Nine months ago Julia Dorning’s whole life changed. Less than a year ago she thought she was destined to spend her life alone and unhappy. Now she’s got a career she loves running her very own bakery, and she is in a relationship with Jared Moody.
Julia is invited to battle on a televised cupcake bake-off, but is unsure whether she can muster the courage to do it. Suddenly Jared throws a wrench in their relationship, and Julia is faced with some big decisions.
The two people that she is comfortable confiding in are in their own world with wedding planning, and Julia is left on her own to work through her problems. Will she be able to sort things out without the help of her friends? Or will she create a huge disaster?
I can’t believe I am here.
I can’t believe I’m standing here, gazing lovingly at Jared, surrounded by our friends and family, on this amazing beach with this marvelous sunset, as we make these vows—these incredible, sure-to-make-you-cry vows—to each other.
The colors are all muted, antique tones of pink, yellow, gold. My bouquet is practically bursting with soft pink roses.
My makeup is not whorish, as my sister, Anna, would have preferred, and my hair is done in perfect, long curls, half pulled up with a small, antique jeweled clip. Simple. Understated. Exactly what I wanted.
And then there’s my dress. My dress is spectacular. It’s timeless, really, just slightly off-white, an off-the-shoulder bodice with details of stunning Chantilly lace and a sweeping train. I heart it. I heart it all. Especially Jared. In his classic suit—none of that penguin stuff for him—he looks like something out of a style magazine. His pants and jacket are perfectly tailored, and he wears the antique pink tie just because I want him to.
I glance over at my bridesmaids—my baby sister Anna and my dearest friend, Betsy Brown—gazing at us with bright smiles. Anna’s has an ever-so-slight look of jealousy, but I beam at them. This is the perfect day. My perfect day with Jared.
“Do you, Jared Nathan Moody, take Julia Warner Dorning to be your lawfully wedded wife? To have and to hold from this day forward, until death do you part?” the officiant, dressed in white, asks Jared.
“I do,” he says simply.
“And do you, Julia Warner Dorning, take Jared Nathan Moody to be your lawfully wedded husband? To have and to hold from this day forward, until death do you part?” the priest asks.
“I do,” I say as I stare into Jared’s eyes. His are filling up with tears, and I begin to well up too.
“Then by the power that is vested in me, I now pronounce you man and wi—”
“JULIA! What the hell? What are you doing in my dress?” Anna’s screeching pulls me out of my fantasy. “Geez, I leave you alone in here for ten minutes, and you think it’s okay to put my wedding dress on? Mom! Tell her to take my dress off!” Anna stomps her foot in a ridiculous, childlike manner.
My mom comes in the room just after Anna and puts her hand to her mouth. “Oh, Julia dear, what are you doing?”
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