The Wedding Day
Elizabeth Bennet awoke to the sound of Mrs. Bennet calling out to her. "Lizzy! Lizzy! Quickly child! We have so much to do! You must look your best for Mr. Darcy, you know!" It was the mention of his name that made Lizzy suddenly realise that it was all indeed true. Today was the day she would marry the man she could not ever imagine living without. God, how she loved him! Sometimes it frightened her how much passion and desire she felt for Mr. Darcy, and how stupidly jealous she felt every time another lady spoke to him. However much she understood that he was hers forever, she still shook her head in disbelief at what she had put him through in the past. "No!" she cried out aloud, "I will not ruin this perfect day with these thoughts!" And with that she bounded out of bed with her usual enthusiasm, threw a shawl over her shoulders, opened her door. and headed for Jane's bedchamber.
Fitzwilliam Darcy opened his eyes and looked at his watch. Yes, he still had plenty of time, but he could not wait much longer. He felt he had already been away from Elizabeth too long. He still could not fully comprehend why Lizzy was indeed to marry him today, after all that he had said and done to her before that happy day she agreed to be his wife. Darcy shook his head angrily as he thought back to those early days of their acquaintance when he had been so very proud and arrogant towards her. He remembered how he had felt that unforgettable day at Hunsford he was refused by the very lady he was to marry in a couple of hours. Darcy smiled at the memory of the look that passed between them at Pemberley when Lizzy and the Gardiners came for dinner. How he ached for her right now! Maybe if he kept busy the time would pass quicker...
Jane Bennet and Elizabeth sat together in Jane's bedchamber, talking excitedly about the event to come. Jane still seemed to be trying to decide if it was all true! After a short period of silence, they both quietly agreed how nervous they were, and how they longed for their husbands-to-be. Just then, Mrs. Bennet entered the room. "Come along girls, no time for talk! Lizzy, go back to your room and Hill will help you dress. Hurry child!" Elizabeth gave Jane a quick hug before returning to her bedchamber. She went over to Hill, who had her beautiful wedding gown all ready for her.
Darcy stood in front of his mirror to observe himself. He hoped it was good enough for Lizzy, even though he was sure she would not care. He glanced out the window and saw the carriage ready for himself and Bingley. Bingley! He had forgotten all about him from the moment Lizzy entered his mind. He hoped Bingley was ready. Darcy opened his door to find Bingley walking towards him. "Ah, Darcy! I was just on my way to get you! Come on, let us go!" Darcy nodded, shut his bedchamber door, and followed his friend downstairs and out the front door. "Just think, Bingley, the next time you enter this house, you will have Jane by your side!" said Darcy cheekily (I think Lizzy's personality is rubbing off on him already!). Darcy turned to look at Bingley's expression. He looked as though he had just reached the realisation himself, and smiled broadly. "Yes, I will, won't I!" he walked down to the waiting carriage, with Darcy right behind him.
"Ah, here we are!" cried Mrs bennet, "looks as though all the guests have arrived! Oh, but where is Mr Darcy and Mr Bingley! Oh dear, where are they! Come Kitty, Mary! We must be seated!" Kitty and Mary followed their mother inside, while Mr Bennet remained outside with the elder daughters. Lizzy noticed how unusually sad he looked, and realised how much she would miss him, being so very far away as Derbyshire. She smiled, glad that she would have Darcy with her instead. Glancing at Jane, she sensed Jane was thinking the same.
Suddenly, the sound of a carriage broke the uneasy silence, and the sound of Bingley's voice thanking the doorman followed by Darcy's own appreciation was heard. Both girls brightened up considerably. Two sets of footsteps were heard walking towards them and into the church, and when they had gone, the two brides and their father walked out from around the corner - it was bad luck to seen each other before entering the church on the wedding day - and, with a daughter on each arm, Mr Bennet walked his girls into the church.
At the first sight of the brides, a gasp went up at the back of the church. Every guest stood up as the ladies entered, and eyes widened at the amount of beauty before them. Darcy and Bingley, standing quietly by the priest, turned at the sound of amazed gasps. Darcy almost had to grab Bingley to stop from falling over when he saw his Lizzy. He couldn't look at her enough. His gaze lifted from her beautiful gown to her eyes, where the couple's gaze was locked in admiration and love. 'Oh, God!' he thought, at the sight of Lizzy's smiling, loving face. How he wished he could run to her and take her in his arms and... but no, that would never do here!
It seemed to take forever for the brides to reach their grooms, but they were eventually there. The couples reluctantly withdrew their locked gazes and turned to face the priest.
It was time.
Once all the guests had stopped gaping at the brides' beauty, the clergyman proceeded with the ceremony. Bingley and Jane stood relaxed and comfortable, listening happily to the words spoken to each other. Lizzy, standing next to her groom, tried half-heartedly to listen, but found herself uncharacteristically distracted every minute or so. Her mind wandered back over the past few weeks of her courtship with Mr. Darcy, and how very close, attentive and more loving (if possible!) they had become. She wondered how she would manage to cope with being the mistress of Pemberley Estate, and whether the servants would like her, and... Suddenly, she felt a warm, tingling sensation on her left hand. Darcy was holding it as he repeated the lines the clergyman was reciting. Lizzy looked deep into Darcy's eyes, and was suddenly overpowered by her love for him. She never believed it possible to love someone so much! Darcy slid the beautiful diamond wedding ring onto her slender finger and smiled at Lizzy. She smiled back happily and listened to her lines she was to say to her true love.
Darcy looked, smiling, at his Lizzy's cheerful, beautiful face, as she repeated those magic lines to him, as he had to her. There were still moments when he had to pinch himself to truly believe it was not a dream - that he was indeed marrying the one woman who meant more to him than any other in the world. He thought back to all those painful months he had endured without her, and couldn't bear it. But now he knew he would never feel that way again.
Lizzy had finished repeating her lines and, instead of letting his hand go as she should have done, she couldn't. Lizzy held on to it tightly. Darcy looked at her in happy agreement, and the couple turned back to face the clergyman to hear those final, sealing words which would confirm that neither couple was dreaming: "I now pronounce you man and wife." Lizzy was sure that, if it weren't for Darcy holding her hand, she would have fainted. She was overcome with so many feelings - relief, happiness, excitement, and, most of all, ardent love. "You may now kiss your brides!" said the clergyman. A stifled groan came from the area of guests where Bingley's sisters stood - Darcy and Lizzy, knowing exactly who it was, shot each other wicked, cheeky grins. Darcy took Lizzy in his arms and slowly, passionately kissed her on the lips. the guests clapped happily at the two newly wedded couples. The clergyman pointedly cleared his throat loudly to break Mr. and Mrs. Darcy's kiss and the two blushing lovers followed Mr. and Mrs. Bingley out of the church, under the evergreen arch and into their waiting carriage. Lizzy glanced at Darcy's expression and almost melted at the sight of him smiling so broadly. The carriage started off, and Lizzy and Darcy waved briefly to the guests before turning back to face each other. For a while they just sat quietly observing each others expressions before, by silent, mutual agreement, they leaned towards each other and passionately kissed.
© 1997 Copyright held by the author.