(An original Regency Romance story copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace, 2021; All rights reserved) [(1) story cover below left]
[Illustrations: I cast my stories as I write them. So from time to time, I will illustrate my story with actors and such, including: Richard Armitage as Lord Edward Carlisle, Daniela Denby-Ashe as Lady Emily Creighton, Blake Ritson as Lord Kittredge Wells, Polly Walker as Lady Patience Creighton, Bill Nighy as Lord Nigel Creighton the Earl of Stoke, and others as noted.]
[Author’s Note: This original Regency romance is a work of fiction, and as such, any character names, scenes or other descriptions were written at the creative discretion of this author. And this is a gentle and tender romance (G to PG-13), but with some frank discussions about love and marriage put to humorous effect. This is my disclaimer.]
Ch. 11: Bride & Groom
With not even 48 hours since Lady Emily and her father Lord Creighton, Lord Edward Carlisle, and Lord Kittredge Wells vanquished the danger from the unhinged George Lawrence that had threatened Lady Emily’s and Lord Edward’s wedding, there are still some lingering butterflies—or some would say dozens of them—resident in wreaking havoc in the participant’s stomachs.
Yet this bright and shining Saturday morn at 10 o’clock, Lady Emily Creighton will be united in marriage with her love Lord Edward Carlisle. And Lord Kitt as Best Man Attendant for Lord Edward has made sure that Lord Edward is not kidnapped, nor escaping his wedded fate, and looking handsomely presentable in his new blue superfine jacket, ivory shirt, gold cravat, gold embossed waistcoat, buff pantaloons, and black leather wedding shoes. Lord Kitt is dressed similarly.
In fact, the two best friends rather look like book ends. And with 1 hour until the wedding, the two gentlemen bide their time by playing cards in an antechamber at the Church—scandalous!–them having arrived in one of Lord Kitt’s carriages, just in case Lord Edward’s and Lord Creighton’s grooms and blacksmiths had not found and repaired all of the tampered with carriages that needed it.
However for the ladies—namely the Bride Lady Emily Creighton, her married older sisters Lady Portia Fitzgibbons and Lady Ione Melville as her Matrons of Honor Attendants and their mother Lady Patience Creighton—everyone has been a flutter since 6 o’clock this morning. First there was a light breakfast of fruit, egg, and toast with tea to be had together by the ladies en famille in Lady Patience’s large boudoir. Lord Creighton has absented himself from the ladies, for now, and taken himself off to do whatever Fathers of the Bride do just before the wedding.
But after the light breakfast, Lady Patience dismisses her elder two daughters to their guest rooms to take their baths before getting dressed in their gowns, whilst she has a little marital chat with her youngest daughter Bride, Lady Emily.
Lady Patience: “Now my Dear Emily, it is time for me to have a little chat with you about your marital responsibilities.”
Lady Emily: “There is no need, Mama.” Lady Emily smiles brightly.
Lady Patience: “No need? Never tell me that you and Lord Carlisle have anticipated your wedding vows?” She asks aghast, wondering when her daughter could have slipped away chaperoned. Ah, yes, their cousin Lord Kittredge Wells supposedly joined them for ices the other day.
Lady Emily: “Mama! Of course not! It is just that my sisters Ione and Portia came to my bed chamber last night and, well, they explained it all to me.” Lady Emily’s face is both blushing and paling at the same time—so innocent is she.
Lady Patience: “I see by your blushing face that your sisters have thoroughly informed you of the particulars?” Lady Emily nods shyly. “Do you have any questions, Dearest?”
Lady Emily shyly shakes her head no. For you see, her sisters had warned her that their Mama had given each of them an old fashioned view of husbands and wives—involving mating rituals and breeding necessities for an heir, and such–when they were each married three and five years ago, respectively. So they did not want their youngest sister to suffer from any worries or concerns.
Lady Emily: “I thank you, Mama, for thinking of me.” She smiles. “But we had each best part so we can attend to our getting ready for my wedding this morning.” Lady Emily uncharacteristically takes charge of the situation, and she kisses her Mama’s nonplused cheek then leaves for her own bedroom and bath with a smile upon her face—her anticipating some particular niceties of marriage after when she and her Lord Edward are wed later this morning—such as kissing.
