What had started as a simple reception was becoming a party for at least seventy-five people. Maybe a hundred with the plus ones. It was asking a lot for Bridget to accommodate all of them, not to mention the costs they were incurring. Her gaze settled on her ring, a beautiful reminder that Hank didn’t seem worried about money, but still. Asking for so much always left her feeling guilty.
That was her father’s doing, and Ivy hated it. She took a breath and tried to remember the Merrows weren’t like that.
To her credit, Bridget seemed to be taking it in stride. The woman had a clipboard, for Pete’s sake.
“Are you sure this is all okay?” Ivy asked for the third time.
Bridget grinned. “It’s great. Let me show you what we’ve done so far.”
Then she nudged them toward the back room. The entrance was shielded with white drapes. As Ivy stepped through, she understood why the woman was so calm. Some kind of magic had been worked, and the whole place had been draped in white tulle, fairy lights and strands of silk ivy. The pub tables and chairs were covered with white damask. The three pool tables had tops on them and pristine white tablecloths.
Bridget pointed at the three. “These will be the food islands with all kinds of hot and cold dishes, but the prime rib carving station will be closer to the kitchen.”
“Prime rib?” Ivy chewed on her lip. “That sounds expensive.”
“It’s not nearly as pricey as you think. Plus, it’s one of Hank’s favorites.”
Birdie smiled. “Men like their steak, don’t they?”
Bridget nodded. “Name a shifter who doesn’t. Now, the guys will be bringing the cake table out any minute. That will go in that corner. There’s a spotlight I’ll put on over it, really makes it look nice.”
Birdie put a hand on Ivy’s arm. “I know you ordered a small cake, but I bumped it up a bit.”
Ivy was too overwhelmed by how much these two women had done for her to be anything but practical. “That’s good. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have enough.”
Bridget waved a hand. “I do at least a wedding a month in here. Nocturne Falls is a very popular place to get married. Mostly with the Goth crowd, but even that’s changing. Delaney’s done a few cakes for us now, and she’s always generous when it comes to serving sizes. You should have plenty.”
Bridget glanced at her clipboard. “I forgot about the bar. Forgot to tell you about it, that is. We’ll set that up on this wall. There’s three cases of champagne so the toast is covered.” She looked up at Ivy. “Is there anything specific you like to drink? I know Hank’s a beer guy, but if you want something special…”
“No, I’m good. Great, actually. I can’t believe how much you’ve done. You’ve really got this under control.”
Hank’s very capable sister smiled while Birdie preened. Bridget scanned her list one more time. “Like I said, we do at least a wedding a month here. It’s a well-oiled machine now.”
“It still seems like a lot of work.”
“Nah, not that much.” Bridget hugged the clipboard to her chest. “You know my parents are coming, right?”
“I do.” Ivy tried not to look freaked out.
Bridget smiled. “They’ll love you. Don’t panic.”
The back door opened, and a pretty brunette peeked in, giving Ivy a break from that line of thought. “Y’all ready for flowers?”
Bridget and Birdie both turned and said, “Hi, Marigold.”
Birdie leaned in toward Ivy. “That’s Marigold Williams. She’s one of Corette’s girls. She’s a witch just like her mother. All the girls are. Marigold’s got a girl about Charlie’s age. Saffron. They’ll probably be in the same grade.”
Ivy looked at Birdie. “Well, that’s…good.”
Birdie put her hand on Ivy’s arm. “Feeling a little overwhelmed, dear?”
“More than a little. But I’m so impressed that you took care of getting flowers.”
“What’s a bride without a bouquet to throw?” Birdie smiled proudly. “I hope you like them. I got mostly roses and hydrangeas. All white. With ivy. Very Southern. Too much? I figured if I stuck with white, I couldn’t get the colors wrong.”
“Sounds perfect. Really, you could have gotten weeds and I’d be thankful.” She put her arm around the woman. “Thank you so much. I’ve never had anyone look after me so well.” And that included her own mother.
Birdie blushed. “Thank you for making Hank so happy. I’d never have thought I’d have a Kincaid for a niece-in-law, but I couldn’t ask for anyone better. Welcome to the family, Ivy.”
“Thank you.” Ivy’s phone buzzed. She pulled it out of her purse and saw Sam’s name on her screen. “Excuse me a moment, Birdie.” She stepped a few paces away before she answered. “Hey, what’s up? I wasn’t sure you were still in town.”
“I am. Where are you?”
“Howler’s. It’s on Main Street.”
“I’ve seen it. I’ll be there in a few. We need to talk.”
“Okay. See you in a bit.” She hung up. By now her father surely had told Sam what had happened with Hank when they’d gone to get Charlie. That had to be what he was coming to talk to her about. Or, more likely, yell at her about.