DIY Inspiration: DIY Wedding Programs

I have been a terrible blogger since the long weekend this past weekend. I have been super swamped at my day job and really, all excuses aside, I apologize and will promise to do better next week, with getting posts scheduled and published in the mornings.

Yesterday I had a friend ask some advice on wedding programs ~ she was getting stressed out, and I offered my thoughts:

  • programs, while a nice addition, are not a necessity
  • programs oftentimes get overlooked or simply thrown out after the ceremony anyway
  • programs can be a waste of time AND money

But while I shared those thoughts, I also realize that they are a nice gesture for your guests to see what will be happening in your ceremony AND it gives the couple a vehicle to recognize the special people that made their wedding day possible.

So for today’s DIY Wednesday post, I thought I would share some links to DIY Wedding Programs [inspiration & tutorials] to help couples keep programs simple and affordable and not kill a ton of their precious time.

Let’s start with an origami fortune teller program. Um, I love this

Bride Goggles Blog

The ever popular DIY Wedding Program Fan

via Intimate Weddings blog

An idea similar to our “poster program” ~ using a window!

via Adore Wedding blog

Simple & quick to make ~ A Chalkboard Wedding Program

via Dynamite Weddings

Ok ~ your turn! Share some of your favorite DIY wedding programs or even your own!!

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DIY Tutorial: Easy, Budget-Friendly Photobooth Backdrop

A couple weeks ago for DIY Wednesday, I shared some awesome DIY Photobooth Inspiration – many that linked to tutorials. For the Bachelorette Party that I planned this weekend, I decided to make my own budget-friendly photobooth backdrop, so that the girls could have some extra fun taking pictures with sweet props donated by a reader [more on the props to come!].

Today I thought I would share some pictures and details on how I made a super easy, and super cheap photobooth backdrop using cardboard, ribbon, and streamers. Oh, and lots of hot glue.

My Cheap & Easy DIY Photobooth Backdrop


  • Cardboard
  • Streamers
  • Ribbon [multiple colors, texture, widths]
  • Measuring Tape
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Hot Glue


1. Start by measuring the width of the space you intend to hang the photobooth backdrop on. This is how wide of a piece of cardboard you will need to cut. [I cut a piece of cardboard about 1-2 inches high by 4 feet wide]

2. Measure the height between where you intent to hang the photobooth backdrop, and the ground [so you know how long to cut the pieces of streamers and ribbon].

3. Start cutting LOTS of ribbon & streamers at a length, just a bit longer than the height you measured in Step 2. [There is not a lot of specifics here, because you can make your backdrop as lush or thin as you want … I used purple streamers, a thick royal purple ribbon, and a thin, sheer pink ribbon].

4. Once you have cut a good amount of strips, being hot glueing the strips to the back of the cardboard base. A glued each streamer with a slight over-lap and would then go back through and hot glue a few strands over pieces I already glued:

5. Continue until your backdrop reaches the fullness and color that you deem necessary. I Used mainly streamers and added a darker, thick purple ribbon every inch or so across the cardboard, and then threw in a few strands of a light pink ribbon:

[My photobooth backdrop … and my husband]

 6. I fastened the cardboard into the wall with nails [I tried 3M stickies first, but it didn’t hold].

7. To top the backdrop off, I made [ok, actually Andy made] some letters from cardboard that I then spray painted hot pink:

 8. I hung all the letters above it and VOILA! A cheap and easy DIY Photobooth Backdrop.

Here are a few shots of the girls & I having fun with our props in the photobooth this weekend!


Charles & Scott’s Offbeat DC Wedding at their Apartment Building!

This offbeat, Washington, DC wedding might take the cake with most original and alternative wedding venue I’ve ever seen: the couple’s apartment complex!

I mean, regardless of the fact that it belongs to an apartment complex, why the hell NOT use a brand new club room and a fabulous open courtyard – a perfect site for both a ceremony and a reception!?

Well, that’s exactly what Charles & Scott did in order to accomplish an insanely special, personalized wedding ceremony full of offbeat and DIY details. A special thanks to Red Shoes Photography & Two Bright Lights for making this wedding feature possible!

