Summer hay was dry and ready to sell. Even though there was a lot of work to be done, and there was no time to prepare a feast or wedding ale, it was time for Marigold to be wed to Cadby, the militia-man. The Squire of Ayre had shown her good will towards the Baronet of the Vale by making an agreement. Cadby was to be released from service in the militia, to be the fishing warden for the Baronet. Marigold was to be his wife, and the Baronet hoped the family would not only provide him increasing yields from establishing and managing fisheries, but also, bear children to serve him as needed. In return, an alliance between the Baronet and the Squire was initiated. The only problem was, that the timing was all wrong. When Ella Wise and the Captain had agreed on Cadby and Marigold’s betrothal, the plan was that they were to be wed in the spring, to provide the best possible start during the warm months. Now the marriage had been moved up, nearly a year, to fit into the plans of the gentry. The family decided to hold the wedding at home, because there was no time to prepare, or make the walk to the Vale.
But Marigold had not had time to reflect on this sudden change of plans. Every helping hand was needed these days for the urgent work of cutting and drying the hay, and selling it before it began to mildew, in case of summer thunderstorms. Without her cousin, Gertrude, who had wed just weeks earlier, Marigold’s mother, Ella, the family only had three adults to do the work. Ella was now in charge of growing Gertrude’s herbs. Meanwhile, from dawn till after dusk each day, Marigold helped get the hay ready to sell, and helped with the sale of the hay and herbs, until her arms and back and legs ached.
Marigold’s cousins, Haylan and Bentley, helped with the hay but they couldn’t be relied upon to help with sales or any of the inventory management that went into making the most coin from resources. More often, they were to be found jumping on the beds, or the hay piles, or asking to be swung around. At dinner, the night before her marriage, Marigold looked at the boys and knew she was going to miss them, and their antics, terribly.
That night, as was the custom in Ayre, the bridegroom came to the house and slept in the main room, while the bride slept next to her mother, in the other room.
Cadby was asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow, but Marigold lay awake. She could not sleep, despite her exhaustion, wondering what lay ahead of her in her new home. And how would Cadby be, as a husband? She knew that Cadby could be sharp with retorts, but she also knew he fancied her. He had shown, in recent days, that he had regard for her and her feelings, and he could be charming. For the most part, he appeared to be kind. But still, Marigold was moving to a home she did not know, with a man she barely knew. She was not ready.
She must have fallen asleep at some point, and she wasn’t sure how she got there without remembering waking, but before she knew it, she was standing with Cadby under the hand-fasting tree in the Vale. Cadby was studying the ring, as if he couldn’t figure out how to place it on her finger, the one with the vein that led straight to her heart.
Suddenly, Marigold realized that everyone was looking at her aunt Mildred. Even Cadby was looking at her. Then it dawned on Marigold, the reason they were all watching her aunt. They knew.
They knew that Marigold couldn’t go through with the marriage. They wanted to see how the matriarch of the Wise family would react to Marigold’s failure to follow through with her duty.
Marigold did not know how, but she and Cadby were married; she knew it in her bones. She had gotten through the wedding, somehow. She and Cadby were sharing the wedding cake, at the almshouse yard. So why was her Aunt Mildred standing in front of them? And why were her mother and the boys screaming?
Marigold woke with a start and jumped out of bed. Bright yellow firelight and screams were coming from the main room. Marigold ran into the main room and the heat from the roaring fire almost knocked her back. Aunt Mildred was trying to cast a spell to diminish the flames. Cadby yelled at her, and her mother, to run fetch water from the village green. Through the next three hours, the family fought the fire. A couple of hours before daybreak, the last flame was extinguished. It seemed that baskets of herbs had been set to close to the hearth, and ignited. Everyone fell into bed again, exhausted, and slept until mid-morning.
