“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 35: Weddings vows renewals and such, September 23, 2019 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1263)
[an original Regency romance copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace, 2018 – 2019; all rights reserved); [(1) story cover art, left]
[As is my custom, from time to time I will illustrate my story with my ideal cast consisting of (in order of appearance/mention): Richard Armitage as Lord Christian Blount Earl of Sussex, Kate Winslet as Lady Madeline Sinclair Blount Countess of Sussex, Dame Maggie Smith as Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott, Jessica Brown Findlay as Lady Elizabeth Blount, Crispin Bonham-Carter as Lord Harold Blount, Dame Judi Dench as Lady Catherine Blount the Dowager Countess of Sussex, Corin Redgrave as Lady Madeline’s father the Squire Sutton Sinclair, Amanda Root as Mrs. Russell her aunt, Rupert Penry Jones as Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay and the second son of the Duke of York, David Oakes as Lord Alfred the Marquess of Malten and the first born son and heir to the Duke of York, Emma Thompson as Lady Gwendolyn “Gwennie” Lindsay of York their sister; and Margaret Clunie as Lady Constance Knightsbridge daughter to the Duke and Duchess of Lancashire and betrothed of the late Lord Alfred; Hugh Grant as her brother Lord Robert Knightsbridge the Marquess of Wyre and the heir to the Duke of Lancashire, and others as noted.]
Author’s story content and serializing scheduling notes: For the most part, my ratings for the chapters will be PG-13—for romantic interludes and dramatic moments. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with these ratings, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer. I hope that you enjoy this chapter.
Ch. 35: Weddings vows renewals and such
With the newlyweds of the mid twenties year old Lord Duncan Viscount Lindsay of York and his Viscountess Lindsay of York in the person of his young eighteen year old bride Lady Elizabeth nee Blount being so newly wed yesterday, their families surmised expectantly that they might not see them emerge from the their royal apartments bridal chamber in the private 3rd floor wing of Sussex Hall Manor until the later afternoon of the following day after their marriage. Or, this afternoon. And they are correct.
Owing to an additional few friends and family being invited for the wedding vow renewals of Lord Harold and Lady Penelope Blount and Lord Alfred and Lady Constance Lindsay, it is a good thing that the two ceremonies of vow renewals are now merged into one consolidated wedding ceremony. And the two sets of wedding vows renewal couples expected to arrive at the Sussex Village Church are also set for the half hour before tea time for the later afternoon, the day after the previous day’s wedding of the younger bridal couple of Lord Duncan and Lady Elizabeth Lindsay.
For the 10 years long married—but only recently reacquainted Lord Alfred Lindsay of York and the Marquess of Malten and his Marchioness of Malten Lady Constance Knightsbridge Lindsay—it will be more of a first wedding vows for Lord Alfred, who has still not regained his marital memories due to his war injuries ten years ago. And though their newly rekindled loving ardor finds the husband and wife cherishing each other anew, they both welcome this public declaration of their loving commitment to each other with their wedding vows renewal before their parents and family. Besides, their almost ten year old daughter Lady Tamsin is delighted to be a flower girl for her Mama Lady Constance.
Also, the becoming more considerate Lord Harold Blount and his fourth months newly married and two months with child wife Lady Penelope Winston Blount—who only feels less of her pregnancy sickness toward the later afternoon–Lord Harold’s elder brother Lord Christian Blount the Earl of Sussex is quite astonished with Lord Harold’s developing maturity, at least with regard to the comfort of Lord Harold’s wife Lady Penelope. Lord Christian thinks that perhaps the old adage is true, marriage makes the man.
And the also pregnant, but just past most of her morning sickness at four months with child Lady Madeline Sinclair Blount the Countess of Sussex, is also fortunate in her solicitous and caring husband Lord Christian Blount the Earl of Sussex. So an afternoon wedding is ideal all around.
