The ties that bind and the drama that surrounds them

The Chicks are thrilled to welcome wonderful author Mary Feliz today. Take it away, Mary…


Professional organizer Maggie McDonald knows there is no organizational project as daunting as a wedding. In fact, even she turns such projects over to the wedding organizers. (See Marla Cooper’s series featuring destination wedding planner Kelsey McKenna.)

For an author, juggling the wedding of my youngest scheduled days after the launch of my fourth book is, in two words, wig-out city. Because weddings are prone to high drama.

Several things are making the project easier. The lovers are doing most of the work themselves. We love the bride and all her extended family, who we’ve known for years. We’ve watched the romance unfold over the past decade, since he fainted at her feet in their high school history class, through marching band, and across the course of their college years when I was lucky enough to help with transport.

Several things are making the project harder. The couple is doing most of the work themselves–which means all four parents’ greatest tool is duct tape across our mouths to keep our “helpful” ideas to a minimum. But we’re brought in when things get tricky. Like when the planned caterer was in a motorcycle accident, lost a leg, and needed extensive surgery and rehab on his arm. The least of the problems stemming from that accident is that we’re looking for a new caterer, but we still need to feed people. Our couple’s backup if we can’t book a supplier on short notice? Ordering in pizzas and picking up cupcakes at the supermarket.

Regardless of how the organization shakes out, what the weather holds, who attends, and what food is served, the couple will be happily married amid a wealth of supportive friends and family. We’re trying to keep that thought at the forefront of our minds. And working to remember that the things that go wrong make the best stories.

Before my wedding to the father of the groom, I’d asked him to be sure to get to the church early because I knew that if I got there first I’d be more nervous than the situation warranted. He promised.

Driving to the church, I glanced out the back window and saw…my beloved, with a panicked look on his face. At first, I was hurt, but then I realized there had to be an epic tale behind the whole thing. There was.

The wedding day dawned drizzly/. While loading the car, the best man left the back door open. An enormous sheepdog seized the opportunity to get warm and dry—and refused to budge. Great clods and smears of mud accompanied the canine as he got comfy. After wedding attendees, hotel employees, and several strangers failed to lure the dog from the car, the best man hijacked another one. By then, they were late, and my beloved muttered, “but I promised her,” under his breath all the way to the church.


And then there was the cake, which was inadvertently switched with one for another wedding. We got lemon. They got chocolate. I’ve always hoped the bride at the other wedding didn’t have an allergy that required her to be rushed to the emergency room.

In the end, that wedding resulted in more than 30 happy and resilient years with no sign of fading love. It proves what both my parents and the priest who married us contended: by the time of the decision to wed, all the appropriate promises have been made. The wedding ceremony serves only as a symbol of those commitments and vows, and a celebration of the couple’s families and communities.

All of my books center around family and community and what happens when disaster threatens to tear them apart. In my books, my characters join forces to vanquish the threat and tighten their bonds. Only recently have I reflected on the fact that the same things happen at joyous weddings for happy couples and their supportive family and friends. Mazel tov to them all.

Readers, do you have a wedding horror or heaven story?


Mary Feliz writes the Maggie McDonald Mysteries featuring a Silicon Valley professional organizer and her sidekick golden retriever. She’s worked for Fortune 500 firms and mom and pop enterprises, competed in whale boat races and done synchronized swimming. She attends organizing conferences in her character’s stead, but Maggie’s skills leave her in the dust. Address to Die For, the first book in the series, was named a Best Book of 2017 by Kirkus Reviews. All of her books have spent time on the Amazon best seller list.

Professional organizer Maggie McDonald balances a fastidious career with friends, family, and a spunky Golden Retriever. But add a fiery murder mystery to the mix, and Maggie wonders if she’s found a mess even she can’t tidy up . . .

With a devastating wildfire spreading to Silicon Valley, Maggie preps her family for evacuation. The heat rises when firefighters discover a dead body belonging to the husband of Maggie’s best friend Tess Olmos. Tess becomes the prime suspect in what’s shaping up to become a double murder case. Determined to set the record straight, Maggie sorts in an investigation more dangerous than the flames approaching her home. When her own loved ones are threatened, can she catch the meticulous killer before everything falls apart?


