(post written between myself and SteelEagle)
It was time! The music had changed to the processional, the atmosphere was balmy with just a hint of autumn chill to the breeze, the guests were waiting on bated breath!
Windy Whistles, mother of the bride came first. It was easy to see she was giddy with pride as she made her way to her and Bow's seats up front. Next there was quite a line of bride's maids. They walked two by two up the straw covered isle.
First came Fluttershy and Spike. The dragon trotted next to the pegasus only fussing with his bow tie once on the way. The two made their way side by side and then split one to either side when they got up front. These were followed by Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo. The two fillies strutted up looking a little nervous and very excited. Scoots blushed furiously as she missed a step and almost stumbled. Thankfully Sweetie was by her side and they made their way up taking each side. Next came Gilda and Coloratura. A few ponies gasped to see the famous star at the wedding.
The stage was flanked by friends and family as Pinkie Pie, RD's best mare walked out onto the isle. As per usually she couldn't keep with the processional rhythm and ended up bouncing her way to her place! Scootaloo raised an eyebrow and Pinkie mouthed "what?!" Before smiling and turning to face the guests.
Now came Bow Hothoof with his beloved daughter on his arm. Having her supportive if not overly so father there helped calm Rainbow. She strutted down the isle smiling at friends, trying to ignore the thrum of her heart. Her father kissed her cheek and went to sit next to Windy while RD stood up front.
Twilight walked the isle next, keeping in perfect beat with the music. She smiled and gave a wink to RD as she stood next to her good friend.
"Relax," she smiled to her friend. RD visibly relaxed, her wings settling deeper next to her sides.
Rarity was next, right before the flower fillies and then the bride! Rarity was stunning and caused a few more gasps as she made her way to stand opposite of Pinkie Pie as AJ's best mare.
After all of this, the music changed again. Every creature stood and turned to face the back of the aisle…
Applejack made her way down the aisle, or what counted for one, as the music reached its crescendo. Now that she was doing it, it felt like all the worry and all the concerns she had melted away. She saw RD, she saw her friends, she saw her family and she knew this was perfect. She walked down the aisle and reached where she was intended to be, Granny Smith there with her the whole way. When she reached the end, Granny Smith leaned in, gave her a kiss on the cheek with tears in her eyes, and let her go as she went to take a seat. They weren't going to force the elder Apple to stand and take part too much. She took her place across from RD, looking into her eyes and smiling to try and stop herself from crying with joy. She felt like such a little filly right now, giddy as could be, and forgetting for the moment just how tired she felt. Love could do that.
Twilight looked at her friends. She wanted to explode with how happy she was for them, but they had chosen her as their officiant. She had taken that responsibility seriously and even now pushed down her trilling sense of happiness. As the two took their positions she smiled, and a book levitated in front of her. She had written down her remarks and other notes and had memorized it, but wasn't going to take chances. This needed to go perfectly. They deserved it. The music calmed and silenced itself when the book was raised, and Twilight began.
"Hello everypony and welcome. We are here on this beautiful day to witness the act of love."
"Love is the magic that has brought Applejack and Rainbow Dash together and through that magic, we are joining them today. But what do we mean by love? When we love, we see things other ponies do not see. We see beneath the surface, to the qualities which make our beloved special and unique. To see with loving eyes is to know inner beauty. And to be loved is to be seen, and known, as we are known to no other. One who loves us gives us a unique gift: a piece of ourselves, but a piece that only they could give us. We who love, can look at each other’s life and say, “I touched her life,” or, “I touched this life,” just as an artist might say, “I touched this canvas. Those brushstrokes in the corner of this magnificent mural, those are mine. I was a part of this life, and it is a part of me.”
“Marriage is to belong to each other through a unique and diverse collaboration, like two threads crossing in different directions, yet weaving one tapestry together. The secret of love and marriage is to be in love and in trust, to know in your hearts that you want only the best for each other. It takes dedication. To stay open to one another, to learn and grow, even when it is difficult to do so. And it takes belief to go forward together without knowing what the future holds for you both. Belief in each other, and belief in yourself. The true art of married life is an inner journey unique to each yet jointly shared through trials and tribulations as readily as successes.
It is a mutual enrichment, a give and take between two personalities. A mingling of two endowments, which diminishes neither, but enhances both. It is, ultimately, the emergence of the best selves of each pony. It is a supreme sharing of experience, and an adventure in the most intimate of relationships a pony can have. It is the joyous union of two ponies whose comradeship and mutual understanding have flowered in romance.”
“Today Applejack and Rainbow Dash proclaim their love and commitment to the world and we gather here to rejoice, with and for them, in the new life they now undertake together."
Twilight took a breath and looked at her friends. She wanted to just commit them to this union right then, but there was a way of doing this in a traditional sense and she knew if nothing else Applejack would appreciate it.
"Now I ask you, Applejack and Rainbow Dash to take into consideration the magnitude and significance of the vows about to be taken. There are many implications involved when two people commit to a lifetime of love. Let us take a moment to reflect on those implications and acknowledge that along with the celebration of marriage there is depth and meaning in the pledges you will be making to one another and it is with much determination, acceptance, forgiveness, respect, loyalty and love that builds the foundation for a strong and enduring marriage. Rainbow Dash, having taken this into consideration, what do you have to say?" She asked, setting the stage for Rainbow Dash to say her vows.
