With this ring..

After a few minutes of uproar, The elder and the pastor stood to face the guests and gestured for everyone to sit down so that they could continue with the ceremony. After the objections ceremony, came the binding ceremony.

We exchanged our knives as we were instructed, then the elder bound a knife to each right wrist with soft leather thongs. Then he bound our hands together so that our palms met over the coals. After that we were led to the silver basin of rainwater that had been set on a waist high ornate silver stand.

We faced each other with our bound hands over the centre of the bowl as the elder ladled rain water over them. As he was doing this he sang an eerily beautiful chant in the elven tongue declaring that we were now bound by fir and water. The elder then cut all of our bindings with a short intricately etched silver ceremonial dagger, with embedded jewels in the hilt.

At that point traditionally we would have exchanged the wedding bands, but would have waited for sunrise to wear them. We changed this part to accommodate my human tradition of exchanging rings.

The next part of the ceremony involved waiting for the sun to rise in a high place. We were very lucky that we had a high place that suited beautifully, just beyond the clearing. The orchard occupied about two acres that petered out through half a mile of bushes, underbrush, and assorted bramble that opened into a flower laden meadow.

The northern most edge of the meadow was halted by a six foot high wrought iron fence that was covered with climbing roses, ivy, and sea moss. This fence went on for miles, as a protective barrier from the three hundred feet of cliff below! A wide path had been hacked through the stubborn vegetation to provide access to the meadow for the wedding procession.

After the binding ceremony, the elder lit a long tapered candle, and led us across the clearing to the beginning of the path through the brambles. Mike and Morgan followed us with lit candles as well. We held hands during the whole procession, others lit the way for us. We waited while Thalion's parents, then mom pushing Sarah Morgan's carriage, then aunt Sarah and uncle Ben, went in single file to the barbecue of glowing coals, and lit their candles. They then formed a line behind Mike and Morgan. All the other guests left their tables one at a time, lit their candles, and joined the procession. When everyone had a lit candle, the elder led the way down the bramble path, that smelled sweetly of apple blossoms.

By the time all of us had arrived at the meadow, the sky had lightened and the moon had faded away along with its' accompanying stars. The guests formed a huge circle around the wedding party. That consisted of the elder, the pastor, us, and Mike and Morgan.

Our immediate families and Sarah Morgan's carriage formed a tighter circle around us, between the roving musicians and the guests. The roving musicians carried traditional pipes and flutes as they walked the circle of open area just in front of the outer circle of guests. We were still in half light, so the musicians played their instruments and sang in lovely lilting melodies to "sing up the sun" as that procedure was called.

Just as the sun peeked over the ocean and the rays of sun hit the meadow, the pastor began the traditional human ring ceremony. We stood facing each other, holding both hands, looking into each other's eyes. A hush fell over the entire crowd to hear what came next.

"Do you Gloria Diane take this man Thalion to be your lawful wedded husband in sickness and in health, for rich and for poor, as long as you both shall live? The pastor asked.

"I do ." I whispered through the tears that were streaming down my face.

" Do you Thalion prince of the celestial clan of Elves take this woman Gloria Diane to be your lawful wedded wife in sickness and in health, for rich or for poor, as long as you both shall live?

" I do!! " Thalion said loud and clear.

The rings? The pastor asked us quietly.

Mike stood beside Thalion with the ring for me held at the ready. Thalion took my left hand, in his left hand and took my new wedding band from Mike.

"Repeat after me.. with this ring, I thee wed." The pastor instructed.

"With this ring I thee wed." Thalion spoke loudly and proudly.

"Put the ring on her finger." The pastor said.

My hand was shaking so badly that Thalion had to hold it with both of his for a moment to steady it. He put the ring on my finger.

Morgan had come to stand beside me with the ring for Thalion clasped securely in both of her shaking hands.

Morgan gave me the ring and breathed a little sigh of relief as she relinquished it to me.

"Repeat after me.. with this ring I thee wed." again the pastor instructed.

I opened my mouth, but nothing came out but a tiny little frightened croak!"

The pastor leaned forward and whispered. "Louder, my dear." with a kind smile on his face.I grinned and was able to carry on.

"With this ring I the wed.." I said, a fair bit louder.

I held Thalion's left hand, which was rock steady. and slipped the ring on his finger.

The pastor put a hand on each of our shoulders as he spoke clearly to the crowd.

"I now declare that they are husband and wife!"

A tremendous roar of cheering rose from the crowd. After several minutes, The elder motioned for quiet, which took several more minutes to achieve.

Thalion and I stood beside each other as the elder took our clasped hands and raised them in a victorious salute to the heavens.

The elder called out clearly. "I wish to present to you prince Thalion, and princess Gloria!"

"Princess?" I shot a startled look at my new husband.

"He leaned over and whispered in my ear. You did know that I am heir to my father's throne, didn't you?"

I nodded, but it never even occurred to me that I would become his princess when we married.

While we were saying our vows, several servants came around with pails of water for the guests to put out their candles before they became a fire hazard. Most of people saved rhe short brass candle holders, with this message etched on the side in both English and Elven:

Gloria and Thalion, two hearts joined together as one, on October 31, 2009, may their love live forever!

The End

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