30 thoughts on “The ties that bind and the drama that surrounds them

  1. No big horror stories for me. I do remember my best friend planned an outdoor wedding on a hilltop. It poured in the morning, necessitating driving everybody up in a 4×4, lots of dress hem cleaning, etc. She was a wreck at first, but the sun came out and it all worked.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My college roommate’s daughter’s wedding is scheduled for mid-October and the happy couple just heard their venue is closing and they cannot use it for the reception. Everyone is scrambling to find a reception venue that will allow them to use the caterer they have contracted with. Still waiting for the results!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Good luck to them! I can see why people have long engagements to plan weddings—there are so many details and ways for things to go wrong. My family leans to short engagements, simple weddings, and long marriages.We pulled this one together in three months—which somehow takes some of the pressure off. If the logistics are widely off, we’ll still be able to say:”Not bad for such a quick set up!” Already, the groom’s family is hosting the wedding and the bride’s family the dinner the night before.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My wedding venue was red-tagged after the Northridge earthquake! Luckily, it was up and running only weeks before our ceremony. Great post, Mary! Looking forward to photos from your son’s wedding. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I forgot the groom’s wedding ring! I realized too late and had to use my brother-in-law’s ring during the ceremony. John had a surprised look on his face when I struggled to slip it on his finger — it wasn’t a perfect fit! During the wedding my cousin’s husband drove out to my mom and dad’s house and retrieved the ring, so we had the right one later for the pictures! It’s our 30th anniversary this year, so it worked out okay. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I just heard of a couple that forgot the license! The groom’s Mom was asked to ride to the rescue, only to discover her car had a flat. It didn’t take much to convince another guest to save the day and find the license on the groom’s kitchen table, right where he’d set it out to be sure it would not be forgotten. The bride and other guests didn’t learn of the lapse until much later.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve been telling the couple and everyone else (friends, relatives, and perfect strangers) that the things that go wrong make the best stories. If everything goes right, what is there to recount?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh my gosh! I love this post!

    Our wedding was a serious of mishaps, but the marriage has endured more than 25 years, so all’s well that ends well. Highlights included a sick priest and his last-minute replacement, a snowstorm that delayed the arrival of out-of-town wedding party members, our reception venue changing hands the day of our wedding (January 1), which caused an enormous amount of upheaval and confusion for the staff, and the groom getting carded during the wedding toast. It’s fun to look back on these beautiful disasters and see how we all pulled together to create a memorable(!) wedding.

    Best wishes to your son and future daughter-in-law.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. My bridesmaid daughter got carded at our family wedding. (She was quite put out, because she was a *bridesmaid* –but also, ahem, underage. Meanwhile, 14 yo son had his first (I hope) experience with leftover champagne that no one was watching. Was he sick the next day.)

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Oops! So how long will it be until the next encounter with wedding champagne?

          We’ve got a family connection in the Sonoma wine business, so we’ve now got three crates of champagne and three of wine in our living room!

          Liked by 1 person

      2. He was old enough, but we did get married pretty young AND he looked about 12, so I totally saw where they were going with the “can I see your ID?” interruption. It was awkward and hilarious. OH, and then his uncle brought out his flask and almost got kicked out. Ah, the memories.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Mary, thanks so much for visiting Chicks today–what a fabulous, fun post! I know I’ve told the story of one of my daughter’s 16 yo bridesmaids forgetting her dress and shoes back in Boston (wedding was hours away on the island of Martha’s Vineyard). Just. Priceless. She tries not to cringe whenever she sees her wedding pix.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, poor bridesmaid! Our couple is having only one attendant—the bride’s sister. But the officiant is a friend of the couple arriving at at airport 2 hours away at 4am the morning of the wedding.?Ack! I’ve reassured myself that if we just have a lovely party and the official vows follow at a later date and a different, it will be fine. My son says they may have a backup officiant.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. OMG, that dog story! Even if they’d gotten him out of the car, they would have had to spend another half hour cleaning it. Thanks for sharing — and congratulations on 30 happy years! (I hope you have chocolate cake on most anniversaries!)


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