I love weddings. I love celebrating my friends, especially the ones whose wedding goal is making it an awesome party for their loved ones, with delicious food and great music and free-flowing libations. I was lucky enough to be invited to several such shindigs this year, and now that the brides and grooms and grooms and grooms are cozied up in marital bliss, gazing dreamily at their new flatware and immersion blenders, I’m ready for some wedding reading. With summer wedding season behind us, and holiday engagement season just around the corner, let’s celebrate a few good wedding romances.
Nora Roberts’ Bride Quartet follows four childhood friends who grow up to have complementary specialties (photography, floristry, baking, and event planning) and open their own high-end wedding venue. The first book, Vision in White, is about the prickly photographer and the sweet high school teacher she reluctantly falls for. Everything about this series is platinum—they’re gorgeous books and lovely, comforting, romantic stories.
Most romance readers have a trope or situation that’s their catnip—the thing that will make them buy the book immediately, not knowing anything else about it, because that thing makes a happy shiver run down their spine. One of mine is resentful exes (or almost exes) forced to work together, as investment banker Sidney and FBI agent Vaughn have to do when their siblings get engaged after a lightning-fast courtship in Julie James’ It Happened One Wedding. Everything I look for in a contemporary romance is here—characters battling their attraction because in every other way the other person is wrong for them, the backdrop of a glittery formal event, hijinks.
Aimee Carson’s The Unexpected Wedding Guest has more of that battling-exes catnip, but this time it’s the bride and her ex-husband. When Reese’s ex-husband shows up just a few days before her wedding and throws everything into disarray, she has to reevaluate how she really feels about her otherwise perfect fiancé, and why her new relationship has never come close to that disastrous—but superhot—first marriage.
The he’s-my-brother’s-best-friend-and-therefore-off-limits trope is another favorite of mine, and Lucy King plays it expertly in The Best Man for the Job, in which accomplished professional Celia has put the scars of a neglected childhood behind her, but now finds herself feeling like an awkward teenager again when her brother’s best man, Marcus Black, reappears, all successful and gorgeous.
The wedding isn’t the focus in Marguerite Kaye’s Strangers at the Altar; rather, the bride and groom marry for convenience then spend the ensuing pages circling warily around each other, both wounded by their pasts and unwilling to be vulnerable in front of, yes, a stranger. This is a bracing Scotland-set historical, and I loved it.
What’s your favorite book about a wedding?