Going to the Chapel

Having now been married a staggering two weeks and two days, it’s no surprise that I’ve got marriage on the brain – or that this post may or may not be a feeble excuse to share some wedding photos.

Ahem.

Oops, how did that get in there?

Then again, what romance reader or writer doesn’t love a fictional wedding? Actually, me! One of my bridesmaids gave me a set of three wedding-themed romance novels and I’ve been thinking about the inclusion of wedding ceremonies in romance ever since.

p133741238-2Believe it or not, most of the time I prefer romances where marriage is not the end or the object. It’s rare that I’ll pick up a marriage-of-convenience trope as it’s one of my least favorite, but I’m equally averse to stories that shoehorn a sprint down the aisle into the ending. Some of my best reads have been those in which the relationship is left slightly open-ended – obviously we know the hero and heroine will get their HEA, but whether it involves ring shopping two weeks after the final page or three years of occasionally rocky cohabitation is left up to the reader to imagine. Equally, I think there’s something especially romantic about two people committing to each other so wholly or certainly that the validation of a marriage isn’t necessary – that their love is so deeply and mutually acknowledged that the idea of marriage isn’t significant to them at all.

I confessed last month that I have a penchant for gritty, realist literary fiction, and I wonder if this is one of the areas in which that leaks through. What do you think? Do you like a blank-ish canvas on which to imagine the long-term HEA? Or do ending-in-wedding novels always make you smile? I’m willing to be converted – give me your best wedding endings and pry me out of my realist shell!

One more for good measure. :-)

One more for good measure.


Comments

Going to the Chapel — 13 Comments

  1. I like it both ways. Having been married a staggering 42 years and five months :-), I’m a strong proponent of marriage when it works, but weddings not so much. I loved Nora Roberts weddings quartet, but could never put myself fully into the stories because I can’t imagine all that fuss and money for ONE DAY when you’ve got the rest of your life to work on.

    I love your pictures, though!

    • A mere 42 years? Really Liz, come back when you’ve got some road under your tires. 😉

      I liked the first two books in the Nora Roberts quartet a lot, but by the fourth one I was bored – I can only read about so many iterations of flowers and cakes and dresses before they all blend together. I prefer a tale of not-always-easy but everlasting relationship over a fabulous wedding any day. Thanks for stopping by and I sure hope things work out for you two newlyweds!!

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  3. When it comes to movies I’m a complete wedding sucker. I have more movies with ‘wedding’ in the title than I care to admit. With novels…not so much. Maybe it’s because of all of the details. I typically just like to see the couple end up together–having overcome their conflict–by ‘The End.’ However, I do like epilogues that give us a glimpse into what happens after the close of the story.

  4. That’s interesting, Reese – maybe it’s a visual thing? I often struggle to visualize written descriptions of things like landscapes and flowers where I don’t know the terminology (who knew creosote was a plant as well as an industrial chemical?) and end up skimming what I’m sure are vivid portraits.

    I’d have to say ‘Muriel’s Wedding’ would be one of my favorite wedding-related films. I love the dark humor, the ridiculous friends, and the scene when she explodes the beanbag chair while making out with a guy. Classic!

  5. I don’t think a wedding constitutes a HEA. It’s the characters’ commitment to each other, their love for each other, their willingness to work through hard times that makes a HEA for me. And honestly, those wedding shows on TV where they’re spending tens of thousands of dollars and more just for a dress and a marriage that might not last a year … ridiculous.

    • I totally agree – maybe it’s because wedding ceremonies themselves can be unconvincing (ever sat through a wedding thinking, ‘no way this’ll last’? I have!) that I find them unfulfilling in romance.

      And I used to like those wedding reality shows until I had to plan my own. The level of minutiae they manage to flip out about made me feel like a terrible bride for being so nonchalant about details. I didn’t even see the bridesmaids dresses until they put them on to go to the church – oops!

  6. I, too, have always had a problem with the emphasis being on the wedding instead of the marriage. It’s basically a really expensive party in my mind. Amusingly, I have had only one wedding in the books I’ve written so far – and that one is classified as Fantasy, not Romance. Tells you something right there, huh? But your photos are lovely, Rebecca, and you look happy and relaxed – the best part!

    • Thanks Jeffe! It’s absolutely more about the relationship and the commitment. We walked down the aisle almost exactly ten years to the day we met so I felt like I’d earned every minute of that party. 😉

      And it’s great to learn that I’m not alone in my curmudgeonly, wedding-disliking ways!

  7. Love your dress and the bouquet Rebecca. Very pretty and like Jeffe said, you look very happy.

    I can’t believe the money people spend on wedding dresses on those shows. And sometimes they buy two dresses! I’d rather buy a house, or car, or something really useful. The marriage is always more important than the wedding, but I don’t think some people get that.

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