What better way to celebrate the marriage of two book-lovers than with a book telling their own love story?
When Caroline and Eliot were planning their October wedding in Bloomington, Indiana, they knew that books would play a big part. Eliot is a librarian and they both love reading, so when a relative offered to commission a Love Story book for their wedding, they were thrilled.
“As soon as we saw your website,” says Eliot, “we knew this would be a one-of-a-kind gift that we would always treasure as part of our wedding story. It was so fitting because we love books and reading, and we couldn’t think of a better way to share our love with each other.”
Photo credit: Megan Corkill Photography
Two months before their wedding, I caught up with Caroline and Eliot over the phone. We chatted about their love of books and they told me about their love story: the semesters they spent gazing across at each other in Econ and French class without speaking; Eliot spontaneously asking Caroline out in the university cafeteria, only for her to say no because she had a conflict that night; the trials of a long-distance relationship and their travels together around the globe; Eliot’s proposal on a ginko-lined walkway at Washington University in St. Louis; the quiet afternoons they spent together reading and drinking tea.
Next, I took what they’d told me and used it to craft personalized questions that would help them further reflect on why their love story was so special. They each took a week to think and write, before sending me their musings. Then I set to work: editing their separate reflections and weaving them together to tell one story, dividing their story into “chapters,” finding quotes from their favorite authors to open each chapter, working with the Celebration Stories artist to create artworks that beautifully reflected their words, and binding it all together into an album-sized book with space at the back for guests to add their own words and stories.
“It was very easy to work with you before the wedding,” Eliot notes. “I felt like all I had to do was talk about one of my favorite subjects—Caroline—and let you do the rest. I had a lot of confidence in your ability to take our incoherent ramblings about each other and turn it into something clear and beautiful, and that’s exactly what happened with the book.”
Adds Caroline, “You captured our love story and the things that we love about each other so well. The literary quotes that you included at the beginning of each chapter are perfect and I adore the lovely drawing of the tea and cookies.”
The book did have one unexpected element, however—Eliot was surprised by the accuracy of the artwork depicting the ginko walkway where he proposed to Caroline. “I was not prepared for a drawing to transport me back to that moment when I asked Caroline to say yes. You clearly did your homework, and it made the book so personal.”
Eliot shares that when they got home from their wedding, “The first thing we did was to read the Love Story book together. It was one of the most touching moments of the entire weekend. We both cried as we read about what brought us together. And to read everyone’s best wishes for us at the end of the book was so wonderful.”
“Something I particularly like about the book,” says Caroline, “is its uniqueness and how that’s something we can cherish as a couple, but also something we can share with family and friends, giving them a little peek into our own unique love story. I can’t wait to look at this each year on our anniversary (and probably more frequently than that) and to be reminded of how and why we fell in love in the first place.”