Wedding Brain

–Stock photo by GoDaddy

 

Forgive me if I’m a bit distracted today. I have Wedding Brain.

This past weekend, I dashed off to a wonderfully restful yet productive writing retreat. While there, I wrote hard. But when I woke up Monday morning in my own bed, I was nearly flooded out of it with a sea of wedding-related email. As my daughter’s wedding is Memorial Day weekend, I’ve decided to put off absolutely everything until it’s over and I’ve had a couple of days to recover. I have only one daughter, and this is my big chance to be that obsessed creature: MOTB. (That does not stand for Monster of the Bride!)

I was thinking about weddings in literature, and realized I could come up with few blissful examples. The two weddings of Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester come to mind: the first thwarted by the presence of The Mad Wife in the Attic, the second a sad little affair with a blinded groom and, I believe, a housekeeper for a witness. And don’t forget that nutty charade/tableau in which the dreaded Blanche what’s-her-name plays Bride. It’s like Charlotte Brontë used weddings like a sledgehammer.

Didn’t Romeo and Juliet have a quiet ceremony with the priest before they…died? At least Shakespeare’s comedies usually ended with a wedding.

Help! Please share your favorite literary wedding. Or your favorite real-life wedding story. Because we’re all about storytelling here. (Happy endings not required.)

 

 

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About Laura Benedict

Laura Benedict is the Edgar- and ITW Thriller Award- nominated author of eight novels of suspense, including the forthcoming The Stranger Inside (February 2019). Small Town Trouble, her latest book, is a cozy crime novel. Her Bliss House gothic trilogy includes The Abandoned Heart, Charlotte’s Story (Booklist starred review), and Bliss House. Her short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, and in numerous anthologies like Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads, The Lineup: 20 Provocative Women Writers, and St. Louis Noir. A native of Cincinnati, she lives in Southern Illinois with her family. Visit her at www.laurabenedict.com.

19 thoughts on “Wedding Brain

  1. Congratulations, Laura! I’m also a happy MOTB in preparatory mode (it’s 11 months out and I’m already fully obsessed). My fave fictional wedding is actually from the movies, “Father of the Bride”, specifically the scene where Spencer Tracy is handing out money with a super resigned expression. And COULD there be a more beautiful creature than Elizabeth Taylor coming down the aisle in full bridal splendor) (Except for our OWN Dear Daughter Brides, of course!) Enjoy the day! 👰🏻🥂

    • Father of the Bride is one of my all-time favorites. Tracy is so good as the befuddled father encountering each new challenge, such as the first time they meet the in-laws. Tracy likes a nip, and imbibes too much, and is getting drowsy. His wife keeps nudging him, as the mother of the groom wants to to tell them about what a lovely boy their Buckley is. And Tracy opens his eyes and says, “Yes, tell us all about Bulky.”

    • Enjoy the prep time, Kathryn! I think at the two week point, things definitely got real, as they say. It helped me to set aside specific times/days to do wedding things so I could stay focused on my work. But it’s really hard to say, “Let’s talk about this tomorrow” when the Bride calls with some new worry. Congratulations to you, too!

      Elizabeth Taylor looked like a goddess in every wedding dress she wore, especially that film. And she was such a baby, too.

  2. Congratulations and a beautiful wedding to your and her fiancé. And to you! As well as to MOG and FOG and FOB and all guests. 😉
    I learned all these abbreviations in the Bride Quartet series by Nora Roberts. It has all kinds of fabulous weddings, and I just love how she draws all those fantastic images of happy moments, flower arrangements, cakes and what it takes to organize such enormous, once-in-a-lifetime events.
    I’m finishing rereading the fourth book in the series right now. And it might be more than the fifth time I do that. Nora Roberts’ books are both extremely relaxing and engaging to read, and I learn a lot about writing craft from her.
    Once again, an amazing wedding and many unforgettable moments!

    • Thanks, Victoria!

      Leave it to Nora Roberts to do a quartet of fabulous weddings. That almost makes up for the sad dearth of happy weddings in the history of literature. She’s a great writing model. So productive and business-like, but her work is full of fun.

