Monday, March 19, 2012

The Unconventional Wedding - by Natalie Anderson

Wedding Accessories image by Rosen Georgiev,
I had the great privilege of going to a wedding in the weekend. I love going to weddings - such happy, fun, exciting occasions! It is such an honour to be there and celebrate with the happy couple :)

I'm always fascinated and delighted to see how people stamp their individuality on their weddings. Some might have a very original wedding dress - the most unusual, and frankly gorgeous, wedding frock I've seen was a purple one - a big full skirt in a luscious purple with flowers hand-painted around the bottom of it. It was stunning!

Others, like the wedding in the weekend, have a bridesman instead of a bridesmaid (and a groomsmaid instead of a groomsman); they might have music that reflects their taste, or the bride might make her entrance in the side-car of a motorcyle...

Then there's the venues - from church to garden to sports stadium to tropical-island-beach. I know couples who've gone to Vegas and given that I live in New Zealand, this wasn't a 'spur-of-the-moment' decision! Others have gotten hitched on the top of a mountain having been helicoptered in.

Wedding Cake image by Rosen Georgiev.
When I got married I was a traditionalist - it was the old stone church, big white dress and Rolls Royce to ride in for me. I loved it. But I confess I had a few moments of a 'beach elopement' fantasy going!

Now, as a romance writer, I ADORE getting to dream up the weddings for my heroes and heroines. Not that many of my books end up with a marriage - often its an engagement, or a declaration of commitment, but that doesn't stop me from envisioning what their wedding might be like. So much fun! In one book where I did describe the wedding, I had it as a surprise - the hero carts the heroine off for a weekend and it turns out he's organised the whole wedding (and it's actually a fairly traditional one) - and she's thrilled because she's always done all the 'organising' for everyone else, and she's very happy in this case she didn't have to! She could just enjoy it.

But I do love to gawp at weddings - if I'm out on the weekend and spot a ribboned car, then I'm rubbernecking to try to catch a glimpse of the bride! And I love it when you see something unique, or a twist on convention that reflects something about the happy couple...

So, to be in the draw to win a copy of FIRST TIME LUCKY? comment below and let me know some of the most unique or unconventional things you've seen at weddings!

EDITED TO ADD: the draw is now closed and the winner is Chrisbails! Thanks so much for sharing wedding stories with me everyone! :)

I'll draw a random winner from the commenters on Wednesday 21 March and edit the post to let you know!

USA TODAY bestseller Natalie Anderson writes fun, frisky, feels-good contemporary romance for Harlequin Mills & Boon and Entangled. With twenty books published, she’s also been a Romantic Times Award nominee & a finalist for the R*BY (Romantic Book of the Year). She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand with her husband, four children and what feels like a million ducks.

Find out more at her website - and be sure to sign up to her newsletter while there, as she has subscirber only treats on offer! She's also on Twitter and Facebook.


Laurie G said...

My son was married in a gorgeous state park last April. The bride was barefoot, pictures were staged on the sloping ledges along a river. There was a rope strung bridge, pictures taken of the bride and groom sitting on rocks along the shore both barefoot, kissing. favorite picture. It was a very relaxed, fun wedding!

Chrisbails said...

I have seen some cool stuff at weddings and receptions. I used to work for a country club and hosted a lot of receptions for the members.
I have seen instead of rice, they released butterflies. Also have seen crazy dances walking down the aisle, similar to the youtube dance done a couple of years ago. I have seen some cool table center pieces. I had one the had 2 goldfishes in small fish bowls and then the guests took them home(some even got ate by drunk people) Seen many fights and arguments at weddings. Have plenty of other fun and crazy stuff, but too many more too mention. I love weddings. I love going, hosting, and helping out with their special day.
This is a new book and author for me and would love to win and read this book. I love to read and always looking for new books to check out.

ev said...

The son of my husband's late wife's brother got married last October. It was a couple hours away, so we made a weekend of it. The weather sucked big time, but no one let it stop us! The best part was the wedding cake! They had a Whoppie Pie made just for them, by the owner's of the company that makes Whoppie Pies. It was the first one that they had ever done. And everyone got to pick an individual pie in a variety of flavors. Then the wedding party brought in their present for the couple- a matching set of Kyacks. Considering the weather, they could have used them just to get out to the parking lot. We had a blast though and that was all that mattered.

Another one we went to, it rained all day long. And it was an outdoor wedding with the reception in a big pavilion. As the time for the wedding approached (and some of us had already been sampling the booze), it quit raining and we all went down to the lake's edge where the little flower girls came along, sprinkling flower petals and they all wore floral wreaths and FAIRY WINGS! They were so frigging cute. After the ceremony, we all went back to the pavilion and it started raining again. The ceremony was the only time the sun was out the entire day. (Too bad that didn't spell good luck for the marriage)

Pat Cochran said...

