Victoria Elizabeth Adams and Richard Stephen Sambora
Together with their families
Request the honour of your presence
To share in their joy as they join their lives together in marriage
On the twenty-first day of September, two thousand and eight at
two o’clock in the afternoon at the gazebo in the park in
Niagara-on-the-Lake Ontario, Canada
In it together. For better or worse, searching for our pot of gold.
Nothing else matters, when you're in it for love, Together we can only go higher. You can reach any rainbow, you're dreaming of, Nothing else matters at all, when you're in it for love
Reception to follow at the Queen’s Landing Historic Inn
Your attendance is enough, but if you would like to commemorate the occasion, we would appreciate a donation to Stand Up For a Cure, Habitat For Humanity or a charity of your choice
Tori awoke the next morning and peeked at the clock. She didn’t need to get up yet, but she knew she’d never be able to go back to sleep. Not today. A movement from the other side of the bed had her glancing towards the blonde head buried into the pillow. She smiled. Ava’d had a bit of a late night last night. She and Jenny had really hit it off and were running around and whispering in corners for hours, until they just couldn’t stay awake any longer. The shushing of sheets made her turn and look at Karin in the other bed. They’d had a late night themselves. After the party broke up downstairs and Tori had managed to tear herself away from Richie – and he had grudgingly allowed her to go – they’d sat up talking until the early hours of the morning. She was going to miss having Karin close by. Sure they would still talk on the phone, and visit back and forth regularly, but it wouldn’t be the same.
Slipping out of bed quietly, so as not to awaken either of her roommates, she pulled on a robe and moved to the little coffee pot and set it to brew. While she waited she walked to the window and moved the curtain aside just enough to glimpse the overcast early morning sky. She sighed. Well, as long as it doesn’t rain, I’ll be happy.
When the coffee was ready she poured herself a cup and settled onto the couch to enjoy a few minutes of peace before the madness of the day started, going over everything she had to do and by when in her head. She got up and paced to the window again. She was restless. This was the day she’d been waiting all of her life for. She was marrying the love of her life, who made her happy beyond any expectations she’d ever had. As much as she’d been looking forward to it, a big part of her just wanted it to be over. She wanted to be Richie’s wife and to get on with their lives. She glanced at her watch and sighed. It was going to be a long day.
It was another hour before Karin woke up and joined her on the couch. “How long have you been up?”
“Awhile.” Tori admitted. “Couldn’t sleep.”
“That’s understandable, but too bad. I don’t think you’re going to get much sleep tonight either.”
Tori grinned. “I hope not. The last two weeks have seemed like months!”
Karin checked to see that Ava was still sleeping. “Two weeks? You cut him off for two weeks?”
“No, I cut him off for the last week – well actually circumstances cut him off since I was up here and he was still in L.A. Mother Nature cut him off the week before.” Tori grimaced.
Karin chuckled softly. “That sucks! But look at it this way, as of tonight he’s met all your criteria, so if you choose to and Mother Nature works for you instead of against you, you could be looking at months of uninterrupted physical satisfaction.”
Tori nodded slowly. “I’ve been thinking about that. I just haven’t made up my mind yet whether I want to start trying right away or wait until after we get home.”
“Why would you wait?”
“Because I want to enjoy my honeymoon, and I don’t want to put any pressure on any aspect of it.”
“So don’t think about it. If it happens, it happens, if it doesn’t, you just get to keep on trying.” Karin grinned. “Somehow I get the feeling that you wouldn’t find that a hardship.”
Tori smirked and blushed. “No, not really. But maybe we should let everything get settled down first.”
Karin shrugged. “You don’t have to decide right this minute or even today. Talk to Richie.”
Tori snorted. “If he had his way, I’d be going from the wedding to the delivery room.”
“And what about that one?” Karin nodded towards the still occupied bed.
“She’d be timing the contractions.”
Two hours later the room was full. The spa staff had arrived first, and Tori felt like she had been buffed and polished to a high gloss. By the time they were done, the mothers and the other girls had joined the fray. At one point a light lunch had been forced on her. Hair and makeup showed up next. Then it was time to get dressed.
