You and I:
Standing facing the mirror, draped in her pure white dress Maria looked perfect. Her hair was up in neat clusters with no stray hair out of place. Everything about her was heavenly, the way she looked almost sent out a glow through the room. All of which reflected how she felt, this was the happiest day of her life, she would never forget this moment the moment she married Dr. John Lemon, her best friend, the love of her life. Her ears picked up the vague call of her father, alerting her telling her it was time. She took one last look at her reflection, smiling at the image of her in a bright white gown, a new start, the beginning of her new life, a better life. Lady Maria Taylor turned, the flowing ends of her elegant dress swaying with her as she moved sending a flutter of white across the floor. The door handle turned under her soft fingers and she made her way out of the dressing room, soon appearing face to face with her father. Dressed in his suit with his hair combed back one would think he would be pleased to see his daughter in her wedding gown, but the Lords face did not show this happiness, but wore the expression of a deeply troubled man. Seeing this uncertainty in her father's face alerted Maria and prompted her to ask questions, 'Father what is it' she murmured desperately seeking an answer. 'Lemon is yet to arrive, I am truly sorry my darling, come I will take you home', 'No' boldly interrupted Maria not wanting to believe in her father's news, 'He will come, I will not leave here till he does … he loves me' the conversation was swiftly ended with the slam of the door and the tears of Maria.
Moments felt like hours as she forced herself to wait, he would come, he did love her after all, she would wait for him just as he would for her. As she stared out of the dressing room window, that looked out onto the drive she willed him to walk by, but no matter how much she begged or how long she waited he did not show. 'Maria he was supposed to arrive ten minutes ago, and doctors are known for their good time keeping, darling I believe if he wanted to be here he would have arrived by now', her father's voice would have been an comforting presence if he had not have voiced his opinion on this bleak matter, however he still optimistically knocked on the door in the hope she would invite him in. 'Father, he will come, I know it … now please go see to our guests'.
She waited another forty minutes until she saw an old battered car creep along the drive. The driver Pineapple Leaves and his passenger, Dr. Lemon. Leaves then wobbled out of the car and opened the door; behind the door was a drunken, unshaven Lemon, who seemed to have just woken up due to his sudden reaction to the bright light behind the door. As Leaves pulled the blanket from Lemons grip many bottles of drink were revealed; clearly the focus of last night's stag do. With a small trip the doctor walked his way to the door of the wedding venue, not in his best but in an old tweed suit now full of holes with a sleeve hanging on by only a few threads.
As Lemon opened the door all of the guests were still sat in their seats; talking. Continuing, he could see every eye in the building on him and his shabby suit. He knew at once what everyone was saying; they were predicting reasons as to why he was late, what he was doing the night before. In fact the only people that weren't trying to guess the actions of the night before where those who were there. Lemon finally reached the end of the aisle where he met Mr. Taylor. The doctor's arrival shocked that of Mr. Taylor, but after Lemon simply lowered his head and offered his hand, the stubborn banker reluctantly shook it then whispered 'I will fetch your bride', Lemon was unsure how he was meant to take this statement, but Lemon could do nothing more but smile at the sound of his bride, who he was deeply sorry to for leaving alone this long. In the dressing room Maria was still waiting, as the door opened Maria was glad to see her father, for although he had his doubts on Lemon arriving he was her greatest friend there. 'Maria', the banker whispered while gently stroking her cheek, 'It is time, he has finally arrived', with Marias' smile beaming round the room, her father pulled her veil down over her head and walked her through the door.
The flowers where bright and beautiful, the hymn books freshly pressed and ready to be opened to celebrate this religious occasion, all that was needed now was the bride to walk down the aisle, as the organ played the guests rose, waiting for the doors to this grand monument to open. As the heavy wooden doors began to creep open the first glimpses of the brides white dress where seen. It was quite an occasion, one which firmly met the requirements to be a religious wedding, yet it was modern. Maria had brought many of her family members like her aunts and cousins as well as her brother Edward Taylor soon to inherit the family land; Wakesfield estate and manor house, she also brought a few friends like the gentleman who escorts her around and a few girls she spends her time shopping with. On the other hand Lemons family turnout was much less as his only family member there was his father; who Lemon refused to invite despite this Maria decided to write him an invitation anyway. The only friends Lemon had invited where Kennedy; his lifelong friend, Lundie, the young soldier he saved from certain death, Fredrick, another man he met during his time in the war, and of course Leaves and his brother Mycroft.
