Rustic Rainy Day Wedding from Cuppa Photography

It’s easy to be disappointed when a wedding day so beautifully and perfectly planned turns stormy, literally. And while the temperature dropped, the wind picked up, and the rain came down in buckets, it was nothing a bright smattering of jewel tones, a rustic vibe, the warmth and love of the bride and groom, and a sea of 63 Carolina Blue umbrellas couldn’t handle. A second wedding (and marriage) for both the bride and the groom (the love story of whom you have to read) – despite the rain, was perfect. And beautifully captured by the lovely Cindy of Cuppa Photography. (Plus, a special video surprise from InkSpot Crow Films!)

wedding rings shot

classic men's attire, bride's shoes

periwinkle blue bridesmaid dresses

bride's jewelry and accessories

classic whimsical wedding dress, bridal portraits

rustic wood display covered in moss, white hydrangea centerpieces, purple orchid flower arrangements

Barbara and Douglass first met in 1982, when Douglass enrolled in the Carolina MBA program at the same time as Barbara’s late husband, who was also named Doug. Doug and Douglass became best friends – spending much of their time together, studying and enjoying the night life of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. By this time, Doug and Barbara had been happily married for six years; and Barbara, Doug, and Douglass developed a close bond that continued until Doug’s untimely death due to cancer in 1998. Such was their friendship that Douglass commissioned Barbara (who is a professional jewelry designer) to design and fabricate his wedding rings when he married his first wife (also named Barbara) in 1987. Are you with me so far?

colorful flower centerpiece, jewel tones, teal table linens

pretty pink and purple bride's bouquet

classic men's attire, pale pink rose boutonniere

custom ceremony programs

In the final weeks of his illness, Doug made a personal request of Douglass, unbeknownst to Barbara, that he stay connected to her and their children after he was gone. Douglass promised he would, even though he was married with two children and living halfway across the world.

the bride's son walking her down in the aisle in the rain under a Carolina Blue umbrella

rainy day wedding, raining on the ceremony

rainy day wedding, ceremony at the foot of old oak trees, a sea of Carolina Blue umbrellas, rain on your wedding day is lucky

When Douglass moved back to North Carolina from an assignment (he worked in telecommunications) in Hong Kong in 2004, he reached out to Barbara as a friend. But it was three years later, after Douglass had separated from his wife, that they actually got together for a friendly dinner date.

Over the next few months, over a series of “Thursday night” dinners, things between them began to evolve. Barbara found that Douglass made her smile and laugh, and Douglass found Barbara to be warm, caring, and open. They’d known each other for twenty-five years, only now, they had taken their relationship to a whole new level.

rainy day wedding, first kiss as husband and wife in the rain, rain on your wedding day is lucky

Having both recently left difficult relationships, neither of them were willing to admit they were going on dates. Then, one night in late October, Barbara invited Douglass to a friend’s bon voyage party, and realized that something was different. For the first time, they had arrived as a couple. The atmosphere that night was so warm and loving and contagious that they shared their first REAL kiss that night as well.

bride and groom kiss in the rain

Not long after that night, Douglass brought home P.F. Chang’s takeout for them to share. After dinner, they opened fortune cookies together…the messages inside of which were exactly the words they hadn’t been able to say themselves yet. Douglass’ read: “The love of your life will suddenly appear before you”. The word of the day on the back was: “Today”! Barbara’s read: “This is the night for love and affection.” They were completely open to the true love blossoming between them after that.

rustic wood shelf covered in moss, ceremony altar, white hydrangea and purple orchid floral arrangements

colorful bridesmaid bouquets, pretty flower arrangement

bride and groom kiss in the rain

bride's bouquet

bride and groom loving on each other in the rain

pretty pink and purple bride's bouquet

Douglass asked Barbara to marry him on Valentine’s Day in 2010 after returning home from an elegant dinner at a French restaurant called Provence. (He had also given her the most abundant bouquet of her favorite, Stargazer Lilies, ever!) Douglass talked about wanting to spend the rest of his life with Barbara, that the last two years had validated everything he had dreamed her to be after becoming friends almost twenty-seven years before. He said: “I don’t know where this path is leading but I want to go there with you.” Barbara recalls that he then got down on one knee, took her left hand in his, and asked her to be his wife. To which she said: “YES!”

giant paper mache puppets of the Paperhand Puppet Intervention led the processional parade

giant paper mache puppets of the Paperhand Puppet Intervention led the processional parade

giant paper mache puppets of the Paperhand Puppet Intervention led the processional parade

happy bride and groom in the rain on their wedding day

{From the Bride} All of our plans, preparations, and hopes were based on the day of our wedding being a beautiful day. It was to take place outdoors on our 30-acre family “farm” under a striking stand of old oak trees. We chose the date April 9th 2011 for numerological reasons. We studied the Farmers’ Almanac, and weather reports – everything looked like it would be so perfect that we decided it was an unnecessary expense to order a backup tent for the ceremony.

The day of the rehearsal was sunny and bright, so you can imagine our dismay when the weather suddenly shifted and the actual wedding day dawned with heavy foreboding clouds and a strong prediction of thunderstorms and rain. As I was driving to the hair salon to meet all the attendants, I frantically called Grace, our wedding coordinator, and asked her to get a message to Douglass to “Find umbrellas! Buy a hundred of them!!!” No amount of praying was going to change that dark, dark sky.