“Tori, what earrings do you want?” Sue was searching through the jewellery box.
“Um…the amethyst studs. There should be two pairs.” Tori answered as she pulled on her stockings and attached them to the garter belt.
“I only see one here.” Sue shrugged. “I’m probably just not seeing it.”
“Tori, Grandma Helen said to give this to you.” Ava held out a scrap of elastic, blue satin and lace. “What is it?”
Tori raised her brows at the designation, then glanced approvingly at her mother who smiled fondly at her soon to be new granddaughter. “It’s a garter. Women used to wear them many years ago to hold up their stockings.”
“What are they used for now?”
“I know the colour doesn’t match your theme, but you needed something blue.” Helen explained.
“And here’s something old.” Joan stepped forward, a necklace in her hands. “It was my grandmother’s. She gave it to my mother on her wedding day, who gave it to me on my wedding day, and now I’m giving it to you.” The fine silver chain held a simple, yet elegant pendant, a large teardrop shaped amethyst at its centre. Tori looked up to meet Joan’s eyes, as a shiver ran down her spine. Joan nodded. “When I saw the colour of the dresses and your earrings, I knew. It was a sign. I knew then why it didn’t feel right to give it to Heather. It wasn’t meant for her. It was meant for you. I hope you and Richie will be as happy together as Adam and I were.”
Tori felt the tears burning her eyes. “Thank you. And it will also be my something borrowed. I’ll keep it safe until Ava is ready for it.” She hesitated and swallowed around the lump forming in her throat. “I wish….” The lump got bigger and choked off her words.
Joan knew what she was trying to say. She hugged her tightly for a long minute, then released her to look into her eyes. “I know. But he’s here. He’s watching. And he’s just as happy for both of you as I am.” She shook her head. “No crying now. Don’t want to ruin your makeup.”
Tori smiled, nodded and blowing out a breath turned to where Karin and her mother held her dress. They slipped it over her head and settled it into place. Her mother went to work on the buttons, but after a few minutes gave up. “Stephanie, you try. Your fingers are more nimble than mine.”
Stephanie grinned as she pushed the small covered buttons through their loops. “Uncle Richie’s really going to hate these!”
Dorothea raised a brow. “If your father hears you make comments like that all your clothes will have buttons like those until you’re thirty!”
The adults chuckled while Stephanie rolled her eyes and leaned closer to her aunt. “Good thing he’s a guitarist.” She murmured. Tori turned her head to raise a questioning brow at her. “He’s very skilled with his fingers.” Tori stifled her laughter and winked at her niece.
There was a knock on the door as Karin settled Tori’s veil in place. Dorothea went to answer it and returned with an envelope that she handed to Tori. Seeing her name in his familiar scrawl, Tori took a deep breath and tried to ignore the clenching of her stomach. Why is he sending me a note when I’m going to see him in a few minutes? Dorothea had recognized the handwriting as well and herded everyone to the other side of the room to give Tori a little privacy. With a trembling hand, Tori opened the envelope and pulled out the single sheet of paper.
Today is the happiest day of my life. Scratch that, the day you told me you loved me was the happiest day of my life. Oh hell, every day with you is the happiest day of my life.
For a long time I lived a charmed life. I had it all. And when I lost it, I didn’t know how to cope. I kept asking God why. Why did I have to suffer such pain and heartache? Now I know. If I hadn’t experienced the depths of despair, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate and cherish the heights of joy you bring me, and I promise to spend the rest of my life trying to return the favour.
I know you’re busy doing your girly stuff, but I wanted you to know that I was thinking of you and I love you.
Look for me at the park. I’ll be the one standing in front of the minister, watching my future walk towards me. I don’t deserve you, but I would be nothing without you. You are my heart, my soul, my life.
I love you. Today, tomorrow and for the rest of our lives.
Tori grabbed a tissue with a shaking hand and dabbed at her eyes, her heart full to bursting.
“Everything okay?” Karin murmured.
Tori nodded and handed her the note. “Put that somewhere safe please.”
