We fell in love with this idea Emery and Brian had for their guests. Not only was it personal, but we loved the green-ness of it. Emery explains how the idea came to be.

One day, about three weeks before the wedding, we were in Greenville, SC for another wedding, and the next morning we went out to breakfast at a place near a mall. As we were eating we kept seeing people going into the mall with large paper bags and leaving with them filled to the brim with books. Brian and I love books and are avid readers, so after we ate we went over there to check it out. It was the annual “Really Good, Really Big, Really Cheap Book Sale” apparently, where there were books on tables all throughout the mall, sorted by category, and you could fill a large bag with as many books as could fit for $10/bag.

We both started filling up bags for ourselves to take home. Then, we both started finding books that we told the other, “Hey my mom would like this!” or “Oh, my best man would think this is funny” and so on. Long story short, we decided it would be really cool to give every guest at the wedding a book. Keep in mind this is less than three weeks before the wedding. So I pulled up our guest list on my phone and we spent five hours going down the line trying to find a book that would resonate with each individual guest. For 80 guests at $10/bag I don’t think we spent more than $20-30 bucks for everything – pretty affordable wedding favors!

It was a lot of fun because we got to reminisce on our relationship with each person attending the wedding as we thought about what they would enjoy to read. It was a great reminder that every person was invited and coming to the wedding for a reason (none of those “obligatory” invites, if you will). We spent all afternoon sharing stories (and laughing/crying) about the people we loved. We also ended up doing a lot of Facebook stalking of a few dates of guests that we hadn’t met yet, so for example we would see that “so-and-so’s date” had a dog or went for a hike recently or was a doctor and went from there to find something to match his/her likes, hobbies, career, etc.

After we decided on a book for every guest, we had to put together a seating chart so every place setting would have the right book. From there we thought it would be great to hand write a note to each guest explaining why we picked that book for them and also thanking them for coming to the wedding. Every single note was personal and unique, and all at least a full page if not two. We EACH wrote notes to each guest, so we spent almost 2 weeks staying up past midnight writing all those letters to get everything done and put together before the wedding. It was a really great idea and a lot of fun to implement, but we wish we had come up with it sooner in our planning.

All of the guests loved them and we saw a lot of tears at our notes. Well worth it!

Photographer Arndt Photography

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