Real Life Romance: Kate Meader's Fairytale Love Story

In case you couldn't tell, we love a good swoon-worthy romance. And while some of the best ones are fictional, every so often we hear a real life story that just knocks us off our feet. Today author Kate Meader shares the fantastic tale of how she sealed the deal with her hubs, because who better to write romance than someone with a great story of her own?

In Feel the Heat, the first book in my sizzling contemporary series Hot in the Kitchen, we meet the DeLucas—a slightly dysfunctional, not-so-typical Italian family of Chicago restaurateurs. These people would rather eat their problems instead of talk about them and it takes a sexy British chef some time to convince an Italian girl unused to being the center of attention that she’s worthy of a great passion. Euro-U.S. relations for the win! And not unlike my own story…

About twenty, ahem, several years ago, I came to the US of A from Ireland, expecting to stay for a year, travel this fine country and then hop back across the pond. I met a lovely American boy and as they say, the rest is history. He wooed me with delicious cakes, he made me laugh and when it came time for him to propose, he chose to do it in Italy! We were on vacation, hiking through the Cinque Terre, a set of five towns hugging the shore line and cliff face along the Mediterranean. One night, watching the sunset, I wondered what had my man so antsy. It was a little chilly, you see, and I was ready to go in to eat (I mean, it was Italy!), but my boyfriend insisted we wait until the orange blob had sunk below the horizon. I sighed indulgently, waited with the patience of a saint, and turned to say, that was gorgeous, now can we go get some pesto? only to find an outstretched palm containing a velvet boxed engagement ring. It took two tries of the question before I calmed down enough to agree to become Mrs. Meader.

Then we went in and ate trofie pasta with the best pesto I’ve ever tasted.

When it came time to do the deed, we wondered how to top the proposal. Returning to the scene of the crime seemed like the best bet and not as expensive as you would think. As my now husband so eloquently put it, a destination wedding would “keep out the riff raff” and ensure the best mix of close friends and family. Essentially anyone who could stump the fare to Florence, Italy—i.e. thought we were worth the trip—was welcome to attend! In the end we had a cozy group of 30 for our special day.

The big day


Amazing facts about our wedding extravaganza:

  1. It was in Italy! Fiesole, to be exact, a small town nestled in the Florentine hills.

  3. It took place in a 10th-century castle. With an armor room.

  5. The ceremony was in Italian. It’s possible we’re not actually married.
  6. The celebrant looked like Andrew Lloyd Webber. Lord Lloyd Webber to you.

  8. During the reception, we had an oboist playing the theme from The Godfather. My mother and aunt danced to this like it was an Ibiza disco.

  10. When the chocolate wedding cake was rolled out, people stood and gasped.

  12. My mother lost a hat that looked like a piece of gauze attached to a bandage. The next day, my sister-in-law dumpster dived in the castle’s trash bins to look for it. No luck, but it cemented the bond between both sides of the family like nothing else could.

  14. We honeymooned in a Tuscan villa with fifteen family members. Despite this, we’re considering heading back for our 10-year anniversary in 2015 and inviting the original cast.

Do you have a fun proposal or wedding story? Can you top mine?

- Kate Meader

Tell us your favorite real life love story in the comments! You can pick up a copy of Feel the Heat, available now digitally and in print. For more romance visit our Everything Romance page.