The Wedding


Lady with flowers in hair Illustration: Shutterstock

WRITTEN BY LINDA SAINTY

It’s on tender, special days like this that those who have gone before are most dearly missed…

Carrie did a little twirl in front of the full-length mirror. The hairdresser had just left having managed, somehow, to tame her springy curls into an elegant up-do. She just hoped it would last for the duration of the day.

She still wasn’t sure about the dress. It seemed to show every lump and bump. She’d definitely put on a bit of weight since the fitting but it was too late to worry about that. The wedding car was due any minute. She’d just have to breathe in until the formalities and photographs were over.

Breathe in.

Easier said than done, she thought, staring out of the window of her old bedroom which overlooked the back garden. It looked a bit neglected now without her mother’s loving care, but the magnolia tree was in full, glorious bloom and the Welsh poppies, reliable as ever, fluttered daintily in their yellow skirts.

There was a tap on her bedroom door, then it creaked open.

“You all right, love?” her dad, Tony, asked, stepping inside.

“Yes.” She tried to quell the butterflies which had embarked on another crazy dance inside her.

“You look lovely,” he said.

“You too, Dad,” she said, eyeing his expensive three-piece grey linen suit. “Very dapper!”

Truth was, he looked a bit awkward, like a boy who’d chosen an outfit from the dressing-up box that was far too big.

They fell into a hug.

“Watch my hair!” Carrie exclaimed.

Oh, the hair. My little tomboy has gone all posh on me.

“She certainly has. I just hope it stays in place all day.”

“Or at least until the speeches are over,” Tony said. “By then everyone will have had a drink and no one will notice.”

“Hopefully!”

She laughed. Then her nerves flared up again and her breath quickened.

Speeches.

Everyone made speeches these days, didn’t they? The groom, the chief bridesmaid, the mother of the bride. Perhaps her dad would help her out with hers, but she doubted it. He would be too busy trying to get through his own speech. They were cut from the same cloth and didn’t enjoy public speaking.

Her mother, in the other hand, would have been in her element. She always loved being the centre of attention.

Everyone said she should have had a career on the stage and, in a way, she had – except that her stage was in town halls chairing committees to fight for better facilities, or to save a library, or to organise soup runs for homeless sleepers.

Carrie looked out towards the wildflower meadow at the bottom of the garden where her mother’s ashes were scattered. After the trauma of her mother’s illness and death it was a wonderful, peaceful place to sit and remember her, especially in the summer.

“I can’t believe it’s been five years,” she said softly to her father, who was fiddling nervously with a cufflink.

“I know,” he agreed, a wistful look in his eyes. Was he thinking of the day they got married? Remembering that timid young man in his grown-up suit staring anxiously at the photographer, as his soon-to-be wife beamed excitedly?

“Do you think…?” Tony’s voice faltered.

Carrie put her arm around her father.

“What I think, Dad, is that Mum wouldn’t want us to be sad. Remember that Pharrell Williams song she requested for her funeral?”

“Happy,” Tony recalled.

“Yes. Mum wanted us to remember the happiness of the past but to look forward to happiness in the future.”

“Hey, that’s a great line,” Tony said. “I think I’ll use it in my speech.”

“Me too!” said Carrie.


Outside, there was the sound of a car horn. “Time to go,” Tony said.

A few minutes later they arrived at their destination – an old mill converted into wedding venue. The sun was shining and a cherry tree had shed pink petals on the path leading to the main buildings.

“It looks like confetti!” Carrie exclaimed excitedly. “It’s so beautiful.”

Tony managed a weak smile.

They went inside. The guests, already in their seats, greeted them with smiles.

“There’s lots of people here,” Tony said nervously.

“You’ll be fine.” Carrie took his arm as they walked past the rows of seats to where the registrar was waiting.

Suddenly the wedding music began. Carrie turned her head as her father’s bride, Megan, made her way up the aisle.
They exchanged a smile. Carrie was delighted that her father was marrying someone as lovely as Megan. She knew they were perfect for each other and it was such a relief he’d found love again after the heartache of losing her mother.

It was also a relief that soon her duties as “best man” would be over. Apart from, of course, her after-dinner speech.


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Allison Hay

I joined the My Weekly team ten years ago, and I love the variety of topics we cover both online and in the magazine. I manage the digital content for the brand, sharing features and information on the website, social media and in our digital newsletters. I also work for Your Best Ever Christmas - perfect as it's my favourite time of year!