Monday, June 23, 2008

Happily Ever After

by Donna MacMeans

There's a scene in Shrek 3 where Prince Charming stumbles in a bar of fairy tale villians and rallys them to rebell with the battle cry "Everyone deserves a happily ever after!"

When writing romance, we try to do just that - give the deserving characters a proper happily ever after. In fairy tales and romance, this traditionally translates into matrimonial bliss. In real life we know these two concepts marriage + bliss do not necessarily go together. Then again, sometimes they do.

I thought it might be appropriate on this day in June to recognize a few banditas who found a way to make their own happily ever afters a reality. Now a disclaimer - these are not all the happily married banditas - just the ones brave enough to send me a photo.

Okay, so this isn't a bandita. I thought I'd share a little background on June weddings. As Joanie could tell us, this is the Roman goddess, Juno, who coincidentally is also the goddess of marriage. Thus, it was thought that getting married in the month of June was considered lucky.

As you can see from the photo of her statue, Juno was armed and wore a goatskin cloak, which was the favored garment of Roman soldiers on campaign. Perhaps the Romans were trying to tell us marriage is war.

However as a veteran of 35 years of wedded bliss, I've found the weapons are best left checked at the door - at least, at our house.

This is me. Check out the hat. I never was a white veil kind of woman, and the long blond hair. I'm afraid it's a lot shorter now. My husband had long hair as well in the fashion of the 70s, that's gone as well.

Let's see if you can figure out these others.

I've been assured that this is not Colin Firth, but -- I don't know. I see a resemblance.

Here's another Bandita with a husband on one knee. I'm not sure if my husband got down on one knee these days, he'd be able to get up again without help. Those were the days!

I think this photo could easily be on the cover of a romance novel. Can you tell who this lovely bandita is? Shame we can't see her shoes. That would be a definite clue.

Here's another on the right. I must compliment you ladies on managing to get your husbands to wear a black tuxedo and not blue. When all is said and done though, the color of the tuxedo has little impact on the lasting nature of a successful marriage.

Anna Sugden provided the next photos as testament that happily ever afters do exist. These are her in-laws, both on their wedding day and on their 60th wedding anniversary.

Times have changed, but the love still grows.

So tell me about your happily ever after, or favorite wedding story. I have a copy of The Trouble with Moonlight for a poster.

Oh and one last photo, of two people who hadn't a clue about what life would hold, but figured they could face anything as long as they faced it together.

Yup, my name is Donna and I write ROMANCE.


jo robertson said...

Ah, Donna, what a sweet, darling post! You gotta love the June weddings. You and your husband look so very young. Did you ever imagine 35 years would go by so fast?


jo robertson said...

By George, I think I captured the Golden Rooster! How'd that happen? Well, I'll keep him safe, take him to Curves with me even though they don't allow the male sex there. Mayhap, I'll dress him in a pink workout outfit!

Jane said...

Hi Donna,
You guys looked so cute. I especially like the ruffled shirt your husband was wearing. Does he still have it? Not married, so I don't have a story to tell. I do believe in happily ever afters, but I also know that it's not so easily achieved.

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Jo.

Donna MacMeans said...

Hey Jo - Congrats! So you're planning on taking the rooster to the hen house *g*. He'll enjoy that!

Oh man - we were young. We were younger when we got married than my adult children who still live at home.

Time flies - whether you want it to or not.

flchen1 said...

Donna, that was a very lovely post! And what a hat! :)

We're almost to 11 years, but some days are happier than others ;) I wouldn't trade DH for the world though, and am SO blessed that he chose me! (And vice versa, of course!) Our big point of contention is clutter, but thankfully he's a pretty patient man :)

Jo, congrats on the GR!

Donna MacMeans said...

Jane - Heavens no - he rented the entire outfit. Guys can do that. Do they let women rent their wedding dresses these days? Sure would make economic sense.

I still have my dress boxed up in the basement, red jello stain and all *g*. Not sure what will ever become of it.

Jane - you don't have to be married to have a wedding story to tell *g*. Any wedding-gone-wrong stories?

