Tag Archives: Books

Bookworm Wedding: Stacy & Jo

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Bookworms Stacy & Jo selected Maynard’s Café, upstairs at Berkelouw Books in Newtown, Sydney as their venue. Although they hadn’t hosted a wedding there before, the café were wonderful to work with and really helped the girls put their own stamp on their day. Obviously having a book shop as a backdrop made picking a theme pretty easy. With old books on the long table and books as favours for each of their guests, it all worked really well together.

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“The old books as favours were wrapped in brown paper and string,” Stacy began. “They were quite ridiculous, on topics like cooking with gelatine or maintaining different types of lawn grass. There was one of poetry about cats, a German picture book of ET and one on unique napkin folds. In the wedding program we encouraged swapping with table neighbours and they ended up being a great hit and ice breaker.”

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A Queensland Library Wedding: Shaun & Kate

The State Library of Queensland proved to be the perfect wedding venue for bookworms Shaun & Kate.

“We chose the State Library as we both really loved the space and as Shaun and I met over text books it seemed appropriate”, Kate told me. “We incorporated book, paper and typographical elements where we could but tried to not go overboard with the theme. I like a bit a kitsch but there was a strict anti baby’s breath policy!”

“I guess we did things a little differently,” she continued. “Firstly we ‘snuck off’ to the registry the day before the wedding to legally get married (although the sneaking didn’t work very well as we had about 50 witnesses). Saying our vows in front of our friends and family was more important to us than the legal or religious aspects and as we both disagree with the current definition of marriage in Australia, we decided that we didn’t want a celebrant or minister as part of the the ‘ceremony’. My brother performed the duties and we wrote the ceremony and vows ourselves so had lots of freedom in this regard.”

Their largely handmade and DIY wedding was a real group effort, with the couple calling on others for help where they could. “I spent lot of time and effort on the details and until the night I wasn’t sure if they would be noticed. I felt the handmade details and small elements really unified the evening and I received so many compliments and comments that I feel it was definitely worth doing. I really relied on the skills and talents of my friends and family. Most of the elements were DIY. Initially I had trouble asking for help but once I started people were delighted to help and were genuinely happy to be involved. Even local cafes were collecting bottles and jars for us, they were delighted to help too.”

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A Book-Themed Glasgow Wedding: Jane & Mike

They met while they were both working for their University newspaper, and although Jane said she only joined for ‘the hot boys’, it would appear her joining was worthwhile! The couple planned their wedding for March 2012 and were married at Ubiquitous Chip, Glasgow. Their love of writing inspired their wedding decor, particularly the ammmmazing book vases. I had to know more…

“The DIY book vases (we got the tutorial via Ruffledblog) were definitely more of an ordeal than I’d realised,” explained Jane, “but we used the offcuts to make matching confetti and decorate the table plan which made quite a nice book theme. The slight fail on my part was that the books – bought from charity shops – were a high proportion of Jackie Collins or similar so there was quite a bit of filth in the confetti and some vases had to be strategically placed to avoid family and younger viewers!”

“I think we realised early on that we would both look totally out of place at a more formal, traditional wedding so we wanted to go for something a bit more relaxed – we’re both also quite food-obsessed so we wanted a day with lots of good foods and drinks,” she continued. “Mike and I named the tables after some of our favourite Seinfeld episodes as we bonded early on over a mutual love of watching Seinfeld and eating sandwiches in our pants. My sister and I made the favours (chocolate covered pretzels, mini apple pies and red velvet cookies – which turned out to be brown velvet cookies due to a food colouring fail on my part) as Mike’s family are from America and we wanted to add a little hint of that.”

“Apart from the books, we didn’t really have a theme as such, we just chose things that we liked and I developed a bit of an obsession with patterned tape,” concluded the bride. “Yes that’s right,” chipped in Mike, “”She really did develop an obsession with patterned tape.”

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An Alice Wedding in Australia: Stew & Ali

The Australian wedding of Stew & Ali was held at Leaning Church Vineyard in Tasmania. “We knew even before we were engaged that we wanted to be married in a vineyard,” Ali told me. “We love to visit the amazing vineyards in our area of Tasmania, which is famous for its Pinot Noir. We’re known for our somewhat overzealous love of said Pinot Noir….So a vineyard screamed Stew and Ali. We chose Leaning Church because of its rustic charm, hills full of vines, a quaint little lake, long yellow grass and absolutely fabulous wedding coordinator!”

