Weddings in YA


I love weddings just as much as the next girl. I'm a hopeless romantic, but I can't help but be a bit peeved at how weddings are portrayed in some YA novels. 

I can think of at least ten books off the top of my head that contain weddings between the main character and her love interest. It's not a five years later type, it's more on-the-spot and totally spontaneous: "Hey, let's get married!" 


Granted it can be entertaining and super cute to see your OTP tie the knot, but I feel like (some) authors are promoting something they shouldn't be by doing this. Maybe I'm being hypersensitive, but that's just me. 

To clarify, I'm not talking about the weddings that happen between adults in YA books, I'm referring specifically to the weddings between (usually) the teenage protagonist and her love interest. Too often the scenario or reason behind getting married is some outside complicating force. Or my favorite, the golden couple is on the run from the government or some other scary people and they take a quick stop in Vegas or find a sketchy minister and have a quick wedding. To me these actions just satirize marriage and the severity/importance of it. These characters are in their late teens early twenties and they already think they've found the love of their lives. I know, I know, it's cute seeing your power couple get married, but what are these authors really promoting?! How do these characters, kids really, know that they've found the person they want to live the rest of their lives with? 

What are your thoughts on YA weddings? 

30 comments:

  1. I am not a huge fan of weddings in general - like in real life - but I haven't really read about any to have a problem with it! Breaking Dawn is the only book that comes to mind. What other YA books have weddings!? :)

    Rachel @ Rachel's Reading Corner

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  2. Ahh I know!! When Sydney and Adrian got married I was literally like what!? It's too soon. I honestly don't like weddings between teens in YA books. I mean, the 5 years later kind of stuff is fine but anything else? Just let them date please.

    -M
    The Life of Little Me

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    1. When I read this post, Sydney and Adrian flashed in my mind too!

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  3. This is a very interesting discussion post! I haven't actually encountered that many weddings in the YA novels I've read so I can't give much feedback, but I do think it's quite ridiculous that people in their late teens/early twenties get married so soon. I think marriage - in the fictional world and in the real world - are satirized. So many people marry and then get divorced a couple of years later. People are ignoring the importance of marriage and I think that's extremely sad. I agree with you that authors should wait awhile before they let their characters get married as marriage is something that should be taken seriously, and if the characters haven't even been dating for long I think it's quite ridiculous! Fantastic post! <3

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  4. I agree that the message is probably not the right one, even if while you're reading the book it doesn't feel wrong or strange for the characters to get married... but teenage marriage is not really something to promote, because it is a big compromise for the future, but so it is living together and not everyone would do one without the other first...

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  5. I don't really encounter many YA weddings. I think that the idea is cute if the relationships work, however it can be cheesy and unrealistic if the characters jump into marriage after a short period of time and being really young.

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  6. I don't read many wedding scene in YA books, but if I do, usually it would be in the epilogue. Generally, I think wedding in YA is too weird. I mean, they're all probably still a teenager and get married already? But, of course, it depend with the book.

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  7. I can't remember any YA books that I read that had this kind of wedding, but I do think it would be weird and wouldn't feel real at all. I'm perfectly glad seeing my OTP just being together without them having to get married, that's totally not necessary.

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  8. I have never read a YA book with a teenage wedding in it, so I guess that's a good thing? Hahah. I also don't find it very believable, and also not necessary :P

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  9. YESSSSS!! I was actually going to write a post about this! It really peeves me because they're just eighteen and they've usually known each other for like, a year! Gah! I happens mostly in Paranormal Romance and sometimes, I can go along with it because SWEETNESS!! But other times, it's completely unnecessary and there are just weak, invented reasons as to why they much get married! GAH! D:

    Anyway, great post and I agree!

    ~Fari 0:)

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  10. You make a very good point Rachel!! I haven't come across too many wedding scenes but one particular one did pop into my head. I questioned it when it happened but I love those two characters so I was still very happy they got their HEA (at least in that book). Weddings probably aren't the best thing in YA books but we can all dream right ;)

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  11. I'm not really fond of weddings in YA. I mean, as an American, I feel like being married as a teenager is just really...young. Maybe for some cultures it's the norm, but I can't really say so living in the States.

    And then there's the whole moral aspect of it all. I think it when authors have weddings in YA books that it gives out the message to teenagers that you must be romantically involved with someone as a teenager, and I think that's just not a message you need to be sending, you know?

    Interesting discussion Rachel, and thanks for sharing!

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  12. Even though I can't think of a YA book with a wedding between the characters right now, I agree wholeheartedly with your post. That is not to say that I don't believe that happily ever after can't happen from a young age, because I truly believe that it can. But, to me, marriage is sacred, and if I DO happen to read a YA book where the characters get married, I would love to see it happen for the right reasons. Because they truly love each other, and they are emotionally mature enough to have true and honest conversations about their futures. WAIT... One series, the Significance series by Shelly Crane, the characters get married. It didn't bother me, with this series, because they truly seemed ready, and respected and understood what marriage IS.. Anyway, great post! I don't think this is a topic I have seen before, and I like that someone is talking about it!

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  13. Well, in general no. Weddings and YA shouldn't be a thing, really. But, I can be MUCH more lenient in a non-contemporary book, where there is war, or some weird dystopian thing, or royalty, or anything else that could necessitate a marriage. I mean, my grandparents had a quickie wedding in 1944 when my grandma was only 19 because my grandfather was being shipped to Europe to fight in the war. That, I can understand. But if these two random characters just feel like being married because they are "in loooovvvvveee". NOPE.
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

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  14. I agree 100%! I love it when weddings take place in the epilogue in a book series and it says something like 5 years later but right away or in the middle of a series? Nope. Like the wedding in the Lux series... I just couldn't get totally behind it although it was sweet and cute. I just feel like it takes a little more time to love rather than just to lust for someone and you need that time to figure out the difference. Great topic!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

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  15. I've honestly never thought about it but I'm biased. I got married at 19 after 3 months of dating and we've been together 12 yrs now. My parents also got a married a month after meeting (they was 18 and 20) and they were together 22 yrs when my dad passed. I can see how that would give the wrong impression though.

