– Two years later –
The first tinkling notes of music were my cue. I took a deep breath, and stepped through the gauzy white curtains which had been put up to maintain the tradition of the bride not being seen before her first entrance.
I had practised this walk at least twenty times already, just to be sure, in the hallway at home, but that was without Luc standing at the end of the aisle, watching me with a slight grin on his face and a look of adoration in his eyes that turned my knees to jelly.
I could feel everyone’s eyes on me as I walked down the aisle, but I didn’t look at any of them. If I broke eye contact with Luc for even a second, I would lose the wonderful sense of calm that was temporarily holding at bay all my fear, excitement, anxiety, anticipation and a happiness so great it threatened to spill out my eyes.
As I neared the front row, I chanced a glance to my left, where Gabriel, Hugo and Hope were beaming at me, looking almost as happy as I felt. I smiled at them – Hugo waved happily, and Hope burst into excited giggles.
When I turned to look forward again, I found my whole world right there before my eyes, looking more wonderful than ever. He smiled – were those tears in his eyes? – and took my hand in his.
There was no third party present to conduct the legal part of the ceremony. I didn’t want to be married by a stranger and we didn’t know anyone personally who was authorised to perform a wedding, so we had taken care of that part of it the day before at the courthouse in town. Today’s ceremony was all about celebrating with our family and friends, and (most importantly) with each other. Vows, therefore, were to take place today.
“Luc…” I took a deep breath, and clutched the ring more firmly in my trembling fingers. Oh God, please don’t let me forget my own vows. “I… I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that, from the first time we danced together, you changed my life… for the better.” I tried to look him in the eyes as I spoke, but found it almost impossible to do so without crying. “There has never been, and never will be, anyone for me but you. My heart, my body and my mind are yours forever.” Drawing a ragged breath, I slipped the ring onto his third finger with shaking hands. ” ‘I give this ring, in pledge of my love and devotion. With this ring I thee wed.’ ”
As I finished speaking, I looked up into his beautiful green eyes, shining with unshed tears. He smiled at me, and my heart melted.
“Diana,” he began, almost in a whisper. His voice was quite steady, but the hand that gripped mine was shaking slightly. “The first time I saw you was the first time I really fell head-over-heels for anyone.” He paused and chuckled. “I know that sounds ridiculous, but it’s the truth. For as long as I’ve known you, you have been the most important person in my life. I’m so grateful that I’m the person you chose to spend the rest of yours with. I promise to love and treasure you forever, no matter what we come up against, and the harder it gets, the tighter I’ll hold on. I give this ring in pledge of my love and devotion to you, my beautiful genius. With this ring I thee wed.” The cold metal felt foreign on my finger, but at the same time, it felt right. “I now declare us husband and wife,” he announced. Everyone laughed. “May I kiss the bride?”
Laughing, I nodded. The last rays of the setting sun danced off the water behind us as Luc threw his arms around me and pressed his lips hungrily against mine.
I smiled against his lips as I kissed him back with equal enthusiasm. I could hear the laughter and cheers of our family and friends echoing around us, but all my attention was focused on the man in front of me. “All okay?” he asked as he pulled away, softly so that only I could hear. I nodded, a funny noise somewhere between a laugh and a sob escaping my mouth as tears continued to trickle over my cheeks.
“I’m so happy,” I choked out, and his grin widened.
His arms settled around my waist and I reached up to cup his face between my palms. I opened my mouth, but before I could say anything I heard a familiar riff drifting over from the other side of the pier.
The sun is so hot,
The drinks are so cold…
I laughed. “Really?”
Luc nodded, still grinning. “Shall we dance?”
…We’re gonna stay up,
Ain’t gonna lay low…
I rolled my eyes. “Just for this song,” I warned jokingly. The amusement in his eyes told me that he remembered as well as I did the first time I had said those exact words.
“Come on then,” he said, and, grabbing my by the hand, led me back down the aisle I had walked just half an hour ago as his fiancee.
