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The Bride

The Bride

What started out as a little event turned into much more!

Linda, a friend of mine with whom I worked some years back had told me about a friend of hers who was TG and whose biggest dream was to be a bride. Linda thought I might be able to help. Since I'm pretty much daily in suits and bow ties, she figured I'd make an ideal bridegroom.

The plan was, initially, for the bride to wear a wedding dress and me to wear my tuxedo  for what would amount to an overdressed photo shoot. I agreed to it. Things, however, quickly picked up steam and the photo shoot morphed into a full-blown WEDDING. A few weeks later, our wedding day arrived. It was a Saturday. The wedding was taking place at the clubhouse of Linda's apartment complex. 

I showed up in my tuxedo, the pleats of my heavily-starched tuxedo shirt were stiff over the top of my black-on-black paisley vest, a matching bow tie perfectly tied and snugly nestled up against the stiff, white collar that encased my neck and throat.

I'd gotten cleaned up and dressed at my place that morning, earlier than I needed to, before going over to my friend's apartment complex. I couldn't go to her apartment, since my bride was going to be getting ready there, so I went straight to the clubhouse. The clubhouse was located in the same building as the management office. Getting out of my car, I take my tuxedo jacket off of its hanger in the back seat, then slip it on. Walking into the clubhouse, I'd taken a few steps in the door when a voice rang out.

"Hello!" I turned to see an Asian-looking girl coming down a side hallway. She was wearing a nice, dark skirt suit with a white blouse as she approached me, her hand out. "I'm Terri, the property manager. You must be the groom!" "Yes, I am," I replied, shaking her hand. I suddenly felt a little self-conscious being all tuxed and buttoned-up and bow tied. 

"Well, you look just incredibly handsome!" she said. "Can I get you a bottle of water? Anything?"

"No," I said, "I'm good. Can I wait out here, or..."

"If you'd like," she walked me around the corner. There was the clubhouse. It had been set up with rows of chairs, and a center aisle, and a podium set up at the end of the aisle. A small spray of white silk roses decorated the front of the podium.

"Every thing's all set for your wedding!" Terri chirped. "All you need is your bride! I think the plan was, according to Linda, that at some point, once people start arriving, that you can hide out in my office until the wedding."

"The setup looks great!" I said. "Nice suit, by the way."

"Oh, thank you!" she blushed. "Normally, working on a Saturday, I'd be a little more casual. But with your wedding and all..."

"Well, thank you!" I said. "Yeah, hiding out in your office might be a good idea."

So I waited with Terri in her office, and Terri called Linda and let her know that the groom had arrived. Nice thing was, from there I couldn't see the walkway and the front door, so I wouldn't be able to see my bride arrive, or the people coming to the wedding. It seemed like a long time before the phone rang. Terri picked it up.

"Hold on a sec," she said. Getting up from her desk, she exited her office, wobbling a bit on the heels of her pumps. She came back in less than a minute later and picked up the phone.

"Yeah, a bunch," she said. "At least twenty-something, easily."

Then she hung up.

"Almost time for your wedding!" she said. "Oooh! Almost forgot!" 

She exited the office hastily again, and came back with a clear plastic box with a white rose boutonniere accented with baby's breath.

"Stand up!" she ordered, and I automatically complied. She proceeded to pin the boutonniere on my lapel. 

"Linda had me put this in the fridge last night," she explained, "and I almost forgot about it!"

Terri proceeded to do a quick inspection of me. All she found it necessary to do was to smooth my lapels and give each side of my bow tie a quick tug.

Suddenly a knock on the door. Terri opened it, and Linda came in, wearing a sharp black skirt suit with a ruffly white blouse.

"Ready?" she said, looking me up and down. "Everyone's in place."

Linda inspected my bow tie, as Terri had. 

"Wait one minute," Linda said to Terri, "then bring the bridegroom out."

"Okay," Terri said. 

We stood there looking at each other, and suddenly Terri looked at her watch.

"Been about a minute," she said, and she slipped her arm through mine. "Ready to be wed?"

All I could do was gulp deeply beneath my stiff white collar and tightly-tied bow tie. Terri walked me out of the office and down the hallway. Just then, the door into the clubhouse opened and Linda walked in. Then I saw my bride, walking in behind Linda, in an incredibly beautiful and breathtaking bridal gown, and when I say bridal gown I do mean bridal! The blusher was drawn down over her face, but I could see her smiling through it at me. She was clutching a bouquet of white roses and baby's breath. I stepped forward and extended my left arm.

