A few of you may think the package from Charlie is too good to be true, but my friend's parents did this for her, and when she received it the surprise made her dream so much easier to achieve.
As for all those asking about the delay in these chapters, I will remind you that my mother is still dealing with her health issues and that does take away from my writing time. Please be patient with me, these chapters are being written.
Disclaimer:All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Cheryl led us to her office and began to show us the paperwork. I was a little nervous when she started discussing the prices, but Edward just nodded and allowed her to go through all the details. She handed us vendor lists and I was wondering if we should mention Tyler now when her phone rang.
"I'm so sorry, let me just see if I can take a message," Cheryl said as she answered.
She was only on the line for a moment or two before looking over at us. "The Cullen's are sitting in front of me as we speak." There was another pause as she listened before she answered. "So the chef owner of Crowley's Culinary Creations has catered events for you in this space?"
A few more exchanges and she agreed with whoever was on the line. "I'll contact him this afternoon and send him the preferred vendor contract. Anyone you've let run events for you is welcome at the Foundry. Have a great day."
Hanging up, Cheryl smiled at us. "Your friend called his former boss and since he's worked in our space before we're going to send him our contract. If he agrees, then you'll have your caterer for your wedding."
"Thank you, I know you're protective of your kitchen space, but my fiancée went to culinary school with Tyler and she really had her heart set on him being the one to cater our wedding."
"It's understandable when you have a long-standing friendship with someone to want them to take care of your special event. Now, the rentals for the space are done through the company listed on the first page, your caterer will call them to order the tables, chairs, linens, and all the glassware, flatware, and china. You'll also need to arrange chairs for the ceremony if you're going to hold it here, you can either have the caterer order those and specify that they're for the ceremony or you can place a separate order."
Cheryl went down the list discussing their vendor lists and the restrictions on the space and what we could do, the only thing left was to decide what spaces we were going to rent.
"The main space must be rented and would accommodate 125 guests for dinner, using the mezzanine level, or eighty on the main floor. This includes space for the dance floor in addition to the seating. If it will be a larger party, then the Courtyard can be added and guests can mingle between the two. For a ceremony here, you can rent any of the additional spaces but once again that will depend on the number of guests."
"I don't see us going over 125, do you, Bella?" Edward asked.
"Not unless you're inviting over one hundred people yourself," I joked.
"Well then, you'd have your choice of spaces for your ceremony if you choose to have it here," Cheryl explained with a smile.
"Can we pick the Greenhouse? I love it in there," I asked Edward.
"We'll rent the main space for the reception and the Greenhouse for the ceremony," Edward said confidently and Cheryl continued to click away at her computer.
When she gave us the number for the rental space, knowing how much more it would cost once we rented everything we needed to make it work, I almost told Edward to forget it, but he simply handed over his credit card to put down the first half for the deposit.
Once all the details were ironed out and the contract signed, we collected the paperwork and headed out with a now sleeping Alice so Edward could spend the afternoon at work.
"I need you to write out your guest list, with addresses so we can get going, because we don't have a lot of time for this," I reminded Edward.
"I'll go through everything and you'll have it by the time I go to sleep tonight, I promise."
"Okay, and I'm going to start to hack through this list and see what I can arrange."
I dropped Edward and Alice off at the office, and then drove home worried about just how much the wedding was going to cost.
I had just started to make lunch when Rosalie came down with an envelope in her hand. "Bella, this came for you while you guys were out, so I signed for it."
Thanking her, I opened the overnight envelope that my father had sent me and emptied the contents on the counter. When I saw the bank statement and the number that was listed as the balance, I almost fell over.
Dialing his number, he answered after two rings.
"I guess the mail arrived," he joked.
"Daddy, what is this?" I asked.
"Your mother was adamant that you be able to have the wedding of your dreams, she started that account when you were born and added to it as you grew up. Your college fund was something we both managed, which was how you were able to do all that you did when you added your scholarships into the mix, but this was important to her. She added my name onto it even though she never asked me to contribute, but after she passed I took it over and added what she had annually, allowing it to grow. Now you're getting married so it's time I turn that money over to you. A wedding in the city isn't cheap; hopefully this will keep Edward from going into the poor house."
"Dad, I can't believe you guys did this. I was just stressing about the cost of the wedding and this will be a huge help. Thank you."
"Have you set a date yet?" he asked.
"August 1st. We just booked the venue this morning," I told him.
