Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dum Dum da Dum

by Tawny

I get to attend a wedding this weekend - my husband's cousin is getting married. YAY!! I love weddings. they are both a beginning and an ending. The beginning of a life together, and for most romance novels, the end of the story (note, I didn't say the end of the romance *g*)

When I think weddings, I immediately think romance. Shocking, I know. Romance author on a romance blog thinking weddings are romantic. The promise of forever, the beauty of the ceremony and all of the lushness and pageantry.

Like romance novels, there are so many possibilities for a wedding. The hero and heroine are front and center, but it's the bride (our heroine) who sets the tone for the story. Romantic or sophisticated. Beach babe or nostalgic. Sexy or sweet. She really does epitomize the genre of the wedding.

The secondary characters begin with the attendants, as many or as few as the bride needs. The guests, the father of the bride, the potential conflict and drama. From the tears to the applause to the distractions, the secondaries are there to support the heroine and her hero, right?

And the setting. Oh man, the setting. So many times when writing, we're told that setting is character. The reception, the flowers, the food, the cake, even the music. They all create the world for our characters to live out their romance.

There are specific acts or turning points in both a book and in a wedding. The walk down the aisle and the beginning of the story. The ceremony - or the first meeting of the heroine and her hero. The first kiss. The first dance (oooh yeah baby!). The toast and the feast build the relationship. Thankfully most weddings don't have a dark moment, but you could say that wave good bye as they leave the reception in a cacophony of tin cans or old shoes is a good climax. And the resolution? How about opening all those wedding gifts *g* The oohs and ahhhs and realization that yes, this lovely heroine and her hero are ready to start their life together.

Tell me what you think - do you like your romance novels to end with 'the promise of marriage' (a proposal, a wedding, or something similar) or is the lovely dovey commitment enough to make you close the pages with a smile? When it comes to weddings, what's your favorite part?

And... the biggest question I mulled while writing this blog... if the heroine sets the tone and genre in a wedding... what --really-- is the role of the hero? I've got an inkling of an idea, but would love to hear yours!!!


Suzanne Ferrell said...

Do I get to be first?

Suzanne Ferrell said...


I love weddings, Tawny! Loved mine, loved my daughter's. Can't wait for my other daughter's! Oh wait...yes I can, that's going to be a wild experience when it comes in a few years!!

In my books I also love the wedding or a promise of a wedding. Oh heck, I sometimes just love the epilogue where they've been married a while and the babies are making their appearances. I guess that's a whole other blog, huh?

Tawny said...

Yes you do, Suz :-D

YAY!!! What mischief will you put the Rooster up to today?

Tawny said...

Suz, I love weddings so much, I totally stressed when I was trying to narrow down exactly which of my dream weddings I wanted first *g* I'd decided to remarry every 5 years, so as to get them all in. Yes, I was going to remarry the same guy... much to my husband's relief. A beach wedding under a full moon. A garden wedding in a gazebo. A drive-thru Vegas wedding in a sexy convertible. A... well, the list went on and on. What I didn't think of at the time was the cost and that my parents weren't going to pony up for anything but the first LOL.

Sooooo... I had my garden wedding. Maybe I can convince my daughters to try my other dream weddings.

LOL I do love epilogues or better yet, later books in a series that let us see the pregnancies and babies and kids and, oh man, I love seeing the happy ever after :-D

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Mischief for the rooster? Well, since my washing machine was down for 2 weeks, he'll be doing laundry, but I may reward him with some floating in the pool with a cool drink later in the day!

Suzanne Ferrell said...

oh man, I love seeing the happy ever after

Me, too! Maybe we should give this its own name. How about the Happily Continued?

flchen1 said...

I do love weddings, Tawny! Now that we've been married awhile, we don't attend as many weddings, but it's a little more fun to relax and enjoy them when we do go! And I do love epilogues where you get to see the couple's wedding and then after the HEA :) The HEA-continued, so to speak--I love, LOVE that! One of the reasons I often dig a series--getting to sneak peeks at the previous couples!

Have fun the ol' GR, Suzanne!

PinkPeony said...

Ah, weddings. I always cry, except at my own. :) We almost eloped but when we saw a bride at the craps table at Treasure Island screaming "Yo, eleven!" we decided to have a real wedding. Seven years later and I still haven't ordered our wedding album.
I've been thinking about how I want to end my ms...just a few more chapters! Will it end with a wedding on the family farm or should I jump ahead a few months and present a pregnant and married heroine hosting a gathering? Either way, it provides the opportunity to corral all of the secondary characters into one place, tie up any loose ends, and like Fedora says, give the reader a peek into the next book.
Congrats on the GR, Suzanne!

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Suzanne.

Hi Tawny,
I don't need a proposal or wedding at the end of the book. I'm content knowing that hero and heroine are together. My cousin got married in Vegas and I enjoyed it more than the fancy and expensive ones I've been to. The open bar is my favorite "part" of the wedding.

