DIY Tutorial: 1 Napkin, 3 DIY Wedding Projects

We’re back with another amazing DIY tutorial thanks to Ribbons & Bluebirds. If you haven’t yet checked out her awesome DIY scratch-off tutorial OR her custom, FREE wedding party invitation printables, do that first. Then come right back here, because we have an awesome 3-in-1 for you today!

Introducing: 1 Napkin, 3 DIY Wedding Projects!

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Up first for today, the DIY Bouquet Wrap. Find the DIY Fabric Bowtie tutorial here and the DIY Ring Bearer Pillow tutorial here.

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What you’ll need:

  •  1 fabric napkin, at least 16×16” square
  •  Iron & ironing board
  •  Hem tape (optional)
  •  Ribbon, pin, or twine for finishing
  • Some pretty flowers!

napkin bouquet wrap DIY

This one is nice and easy, and is a perfect way to polish up your bouquet if you’re DIYing your own flowers. The trick is to let the napkin hems do the hard work for you, and just use your iron to keep the other raw edges neat.

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INSTRUCTIONS:

Cut a square out of one corner of the napkin, keeping a hem on two sides. If you look at the fabric as a diamond shape with the hemmed edges as the “bottom”, cut off the top, left, and right points of the diamond. The result will look just like a baseball home plate.

Use your iron to fold over the top raw edge and press to create an open hem. Pick your left or right raw edge to be your “finished” edge, and fold over and press a small hem there too. Clip the corner where the two pressed seams overlap to avoid a bulky fabric mess and to help everything lay flat. If you like, you can finish the side hem with no-sew hem tape to make sure it won’t unravel during some intense bouquet-throwing wedding day action.

To wrap your bouquet, lay the bouquet on top of the wrap and fold in the sides, starting with the edge you left unfinished. Wrap the finished edge over and secure with your choice of ribbon, twice, or a pretty pin.

DIY napkin bouquet wrap

Easy – and SO awesome right!? Totally going to be using this DIY tutorial for future styled shoots & passing along to all my clients doing DIY flowers! Check back next week for Part 2 of this series!

 

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Let’s Get Personal: Knowing Your Self Worth

 Last week I shared one of my most personal posts to date. I talked about that dreaded thing called comparison and wondered if you could be too nice to run a business. The response I got was more than I could have imagined. Comments, emails, Facebook messages, and Twitter messages – my heart was so full! I didn’t write the post for that sort of self-indulging response, but it’s always nice to hear things like “you are doing the right thing” and other forms of assurance. I also got another response that wasn’t like the others, but was probably even more important than the rest. One that was brutally honest, (in a good way!!) with one key message: “You are worth every bit of what you deserve. We all are.”

Let’s Get Personal: Knowing Your Self Worth

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The emailer was zeroing in on the point I made about not needing to make financially based decisions because of the crutch of having a full-time salary through my day job. She said:

I walked that line a few years ago of having income that meant I didn’t need to “rely” on that money and I made poor business choices financially (like charging $750 for day-of services and thinking that was enough). Ultimately, I wasn’t respecting myself or my business enough to charge what I was worth and I would hate for you to be doing the same. But you deserve more than “SOME” compensation for your time. You deserve full compensation for your time, your expertise, your personality, your brand and overall what you bring to the table.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have a very hard time knowing what I am worth. As a blogger, you are behind a computer screen, so cut off from your readers (that only show up as hit counts & views in an analytics tracker). Sure I get emails from readers that express their gratitude for the resources & information I am sharing, but it’s difficult to truly calculate or know what my “services” are worth! I do know a few things though: I know that I spend A LOT of time on this blog. It takes HOURS, every day, to answer emails, gather content, lay it out properly in WordPress, insert all the necessary hyperlinks, tags & categories, and eventually hit publish. It then takes even more time (probably double the publishing time) to market my posts. Facebook albums, twitter, Google+, Pinning every image, and uploading to a few other websites. This takes up a significant amount of my time, and my time is worth being compensated, and not at only a partial rate.

