7 Literary characters you’d like to have at your wedding
Dorothy Koomson gives us her pick of all the best literary wedding guests who you'd want at your big day.
In my Quick Reads book, The Beach Wedding, Tessa Darnell’s big day takes a dramatic and tragic turn right before she says I do. Writing the book obviously got me thinking about weddings and then I started to wonder who from the fiction world I would invite to a wedding if I was in charge of the guest list. Here are some of the people I’ve come up with and why.
The friendly guests: Savannah, Bernadine, Gloria and Robin from Waiting To Exhale
Bernadine, Gloria, Robin and Savannah are four friends who would be the perfect wedding guests. In the novel, they all go through hard times from marriage break-ups to health worries, infidelity to troubles with children but they survive them because they have each other to pick them up and dust them off. Their relationships in the book are truly heart-warming and I can see them making sure any friend of theirs has a wonderful wedding no matter what’s going on in their lives.
The slightly anti-social guest: Sherlock Holmes from Hound Of The Baskervilles
Since I was about ten, I’ve had a Sherlock Holmes obsession—I even went on a walking tour of London with one of my good friends who shared the obsession. I think Holmes was at his best in this story. It tells the tale of a terrifying hound that roams the moors killing people of the Baskerville bloodline. The legendary Sherlock Holmes is tasked with unravelling the mystery. I simply adored the way his stern, analytical character presents itself in this book and would love to have him at a wedding simply because I admire him. I don’t think he’d be a particularly friendly guest, but not everyone who comes to a wedding needs to be the life and soul.
The love boost guest: Sephy from Noughts & Crosses
Sephy is a cross (a black person) and in her world, that means her life is privileged. She has grown up being constantly told that the noughts (white people) are beneath crosses and to never mix with them. Sephy, though, is in love with her best friend Callum who also happens to be a nought. Their relationship is complicated and often filled with pain. I’d invite Sephy to a wedding to show her what love can—and should be like—to give her hope.
The sweet guest: Willy Wonka from Charlie & The Chocolate Factory
I’m a chocolate lover so a genius chocolate whisperer like Mr Willy Wonka would have to make it onto my wedding guest list. He’s known for owning a factory and creating fantastical confectionary, so his attendance would be dependant on what special sweet treat he could create for the big day. He does have a reputation for being difficult (and punishing badly behaved children) so I’d imagine things could get fraught. But for a decent bit of chocolate? Totally worth it.
The life and soul of the party: Aunty Betty from The Flavours of Love
I’m cheating a little here with a character from one of my own books, but Aunty Betty is such fun! In my ninth book, Saffron is struggling to get over the death of her husband, Joel, when she’s forced to take in Joel’s elderly aunt, Betty, because Betty has been thrown out of her care home for an “indiscretion”. I loved writing Betty’s character because she’s such a carefree, fun-loving woman who has never done anything that’s expected of her. I think at a wedding she would set tongues wagging, make good use of the bar and get everyone dancing. Every wedding needs someone like Aunty Betty.
The stylish guest: Chelsea Benson from A Proper Family Holiday
Weddings are places where people get the chance to show off their brand new outfits and stylish hats. I’d invite Chelsea because she knows a lot about clothes and she’d be great in a sartorial emergency. Chelsea is a fashion journalist who ends up on holiday with her family, something she would never normally agree to, in this, the first book in the Proper Family series. All her worries seem to be realised when she arrives at the resort in Lanzerote, but when she’s left to entertain her nephew, she ends up going above and beyond the call of duty by altering very expensive designer clothing to help him enter a competition. As well as Chelsea’s fun factor, having someone like her at a wedding would be brilliant if things went wrong with the dress on the day.
The Flower girl: Grace from the Amazing Grace stories
The fictional child I would absolutely love to have at a wedding, maybe even be flower girl, would be Grace from the Amazing Grace stories. Grace is a lovely, creative, happy little girl who’s always dancing, singing and trying to get the most out of life. In her books, Grace often proves that she can be anything she wants to be. In Princess Grace, her grandmother shows her how amazing princesses across the world can be beyond wearing nice dresses and looking pretty. I would love to have someone with Grace’s joie de vivre and energy at a wedding.
The 2018 Quick Reads titles are published on February 1, price £1 in paperback, with books by Fern Britton, Dorothy Koomson, Mark Billingham, Kit de Waal, Tammy Cohen and Vaseem Khan.