Well here it is, the final chapter and of course The Wedding of Ross and Rachel. Hope you enjoy.

Chapter 3: I Take Thee Rachel


The Appaloosa horses gently lifted their hoofs in the soft silken snow, as they made their way through the Shawanhunk Mountain trails. Ross, Chandler, Joey and Mike personally had selected their mounts for their early morning ride. Each horse had a smooth gait, gentle nature and had been sensitive to their riding needs.

Joey stopped, taking in a breath of the crisp fresh mountain air. Gazing around at the picturesque scenery, he, like many others before were consumed by the splendor of the snow capped trees and meadows. "Living in the city leaves you unaware of the natural beauty the country has to offer. It's a magical world of it's own."

"Come on guys, we're meeting the girls in another hour", Ross informed the others while turning his horse around heading back to the stables.

"Imagine that, Ross choosing Rachel over us. I wonder why that would be?" Chandler jokingly quipped.

Joey nodded in agreement turning his horse around, "C'mon guys, WHOOPA; RIDE EM COWBOY!"

"Right behind you, Little Joe, HEE HAW!" Mike teasingly replied following the others.

A youthful waiter delivered fresh cups of herbal peach flavored tea to Rachel, Monica and Phoebe as they sat on the lodge's overstuffed couch while being warmed by the crackling fire in the rustic fireplace. "How are you feeling this morning Monica?" Rachel inquired while twirling her teabag around the spoon capturing all it's juices.

"Not bad", Monica somewhat sadly replied. Physically she felt fine, however; emotionally she needed Chandler, now more than ever before. She wasn't sure if the need stemmed from pregnancy hormones or perhaps it was the revelation that the other friends "had" moved on.

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The former six friends plus one exited the ski bus in Belleayre. After renting their skis, they rode the lift to the far side of the mountain for some downhill skiing. With Ross being a terrible skier and Monica being pregnant, they made the choice to stay behind at the ski lodge.

The gang watched, as a guide rhythmically floated down the hill in an ocean of snow. Each anxiously waited their turn to glide down the soft powder. Rachel stepped up, digging in her ski pole while sliding back and forth on her skis, testing out the surface. She again dug in her pole, this time letting go, gliding down the slope. As she glided down the slope a rush of adrenaline surged through her blood. Time and space all but disappeared; this was pure freedom. She danced and glided until she reached the bottom of the hill. She turned around, enthusiastically waving her arms in the clear crisp air.

After sharing breakfast together at the ski lodge, Monica and Ross finished up with lattes on the extended porch. While sipping their drinks, they watched skiers in colorful jackets gliding down the champagne powdered slopes. "So bro, this is finally it, you and Rachel are finally getting married", Monica remarked to her brother while taking another sip of her latté.

Ross nodded in agreement, "There are times when I think back…we both made a lot of mistakes, consequently spending a lot of time apart. In the past we were both a bit selfish, not taking time to recognize the other one's needs; however, we have learned to grow up thus accepting and appreciating each other's faults while working "together" solving those issues. I truly started to fall in love with her "again" when she became pregnant with Emma. It scared me; because there was now someone else we were both responsible for. Consequently, at the that time failure was something I could not deal with; however; if I would have been more mature and less selfish, perhaps we could have worked out those issues and been together sooner."

Monica smiled while squeezing her brother's hand, "Ross, we all we aware of that, it just took time for the both of you to realize it."

Ross somewhat drained, changed the subject, "So when are you due?"

"Late September", Monica smiled a glow spreading across her face. "You know, before, Chandler and I tried so hard to have a baby with no luck. It's sort of ironic; when we stopped trying, it happened."

"Did I hear my name mentioned", Chandler heartedly remarked, as the others gathered around ordering warm drinks to warm up their frozen veins.

It was late in the day. While the others retired to their rooms for the night, Ross and Rachel stayed behind sitting side-by-side on the overstuffed couch enjoying the crackling fire together. "Just think, a few more days and we will be on our honeymoon", Rachel remarked curling up closer to her fiancée.

Ross smiled as he pulled her closer while motioning the waiter over, "A gift for you Miss", the waiter bowed holding out a serving tray containing a wrapped gift.

Rachel quickly unwrapped and opened the gift. A diamond and ruby pendant gleamed back at her. She put her hand over her heart, taking in a deep breath while trying to hold back the tears, "Oh Ross, that matches my diamond ring perfectly."

"While I was talking to Monica today I realized how much I truly need and want to spend the rest of my life with you. This pendant further represents and confirms that feeling."

