Penny looked like the real deal in her Perfect Moment one piece, as she elegantly glided down Méribel’s Piste des Animaux. She’d booked a table at her favourite lunch spot, Le Clos Bernard, to celebrate Valentine’s Day with Ted.
Penny had practically been on skis since she was knee-high to a grasshopper. Ted, however, was having a little trouble… He’d always been so sporty: rugby, tennis, cricket, sailing – you name it. So how was it that five days in and he hadn’t progressed beyond snow plough?! At least Penny was a patient teacher and he had someone as gorgeous as her to endlessly zigzag towards.
He caught sight of Le Clos Bernard and a vat of steaming mulled wine being dished out, and knew it had all been worth it. He could blame a few glasses of rosé for wobbling on his way home, or even convince Penny it would be romantic to hitch a lift on the horse-drawn carriage…
What are Spring mornings for if not for this? thought Penny luxuriously. Her blue silk pyjamas, patterned with morning stars and dancing swallows, kept her warm and cosy as she listened to the patter of April showers against the window. Her golden Labrador snoozed quietly at the bottom of the bed. She could hear Ted rustling about in the background. He’d been awake for hours, disturbing the peace. What on earth was he up to? ‘Penny?’ she heard him say. His voice sounded oddly high-pitched. Penny opened one sleepy eye to find him next to her with a coffee. His hand was wobbling so hot black liquid slopped down the sides of the mug. ‘Ted, are you alright?’ asked Penny, frowning. ‘Absolutely fine!’ he replied, his voice getting more and more squeaky. ‘Ok…’ she said, puzzled. ‘Actually, there was something I wanted to ask you…’ He coughed nervously and got down on one knee. Penny was suddenly very very awake. Her hand flew to her mouth. ‘Penny, will you marry me?’ said Ted, holding out the most beautiful ring Penny had ever seen. She felt dizzy with joy. Finally, after many tears and nervous giggles, she managed to struggle out a ‘Yes!’ Ted looked like he might faint with relief himself. ‘I had this grand plan of how I was going to propose,’ he said, ‘but I couldn’t wait any longer! I hope this is ok?’ ‘This is perfect,’ said Penny, ‘just perfect.’ And she meant it.
Penny couldn’t stop staring at the ring on her finger. Ted had designed it himself and she loved it. They called their friends and family to tell them the news and listened to their delighted shrieks. Then, after more tears, and more laughter, they sat in their pyjamas and cracked open a bottle of champagne for breakfast.
The day had finally come. Penny was going wedding dress shopping with her mum. She’d picked three she loved and booked appointments with Kate Halfpenny, The Mews and Alice Temperley.
It was hard to tell who was more excited. Penny’s mum was in her element: she had been bombarding Penny with pictures of wedding dresses since Ted and Penny had announced their engagement. She’d promised Penny she’d get her some earrings commissioned as a wedding present, all Penny needed to do was choose the dress…
Penny was overwhelmed. There were so many beautiful things: champagne, dresses in every shade of cream, ivory and white, veils, shoes – and then her mother’s teary, beaming face. She adored the light chiffon and the cut of the Kate Halfpenny dress she’d chosen, the neckline of a French designer dress at The Mews that would look stunning with a pair of drop earrings – but then she fell in love with a Temperley dress – there was something a little different about it.
All three dresses were stunning and she couldn’t ask the one person whose opinion mattered to her. How was Penny going to decide?