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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Vandiver Wedding

Some of you who have read the first few books have asked why the Vandiver wedding was canceled and what happened to the bride, Liz Vandiver, so…projecting into the future, here's the background and the rest of the story:

Liz Vandiver, child of extreme wealth, had grown up being told that Vandivers were perfect, they were entitled, they were different from everyone else, and she deserved the very best in life. So, when she decided to get married, she steered away from the wedding planners her friends had chosen and opted for The Wedding Belles (our heroines in the series).

This was, of course, a coup for the Belles, a chance to make their mark in the world and expand their business, but…Liz Vandiver proved to be a very difficult customer. She (the perfect, entitled one) became a total Bridezilla. She wanted what she wanted, and what she wanted changed on a daily, sometimes an hourly basis. Eventually, she grew bored with her decision to choose a local wedding planner and canceled out on the Belles. She didn't even bother telling them why she was canceling. She just dropped them. After all, money was no object to the Vandivers. Unlike more ordinary people, they could easily afford to lose a deposit, and who cared if the world wondered what the Belles had done wrong? Who cared if the Belles lost business because Liz Vandiver had dropped them? Certainly not Liz. She was too important to worry about mere mortals.

In the weeks and months that followed, the story of the Belles went on in The Wedding Planners series, but…what happened to Liz once she had dropped out of the story?

She becomes more Bridezilla-like. She wants more. She demands more. Her special day has to be perfect. She has to be the center of her guests' attention. Then she decides she has to be the center of the public's attention (why not? She's a Vandiver).

Liz looks for a more prestigious wedding planner and pushes the wedding back six months. But…some of her friends and colleagues end up signing with that wedding planner, making her day less special. So, she cancels again. She decides that the wedding has to be in Paris. She pushes the ceremony back another six months in order to effect the change. Her obsession with having the wedding of the century leads her to mistreat every wedding planner she encounters along the way.

Unfortunately, for Liz, all of this delaying and abuse begins to take its toll. Her fiancé takes a long, hard look at his bride-to-be and realizes that he is just a player in the Liz Vandiver wedding show. While he waits for Liz to make up her mind, he meets someone, a woman who cares about him not for his ability to accessorize the bride, but who loves him for himself. And then…he cancels on Liz. He drops her just as quickly as she had dropped the Belles.

Suddenly, Liz doesn't have to think about planning a wedding. She has no wedding to plan. Except…she does. In her fear and confusion and loss, she immediately gets caught up with another man, falls hard, marries him and almost just as quickly discovers that her new husband married her for her ability to accessorize him. He wants her money and her social standing, but he really isn't all that interested in Liz. A divorce follows.

Liz's world collapses. Suddenly, she's a laughing stock. She isn't perfect. She isn't sought after. Circumstances force her to face herself and what she sees isn't pretty. With nothing else to take up her time, she can't run away from her own shortcomings. She realizes that her ex-husband may have broken her heart and her trust, but he treated her no differently than she had been treating others all her life.

Thereafter, becoming a better person becomes the driving force in her life. She distances herself from the poisonous attitudes of her family and is disinherited.

Then, one day, five years after having treated the Belles so callously, she wanders into The Wedding Belles shop, intent on apologizing profusely. By now, she's visibly down on her luck, and the Belles take pity on her and agree to hire her as an assistant (because their business has grown so much). At first it's a painful experience for Liz, because some of the customers are former friends, and she has to dance attendance on the people she used to socialize with, but she digs in and does what has to be done. She's determined to be a credit to the Belles…and she is.

Eventually, she meets Stephen Chase, a nice and very ordinary man. She tries to resist falling for him, because she knows he must have heard lots of bad things about her (and she worries that he might still be looking for money she no longer has). But Stephen persists. He's interested in who Liz is now, not who she used to be, and he loves the woman she's become. They end up married with three children and very little money, but they are deliriously happy. The Belles, of course, plan the wedding (and foot the bill for a lot of it). Only this time they're planning a wedding for a friend.

And that's what (eventually) happens to Liz Vandiver.
Of course, none of this is in the Wedding Planner books (this is a bit futuristic, since I've written us five years into the days-yet-to-come), so it isn't written in stone. What do you think? Do you envision a different future for Liz? What would it be



Blogger Julie Hilton Steele said...

I like your realistic view of Liz...people often have to learn the hard way! I think a lot of brides get caught up in the day because of what they are taught by family, media, society. We all, hopefully, look back on some of the things we did in our youthful ignorance and just cringe. At least you didn't have her just do a "starter marriage" and not change after that...but then, this is a romance!

Of course, she falls for a guy named Chase...one of the best first or last names for Romance heros!

Peace, Julie

July 30, 2008 at 3:41 AM  
Blogger Cheri2628 said...

I like the story and the fact that she changes into a better person. I always love a HEA ending!

July 30, 2008 at 8:12 AM  
Blogger Brandy said...

I'm glad to hear she changed and then therefor deserved a HEA. *G*

July 30, 2008 at 1:30 PM  
Blogger Ellen said...

I enjoyed your future for Liz and it shows that things can change even for those who make major mistakes in their lives.

July 30, 2008 at 2:11 PM  
Blogger Lily said...

Who doesn't like a HEA ending!

July 30, 2008 at 2:36 PM  
Blogger Virginia said...

I like Your story for Liz. I think it should play out just the way you have it.

July 30, 2008 at 3:02 PM  
Blogger Nathalie said...

I agree that she deserves a happy ending too!

July 30, 2008 at 4:58 PM  
Blogger robynl said...

I'm all for a HEA and like it just the way it goes.

July 30, 2008 at 9:53 PM  
Blogger catslady said...

There's just something about a HEA since that's what we all want!

July 31, 2008 at 8:55 PM  
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