Kareen and Dwayne Tie the Knot during Church Service
While several congregations across the island gathered for a special church service celebrating fathers last Sunday (June 21), members of the Ridgemount United Church in Mandeville basked in the sheer bliss of witnessing two becoming one after the pastor's sermon.
The first of its kind in the parish, Kareen Knight and Dwayne Allen made history when they sealed their eight-year union and were pronounced man and wife by the Reverend J. Oliver Daley.
After attending church for a number of years and being mentored by the pastor, the couple felt the need to officially begin their walk with God through baptism but knew marriage had to come before.
With the exorbitant costs associated with weddings and the couple's financial difficulties at the time, this step seemed impossible for them until a suggestion was made.
"You don't need a million-dollar wedding to get married, and when I suggested that they get married during church one Sunday, they were delighted and said that was an amazing idea," said Daley beaming.
The format of the wedding was no different than any other as the flower girls laced the red carpet with petals and the congregation stood upon the entrance of the bride as she sashayed down the aisle in her beautiful gown.
Nervous and eagerly anticipating the end of standing before hundreds, Allen stood by the altar as his wife-to-be made her way to him with a mega-watt smile, beaming with pride.
"Everybody inside here, I think, would have been touched by it. In their own marriage, it somehow brings back memories and creates reflection on the context of worship. It makes marriage stand up in the life of the community, and as an important part of the community of believers and worshippers, it makes it real to them, and in my mind, too, it becomes an example for supporting and encouraging marriage," stated Daley.
With a backing band and thrilling vocalists, the sounds of soulful music filling the air, Allen kissed his bride and the congregation's approval echoed through rounds of applause.
"I am encouraging it. I hope others will take this as an example and run with it," Daley said as he welcomed the idea of having future weddings during worship service.
The joy of the moment was felt by all, but Allen was the happiest of the lot.
"I'm feeling very good about today and what has happened. I want to thank God for what he has done today for me, my wife, my kids, and the rest of the family. I have been looking forward to this day for about eight years now, and I am finally happy that it has come to light and I must thank Reverend Daley for all of this," he said.
The morning service and wedding ended with a grand reception in the church hall, the celebration of fathers, and love filling the air.