Unlike today or even in the late nineteenth century, the ceremony was not considered the main event of nuptials during the Regency era. It was the wedding breakfast. To understand why, you must know that most weddings took place before eleven in the morning. That was a matter of law if one married by calling the banns or by regular license. But even those who married by special license—one that allowed the couple to marry anywhere and at any time, as long as a Church of England clergyman performed the service—were married between eight and eleven in the morning.
Only immediate family and witnesses were involved in the actual ceremony. Ergo, there was no music, no walking down the aisle, and no crowded church. Although, anyone off the street could enter the church.
After the ceremony, the newlyweds and those who attended them repaired to the house where the wedding breakfast would be held. It was not necessarily the bride’s parents who hosted the celebration. It could be the house of the bridegroom, his parents, or a relative of the bride. As with today’s wedding reception, there would be toasts to the couple and cake. But that is where the similarities ended. The size, quality, and quantity of drink and food largely depended upon the social status or wealth of the parties. The celebration could be as simple as cake and wine or large enough to fill a ballroom. If one was in the country, it was likely that neighbors were invited. One of Jane Austen’s nieces mentions the wedding breakfast of her sister in which the bride and groom left very early due to the distance they had to drive. On the other hand, a wealthy landowner could provide refreshments for his dependents separately from the event the family and neighbors attended.
The newlywed couple generally departed the wedding breakfast before it ended to go on their honeymoon.
Polite society has its rules for marriage. But for Ella Quinn’s eligible bachelors, their brides will show them that rules are for the faint of heart.
Phoebe Stanhope is not a typical lady. As feisty as she is quick–witted, no one can catch her, especially when she is driving her dashing phaeton with its perfectly matched horses. And unlike her peers, experience has guarded her against a growing list of would-be suitors. But when she encounters Marcus Finley, what she fears most burns deep within his blue-eyed gaze.
For Lord Marcus, the spark of recognition is but a moment in the love he has held these many years. Now that he’s returned to England, all the happiness he desires rests on Lady Phoebe never finding out that he was the one who turned her heart so cold and distant. He must work fast to gain the advantage—to convince her what she wants is exactly what she denies—but in order to seduce her into his arms, he must be willing to give up more than he can control.
“Lady Phoebe is a heroine Georgette Heyer would adore—plucky, pretty, and well worth the devotion of the dashing Lord Marcus. A marvelous find for Regency romance readers.” —Grace Burrowes, New York Times best–selling author
USA Today best–selling author Ella Quinn’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, was her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them. Ella currently lives in Germany, happily writing while her husband of thirty years is back at work, recovering from retirement. Connect with her at EllaQuinnAuthor.com and on the social platforms below.