DIY Tutorial: Wedding Appropriate Carved Pumpkin Table Numbers



Another week in October means another Fall/Halloween themed DIY tutorial! Today Ribbons & Bluebirds is sharing some SERIOUSLY rad carved pumpkin table numbers that are wedding appropriate! I love pumpkins SO much they make a natural (and cheap) addition to your Fall wedding decor. But sometimes the overly orange color isn’t a fit – so I love the way Jen used gold paint and drips of white to snazz these pumpkins up. Full step-by-step DIY tutorial below!


In our spooky DIY series this October we’ve covered awesome DIY Halloween party invites spiced up with washi tape, and tombstone placecards – now for the big one! Pumpkin carving is something I have always loved doing, so I love the idea of translating it into a wedding setting for people with awesome October or November wedding dates! While you can certainly paint a number on a pumpkin more easily, there is something so charming about a carved lit pumpkin that I think would be worth a little cleanup. You’d want to do these pretty close to the wedding date to make sure the carving would stay fresh – I’d suggest having people over to assembly-line the cleaning process, just like if you were having friends and family help arrange flowers!

Just like for flowers, I found that Trader Joes has great prices on pumpkins, but shop around in your area to make sure you’re getting a good deal. At $3.99 and acting as a centerpiece for the whole table, these pumpkins are a killer deal versus traditional floral centerpiece!

Let’s get started:

  • A medium sized pumpkin
  • A printer and printer paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Pumpkin carving kit, or a kitchen knife plus an awl
  • Paint (optional)


Step 1. Use your computer to pick a font you really like for the numbers. I liked the idea of a clean, modern sans serif – I used Century Gothic. Keep in mind that for numbers that have a fully enclosed part – 4, 6, 8, 9, and 0 – you’ll need to “break” the continuous number to keep the center holes from falling in. Print the numbers at a good size for your pumpkins onto plain paper.

Step 2. Prepare your work area, and clean your pumpkins! This part is my least favorite, I will admit. When you cut a hole in the top to remove the gunk and allow you to put in the candle, make sure you angle your cut inward so the resulting top won’t fall into the pumpkin when you put it back! Scrape out all the goop and throw away, unless you want to roast the seeds (sugared and spiced and given as favors? I could see that working well.) Make sure you scrape the side you’ll be carving as clean as possible – the thinner the pumpkin wall, the easier and cleaner the carving will be.


Click inside for the rest of our DIY Pumpkin Wedding Table Numbers tutorial!

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Matt & Taylor’s Dreamy Great Falls Maryland Engagement Pictures

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I don’t usually pick a black and white for the main image of a post – but DAMN Rachel with A Muse Photography really killed it on these black and whites. Matt & Taylor are just adorable and I love their love story. They also chose Rock Creek Park, one of the BEST places in Washington DC for your engagement pictures. The foliage is stunning and there’s just so much to do. Thanks to Rachel for sharing these!

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How we met:

Matt and I first met the night before the start of the 2009 Fall Semester at UVA at a rowing social event. I was starting my 1st year, while Matt was entering his 3rd year. Over the next couple weeks, we would frequently run into each other and shyly chat. By mid-September, Matt was taking me out on dates and we’ve going strong ever since! Despite being in a long-distance relationship since Matt graduated UVA in 2011, the distance has made our relationship stronger and we have learned to treasure their time together whether it’s a 24-hour visit or 24-minute phone conversation. Matt now resides in Princeton, NJ and trains with the US Rowing National Team. I am currently a Speech-Language Pathology graduate student at UVA. After my May 2015 graduation, I’m super excited to settle down in Princeton, NJ and finally be in a “close-distance” relationship with Matt before the big day!

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Click inside for the rest and Matt & Taylor’s proposal story!

Marcia & Zach’s Offbeat, Personalized Washington DC Wedding at Hillyer Art Center

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This Washington, DC wedding had it all. A ceremony in an art gallery, a push-up contest, the Jewish chair dance, dinner, dancing, and a legit New Orleans style parade to take the guests to dinner.

No joke. Just wait until you see these parade pictures – they’re amazing. Marcia & Zach had a DC wedding and did it THEIR way, including some Janet Reno masks. Man, I love when couples do what they want. I know you guys are going to love this one. Thanks to De Nueva Photography for sharing her images.

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Saturday: a friend from New Orleans who is a hairdresser did my hair and all my sisters.  Katy from Alison Harper & Co did my makeup and my sisters.  She was incredible and I set it up only 2 days before the wedding!

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Our ceremony was in Hillyer Art Gallery in Dupont. There’s a shot of all my sisters in the gallery (in red). My sister Nancy married us.