Each set of vow renewals is heartfelt and joyous. With Lord Alfred speaking his wedding vows to his wife Lady Constance, in sickness and in health, for better and for worse—as they have already experienced with his war injuries and consequent amnesia that kept him from his family, including she and their daughter. And for Lord Harold, he proudly and unabashedly vows to love, honor, and to cherish his dear wife Lady Penelope til death do them part. Their ladies in Lady Constance and Lady Penelope share similarly heartfelt wedding vows—them having found their true loves, again in both cases.
And with the brothers standing as Supporters, Lord Duncan for Lord Alfred, and Lord Christian for Lord Harold—and other family members participating–it makes for a lively scene up front in the small Sussex Village Church. The delighted little Lady Tamsin quite preens as the flower girl for her Mama Lady Constance Knightsbridge Lindsay in her vow renewal to her Papa Lord Alfred Lindsay of York—with Lady Gwendolyn Lindsay of York serving as Lady Constance’s supporter. And Lady Madeline Blount serves as her Winston cousin Lady Penelope Blount’s Matron of Honor and supporter in her vow renewal to Lord Harold Blount of Sussex.
And as might be expected, the elderly grandmothers and great aunts of the families—Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott, Lady Catherine Blount, and Lady Horatia Winston—grumble that if any more people get married, there must be a chart of whom belongs to which family provided to them. Alternatively, the middle aged Ducal parents of York and Lancashire are delight to have their heir and daughter married off in public—no more secrets needing to be kept.
Then everyone enjoys a late afternoon high tea with cakes and small meat paste sandwiches, fruit, cheese, champagne and tea, and other delights for about an hour—before everyone retires to their respective bed chambers to rest for three hours before a large multifamily dinner at up Sussex Hall this evening.
And with Lady Constance Knightsbridge Lindsay, Lady Penelope Winston Blount is especially pleased to have a prettily embellished gown to wear for her wedding vows renewal with her husband Lord Harold Blount. Each lady had taken Lady Madeline’s sartorial suggestion to heart and had lovely lace overlays in different colors of pale blue and pale pink, respectively, made for one of their existing gowns that they each had with them. And they looked lovely.
Lord Harold: Sighing in gazing upon the beauty of his three years older but still young twenty eight year old wife, Lord Harold compliments her after their wedding vows renewal afternoon tea party as they walk toward their bed chamber suite in the much smaller but still quite spacious Sussex Hall Dower House guest wing. “Penelope Darling, I have never seen you look so lovely as you do today in your pale pink wedding gown.”
Lady Penelope: “Thank you, My L o… I mean Harold.” Lady Penelope is still learning that her much younger and new second husband Lord Harold welcomes their mutual familiarity of address as husband and wife—something that her first husband did not. Protocol reigned under her first husband’s roof.
Lord Harold: “My Dear one!” He sighs again. Lord Harold has decided not to remind her when she slips into being formal. Her anxious formality is lessening day by day. And he does not want her to feel that she is being assessed or judged by him. The poor dear lady had enough of that censure with her first husband. And Lord Harold is determined to give her only his love and support.
Lady Penelope: “I am glad that you like my gown. It was Lady Madeline’s suggestion to have a lace overlay made for one of my existing gowns, due to the short time frame we had for our wedding vows renewal. And pink is my favorite color.”
Lord Harold: “I had an inkling that pink is a favorite color of yours, My Love.” Though she does not have many gowns with her in her escape from her first husband, he has noticed the delicate pink silk flowers or pink ribbon embellishments that she has made to her gowns. “Ah! Now we are here at our bed chamber suite again, I want you to close your eyes.” He smiles.
Lady Penelope: “Why?” She asks cautiously with questioning eyes. Lady Penelope had had to keep her wits about her with the whims and censure of her first husband. And the habit of exercising caution of the past ten years in her first marriage is difficult to break now that she is in her second marriage.
Lord Harold: He gently squeezes her hand in support. “I have a little surprise for you.” Then he regroups to put his wife at her ease. “But since you will find out soon enough about what I have placed in our rooms for your enjoyment, you may keep your eyes open my dear.” Lord Harold leans in and tenderly kisses her forehead.
