He wanted their wedding to be perfect for her. He’d been married once, and to be perfectly honest he hadn’t been too worried about what that wedding was like. Although, with his wedding to Shelby he hadn’t really had a lot of say. Shelby would ask, and if he did anything other than nod and smile or agreed wholeheartedly, Shelby would get angry or upset and he found himself having to double up the sucking up and the insistence on how much he did love her plans. Perhaps that should have been a sign right there about how exactly that marriage would play out. But, of course, he wouldn’t regret a second of it because it got him Sarah, his absolutely amazing daughter.
But–Peggy was different. He wasn’t going to give her exactly what she wanted because she demanded it, but because he wanted that day to be everything she had ever dreamt of. And when Peggy asked for his opinion, she wanted an answer, a true and proper answer about his opinion, to make sure it was something they could both enjoy, not just a repeat of her own opinion back at her.
The wedding party was small. His “Best Man” was actually his “Best Girl,” his beautiful sixteen-year-old daughter who had come to accept his new bride as her de facto mother over their six-year courtship. She wore a black dress and red bow tie and even talked her father off a ledge when he thought he’d lost his wedding vows and was going to choke when it was time for him to talk. Her Maid of Honor was Peggy’s little sister, five years Peggy’s junior and still eight years the Best Girl’s elder. That was it.
Peggy wore white, carried roses and pinned her hair up in tight elaborate curls. Justin wore a tux with a red tie and forgot to brush down his hair, but Peggy didn’t mind because she thought he was cute when his hair spiked up and defied gravity. Sarah still rolled her eyes over her father’s shoulder and mouthed “I tried to remind him.”
At the reception, her elderly grandmother asked in a voice that wasn’t at all discrete if she was pregnant and if that was the reason they were finally getting married. One of his cousins sniffed coldly at Peggy whenever she saw her because she didn’t believe that second marriages should be allowed and thought that Peggy was leading her sweet cousin into a life of sin. Her older brother (six years younger than her new husband) wished them all the happiness in the world but also promised to beat his face unrecognizable if Justin made his baby sister cry. Justin agreed that he’d accept that punishment willingly, and her brother decided he liked him a little more.
Their honeymoon was ten days long in a rented house on the beach, while Sarah stayed home to take care of the house with her grandmother. It was nice to be away and to do nothing for a week and a bit, but the best was that first day home. When they ate dinner with Sarah at the table for the first time as a legal family, When she read the cards from well-wishers who wrote her name with a hyphen, When she got to crawl into the new bed his parents had bought them as a wedding gift, and curl up into the arms of her husband and know, day after day, night after night, she would always be able to rely on this, she would always be able to count on him. And that was nice. That would be what made this marriage perfect.