Monday, June 28, 2010

Today's Special -- Maya Rodale

Historical romance author Maya Rodale began reading romance novels in college at her mother’s insistence and it wasn’t long before she was writing her own. Maya is now the author of multiple Regency historical romances, including her latest, A Groom of One's Own, out tomorrow! She lives in New York City with her darling dog and a rogue of her own. Please help us welcome Maya to The Romance Dish as she talks about...

Weddings, weddings everywhere!

There are a lot of blog worthy topics in my new book, A Groom Of One’s Own: love quandrangles, dukes, female newspaper writers in Regency London, foreign princes, great schemes, big scandals….but today I wanted to chat about wedding planning.

First of all, that’s Groom as in bride and groom, not a stable boy (as one of my friends thought--I find the confusion funny). Planning the grand “Wedding of the Year” between the Duke of Hamilton and Brandon (our hero) and the daughter of the Duke of Richmond (the lovely and likeable female foil) forms the backdrop of the story. It’s also the subject of The London Weekly’s column, Miss Harlow’s Marriage in High Life, written by our heroine, Miss Sophie Harlow.

Wedding planning—smile with glee or cringe? I had no first hand experience with it when I was writing the book—I knew there was dress fittings and cake tasting involved, but that was about it. I did my research (thanks to my cousin, Shelbi!) but nothing compares to the real experience.

Speaking of A Groom Of One’s Own, my now-fiance proposed after I handed the book in. So now I’m knee deep in planning my own wedding and have an appreciation for the complexity of it—the guest list is fraught with opportunities to offend, the etiquette of invitations is outrageously intricate, and dress shopping loses its appeal after the 20th or so dress.

None of these things made it into the book—instead I focused on the romance between a betrothed duke and the scandalous young woman who writes for a newspaper. Or the romance between said duke’s fiancé and a dashing foreign prince. Or the Big Secret that complicates everything. Oh, and then you would not believe what actually happens at the Wedding of the Year.

But back to wedding planning and weddings—my fiancé and I are enjoying everyone else’s wedding stories and advice, as well as videos and tales about when things go wrong at weddings. Got any to share? Any favorite wedding scenes from romance novels?


Miss Harlow's Marriage In High Life
London, 1823

A handsome duke. His beautiful soon-to-be duchess. A whirlwind courtship. It is this author's privilege to report on the event all of London is talking about: the upcoming wedding of the Duke of Hamilton and Brandon to the only daughter of the Duke of Richmond. Every details of the "Wedding of the Year" will be reported in these pages as a London Weekly exclusive.

But I, Miss Sophie Harlow, must confess to a secret infatuation with this "double duke" that can only lead to trouble. It is impossible that this notoriously upstanding gentleman would ever jilt his bride for a scandalous female newspaper writer. And yet...the arrival of a foreign prince, the discovery of a shocking secret, and one passionate kiss could change everything. Will this perfect duke risk the scandal of the year to marry the woman his heart desires?

There are only just three more weeks until the wedding...

For more information about Maya and her books, please visit her at:


  1. Hi Maya,
    Congrats on the new release and the upcoming wedding. I haven't been to that many weddings, but one of my favorites was my cousin's shotgun wedding in Vegas. We only had two weeks to coordinate everything, but everything went smoothly. I liked the wedding scene in Julie Garwood's "Saving Grace." I love the part where the heroine insists the hero's illegitimate son be part of the ceremony.

  2. Hi Everyone!

    Thanks so much for having me over for a lil' guest blogging!

    Jane, that shotgun wedding sounds fun--and I'm amazed that it was planned in two weeks! I'm taking a year to plan mine, and there's always more to do :)


  3. Good morning and welcome to the blog, Maya! We're happy you could be with us today. Congrats on your newest release! It is on my list that I'm taking to the bookstore tomorrow. Can't wait to read it!

    Also, congratulations on your upcoming wedding! My husband and I had our wedding in a tropical wedding garden and the lady who ran it pretty much set it all up. We just had to buy dresses and tuxes and make a few phone calls. It was perfect.

    I think one of the best weddings I've read about in a while, is the short story that Lisa Kleypas wrote, "A Hathaway Wedding". It was soooo funny and very sweet. :)

  4. Oh, Jane, I have had Saving Grace for years and never read it. I must remedy that soon. The wedding scene sounds heart-warming. :)

  5. Hi Maya

    I have heard lots of great things about this book I look forward to reading it.

    Weddings aren't they great I have been married for 33 years we planned it so long ago I don't remember much about the planning I do rmember that the Best Man had played soccer that day and hurt his ankle and at the wedding he took his shoe off and his foot swelled that much that it had to be packed in ice to get the shoe back on for the rest of the photos and we learned the next day that his ankle was broken but the wedding went well.

