Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Surprise- it’s a wedding!

The Getaway

Last weekend our family travelled to country Queensland for a friend’s 50th birthday. One hundred guests descended on their property (about 2000kms from us) for what we thought would be a pleasant afternoon of catching up with old friends, eating, dancing, telling stories and listening to speeches. Nothing unusual there until the birthday boy’s partner of sixteen years and mother of their four children had her turn with the microphone and she dropped to one knee and proposed!

Now, I know it’s a leap year but this was completely unexpected. Jaws dropped, tears flowed and everyone held their breath waiting to see what would happen next.

The birthday boy, along with a lot of the guests, was quite emotional but fortunately he gave all the right answers to any question for the rest of the day, starting with “Yes, I will marry you.”

I’m still not sure if he realised that his brand new fiancé meant they would get married immediately but that is exactly what happened! The bridal party (including the best man and groomsmen all chosen by the bride) were whisked away to change, the celebrant arrived and the guests, under supervision from a couple of others who had insider knowledge 🙂 got busy setting up for the ceremony and transforming the marquee for a wedding reception. I’ve been to engagement parties before which have turned into weddings but this was the first time that I’ve know the groom to be as surprised as the guests!

Two hours later, after possibly the world’s shortest engagament, the bridal party had been spruced up and we were ready to go.

The day had strated off grey, misty and drizzly – not a typical Aussie summer’s day at all – but the sky cleared long enough for the ceremony to take place under the gum trees by the creek. The best man arrived on a Ducatti and the rest of the bridal party arrived in the back of a ute (the non-Aussies would call this a pick-up truck). It was a gorgeous, personal and emotional ceremony and I was so thrilled that we could be part of it.

Surprise wedding

I only have a couple of girlfriends who have been the ones to propose and never quite so publicly as this one! Chatting to the other medical authors we were struggling to remember if we’d ever had our heroines pop the question.

I’d love to hear if it’s happened to you or how people would feel if they read a romance novel where the heroine proposed to the hero. Do you think it would ruin the story for you or enhance it? Would your reaction depend on the characters? On their situation? Is it something you’d like to see in the 21st century or are you more of a traditionalist?

I have a copy of my current release, “A Love Against All Odds”, to give away to one commenter – you’ll just have to read it to see if there’s a proposal and by whom.

And be sure to visit our blog again on 29th February for a special leap year quiz hosted by Annie O’Neil. It just might revisit this topic 🙂


0116-9780373010813-bigw  Books available at Amazon, harlequin.com, millsandboon.co.uk and millsandboon.com.au


28 thoughts on “Surprise- it’s a wedding!”

    1. It’s a good on, isn’t it! I do feel another book coming on – these friends live on a cattle station so they’re a great source of stories for me 🙂

  1. Hi Emily

    WOW that was awesome I too have been to engagement parties that have turned into weddings and I have also been to a Christening that turned into a wedding but not this and good on the woman for proposing although I am not sure I would do it I am sure that in this day and age it is happening a lot more and yes when reading a romance depending on the situation and the characters I would not be put of by the heroine proposing 🙂

    Have Fun

    1. Amazing and brave 🙂 I guess you’d have to be hopeful of hearing ‘yes’ after sixteen years together and four sons! I love the fact that she took matters into her own hands and the fact that we could all witness the happy result.

    2. Congratulations, Helen, you’ve won a copy of my latest book, A Love Against All Odds. If you would like to send me your address, I’ll send you your copy. Email me at emilyforbes @ internode . on . net (take out all the spaces!)

  2. About 30 years ago my husband and I attended his co-worker’s Christmas party, where the common-law couple had arranged to get married in their home. For both it was a second wedding; they didn’t want gifts; they just wanted to share the love.
    Every single couple’s wedding (other than our families’ weddings) we have attended since our own marriage in 1981, where they have been married at least 5 years (in other words, all weddings we’ve attended up until 2011), has resulted in divorce (except for one death, but their divorce was looming). I just don’t get it. Don’t these people read romances where we’re shown how to get to an HEA; that there are always obstacles to overcome…?
    I have read several books where the hero has asked the heroine to marry him and she has repeatedly declined. However, by the end of the story, the heroine finally asks the hero to marry her. I don’t believe I’ve read any where the heroine asks the hero before he has asked her. (BTW, is it possible that the bride in the Queensland wedding had been asked repeatedly as well and she finally decided to “accept” by publicly proposing?)
    I don’t care who proposes. I like all sorts of stories. Variety is the spice of life. I have read over 250 books every year since 1973, but I think I’ve only read ones with the heroine finally proposing (after being worn down by the hero, LOL) maybe five times….