Donna MacMeans said...

fichen1 - LOL you should bring him here to see what 35 years of clutter looks like. I've come to accept it's part of my lifestyle - love me, love my clutter *g*. No wonder I write Victorians!

Congrats on the 11 years! Shame we can't post photos in the comments. Sounds like you're well on your way to a HEA.

Annie West said...

Donna, great pics. I recognise at least one other bandita.

Best of all I love the ending of your post. Romance is all about affirmation and it's nice to say it out loud.

(who's still happily married - to the same guy!)

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Donna, what a gorgeous post! And don't those Banditas scrub up well! Who'd have thought those margarita-slathered faces could be so gorgeous underneath all the alcohol? Only joking, gals!

Married girls, is there something you wish you'd known then that you know now?

By the way, Jo, congrats on the rooster. But I don't think he's going to be a happy little chooky if you get him dolled up in all those girly bits and pieces! He'll never hold his head high in the henhouse again!

Christine Wells said...

Hi Donna! You two look so happy!! Isn't that what you want to see in wedding photos?

I remember being so nervous on the way to the church I held my father's hand. It was winter and cold and my father's hands are always warm. He told me all the wedding jokes he'd found on the internet when preparing for his speech to keep my mind off my terror. Once the deed was done, I was fine.

Anna wrote: Married girls, is there something you wish you'd known then that you know now?

Hmm, I wish I'd known how much training husbands need;)

kimmyl said...

Congrats Jo on the GR.
I remember being very nervous. My husband didn't know how to cut the cake. He started at the top tier and worked his way down to the bottom one. I tried to stop him and said what are you doing? He just kept going - the more I tried to move the knife away the more determined he got to cut up the whole cake! We laughed about it and he said I didn't know.

Trish Milburn said...

Fun post, Donna. And Anna, I went "awww" at the photos of your in-laws.

I've been married 15 years, and I still think he's the sweetest guy on the planet. :)

I still have my dress too, preserved and boxed up.

Helen said...

Well done Jo

Great post and pics Donna. I love weddings as most of you know I was married on 2nd April 1977 my 20th birthday and still very happy although times have been tough here and there during the 31 years I wouldn't trade him and he always tells me I am perfect LOL why would I trade someone who thinks I am perfect.
I still have my wedding dress and mine has coffee stains down the front after I had to serve him his first cup of coffee as his wife at the reception and I was laughing so much I spilt coffee all down the front of the dress he hired his suit brown pin stipe with a ruffled shirt front my father couldn't understand why we chose pin stipes because he got married in a pin stripe suit only blue in 1952.
I loved my wedding day and the photos turned out great considering I don't look good in photos normally.
Something I wish I had known way back then yes the old saying about leaving the lid of the toothpaste it took me a long time to train him to put it on after he used it LOL.

Have Fun

Tawny said...

Awwwwwwwwwww I love the pictures :-) What a wonderful post and a great ode to weddings. I'm all misty eyed and nostalgic now!

Lesseee I can tell one bandita right off the bat, mostly because I'm totally in love with her sweetheart of a husband! (I've got a soft spot for one of the other one's too, I suppose)

Donna, I love your hat! I did the hat thing with my dress, too. Like you and Trish, my dress is preserved and put away in the hopes that someday, one of my girls will wear it - or their girls.

Jo, congrats on the GR :-) hope he's comfy in that pink workout outfit!!

Maureen said...

Congratulations Donna on your 35 years together and to all the other Banditas. My husband and I have been married twenty years and next year we'll be celebrating my parent's fiftieth anniversary.

Tawny said...

Married girls, is there something you wish you'd known then that you know now?

Oooh, good question Anna. I guess I wish I'd known then that I didn't know a damned thing LOL. I think if I could have one wish, it'd be to have known enough to stop and savor every second. Time flies so fast and it seems like just yesterday we were taking vows.

Christine, LOL that your dad was so great to tell you jokes :-) Thats a wonderful dad!