"Ross, I don't know what to say, except thanks. I guess now might be a good time to thank you for your patience and understanding through some of my selfish and difficult times."

Ross shook his head while heartedly laughing, "That's so ironic, today while talking to Monica, I was relating how I was rather selfish in the past also. Rachel, we've both grown up so much" Ross said while leaning over to brush the hair away from her face.

Ross carried Rachel to the bed, gently placing her on the covers their lips meeting softly than passionately. Rachel gazed into the strong brown eyes. This was to be Rachel's next to the last night being Rachel Green. In a few days it would become official. At last she would become Mrs. Ross Geller.

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Jack and Judy Geller opened the back seat of their Hummer removing a sleepy Jack and Erica Bing from their car seats. As they opened the hotel lobby door the twins immediately spotted their Mom and Dad. They ran excitedly towards them squealing the whole time. Within in a short time Sandra Green arrived with Emma. She ran over to her Mom and Dad. They shoveled her up in their arms. After sharing a lunch together in the lodge restaurant, Jack, Erica and Emma went outside with their Uncle Joey to build a snowman.

Later in the day Dr. Green arrived. While he was checking in at the desk, Ross nervously invited him to the Woodstove Bar to share a drink.

"I wanted to make this official, by letting you know that I would so appreciate your blessing in marrying your daughter", Ross looked directly at him while speaking.

The moody doctor began feeling uncomfortable. Emotion was not something he expressed easily. Maybe it was from spending too much time away from home being a Doctor. "Ross, I know we have not always gotten along, however; these past few years, Rachel has appeared more content than ever. I am also aware how deeply Rachel wants us to get along, so yes you have my blessing."

"Great, thanks." Ross perking up changed the subject, "So what are you doing tonight after the bonfire?"

"Oh I probably will go to my room and catch up on some reading."

"That is so sad", Ross informed him as Rachel's father shot him a look reflecting the thought; how dare you talk to me like that.

I…I mean, tonight after the bonfire, Mom and Dad and perhaps your ex-wife were earlier working up plans to take the lobby bus into the village. Why don't you join them?"

"I'll take that into consideration" the Doctor replied as he angrilly sat down the empty glass on the table before leaving the bar.

The wedding party and guests sat around the streamside campfire, toasting marshmallows while warming up their veins with hot Toddies. The wedding party then moved inside for a full set-down meal while the guests went their separate ways. The restaurant with barn wood siding and a working stone fireplace continued the feeling of a rustic atmosphere.

After the meal was completed, Chandler stood up to make a toast to the wedding couple. "I can remember back to our college days how Ross related to me his strong feelings towards his neighbor Rachel Green. Those feelings so lovingly expressed by Ross were later experienced and lovingly returned by Rachel. It didn't work out for them the first time thus guiding them into other relationships; however, those relationships were never strong enough to erase their true feelings towards one another, thus eventually guiding them back to one other." Chandler raised his glass, "Ross and Rachel, I wish you the best of luck in your marriage and your upcoming future."

After dinner, the three couples, plus Joey, decided to spend the last night together before the wedding with their own gender.

"Remember when we were single and looking for our one and only", Phoebe related while lying on the floor looking out the window at the full moon.

"I can relate to that. Some of my dates were ok but some were real dogs", Monica answered while closing the door to the adjoining room where the Jack, Erica and Emma were now sound asleep.

"Rachel, I have always wanted to know how you really felt when you ran into Central Perk, after running out on your wedding", Monica inquired while stretching out on one of the beds.

"It was evident I was running away from a life that was being setup more for social status than emotional feelings. Also, I had never been on my own before and I felt as though I was walking directly into a life confirmed only by social acceptance. That is why I want my wedding to Ross to be simple and rustic."

"Oh that is so sweet", Phoebe replied as she walked over to give her a warm hug.

Suddenly, Phoebe had an idea that was hilarious, "Monica did you bring your camera?"

"Yes, it's over on the dresser."

"Let's have some fun by freaking everyone out. Wouldn't it be a hoot if a picture was taken of the three of us in bed together?"

Rachel and Monica looked at Phoebe somewhat in shock…'Uh just who will be taking the picture?"

"Doesn't the camera have an automatic switch?" Phoebe would not give up on the idea.

Rachel and Monica began to think the idea sounded like fun, plus Joey would so love to see that picture.

