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.
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.
Believe 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!