As the organ played the bride moved down the aisle, all of the guests were amazed at her beauty radiating from this simple yet elegant dress, with her father leading her down the aisle this was going to be a day to remember. From the top of the aisle Lemon refused his instinct to look at his bride, he would wait. As she finally reached Lemon he was amazed at what he saw, for his angelic bride look even more beautiful than before, with her wedding veil down covering her delicately made up face Lemon had to resist temptation to just kiss her now. As the priest cleared his throat the wedding guests took their seats as the service was about to start, with Maria and John holding hands this was going to be their happiest day to date.
The Priest began 'We are gathered here today in the face of this company, to join together John Lemon and Maria Taylor in holy matrimony; which is an honourable and solemn estate and therefore is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently and soberly. Into this estate these two persons present come now to be joined. If anyone can show just cause why they may not be lawfully joined together, let them speak now or forever hold their peace' at this pause no one spoke, although Marias father was not happy with this wedding he was relieved that his daughter found love, so decided to stay quiet for her sake. 'Who gives this woman to be married to this man?' the priest continues. In response Marias mother and father, in unison spoke the traditional words of 'We do'. Triumphantly the priest said 'The bride is given away' and when he said this he raised both hands to the roof, before lowering them again and turning over a page in his book situated on a gold, eagle stand right in front of him.
'John Lemon, do you take Maria Taylor to be your lawful wedded wife, to live in the holy estate of matrimony?' the priest continued. While out in the audience all the couples present where sat hand in hand, glancing lovingly at each other, remembering their special day. Mr and Mrs Taylor, turned their heads to face each other, unlike others there were not sat hand in hand and looking at each other, no love was shared. 'Will you love, honour, comfort, and cherish her from this day forward, forsaking all others, keeping only unto her for as long as you both shall live?', 'I do' declared Lemon proudly while looking at Maria with such desire and admiration in his eyes. With a small smile the priest continued with the service, 'Maria Taylor, do you take John Lemon to be your lawful wedded husband, to live in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love, honour, comfort, and cherish him from this day forward, forsaking all others, keeping only unto him for as long as you both shall live?', when the priest finished Maria gave the same response her fiancé did 'I do', also in the same proud, ecstatic manner. At this point of the ceremony, Maria planned for a few songs to be sung; the great sound of the organ filled the venue, the voices of the guests harmonising beautifully. When the voices stopped the couple once again held each other; hand in hand, waiting patiently for the priest to resume the service, never at any point pressuring him to move any faster with the ceremony as both Maria and John wanted it to last a lifetime.
The priest addressing the groom then asked Lemon to repeat his words 'I John Lemon take thee Maria Taylor to be my wedded wife' the priest then nodded to Lemon silently indicating that he should copy his exact words, 'I John Lemon take thee Maria Taylor to be my wedded wife ' , from this point on the doctor already knew the format of the wedding vows, proving this by gently stroking Maria hand while uttering the rest of the vows with great accuracy 'To have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, honour, and cherish,' Lemon then suddenly stopped, remembering the next vows; a horrible thought then appeared in his mind, now his life was complete with Maria what should he do if anything happened to her, he could no longer see a life without Maria, not now. Lemon then woke from his thought and stared into the eyes of his fiancé now looking a little worried at his sudden stop, 'til death do us part, and thereto I plight thee my troth' after Lemon had finished a small round of applause came from Leaves who was extremely impressed by this act, however the other guests then all, still smiling glared at Leaves, seemingly not quite as impressed with his abrupt disturbance to the ceremony. The exact same speech was then repeated this time by Maria, who unlike Lemon needed the assistance of the priest as she did not quite know the full speech like Lemon did.
