There is a unique, growing trend in the bridal world as of late - getting married at libraries. Couples can get married at The New York Public Library in New York City or even the Boston Public Library, to name a few of the larger venues.
Libraries have that sort of special nostalgic feeling; it is a place that nearly every person in America who is privileged to an education, has frequented at one time or another.
The James V. Brown Library has joined that trend, as more and more couples have made the decision to use the classy Moltz Rotunda Reading Room to tie the knot. The room was named by James and Barbara Moltz in honor of Elsie Lamade Vance.
Shown are photos of the Moltz Rotunda Room at the James V. Brown Library, where many couples have chosen as their wedding location. Library weddings have become a growing trend. Angela Fries and her fiance, Tim Dolan, of Lock Haven, will be married in the Rotunda room mid-October.
When the library opened the Welch Children's Wing officially on Valentine's Day in 2009, they also wanted to do renovations to other parts of the library. Thus, the Rotunda Room got a makeover.
They asked Marguerite Bierman, a good friend and donor to the library, to help with the interior re-design; she selected the colors and directed the re-pointing of plaster work. She also erected the now-iconic gazebo in memory of her sister and father.
"She really took ownership of how it looks and it become a really beautiful space," said Robin Glossner, the library's development director. Glossner raises funds for the library, part of which come from room rentals.
"We had our first wedding in there before the gazebo was up, around late 2009 or early 2010. We've had several [weddings] since the gazebo went up," Glossner said. "People starting coming up to us and saying, 'I'd like to have a wedding in there!'"
Glossner's daughter is getting married in the Rotunda room in the near future, as well.
The room, originally was a circulation and reference area and wasn't suitable for something like a wedding ceremony. But since the renovations, Glossner said it really has become a ceremonial space. Right now, there are two or three weddings "in the books," Glossner said.
The space is perfect for close-knit weddings, fitting between 90 and 100 people.
Angela Fries, a student at Lock Haven University, is getting married in the room mid-October.
"We invited 140 but we are hoping for 110 to 120. The space is only meant to seat 100 but we are ordering smaller chairs than the ones they provide so that we can fit all of our guests," Fries said.
The Rotunda Room rental also comes with the Winter Room, a room just outside of the Rotunda, where, Glossner said, bridesmaids and other bridal party members can mingle before its time to walk down the isle.
At a rate of $400 for four hours, compared to Boston Public Library prices (thousands of dollars) it really is a great catch. Despite the four-hour rate, Glossner said they're pretty flexible if the couple needs access ahead of time for rehearsals and decorating.
Fries and her fiance, Tim Dolan, wanted to do something different.
"Tim and I are Catholic but didn't want to have a Catholic ceremony. Tim didn't want to have the ceremony outside, which made our venue choices very limited. We looked at barns but they were too expensive," Fries said. It only took Angela two weeks of searching to find what she wanted, however.
"Tim and I are avid readers. One day I was talking with a professor of mine about the wedding and she suggested looking into the library. After seeing it in person, I fell in love with it," Fries added.
Glossner mentioned that one of their previous weddings at the library was a couple who wanted to marry there because they first met in a library. They even had a photographer come in and take wedding photos of them in "the stacks."
One of the perks of using the JVB Library as a wedding space is the couple has the ability to customize it as they like.
"You can take out the pottery planters ... one bride took them out and put in mirrors and put an arrangement on top," Glossner said.
Fries knows how she will be decorating the room.
"We're going to have an aisle runner, flowers on the chairs that go up the aisle, a flower petal side runner and finally a flower arrangement atop the arch of the gazebo," she said.
However the bride chooses to decorate, the JVB Library has a lot of options for a great price, and couples can feel good that they are supporting their public library.
As for Angela, she's not nervous ... yet.
"I've been so busy that I haven't really had time to allow myself to be nervous. I know the week before I will probably have a breakdown but I know that either way I'm marrying my best friend and that's what matters," she said.