[From time to time, I will illustrate my story characters with: Richard Armitage as Sam Wakeforest, Marcia Gay Harden as Sam’s older sister Tessa Wakeforest Shoop Delaney, and Emily Deschanel as Tessa’s sister-in-law Olivia Delaney, Viola Davis as Pauletta Perkins, Cicely Tyson as Nellie Newton, and Anna Sophia Robb as Alice Trent, Kevin Spacey as Roger Delaney, Sam Heughan as Todd Wakeforest, Idris Elba as Dominic Perkins and others as noted.]
Authors Content Note: “Love in the Great Pine Woods” is a mature love story with dramatic themes of love and relationships. It will mostly be at the PG and PG-13 movie levels. Specific chapters or passages may have a further rating of: L for language, D for dramatic emotions, and S for sensual themes. And I will rate the chapters accordingly. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide for a chapter, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer. And as is my habit, I will summarize the previous chapter’s events at the beginning of the next chapter.
Authors Recap from the Previous Chapter: With Olivia Delaney and Sam Wakeforest’s wedding preparations happening apace for their Wednesday, December 30th nuptials, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were wonderful respites from the madness. And the Gazebo that Sam had built to Delaney gazebo specifications for his and Olivia’s Wakeforest home backyard was a surprisingly sentimental gesture on Sam’s part. Yet he has one more large and sentimental gift to give Olivia–but she will have to wait for their wedding night.
“Love in the Great Pine Woods”, Ch. 13 (PG-13, S): Wedding Day
The phrase what was I thinking? keeps reverberating through Olivia Delaney’s mind as her wedding day approaches swiftly after Christmas on Wednesday, December 30th, 1955–the day before New Year’s Eve, when everyone is busy already. With barely two weeks of planning and execution–with the able help of her sister-in-law Tessa Wakeforest Shoop Delaney–the small wedding ceremony set for one o’clock in the afternoon with a church reception after is ready, she hopes.
Olivia’s wedding gown is still a state secret. But Sam will be wearing the black cumberbund tuxedo version that he had tried on, that Olivia thinks make him look dashing [(2) right] . However, in the intervening time though Sam has not cut his hair, he has also not shaved and his beard has grown back. That’s the way Sam prefers it–him having a beard. But he trims in nicely so it looks good for the wedding.
Though Sam is not fond of the cummerbund and plans to ditch it and feign ignorance. Sam’s brother Keith Wakeforest is tasked with keeping Sam sartorial. We’ll see what happens with the cummerbund.
The bridal bouquet flowers of white irises and light purple sweet pea flowers mean inspiration and shyness, respectively. They were Olivia’s late mother’s favorite flowers–and they were flown in specially by their florist. And Olivia’s understated bridal bouquet is a profusion of these and baby’s breath and greens–along with another flower that she can’t remember, but thinks that it looks nice. The overall effect of her bridal bouquet is rather romantic to Olivia’s way of thinking [(3) right].
And the church is sparingly festooned with iris and sweet pea flower clusters on the pew ends–and in a tasteful arrangement of those flowers on the altar. The flower placement in the church was actually a bit of a tussle, because the church janitor had agreed to move the dozens of poinsettia plants filling the sanctuary for Christmas to another room. But when they arrived for the wedding rehearsal last night, he hadn’t moved the poinsettias out so the florist could move the white iris and sweet pea purple flowers. The janitor claimed that he thought the poinsettia’s looked nice. But bride Olivia won that round and white irises and sweet pea purple flowers stayed her theme. Never cross a bride on her wedding colors. And Olivia had thoughtfully decided not to make her bridal attendants wear light purple–they will be wearing little black cocktail dresses, courtesy of Tessa’s shop Elle.
And there was one last hiccup with the church–regarding the minister. Their usual Episcopal Church minister was called out of town on December 28th unexpectedly due to the birth of his first grandchild. Olivia and Sam understood, but they were uncertain where to find another minister so quickly. And that’s where Olivia’s 2nd Matron of Honor attendant Pauletta Perkins–with her sister-in-law Tessa Delaney being her first Matron of Honor attendant–came to the rescue in suggesting their African Methodist Episcopal minister perform the ceremony.
