Ashley + Nick work for a publishing company in New York City and are self professed lovers of history, so it goes without saying that books are very near to their hearts! When it came time to plan their charming fall wedding, they decided on a “Library Love” theme, which showcased their creativity + set a fun tone for the celebration. First up was to find a location that would capture the feel of the worn nostalgia + unique details that come to mind when you think of an old library. LA’s Carondelet House totally fit the bill with its historical setting and warm, intimate vibe. Ashley lovingly handcrafted almost every aspect of the day, beautifully incorporating their literary theme throughout the design. Here’s a bit more about some of the projects that stood out to their photographer, Jen from J Wiley Photography:
Their list of DIY touches is truly inspiring! They hand-picked every book that was used in their decor, and Ashley hollowed out some books that they filled with moss, berries, and succulents and used in their centerpieces. They incorporated the library theme into their guests’ seating cards by displaying them in a vintage, metal card catalog and personalized each guest’s card with the name and description of a book they love. They addressed each guest’s invitation in calligraphy by hand, heat-embossed all the return envelopes, and even made their own envelope liners. They also used custom typewriter keys on each of the groomsmen’s boutonnieres with the groomsman’s initial. And to top it all off, Nick handmade a dozen wooden frames that they hung on the wall behind them for the ceremony.
I’m completely obsessed with Ashley’s Bibi Lou shoes from BHLDN!
Right before the ceremony, I was trying to stay out of sight at the top of a stairwell, and my mother, at the bottom, looked up at me and mouthed ‘I love you.’ It was nice to have a sweet, private moment with her before the craziness of the reception. Though honestly, the whole day was filled with laughter, kind words, hugs, and kisses from all of our guests – it was the biggest love-fest of our lives! That overwhelming feeling, rather than a particular moment, will probably be what we remember most.
Processional: Bridesmaids: All I Want Is You – Tristan Prettyman; Bride: Storybook Love – Matthew Lister (an acoustic version of The Princess Bride theme)
Recessional: Jump In The Line – Harry Belefonte (Bride is a huge Beetlejuice fan!)
First Dance: You Are The Best Thing – Ray La Montagne
The table centerpieces were crafted from hollowed books, brimming with wild, textural flowers and moss by Twig and Twine, which were placed next to artfully arranged mementos + knick-knacks.
And, seriously, how much do you love their awesome cake topper from Oh Dier Living?!
My motto is ‘take no prisoners’! If you want absolutely want something, stick to your guns. We all encounter different constraints – time, money, logistics – but if it’s an element that will enhance the overall experience of the day or will make your guests smile, it’s worth it. Remember, you have an army of smart and creative bridesmaids, family, and of course, your wonderful fiancé to help execute and problem-solve. The employees of my local paperie, virtual strangers, knew me by name (embarrassing? slightly.) because I would visit so often to buy craft supplies, and they all helped talk through my projects. People know that weddings are a huge undertaking for any bride and you’d be surprised how many are willing to help you achieve your perfect day.
Also, if you think you’re starting early – start earlier! We thought we were on top of things and all of the sudden it’s three days before the wedding and I’m packing a paper-cutter in my suitcase!
photography: J Wiley Photography // venue name: Carondelet House, Los Angeles, California // planning: Carter & Cook Event Co. // florals: Twig and Twine // wedding dress: Vera Wang // bride's shoes: Bibi Lou / BHLDN // hair stylist: Sheena Habell // makeup artist: Leya Oakley // catering: Tres LA // cake: Sweet and Saucy Shop // music: Redshoe LA // sweets: Sweet and Saucy Shop // suit: Kenneth Cole // veil: BHLDN // necklace: Anna and Ava // bridesmaid dresses: yellow dress -- Sorbetto dress from BHLDN, grey dress -- Ebb and Flow dress from BHLDN // flower girl dress: J. Crew // invitations: Paper Source // programs: Sunny and Stumpy // menus: Howl Creative Co. // return address stamp: Clever Thursday // cake topper: Oh Dier Living