Charles & Scott’s Alternative & Offbeat, Budget-Friendly Washington DC Wedding


Photography: Red Shoes Photography

Catering: Eat & Smile Foods, Paris Caterers

A bit about the couple and their offbeat Washington, DC wedding:

Charles and Scott met in Baltimore and moved to DC, where they decided they would have their wedding.

Their [wedding] venue was unusual, as it was their apartment building! Their complex has a great open courtyard and brand new club room, which were the sites for their ceremony and reception. Scott did all the flowers himself, and the food was an endless parade of hors d’ouevres, from sliders to s’mores. The small wedding was mainly family and close friends.

One of the most touching parts of the day was the ceremony. Charles and Scott wrote their own vows, and as they were reading them, I do not think there was a dry eye in the crowd. They also had the bands they had worn all through their engagement engraved with a special saying, which they didn’t show to each other until the ceremony. It was very special, and incredibly moving!

So many details that I love here – the DIYed flowers, the couple writing their own vows, and custom engravings on the wedding rings – all set at such a unique and budget-friendly venue in the DC area. Love it! Enjoy!

Click inside to see the rest of Charles & Scott’s super offbeat, & intimate Washington DC wedding at their awesomely alternative wedding venue!

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Capitol Inspiration: Pictures of Handmade, DIY Rustic Wedding Details

Boy do I have a real wedding inspiration post for you today kiddos. The always lovely Sarah of Ampersand Photography dropped this nugget of DIY-goodness into my Two Bright Lights inbox and though I was hoping to get more details from the couple, I figured it would make for a great Capitol Inspiration post instead!

The couple, the bride’s Aunts and cousins DIYed the shiz out of this rustic, handmade wedding. Just WAIT until you see all the details. Handmade rustic signage and centerpieces, all to adorn the couple’s church in Virginia, where they had the ceremony and the reception!

So without further ado:

A Handmade DIY Rustic Wedding in Virginia

 Click inside for the rest of these lovely details from a real DIY rustic wedding from Ampersand Photography!

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Capitol Inspiration: Details from a Rustic, Mountain Wedding in Yosemite

Last night I went to the opening of a brand new pizza place on H St [H&Pizza] and I think I am in some sort of pizza hangover realm. So apologies for the lateness of this post AND my utter lack of being able to function enough in my brain to write cohesive thoughts about today’s wedding inspiration post.

Fortunately, this Yosemite mountain wedding from wedding photographer, Joleen Willis [submitted via Two Bright Lights] doesn’t require much added mumbo jumbo from me – the pictures truly speak from themselves. The handmade details, the flowers arranged by the bride’s mom and the stunning wedding portraits in front of mountains …. well, it’s all TRULY gorgeous. Happy Friday Romancers!

Wedding Inspiration from a Rustic, Handmade Wedding in the Mountains

Renee and Burke were married May 12th at the beautiful Evergreen Lodge just outside the entrance to Yosemite. It was truly a location fit for them, as they both find themselves at home when they’re outdoors exploring and adventuring.

 Renee’s mom Gail is a florist, and of course Renee would not trust any other with her florals! Gail assembled all of the florals on site. She had most of the florals delivered for her to build locally, EXCEPT FOR the white bellflowers! Those are from Gail’s garden all the way in Michigan! She packed them carefully in her suitcase and brought them all the way here to California!

Click inside for more details & DIY wedding inspiration from this beautiful, handmade mountain wedding!

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Megan & Chris’ Modern Dark Purple Arlington, VA Wedding

I met Megan & Chris in person at the Nonconforming Bridal Fair over a year ago, when Capitol Romance was pretty brand new. Megan was the first person ever to come up to me and say, “I read your blog!”. I think I actually blushed.

Since that day, Megan and Chris stayed in email contact with me – they wanted to do something unique for their Northern Virginia wedding and they didn’t want to break the bank either. I think what the ended up with was perfect – a stunning, modern wedding at the Le Meridien Hotel in Rosslyn, VA with gorgeous, deep purple details.

