The RWA website: Two basic elements comprise every romance novel: a central love story and an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending.
So, to have an optimistic ending, hero and heroine need to “come together” at the end of the book. Maybe it’s a declaration of undying love. Maybe it’s a proposal. Romance writers don’t often write about what happens AFTER the wedding. Those are stories for another day.
I’ve included actual brides in my books. In Heart to Heart, I simply indicated the bride-to-be by an engagement announcement in the newspaper.
Six months later in the society section:
Martha Fields, a professional animal communicator, is to be married to Jeremy Hamilton, owner of Hamilton Staffing located in Louisville, Kentucky. Ms. Fields is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Nate Fields of Legend, Tennessee. Mr. Hamilton is the son of the late David Hamilton of Louisville, Kentucky. A June wedding is planned.
One of my books I actually used “bride” in the title. In Kentucky Bride, I included a newspaper announcement of the wedding.
The Chicago Tribune Online
Aimee Elliott and Camden Brennan were recently married at St. Peter Catholic Church in Skokie with a reception following at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The bride is the daughter of Ray and Martha Elliott of Skokie. Mr. Elliott is the president and CEO of Elliott Construction Company of Chicago. The groom is the son of Henry and Virginia Brennan of Louisville, Kentucky. The bride, 25, received a BS in animal sciences and is the program director for The Hope Therapeutic Riding Center, Shelbyville, Kentucky. The groom, 30, graduated from the University of Kentucky with a MS degree in business. He is president and CEO of Brennan Equipment Company. The couple honeymooned in Ireland, Scotland, London, and Paris and reside in Louisville.
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2M5fT8q
In Mercer, Stef and Brody (hero and heroine from book 1) get married. Mercer attends the ceremony.
Stef was a beautiful bride, relaxed and happy and dressed in an off-white, lace-lined, floor-length dress with a short train. It had a corset style bodice with drawstring laced-up back. With her natural-colored boots, she looked pure Montana, ready to ride off into the sunset with her man.
When the minister proclaimed, “You may kiss the bride,” Brody swept her into his arms and bent her backward in a long, drawn-out kiss. The audience broke into cheers and applause. Mercer didn’t think she would ever stop clapping. It was so darn romantic she wanted to cry.
Writers are often told to start a story where it begins. In Tangled Memories, I realized the story started when my characters married, so the beginning of the story describes the wedding.
His eyes were gray. I had never noticed before. They weren’t the color of slate but smoky and mysterious.
Swallowing a hard knot of dread that surfaced in my throat, I walked down the silent aisle toward him. Chin held high, very lady-like in posture and demeanor, a trace of smile upon my lips—I was the picture of confidence.
Inside, I trembled.
I stopped in front of the altar. A cloying scent of gardenias assaulted my senses. How curious the delicate white flowers in my bouquet should be so overpowering. Just like the man beside me. Just like the deep, heady gray of his eyes.
I extended my hand. He took it, and I drew a breath and held it. The firmness of his fingers surprised me.
“Friends.” The minister glanced up at us and smiled. “We are gathered together in the sight of God to witness and bless the joining together of Mary and Alexander in Christian marriage.”
Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/TM_AmazonUK