One by one, our guests rose from their seats to follow us onto the dance floor. Mandy, my maid of honour, bade goodbye to best man Flynn (with whom she had sat for the duration of the ceremony) to go find her husband, Ethan. Behind them, I noticed Mum and Dad, hand in hand, making their way up the aisle towards us. Before long, a crowd of guests had gathered around the speakers, which were still blasting ‘our song’.
As the night wore on, I noticed Emily, ever the party animal, dancing with Pat and our cousin Carolina. It made me smile reminiscently to think of the wild parties she used to throw in our basement as a teen. I hadn’t seen or heard much from her at all since she had moved out, so I was glad, though mildly surprised, that she had found the time to return for my wedding.
The rock song we had been dancing to faded out, and a slow ballad took its place. Those of our guests who had come with dates started to sway gently together to the music, while others, such as Emily, merely grabbed whoever was closest and introduced themselves. I caught Pat’s eye over Luc’s shoulder and threw him a smile, which he returned only half-heartedly and moved away towards the buffet table. Frowning slightly, I looked away. Was something wrong with Pat? Perhaps I should talk to him about it when I got back home.
“Having a good time?” Luc asked as he drew me into his arms. I turned my attention back to him and smiled slightly.
“I’m offended that you even have to ask me that.”
He chuckled slightly. “Are you as happy as I am?”
“Happier,” I responded. He grinned, and leaned in to kiss me.
“I highly doubt that.”
First of all, I’d like to issue a huge apology for how late this chapter’s been in coming, especially considering how short it was. I’m having a lot of trouble plotting out Di’s story, aside from a whole bunch of real life crap that I won’t bore you with. Also I’ve been getting distracted (read: procrastinating) catching up on everyone else’s stories, lol! I would have made this chapter longer, but I felt that this was the most appropriate place to end it. HOWEVER, as it is a wedding chapter, you’ll be getting lots of bonus picture spam, and also I’ve been working on the promised “Teen Emily” special so we’ll be seeing that pretty soon as well.
Also, I’ve been kindly nominated a second time for the Unique Blogger Award by The Windsor Legacy, so if that kind of thing interests you I’ve updated the original post to reflect that and also recorded my answers to the accompanying questions.
And now, onto the wedding pictures that didn’t fit in the chapter!
… Then my game crashed.
THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM:
Guest list, and their relationship to the Bride:
Diana’s best friend Mandy and Diana’s brother Flynn, Maid of Honour and Best Man respectively.
From left to right: Diana’s friend Patterns, her sister Emily Hunter, and her cousin Ethan Hunter (Cody’s son, and Mandy’s husband)
Diana’s cousin Terrance Korby-Hunter, and his parents (Diana’s aunt and uncle) Violet and Aidan Korby-Hunter
Diana’s sister-in-law August (Flynn’s wife – I know, they sure didn’t waste any time), and Diana’s paternal uncle and aunt Herbert and Tyler Striker
Diana’s cousins Chana, Carolina and Charlie Striker (Tyler and Herbert’s children – Carolina is the eldest, Charlie is the youngest)
Diana’s first cousin once removed, Dorian Meir (Jamie’s son – below) and Diana’s cousin Deanne Hunter (Cody and Vivian’s youngest daughter)
Diana’s cousin Jamie Meir and her husband, Javed Meir, and Diana’s cousin (Bridie’s son) Alfonso Hunter
Diana’s cousin Iris Luck and her husband, Isaac Luck, with their daughter Heather
Diana’s aunt and uncle Vivian and Cody Hunter, and their son Ron Hunter
Diana’s parents Bianca and James Hunter, and Bianca’s twin sister Bridie Hunter
For further details, if you’re interested, take a look at the Family Tree.
(The baby Jamie is holding at the far left of the picture above is her daughter, Sheree Meir)
And finally, a bridal dressing room, which I made but didn’t use in the end because of routing issues 😦
So there you go. I hope you enjoyed, and I intend to see you all again very soon!