Most of the folks we know are so

Our niece's first wedding was held
out on the lawn of a religious order's
bay house near Galveston.(My younger
sister was a member of the order!) It
overlooked the bay and the ceremony
was held at sunset. I guess the one
strange item was that the bridesmaids's
gowns were a deep, deep purple color.
That is the only time I've ever seen
that particular shade used in a wedding!
Then there was the family friend whose
daughter's wedding was held on the beach on Galveston Island. The men wore beach sandals, khakis, and Hawaiian shirts. The women wore
sandals and spaghetti-strapped long dresses
similar to mu-mus.(sp.)

Pat Cochran

marybelle said...

I went to a wedding where the bride wore black. She did look beautiful, but everyone, especially the older relatives, were shocked. Maybe her thinking was that black is more slimming or maybe her fall from Grace was something sensational.

Natalie Anderson said...

Laurie G - that sounds lovely!!!! And how nice to see your son married - mine is only 7 so it feels a while away - but I know time flies!!!

Natalie Anderson said...

Hi Chrisbails - wow you've seen some interesting things!!! I love the butterflies idea, but I'm not so sure about the goldfish!!! I feel sorry for the ones that were gobbled! :)
But I too LOVE weddings - such fun!

Natalie Anderson said...

Ev - laughing about the rain - oh dear! But the fairy wings sound just gorgeous!!!! Love seeing wee poppets all pretty in a wedding party - love watching their sometimes random behaviour even more! ;)

Natalie Anderson said...

Hi Pat! To be honest, most weddings I've been to have been on the traditional side too - most unconventional was probably the purple wedding dress... the purple dressed bridesmaids you saw sound interesting too!

Natalie Anderson said...

Hi Marybelle - yep, I can see that a bride in black would raise some eyebrows!!!!

Natalija said...

2 years ago we attended a wedding in Sicily. My first sicilian wedding started with bride's nervous breakdown few days before and insulting groom's family, huge amount of guests (even really far relatives get easily offended if they don't get invited) and you don't want to mess with angry and offended sicilians:) and, last but not least, we got lost on our way to the wedding reception (no wonder, because we had to cross half of Sicily to get there).

ev said...

Nothing better to relieve the tension than the kids in a wedding!

Michele L. said...

My wedding was unusual because my husband and I got married in our favorite restaurant. It was an old victorian mansion that was a French restaurant called Louis Bon Appetit. This was in 1985. We also had a balloon release and our guests said it was the most beautiful thing they had ever seen! One of our guests snapped a photo of it which was so cool! We also had wedding photos of our parents at their own weddings in gold gilded frames on a table for all to see. Everyone loved reminiscing about weddings past.

My gown was a white southern belle gown with a hoop underneath, hat, and long sleeved gloves. The bridesmaids wore dusty rose colored satin gowns. The mansion walls were maroon wall paper with a lot of dark wood everywhere. It was so lovely! My dad gave me away and had tears in his eyes which got me crying before I even was married.

Laney4 said...

We attended a wedding with the bride in her wheelchair and runners being pushed through a narrow arch to her "altar"; the entire ceremony was held in a hall, complete with family providing all the food and music in the same room.
Another was with two deaf people marrying, so there was an interpreter working as well.
My sister wed 42 years ago, and the photographer they hired took tons of pics of the bride/groom, best man/maid of honor because no one else was invited; unfortunately, the photographer didn't have film in the camera, so there were no photographs kept from that day (although they posed for new pictures a few days later with a different photographer).
As for my own wedding 30 years ago, everybody made their speeches according to the "wedding etiquette book", when the MC asked me, the bride, if I'd like to say a few words; being totally unprepared and extremely shy, I managed to thank everyone for coming from near and far, and especially my sister and her family for coming over 2000 miles away to share the day with us.

Natalie Anderson said...

Oh my! That poor bride - I hope she got through her stress and managed to enjoy her day!!!! I've not been to a massive, massive wedding--it must be an experience! :)

Natalie Anderson said...

Michele your wedding sounds like it was WONDERFUL!!!!! How gorgeous -- love the sound of that restaurant! I think it's nice about the photos of weddings past too - that's a lovely touch -- going to remember that one!!!

Natalie Anderson said...

Wow Laney - you've been to some interesting weddings--so lovely!!!! But what a shame about the film in the camera - that's a nightmare if ever I heard one!!! And it sounds to me like you did a fab job with your few wedding words :)

Natalie Anderson said...

Random drawn winner time!!!!

And the name pulled was Chrisbails!!!!!
Keep an eye on your email Chris :)

Thanks so much for sharing wedding stories with me everyone - so lovely, and also great for getting the imagination firing!!! :)