The Wedding

Rose and I checked into the Four Seasons around noon, then made our way over to Alice’s suite. I hadn’t bothered getting a hotel room for myself. I was ten blocks and a train ride away from my house. Even if I did get rip-roaringly drunk, I could still get home safely.

And drunkenness was definitely in my future. The champagne began flowing the moment we arrived. Rose held her flute during the toast but didn’t take a sip, instead swapping her full glass with my mostly empty one when no one was looking. The moment Alice was out of ear shot, I called her out on it.

“You get to eat for two, and I’m supposed to drink for two? That hardly seems fair.”

“You know I can’t drink, Bella.”

“Why can’t you just claim you’re on antibiotics or something?”

“I used that one on her two weeks ago,” Rose admitted. “I’ve also already used the ‘I’m on pain medication for my boob job’ excuse.”

I rolled my eyes at her. “At this rate I’ll be trashed before we even get to the ceremony.”

“Like you’ve never been drunk in church.”

“That’s not the point, Rose.”

“It’s only three more weeks, then I’m out of my first trimester and Em and I will go public. I promise to take care of you and keep you well-hydrated. If you need me to hold your hair back later, I’ll even do that for you.”

“My hair is going to be up.”

“If it’s anything like the rest of you, it will fall down as soon as you’ve had a few.”

“Are you ever not a complete bitch?”

“No,” she answered immediately. “Please, Bella?” Her voice took on a little girl quality.

“Does this routine work on Emmett?”

She laughed. “I take a slightly different approach with him. I’d demonstrate, but you lack the necessary equipment.”

“That’s okay, Rose. I don’t need a visual.”

Resigned, I picked up the full glass and chugged.

“Thank you, Bella.”

“You’re just lucky that I can hold my booze fairly well.”

Alice emerged from the bathroom.

“Is your mother joining us?” I asked, changing the subject.

“Thankfully, not for a while. She’s getting a massage and coming when she’s finished. It’s just as well. She’s in one of her moods this weekend,” Alice explained.

“Is this because of Jake?”

“No. It’s more about her luggage. They dropped it off this morning, so the major crisis was averted, but she claims she is extremely stressed by the ordeal and needs to decompress.”

“I’m sorry, Alice.”

“It’s not your fault. She just is who she is,” she said with a sigh.

Rose giggled. “Wait until the ceremony music comes from Em’s iPhone. The society mavens will love it when you walk down the aisle to AC/DC.”

“Oh my god, is that the plan?” I asked.

“No, but I almost wish it were,” Alice admitted. “I’d love to see the look on my mother’s face. Unfortunately, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has all sorts of rules regarding wedding music. Even Wagner’s Wedding March is a no-no. I’m very lucky that one of my guests is a classically trained pianist.” She paused for a moment, as if she were choosing her next words very carefully. “I’m not sure how I let all of this get so out of hand.”

“Every bride has moments where she wishes she had eloped, Alice.” Rose unzipped the garment bag holding Alice’s wedding gown as she spoke. “Even those who’d managed to maintain some sense of levity during the planning process.”

Alice ignored Rose’s obvious dig. She leaned toward me and spoke very quietly, “I wasn’t talking about my wedding.” She stood up and poured herself another glass of champagne. “So how is your young man, Bella?” As soon as the words left her mouth, her hand flew up to her mouth in horror. “I didn’t mean it like that. I mean, I know he’s young but I…oh fuck…” She cringed.

“Alice, I’m not ready to discuss Edward with you,” I said coolly.

This was starting to get unpleasant. I looked up at Alice, nervously sipping her Veuve Clicquot. Maybe she had the right idea. I downed the contents of my glass. Though I was fully aware that champagne was meant to be sipped not gulped, I didn’t let that knowledge deter me.

“Did you get the letter I sent with your dress?” she asked finally.

“Yes, Alice.”

I stared down at my glass rather than look at her. How could it be empty already? I walked across the room and opened another bottle.

“You just chose not to read it.” Surprisingly, there was nothing accusatory in Alice’s tone of voice.

“I’m not ready for that either.” I refilled my champagne flute without looking at her.

“I respect that, Bella. And I’m willing to wait…”

There was a knock at the door, and within minutes I was trapped in hair and make-up hell. Soon Mrs. Brandon arrived in a hideous dress that I was certain cost roughly my annual salary.

And so the torture began.

“Hello, Isabella, Rosalie.” Mrs. Brandon always spoke through clenched lips without ever fully opening her mouth. It was amazing she could produce sound.

Rose walked over to her and handed Alice’s mother a glass of champagne, no doubt thinking alcohol would improve her mood.

Alice and I knew better.

Mrs. Brandon took a sip from the glass before turning to Alice. “I don’t see how your hairstyle will accommodate a veil.”

“Mother, we’ve already discussed this. I’m not wearing one.”

“I was hoping you’d changed your mind. I brought one, you know, so you’d have the option.” She went to the closet and retrieved a veil, then turned to me. “What kind of bride doesn’t have something on her head?”

I was just drunk enough to take the bait. “Um, your daughter?”

“Not if I have anything to say about it.” She turned to Rose. “Please talk some sense into her. I know your people always wear veils.”

Rose’s eyes widened in disbelief. “My people?”

“Would you go to the synagogue without covering your head?”

I could see the internal struggle clearly on Rose’s face. Her inner bitch was dying to escape, but it was still Alice’s wedding day and the offending party Alice’s mother. Ultimately, tact won.

“I’m Reformed,” she muttered dryly.

“Regardless.” Mrs. Brandon waved her hand dismissively, before turning to Alice’s stylist. “Surely you can secure this to the back with some hair pins?” The stylist hesitated, looking to Alice for approval. “You do realize I’m the person paying you?” she continued.

