Fri | Jan 18, 2019

A Date with Destiny: The Charlton's Love Journey

Published:Monday | April 27, 2015 | 12:00 AMRandy Bowman & Krysta Anderson
Neil Charlton is safe in the hands of (from left) Kameika Martin, Keona Dixon, Teicia Tavares, Marcia Tavares, Renée Cunningham and Sabrina Darby-McInnis.
Charming coastal wedding cake baked and decorated by cake gurus Sweet Mischief.
The bride, who is personally responsible for her flawless make-up, beams with pride.
Two hearts beat as one as the Charltons seal the deal in a tropical paradise.
A timeless capture of the beautiful bride and handsome groom.
As evident on Mrs Charlton’s shoe, ‘til death ...’ .
The matrimonial ring waiting to make a home on the bride’s ring finger.
The ‘coastgaurds’ better known as groomsmen, decked in vests, give their support to the groom. From left are Valaine Spence, Clement Jackson, Kirk Dean, Kenya Dixon, Neil Charlton (groom) Earl Francis, and Jordan Channer.

Neil Charlton and Tameica Tavares took that fateful date with destiny when they were briefly introduced at what used to be Sidewalk's CafÈ at the Pulse Complex in New Kingston in September 2009. The introductions were made by her sister, Teicia, and in March 2010, Teicia made a second introduction seemingly playing cupid.

"When I first met Neil, I thought he seemed like a nice guy - bright smile, charming personality, took pride in his appearance, focused, and was loved by many. We shared quite a few things in common, such as our birth sign - we are both Aries," Tamecia shared with the Flair.

It was, however, the second introduction that got Neil thinking. "First thing I remembered was her smile and how pleasant she was. She has a beautiful smile," he told Flair.

As fate would have it, Neil and Tameica became coworkers. They saw each other very often, and over time became close - travelling home together, sharing music and jokes.

As their friendship blossomed, they realised they had so much in common that they were inseparable.

Their labour to love lasted nine months, and after getting to know each other during that period, they made the big step. Their relationship became official on New Year's Eve, December 31, 2010.

A-C Planned Proposal

After four years of knowing each other, Neil popped the big question on March 30, 2014 at Tameica's birthday celebration.

He made reservations at The Spanish Court Hotel, and made all the necessary arrangements. Dining at restaurants and trying new places were a hobby they both shared, so Tameica was not suspicious.

"I had everything I needed, so I mentally went through my checklist. Permission from her mom and dad - check. Correctly sized engagement ring - check. Reservations - check.

The plan was simple - enjoy a romantic dinner for two followed by a couple's stroll at either Devon House or Hope Gardens where he would then propose - something low-key and intimate. But nothing went according to script. Before he could even pick her up for dinner, it began to rain, so a stroll was out of the question. Neil had to think hard for a plan B.

His plan B included walking her to the car after dinner, accidentally dropping the car key, then kneeling down and proposing, but then it started raining again. So on to plan C: propose right there in the restaurant.

With the assistance of the waitstaff, this is how it all unfolded. "I went over and positioned the ring in her dessert plate, covered it and returned to my seat. The dessert was brought to the table and when the cover was removed, she saw the ring. I then got up, went on one knee and proposed, right there in the restaurant. She said, 'Yes', then persons started to applaud. My Plan C worked. I was elated. So much for no fanfare. But it was all worth it." Neil shared. Emotions consumed Tameica as she described that night as magical and one to remember for years to come.

Conscious Planning

The wedding date was set for April 4, 2015 - a day carefully chosen not only to accommodate family, but one selected taking into consideration the right weather, the theme, and even the moon for their beach-themed nuptials. The planning process was stressful, yet fun.

Love filled the air on what was the happiest time of their lives. The bright and beautiful day got under way at The Beach House, located in the sunshine city of Portmore.

Tameica walked down the aisle to Christina Perri's A Thousand Years, followed by a short but sweet ceremony filled with laughter, blessings and love. By evening, the cool atmosphere brought forth a calming breeze, the perfect weather to celebrate their reception. From cocktails to desserts, under a full moon, guests indulged in smores and merriment. The festive night was truly a reality of picturesque beauty, one Tameica and Neil had always dreamed of.