Wedding Bubbles: (Humorous contemporary women’s short story) (Wellywood Romantic Comedy)
All the best maid of honor speeches involve funny stories and heartfelt feelings about the bride, and Jessica Banks’s speech is no exception.
Shame she drank almost her body weight in champagne before standing up to give it, however…
But maybe Jessica will meet her Mr Right at this wedding? After all, being a bridesmaid almost guarantees you’ll meet men. Right?
What could possibly go wrong?
Wedding Bubbles is a stand-alone short and sweet story. It’s also a prequel to the sexy, feel-good romantic comedy Styling Wellwood, Book 1 in the Wellywood Series.
"Kate O'Keeffe's sparkly and witty writing make this novella a super fun read" - Amazon reviewer
"A funny and warm-hearted tale" - Amazon Reviewer
Best Book Bit:
So here I am sitting at the ‘top table’ along with the rest of the bridal party. The beautiful bride and her handsome groom, the Best Man and groomsman, and my fellow bridesmaid are all looking appropriately regal and serene.
As for me? Well, there’s an outside chance that I’m not quite living up to their example.
Despite my very best efforts the room insists on spinning around like a toppled Ferris Wheel. It’s not exactly fun.
I shake my head in an attempt to stop it. It doesn’t work. Unsurprisingly.
Eventually I close my eyes and have a shot at Zen-like breathing as a last resort. But the room just keeps on whirling around, this time in my head.
How does it do that?
There may be a teensy chance I’ve had a bit too much to drink.
In my defence I got off a long haul flight to New Zealand from the other side of the world a mere forty-eight hours ago. So perhaps it could be the jetlag? I mean it’s completely plausible that my body still thinks it’s on Greenwich Mean Time. I should be just about to face the day with my first caffeine fix in hand—most certainly not sitting in a purple bridesmaid’s dress a size too small for me, having drunk virtually my entire body weight in champagne.
Perhaps my circadian rhythms are just a bit confused?
But then again the empty bottle lying next to my upturned glass keeps glaring at me accusingly, as if to say, “You drank all of me almost before anyone had the chance to say ‘to the bride and groom’.”
On further reflection, perhaps it might very well be the alcohol.
Too bad I have to deliver my maid of honour speech once Laura’s new husband, Kyle, finishes his.
Now where are my speech notes, exactly?
I’m back in my hometown of Wellington against my better judgment. Although I’d left here and vowed never to return, Laura’s one of my best friends and she made me promise on my Prada handbag that I’d be here for her wedding.
Although the handbag was only a cheap knock-off from China, I was true to my word.
I guess matters haven’t exactly been helped by overhearing my mother in the church earlier. She was complaining to another wedding guest about what a dreadful daughter she has.
“You see, Jessica’s my only child,” she had whined to a middle-aged woman wearing a bright green Twenties-inspired dress and white hat ensemble. From a distance she looked a lot like a green Magic Marker.
“Oh.” Green Magic Marker had crinkled her forehead in sympathy, the hat bobbing up and down.
Harrumph, I’d thought. It’s hardly my fault my parents decided not to have any more kids after they’d had me. They reached the pinnacle of reproductive success and decided to stop. That’s what my dad always said to me, anyway.
“Yes, and she doesn’t appear to even have a boyfriend let alone be on the verge of walking down the aisle,” my darling mother continued.
“Oh, Cynthia,” Green Magic Marker cooed in compassion.
“There she is. She’s one of the bridesmaids.” She sounded thoroughly defeated.
Like I had chosen not to have a boyfriend just to spite her. For the many reasons not to have a boyfriend, annoying my mother is pretty far down the list.
They both turned to look in my direction. I was with the bridal party outside the church in the brilliant summer sunshine, the official photographer bouncing around us, roaring instructions.
“Oh, but she’s gorgeous!” Green Magic Marker sounded surprised.
“No, not that one. That’s Morgan. The other one,” my mother had explained.
I had felt myself recoil into my dress in mortification, like a turtle into its shell.
“Try putting your shoulders back a bit. Chin up,” the officious photographer barked at me.
Too scared of the ramifications of not doing so, I followed his commands. But, like a possum caught in the headlights I was unable to tear myself away from witnessing my mother’s disappointment in me.
Did Mum really just pull out a handkerchief and dab her eyes?
“She’s very pretty, Cynthia. In a less obvious way than the other bridesmaid,” Green Magic Marker had consoled her. “And even though she might be getting on a bit I’m sure she still has time.”
‘Thank you, Prue. You’re very kind.” My mother had smiled at her weakly.
“I’m only twenty-six!” I’d felt like screaming. This isn’t the Nineteen-Fifties, you know. Women are allowed to have an education, careers, lives.
Adding further insult to injury Green Magic Marker then asked, “Surely there must be someone out there willing to marry her?”
She then proceeded to scan the wedding guests, on the look out for potential husband material for me.
“Oh, I do hope so, Prue. I really do.” Mum had shaken her head.
My mother: the martyr.
To make matters worse, not only does it appear that I’m an utter disappointment to my mother, but I’m also the only sad and single member of the bridal party.
My fellow bridesmaid and wonderful friend, Morgan, has been living with her boyfriend Dave for a while now; the best man Ben, also recently arrived from London, is here with his Amazonian beauty of a girlfriend, Amber; and Glen, the groomsman, is married to a nice, homely woman by the name of Carla. And then of course there’s the bride and groom. All of them in their happy little love bubbles. Really, losing myself in a large quantity of lovely, bubbly booze seemed to me like the perfect way to take my mind off my current predicament. Which is why I gave it a jolly good shot.
I also enjoy lighthearted, almost cheesy rom-coms and chick-lit stories. It's entertaining when an author can take a real-life situation (whether humiliating or nostalgic) and turn it into a story, a funny and engaging story at that. It takes talent!
O'Keeffe has a way of making even the most insignificant characters become memorable in the reader's mind. One of my favorite examples of this is when a lady wearing a full-on green outfit and hat was named Green Magic Marker in the mind of Jess, the main character. Green Magic Marker was talking to Jess's mom about Jess not having found a man to settle down with and my favorite line was: "Surely there must be someone out there willing to marry her?"
I found this hilarious (in context of the story) because Jess is a hopeless cause in the love department and her mother tells everyone every chance she gets. I'm sure many women can relate to this mother-daughter relationship dynamic.
The scene between Jess and two men from her past (high school days) is almost laugh-out-loud funny. I cringed as I read it, feeling sorry for Jess for having to live through that humiliation.
This book was a perfect fix for my short commute and I will be reading more by this author.