Book Lust: A Short Guide to Getting Hitched In A Library.
September 19, 2005 3:03 PM   Subscribe

Mefibrarians and Mefi-Seattlites: Help us plan the dorkiest wedding ever. So we didn't end up making fancy dinner for my birthday on Friday, planning instead to put it off until Sunday, but that is OK because instead I got an engagement ring. Now we need to find a library or library-ish building to get married in.

Though I know weddings have been held at Central, we aren't interested in that -- it's too pointy.
An option that I am not totally sold on but will be checking out is the Library Bistro. Anyone have any experience with it?
A Carnegie library would be fun, but today I talked to chat reference and the librarian said they are still in use as branches. Is this true? I know one of them (is there more than one?) is in Ballard and I know Ballard just got that fancy new branch, so is the old one not in use as a library? We've heard rumors that it might be a restaurant? We plan at least to drive by and check it out, but other information is welcome.
Does anyone have any other ideas for library-related buildings or locations? We are thinking fall, so almost certainly indoors, though access to an outside space would be nice. There will be dinner, so it needs to be someplace that serves food or allows caterers, and we absolutely have to be able to have alcohol, or else it needs to be close enough to a good restaurant or dinner place that we can walk there. It would be best if dogs are allowed, but on reflection, we might not be able to have both dogs and libraries. Seattle or nearby is best, though for the right location, we'd travel a bit (San Juans? The coast? Portland?). We are aiming for around 100 guests, but we will each only have one attendant (is that the right word?) so the actual wedding party will be small. I don't know what the budget is yet, but the cheaper the better, of course. What details am I forgetting/have I not even considered?
posted by librarina to Human Relations (19 answers total)
Just for reference, I feel that this might actually be the dorkiest wedding ever.
posted by i_cola at 3:10 PM on September 19, 2005

Just that you should totally honeymoon in New York City at the Library Hotel!!
posted by nimsey lou at 3:12 PM on September 19, 2005

i_cola >>> "Just for reference, I feel that this might actually be the dorkiest wedding ever."

That was the sound of my last vestige of hope for humanity dying a sad, lonely death.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:15 PM on September 19, 2005 [1 favorite]

No Seattle-specific suggestions, but I did want offer a bit of advice based on my experience.

When my husband and I got married a couple of years ago (smaller ceremony of about 80 people) we held it at a restaurant. Working with a restaurant usually means that you get the services of their event planner for free.

The woman who worked at Spiaggia, where we were married, was indispensable to us on our wedding day. She rode herd over every little detail--ceremony, flowers, band, favors, you name it.

If you have lots of friends and family to help out on your big day this might not be such an issue. But still, it's amazing how many little things must be attended to at the last moment. Having a professional there to handle stuff so I didn't stress out was really worth it to me.

posted by Sully6 at 3:20 PM on September 19, 2005

Best answer: Carnegie's is a fancy restaurant inside of Ballard's old and very distinguished-looking Carnegie Free Library building (scroll down for present-day picture).

I don't know whether it's possible to rent or reserve the space for something like a wedding.
posted by mbrubeck at 3:53 PM on September 19, 2005 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: That's the one I was looking for, mbrubeck! Thanks! I had a hard time Googling for it.
posted by librarina at 4:00 PM on September 19, 2005

Best answer: This is sort of an odd suggestion, but how about one of the weird libraries that are not in the Seattle public system. I was thinking maybe the library at the Center for Wooden Boats' library, or the Seattle Metaphysical Library, or perhaps even the Hanford Technical Library? I don't know if any of these really suits your purposes [the Washington Talking Book and Braille library is a really neat place]. The Library Bistro is sort of tony and right downtown so it might be what you are looking for, but it's more bistro than library.

There are at least a few SPL libraries that are Carnegie [Fremont and Douglass Truth which is closed for expansion] and the old Carnegie building in Ballard is one whole library removed from the currently-under-renovation Ballard branch. I'm not sure if the libraries will let you rent them during off hours [seems likely] and I'd be curious to know. It seems to me like you might be better off either going for a funky public library a bit outside of the city [no ideas though, sorry] or a funky private building or club that has a nice library. With that in mind, I'd point towards the Hugo House and their zine library.
posted by jessamyn at 4:19 PM on September 19, 2005

Vancouver (BC) Public Library often does weddings. You could rent a conference room or the main mall area. If you'd rather just get married at the library and have your ceremony elsewhere, you could probably do that too. The architecture is stunning -- the library, designed by Moshe Safdie, is modelled on a Roman colosseum.

Vancouver also has a Carnegie Library, but it's on East Hastings, the heart of Skid Row.
posted by acoutu at 4:25 PM on September 19, 2005

DNAB definitely wins with that dorkiest wedding link! holy ...
posted by punkbitch at 4:35 PM on September 19, 2005


No Suzzallo reading room? Seems like it would be perfect for a library wedding, if you could get it.
posted by Hildago at 4:45 PM on September 19, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks, Hildago (& all)! Another couple at school (you probably know them!) briefly looked into Suzzallo but they said it would be thousands just for the room. That is totally not an option for us at all. It's too bad; it would be perfect. But I'm not sure if he actually asked or if he just assumed, so I am going to make sure to check.

I really like the idea of the "weird" libraries, jessamyn. I'll definitely look into those, esp. Hugo House. And thanks, acoutu, I never even considered Canada! It's promising to know they have a whole page on their site about having weddings at the library ...

Planning parties is fun.
posted by librarina at 4:55 PM on September 19, 2005

Vancouver is pretty cheap by US standards and just 3 hours from Seattle by car.
posted by acoutu at 4:59 PM on September 19, 2005

Best answer: How about Portland's recently renovated Central Library? Perhaps the Special Collections Room would suit your needs.

And when you and your beloved leave in newly wedded bliss, you can walk out beneath the lovely words of Borges which are painted over the entrance: "I have always imaged that Paradise will be a kind of library."
posted by ottereroticist at 5:19 PM on September 19, 2005

Congratulations! I wish I had some Seattle suggestions for you - would have been simply magnificent if there was a PUBLIC (1 2 3 4 5 6) in Seattle. The Library Bistro you posted looks marvelous!
posted by junesix at 7:59 PM on September 19, 2005

Best answer: Books Do Furnish A Room- by Anthony Powell, from Dance to the Music of Time. Or, in your case, Lib, books do furnish a life.
posted by madstop1 at 8:13 PM on September 19, 2005

While not exactly in a library, my wife and I were married in the shadow of the Allen/Suzzallo library in Grieg Garden. It didn't cost thousands of dollars (did it cost anything? can't remember? maybe a couple of hundred or perhaps a free permit 'cause we were students). Anyhoo, it was lovely. Congrats!
posted by donovan at 8:48 PM on September 19, 2005

Second dorkiest wedding ever.
posted by Guy Smiley at 10:45 PM on September 19, 2005

I have friends who had their reception on the roof of the Edmonds Library. It was on a beautiful summer evening and the Olympics were out. It was quite beautiful!
posted by black8 at 9:43 AM on September 20, 2005

Best answer: Several of the libraries in Seattle have meeting rooms. I know there have been a couple of wedding ceremonies held at the Queen Anne branch, which is a Carnegie. They were held in the meeting room, though, not amongst the stacks. Due to restrictions on room use, you'd likely want to have your reception elsewhere, but there's a Masonic Temple right across the street.
posted by Charlie Bucket at 10:03 AM on September 20, 2005

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