Till death do us part….

I love weddings both in the real world and in the fictional one. Something about white dresses, the ceremony, the vows, the couple declaring their love in front of God and their families… Yes, I get all emotional.

I love it when stories have two lovers marrying each other. Weddings can be at the beginning, in the middle or at the end of a book and I’ve always liked how writers describe the ceremony in different ways, with their own writing style. Some focus on the ceremony, some on the feelings of the couple…I’ve always found that each wedding scene conveys something new and different to the reader and they’re all  beautiful and touching.

Today I want to share some of my favorites with you :

***SPOILER ALERT : some scenes may be spoilers for those who haven’t read the books, so don’t read if you don’t want to be spoiled. ***

Gabriel’s Rapture by Sylvain Reynard

“When Julia and Tom entered the Basilica, to the melody of “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,” Gabriel’s eyes caught hers and a wide smile spread across his features. The January sun peeked through the doors, illuminating the bride from behind and making her look as if a halo shone around her veiled head.

Gabriel couldn’t stop smiling. He smiled through the entire Mass, including his vows to worship his wife and the performance of selections from Bach’s ‘Sleepers Awake’ and Mozart’s ‘Exsultate, jubilate’ by a solo soprano.

After the ceremony, he placed trembling fingers on Julia’s veil and lifted it carefully. He swiped his thumbs underneath her eyes, wiping away the happy tears that had trickled down, and kissed her. The kiss was soft and chaste, but full of promise. Then they walked to the lower church and down to the crypt.

They hadn’t planned to do so. Somehow, hands entwined, they found themselves approaching the tomb of St. Francis. In the quiet darkness where Gabriel had his ineffable experience months earlier, they knelt in prayer. Each silently thanked God for the other, for the many blessings He had given them, for Grace and Maia, for their fathers and siblings.

When Gabriel finally stood and lit a single candle, each of them asked God for one more blessing. One small miracle out of the lavishness of His grace. As they ended their prayers, a strange but comforting feeling wrapped around them like a blanket.

‘Don’t cry, sweet girl. ‘ Gabriel took her hand to help her to her feet. He wiped her tears away, kissing her. ‘Please, don’t cry.’

‘I’m so happy,’ she said, smiling up at him. ‘I love you so much.’

‘It’s the same for me. I keep wondering how this happened . How did I ever find you again and convince you to become my wife?’

‘Heaven smiled on us.’ ”

Don’t Forget To Remember Me by Kahlen Aymes

“ I had to stop then and fight for control. I glanced down at our entwined hands and I rubbed my thumbs over her fingers again and again. This was much harder than I’d ever imagined. Not the words, but holding in the emotions that they stemmed from, was impossible. ‘I promise to be your husband and everything you need me to be, to take care of you and to love you with all my heart, to worship you with my body. With everything I am, I love you and I am yours, now and forever. I want your time, I want your love and I want your children…I want you, always. To tell you that I will love you forever can never be enough. ‘ The tears were rolling down my face as her luminous eyes burned into mine. I watched the tears spill from her eyes as I said the last part of my vows, ‘Forever will never be long enough to love you, Julia.’

The room was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop, save for the soft snuffling, as many of our guests cried with us,

‘Now Julia,’ the minister said softly, ‘whenever you’re ready, my dear.’

My heart thrummed inside my body. I realized that my entire life was just a pathway to this one moment. Here, standing in front of me, in this beautiful and loving package, was the entire rest of my life. My heart was so full it ached as I tried to prepare my self for her words.

‘Ryan, Every day…you amaze me.’ Her voice was shaking, her hands trembling in mine and tears flowing freely down her face. She sucked in a shaky breath, pausing to breathe, but her eyes never left mine. ‘The way you always put my needs ahead of your own, leaves me in awe and inspires in me the need to give you everything. Everything you do tells me how much,’ her voice broke on a sob, ‘you love me and I’m overwhelmed by how much I love you in return. I sometimes can’t believe that a love like this even exists.’

I wanted to gather her in my arms and never let go of her for the rest of my life. I felt like my heart was going to explode and kill me on the spot. ‘If this intensity isn’t a dream, I am certain that we are the only two people to ever love this much.’ She closed her eyes and I rubbed my fingers over hers in silent communication. ‘I love you so much it consumes me; fills me up so completely that I am left shaking, wanting and breathless…just undone. Every time you look at me or whenever you touch me, there is nothing I want more in this life…than to be with you, to be your wife, to have your children, to be certain that you are mine. I feel you within me and it is the greatest gift I will ever receive. You are truly…’her voice broke again, the tears in each and every word,’truly a miracle to me; the love of my life, my very heart and soul…now and always. Without you, I am only half of myself…with you, I am whole. I will love you and I am yours, will only be yours, forever.’

