"I do" was my reply, naturally, when the celebrant asked me if I would take Shirley as my lawful wedded wife.
"And do you, Shirley, take Terry to be your lawful wedded husband?" the celebrant asked her.
To my sincere relief, she also answered "I do".
I was 21 years old while she had turned 20 only yesterday, a whole fifteen months younger than me. We were so much in love that we couldn't wait any longer to be married so that we didn't have to be apart.
In fact, we had been a couple for six years, through school and university. Here we were today, both poor as church mice, but I was finished uni and working, just. Unfortunately Shirley had another year before she could finish uni and get a job.
We were ready to start our new lives together as husband and wife
At 15 and 14 years old respectively, neither of us knew anything about sex, but we learned over the next three years, graduating from hand holding and soft goodnight kisses, through the usual cuddling and fumbling with buttons and bra straps, enjoying first touches on naked breasts, until our kisses became more passionate and our embraces more urgent and what it was like to suckle on those glorious globes.
I was almost seventeen by the time we had discovered the joys of mutual oral sex and the wondrous pleasure it could give us both. Fortunately, Shirley was as inquisitive as I, but growing up in a small country village, we had precious little access to sex education, especially 'how to' guides.
Sure, we learned about the birds and the bees. We knew that sexual intercourse would lead to pregnancy and about horrible social diseases one could catch from having sex with people who had done who knows what with who knows whom.
Our families weren't much help in that respect and neither of us had any siblings, so there were no older, or younger for that matter, brothers or sisters to give us advice either. Even at school we learned surprisingly little about sex, other than lots of dirty words one could use to denigrate others. The kids talked about it, but no one seemed to have done it or really knew how to do it.
Once I got to university all that changed and suddenly the world opened up to us, especially the next year when Shirley joined me there too. She saw a doctor and, at eighteen, went on the Pill, determined that when we made love we would do it properly and somehow condoms seemed dirty to her, as if they were to stop getting diseases and that couldn't happen between a monogamous couple.
After waiting the time recommended by the doctor, Shirley and I spent a weekend away down the coast and no longer were either of us virgins.
On the other hand, we certainly were the blind leading the blind, but we discovered, with lots of practise, we could enjoy the pleasures of the flesh. We were both prepared to make that sacrifice and practise often. With us both being away from home there were plenty of opportunities.
By this stage, Shirley had grown from a beautiful young girl into an even more beautiful woman. In her bare feet, she stood 165 centimetres tall and was perfectly proportioned with gorgeous B cup breasts that were milky white and firm, topped with lovely, long nipples.
Shirley had what could only be described as a beautiful, angelic face, while her blue eyes were just one of her many stand out features, along with her lovely soft shoulder length blond hair. Her waist was slender and her hips surprisingly slim, but her legs were perfect, well shaped with just the right muscle tone and a small bottom with lovely round cheeks. Where her legs joined was the most perfect sex one could image, not that I'd seen any others apart from all those I'd seen in men's magazines.
By mutual agreement, she had removed her pubic hair, waxing it, because we both liked maximising the area I could kiss and lick. When she was naked, she looked about sixteen, I reckoned, if that.
Because neither of our families had any money, and also because we were poor uni students, our wedding was simple and our honeymoon plan simpler – a tent in the camping grounds at Shoal Bay north of Newcastle.
We had a simple ceremony at the uni with a few friends, at 11:30am on the Saturday morning, our exams having finished the previous day. We all enjoyed a light lunch in the uni café and then Tommy, a very good friend of ours who fortuitously had a station wagon, drove us and our borrowed camping gear three hours to where we would spend the next eight days. He was coming back to get us on Sunday week around lunch time and we promised to have everything packed up and ready to go by midday.
He stayed for half an hour helping us erect the tent before setting off on the return journey, but only after we had thanked him profusely and I gave him $100 to pay for the petrol and buy himself a slab of beer. That was a lot of money to me.
