Not Your Ordinary Wedding by EM Lynley

A beautiful cathedral filled with well-dressed guests. A choir with voices like angels. A army of tiny tots strewing your path with flowers. Every guest holding their breath waiting for the bride to appear and walk down the endless aisle wear a handsome groom, wearing a formal tuxedo awaits.

I remember watching all this at the opening to Prizzi's Honor. My boyfriend squeezed my hand and said, "Wouldn't you like a wedding like that? We could have that?"

I should have suspected something wrong at that point. Not with him. With me. Because that didn't really appeal to me. He was completely serious. He wanted to get married. His parents were rich enough to give us a huge formal wedding. It's ever girl's dream right?


But I digress.

Though Prizzi's Honor isn't about weddings, it does show what many American women dream of. Films have portrayed many different kinds of weddings, often pushing to excess the array of emotions that accompany a marriage.

Marriage and weddings are an enormous part of every culture, so it's interesting to watch films with weddings of other cultures, to get an insight into what makes them tick.

Three of my favorites are:

The Wedding Banquet: A clash of so many elements. A gay Chinese man living in the US arranges a marriage of convenience with a woman who needs a green card. Win-win, right? Until his parents show up. They think they are doing what's best for their child. He wants to please his parents. No one understands anything about the other. And at the heart: a gay couple who can't marry even if the parents weren't involved.

Monsoon Wedding: This Indian film portrays the issues playing out in a changing India: tradition vs. modernity; rich contrasting with poor. All against the backdrop of an extravagant event, where the family cares more about the image it portrays than what the bride and groom really want or need. Interestingly, the Indian government has recently discussed the idea of curbing excesses at weddings. In an attempt to out-do their peers, some wedding have gone to extremes, even for India. They not only waste food but feature extravagant entertainment, Indian celebrities or in one case, the entire Bolshoi Ballet.

My Big, Fat Greek Wedding: Set in the US, it's still a culture clash when an all-American guy gets swallowed up by a Greek-American family. It's a situation most guys can appreciate and much of it is about male characters. It's, funny, sad and better than you think it's going to be.

What are your favorite non-traditional wedding films and why do you like them?

Given my feelings about weddings and wedding films, it's no wonder my first novel, Sex, Lies & Wedding Bells features a bride who doesn't deserve the man she's about to marry and a groom who ends up with another groom. It's a gay romance inspired by Runaway Bride (one of my least favorite wedding films). It also happens to be on sale this month at All Romance eBooks. (Get a PDF of Chapter 1).

EM Lynley writes gay erotic romance and wishes her characters could get married if only to experience all the hassles everyone planning a wedding has to deal with. Visit her online at


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