So Lady Patience is left but to wonder how her youngest daughter, Lady Emily, could have grown into such a strong minded woman. And though Lady Emily had her own Mama’s example to go by in that regard, Lady Emily is somewhat softer and less strident than her Mama is.
Having bathed, styled their hair, become adorned in their fine gowns and selected hair and jewelry ornaments, Lady Emily’s sisters the Lady Portia and the Lady Ione seem to be under the mistaken impressions that they are the bride today so brightly colored are they from head to toe—and they will surely stand out, but not in a good way. And Lady Emily is not dismayed in the least at her sisters possibly outshining her today at her wedding. For there is only one person, one man she hopes to please—the man she plans to marry this day, Lord Edward Carlisle. And she is confident that he will have eyes only for her.
Whereas, when Lady Ione and Lady Portia collect their sister Lady Emily—who is a true Bride today– from her bed chamber, they find her to be gowned in their mother Lady Creighton’s beautiful shimmering pale gold heirloom wedding gown with a lovely ivory lace collar added to conceal Lady Emily’s womanly curvy bosoms, at her request. The gown itself has been only minimally and temporarily altered to fit Lady Emily’s shorter frame by creating a draping effect in artfully gathering sections of the gown skirting. And apart from tastefully small diamond ear rings Lady Emily wears that are part of Lady Emily’s engagement ring’s parure–that her soon to be husband gave her yesterday–her only other ornament is her engagement ring from Lord Edward.
So restrainedly elegant is Lady Emily [(2) above left], that her Papa smiles delightedly upon seeing her in their family’s foyer before they set out for St. Martin’s Church in one of Lord Kitt’s loaned carriages—again, just in case.
Lord Creighton: “You look lovely, My Dear! And remind me of your Mama and my wedding day so many years ago.” He is not a man prone to emotional outbursts, but there is definitely a teary eyed look to him.
Lady Emily: “Oh thank you, Papa, for everything! I will miss you when I go to my new home with Edward!” She replies in a most heartfelt manner to her Papa once they two are secreted by themselves in the carriage.
Lord Creighton: “You’re a good girl.” He pats her cheek in a fatherly way. “I believe that you and Lord Carlisle will be happy together.”
Lady Emily: “I know that we shall be happy. I love Edward so very much, Papa!” She exclaims so fervently that her sweet Papa jests.
Lord Creighton: “Ah and here we are at the church. You will be able to tell him so yourself. But do wait for the Vicar to prompt you, My Dear!” Then he winks at her, puncturing her nervousness, and his.
With their wedding guests already seated in St. Martin’s Church, Lady Emily’s and her Papa’s arrival herald the beginning of the wedding ceremony. After Lady Creighton is seated up front on the Bride’s side on the left side of the center aisle with her sons-in-laws and a few other relatives and close family friends, there is a hush as the back door to the church sanctuary opens and Lady Emily’s sisters stately and gracefully walk up the church’s center aisle to lovely slow music, then move to stand to the left, the Bride’s side of the altar.
And Lord Kittredge Wells cannot help but notice the two Matrons of Honor ladies brightly colored gowns, and he wonders if one of the church’s many gargoyles above are sneering at them, for Lord Kittredge cannot sneer outwardly whilst he is on display at the front as his best friend Lord Edward’s Best Man Attendant.
As the music now changes to a more choral piece of cheerful notes and happy pacing, Lord Creighton slowly guides his daughter up the center aisle of St. Martin’s Church. Lady Emily, herself, sees not the flowers nor the guests before her, but she sees only her beloved and resplendently handsome Lord Edward Carlisle [(3) right] waiting for her. His countenance is mesmerized by her beauty and sweetness.
When they reach the altar, Lady Emily’s father Lord Creighton stands with her for but a moment longer, before relinquishing her to her Groom.
Vicar: “Who gives this woman to be married this day?”
