On a hazy summer morning, Gertrude Wise and Giles Porter stood to take their official wedding vows before a representative of the church of the Allfather, as well as the rulers of Ayre. Both Gertrude and Giles were followers of the Goddess, but this formal ceremony blessed by the church would insure that their children would be recognized as legitimate, for the inheritance of any title, station, privileges, or wealth they were able to accumulate; it also made the acquisition of any of those benefits more likely. With the blessing of Giles’ benefactor, Lady Joslyn Chevalier, their wedding literally and symbolically bridged the gulf between the old and new religions of Ayre.
Giles looked around and saw his new family members: Gertrude’s mother, a midwife and witch, her brothers, her aunt Ella, a witch, and her cousin, Marigold. The wedding was hosted by Gertrude’s aunt Millicent, the Almshouse caretaker. Also in attendance were the gentry: the Steward, the Squire, her lady, her mother, and her aunt, who had arranged the marriage. Gertrude’s mother had also invited the Gothards, and the Honeycutts, who were one step below and above them in station, one, followers of the Goddess, and the other, followers of the Allfather.
Gertrude was radiant in a lavendar gown. Lady Elizabeth had said she must be a bride fitting her new class, the Yeomanry, and had personally overseen its design and fitting, as well as the cornflower blue gown worn by her mother. Giles, who reluctantly entered betrothal arrangements, seemed to be delighted to be marrying now that the day had arrived.
Gertrude’s little brother, Haylan, got into the ale during the ceremony, but if anyone noticed, they did not say anything.
Before the reality of the ceremony had time to sink in, it was already concluded, and everyone cheered and headed for the food and drink. Millicent had outdone herself, with plentiful ale, berry wine, fruitcake, fowl, and summer salads upon which to feast. Appetites were keen, since the heat was slightly mitigated by a light breeze and by a bit of mist that hung in the air after the rains which had fallen the night before.
Gabe Gothard was first to give a toast, which was quickly recovered by Lady Joslyn when he began to digress into a drunken diatribe against goat theft.
Then, Giles decided this was the moment to give Gertrude a romantic kiss, and she rebuffed him heartily, which made many of the onlookers smile, both at his cheekiness, and at her spirit.
While her groom looked down and tried to regain his composure, Gertrude tried to dispel the tension by cutting the cake, which was always a favorite part of the ceremony.
Keeping it lighthearted, she smashed the cake into his face, hoping that would take the pressure off of him to recover from the failed kiss.
Everyone, including Giles, laughed. The bride and groom took the seats at the head of the banquet tables, which were set out under the shade of the orchard trees.
There, Giles began to entertain Gertrude’s other brother, Bentley, which pleased his new bride.
For a few moments, it seemed it would rain again, as a low cloud moved over the Almshouse, but it passed, and the revelers continued to feast.
The Squire kept a watch over the proceedings, looking regal in her cranberry-tinged gown. Her dress featured golden embroidery that matched the fae highlights nature had woven through her hair at birth. Although she must outwardly keep an aloof distance from those in her holdings, she was happy. She was a follower of the Grim and deep down, pragmatic: It served her well for the people of Ayre to be happy, healthy, and to flourish, and this wedding celebration was satisfactory.
When Giles and Gertrude finished their meal, her mother urged her to dance, saying she should enjoy herself on this joyous occasion.
Gertrude danced first with her little brother, Haylan.
Anais Honeycutt, who had arrived late, seemed to be more relaxed and celebratory than her usual pragmatic self.
But Daralis, who was usually gay and light-hearted, was worried about the fact that her father, Gabe, had disgraced the family with public drunkenness.
Although he seemed to be brushing it off.
Daralis, though, was not satisfied. She worried how the family would manage to pay any fines for public drunkenness, since they were already in debt. She also hoped to marry soon, and needed the favor of the Squire to have her union recognized like Gertrude and Giles’. She began to fear that her hope to marry James as a free peasant may not be possible; she may be forced to become indentured to the Squire in exchange for the marriage and continuing to work the land.
Anais Honeycutt, always keen to befriend people in high places, was happy to be seated across from Lady Elizabeth. Anais’ baby was due at any time now, and they conspired together to solidify the plans for the baby’s christening, to be done at the Squire’s Chapel, within a week of the baby’s birth.
Giles formally asked Gertrude to dance, and she wholeheartedly agreed.
Giles and Gertrude made an elegant pair. All who attended the wedding felt that many hopes and dreams were possible in this match: increased prosperity, happy alliances, respectability, healthy children, and future growth for the community.
Giles’ thoughts, however, were less far-reaching, as he enjoyed dancing with his bride, and looked forward to becoming more intimate. He thought that Gertrude would lighten his work load, but also knew how to have fun and would not purposely hurt him. He realized that it was not appropriate to kiss Gertrude during the reception, and that any girl in her position should decline. It was sort of fascinating to see her intense disapproval when he had tried the kiss. And after their private conversations during the courting, he knew she was warm and flirtatious, in private. He thought it was pretty exciting to look forward to going home together after the wedding, with no one to tell them what to do for the many hours of the evening and night, before returning to open the Hefty Hedgehog the next day.
