We all have our passions and no matter how obscure, it’s often these passions that unite us. Perhaps you and your soon-to-be bonded over curious Crandalls, Humpf-Humpf-a-Dumpfers, plain-belly Sneetches and all of the other wonderful imaginings of Theodor “Dr.” Seuss Geisel. Or maybe your hands met when you both simultaneously reached for a dog-eared copy of “The Lady in the Lake” during a weekend adventure of clambering bookstores and garage sales alike for all of the vintage hard-boiled fiction you could get your hands on. Whatever genre, author, or even single work got your attention, feel free to celebrate your wedding in a way that pays homage to that passion.
Bibliophiles and bookworms, rejoice! Gone are the days when hanging out in the library during the lunch hour or after school was enough to get you a one-way pass to the solo table in the cafeteria or exclusion from the “cool kid crowd.” Despite the intricate and misguided rules surrounding the social politics of stereotypical `80s movie high schools, it’s cool to be well-read. And–let’s face it–aside from the special meaning they hold for you and your betrothed, books can be the key to unlocking virtually any ambiance you’re going for.
Translate your favorite books, passages or even single sentences into everything from a few subtle accents to your entire wedding’s design. Recreate the foggy, bustling London of the late 19th century depicted in “The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde,” pull decor inspiration from your favorite region of Middle-earth, or let Muir’s descriptive passages in “My First Summer in the Sierra” guide some of your botanical offerings.
It’s amazing what even a few carefully chosen words, strung together in just the right way, can do to motivate, inspire, and move you. For some it may be the irreverent, intelligent prose of Hunter S. Thompson; for others, the moralistic underpinnings of “Aesop’s Fables.” Whatever speaks to you, don’t be afraid to allow the language, rhythm, and creativity of your favorite talented wordsmiths motivate your wedding inspiration.
If you’re not looking simply to proclaim your love of a single literary work, author, or genre, but more so your adoration of all printed material–brochure, novella, and epic alike–there are many ways to highlight your bibliophilic tendencies. Consider presenting invitations or Save the Dates printed on the checkout cards you used to find tucked away in the inside cover of library books, on rolled scrolls of your own design–maybe on aged, faux or real parchment or on new, crisp paper–or even as the front page of a fictional daily.
No matter what your intended mood or ambiance, consider adding actual books to your wedding design. Not only can these be fun delivery methods for your invitations–perhaps slipped into the inside cover of your favorite novel or inside a hollowed out hardcover–but they can find a perfect home in your decor as well. Your choice of books can help play up secondary themes, make for wonderful centerpieces, and even spice up your table assignments.
Separate small stacks of books by color, size, author, genre, or title and assign guests to each accordingly. For example, consider seating foodie friends at a table with stacks of vintage cookbooks or arrange offerings by Sue Grafton, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Dashiell Hammett at your “Mystery Table.” Browse estate, garage, and library book sales in the months leading up to the wedding to work up a good collection. You may even consider making up a custom bookplate or stamp for the inside cover displaying your names and wedding date and have guests take them home as fun, intelligent favors.
If you’re more captivated by the content than the books themselves, consider taking your table inspiration from other facets of your favorite written works. Assign tables according to your favorite fictional characters, authors, or series and decorate accordingly.
For example, a Lilliputian-inspired table assignment might include a miniaturized tablescape depicting your favorite scene from “Gulliver’s Travels,” or you could create one of your own design. (Note: seating short friends at the Lilliputian table may be funny but perhaps not as well received as you might hope, but feel free to use your own judgment.)
Or create a centerpiece and table assignment based on your eternal love of Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series–perhaps offering up a little Bon Temps charm or highlighting your favorite character, whether werewolf, telepath, shifter, or fairy.
Bring your literary loves into other aspects of your decor as well. Alongside your own ideas, consider these two tips: firstly, remember that the standard typewriter font can add a bold, classic, even slightly romantic touch to almost anything it graces–just imagine how great it will look displaying your favorite excerpts on the tiers of your wedding cake. And secondly, you can do virtually anything with paper these days. From there, your options are practically endless.
Turn the pages of his works into an unexpected bouquet so that Shakespeare himself can walk you down the aisle. (Note: try to stick to the comedies if you can help it. No one captures tragedy quite like The Bard.) Or try your hand at a little origami to create book-page butterflies, flowers, stars, and hearts to accent your centerpieces and overall decor. Hang larger creations and lanterns around your venue at varying heights to create a little visual interest that’s sure to intrigue fellow readers.
If you have the luxury of being picky, use pages from your favorite texts or anything that references this most complex emotion like your favorite verses of heartfelt poetry, almost any fairytale, or even famous love letters. While you may be the only ones who know that you used the pages of “The Princess Bride” to create the wrappers for your cupcakes, you can be assured that your choice will only make you two live all the more “happily ever after.”
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.