Library Weddings

By Chris and Christina

You might not think of libraries when you think of weddings, but people are starting to see the appeal in getting hitched in a book lover’s paradise.

For example, there have been twelve weddings at the Jackson County Public Library in Sylva from July 2012 to July 2013.

Photo by Donovan Evans
Different than the usual angle you see, since our wedding photographer Donovan stood in the street to take it.

Libraries are gaining popularity as a wedding location, as couples can exchange vows in the heart of the community while saving money AND supporting the library.

And it’s not just here. The Boston Library is seeing more couples getting married in its historical library.

Offbeat Bride even has a section on library weddings.

Ellen from Macon County Public Library exemplifying the library wedding theme.
Ellen from Macon County Public Library exemplifying the library wedding theme.

But before we continue, we have to admit; we’re a little biased. We met while working in a library in Florida, and after we moved to North Carolina and started working for the Fontana Regional Library system (in different branches), we got married in the Jackson County Public Library in Sylva.  We also incorporated our library love and history in our invitations, wedding favors, and decorations.

Photo by Donovan Evans
The gorgeous community room at Jackson County Public Library in Sylva, where our wedding took place.

The bouquet was silk flowers and paper roses made from old books:

Not as beautiful as the bride, but then again nothing ever is.
Not as beautiful as the bride, but then again nothing ever is.

We gave out books as favors, and Christina created “book covers” for boxes of candy.

Photo by Donovan Evans
This table was pretty empty pretty quickly.

Here is the candy cover for Lolita.  Each candy was tied to a particular book by theme:

Photo by Donovan Evans
On the front was an image of the cover of the book.
Photo by Donovan Evans
And on the back was a description of the connection between candy and book. Christina wrote them herself.

The mother of the bride made these bookmarks utilizing old books:

Nobody misses the books used to create these. Effective repurposing.

The favors table, before the candy boxes were added.  Note the library card catalog drawer.  We had guests use old book pocket cards to write notes and leave them in the drawer.

Photo by Donovan Evans is where we found the drawer.

In fact, our story isn’t very unusual. Libraries have been host to plenty of love stories.  It begins innocently enough.  You meet that new co-worker, or a patron introduces himself to you, and before you know it you’re getting married.  Maybe even in a library.

Kristina, who works at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin, met her husband in the library:

“He had moved here from Asheville, and did not expect to be impressed by our small-town library. He had no idea what he was in store for! I noticed him because he knew his way around the whole library- the non-fiction books- not just the computer lab. And one afternoon when our paths crossed on the Greenway behind the library, that was when he decided he’d better introduce himself next time he saw me. Thank goodness he did! I had no idea I was ready to meet the man who wanted to grow old with me :)”

Ellen, who also works at the library in Franklin, shared this with us:

“I didn’t get married in a library, (there just happened to be one next to the dressing room, so I naturally thought pictures must be taken), but if a person is going to go non-traditional, I think it’s a perfect place to tie the knot. You’ve got your tropical beach weddings, outdoorsy mountain weddings, your “eloping to Las Vegas” type deals…these couples surround themselves with what they love. So why not a library? For book lovers…well it’s an obvious choice. ”

Ellen and books, a winning combination!
Ellen and books, a winning combination!

And Jeff, the Swain County Librarian in Bryson City, met his wife in one:

“I met my wife, who has a MLS, in a library.  I was working at the Broward County Main Library and she was starting her first day on the job as a Graduate Intern.  Within a couple months, she and I were dating (a secret from other library staff) and within a couple years we’d purchased a home together.  It took us a little longer to tie the knot – six years.”

We can relate to Jeff’s story.  Some of our co workers didn’t even know we were dating until Christina came to work one day with a diamond on her finger.  Some of them were genuinely upset about this.  We did a nice job of being professional at work and romantic at home.  Did we mention that she showed up wearing that ring on February 15th?

Photo by Donovan Evans
Now she wears a different ring. That window looks out from the library down Main Street in Sylva.

We even worked the Dewey Decimal System into our invitations.  Here is a piece of that:

“Chris and Christina made their way through life, going to high school in Florida (917.5904) and eventually working in a library (027), where they met.

Soon they discovered that they had similar tastes in movies (791.43), music (781), and humor (817). They even shared a love of professional wrestling, specifically the WWE (796.812). Their biggest love, though, was reading (028), which made working in a library convenient.”

Weddings and libraries really seem to fit together very well.  Dottie, the Jackson County Librarian in Sylva, shared this story:

“I was honored to help with a wedding  in the atrium of JCPL, January 1, 2012. The wedding was scheduled for Sunday afternoon so we worked on the decorations on Saturday evening. I spent an hour or more untangling a ginormous bunch of helium balloons complete with very long ribbons. Being quite tired, we decided to scatter the balloons around the atrium (yes, the ribbons were that long) and tie them down the next morning. I was the first one in on the wedding day. All the balloons were tangled in one bunch in the center of the atrium–the air movers in the ceiling evidently all blow toward the middle! Another hour was spent untangling the balloons and tying them securely to chairs!!

The day had been overcast, but just as the wedding ended, a double rainbow appeared over the mountains and seemed to end at the library. What a good omen for a start to a new journey!

New Year’s Day happens to be my birthday. And what did you do on your birthday? Untangled a zillion balloons…. At the reception, the newly wed couple serenaded me with “Happy Birthday” thus making peace with the balloon war and gifting me with a special day too.”

The wedding linked to here might have been fictional, but the New York Public Library does allow real weddings.  And as an aside, here is a recurring column that talks about wedding notices in the New York Times.

Here is another library themed wedding.  Hey, we had Converses too!

A celebration of weddings, books, and libraries.

And a piece on library themes for decor.  Note that the Dewey error they made was intentional.

Here they not only talk about library weddings, but also link to a wedding planning school.

It’s great seeing libraries being recognized for the romantic places that they truly are. Author Rudolph Anaya said it best:

“A library is also a place where love begins.”

Photo by Donovan Evans
We leave you with a kiss!

4 thoughts on “Library Weddings

  1. I love it! Besides meeting in the library, Justin and I almost held our wedding here as well. We’d gathered our nearby family and friends at the courthouse on a Tuesday afternoon, not considering that we were meeting when everyone in the building was out to lunch! We were crowded into the lobby, tapping our toes and watching our nephews and niece play on the floor, and I seriously considered moving the party to the library where I knew that Amy, our Children’s librarian who happened to be ordained to perform weddings, would be happy to oversee our marriage vows. But, I figured I’d pulled enough surprises on my family, so we stayed, and lunchtime ended, and we were able to begin our happily-ever-after. But I’m still keeping the library in mind if we decide to renew our vows!

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  2. Often, a library is a natural choice for a wedding, depending on the historic significance of its building/structure. Also, let’s admit, there are many bibliophiles out there! A wedding at the library is not only budget-friendly, but can appeal to readers, book lovers and more. Fun post!

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