I was a mess and I didn’t care. I was completely and utterly lost in her words and her eyes. The emotions running between us were palpable and I was certain the hundred or so people in the room could feel what flowed between us.

Even the minister was affected. ‘Ughhh…’ he cleared his throat. ‘Ryan, do you take Julia to be your wife, to have and to hold, for all the days of your life?’

‘I do.’ Finally, words easy to say. She smiled through her tears and my face split into a wide smile in return.

‘And Julia, do you take Ryan to be your husband, to have and to hold, for all the days of your life?’

‘Yes, I do.’ She nodded; the smile still firmly in place on her beautiful, tear-stained face. Her eyes were clear and sparkling, the tears still coming, clinging to her dark lashes.

‘Julia and Ryan will now give the symbol of their unity and pledge. The rings, please.’

We let go of each other’s hands as Ellie and Aaron produced the rings. Julia removed her left glove and handed it to Ellie at the same time as she took the ring. I took her left hand in mine as I slid her rings back onto her finger. My hands were shaking so much I was surprised I didn’t drop them. Her long, graceful fingers were freshly manicured, as beautiful as the rest of her, and her bracelet glittered on her wrist. ‘With this ring, I thee wed.’

I could hear her intake of breath as I said the words. My eyes darted up to meet hers and I brought her hand up to my mouth to kiss it…”

Paradise by Judith Mc Naught

There was another major difference between his last wedding and this one, and despite his offhand remark, Zack knew it. He knew it even before he stepped out in front of a smiling crowd and stood before his future father in law in a church aglow with candlelight and perfumed with lavish bouquets of white roses tied with white satin ribbons. There was a reverence in him this time, a sense of quiet joy, as he waited for Julie at the altar. He watched Meredith walk down the aisle toward him wrapped in apple green silk, followed by Katherine and Sara in identical gowns, all of them beautiful and smiling and serene, as if they, like Zack, sensed the absolute rightness of what was bout to happen.

The organ music swelled to a crescendo, and Zack felt as if his heart would burst at the sight that greeted him.

Starting toward him in a drifting swirl of white appliquéd silk with a cloud of veil trailing behind her was the woman he had kidnapped and laughed with and loved. She moved through the candlelight, her face glowing, and in her eyes he saw all the love in the world, the promise of his unborn children, a lifetime filled with all the joy she had to give. He saw all that, and then he saw her eyes widen when Barbara Streisand’s voice rose from the choir loft, and the song was the one Zack had asked her to sing when Julie came down the aisle.

Long ago and far away, I dreamed a dream one day—

And now that dream is here before me.

Long the skies were overcast,

But now the clouds are passed—

You’re here at last.

Chills run up and down my spine.

Aladdin’s lamp is mine.

The dream I dreamed was not denied me.

Just one look and then I knew—

That all I longed for long ago was you.

Zack reached for Julie’s hand and took it firmly in his, then they turned to the front.

Reverend Mathison smiled and raised the book he was holding in his hands. ‘Dear friends, we are gathered here together, in the sight of God…’

Burning Embers by Hannah Fielding

At the end of the bowered walkaway she could see Rafe, a tall lean figure, and his best man Frank Giles standing beside him halfway up the steps of the pavilion. Rafe was groomed to perfection in his tailored morning suit with a starched white shirt and a white tie. His hair had been trimmed, and his powerful bronzed features seemed even more striking thank those etched on her memory. The breath caught in her throat as his ardent gaze scorched her with its golden appraisal. Even at this distance she was aware of the overwhelming physical magnetism between them. Her legs suddenly felt week and wobbly, and her heart hammered so hard she gripped her stepfather’s arm to steady herself. Both Rafe and Frank beamed an encouraging smile her way.

At last she was there, at his side. Coral glanced up at him adoringly, echoing his own fervor, as he feasted his eyes on his bride. For a few seconds nothing seemed to count—people, place or time—as they slipped into that world where it was just the two of them. He turned with that easy grace that so characterized him and took Coral’s arm.

‘You look incredible. I’m so proud to become your husband, my darling.’ His voice was a velvety murmur as they moved up the stairs of the altar.

‘Dear friends, we are gathered here today…’

After the solemn promise and the exchange of rings, the rest of the ceremony went by as in a dream.

The vows and rings exchanged, the priest hesitated a few seconds before adding with a smile, ‘You may kiss the bride.’

