Sound off in the comments!


Erin & Jason’s Capital Bikeshare Engagement Pictures in Washington DC

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 [Images: Val & Sarah]

What a weekend we had! Andy & I were a bit all over the place but got to see and spend time with family & friends and it was just AWESOME. We went to NJ on Friday night to visit Andy’s sister and her husband and then walked (and SHOPPED) all around Princeton NJ on Saturday. We even bumped into Santa! Then on Saturday night we met up with my family in Philly to celebrate my mom’s birthday before my goddaughter’s big day on Sunday (her baptism!). We got back to DC late last night (thus the late blogging today) and I feel like I have a million and 1 things to do before we head back to NJ for the holidays on Saturday, but the weekend made me REALLY excited for the upcoming holiday break.

Blogging will probably be pretty light from Christmas through New Years, but hopefully we can get some “best of” posts up to recap the AMAZING year we had on this blog. But let’s get to today’s post – Erin & Jason’s fabulous Washington, DC engagement session in Eastern Market (featuring Capital Bikeshare bikes!).

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Erin & Jason are not the hold hands, stroll through the meadow kind of couple. They wanted something fun and creative so we explored DC and had fun with bikes!

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Click inside for the rest of Erin & Josh’s engagement pictures in Eastern Market & around DC!

LINK LOVE & Wedding Inspiration from a Mountainside Colorado Wedding

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[Images: Mollie Tobias Photography]

FRIDAY. WE DID IT AGAIN! This was a week of stressful holiday shopping (trying to get EVERYTHING done by this weekend) and wrapping up 2014. I am also in BAD NEED of 2015 planning and need to attempt to keep my productivity up there! We are headed to NJ & Philly this weekend to visit some family and be a part of my neice’s Christening. I am excited to get out of the DC area for a little and see family before the craziness of the holidays.

For today we have some gorgeous wedding inspiration from Mollie Tobias Photography – an intimate, mountainside wedding in Colorado AND some Link Love. Check it all out and help get to the weekend. Have a great one Romancers!

Link Love:

 Join one of our local faves, Chocotenango, at a chocolate making class on Tuesday !

Is Blogging Dead? (I certainly hope not!!) – How Blogs are Changing

 The Every Last Detail Blog shares how wedding planners DON’T actually plan your wedding (hint: you do)

Bridal Bell Hope has launched Phase II ~ check out their new website!

Small Business Saturday may be over, but you can still shop local at some DC holiday markets and pop-ups around the city. Check out Holidaze at Fenton Street Market or PARCEL happening this weekend!

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