I really wanted Brett and my wedding to reflect us as a couple and individuals. I wanted people to be able to see us in all the little details that made up the big day. Because I am such an avid and passionate reader, Brett integrated books into his proposal and I knew that I wanted them present at our wedding. This led to our literary theme, and the creation of my favorite little touch: our centerpieces and seating arrangement.
We knew that we wanted to have a seating arrangement because Brett and I have such a vast variety of friends! We had people attend from all aspects of our lives, and we wanted to make sure that everyone would have a spot where they felt comfortable without the random few chairs being left empty here and there.
I started with the idea of giving each table the theme of a specific story or couple. Each couple had to be from a written work, and they had to have a “happy ending.” No Wuthering Heightsor Romeo and Julietfor me. Coming up with the list of novels was one of the hardest parts, which surprised me! I enlisted the help of several bookworm friends, and even a student with a similar taste in literature. I wanted them to be stories that I really enjoyed and couples that I could stand behind. [You can find a list of the books we used at the bottom of this post!]
As the list of novels developed over time [and I do mean over time- I think it took me a couple of months to actually get the list together], I started to connect the centerpiece to the seating arrangement. I knew I wanted our guests to be sat based on the book, but I couldn’t think of a way to present it to them. I explored different ideas containing keys, envelopes, a window, and so on, but nothing seemed to fit. Finally, it hit me. What would be better with a book theme than bookmarks?!
I toyed around with what should go on each side of the bookmark [the guest’s name, the book title, the romantic couples name] and settled on the idea of a quote. I love, love, love words [hence this blog] and this was a great way to incorporate them. Thus began the process of finding the quotes to use.
This was a rather extensive process and while I had the best of intentions to reread all the novels I used and self-select the quotes, I also underestimated how much school and the rest of wedding planning would occupy my time. I eventually used the internet to find quotes for most of the books, with a few exceptions.
I wanted the bookmarks to look polished, so I ended up getting an edge-cutter from Michael’s to punch out the borders. This was a mistake – to fit the pattern, the bookmarks had to be huge. I took the time to cut over 100 bookmarks out this way, only to decide that I needed them smaller. I used scissors with a design to trim them down to a manageable size.
The little details that often go unnoticed are very important to me. I feel like they have a way of bringing the big picture together. For this reason, after finding the quotes, I chose a font for each book that was either used on the actual book cover or could easily reflect the time period/tone of the book. For example, Sense and Sensibility had a font that was based on Jane Austen’s signature.
I tried my best to match the quotes with the people that received them. I wanted our guests to be able to appreciate them as much as I did! That might have been time consuming, but it was thoroughly enjoyable to think about each and every guest, their personality, and what they mean to us. It meant so much to me when friends came up after to say that they loved the book or the quote they received. The time spent on this was definitely worth it!
I looked at many different stores to find table number holders, but couldn’t find any reasonably priced that fit our wedding. Thus, the idea of wine cork holders was born! I found a similar idea on Pinterest, except the corks were used to hold each individual name. I just tweaked it a little to fit my needs. I used hot glue to attach them, which I found works best on corks that don’t have the waxy feel. [Even after years of collecting, I still had to lean on my sister to find more corks! And I thought I’d never find a craft to use all of mine.]
When it came to arranging the bookmarks so that the guests could find their name, I have to give all the credit to my parents! My dad was originally going to build me a wooden frame that we could drape string across, but it would have needed to be rather large to fit all of the bookmarks. Mom and Dad are pro-antiquers and were able to find an AMAZING ladder at our favorite antique store in Boone. [This now doubles as decoration in our new house!] Dad attached string across the ladder and hung mini clothespins [in our wedding colors] on each according to the number of bookmarks we had.
We placed our guests’ names on the side of the bookmark that faced out and the quote and book title on the opposite side. My lovely mother helped me with this step, as well as tying hemp in a bow on the end. I had a dear friend stand close by the ladder to help direct any guests that might be confused as to where to sit. That was my biggest worry with this grand idea; that guests would not understand what they were supposed to do with this bookmark. Granted, I was MIA [in other words, taking pictures] when our guests were getting their seating placement, but I think it went well!
Did you catch the name on this one? I couldn’t help but make one for Brett and me, and chose my favorite Jane Eyre quote to accompany it!