Rafe turned, his dark head bent solemnly toward his bride’s uplifted face. ‘I love you,’ he whispered as his lips moved slowly over hers provoking an instinctive response. Their kiss deepened, and everything else fell into oblivion. The priest cleared his throat, and as the first few notes of the organ sounded, the couple sprang apart, slightly dazed and a little embarrassed. A loud cheer went up among the congregation as they turned toward their guests, arms linked together, and started back down the walk in the declining afternoon haze.

Rafe leaned in to whisper in Coral’s ear, and she felt him breathe in her scent like a man thirsting in the desert who had finally found water. ‘I can’t tell you how happy you have made me, rosebud. I’ve dreamed of you night and day for the past month. Every part of my mind, every nerve in my body, has missed you and ached for you, my darling. I can’t wait to be alone with you tonight…’

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

All I really saw was Edward’s face; it filled my vision and overwhelmed my mind. His eyes were a buttery, burning gold; his perfect face was almost severe with the depth of his emotion. And then, as he  met my awed gaze, he broke into a breathing smile of exultation.

Suddenly it was only the pressure of Charlie’s hand on mine that kept me from sprinting headlong down the aisle.

The march was too slow as I struggled to pace my steps to its rhythm. Mercifully, the aisle was very short. And then, at last, at last, I was there. Edward held out his hand.. Charlie took my hand and, in a symbol as old as the world, placed it in Edward’s. I touched the cool miracle of his skin, and I was home.

Our vows were the simple, traditional words that had been spoken a million times, though never by a couple quite like us. We’d asked  Mr.Webber to make only one small change. He obligingly traded the line ‘till death do us part’ for the more appropriate ‘as long as we both shall live’

In that moment, as the minister said his part, my world, which had been upside down for so long now, seemed to settle into its proper position. I saw just how silly I’d been for fearing this—as if it were an unwanted birthday gift or an embarrassing exhibition, like the prom. I looked into Edward’s shining, triumphant eyes and knew that I was winning, too. Because nothing else mattered but that I could stay with him.

I didn’t realize I was crying until it was time to say the binding words.

‘I do,’ I managed to choke out in a nearly unintelligible whisper, blinking my eyes clear so that I could see his face.

When it was his turn to speak, the words rang clear and victorious.

‘ I do,’ he vowed.

Mr. Webber declared us husband and wife, and then Edward’s hands reached up to cradle my face, carefully, as if it were as delicate as the white petals swaying above our heads. I tried to comprehend, through the film of tears blinding me, the surreal fact that this amazing person was mine. His golden eyes looked as if they would have tears, too, if such a thing were not possible. He bent his head toward mine, and I stretched up on the tips of my toes, throwing my arms –bouquet and all—around his neck.

He kissed me tenderly, adoringly; I forgot the crowd, the place, the time, the reason…only remembering that he loved me, that he wanted me, that I was his.”

——————————————————–

Do you have any favorite wedding scenes in books? Let me know in the comments :)

Elena

About Elena

Literature is my passion. I love reading so much that I spend countless hours in bookstores and libraries. I have a soft spot for poetry and art. I like traveling and discovering new places. I can't do without a book.

9 thoughts on “Till death do us part….

  1. katiebirdie says:

    *giggling like the girl that I am* I love weddings too. So much emotion and symbolism. I love the part when the priest/minister says at the very end, “I now pronounce you, husband and wife.” I remember holding my breath a little at my wedding, during that part. It didn’t seem real until that moment. *happy sigh*

    You’ve already provided some of my favorites, but some new ones would be:

    Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

    Intuition by Amy A. Bartol

  2. Hello, Elena!

    Thank you so much for sharing two of my all time favorite wedding scenes. Gabriel’s Rapture AND Paradise.

    Paradise was a teaser in Cosmopolitan Magazine so many years ago, and I -had- to read the whole book. Then I had to read -everything- Judith McNaught. Which promptly led to an intriguing love for Highlanders, against all odds romances, and a particular type of Great Alpha Male. ;)

    And Gabriel’s Rapture? Well, after all the selfless giving and soul searching Gabriel had done… He claimed his angel as his own in the most beautiful and reverent way.

    Brilliant post, my friend.

    ~ Kat

    • Elena says:

      Thank you so much, my friend. Glad you liked the post :)
      I love Judith McNaught’s books. She’s a brilliant writer and Paradise is truly a wonderful book. Zack and Julie are among my favorite fictional couples.
      And you already know how much I love Gabriel’s Inferno and Gabriel’s Rapture ;) The wedding scene is wonderful and beautifully written.

  3. Kahlen Aymes says:

    Thank you, Elena! You humble me. xoxoxo

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