Sometime between 1 and 3 p.m. on December 5, some 120 guests watched from beneath a beautifully decorated white tent as Reverend Whain Graham pronounced Dueal Allen, son of Calvin and Imogene Allen and Lelieka Murdock, daughter of David Murdock and Veda Allen, husband and wife. It was a beautiful sunny day, and the ceremony held at the Runaway Bay HEART Hotel was brief.
The bride wore a beautiful gown by David's Bridal and the groom wore a Stafford suit. The bridal party comprised Sheldon Peart, Baraka Allen, Tiffaney Sloley and Llossandra Jhonson, Alexandra Abrahams and Michael Chambers.
The occasion was executed by wedding planner Tanasha Gordon and Mrs Royal-Wright. Master of ceremonies Alrick Blake kept things lively.
Celebrating the occasion were Calvin and Imogene Allen, David and Veda Murdock, Ian and Monica Lawrence, Leroy and Clair Palmer, Zulema Allen, Randolph and Yvette Hayden, Olive and Lloyd Codrington, Michelee Murdock, Cassandra Wellington, Christopher and Sanchia Allen, Florentina Allen, Petrona Allen, Rupert and Desereen Richards, Ian and Iacynth Bryan, Jeffeth Murdock, Dwayne Lawrence, Carlous and Carey Lawrence, Danavan Morgan, St Hugh Morgan, Dr Prince Morgan, Fay Melhado, Karen Forester, Sade Robinson and Andrew Sloley, and many more.
Dueal and his wife met in 2005 at KFC on the University of the West Indies Mona campus. "I was having lunch and I met Dueal who was doing the same with his friend. I was at the table with a friend and he was there making conversation with her so I had no idea he was interested in me, reflected Lelieka.
"Turns out it was his plan to act like he liked my friend when he really liked me. After the meal, we walked outside and to my surprise he introduced himself and gave me his number. I wrote it down and thought to myself, 'How him so bright, giving me his number and not taking mine?' But I had no intention of making him my boyfriend; he was just good to talk to and would be a good friend to have.
"I enjoyed talking to him so I went home and told my roommates about the guy I met. He was nice, but based on how I was raised, I was not looking for a boyfriend. I was just concentrating on school. But when I decided to call him, I could not find the book with the number. My roommates and I began to search for it, but we had no luck. But one Sunday when I was cleaning the room I found the book in the corner of my bed. I only intended to talk to him some more because he was a great conversationalist and I just wanted to be friends.
"Our first date was at KFC on campus. For weeks we just talked and got to know each other. Even then I remained contemplative because I was thinking this was too good to be true and I must find out if this guy is for real. We took time to get to know each other and one night after law class he was outside waiting for me. It was a surprise visit. We sat under a tree and talked until midnight beneath a moonlit sky, and that's when we had a spiritual connection, and we both knew we were soulmates there and then.
"Dueal began to walk me to and from class every day. This went on until, one day, he asked me to make it official and be his girlfriend. I promised to think about it. He wondered about my response but I just wanted to analyse the situation before making a decision. I wanted to make sure I was doing the right thing. I wanted to say yes right away, but it was a week later that I told him yes and began our relationship.
"We have had our challenges but we both use God as a guide and we encourage each other in every way to be better people. The journey led up to marriage and we finally did it. We are perfect for each other and with the love we shared decided to start life together with God as our guide. We worked out well because we became friends first and we took time to know each other before we became serious. What we like most about each other is our spirituality. We will be together forever no matter what.