Barbara is a jewelry designer with her own business, Barbara McFadyen Jewelry, and Douglass is an entrepreneur who started his own business as well; FloLogic, for residential water damage protection. With two seemingly diverse backgrounds, they made the perfect team for creating one of the most magical weddings I have ever had the privilege to be a part of. Love of family, artistic expression and attention to detail were hallmarks of their plans and I am sure all of their guests are still talking about their amazing wedding.
The day had been threatening rain and we were hoping the heavy winds would blow away the storm. There were big surprises in store for the guests and the rain would have been a problem - or so we thought. Right as we were about to begin the ceremony, the rain started and Douglass ran to get the 60+ umbrellas he had purchased earlier in the day. Thanks to the wonderful guidance of the wedding planner, Grace Beason, and her Assistant, Samantha Kozub, both of Grace Leisure Events, the umbrellas were handed out swiftly and the ceremony and all events that followed went off just fine, despite the downpour and the steep temperature drop that came along with it.
Barbara was escorted down the aisle by her son, who sheltered her with an umbrella.
|photo by Cuppa Photography|
He remained at the front, holding the umbrella over she and I, while the best man held another over the groom. All the guests and the Bridal Party had individual umbrellas, which were UNC Carolina blue (being so close to Chapel Hill, after all), and the light blue was a perfect accent to the rich purple of the Bridesmaid dresses and the pastel lanterns strung in the tree branches around us.
|photo by Cuppa Photography|
Standing so close together for the umbrella coverage added an unexpected intimacy to the already beautiful ceremony that Barbara and Douglass had worked so hard to create. As the rain fell and the wind blew with such force that the paper lanterns in the branches were hanging horizontally, the giant wind chime hanging in the tree above us added its deep notes as a resonant counterpoint. It felt like The Universe was baptizing the moment and the heart of Nature was alive in the sound of the chimes. It was a most remarkable sensation and absolutely perfect for the inner sensibilities of this very spiritual couple.
The ceremony took place amid the lush, green rolling fields on their property near Chapel Hill, with a scenic pond in the immediate distance. We stood in front of a grove of oak trees and a wooden shelf that had been attached to the tree trunks became our altar. Flowers and candles had been creatively placed along the length of the shelf by Tre Bella Flowers and the beautiful moss at the foot of the trees was hand-transplanted by Barbara from another location on the property. (I told you there was attention to detail.)
Even the simple aisle roses on the chairs were stunning in their simplicity, as well as the tables set up behind the last row of chairs.
As if by magic, the rain stopped just before the ceremony finished and as Barbara and Douglass recessed out the aisle and into a field to the right of where the guests were seated, a giant white crane puppet emerged from the woods to escort them. As it approached the newlyweds, it dipped its beak for them to pet him and then covered them with its giant body and off they all headed to the pond for the cocktail hour. It was amazing, magical and very moving and all of us watching were deeply touched.
|photo by Cuppa Photography|
As they moved through the field toward the pond, a giant white elk emerged from a different part of the woods to join them and on further still, a giant white heron emerged as well.
Then, from the woods behind the guests, a giant white snow owl emerged to escort all the guests to the pond for refreshments, to the immense delight of all the guests. All the puppets remained with the guests for the length of the cocktail hour while Barbara and Douglass returned to the wedding trees for photos with the Bridal Party.
Did I say it was magical? It truly was.
|photo by Cuppa Photography|
The remarkable puppets were from Paperhand Puppet Intervention and the puppeteers were wonderful to remain in the woods like they did to surprise the guests and to brave it out with all that rain. Those cloth puppets must have been extremely heavy, being wet and fighting the strong wind, but they still pulled it off like professionals. Some of the male guests even lent a hand and became puppeteers on the spot. I later spoke with one young man in his teens who had done so and he was still grinning from ear to ear as he spoke of it.
I love this photo of Barbara and Douglass with their Bridal Party, comprised of their children, grandchildren and Douglass’ business partner as the Best Man. It is all about family and friends for them and everything they planned for their wedding was evidence of that.
The cocktail hour took place over at the pond, where a bar had been set up and lovely tables and lanterns placed in the grass. Floating on the water were beautiful flower arrangements and towering over the pond was a giant white lantern whose reflection in the water looked like a full moon. More magic.
After the wedding photos were finished, all the guests joined Barbara and Douglass in the bright, clear reception tent. It was really beautiful inside. Spring colors were on display everywhere, from the table linens to the paper lanterns hung from the ceiling, to the Groom’s cookie cake and the beautiful, unique wedding cake. Both cakes were created by Miel Bon Bons and looked way too amazing to eat.
Upon seeing the magnificent wedding cake, I half expected to see a flying carpet standing rolled up, leaning against the back of the tent, ready to carry the happy couple to an exotic locale at the end of the night.
To enhance the ambience even more, an Arioso Strings quartet entertained guests through the dinner and then a band, Shimmer, took over for the dancing.
Other wedding professionals who helped make the wedding celebration so fantastic;
Photographer - Cindy Giovagnoli of Cuppa Photography - a dear friend of Barbara and Douglass
Videographers - Philip and MacKenzie Henry of Inkspot Crow Films
Makeup - Pamela Hung of On LoKtion Makeup
Pam, an award-winning makeup artist, even stayed into the reception hours so she could keep Barbara’s makeup refreshed all night. I’ve never known a makeup artist to do that before and it was most impressive. Here is a shot of her touching up Barbara’s makeup during the photos after the wedding. That giant smile you see on Douglass’ face never left his face all night. He was one happy man.
It was truly a wedding to remember and I will always have a smile in my heart whenever I think about it. Thank you, Barbara and Douglass, for including me in such a magical moment in your life together.
Update 5/7/11 - Barbara and Douglass did go to an exotic locale for their honeymoon. They went to St. Barts for a romantic getaway and here are a couple of their honeymoon photos. The magic continues.
Update 5/17/11 - Cindy Rapp Giovagnoli of Cuppa Photography just sent me a link to her blog post about the wedding and the photos are spectacular! I encourage you to go check it out. Some of her photos are included in this post but there are many more to touch your heart in the blog. She also wrote something really insightful about rainy day weddings and I have included it here. If your wedding ends up being in the rain, you will surely find this to be true as well;
“Here’s the magical thing about a rainy wedding day: everyone lets go.
They let go of preconceived visions and ideas. They let go of the idea that everything has to be perfect. They let go of the stress (after the initial panic at the rain, anyway!). They let go of everything except the beauty of their love and of the fact that this is it, that this is the day that they begin their life together as an official, publicly recognized team. There is laughter and imperfection and mud. There are dark skies and whipping wind and running for shelter and asking for help. There are challenges unforeseen, but somehow managed. And at the end of it all, there is one heckuva story.
If that isn’t a perfect metaphor for real life and marriage, well, I just don’t know what is.”
Update 5/23/11 - MacKenzie Henry of Inkspot Crow Films has sent over a wonderful video of wedding highlights. It’s a wonderful catch of so much of what made the event so extra special, complete with weather effects by Mother Nature’s central casting. Try as I might, I can’t get the video to embed in this post, darn it, so here is the link to the video on their blog. You are in for a great treat. My compliments to Philip and MacKenzie on a great job from beginning to end.
Update 8/9/12 - Barbara and Douglass’ wedding is being featured on Heart Love Weddings!