Jennifer Pilato has just survived the whirlwind of wedding preparations. Here she talks about her own special happy ending…
There is a part of one of my favorite books, Shopaholic Ties the Knot by Sophie Kinsella, that describes wedding planning perfectly. Becky, the novel’s lovable main character, is planning her extravagant wedding to the man of her dreams, Luke Brandon, when she calls him to ask what he thinks of certain things for their big day and he asks quite comically, “Do you want the truth or the full marks answer?” She thinks about this for a moment and then says, “Give me the full marks answer,” and he responds that he cares very much about every small detail of their wedding and goes on to reiterate that he loves her so very much and that he wants to be included in every aspect of the planning. She tells him this is pretty good and then says, “Okay now give me the truth,” to which he replies, “See you at the altar”. When I read this book years ago, I laughed for a while. This is exactly how I felt about planning my wedding, if I was to ever have to plan one. I wanted a very small, intimate wedding with family and close friends, and then have a lunch – much like Carrie and Big in Sex and the City.Then, 11 months ago, my wonderful boyfriend of eight years proposed which propelled us into a whirlwind of wedding planning.
At first, I had really stuck to my original idea. Small wedding, close friends and family only. But as time went on, it became clear that that was not going to happen. Suddenly, I felt very much not like Becky, but Luke. My fiance was very involved in every aspect of planning and I just wanted to get to the altar. Everyone was teasing us about the obvious role reversal, but he would be looking at wedding planning magazines and calling me at work where I didn’t want to be bothered with things such as colors in the shades of white, off white, ivory, tan, eggshell, etc.
It’s funny but growing up, I loved opening novels where the end result was a wedding. I always cry at the end of Something Blue by Emily Giffin, I laugh at Becky and Luke’s wedding extravaganza in Shopaholic Ties the Knot, I love watching wedding proposals in movies, I love the happy ending.
Most of the books I read are all about the happy ending. I think most of the books anyone reads are about the happy ending, the happily ever after, the girl gets the guy, the guy gets the girl. I love walking into the a bookstore and although we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, it’s always the pastel colored, charming book titles that catch my eye. I love the promise of a love story, the knowledge I’m about to devour something that’s going to leave me with such a satisfied feeling.
While I was overwhelmed with wedding planning, making centerpieces, sending out invitations (100 more than I thought we were going to send out!), thinking of innovative favors, and choosing a long list of music, the one thing that kept me sane was reading. It’s amazing what a good book can do to create a perfect escape for a stressful day. It was comforting to re-read Something Borrowed (and Something Blue of course!) which I re-read every year around summer. It was nice to laugh with such books as the latest Spellman mystery (by Lisa Lutz, a sheer genius for capturing the comedy behind a family of private investigators), and savor every minute of Jen Lancaster’s Wish You Were Here.
I got married recently and it’s been blissful, the most amazing time of my life, but I’m not sure I would have gotten through the stress (well worth it though, the wedding was such a great day!) without the help of the authors I love so much who created such a much needed escape during the hectic time. It’s nice to know, however, that happy endings do really exist and thank goodness for the authors who help bring them to light. It was fun to read parts of different books with my favorite weddings in them to get inspiration or commiserate (with Luke!). But, happy endings are definitely out there and it’s nice to be able to open books and have them right at our fingertips.
Jennifer Pilato works for an editor and a pediatric ophthalmologist and is very much enjoying married life now that the planning is over!
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