I attended a family wedding last week. As a romance writer, I find weddings particularly meaningful. After all, the happy ending I give my fictional characters is either a wedding, or the promise that the hero and heroine will work to build a life together.
This wedding was held outdoors in a beautiful historic location. Vows were said, pictures were taken, and the ceremony, a mix of the traditional and innovative, was a creative tribute to the uniqueness of both bride and groom.
As I shared in this milestone in the couple’s journey, I was reminded of how weddings are a microcosm of life, and fiction.
Things don’t always go perfectly
It took several attempts for the bride and groom to light the unity candle. Yet, by working together and supporting each other, they succeeded and celebrated with a kiss.
Like the best stories, it was real, it was human and, most of all, it was endearing.
Change and character growth
One of the first lessons a romance writer learns is that characters must grow and change through the course of the story. The hero and heroine earn their happy ending through an inner transformation in how they see themselves, and experience relationships.
In the vows this couple had written, and in the reception speeches which followed, change was a recurring theme. It was evident these two people had grown together, and each brought out the best in the other. What a firm foundation for the changes sure to come, and challenges they’ll face in their married life.
Family and friends
In addition to a celebration for the couple, weddings are also a time to mark family bonds.
The cousin who was the flower girl at my parents’ wedding, and for whom I was a bridesmaid, had travelled from the southern United States to attend this wedding. It had been eight years since I’d seen her, but across the miles which separate us, that bond remains, and grounds me in a family relationship which becomes more precious with each passing year.
In the stories I write, the wider community of family and friends is integral to the couple’s journey, and this wedding reminded me of the importance of those ties in my own life.
In life, as in books, humour can help ease tension and deepen emotion.
On this occasion, the tiny flower girl’s attempt to tie the sash of her dress to a table leg mid-ceremony, sparked laughter, and was one one of those moments which become a memory to cherish.
A promise…from this day forward
As I watched this couple exchange vows, I was inspired by their trust and love for each other, and also reminded of the emotion I saw in my Tech Guy’s eyes at our wedding.
On that long ago June day, at a country church not far from where this wedding was held, we couldn’t see ahead. We didn’t know the joys or the sorrows our happy-ever-after would bring. But we promised to be there for each other, for better or worse, from that day forward, through life’s ups and downs.
A wedding is one step on a long journey. As this couple start on their journey, I wish them joy and laughter. I wish them courage to meet life’s troubles.
But above all, I wish them to always have the same love and respect for each other which they had on their happy wedding day.
Are weddings a time of reflection for you?