The day had arrived. In the end, the flowers were ready, the table cloths accounted for, and all the other little details that had seemed like such a big deal, were all taken care of or were never really important to begin with. Her sister, maid of honor was walking down the aisle right now, with the best man, Dave. Wind beat against the church, but could hardly be heard against the soft notes of Bach’s Ave Maria.
George watched his daughter, both waiting for the music change to cue their turn. The corners of his weathered lips lifted ever so slightly, while his eyes were a mixture of happiness and sadness with a persistent glisten to them.
“They always say,” He began gruffly, “That it all goes by quickly, and it’s here, seeing you a grown woman about to be married, that I fully agree. I never knew thirty years could go by at such a blink of an eye.” He wiped his eyes, his cheeks blushing.
Hazel moved in close to him, and kissed him on the cheek. “Oh, Daddy,” She whispered, then looked up at the ceiling, willing herself to not cry.
The melody changed tunes, and it was her turn to walk down the aisle. Inside a million butterflies woke from a fitful slumber, and were all aflutter as she stepped into the sanctuary. Now her father was the one to calm her nerves, he patted her hand warmly, and gave her a reassuring look. Loved ones filled the room, and her dearest friends stood next to the altar, but her eyes only fell on one. Later she couldn’t tell you what anyone else was wearing or what their faces looked like, all she would recall would be his face, waiting anxiously for her to join him up there. And her mother, holding back sobs in the front pew.
Her feet wanted to move faster; the walk seemed much slower then it did at rehearsal. Her father kept the pace, holding her in check, until they reached the bottom landing and he graciously placed her hand into Jude’s, a timeless blessing.
Her eyes did grow misty during the vows, and everything seemed to go by in a blur. She tried to slow her mind down, and remember the details of this moment. But when her eyes found his, she was lost into them, and drawn into the significance of the moment.
When the time came to place the ring, Hazel’s hands were quivering with excitement and she fumbled to get it past his last knuckle. Jude chuckled softly, low enough that only she heard. Looking up, she gave him an embarrassed smile.
Then the time arrived for the kiss, and in that moment, it was as if they were alone in the church. Just the two of them, and their great vow of love given so willingly moments before.
It seemed like an achingly long ceremony, and yet at the same time, it was like it was over in a blink of an eye. They were announced, and she was now to be known as Mrs. Hazel Woodfolk. They were congratulated in the foyer, as each guest left to meet them for the reception at Wickfield Hall.
While it was customary for the wedding party to drive together, Jude arranged for two limousines, so they could stop by at home to check on the nanny and Bea. This was their first time leaving their nearly three month old daughter with a sitter, and as small a gesture as it might seem, it was a small gift he knew Hazel would appreciate.
The snow had picked up again, and fell down in feathery light flakes, as they made their way to the Hall. Bea was perfectly fine, and content, practicing her new ability, rolling on the floor. Hazel was at peace leaving her for the evening.
“Your hair makes you taller then me.” Jude gave her a sideways glance up at her hair.
“Don’t tell me you can’t handle a little height competition.”
“I can handle it today. You’re absolutely breathtaking.” He spoke softly as their feet echoed on the shoveled sidewalk.
Guests had already begun to dine while they awaited the couple. When Hazel and Jude made their way to the head table, a toast was offered in honor of them. Dave first, then Violet-Adele gave a few words offering them blessings.
Hazel picked at her food, too full of excitement to eat more than a bite. She watched each of the guests as they enjoyed their meal in merriment. And she looked at her husband, what had she been afraid of for all these years? She felt as if this moment had been her destiny all along, as if she were made to be the dignified bride next to this amazing man.
Her mother, Mandy prattled on about something to do with Emma’s boyfriend, Chris. But Hazel was giving her husband all her attention at the moment. She saw in his face, what she felt in her heart. She couldn’t help but beam at him, and all their guests.
Groomsmen, Charlie Grimsley sat with his wife Cara, and bridesmaid, Morgan. Hazel could overhear Morgan reassuring them about Lulu’s developments from her medical standpoint. Zeke would be arriving to join Morgan later in the evening as he had prior obligations to his son, Lewis.
While her brother, Finn, and sister, Violet-Adele kept company with her niece, Emma. They spent most of their dinner, rubber necking the other table where Grace, Benjamin, Nicole, and her father were seated. They were in a hot controversy discussion trying to remember which one of them had swallowed a tooth as a kid. Hazel remembered that it had been Finn, but he was denying it well enough that their Father was second guessing his memory.
First dance of the evening was reserved for the bride and groom. Where Jude showed that he not only could play guitar and write music; he could dance too. Some guests watched, while others continued their conversations, but Hazel was oblivious to it all. As much as she wanted to dance and enjoy the evening, she also greatly wanted to be alone with Jude.
