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Wednesday, June 5, 2019


 A Forest Wedding

Nothing like the familiar June bride, right? Weddings can mean so many different things in a story and they don’t always take place in the traditional month of June.

There are the weddings that are for the good of merging alliances between kingdoms, political stratagems, or mutual financial gains or conquests that includes families hoping to retain their wealth. You might recall Queen Elizabeth the first who considered marrying a Spanish noble to align England with Spain. Nothing like bringing your enemy into your marriage bed. Who knew that wouldn’t work out?

 Elizabeth I and her true love, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester (among many of the movie versions)
Juan Pantoja de la Cruz of Spain

Of course, sometimes this kind of marriage can elevate the positive attitude and inclusiveness to the general population of a country, or even two countries. I can’t help but think of the recent marriage of American actress, Meghan Markle to England’s much beloved Prince Harry.

Meghan and Prince Harry, now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex

There are marriages of desperation like shotgun weddings when a lady’s reputation is at stake. Perhaps marriage is the only way to save someone’s life or remove them from a bad situation. There are also those desperate weddings in which either the man or the woman will marry just about anyone rather than be alone…a situation that can turn out warm and wonderful, or absolutely suck every ounce of joy from someone’s life. Many romance writers have written about mail order brides which we all love. Maybe some correspondence took place between the couple before the wedding took place, but essentially, it’s the marriage of two strangers. I imagine that online dating in this modern age is somewhat like those mail order brides marriages, and probably just as risky. Maybe they’ll actually fall in love, or maybe someone is a serial killer or a person looking for a housekeeper and babysitter. 

The OUTLANDER Series by Diana Gabaldon 
(now a TV series playing on Netflix)

My favorite desperate marriage takes place between Claire Beechum Randal and Jamie Frazier in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Lest we forget, Claire had married before in the wake of World War II and it was also a kind of a desperate marriage based on the thought, “In case one of us dies on the battlefield” sort of thing. 
I did write one of these war romances for a World War I story in FOR LOVE OF BANJO.

There are arranged marriages sometimes contracted at the birth of the future couple to forge relations between families or countries, or to keep finances within a small established group. In some countries arranged marriages are done because parents think they know best who their son or daughter should marry because marrying for love is perhaps just a foolish thing to do. The subcontinent of India still maintains the tradition of arranged marriages.

A Lovely Las Vegas Chapel Wedding

There are accidental marriages or marriages done on whimsy or too much alcohol. Hello Las Vegas! Sometimes couples meet in an exciting place or on vacation and the excitement or intoxication over rules reason. This misstep can lead to disaster or ultimately find its way into a blissful lifetime of happiness. It truly is a roll of the dice. I did write an accidental marriage once, a time travel romance, HARMONICA JOE’S RELUCTANT BRIDE, in which Lola accidentally falls back in time into a saloon in the middle of a marriage ceremony to Joe Wilding.

Naturally we all love those couples who have found love and finally get to that highly anticipated marriage that seals their love for good. I’m the sentimental sort, so I like these marriages. I’ve written several of these and always enjoy making the wedding arrangements for the couple in diverse venues from barns to open meadows to big cathedrals. Such fun! But even these long anticipated marriages can get off on the wrong foot like my Wilding romance between Kit and June in IT'S ONLY MAKE BELIEVE.

What is you favorite kind of wedding story? Are you a fan of mail order bride romances? Or what about a City Hall wedding if the couple needed to tie that knot today? Do you like to anticipate a marriage and savor every step of a courtship until it leads, finally, to that wedding finale?

What is your favorite kind of marriage in which to write? Have you ever started a romance novel with the wedding? If you have, I’d like to hear about that.

Diverse stories filled with heart


  1. Sarah, I love marriages that might be "forced" due to circumstances but you just know that everything is going to work out for them. To me, if everything is smooth from the beginning there's really no "story" to tell. So there has to be some conflict, and I don't like couples that fight constantly--so there has to be some kind of outside force that they are fighting together.