The bride wore a bespoke dress and Lady Dragon shoes by Vivienne Westwood/Melissa. “I wanted my dress to be whimsical and flirty and Alice inspired,” she continued. “My princess style dress had a blue petticoat and underskirt and a layer of blue tulle over the ivory skirt, so it shimmered blue in the sunlight. The bow around my waist was pure Alice. The shoes were the very first thing I bought, before we’d looked at any venues or decided on any sort of theme! It was so hard not to wear them before the wedding!!”

Ali’s headpiece was a mini top hat by Two Back Flats. “Well how could you have an Alice wedding without a top hat?” I contacted Jasika at Two Back Flats to see if she could customise her bridal top hat for me. I bought the vintage style mad hatter brooch from etsy and then sent that to Jas, who then put it all together with a gorgeous blue ribbon. I used a blue French net in birdcage style.”

Her bridesmaids wore blue, but were asked to pick any blue dress they liked. They also each carried a polaroid photo with a ‘glimpse’ of Ali down the aisle, which they handed to Stew when they got to the end. “It was a fun way to tease Stew (who didn’t know what I was wearing) and for the girls to have a chance to hug him and say something to him before the ceremony.”

Their reception was decorated to reflect the Alice in Wonderland theme. “I actually contacted Kat of Rock n Roll Bride late in 2011 to ask about lighting ideas. The result was glass jar ‘chandeliers’ with LED tealights inside, created by my Ma, as well as a wall of hanging glass jar lanterns in between teacups and doily flowers. We used books, teacups and silver jugs, sheet music and tiny white rabbits were gathered from op-shops and markets. All the flowers were handmade by Ma, and extra little details were purchased from etsy. My favourite stores were Black Baroque who did the Wonderland prints for the table ‘numbers’ (each table was a different character), and Windrosie who made the paper clocks and photobooth props. My Best Girl Sarah gave me the White Rabbit lamp as our wedding gift, which was a perfect addition.”

“Instead of a seating chart or escort cards, each guest received their own copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I covered each book with blue fabric, glued brown paper to the spine and then wrote the guests’ names on them and our wedding date. Inside was a handmade bookmark that told the guest which table they were seated at. At the ceremony were handkerchiefs tied with ribbon and a card that read ‘You ought to be ashamed, a great girl like you, to go on crying this way… Stop it at once!’. We also had personalised water bottles with our logo from Brewtopia.”

Hearing about a couple’s inspiration is often my favourite part of the wedding stories I’m sent – especially when they say Rock n Roll Bride helped them (brownie points all round!) “Our inspiration was clearly the Alice story,” Ali concluded. “I re-read the book about 10 times during the planning…And of course, Rock n Roll Bride was the first web page I opened every morning to get my fix of wedding prettiness. I got a lot of inspiration from the real weddings that Kat features.”

“We saw our wedding as a huge party, and the best chance I’d get to create my own whimsical wonderland. We had our own touches in our vows (Stew’s were made entirely of lyrics from cheesy love songs…) and we included a bit in our ceremony acknowledging our support for equality of marriage. We also asked our guests to write three words they would use to describe us in their RSVPs, which I put together into a coherent story that made up part of our ceremony as well.”

“I think we’re Rock n Roll simply because we did what we wanted, not what we were ‘supposed’ to do. My aunt and uncle brought a mad hatter costume along with them – he’s the crazy looking guy with the tiny teacup in the photos. My cousin rolled her eyes and said ‘it’s a wedding, not a party’. But I disagree; it was a party, at which we happened to get married. And to us, it was the best party ever.”

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A Music & Literature Themed Wedding: Claire & Scott

Claire & Scott chose an old movie theatre in as the setting for their ceremony, The Lantern Theatre, Sheffield. Although they hadn’t even thought about marrying in a theatre, after seeing one in Whitby they loved the idea. “We’d originally planned to marry in Whitby, as it’s a special to place to us both,” Claire told me. “Whilst looking at venues there, we were shown a theatre hidden away at the back of the sea front community centre. We hadn’t thought about marrying in a theatre, but we both fell in love with the idea. In the end, we decided that we’d rather marry closer to home in Sheffield, but the idea of marrying in a theatre stayed with us.”

