Skip to main content

What Writers Should Know About High-End Weddings

2022 is seeing the highest number of weddings in almost 40 years. With celebration on the mind, authors Asher Fogle Paul and Mary Hollis Huddleston offer 5 things writers should know about high-end weddings.

For storytellers, weddings have it all: family drama, high stakes, wildcard guests, well-laid plans, opportunity for mishaps, and, of course, love. The world of high-end weddings adds the layers of massive expense and elaborate, fantastic details. It’s an opportunity to transport readers.

(5 Tips for Developing an Engaging Premise for a Rom-Com Novel)

We wrote about planning extravagant events at a moment when most of our loved ones’ celebrations were postponed. But now, there will be an estimated 2.5 million weddings in 2022—the most in the U.S. since 1984. For context, that’s up nearly a half a million from pre-pandemic levels and more than double the number in 2020.

So, weddings will very much be in the atmosphere. Given all this, we curated a few tips from our own experiences in both literature and in event planning for crafting fictional luxury weddings.

5 Things Writers Should Know About High-End Weddings

Find humor in the mistakes.

No matter the budget, there is always something that goes wrong at a wedding. Mine for the comedy in these moments, because it will captivate readers and there's nothing quite as relatable as trying to fix something before anyone finds out.

Right off the bat in Without a Hitch, we describe a beautiful getaway boat that becomes unmoored, and our protagonist, Lottie, has to tug it back to shore in time for the couple's big farewell. The whole sequence of events is a comedy of errors, and draws the reader into this world of over-the-top, wacky opulence which might otherwise be a bit unrelatable without that element of humor.

Remember that luxury weddings are multi-day affairs.

It's so much more than just the "big day!" There's a welcome party, daytime activities, a night-before gathering, the wedding itself, an afterparty, and farewell events on Sunday. A realistic portrayal will reference most of these events.

Remember that there is always a “through line,” or some semblance of continuity, from the first event to the last. The design and the details will be unified on some level to make the whole weekend cohesive; this is important to keep in mind when you're setting the scene.

And in a post-pandemic world, this will be especially true—more weddings are moving to having multiple events, whether that’s over several days or across varied locations around the country.

What Writers Should Know About High-End Weddings

Without a Hitch by Asher Fogle Paul and Mary Hollis Huddleston

IndieBound | Bookshop | Amazon
[WD uses affiliate links.]

Populate the world top to bottom.

Weddings, especially massive ones, provide a host of characters to mine for a story. Our book is about a junior wedding planner, but an event doesn’t happen without everyone from the waitstaff to the florist, the officiant to the maid of honor.

That wide range provides infinite possibilities for characters to interact, especially ones from different backgrounds. Depending on the context, there’s a bit of an upstairs-downstairs element to play with as well—social class, economic status, surprising poignancy, all of it.

What Writers Should Know About High-End Weddings

Highlight the culture.

While our story takes place in the American South, luxury weddings are, of course, found in every culture around the country and the world. No matter the budget, most ceremonies incorporate elements from the bride and groom’s religious, ethnic, or cultural backgrounds. The melding of differing cultures is also a great opportunity for description, character development, backstory and drama—and in a high-end wedding these moments can be multiplied and heightened.

Do your image research.

Do a deep dive into the archives of Town & Country and Vogue. Peruse (co-Founder Alexandra Macon used to write about weddings for Vogue). Luxury weddings are so rich in the visuals—embroidery on a dress, layers of decor on a dinner table, the jewels, the floral design—that it's very valuable to immerse yourself in the right imagery for inspiration. Instagram is a fabulous tool for this, as well.

Follow some of the top planners—Mindy Weiss (who loved our book and wrote a glowing review!), Colin Cowie (Colin Cowie Lifestyle), Todd Fiscus (Todd Events), Bryan Rafanelli (Rafanelli Events), Preston Bailey—along with luxury venues and florists.

All of this will give you a great starting point to create your own luxury event, fictitious though it may be! 

Fearless Writing William Kenower

You can’t write while being in the flow and be afraid simultaneously. The question is whether you will write fearlessly. In this workshop we’ll look at several techniques you can you use to keep yourself in the creative flow and out of the trouble and misery fear always causes.

Click to continue.

Your Story Writing Prompts

94 Your Story Writing Prompts

Due to popular demand, we've assembled all the Your Story writing prompts on in one post. Click the link to find each prompt, the winners, and more.

How Inspiration and Research Shape a Novel

How Inspiration and Research Shape a Novel

Historical fiction relies on research to help a story’s authenticity—but it can also lead to developments in the story itself. Here, author Lora Davies discusses how inspiration and research helped shape her new novel, The Widow’s Last Secret.

Poetic Forms

Saraband: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the saraband, a septet (or seven-line) form based on a forbidden dance.

Karen Hamilton: On Cause and Effect

Karen Hamilton: On Cause and Effect

International bestselling author Karen Hamilton discusses the “then and now” format of her new domestic thriller, The Ex-Husband.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: The Ultimatum

Plot Twist Story Prompts: The Ultimatum

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character give or face an ultimatum.

6 Things Every Writer Should Know About Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare and Company

6 Things Every Writer Should Know About Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare and Company

Sylvia Beach was friend to many writers who wrote what we consider classics today. Here, author Kerri Maher shares six things everyone should know about her and Shakespeare and Company.

How Writers Can Apply Business Tools to Their Writing

How Writers Can Apply Business Tools to Their Writing

Author Katherine Quevedo takes an analytical look at the creative process in hopes to help other writers find writing success.

Nick Petrie: On Following the Most Compelling Story

Nick Petrie: On Following the Most Compelling Story

Award-winning author Nick Petrie discusses how he listened to the story that wanted to be told in his new Peter Ash thriller novel, The Runaway.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 596

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a punishment poem.