We’re romance fans, we know the formula. First comes love, then comes marriage. Somewhere in between we get the kiss and the wedding.
I was only two when Diana married Prince Charles and Luke wed Laura on General Hospital, but trust me when I say that my memories do, in fact, go back that far. I remember watching on our tiny rabbit-eared television with my mom as she sat on the living room floor cross-legged and patiently allowed me to brush her hair. And don’t get me started on the swoony feelings I had over Bo and Hope’s wedding on Days of Our Lives a few years later. The viewership of daytime television had never been higher and women everywhere talked weddings nonstop—at least, that’s how it seemed to my young ears.
There was something magical about these over-the-top wedding ceremonies, and I was utterly enchanted. The glamorous gowns with their incredibly long, dramatic trains and veils. The huge puffed sleeves and miles of white satin and lace. The shiny bridesmaids with their bright gowns and teased hair. My mother’s best friend had a son just a few months younger than me, and by the time we hit kindergarten, we’d held at least a hundred weddings complete with satin gown (one of Mom’s old slips), flowers (weeds from the yard), a pastor reciting the vows (me, swapping the bouquet for a Bible and using a deep voice), and a kiss (gasp!). He was a good sport letting me railroad him into the role.
I quickly outgrew my obsession after he moved away and my interests turned to climbing trees with the neighborhood boys and disappearing into adventure books, and I haven’t really cared much about weddings since then. The obsession reawakened for the year I spent planning my own wedding, but by twenty-one I had gained enough wisdom to understand what my preschool-age self hadn’t—the wedding was only the beginning.
The road to the wedding is a sweet journey. It’s why we love reading romance, isn’t it? The meet cute. The flirtatious banter. The will-they-won’t-they and all that internal conflict. The threat that stands in the way. The effort required of both bride and groom as they discover the untruths they’ve believed, move past them, and embrace their dreams for the future together.
Getting to the wedding isn’t always easy. While planning my own over twenty years ago, there were times we questioned if the stress was worth it. But understanding that it was the marriage we truly wanted and that the wedding was only a step along the way—a celebratory symbol of the commitment we planned to make—that helped us through those times.
In my upcoming novella, Braver With You, Ashlyn and Conrad are facing a similar struggle. They’ve been friends since childhood, and like my old friend and I, play-acted in more than one wedding as children. Now that they’re older, the wedding has gotten out of hand thanks to their mothers (Ashlyn’s in particular). The stress and Ashlyn’s inability to stand up for her own dreams threatens everything. Thankfully, Ashlyn keeps her eyes on the true prize—a lifetime of godly marriage with her best friend.
I had a lot of fun writing this short yet emotion-packed story. Conrad sees, knows, and loves every part of who Ashlyn is. He can’t wait to meet her at that altar, and if going along with her over-bearing mother’s wedding plans is what it takes, he’ll do it. Getting to the wedding might be a rough road, but it’s one he’s willing to travel.
Getting to the wedding is a romantic journey, but when a marriage between two people who’ve fought and overcome to choose to live a life united is the destination, that’s where the real romance is.
Save the Date: A Limited-Time Christian Romance Collection releases September 14th. This faith-filled anthology features works from several current and past Inspy Romance authors as well as other familiar names. Our focus in creating this set was to celebrate a wedding for every month of the year. When you order this set (again, it’s for a limited time so hurry!) for only 99¢, you’ll get to read twelve stories of couples preparing for marriage and all of the highs and lows involved in getting to the wedding, including my October tale Braver With You mentioned above.
For the giveaway, I’d like to offer up an eBook of the Something Borrowed collection, which opens with my novella Always Been Yours. It’s a fun collection of interconnected Christmas wedding-themed stories. Do you enjoy weddings in your romance books? How important are they to that happy-sigh feeling you get at the end? Let me know in the comments to gain entry into the giveaway. Winner will by chosen by the end of the week.