As an author of nearly fifty romance and women’s fiction books, you might say I know a thing or two about happily-ever-afters. For many of us, true love is the stuff that dreams are made of. And what love story doesn’t include a fairy-tale wedding as part of it?

In fact, my latest release, Wedding Season, tells the story of Mariella Jacob, a disgraced bridal gown designer who endured a PR nightmare when she confronted the client who was having an affair with Mariella’s own fiancé. Not exactly a fairy tale, but it leads Mariella to a new life and her perfect love with the last man she expected.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

But planning a wedding can often feel like serious business. I’ve been married to my own real-life hero for over twenty years. But, I still remember the excitement and stress that went into making sure every detail of our big day was perfect.

Sometimes the best way to unwind is with a bit of lighthearted laughter. And, there are no shortage of wedding-themed rom-coms to offer that. Here are a few of my go-to faves:

The Proposal

Let’s start with Betty White and Sandra Bullock dancing around the bonfire in the woods. Truly any scene with Betty White is pure gold. Sandra Bullock plays a publishing executive who needs a visa extension to avoid being deported. So, she turns to her long-suffering assistant Ryan Reynolds. The two have adorable chemistry. And, when they visit his family in rural Alaska pretending to be engaged (a trope I love), they discover real feelings for each other. No spoilers but the movie offers great laughs plus some genuinely tender moments.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

To me, this is one of the most charming wedding-themed movies you will find. Nia Vardalos plays the daughter of a traditional Greek family, who at 30 falls in love and brings home her non-Greek boyfriend (John Corbett). It’s a sweet movie with themes of respecting cultural traditions while embracing differences and not making judgments. Plus, it’s just a cute story that feels like you’re watching real people figuring out how to make their romance work with all of the complications of life and family.

Sweet Home Alabama

A classic Reese Witherspoon movie, in which she’s a fashion designer with a fancy big-city boyfriend (Patrick Dempsey). But, she has a small-town past she has to deal with…only she doesn’t count on the guy she left behind still holding onto her heart.

This one is worth watching just for that early scene where Patrick Dempsey’s character proposes in Tiffany’s. Big-time swoon. But just as sweet are the scenes with Reese’s character returning home and learning to appreciate the southern charm of her parents and old friends. (Plus, her hottie former flame). It’s a nice reminder that in the midst of trying to become who we think we should be, it’s okay to just be who we are. And to value the people in our lives (like a future spouse) who love us that way!

Bridesmaids and Wedding Crashers

These are very different movies but similar in that they are laugh-out-loud inappropriate indulgences. Like, “Oh, no, they didn’t just say that” inappropriate while you spit LaCroix out of your nose laughing so hard. No plot spoilers, but, if you’re having a rough day or feeling super stressed, cue up one of these for a guaranteed good time. In some ways, they are also each of a manual of what not do when planning a wedding. Although, a cameo by Wilson Phillips at the ceremony would make anyone’s special day even better!

At the end of any stressful day, my best advice is to remember that whether your wedding day is elaborate or understated, you’ll be taking the first step of a new life with the person you love most in the world. Happily-ever-afters are important. Planning your wedding is an opportunity to remember how lucky you are to have found that special love. Celebrate it!

USA Today bestselling author Michelle Major loves stories of new beginnings, second chances and always a happily ever after. An avid hiker and avoider of housework, she lives in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains with her husband, two teenagers and a menagerie of spoiled furbabies.

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