This story appeared in the local Annapolis news and the officiant, Rev. Tracey Moe, a good friend of mine, posted it on Facebook. Love the story and so I could not resist putting it on this blog! They must have found Tracey just an hour or two before the wedding! I never would have thought of a bookstore as a wedding venue but, you know, it's pretty neat--and quite significant for these two since he popped the question in that bookstore!
Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 3:45 pm | Updated: 5:20 pm, Wed Mar 6, 2013.
Janice Holmes considered the piles of paperbacks and brimming bookshelves.
Something was out of place.
"I'm going to move Jane Austen over here - it's nice and red," she said, carrying a copy of "Pride and Prejudice."
She set the antique book on a table by the door.
"We had Hemingway over there, but he's not as romantic."
Across the room, Mary Adams placed a collection of poetry titled "Portable Kisses."
"There's nothing like a wedding to make you clean your bookstore," she said.
Outside, storm winds blew and businesses closed. The streets were empty as the two women prepared their store for the wedding party.
"We hid all the divorce books," said Holmes, laughing.
Pink tulips arrived. Classical music played. And the romance section was set on display Wednesday at The Annapolis Bookstore.
"So, what do you think?" asked Holmes.
"Oh, it's beautiful. I'll get the champagne."
The phone call came that morning. The couple, both book lovers, planned to marry at the courthouse, but it had closed in anticipation of the storm.
Mark Hutson and Melanie Frances arrived with dripping coats and wet hair.
"When I heard the courthouse was closed, my heart sank," Frances said. "I thought, I'm not getting out of bed today."
Hutson called the bookstore. Would they allow a wedding? Of course! said Adams.
Hutson's 7-year-old son, Jack, wore sneakers and a new suit. His 9-year-old daughter Emma wore a dress and snow boots.
"Oh, you look so beautiful," said Hutson's sister, Joanna Steele of Pasadena.
The minister arrived. Mark Hutson collected quarters to feed the parking meters.
The couple met online. Frances is a poet and novelist who works in advertising in Montreal. Hutson lives with his two children in Severna Park and works for the Discovery Channel.
He proposed at the bookstore around Thanksgiving. He slipped inside a book a note asking, "Will you?"
Frances bought the book with tears in her eyes.
As the couple smiled and posed for pictures, Adams pinned - baby's breath - to Jack's suit. The scene was filmed for Frances' mother, who lives in the suburbs of Paris.
"Everyone should experience their wedding as a historic occasion and yours is even more so as our snow forecast is extraordinary," said the Rev. Tracey Moe of Annapolis.
Moe promised that the couple's love will grow. She asked for the ring as a mailman stepped inside, dripped on the floor, delivered a stack of letters, and stepped out.
Frances cried and said, "I do." There was cheering. Jack wanted her to throw the bouquet, but the ceiling was too low.
Champagne was passed, Jack and Emma sipped apple juice. And though there was no wedding cake, leftover Christmas cookies were offered.
Outside, rain pooled on the sidewalks. It was cold and muddy.
But the bookstore was warm and sweet.