I’ve immersed myself in all things wedding for months. No one I know is getting married –except for the imaginary characters in my destination wedding series.The series launches in this year, starting with Can’t Buy Me Love, an eNovella, in May, and then Crazy Little Thing Called Love, a full-length novel, in June.
Writing imaginary weddings is not unlike planning a real wedding. I’ve Googled engagement rings, wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses, cakes, churches and reception locations. I’ve browsed Pinterest – the mecca of all things wedding – and even created wedding playlists on Spotify.
The most challenging part for me to create? The vows. I’m well aware that in my novels an imaginary man is saying “I do” to an imaginary woman.
But the vows are my favorite moment of a wedding – probably because I was oh-so-clueless about just what I was committing too my own wedding day.When the military chaplain asked my fiancé and I what we wanted out of marriage, my fiancé said, “We want a Christ-centered marriage.” And I, barely a believer at the time,nodded yes. Several days later,we said our traditional vows:for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer.
And then we got down to the whole “being married part.” God had to teach us what it meant to have him at the center of our lives. We learned just how good “for better” can be.Just how bad “for worse” can be.And at times we felt very poor, indeed.
A bride and groom’s “I do’s” is the reason for the ceremony.And no matter what they say or how they say it – traditional or creative, with tears or with laughter, perfectly or with a verbal stumble – I remind myself: They don’t truly understand what they are committing to.
Understanding comes with being married.
It comes with the seasons of for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health … in the choosing to be married. To do life together, as promised on the wedding day – and from that day forward.
Keeping wedding vows? Not easy.
You have to learn how to fight fair and learn how to forgive – and the hard truth is, sometimes you do let the sun go down on your anger and start over the next day.
You have to define and redefine your relationship because people change and yet you stay together because when you said, “I do” you meant, “I will.”
You realize that sometimes the only thing holding you together isn’t “I love you” but “I love you whether I feel like it or not.”
And maybe that’s as it should be – this crazy little thing called love. Choosing to love one another, to stay married, isn’t easy.But it’s worth it because together a couple discovers the deeper, truer meaning of what they meant when they said, “I do.”
Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” A nonfiction writer and editor who said she’d never write fiction, Beth is now a novelist with Howard Books. Her novels include Wish You Were Here (2012), Catch a Falling Star (2013), Somebody Like You (May 2014) and Crazy Little Thing Called Love (June 2015). She enjoys writing inspirational contemporary romance because she believes there’s more to happily-ever-after than the fairy tales tell us. Beth is also the Skills Coach for My Book Therapy writing community. Connect with Beth on her website or check out her blog on quotes, In Others’ Words.