By Mary Crowley
Dressed in her wedding finery, the bride stood in front of the full length mirror. Fully understanding the true meaning, of having butterflies in your stomach. Gazing critically at her appearance, she adjusted the flowers in her hair. Admiring her beautiful dress, placing her hands over the fine silk, relishing the indescribable feel of the fabric. It looked just as she had always dreamed of and more, fitting her slender figure like a glove, accentuating her curves beautifully.
She glanced at the sparkling diamond, on the third finger of her left hand. She would have to move it onto her right hand, for the vows. A warm glow enveloping her, at the thought of marrying the man she truly loved with all her heart. Smiling inwardly, as she remembered the surprise romantic proposal. He had given explicit instructions, to meet him at the airport with an overnight bag, refusing to reveal any details, of where they were heading.
Even as they waited in the departure lounge, he kept up the secrecy, until their flight was called. She realised then, he was taking her to Paris for the night. She had not predicted, the romantic dinner at the Ritz, being treated like royalty. Nor what was to come after they had indulged, on the most beautiful chocolate dessert she had ever tasted.
The waiter coyly placed a bottle of champagne, and two glasses, on their table. It was at that moment she noticed Greg’s demeanour change slightly. He looked uncomfortable, even slightly agitated. She gazed across at him perplexed. Before she had a chance to ask what was wrong, he stood up from his chair abruptly, before dropping on one knee. His proposal came out rushed, his nerves evident, as he held out a sparkling diamond ring, in front of her. She was taken aback, speechless by such beautifully thought out romance. His face etched with sincerity, and love.
Eventually he pleaded, ‘babe I need an answer, my knee won’t hold up much longer.’
She laughed, yes of course she would marry him. Wanting nothing more than, to spend the rest of her life, with this wonderful man. Afterwards they strolled along the Champs’ Elysée, where she was unable to keep from gazing dreamily, at the sparkling diamond on her finger.
A knock on the door brought her back to the present. She swung round as Anne, her matron of honour, entered the room.
‘Ready?’ She asked, before gasping, ‘Marie, you look absolutely beautiful, Greg will be blown away.’ Marie grinned back at her friend, today was going to be the happiest day of her life.
The organist began the wedding march. The guests clad in their wedding finery, turned expectantly awaiting a glimpse of the bride. Seconds turned to minutes, hushed whispers. The organist continued to play, unsure of what to do. Still no appearance, he stopped playing. The whispers increased to a rumble of chatter amongst the guests, who had now turned their attention back towards the alter.
The priest stood ashen faced, glimpsing towards the open side door. Where the groom, and best man had disappeared through. Mrs O’Reilly stood glaring across the pews at Mrs Lennox-Scott. The other woman eye-balled her back, it was obvious where the blame lay.
The young couple sat side by side on the aeroplane sipping their champagne. The sparkle in both their eyes clearly showed their happiness.
‘Do you think they will be mad at us?’ Greg turned to ask his new bride.
‘Oh probably, but thanks to our loyal friends, we are married, and we did it our own way.’ Marie laughed, as she clinked her glass with his, before adding. ‘Though, I did feel a bit over dressed for a registry office.’
‘You looked fabulous, Mrs O’Reilly.’
‘Why thank you Mr O’Reilly, it has been the best day of my life, you looked extremely handsome in your suit.’
‘Luckily we have our honeymoon to enjoy, before returning, to face the music from our families, after ditching our own wedding.’
‘Serves them right for taking over, and making it all about what they wanted. Of course you do know my mother will blame you for leading her precious daughter astray!’