As an avid reader (and a hopeful someday-librarian), incorporating books into our wedding was an obvious choice. Soon after we got engaged, I began collecting beautiful hardcover books wherever I could find them. Although I didn’t know exactly where they would be used yet, I did know we needed them. Lots of them.
Once the search began, finding books like the ones in these photos turned out to be a task more difficult than I expected. I scoured thrift stores, online boutiques, craigslist and garage sales – but found many were priced based on the actual book rather than appearance. Since I wasn’t picky about which story it was, this proved to be a costly problem. Luckily, I had months and months to collect them at the right price (which, for me was anything under $2) and somehow managed to scrape up enough before the big day!
One of the biggest helpers throughout my inspiration & planning process, was focusing on what I didn’t want instead of what I wanted. In the age of Pinterest (which resulted in way too many ideas), I found that I was much more clear on looks I didn’t want, than deciding between the looks I did. After a few rough sketches, I was able to conclude I did not want any books to be used upright (such as the one above) and that I would use all book displays sideways for height and as risers.
After it was all said and done, I had the best luck at flea markets – although I have to warn that this was not always fruitful either. When they did have them, they were the cheapest source by far. Although, as one would expect, whether they had them in stock was always hit or miss. If you are planning to utilize vintage books for table decor at your wedding, I would recommend to start looking early… and enjoy the ride! There’s just something about the thrill of the search that adds to the fun, especially when it all ends up coming together on your big day.
Somewhere along the way, you’ll want to stop and devise an accurate plan on how you will be using your books. This will keep you in line from purchasing too many, as well ease your mind to make sure you have enough. While many inspiration pictures showed table centrepieces with 3 or more books, I found that stacking them too high had a tendency to take away from the flowers and any other pieces you may have at your table. A few weeks before our wedding, we visited our venue to do a mock up table complete with linens – and although we reworked the table so many times it made my head spin – I’m so glad we did it! It was such a relief to make final decisions on placement. I honestly had no idea that choosing between one book or two, small vase or medium vase, tea light or no tea light would be such a big deal! Above all, I was so relieved that those decisions didn’t have to be made the day before the wedding during set up!
So, we took pictures of the final decision for reference, I spoke all the decisions out loud so other people could witness the decisions being made (in case I tried to change my mind), and off we went. Another wedding task completed, and I could suddenly breath a little lighter!
Here is a picture of what the end result was, from the day of our wedding. These were snapped by our photographers just before our ceremony started at 2:00pm, and the hall was filled with so much natural light I wanted to cry (of happiness, of course).
The tin you see on the left hand side is actually a numbered tin, which we used for our table numbers. I scored those puppies from the clearance rack at Michaels and they are now scattered in various rooms throughout our house. Some of them even still contain the original succulents from our wedding day! An impressive feat for me, since I could barely keep an air-plant alive.
We sold most of our books through our store (AllyBeth Design Co.), although a few of my favourites were kept to use as decor in our home.
Do you have any of your wedding decor still in your home to remind you of your beautiful day?