My mother and I collected any old, unwanted books we could grab (check your basement, your grandma’s basement, etc!) which is really easy if you’re from a book-loving background. We then purchased gold paint from Home Depot (it comes in a quart can, various metallic colors, and is VERY thick) and paint-brushed the page edges of each book. (Think: gold pages of the Holy Bible) The books are no longer readable after painting with this glue-like paint, so make sure you don’t grab the prized First Edition of Gone With the Wind! Oh, Rhett! We painted 70-80 books in all! The professional floral arrangements, complete with feathers and ivy, were placed atop a stack of gold-edged books. The incredible floral arrangements were created by retired florist Patty Nebel and her granddaughter Jenna.

Stacked Books Centerpieces

On alternating tables we placed groups of three candle holders found at Hobby Lobby in black. We spray painted 24 candle holders with gold spray paint. No need to be overly careful with this project if you’re going for the vintage look. Spray quickly and sporatically to achieve that rustic, worn look – the black still peaking thru the new gold paint! Placed atop the candleholders were, of course, candles.

Stacked Books Centerpieces

Three days before the wedding, we were told we could not have open flames in the tent! Not to have my unique candle centerpiece idea squashed, my husband and I burned down the center of all 24 candles, dug out a one-inch diameter hole, and squeezed in one of those fake, flamesless, battery-operated candles, making sure only the “flame” peeked out. No one could tell the difference, until we told some people to take a closer look! Safe and beautiful! Groups of three candles were placed arbitrarily atop some painted books again in the center of some tables.

Vintage Wedding Shoes

For another vintage touch, try wearing your mother’s shoes from 30 years earlier. Yes, they fit, and yes, they were perfect. The shoes were lace and old! Wore them all night!

Custom Pencil and Notepad Favors

Customized pencil with the couple’s names and a notepad tied in with their Storybook wedding. I love when couples choose to give useful favors!

*all photos by


Comments (7):

  • Amanda on March 25, 2014

    I love the flameless candle idea! I like the look of the pillar candles, but my venue won't allow open flames either.
  • Saying “I Do”…with Books! | Bas Bleu Bluestocking Salon on December 18, 2013

    [...] Like this. [...]
  • Kristin on July 24, 2011

    I love the gold heels with the flower! Where dif your BMs get those from??
  • Wedding Trends - Book Centerpieces | ChezWedd on June 3, 2011

    [...] Wedding | Lovely Union via Joyous Celebrations | Erin McFarland via Tamryn Kirby | Keg Designs via Ruffled | Jason + Anna Photography via My DIY Wedding Day | Southern Charm Photography via Love and [...]
  • DIY Wedding Ideas: Custom Hardback Books | Inspirations & Creations - Elizabeth Anne Designs: The Wedding Blog on September 24, 2010

    [...] adore books as wedding decor – perhaps you want to give them as favors, use them in centerpieces, or hollow them out for use in your invitations.  However you’d like to incorporate books [...]
  • Inspiration Board: Storybook Baby Shower - Tiny Talk on July 30, 2010

    [...] to R:  Tiny Prints Storybook Start baby shower invitation, Storybook centerpiece, Diaper Cake, Outdoor decor, Cupcakes, Personalized Instant Photo Guest Books, Individual Present [...]
  • Jessica on March 9, 2010

    All looks beautiful :) I LOVE the gold shoes that your bridesmaids wore with the rosettes. Where did you find those adorable shoes?! Thanks!


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