I’m in the midst of writing a new book, so naturally I’m spending a lot of time thinking about how couples progress from new love to happily-ever-after.  Lately I’ve been wondering whether an HEA requires a wedding.  In other words, is marriage necessary for a couple, or is a great love binding on its own?  Sting’s ultra-romantic song, The Secret Wedding, supports an argument for the latter proposition.

Marriage is often an “end goal” in romance novels, and similarly in the hearts of many young women.  In fact, in our country alone, 2.5 million weddings occur each year, and the business of weddings has grown into a $40 billion-dollar-per-year industry.

Of course, once committed, we quickly learn a shared life is a journey, not a destination.  And whether you spent ten or one hundred thousand on your wedding day, the realities of life after that occasion are the same for most couples.  So maybe Sting has a point…abiding love doesn’t require a wedding to justify or prove its existence.

Regardless of your beliefs, I think most women swoon at the lyrics of this song.  To me, it describes a love too deep to be broken or contained, as aptly stated in its refrain:

The secret marriage vow is never spoken
The secret marriage never can be broken

My read on this is the “secret marriage” is a love so strong it simply endures without end.  The sentiment of the song is amplified by the lilting tempo of the delicate piano strokes meting the melody.  Take a listen:

Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that Sting was smokin’ hot back in the 90s when he released this song.  I love the cover of Nothing Like The Sun.  I’ll just stare at it and pretend he’s serenading me.

What do you think?  Must you marry your soul mate to hold onto lasting love?

xo-Jamie