Moments later, the veil was secured to Alice’s hair. The photographer arrived and started snapping away. Alice posed with her mother, but her eyes remained downcast. She was broken.

I was never so happy for it to be time for mass. I stumbled out of Alice’s suite into the hotel elevator, unsure if it was my heels or my slight inebriation causing me to feel so unsteady on my feet.

While we were waiting for the limousine that would take us out to the church, I took a long look at myself in a mirror in the hotel lobby. My hair was piled up on the top of my head in soft waves, showing off my bare shoulders. The smoky eye make-up played up my coloring, as did the midnight blue of my gown. Strapless and gathered, its silk hugged my curves until it spilled out into a full skirt somewhere around my knees. I couldn’t believe it was me.

I knew there would be hundreds of pictures taken, and that Edward would eventually get to see how I looked tonight. Still, I wished he was here to see me like this.

Alice was very reserved as we waited in the vestibule for the ceremony to begin. She’d said almost nothing since we left the hotel. Her father joined us, and Emmett arrived to escort Mrs. Brandon to her pew. Of course, Mr. Brandon assumed Alice’s mood was related to pre-wedding nerves.

“You don’t have to go through with this you know,” he said. “Take some time, see who else is out there. Maybe you’ll find someone with whom you have a bit more in common.”

I silently wondered how I’d never realized the extent they disapproved of Jasper.

“Daddy, please. Just…don’t. You and Mother have made your point.”

“We just want you to be happy.”

Emboldened by my intoxication, I walked over to Alice and her father.

“Can I borrow her for a minute? Girl stuff.”

He nodded, and I lead Alice off towards Rose. I spun her around and began removing the pins from her hair.

“What are you doing?” she asked, feeling the gentle tugging.

“I’m giving you your day back.” Within seconds, the veil was gone and Rose began to straighten Alice’s now unadorned up-do. “Now you can look the way you envisioned and tell your mother to fuck off all with one hairstyle.”

“She’s going to kill me,” Alice whispered.

Rose snorted. “Not in front of three hundred of her closest friends, she won’t.”

Alice pulled Rose and me into her arms. “I love you. Both of you.”

She walked over to her father and took his arm. “I am happy, Daddy.” Looking over her shoulder at Rose and me she added, “More so than I ever thought possible.”

The piano music in the background changed from Pachelbel to Rachmaninoff and Alice gestured us over. “That’s your cue.”

Rose started down the aisle, and when she reached the front of the church I began to walk.

Though I’d always thought the obnoxiously slow pace of wedding processionals was stupid and melodramatic, at the moment I was incredibly thankful for it. If I tried to walk any faster, I was quite certain I would fall on my face.

And that is exactly what I did when I saw who was seated at the piano. It was Edward. Fuck me now. He was wearing a tuxedo.

Even if I hadn’t consumed roughly a bottle and a half of Veuve Clicquot single-handedly, I’m fairly certain at that moment I would not have been able to walk. He was breathtaking. Everything below my waist turned to jelly.

He stood up and looked over at me but the music didn’t stop. I angled my head around to get a better view. There sat Esme, in an emerald gown with her red hair piled high upon her head. Her hands moved over the piano keys with a grace that rivaled even Edward.

That was when I dropped my bouquet.

Rose stood me up and handed me my flowers, laughing hysterically at my gaffe. I discreetly peeked over my shoulder at Edward as Alice came down the aisle. He was shaking his head in apparent disbelief, smiling at me.

This wasn’t fair. I hadn’t seen him in a week. He looked like he wandered off a movie set, and I was expected to just stand here holding flowers and not go jump his bones?

Okay, so maybe stand wasn’t the right word; what I was doing was closer to swaying.

Alice and Jasper exchanged vows, but the end seemed nowhere in sight. I wondered where the confessionals were and if there was a way to discreetly entice Edward into joining me in one. Oh my holy Jesus. I did not just imagine having drunk sex with my seventeen-year-old boyfriend in a church during mass.

Oh, yes, I did. I was so going to hell.

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  1. on 25 Aug 2010 at 1:26 amchansen

    I did, I so did–called that one, well maybe not exactly if Esme was playing the piano, but at least Edward is there and dressed for the occasion. Pretty sure there will be dancing!


  2. on 01 Oct 2010 at 7:00 amlisa89

    Rawr. I knew Edward was going to be there! So awesome. And I can only imagine how shitty it would be to have parents like Alice’s – And I thought my parents were bad . . .


  3. on 12 Nov 2010 at 12:40 pmkng1986

    I can forgive Alice for being the way she is after seeing her mother.

    Drunk and horny may be the best way to get through a nuptial mass. I went for the shortened version.


    Colleen reply:

    I tried…I was vetoed by my Jewish husband, who then insisted the whole thing be in Latin so his family wouldn’t know what was going on. For real.


  4. on 25 Nov 2010 at 4:02 pmBooksgalore/Bookishqua

    Loved Bella taking the veil off. I’ve been to weddings like that where you want to strangle the bride’s relatives. You wrote it well.


  5. on 29 Dec 2010 at 8:50 pmFancastride

    I’m sure Edward looked hot in his tuxedo.


  6. on 05 Jan 2011 at 12:03 amSea4Me

    Glad bella womaned-up. Would have been just too mean otherwise!


  7. on 29 Jan 2011 at 5:15 pmJanice

    I’m glad Alice was happy . . . it seemed her day was pretty runined. Bella and Rose to save the day!! Then Edward saved Bella – very cute :)


  8. on 17 Mar 2011 at 5:00 amNHJO100

    I just knew it would be E at the piano when Alice mentioned that thankfully “one of her guests plays the piano”. Hmmm…E in a tux….I clarify….Rob in a tux equals heaven…..Please don’t pass out, Bella….