'May the best man bring the rings to the alter', politely said the priest, this caused the guests to look around eagerly as until this point no one but the man himself knew who the best man was. As he slowly stood up from his seat there was a sigh of relief as Leaves was not the best man, a far better man was; Kennedy. As he walked to the priest he held a small silver box containing the rings, all eyes were fixed on the ring box, curious as to what beauty hid inside as Marias' engagement ring was stunning enough. As Kennedy opened the box, Maria was speechless as she had no say in her wedding ring but was happy enough to let Lemon choose one for her. The ring was solid white gold, with four perfectly set diamonds on it; the ring shone like a star when the light hit it 'Do, you like it' whispered Lemon to Maria, 'I picked the brightest, prettiest ring in all of London, but it is still not grand enough', this shocked Maria who quickly replied with 'It is perfect how could it not be perfect', Lemon however ignored her comment and continued 'for you are so flawless no ring could match your beauty', as the priest cleared his throat he took the two rings from Kennedy and once again proceeded with the ceremony.
'May this ring be blessed so he who gives it and she who wears it may abide in peace, and continue in love until life's end', the priest then gave Lemon Marias ring, 'With this ring I thee wed. Wear it as a symbol of our love and commitment.' Spoke Lemon before placing the ring carefully on her finger. The priest then repeated his speech 'May this ring be blessed so he who gives it and she who wears it may abide in peace, and continue in love until life's end', Lemons plain yet elegant white gold ring was also handed over. Maria then said 'With this ring I thee wed. Wear it as a symbol of our love and commitment', and then she picked up Lemons hand, stroked it softly, laid a soft kiss on his hand, then slipped the ring on his finger; both the rings were a perfect fit.
As the service was drawing to a close there was only one thing left to be said 'May this couple be prepared to continue to give, be able to forgive and experience more and more joy with each passing day, and with each passing year. John Lemon and Maria Taylor, are now beginning their married life together, we hope that they may have loving assistance from their family, the constant support of friends, and a long life with good health and everlasting love. Now as John and Maria have consented to live forever together in wedlock, and have witnessed the same before this company, having given and pledged their troth, each to the other, and having declared same by the giving and receiving of a ring, I pronounce that they are husband and wife.' A tremendous round of applause erupted from the guests, even a few tears where shed from Mrs. Taylor. As the cheers grew louder and louder Edward stood up to show his joy, shouting and whistling tills his lungs where dry, and till Mr. Taylor told him to sit down. 'I now give to you Mr. and Mrs. Lemon', Shouted the priest over the sound of the cheers from Leaves. At this point happy with her new status, Maria lovingly kissed Lemon; there first kiss as a married couple.
As Lemon grasped Marias hand even tighter he led her out of the building, where a car should stand, ready and waiting to take them to their honeymoon. 'I love you, John', whispered Maria who was now in Lemons loving arms as he carried her, 'Well Maria, a man content to go to heaven alone will never get to heaven, so I am so glad we can now be each other's ticket to eternal happiness', the comment made Marias' heart skip a beat, unsure of what to say next, as Lemon lowered her into the car he heard a voice call his name. As Lemon walked to the place he heard the voice he found Kennedy and Leaves. At their meeting the three embraced each other with a friendly hug, 'Goodbye friend', said Leaves his eyes watering, 'Ahh Leaves, it is only goodbye for two weeks' reassuringly replied Lemon. 'I have one thing to say', interrupted Kennedy, 'I hope you to will be very happy together … Lemon she is truly a wonderful bride', Lemon thought for a while before answering, 'she is wonderful, her beauty is that of a million diamonds glittering in the sun, each reflecting its own ray of light making brilliant patterns, the angels gasp in the wake of her presence, I will forever protect her and cherish her, she has become my world and now my life'. Lemon then walked back to the car, took his seat next to his wife; as the engine started the car drove off, on the journey of a lifetime; their honeymoon.