Your wedding day is something that should be a complete reflection of you. Your story, your relationship, your passion. For book lovers, that means including books and symbols of your love of reading into your special day. After all, what kind of person would you have become without your love for literature? What kind of person would you have fallen in love with if you hadn’t already been swept away by the books of your youth or the ones that changed or saved your life in your teens and twenties?
Yes, for book lovers, including nods to our favorite past-time isn’t an extra, it’s a necessity.
That’s why we’ve brought together a host of ideas for book lovers who want to ensure literature is included in their special day. After all, a wedding is all about celebrating love, right?
If you have bookish wedding photos or other ideas on ways to include reading in with your wedding day, please share in the comments below.
Also, a word on how some of these decorations and looks are achieved. Whether it’s removing pages, cutting shapes into the pageblock or stripping covers, many of these creative ideas use books in a way that renders them unreadable after. You can find pulpable books (i.e. books destined to the recycling plant) through libraries, thrift stores and locally through neighborhood groups. As a fellow book lover, I know it can feel a bit weird at first to destroy a book but, I promise, recycling books like this can be cathartic.
Save the Date … And Their Place
Set the tone right from the start with bookmark Save the Date cards. Clever bookmarks you can find through professional printers and small businesses on Etsy will ensure your guests keep your special day at the front of their mind.
A Literary Venue
If you’re able to splurge on a venue with a literary theme, go for it. You can also find plenty of budget friendly inspiration if you get creative. Whether that means planning a destination wedding to Oxford, England for Harry Potter fans or setting the stage in a park for an inspired version of Alice in Wonderland, check into your options!
A bit different than traditional literary themed venues, local libraries are becoming a popular wedding venue option. Reach out to your local branch or the Public Relations department of your main metropolitan branch to find out if renting a specific branch or room is possible for a wedding date.
Arches for weddings are pretty common since they’re super easy to customize. Until you want to do something with books. Book arches can be a bit more difficult but well worth the investment of time, labor … and books. Get a great DIY over at List Lab.
Decorate Tables With Fables
This is such a great idea, and the perfect way to incorporate recycled books into your wedding décor. I would suggest coating with modge podge or similar to prevent wrinkling over the course of the day. Also, BONUS POINTS for finding pulpable books you actually love and making these out of your favorite books!
Book Confetti via Etsy
There’s a lot of debate about what to use as confetti at a wedding. Rice can mess with birds but the wrong birdseed is wrong too. Heck, even balloons are problematic. Using confetti made from books should be fine since paper is biodegradable – but it’s still a good idea to ensure someone sweeps up excess debris.
Book Table Numbers
Incorporating books into your table centerpiece offers a host of possibilities. Books are so versatile that this is an area where you can get super creative. There are dozens of ideas online but here is a small list of my favorite:
- Simply stack 2 or 3 books with a number holder on top
- Have a book’s pages folded or cut into numbers
- Paint over covers with your wedding colors and table number
- Reinforce covers and screw on house address numbers for table
- Have book open to a page with table number painted on
Photo Shoot Locations
Check with local bookshops about doing a photo shoot in their store. Many independent shop owners are happy to oblige if the photographer offers reciprocal promotion.
Books, Books, Everywhere Books
No matter where you have your photos taken, make sure books are featured prominently. There are so many great ideas for wedding photos with books – a couple holding hands while reading together, wedding party portraits with each person’s nose buried in a book, books suspended from the ceiling, an ALTAR OF BOOKS! Okay, maybe that last one could be a bit difficult but, still – there are just a million ways to have books in your photos. Bring in your own favorite books or negotiate a rental with a local bookshop to ensure your wedding photos feature plenty of books.
Typewriter cufflinks via Etsy
Down to the Details
Typewriter cuff links make the perfect accessory for any literary themed wedding. No matter what genre you love, there’s nothing sexier than old school typewriter keys. FACT.
Flowers can easily become one of your largest budget items. Opting for paper flowers and bouquets can help trim that down a bit – though you should still expect to pay a fair bit for a well-made bridal bouquet. Crafty couples can also DIY their own garland and floral arrangements.
Here Comes the Ring
Hollow out the inside of a book and use it to present your rings. Once the wedding is over you can turn it into a frame or keep it to pass on as a family heirloom.
Books Have Jackets, You Have Clothes
I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover but, let’s face it, an unforgettable cover can make the difference in whether or not you NEED ythat new edition or not. Let your favorite book inspire your wedding party choices. Go for a 1920s look for The Great Gatsby, Hogwarts colors for Harry Potter fans or get you some ruby slippers for an Oz inspired wedding.
Browse to Your Heart’s Content
Looking for the ultimate wedding favor gift idea? Invest in a small stock of books and set up browsing areas for guests to choose their own favorite title. Donate the rest to a local charity, literacy program or women’s shelter.
A Guest Book to Remember
Change up your guest book options by incorporating a print you can frame. This blank book pile print makes a great way for people to sign their names while giving you something worth hanging up. Add something extra by including blank library cards for people to fill out with well-wishes or even bits of advice.
Up your favor game by including old school letter openers. These will get used daily and provide a daily reminder of your special day. Best of all, they can inspire friends to get back into writing letters, especially if you go old school with your Thank You cards.
Speaking of Cards …
When you get ready to send your Thank You cards, skip the emails, texts and anything else that isn’t an old school, handwritten letter or, better yet, written up on a typewriter. It’s the perfect way to finish off a wedding experience devoted to a love of love – and a love of words.
Book Inspired Wedding Cake
Book inspired wedding cakes can be about celebrating books in general or your single favorite story of all time. Working with independent bakers and even Etsy sellers means you can pick from a hundred designs or collaborate to make something unique. PRO TIP: Stretch your wedding cake budget by choosing a small decorative cake for the cutting ceremony and photos, but serve sheet cake which is budget friendly and still delicious.
Go Big or Go Home
But maybe subtle touches and inspiration doesn’t quite capture exactly HOW MUCH you love books. How about creating a wedding dress made entirely from books? One designer did and the result is absolutely amazing. I have to admit, I would totally consider doing something like this if my wife and I ever decided to renew our vows!