I wrote a beautiful wedding scene in my unpublished series, one that I hope I’ll be able to share with you because the characters and the ceremony are so near and dear to my heart.
To write this scene, I basically pretended I was a wedding planner because I wanted to include every aspect that makes a wedding ceremony so great.
Note: Not all weddings have to be described in such detail, but if the wedding is important to the story, it would be a good idea to follow the steps below.
TIP #1: Let the genre and the kind of story you’re writing influence the wedding. If your story is set in the future, change up the traditions. If it’s a fantasy, add magic and fanciful creatures.
TIP #2: Keep to the culture and religion of your characters. For different cultures, you’ll have to alter these tips and do more research.
Now here are my 15 steps to help you write a wedding ceremony (American-style).
1. Know when and where.
Decide what month/season the wedding will take place, and the location. A summer wedding with vivid colors like red would be stunning on a beach with white sand and blue water.
2. Pick the theme.
The theme could fit the story, such as an autumn wedding with pumpkins and fall leaves for a horror or supernatural story. You can also use the bride’s and groom’s personalities. If they are a fun couple, they could have a Vegas-themed wedding.
These details will help you greatly when you need to describe the surroundings.
3. Say “yes” to your heroine’s dress!
Even if you’re a guy, like it or not, you’ll have to at least briefly describe the bride’s dress. You don’t need to report every stitch, but you should give a few details such as the color (not all dresses are white), the length, and perhaps what the neckline looks like.
TIP #3: Go wedding magazine crazy at your local library, or search online until you find your heroine’s perfect dress. I actually designed my heroine’s dress, so if you have a knack for design, give it a try!
4. Bridesmaids and groomsmen.
Let your minor characters take part in the wedding. And yes, along with the heroine’s and hero’s attire, briefly give us a picture of what the bridesmaids and groomsmen are wearing.
5. The bouquet.
When the bride is walking down the aisle, tell us what flowers she’s holding. This could be as simple as a bundle of Calla Lilies or as elaborate as a mixture of roses, carnations, and daisies.
6. Emotions are high.
How does the bride feel as she walks down the aisle to the man she loves? How does the groom feel as he watches her come toward him? Scared, anxious, happier than ever before?
7. Wedding march and escort.
Does the bride walk to a classic wedding song or a different instrumental piece? Does a father figure walk her down the aisle or does she take the walk alone?
What the bride and groom say to each other is extremely important. Do they exchange traditional vows or write their own? If they write their own, use their personality. Is one of your characters funny? Slip in a private joke.
For my book, I wrote the vows, including what my characters say to each other during the ring exchange and what the official says before announcing my characters as husband and wife.
TIP #4: Write a piece of poetry inspired by your character’s love for each other that can be used as their vows.
9. Ring exchange.
When your characters exchange rings, let their fingers shake. I was once at a wedding where the groom put the ring on the bride’s wrong hand. Then when he tried to take it off to put it on her left hand, it wouldn’t budge. They had to pour water on her finger (at the altar) to slip it off. Can you remake something cute and funny like that?
10. The kiss.
“You may now kiss the bride” is always the best part of the wedding ceremony. Do your characters share a sweet kiss, or does the groom sweep the bride around in his arms and lay a big one on her? Reveal their personality and their love for each other.
The dances are the sweetest moment following the vows and the kiss. Don’t let the opportunity to describe your characters’ first dance as husband and wife. Share their happiness as they dance, and let them whisper in each other’s ears.
12. Bouquet and garter toss.
This is possibly the funnest (Yes, funnest!) moment at a reception. I always enjoy seeing who catches the bouquet and garter, so in my book it’s no wonder that I paired two characters who had a lot of hidden sexual tension for each other.
Aside from the couple getting married, the next thing the guests care about is food. You don’t have to go into extraneous detail about every plate of food, but a short inventory of the kinds of foods your characters can eat is always a nice touch.
What does the cake look like? Two tier? Three? What is on the top? After the description comes the cutting of the cake. If your characters are care-free, they can smear the icing across each other’s faces. I had fun with this part, letting my characters get playful.
15. The wedding night.
Once the wedding is over and the reception winds down, the couple deserves some time alone. To write this part of the wedding night, use this link: Writing About: Intimacy
TIP #5: If you’ve had your dream wedding, infuse your precious memories with your characters’ happy day. If you have not had your dream wedding, this gives you the chance to have it by giving it to your beloved characters.
Not all weddings are happy, though. Perhaps your groom is stood up at the altar. Or if you’re writing a mystery, maybe someone turns up dead.
It’s always important to keep with the theme of your story. However, a bit of happiness is a good idea. After everything I put my characters through in my series, I decided a beautiful, peaceful wedding was imperative.
TIP #6: Listen to your characters. How do they want to get married? What do they say needs to happen? Pay attention to what they tell you. After all, it’s their day.
SHARE: Memories from your wedding day.
QUESTIONS: Has any of your characters tied the knot? Did you write about their wedding?