Week 29: Chelsea & Taylor
(Taylor sees Chelsea in her wedding dress)
They’d landed on seeing one another before the ceremony after going back and forth over it for months. Taylor wanted to stand at the end of the aisle, while Chelsea, the love of her life, wanted to walk down it with her dad. So, the idea that Chelsea would appear in her wedding dress and Taylor would see her for the first time in front of all their friends and family and promptly cry was a little too much for Taylor, who hadn’t wanted to bawl like a baby before they got to their vows.
Yes, they were young, but they’d met young, and they’d also been together for years before they got engaged and longer still before today when they would state their commitment to one another before just about everyone they knew on the beach in front of where they’d met; The Meet Cute Café. They’d have the reception there, too. Shelby and Maria had been kind enough to shut the place down and let them bring in their own catering. Of course, it helped that Shelby and Maria were Chelsea’s aunts and soon would be Taylor’s, too.
They’d decided that they wanted a moment alone out on that same beach where Taylor could see Chelsea in her dress and Chelsea would see Taylor in her tuxedo for the first time, allowing them to cry tears of joy, should they need to, in peace, reapply their makeup, and walk in the sand toward their new life together.
Taylor recalled their first date and how Chelsea thought she’d ruined the whole thing by being her nervous, awkward self as a nineteen-year-old who’d never been on a date with another woman before. Taylor had been a couple of years older and had more experience, but she’d been just as nervous. The next day, she’d stood on this very beach with her soon-to-be girlfriend and later fiancée, and now, her almost wife. She’d held Chelsea from behind, breathing in the smell of coffee and cinnamon, and she’d known that she’d been right to put herself out there. Chelsea was the one for her, and that was still just as clear to her today as it was back then.
“Are you ready?” Shelby asked, walking toward Taylor on the beach, holding Maria’s hand.
“No, but yeah.” She laughed nervously. “She’s always beautiful to me. I don’t know why I’m so nervous.”
“Because you’re getting married, honey,” Maria told her. “It’s different seeing her in a wedding dress than it is in her pajamas or in her special little black dress. You know what it symbolizes when you see her in white like this.”
“Are you trying to make me more nervous?” Taylor joked.
“She’s ready,” Chelsea’s mom announced as she walked out onto the beach. “Are you?”
“I really wish everyone would stop asking me that,” Taylor said.
“Photographer is here.” Shelby nodded toward the woman they’d hired to photograph their wedding.
Taylor took a deep breath and looked down at the sand. When she heard the all-too-familiar sounds of the backdoors of the café opening, she waited an extra moment and looked up. Chelsea, her soulmate, the woman she’d met in college that had stolen her heart in a hat and matching apron, was walking toward her in a flowing white dress, holding a bouquet of white flowers, and she was the most beautiful thing Taylor had ever seen. Her eyes welled with tears. Chelsea was smiling, and her eyes had tears in them, too. Taylor heard the camera clicking rapidly, but she could only pay attention to the beautiful woman she’d been lucky enough to meet one day in a café years and years ago now.
“You’re stunning,” she said and took both of Chelsea’s hands in her own.
“You look good in a tux,” Chelsea replied.
Taylor let go of one of Chelsea’s hands to wipe a tear off of her cheek.
“I can’t wait to marry you.” She sniffled.
“I can’t wait to marry you, either,” Chelsea replied.
Taylor leaned in, kissed her soon-to-be wife, and knew this was going to be the best day of her whole life.