The day my parents were supposed to arrive, I woke up to the sight and sound of Celeste furiously beating waffle batter. One look at her was enough to tell me that she was a ball of nerves.
“Morning, dear” I greeted her, almost regretting my words as she nearly dropped the bowl she was holding.
“Simon!” she gulped, surprised at my voice. “I’m sorry, I woke you up!”
“Hold on, let me help you” I went to her, but she waved me aside.
“Your parents are almost here and there is nothing to eat!” she worried.
“Hon, you don’t have to worry about that, their hotel has food, you know!” I tried to calm her down “And they’re not here to assess your cooking skills, but to meet a new member of our family.”
“But what if they disapprove of me…” she looked like someone who just found out that Christmas was cancelled.
“They won’t. Trust me; my parents know that if I’m marrying you, you’re a great person. They’ll only be happy for us.”
“If you say so…” she still seemed to be unconvinced. “Great, now it’s raining.”
“Well, on the bright side, now we’ll have a great conversation opener—bad weather!” I joked.
Luckily, when we arrived at our reserved wedding venue, the sky had cleared up.
My relatives were already there, as I expected, in all entirety—they even brought my baby cousin Tyrion, who frankly looked like he’d rather be sleeping.
“Mom, Dad!” I greeted my family, not realizing how much I’ve missed them. “You made it! How was the trip?”
“Not bad at all, I can really see why you like this place so much” laughed my dad. “May I say, you have a lovely bride.”
Celeste blushed, still uncomfortable around my huge family.
“And of course, we’ll talk a bit later, I’m off to see how our formal clothes are doing” he apologized before taking leave of us.
“Well, you’ve just met Martin, my husband, who’s ever the charmer!” my mother smiled at Celeste, clearly noticing the latter’s discomfort “Now, Simon, why don’t you let us girls chat for a bit. Don’t worry, I don’t bite!”
While she and Celeste were excitedly discussing wedding plans and other details, I ended up with my aunt Marie.
“So, nephew, I see you’re pretty well-settled here now. Not planning to come back home anytime soon, then?” she jokingly asked.
“Nope. I’m pretty happy here” I assured her.
“I can see. Of course, you won’t find a girl like that in Starlight Shores, that’s for sure. She is very natural.”
“How do you know all that just from looking at her?” I laughed.
“Oh well, a writer has to” she explained seriously. “You see people and you end up understanding them pretty well. Make sure you take good care of that one.”
“Oh, I fully intend to.”
My heart was beating so fast when Simon’s mother approached me that I thought it will jump out of my chest. I’ve heard so many horror stories of couples breaking up because someone’s family didn’t approve of their choices. Of course, Simon already proposed to me, so it probably didn’t matter to him what his parents thought of his choice. But I would hate to cause any strife between him and his family.
“Oh girl, relax, I don’t plan to terrify you!” Simon’s mother’s words snapped me out of my reverie. “What did my son tell you about his family? We’re not that scary, are we?”
“I’m sorry” I apologized. “It’s just that our engagement was so quick and I was afraid you’d think badly of me since you barely know me and it’s almost like I’m stealing him away…”
“Oh dear” she shook her head “I don’t think badly of you, not at all. It’s normal for kids to grow up and start their own families. In fact, if Simon didn’t do that, then I’d worry. As it is, I do want to get to know you better. After all, you are about to become part of our family.”
“So, you’re ok with Simon and me getting married? Oh, you have no idea how happy I am to hear that!” it was as if a weight fell off my shoulders.
“And I’m happy to see that someone is so over the heels for my boy” she smiled.
“As is he. We were pretty surprised to hear he was engaged” chimed in the teenage girl, who I understood to be Simon’s sister, Samantha. “I was pretty suspicious, to be honest. But it does seem that you’re pretty nice.”
Well, that was more of the sentiment I expected, but I understood the whole “protective sister” mode. I was the same way when my brother got into relationships.
“I’d be glad to get to know all of you pretty close” I honestly told my future in-laws.
“What about your family?” asked Mrs. Meadows.
“They can’t make it, unfortunately” I admitted, trying not to show that my family’s absence at my wedding was making me more upset than I was letting on. “My father will be all tied up at the ranch and my brother’s wife is in last stages of pregnancy.”
“Oh, wow, that sucks” Samantha shook her head. “I know we can’t replace them, but I hope our presence here can still cheer you up.”
