Looking for Love by Joan Reeves

Bride and groom exchanging wedding ringsThis wedding season has been bountiful for romance readers. I hope you’ve been enjoying the 11 novellas, or short novels, of Weddings on Main Street.

Wedding: Ultimate Love Story?

In today’s world where couples live together and often have children without marriage, getting married seems to have become the ultimate commitment. Weddings are celebrated publicly in ceremonies ranging from small, family-only events to splashy galas costing as much as a house.

It wasn’t always like this. Ancient history tells us that marriage was first a private, domestic affair. According to Curious Customs of Sex and Marriage by George Ryley Scott (available at used book outlets), the basic function of marriage was to multiply and replenish the earth. Marriages were simply a way of regulating procreation.

It may come as no surprise, to women at least, that men in many cultures weren’t inclined to sign on for the concept of marriage. Perhaps that explains why so many nations (remember, just about all society was patriarchal) experimented with
Polygyny, a form of plural marriage in which a man is allowed more than one wife, and Polyandry, a form of polygamy whereby a woman takes two or more husbands at the same time.

Eventually, in most civilized nations of the world, monogamy was accepted almost universally, at least in theory, as the perfect form of marital union. Well, as we all know, nothing and no one is perfect, but monogamy was probably what kept the world rocking along for a couple of millennia—dragging all of the customs and superstitions created along the way into our modern world.

Bottom Line

Many marriage customs continue, with some slight alterations. Although some may still practice Marriage by Capture, that’s usually performed in an altered version called Elopement. Betrothal in Infancy and Arranged Marriages still survive as do matchmakers. Even Marriage by Purchase survives elsewhere. In our culture, cynics assert that it’s alive and well here too because wealthy sugar daddies are always looking for sexy young sugar babies. Or maybe all of them are just looking for love like the rest of us.

Post Script

I’m giving away a copy of Weddings on Main Street. To be entered to win, leave a comment with your email address (write it out don’t leave as a hot link for the web crawlers to gather). Also say whether you want it for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, or iTunes. The winner will be notified by email no later than Sunday, July 20.

(Joan Reeves writes funny, sexy Romance Novels, available at most ebook sellers, with audio editions available at Amazon, Audible, and iTunes. Joan publishes Writing Hacks, a free subscription newsletter for writers. Find Joan online: Blog, Website, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. Always remember Joan’s Motto: It’s never too late to live happily ever after!)

About Joan Reeves

Joan Reeves is a NY Times and a USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance. She lives her happily-ever-after with her hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State. Sign up for Joan's mailing list: http://eepurl.com/Yk61n and visit her at JoanReeves.com and her blog http://SlingWords.blogspot.com.
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23 Responses to Looking for Love by Joan Reeves

  1. E. Ayers says:

    Hey, matchmaking is my job! I do it for all the characters that roam around with my muse! And I love doing it!

    As for polygyny, no way! I told my hubby if he ever found anything he liked better, I’d help him pack his bags. And as for polyandry, it enough to keep one man happy! I can’t imagine two or more! I’ll take monogamy and all the beautiful Weddings on Main Street!

    There’s something very special about white satin.


  2. leighmorgan1 says:

    It seems that many people are waiting longer to get married and longer to have children. Sometimes doing neither is fine too, but it’s harder to write a romance about it!

    Historically, there were customs in Scotland where all that was necessary to marry was to declare your mutual intent to do so before witnesses and live as if married. Many states in the U.S., 16 or so, allow for common law marriage including property and support rights. Wisconsin is not among them. The common elements in these states are, an agreement to marry, cohabitation as a married couple and presenting themselves as married so long as that marriage does not contravene any other law of the state and is not expressly prohibited by state statute. Sounds a lot like the Scottish custom to me!

    Mutual intent seems to be the big issue~and of course the follow thru :).

    Still, when I read a romance I want to believe at some point there’s a wedding, even if it’s off the page. I love wedding stories and this box set contains some of the best!

    Great post, Joan!


    • Joan Reeves says:

      Thanks, Leigh. I too believe in marriage. It’s a commitment that makes one stop and think before just walking away when the going gets tough. Also, I think a good marriage gives each person in the relationship wings to soar and also the comfort that there’s always someone to catch you if you fall.


  3. susanrhughes says:

    I could use at least a couple of husbands to take care of home repair, housework, childcare, etc. Not a bad idea.


  4. stephaniequeen says:

    There are so many ways of looking at *marriage* but weddings are perfect as the dramatic high point for romance. Thanks for sharing the historical tidbits, Joan!


  5. Oh, no! I learned to fix stuff myself. That’s why I Super Glued my fingers together last week. Used a hacksaw yesterday. I learned a long time ago to not ask the hubby to fix anything. The motto when the boys were growing up was ‘Hurry up and fix it before your daddy comes home.’ So all the boys are really good at DIY repairs.

    But weddings? I generally cry during the ceremony. To me it’s a reflection of love to stand in front of your family and friends to declare that as a couple, ‘through sickness and in health’ the basis of my book ‘The Vow’ means something. That no matter what, you are in life together.


    • Joan Reeves says:

      Ah, those DIY husbands. Mine isn’t one of them. He never has the time. Now my dad fixed things. The problem was there were always parts left over when he finished.


  6. Such an interesting post.
    There are at least 2 TV shows, that I am aware of (but don’t watch) where polygamy is showcased. Isn’t it fascinating that it’s always one man and then multiple wives?

    I don’t think I could handle that many women in my house, lol. It wouldn’t even be the jealousy factor, it would be not wanting all of their opinions to factor into my life. I would need to be (a) the first wife and be most in charge or (b) be a solo act w/ 4-5 husbands.

    It makes more sense to me to have several husbands. One that’s handy w/ cars, one that’s handy w/ tools, one that’s just so damn handsome it doesn’t matter what he is handy at, and maybe one that likes to do laundry. I’ll take care of making babies and raising them. 🙂

    There must be a website for such things. LOL Outside of this idea I don’t see myself getting married again, but you never know…


  7. Reblogged this on Kelly Rae & Jocelyn Bell Books and commented:
    Such a great post today by Joan Reeves. It got me thinking and plotting, how to be the first reality TV star where I’m the center of a family, w/ 4-5 husbands! LOL Check it out and read all of the great comments as well, join the conversation!


  8. Kristy Tate says:

    My husband’s great grandfather had four wives. When he left to colonize a community in central Utah, he took his fourth wife and left the other three on a large and prosperous farm in Bountiful, Utah. When I first heard this story, I was outraged for his first wife, my husband’s great grandmother. After thirty years of marriage, I feel completely differently. If I had been the first wife, I would have gladly stayed at home in, what was at that time, a mansion, rather than trying to eek out a living in a really harsh land. Great-grandpa Call and his fourth wife spent more than the first two years living under a wagon while they cobbled together a homestead and eventually a community. I know eventually it was tremendously prosperous endeavor, but what a nightmare. Now, I think he must have loved great-grandma Call a lot to not make her come with him.


  9. Carol says:

    Well, Joan. Quite an interesting post! I definitely wouldn’t go along with polygamy, but having several handymen around!


  10. monarisk says:

    Talking about polygamy reminds me of The King and I. The contrast between the independent Mrs. Anna, and the many wives of the King of Siam. I guess when you live in a place you are automatically immersed in the local customs and you don’t question the culture you grew up with.


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