    Congrats on the wedding and the book

    Have Fun

  6. Oh wow, three weeks?? Does the double duke know the newspaper columnist prior to the three weeks before his wedding? This has got to be good, I can't wait to read it.

  7. Hi Maya,

    Congratulations on the release of your latest book and your upcoming marriage. I've read a couple of your earlier books and look forward to reading this book. Sounds like a keeper!

    The best wedding in recent history that I recall is my daughter's wedding in 1993. She and her husband got married in a civil ceremony at the Magistrate's office on a Friday morning...then they went to work (they met at work) in the afternoon (they worked 2nd shift)! About a month later, we had a wedding party held at a county park on a Sunday afternoon in June. We had the entire park to ourselves with baseball diamond and horseshoes..if you like that sort of thing! It was a very casual affair. Everyone, including the bride & groom wore shorts, tee tops or other comfortable summerwear. Food was catered...we had a pig roast and it was delicious!! A great time was had by all. In fact, some of the attendees still talk about what a great party that was. Now, that's a wedding....150 people for about $1500..can't beat it!

  8. Hi Maya,
    Congrats on your new release!! You book soubds divine and i'm dying to pick it up. Congrats as well on your upcoming wedding!

    The only wedding i remember going to in recent years is my couins were i was in the bridal party. From my experience with it have the flowers delivered early early in the morning. The florist didn't arrive at Karen's till almost 15 minutes before the ceremony was supposed to start. Then she got half of the order wrong. lol Karen wasn't happy needless to say.


  9. Hi Maya,

    I'm sure there were lots of hiccups during my wedding (like when all the guests stood up for the first waltz and the dance floor overflowed), but I thought it was perfect.

    Wishing you strong sales tomorrow!
    Sarah Tormey

  10. Hi Maya!
    Great to see you here on The Romance Dish.

    The best wedding I can think of right now, off the top of my head is Alex and Izzie's wedding last season on Grey's Anatomy. It was so beautiful and lovely and romantic. There's also my aunt's wedding when I was about 13 or so, which I loved because it was the first time I was a bridesmaid. But good luck with your wedding, Maya, and I'm sure it will be wonderful and you'll be a beautiful bride!

    Here's to a great release day tomorrow!! I'm sure everyone will love the book as much as I do. :)

  11. Hi, Maya. Congrats on the new release!

    My wedding was small and simple (100 guests); my husband didn't even wear a tux, but a nice dark gray suit. (A friend of my mom's told her that of her 3 girls, she thought mine was the most beautiful.) We were also a little unconventional in the fact that my husband's sister was the best woman and my friend Jenn was an usher.

    My mother and his mother were to go up to the altar and light candles, but they both sat down and forgot. So my husband walked down the aisle, presented an arm to each of them and walked them to the altar and exited out the side door. The minister said later that he liked that idea really well and no one knew it wasn't part of the plan.

    It rained buckets the day of our wedding, but a friend wrote me a lovely note. "Rain showers on your wedding day reflect the love and blessings God will shower on your life together."

    One other thing---I like to sing, but do not like to sing in front of others by myself. Trace Adkins' song "The Rest of Mine" was "our" song, so a friend helped me record it 3 days before the wedding and it was played during the ceremony. The other song I had was John Denver's "Annie's Song" and a congregational hymn. I walked down the aisle to Pachelbel's "Canon in D" and the bridesmaids walked down during Handel's "Water Music".

  12. Andrea, your wedding planning sounds so relaxing--I love it! The dress is the fun part. I now have to figure out my fiance's suit situation. He wants something custom and somehow this task is falling to me...which is another point in favor of your daughter's, Karen H in NC! The comfy clothes and casual party sound fun (tho I admit I am quite excited for my fancy dress.)!

    Love all the "hiccup" stories! So very entertaining :)

    And Dianna...they meet just one month before the wedding. But the action really get's going exactly twenty-seven days before the wedding.

    Thanks for all the congrats!

  13. Hey, Helen! Congrats on 33 years! My husband and I are working on 13 and hope to be able to say 33 years one day! :)

  14. I was thinking the same thing, Dianna! It makes me want the book NOW! lol

  15. Karen H said: Now, that's a wedding....150 people for about $1500..can't beat it!

    Wow! That's great, Karen! My parents gave me a budget of $3500 and I managed to get everything in that amount. :)

  16. Oh, no, Melissa! That stinks. Did the rest of the wedding go smoothly?

  17. Sarah said: I'm sure there were lots of hiccups during my wedding ...., but I thought it was perfect.

    I'm sure there were some during mine, too, Sarah, but was too happy to notice! Thanks for stopping by!

  18. Lisa, my sister loooooves Grey's Anatomy. I've only watched it once (thanks to Buffie!) and really liked what I saw.

  19. Deb, I think being unconventional at times is great! And I've heard that rain on your wedding day signifies good luck. I guess you're living proof of that!

