Recently I sat with a number of other Harlequin authors, discussing publishing trends and issues with Silhouette Executive Editor, Mary Therese Hussey. Magic! We were in a hotel meeting room in downtown Brisbane, completely absorbed in fleshing out some interesting points. Then someone glanced out the window and noticed the stretch limo pulled up on the other side of the road.
What is it about weddings that made us all pause and shift focus so completely?
There's something about a wedding that catches our attention and makes us stop in our tracks. And not only romance writers! Nor is it just the fantasy of a wedding ceremoney with all the fairy tale trappings. I've seen a packed office of busy workers reduced to absolute, engrossed silence for the 3 minutes it took to view a recording of a colleague's 'quickie' Las Vegas wedding.
Perhaps it's the promise of happy ever after that appeals so much. The notion that 2 people believe in other so strongly they're prepared to commit to a life together.
Weddings are hopeful, usually joyous occasions. Maybe that's why they capture our attention. Like a satisfying romance story, they hold the promise of good things for those who trust to love.
And then too there's all the fun of planning the dress (retail therapy at its most challenging!).
Weddings and brides are staple fare for category romance and with good reason - they're such draw cards for readers. Sometimes the wedding is the payoff at the finish, when we enjoy the happy ending. Other times the wedding is a traumatic event that emphasises how far away that happy ending is.
I had a wonderful time starting a book (Blackmailed Bride, Inexperienced Wife) describing a heroine going to her wedding with a sense of utter doom, then twisting it so the heroine didn't have to face marrying the man she didn't want to wed. Whew! But instead she discovered another man she wanted to wed even less, demanding marriage. (What? Me devious? Never!)
Tying yourself to another person in marriage is one of the most significant, emotional, life changing things you can do. Perfect fodder for a writer who's interested in emotions! Not only are there the emotions and intentions of the bride and groom, but weddings also seem to affect other participants profoundly and not always happily: relatives, friends and even bystanders often have strong reactions to such events.
The other wonderful thing about weddings is they're all so varied. From scuba dive ceremonies to day long outdoor services, wonderful colourful weddings following various ethnic traditions, civil ceremonies, ones assisted by Elvis impersonators, ones with paparazzi photographers and of course elopements.
Do you have a favourite wedding memory? One you attended or participated in? One you read about or have always wanted to write? One you're planning for the future? I'd love to hear!