"We'll be there, you just let us know what you need and we'll do anything we can," my dad said.
"I will, love you, Dad."
"Love you too, Bella."
"What did your dad send?" Rose asked right after I hung up.
"The money he and my mom had saved for my wedding. They singlehandedly took care of every worry I was having about how much this wedding was going to cost."
"Well that's cool, now you can focus on what you want to do. Do you have any ideas?"
"Not really, but I seriously have to start. I don't even have a theme or colors that I'd want to use," I explained.
"Well, I used to joke with my friends, before they all bailed, that you and my dad were like some characters in a romance novel. A forbidden romance that was going to win against all odds."
I froze as I listened to what she was saying.
"Shit, that sounded rude, Bella, I'm sorry. I'm not trying to be a bitch, I swear."
"It isn't that, Rosalie, it's just…that's perfect."
"Having a book themed wedding. I've been working on my novel for half a year, though I haven't gotten that far into it yet. What better theme than to use famous books and quotes for the décor and theme?"
"You mean me being snarky helped for once?" she asked.
"Yes, it did. I'm going to have to talk to Angela, because she's planned a wedding, but if you're willing I'd really like your help with some stuff."
"Sure," Rosalie responded.
I finished making us sandwiches and we ate together while I pulled out my laptop. If I'd learned anything from Angela it was to create a folder on my computer and file everything in there. I had started with my meager guest list, creating a tracking chart, but now I opened a word document and listed all the things I would need and the order I'd have to get them. The first thing I really needed was to do a save the date card, since many people didn't even know we were engaged unless they saw it on my Facebook page since Edward didn't have one.
Thinking about what Rose had said, I looked online and found a few websites that printed bookmarks. I played around with designs until I found one I liked. Wanting to talk to Edward before I ordered anything, I decided to give him a call.
"Thank you for calling Edward Cullen's office at Clearwater Advertising, my name is Gianna, how may I assist you?"
"Gia, it's Bella. Is Edward busy?"
"He's in between meetings; let me get him on the phone for you."
There was a brief pause before Edward's voice came on the line. "Bella, is everything okay?"
"It is, but I had a question for you. Rosalie and I were talking and she helped me come up with the perfect theme for the wedding, but I wanted to check with you before I did anything."
"What is it?"
"Storybook romance. I found a website that will print bookmarks we can use for our save the date announcements, and my mind is on overdrive with all we could do. I thought the colors could be black and champagne so it looks like aged paper and ink. Maybe use a light pink as an accent. What do you think?"
"I think it's perfect, get whatever you like," he told me.
"Thank you, and I've got some big news from my dad that I'll tell you about after dinner. Would you mind picking something up on the way home?"
"Sure, I'll order Chinese and have it delivered, sound good?"
"Perfect, love you, Edward."
"Love you too, Bella."
Knowing Edward was okay with the theme; I ordered the bookmarks and put a rush on the shipping. Going to Tiny Prints website, I looked at the cards they had and found their partner, Wedding Paper Divas. I started to play around with templates and designs until I found one I really liked. It was black with champagne colored font in a delicate cursive and a lace pattern in the same color on the top and bottom. I saved the invitation until I knew how many would be needed and checked off designing an invitation from my list.
Knowing that Rosalie and I had plans for this weekend to go shopping for the dresses for the charity event, I called Angela to find out what her plans were like for the weekend.
"Sure, Samantha was talking about wanting to investigate the area around the dorms that they tend to put people in the nursing program in."
"She has to be so excited to get into her first choice," I commented.
"Yeah, she can't officially apply for the school of nursing until she's in her second semester of freshmen year and passes all the prerequisites, but after meeting with the head of the school of nursing, she's sure she'll be accepted when the time comes."
"I'm sure she will too, she's got the perfect temperament to be a nurse. Do you think you could meet us on Saturday after you finish looking around campus?"
"Absolutely, but who's the second person in that we?" Angela asked.
"Rosalie and I need to get dresses for the charity event, so we figured we could start there and then meet up for the wedding dress shopping."
"I'll send you a list of boutiques that should be able to help you with the charity dresses, and then see if you can get an appointment for someplace nearby for the wedding gown shopping? Did you guys set a date yet?"
"Just booked the Foundry for August 1st," I answered.
"Then why the rush, that's a year and a half away?" Ang asked.