    1. OMG, Laney4, I know divorce is on the rise but that’s awful statistics among your friends. Maybe you should start giving romance novels as wedding gifts – a sort of guide as to what to strive for 🙂
      I love your info on the number of times you’ve read a book where the heroine proposes – looks like I’ll have to write one now! And no, my girlfriend hadn’t turned down numerous proposals, there would have been a wedding long ago if she’d had even one 🙂

  3. Emily,
    I don’t know any female that has proposed but I did enjoy the movie that came out a few years ago called “Leap Year.” It’s about a woman who plans to proposed and her efforts to do so. It was the first time I’d heard of the tradition. It made me think of the pressure I guy must feel waiting for such an important answer.
    I’ll have to say that I’m more of a traditionalist but in the case where they have been together for years and have children I probably be the one to say we need to do this and propose.
    Great story about you friends.

    1. I’ll have to look that movie up, sounds fun, and yes, while I watched my girlfriend propose and then waited for the reply I did think how nerve-racking it must be for the poor men who traditionally pop the question. So why shouldn’t we women have a go 🙂

  4. What a fabulous story! I love it, and whew, so glad the groom said yes. Yes, I can see this in a book. Disclaimer here: I’ve just turned in a book in December with a surprise wedding where the question gets popped one moment and the wedding begins the next, and the phrase “world’s shortest engagement” was used. Turned it in, did revisions, and got the go December 23rd! But the popper of the question was more traditional because it was very important for the heroine to know that the guy loved HER, and wasn’t simply doing the honorable thing (which was very much his style).
    I love your January book cover, and am very happy to have shared a French duet with you in December 2015.

    1. It was lovely. Could have been a disaster 🙂 although my girlfriend’s response when someone asked what would have happened if her partner had said no sums her up perfectly. She said “Oh, it would have been awkward for about ten minutes and then we would have just continued on with the 50th” 🙂 She’s pretty relaxed – you’d ave to be to propose in front of so many people!

  5. I have never been lucky enough to attend a party that was anything other than what it was intended, so for me this story was great..a real live fairy tale! The closest thing I can come up with is 2 years ago my son went to Las Vegas with his girlfriend for her work convention ( she designs and maintains concert light shows) and they got married there on his birthday! They’d been together 4 years and have always said they didn’t want a big wedding, but they had so much jammed into this 4 day trip with her work obligations, I was surprised they managed to sneak a wedding in!

    1. I think a surprise party of any sort takes a lot of planning! I love your son’s story, my husband always wanted to run off to Vegas to get married but considering we’d have to have another celebration for all our family (which is enormous) when we got home it wasn’t worth it 🙂 Did your son and daughter-in-law have a second party?

  6. That’s amazing, and beautiful, Emily. I’ve never seen anything like it. What a fabulous surprise for everyone.

  7. I just adore this story! I would have loved to have been able to experience that – hearing her proposal, seeing the groom’s response, and especially hearing their son’s speech, must have been wonderful. Though there is a little part of me that wonders if the groom felt a horrible pressure, unable to say no in front of all those people even if he wanted to, but then again, after four children and all those years, one would assume he was pretty committed already 🙂

    I feel a little cheated that I’ve never attended any kind of party that turned into a wedding or anything else exciting! Guess I’ll have to write one – now the Medicals will be overrun with the concept! 😉 In my debut book, the heroine did propose to the hero because she’d found out she was pregnant (but didn’t tell him) and he’d turned her down, but it was backstory, three years prior to the book starting. When he finds out about the child, he tells her he ‘accepts’ her proposal, but she says there’s a statute of limitation on marriage proposals, sorry! Possibly, though, there might be a HEA for the three of them 🙂

    1. I love the sound of your book, Robin.
      With my friends I’m sure there was some pressure with such a public proposal but seeing the groom’s reaction there was no doubt about his ‘Yes’. I don’t think he was even aware we were all standing watching – it was all about the two of them. It was gorgeous 🙂
      That reaction definitely has to go into a book!

  8. Winner time!! And the name out of the hat is ……… helensibbritt
    Congratulations, Helen, you’ve won a copy of my latest book, A Love Against All Odds. If you would like to send me your address, I’ll send you your copy. Email me at emilyforbes @ internode . on . net (take out all the spaces!)

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