The Perfect Day After All

Breathing heavy it all feels so tight, she’s sweating, panicking. She mustn’t cry or she will smudge the perfection of her make-up. Her mum wraps her arms around her and she feels reassured, but the tears quickly build up, like a dam ready to burst. With not a second to think any more about it, her makeup is being touched up, her mum helps her buckle her ‘something new’ shoes, her sister is sorting the trail on her dress. It’s almost time…

Despite her thoughts, she looks and feels absolutely stunning, her long dark hair hanging down in loose curls, lace flowing and sparkly beads hugging her figure. She watches all her family and friends arrive at this spectacular venue, huge smiles on their faces, she can hear laughter and see the excitement they have for this long-awaited day. But for her it’s different, there’s something missing, she’s been waiting, waiting and hoping, hoping he’d step out of one of the many taxis she’s watched come and go, but she hasn’t seen him yet. It will be the perfect day regardless, she tells herself as she looks at his outfit hung out perfectly, waiting for him to arrive. A grey tartan kilt with grey jacket and socks, his size nine shoes neatly sat beside.

They’ve had a strained relationship since his affair but she’s his girl, his first-born baby girl, and she longs for him to see sense, to see his face as she reveals her beautiful dress, for him to see his baby girl in the most precious dress she’ll ever wear. This is a moment he will never get back.

‘Time to go, Diamond.’ Her mum’s words prompt a smile, as the photographer continues to capture the final moments and her journey down the spiral staircase. Her mum carries her trail, while her sister guides the kids down, and suddenly they’re ready for the grand entrance. She takes her mum’s hand at the left and her boy’s on the right and, after the flower-girls and her maid-of-honour, it’s her turn to walk down the aisle to her future. 

She smells the perfume her future husband has bought her, its sweet, floral scent. She looks at her baby boy and tells him, ‘It’s time to go see Daddy’, and, with her baby on one side, her mum on the other, her husband-to-be waiting for her and so much love in one room, she steps forward. She knows this is going to be a day she will forever cherish.

As the doors open, she hears her family and friends gasp, cameras flashing as they capture their first glimpse of her and she is aware of how tightly she is squeezing her mum's hand. She has longed for the day for so long, and as she locks eyes with her future husband it’s like there is no one else in the room. For a moment, she forgets the troubles previously playing on in her mind.

During the ceremony she sees glances of her nearest and dearest warming their rings, making wishes as they rub and admire them. As the story of their love unfolds, they share tears and laughter with their guests. The memories continue to be made and shared throughout their day as the photographer captures little details that she would have otherwise missed. Her son blowing bubbles in the gardens, her god-daughter, niece and nephew playing happily in the sun. Her gran telling stories of when she was little.

Later on, she pauses to take it all in, looking around the room as the music plays. Her auntie is the first on the dance-floor, smiles all around and she realises her day is perfect, just the way it is.

By Karen Angela