As they walk into their bed chamber suite, Lady Penelope notices instantly the touches of pink added to the room—with pink roses in vases on several tables, pink fabric bunting adorning their four poster bed’s canopy, and a new pink silk negligee and its matching pink silk robe for her lying draped upon their end of the bed settee.
Lady Penelope: “Oh! I love the pink flowers–and the pink fabric woven into our bed canopy!” She turns to her husband Lord Harold, with eyes of wonder and gratefulness to him for his thoughtfulness. “Thank you, My Love!” She stands up on her tip toes and presses her lips to her husband’s lips. Their kiss is brief, but sweetly endearing. Their passionate kisses come mostly when they retire for the night.
Lord Harold: “I am so glad that you approve, Penelope Darling. And I hope that you also find your pale pink silk night gown and its robe to your liking.”
Lady Penelope: “I do! I feel … I feel blessed that you are so kind and caring to me.” She tells him gratefully.
Lord Harold: “My life’s purpose is in loving and cherishing you, My Darling. Your happiness will be my happiness.”
Lady Penelope: “You make me very happy, Harold My Love.” Then she promptly bursts into tears, and he embraces her tenderly in his arms, rocking her slowly back and forth as he soothingly strokes her back.
Guessing hers are happy tears, but yet born of what she had previously endured with her first husband, Lord Harold is compassionate and understanding.
Lord Harold: “It is I who feel blessed to have you as my wife, Penelope Darling. You have shown me that having true love is everything. I was not always believing that it would happen for me. But my finding you again—and finally meeting you—then us eventually falling in love and marrying each other is the joy of my life.” Now Lord Harold’s tears are falling from his eyes.
They lie down on the bed and hold each other in loving comfort for some time—until Lady Penelope’s feelings are calmed. And sensitive to her being yet a newish bride of only a few months, Lord Harold will delay their romantic tryst until this evening, after dinner. For now, they sleep in tender solicitude of each other—a healing balm to each other’s souls.
Lord Alfred Lindsay of York the Marquess of Malten and his wife Lady Constance Knightsbridge Lindsay of York his Marchioness of Malten elect to spend the time before the families dinner with their daughter Lady Tamsin. Tammy, as they address her en famille, has been bereft without her father the first nine years of her life. So Tammy’s parents resolve to also focus upon their daughter’s wishes and needs—with playing card games and word games and such with her, them letting her know that she is loved by both of her parents. And for Lord Alfred, he feels that he has much to make up for due to his absence from her life.
Lord Alfred: “Tammy, Dear. We have several hours before dinner. What would you like to do?” He smiles warmly to her and then to his wife, her Mama, Lady Constance.
Lady Tamsin: “I like playing hide and seek in the maze garden?” She asks hopefully.
Lady Constance: “Tammy Sweetheart, I fear that it looks like rain. So we will have to delay our outdoor activities until the morrow.”
Lady Tamsin: “Oh well, if you insist.” For to a nine year old girl, what is a little rain? But she regroups. “We could play hide and seek in Sussex Hall?”
And her parents smiling knowingly together that their daughter seems to have a singularity of thought.
Lord Alfred: “What about playing cards? Your Mama is quite a good player.”
Lady Constance: “Fie husband! I have not played cards since I was our daughter’s age. And as a former clergyman, have you been that conversant with cards in recent years?”
Lord Alfred: “I confess that I have not. But if Tammy will teach us how to play, we might find that we enjoy it—together as a family.” Lord Alfred sighs inwardly for having been returned to his family after ten long years of separation due to his war injury causing amnesia.
Lady Tamsin: “Very well.” She sighs heavily and rolls her eyes, until she spies her Mama gently shaking her head no to such unladylike behavior.
So the small family spend an hour in competitive yet cheerful card games—learning new and different card game rules that Lady Tamsin makes up as they go along. Lord Alfred finds his daughter Tammy to be quite spirited and inventive—and he feels blessed to be her Papa.
And as the lead weddings planner for their combined families, Lady Madeline Blount Countess of Sussex, as a four months pregnant lady retires to her bed chamber to rest before dinner—accompanied by her attentive husband Lord Christian. Their entwined hands and furtive gazes convey that they are eager to be alone with each other again. They have had to focus upon others the past several days—when they are also newlyweds of only a few months. So one presumes that not all of their rest period time will be spent truly napping.
