Meant to be
Rohan Bell proposed to Kadeen Shaw on Valentine's Day, two months after his first encounter with the Washington State University political science graduate who stole his heart.
Bell was smitten, but the woman with whom he exchanged vows on May 15 at the First United Methodist Church of Miami said she was cautiously optimistic in the beginning.
"It was not easy at all to say yes when he proposed, because it was so soon after we met. I thought he was crazy. I told him you don't really know me to make that kind of declaration," Shaw told Flair.
However, Bell helped her to open up and accept a kind of love she had never experienced before.
"I was a lot more guarded, but was unable to resist him, particularly after he spent the night after we met nursing me, after I caught the flu. He stayed up with me and took care of me, rubbing my head with rum and giving me fluids to drink. I remember thinking I am in trouble, because this man was so different. He was so kind and caring that it blew me away," said the new bride.
What Shaw did not see, her mom Jacqueline, who has been married for years, recognised the love very early. It was her mom who introduced her to Bell.
Shaw's parents had met him a few months before she did, when he was building a set for a play they were producing. "My mother said to me, 'I like this guy Rohan for you'. Of which I thought she was crazy, but I guess in this case mother knows best," said the bride, who had both an adult and a mini bridal party.
Unknown to Shaw was the fact that her mom had already set the wheels in motion. "Her mom and I had been talking about her, so I knew about her even before we met. I had made up my mind already that I was going to propose to her," revealed Bell.
When he did propose on Valentine's Day 2015, Shaw cried, and Bell said he didn't know what to do, so he just gave her the ring as a promise of his love to her.
It didn't take much longer for Shaw to realise this was the man for her. "I was attracted to how sweet he is. He is a great cook, he visited me and painted my entire apartment and my friend's daughter's room. At that point, he kept impressing me and I kept thinking, how did I get so lucky?"
The two exchanged vows in a beautiful wedding ceremony, witnessed by a host of relatives and friends in downtown Miami, Florida.
Jamaica's queen of soul, Gem Myers, belted out the words to the song Jesus.
At the wedding reception held at The Rusty Pelican, near the Rickenbacker Causeway in Key Biscayne, Myers had guests hanging on her every word as she created musical magic. When she sang in the church, the congregation stood still, and when she belted out love songs of yesteryear at the reception, arms, legs, torsos, heads, all parts of the body moved voluntarily.
Shaw, a St Andrew High School graduate, met Myers at age 15, and knew that on the day she got married this was the person who would sing at her wedding.
"Women often think about what they would want when they get married. For me, that was Gem. I remember after one of her shows at one of my parents' productions, asking her if she would sing at my wedding and she said, 'no problem'."
Michael 'Stringbean' Nicholson had the guests in stitches.
A fantastic master of ceremonies, Nicholson had the programme flowing beautifully.