Mine rocks. When I was about 10, one of my cousins was getting married and my uncle teased me that I'd be lucky to get my dad out of cutoffs when I got married (he was a bit of a hippy). Daddy's girl that I am, I insisted that not only would MY daddy wear a tux, but he'd wear a top hat too. My uncle bet me $50. When my dad came into town for the wedding, he had his tux and his top hat with him :-)

Natalie Hatch said...

I think I've mentioned this somewhere before.
I met my husband on a Tuesday after I'd driven eight hours to get a haircut from his sister in law, she was my hairdresser and had just flown back into the country and was staying with him. We spent a week chatting etc. I went home on the Sunday, on the Tuesday afternoon he rang me up, told me to pick him up from the aeroport, he had quit his job and flew up to propose to me. We were married eight weeks later. My mum tried to get me to go fishing instead of going to the ceremony, but I went and well, ten years later we are best friends and he's truly a wonderful husband (he just went out to find me a caramel sunday in the cold winter night air.... my type of hero plies me with sugar!!!)

PJ said...

What a great post, Donna. Congratulations on 35 years! I've been to a 50th and a 60th wedding anniversary celebration in the past year. At the 60th especially, it was so heartwarming to see the bride and groom completely captivated by one another after all those years.

Gotta love those fashions! lol
I have a prom picture of my brother that looks very similar to your husband, Donna. He wore a purple crushed velvet tux that nicely complemented his long, curly red hair. Defininately the 70's! lol!

Buffie said...

Wonderful post Donna! I loved looking at those pictures.

Let's see, the dh and I married on a warm sunny August day. This August will be 18 years for us. I am the type of person who gets nervous easily, and when I get nervous I get nauseous. Yep that's me. First day of school, first day at work, I got sick. So everyone in the family naturally assumed that would happen on my wedding day. My sister, who did all the flowers, told me should put a barf bag in my arrangement. She didn't though :) And on that day I was perfectly happy and not nervous in any way. My dad was so shocked!

My favorite memory from that wedding weekend was after the rehearsal the soon-to-be dh and I were back at my parents house out in the street under the light of one of the street lights practicing our dancing. It was very romantic to be doing that the night before we pledged our lives together.

Carol said...

Gosh Jo, I think the GR will be a hit at Curves...but I think a black outfit might be better, hey and throw on a black cape too! You could tell all the ladies he's a minature superhero!

I've (we've)been hitched 36 Yrs - 37 in October - it was on the 16th - Caulfield Cup Day ( a famous Aus horse race) and since then I always consider 16 as a lucky number for me.
We have both grown equally sceptical and a trifle cynical about stuff as the years have gone by, luckily I suppose that we continue to think alike, I was really lucky to get a guy who doesn't have a male chauvinist cell in his body... we wash the dishes every night, I wash, he dries (no dishwasher by choice) and talk about the stuff we've gotten sceptical about as well as how great it is to be still kicking along and not dead yet! (lol)
Here in Aus you can hire a Dress if you want to!

My best tip... I ran over the air filter on the mower and was never asked to mow the grass ever again...Cool! (*g- didn't mean to do it -but iy worked out ok!)
Cheers Carol

Joan said...

Ahhh Jo...

You and the Golden Rooster. A Happily Ever After...for one day at least, LOL

Great post, Donna. As Dorothy would say in the Wizard of Oz "I believe, I believe, I believe" in HEA.

While I have yet to find mind I've stood witness to many others. My own parents were married 36 years and we made a big deal of their 25th Silver Anniversary. I was into cake decorating then and made a small tiered cake. We attended a special Archdiosease Mass for couples celebrating landmark anniversarys, It was nice.

As to the other Banditas...would it be....TAWNY AND BETH???? Huh? Would it? Huh?

And red jello on your wedding dress. Hmmmmm....Did you serve jello at your reception or did it..maybe...occur on your honeymoon???


Donna MacMeans said...

THanks Annie -

I'm guessing I know which bandita you recognize. Any guesses on the others?