By 7pm we were sitting in a small outdoor restaurant enjoying a lovely dinner and a nice bottle of bubbly, which unfortunately was almost finished before we were, but we figured we shouldn't really splurge on another bottle. We had a tight budget for the honeymoon, but we knew we could make up for this in the years to come.
Sitting at the table next to us were two young guys, I guess around 24 or 25 years old. They were happy and enjoying themselves, not too boisterous, in fact a little entertaining as we could often over hear their conversation during those quiet moments when we gazed with love at each other.
Just when I was down to my last quarter of a glass of the lovely bubbly, lifting it up reluctantly to enjoy the last mouthful, one of the young men got up, tripped and bumped me. Fortunately, while the glass of bubbly spilled, it went onto the floor, not on me.
Naturally, he apologised profusely, offering to get me some more, but I pointed out that my glass was almost empty so couldn't expect them to get a new bottle.
"Excuse me for asking" he added "but are you two on your honeymoon?"
"Yes, but what makes it so obvious" my bride replied, blushing.
"Oh nothing, you just looked so happy together. So when did you get married?" he continued.
"Just over eight hours ago" I replied.
"What! In that case let's share a bottle of bubbly to celebrate. You don't mind do you?" he exclaimed.
"That's very kind of you" Shirley replied, her blush having changed to a very beautiful smile.
He signalled to the waiter, ordered another bottle of what we had just finished and then introduced himself.
"I'm Greg and my mate is John. He's just here for the weekend but I'm staying for a couple of weeks" he told us.
"Hi, I'm Terry and my gorgeous wife is Shirley" I replied.
"Would you prefer to be by yourselves on this special night, or would you like to join us to share this bottle?" he asked us gently, obviously without putting any pressure on us, seeing it was our honeymoon.
I looked at Shirley, not wanting to do anything that she didn't want, but she just nodded at me. I realised that it wasn't as if tonight was going to be our first night together, just our first night as a married couple, and rather than spend the next eight days talking to no one, some company for a little while, especially someone around our age would be welcome, particularly as Shirley seemed OK with that.
"No, that would be nice, thanks" I told him, as they helped us move to their table, by moving our chairs and ensuring we could sit next to each other. We had finished our main course, but hadn't ordered sweets yet, so we had nothing to move as we had both finished our wine.
When the new bottle arrived and was opened and poured, Greg made a toast to the newly-weds, which I'm sure everyone in the restaurant heard, which was probably his intention. But it must have worked, because soon another bottle of the bubbly arrived and the waiter told us it was compliments of that group over there, as he pointed to a table of four older couples, who smiled and raised their glasses at us as we looked in their direction.
I thanked them and so did Shirley, giving them her winning smile.
"Have you had dessert yet?" Greg asked.
"No, we haven't even had a look at the dessert menu yet" I told him.
"Will you let me get us something that's a specialty here, but there needs to be four to order – it's their Bombe Alaska, which it unbelievable" he offered.
"But we can't let you do that, you've already bought us this lovely bottle of bubbly" I replied.
"Don't be silly, it will be my pleasure, please, I assure you" he pleaded.
"Don't worry" his mate interjected, speaking for the first time as he laughed "he can afford it. He has to shower four times a day to try and get clean, because he's so filthy rich."
Naturally that made us all laugh, so Greg said "right, so that's settled. So tell me, where are you staying?"
As he signalled to the waiter again and ordered the dessert, I replied "in the camping grounds along the road there. We have a tent."
"Are you really staying in a tent for your honeymoon?" Greg asked incredulously.
"Well unfortunately, being poor uni students, it's all we can afford. That's why this is our wedding night celebration, which thanks to you guys and the group over there is much better than we anticipated" I explained.
Just then our flaming dessert arrived. It was an ice cream cake covered in meringue that had been baked, brandy poured over it and set alight. The whole restaurant applauded as the waiter brought it to us, flames high in the air.
It looked and tasted fantastic.
.... There is more of this story ...