Chapter 14

 

“Hey, Dan!  Larry just escorted Mrs. Wheeler to her seat,” Bobby said over his shoulder as he peeped around the door into the main room.  “Do you think he and Terry are moving funny?” he asked as he watched his friends move up and down the main aisle as they took the guests to their seats.

 

Dan carried Brenna and her diaper bag to the doorway.  “Open up the door enough so I can slip through and take Brenna to Maddie, Bobby,” he requested.  As the young man complied, he added, “Thanks!  You need to get your tux on.  It won’t be long now.”

 

“Sure.”

 

When Maddie noticed Dan and the baby approaching, she immediately stuck her arms out to take Brenna.

 

“Hang on a second,” Dan requested, digging through the baby’s bag that was over his shoulder.  Finding the cream colored blanket, he handed it to Maddie.  “This will help keep your dress clean and dry.  I’d sure hate to ruin it.  You look very beautiful in that gold color.”

 

“Thank you, dear,” Maddie responded, taking the baby from him and cuddling her close.  “I’ll take good care of our girl here.”  Looking at Dan for the first time, she added, “Oh my, you certainly are handsome in that tux, Dan.  You won’t have any problem getting the ladies to dance with you at the reception.”

 

“Daniel, are you trying to steal my date?” Matt challenged teasingly.

 

“No, sir,” Dan answered, grinning.  “Your date is holding my date for the evening.”

 

“Your date is a sweetheart and just as beautiful as mine,” Matt agreed, running a finger across the baby’s head.  “She’s only a few years younger, too.”

 

“Oh, Matt,” his wife cooed, leaning over to give him a quick kiss.  “Grandpa’s being silly, isn’t he, Brenna?” she said to the baby, nuzzling her head.

 

Dan grinned and looked on happily as he watched the Wheelers dote on his daughter.  “I’ll see you after the ceremony,” he said, clapping Matt on the shoulder.  “You ladies both need to save me a dance at the reception,” he added and with a smile he returned to the room where the groom anxiously waited.

 

 

Terry and Larry walked awkwardly back to the entry of the Terrace Room.  Neither teen noticed the grandeur of the space or the beautiful paintings on the ceiling.  

 

Ter, I don’t know about you but it feels like I have something gnawing on the inside of my thigh,” Larry complained, attempting to pull on the inside of leg of his tuxedo pants.

 

His twin didn’t even try to be stealthy about his discomfort, pulling on the crotch seam of his own pants.  “Man, this is awful,” Terry griped, stepping behind a large plant near the back of the room.  Turning his back on the guests, he started to slowly check out every inch of the inseam and crotch area of his pants.  “I swear there is something in there,” he growled.

 

Larry, following his brother’s lead, turned and started prodding to determine his own area of discomfort.

 

“What…” a gruff voice barked in their ears at the same time their shoulders were grasped in large, strong hands causing them to jump.  As their heads whipped around, Regan finished, “Are you two doing over here in the corner playing with yourselves at your sister’s wedding?  There are guests to be seated and a wedding to be held.  You two can continue your, er, um, activities later.  Now get back out there and help Cap and Knut seat people.”

 

“But we weren’t...” Larry began.

 

“Suck it up, you two,” Regan ordered, crossing his arms over his chest.  “And get to seating people.”

 

“Yes, sir,” the twins muttered, walking slowly away.

 

Tom Delanoy walked up to Regan’s side as he watched the two teens return to the doorway.  “What’s up with those two?” he asked curiously.

 

“Those two and Bobby pulled a scam on Mart, the boys and Raoul.  They took exception so Raoul put a little surprise in their pants,” Regan explained with a chuckle.  “I can’t wait for them to find out what Raoul did,” he said, laughing heartily with his friend.

 

 

The minister peered around the door to the back of the room where the wedding planner stood speaking into her headset.  Seeing him at the door, she circled her right hand in the air.

 

“Mart and everyone, it’s time,” he advised quietly, opening the door and stepping slowly toward the altar while an instrumental version of Stand by Me played.  Once at the altar, he took his place before the gathering and smiled to signal the groom.

 

Mart moved purposefully through the door to take his spot near the minister as the song continued.  He was followed by Dan, Brian and Jim.  Bobby moved more slowly than the others and had an unhappy look on his face.  When he reached his mark, he squirmed and tugged on his pants legs as surreptitiously as possible.

