Thursday, April 16, 2015

How a Wedding is like Writing a Book

How a Wedding is like Writing a Book


Weddings, like books, come in all varieties.  There are theme weddings, destination weddings, and ordinary weddings, although no wedding is ordinary.  They are all special to someone.  Theme weddings take their cues from popular culture to traditional heritage.  Destination weddings are open to any place on earth (since there are people with seats on the first manned trip to the moon, earth could be a temporary condition).  In books, the wedding can be on earth, but paranormal weddings are occur anywhere in any universe.


Photo Credit: Bigstock.com

I've been involved in more than a few weddings.  One year I was in four weddings, three of them were destination weddings.  So I know a little about being a bridesmaid.  I've written five or six books with a wedding theme.  Most of these books required some research.  However, nothing beats the authenticity of writing from personal experience.  Much of mine was garnered first hand; being a bride, a bridesmaid, maid of honor, baker of the wedding cake, and for a couple of years I worked in a bridal shop.


Credit:Freeimages.com


Credit: Freeimages.com
Every bride wants her wedding to be spectacular and for every single detail to unfold according to plan.  When they walk through the bridal shop door, some may have an idea of the type of gown they want.  In writing, these would be the plotters, people who plot their story from beginning to end.  They have the entire story in their head.  It's just a matter of writing it down.  Other brides are looking for a dress that talks to them.  They resemble the pansters in writing.  Pansters have a vague idea of the story.  They sit in their writing chair and learn what happens in their story as it happens.  The bride sorts through the gowns and chooses the dress that speaks to her style.

Writers all want their books to attain bestseller status.  The bride wants the perfect gown that is unique to her.  It doesn't matter if the bride or writer is a plotter or a panster, it's amazing how many brides choose the same gown and writers choose the subject that works for them.  It's their bread and butter, their go-to shot.  The bread-and-butter sale at the shop where I worked was a Chantilly lace gown covered in pearls.  While everyone has something about clothing they hate, this type of dress seemed to appeal to a large number of people.  The bestseller is a book that huge numbers of people both buy and enjoy.

Credit: Pixabay.com

As a sales associate (no longer called a clerk), we walk hundreds of miles back and forth over the same flooring, in and out of dressing rooms, removing clothes from the plastic protective covers and rehanging them in the same condition.  Workers need several pairs of shoes in reserve.  Even if the shoes are exactly the same, they don't wear the same and will use different muscles, keeping your legs from getting tired.  Unfortunately, nothing works for the feet.  Just as in writing, nothing works until you get the words on the page.


Having never been to a wedding steeped in heritage, I only have cliche's to go on, so I won't offend anyone, by describing a wedding.  This, however, is the confirmation that weddings can be different, but in the end, all the couples are married.  The books are different, too.  We know if given the same story idea to any number of people, the return will be a myriad of unique stories from the group.  Like series romance novels, they may have the same look and feel, but the characters are different and the situations change.  Yet happily ever after is almost a guarantee.

Credit: Freeimages.com


The destination wedding couple looks for a beautiful locale for the perfect setting to showcase the bride and groom.  In writing, some authors tour the setting for their stories.  Like the wedding, these writers want the details correct.  They want to immerse themselves and their guests in a unique atmosphere where their characters go on their adventure.  And marriage is an adventure.


Credit: Fololia.com


Time for the reception.  The ceremony is over and the happy couple celebrates with their friends and family.  The book is done.  The bride and groom dance about the decorated hall with large smiles and tearful parents.  The author celebrates in her own fashion.  Some people pop the wine, have dinner with a spouse or friend, share the news with a fellow author.  Personally, I go to bed and get a good night's sleep.  For whatever reason, I often finish a book in the early hours of the morning.  So going to sleep is a luxury.  The couple head for their honeymoon knowing everything went well and they are ready for a few weeks of fun before returning.  The author has a breather before beginning the next book.  She often cleans her office or writing area and attends to mundane tasks that were unimportant during the final days leading up to the deadline.



Credit: Freeimages.com


Each bride wants her wedding to be different, reflect her tastes and provide a beautiful showcase for the all important day.  Writers want a beautiful package, too.  They want a cover that reflects the story and is beautiful to look at.  As the bride throws her bouquet on the way to her honeymoon, the writer looks to her readers to grab the book as soon as it's available and to tell every one of her friends that they must read it.  Each has a trousseau and each wants to live happily ever after.
Credit: Pixabay


The next time you read a wedding story or attend the nuptials, smile at the comparison.  And as always, keep reading. 

14 comments:

  1. Shirley, I wish my office was as pretty as that wedding reception with the red bows. I could tie a red bow around my computer chair. I have to say the wedding planners for each of my daughters pulled me aside and said how nice it was that I let my daughters do the choosing of everything and didn't make a fuss about anything. Made me think some moms can be a pain in the backside at wedding time.

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    1. You don't know the half of it. When I worked in the shop, there were often fights (not physical) about everything from the dresses to the groom.

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  2. My wedding had one problem after another starting with my reception hall burning to the ground one month before the wedding. I did get everything the way I wanted in the end, but I had to fight over the new reception hall, the cake, the buffet, and the bride’s toast. Everyone had an opinion. Fortunately, the groom and I were on the same page.

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    1. I have to laugh. I can do that now that all this is in the past, but I remember all those things. In fact, I was in a wedding (bridesmaid) when the church burned down a week before the ceremony. They moved the wedding from Rochester, NY to Washington, DC, making it a destination wedding. The church was paced to capacity and the wedding went off without a hitch.

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  3. LOL, I got married at my church, borrowed a wedding dress, and the reception was a potluck.
    The funniest thing is... a woman at the church used to be a cake baker. She offered to do my cake as a present. She brought me books to look at. I chose a cake. She brought a different cake to the wedding and said "The one you chose was too hard to make." Then, she charged me for making it. I guess that would be a sample of writing a book that REALLY strays from the synopsis.

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    1. Pam, I love that. When straying from the synopsis happened to me, it was a good thing. I produced a very good book. It's one of my favorites. I just talked to my Heartwarming editor yesterday. I gave her a book that strayed from the synopsis and she loved it. I did too.

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  4. Fun comparisons, Shirley. And I'm with Roz on the wide red bows on the chairs. I love that. Ron and I were married so long ago that all we did was book the church, order a cake, hire a photographer and get married. One thing I remember fondly - instead of traditional bouquets, my attendants carried small baskets filled with daisies. We had the best time.

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    1. I learned to tie those bows. I did them for Thanksgiving at my house last time my family was here. they are a surprise and everyone loved them. They also saved the cloth seats on my chairs, since the kids will always drop something that stains.

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  5. Beautiful pictures. And I wouldn't work in a bridal shop for ANY amount of money. :-)

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  6. Ah, so sweet. Makes me want to write a wedding story

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  7. I agree with Melinda...only, I want to plan another wedding! My granddaughter is only 12, so, I'm hoping it'll be a while. A long, long while! What a wonderful, uplifting, inspiring post, Shirley! :-)

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  8. I agree with Melinda...only, I want to plan another wedding! My granddaughter is only 12, so, I'm hoping it'll be a while. A long, long while! What a wonderful, uplifting, inspiring post, Shirley! :-)

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