My new sweet contemporary romance, Lilac Bride, releases next week.
It’s the story of a couple who gets engaged on Christmas Eve, plan the perfect wedding, then face one disaster after another when it comes to their upcoming nuptials.
I’ve heard so many horror stories about wedding plans gone awry. In-laws wreaking havoc. Grooms so nervous they drink too much the night before and can barely stand up at the wedding. Brides turning into crazed maniacs in the quest to have a picture-perfect wedding.
Cakes falling to the floor.
Florists accidentally delivering sympathy flowers instead of the wedding bouquet.
Torn dresses, lost dresses, dresses that don’t fit.
If you can imagine it, some poor bride or groom has endured it.
Writing the story made me think of my own glitch-plagued wedding.
The first hitch in the plans happened when my mom came down with the flu two weeks before my wedding. There were approximately a gazillion tiny buttons that still needed to be sewn on my dress, along with dozens of details that weren’t quite finished. She and I had planned to make the wedding cake together. Only she was sick, and I was up to my eyeballs with work, wedding plans, and the holidays (not my best idea to get married a week before Christmas but it seemed soooooo romantic at the time). My mother-in-law called me at work and informed me her friend was going to make the cake and that’s all there was to it then hung up. Although her take-charge attitude bothered me at the time, I was so glad her friend made the cake for us. It turned out beautifully, and was tasty, too.
Captain Cavedweller, and several members of both of our families, caught the same bug that Mom had and began dropping like flies. Helping hands were limited as we neared the big day. The friend I’d asked to play the piano for us backed out two days before the wedding. Fortunately, a lovely girl I worked with at the time offered to step in.
My maid of honor had sent measurements for her dress, since she lived almost eight hours away at the time. Mom made it, and when my dear friend tried it on, it didn’t fit. At all. So Mom stayed up late frantically ripping seams and making adjustments.
Somehow, we made it to the wedding rehearsal where my soon-to-be sister-in-law jokingly announced I was pregnant (which I wasn’t). CC was angry. I was livid. My parents were simultaneously shocked and appalled. I remember standing in the foyer of the church and discussing if eloping was still on the table. For months after the wedding whenever we encountered someone from CC’s side of the attendees who didn’t know me well they would give me a strange look, since I obviously wasn’t pregnant, and inquire about the arrival of the baby.
The day of the wedding, things went along fairly smoothly until the ceremony. My uncle was a county judge and we’d asked him to perform the ceremony. Except he got so nervous, he kept calling me by my sister’s name, and he bungled CC’s last name. When he announced the bride and groom at the end of the ceremony, instead of Shanna Hatfield, it came out Shelley Hathaway. Everyone in the crowd gasped in disbelief, which is evident on the video of our wedding. With all the air that was sucked in at that moment, it was lucky some of the decorations weren’t caught up in the vacuum.
The wedding was held upstairs in an old church. The reception took place in the basement. On the way down the stairs, the heel broke off my never-before-worn satin wedding heels, leaving me to clomp the rest of the way down the stairs to our waiting guests like a peg-legged pirate.
By the time we left for our honeymoon hours later, it was evident the flu I’d so carefully avoided catching caught up to me.
I laugh about all the disasters now. When people ask if there is anything I would do differently about my wedding, I always answer the same: “I’d change everything but the groom!”
In Lilac Bride, Kaden and Katherine endure any number of trials and tribulations when it comes to their wedding plans. One of the many issues that popped up included their invitations.
I thought you might enjoy reading a little snippet:
Thoughts of her kisses left him so distracted, he almost ran the drone into a tree. He guided it back toward the barn, then noticed Colt riding one of the horses he was training down the driveway. His brother rode out to the mailbox, gathered the mail, then started back. He was halfway to the house when he kicked the horse into a run and raced toward the barn, waving something over his head.
“Kade! Get down here! Hurry!” He could hear the alarm in Colt’s voice, even from his perch on the barn’s widow’s walk.
Kaden landed the drone, gathered his things, then rushed down the narrow staircase. He’d just reached the bottom when Colt burst into the barn.
“It’s so bad, Kade. She’s going to freak.” Colt waved an envelope and what appeared to be an invitation in his face.
“Who’s going to freak?” Kaden asked, setting his things on a workbench. He brushed his hands on his jeans before taking the pristine piece of creamy cardstock in his fingers and looking at a wedding invitation. His and Katherine’s wedding invitation. He knew she’d been able to get the reception address changed at the last minute and paid extra to have the invitations shipped to the guests from the print shop.
Watercolor lilacs swept across the upper left and lower right corners of the invitation, accented with sage-colored leaves and delicate gold edging. An elegant font announced the wedding and invited guests to attend the ceremony and reception. He glanced at the date to make sure it was correct, then looked at his brother. “It looks good.”
Colt appeared shocked. He tapped the card in Kaden’s hand, pointing to the first line of type. “Did you read it, you idiot?”
Kaden’s gaze dropped back to the invitation, and he quickly read each word. His eyes widened as his jaw dropped open.
He glanced up at Colt as trepidation seeped into every fiber of his being. “She is so going to freak.”
Lilac Bride releases February 25, but you can pre-order your copy today!
What about you?
Do you have any wedding disaster stories to share?
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After spending her formative years on a farm in Eastern Oregon, hopeless romantic Shanna Hatfield turns her rural experiences into sweet historical and contemporary romances filled with sarcasm, humor, and hunky western heroes.
When this USA Today bestselling author isn’t writing or covertly hiding decadent chocolate from the other occupants of her home, Shanna hangs out with her beloved husband, Captain Cavedweller.