My Bookish Wedding

My Bookish Wedding

From the moment I announced that my partner and I were engaged, people had two questions. First: Have you set a date? Followed immediately by: Are y’all having a book-themed wedding?

Long before we had an answer to the first question, we knew the answer to the second: YES. It was hardly a decision at all.

After all, my fiancé did propose with a book, so it only makes sense. For a couple that spends as much time reading and going on dates to bookstores as we do, the idea of a book-themed wedding is emblematic of our relationship.

There was just one problem… there wasn’t one book’s theme we could agree on! We could’ve done Harry Potter, but the series means more to me than it does my now-husband. I’ve seen people do Gatsby weddings and while those are cool, The Great Gatsby isn’t either of our favorite book on the planet (we both think it’s quite good, though). There didn’t seem to be one single book that we both loved wholeheartedly and that wouldn’t be awkward for a wedding. (I mean, Game of Thrones is cool and all, but sooooo not wedding material.)

Instead, we did a low-key, general book theme and worked in cute bookish elements without adhering closely to one particular book. The bookishness was in the details.

First, my bouquet.

 [image description: me (white female, average height and build) in my wedding dress (floor length, not poofy, slightly off-white) holding my bouquet, which is made of flowers constructed from book pages. The bottom part of the bouquet where the stems would be is covered in lace that matches the color of my dress.]

[image description: me (white female, average height and build) in my wedding dress (floor length, not poofy, slightly off-white) holding my bouquet, which is made of flowers constructed from book pages. The bottom part of the bouquet where the stems would be is covered in lace that matches the color of my dress.]

My new mother-in-law is quite craftsy, so when I told her I wanted a book page bouquet, she was up for the challenge. She did most of it herself, though I helped out and made a few myself. Good thing the dear woman is retired because each of those flowers took 15-20 minutes to create.

But as much trouble as that might sound like, it was cheaper than live flowers and I didn’t have to panic about their freshness on the big day. If you want to make your own, check out this post.

 [image description: I’m wearing my wedding dress and have my back to the camera. My partner (white, male, average size and build) is wearing a navy blue suit, turquoise dress shirt, and checkered tie. He has a boutonnière made of book pages and is smiling at me.]

[image description: I’m wearing my wedding dress and have my back to the camera. My partner (white, male, average size and build) is wearing a navy blue suit, turquoise dress shirt, and checkered tie. He has a boutonnière made of book pages and is smiling at me.]

My book bouquet was complemented by my husband’s book page boutonnière, which my mother-in-law also made.

Funny story: it kept falling out of his suit jacket pocket, but thankfully it stayed in long enough to complete the ceremony!

We also worked in a literary reading into our ceremony. From poet Khalil Gibran’s collection, The Prophet:

Let there be spaces in your togetherness,

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

 

We also had a subtly book nerdy entrance song: “Manchester” by Kishi Bashi.

Provided to YouTube by BWSCD, Inc. Manchester · Kishi Bashi String Quartet Live! ℗ 2015 Joyful Noise Recordings Released on: 2015-11-13 Auto-generated by YouTube.

Lyrics include such lines as

I wrote me a book
I hid the last page
I didn't even look
I think I locked it in a cage
Wrote a novel
Cause everybody likes to read a novel

I found the last page in the sky
Cold and sweet, like an apple
I found you and now the story has its proper end

The very last breath of the hero of our tale
Would you only to guess
Did he truly prevail
In the the sequel?
I guess I'll have to write a sequel

My favorite part's when I die
In your arms like a movie
It's tragic, but now the story has its proper end

 
 [image description: a long table with a table runner made of book pages and a stack of vintage Reader’s Digest books for decoration. Further down the table there are some silver candle holders.]

[image description: a long table with a table runner made of book pages and a stack of vintage Reader’s Digest books for decoration. Further down the table there are some silver candle holders.]

We incorporated more bibliophile details into the reception, including the table decorations.

We bought the vintage Reader’s Digest books in bulk off Etsy and the table runners are just book pages taped together in one long strip. Cheap and cute!

 [image descriptions: A close up of the book page table runners and votive candles in silver candle holders.]

[image descriptions: A close up of the book page table runners and votive candles in silver candle holders.]

 [image description: A close up of the book page table runners and a candle holder with “Jon + Mandy” printed across the front. There are more Reader’s Digest books in the background.]

[image description: A close up of the book page table runners and a candle holder with “Jon + Mandy” printed across the front. There are more Reader’s Digest books in the background.]

 [image description: Another up close shot of the book page table runners.]

[image description: Another up close shot of the book page table runners.]

 [image description: Close up shot of the spine of a vintage Reader’s Digest book beside some silver candle holders with votive candles. The book page table runner is in the background.]

[image description: Close up shot of the spine of a vintage Reader’s Digest book beside some silver candle holders with votive candles. The book page table runner is in the background.]

 [image description: A very zoomed in shot of the book page table runners.]

[image description: A very zoomed in shot of the book page table runners.]

I also asked a friend who has excellent handwriting (she’s a teacher), to make me a sign with one of my favorite Jane Austen quotes.

 [image description: A small silver table with a glass top that’s holding a silver lamp and a light blue sign that reads: “Reader, I married him.”]

[image description: A small silver table with a glass top that’s holding a silver lamp and a light blue sign that reads: “Reader, I married him.”]

 [image description: A windowsill holding some small wooden boxes with cactuses and a large pale green vintage suitcase. The suitcase is being used as a card box and there’s a string of letters up that says “cards” so people will know to put them there. There’s one card in the box and a coffee table book about public libraries.]

[image description: A windowsill holding some small wooden boxes with cactuses and a large pale green vintage suitcase. The suitcase is being used as a card box and there’s a string of letters up that says “cards” so people will know to put them there. There’s one card in the box and a coffee table book about public libraries.]

We also invited the right people because one of the first presents we received in the card box was a coffee table book about public libraries. And there was a gift certificate to a local bookstore inside! Our friends get us.

Our wedding was a small affair, paid for entirely ourselves, and while all of our decorations were cheap or handmade, I feel like they encompassed our bibliophile aesthetic beautifully.

And last but not least, the picture you’ve all been waiting for: the happy couple!

 [image description: a photo of my husband and I in our wedding attire. We’re facing one another and smiling with our eyes closed and noses touching. There’s a clear umbrella above our heads because it was rainy that day.]

[image description: a photo of my husband and I in our wedding attire. We’re facing one another and smiling with our eyes closed and noses touching. There’s a clear umbrella above our heads because it was rainy that day.]

Not even the rain could stop us!

All photo credit goes to 222 Photography in Columbus, Ohio.

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