DIY wedding details

Tatiana & Ben’s Offbeat, Retro Wedding in the Catskills ~ Part 2

“In the end, I married my favorite. Nothing else matters.”

 We are back with part 2 of Tatiana & Ben’s awesome, retro small-budget wedding up in the Catskills. Part 1 featured some pretty amazing ceremony shots [so much laughter and happiness!] and Part 2 focuses more on their handmade wedding decor and smashing reception. We also still have some additional great advice from Tatiana for all those planning a wedding. Here we go:

 love these touching shots from their first dance

Advice from Tatiana continues:

“THIS IS YOUR DAY.”  Um…no.  I just could not buy into that.  It was OUR day, as in Ben and I, but also it was a day for everyone to celebrate.  This meant a bunch of things, but above all, we tried to make choices that ensured that everyone was having a good time.

Since everyone spent money to travel out to the Catskills for our wedding, we made sure we could act as good hosts.  For us, this meant people were fed well and had access to an open bar all night. This also meant having a reception where our 12 nieces/nephews/cousins could act like kids and run around. Also meant having accomodation suggestions that spanned all price ranges.

We didn’t compromise on any aesthetic choices and everything reflected us to a T, but it was important to us that family and friends were comfortable and having a great time.



On their DIY wedding projects:

Because of the budget, we did practically everything ourselves.  My incredibly talented best friend, Shana Hale, designed invites and programs.  Ipod playlist. I did my makeup.  A good friend did my hair.

Centerpieces (which were a PROJECT) were crafted out of paper and made months in advance. Favors were CDs of the first soul music mix Ben ever made for me.

Saving so much money made it possible for us to throw a party with amazing food and open bar for 80 people.

love these paper flower centerpieces!

Advice on finding a venue that already has character ~ saves you money on decorating!


Getting married in a restaurant that already had its own funky thing going on meant that we just had to put out some centerpieces and call it a day.  They had the cool mural, the lights already strung, the crazy bar, the fire pit with marshmallows, the beautiful setting overlooking the Catskill mountains.  We didn’t need to do anything more.

Click inside for the rest of Tatiana & Ben’s budget-friendly, retro wedding in the Catskills

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Capitol Inspiration: Tatiana & Ben’s Offbeat, Retro Wedding in the Catskills

Early this year my sister and her husband Tom attended one of their good friends’ weddings up in the Catskills. I was waiting on bated breath to hear how everything went, seeing as this was the couple whose ah-mazing retro Save the Date I had featured previously:

The invites were just as cool [if not cooler] and naturally their wedding was just the most amazing thing ever and I am SO excited that Tatiana & Ben are letting me feature it here!

They had an awesomely offbeat wedding at the Peekamoose Restaurant and used DIY and a 1950s flare to hand-craft their special day. Everything about their wedding was 100% custom and 100% them. I asked Tatiana to share the details with me and her first response was this:

I’m not even going to try to cram 14 months of planning into a few paragraphs, so I just wanted to touch upon some things that really stuck out with us and had the biggest impact of our wedding planning process.

So not only will you get inspiring wedding pictures – you will all get a BOAT LOAD of awesome advice on how to stay true to yourselves, how to stay sane, AND how to keep things on a budget!

Tatiana & Ben’s Retro DIY Budget-Friendly Wedding in the Catskills


Venue: Peekamoose Restaurant
Photographer: Megan Schley
Dress: Dolly Couture
Florist (just for bouquets): Elderberry Design
Bridal party dresses: Modcloth & Trashy Diva 

 So, see what I mean?! Tatiana’s amazing 1950s wedding dress and retro up do outdone only by their expressions of absolute joy and happiness at being married.