The closer it got to 4 o’clock and the beginning of the ceremony, the worse it looked, like it would just POUR. Right as I stepped out of the golf cart on the arm of my son, who was giving me away, the wind whipped up and the rain began. Up went 63 Carolina Blue umbrellas (all Douglass could find to buy)! It was a totally unexpected but a wonderful sight – a sea of sky blue umbrellas.

The wind and the rain made the giant chimes hanging above in the oak trees clang so loudly it was difficult for our guests to hear the service. Yet, it made it all the more intimate for us. Sadly, the string quartet had to run for cover at the first raindrops – into the reception tent where they continued to play, but all the music we’d carefully selected was barely heard.

The temperature dropped suddenly as well, and all the bridesmaids, my maid of honor, and myself were shivering and freezing, but the service went on. When my best friend stood and gave her reading, the rain soaked her notes to tatters, and the wind nearly tore the remainder away. Still, the service was everything I had hoped for, and we said our vows and drank from the cup of life together. The incredible kiss after the minister’s words “I now pronounce you man and wife” felt like it would never end!

My greatest worry was that our “special event” would not be able to happen. But then we had a miracle, and the rain stopped just as we walked back up the aisle together. Then the giant paper mache puppets of the Paperhand Puppet Intervention appeared from their hiding places to lead everyone on the processional parade. The giant crane, held aloft by 3 people, straining against the wind, was our magical escort, followed by a huge white owl, a white stag, and others. The guests followed the puppets down to the pond and floating boats of flowers to enjoy cocktails, while we had photographs with family.

The rain began again with greater force and everyone made haste to the reception tent for dinner and dancing. Several times, I thought the tent might burst, the downpour was so great, but if it’s true what they say that “rain on your wedding day brings good luck”, then we have enough for a lifetime and more!

tent reception, jewel tones tablescape, royal purple table linens

colorful floral arrangements, tent reception, jewel tones, pink table linens

fancy blue wedding cake, colorful macaron tower, jewel tones

purple, pink and white Japanese paper lanterns, jewel tones, tent reception

tent reception, tall colorful floral centerpiece, jewel tone tablescape, royal purple table linens

jewel tone tablescape, floral centerpieces, royal purple table linens

first dance

{Advice for Couples} Laugh a lot. Keep talking. Appreciate each others’ quirks and differences. Tell each other “I love you” in different ways, every day. Live in the moment, and enjoy every day.

Congratulations, Barbara and Douglass! Normally I would wish you both lots of love and luck in the years to come, but with the amount of rain you had on your wedding day, I think you’ll have enough good luck for many lifetimes :) So I’ll wish you lots and lots of love instead. Thank you so much for sharing your love story with us! Thank you, also, to Cindy of Cuppa Photography for sharing their very special day with us today, and to MacKenzie of InkSpot Crow Films, for hopping on Cindy and My’s bandwagon (two days ago) and getting us the video in time for today’s publication! You ladies are the best!! xoxo

Photographer: Cuppa Photography / Videographer: Inkspot Crow Films / Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Grace Leisure Events LLC / Flowers & Decor: Tre Bella Florist / Invitations & Stationery: Salutations / Tenting and Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / Lighting: Get Lit / Catering: Durham Catering Company / Puppets: Paperhand Puppet Intervention / Cake Baker: Miel Bon Bons / Ceremony Musicians: Arioso Strings / Ceremony Venue: Shimmer / Hairstylist: Vent Salon / Makeup Artist: On LoKtion Makeup Artistry


  1. You had me at ‘rustic’ and ‘rainy day.’ Both in one sentence – so romantic!

  2. Thank you so much for the wonderful feature!! It was a truly beautiful day!

    • Alexandra says:

      It was an honor and my pleasure! Thank you so much for sharing their special with all of us!! xoxo

  3. Whooooa. That crane is awesome! And I love their macaron tree!

  4. Barbara and Douglass says:

    Thank you for such a wonderful feature of our love story and wedding day….and even right on the lunar anniversary of our wedding (16months)!
    Just reading out loud, to Douglass, my voice was cracking and tears were in my eyes as I remembered that most magical day! So many thanks go to all those people who participated and helprd our dreams
    come true!

    • Alexandra says:

      It was an absolute honor and completely my pleasure, Barbara! So much love to you and Douglass! xoxo

    • Sarah Shafer says:

      Dear Barbara and Douglass: I loved the memories of that very special day. We were all so happy for you two. I loved being with you last Saturday and witnessing your happiness in being together. I always love being with my cousins. May life be good to you both!

      Love, Sarah

  5. Such an incredible love story! We were honored and thrilled to work on the invitations and related stationery for this wonderful couple!

    • Alexandra says:

      Thank you so much for stopping by, Holly! So wonderful to hear from one of the vendors who worked on Barbara and Douglass’ special day! xo

  6. What a beautiful story and wedding. And I love the video–looks like it was a fabulous time! :) Congrats.


  1. [...] So it should be no surprise that I was thrilled that Alexandra of the fabulous wedding blog, Heart Love Weddings, was equally enamored and is featuring Barbara & Douglass’s wedding today!! Be sure to [...]

  2. [...] Ceremony Decor from Cuppa Photography via Heart Love Weddings / Invitations via Magpie Paper Works / Bouquet from Sarah Falugo Photography via Reverie Magazine / [...]

  3. [...] ceremony in the rain? It can work out AND look beautiful! Totally inspired by this rustic affair from Heart Love [...]

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