They positioned themselves in the bed, setting side by side, waiting for the camera to snap. No snap. Monica got out of bed to reset the camera. Again they waited, no snap. She adjusted it again. Rachel kept sliding under the covers while Phoebe sat upright with her back to the bed frame smiling and waving. Just as Monica crawled back into place the camera finally snapped. After the photo developed they laughed so hard and loud that the hotel management came to their room advising them to quiet it down.

Monica kept tossing around in bed. She grabbed the phone calling Chandler's room. They decided to meet in the lobby.

"I couldn't sleep. I missed you lying there being beside me", Monica related to Chandler.

"Aw, I missed you too", Chandler leaned over while gently kissing her.

"Since we moved and began raising the twins, I've realized there are a lot of things that I missed telling you on a regular basis. I still love and care for you just as much and more importantly, right now I really do "need" you.

They sat silent together for the next hour, enjoying the fire and along with each other.

Chandler looking at the time remarked, "C'mon we need to get some sleep so we will be fresh for the wedding." As they walked down the hallway to their separate rooms they caught Sandra Green leaving her ex-husbands room. "Oh hi…uh…nice hotel", Sandra nervously replied while running down the hall to her room.

A Valentines Day Wedding

On her wedding day, Rachel awoke earlier than everyone else. She walked out on the wooden balcony anxious to check the outside temperature. It had risen over the night meaning it wouldn't be so bitterly cold. She went back inside and opened the closet door. She unzipped the plastic cover, revealing her wedding dress. A warm smile spread across her face. Today she would at last become Mrs. Ross Geller.

Rachel joined her Mother and Judy Geller for a light breakfast at a nearby café. "So Rachel, are you becoming nervous?" Judy inquired.

"Amazingly, no!"

"Rachel, and I'm also speaking for my husband, are so happy that you will becoming our daughter-in law. I've never seen Ross this happy and content", Judy related while finishing her Eggs Benedict.

"So Mom, What did you do last night?"

Sandra Green's face began turning all shades of red.

"Rachel, your parents joined Jack and I and we had the best time. We went to some music festivals in Woodstock and then went over to see the some of the artist's displays."

For a reason Rachel couldn't figure, her Mother even though she was unusually quiet had a glow about her she had not seen in a long time.

With the wedding ceremony starting in another thirty minutes, Rachel finished by putting final touches on her makeup. Her wedding dress was made of crushed velvet with long poet styled sleeves. A soft pink satin belt illuminated with crystallized beads enhanced the dress. A shear bodysuit underneath the dress provided extra warmth. For more warmth, a cashmere cape would be worn over the dress. The cape had an attached headpiece lined with faux fur. She had chosen to substitute a muff for the traditional bouquet. Emma's flower girl's dress was made of the same material.

Phoebe and Monica's long flowing dresses were of a soft pink satin. For extra warmth they had also chosen white capes with faux fur around the hood. Their outfits were completed with satin gloves illuminated with crystallized beads.

Monica pushed back the curtains in the bride's dressing room. She noticed that Joey and Chandler were already seating the guests.

Rachel, Phoebe and Monica nervously waited in the lobby. The ceremony was about to begin. Monica and Phoebe hugged Rachel, "Best of luck to the both of you" Phoebe informed her in a broken voice.

Next, Monica stepped up, chocking up while speaking, "Rachel, throughout the years you have been close enough to be my sister. I am so happy that you will now be my sister-in-law."

Rachel pushing back tears, hugged her two best friends.

The ceremony with approximately twenty-five guests began with a local trio singing James Taylor's "How sweet it is to be loved by you"

I needed the shelter of someone's arms and there you were
I needed someone to understand my ups and downs and there you were
With sweet love and devotion
Deeply touching my emotion
I want to stop and thank you my lady
I just want to stop and thank you lady

How sweet it is to be loved by you
How sweet it is to be loved by you

I close my eyes at night
Wondering where would I be without you in my life
Everything I did was just a bore
Everywhere I went it seems I'd been there before
But you brighten up for me all of my days
With a love so sweet in so many ways
I want to stop and thank you my lady
I just want to stop and thank you lady

How sweet it is to be loved by you
How sweet it is to be loved by you

You were better for me than I was for myself
For me, there's you and there will be nobody else
I want to stop and thank you my lady
I just want to stop and thank you my lady

How sweet it is to be loved by you
How sweet it is to be loved by you.

Next, Ross entered with the Minister. The groom was attired in a white suit topped with a white cashmere jacket. A soft pink boutonnière had been placed in his lapel.

