The other day I found myself on the phone with a man I’d never met. He wasn’t a telemarketer, and this had nothing to do with lining up a blind date. (I’m married!) I was on the phone with this very nice gentleman because of an email I’d sent out to my readers. The email contained a question: Have you ever attended a wedding that went wrong? I was basically looking for funny little things that can go wrong at a wedding.
Because, when you think of it, weddings are fertile ground for these minor disasters! There are so many moving parts to the whole event: from the dresses and tuxes, to the tiered cakes, to the toasts. All those pieces amount to many chances for mistakes… Which is bad news for a bride who has fantasized about the perfect day—but great news for a cozy mystery writer like myself.
In fiction, things have to go wrong. The mishaps provide tension, conflict, and even humor. If everything went swimmingly all the time, there would be no story.
So, as I sat down to plot a book in which my main character travels out of town to attend her son’s wedding, I thought: I better fill up my mental-bank with some stories about actual weddings. This, I reasoned, would give me plenty to draw from as I went about writing my story.
I emailed my readers, and enjoyed a flood of responses. Yay! The stories made me realize a few things. 1.) What can feel completely embarrassing and awful in the moment often turns into a funny story, years down the road. 2.) Wedding day mishaps can be washed away with time, leaving only a cherished memory. 3.) No one is perfect; we’ve all made mistakes. 4.) Even if everything at an event seems to go wrong, if the spirit of love is present all is well.
Among the written responses I found one that included a phone number. This wedding disaster story, I was told, could not be merely written in an email; I had to hear it for myself. This is how, on one sunny morning, I found myself on the phone with a gentleman who lived a few states away. He really did have a funny story to tell! By the end of our conversation, I could barely breathe because I was laughing so hard.
The story included a love-triangle of sorts, between a groom, his bride, and another woman. The gentleman on the phone played the role of best man. At the wedding, he was charged with being on the look-out for this “other woman,” whom he’d never met. All he knew was that she had blond hair and was pretty, and might appear as a wedding crasher. Can you imagine?
The wedding day included one awkward, strange, and humorous moment after another. Though I can’t go into all of them, I’ll relay one detail that makes me laugh, still. The ceremony and reception took place at a golf course, and the guests were not allowed to throw confetti or rice as the happy couple took their leave at the end of the evening. So… birdseed would do! Right? When guests went to fling the hand-made, crafty cones of seed out, it became apparent that a good flick of the wrist was needed. A really good flick… and then the seed would shoot out. My friend on the phone described this as a scene in which the birdseed pelted the couple like buckshot.
The bride wore a gown with seed pearl embroidery. Months later, she opened the box in which the dress was packed for storage and preservation… and found that the birdseed hurled at her that day had sprouted!
Needless to say, I have a lot to work with, now, as I put together my wedding-themed cozy mystery. The story, Crutches and Crystals, is the tenth book in my Midlife Medicine series. I hope that you check it out! Now, I’d love to hear from you. Have you ever been to a wedding that went wrong? Share it in the comments, below. Can’t wait to hear from you.
Amorette Anderson writes warm-hearted cozy mysteries that star witchy characters. She lives in Colorado with her husband and furbabies, pups Marley and Teddy. When she’s not writing or reading she’s dreaming up ways to make life a little more magical.