Compared to Polly and Jason's wedding, Betty and Jughead's was far less of an ordeal.
There was no week of wedding related festivities that proceeded it. No Pinterest perfect couples shower to stress over.
Most importantly, no secret subterfuges to scramble to stay on top of.
Jughead closed Peripeteia for the weekend and worked with Archie, who had come to the city early to assist with wedding set up as Jughead's Best Man, to get tables and chairs rearranged so that it would be ready for events of the big day.
Jughead and Archie had grown to become the best of friends in the three years since they first met during that crazy week where Jughead served as Betty's plus one. Jughead had even earned a spot as one of Archie's groomsmen at his own wedding later that first year. He and Veronica pretty much claimed the guest bedroom in the condo Betty and Jughead had recently purchased, making frequent trips into the city to visit.
Betty and Jughead had opted for a smaller wedding celebration. Fifty of their closest friends and family for a cocktail hour before a quick ceremony would happen in the middle of the place where they had first met. It was informal and nontraditional—Alice Cooper most certainly hated the idea of it—but it was them.
They didn't have to do much in way of décor, not wanting to detract from the ambiance of the bar where they had (without knowing it) fallen in love. Betty and Veronica got several bouquets of assorted flowers at the neighborhood's farmer's market—where Betty and Jughead had their first official date upon returning from Riverdale—splitting the flowers and greenery among tiny vases that were placed on each table and along the bar. They added a few votive candles scattered around the venue and it was all they needed.
Simple yet perfect.
Betty and Jughead wanted their reception to be as low fuss as possible and instead, focus on having their guests experience an evening of good food, good drinks, and lots of dancing. Jughead had started a music series at the bar and one of his and Betty's favorite bands had agreed to play the evening of their reception. It was truly a celebration of them and their lives as they began the rest of their journey together and not about going through the motions of the pomp and circumstance that wasn't really all that important to either of them.
Jughead had even floated the idea of leaving the ceremony out altogether, but Betty had assured him that while she could get her mother on board with an unconventional wedding, she did not want to face Alice's wrath about being left out of the ceremony all together.
Besides, she had argued, the ceremony was all for show anyway.
On Archie and Veronica's most recent trip into the city, they had been Betty and Jughead's witnesses during their official—and most importantly, stress free—wedding ceremony at City Hall. They were already legally married, but at least during this ceremony, they would have champagne toast immediately after. Something that City Hall frowned upon.
For what seemed like the thousandth time, Jughead couldn't believe how much his life had changed—drastically for the better—when Betty had walked into his bar that fateful night, desperate and in need of a wedding date. In fact, it was exactly three years to the day of that momentous moment and there they stood, holding each other's hands in the middle of Peripeteia as they repeated their wedding vows in front of their friends and family—and a begrudgingly happy Cheryl Blossom.
They were more than ready publicly celebrate their marriage.
As nontraditional as their wedding day was, Jughead was secretly pleased that Betty had opted to wear a wedding dress. It was a vintage style dress that came down to just below her knees and had a simple A-line satin skirt that blended into the lace of an off the shoulder top that completed the simple-yet-sophisticated look. She kept her hair and makeup simple, opting for a bold lip with a simple cat eye that Veronica had undoubtedly talked her into after seeing the vintage vibe of Betty's dress. Her hair had been styled similarly to how it had been for Polly's wedding—minus the flower crown—and to Jughead she looked perfect.
Then again, he would say that she looked perfect every day of the week regardless of what she was wearing.
Betty had actually talked Jughead into getting a suit other than the one he had worn in Archie's wedding, and he was glad that he had decided to wear all three pieces, secretly loving how good the properly tailored suit made him feel. Besides, he knew that he would be getting a lot more mileage out of it soon.
Earlier that year he had self-published a book of short stories and with Betty's help, gotten it onto the shelves of the city's independent bookstores where it became a sleeper hit after a copy had found its way to the desk of the literary editor of the New Yorker. He would shortly be heading out on a book tour that was relatively small but exciting all the same. It would help him secure a publisher for the novel he was currently working on: a story about a town where a seemingly innocent role-playing game slowly descends a small town into chaos. Jughead had a feeling it could turn into a mystery series.
