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?