“After all, there are wedding preparations to make” enthused Mrs. Meadows. “We have to arrange the cake, pick the dress up, make sure everyone and everything is in the right place. Don’t worry; we’ll help with all that.”
“Oh, you don’t have to, Mrs. Meadows” I didn’t want her to burden herself with this.
“Oh, honey, you can call me Laura, everyone does. And wedding arrangements for my son and his bride are not a hassle at all, they’re only fun” she smiled.
In the following week, Celeste spent nearly all the time with my family. I would’ve complained about not seeing her, but really I was just happy she got on so well with my relatives. Truly, not everyone can enjoy that development in their lives.
My parents really liked her and Samantha, who was always the tough one in the family, ended up really warming up to my fiancée. Uncle Ezekiel and Dad ended up going fishing with her at some point, which was something they’ve never done in Starlight Shores. Even Aunt Marie would let herself get distracted from her writing long enough to actually interact with Celeste. As for Wanda, when she saw Hawk and Ursa, she wouldn’t get dragged away from them for hours.
And so that day came. Luckily, the weather was nice and sunny; otherwise our outdoor wedding would have been ruined. The guests were gathered and the bride was stunning.
As per tradition, I haven’t seen Celeste in her wedding dress until the time of the wedding, so I was happily surprised by her look for the wedding.
“You look gorgeous” I told her, before the wedding was about to start.
“And you look even handsomer that usual. You should wear a tux more often” joked Celeste.
My father looked on us approvingly and smiled nostalgically. He said earlier that ours reminded him of his and my mother’s relationship, which I considered to be a very good thing.
So, under the warming las rays of autumn sun, Celeste and I spoke our vows.
“Simon Meadows” began Celeste “when we met, I never thought you would see me as anything more than a friend, yet here we are, getting married. I promise to be your wife in health and sickness, good times and bad, through anything. I will always be there for you, no matter what life decides to throw at us.”
“Celeste Lewis” I continued “you are the only woman I have even been in love with and I know that will never change. I knew I had feelings for you since the moment we’ve met and I have been the happiest person alive since you reciprocated them. I take you as my wife and life companion and I guarantee that while my garden may be seasonal, my love for you will never be.”
And the rings were exchanged, the wedding papers signed, and we were officially husband and wife!
After the cake cutting, which everyone was just as happy about as about the wedding itself, the party went on.
Wanda and I ended up seated next to one another, as my folks stole away my wife again (a usual occurrence these days).
“So, you’re finally married, huh?” she mumbled through a mouthful of cake. “How does it feel, new husband?”
“Pretty good, thanks. Although it has been less than an hour” I played along. “What about you, planning to get hitched anytime soon?”
“We’ll see. College comes first, mom was pretty adamant about it. I kind of agree. I mean my relationship has been pretty good so far, but I don’t really know what I want to do in life. Not like you did” she admitted wistfully.
“Oh, cuz. You’ll figure it out. It’s no rush.”
At some point, Celeste and I did get to spend our wedding party with one another.
“Hey there, wife” I greeted her. “Would you care for a dance with your new husband?”
“Of course, although I must warn you, I’m not a very good dancer” she warned me.
“Me neither” I laughed. “I think we can just imitate the other guests.”
Throughout the entire dance, we were both blushing like it was our first time seeing one another. Luckily, it was getting dark by that time, and the guests didn’t notice. Of course, even if they did, it was pretty normal for a couple to be giddy with one another.
As the party drew to a close, we said our goodbyes and headed home. My parents were flying back out to my hometown and Celeste and I were starting our official lives as married people.
Of course, I carried Celeste over the threshold—it was, after all, a tradition.
From then on, there was plenty of awkwardness. We were both virgins and quite honestly had no idea where to start or how initiate anything. One would think that instinct would take over—after all I thought Celeste was the most gorgeous woman I have ever seen. But we were just both really nervous.
“If you’re not comfortable, we could always do this later” I offered, not wanting to make our first night together bad for Celeste.
In response, she laughed nervously and shook her head “We’re both way inexperienced, aren’t we? Yeah, I’m pretty nervous, but I knew what marriage entailed. Unless, you want to wait, let’s do this.”
I couldn’t resist pulling her into a hug “You know, you’re awesome, right?”
The kiss that followed eased us into our first night as husband and wife. And while I won’t go into details of what happened, I think we were both glad we didn’t put our marital life off for much longer.
So! These two are finally married. I unfortunately didn’t have many pics of the rest of the family and Celeste interacting, but here’s one of them, sans the sister and cousin posing with the happy couple.