The Million Dollar Wedding Wager

by Karina Cooper

I'm a failure to my own genre.

As a romance author, you'd think that my wedding would have been full of glitter and sparkles and magic. You'd possibly even think that I'd have rode in on Cinderella's carriage, or gone off to some foreign locale and tied the knot (or, as the mancandy puts it, locked the ball and chain...).

Of course, I did none of these things.

A lot of folks seem to think that "practicality" is anathema to romance. Most girls, or so I am assured by People Who Know These Things, spend their whole lives dreaming of the day they get married. What they'll wear, how they'll look, where it'll be.

I spent my whole life confident that I'd never marry.

And because I was so sure of this, I never even bothered with dreams of white dresses and fairy tale endings. I mean, sure, I assumed I'd meet someone I really liked, even loved, and I'd live in unwedded bliss for as long as we tolerated each other. Ta da! So romantic...

And then I met the mancandy. We were friends, first, and among the early topics of conversation was a full-on debate about the merits and need for marriage and kids. We got into it hard, and he bet me a million dollars I'd change my mind.

Fast forward to my twenty-first birthday. The man proposes on bended knee. I say yes, and I'm out a million dollars.

But it wasn't done there. We were content to be engaged for a while. Like, several years a while. The time was just never right, we figured. It was a pain to get all our people together. We were busy. We didn't want to blow a lot of money on an epic wedding. Honestly, I just didn't mind. Never getting married, remember?

Fast forwards a few more years. One day, I roll over, prop my head on my hand, elbow planted on his chest, and say, "Hey. Wanna just go to the court house?"

He grins. "Yeah."

About a week later, and we were shackled. The only people to stand with us were our best friends.

No fairy tale princess wedding there, not even for this romance author. But I have to tell you, I wouldn't trade it for the world.

And, of course, I'm still out a million bucks -- or was, until the fool bet me again on something I knew I was right about. Mwahaha! Now he owes me several thousand dollars. It's a good thing, too, because I have a shoe addiction...

What do you think about big weddings versus small? Are you one of those who have epic dreams of princess gowns and horse-drawn carriages, or do you prefer something low-key?


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