Betty kept rising within her firm, moving quickly from an associate lawyer to recently becoming a junior partner. If she stayed on her current track, she would become a full partner within the next five years. She still frequented Peripeteia several times a week as a paying, albeit regularly comped, customer. Much to her surprise and delight, Jughead had started bringing her into some of the behind the scenes work—asking her to sit in with him as he met with his wine distributors to sample new wines to help him pick which ones should be added to the menu. He also sought her opinion on the various bar renovation designs he was planning to do within the next couple of years as the bar continued to rise in popularity.
To say that both Betty and Jughead were happy would be a gross understatement.
Everyone who surrounded them as they held hands during their formal-yet-informal wedding ceremony saw the unbridled joy in their expressions as they gazed at each other. Even Cheryl had to admit that they were good for one another and was glad that her plan to throw a wedge between them fell apart.
It still didn't stop her from being insanely jealous.
Polly and Jason looked on, each of them holding one of their eighteen-month-old twins, happy that it was their wedding that had brought Betty and Jughead together. Once they had returned from their honeymoon, Betty had told her sister all that had happened during the wedding week: how her and Chuck's relationship really ended, her crazy idea that Jughead agreed to go along with, Cheryl's attempt at meddling...
..how Betty and Jughead found themselves wanting to be together at the end of it.
Which of course led Polly to take credit for their relationship and had her beaming with pride as she watched her younger sister as she spoke her vows.
"Jug," Betty began, her voice already catching after one word, "when I saw Peripeteia's sign on my first day after moving to New York, I knew that if I went into this place, I was in for something special. I felt as though it was a sign—that I had finally found a place where I belonged. And I was right.
"I found what would quickly become my favorite neighborhood hangout, the best wine selection in Manhattan, and a brooding bartender who would quickly become one of my closest friends.
"I never thought that by walking through those doors," Betty smiled as she threw a look over her shoulder at Peripeteia's front entrance, "That I would find someone as smart and funny and…so incredibly thoughtful as a friend let alone be able to one day have the honor of calling my husband"
The crowed let out a collective 'aww' which caused Betty to laugh. She snuck a glance over at Veronica who was gently dabbing a handkerchief under her eyes, shooting a half-hearted glare at her best friend for making her ruin her makeup.
Looking back at Jughead, Betty finished, "I cannot imagine my life without you, and I cannot wait to spend the rest of it with you at my side."
It took Jughead a moment to get a handle on his emotions enough that he could say his vows. He looked past Betty at Chick, who gave him an enthusiastic double thumbs up. Chuckling a little, Jughead gave Betty's hands a reassuring squeeze and spoke.
"Even though I'm a writer I've struggled to find the right words to say in this moment and it took me a while to realized that it's because there aren't any. The dictionary lacks a word sufficient enough to express how I feel when I see you after having a particularly stressful day and with just one look you, let me know that everything is going to be alright.
"There isn't a word that is strong enough to convey how much I love it when you wrinkly your nose when you're working on a particularly difficult brief or sing to yourself when you make your morning cup of coffee and think no one's around to hear."
Betty's cheeks flushed as she chuckled along with the crowd.
Jughead simply grinned.
"There are no words that accurately describe how happy I feel when I realize that I get to spend the rest of my life with you—my friend, my one-time co-conspirator," he said with a wink, "My partner. My wife."
Betty and Jughead kissed as the crowd burst into cheers and the band began to play. Jughead broke the embrace by pulling away, spinning Betty with a flourish as they made their way to the dance floor for their first dance. Now that the ceremony was over, the bar's staff began passing out flutes of champagne and tray after tray of hors d'oeuvres. It was time to party.
Compared to Polly and Jason's wedding, Betty and Jughead's was far less of an ordeal.
Betty and Jughead wouldn't have had it any other way.
Author's Note: I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who took the time to review, favorite, and follow this story-for sticking with it during those long breaks between posting. You guys are amazing and all the support you've given this little ficlet is so incredibly humbling. Thank you for being the best readers a gal could ask for. :)
Thank you for being the best readers a gal could ask for. :)