"No, it's six months away. And not a lot of people know this yet, because we only confirmed it this week, but I need a bridal shop that has a selection of maternity gowns, because by August I'll be seven and a half months pregnant."
"What the…we have so much to catch up on, but we can do that this weekend. I'll send you the list from my wedding gown shopping, along with all the other vendors that might be helpful, in case they're on the Foundry's list so you know who will do a good job. Do you have your wedding party set?"
"Almost, I need to talk to Edward more to find out who he wants to have on his side."
"This is so exciting. I'll send those off to you, they're saved on my tablet, so you should have them soon. See you this weekend."
I texted Samantha to let her in on the plan and she said she'd follow Angela wherever she needed to be after their morning at Hunter.
Just as promised, Angela got me those lists and I called a few of the boutiques and found two that had maternity selections in their bridal collections, and then chose dress shops nearby for Rosalie and I to start our day at.
That evening, when Edward got home I told him everything, from the package from my father to the progress I'd made with both the plans and Rosalie.
"You two are good for each other, I'm glad she's finally opening up to you, Bella."
"Me too, speaking of which, she has therapy tomorrow, so is it okay if Jared drops Jasper at your office on Thursdays?"
"That should be fine. Now, I was able to go through my contact list some at work and I'm almost done with the guest list from my side. Would you prefer a paper copy or for me to send you the lists so you can keep it on the computer?" Edward asked me.
"Send me the list."
"Okay, I'm going to take care of that, and you can go ahead and see if Jasper cleaned up after Major on the back terrace," Edward said as he went downstairs.
I was happy to see that Jasper had cleaned up the poop from the little puppy patch that was in the corner of the terrace, since it was too late for him to walk the dog on his own.
A few hours later, when the kids were in bed, Edward climbed in beside me and pulled me close to him.
"Valentine's Day is two weeks from today and we have a date," he whispered.
"Where are we going? And who's going to watch the kids?" I questioned him.
"I called Esme and she was fine taking the kids since Carlisle has to work and it will give her a chance to see her nieces and nephew. As for the where…you might want to wear your Lundqvist jersey because we're going to be sitting pretty close to him for two periods that night."
"Are you serious?"
"They're playing the Penguins on Valentine's Day, so I got us tickets right near the ice, almost at the goal line. Is that what they call it in hockey? I don't know, I just called up and told them I wanted seats near the side that the Rangers defend twice, but I didn't want to be behind the goal. I saw where they were on the seating chart and I'm pretty proud of myself."
"You should be, that's a pretty special date night with my two favorite men," I teased.
I fell asleep soon after, knowing that I would have a busy day tomorrow.
With Rosalie back in school on Thursday, I was able to focus on wedding plans, getting things set for the dress shopping on Saturday and ordering the invitations with Edward's approval so I could check one more thing off the list.
Tyler called to discuss the rentals and I explained our theoretical needs for the event, colors, etcetera, and he took notes so he could make a preliminary call. He was going to be bringing out four of his best chefs to assist him, and had contacted his old mentor to use some of his staff to fill in the voids. This included wait staff that were used by his former boss, so I let him handle everything that had to do with those aspects of the reception, knowing Tyler wouldn't let me down.
When Saturday rolled around, I got Rosalie up early enough that we could go and find our dresses before making our way to the boutiques for my gown.
We were at the first store, looking at the different dresses when Rosalie started talking. "Dad came and talked to me last night, he said that his boss has a son at another Catholic school nearby and I finally agreed to transfer at the end of the year."
"Do you really want to?"
"I'd like a fresh start, and maybe if I go into it with a better attitude then I won't screw it up like I did this year."
"Well, you'll be meeting his son at the charity event, so you'll know one person on your first day."
"Yeah," Rose sighed as she picked out a dress. "What do you think of this?"
I looked at the purple dress, covered in crystals on the bust of the strapless dress before they spread out almost like a starburst pattern down the front of the skirt until it reached just below the waist where the beading stopped as the dress continued to flow out.
"I think it's pretty, try it on," I urged her.
One of the sales girls led her to a dressing room and a few minutes later Rose was back and looking absolutely beautiful.
"Do you think it's too much?" she asked as she turned to look at herself in the mirror.
"I think you look beautiful, Rose. The more important question is do you like it?"
"I really do," she gushed.
"Well then, there's no need to look any further, when you find the right dress, you just know it. Why don't you change and then we'll keep looking for me."
