Jeff & Kerri's Toronto Reference Library Wedding


Jeff & Kerri had a super romantic, book-themed wedding at the Toronto Reference Library.

Their Jewish ceremony was held right in the stunning main foyer, with dinner and dancing to follow in the Bram and Bluma Appel Salon. In between we took the opportunity to roam among the stacks, and I'd be lying if I didn't tell you these two stole a few newly-wedded kisses too.

Kerri had a beautiful tulip bouquet tied with her grandmother's locket. Once dressed, she did a first look with her dad who, naturally, got a bit emotional on his daughter's wedding day.

The bride getting dressed; Toronto Reference Library Wedding
The bride is ready to see her father for the first time; Toronto Reference Library Wedding
The bride hugging her father; Toronto Reference Library Wedding
Portrait of the lovely bride; Toronto Reference Library Wedding

Then Jeff came in for another bridal reveal, and after a lot of happy exclamations from each of them, the bride and groom exchanged gifts. I loved this private moment of Jeff putting on Kerri's necklace and sneaking a little kiss on her shoulder while "no one" was looking.

The groom helping the bride put on her necklace; Toronto Reference Library Wedding
The groom kissing the bride's neck; Toronto Reference Library Wedding

If you've seen Kerri & Jeff's Toronto Island engagement photos, you might have guessed these two have an ongoing love affair with the City of Toronto! Their wedding guests assembled in the incredible atrium of the Toronto Reference Library. As the largest public reference library in Canada, this space is outstanding... and the perfect location for a pair of book-lovers to get married. Jeff & Kerri had a wedding ceremony with Jewish elements, standing under a lace Chuppah and each smashing a glass for the Mazeltov moment at the end.

Stunning view of the Toronto Reference Library
A lace Chuppah; Toronto Reference Library Wedding

To start with, however, Kerri and her father descended to the foyer via the glass elevator, for everyone to see. They kept their backs turned, and I could sense the excitement and nerves as they sailed down from above, and made their way towards the alter. Jeff was smiling ear-to-ear (pretty much all day, but even more at this moment).

As Kerri rounded the top of the aisle her face just beamed with happiness at the prospect of marrying Jeff, like, right now! As if that wasn't enough, their ring bearer was visibly choked up. How adorable is this little guy?!

The bride walking down the aisle with her father; Toronto Reference Library Wedding
Watching the bride walking down the aisle; Toronto Reference Library Wedding

One of my favourite moments in this wonderful day, was a reading during the ceremony – an adaptation of the poem, Date A Girl Who Reads by Rosemarie Urquico. Being a bit of a book nerd myself (understatement alert!), this was basically the most romantic thing I've ever heard. Jeff & Kerri replaced the word "date" with the word "marry"... Tears flowed. 

I'm posting the full text of the poem below, although not all of it was said at the wedding. Replace the word "date" with "marry" and have a good happy-cry on me. 

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the cream is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by God, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.
— Rosemarie Urquico
Bride and groom smiling at each other; Toronto Reference Library Wedding

Click here to see Kerri & Jeff's engagement photos on Toronto Island! 

Click here to check out similar weddings:
Rosemary & Alastair Summer Camp Wedding at Camp Manitou
Ken & Ben's Enoch Turner Schoolhouse Wedding
Andrea & Josh's Hart House Wedding at U of T

Photographers: Kate O’Connor and Lelania Little

Thank you to the creative team!
Audio/Visual: bb Blanc
Catering: L-eat Catering
Ceremony Location: Toronto Reference Library
Décor: Kerri Graham
DJ/Music: Maren - Dialed-In DJs
Event Planner: Elena Knysh - Your Effortless Event
Flowers: Cool, Green & Shady
Hair & Make Up: All Dolled Up Makeup & Hair
Jewelry Design: Tamara Kronis - Studio 1098
Officiant: Martin Frith - Ceremonies With Choice
Reception Venue: Bram and Bluma Appel Salon, Toronto Reference Library