Sam and Olivia were grateful to have their wedding saved–and their church acquiesced to their wishes in granting the Negro Rev. Dr. Preston Howard wedding celebrant privileges at their Episcopal Church. And though Kevin Wakeforest as Sam’s closest brother will be his Best Man attendant, his other brothers and Pauletta’s husband Dominic Perkins will also be a groom’s attendant. And Olivia will also have some of Sam’s nieces as flower girls–including foster niece Alice.
So were their little Northern Midwest town of Wakeforest not such a backwater –even if it is the county seat–Sam and Olivia’s marriage with a Negro minister officiating and two Negro bridal attendants would have created quite a stir for 1955. They might have even made the national news. As it is, societal progress comes bit by bit–sometimes in quiet ways such as standing along side a friend and a colleague for their special day.
After a fried chicken rehearsal dinner back at Delaney Manor the evening of December29th–finger food is easier with all of the family kids–Olivia and Sam share a private good night kiss. They are a little nervous, which is to be expected when you’re getting married. But they each try to seem okay for the other. They fail humorously.
Sam: Noticing Olivia’s worried face, Sam asks. “What’s wrong, Olivia?” Sam moves the bangs out of her eyes and he caresses her cheek.
Olivia: “Oh, nothing.” She sighs and bites her lower lip. Then Sam kisses her lip.
Sam: “You know, you really turn me on when you bite your lip like that.” Sam’s deep voice smoulders.
Olivia: “I do?” Sam nods with a wicked smile. “So you’re showing up tomorrow for our wedding, right?” Olivia asks him sheepishly.
Sam: “I will, if you will.” He smiles. “Although …. we could still elope.” He looks at her hopefully.
Olivia: With a look of sheer horror, Olivia replies forcefully. “Not on your life, buster! I’ve been waiting thirty-five years to get married. And I want everything I ever dreamed of tomorrow.”
Sam: “So only a few weeks planning timeframe is what you dreamed of?” He teases.
Olivia: “Nooo.” She whines. “But I’m not going to let you slip through my fingers.” Then she tears up. “I don’t know what I would have done if you had been more injured or even killed in your car accident.”
Sam: Pulling her closer into his embrace, Sam whispers soothingly in a hushed voice. “But I’m okay. And I’m not going away anytime soon.” He tenderly kisses her forehead.
Olivia: “Promise? You’ll stay with me always?”
Sam: “I promise.” Then he teases. “I will love you always, too. Though you might live to regret that when I’m so old that my bones creak louder than the mattresses every time we make love. Ha ha ha ha ha!”
Olivia: “Ha ha ha!” She giggles embarrassedly. Then she asks curiously. “Why would the mattresses creak?” Olivia looks up at him innocently.
On the verge of replying smoulderingly, you’ll find out tomorrow, instead Sam gently touches her cheek with his finger and says softly.
Sam: “It’s a turn of phrase.” And Sam thanks his prescient thinking to have already replaced the mattresses in what will be their shared bed for the first time on their wedding night. Though one can’t entirely avoid mattress creaking, he thinks bemusedly.
So after a fitful sleep the night before their weddingfor both Sam and Olivia–in their respectively separate pre-marital homes–they each eat small breakfasts, then get ready for their big day.
Sam arrives at the church early for their one o’clock wedding–around 12noon. And with time to fill, he and his groom’s attendants head downstairs to the youth room and its pool table. Yes a pool table is an odd thing to have in the church basement’s Sunday school classroom, but it was a gift from the widow after one of their ushers died. And not wanting to seem snooty, the church graciously accepted the pool table. So with spirited play on the pool table, Sam’s nerves are successfully redirected. And though he had planned to ditch that cummerbund, Sam was suitably distracted and he never got the chance to take it off.
Not the case for Olivia and her nerves–no distractions to aid her either. Tessa was actually worried that Olivia might have one of her hyperventilating panic attack episodes that seemed to abate when she started dating Sam. Because Olivia keeps coming up with things that she has forgotten to do–such as shaving her legs and armpits. You don’t think about shaving in Winter time, because a lady’s hairy legs and pitts are covered up and not on display like they are in Summertime when you’re at the swimming pool, etc. But Tessa came to the rescue and actually shaved Olivia’s legs for her–otherwise, Olivia would have needed a blood transfusion with all the nicks she was making as she tried shaving her legs after months of not doing so. And then they borrowed Roger’s stipik pencil to stem the bleeding so Olivia can put on her bridal silk stockings in a pearlescent white–with a few red dots of blood showing through here and there. Happily, Olivia’s wedding gown is floor length.
