Natalie & Adam Carlson

On July 1, 2009, in Trafalgar Square in London, England, two transplanted Canadians met, and both of their lives were changed forever. Natalie McFarlane and Adam Carlson were living in London, having relocated for job opportunities. Dressed in red, both joined the festivities in the famed square that day. In amongst the thousands of others, Natalie and Adam met by chance and sparks flew. Two days later, Adam took Natalie on their first date. Three dates later, as they lay on the grass in Hyde Park, talking and laughing, Adam knew that Natalie was the one. He affirmed his decision with a message he scrawled on an old envelope on returning home from the park: “I will marry Natalie”—and dated it “August 23, 2009.”

Natalie and Adam remained in London for another two years before moving back to Toronto together in 2011. Although Adam had always known that Natalie was the one he wished to marry, it wasn’t until the couple returned to London in the summer of 2012 that he decided to ask her to marry him. Adam chose Regent’s Park for his proposal. When he and Natalie had lived in London together their flat wasn’t far from the park, making it a favoured spot of theirs. Whilst there, amongst the blooms in the rose garden, Adam sweetly got down on one knee and asked Natalie if she would spend the rest of her life with him. Of course her answer was “Yes,” and the couple spent the rest of the afternoon sipping champagne at the National Portrait Gallery overlooking Trafalgar Square, the place where they had met three years before.

With so many friends all over the world, Natalie and Adam initially worried about where to hold their nuptials. They wanted a location that was easily accessible to both their Canadian families and UK friends. When the Bermudian Wardman family offered their Paget home and gardens to Natalie and Adam for their wedding ceremony, the engaged couple was overjoyed. It was the perfect location for beloved family and friends from opposite sides of the Atlantic to come together.

With her in Vera Wang and him in Bermuda shorts, Natalie and Adam wed on July 26, 2013, in the rose garden of the Wardman family home. Clouds loomed overhead, but thankfully the rain delayed until just moments after the couple said, “I do.” “If rain is good luck then we have lots!” recalls Natalie. But despite the poor weather conditions, she adds, “Nothing could ruin the day I was going to marry the man of my dreams.”

As the rain poured down, the decision was made to move their prearranged outdoor reception at the Coral Beach Club into the dining room—a decision that didn’t faze the bride or groom, and certainly not their guests, who feted the newlywed couple graciously. With speeches from the best man and maid of honour and a song written and dedicated to the couple by the bride’s mother (“It only took three dates to know she was the one”), Natalie and Adam celebrated their marriage surrounded by the 90 guests who flew in from far and wide to be a part of their special day. Just after dinner was finished, the rain retreated and the entire wedding party took to the balcony to end the night dancing under the stars.

Looking back, the couple agree their wedding day didn’t go according to plan, but they advise other couples that that’s no reason to stop celebrating. “No matter what you are thrown on your wedding day, just go with the flow and enjoy it; it’s never going to work out exactly how you planned.” More advice for couples getting married? “Live happily ever after.”

Photography by Amanda Temple

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