To put it another way (thanks to our email responder):

If you went to a restaurant and was constantly only being charged for “some” of the meal, initially you might be excited but after a few visits, you might start to wonder what’s wrong with it. Was it being dropped on the floor and they weren’t telling you? Maybe it was old moldy vegetables? You’d start to think something was up, right?

This is such a true statement, and I really love the way it was laid out. But what does that mean for me and for Capitol Romance (moreso the blog in this instance than my coordination business)? Well, it means that I need to do some serious soul searching and find out how to better compensate myself for the time, effort, and resources I am providing. Which means, yes, there are going to be some changes to Capitol Romance soon (hopefully for the better) and hopefully my readers will understand. And if they don’t? Well, that’s just something I am willing to sacrifice to realize my true self worth :)

Margaret & Justin’s Vintage Carnival Themed Wedding at Union Mills

Love this simple Maryland wedding feature today! It features a TON of DIY and the most adorable vintage carnival theme! Margaret & Justin got married at Union Mills Homestead and wanted something rustic and vintage. So once they decided upon the historic mill as their venue, the vintage carnival theme fell right into place. They shared, “It allowed us to play up both of our tastes. I love everything vintage and Justin likes the rustic look, so it was the perfect compromise. The theme came together beautifully and was perfect for our venue.”

Thanks to Brenda Murphy Photography for sharing this one with us!

Margaret & Justin’s Vintage Carnival Themed Wedding at Union Mills in Maryland

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Vendors:

Photographer:  Brenda Murphy Photography | Flowers: Blossoms & Baskets | Catering: Kountry Kafe Katering | Bridesmaids Shoes: Blowfish Shoes | Bride’s Shoes: Chinese Laundry | Bride’s Dress: David’s Bridal | Groom & Groomsmen Attire: JCPenney | Bridesmaids Dresses: Old Navy | DJ: Shewsical | Hair & Makeup: Bladerunner | Bride’s Jewelry: Antique Stores | Event Venue: Union Mills Homestead Foundation, Inc. | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

simple maryland farm wedding dress bouquet blue patterened bridesmaids dresses groomsmen in brown pants and vests

All paper ware (like the place cards and table numbers) my husband made and we printed at Kinkos. My brother made the cut out face board and we borrowed the popcorn machine. Basically we made pretty much everything ourselves.

DIY maryland wedding details union homestead wedding real maryland weddings vintage maryland carnival wedding

Click inside for the rest of Margaret & Justin’s vintage carnival themed wedding at Union Mills in Maryland.

Kate & Scott’s Laid Back Engagement Pictures in Virginia

I am WIPED OUT. This weekend was awesome – but it totally kicked my ass. On Friday I met with Sarah to talk about some collaborative workshops that we are planning to host with The Ulysess Room – I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am about this. So much more to come on those. Then we hit up Union Kitchen’s 1-year anniversary party and checked out the AWESOME new restaurant at Union Market, Bidwell. And then Saturday we made the drive up to Baltimore to hang out with some rad wedding vendors & couples at The Mix Event. We got to see some of our favorite vendors and meet some new ones too. We also got to rock out to the amazingness that is Burnt Sienna – seriously guys, if you need a band for your wedding, hire them … and then let me come to your reception too ;) Then the weekend closed with a lovely 8 mile run and a walk to a park on Capitol Hill to get to enjoy the beautiful weather. All in all a great (but busy!) weekend.

And it’s not like any rest is in site, as we have our first Fuel DC event on Wednesday (are you coming?!) and my bestest friends from Pittsburgh are coming Thursday night to visit for the weekend!! So while not much rest is in my future, I am thoroughly looking forward to this week and weekend. Now if only this stupid cold will go away….

So for today’s post I am sharing a beautiful laid-back engagement session from IYQ Photography. Not a lot of details in this one, just two beautiful people, totally in love & full of smiles. I mean, what else could you want for a Monday? Let’s get it going ….