Phoebe slid her arm through Joey's as they walked down an aisle made of soft pink faux carpet.

Next, Monica and Chandler took their turn walking down the aisle joining the bridal party.

The last one to walk down the aisle before the bride was Emma. She adoringly marched dropping petals of roses with each step. Reaching the end of the aisle, her Aunt guided her into the lineup.

In the distance guests began hearing gentle sounds of clip clopping along with bells. Shortly, a horse pulling a Victorian carriage with a soft red interior plus an auto-top came into view. Setting in the carriage was the bride with her parents on either side. Rachel's Father carefully assisted them as they exited down the steps of the carriage. With the snow capped pine trees and snow-covered lawn in the background Rachel, accompanied by her parents, made her way down the aisle.

As they made the way down the aisle the trio accompanied by a hand bell choir performed: "Only Hope" originally sang by Mandy Moore.

There's a song that's inside of my soul
It's the one that I've tried to write over and over again
I'm awake in the infinite cold
But You sing to me over and over and over again

So I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands
And pray to be only Yours
I pray to be only Yours
I know now You're my only hope

Sing to me the song of the stars
of your galaxy dancing and laughing and laughing again
When it feels like my dreams are so far
Sing to me of the plans that you have
for me over again

So I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands
And pray to be only Yours
I pray to be only Yours
I know now You're my only hope

I give You my destiny
I'm giving You all of me
I want Your symphony
Singing in all that I am
At the top of my lungs I'm giving it back

So I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands
And pray to be only Yours
I pray to be only Yours
I pray to be only yours
I know now You're my only hope

Ross stood watching his beautiful bride's every step. She had given him so much this had truly been worth the wait.

Rachel felt or saw nothing but Ross standing there waiting for her to arrive, he was kind, gentle and had opened up emotional feeling she had never felt before. He was so worth the wait.

As Rachel and her parents reached the end of the aisle the minister began the ceremony:

"We are gathered here today to unite Ross Geller and Rachel Green."

"Who gives this woman in marriage?"

"Her Mother and I."

Rachel, leaving her Father's side, stepped up beside Ross, sliding her arm through his.

"Let us continue. Rachel and Ross would now like to recite their written vows to each other."

Ross turned, facing Rachel, "Your natural beauty inspired my soul. That beauty challenged me in a way no one else had before. Before I knew you, I wasn't living. I was waiting and hoping, until you opened the door to my heart, releasing my soul."

Rachel then turned facing Ross, "You sheltered me in a way no one had before. When I am with you I feel no cold, only warmth. When the evening falls, I'll look to you and there you'll be. I'll take your hand and you'll take mine. We'll turn together remembering the long road we traveled to reach this hour of happiness. It now stretches behind us, only our future lies ahead. A long winding road means turning and making discoveries. A new life together has just begun."

The minister continuing on with the ceremony, "It is now the time to exchange the rings."

Monica handed the gold wedding band to Rachel. She took his hand, "This ring represents my love and devotion to you", Rachel said while sliding the ring on his finger.

Ross took Rachel's hand. "This ring reflects my everlasting love and devotion to you" Ross said while sliding the ring on her finger.

They turned as the minister continued the ceremony, "Ross, do you take Rachel, to be your everlasting loving partner, in sickness and health for as long as you both shall live?"

"I do."

Rachel, do you take Ross to be your everlasting loving partner, in times of plenty, in times of want, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shall live?"

"I do."

"By the power vested in me by the state of New York, I would now like to now introduce you to Mr. and Mrs. Geller. You may kiss your bride.

As the sun peeked through the snow-capped trees, Ross kissed his wife for the fist time.

As they walked down the aisle as husband and wife as the trio sang: "We've Only Just Begun" written by Paul Williams and performed by the Carpenters.

We've only just begun to live,

White lace and promises

A kiss for luck and we're on our way.

And yes, we've just begun.

Before the rising sun we fly,

So many roads to choose

We start out walking and learn to run.

And yes, we've just begun.

Sharing horizons that are new to us,

Watching the signs along the way,

Talking it over just the two of us,

Working together day to day

Together.

And when the evening comes we smile,

So much of life ahead

We'll find a place where there's room to grow,

And yes, we've just begun.

After a short reception, the Victorian Carriage pulled up in front of the Lodge. Shortly, Ross and Rachel entered the carriage. As they waved goodbye to their guests, the carriage pulled away, delivering the newly married couple to a new destination.

The End


I hope you enjoyed the story.