Don't tell the bride
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Wicked or the concept of the show Don't Tell The Bride. Just FYI.
AN. Hey, guys long time no see! Gosh, I'm sorry. I meant to start posting this sooner. But I went into exam-writing mode, following immediately by exam-marking mode, report-writing mode, and then finishing out the school year. But it's holidays, almost Christmas, so here we are! This is my present to you all!
This story is kinda like 40 Weeks, but with a wedding, instead of a pregnancy. Those of you who follow my blog know everything else that's going on in my life right now (have a new job, moving in 2-3 weeks, ah!) I've been in my own little world for... about 2 months it feels like. I can't believe the last thing I posted was my Harry Potter one-shot!
Also, FYI nominations for the 7th annual Wicked Awards are now open until Dec 30, in case you're like me and completely oblivious to everything at the moment. I feel bad I didn't know! It's being run by Glitter-Bunnii this year, so go to her profile to nominate your favourite stories and authors!
So, let's give this a whirl, shall we?
Chapter 1: The Competition
It was quite surreal to find yourself engaged to a prince when you never expected to ever be engaged at all.
Yet here Elphaba found herself, and she was finding herself quite overwhelmed at the prospect of having to plan a wedding. Of course she had Nessa, Galinda and her future mother-in-law to help, but it was a huge task. She and Fiyero had agreed to go against the expectations of having a big royal wedding; but only a month after they had gotten engaged, Elphaba was beginning to wish they had. Perhaps then there would be less planning. Or at least maybe most of it could be done for her.
At the moment, they were all convened in Munchkinland for Elphaba and Fiyero's engagement party. As the engagement party was traditionally thrown by the family of the bride, Nessa had insisted on throwing and planning all the party herself. Frex had agreed, anything to make his favourite daughter happy.
Fiyero wasn't his favourite person in Oz, but he had given his approval to the engagement. Elphaba suspected he wasn't happy about losing her to take care of Nessa. Nessa was so happy for her sister and was so excited about "finally" having a brother, that Frex couldn't argue.
After the party, as Kasmira and Ibrahim made polite conversation with Frex in his study, Elphaba and Fiyero sat with their friends under a tree in the back garden. They hadn't invited that many people to the engagement party. Besides their immediate families, the only guests had been Galinda, Boq and Fiyero's childhood friends from the Vinkus, Micah and Corin.
Elphaba liked them both very much. Corin was very much like Fiyero had been when he had first arrived at Shiz, but he annoyed her far less than Fiyero had when Elphaba had first met him. Micah was very serious, but he was very kind and gentle. He was also tall, dark and handsome and Galinda had almost swooned on the spot when Fiyero had introduced them all. However, it hadn't escaped Elphaba's notice that Nessarose seemed to think Corin was hilarious. She laughed at all his jokes... and very few of them were actually funny.
Galinda had with her a humongous pile of bridal magazines, and she and Nessa were eagerly looking through them and pointing out things they liked to Elphaba. The boys were trying not to pay attention, with little success.
"Galinda for the last time, I don't want any pink in this wedding!" Elphaba cried in exasperation.
"It's not pink! It's salmon and magenta," Galinda insisted.
"It's pink. Fiyero, back me up on this," Elphaba beseeched her fiancée.
Fiyero held his hands up in surrender. "Um, no. I'm going to stay out of this."
"Come on, Fiyero. It's your wedding too," Galinda reminded him.
"Hey my job is done!" Fiyero protested. "I proposed, I got the ring right. All I have to do now is show up."
Elphaba snorted. "That is so not true."
"Yeah, I'm pretty sure it's the groom's responsibility to organise the honeymoon," Micah nodded.
"Not what I meant," Elphaba retorted.
"Ooh, look at this!" Nessa exclaimed abruptly, drawing their attention. "It's a competition. Have your wedding planned for you! It sounds perfect for you, Fabala!"
Galinda perked up. "What do you have to do?"
Nessa read it to herself and then laughed.
"What?" Boq asked her, frowning.
Between giggles, Nessa read the article aloud to them.
"All brides-to-be know that planning a wedding can be incredibly stressful. What if you could have all that stress taken out of your hands, and not have to make a single decision? The catch is- your special day will be 100% planned for you... by your groom. With absolutely no input by you.
To enter this competition, simply fill out the form and mail it to the below address. Here at Modern Ozian Weddings, we've been talking a lot in our offices about the different approaches to planning weddings between men and women. This competition is the result of many heated debates amongst our staff.