 

“Bobby, stand still,” Jim growled softly, under the cover of smile.

 

“I’m trying.”

 

The small orchestra drew the song to a close carrying the final note out softly.  The music rose again with the opening strains of Wind Beneath My Wings as Helen stepped into the doorway on the arm of her husband.  She beamed a beautiful smile at her middle son as she moved gracefully down the aisle in her blue jacquard knit gown with the draped skirt and jacket.  Tears pooled in her eyes as Mart walked down the aisle to meet her at the three-quarter mark and kissed her softly on the cheek and then shook hands with his father.  “Thank you for my life, teaching me about love and being the best parents that ever existed.  I love you both.”

 

A tear spilled over from Helen’s eye that Mart gently wiped away.

 

“We love you, too, son,” Peter rasped out.

 

Taking Helen’s other arm, Mart whispered, “OK, now let’s get me married.”

 

There wasn’t a dry eye in the room as he escorted his parents to the front pew, shook hands and hugged his father, then kissed and hugged his mother.  Stepping back to his place, Mart gave a watery grin toward his parents before he shifted his gaze to the back of the room.  His grin widened as he watched Caroline Lynch make her way to the front of the room.  Her sleeveless lace covered lavender peplum dress rustled with each step as her twin sons walked slowly beside her.

 

 

Once again, the music softened and segued into a slow tempo version of What the World Needs Now Is Love.  The wedding guests smiled and grinned as they hummed along with the music choice for the bridesmaids. 

 

Bess Lynch, by virtue of being the younger twin by two minutes, stepped through the doorway.  The plum-colored ball gown was strapless with a pleated bodice that accentuated her trim, young figure.  Her long, midnight black hair flowed sleekly over her shoulders as she proceeded slowly down the aisle carrying a bouquet of violet hydrangeas.

 

Her twin, Tess, followed her through the door about twenty-feet behind her. 

 

“Wow!” Bobby murmured, awed by how pretty his tomboy friend looked.

 

“Indeed,” Jim whispered back.  His attention had shifted to Trixie and Honey as they appeared in the doorway.  His sister’s short honey-colored hair, slim neck and trim figure created a vision of elegance and sophistication.  But, it was his beautiful and fascinating girlfriend that stole his attention.  His fingers itched to play in the hair cascading over her shoulders in a mass of soft, golden waves.  The plum of the dress and the purple hydrangea flowers made her sapphire blue eyes darker and larger.  As she took her place across from him, he couldn’t take his eyes off of her.

 

 

As her sisters and best friends walked down the aisle of the Terrace Room to their places, the bride stood just to the side of the door, awaiting her cue to enter.  Di’s right hand was tucked securely behind her father’s arm and her left held a mixed bouquet of white roses with purple and lavender flowers.  “Daddy,” she whispered.  “Don’t forget, Mart said there would be a fanfare and then the music will change to the song for us to walk down the aisle.”  Frowning, she looked anxiously up at her father.  “He wouldn’t tell me what it will be, so we’ll just need to go.”

 

“I’m sure it will be perfect for the two of you,” Ed replied softly as he patted her hand.  My little girl.  His mind shifted back to thoughts of his beloved daughter throughout the years.  From when she was a dancing daffodil to the beautiful bride standing next to him today.  She is more than beautiful, he thought.  Just as gorgeous as her mother was twenty-six years ago. 

 

Di’s fit-and-flare gown was elegant with its beading and applique embellishments.  The sweetheart neckline and slim silhouette of the gown enhanced her natural beauty and showed off her innate grace.  The hair stylist had taken her long, dark hair and pinned it in a soft chignon before covering it with a chapel-length lace veil.

 

“You are beautiful, sweetheart.  Your mother and I couldn’t be more proud of you,” Ed whispered gruffly as the tears gathered in his eyes.  “I love you.”

 

“I love you, too, Daddy,” Di answered with a quaver to her voice just as the orchestra played a soft fanfare. 

 

“Here we go, princess.”

 

Daughter and father stepped through the door and into the aisle as the initial strains of the song Mart picked began to play.  Bob Hubbell and his sister, Barbara, stood with the orchestra and sang in clear; sweet voices the Lonestar hit, Amazed. 