I must credit Jenny Crusie for my affirmation. I think I even went to a workshop where she had everyone stand up and say the words "I write romance" out loud *g*

Donna MacMeans said...

Hmmm...things I wish I would have known...

We married pretty young and lived paycheck to paycheck which meant it was hard to look beyond the next month. I wish I would have recognized earlier the importance of making sacrifices to help the other partner achieve their dreams. Both my husband and I received our college degrees after we got married. My husband went back and earned his Masters as well.

I think that mutual support helped as well when I decided to seriously pursue writing.

I think the other lesson was the discovery of the need for "date night" especially when the kids are little. Date weekends are even better (very big grin).

Donna MacMeans said...

Christine - LOL - My father told me on the eve of my wedding that he expected I'd be divorced in three years. He thought I was too young and he didn't know my then dh all that well. ( We lived at opposite ends of the state and only saw each other on the periodic weekend).

I think it's great that your Dad approved your marriage and even told jokes to help you relax.

Donna MacMeans said...

Kimmyl - LOL on the cake. THose must be have been humongous pieces!

I remember we kept that top layer in the freezer of our tiny fridge until our first anniversary. After inconviencing us for a year, that cake tasted AWFUL! (Can you say freezer burn *g*) He saved you from that experience.

Any guess as to the bandita identities?

Donna MacMeans said...

Trish - You know when you've got a good one (smile), any advice ala Ms. Campbell?

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Helen -

I asked my husband before we got married if there was anything that would drive him nuts. I figured if I knew ahead of time I could avoid his hot spots. I don't remember everything, but I remember he said he didn't like clutter. He liked clean tabletops.

I told him we were going to have a problem *g*.

I recently rediscovered the wedding photos when I was hunting for my high school pics a year ago. It's fun to look back.

Donna MacMeans said...

Tawny - I thought my daughter would be interested in wearing mine, but we are two totally different shapes. My dress wouldn't work for her...and then there's the problem of the red jello stain *g*.

CrystalGB said...

Great post. Wonderful photos. Congratulations on 35 years of marriage.
My husband and I got married in August 5 years ago. My parents have been married 57 years.

Eva S said...

Thanks Donna for the great post and the wonderful pictures of you and your husband (and Anna, Tawny and Christine as well) and congratulations on the 35 years!I married in 1980 and when I look at our pictures we look rather funny, not cute...But my husband is much more handsome nowadays...

I don't remember much from our wedding, was rather nervous, and since I'm 35 cm shorter than my husband I had new shoes with high heels and my only thought was to walk safetly...
We renewed our vows after 20 years and had the same place, time and priest. And he had found our speech! With smaller changes, it was very romantic to do it in front of our daughters.

Claudia Dain said...

I believe, too!

I bought the first wedding dress I tried on and after the wedding saved it in a garbage bag because every woman I knew said you were supposed to save your wedding dress. I threw it out 10 years ago. Enough of peer pressure! LOL My daughter can have the fun of finding her own dress.

I've been blissfully married for 28 years.

terrio said...

I have to be honest, these kinds of blogs depressed the tar out of me. Not that it's not a gorgeous blog and doesn't strum at the heart strings of this hopeless romantic, but it reminds me I don't have a HEA. So, I'll say congrats to all of you who do and then hide for the rest of the day. *g*

p226 said...

My HEA is probably book-worthy. Maybe one day I'll write about it. Here's the down and dirty.

1. Love at first fright. (you can read about it here:

2. After dating for about two months, boy gets shipped off to far away sandy environment to do bad things to people who got a little aggressive with tanks and AK47s.

3. Boy returns, astonished to find girl still faithfully waiting for him.

4. Boy and girl are in horrific car crash. Girl's face is mangled by windshield. Turned into hamburger. Girl thinks she's hideous. Girl is wrong. Boy takes four years convincing her of this while scars become unnoticeable to those who aren't looking for them. Boy somehow convinces wrong and stunningly beautiful girl to marry him.

5. Boy and girl get married in small ceremony in country church.

6. Boy and girl wind up working for ... people we can't talk about, in places we can't talk about, doing things we mostly can't talk about.

