There’s nothing quite like saying “I do” in front of family, friends and a few dozen library patrons. On Saturday, February 13, couples are invited to exchange or renew their vows at the Denver Public LIbrary’s annual Anti-Valentine’s Day Party — and invite fifty of their closest friends. The library has thrown its share of outrageous Valentine’s Day parties poking fun at the commercialized holiday, but this is the first year that the DPL will truly celebrate those ready to spend the rest of their lives together.
“In the past we’ve always had fun and poked air into Valentine’s Day,” says Chris Loffelmacher, DPL's cultural programmer who just got married himself. “This year we’re showing Muriel’s Wedding as the sort of ‘air piece’ to the party.” In that 1994 Australian cult classic, Toni Collette plays Muriel, a socially awkward woman obsessed with the idea of getting married. Muriel’s Wedding will be shown through the Anti-Valentine’s Day Party, and the couples will exchange their vows at the same time that Muriel finally says hers.
But the lineup isn't set yet: The library is looking for at least five couples who want to be married by legendary burlesque queen Vivienne VaVoom and invite friends and family members to this alternative ceremony. Ideally, Loffelmacher would like to have ten couples in front of the crowd. And the library will cover all the costs.
Rocio and Brian Rowland are among the couples commited to renewing their vows at the event. Rocio Rowland says that as soon as the couple, who've been married for fifteen years, heard about the possibility of renewing their vows at the library, they didn’t think twice. She and Brian had already renewed their vows once at a play at the Denver Performing Arts Complex a few years back, and the opportunity to once again stand in front of their friends and the Denver arts community was too exciting to pass up.
“We’ve gone to almost all of the events that the library has planned and that Chris has been involved with,” says Rocio, who works as a librarian in Jefferson Country. “The library has always been a very special place for the two of us, so this means so much to renew our vows at this Valentine’s Day celebration."
Of course, it wouldn’t be a wedding without cake, and this year’s Anti-Valentine’s Day Party is being catered by Cake Crumbs, a change from the usual confections provided by Whole Foods Market.
Denver Public Library is still looking for brides and grooms, brides and brides, and grooms and grooms to say their vows at this unconventional event. Interested couples should submit a photo and one paragraph about why they would like to be included to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Anti-Valentine’s Day Party: Muriel’s Wedding with Wedding Realness will run from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, February 13, in the B2 Conference Center at the Central Library, 10 West 14th Avenue Parkway. Admission is free, but RSVPs are required. Read more about it on the denverlibrary.org.