Kate & Scott’s Laid Back Engagement Pictures in Virginia

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Photographer: IYQ Photography | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

I always love when couples are un-posed and candid in their engagement pictures. It feels so much more natural and is much more engaging to look at (and blog!). Kimie also shared that Kate & Scott found her through my blog – so I just had to share that extra little detail :) Happy Monday Romancers.

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Thanks again to IYQ Photography for sharing this adorable Virginia engagement session with us!

Capitol Inspiration: A DC Couple Gets Married in Antigua, Guatemala

Tiffany and Solomon live in the DC Area, but chose to have a charming destination wedding in Antigua, Guatemala instead. For those of you that don’t know, Atigua is a Spanish colonial town surrounded by 3 volcanoes that features cobblestone streets, multi-colored houses, and fascinating ruins. Like most couples that chose a destination wedding, Tiffany & Solomon preferred to spend their money on a more intimate guest count, but in a dream location. Plus, their love of Spanish speaking countries is at the foundation of their relationship – they got engaged on a mission trip in Bolivia! Thanks to Eye Wonder Photography for sending us this one!

Tiffany & Solomon’s Romantic, Antiqua, Guatemala Destination Wedding

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Vendors

Photographer: EyeWonder Photography | Wedding Planner: I DO, Guatemala | Ceremony/Reception Site: Ermita de la Santa Cruz ruins | Gown Designer: Alfred Angelo | Florist: Hugo Mejicanos | Groom’s Suit: Jos A. Bank | Bridesmaids/Groomsmen’s Clothing: Alfred Angelo/ Jos A. Bank | Videographer: Rodolfo Walsh | Caterer: Kolibri Restaurant | Makeup: Perfekt Revisions | Invitations: Custom Designs | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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After getting engaged under a waterfall on a mission trip to Bolivia, getting married in Guatemala did felt like the right choice for us as a couple. We never visited La Antigua, Guatemala prior to the wedding, but we trusted our photographers, Kristiaan & Lionel from EyeWonder Photography, who had their ceremony in the same town just 10 months prior. Their stories of how beautiful the country was and how much their guests were wowed by the culture assured us we made the right choice. With the help of our planning team, we decided to get married at La Ermita de Santa Cruz, an exclusive venue and old church ruins dating back to the 1600s, with breathtaking architecture. We really wanted all of our guests to be blown away by our venue choice and what the country of Guatemala has to offer.

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Tiffany and Solomon could not have chosen a more visually stunning location for their wedding. 25 guests flew in from the mid-west and east coast to witness their vows in this magical setting.

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Click inside for more of Tiffany & Solomon’s insanely awesome Antigua wedding – including the MOST romantic wedding ceremony & reception decor I have EVER seen!

Marie & Alex’s Modern’s Katzen Arts Center DC Wedding Ceremony

In the fall we shared Marie & Alex’s AWESOMELY nontraditional DC wedding reception party at Policy and now we are super pumped to get to share their beautiful DC wedding ceremony at the Katzen Arts Center (at American University) thanks to The Plannery & Roman Grinev Photography. Similar to their awesome reception, Marie & Alex did things their way – keeping their vendors local and making decisions based on importance to them. Marie shared, “We focused on the details that mattered to us, and both loved how things turned out. ” Amen sister!

Alex & Marie’s Modern, Nontraditional DC Wedding Ceremony at Katzen Arts Center

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Vendors

Photographer: Roman Grinev Photography | Wedding Planner: The Plannery | Venue: Katzen Arts Center | Officiant: Rev. Julie Price | Cake Topper: The Bride’s Parents | Dried Bouquet: New Hampshire Woods Creation on Etsy | Bride’s Dress: Purchased through The Brides’s Project

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On their modern DC venue choice:

Katzen is an AMAZING venue – if you are flexible (it’s only available mid-May through mid-August and you can’t book until January), it’s a beautiful space and the folks there are great to work with.

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On doing something nontraditional for their DC wedding:

None of the other traditions were particularly important to us, and we figured with a short afternoon, the fewer “traditional” wedding reception things we did, the more time we could spend with our guests!

