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People of the Book: A (Jewish) Book Themed Wedding

posted by Arielle Angel on November 28, 2011

I have to admit, I’m a faithful reader of the New York Times Wedding and Celebrations section, mostly because I find it really inspiring the way that love happens in all different ways, at different times for different people. Recently, I read this article, about two Jewish writers who found one another on OKCupid. The article makes mention of the fact that the writers used antique books as their wedding centerpieces. It’s hard when you’re keeping up a wedding blog not to plan your own wedding– even if you’re not even currently dating someone! I love this idea, and I thought I’d do some aggregating for all of y’all looking for inspiration. The great thing is so much of this has the potential to be cheap and DIY.

First some general Inspiration.

The coolest thing about books is the way you can play with color. Whatever your wedding palette, you can do it with books! Check out these book gradients!

Now for the Jewish stuff:


This picture has been circulating on the wedding blogs (from 100layercake):

Seems it would make a perfect chuppah, right? But it is a bit…much. All themes are in some respect performative, but this to me crosses over into theatre. So here are some other suggestions for a bookshelf-inspired chuppah.

Why not make your four posts out of verticle bookshelves like this one from Sapien?

The tall version of this bookshelf is (only?) 76 inches, and at almost $300 a pop, it’s hardly cost efficient for a four-poled chuppah. BUT, there’s no reason, with a little hard work and ingenuity, you couldn’t fashion something similar yourself. What would be the coolest (if you ask me) is an invisible shelf, that makes it look as though the books are precariously stacked one on top of the other. You could also use a metal rod to go down through all of the books, if you’re not worried about losing them. You can drill eyehooks into the top book of all four posts and attach your chosen chuppah fabric that way. (If anyone takes this advice and goes for it, please please please send us pictures! We’d love to see it!)

We’ve already blogged about using garlands from Etsy to make your chuppah. Here are some literary-themed ones that would be great for this purpose.

By hoopdaloop. $10 for a 10-foot garland

By The Pulparazzi. $9.50 for a 53 in. garland

By daisyanddots. $10 for 46 in. garland


Who says your ketubah can’t be in a book format? Just because few people do it, doesn’t mean it can’t be done! Several of the artists on our Ketuv roster work in book arts. Why not commission one to make your ketubah in a book, with the signatures on the last page? I particularly like the idea of a ketubah in a moleskine, a la Catalina Uribe Percy:

Ketuv artist Golnar Adili also experiments with text and documents in interesting ways:


Bookmarks, bookmarks, bookmarks!

Imbue You Wedding has some really beautiful ones:

Martha Stewart also has some good suggestions on how you can DIY, with a nice card stock and store-bought tassles.


Green Wedding Shoes posted a bride’s account of her invitation within a book. They’re great, but so time consuming they almost don’t seem worth it. Not to mention the exorbitant shipping costs. I much prefer these less bulky, more suggestive designs by Oh So Beautiful Paper.

Name cards

This is tops in my opinion. Totally DIY, and the name cards are personalized take home bookmarks. Only one suggestion: what if the line of books were a color gradient? Sure you might not have all your “favorites” but it would be real purdy.



Ok, so this has got to be the coolest idea ever:

From Gardenkultur and reblogged by Inhabitat. Thankfully, you can DIY, and Inhabitat has a great tutorial on how to create book planters. May I suggest bonzais?!

Along the same lines:


Other great ideas:

Tutorial from Once Wed.

I’m telling you, people, GRADIENTS.

Simply amazing. Via 100layercake.

Via Wedding Bee

Particularly love these very very old books. Via The Sweetest Occasion.

Ring bearing

A great idea by Jennifer and Chad from Hartland, MI, as featured in Brides.

Guest Book

The “typewriter guestbook” idea from Martha Stewart:

But what I think could be even cooler is turning an old book into a guestbook by lightly whitewashing the pages with watered down acrylic paint or gesso, and leaving certain text or images un-whitewashed, to show through. Your guests will sign right on top of the whitewashed pages. Here’s a tutorial that teaches you to do something similar. I’m not suggesting the scrapbook option, though you could do that, too, but rather that you use the text or images that were originally in the book to spruce it up. You could use a book of love poetry or a book of illustrated fairy tales, for example (or feel free to use something entirely less cheesy, of course). If you try it, send us a pic!


What do you think of this idea? Every guest brings a book they love, but wouldn’t mind parting with, and they deposit them on bookshelves somewhere in the wedding space. (What about on bookshelves like these invisible ones, from Umbra?) When everyone leaves, they take a book with them that interests them, as provided by another wedding guest. You can encourage How-To books, picture books, comic books, etc. for those who aren’t big readers, so they’ll be able to contribute and exchange with one another. Personal, progressive, and FREE.

Bridesmaid/Groomsmen Gifts

Secret “book boxes” are relatively easy to make, and a great gift. I wouldn’t recommend trying to make them for every wedding guest, unless you’re having a very small wedding, but for your nearest and dearest, I think this is a fun and personal DIY gift. Here’s a great tutorial on making a secret hollow book.

As I said before, I wonder at what point a theme goes overboard and becomes complete theatre. I imagine you couldn’t do all of these things at once, but rather choose the accents you most enjoy. Let us know what you think!

Chuppahs We Heart: Best of Etsy

posted by ketuv_admin on October 27, 2011

We’ve been focusing a lot on DIY chuppahs, but what if you still want something handmade, but you’re not really the crafty type? Never fear, Etsy is here!

We took a look at what Etsy has to offer and we’ve decided to give you our favs.

1. Intricately-Cut Canopies by sculptor Andrea Cohen‘s chuppahstudio.

Photos by Anna Kuperberg Photography

While it’s definitely more of an investment, we can’t help but drool over internationally known sculptor Andrea Cohen’s custom chuppahs. From her Etsy page: “Each chuppah comes with a painted wood frame and intricately-cut canopy. The canopy pattern, as well as the frame and canopy colors are all customizable.”


