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A White Wedding Christmas Andrea Laurence 2022/8/3 13:46:27

Colin’s heart started racing in his chest. Would they really go through with this? “Natalie, are you sure? I can’t bear to have another wife change her mind and walk out of my life. If we get married today, we’re getting married forever. Are you okay with that?”

She reached out and cupped his face, holding his cheeks in her hands. “I am very okay with that. You’re not getting rid of me, mister.”

“Okay, then yes, I will marry you,” he said with a grin. He leaned forward to kiss her, the mouthpiece of her headset getting in the way.

“Oops,” Natalie said, lifting it up. “Just as well,” she noted as she leaned back. “I think we need to save our next kiss for the one at the altar, don’t you?”

It was entirely possible that Natalie had lost her mind. She wasn’t just getting married, she was getting married on a whim. It was crazy. It was so unlike her.

And she’d never been more excited in her life.

She wanted this more than anything, and getting married quickly was the only thing that would keep her from sabotaging herself.

Natalie rushed toward the bridal suite, reaching out to grab Gretchen’s arm and drag her down the hallway with her.

“Where are we going?” she asked. “I’m supposed to be fetching something for Bree.”

She kept going. “Don’t worry about Bree. I need you to help me get ready.”

“Help you get ready to do what?”

A sudden resistant weight stopped her forward progress and jerked her back. “Would you like to repeat that, please?”

Natalie sighed and turned toward her. “The bride and groom aren’t coming. Colin and I are getting married instead. I need you to help me get dressed.”

Gretchen’s jaw dropped, but she followed her willingly to the bridal suite in a state of shock. The hair and makeup crew were loitering there, waiting for the missing bride.

“Change of plans, ladies,” Natalie announced, pulling off her headset and tugging the band from her ponytail. “I’m the bride now. I need the best, fastest work you can do.”

She settled down in the chair and the team quickly went to work. A soft knock came a few minutes later and Bree slipped in with her camera. “Are we ready to take some pictures of the bride getting read—?” Bree stopped short when she saw Natalie in the chair. “What’s going on?”

“Natalie is getting married.” Gretchen held up the cell phone picture of their wayward couple. “You’re taking pictures of her and Colin instead.”

Bree took a deep breath and started nervously adjusting the lens on her camera. “Well, okay then. You might want to give Amelia a heads-up in the meantime. She’ll have a fit if she’s in the kitchen and misses the ceremony.”

Gretchen nodded and slipped out. Within about twenty minutes, Natalie was completely transformed. Her ponytail was brushed out, straightened and wrapped into a French twist. She was painted with classic cat eyes, dark lashes and rosy cheeks. They opted for a nude lip with a touch of sparkle.

By the time Gretchen returned, Natalie was ready to slip into the dress. “Colin has spoken to the pastor, so he’s on board. I brought your dad out of the chapel to walk you down the aisle. He’s waiting outside.”

Perfect. That was an important detail she hadn’t considered in her rash proposal. Thank goodness her parents were both here. She’d never hear the end of it if either of them had missed her wedding.

“Let’s get you in this gown,” Gretchen said.

It took a few minutes to get Natalie laced and buttoned into her wedding dress. The hairdresser positioned the veil in her hair and turned her toward the full-length mirror to look at herself.

Her heart stuttered in her chest when she saw her reflection. She made for a beautiful bride. And this time, unlike at the bridal salon, she was really going to be the bride. This was suddenly her day, and her gown. She was so happy they’d chosen this dress. Any other one just wouldn’t have suited her.

“Wow, honey,” Gretchen said. “You look amazing. Do you have heels?”

Natalie looked down at her sensible black flats and shook her head. That was one thing she didn’t have. “I guess I’ll just go barefoot,” she replied, kicking out of her shoes.

Gretchen picked up the bridal bouquet that was waiting in a vase on the side table. She handed it over to Natalie with a touch of glassy tears in her eyes. “I can’t believe this is happening. I’m so happy for you and Colin.”