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Rev. Julie Price was a wonderful officiant. She helped us write our own ceremony and it was perfect – beautiful, personal, and a great representation of what we want our marriage to be.

Click inside for the rest of Marie & Alex’s super awesome, nontraditional DC wedding!

Giveaway: Stella & Dot “Sutton Necklace” Giveaway ($128 Value!)

Romancers! We are back this afternoon with an AWESOME giveaway from Stella & Dot consultant, Liz. She is graciously sponsoring a giveaway of the gorgeous Sutton Necklace – a whopping $128 value! Liz shares, “the Sutton Necklace is our most versatile fashion necklace yet! It is a great necklace because it can be dressed-up for special events, worn casually every day or layered with other pieces for a different look.

I’d LOVE to see a bride rock this edgy necklace on her wedding day. Check out the necklace details, a bit about Liz, and how to enter our giveaway, all below! Liz is also offering a special shipping promo to anyone that enters the giveaway.

Stella & Dot Sutton Necklace Giveaway

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Liz continues,

I’m looking to share my love of Stella & Dot with everyone!  It’s the perfect gift for your friends, family, or yourself!  There are pieces you can wear on your special day or while just out running errands.  I’m always looking to do trunk shows where we can play with the jewelry and see what pieces are your favorites.   I’d also love to collaborate on styled shoots or work as your personal stylist when you need something special!

There are 4 ways to wear the Sutton Necklace:

  1. Long and loose for a laid-back look.
  2. Clasped into a statement when you’re feeling bold.
  3. Plus or minus the sparkle strand.
  4. Or just the sparkle when you’re in the mood to shine.

Since it can be worn four different ways it offers tons of versatility in just one piece of beautiful jewelry.”

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Get to know the lady behind Starlite21L & why she decided to become a Stella & Dot consultant:

I went to a Catholic high school and wore a uniform so the only way you could really express yourself was with a bit of jewelry.  I was a huge fan of earrings and was constantly in trouble for breaking dress-code because my ears were pierced so many times.  However, my parents were okay with it because they said “piercings aren’t permanent just don’t get a tattoo or we’ll kill you!”  (When I did decide to get a tattoo that was fun conversation lol)

Through college and working in the real-world I slowly realized what my style encompassed and I’ve come to be a huge fan of statement necklaces or earrings.  I stumbled upon Stella & Dot after complimenting one of my co-workers a few times on her accessories.  I loved the fact that everything could be mixed and matched and worn to work or out with friends.  I decided to become a stylist when I realized how much fun I had showing everyone the versatility of the jewelry while just hanging out in a comfortable environment.

The giveaway widget is below – just let us know what you’d wear the Sutton Necklace for and there are some extra ways to enter also in the widget. Liz is also offering FREE SHIPPING to ANY one that enters this giveaway on orders over $25! Just pay the initial $5.95 and Liz will send you a refund! Happy shopping: www.stelladot.com/LizG

GIVEAWAY ENDS: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 5TH!

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Let’s Get Personal: Being Too Nice to Run A Business

Let’s Get Personal: Social Media Overload & Being Too Nice to Run a Business

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On Saturday I was in one of those moods. Where I spent entirely too much time on social media, watching other wedding vendors share pictures of an event that I wasn’t invited to (not that I would have went anyway, but you get the point). From there it only got worse, reading about all the awesome things people were getting from other vendors in exchange for referrals, and all the exciting new business deals and partnerships that were going down and happily benefiting everyone (re: not me) involved. I was frustrated and feeling down and so in a moment of weakness, I tweeted this:

“Today I decided I’m too nice and suck at running a business. I think this needs to change. #whatsinitforme

Like most people that share status updates like that, I was insecurely looking for a response (though I am openly ashamed to admit that), but the responses I got weren’t exactly what I imagined and one in particularly gave me the EXACT perspective I needed to get out of the funk. A fellow DC business owner wrote back, “From afar, I am in awe of your business acumen! I regularly feel like a slacker when reading your tweets :)”

There it is. The jolt I needed to realize that while things appear one way on social media to me, (only from my point of view) the things I am saying & doing cause others to have opinions and thoughts about ME just from my social media. My “feeling sorry for myself” mood lifted (the nice bitch fest about it all to my amazing husband helped too) and I was able to concentrate on the initial thoughts I had about being too nice with more clarity and less self-pity.