7. Work (from #6) nearly tears boy and girl apart. Kid is born.

8. Boy, girl and son return to land of their youth, and work hard on HEA. (Doing a great job of it, too)

jo robertson said...

Hehehehehe, Anna, we'll have to send the rooster to P226 for some deprogramming.

Donna, forgot to say how incredibly attractive you guys are in your wedding pic.

Dr. Big and I have been together 42years; of course, I was only 13 when I married him. Sometimes I think it's best if you're young and dumb when you marry. That way you can sort of grow together.

Great post, Donna!

jo robertson said...

Ah p226, your gruff cover cannot hide the sweet tenderness of your love story. That's beautiful. I think you guys are some of the very lucky ones!

Anna Sugden said...

Fabulous blog, Donna. Love the pics - yours is amazing.

Tawny - I was going to say the same thing about a different photo and husband!

Congrats, Jo on the GR.

Terrio - funnily enough the lesson I learned was that HEA's do exist. I had to go through one bad marriage to get to the perfect one. I'm sure yours will come too.

My in-laws are real proof that these HEA's come true - they still giggle together and love being together. They know each other's faults and foibles, but they adore each other.

I wish that kind of happiness for everyone.

Esri Rose said...

I love weddings! Angel Joe and I have already renewed our vows once, and are thinking about doing it again this September, in conjunction with a big birthday bash for me. The clothes, the flowers, the CAKE -- what could be better? What do I wish I'd known then that I know now? Most people aren't grown up at 20. If I had it to do over, I'd wait to get married until I was 25, and then I'd have only one husband under my belt instead of two. :D

That one picture really would make a nice romance cover. Who is that?

Donna: You can absolutely rent a wedding dress these days. That's what I did for our vow renewal. Also, don't miss out on straight-from-China dresses on eBay. I think I'm going to get one made up in red.

Buffie, I love your dancing in the street story. :)

Cheri2628 said...

I loved looking at the pictures! I hope that you ID all the Banditas later.

P226, that was a wonderful story. I wish you many more years of your HEA ending.

Terrio, I am sorry that you didn't have your HEA ending. Hang in there because a new romance might be just around the corner.

My husband and I celebrated 31 years last week. It's mainly been a very happy marriage, but with the expected bumps in the road now and then.

Donna MacMeans said...

Maureen - 20 years - congratulations! Suunds like you'll be following in your parent's footsteps.

I think both my husband and I had good role models in our parent's marriages, but neither of them made it to 50 years because on health problems with one of the parties. So celebrate and savor the moment with your parents and their accomplishment.

Donna MacMeans said...

Natalie - What a neat story. Truly love at first sight. Have to say that's the way it was with me as well. We met in a bar on the dancefloor. I still have The Dancing Queen as my ringtone.

How's the teething going? I'd say from your photo, your husband plied you with more than sugar *g*

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi PJ - I have a photo of my husband at his prom in a tux with paisley pants! At least he didn't rent those for the wedding.

Sounds like you're a good person to know to get those wedding longevity vibes. I have a theory that it's the couples that have learned to laugh easily and often that stay together the longest.

Donna MacMeans said...

Buffie - That is so funny about the nauseous thing. Has it continued even after you were married?

See that you didn't get nervous is a sign that this marriage was a keeper.

Love the image of you and your dh-to-be dancing in the light from a streetlamp. Truly a sigh worthy moment (it may show up in a romance one of these days *g*)

Donna MacMeans said...

Carol - LOL - That reminds me of an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond. Raymond counsels his brother to screw up the wedding invitations so his fiancee won't ask him to do anything else regarding the wedding. Do you have that show your way?

Congrats on the 36 years. I'm not sure we've gotten cynical over the years, but we're definitely in sync so much that we think alike. My kids look at me and say - Dad already told me - before I get to ask a question.

Donna MacMeans said...

Joan - you got one out of two correct. (hehehe)

Your white knight is out there, I know it. Anyone who believes in romance as strongly as you is bound to find the one man who recognizes the treasure he's found in you.

