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Classic Literature Adds to These Pittsburgh Couples' Nuptials

From Hemingway to “Winnie the Pooh,” these couples dove into their libraries to find the perfect ceremony readings.

When it comes to choosing passages to read during the wedding ceremony, most couples stick to tradition — scriptures, proverbs and the like. However, these couples drew from their love of literature to find more unusual readings to express their love for one another.

Photo by Sky's the Limit

Finding the Right Words
For Natalie Cammarata, who works in communications, and Jim Matthews, it was important to find the perfect way to express their love for one another during their Sept. 3 ceremony. So, not only did they each write their own vows, but they also did some exploring to find the right literary readings.

Natalie is a huge Ernest Hemingway fan and found herself stuck on a particular quote often attributed to him: "Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell.

And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

“It’s kind of a morbid thing,” Natalie says. “Very nontraditional, not very nice [for a wedding ceremony]. But we kept thinking about it and it was actually sort of perfect.”

Natalie says the quote, which was originally found in William Saroyan’s “The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze,” represented the couple’s “mindset about life,” remembering to live life to the fullest, while you can. Choosing the Hemingway quote, as well as an Irish blessing as a nod to Jim’s English and Irish background, allowed the guests to really get to know the couple, says Natalie.

“It was important for us to not just go through the motions,” she says. “We wanted it to be very ‘us.’”

Photo by Josh Mariana

A Literary Surprise
​At their Sept. 24 ceremony at Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church, Stephanie Caruso and Brad Borghetti did include one reading from traditional scripture, but because they both love to read, they also decided to each pick passages from books and then surprise each other with their selections.

After a lot of searching, Stephanie was brought to tears when she finally found and chose a quote from “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte: “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”

Still, she says Brad’s pick was even better — a quote from “Winnie the Pooh” by A.A. Milne, which he remembered his grandmother reading to him as a child: “If you live to be 100, I want to live to be 100 minus one day, so I never have to live without you.”

Stephanie and Brad each had one of their cousins read their selections, and they bought the readers copies of the books with the passages highlighted, as gifts. Stephanie says the guests were very pleased with the surprise readings, and that it was a great addition to their ceremony.

“It was very ‘us,’ and they thought it was a nice personal touch,” she says. “I brought some of the emotion for the day.”

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