Let’s begin:

 Tatiana’s yellow tulip bouquet with a red polka dot wrap

Tatiana’s first piece of advice – how to pay for your own wedding … and stick to a budget:

BUDGET.  Oh lord.  This was a doozy.  We paid for everything ourselves, and didn’t want to take out of our savings or put anything on a credit card in order to have a kick-ass wedding.  And we killed it!  We set an estimated number we thought we needed and gave ourselves a reasonable time frame to save up that amount.  And while our original budget practically doubled (because our little naive minds basically just pulled that ridiculously low number our of our ass), we still saved up everything we needed and even had some leftover.  You can do it!  Opening a joint savings account helped.  Because while I might spend some of my own money in stupid ways, I did not touch it once it was in our wedding account.


 how adorable is this wedding venue lodge?!

  if you think these mismatched bridesmaids shoes are too cute … just wait until you see their fabutastic patterned dresses!

Tatiana’s advice on how to stay sane on your wedding day:

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE AWESOME.  The weekend of our wedding, we rented a house to stay with our 6 friends (those that were involved in the wedding).  Other than saying “yes” when Ben proposed, that was the best decision I made.  Our friends helped with the last minute details, but best of all they helped by keeping us calm, keeping us honest, and keeping us laughing.


Click inside for the rest of Tatiana & Ben’s offbeat, DIY 1950s wedding in the Catskills!

Mallory & Hoyt’s Offbeat Hot Pink & Teal Virginia Wedding

Today I get to share that faaaaaaaaabulous hot pink and teal wedding that I sneak peaked on my Facebook page [wait, you aren’t a fan of ours on facebook ~ well why the heck not?!]. Mallory & Hoyt’s wedding is everything I love to feature here on Capitol Romance – unique, personal wedding choices, awesomely offbeat & DIY details, oh and pretty much the coolest honeymoon uncovering I have ever seen [Hoyt planned the whole thing, kept it a surprise and then revealed it to Mallory at the wedding! Just wait until you see how….]

I know you will all love this brightly colored and beautiful Northern Virginia wedding by Julie Napear Photography [submitted via Two Bright Lights].

Mallory & Hoyt’s Hot Pink & Teal Wedding at Bristow Manor in Northern Virginia

Hair & Makeup: Best Face Forward
Floral Designer:  Heaven on Earth Wedding Flowers
Reception Venue:  Bristow Manor Golf Club
Transportation:  Reston Limousine

About the couple:

Hoyt had been planning for the very special day with the parents of both families, and Mallory had no idea of what was to come!  In May, Hoyt took Mallory’s Dad, Tim, out to lunch to ask for permission to have her hand in marriage.  Tim shook his hand and welcomed him to the family.  Tim and Hoyt then surprised Mallory’s Mom, Athena, a week later at dinner to tell her the good news.  More importantly, Hoyt wanted to ask Athena to help him design the perfect ring.

The Proposal

The evening began at Faccia Luna, their favorite restaurant in Clarendon followed by yet another trip to the National Mall.  After a great dinner, they headed into DC. It was the 4th of July weekend, so there was already a buzz in the air when they arrived.  They headed up to the memorial and gazed at Honest Abe, read his speeches and even pondered the meaning behind them. They sat down on the steps and took in the beauty of the nation’s capital at night.

Hoyt suggested they walk through the park lit up next to the reflecting pool, and soon they found a nearby bench to sit down.  Hoyt asked, “When was the first time we came here? How long ago was that?”  They added it up, and it came to 2 years and 4 months ago.  He said they have made so many amazing memories over the years, let’s make another one.

He slipped the ring on Mallory’s finger and said, “Will you marry me?” She could barely speak, and couldn’t believe what had just happened! “Of course, Yes!” she said, hugging and kissing Hoyt. He revealed the whole plan behind the proposal and Mallory couldn’t stop the tears.  It had meant so much to her that he had been working with Mallory’s parents. Hoyt was officially part of our family now!

Details on their wedding:

Hoyt and I started planning right away; being a teacher I knew a summer wedding was in order and we needed to book quickly.