The red jello was from the reception. We had a low budget, do-it-yourself, kind of wedding, so lots of homemade goodies at the reception including the obligatory jello mold. The people standing behind me in my wedding photo are my sister (short blonde hair) and my husband's sister (long brown hair). They were the bridesmaids and we made their skirts, cumberbunds, & hair pieces. We bought the blouses. Yep - a homemade affair, but a lasting one.

Donna MacMeans said...

crystalgb - sounds like you've got great role models as well.

Five years is worthy of celebration, congratulations! Keep that romance flowing!

One thing my husband and I started about our 25th anniversary so to mark each five years with an extra special trip to celebrate. I wish we had started that back at our five year mark. We wouldn't have been able to afford much then, but the memories are worth the added expense. Hope you two do something to make your anniversary especially memorable.

Donna MacMeans said...

Congratulations Eva - you named them all correctly! Doesn't Tawny look marvelous in that dress? I can see the Colin FIrth in Anna's husband, can you?

It's downright unfair that men get more handsome as they age - at least they get more distinguished looking. While mature women just look mature. Why is that? My aerobics instructor says that men don't get as many facial wrinkles because they exercise their facial muscles every time they contort their face to shave. We should do the same.

So everyone - do it with me. Squish your mouth to the right, now the left. Tilt your head and stretch your jaw. Stretch your top lip over your teeth. Now don't you feel younger? *g*

Donna MacMeans said...

Claudia - Congratulations on 28 blissful years!

Now see, even though I don't expect my daughter to even consider wearing my wedding dress, I'd have a hard time throwing it out. You're a stronger woman than I.

I've heard there's a woman in Iowa, maybe, that makes teddy bears and dresses them in clothing you send along. I wonder if I sent my wedding dress if she could use it to dress the bear. I just hate to throw it out when there's so much useable fabric.

I know, I'm cheap. What can I say?

Donna MacMeans said...

Terrio -

No need to hide!! Your HEA is coming. It just takes different time for different people. Sometimes it takes a practice husband, so you recognize the right one when he comes along. You've got your hands full at the moment preparing for the future ahead. While you're taking charge of your own HEA, someone will notice and want to share it with you. You'll see.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Jo! Congrats on the GR today.

Lovely post, Donna! Love the pics and blue tux! hehehe. Haven't seen those since my brother's first prom date.

We celebrated our 27th anniversary back in March. Clueless doesn't begin to cover it. But we come from a long line of people who tough it out for that long-running HEA. My grandparents were married for 65 years, my parents will celebrate 58 this Christmas. My husband's parents were married for 39 years before my FIL passed away.

Donna MacMeans said...

P226 - That truly is book worthy, you bring tears to my eyes. I'm so glad things worked out. I know firsthand that you are indeed living your HEA. It shows in your face and words when you mention your wife and child.

You're a good man, Charlie Brown. Thanks for reminding us that men cherish the HEA just as much as women.

Joan said...

p226, I swear your attempt to simplify information cuts to the core faster than any other prose can do.


If YOU don't want to write the romantic suspense (reference work you can't talk about) give the outline to Cassondra or Jeanne....they'd do a bang up job. I'd do it myself but then you'd have to be in a tunic and you'd be fighting Germanic tribes.

"To the Heart" Yeah, that's a good title.

Donna MacMeans said...

Jo - LOL Well, we were young and dumb when we married, and anxious to live together in the same city for once. You're right, we did a lot of growing up together.

42 years deserves a mega congratulations! That Dr. Big sure can pick a winner!

Donna MacMeans said...

Anna - LOL - I wouldn't say my photo is amazing, but thank you.

You're another whose face lights up when you speak of your husband. He's a keeper.

BTW, the little girl in my photo is my littlest sister - she was our flower girl. She walked down the entire aisle of the church with the front of her dress caught in her flower basket, giving the congregation a nice look at her white tights *g*.

Joan said...'s not Beth? Someone mentioned Christine....

Hmmmm....well it's hard to tell from the glow of joy on all your alls faces..

