So this happened on Christmas Eve.
You may remember that Guitar Hero asked his girlfriend to marry him in October. They said at the time that the future Mrs. Guitar Hero had always wanted to elope rather than spend tons of money on a big church wedding. (This was reinforced after they’d attended a few of their friends’ weddings and seen the silliness of spending $30,000 for a single day event, especially when some of those marriages didn’t even last a year.) At the time they planned to get married in the spring up in the Canadian North. But apparently my son made a comment two weeks ago about how neat it would be to take their vows in front of a big Christmas tree in one of the small towns north of Toronto, and his girlfriend jumped on the idea.
So on Christmas Eve they drove up to the small town at 4 in the morning (there’s a big long explanation as to why that hour, mainly based out of practicality considering the timeframe for all the other places they needed to be during the day), said their vows to each other in the town square in front of the tree, then drove to a small chapel they’d reserved in downtown Toronto and recited their vows in front of two witnesses without telling anyone in the family in advance. (I’ve seen the photos they’ve taken, and they’re beautiful and romantic, but I don’t have copies yet — I’ll share one or two when I get some. And the bride’s mother plans on throwing a barbeque in the summer to allow members of the family to celebrate together. I imagine there will be more pictures then too.)
When they arrived Christmas morning, Guitar Hero handed me an envelope. I opened it and found a copy of their certificate inside. Yes, I cried tears of joy, and hugged them both.
When things quieted down later in the day, Gizmo Guy took me aside and said he liked how I’d handled it. At the time I didn’t understand what he meant, so he pointed out that some women might have been upset that they hadn’t been invited to help plan the event, or share in the moment. He’s right — I have seen first-hand some women who expect to be part of the wedding planning, or worse who try to micromanage their grown children’s lives still, to insert themselves into all decisions even after those children are married and living their own lives. And I suspect a few extended members of my family think that I may be upset, or are upset on my behalf that my son and his wife didn’t include anyone else in their celebrations, but I’m not.
Their wedding day was not about me. Weddings are about celebrating the bride and groom, and the love they’ve pledged to share for the rest of their lives. It’s not about flowers that would be dropping before the end of the day, or a tuxedo that has to be returned at the end of the night. They won’t have to worry about paying a bar bill for booze that made someone (who they probably arrived at someone’s plus one and didn’t know anyway) act like an ass. It’s not about what cousin is invited or which isn’t. Or about who sits next to whom. It’s about a celebration of love as the bride wants it. I’d said that from when I realized they were serious about their relationship — I told them to do whatever made THEM happy.
So I’m genuinely thrilled that they’ve taken my advice, that they created a memory exactly to their wishes.
But late that night, as I was scouring Etsy for a perfect wedding gift, I started thinking about the couples I’ve written, and their weddings (no, they haven’t all ended with a proposal or a marriage scene, though I feel confident their relationships would all endure long-term.) So I started going through my stories to figure out how many actually included a proposal or wedding or a mention of a wedding.
Some that went well, and others…well, in Private Property, Mark had a scary moment waiting for Jodi’s answer…
“Babe? I, uh, have something to ask you.” He swallowed hard. She’d said she loved him, but that didn’t mean she wanted to marry him. What if she said no?
She pulled back to look at him, her eyes wide, almost fearful, held her body still. “What?”
He took a deep breath and leapt into his future. “Will you marry me?”
Jodi stiffened in his arms. “M-marry? Marry you?” The words seemed forced, as if they’d stuck in her throat.
Somewhere in the back of his mind, he’d wanted her to throw her arms about his neck and shout, “Yes, yes, yes! Of course, I’ll marry you.” Instead her hold on him loosened and blank shock filled her eyes. The bright light that he’d hoped would be his future turned out to be a heat-seeking missile racing toward him, its target his heart.
And there’s the entire story line of Perfect Proposal where Sam’s plans to propose to Rosie didn’t go so well either.
His plans had just been shot to hell. He wasn’t going to be able to propose in their suite at the Waldorf. There wouldn’t be candlelight and flowers and champagne; he was going to have to do this on the corner of Forty Ninth and Third Avenue. Not the most romantic place for a proposal, but he was going to make damned well sure she believed him. Right here. Right now.
Ignoring the pedestrians skirting around them and the few who stopped to watch, ignoring the honking horns of the cabs, he lowered himself to one knee. The slush soaked through the fabric in an icy grip, not to mention the pavement was fucking hard. His knee was gonna hurt like a sonovabitch if he had to be down here for too long, but if he was doing to this, he was going to do it properly.
Sam ends up grovelling a while longer…after he is convinced his proposal will end up on YouTube filed under Proposal Gone Wrong.
Then there is my latest, Feeding the Flames, where Zac’s proposal to Tabatha isn’t shown, but the wedding is:
Wow. Married. Though it had been his idea, and he’d proposed the moment he’d awoken that day of the fire, it had taken him three months to convince Tabatha to say yes. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to marry him, she’d explained, but because she didn’t want people thinking she’d jumped into marriage or that they had to get married. Not that he gave a goddamn what other people thought, but it took him a while to get her not to care. But who knew weddings could take so long to arrange? It wasn’t that they had trouble booking the venue—hell they’d both agreed his place would be the perfect setting, with its landscaped backyard. It had been arranging everyone’s schedule, and taking the weather in account—and they both agreed on a fall wedding rather than under the scorching hot summer sun. Now, one year less a day after their first official date, it was finally here.
And like Guitar Hero and Mrs. Guitar Hero, Jake and Paige get married off-scene in No Accounting for Cowboys…
Ben and Allie stood beneath a handmade “Welcome Home” banner they’d hung over the entrance. Gabe stood to the side, grinning.
The moment the bus’s door opened, Pebbles and Brewskie dashed down the steps, yipping and barking, their tails wagging in joy. Jake wondered if they knew they were actually home or if they were just happy not to be cooped up in the luxurious tin can with the strange humans for once.
He stepped off the bus into hugs from Allie and Ben, handshakes, a slap on the back from Gabe who rolled his eyes and then hugged him too. Eagle-eyed Allie immediately spotted Paige’s diamond with its plainer wedding band beside it and demanded the details. Scolding them when she learned they’d gotten hitched in Vegas, but was mollified when Paige explained they planned to hold a big party down by the lake and retake their vows in front of their friends and family.
Hmm, looks like some of my advice to Guitar Hero and Mrs. Guitar Hero came out here — though this scene was written almost a year before the wedding. Now back to searching for the perfect wedding gift for them…any ideas?