The chosen couple will work with two of our writers, one with the bride and one with the groom.
The groom will have three weeks to plan the entire wedding, with a budget of $25,000. During those three weeks, the couple will have no contact with one another. The bride will work with one writer to plan the wedding of her dreams.
Accounts of both the groom and bride's plans will be published in our next issue, with a full eight page spread on the wedding.
So, grooms- are you ready to plan a wedding?
Brides- how much do you trust your future husbands with the most important day of your life?"
The look on Galinda's face could only be described as horror.
"Galinda? Are you okay?" Micah asked in concern.
"Who... who would actually consider letting a man plan their wedding day?!" she spluttered.
"Well, not you, clearly," Corin grinned.
"It's an interesting idea," Elphaba said thoughtfully.
"Elphaba Thropp, you can't seriously be considering this!" Galinda gasped.
Elphaba leaned over and placed a hand on her best friend's arm. "Galinda, you need to relax," she stressed. "I mean, it's just a wedding. I doubt even Fiyero could screw it up that badly."
"Hey!" Fiyero protested.
"Just a wedding?!" Galinda said at the same time.
"You don't think I could plan an amazing wedding for us?"
"You don't think a wedding is important?!"
It was Elphaba's turn to hold up her hands. "Whoa, guys! I can only have one ridiculous conversation at a time, please."
Galinda immediately turned to Fiyero. "Best friend."
"Fiancé," Fiyero retorted.
Galinda frowned, unable to counter that but unwilling to give in.
"Rock, paper, scissor?" Corin suggested helpfully.
"Fine," Galinda agreed and threw out her fist.
Fiyero turned out scissors, Galinda kept her fist closed to form rock. She let out a triumphant "Ha!" and immediately turned to Elphaba.
"You don't think a wedding is important?" she demanded.
Elphaba sighed and rolled her eyes. "It's just a day, Glin. The ceremony is obviously symbolic, but it's just to serve the purpose of making it legal. The rest of it is just for show. The marriage is the important part. I'd rather focus on that than just one day."
Galinda gaped at Elphaba.
"That's a really beautiful answer, Elphaba," Boq said in admiration.
Fiyero was beaming at his fiancée. "It really was, Fae."
"I'm a little choked up," Corin said, wiping away an imaginary tear and Micah punched him in the arm.
Elphaba was pretty sure she saw Nessa wipe away a tear that wasn't so imaginary.
"Ok, yeah marriage is a lifetime and the wedding is just one day and all that crap," Galinda said dismissively, waving a hand vaguely in Elphaba's direction. "But Elphie. You have one wedding day. I've been planning my wedding since I was five. It has to be perfect. It is the one day where it is all about you. Why would you let someone else plan such a perfect day?"
"Well, you're really going to make an impression here, Glin," Elphaba muttered, with a minute nod towards Micah.
Galinda blushed, but Micah looked clueless.
"Look, Galinda, I get it, ok? I do. But that's you. I didn't plan my wedding when I was a kid. I never thought I'd ever have to worry about that. I'm green, remember?"
Galinda fell silent as Fiyero slipped an arm around Elphaba's shoulders, drawing her close to him and kissing the top of her head softly.
Not even Corin was going to make a joke in this moment.
Galinda met Elphaba's eyes and just nodded, not arguing any further.
"Your turn," Elphaba said, looking up at Fiyero.
Caught off guard in the moment, Fiyero drew a blank.
"Elphaba was doubting your mad wedding planning abilities," Corin reminded him.
"Oh, right. You don't think I could plan an awesome wedding? You've been to parties I've thrown. They're pretty amazing," Fiyero said modestly.
Elphaba laughed despite herself.
"A party and a wedding aren't exactly the same thing, Yero. And you don't do every aspect of the organising when you throw a party. A wedding is a lot of work. I don't think guys realise that."
Micah chuckled. "I think girls are just overdramatic about the planning. It can't be that hard to pick out flowers and cake."
Elphaba raised an eyebrow challengingly. "Really? You all think this?"
"I think it's mostly about being organised," Boq shrugged. "Like Micah said, it can't be that hard."
Corin nodded knowingly. "When my sister got married, she changed the design of her wedding dress three times. Seriously, it's a white dress. How is one different to another?"