Rainbow's heart swelled as Twilight mentioned her element in her list of pledges towards the end of her words. She could do that, she could do all of the things Twilight was talking about! She could be that pony for AJ. RD had decided for herself after a long list of mess ups that she was going to be different. Especially now that their second little one was being born. She would be there. She would be loyal. She would... oh Celestia! She was supposed to be saying this out loud!
RD cleared her throat, dropping the emerald gaze of her beloved for a moment to pull a crumpled paper from her vest pocket. She glanced at it and then held it down. She could do this without her notes.
"AJ, you're..." She sucked in a breath. "When I think about..." she shook her head. No that wasn't right, it wasn't what her heart was saying.
"I love you Applejack. Plain and simple, I love you." There, this was feeling better. "You are the piece that puts my everyday together. You are my everything. I don't know how to tell you the depths of what I feel for you, I can tell you again, how I fell for you." She gazed into AJ's eyes, her mind going back to that special Running of the Leaves.
"You were my biggest adversary, the hardest competition I've ever had, or will have. I trained for that day. I had to beat you. I had to be the better of us. I was focused on winning, focused on crossing that finish line before you." She swallowed lightly. "I remember that moment my focus shifted from the finish line to you. Just you. Your drive, strength, determination. You went from my biggest adversary to my heart's desire in an instant." Blush. "Of course I couldn't tell you that!"
"That’s not how Rainbow Dash does things!" She smiled as some chuckles went up from the guests. Everypony knew that wasn't RD's style. "So the competition waged on! It was the best way to spend time with you and get to know you better. All the while I fell harder and harder." Her voice softened. "Our first kiss, first dates, all of that. Then our living at the farmhouse with you. Our little Zap Apple... our new little one." Her heart pounded with excitement and pride. "And I get the honor," she spoke gently. "The privilege to stand by your side. There's no pony else, nothing else for me. It's you AJ. From that magic moment when I saw you for real until my last breath, it's you." She ruffled her wings. "I love you Applejack, and I'm so stoked to spend my life with you!"
Twilight wasn't surprised at all by the display of emotions that came flowing from Rainbow. Twilight knew of their vows but not how they'd be delivered, and the infectious excitement. A smile couldn't help but grow on her face though as she turned to Applejack.
"Applejack, having heard Rainbow Dash's vows to you as her intended, do you wish now to respond?"
Applejack was a traditional mare at heart. Rainbow Dash had said a lot about how she came to love, came to honor Applejack, and expressed it in words that were strikingly earnest and completely hers. Applejack didn't think she had to do that. She had evidence of their love walking around and another stark reminder inside of her, ready to burst out at any moment. Instead, she would rely on a variant of vows Apples had given for time immemorial. Looking straight into Rainbow's eyes, her own hazel eyes clear with intent and affection as she spoke.
"Ah make this vow before friends and family, in tha land of Apples long since passed, An' in this space and with mah words Ah do make this vow of love and commitment.
Ah, Applejack, take Rainbow Dash ta be mah wedded wife, and ta live together in marriage. Ah promise ta love you, comfort you, honor an' keep you for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness an' health, an' forsaking all others, be faithful only ta you so long as we both shall live. An' that's tha truth," she said, adding that last line impromptu, her emotions getting the better of her ever briefly.
Once the vows were said and done the exchanging of symbols was to take place. Scoots trotted forward, bearing a simple oiled wood box on her back between her tiny wings. This Twilight levitated between the two mares.
RD was doing her level best to keep herself together. All she wanted to do was nuzzle AJ tightly and fall into those hazel eyes of hers, but she couldn't yet. Ceremony and then the reception after. Of course she was enjoying it all but she found herself longing to just be near her beautiful mare.
Soon the box was opened revealing a pair of hoof rings. The rings were at the same time beautiful and simple, a style both mares had agreed on. They were also magically enhanced and when the right hoof came into contact they would size to fit perfectly.
Soon Rainbow had AJ's ring in her grasp and reached out to meet her mare's hoof.
The ring fit snugly and once secured on shrunk even more, magically adjusting itself. Applejack admired it for a moment before doing the same to Rainbow, securing her ring on Rainbow's hoof. She wanted to continue holding it, but there'd be time for that and much more later.
"Because Applejack and Rainbow Dash have desired each other in marriage and have witnessed this before our gathering, affirming their acceptance of the responsibilities of such a union, and have pledged their love and faith to each other, sealing their vows in the giving and receiving of rings, I do proclaim that they are married. Let all creatures here and everywhere recognize and respect this union, now and forever. You may now seal your union with a kiss."
Rainbow felt a sudden wash of peace flow over her as Twilight spoke the final words. She stepped up to Applejack and swept a wing gently around the farm, pulling her close.
"Now and forever." She repeated the words softly before kissing AJ with tender passion. Not a long kiss, but a true one, one with all the heart in the world.