When they awoke, Mildred prepared breakfast while the rest of the family hauled more water to clean up the house. After a morning meal, they began to set up for the wedding, and finally, in the afternoon, they hauled more water from the village well so everyone could bathe again for the wedding.
The torches and candles were lit. Wedding guests started to arrive just before dusk. Gertrude brought the wedding cake, and her husband, Giles, had a keg of ale brought over from the Hefty Hedgehog. It was almost time for the simple ceremony of the followers of the goddess to begin.
As the family looked on, Cadby placed the ring on Marigold’s finger, and took her as his wedded wife, promising to honor her as his wife, respecting, and caring for her, in ease and in trouble, in health and in pain, in warmth and in cold. He promised to live rightly, so that they and their children may find joy together, as the goddess desires.
Marigold vowed to honor Cadby, and bring honor to his name, by respecting him, caring for him, and their children, in ease and in trouble, in health and in pain, in warmth and in cold,” till death parted them. She promised to “live rightly, so that they and their children may find joy together, as the goddess desires.”
The small gathering of family and friends was, for the most part, joyful and happy. There was dancing and chatting. No one had time, during this early summer work season, to drink heavily, and so no one embarrassed themselves. But Eva Forrester took her anger at her husband’s infidelities with Ella, out on several members of the family. She blamed them for failing to rebuke Ella to stop her from carrying on with her husband, Rhett. She even blamed Cadby, who had only just joined the family. But everyone realized, including Eva, that her husband was equally to blame, and that neither Rhett or Ella were likely to change or listen to their family’s criticism.
Mildred danced with her boys, and Millicent, her sister, happily looked on.
While most of the guests entertained themselves, Marigold and Cadby quietly cut the cake.
But Marigold’s usually playful demeanor came out, when she smeared the cake on her husband’s face, instead of feeding it to him carefully. For a second, she was not sure if he would find it funny, or, as when they first met, take offense at her impertinence, but when he smiled, she threw her head back, and laughed.
After sharing a bite of the cake, the bride and groom were not sure what to do next.
Hadley Gothard, who had a bitter look in her eyes, approached Marigold, her neighbor and friend. Hadley wanted to wish Marigold well, but she could not. Unknown to Marigold, Hadley’s heart was broken over recent events. Seeing her friend as a bride, when she was unable to be with the man she loved. left her without grace. Not wanting to ruin Marigold’s day, she instead, turned, and left.
Seeing his bride’s concern, Cadby chivalrously bowed, and asked her to dance.
Cadby and Marigold swayed under the starry sky. They were cocooned in the balmy evening air and the smell of freshly cut hay. The ghost of Marigold’s father drifted across the hay fields, as if to try to participate, from across the gulf between life and death.
- The main reason I moved Cadby and Marigold’s wedding up, is that the MCC rules state that the player should not delay to marry teens, and since I changed the age span from the long one I had before, back to the default span, Marigold would have aged to adult within the summer season. Also, I am trying to establish the peasantry in the Vale, and it will be initially populated by sims from Ayre.
- Mortia’s hand-fasting tree is so cool, I really wanted to use it for this wedding. But Marigold doesn’t know Cadby well enough to marry with it, and I needed to use the Marry without Love arch from ClsterDmr83 (I believe it is at the Keep but I can’t get the Keep to come up at the moment to link it). So I took the wedding party to the Almshouse, as for Gertrude’s wedding. But it just didn’t seem right to make her wedding a copy of Gertrude’s (she’s even “borrowing” Gertrude’s dress), and also, the sims smustled through the WHOLE ceremony *grrrrr*. So I took them home to rest them up and get them ready for a wedding at their own house, at dusk the next day. Then, in the middle of the night, the fire happened. I thought, wow, this wedding is never going to happen. But since I had the shots of Marigold refusing I figured I would work it into the story as a dream.
- The rest of the Wise family summer update will be the next post. It’s just Mildred, her boys, and Ella left at the house, now. I’ve played two of the five days of the Wise Family’s summer round.