  3. I was quite young when the film Gigi came out, but I remember thinking Leslie Caron’s wedding and dress were the most beautiful in the world.

    • The costumes in Gigi are to die for. As soon as I read your comment, I Googled images from the film. I couldn’t find any images of the wedding, but the dress with feathers is astonishing. Thanks for the rabbit hole moment, TL!

  4. Interesting how few wedding scenes there are in literature. The wooing is the part that’s full of potential dramatic/romantic/comedic content for a plot or subplot. A wedding is usually the set-up for adulterous intrigue to follow, as in Madame Bovary. The entire wedding is described in two lines.

    However, Mario Puzo uses an opening wedding scene to set the stage for The Godfather. The book begins with a group celebration and ends with the slaughter of a group.

    At least there was a happy wedding night. Not so in Bride of Frankenstein where the nervous bride hisses at her husband, who responds unkindly to the rejection and takes out the lab, himself, his bride and Dr. Pretorious. They should have had a rehearsal dinner.

    • Yes! What a great wedding scene–perfect to establish all the characters. Genius, if you ask me.

      Wow. Talk about evocative. I can see/hear Else Lanchester hissing right now. Brilliant!

      I’m pondering the dearth of wedding scenes in literature, too. Weddings themselves can be so dramatic, which is why they make such good fodder for films. ALL the emotions in one little event.

  5. How about The Age of Innocence? I wouldn’t call it a joyous wedding scene, but it sure is memorable. When I read the book, I PLEADED for Newman (Newland? I forget) not to go through with it! Wharton was a genius.

    I was a MOTB within the past year. My advice is to relax and have fun and be yourself because your daughter will be nervous enough for both of you. Also put your phone down so you can experience everything first hand instead of through a screen. There will already be a bunch of other people taking pictures with their phones who will post the pics.

    Congrats to the bride and groom!

    • Most painful wedding ever, Priscilla. Heartbreaking. I wanted to bitch slap him a thousand times in that book.

      Thanks for the advice about the phone. Since I don’t have an onsite planner, I will have to keep it handy, but I promise to relax once the reception is underway. 😊

  6. I don’t know if this counts as a wedding, or even literature, but my favorite marriage has to be Elizabeth’s and Will’s in the third Pirates of the Caribbean. Right smack in the middle of a battle on a ship. They’re fighting while they say their vows. It makes me smile just thinking about it.

  7. Again, I hate to go to the movies to provide an example of a favorite. But I do find a dearth of weddings in literature–‘specially thrillers.

    But the wedding of Stands-With-A-Fist and John Dunbar in Dances With Wolves in which Kicking Bird conducts a simple ceremony of advice, lecture, and the eliciting of commitment, stands in my mind as a wonderful contrast to Maria’s marriage to the Captain. John Dunbar had no one from his family or his race in attendance, but he had all the people of the village there to stand with him. And, of course, Stands-With-A-Fist was somewhat village royalty as the daughter of the village Wise One, though she was not a Sioux.

    Of interest to me is that the members of Dunbar’s own race attacked him twice (the Rebs and the new U.S. Army detachment that came to Fort Sedgewick), and the Indian men stole his horse, and he and the people were attacked by the Pawnees. And Major Fambrough said, ” Well it says here that you’re to be posted on the frontier. The frontier’s Indian country. I quickly deduced that you’re an Indian fighter. I did not ascend to this position by being stupid.”

    Though he had many friends, the one person most comforting to him was his wife.

    • I confess I never saw the film, Jim. Sounds like it was handled beautifully in the context of the script. And weddings in thrillers? I can’t think of a one that takes center stage. Good point!

  8. Watch The Worst Week of my Life (Hat Trick 2004-2006) – it’s in iTunes. The first episodes centre around a wedding and the most socially awkward moments of all time. After seeing that, nothing that happens will seem bad at all.
    It may not be a novel, but some clever comedian must have written it for the screen.

    I agree with all the earlier comments, and bookwise, adored Nora’s Brides series. I still want more.

    Have fun.

  9. Another film. I loved the dress Julie Andrews wore in Sound of Music and the organ music was thrilling. But it’s true that the story felt finished at that point and later events might have gone into a sequel.

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