  20. Maya Rodale said: The dress is the fun part.

    For me, it was also the easy part. I loved and bought the first dress I tried on!

  21. Hi Maya,
    Thanks for sharing your news. Congratulations on your release and upcoming wedding.

    Preparations for a wedding are so stressful because of the fear of leaving out some important detail. When the day comes, just relax and enjoy yourself.

  22. Best advice anyone gave me 20 years ago was to make sure you eat something. I wish I had taken this advice to heart. We had prime rib and we didn't get to eat any because everyone kept coming up to us to talk, and then we went visiting the tables. Then our plates were taken away. We were so hungry when we left the reception that we went through the drivethru and grabbed a burger.

  23. Loving all these wedding stories! Mine is going to be outside, so I'm very nervous about the rain. So nervous, that I had a rain plan in place from the start. Eek!

    LilMissMolly--I will be so mad if I don't get to eat at my wedding! Perhaps I can schedule time in, or put my bridesmaids to use warding off well-wishers while I have dinner :)

    Anyway, wedding planning in GROOM goes smoothly (except for the whole falling in love with another woman bit) and the wedding itself...all I will say is that there are schemes and they don't go as planned. But they all live happily-ever-after :)

  24. Imagine the huge Catholic wedding, 200 guests, organist, 10 attendants, big white dress, tuxedos, etc -- and a 50-year-old priest wearing shiny new silver braces on his teeth! He outstaged the bride (me) at my overblown wedding! Horrors that I could only laught at later...

    Susan in AZ

  25. Hi, Maya! Thanks for being our guest today. I've enjoyed your other books so much, and I'm definitely looking forward to your newest release. :-)

    I had the big white wedding, full Catholic mass, perfect dress, great reception, etc. It was wonderful! Hard to believe my hubby and I will have been married 22 years on July 30th--obviously I was 12 when we got married. LOL

    I love weddings, and I cry even if I barely know the bride and groom. Congrats and best wishes on your upcoming nuptials, Maya! I hope you have glorious weather. Outdoor weddings are so lovely.

  26. Hi! Congrats! (although generally it's "Congratulations" to the groom and "Best Wishes" to the bride - go figure)

    From attending/participating in (as bridesmaid) numerous weddings, here are what I feel are important:
    - get a good cake. As it is the last thing your guests will eat, this is what they will remember. My friends' receptions ranged from $150 per plate to potluck and what we all remembered was whether the cake was tasty.
    - get a good photographer/videographer. If you're like most of my friends, you're not going to remember your wedding day due to the stress. This way you can watch it over and over until you do remember. Also, a horror story: one of my friends married a twin and the photographer and the videographer followed the best man around during the entire reception instead of the groom. I hope you have better luck.
    - If it gets to be too much for you, you can always elope or have a very small wedding: a friend decided to get married on Kauai, where the only ones in attendance were the bride, the groom and the officiate.

    One of my cousins got married in Las Vegas by an Elvis impersonator and a showgirl. It was surprisingly emotional and sweet. Of course, she wouldn't have put up with a regular wedding so it was very loving and considerate of her hubby to set it up this way for her.

    Best Wishes and try to stay sane. :)

  27. Hi Andrea,
    The rest of the wedding went pretty smoothly after that. Something that is lucky since i didn't think Karen could take anymore after her near meltdown over the flowers.

  28. Hey Maya! Welcome to The Romance Dish. I love the sound of your book and am looking forward to reading it!

    Congrats on the upcoming nupitals. I was so young (19) when the dh and I got married that our parents did most of the planning. We got to pick out some of the stuff, but left a lot to the parents. This August will be 20 years for us. People still tell us how much fun they had at our wedding. See we had two receptions. One at the church and one in a ballroom, with dancing and food galore.

  29. Armenia said: Preparations for a wedding are so stressful because of the fear of leaving out some important detail.

    You are so right, Armenia!

  30. LilMissMolly said: Best advice anyone gave me 20 years ago was to make sure you eat something.

    I got this same advice, LilMissMolly, and was so glad I followed it!

  31. Karyn said: was an adventure, and has been an adventure ever since! (almost 30 later!)

    Wow! Congrats to you and your hubby, Karyn!!

  32. Susan in AZ said: Imagine the huge Catholic wedding, 200 guests, organist, 10 attendants, big white dress, tuxedos, etc -- and a 50-year-old priest wearing shiny new silver braces on his teeth! He outstaged the bride (me) at my overblown wedding! Horrors that I could only laught at later...

    O_O Oh, no, Susan! That's the good thing about past stories -- they're so much funnier after the fact!

  33. cories said: get a good photographer/videographer.

    I completely agree with this!!! Having great pictures to look at years later is priceless!

  34. Gannon and Buffie, we'll have to have a celebratory toast to both of your anniversaries while in Orlando!

  35. Thanks again for being with us today, Maya! Best wishes on your upcoming wedding!