Wedding season is not over in Marietta yet and my guest today is another wonderful Tule author who has contributed so much to our wedding fun this year. Please help me welcome the lovely Kat Latham to JaneBlog!
Here’s Kat to talk about Wedding Memories and her new release, Two Nights With His Bride!
For a romance author, I’m surprisingly pragmatic about weddings. I didn’t grow up dreaming about my wedding day. I don’t think I ever looked at bridal magazines till I started writing Two Nights with His Bride.
When I got engaged in 2005, I picked out my wedding dress within about an hour of shopping with my mom. I think I tried on only four dresses. I bought the shoes a few months later at Accessorize at Stansted Airport in London; there was no tax and they were on sale—they cost £6 (less than $10). I think they were actually house shoes, but they were comfy, pretty and matched my dress perfectly.
For the venue, my husband (who goes by Dr. Smarty Pants, PhD. on my blog) and I found a beautiful historic house in La Jolla, San Diego: the Darlington House. All the profits fund the home for senior citizens next door, and we were thrilled that our wedding could support such a lovely organization.
In some ways our wedding was very traditional. I had a cream-colored dress and a veil. Smarty Pants wore a traditional British morning suit. And we had lots of autumnal flowers, designed by my childhood next-door-neighbor—a nurse who’s been doing floral arrangements for weddings for decades.
But in other ways, we ditched tradition and made our own. We had a delicious Mexican buffet and a chocolate fountain instead of a cake, since most of the wedding cakes we’d eaten were beautiful but not very tasty. And instead of being married by a professional, we paid the state of California 20 bucks and they certified my mom to perform the ceremony. We wanted the ceremony to be personal, so all four of our parents stood up with us as my mom declared us married and told us we could kiss.
There were a couple of reasons I was especially practical about my wedding. For one, throughout our engagement Smarty Pants and I lived in London—thousands of miles from San Diego—and I was doing my Master’s degree in Human Rights. My mom did all of the legwork for planning the wedding, which took a lot of pressure off me. My studies also helped me shake off any pre-wedding stress; it’s hard to get too upset about wedding details going wrong when you spend months and months reading detailed reports about torture.
The second reason is that, when I first started going out with my husband, several of my closest friends stopped speaking to me. You see, Smarty Pants and I have different religious beliefs, something that has never bothered either of us because we deeply respect each other. But many of my friends had a huge problem with it. I received letters and emails telling me I was turning my back on God’s plan for my life by falling in love with the wrong man. Because of that, I didn’t take it for granted that everyone would consider our marriage the blessing that I knew it to be.
By the time we got married, I had a very clear idea of what our wedding meant to me. I’d always known our relationship was for life, but our wedding was a way to make that declaration public, to say, “We are together and no one will tear us apart.” And it was a chance to celebrate and thank all the many, many people who had supported and loved us throughout the years.
This October, we’ll celebrate our ninth anniversary, but I have so many memories that are as strong as if we got married yesterday. I remember watching guests arrive as I was getting ready, and I suddenly felt overwhelmed that so many people had given up their Saturday to celebrate with us. It washed away all the pain of being rejected by other friends.
I remember peeking around a corner with my dad, trying to see my flower girls as they panicked and had to be coaxed down the aisle by their mom.
I remember walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing the look of overwhelming joy on Smarty Pants’ face as he watched me.
I remember our kiss.
I remember sitting on a sofa after the ceremony and looking at his wedding ring.
I remember that I didn’t get a single bite from the chocolate fountain.
I remember our best man, my brother-in-law, giving us a card signed by several Irish rugby players, including Brian O’Driscoll (be still my beating heart).
I remember my dad’s voice breaking as he gave a speech about how much his new son-in-law meant to him. And I remember him pulling out of his tux jacket the tiny pink dress he bought right after I was born. He told our guests, “I spent more on that baby dress than I had on any item of clothing for myself in my whole life. I knew then that having a daughter was going to be expensive. I hope you all enjoy your meals tonight.”
I remember leaving the reception wearing a sign I’d handmade and walking a mile to our hotel, where my bridesmaids had decorated our room with rose petals and left us champagne (my mom’s idea) and whipped cream (my best friend’s idea).
And I remember my brother showing up at our hotel room a few hours later, so drunk he could hardly stand up, asking for money for a taxi home. But I promised him I’d retire that story, so that’s all you’ll hear about it from me.
What beautiful memories of your wedding, Kat! Thank you so much for sharing them with us.
Readers, if you haven’t already picked up a copy of Kat Latham‘s Two Nights With His Bride, do it soon! I’ve also got a fabulously fun giveaway for you. Leave a comment below for Kat and you’ll be entered to win a totebag full of books, goodies and more! Contest ends Monday with winner announced on Tuesday.