Capitol Inspiration: Paper Flower Wedding Decorations & Centerpieces from Whimsical, Real PA Wedding

Our DIY origami flower bouquet tutorial and our paper flower tutorial are two of our most popular posts on the site. So when I came across a real wedding, from talented wedding photographer, Jillian McGrath Photography, that used paper flowers instead of real flowers, among other gorgeous, hande wedding decorations and details – I knew I just had to feature them on Inspiration Friday.

Ryan & Amanda’s Whimsical Vegan PA Wedding

Over on Jillian’s blog you can see the full set of Amanda & Ryans wedding pictures [and believe me, you will want to see these gorgeous images], but for today I wanted to focus specifically on all their gorgeous paper flower details, handmade decorations, and more!

Amanda shares why she decided to go flower-less for her bouquets & centerpieces:

Although flowers are gorgeous, I knew that I did not want flowers for the bouquets and centerpieces. The majority of cut flowers are not even locally grown. They come from other places miles and miles away, and in some cases from other countries.

I wanted to have a wedding with the least amount of carbon footprint as possible. I’m also not a fan of pesticides and it is very challenging to find organic and locally grown flowers. I remember reading that Valentine’s day alone accounts for tons of CO2 emissions which is equivalent to the yearly footprint of about 500 Americas. That’s not something I want to contribute to. ;) Also, I loved the idea of being able to keep the flowers as they will never die.

[However] there were some flowers there because my best friend Amanda actually ordered some flowers. I tried incorporating pumpkins [too] because they are seasonal in October.

Amanda & Ryan’s beautiful paper flowers were provided by Etsy shop artist, Danas Paper Flowers, but if you had the time you could make the flowers using our step-by-step origami paper flower or sheet music flower tutorials!

A special thanks again to Jillian McGrath Photography for sharing her beautiful detail images with us!

How adorable are these unique paper flower centerpieces?!

I also love the simple addition of wine bottles, pumpkins and wood hearts. Adorable handmade wedding centerpieces for sure!

Click inside for the rest of these gorgeous, handmade & flower-less paper wedding details & decorations from Jillian McGrath Photography!

Pin It

Cecelia & Wasim’s Hip Modern Washington, DC Wedding

When a new message popped up in my inbox from Megan Noonan Photography, with the subject “Cecelia & Wasim’s wedding” – well, I was pumped. Cecelia & Wasim’s awesome Washington, DC art gallery engagement had made my “Best of 2011 Engagement Features“, so naturally, I knew their wedding was going to be unique, ultra-hip, and 100% them.

Cecelia confirmed my suspicions:

After getting engaged, I seriously tried to convince Wasim that we should go to the courthouse, get married, have a small dinner with family and friends, and call it a day.  Wasim, however, was very adamant about having a full blown wedding. I am so very glad that I “caved in” because we had a blast.

Wasim and I said that our goal was for our guests to eat, drink, and dance well at our wedding. Personally, I wanted to make sure that in the process we stayed true to ourselves without getting locked in traditions that didn’t fit our personalities, and that we didn’t break the bank while doing so.

I mean what could be more Capitol Romance than what Cecelia said – a wedding that “stayed true to ourselves”, not “locked in traditions that didn’t fit” them and “didn’t break the bank” – I mean those are practically my commandments!

Cecelia & Wasim’s Non-traditional, Modern Wedding at the Hotel Palomar in Arlington, VA

Cecelia shares how they chose Hotel Palomar in Arlington, VA as their wedding venue:

I am a huuuuuge fan of modern art (hence my choices for the   engagement session), so I was originally looking a venues with a modern and artistic vibe.  Once we stepped in the Hotel Palomar, I absolutely fell in love with the theme, “Art in Motion” and the artwork.  The fact that Wasim loved it and actually picked the hotel as his number one choice completely sold me on the venue.  We knew we made the right decision when we had our tasting…can you say Yuuuuummy!!??