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Our band was Mike Flaherty’s Dixieland Direct. They were probably the highlight of our wedding.  These guys have a New Orleans-style brass band in DC and they go down to New Orleans frequently to play.  They got totally into the spirit of our wedding and played Oh When the Saints when we marched out and coordinated a fabulous number with my 86yo uncle which took them a lot of time to organize with him but they were really into.  They worked in all my crazy friends and a skit to “You Can’t Hurry Love.” The coup de grace was when they led a New Orleans 2nd Line parade all the way from Hillyer to Kababji Grill – quite a scene!

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My mom’s friend did the flowers and one her other friends made the corsages, etc.

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Click inside for SO MUCH MORE of this super rad Washington DC wedding – including the New Orleans style parade from the ceremony to dinner!

DIY Tutorial: How to Make Halloween Tombstone Place Cards

DIY halloween tombstone placecard tutorial

After you finishing making your DIY washi tape Halloween invitations, and invite all your friends to your rockin’ Halloween party, you can now set the table with some spook-tacular (yes, I typed that) tombstone place cards to set the table! Another ridiculously awesome DIY tutorial thanks to Ribbons & Bluebirds!

How to make DIY Tombstone Placecards

Rolling with this Halloween theme, let’s make some placecards!  These would also make great food or drink labels for your party spread, and are a cinch to make.

Let’s get started:


  • Template, available here
  • 8.5×11 grey cardstock
  • Scissors
  • White Gel Pen
  • Grey brush marker
  • Tape

1.       Print out the template (available here) on your grey cardstock.

2.       Cut out your individual tombstones along the thin black lines.  If you have a scoring board, not would be a great time to score the cardstock for future folding, at the dashed lines.  If you don’t, not to worry!


3.       While your cardstock is still flat, start by adding highlights to your tombstone using the white gel pen.  To the left and top of every printed line, trace the shape with the white pen for a highlight effect.


4.       To add shadows to the tombstone, use your grey brush pen and trace to the right and bottom of the printed lines.  This will give you a great 3-d effect!


5.       I recommend adding either individual names, or food and drink labels BEFORE folding – it’s much easier to write on the tombstones when they’re still flat. I wrote the name with my grey brush marker, then added highlights like I had done with the rest of the tombstone.


6.       Time to fold!  Fold each section inwards on the dashed lines, and press to crease.  You should end up with a flat section for the tombstone to stand upright on, and another flap behind.  Line the inside of the flap with tape (sticky side out.) Using your fingers to temporarily fold the tape inwards, align the flap with the back of the tombstone, more than halfway towards the top.  This will make sure the tombstone is nice and visible, by causing the tombstone to lean back slightly.  Press the folded tape to the back of the tombstone to secure.



You’re all done!



Washington DC Area Wedding Gown Cleaning, Preservation, & Advice

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[Image: Eastport Photography]

A few weeks ago I got a reader email, asking me to do a round-up on Washington, DC area wedding gown cleaners and preservers. Karol had already done a great deal of research finding some places, but I thought I would take it a step further and find some REAL past brides that got their wedding gown cleaned and preserved and share their experiences with you.

First, let’s share a roundup of places in the Washington, DC Metro Area that offer this service:

Imperial Gown Restoration (Silver Spring, MD)
Wedding Gown Specialist (Arlington, VA)
Soliloquy Bridal (wedding gown preservation company authorized dealer )(Herndon, VA)
Gowns Remembered (Crofton, MD)
Parkway Custom Cleaning (Chevy Chase, Md)
Mclean Cleaners (Mclean, VA)
Ellie’s Bridal (Alexandria, VA)

Did we miss one you’d recommend? Leave it in the comments below!

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[Image: Marcella Treybig]

Now let’s talk about the ADVICE piece here. Some past brides shared the good, the pricey, and the “why bother” of wedding gown preservation:

The Good.

“I went to the cleaners in my neighborhood, waterfront cleaners…can’t really say if they did a good job bc it is in a HUGE box!”

“I did mine at Old Dominion Cleaners & Shirt Finishers on Lee Highway. It was less than $200 including the box. The box has a velcro flap that lifts up to reveal a window, so I can peek at my dress whenever I want. She even arranged my veil in the window as well.”

“Ellie’s Bridal Boutique offers dress preservation. I can’t remember how much it was but I just dropped my dress off and they sent it away to be boxed up and it came back absolutely beautiful. You can display the dress in the box if you want. Was thinking of hanging it on a wall of my closet.”

The Pricey.

“Parkway Custom Cleaning (Chevy Chase, Md) has the most reviews on this place and most people recommended them however the price range on site says 300 to 700 (wow) and most reviews do mention cost was expensive.”

“I got mine done at McLean Cleaners. They specialize in wedding dresses. It’s crazy packed in this awesome box and preserved. It was pricey, but worth it… you know, if my daughter ever wants to wear it (ha, unlikely!)”

