A bittersweet ceremony

Emma shook as she run her hands over the soft silk of the most beautiful dress she had ever owned. Red silk and lace laid gently across her soft skin, accentuating her curves even more.  She looked divine.  The make up artists had been and gone, turning her acne scarred skin porcelain smooth.  She looked like she could have come out of a magazine shoot.  She checked her hair in the mirror, not a bit out of place.  It had been brushed back so it looked like a waterfall cascading down her back, he always liked it that way.  Dabbing the tears away from her face, she prepared herself to meet the car.

Walking down the stairs she smiled at all the pictures on the wall.  Holidays, family parties, intimate moments and more all caught with the flash of a camera.  They always looked so happy, smiling for the camera, they were the perfect couple.  Emma twisted her engagement ring as she remembered the day he proposed.  They had been sat at home, nothing out of the ordinary,  takeaway ordered, action movie on.  He had bought her hot chocolate with marshmallows, her favourite.  Getting down on one knee, he had asked her to be his wife, she had said yes in a split second.  They had spent months preparing for their special day, he went out of his way to make sure hers were perfect.

Getting into the car, she tried to steel her nerves.  Were you meant to be this nervous?  Brides had said this was normal in all the forums she read, but she wasn’t a normal bride. The car rolled along the road and turned into the church, the steeple appearing to tower over her in a way which was more threatening then inviting.  She had always found churches scary, she loved being in them but hated the prospect of stepping out and into a graveyard on the most important day of your life.  But Michael wanted it so that’s what would happen.

The snow had fallen overnight, making the whole place look like a Christmas card.  It was everything she had always wanted.  The organ began, telling her it was time to enter the church, to begin her first and only walk down the aisle.  She dropped the veil across her face as the double doors opened, she willed herself not to cry.

The flowers were beautiful, crisp white lilies and deep red roses made the room feel festive, highlighted by the flickering lights of the candles that were placed around the church.  She walked down the aisle, steeling herself to ensure that her legs didn’t give way beneath her, she knew that she shouldn’t have worn heels. Her father walked beside her, squeezing her arm just a little too tightly, supporting her during this life changing day.

Approaching the aisle, she took her place next to her future husband, and kept her head looking forward as to not look down and make this nightmare a reality. A soldier approached her, his buttons shining, belt a crisp white and shoes polished until she could see herself in them. He handed her a folded flag and all the medals her soldier fiancee had been awarded whilst on his last tour.

The vicar spoke, words that she will never be able to recall, the day was exactly how they had planned, a Christmas wedding with all their family and friends.  She smiled through the tears, ‘yes, this is exactly what he would have wanted’.

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