And Roger Delaney spares no expense for transporting his beloved sister Olivia to the church on her wedding day and he rented a limousine from the bigger city twenty miles away of Valley View. And it’s a good thing because once Olivia got into her wedding gown, its poofy skirting nearly takes up one whole side of the limo–with Roger, Tessa, Alice and baby Bobby sitting opposite her.
As they arrive at their St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in the limo, they have bright
skies–even if they are colder than a witch’s unmentionable. And someone had considerately placed a carpet runner outside the church under the drive under roof–so that Olivia wouldn’t soil her dress on the snow and slush. And Roger carefully ushers his sister Olivia into the church with a broad smile upon his face [(4) right]. He has been waiting at least fifteen years to give her away as a bride. And today, he gets to perform that happy duty.
And now, the moment they have been waiting for is here as the brides attendants lineup in the nave area just outside the back of the sanctuary. Then one last little annoyance occurs–in the person of the crutch walking Todd Wakeforest walking past them and into the church.
Roger: “Shouldn’t you be up front with Sam already?” Roger frowns.
Todd: “I was. But then nature called.” He grins.
Roger: Rolling his eyes and shaking his head, Rogers shoos him away with a bemused smile. “Get in there!” Todd hobbles into the sanctuary and down a side aisle.
Then Roger turns to his sister Olivia, with her hair pulled back into a sleek bun under her veil.
Olivia: “You’ll catch me if I faint, won’t you Roger?”
Roger: “Of course. But you’re not going to faint. Sam is standing at the other end of the aisle waiting for you. This wedding is what you both want. Enjoy it! You two will be great together.”
Olivia: “You think?’
Roger: “I do!”
Then the organist begins to play the bridal party processional that precedes the bride’s entrance. Olivia’s attendants–family and friends all–slowly and gracefully walk up the church’s center aisle. Tessa is last–right before Olivia. And Tessa looks smashing in her little black silk organza cocktail dress with its low square neckline, three quarter length sleeves, and flaring skirt ending just below the knee. [(5) right]. She really thinks that Olivia was inspired with regard to her bridal attendant dresses being black–and not one of the wedding colors of light purple.
Leaning back before it’s her turn to walk up the aisle, Tessa gives her sister-in-law Olivia some encouragement.
Tessa: “You look beautiful, Olivia. And you and Sam will make a great couple!”
Olivia: “Thanks, Tessa.” Olivia sighs gratefully.
And then, the small brass and violin octet plays the bridal processional, Here Comes the Bride (by Richard Wagner):
Roger guides Olivia forward, up the aisle toward a beaming Sam. Olivia focuses On Sam’s smiling face and she smiles. She sees no one else, though the church is filled with family and friends, and the orphanage children. When they arrive up front, Roger stays with Olivia initially–until his part is done.
Sam is mesmerized by his beautiful bride, Olivia. She is wearing a traditional capped sleeve, off the shoulder white duchess satin wedding gown with intricate embroidery on the bodice and on the edging its full and floor length skirt.
In a strong and stirring voice, the minister intones the beginning of the wedding ceremony, riveting Sam’s and Olivia’s gaze to him.
Rev. Dr. Preston Howard: “Dearly beloved! We are gathered here today, to witness to the joining together in matrimony of these two people who come before you now–Samuel Chase Wakeforest and Olivia Marie Delaney.” He smiles encouragingly at Sam and Olivia. “Marriage is an honorable estate, not to be entered into lightly. If anyone knows just cause why these two may not be lawfully be joined in wedlock, speak now or forever hold your peace.” He pauses and there is silence. Then he continues. “Who giveth this women to be wed?”
Roger: “I do.” Roger says proudly. Then he lifts Olivia’s veil, kisses her cheek, and gives her hand to Sam to clasp in his hand, before sitting down in the front pew on the bride’s side as longtime family and now retired housekeeper Nellie Newton hands Roger his foster son baby Bobby. It is a special gift for Nellie to feel well enough to attend Olivia’s wedding. And she sits in pride of place in the front pew, with the Delaney family.
After a marriage homily that is blessedly brief, the minister cuts straight to the promises and the vows. With Sam and Olivia responding strong and clear–with love tingeing their voices sweetly.
