I have always been interested in wedding planning. Usually just on the side and for fun, a favorite past time of my old roommate and I. We'd find a good movie to put on, and watch it together while looking for and then sharing cool wedding stuff we found. I'm not the most knowledgeable about Maine weddings, but I know a decent amount. So I had a challenge ahead of me when I got engaged: picking a venue. Multiple nights went by of spending hours online looking through ideas and at examples of other peoples' weddings.
I had tried thinking of a million different options, and they all seemed perfectly acceptable and easily friendly with some proper tweaking. But none of them had that "This is it!" wow factor. None of them felt like home. Which was funny,since I primarily looked at places near the homes of our families. And then I read a post on Offbeat Bride (one of the only reasons why I'm sane and calm for this process!) about unique places to have weddings. One couple in particular caught my eye, with their library wedding. I loved the look of it, but more over, I loved how they thought of it. Both avid book fans, they explained their way of choosing a venue, considering that if there were a natural disaster and buildings or places were destroyed, that it would be devastating if the library were ruined.
So I asked myself "What do he and I love more than anything?" and the answer was clear. Literature and language. The entire reason we even met was because of a German class that we took for fun, and all the books on our shelve back this idea up. We love reading together and to each other, as well as separately. Words are the ultimate bridge to cross to explain ourselves to the world, and both of us are enthralled with that. So I started looking for libraries. About an hour later, I found it. There was no doubt. It was the Bailey Island Library Hall, off of Harpswell, Maine. Quaint and white on the outside, it had all the delicious feeling of a vintage location, plunked down into our modern civilization. But the inside opens up into a creamy, charming yellow; with hardwood floors, a working fireplace, and a giant window seat!
My only issue with it was finding the information or pictures. Not many weddings take place there, and even fewer receptions. It's very difficult to find pictures, and when you do, it's even more difficult to capture the sizing and feel of the building from them. The pictures of the few other couples who have had their weddings there are of the couples and their guests, as they should be. But for a girl on a fact finding mission, this was just not enough. Desperate to book this place from what I knew, I set out to contact the people in charge. Finding a post about it on a wedding officiant's blog A Sweet Start, I was able to both read about the hall, and find the contact information for the woman who is in charge of events there. Her name is Diane Gagne, and can be reached at (207) 833-6305 as I found out (the post about the Library Hall can be found here :] ).
A few months passed since booking the hall, and the invoice for its fee came in. As it turns out, it is $350 for a deposit (which will be returned after your event if everything is cared for and left as it was found) and $700 to rent the hall, which is a good price for an adorable venue. They also have the option available to rent dishes and silverware at an extra cost. Before signing and sending in a check, I wanted to swing by and make sure that was the place. While parking was limited, there was no mistake. The front was a smaller, but tidy yard of lush green grass, and a stone path lead up the center to the front of the hall. The porch is a few broad steps that give way to three sets of french doors, flanked on either side by sweet benches. Inside, the hall is roughly (and we measured using my fiance's height, and at his volunteering having him slide across the floor, so keep in mind that it's a very rough measurement!)24' by 36', not counting a small stage area at one end.
The entire place has hard wood floors, and these cozy yellow walls. The ceilings are high, with small ornamental windows on the top to let the light trickle in. The walls are lined in book shelves that take up most of the space from floor to ceiling, and the end opposite the stage has a long window seat near the working brick fire place. The kitchen, running almost as long and about 7-10 feet wide housed a six burner stove and a hefty oven; as well as a lot of counter space and a sink with two bays (if my memory serves me right).It was perfect.
I was so happy seeing it in person, and there wasn't any doubt in my mind that this is where I wanted to get married. Luckily, my fiance smiled at me, and agreed that he felt the same way. It's funny how so frequently the things we know the best bring the most comfort when seeing them again for the first time in a while. Yet every once in a very blue moon, you can see something for the first time, and know that you and it are the same.
Below are many pictures, as I wished there were more when I was scouting this place out! If you have any questions about the place, contact me, and I'll answer what I can! :)
The back of the building, which has ramps!
The bathroom! Cute as it is (and trust me- it is!), be warned that for weddings of 60 people or less the bathroom on site is fine. However if you guest list is looking like somewhere between 60-100, there will need to be a portalet brought on site, and two if it's over 100. Just something to think about! :]
These are pictures of the little stage area on one end of the hall. Please excuse the random table in front! :)
The hall itself:
All in all, it was a great trip to a beautiful place. I can't wait to get married there! :)