“Going to the bookstore and we’re gonna get married...”
The lyrics to an old song may have to change on Saturday, Sept. 22, as the 200-year-old Andover Bookstore is hosting its first wedding.
A pair of out-of-town book lovers are to be taken out of circulation during a 5 p.m. unabridged ceremony full of nonfiction promises. So says the couple’s unusual invitation, which looks like a book and reads like a bestseller.
Bride Danielle Chamberland, 31, and groom Jason Roberts, 32, live in Clinton and wanted an unusual wedding venue. They checked out the Boston Public Library and decided it was too expensive, but the bride worked her cell phone in search of an independent bookstore willing to host a wedding. Andover Bookstore welcomed the couple.
“The Bookstore has been great,” Chamberland said. “We really wanted something meaningful to us...It’s all working out.”
Andover Bookstore manager Jennifer Tierney said the request was a bit different from the typical author readings. But, the staff recommendation on this event was unanimous.
“We could do it and everyone just thought it was great that a couple wanted to be married in a bookstore,” Tierney said.
The ceremony will take place on the fireplaced first floor with guests gathered all around, including on the second floor balcony that allows guests to look down to the first floor.
An avid reader, the bride will wear a white dress but that’s where tradition ends. Her five bridesmaids will carry bouquets of origami flowers while the reception tables will have vase centerpieces made out of upside down books and filled with origami flowers. The reception follows at the Andover Town House, also known as Old Town Hall on Main Street.
For the invitations that look like a book, Chamberland found inexpensive old books on Craigslist. Working with her mom and a designer, she ripped out the book pages and replaced the pages with the ceremony information. The RSVP card looks like it should be in a library book and it even includes a “due back” date. Guests respond to the couple’s website, danielleandjasonsayido.com. Attending guests (they check the “hurrah!” box and those unable to attend (”damnation!”) are still being tallied. Chamberland is expecting about 125 guests.
“I mailed the invitations to out-of-state guests and hand-delivered them to the rest,” Chamberland said.
When asked about guest response to her unique wedding, she said some people applaud the creativity.
“Others don’t know what to say, so they just compliment us. But, who knows? They are probably just being polite,” laughed Chamberland, who works three jobs. She works with autistic middle-schoolers, is an SAT tutor and also counsels students with behavioral issues by visiting them and family members at their homes.
Andover Bookstore will close early on Sept. 22 to prepare for this one-of-a-kind wedding.