Today was the big day. More specifically, Aidan’s big day. My baby son was getting married to the girl of his dreams in just a few minutes, and the whole family was here to witness it. I was having a hard time keeping my emotions under control, and the tears threatened to spill at any moment. Beside me, Ian squeezed my hand. “He’ll be okay,” he whispered, and I nodded.
When Aidan had told us that he was engaged, I had been unable to stop myself from bursting into overwhelmed tears. I was happy for him, of course, but watching my first child leave and set out on his own was more painful than I had ever anticipated. I even saw an unusual wetness on Ian’s cheeks as he hugged his son tightly, perhaps tighter than he ordinarily would have, as though he was afraid to let him go.
Aidan and Violet had chosen to get married in the same park where Ian and I had recited our own vows years ago. I remembered my own wedding clearly… the only guests were Julie and Aidan, then just a small child. How he had grown up.
Although they had barely seen each other for Aidan’s entire life, I had convinced him to invite Ren, his biological father, to the wedding as a courtesy more than anything else. I had half expected him to ignore the invitation, but it seemed that he had grown more mellow in his age; here he sat at his son’s wedding, next to Aidan’s soon-to-be mother-in-law.
Now retired, Julie had also made sure to be in town just to attend Aidan’s wedding. They still fondly remembered each other from Aidan’s childhood before she had moved away for work, and she had been a constant figure in his upbringing before that. She too had aged, and now lived alone in her old apartment in the city. It was good to see my old best friend again, even if we had been seeing each other fairly frequently since she had moved back to Bridgeport.
When it was time for the ceremony to begin, all of the family and guests gathered around to watch Aidan and Violet exchange vows.
I could feel their love for each other; it was apparent in every look and word. By the end of the ceremony, there was not a single person in the audience who wasn’t moved to tears, from Ian hastily wiping his eyes on a handkerchief to Violet’s mum and Ren crying freely in the back row (I know, who would have thought?).
Everyone cheered as the couple exchanged rings and then shared their first kiss as husband and wife.
The twins had come prepared with flower petals and confetti, of which everyone took part in throwing handfuls over the happy newlyweds.
For their own part, Aidan and Violet were too absorbed in each other to pay much attention to anything else. We had to call them several times to break their trance, so that the cake could be cut and the wedding buffet served.
It was nearing sunset by the time we were ready to eat. Everyone took a plate of food and a slice of cake, and sat down at the tables to talk and laugh with each other as they ate.
“That was a beautiful wedding, Nic,” Julie said to me as we were seated at the same table. “You must be so proud.”
I smiled, the tears threatening to spill again as I glanced over at my eldest son. “I am.”
By the time everyone had finished eating, it was time for the bride and groom to leave and drive to their new home. Everyone gathered to call out their best wishes to the young couple as they stepped into the hired car and drove away.
The evening was cool, so none of the guests lingered for long after Aidan and Violet had left. Only Ian, the girls and I stayed behind to clean up before heading home. When we arrived, Bridie and Bianca bid us goodnight and went straight to their room, leaving Ian and myself alone in the kitchen. Not that we minded at all – the day had been long and tiring, and I was glad to spend some time with my wonderful husband at the end of it.
“Wasn’t it beautiful?” I said, gazing up into the blue eyes whose charm and sparkle had not dimmed with the years. Every time I looked at my husband, and especially today, on our son’s wedding day, I was reminded of how lucky I was to have him in my life.
“Yes. But not as beautiful as ours.” Ian took my hands stared down at me, with a smile that still made my heart melt. “To me, ours will always be the most beautiful wedding, the most beautiful love story, that I have ever seen, heard, or read. Don’t you agree?”
I leaned forward and pressed my lips against his in a gentle kiss. Smiling, I pulled away for a moment to look into his eyes as I whispered my answer, my eternal promise, to him.
And that’s the end of Generation One! I hope you all enjoyed Nicole’s story as much as I did. Next chapter we will be introduced to the perspective of our new heir, Bianca Hunter, a quiet and practical young woman with a passion for fishing and a love for all things outdoors, as well as a pretty face that’s likely to attract trouble somewhere down the line. Stay tuned!
Some extra pictures from the wedding: