Jennifer Slattery – Real Life Romance – Part 1 of 2

Shannon here: Women’s Fiction author, Jennifer Slattery remembers her wedding day, plus a chance to win a copy of her latest release, Breaking Free. Comment or answer the question at the end of any post dated March 7 – 9 to enter the drawing. Deadline: March 19th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Jennifer:

Jennifer Slattery wedding picJennifer Slattery ring

Jennifer SlatteryJennifer Slattery cover

According to some, rain on one’s wedding day brings good luck. Then again, others say it’s a sign of the many tears to come. Perhaps it’s both, because my husband and I have had our share of laughter and struggles.

We’ve been together for twenty years now.  Nineteen and a half years longer than many of our wedding guests thought we’d last. I can’t help but wonder how many of them were calculating the odds, as they listened to us say our vows.

The wedding was simple, with maybe fifty guests tops. The park we’d reserved was beautiful, filled with large evergreens, the occasional gazebo, and expanses of rich green grass. And in the center of it all stood a romantic little log cabin, where we planned to host our reception.

But the wedding itself would be outside.

You can probably see where this is going.

Early that morning, my mom and I arranged live, potted flowers in a back courtyard and hung others from a covered wooden bridge spanning the length of a small stream. Inside was simple: some handmade centerpieces on the tables, paper bells dangled from the corners of the mantels. And metal chairs, the kind you might find in a bingo hall, Park Department written on the backs in bright blue paint.

Funny how none of that bothered me. In fact, I didn’t notice the chairs or the paint at all, until years later when I looked through our old wedding album. All I noticed were the flowers, my husband, and my insanely jittery stomach that made eating breakfast completely out of the question.

Besides, outside, everything looked beautiful. Fairytale beautiful. But then, it began to rain. Light at first, the kind of drizzling you try to ignore as you tell yourself the clouds will pass. But then it intensified, threatening to run my make-up and drench my dress.

Luckily, I dashed inside before that happened and laughed, still in my fairytale world, as my mom scurried to and fro, to bring the flowers in. She placed these—all peach and white—on the mantle and front tables, and I slipped into the kitchen to wait for the ceremony to begin.

Then the music started, pouring from a boom box manned by my brother in law near the front of the room. I stepped out of hiding and, with my father at my side, began to walk down the aisle.

That’s when the crying started. I don’t know if it was the rain, my nerves, or the realization that this amazing man I’d fallen so deeply in love with truly would be mine, forever. Whatever the reason, I was such a sniffling mess, I could barely see two feet in front of me.

With my father at my side, I made it to front of the aisle where my man stood waiting for me.

While the music continued to play.

And play.

And play.

My sweet groom frowned, glancing from me to my brother-in-law mouthing, “Cut it off!” I’m not sure how many times he did that.  Numerous. Enough to warrant a few quiet chuckles from our guests. Probably those same guests who, having counted the odds, were convinced my groom and I would never last.

If our wedding ceremony was any indication of the years to come, they may have been right.

But it wasn’t, and they weren’t. Twenty years later, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Not about that day, so long ago, when we said our vows in a simple log cabin buffeted by rain. I wouldn’t change those metal chairs for fancier ones, wouldn’t change the boom box for a band. Because that day, rain and all, was one of the best days of my life and is a memory I will always cherish.

About Jennifer: Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers and devotions for Internet Café Devotions, the group blog, Faith-filled Friends, and her personal blog. She also does content editing for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas’ Firefly imprint, and loves working with authors who are serious about pursuing their calling. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.

Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte

About the book – Breaking Free:

Sometimes it takes losing everything to grab hold of what really matters. 

Women’s ministry leader and Seattle housewife, Alice Goddard, and her successful graphic-designer husband appear to have it all together. Until their credit and debit cards are denied, launching Alice into an investigation that only leads to the discovery of secrets. Meanwhile, her husband is trapped in a downward spiral of lies, shame, and self-destruction. Can they break free from their deception and turn to the only One who can save them? And will it be in time to save their marriage?

Read a free, 33-page excerpt here: Breaking Free – free sample

Can’t wait for the drawing? Purchase now: 

Christianbook.com                    BarnesandNoble                  Amazon

Question for married Readers: What about you? Did you have a simple or elaborate wedding, and did things turn out as you had planned? If you had it to do over, would you change anything, and if so, what?

Question for single Readers: If you’re not married, would you like a simple or elaborate wedding?

Come back March 10th for Jennifer’s Excerpt!

