On This Day...
Sarah took a deep breath, her hands tightly gripping her bouquet of roses and irises. It wasn't a reaction to nerves—she was entirely confident in what she was doing and knew with all her heart that she would never regret it. Her fingers clenched from excitement.
The music changed, and her six best friends, both human and fae, glowing with pleasure, stepped through the curtains and began to walk down the aisle. They were dressed in purple gowns to match the irises in Sarah's bouquet, and they each held a bouquet of blue roses to match the flowers in Sarah's hair.
'Are you excited?' Sarah turned and grinned at Anika, her best friend and maid of honour.
'You have no idea,'
'You have to enter in a moment, Anika,' Robert said, clutching Sarah's arm. 'Get ready!'
'I'm not the one who needs to be ready,' Anika replied, but she stepped up to the gauzy curtain, her darker purple dress swishing as she moved. A few moments later, she followed the rest of their friends.
'Is it time yet?' asked Choe excitedly, and Sarah smiled at the little girl, her mother's second daughter.
Before long, though, it was time for Choe and the other two flower girls, in their scarlet dresses chosen to match Sarah's red roses, to enter the hall and, trying to suppress their excited giggles, walk proudly down the aisle, scattering blue rose petals. Toby, the ring bearer, hurried after them, leaving Sarah alone with her father.
'You ready, Sar?' he asked, smiling at her, and she nodded.
'Yes, I'm ready. I've been ready for years. I'm so happy, Daddy...'
'And I'm happy for you,' he replied. Before they could talk any more, though, the music changed, the soft, beautiful tones of Greensleeves drifting back to them, and with another deep breath Sarah stepped up, through the gossamer curtain.
There was a collective gasp of awe from the guests as she stepped among them and they saw her wedding gown. Her white corset was embroidered with dark blue and silver roses, and the dark blue skirt was long enough to train behind her gracefully, but fell only to her knees in the front. Vines of embroidered white roses climbed from the hem towards her waist. Her silky dark hair was pulled into a loose French braid, pleated with blue roses, more of which were woven into a delicate crown; another was pinned to her bodice, a corsage. Her silver bracelets shifted as she held her red and purple bouquet.
Blue roses, for romance.
Purple irises, for the pathway to paradise.
And red roses, for an eternity of love that can never fade.
But Sarah hardly noticed the crowd of guests and she walked down the aisle on her father's arm; she had eyes only for the bridegroom, her one and only love. Jareth was dressed in shining blue and black, complimenting her dress perfectly, with a blue rose of his own pinned to the jacket. It was his eyes, though, that Sarah noticed, so beautiful, so full of joy.
Someone was speaking, but the words didn't register in Sarah's mind. All she knew was that her father's arm was slipping from hers, and that Jareth was coming forward to take his place by her side.
'The covenant which you are about to make,' began the man they had chosen to bless them in marriage, 'is a beautiful and sacred expression of your love for one another. As you pledge your vows to each other, and as you commit your lives to each other, do so with a deep sense of joy; with the deep conviction that you are committing yourselves to a growing relationship of trust, mutual support, and tender love.'
Sarah and Jareth turned to one another, their eyes aglow with love and happiness.
'My precious Sarah,' he began, and although his voice was loud enough for all to hear, she knew that his words were for her alone. 'On this day I vow to trust you and respect you, to laugh with you and share your tears, to love you faithfully with all my being. On this day, I take you as my wife and my queen, to have and to hold, and I vow to cherish you and to cherish our union, and to love you more with each day, each breath, each heartbeat. On this day, I place my sky within your eyes, I place my moon within your heart, and I ask you to follow me between the stars. I give you my hand, my heart, and my love, from this day forward, even unto the end of time.'
'My beloved Jareth,' Sarah responded, tears of happiness rising behind her joyful eyes, 'On this day I take you to be my husband, loving what I know of you, and trusting what I do not yet know. On this day, I vow to be yours in times of plenty and in times of want, in times of joy and in times of sorrow, in times of failure and in times of triumph, to cherish and respect you, to care for and protect you, to comfort and support you, for all eternity. On this day, I vow to share with you my laughter, my tears and my dreams. Entreat me not to leave you, or to return from following after you, for where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people, your joys will be my joys, and your life will be my life. On this day, together we will weave our love between the stars, where it can remain forevermore. I give you my hand, my heart, and my love, from this day forward, even unto the end of time.'
In a silence so pure that it could only be born of true love and joy, Sarah and Jareth each slipped a ring onto the other's finger, sealing their love and their marriage.
'Do you, King Jareth, take Sarah to be your queen and wife?'
'I do,' he said softly, his voice tremulous with happiness.
'And do you, Sarah, take Jareth to be your husband?'
'I do,' Sarah whispered, and then the world fell down around her as he pulled her into his kiss.
Outside, after the ceremony, the sun had just set, and all the world was alight with promise and mystery and romance as Jareth led Sarah onto the dance floor. Their guests looked on, but they had eyes only for each other as the soft music began to play.
There's such a sad love
Deep in your eyes,
A kind of pale jewel, open and closed
Within your eyes...
I'll place the sky within your eyes...
'I love you, Sarah,' Jareth murmured as they swept through the clear twilight, stars shining above them, fireflies flitting around them, silver bubbles drifting softly past.
'And I love you, Jareth,' she answered quietly, gazing tenderly into his eyes, 'even unto the end of time.'