Enid Wilson said...

A wedding night ending is good. So the hero can set the pace for that. The steamier the better.

Steamy Darcy

Tawny said...

Ooooh, laundry duty!! A befitting chore for the bird :-D Be sure he fluffs all the towels before he gets his pool-floating reward!

Tawny said...

Suz said: Maybe we should give this its own name. How about the Happily Continued?

YES!!! I like that :-D

Tawny said...

Fedora, I remember a time when everyone we knew was getting married. Now its the next generation (which man makes me feel old LOL)

HEA-continued is one of my favorite things about reading. Sneak peeks indeed :-)

Tawny said...

Pink, isn't it fun to decide exactly where the perfect ending is? Like you say, its great to see all the loose ends tied up and everyone getting their happy times.

LOL about the Vegas bride. When I was there a couple months ago I saw a bride in a super mini white tube dress and veil. I have to say, she definitely epitomized Vegas wedding to me LOL. Flashy, sexy, in your face wild.

Tawny said...

Jane, open bars rock!!! At weddings, at parties, at... well, yeah :-D Open bars rock.

I think there's a ton of fun to be had in a Vegas wedding. It's its own world, that's for sure :-) I lived there for a long time and have a soft spot for Sin City.

In my own stories, I think its pretty evenly split between a love commitment or a marriage commitment at the end. I've never been disappointed to see a story end at "I love you".

Tawny said...

Enid, a wedding night ending is definitely a hot way to wind up a story :-D

PinkPeony said...

I love people watching in Vegas, especially the wedding parties making their way through the casino. :) I'll be staying at the Wynn in October. Haven't been there in almost ten years. I think you should have another wedding to renew your vows. It's a great excuse to have a party. I know a great band you could hire...

Helen said...

Well done Suz and yes keep him doing the laundry then a float in the pool would be lovely.

I too love weddings although I haven't been to many over the last 10 or so years LOL my own children prefer to live together they have their life long partners they tell me and they are all very happy what can I do ?

I am happy with a great HEA whether it be a wedding or a commitment of eternal love either way but I vote for the epilogue to hear how things are going down the track and of course the children that have arrived.

The role of the hero in a wedding this has got me thinking I would say to make sure that the heroine gets everything she wants to make her smile and float thru the day.

Have a great time at the wedding

Have Fun

poki12 said...

good nice

Beth said...

Tawny, I love weddings! We attended a niece's wedding a few weeks back. The ceremony was lovely and the reception was tons of fun *g*

As for books, I'm happy with the story ending with an I Love You and the promise of a commitment. Like you, I adore epilogues or later books in a series that show a h/h Happily Continued (love that, Suz!)

Hope you have a great time at the wedding!

Deb said...

Good morning, Tawny!

I love weddings, too. In a story, I like either type of ending, a wedding or a promise of love and commitment. I LOVE epilogues. I want to "see" what the next few years have brought to the couple. Some epilogues are way too short for me. I read an epilogue once that was at least 15 pages and I loved it! Heck, give me a novella that continues the marriage story, LOL!

My wedding was very simple, but, I think, lovely. I not only had a traditional wedding cake, but also a Danish wedding cake, proud Dane that I am.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

I think the ending depends on the couple and how the romance has progressed in the story. I love wedding endings, have written some, but I've also read books where a wedding at the end felt too rushed, like the couple needed more time before they made that type of commitment.

Christie Kelley said...

Great post, Tawny. I love weddings too. But I can wait for my boys to get married. They're just a tad young right now :) I have about 18 nieces and nephews that are all in their 20's so I know there will be a batch of weddings in my near future.

I think writing historicals, I need to see the proposal or the wedding. In contemporaries, it doesn't bother me to just see them committed is fine.

Donna MacMeans said...

Tawny - I'm heading to my niece's wedding in September. I love weddings - all the joy and excitement of the years to I LOVE to dance - and dancing at a wedding is always fun.

I think Christie nailed it regarding one of the difference between historicals and contemporaries. There were so many consequences if a heroine didn't get married (in a historical) that the wedding or jump ahead to the pregnant married heroine really finishes the book for me.

Love the Happily Continued. That says it all.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

All right, cranky crotchety ole Aunty Cindy will admit: I HATE WEDDINGS!

Well, the overblown and expensive kind, which I seem to see more and more. I mean honestly, the young couple could make a down payment on a house for the cost of her dress! Okay, maybe the cost of the dress and the catering. :-P I know a family who went into debt BIG TIME to pay for their daughter's wedding. The marriage lasted two years. They are still paying for the wedding and the couple have already split! Sad, so very sad!

As for weddings at the end of books, I definitely depends on the characters and how the relationship has progressed in the story. It is nice to see so many of you who like epilogues, however. I'll need to remember that one for future stories. ;-)

the grumpy

Pat Cochran said...

