After the Wedding Ceremony

After the wedding ceremony, the guests wait outside for the bride and groom to appear from inside the church. The day is bright and cloudless and there is a soft mid-afternoon haze that diffuses the light as it bounces off the nearby cars and windows.  Anticipation hangs in the air as if suspended by large, invisible hooks. The church doors remain open but vacant, an expectant space looking to be filled. The wedding guests are gathered outside, shoulder to shoulder. They talk among themselves but never take their eyes off the doorway. Many hold phones aloft, the screens a tiny televised image of what lay in front of them. They remain frozen, as if time itself has ceased.


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The newlywed couple appear from the gloom of the church interior, stepping out hand in hand into the eager sunlight. There is a raucous cheer from the wedding guests, followed by the soft click of endless camera shutters. Confetti is thrown as the couple descend the church steps and colour snows buoyantly, filling the air around them. They smile, suddenly awash with kaleidoscopic paper, then more cheering as the newlyweds pose for pictures taken by eager photographers who have been waiting for just this moment.

The couple have also been waiting. Months of preparing and planning have led to this. They, hand in hand, two now becoming one. Together and inseparable, they walk down the church steps to the waiting car. They climb into the back, waving and smiling, the car door remains open as more pictures are taken. Someone, a woman, notices that the bride’s dress has caught on the inside of the door. She climbs into the back of the car to fix it and there is laughter from outside. Another woman leans in close to get the photograph, then all is back to normal.


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They close the car door and the married couple wave one more time as the vehicle pulls out into the road. The wedding guests watch it get smaller and smaller as it moves away from them. Then it turns a corner and is out of sight. Behind them, the church doors shut silently against the afternoon light.


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