The Why Bother.

“I did my with – I found out a lot of the stores use it anyway…”

“Those preservatives are pretty nasty to have on your skin. I never intended to wear my gown again, and I would never save it for a daughter or daughter-in-law to wear, so I donated mine. Keeping wedding gowns around just doesn’t make sense to me, especially for city dwellers where space is at a premium!”

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What do you think Romancers!? Is wedding dress preservation for you? Mine is still hanging in my closet … completely un-preserved. I kinda like the faint stains and reminder and of the ROCKIN’ PARTY we had on our wedding day <3 Any other places we missed? Sound off below!

Michael and Amanda’s Adorable Coffee Shop Engagement Pictures in Georgetown

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This Monday is made a little easier for me as I am working from home today thanks to good ole Columbus. I had a whirlwind weekend up to New York City to watch my husband help produce a live music festival in Times Square. It was one of the COOLEST things I’ve ever seen, but to say I am a bit tired is an understatement. Though, I can’t really talk as my husband got up at 2:00am on Sunday and as of writing this post at 10pm Sunday evening, he is STILL working.

We’ll keep things light with a fun coffee shop engagement in Georgetown at Baked & Wired thanks to Erin Costa Photography. Michael & Amanda have a killer love story (that they awesomely shared with me) and I just love how many SMILES there are in their DC engagement pictures!

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It’s amazing how music can bring two people together..

Michael , originally from Atlanta, Georgia, and Amanda , a Jersey girl born and raised, met at college at the Catholic University of America, but it wasn’t until fall of senior year that they got to really know each other. Michael was the music director and played piano for a student-directed show called Elegies: A Song Cycle by William Finn, while Amanda, played the mother figure role of Betty Buckley. Michael says, “Her songs in the show were my favorite -and it wasn’t only because of the music; I was smitten by Amanda, her voice, and her gentle heart. We just clicked, and there was an instant connection that made me want to know her better.”

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The story was heavily centered around the events and aftermath of September 11th, which made it an extremely emotional and heart wrenching show. There were points that there was not a dry eye in the theater- including the actors on stage. Amanda says, “I remember singing the lyrics to ‘Infinite Joy’, and was hoping at the time that I would find someone that gave me just that.” ‘Goodness is rewarded hope is guaranteed, laughter builds strong bones right will intercede, things you said I often find I need, indeed.. I see the world through your eyes, what’s black and white is colorized, the knowledge you most dearly prized I’m eager to employ, you said that life has infinite joy, life has infinite joy..’ She had no idea that her life was about to change.

After graduation in May of 2012, Amanda and Michael kept in touch. In December, the day after her birthday, he sent her a text that read, “How tempted would you be to come to New York City if I was there for New Years?” To which she responded, “Oh my gosh that would make my year!” to which he then responded, “Well, that’s a high bar..” Clearly she could not keep her excitement and blew her cover.

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So on New Years Eve, they met in Manhattan for their first date: at a quaint French restaurant on 9th avenue by the name of Marseille, where he kissed her before midnight. ‘It was the most romantic date I had ever been on. I felt like we were the only two people in that room’, Amanda remembers. ‘He also handed me a book at the table as a a gift, a C.S. Lewis book, and on the inside cover he wrote, ‘One of my favorite quotes: “Heaven: the regions where there is only life and therefore all that is not music is silence.” I hope that your 2013 is filled with life, music, and plenty of silent spaces in between.’

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Click inside for the rest of Amanda & Michael’s Washington DC engagement pictures!

Wedding Inspiration from Pennsylvania Farm Wedding & Link Love

Maggie & I

I learned SO MUCH at The Blogcademy last weekend (full recap post on that coming next week), and one of those things was getting back into a “link love” recurring post. So I hope to combine my Friday Wedding Inspiration posts with some Link Love as well, as there is just TOO MUCH good stuff out there on other blogs that I think you lovely readers will appreciate too. Happy Friday -I’m off to New York City for the weekend!!

Capitol Romance Link Loves:

The Alternative Bride’s Guide to Eloping (this post SERIOUSLY rocks)
Questions to Ask Your Caterer (the non obvious ones!)
1950s Styled Wedding with a Flashmob ceremony (these are seriously like 2 of my most favorite things)
5 Tips for Running a Small Business

And now for some seriously dreamy farm wedding inspiration from Nathan Desch Photography. A gorgeous Pennsylvania farm wedding with lots of steal-worthy wedding details!

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Click inside for the rest of the wedding inspiration for today and have a FANTASTIC weekend Romancers!

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.

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)
  • 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!

Need Help Making DIY Projects for Your Wedding? Attend Our Workshops!