Why I Decided To Have A Literary Wedding
I’ve been picturing my wedding since I was little. But I had no idea it was going to be as perfect as it was! Once the ring came and I said yes – it was game on! I scoured the internet and Pinterest for the perfect decorations and dress ideas.
And that is when I found out there are such things as literary weddings.
As Charlie Tremendous Jones says, “You will be the same person in five years except for the books you read.” When I stumbled upon Buzzfeed’s Ideas for a Bookish Wedding and Popsugar’s Ways to Add Literary Charm to Your Wedding, I thought “why don’t I incorporate this into my wedding?” I will be surrounded by people I loved and books had a huge impact on my life.
However, I didn’t want every single detail to be about a book that the wedding day turned into some sort of comic con wedding – not saying I don’t like them, but they don’t fit my husband and me. That would be too over the top for me.
I saw inspiration of weddings that surround one particular story, such as Alice In Wonderland or Harry Potter or Gatsby. But again, this wasn’t really me. I like TOO MANY books to have a wedding just based on one!
When I told family and friends about my inkling to incorporate books into our wedding to make it a “literary wedding,” they sorta cringed their nose and asked how I was going to do that. Honestly I had no idea. But slowly and surely I started finding ideas on how I could. It was all coming together! And once I showed them some of my ideas, they got almost as excited as I was!
Without further ado, here is how I created my literary wedding:
My brother is a talented photographer that takes pictures in his spare time as one of his many hobbies. He loves to try out different things with his pictures. When I told him that I’d love to incorporate books into the engagement photos and showed his some picture ideas, he was all aboard. (His website: http://ck–photography.wixsite.com/home/client-albums)
We took the engagement pictures and used them on the Save The Dates. They were also compiled into a glossy book that guests signed (hello guest book!).
Save The Dates
The Save The Dates were the first thing invitees saw – their first glimpse into our literary wedding. I designed my own using an engagement picture with a book on the front. The back explained our relationship in a “long story short.” The postcard sized Save the Dates were ordered off VistaPrint.
I’m sure not many of the guests knew it was going to be a book-filled wedding by looking at these Save The Dates, but they were soon to find out!
The invitations were the next thing our guests saw. We got soooooo many compliments on them. I designed the invites in Photoshop to be printed double sided on this card stock and folded in half to look like a book (of course). The “title” was The Wedding. On the inside left was a library card pocket. I bought them on Etsy here and glued them to the card stock on the inside left. I designed a 3″ X 5″ RSVP card to look like an authentic library return card. Guests would mark down if they were coming or not on this card and place it in the return envelope I also had in the invite.
Honestly, many guests asked if they had to return the RSVP – they wanted to keep it!
I saw many book table decorations on pinterest. There are so many different ways to stack and arrange them. Some are tied with twine or lace. Some are topped with flowers or candles.
I had to narrow down my options to try to get an idea of how mine were going to look. For example, since the wedding was outdoors and had many bright colors, I couldn’t go with the vintage looking ones. I also didn’t need table numbers because I wasn’t going to have assigned seating. From there, I ended up compiling those photos as inspiration to create my own. I knew they wouldn’t turn out exactly like the pictures anyway.
My family and I gathered a ton of books. We pulled books from our own bookshelves we weren’t going to read anymore. Goodwill and Bethesda stores as well as public libraries sometimes ran promotions for $1 or $2 a bag. Books at garage sales were also cheap. I didn’t care what kind of books they were – I just wanted the spine and cover to be some sort of neutral color.
Once I knew roughly how many guests I had and how many tables I needed for eating, I split the books into piles. I ended up with about 3-4 books a table.
We stacked them and hot glued them together like so:
This one made it on the dessert table:
These paper flowers made out of book pages were one thing I didn’t think was ever going to happen! I had no idea how I was going to be able to spend time trying to fold pages of a book for hours on end and have them look professional.
Thank goodness for my mother-in-law, who found this tutorial from capitalromance.com, brought me a sample of one she created from the directions. I absolutely gushed over how well hers turned out and how perfect they would be for decorations.
With some of her friends and a couple bottles of wine, they created about 50 of these little paper flowers – some big and some small. They even took the time to paint some of the edges with a light pink paint! I chose to spray some with a coat of spray glitter.
With all the books we got for the table decorations, I had a few grocery bags full of plastic covers that came on the hardcover books. I kept them instead of throwing them away because I knew I’d find some use for them – and I was right!
I saw this pin and really wanted to recreate the fun group-photo scene without having a photo booth. Photo booths are quite expensive and just about every wedding has them.
To create a backdrop, we used a staple gun to adhere the book covers to a 5’ by 3’ fiberboard my dad had laying around his shed. Then we took a couch that was just sitting in my old bedroom and WA LA!
In the natural DIY fashion, I knew I wanted to design and print my own wedding programs for the ceremony. Commonly programs are condensed into a one pager but I wanted ours to be designed like a book (duh).
We went to Office Depot and printed them all off for under $80. Each invite was 2 pages, front and back. They were then folded in half and the “spine” was hole punched to bind together with this twine string.
This was one of the last bookish features I added to my wedding day. My husband and I knew we wanted to write and recite our own vows for a section of the ceremony. As I was writing and piecing together the ceremony, I just pictured us pulling out a folded up, wrinkly, stained, piece of lined notebook paper – and that doesn’t seem appealing. Instead, I thought it would be cool to have a mini book that had our vows written on the inside pages. Turns out I wasn’t the first to think of this idea. If I had more time I’d probably would have made our own but I found these vow books on Etsy that we could order customized with our names on the cover. How cute are they!?
The Wedding Cake
The cake was my husband’s task I assigned him. For the guests we ordered a big sheet cake. But for the cake to cut, he surprised me with just the perfect looking cake! With some help from a family friend, he designed this open-book cake with a quote from The Notebook.
Card Drop Box
With my brother’s natural creative talent again, the card box fit right into the literary theme. I described to him that I wanted a card box designed like the library’s drop box. He said he could do it and a few weeks later he emerged from our wood shop room with this card drop:
There you have it! My literary wedding!