I love weddings for the same reason I enjoy reading romance novels—it’s heartwarming to share the joy of a couple who have found love and are committing with hope and trust to a future together. So it should come as no surprise that I write a wedding into many of the books I write for Mills & Boon.
I particularly love dressing the bride (in another life I was a fashion writer) in a beautiful gown that suits both my heroine’s personality and the venue—be it the beach in Australia, a grand cathedral in a European principality or a tiny white chapel on a Greek island as in my September release, A Reunion Baby: Pregnancy Shock for the Greek Billionaire.
Then there are the bridesmaids’ dresses for me to get just right for the story. And sometimes even an outfit for the mother of the bride. And don’t get me started on veils, shoes and flowers. I love being my heroine’s fictional wedding planner!
I enjoy it so much, I wrote a book about a bridal designer who wears a wedding gown of her own design, From Bridal Designer to Bride.
To this end, I have a Pinterest page where I pin all things wedding for inspiration when I’m writing weddings for my books. In even the wildest stretch of a romance writer’s imagination, I would never have thought my daughter Lucy would fall in love with a gown she saw on my Pinterest page and want to wear it at her wedding in April this year.
Over the years, I had dreamed of mother–daughter time spent visiting bridal shops, me gazing misty-eyed as my daughter tried on one white dress after the other until she found the perfect one.
That’s not how it happened.
Instead, Lucy browsed through my Pinterest page and almost immediately found a pin of an exquisite gown—a vintage-inspired gown by a designer called Anna Campbell. ‘This is it. I love it,’ she said.
‘I think the designer is American, so we might have trouble getting that one,’ I warned.
My daughter read the small print. ‘She’s actually Australian, Mum, from Melbourne.’
But we were looking in 2020 and the dress, a style named Alyssa, was from the 2018 collection and no longer available. ‘Sorry, sweetheart, seems it’s not to be,’ I said. I was as disappointed as she was—it was such a lovely dress.
My daughter was not to be deterred. A few days later she called me, thrumming with excitement. ‘I’ve found the dress on a website that sells used wedding dresses, only it’s never been worn, it’s a sample from a bridal shop in Adelaide.’
The dress arrived, boxed in layers of tissue paper and in perfect condition. It was every bit as beautiful as we had hoped for.
We shook the exquisite creation of silk and lace out of its folds and she stepped into it. The only wedding gown she ever tried on—after we’d already bought it. It fitted perfectly and suited her so well we couldn’t imagine her in any other wedding dress. My hands weren’t quite steady as I tied the bow at the back and yes, my eyes did mist over. It was the bride dress of her dreams—and mine.
Lucy loved her wedding gown so much, she sent off for the accessories—a beautiful beaded headdress and wrist cuffs. As it was to be an outdoor wedding, she bought cute white boots to go with the gown (I felt so inspired by that, in the book I was writing at the time, Second Chance With His Cinderella, I dressed my heroine in boots for her wedding day.)
Covid restrictions put paid to the original wedding date of October 2021 but in April this year Lucy wore that dress to marry her husband, Jamie, in the barn at our small Blue Mountains, NSW farm. She could not have looked lovelier, happier or more in love.
After all those weddings I had created for my fictional characters, nothing could match the joy of seeing my own daughter married and embarking on her own happy ever after. In a dress I’d saved for romance-novel inspiration on my Pinterest page!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kandy Shepherd
Kandy Shepherd swapped a fast-paced career as a magazine editor for a life writing romance. She lives on a small farm in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia, with her husband, daughter, and a menagerie of animal friends. Kandy believes in love at first sight and real-life romance – they worked for her! Kandy loves to hear from her readers. Visit her website at: www.kandyshepherd.com
Don’t miss Kandy’s next book A Reunion Baby: Pregnancy Shock For The Greek Billionaire!
Entrepreneur Claudia can’t believe it. How could she go from not seeing ex Stefanos in ten years, to a one-night reunion that leaves her pregnant? Yet there’s no time to think, when the billionaire whisks her away to his private Mediterranean island! While Stefanos is determined to claim the family that once slipped through their fingers, Claudia refuses to marry for convenience. Even though saying ‘I do’ to a second chance is oh-so tempting…