It all started with this fantastic wedding invitation that I found on Etsy. An homage to the original Penguin classic book covers, what really sold me was the color. See, I also can’t do things the traditional way so my dress was orange. (I know it looks pink in the picture, but it entirely depended on the light.) I loved that the invitations would match. It's like a book jacket, so we had a "plot description" on the back (Jordan wrote that. If I had done it, it would have been too much like a real back cover description on a book. I did the copyediting) and also "blurbs."
After that it seemed like a no-brainer that we would use wooden bookmarks made locally from our local independent bookstore, Park Road Books, as favors. Since I know the owner and she’s awesome, she let us pick out the designs we liked, so a lot of bears (for Missouri) and Tarheels (for North Carolina) as well as a lot of pigs (they're just cute as buttons and are the bestsellers at the bookstore).
Then we went to a friend’s wedding (yes, she is also in the business) who had wrapped used books on all the tables as favors, and I loved that idea too! She said she was happy we stole her idea, but we couldn’t just go with any old books, we had to go with the orange-spine Penguin books to match the invitations. (Tracking down actual orange Penguin classics in the design as the invitation would have taken a long time and been expensive.) We went to our local used bookstore, The Book Rack, traded in some books of our own to help defray the costs, and then we almost wiped them out of their orange-spine Penguin books. My bookish friend Kristen was of course the last person to leave the reception so she could help me unwrap the few leftover favors and take the ones she didn’t already have.
One other cool bookish thing is our lovely friend Carolyn made this gorgeous bouquet out of a copy of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. If you looked carefully, you could even see the names of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth on individual petals. She even dyed the small flowers to go with our color scheme!
The reception was great and everyone had fun! I think the books were an effective break-the-ice conversation starter too as we encouraged people to swap books to get one they thought they would like. I know my sister ended up with the biography of Gandhi that my Dad hilariously opened. And a few guys were fighting over the autobiography of a football coach (I will admit the book selection – and I think this simply reflects Penguin’s overall publishing theme for this imprint – leaned more towards women’s fiction.) I did vet all the books at the bookstore even though I had only read about a half dozen of them. We did try to mix it up with memoirs, history, and short stories. And everyone said the wedding was very me, which is the best compliment!