A Family Wedding. - The Magic Onions

A Family Wedding.

Thank you all so much for the love and happiness so many of you sent me over the past few weeks. My brothers wedding was beautiful beyond imagination. It was a coming together of two very special people, celebrated with everyone they hold dear, in a family setting of amazing beauty.

James and Michele were high-school sweethearts. They met when James was 17 and Michele was 15. They held hands and blushed, they kissed and blushed and they declared, blushing, that they were dating. They have been together ever since, 13 sweet and loving years. Our family adored Michelle from the very beginning. And as the years went by we started to wonder when they would marry. Oh my gosh… in the last couple of years we have been frantic for them to announce their wedding. It would have devastated all of us if this union somehow had failed to happen. Then, in May last year, I received a text from James… ‘Asked Toots to marry me… she said YES!’ We were utterly delighted. I whooped and clapped and even shed a tear of joy. The wedding date was set for January 2011 and our whole family, split up all over the world as we are, booked our plane tickets and planned a tremendous family Christmas in South Africa followed by the last family wedding of my generation.

The wedding was held at my aunt and uncles vineyard, Lievland, just outside Cape Town, South Africa. The old Cape Dutch farmhouse stands amongst the oak trees and the grape vines.

The farm dates back to the early 17 00’s and the beautiful gabled farmhouse was built in 1828.

The old world charm is breathtaking. The house looks down onto the dam which is surrounded by bulrushes and is home to two resident swans.

My wonderful aunt and uncle moved out of their home and into their rondavel (a traditional African, round, thatch-roofed, hut) so that we could all be together for the days leading up to the wedding. We hustled and bustled, getting everything ready for the big day, making memories I will cherish forever.

James and Michelle got married in front of the gorgeous old door to the underground wine cellar.

It was a hot African afternoon and the bridesmaids looked so pretty shading themselves with their white parasols.

Kitty and her cousin, Willow, were such pretty flower girls. They held baskets filled to the brim with rose petal confetti and handed each guest a handful to throw for the happy bride and groom.

Both Kitty and Teddy were enthralled throughout the lovely ceremony… they definitely felt the magic in the air.

I was honored to give a reading for the ceremony. I chose a passage suggested by one you… there were so many beautiful words offered that it was super hard to choose one. The one I chose made me think of my own husband and family and so I wished it for my brother too. Thank you for your help in finding it for me… I’ll post the reading tomorrow along with all of the other seriously beautiful suggestions from you wonderful, soulful friends.

I was also honored to be one of the two witnesses to sign the wedding register. Aah, my heart was full to the top!

Look how gorgeous everyone looked. Here is my other brother, Alistair, and his beautiful wife, Carrie, and their sweet son, Finley. Fin is in his tartan wedding outfit and when asked if he thought he looked handsome he said… ‘Yes, I look like a king!’

My mom and dad looked so wonderfully smart too and I felt so proud to be their daughter.

Once the bride and groom emerged from signing the register, they were hailed with a snow of rose petals and so many happy smiles. Kitty was like a shadow to her new aunt and followed her everywhere.

There was one terrible moment when Kitty lost her precious fairy dust from around her neck But, after eliciting half of the wedding guests to search for it, it was found, safe and sound, albeit a little emptier. We deduced that the fairies had borrowed some of its magic wedding fairy dust.

Michel’s dad had made her a wonderful swing which was a firm favorite of all the youngsters at the wedding.

As were the fries that were handed out as canapes.

The wedding marquis looked spectacular.

It was like being in fairyland… everything was so white and so pretty.

My wedding gift to James and Michele was my handmade place cards from my shop Fairyfolk. I made 200 felted acorn place settings and, oh, how pretty they looked.

We ate a delicious meal while we listened to the wedding speeches. Both of my brothers spoke excellently (Ali was Jamies Best Man) and I was so wonderfully proud of the overwhelming emotions they shared. The love was palpable and to see it so freely expressed by men was a gift. When James ended his speech with the words… ‘Michele, I have always love you and I will continue to love you forever.’… I don’t think there was a dry eye in the whole room.

We danced and partied well into the night… or morning, I should say! When A Good Man and I finally collapsed into bed, our bedside clock read 4:30 AM!

The day was so beautiful but I have a favorite photo. It is of the two swans seen from the marquis… they are swimming in the light of the spotlights for all to see.

Thank you for a wonderful wedding, James and Michele. Thank you for bringing us all together, thank you for sharing your vows with us and thank you for making us remember our own. We love you.

Blessings and magic,

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Donni Webber is the mom behind the popular natural living Waldorf website and blog, The Magic Onions - where the magic of nature and the wonder of childhood collide to make each moment a precious gift. She is a photographer, writer, crafter, wife and mother of two inspiring young children. Her work has been featured in many popular publications, including HGTV, Better Homes and Gardens, Disney and Apartment Therapy.

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  1. So beautiful Donni- I am touched by your beautiful description and so happy you shared this experience with your words and photographs-all the best to the bride and groom and to all of your lovely family!

  2. Donni, Beautiful post and beautiful wedding, I love outdoor weddings.

  3. Absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with all of us.

  4. What a grand wedding! Thanks for sharing it with us. Everything was lovely!

  5. What a gorgeous wedding – thanks for sharing this

  6. Thank you for sharing this beautiful day with us! I so enjoyed it!

  7. I was so touched by the photos and experiences. Truely memorable for you all.

  8. Oh MY GOSH!!! That was so beautiful. I got all teary reading it and looking at the photo’s and I don’t even know you! What an amazing day you had. The beautiful vineyard. Perfect!

  9. Hi there, I just wanted to let you know that I linked to your site in my most recent blog post:


    Looking forward to exploring your website more!

  10. Oh Donni, how very, very special!

  11. This site is about a family wedding. All are happy and gracious. The wedding marquis looked spectacular.Thanks.

  12. All so incredibly gorgeous! :) like a fairy tale indeed!

  13. oh my goodness. i am so in love with this post. you shared your beautiful family and this most special of days so well. i have a heart filled with love after reading this. my favorite photo is of kitty in the gorgeous wedding swing. wow! you obviously come from a family of creative artists! all of it is so elegantly beautiful – just so lovely. your story telling is wonderful too – i actually welled up with tears after i read about the one terrible moment when kitty lost her fairy dust but then someone found it (after everyone searched) and there she is joyfully swinging. i felt transported by your pictures too. this post in itself is a wonderful gift of memory keeping for you family. i am sure you are doing something along those lines too with your wonderful words and pictures. congratulations to you and your family!

  14. It looks absolutely breathtaking!

  15. wow – gorgeous!

    I want that swing :-)

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