A special thanks to Andrew Morrell Photography & Two Bright Lights for making this Northern Virginia Wedding feature possible!

Megan & Chris’ Modern Northern Virginia Wedding with Deep Purple Details

Just look at that statement necklace! I DIE!

A few days before the wedding, Megan, Chris and I sat outside at their venue – a large serene patio tucked in between the tallest buildings in the Washington DC metro area. It was sunny and nearly 70 – in early March! While they sipped champagne (the venue manager is a very generous person), we all put our most strenuous faith and hope into changing the fog and rain and dreary weekend weather forecast to reflect the current conditions… When dawn broke on Saturday, March 17, it was indeed foggy. But the fog cleared and our midweek champagne session chased the clouds to reveal a stunning day – which would inform the whole day’s events.

Venue: Le Meridien Hotel in Rosslyn, VA

Photographer: Andrew Morrell

Hair & Makeup: Alison Harper & Company

graffiti on the bottom of the bride’s shoes?! yes please!

now THIS is bridal statement jewelry!

loving these deep purple bouquets

and matching boutonnieres of course!

another shot of megan’s super modern bridal shoes – glittery black heels!

DIYing bouquets the morning of the wedding – love this!

Megan heads up the stairs to the Lincoln Memorial to meet her groom for their first look!

Click inside for the rest of these gorgeous, modern purple wedding pictures from Washington, DC wedding photographer, Andrew Morrell.

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Capitol Inspiration: Rachel & Wesley’s Handmade, DIY Offbeat Hot Pink & Orange Wedding!

I shared a sneak peak on my Facebook wall yesterday of today’s offbeat wedding inspiration post. But the shot really didn’t do this amazing, 100% DIY wedding justice. The couple opted for a laid-back, backyard wedding – but they did not hold back on amazing, handmade details. The bright orange and hot-pink color scheme has me reeling, especially with the inclusion of the colors in the bride’s handmade dress.

A special thanks to Gambol Photography for submitting this AWE-inducing offbeat wedding to me, and to Two Bright Lights for making it possible!

Happy Inspiration Friday everyone. Let’s get it on.

Rachel & Wesley’s Offbeat DIY Backyard Wedding in Hot Pink & Orange

From Gambol Photography:

Rachel & Wesley’s wedding was to die for. The best part? 100% handmade, DIY goodness.

The happy couple opted for a backyard, family-oriented affair with sweet, intimate details that expressed their truly unique relationship and personalities. The whole family pitched in to create, craft and collect items to decorate and light up the ceremony and reception space.

love the mismatched, hot pink & orange patterned bridesmaids dresses

and these summery, hot pink and orange bouquets are GORGEOUS

The groom’s dad owns a beautiful home right on the ocean in Elizabeth City, NC, so that served beautifully as the ceremony and reception venue for the big day.

Rachel & Wesley themselves are so photogenic naturally, but their genuine love and adoration for each other just begs emotion and warm fuzzies from everyone they come in contact with.

It’s so obvious how smitten they are about one another, and that kind of crazy love is so refreshing and precious to witness!

So true – just LOOK at this look that Rachel is throwing Wesley. You can literally see the love in her eyes.

the “we just got married” bride fist pump – always a favorite shot of mine :)

Click inside for the rest (and believe me, you will) of these awesome, offbeat DIY backyard wedding pictures – including the most awesome alternative guest book idea EVER.

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My DIY Fabric Flower Sash Tutorial

Last week I shared some DIY Flower Sash tutorials & inspiration. Last week I went to work, attempting to make one myself, to dress up a little black dress I was planning on wear for a wedding I was attending.

For today’s DIY Wednesday post – I thought it would be fun to share how my fabric floral belt came together – and add my own DIY tutorial with how I ended up making it!

How to make a DIY Fabric Flower Belt or Sash


First, using the research I did the previous week, I ended up using a combination of these two DIY Fabric Flower Sash tutorials. One from Monkey See Monkey Do and the other from Bromeliad.


