Chapter 25 Summary
Meg’s wedding is simple and sweet. She decided not to buy an expensive, fashionable gown because she wanted to look like herself. She sewed her own wedding dress, and she looks youthful and beautiful in it.
Meg’s sisters are her bridesmaids, and they each wear their best gray dress for the occasion. They have changed a bit in the past three years. Jo looks older and softer. Her angles have smoothed out, and she moves with confidence. Beth is still pretty but she is quieter than ever. Her eyes betray the fact that she lives with a great deal of pain, although she rarely complains about it. Amy’s beauty has flourished. She finds her nose too flat and her mouth too wide, but these small imperfections give her face character. She has a womanly grace that makes it hard to believe she is only sixteen.
The wedding goes off perfectly. Jo refuses to cry during the ceremony, if only because she knows Laurie will tease her. Father’s voice breaks several times. Meg makes her vows with a sweet certainty that moves everyone who hears her. Aunt March criticizes everything, but secretly she is as pleased as everyone else is.
After the vows are said, everyone eats fruit and cake. Laurie is surprised by the absence of wine. Meg explains that her father does not believe in alcohol except as medicine and her mother thinks it is poor form for young girls and women to serve wine to men in their home. Laurie is rather impressed by this austerity, and Meg asks him to promise not to drink wantonly with girls. He hesitates, knowing his friends will ridicule him if he does what she asks, but in the end he cannot fail to give Meg anything she asks for on her wedding day. He makes the promise, and it keeps him out of trouble for years to come.
After the wedding, everyone leaves feeling satisfied. Mrs. Moffat, the woman who predicted years ago that Meg would marry Laurie for his money, remarks to her husband that this was the nicest wedding she has seen all year. She is obsessed with fashion and society; she seems surprised that a humble little ceremony has impressed her so much.
When the guests are gone, Meg changes her clothes, and she and John walk to their new home. This is the extent of their honeymoon, but Meg is happy with it. She promises her family that she will visit often, and she insists that they have to love her as much as ever even though she is now married. They say goodbye and watch her go, smiling in spite of their sadness at seeing her leave.