Today I’m sharing this sweet California literary wedding from Christine Glebov. The couple met in English class in college, so they only felt it was fitting to have literary themed nuptials! From the library card escort station to the table names to their English professor performing the ceremony, the whole wedding was perfectly on theme and had special meaning. I love all the heirloom details they included, especially the family photo table that was so treasured by the bride’s grandfather.
We chose to have our wedding in Berkeley because it was the city where we first met in an English class and where we fell in love during our undergraduate years at UC Berkeley. When we were dating we would spend a lot of our downtime outdoors near Cal, so when we looked at the Brazilian Room at Tilden Park as a wedding venue, it just felt perfect. We would spend a lot of time there when we were dating – down near Lake Anza, hiking in the hills, and taking our daughter to the botanical gardens and steam trains.
Our wedding reflected our love for both literature and nature through soft blush and ivory colors with metallic accents and organically arranged florals. Every detail had some literary element – from our collection of hardbound books and author quotes on the guest tables, down to the olive wreath headpieces the bridesmaids wore, reminiscent of the laurel crowns that once honored ancient poets.
I had my veil custom made at the same place I got my dress, La Soie. I wanted some unique detailing at the edges and the seamstress pulled out of her bag the most gorgeous applique trim that she picked up at an antique shop a while back. She had been saving it for something special but didn’t have any plans to use it for anything specific, so she let me have it and worked it onto the edges of my veil! I plan to give it to my daughter on her wedding day as a special heirloom piece.
(Groom): I can’t decide on my favorite parts, but there were a few memories that together made it the best day of my life. The first look at my wife was very emotional and happy. It’s a memory forever burnt into my mind, symbolizing everything that the future holds. She’s the most beautiful woman I ever laid my eyes on.
Since we are both not religious, we asked our former English professor and dear friend to officiate the ceremony, to which he happily agreed! We all sat down and wrote the entire ceremony script from scratch to include readings from our favorite bits of literature and a nod to Cameron’s Iranian heritage. I asked my sister (Maid of Honor) to read an excerpt from John Donne’s 17th century poem “The Extasie” and Cameron asked his brother (Best Man) to read an excerpt from Henry James’s 20th century novel, The Ambassadors. We also included a honey ceremony, part of a traditional Persian wedding. We had an heirloom gold rimmed wine glass filled with honey that we dipped our pinky fingers in and fed to each other before the big kiss, symbolizing a marriage filled with sweetness and a reminder to always be a source of nourishment for your partner.
The single most important thing to us was including our daughter in the wedding and making her really feel like it was as much her day as it was ours. The groom, Cameron, adopted Bella shortly after the wedding and so we both felt it was important to say our own versions of vows to her during the ceremony, promising that we will love and guide her as she grows up. My mom gave Cameron a small family heirloom ring with three emerald insets to give to Bella during the ceremony as a symbol of our little family of three and the promises we made to her that day.
I’ve been collecting antique books since I was a kid, so we decided to show them off on the guest tables. Instead of table numbers we decided to do authors, so each table had a stack of books by our favorite authors and a quote. Some authors we used were Willaim Shakespeare, Milton, Virginia Wolf, Henry James, John Donne, Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Hans Christian Anderson (for the kids). Our head table was long, so we decided to do a Fantasy theme, with some of our favorite books by JRR Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings), George RR Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire), and Robert Jordan (The Wheel of Time).
We really wanted to honor our parents and grandparents somehow, especially those that recently passed away. On the guest table we set up a collage of their wedding photos in their each unique metallic frame. It was the first thing people saw when they walked in and added such a warm antique feel. My grandmother, whom I was extremely close with, passed away just 3 months before our wedding. It was a really hard time for my whole family, and I always imagined her being there with me on my wedding day. My grandpa saw their wedding photo on the table and held it with him the whole time, throughout the wedding and the reception. I could tell it meant a lot to him. Seeing him with that photo was one of the single greatest moments that I will remember from our wedding. The decision to do this photo table was probably the best decision I made throughout the whole planning process.
Photography | Christine Glebov Photography | Venue | Brazilian Room | Florals | Katharina Stuart | Cake | True Confections | Catering & Rentals | Miraglia | Cinematography | Thomas Hughes | DJ & Lighting | QMEP | Gown & Veil | La Soie | Headpiece | Twigs & Honey | Jewelry | Made by Moe | Bridesmaid Dresses | Adrianna Papell | Hair | Jennifer Forrette from La Bella Salon | Makeup | Sandra Martin | Cake Topper | Jasmin Blanc Boutique | Guest Book | Spellbinderie | Favors | Steve’s Bees | Transportation | Black Tie