Thursday, August 8, 2013

Reality and Romance

This last weekend I attended my brother’s wedding. It was a beautiful affair to his longtime girlfriend. I even got to be part of the wedding party, and now have a turquoise bridesmaid’s dress to decorate my closet with (because no matter what anybody says, I just can’t see myself ever wearing this dress again).
But through the whole shindig I came to a realization, which might be kind of controversial. Weddings are not as romantic as romance writers make them out to be.
Weddings are full of obligations and planning. I can assure you, my brother and his wife were not having a romantic time putting together favors and programs at one the night before their wedding.
Don’t get me wrong, there were several beautiful and romantic moments throughout the day. A tear came to several eyes as my brother watched his new wife make it down the aisle with her father. And as they swayed slowly together for their first dance. But there were other far less romantic moments, like when the ring bearer had to be rushed to the ER after being swung around the dance floor until his elbow dislocated, or when it took three bridesmaids to help the bride to the bathroom in her dress.
The whole event reminded me of how sometimes romance novels don’t necessarily reflect the reality of a situation. Though weddings are not the only life event that romance writers make out to be more romantic than they are. I haven’t been in the situation, but I’m sure running for your life or having a baby with someone you barely know isn’t as romantic as we make it out to be either. But wouldn’t it be nice if it were? Wouldn’t it be great if weddings were about love and romance and not straw flags and floral arrangements?
If romance novelists ran the world it’d be a much happier place. I don’t care if romance novels don’t have any reality. Who cares about reality, I’ll take romance instead any day.
But there was one romance novel troupe that did become a reality at my brother’s wedding. One of his college friends did go off for part of the reception with one of his new wife’s cousins, and came back a half an hour later smiling. What they did during that time, I don’t know.
A similar moment happens to the main characters in my next release, which was just contracted by Siren Publishing and is scheduled to be released this October. It’s nice to know there’s a little reality in my books too.


Tina Donahue said...

Congrats on your new contract, Willa!

I've always felt that weddings were for everyone else, certainly not the bride and groom.

I like romances that have a bit of realism in them. The heroine has a zit, the hero looks a little like road kill when he wakes after boozing it up. Treated lightly, these are my favorite parts of romance. They bring a smile, they assure me that no one's perfect (thank god) and they make the characters that more endearing. :)

Mrs Condit said...

The work of a wedding is the true reality. I attended a wedding in which the bride was in a dress so tight fitting she could not sit down until she took it off. She wore Depends and her wedding planner said that's what most brides do now. Whether that is true or not, it was true for her. Worth it? She thought so.