The sales girl took the dress from her and put it in the back until we were done shopping, but I hadn't seen anything I'd liked yet, so we bought her dress and moved on.
It took two more stores of me hobbling around on my crutches before I tried on a dress that I could see myself wearing to the event. It was a navy blue lace dress with a nude underlay, the large swirls and paisley patterns in the lace accentuating my curves without being too much considering it was a charity event where teens would be present. Rose gushed over the dress so I was quick to buy it, happy to have that part of the day over.
Angela texted to let me know they were heading our way and I told her to stop by the first bridal shop.
We walked in and I told the woman who greeted us that I'd called about the maternity collection, because I would be seven months pregnant when I got married. I was annoyed when the rack she filled had nothing but plus-sized dresses on it.
"I'm not looking for plus size dresses, I'm looking for maternity, there's a difference."
"These have extra fabric to cover how big your stomach will get and the seamstress can take care of the rest."
Annoyed by her comment, I looked at Rose just as Angela and Samantha walked in the door. "The fact that you care so little about insulting your client proves that I have no business being here."
Making a quick exit, we went a few blocks down to the next store and were instantly treated better. The woman, who introduced herself as Lynette, took our dresses and hung them up out of the way as she sat down to ask me about the wedding and what I was thinking about as far as colors so they could begin to pull bridesmaid dresses. Once two of her assistants were off picking through the racks, she turned her attention to me.
"I don't want a ball gown by any stretch, but I want it to have an A-line skirt or something that falls away from my body. This is a sketch my future niece drew when I described it. I know I won't be able to do something like that because I'll be seven months pregnant, but it's just to give you an idea of what I like."
"Well, we may not be able to do exactly that, which by the way is a beautiful sketch, the girl it talented. But I have a few dresses that have some of those aspects that might make you happy."
Heading off herself to begin to look, the assistants came out with the first group of dresses. Since I was assuming my dress wouldn't be as elaborate as my original dream was, I wanted something to make my dress stand out from theirs, so I asked for cocktail and tea length dresses.
Lynette returned to bring me to a dressing room to try on the first dress. As I walked out and saw it in the mirror, I had to admit it was pretty, with a sheer overlay that had flower appliqués on it. But seeing how it sat over the bump she'd had me try on just to get an idea of how it might look, I knew it wasn't the right dress for me.
The second dress had lace covering the bodice and going up to cover my shoulders without becoming cap sleeves, but it still wasn't right. And I had a feeling the lace would drive me crazy in the middle of summer.
"I like the detail with the jewels under the bust, but the lace will probably drive me crazy," I explained when she asked me what I didn't like.
"I think this next dress might just be it," Lynette said.
True to her word, she brought in the next dress and as soon as the back was laced up I was in love. The bust had rushing crisscrossing over my chest and wrapped around the lacing in the back, an intricate but delicate jewel detail sat below it before the dress fanned out to sweep out well past my feet and into a train that wasn't too long, but just enough to be bridal.
"I love it," I whispered.
"I like this because, according to how your belly grows, the front can be hemmed at the final fittings once we know how much your stomach is showing so you won't trip over it, but your shoes are still covered. The way we order maternity dresses is to add an inch a month to your measurements and then order a size higher than that. It gives us extra fabric to work with if needed, but won't distort the dress too much if we need to take in more than expected. And the lacing helps with that because it allows us to control sizing another way."
"Let's show the girls and then order it," I told Lynette.
As expected all three of them were very excited by my choice, Rosalie even getting choked up at the sight of me in the dress. Another round of dresses came out and I got to see what styles the girls had narrowed it down to.
One in particular stood out, so I asked them to try it on while I changed out of my wedding dress.
The dress was sleeveless and flared out to the knee. The fabric came straight down from the neck, looking slightly gathered so there was more of it to flare out once it reached the waist, with a band of fabric in the same color wrapping around the waist to break up the dress.
When the three of them came out, each wearing a different color in my color scheme, Lynette started to talk about the dress.
"All of these have the sash across the waist in the same color, but it can be ordered in any of the available dress colors. So you could pair two of these colors together to tie in your theme a little more."
Looking at the girls, I watched as she wrapped fabric around their waists in different colors stopping her when she wrapped the blush dress that Samantha was wearing with a black sash.
"That's it, that's the dress I want them wearing." All three of them agreed that it looked beautiful, and just like that, we had our dresses.