  • long strips of fabric [approx 4 inches wide and ranging in length depending on size of your flowers]
  • scissors
  • needle & thread
  • hot glue & hot glue gun
  • card stock
  • ribbon
  • industrial velcro

Because my fabric strips weren’t long enough – I cut three out and sewed two together so that I could end  up with one larger flower and one smaller flower:

This is a shot of my extra long piece – it was probably 3-4 feet long [sorry I didn’t measure!!]

Next, fold the fabric strip in half and hand sew thread across the bottom, along the cut edges. I made loops of about one inch:

As you sew you will start to see that the fabric strip will begin to bunch up. This is OK! This is supposed to happen to make the fabric eventually form a flower.

Here is a shot of the final sewn fabric:

The next part I struggled with BIG time. This was taking the sewn fabric [above] and forming it into something that looked like a rose or flower. I ended up taking one end, and sort of just gathering the fabric in a circular pattern. This make take some practice and a couple tries!

Once I had something that faintly resembled a fabric rose, I went to town with hot glue. I cut a piece of card stock into a small square, threw some hot glue on it and delicately placed my fabric flower onto the square.

From there I added more hot glue into the flower to make sure it was all going to stick/stay in place on the card stock.

I trimmed the card stock a bit so that you couldn’t see it. Then I hot glued the two flowers to the end of a piece of purple, satin ribbon.

Then I used industrial velcro to finish off the belt. [A lot of other tutorials just tied the belt into a bow at the end – I thought about buttons or snaps, but had the velcro on hand, so I just used that. I think I might go back and use snaps instead :) – FYI]

I measured the ribbon around my waist and then SNIP, I cut the end and place the other piece of velcro there.

And VOILA! A beautiful hot pink fabric flower sash that added a bit of modern whimsy to my little black dress! I thought they ended up matching the shoes pretty well too! You could easily make this DIY fabric flower belt to snazz up a dress or even to snazz up your bridesmaids dresses!



Capitol Wedding: Vi & Harmonie’s Offbeat Baltimore Wedding at Gutierrez Studios

Excuse me while I fangirl over this amazing offbeat Baltimore, MD wedding that Voula Trip Photography submitted to me on Two Bright Lights.

*FAN GIRLS* [I am not even certain what this action would be]

Harmonie & Vi’s wedding was awesome; inspiring, offbeat, eclectic, and 100% their own. It included custom vows, a TON of DIY, a rainbow color palette, lightbulb wedding design & motif, and an industrial wedding venue that included an umbrella chandelier. Yes, a chandelier full of lit-up umbrellas was present at this wedding.

And now you know why I am fan-girling ;)


Reception Venue:  Gutierrez Studios
Dress Designer:  Maggie Sottero
Ceremony Location:  The Village Church

From the photographer:

One of the first things that Harmonie said to me in our initial conversation was that people were describing her as very untraditional.

Their wedding was very DIY.

how much do i love the bride’s blue flats? oh … ever so much!

Harmonie’s Aunt Kim, a hair-stylist from Toronto did the bride’s hair and also did all the bridal bouquets and the flower arrangements at the reception.

love this french braid bridal hairstyle!

Harmonie & Vi’s church reminds me so much of the non-denominational one Andy & I found in DC! A perfect place when you want to “create your own” wedding ceremony like Harmonie & Vi did!

Both Harmonie and Vi are Vietnamese, but Harmonie’s family are Buddhists and Vi’s family is Catholic. The couple decided to create their own ceremony. Instead of a unity candle the bride and groom decided to plant seeds of a tree to symbolize their future growth together.

They both wrote their own vows and read them to each other. After their vows they then read a second set of vows to each other that their friends and family took part in writing for them.

Yet again – another couple that wrote their own wedding vows – and just look at the natural emotion that comes from it! Also love the absolute family involvement of having your friends/family help write a SECOND set of vows! LOVE LOVE LOVE

Really love brides with chunky statement necklaces !

Click inside for the rest of Harmonie & Vi’s amazing, offbeat, industrial Baltimore MD wedding ~ including shots of some seriously awesome personalized wedding details AND that umbrella chandelier that I have been fawning over for weeks!

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