The sun was just peeking its golden face over the horizon to light the gorgeous sapphire blue September skies. Samantha smiled, enjoying the warmth of the sun on her porcelain skin. She quickly walked over the packed dirt and gravel drive to the large paddock with the tent of pure white in the middle. So far Samantha could not help but feel her second wedding was going perfect, not like her first wedding three years earlier.
Samantha's then fiancé, Tor Nelson, had insisted on eloping, not even wanting Samantha's best friend, Ashleigh Griffen, there. Always a sucker for Tor's devastating good looks, she had blindly agreed. Then, not even a month later, Tor sprung a move to Ireland on her. Once again Samantha had given in to Tor's wishes. They were on a plane to Ireland within a week.
This time, Samantha had prayed it would be different. Her soon to be husband, Rory Griffen, had ensured it would be the wedding of her dreams. Rory, Ian McLean, Samantha's dad, and Mike Reese, Rory's brother in law, had spent the entire previous day setting up tents, three in total. Today, the day of the wedding, Rory was playing golf with Ian, Mike and Rory's father, Derek Griffen, while Samantha and Ashleigh, Mike's wife saw to last minute details.
Samantha smiled as she walked down the aisle, formed by the white chairs in the middle of the tent. She could already imagine what it would look like filled with flowers and people. Glancing down the diamond of her engagement ring caught her eye. Knowing the princess cut diamond ring with trillion cut sapphire sidestones had been her mother's engagement ring, caused her eyes to get teary.
"Sammy, the caterers are here to get set up," Ashleigh said as she walked into the tent smiling. "The florist should be here soon too. So why don't we start picking out the horse for the pictures? Who do you want to use?"
"Pride, obviously, and Shining and her foal Tidal Wave. Rory wants The Myth there too. I guess that's all."
"Sounds good." Ashleigh agreed, "I'll get some grooms to start prepping them, and you and I can head into town to get our hair done."
Ashleigh had agreed to drive to the salon in Lexington where they would meet Yvonne and Maureen, tow of Samantha's high school friends. After getting their hair and make-up done, the four women would go to the Griffen's breeding farm and take the couple miles to Whitebrook by horse drawn carriage.
At eleven o'clock Samantha stood nervously in Ashleigh's old bedroom. Ashleigh and Yvonne were just finishing buttoning Samantha's gown. The strapless ivory dress was satin with an A-line silhouette. The delicate material had been hand embroidered with white silk thread all the way down to the floor-length hemline. Around the dress and train's hemline were soft silk horseshoes delicately embroidered.
Samantha sat carefully on a padded stool, so Ashleigh could pin the gorgeous floral lace veil to her curly red hair. Earlier at the salon Samantha had had her hair pulled halfway back and held with crystal encrusted bobby pins.
"Girls!" Ian called up the stairs. "The carriage is here. Derek and Elaine just left for Whitebrook. It's our turn."
"We're almost ready Ian," Ashleigh called back. "Just one more minute."
Samantha quickly gave a light spritz of her favorite perfume- L'Interdit. Then she handed Ashleigh her mother's pearls, the same one's her mother wore the day she had married Ian McLean. Samantha's eyes misted over as her eyes caught on her mother's pearls.
"Oh geez! I'm gonna ruin my make-up!" Samantha said ruefully. "Let's go!"
And with that the three friends headed down the stairs with Samantha coming down last. Ian's eyes lit up at the sight of Ashleigh and Yvonne in their hunter green dresses.
"You all look beautiful," Ian said. Then he looked up and smiled with tears in his eyes at his 24-year-old daughter. "You look beautiful, just like your mother."
"Thanks Dad! I love you!"
"Love you too sweetie."
With that the five headed out the door, Ashleigh, Yvonne, and Maureen piled into their seats riding backwards. Then Samantha precariously climbed in, followed by her father who carefully gathered her train into the carriage.
Laughter filled the carriage as the two horses pulled the group down the country road to Whitebrook. Bright beams of sunlight broke through the canopy of red tinged leaves. The sound of the rhythmical hitting of horseshoes on pavement calmed Samantha who was getting more nervous the closer they got to Whitebrook. Finally, the old farmhouse and white fences of Whitebrook came into view. The carriage turned onto the gravel drive which had been sprayed down to prevent dust from flying up.
The carriage halted outside the main tent and Yvonne and Maureen stepped out of the carriage. Ashleigh, the maid of honor, followed. The three women gathered their bouquets of ivy and ivory roses. Then they turned to head up the aisle to the tune of "La vie en Rosa." Samantha and Ian stepped out of the carriage and Ian bent to fix the train of his daughter's dress.
Father and daughter then walked around the carriage to the aisle as the first strains of Canon in D were played on baby grand piano, brought in just for the wedding.