“Can I…?” Karin lifted the paper. Tori nodded. Karin walked over to where Tori’s jewelry box sat and opened the note. As she read, she blinked away tears of happiness for her best friend. “Lucky bitch.” She placed the note in the box.
Finally, they were ready and it was time to go. Tori turned to Karin. “You’ve got the ring?”
Karin held up her hand showing the platinum band adorning her index finger. “Deep breath Tori. Everything’s under control.”
“Yeah Tori. Remember? It’s our lucky day.” Ava fingered the crystal four leaf clover on the necklace that Tori had given her earlier. “Today we become a real family.”
Tori leaned down to hug her. Damn! The Samboras are determined to make me cry today! “You’re right Bean. It is our lucky day.”
They headed downstairs and reached the front door just as the carriages were returning from dropping off the men. Bill was waiting for them, pride shining from his eyes as he took in the vision of his daughter in front of him. “You look beautiful.”
“Thank you Dad.”
As the carriages approached the park, they could see the guests settling into seats, ably assisted by the ushers. Suddenly Karin laughed and pointed to one side of the crowd where Tony was chasing down Romeo who was making a break for the water. They could hear his giggles when his uncle swung him up in the air. Tori chuckled. “That boy needs a leash!”
They stepped down from the carriage at their appointed spot and got into position, the girls hiding Tori from the guests. Nephew Matt and Billy came to escort Joan and Helen to their seats signalling that all was ready. Excitement filled the air. Jake appeared, pulling Romeo with him and joined Jenny and Ava. At a nod from the minister, Leanne stepped out as music drifted on the light breeze. It was nothing Tori had ever heard before and she realized that the men had composed it especially for this occasion. It evoked a feeling of happiness and peace. It was perfect.
Bill peered down at his daughter whose fingers were tapping on his sleeve in time with the music. “Nervous sweetie?”
She glanced up. “No, actually, I’m not. Not at all. This just feels….right.”
“But all these people, looking at you.”
She laughed. “Dad, I’ve performed in front of thousands of people. And they were strangers. These people are friends and family. Nothing scary there at all.”
He chuckled. “I guess you’re right.”
Tori bent down to the kids. “Jake sweetie, stop pulling on your collar please. As soon as the ceremony is over and the photographer is done you can take off your tie and unbutton your collar, I promise. Romeo if you take off, there’ll be no cake for you.” She glimpsed Karin start down the path to the gazebo. “Ok guys, you’re next.”
There was an audible ‘awww’ from the crowd as Jenny and Ava, each holding the hand of one of the boys took their turn. The music shifted to a variation of the Wedding March and the crowd stood and turned expectantly.
“That’s our cue.” Bill murmured.
Tori realized that he was nervous. She squeezed his arm reassuringly, and smiling broadly, set out to join the man who made her life complete.
In the gazebo, the men took their positions and talked quietly while they waited for the girls. Richie shifted his weight from one foot to the other and kept peering down the path.
“Relax man. She’s out there.” Jon assured him, stretching up and taking a look himself.
“I know. I’m not nervous, I just want to get this over with. I want her mine.” He glanced at his best man. “What are you looking for? Afraid your wife took the opportunity and booked?”
Jon gave him a withering glance. “No, but Romeo might have.”
“Don’t worry Jon, as soon as they hit the gazebo, I’ll grab him.” Matt assured him.
A splash of violet had them all turning to watch as one by one, the girls joined them in the gazebo. When the kids reached them, Matt latched onto Romeo while Tony snagged Jake. Richie gazed down at his daughter with pride. “You look beautiful baby girl.”
“Thank you Daddy.” She hugged him briefly before taking her place beside Jenny.
The music change had him looking up. The vision that greeted him took his breath away. Knowing how much he loved her hair, she’d left it down, just pulling the sides away from her face. His fingers itched to tangle in the curls pooling on her bare shoulders. As his gaze swept her from head to toe, licking over her curves encased in, but not hidden by, silk, his body reminded him how perfectly they fit together. With effort, he brought his gaze back to her face, gratified to see the happiness glowing there. He was determined to keep it that way.
A low whistle came from beside him. “Wow!” David murmured. Richie grinned and nodded, not taking his eyes off the keeper of his heart approaching him.
