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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Weddings - Do Any Romance Book Couples Actually Get Married?

We all want that "Happily-Ever-After" ending in our romance books. But, how many times do you actually read where the hero and heroine get married?

In all my romance books, the impression is that the hero and heroine are in love and will marry, but the story ends before they tie the knot. I never really thought about that until I decided to write this!

Is it better to let readers be creative and imagine "what comes next"...meaning a wedding and a joyfully blissful honeymoon? Perhaps that's why my books end before that "trip to the altar"...I want the reader to envision a wedding they want the hero and heroine to have.

In Real Life, weddings can be predictable or "different". I would create traditional wedding scenes...if I put one in a book...for my characters, because that's my vision of weddings. Nice. Normal. Beautiful dress. Tuxedos, Bridesmaids and ushers. Wedding cake. Flowers. Family. Fun. Food.

Ever watch "My Big Redneck Wedding"? I swear these people must be paid to stage these weddings. There's nothing "normal" about these weddings, and my hero and heroine would never arrange one. But, someone must like to view these weddings...they're on a cable station.

I've been to two "different" weddings...and neither would be used in my romance books if I ever decided to include that "HEA" scene.

Wedding One: A double wedding. Okay. Two couples getting married at the same time. Some traditional stuff that was nice. Then came the reception. Definitely a division of ideas. One side, more conservative. The other side, thought a pinata filled with condoms (for the kids to knock down) was appropriate. Conservative side, moderate drinking. Other side, drunks, fights... I should have taken more photos but I was too busy grabbing condoms from my kids and telling them they couldn't have the "balloons".

Three months after this wedding, the non-conservative couples separated and finally divorced.
Wedding Two:

A family member was marrying for the third time. So was his bride-to-be. The wedding would include family and friends...most from his motorcycle group. The bride was cutting corners since the budget must have been close to nothing. She made her own "dress"...and I'm being polite in calling it a dress!

The black and white wedding outfit consisted of a dress (?) that was 1. strapless, 2. low on her breasts so her tattoos showed, 3. had a cut-out in front in an inverted "V" shape from her feet to very close to her crotch. She spent the entire day pulling her dress up on top and tugging it down by her crotch. She wore a black belt and black boots.
The cake was black and white. The flower girls and bridesmaids wore black. The flowers were black. The "ceremony"/reception was held in a beer hall.

About five years later, we found out that the wedding had been a sham. The bride's divorce hadn't finalized, so rather than call off the wedding, a friend had posed as the preacher who "married" them. Their friends knew what was going on, but none of the relatives, including the groom's mother and sisters, knew anything about it.

Do you want to read wedding scenes in romance books? Do you write them in your books?

Photos: Flickr: Chealion, and Roberto Rizzato-pix-jockey-Facebook-resident's photostreams.


Amber Skyze said...

I did write one book where the couple got married. I didn't write the actual scene. I wrote an epilouge about eight months later when they were already married.

Tina Donahue said...

I've never had the wedding scene in any of my books. Seems to be so anti-climactic. Great post, Marianne.

Linda Kage said...

If there's ever a wedding scene in a book, it's usually in an epilogue, I've noticed. But yeah, romance stories seem to be about meeting and falling for each other, never about getting married, or gasp, about people who are already married to each other!

Katalina Leon said...

I've had the H&H agree to marry and briefly discuss the type of wedding they want, but I've not written a wedding as the climax of a book. That's it's own often stressful drama that deserves it's own stage.

Mary Corrales said...

My newest book coming out has a wedding at the end, the reception actually.

I don't mind a story with a wedding at the end. It's a sweet and satisfying way to end a book knowing the h/h got married.

jean hart stewart said...

Never thought about this. I guess getting my couples together is sometimes so hard I'm glad to have the big HEA. Although I've had a couple epilogues with the couple, and in one case, couples, happily married. Intriquing subject, Marianne.

Katalina Leon said...

What is wrong with me? I'm writing a romantic/paranormal WIP right now that will end with an "unconventional" wedding. I just haven't written the wedding yet! lol

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

I've written weddings into books, but rarely at the end. In one series, book 2 starts out at the wedding of the couple from book 1. In another, (maybe more?) I have the characters get married earlier in the book for some reason, but the HEA comes later. (Typical marriage-of-convenience plot.) And even if it's part of the epilogue or in the next book, my weddings always suit the characters, but are mostly traditional, though sometimes a little more casual, in the case of my westerns.

Bobbye Terry said...

I have weddings(one just before the Groom and Best man walk out and one where the bride is getting ready to walk down the aisle with the matron of honor behind) at the ends of both of an upcoming series but they stage a zinger of a one-liner/event at the end. But, then, I write with a whole lot of humor, so Id love to have those unconventional weddings in my books, though not necessarily for the MCs.


Nina Pierce said...

Like you Marianne, I always end with the intimation of a wedding. But I'm working on one now that finishes a series and there will be a wedding for the MC's and the other couples from the previous books will be there and married, probably pregnant as well ... you know how that goes. ;)

Kenzie Michaels said...

Huh...never thought about this before, but Linda's right: In the 4 books I've written in a wedding, they all take place in an epilogue!

I guess it's to tie up any loose ends, or to give a sense of closure.

Liz said...

I have a series that is Under Consideration at a Bigger Publisher that is 15-20 years of dancing around, missteps, side trips and egos in the way before the Big Day. makes it all the more sweeter I think. hopefully the big publisher will too! nice post and thank you.

Sandy said...

LOL Oh my gosh, some weddings are left to the immagination. Grin.

In The Catalyst, I had a wedding, but they were a traditional older couple, she in her 40's and he was 50. Not really old by my standards.

The other two books in the series, I didn't have a wedding, but I left no doubt to the imagination that they were going to get married.

Marianne Stephens said...

Thanks for all the wedding comments. That HEA will lead to a wedding, but we don't have to create a scene for it. I like leaving it up to readers to imagine one they'd prefer the happy couple to have!

Gina/Katherine said...

My historicals all have weddings because generally it's a shotgun wedding for one or both parties. In my contemps, 50% of the time, there's a wedding. The contemp I just finished (Book III of a series) includes two weddings (the couples from the first two books and the heroine of Book III is the wedding planner). Maybe in erotic books it's not as common? Because my books have little or no sex, but couples do get married somewhere in the story.

Penny Rader said...

I have a wedding in my Colonial America romance novel, Sapphire and Gold. It takes place about halfway through the story.

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