    P.s. pregnancies were not the reason lol

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  16. HATE. THEM. Especially when the girl gets pregnant a few months later--which happens way more often then I would expect in YA. I feel like it sends the message 'hey kids , get married as soon as you can, have some babies, because that's what you're meant to do!' (maybe I'm reading too much into that, but honestly, it's not the greatest message to show to teens.) I mean, when the people are both over twenty it's fine; and sometimes when it's a fantasy/historical fiction novel it's fine as well--it really depends on the culture of that setting and how the author deals with it--but if not, I get kind of uncomfortable.

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  17. NAILED it with your discussion - I haven't read too many books about marriage in YA, I personally don't like it because they're too young.. and marriage is a HUGE responsibility. My mother got married when she was 16, and she has been married for over 25 years now - but that's because it was arranged and not love. The Book of Ivy is great for arrange marriage though. I get more annoyed reading about love marriages in YA than arranged lol.

    <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

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  18. For some books, they're just right and it's not a surprise. For example, The Selection series. The whole series was leading up to a wedding, so it would be weird if the last book didn't culminate in a wedding. But other times, I just get a sense of wrongness when a marriage happens. Even more so if I wouldn't have done it at all.

    P.S. If you love bookish weddings, check out Amy's feature on weddings over at An Ode to Jo and Katniss! She creates the loveliest representations of weddings from books.

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  19. I think some people are mature enough to get married at their teens (my grandparents got married at 17!) But in YA I kind of cringe. The idea that marrying this person who we've only seen in maybe a book (which would be MAYBE a year's time bookwise) or two, is kind of... Unrealistic. Nowadays it's so easy to meet people! You expect me to believe that your first love, a boy you met when you were 15 and had MULTIPLE problems with Is the only boy you'll ever be with?!

    This is why I love the show Friends so much. The characters go through different relationships and break up and make up all the time. It just shows that if they were meant to be they will come back to each other.

    I'm kind of rambling... Haha just know that I agree with you :P

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  20. Well, as far as YA books go, I've never encountered a wedding. Well, except for Breaking Dawn. I think it would depend on how it was done and who they were with. Like, if a character's getting married to their first love interest over, I'm not so sure I'm going to feel it. But if they've dated a bit, I would be more understanding.

    In tv shows though, I can like it. Like between a couple in One Tree Hill, I thought it was interesting to see them get married and how their life was after that.

    Then in real life, I know several people who have gotten married in the past few years, all in their early twenties and I really see them lasting so....

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  21. I love this post! I HATE HATE HATE weddings in YA books. I even hate them in NA books. It's not that I don't think it will last, because hey, I'm still with my high school boyfriend. But what bothers me is that they usually do it for the wrong reasons (even if they love each other).
    Great post!

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  22. Haha. I thought the same thing with Sydney and Adrian. I'm not against their wedding, but wasn't sure if it was entirely necessary. I'm not really for weddings in YA. I do like them in my NA/Adult books, but YA... not so much. I think it can also give a slightly negative vibe. There's still so much growing to do during and after high school. Sure, there are plenty of people who got married and are happy, but I know had I married my high school boyfriend- we'd probably already be divorced. LOL.

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  23. love this post hehe .. im always excited when i encounter weddings in YA books .. its all sweet when people get married young :p

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  24. Breaking Dawn is the only one I know of that has a teenage wedding, so I can't really say if it's okay with me nor I hated it. I totally get what you're saying, though. But really, the thing I can't get over with is that I was spoiled that Sydney and Adrian got married, just by reading the comments on this post. *facepalm* LOL

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  25. I actually haven't thought much about weddings between main characters, I can't remember many of these happening except the ones mentioned in your comments. But yeah, I definitely think it can give out the wrong idea. Really interesting discussion Rachel!

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  26. I like some, I guess? Natural progression, I like things that feel authentic to the plot. Which doesn't happen so I guess weddings in YA don't do it for me. TBH like Jeann, I don't really give it much thought. Mostly because they happen towards the end of the series and by then I give hardly any damns (which is so sad.) Great discussion, Rachel! x

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  27. I agree Rachel, it strikes me as odd to see young teenagers marrying, I mean, sometimes you find the one, but not always, it doesn't happen for everyone. If it feels genuine and like it should be, then I'm okay with it, otherwise, it is a little weird.. like in Beautiful Disaster, that wedding was really weird and spontaneous and it probably didn't last long at all, and wouldn't have happened in the real world.. Great post! :)

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  28. I agree it's one of those things were you are so happy to have your OTP end up married, but down the line when they are a little older. Sometimes I think it works other times I feel like it's a littler unnecessary. Granted, you might want the characters to have a future wedding just not now when they are so young. You make such a good point about promoting something that probably shouldn't be promoted. Great post!

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  29. I agree that teenagers getting married in contemporary YA is a little off putting. My sister got married at 19, and that seemed really young to me but it worked out well for her. So I would say it depends on the individual. Certainly I'd be concerned about 16-year olds today getting married. Although that makes a little more sense in historicals or fantasies as it was more common in the past for people to marry so young. But it sort of shouldn't if you know what I mean. A 16-year old is a 16-year old no matter the time period in question.

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