Is there really such thing as being “too nice” to run a business? The decisions I make for Capitol Romance are mostly tied to my initial mission for starting the blog: to HELP couples in the DC area with wedding planning. But I am fortunate enough to be able to do that. With having a full time job outside of Capitol Romance, I don’t NEED* to make money-based choices (*disclaimer, I do and will, as I spend a great deal of time blogging and feel I do deserve SOME compensation for my time ;). I really can make decisions, like having a non-paying vendor guide, or offering free wedding Classifieds, that truly have my readers and clients in mind. I always HATED when I found out “preferred vendors” at venues or on other blogs were only preferred because they paid to be there. They weren’t vetted or the best or even tied to the site’s brand in anyway … they were just paying and that was good enough.

A million years ago I wrote a post called The Wedding Blog Business that talked about how too many wedding bloggers seemed to only be in this for the money and how that’s just not “how I roll”. I’ve tried to stay true to that post (I hope I have) but in doing so, and comparing myself to all the other business owners in DC, I don’t always feel like it’s rewarding, or the right direction to be in. I often hear feedback, “you need to charge for that, you need to make money, you need to make a business decision” and maybe I just can’t. And maybe that’s OK. Maybe it’s also OK that I don’t get things in return when I chose to promote certain vendors or do things for people – maybe just doing it because I believe in their service or because I think it will help my readers, is enough. Everyone is in this game for different reasons afterall.

So maybe I am just “too nice” and maybe I won’t ever turn Capitol Romance into a money making machine and you know what? Maybe that really is, OK. I need to stop focusing on what everyone else is doing (and Instagramming) and instead focus on what I want to do and feel good doing. Really that is the only thing that should matter at this point and probably the only thing that will truly make me happy.

Kelly & Harry’s Rustic Meets Modern, “Backyard Party” Barn Wedding in Virginia

The thing I loved most about Kelly & Harry’s wedding submission from Vness Photography was the perfect mix of modern & rustic. I LOVE when couples (or my clients) want to mix themes and styles. They end up being some of my favorite weddings. Kelly & Harry chose the Adams International School for their venue  a rustic VA barn venue that fit their desire to have a backyard party! But their bright blue colors with a splash of chevron patterns really took this one from a traditional rustic Virginia barn wedding to one with some serious modern flare.

Kelly & Harry’s Rustic Meets Modern, “Backyard Party” Virginia Wedding at the Adams International School

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Vendors:

Photographer: Vness Photography / Second shoot: Corina Chevalier | Venue:  Adams International School | Florist: Vogue Flowers | Caterer: Q BQQ | DJ: Tim Jackson, Jackson Pro Audio | Makeup Artist: Ashley Swilley – Drama Artistry | Hair: Jaimie Moeller (Friend) | Dress Designer: Paloma Blanca | Cake: Sweet and Tasty Cakes | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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Our wedding was a chilly, rainy fall day – Oct 12, 2013, in Maidens, VA at the Adams International School (a Montessori school for kids). We selected the venue because we wanted something different and special that felt more like a rustic, backyard party (with a little bling of course) than a stuffy wedding. It was amazing and just what we dreamed of.

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Our colors were navy and gray, partly because my (now) husband is active duty Navy and partly because they looked great in front of the bright red barn in which the ceremony and reception took place. We chose hydrangeas and babies breath as our bouquets and center pieces, largely because I just adore the subtle beauty of both.

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Almost everything, from the table runners to the aisle runner were all DIY. It made it so special to us that we had a hand in making and selecting all our details.

chevron wedding aisle runner

Click inside for the rest of Kelly & Harry’s rustic meets modern, DIY Virginia wedding!

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