2. Quilted Canopy by Kelly Brooks of BrooklynNouveau.

Getting your names and wedding date embroidered on the back side of the chuppah costs just a bit extra ($50) but it seems worth it to me! She can also build a sleeve onto the back of the chuppah so after the wedding it can be hung on the couple’s wall.

From her Etsy page: “I will create a completely personalized quilted chuppah based on your colors and style for use on your wedding day. This chuppah is perfect for a couple looking for a unique, rustic chic, handmade feel to their wedding. Great for outdoors (the light shines through the top with a wonderful stained glass-like effect) or indoors. I made one for my own wedding and it was so beautiful and fun that I thought I would start doing this for others!”


3. Garlands! (Various)

Ok, so we said no DIY. But this is only halfsies. We showed you the wonder of garland-based chuppahs with the Confetti System chuppah. The good news is, you can basically do this with any kind of garland. All you have to do is make the posts (there are lots of quick, easy, affordable ways of doing this, depending on what you want) and string a few of them across.

Like this:

Reblogged from Pretty Lucky Events.

The extra good news is that when you type “garland” into Etsy there are literally over 15,000 results, and most of them are really affordable. Here are some of the garlands we think would make great chuppahs.

Pom Pom Garland by WestcoastKnittery. $17/ 70 in.

Pom Pom Garland by perfectlypaper. $40/ 7 ft., comes in customizable colors.

Hand-cut Heart Garland, by PaperPolaroid. $35/ 9 hearts

Shakespeare Book Heart Garland by bookity. $28/ 8 ft.

Vintage Handkerchief Flower Garland by HomeRoomStudio. $18/ 6.5 ft.

Vintage Map Garland by moonandlion. $8.50/ 9 flags

Comic Garland by missisaau. $6.50/ 30 in. Also check out her Heart Garlands. (You might have to ask her to make longer ones.)

Crochet Garland by Emma Lamb. Colors customizable. $59/ 70 in.

Tissue Garland by pipsqueakandbean. Customizable colors. $9.50/ 12 ft.

Paper Garland by hoopdaloop. Fully customizable. $18/ 15 ft.

Paper Fan Garland by EntertainingPapers.$24 / 6 tassels (6 ft.)

Fabric Garland by ShopLuLus. $42 / 65 in.

We love the idea of garland chuppahs. You can get a lot of them affordably and match your chuppah to other accents of your wedding decor. The possibilities are endless, whether you go the DIY or the Etsy route.

Chuppahs We Heart: The Confetti System

posted by ketuv_admin on September 22, 2011

We found this fun and modern chuppah from Sarah and Mike’s Connecticut wedding on photographers The Image Is Found’s cialis hypotension blog. It was made by the Confetti System, a creative duo that has crafted sets and installations for everyone from J. Crew to the Gagosian Gallery, to musicians Beach House and the Yeah Yeah tadalafil online Yeahs (they clearly also have good taste in music). The Confetti System describes their process as one that “transforms simple materials such as tissue paper, cardboard, and silk into interactive objects that create a point of focus, where memories are canada pharmacy online made and a spontaneous collaboration with the viewer is sparked. Confetti System’s creations occupy the space between the ephemeral and the permanent, evoking a sense of nostalgia and lighthearted fun.” And check this out: the bride was the one to break the glass! We’re new cialis research chemicals to the world of wedding blogs, but one thing has become clear: not all wedding photography was created equal. For some superior shots, visit The Image Is Found’s wedding photos. It’s downright inspiring. BONUS: The Confetti System charges $130 per 12-foot garland, and you can choose custom colors. But if that’s not really in your budget,

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we found this tutorial over at The Knotty Bride to make your own Confetti System. If you’ve got the time and the patience, looks like you’ve got yourself a DIY chuppah!

Chuppahs We Heart: The Chuppah Bed

posted by ketuv_admin on September 14, 2011

The idea of the chuppah bed sprung from furniture designer Henry Levine’s own wedding in 2004. In an effort to personalize his chuppah, Levine, a Parson’s School of Design MFA graduate, fashioned its four posts from scrap wood from the floor of his studio.

The Levines under the chuppah, made from scrap wood from Henry’s studio.

The poles sat stored away in the couple’s new home in Texas for nearly four years, until Henry decided he wanted to incorporate them into a piece of furniture– aptly, the couple’s marital bed. We love this idea not only because of its modern aesthetic, but also because of its inherent symbolic value– taking the chuppah, the symbolic “home” that the couple creates on their wedding day, to one of the couple’s most sacred spaces within their home. It also jives with one of Ketuv’s focal points: turning modern takes on traditional objects into heirlooms, thereby keeping traditions alive.

The Chuppah Bed

Levine now offers the chuppah bed to other couples. He creates the poles first from reclaimed and salvaged high-quality wood and sends them to the couple to be used in their ceremony (the couple must provide the fabric for the canopy itself, whether it be a talis or otherwise, according to their vision). After the ceremony, the couple will send the poles back to Henry in Austin, Texas and he will build the four-post bed from the poles.

The chuppah poles come free with the purchase of the chuppah bed ($6200.00 for a King and $5900.00 for a Queen), or can be purchased alone for $1200 (for a set of four poles). He’s also available to design custom poles and beds that are priced accordingly.

Levine believes that the chuppah bed can have relevance for couples of many different faiths, and we agree. A canopy creates a private space for the couple on their wedding, the sacred space where they are joined. Making the marital bed reminiscent, or perhaps a re-creation of this space is, simply, a beautiful thought.

You can learn more about the chuppah bed, and see more of Henry’s work at his website: