Well, it's official...Eugene and Rapunzel are married!! :) They tied the knot earlier this afternoon.
It was a small, simple wedding. Beast'sbelle decorated the top of her washing machine so that we could use it for the ceremony. Rapunzel ended up agreeing to borrow my wedding dress. It looked absolutely gorgeous on her. Eugene borrowed a tuxedo from an obliging Ken doll (I think he belonged to one of Beast'sbelle's daughters). He had to switch boots with Robby for the ceremony, too, because Eugene's boots are brown and just didn't look quite right with a black tux. :)
There was no aisle for Rapunzel to walk down, so we had Eugene turn around until Rapunzel was in place. Appropriately, as he waited, Beast'sbelle had "I See the Light" from "Tangled" playing on the computer. :) I wish, dear readers, that I could have captured on film the look on his face when he first saw her. It was priceless.
I realized as I started this post that some of our wedding customs may be unfamiliar to you. Some things are the same, but some traditions are unique to our fashion doll culture. For instance, we wear white wedding dresses (when they are available to us) to symbolize purity, like you do. But we also try to wear something red as well. In our culture, red stands for unending loyalty, and is an important symbol of what the marriage ceremony means to us. It worked out very conveniently that my dress already had red roses across the bodice. And I realized, even though I didn't care for Rapunzel's wedding bracelet, it was very fitting with its red and white beads.
We marry one partner for life. Once our vows have been spoken, nothing but death parts us. Even if dolls are lost or separated by yard sales or whatever else, they will remain true to their spouse unless they see them destroyed with their own eyes. I know this is probably surprising to you after all of the stuff with Barbie and Ken versus Barbie and Blaine. But that was all Mattel. If you ever sat down and talked to an actual Barbie doll (or any other fashion doll, for that matter), you'd be quite surprised to discover her perspective on things. And you might think twice before selling off half of your Barbie collection...you never know which couples you could be breaking up for a lifetime.
Okay, so back to the wedding. Robby and I were honored to stand up with Eugene and Rapunzel as their friends and witnesses. Percy, Beast'sbelle's older Disney Store prince doll, performed the ceremony. There aren't too many ordained ministers or justices of the peace in the doll world. Because of this, we usually choose a male doll in good standing that knows both the bride and the groom. Everyone agreed that Percy would be a great choice, and they were right. He handled everything very professionally.
Once Percy had taken both of them by the hand, he welcomed everyone and had them sit down. [Beast'sbelle let all of her deboxed Beauty and the Beast dolls attend as wedding guests, so the wedding was well attended.]
Next Rapunzel and Eugene exchanged their vows. They chose the traditional fashion doll vows, only slightly different than your human wedding vows:
"I Rapunzel take you Eugene, to be my wedded husband. To have and to hold, to love and to cherish, in brokenness and mint condition, with rich humans or poor, for better or for worse, till dumpster or landfill do us part."
Then came the glove and bracelet ceremony. Not all fashion doll brides use gloves in their weddings, but it is a wonderful tradition dating back to some of the earliest doll weddings. Since my wedding dress came with gloves, Rapunzel decided to include this tradition in hers. The gloved hands of the bride symbolize her unmarried state. When the groom removes her gloves to return her wedding bracelet to her wrist, it symbolizes the openness and vulnerability they will now share as a married couple. It speaks of their future endeavors to keep nothing hidden from each other, but to be open and honest in everything they do.
Following the glove removal, Eugene placed Rapunzel's bracelet on her left wrist (not sure why it's left...it's just always been that way...maybe we borrowed it from your traditions), and Rapunzel did the same for Eugene. With that, it was official. Eugene got to kiss his bride and their marriage was a done deal! :)
Oh, and as a side note, you may notice from the pictures that Rapunzel is standing on the right and Eugene on the left. According to Beast'sbelle, this is opposite from your human weddings. We have the bride on the right to symbolize that she will be the groom's "right-hand doll", (or right-hand man, as you humans say it). She will be his helper and friend, ready to support him in all of his endeavors. The groom is to love and cherish his bride and take care of her needs.
Everyone agreed that the wedding was a great success. Percy performed his part wonderfully. Eugene and Rapunzel were so adorable; they only had eyes for each other. When Eugene kissed Rapunzel, we all gave out a loud cheer. It was so exciting to see them beginning their new life together as husband and wife!
I was surprised to see that even Ben showed up as a wedding guest. He still wore his usual expression of disdain, but he applauded along with everyone else when Percy announced their marriage was official.
Beast'sbelle took some wonderful wedding photos, and then it was time for them to go. Eugene had borrowed a pony from Beast'sbelle's collection to lead his beloved away.
Just as they were getting ready to leave, Rapunzel beckoned me over to her side. With a grin, she handed me her bouquet. And here lies another wedding tradition different than yours. Instead of tossing the bouquet, the bride chooses the girl she thinks should be the next to marry. This time, that doll was me.
I blushed, but took the bouquet from her as nonchalantly as possible. "You've got some great choices," she whispered, glancing over at Robby and Ben. "Soon I'll be celebrating your marriage," she winked.
I laughed it off, but why did my mouth feel so dry? Before I could figure out a witty response, Eugene took the pony's reins and started on his way. We all waved as they left. Rapunzel waved back, her face so full of joy that she was radiant.
Beast'sbelle had a special surprise waiting for Rapunzel. She and Eugene had worked all day on the bottom drawer of the big dresser, transforming it into a lovely honeymoon suite for the happy couple. Beast'sbelle told us later that Rapunzel couldn't believe her eyes when she saw how special it was.
Rapunzel and Eugene are planning on doing some traveling this week. They'll be exploring the back yard together, staying in all of the different rooms of the house, and meeting new dolls and collectibles. I even heard that they're going to try to stow away in the car at least one day to see where it goes. They are deliriously happy together. I'm so glad for my special friend.
It didn't take long for the excitement to die down. The Belle and Prince dolls all started back to Beast'sbelle's room. Soon, the only ones left were Robby, Ben, Beauty, Marguerite, and myself. Beauty is Beast'sbelle's fancy Barbie doll, and Marguerite is her classic Belle doll dressed in her blue village dress.
I watched the others talking together as I scanned the area for anything left behind. As I did, I noticed that Ben and Marguerite seemed to be stealing glances from each other throughout their conversations with their friends. Hmmm...could there be a possible connection there?
I kept watching Ben out of the corner of my eye. I had been feeling guilty about my behavior towards him last week, and had been wanting to apologize ever since. It seemed like I would never get the chance, though. The one time an opportunity presented itself two days ago, I lost my nerve. I was determined to make things right today...no more excuses!!
Finally, after Beauty and Marguerite left the room, Robby and Ben finished up their conversation and Ben started towards the back of the house. As he walked by me, I timidly reached out and touched his arm. He turned, startled. The moment he saw it was me, his face hardened into an impenetrable mask.
"Hi," I began awkwardly.
There was no response from the solemn doll in front of me.
"I just wanted to apologize for the way I acted last week," I barreled onward before he could say anything. "I should have tried a little harder to be friendly. I'm sorry."
He eyed me cautiously.
"I think we got off on the wrong foot," I continued bravely. I stuck out my right hand. "Could we just be friends?"
He glanced down at my hand, then up at my face with a guarded expression. Finally, after a long pause, a small smile flickered at the corners of his lips. He took my hand in his and gave it a brief shake. "I suppose it couldn't hurt to try," he said quietly.
"Great!!" I let out a sigh of relief. "I've been stressing about this all week!"
Again, that small hint of a smile briefly changed his features. "I must be going. My presence is expected elsewhere." With that, he gave a stiff bow and went on his way.
I stared after him. What a strange guy! He talked like someone from a stuffy old-fashioned novel. And he was so hard to read! I could never tell what he was feeling by looking into his face.
I was so lost in my thoughts, I didn't notice Robby coming up behind me. "What was that all about?" he asked curiously.
I jumped, startled by his sudden voice. "You scared me!" I scolded him.
He laughed. "Sorry."
"It's okay, I guess. Just don't let it happen again!" I chided him in a playful voice. I turned back to watch Ben. "I just said I was sorry, and he accepted my apology."
"Good job!" Robby said, obviously impressed. "That wasn't so hard, now was it?"
I made a face. He just laughed again.
"He's quite handsome when he smiles," I said thoughtfully, more to myself than to Robby.
The silence between us was suddenly so thick you could cut it with a knife. I glanced over at my companion and was surprised to find his expression serious. Then I realized the error of my comment. I knew Robby was self-conscious about his appearance. How insensitive of me to talk about the good looks of another doll in front of him! Robby looked desperate to say something, but nothing came from his lips.
Ashamed, I looked away from him. "It was a lovely wedding today," I said casually, trying to change the subject.
I heard him clear his throat. "Yes," he said simply.
"Are...are you okay?" I finally asked, turning back to him.
He gave a nervous laugh. "Yes...of course! I'm fine."
I wasn't convinced, but I let it go. "We should be getting back."
"Don't we need to clean up the decorations?"
I shook my head. "Beast'sbelle said she would clean everything up for us."
"Wow, that's nice of her." He gave me a mischievous glance. My old Robby was back. With exaggerated politeness, he gave a deep bow. "May I escort you back, Mademoiselle?"
I laughed and took his arm. "I'd be honored, Monsieur."
And with that, we headed back to our places in Beast'sbelle's room.
I thought I'd end this post with some of the wedding pictures Beast'sbelle took. Enjoy! :)