The bridal car is one of the decisions that very few of us think of as disaster zone waiting to ruin your day, but beware, getting you to church on time is not always what the driver may have in mind.
For as long as she could remember, our bride always said that her grandfather will take her to church on her wedding day. The years passed and she grew up, but still she kept saying this whenever the conversation went down wedding alley. So every body in the family knew that this was on the cards for her wedding day.
Grandfather of the bride was a very strict man with impeccable morals. Leader of his church elders, his word was law in the pews. As member of the town council his stare could silence even the town hall packed to capacity. He was a very well respected man.
His habits were well known and when you kept to them and abide by his rule, life was roses. Still waiting for the man to cross gramps, so set in his ways. Little did every body know that his favourite grand daughter would soon face up to his rules and bring the challenge of his life to his doorstep.
In the small town where her grand parents lived, there was an unwritten rule in the church not to sit on each other’s places. Women made special little pillows that were left on usual seats in the church. Then, as the church filled up, people knew when to arrive as well. The very first would be the caretaker whom would unlock the building and open the windows.
Then the choirmaster came and started up the organ that needed warming up. Soon the bellboy arrived to ring the first bell of the occasion. A right behind him, grandpa would take his seat on his pillow with grandma disappearing into the church kitchen to set up tea. This was how it was done every Sunday and no one ever bapped an eye over this.
The wedding was set in Grandpa’s church. So on a sweltering hot day in February, the process started early in the morning. Grandpa got his old car from the garage and buffed it to a brilliant shine. He was a happy man as he whistled old movie tunes and polished his 1967 Holden. He waited for this day all of his life and gave praise to God for sparing him long enough to make his grand daughter’s wish come true.
Inside the house she got ready at a leisurely pace with friends and family popping in as they arrived from faraway places. They all smiled as they saw the polished car with the ribbons sitting in the driveway. This was a day to remember and to cherish by all. Then the hour struck.
There was a very loud knock on the door of the bridal room. ‘Ten minutes’ gramps called. ‘What? I am only getting married in two hours time grandpa!’ the bride shouted back. ‘We are leaving in ten minutes as I always arrive two hours before the time when going to church’, his command cleared up all questions. ‘Grandma still has to do the cups’ he shouted over his shoulder as he walked out to wait at his car.
And that was that. Our bride tried a challenge of his authority through her window but was simply told that if she was to go to church with him in his car today, she had seven minutes to get into it. Chaos erupted as she jumped into her dress, grabbed what she could and with make up artist and hairdresser in hot pursuit, she climbed into the car with a few seconds to spare.
Grandpa wiped a tear and swallowed his emotion as he gallantly closed the door for her, helped grandma into the front seat and drove off to church like he did in all his dreams of this day over the years. Our bride sat sheepishly in the back and smiled at him in his mirror as he lovingly looked at his pride and joy.
At the church grandpa went to find his seat, grandma went off to do the business of tea and our bride got dressed and made up in the back of the car. Sweat streamed down her face leaving her face and hair a mess. Her dress slowly got soaked as she sat inside the churchyard right before the church door in an old car with no air-conditioning. Two hours before her wedding.
Guests crawled with laughter as they arrived to find a red-hot bride cussing at the 40’ C day, her stubborn grandpa and never choosing him again to bring her to church. Well, at least she was on time.