Lord Creighton: “I do.” He says commandingly, though only he can perceive the slight tremble in his voice at seeing his youngest and best beloved daughter safely and lovingly wed this day. Then Lord Creighton kisses his daughter’s cheek and transfers her hand to Lord Carlisle’s hand. “I give you this day the greatest treasure in life, my daughter Lady Emily. Cherish her, My Lord.” Lord Creighton nods at his soon to be son-in-law, then steps back, turns, and then sits in the front pew with his wife Lady Patience.
The bridal couple turns to gaze upon each other as the Vicar prepares to formally begin the service.
Lord Edward: “Emily, you are breathtakingly beautiful!” He whispers adoringly to her.
Lady Emily: “And you are so handsome, Edward!” She answers in a correspondingly hushed whisper.
Vicar: “Kkhh!” He smiles and leans toward Lady Emily and Lord Edward and whispers. “May we begin?”
Both Lord Edward and Lady Emily nod sheepishly and the Vicar begins their wedding ceremony. Lady Emily and Lord Edward are so wrapped up in gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes during their wedding ceremony that they will be hard pressed to answer later which part of their wedding ceremony they liked best—since they barely listen to it. Happily, the Vicar subtly leans forward at the parts where they are required to answer—their I dos and their vows, which they finish with a tender flourish:
Lord Edward and Lady Emily: “… to love, honor, and cherish each other, till death us do part”. Of course, Lord Edward hopes that they are not tempting fate a second time by including the till death us do part bit. But he feels that he and Lady Emily are so right for each other, that all will be well for them in starting their marriage this day.
Then the ring exchange concludes the wedding ceremony with a final sacred blessing.
Vicar: “In as much as Lord Edward and Lady Emily have shared their wish to marry, and signified thusly with the giving and sharing of rings, I pronounce that they are man and wife. Those whom God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.” He intones solemnly.
And for Lord Edward, these words again remind him of his first disastrous marriage—but only briefly. For he resolves to only focus upon Lady Emily, her happiness and well being.
So then for good measure and rather impulsively, Lord Edward kisses his lovely bride Lady Emily quite sweetly tenderly on her lips for the briefest of moments–their passion will come later. And their wedding attendees look upon the now newly married relatively young couple with tender smiles for them being a love match.
It was a lovely wedding ceremony, followed by an equally lovely wedding breakfast garden party at the Creighton’s London estate. Lady Emily’s and Lord Edward’s joy seems to be felt by everyone, and they continue to hold hands as they greet their guests and family members.
And just after the toasts from family and friends—with Lord Kittredge Wells setting everyone laughing with his speech about blessing Lord Edward’s and Lady Emily’s love and marriage, and wanting them to grant him several honorary nieces and nephews forthwith—the party continues sans the happy bridal couple, who escape from the rest of the festivities.
So Lord Edward and Lady Emily Carlisle slip away from their wedding breakfast celebration in the early afternoon of Saturday for the beginnings of their two week wedding honeymoon holiday—them taking another of Lord Kitt’s loaned traveling carriages to his country home Wells Castle but two hours outside of London for their wedding night, and a few days there after.
To be continued with Chapter 12
References for Ch. 11 of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, June 20, 2021 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1392)
- My “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage” story cover illustration Edit is comprised of: a) ivory lace background, found at torrid.com; and a b) Victorian roses bouquet painting by the Boston Public Library, via Atlas Obscura (with some Grati edits ), found at https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/how-flowerobsessed-victorians-encoded-messages-in-bouquets; and with c) the text in deep pinkish coral in a Vivaldi font;
2. Lady Emily Creighton’s Wedding gown Composite Edit of a lace collar overlay and Daniela Denby-Ashe’s head as Margaret Hale in North & South (2004) on Apr0612 by Gratiana Lovelace—and additional edits Jun20-2021 szd-smlr-flip-image
3. Lord Edward Carlisle gazing at Lady Emily Creighton walking up the church aisle to him at their wedding is Richard Armitage as John Thornton in North & South (2004) viaRAnet_May2014Grati-sized-eyeclr–bl-jkt-szd-crop
Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad site link for Ch.11 of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
Previous SAL blog post #1390 link for Ch. 10 “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”: