If you've been keeping up with social media, you might be familiar with the now-viral video circulating of a couple embodying black love goals. The bride was a statesque goddess, her crown of afro hair surrounding her like the queen she was. And her groom who surrendered to the emotions of the moment as he cried tearfully in the middle of his vows. It was a beautiful sight for sore eyes and a beautiful reminder of the power of love.
The couple featured in the video were newlyweds Chris McFadden Jr., 32, and Nicole McFadden, 28. One conversation with the Philly couple and you understand how much of each other's yin is in tune with their yang, a rhythm. Like soul speak.
The couple's love story has humble beginnings. After meeting through a mutual friend while doing volunteer work at a local food desert, Nicole decided to shoot her shot with Chris over Instagram and a couple of strategically placed likes. They felt like home for one another from the jump. Found comfort in their similarities, and security in the fact that they knew they were each other's one.
"I think what I saw in her was what I wanted in a woman and I knew I didn't want to be without her. I saw the passion that she wanted in a relationship and out of me as a man, and I wasn't that person that she wanted as a man, but I saw that she just wanted to pull that out of me," Chris said. "I was looking at her like she wants me to be this person for her, and she really, really, really wants me and I really, really, really want her so I'm gonna be this guy. And it wasn't like a fake the funk vibe, but it was like…I want to grow to this place, so I could be a better man for myself and for her."
On November 11, 2017, the couple said, "I do" under the eyes of God and surrounded by friends and family. Like their love, a particular moment from the ceremony, lives on in the form of a viral video. The 15-second clip spread like wildfire on social media on gossip site pages and black love pages, and showed the blushing bride and her groom as he read his vows. While reading his promises to his wife-to-be, Chris could be seen falling to pieces, overcome with emotions.
It was the official start of their forever. And the gravity and the reality of that could be felt by Chris in that instant. "I was at the last sentence of my vows," he recalled. "It wasn't like I was emotional to the point where I was about to cry while reading my vows. I literally was thinking, 'Let me just get through these vows so I can kiss the bride and we'll be on our merry way. We'll go to the reception, we'll have a party.' But that last line hit me, and it hit my soul like whoa…we're about to get married. I'm spending my life with the woman I love."
Chris continued, "So after, I don't know if you can see in the video, I was kinda trying to be macho, but it was a subconscious thing like whoa, this feels kind of like a soul cleanse. That cry was like clearing up a lot of old me and I just turned into a new me and a new man I'm about to become after I say my vows and kiss the bride and all of that. That's all it was. Like legitimately, it felt like I was shot."
The line that brought him to tears was, "And forever isn't long enough." It struck a chord with him because those five words were a true embodiment of how they feel about their love.
"We said it in both our vows," he said. "I was about to say forever isn't long enough, but I broke down right before I said that."
Despite the attempt of the public to gain control of the narrative, the moment was an emotional time for Nicole as well. In their wedding, the couple had their bridal party walk in to the ceremony to the skits from Lauryn Hill's Miseducation where the students answered the question of, "What is love?" From there, they took a seat on lounge furniture couches. At the altar, on her side, she had her two brothers, and on his side, he had his two sisters. They were the only people standing at their wedding. For them, it symbolized the love they had all their lives from their siblings who always had their back.
"When he broke down, his sisters began to console him and honestly it just all came full circle for me," Nicole explained.
"To see his sisters have his back in that moment, I felt that it would have been selfish for me to interrupt, because I don't know if they feel like I'm taking their brother or they're gaining a sister."
"I saw a moment happening and I respect them too much to interrupt. I'm actually crying in the video. And I look away, because I began to cry more and I look to my brothers, who were behind me, and I look to my bridesmaids, I turn back around…and then like I'm holding my hands really tight and I wanted to touch him, but I know him and if I would've touched him when he was crying, I just felt like a lot of emotions…a lot more emotions would have come about. But the biggest, biggest piece was I saw his sisters consoling him and I didn't want to interrupt that moment. I have the rest of my life to console this man and to take care of this man and to cherish this man. And I know that that was a special moment for his sisters to stand next to him, specifically on that day. I would do the same thing again, despite what people think."
Nicole and Chris made it clear that despite some of the backlash and the unsolicited criticism of their marriage after a weekend reposted on a prominent Instagram account, that their foundation isn't shook. They've spent years cultivating and nurturing their love – people who mind don't matter. "We lost nothing from that day; we had an amazing honeymoon in China and in Thailand. We have amazing careers and we're happy. We just want to change the narrative. We found that a lot of people are reaching out to us just flat out stating like trolls ruined your wedding day, but it's like… no, that still happened. That was amazing, you know what I mean? The internet is not reality. Social media for us has been one of the biggest hurdles of our marriage and we jumped over it easily, in our opinion."
Walked around it, over it, and ultimately through it. A month and a little over a week since making it official, Chris and Nicole are very happy about what spending the rest of their lives looks like. With flourishing careers, a fulfilling home life, dedication to self-work, and traveling every other month – the two soulmates who are lucky in love are ready for wherever life takes them. No timeline necessary.
Congrats Chris and Nicole!