The girls exchanged sceptical looks. Even Elphaba knew that was a ridiculous comment. And as for Galinda, Corin may as well have said that pink and purple were basically the same colour.
"Ok, maybe this competition is a really good idea," Galinda said.
"Maybe you guys should enter," Nessa agreed, speaking to her sister.
"We can't," Elphaba said practically.
"Why, are you scared of being proven wrong?" Fiyero asked her teasingly.
She rolled her eyes. "No. But they're offering this competition for couples who are engaged but may not have the money for their wedding. You're a prince. Money isn't exactly an object for you."
"For us," he corrected her.
"Whatever. My point is, there are more deserving couples for this prize than us. Besides, your parents are being really great about letting us having the type of wedding we want. I don't think they'd be too thrillified about our wedding being the result of a magazine competition. Let alone the getting married in three weeks bit."
Fiyero thought about that.
"Why do you have to be so smart?" he grumbled good naturedly.
However, Galinda, now she was onboard with the idea, wasn't willing to give up without a fight.
"So, if Fiyero's parents were okay with it, you'd do it?" she asked Elphaba and Fiyero.
"Sure," Fiyero replied easily without thinking.
Elphaba knew her friend better though. "Galinda-" she began warningly, but Galinda had already grabbed the magazine from Nessa and was heading towards the house.
"Oh for the love of Oz," Elphaba cried, jumping up and hurrying after her.
The others followed, and they found that Galinda had happily let herself into Frex's study and was already explaining the competition to the adults.
Not even Nessa dared to enter Frex's study without knocking, and the look on her face was just awe.
"This can't end well," Elphaba heard Boq mutter under his breath.
"What was your first clue?" she muttered back.
"Galinda's involved. Big clue," Fiyero added.
Ibrahim, Kasmira and Frex all listened silently and with varying degrees of patience as Galinda explained the competition and the subsequent conversation amongst their group.
"Well, I do agree with Elphaba that you and Fiyero probably aren't the magazine's target audience for this competition," Kasmira said when Galinda had finally finished.
"However," she continued and Galinda's face brightened. "I also think it's an interesting concept."
Ibrahim looked amused as he looked at his son. "You really think it's that easy, Yero?"
Fiyero shrugged. "How hard can it be? It's just basically a giant party, right?"
Every female in the room looked at him scornfully.
"How about this," Ibrahim said thoughtfully. "You know the media is going to want to cover this wedding, right?"
"Naturally, it's me," Fiyero said modestly.
Elphaba glared at him. "Do you want to marry yourself, Tiggular?"
Corin stifled a snigger.
"Why don't we contact the magazine, and tell them you find the concept interesting and suggest a proposal?"
"What kind of proposal?" Elphaba asked curiously.
Ibrahim shrugged. "Well, you could follow the process of the competition, the timeline, the budget, everything. If they're interested, they could still send people out from the magazine to work with you both. And in return, we would give them exclusive coverage of the wedding. I'm sure it would be interesting to have you two conducting the experiment alongside an everyday couple."
"What about the three week time limit?" Elphaba asked. "Wouldn't that raise... suspicions?"
She couldn't help but blush slightly as she said it.
"Well, it would certainly give you privacy," Kasmira said. "The media and the public wouldn't expect it, and if anyone does have 'suspicions', it would become clear quickly that they were ungrounded."
"Unless Fiyero gets really lucky on the wedding night," Corin said brightly, but his grin faltered as everyone glared at him.
"Um... Elphaba... you have your father's glare," Corin muttered, looking intently at the floor to avoid everyone's gaze.
"Corin, those are not words to get on Fae's good side," Fiyero hissed to his friend.
Ibrahim cleared his throat. "I suggest, if Elphaba and Fiyero are both agreed, we write to the magazine and suggest this. Elphaba? Fiyero?"
Elphaba smirked up at her fiancée. "Last chance to back out."
He scoffed confidently. "No way. We've got this in the bag. Right, guys? Boq?"
The three other guys nodded.
Elphaba shrugged. "Fine. It's a deal," she nodded, holding her hand out to him to shake on it.
Fiyero rolled his eyes, and instead of shaking her hand, he leaned down and kissed her.
"That is how you seal a deal with your fiancée," he told her seriously when he pulled away.
"You're such an idiot," was her only response.
But they all knew it was said with love.
Don't forget! Nominations. 7th annual Wicked Awards. Until Dec 30. Glitter-Bunnii's profile to nominate.