From Afar: Sci-fi romances and weddings, part 1

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

By Veronica Scott

Special to the Daily Record

June is the month for weddings and many sci-fi romance (SFR) stories lead to weddings — not all, some end with claiming a mate, pair bonding, becoming partners, cohabiting in the spaceship/space station/alien world, etc. Typically, the happy couple is contending with many more complications than the ins and outs of planning a wedding. I asked my friends at the Facebook SFR Brigade group to suggest some stories with weddings from their own pages.

Warning: There may be spoilers for the novels or series ahead.

I have to give first place to author Tana Stone, who said: “I actually based my first series, ‘Tribute Brides of the Drexian Warriors,’ on the idea of an alien space station devoted to planning weddings for alien alphas and human brides. Alien wedding planners use holographic technology to create fantasy weddings — I was a wedding planner in ‘real life’ for 20-plus years before writing SFR so a wedding planning space station seemed like a great idea to me.”

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Who better to write SFR weddings than an actual wedding planner?

Another wedding story, which involved a certain amount of advanced planning, comes from USA Today bestselling author Tiffany Roberts, who says of the book ‘Entwined Fates:’”… our hero is a volturian. When volturian mates come together, they would get each other’s qals — their markings which is their ancestral heritage — tattooed on themselves so they have a matching set, instead of exchanging rings. Since our hero in ‘Entwined Fates’ marries a human, our heroine surprises him during the wedding by revealing that she had his qal tattooed upon herself.”

I have a fairly conventional wedding at the end of my book “Mission to Mahjundar,” where the hero is an active duty military officer marrying a princess he’s rescued. The ceremony takes place aboard a “Sectors interstellar battleship.” The crew exerts considerable effort to make the wedding happen for them, including baking a wedding cake, creating rings and raiding the hydroponics garden for flowers for a bouquet. The bride declines to toss the bouquet away, but instead gives it to the officer in charge of all the arrangements as an expression of her gratitude. The ship’s captain marries them and gives up his own quarters for their use on the wedding night.

I think perhaps the most shocking wedding moment comes from A.R. DeClerck, who says her book “Forged in Fire” starts with a ceremony between the “best Sword” — imagine 5-star general — and the daughter of an allied planet’s leader: “The weddings of Dinara were formal affairs, with heads of state and guests in their best attire. When the bride walked down the aisle, her face was completely obscured by the thick veil of heavy silks, only a pair of red lips visible. But when that veil was lifted, the groom got the shock of his life. Those red, red lips belonged to none other than the woman he’d left behind to die in a war-torn prison camp. It’s a definite case of shock and awe at the altar!”

Linda Mooney shares a poignant moment from her book “The Battle Lord’s Lady.“ The “Normals and Mutah” are at war, and have been enemies since the “Great Concussion” over 300 years ago. Because Yulen D’Jacques kidnapped Atty from her Mutah compound, the Mutah warriors have descended upon D’Jacques’ compound of Alta Novis to rescue her, not knowing she and the battle lord have fallen in love. Worse, someone in Yulen’s group has deliberately poisoned Atty. It is her dying wish for her and Yulen to be married. So arrangements are quickly made to carry out her wishes, when the Mutah army surrounds the compound. After vows are said, Atty slumps back into unconsciousness, and Yulen has the heartbreaking task of giving her back to her people before they descend upon Alta Novis and kill hundreds. He has no reason to believe he’ll ever see her alive again. And after watching her being carried away as the army retreats, he goes back inside his lodge to grieve in private.”

Mooney said, “Oh, it definitely has an HEA. It’s while Yulen is grieving that the poisoner steps up and tries to kill him and take over the compound. Atty arrives in the nick of time to kill the man and save Yulen.”

Corrina Lawson said about the wedding in her book, “A Hanging at Lotus Hall: The Steampunk Detectives,“ that (leading character) Joan Krieger is determined not to be married because of how it limits Victorian women, yet, she loves Gregor Sherringford and knows he earnestly desires to be married. The solution is a ceremony together before God, under a sun-kissed dome in an underwater ballroom. Joan designs her own wedding dress of golden cloth that reflects the sun’s rays at midday, with Gregor in his Victorian best, and his family attending to give their blessing.”

USA Today bestselling author Regine Abel offers us an “Elvish alien vampire with a human mate” in “Beneath A Different Sky: Vampire Alien Romance” (V’loryn Book 2).

Pauline Baird Jones has a “ray gun” wedding in “The Key: Project Enterprise,” Book 1.

Ava Cuvay has what she calls an “impromptu” wedding in “Love and the Corps,” The Heart Nebula Book 2, which comes about as follows: “After my scarred, battle-hardened self-conscious captain dons a (gasp!) formal gown, meets the mother of her love interest, and kills the dictator while wearing said gown, staff throws together a wedding dress from the diaphanous scarves of men’s ceremonial kilts.”

The weddings in several SFR novels involve the bride or the groom, or both, encountering the customs of the other. In USA Today bestselling author Regine Abel’s “Twist of Fate” the heroine is moved to tears when her man secretly organizes a traditional “Veredian” wedding for her, which involves a series of tribal dances and chanting. And in her novel “Unfrozen,” although the Northern Valos don’t normally have weddings, they create a winter wonderland wedding based on what they understand of a human wedding ceremony for Kai and Lydia. Apparently, Ms. Abel has topped herself in “I Married a Lizardman,” of which the author said, “In my new release, Susan and Olix enter a marriage of convenience, but they must be married according to both of their species’ customs. They are a little thrown by the other’s rituals as they know very little of their new mate’s culture.” To which a reader immediately replied, “‘A little thrown’ is an understatement.” Sounds good!

Nancey Cummings features childhood friends, now lovers, in “Wolf’s Bane” getting married but apparently the “murderous werewolves” who are the guests cause things to go “horribly wrong” during the reception.

Jody Wallace’s couple embarks on a marriage of convenience in “Traitor,” Maelstrom Trilogy 2. “The hero gets tossed in jail and it’s the only way the heroine can get in to see him and continue their plotting and scheming to save the world!”

To be continued.

USA Today bestselling author Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library at its heart. Her father loved science-fiction, her mother loved ancient history and Scott thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories. Seven-time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Scott is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances. One of her favorite achievements is that she read the part of “Star Trek Crew Member” in the official audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s, “The City On the Edge of Forever.” For more information, visit her blog at or find her on social media such as Twitter, @vscottheauthor, or Facebook, @VeronicaScottAuthor.