 

“Every time our eyes meet…  This feeling inside me… Is almost more than I can take… Baby when you touch me… I can feel how much you love me….And it just blows me away…”

 

Tears formed in Di’s eyes as she listened to the words that Mart had sung to her numerous times before.  Her eyes sought his, as her father walked her toward the man she loved.  They had been through so much these past few weeks and now she and this handsome, smart and funny man would be bound to each other forever in marriage.

 

 

Even though there was non-traditional music, co-maids of honor and best men, the ceremony itself was very traditional, until the end.  As the minister pronounced them man and wife and told Mart to kiss the bride, the orchestra swung into I Got You Babe.

 

Laughing, smiling and hugging each other, Mart and Di turned to face their guests.

 

“Ladies and gentlemen, it is my privilege to introduce Mr. and Mrs. Martin Belden,” the minister said loudly.

 

“I loved my song, Mart,” Di whispered near his ear.  “I love you so much, Mr. Belden.”

 

“Not as much as I love you, Mrs. Belden,” he whispered back to her before taking her lips in a searing kiss.  “Can we just go up to our room now?”

 

Di giggled as she pulled back to look at his twinkling blue eyes.  “I wish,” she agreed.  “But, we have to have photos taken plus there’s a reception with dancing, toasts and food…”

 

Before she could finish, he cut in, “Food.  Yes, must have sustenance for the wedding night ahead.”  He waggled his eyebrows at her, then as she laughed, he turned her toward the back of the room and danced her to the reception area with the remainder of the wedding party and guests trailing behind.

 

 

The cocktail hour was set up in the beautiful Palm Court as the Terrace Room was converted for the reception.  During the ceremony, the guests had been seated in chairs in the northeast end of the room. The chairs were quietly removed by the staff to create a dance floor near the orchestra and a long table for the bride and groom was set up at the edge of the reception space.

 

Di and the wedding planner had designed the space to allow the guests to immediately pass through the receiving line before moving to the cocktail area to get a beverage and hors d'oeuvres in the Palm Court.  Once everyone had congratulated the happy couple, Mart and Di along with their attendants had their pictures taken for the formal album. 

 

“Terry, Larry and Bobby, why are you so squirmy?” Di asked out of the side of her mouth as the photographer worked.  “You three need to stand still for the photos.”

 

As the bridesmaids were poised around Diana for a shot, Raoul approached the group with a tray of beers.  “I hab cerveza poor chew,” he said, eying the three young men as they shifted.

 

Mart snickered, “Yeah, boys, what’s the deal with you?  Ants in your pants?”

 

“Dude, if these are ants, they’re vampire ants.  Something has been biting, pinching and poking my privates since we put these tuxes on,” Bobby griped, tugging on his pant leg.

 

“Huh!?!  Really?  I’m not having any problem with my pants are you guys?” Mart asked his fellow Bob-Whites.

 

Grinning, they shook their heads.

 

“In fact, we haven’t had any problem at all since we discovered your prank with our tuxes,” Mart remarked, moving to stand in front of his younger brother and new brothers-in-law.  “The prank that could have had dire consequences and caused my bride upset.”

 

The trio suddenly found the tile floor to be fascinating. 

 

Raising his head, Bobby offered, “Mart, we’re really sorry.”

 

“I’m sure you three have got the point over the last hour or so,” his brother noted.

 

“Yeah, we won’t stick it to you this time,” Brian added with a chuckle.

 

Dan laughed out loud, then said, “We won’t poke you too much longer.”

 

Ve vill let chew go dis time and not pien chew to de vall,” Raoul threw in.

 

At that, the four Bob-Whites cracked up and Raoul joined in with the laughter.

 

“What the hell?” Terry asked, looking at them confused. 

 

Gasping for air, Raoul held up a hand for a moment before speaking.  “Chew eech hab a pien een cheur krawch.”

 

“What?” Bobby asked, glancing from Raoul to Mart then Brian.

 

“Chew hab a peen een cheur krawch.”

 

Grabbing a beer from the tray, Brian took a long drink and then a deep breath.  “Dude, as payback for messing with his tailoring work and with Mart, they put small straight pins in the inseam of your pants,” he told them, then laughed.

 

“Every time you moved the pins would prick you in the little…” Dan began, before the rest of his comment was overwhelmed with hysterical laughter.

