If you’re anything like me (though let’s just remember that we’re all individuals here) then you LOVE free stuff. And after what seems like an interminable amount of time, you’ve probably been thinking to yourself, “Now I know I wrote a kick butt entry into that I Love YA Fiction writing contest but how come there hasn’t been any sort of hint at who the winner is? I mean, my writing skills are superlative so what the howdy hoo are they doing? I want my Kindle Fire!” Well, you would not be mistaken in wondering what the howdy hoo the hold up is. But have no fear! The winner(s) is here!
I gotta tell you guys though, we received so many fantastic entries that I couldn’t even get them all in front of Jillian. I mean, she was all, “Yeah, Judith, I’m not sure you’re allowed to give 12 entries…I mean, all the other blogs are just offering me 3 each, you know, so umm…” I would hate for these hilarious, touching, sweet, moving pieces not to see the light of day so over the course of the next few weeks I’ll post the best (anonymously unless you really really want your name in lights) and let you all bow down in honor of the greatness of our readers.
Straight from the Readiacs and Jillian Dodd herself:
Wow! What a whirlwind romantic adventure we’ve all been on with our THAT Dream WEDDING Contest. We received so many great entries it was extremely hard to choose. There is ONE grand prize winner who is the lucky recipient of a KINDLE FIRE! Each site has also picked a second & third place winner.
Thank you to all those who entered!
From Jillian ~
When I wrote That Wedding, I had a blast planning out all the details for Phillip and Jadyn’s wedding. A big thanks to Heidi at the Readiacs for coming up with the idea to let you all tell me about your dream weddings. We received a lot of great entries, many of which I will be posting on my blog. Many of you wrote in story form that was highly entertaining. Many of you had great background reasons as to why your wedding would be as you dreamed. I had an extremely hard time choosing a winner. I mean everyone of you had great dreams, and I sincerely hope that you all get your dream weddings someday.
I had my choice narrowed down to two entries. I had a favorite, but was concerned that I might be swayed by some of the details included because they were things that were also important to me at my own wedding. So, I read them both to a totally disinterested party – my daughter’s twenty year old boyfriend – to get another perspective. Although they were both chock full of great ideas and very visual, one touched upon both the aesthetic and emotional side of her dream wedding. And the single detail that won him over? Her boyfriend had given the future bride a puppy five years ago, and they wanted the dog to be included in the wedding. We both thought that was very special. So congratulations to the winner!!
Without much further ado, we give you the winning entry. . .
My dream wedding could not be summed up in 1000 words or less but since I’ve been planning it for as long as I can remember I can hit some main points. Most importantly my groom would be my high school sweetheart that I’ve been dating for 6 years now. My bridesmaids would include friends, my sister, and of course some of my Chi Omega sisters. It would be in the summer, probably at sunset and include beautiful bright colors. My dad would walk my down the isle of the church that I was baptized in, confirmed in, and grew up in. I would wear my mother’s lace wedding dress with just a few alterations to fit my personality with my sorority badge pinned inside over my heart. Both my grandmothers would be there along with the rest of my family and my groom’s family. The ceremony would be romantic, but include a few funny moments or stories, as there are plenty to tell. I would love to have my maltipoo Lily be the ring bearer since my boyfriend gave her to me for our 5 year anniversary, but I don’t think the church allows dogs. The reception, more like a huge celebration party, would last all night long. It would be both outside and inside with the drinks flowing and plenty of our favorite southern foods! The food would include a mash potato bar, which is my favorite food, where guest can put all the fixings on their mash potatoes as they eat them from classy martini glasses. The main cake would be chocolate inside with buttercream frosting but I would also have cupcakes and chocolate covered strawberries. The groom’s cake would be an Ole Miss themed cake, because that is where my boyfriend and I attend and will graduate from next May. Decorations would include pictures of the groom and I dating all the way back to our first high school dance, which is sure to bring our guest lots of laughs as they see how much we have changed. I couldn’t have a wedding without my sorority sisters circling around me singing that special Chi Omega song. My boyfriend, a.k.a future husband, would also be surrounded by his fraternity brothers, which I am sure they will bring plenty of entertainment. My new husband and I would be sent off surrounded by our friends and family as they hold sparklers to light up the night. My new husband and I would ride off to catch a flight to go on our honeymoon somewhere where there is plenty of beach, warm weather, and lots of relaxation time. My dream wedding would be filled with love not only between the groom and I but a room filled with the love of family and friendship as well. The most important aspect of my dream wedding is that I marry not only THAT BOY but MY BOY.
I Love YA Fiction 2nd prize winner:
In all honesty, I rarely thought about my “dream wedding” until the advent of Pinterest. Now that I’ve been exposed to the neverending world of ribbons, sparklers, and mason jars I can conjure up a few perfect settings in which to say my “I-Dos.” Frankly, however, the idea of planning a wedding scares the living bejesus out of me. What if the colors clash? What if I get too drunk? The flowers are wilting… now?! PANIC!
What if everything’s not just right?
It’s hard for me to define a dream wedding or a perfect wedding in this spinning world of lacy
peril I’ve created in my head. It’s fun to visit that world sometimes, but the idea of setting up
camp there for a few months to a year gives me acid reflux.
Despite the cold sweats the thought of my wedding brings on, there is one aspect that brings a
huge sigh of relief and a sense of peace my mind is rarely acquainted with – the walk.
The long walk down the altar – I have imagined this time and time again. I may have even
practiced it when feeling a little giddy in a lengthy hallway. Though during those occasions I
may actually be within the beige walls of an office building, in my head the surroundings are
green and non-specific. The weather is perfect and not a bead of sweat rests on my skin. The
faces are blurry. All the faces but one.
I see his face and my nervousness returns. He’s looking at me and we have thirty seconds of
this to get through at least. Thirty to forty-five seconds is a long time to hold a smile. So maybe I’ll get goofy, I think. I make a face and he laughs. He laughs quietly though, probably because he’s embarrassed. He’s realized he’s marrying a muppet. Oh God. I wave at him to put him at ease but because it’s such a small and subtle wave (coupled with intense eye-contact) I can’t help but imagine how creepy I look. I put my hands away, straighten up, and focus on the few feet I have left. I try to walk as poised and graceful as physically possible. I’m doing alright until I trip on a mound of grass and nearly lose my balance. Grass stain, great. It’s not like I even liked this dress. I chuckle nervously and my cheeks turn to the color of roses, but he’s still there. There’s a rosey-cheeked muppet stumbling towards him and he actually looks happy about it.
As I get closer and closer I’m not as nervous about how to fill up this space between us. I’m
realizing that it was never there to begin with. I don’t notice the flowers, the specially chosen
song, or even the cameras flashing.
What I do notice is a wonderful man who wants to share his life with mine. He wasn’t planned
to a T. He didn’t come with a thousand tough decisions. He just happened. That’s what makes
this the true dream wedding – the groom is just right.
(But if you must know the song is “Can’t Keep It In” by Cat Stevens. My wedding day, of all
days, is when I’ve “got to show the world, world’s got to see, see all the love, love that’s in me.”)
I Love YA Fiction 3rd prize winner:
Removed at author’s request