Rev. Dr. Preston Howard: “Do you Samuel Chase Wakeforest take this woman Olivia Marie Delaney for your wedded wife?”
Sam: “I do!” He smiles lovingly at Olivia.
Rev. Dr. Preston Howard: “And do you Olivia Marie Delaney take this man Samuel Chase Wakeforest for your wedded husband?’’
Olivia: “I do!”
Then after the minister prompts each of them, Sam and Olivia say their vows to each other [(6)].
Sam: “I, Samuel Chase Wakeforest, take you Olivia Marie Delany to be my wife. To have and to hold from this day forward, or better for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.”
Olivia: “I, Olivia Marie Delany, take you Samuel Chase Wakeforest to be my husband. To have and to hold from this day forward, or better for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.”
Then their wedding rings are blessed and exchanged. Finally, the pronouncement that Sam and Olivia have been waiting to hear is made.
Rev. Dr. Preston Howard: “In as much as Sam and Olivia have consented to be joined together in marriage as witnessed by those here present–and by the giving and the sharing of rings–I declare them to be married. What god has put together, let no one put asunder.” Then he speaks directly to Sam. “You may kiss your bride.”
Sam gently takes Olivia into his arms.
Sam: “You look beautiful, Mrs. Wakeforest.” Sam smoulders. “I love you.”
Olivia: “And you look very handsome, Mr. Wakeforest.” She sighs. “I love you.”
Then Sam leans down and tenderly kisses his wife Olivia–the passion will happen later. For now, she is his and he is hers. Everyone in the church starts clapping and whistling. And a sheepishly smiling Sam and Olivia come up for air from their kisses.
And with that, the organist plays the recessional hymn as Sam and Olivia walk down the aisle. They go on to have a lovely wedding reception in the church’s Parish Hall this afternoon where they greet everyone first–then head back to the church sanctuary for some wedding pictures and then return to their wedding reception to cut the cake and such.
Then Sam and Olivia will head to Delaney Manor for an hour for a private family gathering to celebrate their marriage–and to allow Olivia time to change out of her bridal gown before heading with Sam to their wedding night destination.
And Sam still has that other Christmas gift to give Olivia on their wedding night.
To be continued with Chapter 14
References for Ch. 13 by Gratiana Lovelace, December 30, 2015 (Post #851)
1) The “Love in the Great Pine Woods” story cover is a composite of two images manipped by Grati:
a) the Richard Armitage portrait is from the 2011 Project Magazine photo shoot and article interview, that was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Richard/Promos/ProjectMagJuly2011/album/slides/ProjectMag-05.html;
b) the snowy Pine forest vertical image was found on Pinterest at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/62/fa/ff/62faff1253d55f571eb3659cc7661e73.jpg
2) a)Sam Wakeforest image in Wedding-Planning tux2 is EsquireUK-Dec2013 interview article pix4 of Richard Armitage standing at stairs Nov0713ranet-crop2; and
b) information about cummerbund tux wear was found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cummerbund
3) Olivia Delaney’s bridal bouquet is comprised of white irises 9meaning inspiration) and accented with light purple colored sweet pea flowers—which represent shyness. The image is cropped from the Bones tv show wedding bridal bouquet found at Emily Deschanel and David Boreanz in the tv show Bones found at https://pmchollywoodlife.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/bones-wedding-lead.jpg?w=600
4) Roger Delaney in wedding tux image (referenced as a Getty Image) is Kevin Spacey found at http://www.popsugar.com/celebrity/photo-gallery/22879408/image/22879582/Kevin-Spacey-looked-handsome-tux
5) Tessa Wakeforest Shoop Delaney is Marcia Gay Harden that was found at http://www.theplace2.ru/archive/marcia_gay_harden/img/170662.jpg
6) Parts of the wedding ceremony were quoted or paraphrased from The Book of Common prayer, the Episcopal Church USA, pp.435-436.
7) Olivia and Sam’s wedding picture is a manip:
a) Emily Deschanel and David Boreanz in bones found at https://pmchollywoodlife.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/bones-wedding-lead.jpg?w=600;
b) Sam Wakeforest head is Richard Armitage portrait from 2013 found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Richard/Promos/2013Promo/album/slides/TraceyNearmy-06.html
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