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Esri - That romance coveresque photo is Tawny and her wonderful husband. I'm not sure why, but when I see that photo, it reminds me of Christine's cover for The Dangerous Duke, why is that?

Perhaps the wedding photo is just a foreshadowing that Tawny's marriage will be the stuff of romance novels *g*.

Good thing to know about renting a wedding dress. I actually tried mine on about ten years ago. It didn't fit, I didn't expect it to -but I was surprised to discover that I was ever that...perky. *g*
Definitely need to recycle that gown.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Congrats on the GR, Jo-Mama!

Nice post and adorable piccies, Donna! I definitely see the resemblance between VA's dh and Colin Firth. What a cutie.

Fo asked if we wish we'd known something then and this is esp. for YOU, Terrio: I wish I'd known (but I was all of 19 so I didn't know squat) that you don't NEED someone else to complete you. It's nice when you FIND someone, but you can be happy and fulfilled ALL ON YOUR OWN!


Donna MacMeans said...

Cheri2628 - Congrats on the 31 years!

The banditas in the photo, besides myself, are Anna Sugden, Tawny Weber and Christine Wells.

There are always bumps. The path to a true HEA is never smooth. But it sounds like you're managing quite well.

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Suz - Congrats on the 27th! I hear you about being clueless (she raises her hand), but I can tell you've got the grit and the history to tough it out no matter what life throws at you.

Actually, that's how the fairy tales should end - "And they both lived happily and toughed it out to the bitter end."

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donna MacMeans said...

That's the glow of stupidity, Joan.

Reality isn't half that shiny. *g*

Joan said...

That's the glow of stupidity, Joan.

Reality isn't half that shiny. *g*

LOL, Donna. Don't go and burst my bubble.

Bubbles? Yessssss...Demetrius tonight I'd like the jasmine scent...


Donna MacMeans said...

Sage advice, AC.

I'm not a big believer in that "you complete me" crap. I think we complete ourselves and share the experience and results with another. But if that "other" isn't around just yet that doesn't meet the process is less satisfying.

Cassondra said...

I loved seeing all these wedding pictures. You all looked so beautiful!

In two days I will have been married for 20 years.

That's kinda scary.

We joke that it's 20 for him, 20 for me--that's 40 YEARS! ;0)

Time does indeed fly, as Donna and others have said--whether you want it to or not.

p226 said...

Hey, congrats to both of you in advance!

Cassondra said...


Nancy said...

Donna, what a great post! Your pictures are wonderful. As for the blue tux, it was definitely a 70s thing. The two of you look very cute, regardless, and over-the-moon happy as well.

Jo, congratulations on the rooster!

p226, thanks so much for sharing this story. It was truly touching. I think you make a good point, too. As so many of our posters did. HEA takes ongoing work and attention. I second what Joan said to you.

Donna, I don't even HAVE a daughter but am holding onto my cleaned and vacuum-packed dress. I almost went with a hat but didn't trust myself not to knock is askew greeting people.

I hope I haven't missed anyone, but here's my count of upcoming anniversaries in the comments:

Donna, 35
Fedora, 11 (almost)
Trish, 15
Helen, 31
Maureen, 20
Natalie, 10
Buffie, 18 (almost)
Eva, 28
Carol, 36
Claudia, 28
Cheri, 31
Jo, 42
Crystal, 5
Suz, 27
Cassondra, 20

Congratulations, all!

Terrio, and Joan, and everyone else who hasn't had HEA--it's out there somewhere. Almost everyone I knew in college (and from birth, for that matter) got married before I did. As my parents, were, the dh and I are among the older parents at PTA. No one cares. On our honeymoon, we shared the van into San Francisco from the airport with a couple at least 10 years older than we were who could have been the dictionary illustration for "starry-eyed." It was their honeymoon, too.

A friend of mine got married 3 years ago for the first time (he was 53). And he has definitely found HEA. A friend who was recently widowed has met a wonderful man and is giddy with happiness at age 60+. You just never know. I'm rooting for you.

limecello said...

