Jolene Navarro here. Checking in from the Texas Hill Country and a season of weddings. As a romance writer, I LOVE weddings. From the big to the small, from the simple to the lavish and everything in between. I look to see how the details (wedding to grooms cake) speaks to the personalities of the bride and groom.
The first of my sister’s children was married this fall. My nephew and his beautiful bride spoke their vows surround by the beautiful hill country on a ranch outside of Bandera Texas. The bride had lost her mother so bits and pieces from her mother’s wedding dress were incorporated into the wedding dress my aunt made for her. It was a beautiful way to honor her mother’s memory as she starts out on her new journey.
Then at the end of the year (literally) we headed indoors to witness my husband’s niece marry her Airforce man. Something about the sword ceremony is just so moving. The touch of her winter wrap was so glamorous. I don’t think I have seen so many flags at a reception.
Then in March it was back to the Hill Country for a cousin of mine. Another ranch, the Y.O. Ranch outside of Kerrville Texas. They timed it so the sun would be setting and darkness would cover us by the time the vows were said under a giant oak tree draped in lights.
It was like stepping into a Texas fairy tale – where Beauty and the Beast meet the Wild Wild West. Table setting and library included.
Outdoor weddings seem to be the thing. From the time I started thinking of my own wedding, the only thing I knew for sure is that I wanted it outdoors. Twenty-nine years ago I got my wish. We stood next to the gorgeous Frio River in Leakey Texas under the tall cypress trees in an area called Cathedral park. It was a lovely June day that will always be dear to me.
But I think one of the most romantic settings took place a few years back (they now are the parents of two of the cutest boys). Beach weddings are things of pure romance, but add a kilt? Be still my romance writing heart.
I have a cousin that was married on the beach in a kilt. It was his idea and his lovely bride went along with it of course.
So am I alone in the kilt obsession? I really hope one of my kids want a kilt in their wedding…and horses…and a great location by a river or on a beach.
So you know I must have a couple of weddings in my stories. I think one of my all-time favorite scenes I have written was in Lone Star Bride. The wedding happens in the middle of the book. The bride’s mother is dead, so a group of women from the community surrounds her and bring in the beautiful traditions of the Spanish. The older woman wrap her in love to send her on her new journey.
Sometimes I end my book with the words of love being spoken and confirmed. I have written several proposal scenes, but I went all out with the wedding in my latest release, The Texan’s Twins. The hero and heroine were secretly married in college. Now after a long road back to each other and finding their faith, I had to end it with them sharing their vows in front of her family and the whole community.
Excerpt from The Texan’s Twins:
Reid stood on the top step of the restored ranch house. It was finally happening. The old pecan tree shades the guest sitting in the front yard. The sun was shining, and the air was crisp. A perfect February day in Texas.
Hanging from the tree, long yellow-and-white ribbons danced in the wind with tiny paper hearts tied to the ends. Large white spheres that radiated with light were scattered among the hearts and lines the porch.
They were all waiting. Over three hundred people stared at him, but he didn’t notice.
Pastor Levi leaned over. “You need to breathe. You don’t want to steal her moment by passing out. I’ve seen it happen.”
As best man, Adrian was on his left. “They aren’t even late yet. So relax. I guarantee you, they aren’t letting you get away this time.”
On the lower step, Bobby and Philip chuckled. Reid pulled at his coal. He had never worn a tie in his life.
Derrick, one of the teens from the church, sat on the far end of the porch and strummed on a guitar. Then the music changed. Lifting his head, Reid stopped breathing.
What’s your favorite wedding memory? Is it yours or someone else wedding?
Do you look for more than just I love you at the end of a story? Is popping the question a good place to end, or the wedding. Maybe forward to the birth of a child? What makes the best happy ending for you?