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Author Nancy J. Cohen discusses the writing process and life as a Florida resident.

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Weddings as Inspiration

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on August 1, 2012

Congratulations to LORALEE LILLIBRIDGE who won the pair of handcuffs in the drawing from my previous blog. Loralee, please contact me with your snail mail address.

We recently attended a family wedding, and it reminded me why I used a wedding as my setting in Shear Murder, book ten in the Bad Hair Day mystery series. The sheer sentimentality, the joy of the married couple, the suspension of family conflict for one evening, lend themselves to an outburst of passion that can have good or bad results. In my story, it ends in the matron of honor’s death, her body found by my hairdresser sleuth under the cake table.

This particular wedding took place at a magnificent site in Mitchellville, Maryland: the Newton White Mansion. Surrounded by beautiful acreage, this historic house is the perfect setting for a nuptial ceremony.

Newton White (800x600)   Mansion (800x600)

Mansion View (800x600)   Mansion View2 (800x600)

The processional began to the music of violinists. A more beautiful bride couldn’t be found. A traditional Jewish wedding followed, with all of the customs described in my earlier blog. The wedding program explained each ritual in detail. At the breaking of the glass, cheers erupted.

Processional (800x600)  Bride (800x600)

After the bridal party exited and slipped away to take photos, we entered a separate smaller room for cocktails and appetizers.

Cocktails (800x600)   RichNan (800x600) (2)

Dinner and dancing followed with live, pulse-pounding music. Young people might like it that loud, but we couldn’t be heard over the noise. I prefer quieter, romantic dance music for a wedding or at least rock decibels that don’t beat through your head. Anyway, the dinner was delicious. Stuffed lobster tail and filet mignon followed a mixed greens salad. I was most impressed by the magnificent flower arrangements. The centerpieces were exquisite. Again my writer’s brain erupted with ideas. I remembered an unpublished story of mine wherein floral wiring was used as a method of murder. I can’t help it; we writers are unable to turn off our storytelling mind. And I’d also had the foresight to bring business cards in my beaded clutch purse.

Those treats that look like lollipops are cake pops, all the rage in the dessert stores these days. I thought they were the dessert and ate two. Chocolate covered strawberries accompanied them. Then wedding cake got passed around. Oy! I was too full to eat another bite.

Reception2 (800x600)   Flowers (800x600)

Dinner (800x600)   Cake Pops (800x600)

Cake (630x800)   Cake Cutting (800x653)

We left the mansion feeling happy, sated, and tired. We spent the rest of our time in Maryland eating meals with family, touring downtown D.C., and strolling around Bethesda. I look forward to the next wedding that brings us north again. So much time, money, and planning goes into this event, and it goes by so fast! But such is life, and these events live on in my stories and in my heart.


11 Responses to “Weddings as Inspiration”

  1. What a lovely ceremony and reception. Thanks for sharing. And pardon me while I say SQEEEEE! I won the handcuffs! Thanks so much. Snail mail addy on the way.

  2. I’m glad you also enjoyed the “traditional” kosher style meal.

    Is that your husband you’re posing with. I need to send you a photo of my cousin Col. A.J. Cohen (deceased) who is his twin brother. I almost spewed coffee when I saw the resemblance.

    We recently had a wedding for one of my nieces… she married a young man who is Greek. (even after my kids spent years trying to fix her up with Jewish guys). We tease her about her Big Fat Greek Wedding.

    The photos you posted are fantastic and I’m sure a good time was had by all.

  3. Yes, that’s my husband in the photo with me. And yes, we enjoyed the not-so-kosher meal, although I’m more of a shrimp than lobster fan myself.

    A Jewish-Greek wedding…that must have been fun!

  4. The flowers sure are beautiful. The food looks wonderful and you looked great too! I’ll give you my shrimp for your lobster.
    I am so glad you had a great time and I gotta tell you. You are the best person I know at promo. A true professional you take every
    opportunity to develop your career in writing. And I wish I was half as good at it as you are! I never even remember my book marks when I
    go out. Cheers Nancy, to a great talent…

  5. Exactly…put bookmarks/ cards in your purse for the unexpected opportunity. Last night I went to the wake of a writing friend. The other writers whipped out their cards when introduced to a nephew (whose wife was killed off by name in the decease’s first novel). The nephew was a prosecuting attorney in Chicago’s gang unit. He had some stories! And wanted to read cozy mysteries, police procedurals, and police thrillers. He invited us down to the court house for a trial. You never know.

  6. second-class

    Weddings as Inspiration « Nancy’s Notes From Florida

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