Like your commentors, I love to
attend weddings. We've had two
vow renewals as part of a Mass
in the past. I'm looking forward
to our 50th anniversary in April.
My wish: a candlelight ceremony,
a full-length champagne or ivory
lace gown, and this time, a pro- fessional photographer, and a
lovely dinner with the family
and close friends.

As to HEA romances, I would like
an extended ending to stories.
The beginning has a great build
-up, why not the ending? Some
stories, as Trish mentioned, seem
too rushed. Covering the end in
3-5 pages just doesn't work for

Joan said...

I agree that the type of story determnines wheather I need to see the Marriage at the end, though I lean to yes...epilouge with babes in belly and on hero's lap.

I've had way too much time to think about my own and as might be expected, it has changed over the years. Right now it's between Disneyworld and Ireland with Ireland taking the lead.

Hey! When we are in WDW in a couple of weeks, we can go case the wedding chapel! Check out those fantasy HEA...

catslady said...

I want to add that any couple that can do all the preparations for a wedding and still stay in love with each other shows that they have a good chance of making it.
I don't need them to be married at the end (heck I don't always need the HEA lol).

TerriOsburn said...

I love how you connect a wedding with a romance story. Genius! I'd never noticed the parallels before.

I love weddings, as long as I'm not the one getting married. :) Too bad I haven't been to one in some years. I need younger friends.

I don't need the wedding, but I need to know the H/H are headed in the direction and will stay together. I end mine with the "I love you" and the reference to spending their lives together. So far the epilogue was a maybe, but after reading these comments, it's a definite! LOL!

Tawny said...

Pink, people watching anywhere is fun, but people watching in Vegas? It's an adventure *g*

Tawny said...

Helen, I love that role for the hero :-)

I think epilogues are a great way to give a peek at what happens after 'the end'. I have one in my upcoming Sept release and it was so fun to write.

LOL on the kids living together issue. My parents actually freaked that I didn't live with my husband longer than I did when we married. Apparently they thought I needed more time to learn all his bad habits and make sure I would keep him (or maybe it was the other way around...)

Tawny said...

Thanks, Poki12

Tawny said...

Hey Beth :-D

'I love you' is such a great ending, isn't it. But that peek into later, when we see how they work out the 'for the rest of my life' part is always so fun.

Anna Sugden said...

Lovely post, Tawny. I love weddings! I've done the beach wedding in Antigua and the country house hotel wedding. I don't intend to do any more, though i suppose we could renew our vows or something.

The hero's role is to look adoringly at the bride making her glow, provide a foil for the glowing bride and grin inanely for hours on end. Oh and then there's the limo ride to the reception ;)

Anna Sugden said...

Forgot to say - I like happy endings where the couple are committed to each other. I don't necessarily need to see a wedding, or even a proposal, but I do need to feel that This Is It.

Love epilogues and love series where you can see more of previous couples and how their lives have progressed.

Tawny said...

Good afternoon, Deb (I'm running late *g*)

A 15 page epilogue? That's almost it's own chapter. And I'm with you, I want all the details and happy ever after warm fuzzies.

Two cakes? AWESOME!! I'm clued in on the traditional wedding cake, but can you tell me what a Danish wedding cake is?

Tawny said...

Trish, I'm with you on the rushed feeling sometimes. It really comes down to the story and the couple, doesn't it?

I think it'd be fun to have a series of five books, with an epilogue in each and the couple from the first book finally getting married in the last book LOL.

Tawny said...

Weddings do come in batches, don't they, Christie :-)

Great point about the time period of the story! Living together or the whole general courting and eventually getting married concept is very contemporary.

Tawny said...

Hmmm.... the dancing part is my least favorite, Donna :-D I'm with Jane, the open bar is the best LOL

I was just thinking about your and Christie's comments about historicals and realized that many I've read, the hero and heroine are actually married through most of the story. That definitely adds to the Happily Continued factor, doesn't it?

Tawny said...

Hey there, Grumpy... I mean, Auntie Cindy *g*

I hear ya on the cost of weddings and the insanity! And I'll pull on my grumpy hat to match yours and say I totally agree - nobody should go into debt for a party. Because once you get past the vows, it really is all about the party. I'm in horror over the family still carrying debt long after a divorce.

Isn't it funny how readers, in general, love epilogues. Yet writers hear all the time that readers hate them and we shouldn't use them - or prologues?

Deb said...

Tawny, a Danish wedding cake is a tier of about 20 rings of an almond and marzipan cookie/pastry. The bottom ring is about 1o inches in diameter and the top ring is about 2 inches in diameter. Drizzle icing all over and place little Danish flags here and there.

Tawny said...

