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Rachel and Charlie - A Unique DIY Wedding at Spruce Pine Lodge in Bahama, NC

For Rachel and Charlie, simple and easy is their signature style. For their wedding, that translated into a great DIY wedding where everyone pitched in to help so they could keep their budget low. The musician was a friend, a lot of the food for the reception was brought as a potluck by family and guests and they had even met their photographer when they were neighbors back in the day.

The lovely flowers were put together by Charlie’s father and stepmother. 

The cakes were made by their families. 

And many hands pitched in to string the lights that gave such a warm glow 
to the stone and wood interior.

So where is this magical place? Spruce Pine Lodge, a rustic old log cabin in the woods of Bahama, NC. It has quite a special charm about it and I swear it seems to pick up all the happy vibes of the celebrations held there.

Another thing that old cabin does is let in some beautiful light!

Rachel and Charlie have slightly differing views on how spirituality is expressed but wanted both to be honored in the ceremony since each of them is an equal partner in this marriage. To that end, Charlie read a scripture from the Bible and Rachel read a prayer from Mother Teresa. It was remarkable how well they both fit together, with each saying the same thing in different ways. Spirit is Spirit, however it is expressed.

Before their vows they wanted to incorporate a handwashing ceremony because they liked the idea of ceremoniously starting their marriage from a clean slate. Their idea was to write their own unique marriage blessing to read to each other as a part of the handwashing ceremony. I  suggested it might be nice if the blessings could go into the water before they washed their hands in it and they immediately thought of rice paper - which dissolves when placed into water.

They found the most amazing bowl for the water. Note how the pedestal of this beautiful bowl opens into 4 open hands caressing the basin of the glass bowl that sits within them. What a gorgeous symbol of partnership in a marriage.

In this photo they have just read their marriage blessings and I have poured some water into the bowl. 

Here, they are placing their blessings into the water, then washing their hands as I pour more water over them - and finally, drying each other’s hands with a towel. 

Next came the personal vows they had written to each other, followed by the ring exchange...

and the celebratory kiss.

There was so much love in evidence that day. 
Just look at this face, beaming with such love, pride and joy.

There were many reflections of familial love, not only between the guests but also in various heirlooms that were used as decorations. Rachel’s wedding rings and necklace were heirlooms and represented 133 years of successful marriage from her great-grandparents, her grandparents and her parents. She and Charlie have some mighty big footsteps to follow!

Once the partying began, there was non-stop fun. 

Check out these fun guest favors and props they added to the mix. 

They even had a painter there, Eleatta Driver, painting the festivities as they ocurred! 

A special thank-you goes out to Cindy of Cuppa Photography for the use of her great photos! She is a real artist, as you can plainly tell here, so if you would like to see more of Cindy’s photos from the wedding, here is the link to her blog post about it. They are really spectacular photos and she captured the feel of the day perfectly. I love working with her cheery, talented self.

Rachel and Charlie, I will always remember your sincere and happy wedding and the love you shared so joyously with your family and friends. I join with all those who know you in wishing you an amazing life together. May all your dreams come true for you in unique
and wonderful ways!


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Cindy said…
Barbara, your words capture Rachel & Charlie's day perfectly! It was SO SO wonderful to work with you again! Thank you for your kind words and I hope we see each other again soon! You are awesome!!!
Thanks, Cindy, I love working with you, too, and hope we get to do many more weddings together. Your photos reflect your artistry and your heart and that is a great combination for a photographer!