We also wanted to make sure that we could have the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception at one location since the vast majority of our guests were from out of town.

i mean have you ever seen sexier, hipper bright blue wedding shoes than Cecelia’s? love.

love her sophisticated, twist bun wedding hairstyle!

Their invitations used the cobalt blue, smokey grey, and white color palette. so modern!

And just this last peak before I make you click inside to see the rest! Cecelia went non-traditional and opted for clutches over bouquets. I have been talking about that alternative bouquet idea for ever – and am THRILLED to get to show how awesome it looks in a REAL wedding!

Click inside to see the rest of Cecelia & Wasim’s Modern, Nontraditional Washington, DC wedding by Megan Noonon Photography.

DIY Inspiration: DIY Details from a Frederick, Maryland Wedding

[don’t forget to post any of your favorite DIY projects, current & past, on Twitter today using the #DIY Wednesday hashtag AND/OR post a link to your favorite DIY projects on our Facebook post ~ sharing is caring :) ]

Sweet Bee Photography sent me this adorable Frederick, Maryland wedding a few weeks back via Two Bright Lights, and I have been super excited to share it ever since. The couple is musically inclined [the bride sings in a band known as the Mood Swings] and their wedding, naturally, included lots of musical-themed and DIY details.

Their adorable DIY wedding included boutonnieres made from guitar pics [how much do I love this?!], fans for the bridesmaids instead of bouquets, an adorable “Linus & Lucy” cake topper, and an INSANELY touching ring bearer book [more details on this below].

the guitar pick boutonnieres – LOVE



Sweet Bee Photography shares the beautiful, personal details of the non-traditional ring bearer book:

One thing that really struck me about this couple was the ring bearer pillow/book.This little guy was quite adorable and he had the honor of carrying something very special to the bride and groom. It was a book they had had through the ups and downs of their relationship. They would essentially write lover letters, sometimes apology letters, sometimes…”It’s our wedding day” letters and they would pass it back and forth. After they had each written their letter on their wedding day, they tied it with ribbon to match their wedding party and tied their rings to the end.

I thought it was such a fun tradition that I think couples could even start on their wedding day

Click inside for more pictures of the ring bearer love story book [love this non-traditional wedding detail so much!] and some action shots of the Bride & her band in action!

Capitol Nontradition: Bouquet Alternatives ~ Venetian Masks!

“Our love story is unique and quixotic…..we want to express that in our wedding theme and our lives as a couple.”

Remember that amazing offbeat steampunk brooch bouquet from our Steampunk Bridal Inspiration shoot?! Well, Always & Forever Brooch Bouquet [who is going to be at Borrowed on Sunday!!! ahh!!] is back with another amazing non-traditional, bouquet alternative ~ Venetian Masks.

When Natalie emailed me about this bride she had, that was asking her to make venetian masks for her and her bridesmaids to have instead of bouquets – I was excited to learn more.

Then, when I got the write-up from the bride, Lia, on why she decided to have her bridesmaids hold Venetian Masks instead of bouquets, I was so pumped. Everything she said about weddings and her wedding was EXACTLY what I believe and use as my mission for Capitol Romance.

From Lia:

We are both excited to showcase the beautiful masks, custom made by, Nathalie and show others that weddings do not have to be the same uninspired, dreary and boring premise. I hope to inspire other couples that they can dream beyond the usual and still have an exquisite as well as elegant affair.

Right … RIGHT?! Ok maybe I am more excited than other people might be, but this seriously made my week people ~ and was the exact email/insight I needed to hear from a real bride as I head to Borrowed this weekend :) Enjoy Lia’s beautiful Venetian Masks, her nontraditional bouquet alternative, made by Always & Forever Brooch Bouquets!

i love the brooches at the base of the mask ~ gorgeous!

this will be the bride’s venetian mask of course!

and now for the venetian masks for the Bridesmaids!!

More about how Lia & her husband met:

I met my fiance, Courtney, while on vacation on a cruise back in 1998, while on spring break from medical school. He is from Montreal, Quebec, with a Jamaican ethnic background, and I am from North Carolina. Ilike to refer to him as “My Janadian”.

