Newsletter 1

Bookish Ideas I’m NOT Including in My Literary Wedding

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Katie McLain

Contributing Editor

Katie's parents never told her "no" when she asked for a book, which was the start of most of her problems. She has a BA in Creative Writing from Lake Forest College and is working towards a master's degree in library science at U of I. She works full time at a public library reference desk in northern IL, specializing in readers’ advisory and general book enthusiasm, and she has a deep-rooted love of all things disturbing, twisted, and terrifying. (She takes enormous pleasure in creeping out her coworkers.) When she's not spending every waking hour at the library, she's at home watching Cubs baseball with her cats and her cardigan collection, and when she's not at home, she's spending too much money on concert tickets. Her hobbies include debating the finer points of Harry Potter canon, hitting people upside the head who haven’t read The Martian, and convincing her boyfriend that she can, in fact, fit more books onto her shelves. Twitter: @kt_librarylady

Time to announce it to the world – I’m getting married!! Let the celebrations begin!





(And in case you were wondering, yes, it was a bookish-style proposal, involving a scale model of Hogwarts and a hardcover copy of It signed by Stephen King. My literary heart could not have been happier!)

Now, if I told you that I didn’t have a secret Pinterest board full of literary wedding ideas, I’d be a liar of the worst kind. I’ve always known I wanted a bookish wedding ever since my (then) boyfriend and I first started talking about marriage a few years ago.

First decision: Yes, I want to spend the rest of my life with this person.

Second decision: THERE WILL BE BOOKS.

Thankfully, my fiancé is a book lover as well, and he’s letting me take the wedding design reins, so I’ve been all over Pinterest, Etsy, and just about every wedding blog I can find looking for ideas.

I had saved a ton of Buzzfeed-style “How to Have the BEST Bookish Wedding Ever!” articles to my Pinterest account, but as I look at them now and realize that I’m planning this FOR REAL now, I’m realizing that I’m seeing a lot of literary wedding ideas pop up that…aren’t really jiving with the images I have in my head. We’ve posted several literary-wedding articles here on Book Riot (see Rioter Jen Sherman’s library wedding, Jesse Doogan’s experience as a literary bridesmaid, and Kelly Jensen’s list of awesome literary wedding details), but today, I’m going to talk about some of the things I’m NOT including in our wedding. This, of course, is not to say that these ideas are bad – you might see something and say “I’m totally adding that to my wedding plans.” But for me, not all bookish ideas are created equal, and if nothing else, I want our wedding day to represent who my fiancé and I are as a couple and as individuals.

And so, here are some things that you will not see on our wedding day:

Quotes From Classic Novels

“I love her, and that’s the beginning and end of everything.” – The Great Gatsby

I see a lot of these, and they all seem to be from the same books: Jane Eyre, The Great Gatsby, maybe some classic poetry…the thing is, neither my fiancé nor I are particularly smitten with classic novels and it feels disingenuous to have a sign at my wedding that says “Reader, I married him” when I have no emotional connections to that particular book. That being said, we will totally try to sneak in a quote from Jurassic Park somehow, because one of the first things my fiancé and I bonded over was our mutual love/obsession with JP. Maybe a wall hanging that says “Life, uh, finds a way…”

(On a semi-related note, I found multiple wedding ideas using the quote from the 1995 Little Women film, “I have loved you since the moment I set eyes on you. What could be more reasonable than to marry you?” This quote is from when Laurie (Christian Bale) is trying to convince Jo (Winona Ryder) to marry him, and as Rioter Maddie Rodriguez pointed out, THIS IS NOT ROMANTIC. Please do not include this in a wedding.)

A Single Unifying Theme

My fiancé and I are full-fledged Harry Potter dorks, but we also don’t want a completely Hogwarts-themed wedding. Harry Potter is just one small facet of our relationship, and although I know these will stand the test of time, an entire wedding theme may not. (Granted, some of these weddings are pretty darn cool. Just too much for us.)

Same sentiment applies to library-themed weddings. Even though I am a proud library employee and a lifelong library user, I don’t plan to send out save-the-dates designed to look like due date cards, or have the entire wedding party wear cardigans. It’s only one part of our lives together.

(That being said, we will definitely include HP and library-themed touches. I decided on Ravenclaw-inspired wedding colors years ago, for example, and I’ll hopefully be able to incorporate an old school card catalog into the decor.)

Book Pages Folded Into Words

This is more a practicality thing than anything else…I have a couple of these at home, and have you ever tried to get those things to stand up by themselves without knocking everything else off the shelf?! Seriously, if you’ve managed this, let me know. But in the meantime, I’ll keep these at home and away from the multitude of burning candles at the reception.

Anything Alluding to Fairy Tales

I’ve never bought into the idea of relationships (and subsequently, weddings) as fairy tales. Real life isn’t perfect, relationships aren’t perfect, and people aren’t perfect, and I’m not going to pretend like our wedding will be any different. It’ll be fun, it’ll be meaningful, and it’ll be perfect for us, but it won’t be reflective of this vague cultural idea of perfection.

Although on second thought, we could have a Grimm’s Fairy Tale-themed wedding, and no one would be surprised…

And a Few Things We Are Including….


*Books as centerpieces

*Mumford and Sons quotes (because their album Sigh No More is 50% Shakespearean quotes and 100% amazing)


*Used books as wedding favors

*DIY wands


*Book page flowers

So what do you think, fellow book nerds? Any other literary wedding suggestions for me?