Giles and Gertrude danced in the formal style acceptable for formal church weddings, but there was an intensity and privacy in their eyes that the structure and separation belied.
The wedding dance would, in fact, be a moment that both Giles and Gertrude remembered for a long time. As guests feasted, they fell in love.
After the dance, Gertrude and Giles began to mill among the guests, who were finished eating. Daralis hoped Lady Joslyn, who had arranged Giles’ betrothal, would do the same for her, with James. But Lady Joslyn was noncommittal. Unfortunately, her father, Gabe, was not a persona grata, in the community, and between his lack of respectability and the fact that Daralis had been unable to pay taxes in the Spring, her situation was shaky.
The time came for guests to begin to take their leave. Mildred, not wanting to prolong this turning point, was the first to bid farewell to the new bride. Although she had already shared everything she could to prepare Gertrude for married life, she looked at her wondering if she had done enough.
Gertrude, though touched by her mother’s care, was thinking that she was moving only a five minute walk away, and that she would still be able to see her mother whenever the need arose.
Next, Gertrude received little master Edwuard Stirwuard, who was the ward of Lady Jane Chevalier. Very politely, he gave his best wishes to the bride.
Gertrude’s cousin, Marigold, enthusiastically congratulated Gertrude before hugging her goodbye. She hoped that she would soon be betrothed, perhaps to Cadby, and that they might be as happy as Giles and Gertrude.
Gertrude said how excited she would be to see Marigold as a bride very soon.
Lady Joslyn thanked Millicent for hosting, before taking her leave.
Most of the guests had departed, and Gertrude wanted to specially thank her aunt, who was talking with Daralis.
Daralis and Millicent were discussing Daralis’ hopes to marry James soon, and Millicent suggested a traditional handfasting ceremony in the Glen.
As she reflected on the day, Gertrude had much to celebrate and for which to be grateful. She had a family who was respectable, who loved her, and a groom who seemed to care for her as well as having the ability to provide a future. She and Giles retired to their home, exhausted but happy, where they promptly fell asleep in their shared bed.
The next morning, she and Giles woke early and were pleased to see each other. Giles took Gertrude’s hands in his own.
The newlyweds enjoyed each other’s company, playing, laughing, and flirting.
Before dressing and going to the Hefty Hedgehog for their first day of business, they enjoyed a little more time in their own home, in their own bed, cuddling. It was nice to be together. Both felt content to have reached this milestone.
I originally set up to play the wedding at the Squire’s chapel, since the Wise and Porter families both fall in the category of followers of the Goddess who wish to have their marriages recognized by the crown. However, the “special wedding arch,” was not available on a community lot and rather than figure out how to change that in SimPE, I decided there were advantages to a wedding on a residential lot, and decided on the Almshouse as a compromise. This was my first wedding using the special wedding arch, which allows sims with no relationship to marry.
I am excited about using Mortia’s newly made Handfasting Tree wedding object in the Glen, for Daralis and James’ love match wedding, which will not be recognized by the church of the Allfather.
When I rolled the ROS’s for this round, one of the rolls determined for the Gothards, specifically, Gabe, to be socially demoted one station. After he was (inappropriately) first to offer a toast, I thought perhaps public drunkenness might be the straw to break the camel’s back. It comes with a fine, and the family is already behind on their taxes.
So Gabe could become an outlaw in lieu of paying the fine. Then I would have to move him out into the forst and follow the rules for him to roll whether he is caught or not each day, and if he has to go out in public.
The other option would be for the Gothard family to move down one station as a whole, to serf, rather than free peasant as they currently are. Gabe would take an indenture of $20,000 plus the fine for drunkenness and their current debt of $153, and they would work to pay it off instead of paying regular taxes and rent. When Gabe passes, the indenture would pass to Daralis’ spouse.
The greater impact of this Random Occurrence Scenario of social demotion for either Gabe or the whole Gothard family, is upon Hadley’s betrothal. She already has a strike against her, that she has no dowry. To marry Brodie would be a stretch, due to the differences in their station. Having an outlaw grandfather would be another strike against her in the betrothal negotiations. If they become serfs, the match would truly be out of reach.
Since Brodie is in love with her, the last negotiation can be considered — to marry out of love (“a heart full of love”) according to the Warwickshire. Unfortunately, Hadley does not have 500 royal favor, which would be required. Looking at the Behaviors & Outcomes table in the Warwickshire, she only has about 200 royal favor, at best.
And I don’t think I would have Brodie and Hadley elope, either, since Brodie just arrived in town and they would have to flee Ayre, although it is a possibility that they could move to the Vale, the neighborhood where the Glen and the King’s Forest are located. If they do that, they would go into hiding (with rolls to see if they were caught, returned, and the marriage annulled) and Brodie would give up his trade. I checked Hadley and she is attracted to Brodie, and they are in love.