Those are some beautiful photos, and I love that post. The happily ever after is a must for me in each and every book - I need closure. {I've also noticed a lot of books now don't take that final step. Sad.)

Donna MacMeans said...

Cassondra - Has it really been 20 years? I thought you two were less than that. Must be that you still have a bit of that starry-eyed wonder about you as well.

Donna MacMeans said...

Nancy - Thanks for doing the list. But...why aren't you on it?
Just goes to show that romance readers know romance in real life as well as fiction.

To add to your list of those finding HEA later in life. My father died too soon at the age of 65. My mom thought her life was over and for a long time just sat around waiting to die. Eventually, she returned to her social functions and got active again. About eight years later she fell in love a second time - bell-ringing, giddy, can't stop smiling kind of love. She married a second time. Unfortunately, her new husband died a year later, but they had a fabulous year together.

You just never know when your HEA will strike and strike again (and again).

Donna MacMeans said...

Limecello - I agree. A good, solid reassurance that a HEA is ongoing for the hero/heroine completes the book for me.

I'm speaking in Ashland KY, this weekend about plotting this weekend and I'm including your comment. A HEA is a must.

Santa said...

Great blog! I love weddings and know that HEAs are out there. As a friend of mine says: Every pot has a cover. I've been with my 'cover' for 26 years (22 of them married) and though we drive each other bonkers the way no one else in the world can I love him to the very depths of his soul.

Ellen said...

June may be the best month for weddings--my parents were married for 50 years and they were married in June. It might have lasted a lot longer if my father had not passed away.

Donna MacMeans said...

Santa - sounds like you've found yours *g*. 26 years is nothing to sneeze at. Congratulations!

Ellen - Sounds like there's something to seeking Juno's blessing by being married in June. I'm a November bride myself, but I see weddings in process every weekend in June.

Cheri2628 said...

Limecello, I agree with you that a HEA ending is a must for me in books and movies, as well as real life. I am just not satisfied if a book or movie does not end well. Some really good movies and books have been ruined for me just by the way they ended. If I want to be depressed, I can turn on the news. I go to movies and read books to escape reality and be entertained.

Carol said...

Great Post Donna!
Has brought forward wonderful stories.
Cheers Carol

Donna MacMeans said...

cheri2628 - Message in a Bottle - classic bad ending. Should have been a HEA. Gotta have it.

Carol said...

P226, your link didn't go to your cupid story! But the other stuff on there is Interesting!
Cheers Carol

p226 said...

Oh, it's hard to tell what else you'll find there. But but the link worked for me. Let me tinyurl it.

Carol said...

Thanks I've got it now Cheers Carol

Re Kim, wonderful tribute!

Kate Carlisle said...

Donna, what a sweet post! And great pics! Everyone looks so young and beautiful!

Your red jello incident reminds me that at my first wedding, there was an unfortunate incident with a borrowed lace tablecloth and a wedding toast with red wine. I got smart after that--in so many ways, LOL. So when I married again, I only served clear liquids. Champagne, white wine and margaritas. :-)

Jo, congrats on the GR!

Donna MacMeans said...

Kate - Ouch on the red wine and borrowed white lace! Smart move on the white, white wedding *g*

Donna MacMeans said...

P226 LOL Man - I checked out your post and it was great, enjoyed it immensely - but it looked like it had a link noted as "for example." So I clicked on that, thinking it would take me into another blog - but instead it's a notification from blogger that the name smellyhillbilly is available *g*. I'll keep that in mind.

Donna MacMeans said...

And the winner is ...P226 because your HEA was the thing of movies. Please visit my website at and give me your contact info and I'll have a copy to you pronto.

Thanks everyone for sharing stories about weddings and HEAs, and may you all have a HEA of your own.

Pat Cochran said...


My computer just came back after
being offline for most of the day!
I've just skimmed through the comments and they are all just great! Especially p226!

Honey's and my HEA has lasted for 47 years this past April 8th! We got our sights on the

No, GR, not you! The Big 50!

Pat Cochran