During our encounter on the ship, we both flirted with one another and promised to stay in touch as we sadly went back to our respective countries. At the time, we always knew that we had a connection….something that we have always explained as mysterious love. We only got a chance to spend 4 days with one another, however, it was the best 4 days of our romantic lives. Due to other commitments in life, we didn’t meet again, until 2008, when life allowed us to reconnect. After 2 years of dating cross country, we decided to take our long distance relationship to the next level. In 2010, Courtney proposed to me, while we were vacationing in the Dominican Republic. It was such a well planned surprise proposal! After a couple of months went by, we then began to plan our wedding event.

A bit more on why they chose the venetian masks as their bouquet alternative:

Both of us have an appreciation of art and unique things…..and, we knew that our wedding could be nothing less than incomparable and exclusive. I have always loved splashes of color and bling and have always incorporated in everything that I wear and do. So, for the wedding, we decided to celebrate our magic and mystique love with custom made masks that give both an essence of romance and mystery.

My bridesmaids will walk down the aisle with their beautiful masks and flirt with the guests as well as the groomsmen, by revealing parts of their lovely faces. This will make everyone excited as most people love the feeling of curiosity. As for me, during the reception, I will also wear my wedding mask and also flirt with my husband and engage the guests with my playfulness. We also bought over 200 hundred assorted masks with feathers, jewels, as well as other fabrics and decor for all of our guests to wear.

Thank you so much Lia for sharing your amazing love story, bouquet alternatives, and reasoning for having venetian masks for you and your bridesmaids at your wedding. I seriously cannot wait to see your wedding pictures! A special thanks to Always & Forever Brooch bouquet for the pictures!

What do you think? Would you do something this nontraditional or offbeat for your wedding? I love it!

Capitol Views: Love and Consuming Are Intertwined

Consider this diamond ad: “She already knows you love her. Now everyone else will too.”

Before we get cracking with this Monday’s edition of “Wedding Music That Doesn’t Suck”, I wanted to share an article I found over the weekend while reading the Huffington Post.  “Giving Up Half of Our Possessions Made Our Family Whole“, might not seem like a wedding blog appropriate article at first, but there were elements of the article that I thought easily transferred into the wedding realm and the relationship world in general.

The article is about a daughter in a family, who after noticing the juxtaposition of a black Mercedes against a man begging for food, decided the gap in our society between the rich and poor is just too wide.  She urged her family to take action, to help shrink the space between those that have everything and those that have nothing, and she convinced her family to sell their too-large house to one half its size and give the proceeds to help people across the planet.

Articles like this are what the media need to spend more time on. Hannah and her family help reinstate my faith in humans.  The rest of the article then focuses on the repercussions of what selling their house and reevaluating the things they actually needed as a family, did to their relationships.

The part, to me, that most easily transfers to the current state of our wedding world was when the author, Kevin Salwen, Hannah’s father, explains, “We lose track of what truly makes us happy, replacing love of community and connection with love of stuff.” He gives the example of the diamond ad above, how keeping up with the Jones’ and the Smiths, has become more important to than focusing on what people truly need.

I said in my first ‘Real Capitol Wedding’ post, that “weddings are not a competition”.  Although it might feel like it sometimes, the elements that make up your wedding is not the most important part of this time in your life, it’s the fact that you are marrying the love of your life.

Salwen says that their bigger house and multiple possessions caused the family to communicate less and become separate both physically and spiritually. The house, that they had originally saw as a symbol of their love for their children and family, in fact weakened their ability to express love.

When you are planning a wedding, it is so easy to get caught up in the presentation, the appearance of everything. I was guilty of this myself.  I think couples should find themselves stopping amidst the wedding planning more often, refocusing on their communication, connection, and love of not only their soon to be marital partner, but their family and friends involved in the wedding as well, instead of what guests are going to think of the $5,000 flower display, over the $6,500 one. Focusing more on love, less on consumption will bring you greater happiness in the end.

Rad Things For Your Big Day & Life Together Go Shopping!