A secret wedding

I’ve mentioned before that when I have finished writing a novel, the characters don’t just end their ‘lives’ but their stories continue in my imagination. I won’t give away which book it is, but a happy conclusion has been reached by two of the characters… if you’ve read any of my books you can choose who they are!

They have decided that they are going to marry, but they wish to keep it secret from friends and family, however they enlist the aid of the bride’s brother-in-law who is very close to both of them. They decide the venue is to be Plymouth Registry office and they have been down to visit and make arrangements and go through the formalities and now today is the day.

Contrary to tradition they have spent the night before the marriage together in a nearby hotel, but first thing in the morning, brother-in-law arrives and collects the groom. The bride gets dressed and made up; she’s wearing a brilliant purple dress, close-fitting and elegant, high-heeled shoes, even though this makes her an inch taller than her intended. She puts on a long grey coat to cover her dress and goes down to the reception of the hotel where her brother-in-law is waiting with champagne and a delighted smile. She is taken aback to see him so smartly dressed, even his cowboy boots are polished and shining. A taxi takes them to the registry office where she is surprised to see her groom wearing a smart suit she has never seen before. They go to see the registrar to complete the necessary forms and then the groom goes into the marriage chamber alone.

A young woman the bride has never seen before is waiting for her; she is beautifully dressed and has  a bouquet and fascinator for the bride’s hair. The long grey coat is taken off, the young woman touches up the bride’s hair after fixing the fascinator, checks her make-up and the accompanies her to the door of the marriage suite. She waits for a moment, knocks and there is the sound of a guitar. The brother-in-law takes the bride’s hand and leads her into the chamber where her husband-to-be is waiting. He is wearing a new suit, has had his hair cut and his beard trimmed and he looks astonished to see his bride looking even more beautiful than  when he left her this morning.

A tall man dressed in black is singing ‘The first time ever I saw your face’, accompanying himself on the guitar she had heard. The wedding proceeds, the declarations are made, the bride and groom read their own promises to each other, rings are exchanged. The final formalities, the signing of the register with the brother-n-law and the man in black acting as witnesses, are completed as the young woman sings a capella ‘Will You still love me tomorrow’, changing the lyric to ‘And I’ll still love you tomorrow’. There are embraces and kisses and the party leave the registry office; outside an open carriage drawn by horses with purple ribbons is waiting to take the happy couple to a discrete hotel where they dine alone.

Hand in hand and utterly in love, they stroll down to the Barbican. This part of their story is complete.


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