And as to be expected, the senior members of the wedding celebrant families gratefully nap in their bed chambers before dinner—namely the Dukes and Duchesses of York and Lancashire, and the Grandmothers/Great Aunts in Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott and her sister Lady Horatia Winston, as well as her good friend Lady Catherine Blount.
So the only family members not engaged in the current bridal joy rest periods are those of the recently betrothed Lord Robert Knightsbridge the Marquess of Wyre of Lancashire and ducal heir and his fiancé the Lady Gwendolyn Lindsay of York. As their family disperses, they realize that they must either do so as well, or take this opportunity to find some private time alone together—or alone as they can be with her ladies maid sitting discreetly in the far corner of the large parlor up at Sussex Hall Manor.
Lord Robert gazes upon his fiancé Lady Gwendolyn, appreciating her quiet beauty and demure shyness. Yet demure and shy are not the words that her family who knows her would ascribe to her. So perhaps he should attempt traveling with her—as Lord Harold did in assisting Lady Gwendolyn arriving at the Sussex Estates when a carriage in her caravan broke a wheel—before deciding that Lady Gwendolyn is a meek and gentle lady. Otherwise, Lord Robert might find himself married to a more spirited lady than he guesses that she is.
Lady Gwendolyn also gazes upon her betrothed and fiancé Lord Robert. She finds him to be handsome in his tallness and his restrained sense of fashion, and with his gentlemanly manners. Though she cannot account for his seeming reticence in engaging in social exchanges since she perceives that he is mainly less of a conversationalist than he is a listener. However this attribute is not a deal breaker for her. For she is usually quite forthright in her opinions—and behaviors. Such that a flexible and adaptable spouse—who will allow her to continue to be forthright—is prized by her.
But Lady Gwendolyn does wish that the two of them would engage in more conversation–as they did when they discussed his late first love–in the hope of finding more common interests and viewpoints. So far, Lady Gwendolyn can only discern one topic or issue that she and Lord Robert agree upon—with each of them being averse to a large and ostentatious London Wedding and Wedding Breakfast that their respective ducal parents wish to plan for them.
Lady Gwendolyn: “So Robert, have you found a way to dissuade your parents from enlisting my parents in creating the London wedding extravaganza of the social season?”
Lord Robert looks at her in horror. Blessedly, he had been distracted from thinking about his own wedding fate whilst he was concentrating upon today’s wedding vow renewals. But now, he must confront his betrothal and upcoming wedding head on.
Lord Robert: “Sadly, no. Truthfully, my Papa Duke would wish for a smaller wedding ceremony and party following it. But Mama wants to celebrate our wedding in style. And Papa usually gives in to Mama.” He grins and sheepishly shrugs his shoulders.
Lady Gwendolyn: “I fear that the same understanding exists between my parents as well. Mama feels that our wedding will be her last hurrah. And my Papa is determined to see her happy.”
Lord Robert: “Perhaps our only recourse is to make a bolt for Gretna Green.” He suggests amusingly, and hopefully.
Lady Gwendolyn: “Now that, I will not agree to. We are marrying in good faith and with honor—or not at all.”
Lord Robert: “Right that.” He puckers up his face. “But does it have to be such a fuss? The small and intimate weddings yesterday and today were charming.” She nods to him in agreement. Then he gently takes her hand in his and kisses it. “Can we not choose for ourselves to have the kind of wedding and the location for the wedding ceremony we want?”
Lady Gwendolyn: Lady Gwendolyn thinks upon Lord Robert’s appeal. “Wellll, perhaps.” Then her eyes sparkle with an idea. “I could rightly tell my Mama Duchess that I have always wanted to be married from home, in our York Village Cathedral—as Lady Elizabeth was married from her home Sussex Village church. Granted there will necessarily be some invited local nobles, but not the large numbers that London will produce if we marry in the little season this Autumn. And, the royals will likely not attend if we hold our wedding in York.”