"Let us be wed," I said solemnly. My bride slipped her right arm through my left, and I felt the pressure as her grip tightened.

"Follow me," Linda said. We walked toward the area where the chairs and podium had been set up. We were about thirty feet from the podium when Linda stopped us.

"When the organ music starts," she whispered, "start walking slowly."

Linda walked down the center aisle to take her place behind the podium. My bride and I stood there closely alongside each other, we both drew very deep breaths. Suddenly I noticed people sitting in the seats, over twenty of them, all dressed up as if this were a real wedding.

Behind us, Terri had gone to a laptop I hadn't seen earlier. She apparently hit a button on it, then headed to a seat up front. The laptop was hooked up to the speaker system in the clubhouse. There was a delay of perhaps ten or fifteen seconds, but then organ music started blaring out The Wedding March.

As those opening notes abruptly burst out, my bride and I both jumped a little. The grip of her right arm on my left tightened - as if it could get any tighter - as we started down aisle one step at a time. We walked ever-so-slowly down the aisle, heel-to-toe, heel-to-toe. I held myself ramrod straight, eyes straight ahead on Linda standing behind the podium, at the same time using my peripheral vision to see my bride. 

I became aware that I felt kind of like I was in a trance, or a dream. I could make out my bride's lovely face behind her blusher. I was conscious of the pressure of her arm locked on mine, and of the fullness of the bottom of her bridal gown against my left leg. I could also count my own heartbeats, feeling my pulse in my throat under the stiff, white collar.

After what seemed like an hour-long wedding march that had probably actually taken a couple of minutes, we were keeping time to the organ music as The Wedding March was winding down. We arrived in front of Linda as the final notes of The Wedding March faded. Those in attendance sat down.

"Dearly beloved," Linda began, "we are gathered here today to bear witness as this bride and groom are wed, one to the other."

My bride and I moved our heads almost imperceptibly, relying more on our peripheral vision to share a glance and a smile. I was still in that dreamlike state, but Linda's words broke through, asking me my intent.

"To be wed to my bride," I answered, my voice shaking.

"And do you come here freely and without reservation?" she asked.

"I do."

She then asked the same of my bride.

"To be wed to my groom," she replied shakily, followed by an equally-shaky, "I do."

We were then instructed to face each other and join hands. We did, trying to stand as close to each other as our clasped and shaking hands would allow. 

My voice was very clearly quavering as I recited my wedding vows. Then it was my bride's turn, her voice quavering just as badly. Our wedding vows having been exchanged, we had to face Linda again. My bride slid her right arm through my left arm once again.

Linda placed on the notebook from which she was reading our wedding ceremony two cheap plastic gold rings. She said something about the significance of the wedding rings, then looked at me.

"Take the ring and place it on your bride's finger with these words: With this ring..."

"With this ring..." I repeated, slowly slipping the ring on my bride's ring finger, both our hands shaking.

"I thee wed."

"I thee wed."

Then it was my bride's turn.

"With this ring..."

Again, trying to slip the wedding ring on my shaking hand with her shaking hands.

"I thee wed."

I drew my bride's arm through mine and we faced Linda one last time.

"Inasmuch as this bride and groom have declared their intent to be wed, and in furtherance thereof have exchanged wedding vows and wedding rings, it is by the power vested in me that I now pronounce that they are wed - as bride and groom."

My bride and I both let out our breath a little.

"You may now kiss your bride!"

Turning toward each other, I reached up slowly, and gently drew the blusher back from my bride's face, and placed it carefully behind her head. She smiled. I reached down to her waist, while she rested her hands against the stiffly-starched pleats of my tuxedo shirt. Our faces drew close, our eyes closed, and our mouths closed on one another, sharing a tentative, gentle kiss.

We drew apart, smiled at each other, then came together for a much deeper, romantic, wedding kiss. Pressing her against me, me in my tux, I was incredibly turned on by the feel of my bride pressed against me, the stiffness and ruffles of the front of her bridal gown.

After what seemed an eternity of kissing, we noticed that organ music was playing again, a recessional, Mendelsohn, I think. Those in attendance were clapping, as I slipped my bride's arm over mine and led her back down the aisle. 






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