The NOVA area has a lot to offer, however I wanted something different. My mom and I spent a day going what seemed like every venue we could find but nothing had the vintage and homey feel I was looking for.

Our last stop of the day was Bristow Manor and when I saw it, I knew it was everything I was looking for. It incorporated both of our personalities, the historic mansion on a golf course. After the venue was set the second most important part was having the personal touches that made the day our own and being able to incorporate who we are into our day.

On the AWESOMESAUCE wedding color palette:

Fuchsia and teal have been my favorite colors and are just so me, so that was a given for our wedding day. I didn’t want the day to be too pink, so the teal became the main color with fuchsia as an accent color.

I don’t know these people … but I love these people. That guys face says it all :)

Click inside for the rest of this awesome, offbeat Northern Virginia wedding ~ with lots more on all their DIY wedding projects!

DIY: DC Couple DIYs Wedding Bands at Wedding Ring Workshop

A long long time ago [… I can still remember how the music used to … err what?] I wrote a blog post about Wedding Ring Workshop – the ultimate wedding DIY. It’s a place you can go to actually craft your own, custom wedding rings, under supervisor from the professionals of course!

Andy & I, initially, wanted to do this SO BAD for our own wedding rings. I can’t think of a much cooler wedding ring, then one you made yourself! Sadly though, we ran out of time and couldn’t get it done. Fortunately, one of my readers saw my post on the workshop and her and her husband went! So Megan & Chris [you might remember them from their fabulous modern Washington DC wedding here] went and shared pictures and details of their own experience with Wedding Ring Workshop, that I now get to share with all of you!

Chris & Megan’s DIY Wedding Ring Experience

From Megan:

What a crazy concept!  When I first came across the company (through this blog) I thought it was a silly idea (there is NO way we can make good looking rings ourselves!), but I was very intrigued by it.  At the time, my husband and I were looking for wedding bands that were similar and complimented each other.  More and more as we searched jewelers and websites, we kept going back to the wedding ring experience idea.  Why not make our own rings?

We contacted the company and spoke to Lewis, he was extremely helpful, was able to ease our concerns.  He was very patient with all of our questions and did it with a smile.  Most importantly, we were reassured we would not mess up the wedding bands.  The price for this experience is dependent on the type of metal you select, and since the price of metals fluctuates often, the price is locked in when you book your reservation.


 Chris and I made our wedding bands on a very cold January Monday morning in Warrenton, Virginia.  We arrived at 9 am eager and anxious.  Christopher was our jewelsmith, and he was extremely knowledgeable and patient.  We discussed and drew designs until everyone was comfortable with moving forward.  Then he presented us with the block of palladium.  It was one solid block that looked like a Lego.  Christopher measured the the block and we cut it into two pieces.  I made Chris’ ring and he made mine.

Throughout this process, we learned how to anneal, weld, file, and properly size the bands.  The last step we did was to polish the bands.

 If you look at some of the pictures our photographer took of the wedding bands, you will notice that it could appear that my wedding band was simply taken from the inside of Chris’s.  They compliment each other perfectly…  My ring literally fits inside Chris’!

For the finishing touch, Christopher let us choose and do out own inscriptions on the bands. Mine says “Always” and Chris’ says “Forever,” with our wedding date next to them.

Thinking of making your own wedding bands? Megan offers some advice from their experience:

Some suggestions… If you are looking for a very detailed band, I would not suggest making your own band.  Some detail work can be done, but the jewelsmith will have to do the more intricate work, meaning you will actually work on it less.   If you would like stones in the band, you can not set them yourself, they send the ring to a professional to take care of that.  Ladies- make sure you wear your hair up so it does not get in the way!


 At the end of our day, we were able to go home with 2 wedding bands that we made for each other.  And a bottle of champagne too!  Our rings are amazing pieces of jewelry that we made with love.

Thank you Megan & Chris for sharing your Wedding Ring Workshop experience with us!! What do you think Romancers? Would you make your own wedding band?

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