To celebrate the re-publication of her romantic comedy The Wedding Party, I'm delighted to welcome Sophie King back to the blog with an entertaining guest post about being a bridesmaid.
It looked as though all my dreams had come true! There I was, standing at the church door. Walking towards the handsome, funny man at the altar who had stolen my heart at the age of fifteen. The organist struck up Here Comes The Bride. We were off!
Except that I was the bridesmaid. Not the bride.
I first met Jim at a school disco and was, quite literally, swept off my feet at first sight! We dated for three months which was quite a long time in those days. And then he ended it. I’ve a horrible feeling that this had something to do with a Christmas present I gave him. My meagre savings from my weekend job meant I could only afford something small. So I bought him a bar of male soap. Well, after all, we women get soaps as presents so surely it was acceptable to do the same for a man? But presumably he took it as an insult (so you don’t think I wash?) and after that, he just stopped calling ...
Anyway, back to the wedding. About two years after Jim had broken my heart, I met someone else – also at a school disco. It turned out that his great friend was Jim. We began to go out as a foursome and I got on very well with Jim’s new girlfriend. Strangely, I didn’t feel any jealousy. After all, I’d just got engaged to Jim’s friend.
When Jim and his girlfriend announced their own engagement, they asked me to be bridesmaid! I was over the moon. I’d always wanted to be a bridesmaid and this was my first time. But there was one problem. I had long straight hair and the bride’s mother decided I ought to have a bit of a kink. She spent hours before the wedding, trying to get it the way she wanted. As a result, I ended up looking like a poodle. The bride, in contrast, looked radiant.
The sad thing is that I lost touch with Jim and his wife when I broke off my engagement to his friend. (Another story.) I’d like to think that they are still married all these years later. But it did make me wonder just how much influence a bridesmaid can have on a wedding. My own darling daughter, at the age of two, managed to disrupt my cousin’s niece’s nuptials by performing somersaults over the altar rail – encouraged by her four year old brother. That marriage didn’t last very long.
Then there was the bridesmaid who told the bride-to-be where she was going on her honeymoon. No one had warned her it was a secret. And yes, all right, I confess. I was that bridesmaid. The marriage lasted a year.
When I was researching stories for THE WEDDING PARTY, I came across another bridesmaid who hated her dress so much that she ‘accidentally’ spilt red wine over it the day before – and had to wear something else. The bride was furious. The groom said she was making a fuss. (The bridesmaid was his sister). And they are currently having a trial separation one year on.
The message is clear. Choose your bridesmaid carefully. When I first got married, I had my sister, my then best friend and my new sister-in-law. When I got married the second time, I didn’t have any. Draw your own conclusions ...
NOTE: Some of the names in this post have been changed!
The Wedding Party
Sophie King’s popular romantic comedy is published in a brand new ebook edition. Shortlisted for Love Story of the Year by the Romantic Novelists’ Association in 2010.
’An absorbing, feel-good novel ‒ I really enjoyed it.’ Penny Vincenzi
When Monique and Geoff decide to tie the knot they soon discover that love second time around brings special challenges. And not just for them. There are ups and downs for family, friends, the wedding planner, and even the vicar as the big day approaches.
Geoff’s ex-wife can’t accept that he has moved on. Could a chance meeting help Helen come to the right decision about her future?
Their daughter, Becky, doesn’t approve of her dad’s bride-to-be. But as she juggles motherhood and a high-powered career, will she realise it’s her own marriage that needs most attention?
Janie was sacked from her last job as a wedding planner for being so disorganised. Is she really the right choice to help the happy couple get hitched without a hitch?
Mel swapped a job in advertising for a new life as a vicar. But can she keep her faith after an accident which turns her family’s world upside down?
Family and friends learn that the course of true love never did run smooth, and there really is no such thing as a stress-free wedding. But can they each still find their own happy ever after?
WIN AN £80 WEDDING GIFT EXPERIENCE VOUCHER FROM TINGGLY.COM!
To celebrate the publication of "The Wedding Party", thanks to the lovely people at gift experience company Tinggly, we have a voucher worth £80 for any one experience worldwide from their Essential Collection. The ideal present for friends or family who are about to tie the knot!
To be in with a chance, simply email your answer to the following question to firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight BST on 10th August 2015.
Question: What is the name of Geoff's daughter in "The Wedding Party" by Sophie King?
See the full range at www.tinggly.com. Voucher must be used by 25/6/2017. Entry will be chosen at random. Emails and contents will not be shared with any third party and will be deleted after the competition. Competition run by Wyndham Media Ltd. Judges decision is final. Good luck!