Sun | Aug 9, 2020

Fireworks spark wedding and a baby

Published:Tuesday | July 14, 2020 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Narmeo Walker and his beautiful bride Tashanna McCourty on their wedding day, July 5.
Narmeo Walker proposes to Tashanna McCourty as the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Day, 2020, at the Kingston waterfront.

The COVID-19 pandemic may have crushed fairy-tale dream weddings for some in 2020, but the deadly disease was not scary enough for soldier Narmeo Walker to break his New Year’s Day pledge to marry his girlfriend.

The 28-year-old private in the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) had proposed to 22-year-old Tashanna McCourty amid thousands of Jamaicans who crammed the waterfront in downtown Kingston to ring in the New Year with fireworks.

The proposal was restaged moments later with MCs at the traditional celebration.

They tied the knot at the Garrison Church of the Ascension at Up Park Camp, the JDF headquarters in Kingston, on July 5.

“COVID is a disaster. It almost mash up everything. Likkle most the wedding nuh gwaan,” a relieved Walker told The Gleaner on Monday, referring to social-distancing protocols a few months ago that had dictated only a handful of guests. Restrictions have since been revised to allow for 50 attendees.

Excitement, anticipation

While it was an extraordinarily emotional occasion for his better half, Walker said that he was seized with excitement and anticipation.

He recalls fondly his bride’s seductive sway as she glided down the aisle, how her dress “siddung pon har”, rendering him speechless at that memorable moment. McCourty Walker caused him to sweat for 45 minutes before making her grand entrance.

“She had me constantly looking around and everybody was telling me I am not supposed to see her, and the pastor seh I must ‘turn back round’.

“... I couldn’t find words to tell her how beautiful she was when she came. I was just stunned,” Walker told The Gleaner.

The couple are expecting a baby in December. The newborn will be Narmeo Jr if it’s a boy, but a girl will be saddled with at least five names, said the private.

“We don’t know the gender yet, but that’s the greatest gift man can get,” he said.

McCourty Walker said that her wedding day was nerve-wracking, her eyes welling with tears before the ceremony started and all the way through to the end.

“It still turned out to be an awesome day, although the majority of the persons we invited at first weren’t able to make it due to the pandemic,” she said.