The townspeople settled on both sides of the aisle, to make sure the numbers were even. With the Hendrix triplets finally settling down, there was no point in upsetting anyone. Better for the men to feel they were a part of Fool’s Gold.
The Gionni sisters, still feuding, sat across from each other. Eddie Carberry and Gladys Smith settled next to each other. Mayor Marsha walked in with her granddaughter and grandson-in-law, Charity and Josh Golden, their beautiful daughter in Josh’s arms.
Pia and Raoul Moreno each had a twin daughter. Morgan, the man who owned the bookstore, sat next to them and reached for one of the girls. He was still waiting for his daughter to give him a grandchild. The McCormick family took up an entire row. Janis and her husband, Mike, still looked at each other like they were on their honeymoon, despite having been married more than thirty years. Daughter Katie and her husband, Jackson, were expecting their first child in the spring.
Jo and Will slipped in a side door.
“Is my hair okay?” Jo asked anxiously.
Will kissed her. “You look amazing.”
She smiled at him and leaned close. “Thanks, but do I look like I just had sex? I think people would find that tacky.”
“No. They’d be jealous.”
As she sat next to him, the diamond ring on her left hand winked in the light. Neither of them were interested in a big wedding like this. Sometime in the next few weeks, they would take off for Las Vegas and make it all legal.
Charlie, Annabelle and Heidi walked in together.
“Nice,” Charlie said. “A little fussy for me, but nice.”
“It’s beautiful,” Annabelle said with a sigh. “It almost makes me wish I was more romantic.”
Beside them, Heidi nodded. “I’ve sworn off men, but I could almost go for this.”
They walked up the aisle and found seats behind Mayor Marsha, Charity and Josh.
Denise Hendrix sighed with contentment, watching the guests settle. Despite the speed with which everything had been arranged, the whole wedding had turned out perfectly.
The fragrance of roses and lilies mingled with the scent from tall, tapered candles. Romantic music drifted from the small orchestra in the corner. She was willing to admit that might have been an extravagance, but it wasn’t every day a mother saw three of her daughters marry.
She stepped into a side hallway and went to check on the larger ballroom, where the dinner would be held.
Controlled chaos reigned. The cake decorator was setting out the last of the cupcakes. Rather than have three cakes, the girls had decided on different cupcakes for each of them. The colors of the frosting ranged from pale pink to deep red. The flavors—chocolate, spice, coconut and vanilla—reflected in the decorations on each cupcake.
A bar was set up in each of the corners. With no one having to drive, champagne and cocktails would flow. She watched ice being delivered and glasses unloaded.
Appetizers would circulate for the first hour, then dinner would be served, followed by dessert and chocolate-covered strawberries. There was a dance floor by the orchestra and a net filled with balloons that would be released at midnight.
Denise pressed her hand against her stomach, telling herself not to be nervous. Everything would go perfectly. She smiled to herself, then returned to the smaller ballroom. Once the girls were ready to begin, she would be seated next to Max—the one place in the world she most wanted to be.
“I’M WEARING A TIARA,” Nevada said, studying herself in the mirror. “I can’t believe it. I work in construction. How did this happen?”
Dakota leaned forward and adjusted the headpiece. “It belonged to Tucker’s grandmother and he wanted you to wear it. Were you going to say no?”
“I think you look beautiful,” Montana told her.
“We all look beautiful,” Nevada said, knowing it was true. Somehow they’d managed to pull off a triple wedding that reflected all their styles.
Nevada’s dress was simple. Strapless, with a plain, fitted bodice and a slim skirt. Her romantic indulgence was the bow in back that flared out into an elegant train.
Dakota had chosen beaded chiffon—an empire style with a deep V that highlighted her suddenly impressive cl**vage while concealing her baby bump. Montana’s dress was feminine, with tiers of cascading silk and lace.
Nevada had on Tucker’s grandmother’s tiara. Dakota wore a simple veil, and Montana had a loose, almost Edwardian updo decorated with tiny flowers.
The door to the brides’ room opened and Denise walked in. “Everyone ready?” she asked, before pausing, her fingers covering her mouth. “Oh, you’re so beautiful. My daughters.”
Each of them rushed to her and she hugged them tightly.
“I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
“Don’t cry, we’ll smear.”
“I can’t believe we’re doing this!”
They posed for the last few pictures, then Denise passed out their bouquets.
“Everyone is here,” she said. “Dinner is going to be lovely. I’m just so happy.” She drew in a breath. “I wish your father was here to see you three.”
“He is, Mom,” Montana told her.
Denise brushed a tear away. “I suppose you’re right.”
They all went out into the hallway. While Denise was escorted to her seat next to Max and Hannah, the sisters waited together.
They had already decided the order in which they would walk down the aisle. Dakota had gotten engaged first, so she would lead, Montana would follow and Nevada would bring up the rear.
The music changed to the “Wedding March.” The guests rose.
Dakota started walking as slowly as they’d practiced. Everyone she knew and loved was here tonight. She met Finn’s gaze and smiled at him. He smiled back.
A wave caught her eye and she saw their daughter grinning at her. Baby Hannah. Life had blessed her in every way possible.
Montana went next, loving how her dress rustled with each step. She felt like a fairy princess in a castle, and waiting for her was her very own handsome prince. Simon watched her, as serious as always. His love reached across the few yards separating them and drew her closer.
Later tonight, when they were alone in their suite, she would tell him what she’d learned that morning after peeing on a stick. Until then, she would do her best to convince him she was drinking champagne when she really wasn’t.
A baby, she thought happily. Maybe she would have twins!
Nevada waited until Montana reached the end of the aisle before starting her walk. Tucker’s gaze never left hers.
Cat had sent her regrets, something that had secretly relieved Nevada. Who knew what the beautiful but temperamental artist could have done at an event like this. She’d sent a gift, something she’d made herself. It was upstairs, still wrapped. Nevada and Tucker had decided they were going to need a whole lot of champagne before finding the courage to open that present.
Nevada was still several feet away from her sisters when Tucker broke ranks. He came toward her, causing several of the guests to chuckle. He took her hand and led her the rest of the way.
“Just so you don’t change your mind,” he whispered.
“I won’t. Not ever.”
He looked around and smiled. “I guess that makes six of us.”
When all three brides and all three grooms were in place, the minister began. “Dearly beloved…”
“I’m going to cry,” Heidi whispered.
“Me, too,” Annabelle said softly.
“I don’t believe in crying,” Charlie told them, even as she sniffed. “This is the worst. It’s making me feel all soft and romantic.”
“Me, too.” Annabelle sighed. “I want to find somebody.”
“Oh, yeah.” Heidi drew in a breath. “Me, too. But I think all the good ones are taken.”
The mayor was sitting in front of them. She turned and smiled.
“Next year, ladies. I have a feeling. Just you wait and see.”