 

“That is so not funny,” Larry growled when the laughter died away.  “We could have been permanently damaged.”

 

And the laughter roared again.

 

 

As the reception progressed, Dan sat between Mart and Brian at the head table.  He listened to Brian toast Mart’s and Di’s good health and cradled Brenna close in the crook of his arm.  When it came to be his turn, Dan stood and took the microphone from his friend’s hand.

 

“Di.  Mart.  Your life together has officially started.  I say ‘officially’ because you’ve known one another and been a part of each other’s lives for years.  Just like the walls of your houses, your hearts have stretchy walls.”  Smiling at Brenna, he continued, “As life throws curve balls at you, as your family grows and your two becomes four, six or eight.”  As laughter erupted, he defended himself.  “Hey, between twins and almost twins…”  He shrugged.  “May you be blessed in love, life and family.  May God be with you and bless you.  May you see your children's children.  May you be poor in misfortunes and rich in blessings.  May you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.  Our love is with you.”

 

Five Bob-White whistles rang out, loud and strong as the guests broke out in applause.

 

 

“Ladies and gentlemen, the bride and groom will share their first dance together to begin our dancing,” the wedding planner announced.  “The groom will serenade his beautiful bride.”

 

Mart led Di to the center of the dance floor and pulled her gently into his arms.  The orchestra began playing the intro music.  After a few bars, Di’s mouth dropped open as Mart sang…

 

“I wanna make you smile whenever you're sad
Carry you around when your arthritis is bad
Oh all I wanna do is grow old with you

I'll get your medicine when your tummy aches
Build you a fire if the furnace breaks
Oh it could be so nice, growing old with you
 
I'll miss you
Kiss you
Give you my coat when you are cold

Need you
Feed you
Even let ya hold the remote control

So let me do the dishes in our kitchen sink
Put you to bed when you've had too much to drink
I could be the man who grows old with you
I wanna grow old with you”

 

Mart said quietly so only Di could hear, “I mean every word.  I love you so much.”

 

Tears were streaming down Di’s face as the music played on.  “Me too, you,” she whispered in his ear.

 

“The happy couple would like their attendants and families to join them,” announced the wedding planner.

 

As the residents of Glen Road moved onto the floor and began to dance, the Bob-Whites danced a circle around Mart and Di.  Together, the group of long-time friends started singing the song again.  The newlyweds and Jim and Trixie sang loud and directly to each other.  Brian and Honey were shy and reserved in song.  Dan had Brenna snuggled to his chest in her baby carrier as he danced with his best girl.  As the song came to an end, the seven friends met in a group hug, singing, I wanna grow old with you!”   

 

The End

 

 

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Authors’ Notes:

 

We can never express our gratitude to our editors, Joycey, Kelly and Mylee.  Ladies, thank you for working so hard on our behalf.  xoxoxo

 

The link to the dresses worn in the wedding is HERE.

 

Stand by Me is a song originally performed by Ben E. King and written by King, Jerry Leiber, and Mike Stoller, inspired by the spiritual Lord Stand by Me, plus two lines rooted in Psalms 46:2–3. There have been over 400 recorded versions of the song. The song is featured in the movie Stand By Me and also is featured on the soundtrack for the movie.

 

Wind Beneath My Wings (sometimes titled The Wind Beneath My Wings and Hero) is a song written in 1982 by Jeff Silbar and Larry Henley.

 

What the World Needs Now Is Love is a 1965 popular song with lyrics by Hal David and music composed by Burt Bacharach.

 

Amazed is a song written by Marv Green, Aimee Mayo, and Chris Lindsey. The first version of the song was recorded by the American country music group Lonestar, whose version was released in March 1999.

 

I Got You Babe was written by Sonny Bono and Phil Spector in 1965. 

 

“May God be with you and bless you.  May you see your children's children.  May you be poor in misfortunes and rich in blessings.  May you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.   This is an Irish wedding blessing  from IslandIreland.com webpage

 

Grow Old With You was written by Adam Sandler and Tim Herlihy.  It was performed by Adam Sandler in the movie, The Wedding Singer.

 

Background is from allfreebackgrounds.com

 

Header and dividers created using MS Clipart manipulated by Jo

 

Word count – 2982