On the altar of a book cart: Wedding was one to check out

Friends of the Edmonds Library provides an assist
By Brian Soergel | Apr 26, 2018
Courtesy of: Courtney Lewis Courtney Lewis and Chad Hansen’s Edmonds wedding was themed around book characters. Pictured are officiator Travis Perkins (hand bandaged because he’s dressed as a character from “The Dark Tower”), Travis' son Ryder Perkins, Courtney and Chad, and siblings Ben Lewis and Amy Hansen.

This wedding wasn’t by the book. Wait, it was. By the books, yes.

While most couples consider churches, beaches, parks, backyards and other well-worn locales to express their love and commitment, Courtney Lewis and Chad Hansen chose to be surrounded by books April 7 in the Plaza Room above the Edmonds Library.

You might guess the happy couple are bibliophiles.

“We live in Anchorage,” Courtney said. “Chad is from Edmonds and is from a big family, so we decided to have the wedding in Edmonds. We were really excited to find out the Edmonds Plaza Room was available for the wedding because it's right above the library, and we are big readers.

“Plus, before it was the library, the building was part of an elementary school where Chad's mother, Michelle Mather, attended. Chad's mother used to take Chad to the library to read to him when he was a child.”

Chad pipes in: "We used to take the Edmonds trolley!"

Courtney continued.

“We decided to make the whole wedding book-themed. We had ‘second breakfast,’ like the hobbits from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ books. Chad's friend, Travis Perkins, officiated and asked if he could come as Roland Deschain from Stephen King's ‘The Dark Tower,’ and of course we agreed.”

(Travis and his son, Ryder Perkins, are pictured in the photo where Courtney and Chad signed the marriage license. Travis's son Ryder was Jake, also from “The Dark Tower.”)

Guests were seated at tables by author (Octavia Butler, Margaret Atwood, etc.) instead of number. The centerpieces on the tables were three books by the author. One guest from each table won the centerpiece.

“The winner was whoever had randomly sat at the seat with a haiku on the place setting,” Courtney said. “While Chad was finishing law school at Seattle University, and I was working in Alaska, we used to write haikus to each other. He suggested incorporating them into the wedding, and we thought this was a fun way to share them with people.”

(How cute is that, now?

Perfect for an Edmonds day

In the library)

While planning for the wedding, it occurred to Courtney that there wasn't an altar or focal point in the room.

“We looked into renting an altar, but it seemed like a lot of money to spend to rent an item for such a short period of time,” Courtney said. “Then I remembered that libraries normally have a Friends of the Library organization.

“Chad and I had already decided not to register for gifts, and to let guests know we just wanted them to attend the wedding. He's 33, and I'm 34. Plus, we both work as lawyers in the public sector so we weren't in need of starter items. I asked Chad what he thought about asking the Friends of the Library to borrow some book carts, and have guests bring a new or gently used book to the wedding. He loved the idea, and the rest is history.”

There was an unexpected bonus for Courtney and Chad, as friends and family who couldn't make the wedding mailed books for the wedding.

“My grandmother, who lives in New Hampshire and couldn't attend due to her health, sent me four books,” Courtney said. “A good friend of mine in Austin, Texas, Colin Gaffney, mailed me one of his favorite books of all time. It was nice to have so many books to donate – it filled the donation box and we had an overflow. The library was very accommodating, and let us box up the overflow books next to the donation box.”

The Friends of the Edmonds Library was happy to oblige.

“Courtney contacted us last summer with the idea, and we couldn't be happier,” Friends President Luke Distelhorst said. “It was a wonderful way to support the Friends and the library, and the donated books are great – a very different mix than what we usually get via donation, more interesting items and new. I felt bad, as I purchased one of the books for myself.”

One last note from the new bibliophile couple:

“I am keeping my maiden name so we have the same names,” Courtney said. “Though we do joke that if Chad took my last name, he would be C.S. Lewis.”

 

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