Ooooh, Pat! I love candlelight ceremonies. That sounds so lovely. I'm a fan of vowel renewals. I think it almost says more to want to marry someone again after already being married to them for a length of time vs the ignorance is bliss sweet oblivion of the first ceremony LOL

Tawny said...

WDW has a wedding chapel? Joanie, we need to check this out!! Talk about a fun and fabulous wedding that would be :-D

What a wonderful picture you painted, too, with the babe in belly and heroine on the heroes lap image. I love that!!!

Tawny said...

Catslady, the leadup to a wedding can definitely be pure insanity. I don't recall much stress with my fiance before mine, but I do remember trying to kill my brother. Hmm, misplaced stress, perhaps?

I've read a few stories that don't have a HEA and do great, but the ones that do that best for me are the ongoing series, like Stephanie Plum. And even then, I'll admit I'm frustrated that there isn't some tiny bit of HEA *G*

Tawny said...

YAY, we talked you into an epilogue *ggg*

It's been a lot of years between weddings for us, too. I guess we had to wait for our friends kids to grow old enough (most still aren't, ours included, thank goodness).

And thanks for calling my parallel genius *g* You made my day LOL

Louisa Cornell said...

WTG Suzanne !! Lord only knows what you and the GR will get into before the day is done!

I love at least the promise of a wedding - a romantic proposal at the end of a romance novel. If it ends with a wedding it is even better. Secret weddings when the hero and heroine just show up and tell everyone they "did it" are fun too!

The groom is there for window dressing of course! And I DO like a well-dressed window. OR a well-undressed one, for that matter!

However, in my business, weddings can be a real drama! Weddings can bring out the bridezilla in every woman when it comes to her cake. And sometimes it shows exactly HOW eclectic her tastes are. SHUDDER. Ever seen a teal green wedding cake matched to a paint chip? I have. Ever seen a blue and brown wedding cake? It was NOT pretty! How about a groom's cake that is decorated to look like a WWF ring? Doesn't bode well for THAT marriage does it? If you want to laugh check out She has wedding cakes on her most recent post. EEEEEEEEEEK

Nancy said...

Suz, congrats on the bird!

Tawny, I love weddings, too. I like reading about weddings, though they seem to get short shrift in books these days--maybe to save pages.

My favorite parts of a wedding are the moment when the bride and groom look at each other as she reaches him and the moment after the kiss when they realize they've done it. They've made it through all the hassles, all the fuss, any family squabbles, and the knot is officially tied.

I left my glasses off to walk down the aisle, letting vanity have its day, so I couldn't actually see the about-to-be-dh beaming at me until we were about 10 feet apart. I felt it, though.

It's not strictly part of a wedding, but I also treasure the experience of waking up together on our first married morning.

Christine Wells said...

Tawny, lovely blog! I do adore a wedding, and in historicals I expect one. It's not quite as important in contemporaries but I want the sense that these two are in it for life now, not just until the next man/woman comes along.

I love your analogy between the wedding and the romance novel. The difference in a romance is that the hero must challenge the heroine so that she can grow into a better person and be worthy of this great, once in a lifetime love. Whereas at a wedding, the groom is simply there to look handsome and adore his bride and defer to her in ALL things. After all, it's her wedding, isn't it? *G*

Congrats on the bird, Suz!

Tawny said...

Oh Anna, a beach wedding and a country house hotel. Pure romance :-) You do know how to do the wedding thing, girlie!!!

The hero's role is to look adoringly at the bride making her glow, provide a foil for the glowing bride and grin inanely for hours on end. Oh and then there's the limo ride to the reception ;)

ROFLMAO I love your take on the heroes role :-D

Tawny said...

Ahh, Deb, that's a darling cake!! What a lovely tradition.

Tawny said...

Louisa said: The groom is there for window dressing of course! And I DO like a well-dressed window. OR a well-undressed one, for that matter!

ROFLMAO - and there you go. That is the best description of the heroes role EVER!!! I love the flip of roles, since its so often the woman who is window dressing :-D WTG!

I absolutely love - such a fun site. Like you say, there are some wedding cakes that definitely make one wonder. Then again... there are some books out there, too that make me go hmmmm... ;-)

Tawny said...

Nancy, I think you have a good point about the page saving issue. Page counts across the board have gone down and we're having to compress so much story into a tiny space.

Your favorite moments are so romantic :-D I love the image of you walking toward your husband, and him becoming more focused with each step. That's telling, isn't it.

Tawny said...

Christine said: The difference in a romance is that the hero must challenge the heroine so that she can grow into a better person and be worthy of this great, once in a lifetime love. Whereas at a wedding, the groom is simply there to look handsome and adore his bride and defer to her in ALL things. After all, it's her wedding, isn't it? *G*

Ohhh there ya go :-D I sure with that adoration and deference lasted a lot longer than the honeymoon, though LOL.

I like how you defined your HEA - set for life and not just until the next comes along. That's great!!