Stepping up into the gazebo her eyes locked with his and she couldn’t look away. Halting beside him she vaguely felt her father take her hand and pass it to Richie. A familiar spark set her nerve endings alight as his large hand engulfed hers. His dark eyes were gleaming with warmth and appreciation. “You look…..incredible angel.” He murmured, his voice full of awe.
“Thank you. You look pretty amazing yourself.” The coat of his tux fit his broad shoulders perfectly and was cut to flatter his trim waist before dropping down into the preferred tails.
A slight clearing of a throat brought them back to the matter at hand and they transferred their attention to the minister, who smiled indulgently and began the service. The ceremony was traditional up until the vows.
“Ladies and gentlemen, Tori and Richie will exchange their vows in words they have chosen, and, appropriately for these two, will express them with song.”
Tori handed her flowers to Karin and turned to face Richie. He took both her hands in his. They lost themselves in each others eyes as the music started, the lyrics expressing their feelings perfectly.
Tori gripped his hands and started.
I do swear that I'll always be there.
I'd give anything and everything and I will always care.
Through weakness and strength, happiness and sorrow,
for better for worse, I will love you withevery beat of my heart.
Richie swallowed, nodded and they exchanged lines.
From this moment life has begun
From this moment you are the one
Right beside you is where I belong
From this moment on
From this moment I have been blessed
I live only for your happiness
And for your love I'd give my last breath
From this moment on
I give my hand to you with all my heart
Can't wait to live my life with you, can't wait to start
You and I will never be apart
My dreams came true because of you
From this moment as long as I live
I will love you, I promise you this
There is nothing I wouldn't give
From this moment on
You're the reason I believe in love
And you're the answer to my prayers from up above
All we need is just the two of us
My dreams came true because of you
From this moment as long as I live
I will love you, I promise you this
There is nothing I wouldn't give
From this moment
I will love you as long as I live
From this moment on*
Sniffles could be heard from all directions including members of the wedding party. Tori fought back her own tears, dabbing at her eyes, her heart swelling when she saw the answering wetness shining in Richie’s.
Gaining their attention again, the minister continued with the exchange of rings. “What God as brought together, let no man put asunder. By the power invested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.”
Tori lifted her face to meet him half way. When their lips were just touching, Richie paused. “I love you.”
“I love you too.”
Richie closed the distance and they shared a gentle kiss, that was more about sealing vows and reaffirming promises than inciting passion.
“Ladies and gentlemen. I present to you Mr. and Mrs. Richard Sambora.” The minister announced.
As the crowd applauded and they stepped to the edge of the gazebo, a ray of sunshine broke through the clouds and bathed the newly married couple in its warmth. A strange feeling of welcome and approval filled Tori’s heart. Surprised, she looked towards Joan who met her gaze, smiled and nodded.
Raising her face to the bright beam, Tori smiled. “Thank you Adam.”
Richie heard her murmur and glanced down at her, his eyes shining with both happiness and a twinge of sadness. He placed his hand over hers on his arm and squeezed. He had felt the approving warmth too.
Ava stepped up beside them. “Now can I have a brother or sister?”
(*From This Moment by Shania Twain)
When the photographer – a trusted friend of Jon’s – had declared them finished for now, they trooped back to the line of carriages for the return trip to the hotel. The band members divided the kids up amongst them to protect them as much as possible from any lurking paparazzi. Security had set up a perimeter, but with the powerful zoom lenses these days, they could get shots from blocks away. They hadn’t seen any of the usual suspects around, so they were hoping that the vultures hadn’t figured out where the wedding was taking place. Jon told the bride not to hold her breath on that one, but they’d taken all the precautions they could. They’d just have to hope for the best. At least they hadn’t disrupted the ceremony.
Richie helped Tori into their carriage and climbed in beside her. Leaning back he sighed in satisfaction. Hearing him she raised a brow in question. He grinned and let his gaze skim over her. “Sweetheart, I really do love you in that dress.” He leaned closer. “But I’ll love you even more out of it.”
She laughed and snuggled into him. “Just remember that anything worth having is worth working for.”