“After an afternoon on Google, Scott emailed every theatre within a fifty-mile radius of us to ask if they did weddings. The Lantern Theatre was one of the few that replied and it turned out to be barely a mile from our house. When we arrived we fell in love with the place. It’s an old 84-seat Victorian theatre with anaglyph wallpaper and red velvet seats. The staff there were so flexible and open to all our ideas. They even bought a mirrorball so that I could walk down the aisle in spiralling light. They served cocktails in teapots, put together a lighting and music programme so that the ceremony ran without a hitch and Keith – the volunteer who ran the bar – even dressed up in a dapper waistcoat and tie.”

After the ceremony the couple and their guests boarded a old London bus to The Countryside Centre. “We chose The Countryside Centre because it gave us a blank canvas to work with,” Claire continued. “There are no staff there on the day itself so you have complete freedom to use whichever suppliers you want. Though there’s a converted barn and grain store, we chose to hire a marquee to make the most of the beautiful grounds and asked our caterers to set up a steak and fish barbecue, which was fantastic.”

The couple chose a music and literature theme for their day. “Literature and music have always been important to us and during the planning it soon became apparent that though we hadn’t intended to have a theme for the wedding, words and music were a recurring motif. Our invites were designed to look like classic orange and white vintage Penguin paperbacks, with library tickets inside for the RSVP (we’d stamped the wallet in which the library ticket sat with the key dates of our relationship). We used the Smiths’ song title ‘There Is a Light That Never Goes Out’ as the title of the paperback/invite.”

“Our place settings followed the Penguin theme, with the guests’ names replacing the author’s and a lyric we’d individually chosen for each guest replacing the title. Inside the place settings were CDs with the key songs from the wedding day. The orders of service that were handed out at the theatre were designed to look like vintage Penguin Plays paperbacks, with the title on the cover taken from a Velvet Underground song. Our readings were taken from books, except for one, which was the lyrics of the Pulp song, ‘Something Changed’.”

“During the service, we exchanged copies of our favourite books, around which the rings were tied on a ribbon. Even the confetti followed the literary theme. Using a heart-shaped holepunch, we punched confetti from the pages of our favourite books.”

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A Quirky Afternoon Tea & Library Themed Wedding: Ney & Phil

Ney & Phil’s DIY wedding was loosely based around the theme of a books and libraries.

“We wanted a literary theme and thought using vintage books as invites would be a lovely idea,” Ney told me. “We met at University studying English Literature and just love books, in particular old Penguin classics. We found some companies that can make them for you, but they’re expensive so we decided to do them ourselves.”

“We spent weeks to-ing and fro-ing all the vintage bookstores on Charing Cross Road (they do great bargain deals like hardback books for a pound).  I sourced a template for library card sleeves online, used an embossed gold paper to make them and then slotted our wedding invites inside to complete the book.  As much as possible, we tied our book choices to our guests’ interests, e.g. a Portuguese travel guide for my Mum, classic English poems for friends who studied literature with us, and a Guide to British Birds for Phil’s old-charmer Dad.  I love the idea that the invites had a life after the wedding, and it’s great knowing that they’re sitting on our friends’ bookshelves as part of their collection.”

“I used websites like Rock n Roll Bride and many, many (OK, hundreds of) wedding blogs for ideas and inspiration.  We have quite a taste for old vintage things and are constantly rummaging around in markets so used these trips for inspiration on how to display things or what to buy.  Things like the idea of covering books with vintage-style wrapping paper for the centrepieces we got from passing an antique shop in Chelsea, for example.”

It was also really important to the couple to incorporate their different heritages and cultures and so the second part of their wedding theme was based around this. “Throughout the day, we tried to make sure that the wedding was representative of our families’ cultures,” the bride continued.

“Phil’s got an English/Australian background – hence we started the day with afternoon tea, but made sure there were little ethnic touches (like Portuguese custard tarts on the cake stands).  As for my side, the Angolan culture is very celebratory – we make lots of noise, eat lots of food and dance like crazy, so we ended the night with a great big knees-up.”

“One of our favourite moments on the day was after the first song (Jamie Lidell’s Another Day).  As soon as it finished, my Mum made the DJ play an old Brazilian love song we’d never heard before.  Our bemusement turned to wonder as she led my entire family – almost 50 of them! – in a serenade en masse as we danced the, er, second first dance.  What a wonderful memory!  Also memorable was my lovely husband taking secret Portuguese lessons for his wedding speech.  The family went wild!”

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