The song ended, and there was a tap on Jude’s shoulder. “Mind if I take this next one?” George asked. Jude gracefully handed Hazel over to her father. His eyes hadn’t lost their wetness, and there was still a piece of bittersweet sadness in his gaze. “I’m proud of you, kiddo.” He took a deep breath, gathering his emotions. “And that Jude, well he’s a good guy. If you had to grow up and marry, well, I’m just glad you picked him.”
“He is a good guy, isn’t he?” Hazel looked for Jude on the side of the dance floor. She found him dancing with her mother, Mandy. “I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather be with.”
“That’s what I’ve always wanted for my children. It would be a sad, lonely life to go at it alone, but with someone you love, it’s makes the hard times that much more manageable.” The song began to wind down, and he gave Hazel a hug, then Jude was by her side once again to begin the next song with her.
Now many of the guests were leaving their chairs, and making their way to the dance floor. Violet-Adele included, despite not having a dancing partner. Etienne was thousands of miles away, and she missed him dearly. At the same time, she hated the thought of leaving everyone and going back to Paris, even for the next few months to finish her internship. Life was continuing in her absence, and she felt as if she was missing everything.
“May I have this dance?” Dave Brewer asked, she had met him at the rehearsal dinner. Everyone seemed to know Dave, but her. She didn’t meet him until the rehearsal dinner. Even Grace knew him from working at Peanut’s.
Violet-Adele smiled, “You may.”
It was an hour later, that Morgan, Zeke, Hazel, and Jude congregated on the dance floor to make remarks on Violet-Adele’s dancing partner. Dave was the obvious choice for Jude’s best man, they were roommates, and friends since childhood, but Hazel had secretly hoped that her sister might find him a little appealing. Maybe appealing enough to move back home.
“If we are as happy as your parents in thirty years, then I’ll consider us a success.” Jude said to Hazel, later in the evening. She, herself, had hardly been able to take her eyes off Jude, but had noticed how her mother just shined on the dance floor.
“Their perfect together.” Hazel sighed. She hoped for the same kind of happiness, and acceptance for her marriage as well.
Zeke and Morgan had left the dance floor in the search of some cooler air, and a moment alone. At a wedding, Morgan couldn’t help herself but think of weddings, and hopefully her own someday soon. Next was Grace and Benjamin, and they were younger then her. It seemed wrong somehow to have her best friend’s niece get married before herself. She watched the couples move on the dance floor.
“What do weddings make you think of?” Morgan asked. She didn’t know if his thoughts were on the past with Brynn, and maybe his own marriage dismantling, or if his thoughts were on her, and possibly a hopeful union in the future. Or, the likely, that his thoughts were on nothing in particular. She waited for his response.
Zeke shifted his weight a little before speaking, as if mulling the words over in his mind, before releasing them into the world. “Is this what you want?” He gestured over the dancing couples, and the buffet table, half eaten.
“Maybe not to the last detail,” she began, “but yes. I do want a piece of this.” She waited for him to say something more, and she began to regret not asking him what he wanted, but it would seem clumsy to ask now, after a minute had passed. So she continued to watch the people, and wait. She wasn’t just waiting for him to speak now, but waiting for him to someday be ready. Already he seemed less broken then when they’d had their first date, and he had cut his finger.
Notes: Title from the song Sunrise, Sunset. I did massive recoloring feats for this wedding, cause I wasn’t finding anything that was silver and blue (the wedding colors). While I played and recolored, I kept happily singing, “Silver and Gold.” The Rudolph Christmas song, cause every time I say, “Silver” that song pops into my head. This is basically the wedding I would have had if I decided to get married in the winter. 😉
And some bridal party picture spam. I have one of Hazel with her parents but forgot to resize it/upload it. But I imagine, this is plenty. 🙂
Morgan Russo, Violet-Adele McCarthy, Hazel and Jude Woodfolk, Dave Brewer, and Charlie Grimsley
The Happy Couple:
(really they are happy! For some reason my face overlay box wasn’t showing up in buy mode, and I was not reloading my game for the hundredth time.)
I liked this picture, just because I found the four of them sitting here, just shooting the breeze. It’s Emma with her boyfriend Chris, and sister Grace, with fiance Benjamin. I like when they sit by people that make sense. Everyone else was on the dance floor, but these young folk were sitting here in their own little club.
HUGE THANKS to lepifera for recommending Lot Adjuster. I was able to resize the lot, and didn’t have any more issues with it. It was easy peasy too. I have a few more lots I’m going to do this to, so thank you for the recommendation, it solved this wedding headache fully, and will also solve a few housing/building dilemmas of mine too.