At his inquiring look she leaned forward and turned slightly, presenting him with her back and the row of tiny buttons. He grunted and pulled her back against him, nuzzling under her ear. “I would walk through the fires of hell for you. My wife.” How he loved being able to say that!
She raised a hand to caress his cheek and turned to drown in the dark pools of his eyes and smooth back his hair. “My husband.” A flash of purple had her lips twisting. “My very sneaky husband! Now I know what happened to my other pair of earrings.”
He tried to look innocent, but failed miserably. “When I saw you had two sets, I figured you must have gotten the extra for me. So that we could match.”
She chuckled. “Uh huh. Oh we match alright. A match made in heaven.” She brushed his mouth with hers.
“No argument there angel.” He captured her teasing lips with his and tasted her gently, but thoroughly.
“Daddy, Tori, come on! We’re starving!”
They broke apart to find they’d arrived at the hotel and Ava and Jenny were waiting beside the carriage.
“I thought you wanted a sibling.” Her father grumbled.
“Richie!” Tori swatted his arm. “We’re coming Bean.”
“ Not as soon as I’d like.” He muttered. She ignored him and the response his words, uttered in that velvet voice, ignited in her core, and nudged him towards the opening of the carriage.
He stepped down and turned to help her to the pavement. Entering the hotel, they found the wedding party waiting for them.
“See Dave? I told you Aunt Tori wouldn’t let Uncle Richie haul her off to……get started on Ava’s project.” Pete chuckled. “Ow!” He rubbed his ear where his mother had flicked him.
Lucky for both males, Tori didn’t hear her nephew’s comment. Richie did though. He met Pete’s eye and grimaced. A nudge from his wife turned him towards the ballroom. Hugging her arm tight to his side they led the way through the lobby acknowledging the smiles and best wishes of the staff and a few hotel guest that were loitering.
Dinner was a mouth-watering, subtle torture. The food was delicious, but after months of regular love-making, the celibacy of the last two weeks, added to the emotions of the day and the brief kisses in the carriage combined to make her senses extremely aware of the large man sitting beside her. She could feel his heat reaching out to her, and his scent filled her nose. Under the table, even the yards of material of her skirt couldn’t mute the sensation of his hard thigh rubbing hers – especially when he increased the pressure and his previously casual movements became anything but. The frequent clinking of silverware against crystal indicating the crowd’s wish to see a kiss didn’t help. Her only consolation was that Richie was feeling the strain too.
Needing a bit of a breather, they decided that the next couple rounds of kissing would be Tori kissing the groomsmen, then Richie kissing the bridesmaids. They turned to Jon and Karin to pass the word down the line. Tori was still talking to Karin when the clinking sounded again. Tori pushed back her chair, stood, turned towards the men and froze. She fought to keep a straight face, then gave up and laughed along with the crowd. Starting with Jon she moved down the line giving them each a brief kiss and fondling their Tigger ears.
A few minutes later it was Richie’s turn. As he stood, the sound of excited monkeys filled the room. Startled, Tori turned to look at the girls who all grinned at her, exposing their fangs. Her laughter grew as she watched Richie kiss the girls – very carefully.
Finally, dinner was finished and it was time for the speeches. Tori hoped her reactions were appropriate, but she really couldn’t focus on what was being said. She was distracted by Richie’s fingers playing with her hair, caressing her nape, back and shoulders, calluses scraping her skin lightly, raising gooseflesh and sending shivers down her spine. A glance at his face told her he wasn’t even aware of what he was doing. He was acting purely on instinct, his attention on the speakers, and his instinct was to touch her continuously, gently, lovingly. She sent a silent thank you to Vera that the silk of her dress was heavy enough not to reveal her body’s response. She couldn’t fight it. Her body knew those fingers too well, knew what they were capable of, and, having been deprived, wanted more.
She took a deep breath when the speeches were finished and they rose to cut the cake. Standing in front of the three tiered confection, she steeled herself to feel him hard against her back, one hand resting on her hip while the other covered hers on the knife. They sliced through cleanly and each lifted a portion to feed the other, both resisting the face mash urge, instead, choosing to suck crumbs and icing from each others fingers. When David expressed his disappointment, Richie raised a brow at her. With an answering smirk, she reached for another piece that her mother had just cut, and handed half of it to Richie. As one they turned and smeared David’s face with it.
