Alexandra was ready for a little drama when her stepmother showed up to her wedding wearing a white dress and insisted on taking center stage. But her spouse had a surprise plan that caught everyone off guard.
Linda thought, “These flowers must be perfect for this important family event,” as she painstakingly placed the flowers.

I sat at the dining table sipping tea and tried not to panic as my father gave her a warm, condescending smile. He said, “Linda has a great eye for details.”
I

said, pretending to laugh, “Yes, Linda, they do look nice.”

Linda became my stepmother when my mother died when I was ten years old. She enjoyed being the center of attention, and today was no different. She was clearly planning to steal the show at my wedding.
“Are you excited about the wedding?” I asked my dad, attempting to change the subject.



His eyes gleamed. Indeed, Alexandra. It is going to be a lovely day.

“And everything must be perfect,” Linda added. Events this significant don’t come along very often.

I nodded and imagined how Linda, like she usually did during family get-togethers, would find a way to make the day all about herself.
My

concern increased as Linda kept fussing over the flowers. With her around, it was difficult to enjoy the preparations. I made an attempt to be courteous and said, “Do you need any help, Linda?”

“Oh no,” she said with a dismissive wave. “Everything is in order.”
I forced a smile and said, “Okay, Dad, I’m going to take a break. I have to be somewhere.

At the wedding planner’s office, I got to know Sarah, my best friend and maid of honor. She detected my mood and gave me a hug. “Why does the bride appear so depressed?”

“I think I’m just anxious,”
Relax, everything will be OK today! We are running late, so hurry up.
We went inside Grace, our wedding coordinator,’s office. “Your stepmother insisted on giving a speech and wants to sit in the front row, Alexandra,” Grace told me as she looked up from her notes.

It stunned me. Linda and I had talked about this before, and she was aware that my parents were entitled to the front row.

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Sarah’s eyebrow went up. “Aren’t the bride’s parents usually seated in the front row?”
Grace gave a nod. Indeed, typically. Since we are reserving a seat next to your father for your late mother, Linda shouldn’t be in the front row. Family customs must be respected, especially in light of how important your mother’s memory is.

I felt frustration rising within me. Linda prioritized herself beyond anything else. “She needs to have a very ambitious performance plan.”
Sarah inclined closer. “We must be prepared for whatever she has in mind.”

“How would you like to handle this, Alexandra?” Grace enquired.
I took a moment to reflect. “May we suggest she sit in the second row and remind her that my parents have reserved the front row?”

Grace concurred. “I will now speak with her. How was her speech?
I expressed my opinion that she shouldn’t give a speech by shaking my head. It is not intended to be a spotlight on my mother, but rather to respect our marriage.

Sarah gave a nod. “We can locate another speaker—possibly a member of your mother’s family.”

I said, “That’s a great idea,” feeling more at ease. Let’s make sure the speeches are kind and meaningful.

Grace took notes. “I’ll take care of it. Everything will go without a hitch.
Sarah gave me assurance as we left Grace’s office. “Alex, don’t worry. Linda won’t be allowed to spoil your day.

I nodded, hoping she was right.

When I got back to our flat, I told Tom about my concerns. “Linda is determined to take center stage. She is adamant about making a speech and occupying the front row.
Tom gave me a hug. We’ll deal with it jointly. Remain calm.

“But she always seems to take the lead, Tom.”

He grinned. “Believe me. I have a scheme in place.

Inquiring, I questioned, “What kind of plan?”

He kissed my forehead and said, “Just have faith in me.” Though unexpected, it will maintain the attention where it belongs: on your mother’s memory and the two of us.
I sighed, feeling a little better but still nervous. “Hopefully. All I want is for things to run smoothly. Linda is really erratic at times.

Tom gave me a firm hug. “I am aware. But we can handle this. collectively.

Feeling a little more at ease, I nodded. “Tom, thank you. That has great significance.

“Anytime, darling,” he smiled comfortingly. “Let’s enjoy our evening and stop worrying about Linda for a little while now.”

I smiled back at him, appreciating his help.
When the wedding day finally came, I felt both anxious and happy. Sarah, appearing pale, walked into the room as I was getting ready.

She drew me to the window and whispered, “You won’t believe this.”

Glancing out the window, I saw Linda getting out of her vehicle wearing a floor-length white bridal gown.

“How the heck is that?” I was taken aback. How was she able to?
I hurried to her and said, “Linda, what are you doing? You cannot attend my wedding wearing white!

She grinned shamelessly. “Oh, Alexandra, you have your entire life ahead of you; you’re still young.” I might not get the chance to experience being a bride again. I’m deserving of this praise.

I was about to burst out laughing, when Tom pulled me in. “Believe me, we’ll handle this later,” he muttered, sporting a cheeky grin.

“How was she able to do that?” I objected.
“Please believe me.” Tom persisted.
Linda was seated in the first row, enjoying the attention as the ceremony got underway. Grace appeared defenseless, but I had faith in Tom.

I concentrated on the moment and the vows. Whenever I looked up at Tom, he nodded encouragingly. However, Linda’s arrogant expression made me doubt his scheme.

It was now finally time for the speeches. Tom cut Linda off as she stood to accept the microphone.

“Ladies and gentlemen, let me share a special video in honor of Alexandra’s late mother before we move on.”
The screen displayed a lovely montage of my mother along with moving notes, pictures, and videos as the lights went out. My eyes welled with tears, and the guests showed signs of emotion. Linda’s arrogant look changed to one of shock.

Tom grinned knowingly at me after the homage. “Alex, tonight is about celebrating our love and paying tribute to your mother. Nobody is able to take that away.

Then he spoke to Linda. “Linda, would you please come on up here?”
Linda strode to the stage, thinking she was about to be honored.

Tom began another slideshow, saying, “We’ve decided to let Linda shine even more today because she has always been a star in her own right.”

The first pictures were innocent; they showed Linda attending the wedding from various perspectives while wearing a white dress. The pictures later disclosed further details, such as Linda breaking into my bridal suite early that morning, attempting to put on my veil, and tinkering with a pilfered bouquet.
Linda’s face reddened as gasps echoed across the room. She made an effort to remain calm, but Tom wasn’t finished.

He signaled the DJ to play a tape of Linda bragging over the phone to a buddy about how she was going to outdo me. “This young princess must understand her proper role. I’ve been waiting for my chance long enough.

The audience gasped, with some even jeering. “I told you I had it covered,” said Tom as he gave me a hug.
However, the surprise had not ended. Tom had set up a guest speech by Linda’s ex-husband, who told stories of her previous antics.

Linda, ashamed and trapped, hurried out of the corridor as silently as she could. With a triumphant look on our faces, Tom and I realized we had given her a lesson. Though not for the reasons she had hoped for, she did get the attention she desired.

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