21 Responses to “Jennifer Slattery – Real Life Romance – Part 1 of 2”

  • Stella Potts says:

    I had a very simple wedding with a Justice of the Peace. Yes, if I had it to do over I would have an elaborate wedding with all the trimmings although everything turned out ok as it was. Been married lots of years now.

  • Shelia Hall says:

    I had a simple wedding and marriage lasted 8 1/2 years before he cheated on me and we divorced

  • Kim Hampton says:

    My husband and I had only known each other five months when we eloped and got married in a local park on my lunch hour. He was in the Army Reserves and they were planning for deployment, and we wanted to make sure we were married and I was pregnant when he left. He ended up getting a medical discharge before that happened, but I still wouldn’t change a thing. We had a simple ceremony for our friends and family 3 months later, and I know everyone thought it wouldn’t last, but this June will be 11 years!

  • Hi, Stella,

    I’d love to hear the story behind that! 🙂 Maybe you and your hubby could renew your vows and you could have a sweet wedding with the gown, dancing, and cake?

  • Oh, Shelia, I’m so sorry! That had to sting something awful. 🙁 Hugs, and best of luck in the drawing.

  • Kim, that sounds like the type of romance one sees in movies! How romantic! Where was the park? (What state.) And eleven years–that’s awesome! Congrats! Don’t you love it when true love proves the critics wrong? 😉

  • We had a simple wedding at the church we were members of at the time. My maid of honor’s mother did the flowers for me. They were silk, which was a good thing since it was hot and the reception was in the new sanctuary that was being built. It only had a frame and roof at the time with the walls open. I worried about how it would look in pictures, but it looks like we’re in an outdoor pavillion, so it turned out pretty.

  • Dianne Casey says:

    I had a really small wedding at home with a justice of the peace and 9 guests. I wasn’t nervous at all, was really sure it would last, but we divorced 11 years later. Glad I didn’t have a big wedding.

  • Karen Hadley says:

    I had a simple wedding with family and a few close friends. I wouldn’t change anything about the wedding. I’m married to my best friend.

  • Oh, Dianne, I’m so sorry. That’s hard.

  • Shannon, that’s so sweet–your maid of honor doing the flowers. And that sounds beautiful! What color were your flowers? (Because I’m a flower lover. 🙂 )

  • Karen, that’s awesome. How long have you been married?

  • Caitlin M says:

    I think I’d like a somewhat elaborate wedding to mark the importance of the occasion and to give all of my family and friends a great party.

  • KayM says:

    Jennifer, I love the story of your wedding! Mine was quite simple also. It was planned and carried out in 2 weeks. I had a lovely, small reception at my parents’ house. I’m sure there were some people that were shaking their heads in dismay. I thought it turned out very well and my marriage lasted 44 years before my husband passed away.

  • Melanie Backus says:

    We had a small, family wedding. It was lovely, perfect, and this fall we will celebrate forty-one years of marriage.

  • Hi, Caitlin!
    Thanks so much for stopping in to chat. Do you have any particular wedding dreams? Have you envisioned the kind of dress you’d wear, or the color of your flowers? It’s always fun, I think, to think about those types of things! 🙂 Oh, and the cake! If you could have the perfect cake at your wedding, what would it look like? And chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry or a combination?

    You know, as I typed all that about the cake, I remembered that’s one area we splurged on, but I can’t remember what it looked like. I’ll have to go back and look in our wedding album! 🙂

  • Hi, Kay!

    Oh, my! Planned and orchestrated in two weeks! Is there a fun story behind that? Having a wedding at your parents sounds so special and heartwarming! I’m picturing your mom with tears in her eyes and a swelling heart. And wow, 44 years???? That’s awesome! What would you say is the secret to a lasting marriage?

  • Good morning, Melanie,

    Another four-decade wife! That’s awesome! I’ll ask you the same question I asked Kay–what’s the secret to a lasting marriage?

    Your wedding sounds like it was lovely and low-stress. My favorite kind! 🙂

  • The flowers were my favorite color. Thistle. It’s a mauve/lilac color that used to be in the Crayola box. They were mostly mums and roses. I love that they were silk. I still have my bouquet in a box.

  • Terrill Rosado says:

    My husband-to-be had received a job transfer to Puerto Rico so our church came together and helped us plan and pull together a simple wedding on the fly before the big move. The only complication was at the vows when my husband started swaying and nearly fainted. I didn’t take offense, because he had the goofiest grin on his face. He nearly fainted a second time in our marriage when our first child was born.

  • carylkane says:

    Small, simple wedding would be wonderful!

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