A Book-Themed, Spring Wedding at Seven Bridges Golf Club in Woodridge, Illinois
Nothing says soul mates like a shared love of literature. Just ask newlyweds Katie Charnas (26 and a sales account executive) and Kaleb Wachala (25 and a high school teacher). "Katie has always loved reading and I used to be an English teacher," Kaleb says of their book-themed nuptials at Seven Bridges Golf Club. "As luck would have it, the high school where I teach was getting rid of piles of books the summer before our wedding." Armed with stacks of dusty books and a natural color palette of ivory and muted shades of green, Katie and Kaleb set out to plan a spring fete without a planner. First on the agenda: Kaleb's dapper wedding-day style. "I'm very big into fashion," the groom says. "I even follow quite a few men's fashion bloggers on Instagram -- actually, more than I'm willing to admit. It was important to me that my guys and I were on par with the ladies." After settling on his something blue (a Calvin Klein suit, naturally) Kaleb and his bride-to-be began work on the DIY details of their day, including stacked-book centerpieces that were truly unique (and entirely free). As a sweet surprise for Kaleb, Katie created gold, book-shaped lockets for both of them to keep close on the day of the wedding. "They held photos of special people in our lives that are no longer with us," Kaleb explains. "I cried twice on our wedding day and the first time was opening that gift." Katie even crafted DIY bookmark favors by spray-painting card stock and writing each guest's name in calligraphy, before asking friends and family to sign a leather-bound book of Grimm's Fairy Tales. "Ultimately, we just wanted to be ourselves and for all the people we love to be in one room at the same time," Katie says. "At the end of the night, we had guests telling us that the wedding was so 'us,' so I guess we did something right."