Lord Robert: “Ah! Intriguing notion.” Is all that he says, frustratingly so for Lady Gwendolyn. “Is the royals absence from a York wedding site a likely prospect? Or, wishful thinking?”
Lady Gwendolyn: “A bit of both, I suppose.” She winces at him. “Well Robert? Shall we marry next month in late August? Then we will still have two weeks for a wedding trip, before our presence will be required in London for our parents’ large London wedding receptions for my brother and your sister.”
Lord Robert: “Your plan has merit—if our fathers will agree to help us convince our mothers of the soundness of our plans.”
Lady Gwendolyn: “Oh I am certain that my Papa Duke will go along. He decries hosting large parties with copious amounts of free food and wine for people who can well afford their own food. I have often heard him say, …” And now she affects a deeper voice to emulate her father’s bluster. “Let the supposed beau monde feed and drink themselves to a stupor if they wish, just not out of my purse.” She giggles at her own impression. “Ha ha ha ha ha!”
Lord Robert: And then Lord Robert follows suit with laughing mirthfully. “Ha ha ha ha ha! Indeed! Are you always so methodical and ruthless in your strategizing, My Dear?”
Lady Gwendolyn: “I am.” She smiles bemusedly at him. “I give you fair warning that I am not faint of heart, nor am I easily moved to accept circumstances against my own benefit or interests.” Now Lord Robert smiles at her.
Lord Robert: “What? Are you now suggesting that I jilt you because you have a mind of your own? Or are you planning to jilt me?” He cagily gazes into her eyes, trying to ferret out her meaning and her intent.
Lady Gwendolyn: “Oh neither. I simply make clear that as we are still unwed—and our betrothed status is not widely known—our options are open to us.”
Lord Robert: Gently tugging upward on her hand still held in his, he brings her into his light embrace. “Oh no. I do not plan to jilt you, My Lady—nor will I let you jilt me.” He whispers deeply into her ear.
Lady Gwendolyn: “Hmmm.” She smiles up at him and queries mischievously. “And how do you propose to insure that I do not jilt you, My Lord?” She asks with a piquant look of amusement—with her chin set just so, her eyebrow raised and her eyes sparkling.
Lord Robert: “It is this.” And then Lord Robert leans down and captures Lady Gwendolyn’s lips with his lips—molding her lips to his lips, as he kisses her again, and again, and again. Lord Robert finds Lady Gwendolyn’s lips intoxicating as he embraces her so tenderly—bring her closer to his person, such that not even a whisper can pass between them.
Lady Gwendolyn is quite swept up in the persuasion of Lord Robert’s arguments and she kisses him back with equal dawning passion. And though technically their chaperone, Lady Gwendolyn’s ladies maid smiles smugly in the corner of the room—without interfering in the tender romantic exchange of kisses. For she realizes that her mistress Lady Gwendolyn has finally met her match in her betrothed Lord Robert.
Lord Robert and Lady Gwendolyn might not yet be a love match, but their interest in and passions for each other are sparked. And other aristocratic marriages have been founded on far less pleasing affections—if at all. So currently, Lord Robert is becoming much more pleasantly predisposed to feeling more favorable about his wedding to—and then his bedding of—Lady Gwendolyn. And for her part, Lady Gwendolyn no longer thinks Lord Robert to be so stodgily reserved—far from it, she thinks as he deepens their kisses quite spectacularly as his one hand cups the back of her head whilst his other hand gently strokes her from the back of her neck down the length of her back, and then some.
To be continued with Chapter 36
Expectations” (Book 2, sequel to “Encouragement): Chapter 35 image for September 23, 2019 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1263)
1) “Expectations” (Book 2, sequel to “Encouragement”) story cover art image represents Lady Elizabeth Blount, sister to the Earl of Sussex in black evening gown–is that of actress Jessica Brown Findlay as Lady Sybil in Downton Abby found at http://www.internet-d.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2012/02/JESSICA-BROWN-FINDLAY-as-Lady-Sybil-Crawley.jpg ; the text font is Vivaldi.
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