    One of my favorites of my own stories was The Half-Breed's Woman because though he was a marshal who was bringing a supposed runaway back to her (ewwww) stepfather, there were a couple of times he had to say they were married to protect her--and of course he thought she'd be cringing to think that people believed she was married to someone who was part Indian. But she was already falling in love with him and so you knew all was going to be well, if he could only realize he WAS the marrying type after all! LOL

    I loved Jamie and Claire in Outlander, too--at least in the earlier books.

    There are so many great scenarios for marriage/weddings, aren't there? That's why we love romance so much! LOL

    I really enjoyed your blog!

  2. Cheryl, a happy ending is the promise every romance writer makes to their readers. You have so successfully done that in every story you have written even when the end looks pretty dang grim...and of course, that's the exciting ride I love.
    I read every single Outlander book. By the time I got to the Fiery Cross, it had lost some of its former appeal. I really didn't like it that she wore Frank's ring all that time. He seemed kind of distant and emotionally removed to me.

    I love marriages that seem doomed because they are brought about by some agreement or situation that has nothing to do with love. I so enjoy reading how they slowly begin to care for one another and then find themselves truly in love. Sigh...

    I don't like a lot of arguing either, but I do love banter and matching of wits. I don't like wimpy heroines, but I loath the kind that are control freaks (unless that's the flaw that she is trying to change). I like a hero that allows her the freedom to do things even when he knows it will not turn out well, but never leaves her; he just goes to keep her safe.

    Thank you so much for commenting on my blog and I'm so glad you enjoyed reading it.

  3. Sarah, I too love weddings, whether in real life or in a book. I love including them in my writing and I especially enjoy mail order brides. Two people worlds apart in their upbringing, outlooks, and any backgrounds that may or may not influence them, yet the two finally fall in love--oh my! So I thoroughly enjoy the ones that have a cloud of some kind hanging over their heads, while they continue to fall in love--against all odds. I'm presently working on one (dear heaven's I'm almost to the end), where she makes a deal with him and saves him from hanging (can't tell any more or I'd give it away). I've so enjoyed all your stories with just enough push and pull and differences that add such flavor to the stories and eventually love heals and happiness finds all. I agree with you that too much arguing is tiring while I do enjoy the bantering, etc.. Thanks for another great blog.

    1. Beverly, I do like the unique situation with marriages of desperation. Both sides have a problem that needs fixin' and I love it when they work together to fix the problems together.
      Do you have a title for your WIP?
      Thank you so much for your positive comments about my work. It's so important to me to have a good story to tell and to tell it well. I'm constantly working to improve so your kind words mean a lot to me.

    2. Yes, The Deaconess Hires A Gunman. That is if it stays at that. Since I first titled it, I've added a few more, but still go back to the original. I'll see what Cheryl thinks if I ever finish it.

    3. Beverly, I like that title. It's those seemingly mismatched couples that turn out to be the best. Oh, I think you'll get it finished. Cheryl is a great help when it comes to those kinds of decisions. So get crackin' on it.

  4. Who doesn't love a wedding, but the idea that the wedding is just the beginning, and not the end, adds an extra frisson. Add to that the idea that they are from opposing sides of a conflict gives some wonderful barriers to overcome. Wonderful examples given here.

  5. C.A. I have written the wedding first and then the trouble. In Harmonica Joe's Reluctant Bride, Harmonica Joe and Lola were married right at the beginning by accident, but then they spent the beginnings of that weird marriage trying to establish trust and figure each other out.

    In the book It's Only Make Believe, the wedding has just occurred at the opening of the story, but June who has much in the way of childhood trauma and low self-esteem, overhears a conversation that sucks out her new found joy with Kit Wilding who has his own problems with PTSD after WWII. They end up finding more solid ground and resolutions. So you're so right about marriage just being the beginning.
    I have written a few stories that don't end on a proposal, but ya know one is coming.

    What would we have worth writing if there were no barriers or problems to resolve?--some snore stories for certain.

    Thank you so much for coming and commenting on my blog, C.A. All the best to you...

  6. Good blog, Sarah! Like you, I'm a romantic. I go for the falling in love before the wedding. But you've piqued my interest. Maybe I'll try another kind of marriage. Thanks!

    1. Tracy, I am a fan of your work. I'd love to see what you would do with a romance after marriage story.
      Thank you so much for dropping in and commenting.