Less than two months prior to my wedding day, I stumbled across a post, picture or musing about a bookish wedding somewhere on the interwebs. The world went quiet as I sat back and realized I had to have this – or at least some of it.
A google-second later, I landed in book heaven. And also, a little bit of hell. So many decisions had already been made. Could I change them? Did I want to? So much work had been already done and my allocated wedding planning time was already in short supply as I was splitting the time with readying my novel for publication – which I was silly enough to schedule shortly after the wedding, a deadline I didn’t quite hit and had to extend from May to June.
I browsed the awesome ideas, wondering if I could use them or if I could incorporate some of them and some of the ones I dreamed up into what I already had planned. There were so many options from cake toppers to cakes themselves and book-stacked centerpieces doubling as hostess gifts. Everything could all be books! I realized I had some serious decisions to make – and one hands-on groom to convince – and in the end, some books and even some writing made it to our wedding, making this bride even more pleased with her big day.
First things first: A novel poked out the top of my wedding bag. Yes, there might have been a few cocktails consumed the night I threw it in there, because what bride has time to read on her wedding day? But I tend never to go anywhere without my book so my current read tagged along to my wedding. I wish I’d snapped a shot of it, alongside my shoes and jewellery, but it never crossed my mind – probably because I never had two seconds to crack it open.
More writerly than bookish, I decided to take the most jitter-inducing moment of any wedding and make it even more nerve-wracking. I wanted us to write our own vows. I wrote them in spurts, languishing and agonizing over the words again and again until perfected. Words of love, honor and cherish and “I promise to wake you with coffee and quiet on every morning I am able” (a morning person, my husband is not) gave us the perfect blend of meaningful with a few chuckles. I might even be a touch teary thinking about it now.
My Google searches uncovered that library cards were often used in a bookish wedding for initiations. Much too late for this, I re-purposed the idea and used them for place cards instead, immediately placing an order for library cards – yes, I was a bride on a mission. I then grabbed two hardcover books off my shelf, folded each page in half and then tucked them into the center until it fanned out accordion-style when laid flat. I slid the cards inside in alphabetical order.
Yes, I defaced a book. Two of them actually, but one now sits on the front table in our hall and collects our mail and various other items that would clutter the counter (someone tipped too much red wine on the other to salvage.) So I consider that a win. In case you were interested Jennifer Weiner’s In Her Shoes made the cut. Yes, Jennifer Weiner attended my wedding. Sort of. Sadly, I forgot to request the photographer take shots of each of these items, so this bookish aspect didn’t receive a dedicated shot, but in the periphery of the photos below, you can get the gist.
We also had a ‘Wordy Wishes’ guestbook. The dictionary that fostered my love of words throughout my childhood lay splayed open to the heart-circled word love. A frame with the following instructions accompanied it: “Circle a word to describe our special day, your thoughts of us, or your well wishes. Write some words, sign and bookmark.” Mini-bookmarks accompanied the dictionary so we could easily find the inscriptions we encouraged guests to write.
From bookish back to writerly, our kissing game was having the tables or individuals write a poem and read it out loud. Some guests stepped up to the challenge and spouted off romantic to silly poems, and even an R-rated one.
I heart my bookish wedding. It was perfect in every bookish detail and beyond, particularly my groom.