“Daddy, you’re supposed to eat the cake, not wear it!” Lily called.
They mingled with their guests for a few minutes until the musicians signalled that they were ready.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the bride and groom will now dance their first dance as husband and wife.” John Sr. announced.
Tori finished her conversation with her cousin and looked around for her husband. Richie walked out onto the dance floor and held his arms wide. “Okay baby, come and get me!”
Laughing and shaking her head Tori joined him. “You’re a nut!”
He just grinned and closed his arms around her. “And I’m all yours.”
“Lucky me.” She laid her head on his shoulder and sank deeper into his arms as the music swelled.
Love of my life
I don't have a lot to give you
What's in my heart
Is all that I can really give you
Love, undying love is all I have
A handful of words, that might make you laugh
And all the strength you need
To make it through
All your troubled times
I give all of myself to you
My dream come true
As they moved to the music Richie placed the hand he was holding on his chest over his heart, kissed her shoulder and sent both hand gliding over her back, caressing her silky skin and pressing her ever closer. She raised her head and met his gaze. The hand on his shoulder lifted higher until she could reach the back of his neck and scraped his skin lightly with her nails. For long minutes they just stared into each others eyes, and let the heat rise between them. Words weren’t necessary. All the love, need and desire that they felt was clearly visible in their eyes.
Love of my life
You were all I ever wanted
To be with you
Is all I ever really wanted
You, you've made my life a fairy tale
You've added love, to a life that was so stale
And know that I'll be here
Always for you, when you need a friend
I give all of myself to you
My dream come true
I've been waiting my whole life for you
Now my waiting is through
All the nights I spent dreaming I knew
That my dream would come true
So many nightsI laid awake dreaming I knew
One day I'd be with you
Now all my nights of dreaming are through
Cause my dream has come true
Dream come true
My dream has come true*
As the song neared its end, Richie bent and touched his lips to hers. What was meant to be a brief, gentle expression of love, quickly evolved into something several degrees warmer. By the time they broke apart, their eyes were dilated, their heart and breathing rates had increased, and Tori would have sworn that his hands had burned holes right through the silk of her dress. They both knew if they were going to make it through the rest of the evening without embarrassing themselves and shocking the kids, they would have to stay away from each other for awhile. Richie blew out a breath, gave her a half apologetic smile and passed her over to Bill who had approached them.
After the father/daughter dance – which was a little uncomfortable for both of them considering it had followed on the heels of the foreplay on the dance floor, Tori was finally able to head to the bar for a much needed drink.
“Ice water might be a better choice. If I remember my high school chemistry right, alcohol will only fan the flames.” Karin appeared beside her. “Holy shit Tori! I was actually looking for the fire extinguisher! For a minute there I thought he was going to take you right there on the dance floor!”
Tori blushed bright red and grimaced. “I know. And the thing is….I’m not sure I would have even tried to stop him!” She took a big sip of her wine. “I can’t believe I could forget where I was like that!” She snorted. “Who am I kidding? The man can make me forget my own name!”
Karin chuckled. “Stop bragging! Just please, for the sake of the kids and your parents – and your jealous, single friends, who aren’t getting any tonight, try to lower the temperature a bit?”
“That was quite the show you put on there sis.” Michael commented as he stopped on his way to the bar which was right behind them.
“Glad you kept your clothes on.” Jim added and he and Louise joined them. “I thought maybe you were going to fulful Ava’s wish right there.”
“Oh shut up and get me a beer.” Tori set down her empty wineglass. She needed to keep her inhibitions tonight, not lose them.
“Good idea.” Louise nodded at the wineglass. “That’s how I ended up with four.”
“It would take me more than they have in stock for even one with him!” She jerked her head toward her eldest brother. He made a face at her.
“So, I guess I should keep my calendar open for a baby shower in about nine months then?” Sue joined the group.
Tori sighed. “It’s going to be a long evening.”
(*Dream Come True by Frozen Ghost)