The time had finally come. The day that Charlotte Le Bouff, Princess Tiana’s best friend, had been waiting for all of eternity, well, all of her young life.
She was finally getting married!
Let’s rewind, however, to the day in which she met her Prince Raphael, the serious yet warm prince from Caster, the island next to Naveen’s home land. It was the night of Tiana and Naveen’s year thee year anniversary, and Naveen had invited his family and distant relatives down, as per usual.
Charlotte, hoping that tonight would be her night to finally land a prince, was in a fret as always as she and Tiana got ready in the Le Bouff mansion. Tiana sported a dashing, sparkling blue dress that resembled the one she had when she first met Naveen as a frog all those years ago. Charlotte decided to wear a pretty turquoise ball gown, her hair up in the classic princess bun of hers, and her make-up done up to the max.
As they arrived at the venue for the party, the music is blasting, the food smelling amazing, and everyone that Tiana and Naveen were happy to call friends and family were in attendance. Naveen captured up Tiana as soon as she walked in, kissed her, and led her to the dance floor.
It was at that moment, as Charlotte chatted, loudly, with her friends that she laid eyes on a tall, dark, and handsome man who was speaking to Naveen’s parents (the King and Queen of Maldonia). She instantly could tell that he was a royal because of the way he was dressed and carried himself. And Charlotte, being Charlotte, decided to take matters into her own hands in terms of getting his attention.
She walked right over, cheerfully grabbed his arm, turned him around and said, “Are you the Prince I’ve been waiting for?”
The handsome man merely grinned, overcome by Charlotte’s beauty and her charming southern accent. “Why, yes I am! I am Raphael, Prince of Caster and Naveen’s cousin.” He then took Charlotte’s hand, kissed the back of it, and led her away to the dance floor.
From that moment on, they were inseparable. Luckily for Charlotte, Prince Raphael was coming to New Orleans to start his new life, inspired by his cousin, Naveen. They dated for a year, and one night, Raphael got down on one knee, and asked Ms. La Bouff to marry him. Charlotte said yes without missing a beat.
Now, being Charlotte La Bouff, she already knew what she wanted in terms of a wedding, and she and Tiana, her maid of honor, got right down to the planning the day after the proposal. They immediately made a board and started pinning ideas for the ceremony/reception, dresses, everything! The ideas were finally narrowed down to just a few to make things easier on her wedding coordinators, but everything began coming together piece by piece.
Things began to slowly come together. Tiana’s mom, Eudora, was going to make Charlotte’s wedding dress as big and poofy as she desired. The venue was toured and booked, the decorations and colors bought by Big Daddy (Charlotte’s father) and the invitations were sent out tout suite! Tiana and Naveen, but mostly Tiana since Naveen only knew how to mainly mince foods, even said they would take care of all the food for the reception.
They sat down with their staff at their restaurant and laid out a list of food that Charlotte should have at her Mardi Gras wedding.
The menu consisted of traditional New Orleans dishes, Mardi Gras tinted desserts, and everything else from A-Z! Chicken, dirty rice, funnel cakes, gumbo, ham, jambalaya, king cake, macaroni and cheese, onion rings, queso, shrimp etouffee by the gallons, and much more! Yummm!
As the day of the wedding dawned close, Charlotte and Raphael were jumpy with excitement. They couldn’t wait to be married!
Disaster struck, however, on the morning of the wedding.
The guest were showing up, the food being cooked, and the final touches to the venue were being added. But Charlotte, the bride, was nowhere to be found! Tiana went to check on her in the bridal suite of the venue only to find her gorgeous white dress draped over the bed, her make-up bag out in front of the mirror, but Charlotte wasn’t anywhere.
“Charlotte?” Tiana called, feeling a little panicky. “Lottie? Lottie?” She began frantically looking everywhere around the venue! When she couldn’t find her in the venue, she quickly found Naveen, grabbed Charlotte’s other bridesmaids, and they began going on an all out hunt for the missing bride!
They searched for hours and hours on end, looking everywhere from the French Quarter all the way to the Bayou!
At long last, tired, sweaty, and worried out of her mind, Tiana met back with Naveen.
“I think we might have to tell Raphael we don’t know where Lottie is…” she said.
Naveen rubbed her back. “I’ll do it with you, Tiana.”
Together they walked back to the venue and found Raphael standing outside the room full of anxious wedding guest. He himself looked weary and nervous.
“What’s been going on?” he asked. “Where’s Charlotte?”
Tiana and Naveen exchanged looks with one another, then looked back to Raphael. Just as Tiana opened her mouth to tell him the back news, she heard a clanking behind her. As if someone was running…
She turned around and saw a blob of white running towards them. It was Charlotte!
“Quick!” She told Naveen, pushing his forward. “Get Raphael inside! He can’t see the bride before the march starts!”
Naveen, bewildered at Charlotte’s sudden appearance, took a happy Raphael back inside the chapel.
Tiana ran towards Charlotte and hugged her tight as she approached her. “Lottie! Where have you been?!”
Charlotte’s face was flushed under her make-up, but she was wearing a huge smile. “Tia! We had forgotten all about shoes!”
She lifted her dress to show Tiana a pair of shoes, painted and glittering in hues of blue, purple, and green to represent Mardi Gras. Tiana shook her head. Of course. Lottie would go missing and freak out. How had she forgotten to search the shoe store?
After Tiana adjusted her own dress, she went to find Big Daddy La Bouff, and then announced to everyone that the wedding was ready to begin. And gosh, was it a darling, lovely wedding! The ceremony was beautiful, with tears and laughs, and as everyone moved to the reception hall, Charlotte was glowing, happy to finally call herself a Princess.
After food, speeches were given to the newlyweds! Tiana’s was a heartwarming piece about how she and Charlotte had been friends ever since they were children listening to stories about princesses kissing frogs. Naveen chuckled at this. Tiana then presented Charlotte with a separate, special gift. It was an album that she recorded, featuring recipes that Naveen loved. In every dish, she made sure to make it with tenderness and love, and that is something that she hoped Charlotte could do with Raphael.
The title of the album was gorgeous, featuring both their favorite colors and the title.
And the back had the list of fourteen recipes handpicked for Charlotte.
Once speeches were made, it was time for the newlyweds to dance. Much to Charlotte’s surprise, Prince Raphael had created a special mix for her, featuring songs that whenever he listened to, he thought of how much he loved and adored her. They danced to it, for the entire seven minute long mix, as their first dance as husband and wife.
By the end of the night, everyone went home happy and feeling romantic, as the wedding had been a huge successful.
The next morning, however, everyone was in for a shock.
As Charlotte awoke the next morning, she found that she was entirely alone in bed. She looked left, and then she looked right. Her Prince Raphael was nowhere to be found, nor were any of the wedding gifts that she had received.
She looked at her clock beside her bed and looked at the date. It was the morning of Tiana and Naveen’s third anniversary party.
The wedding. The Prince. The gifts. She had dreamed it all.
Charlotte plopped back down and let out a high scream of frustration. She hadn’t met her Prince and gotten married yet! But a small spark of hope in her reminded her ‘maybe tonight.’