Chester Francis-Jackson, Contributor
There is something almost reverential about the Dome that is the centrepiece of the Breezes Grand Resort and Spa over there in Negril. Indeed, the Rotunda with echoes of the Cathedral Grand, evoking memories and comparisons of the architectural genius that was the inspiration behind the fabulous Cistine Chapel of the Vatican. And while the Dome has won for the resort and its architect many awards, it was not until last Saturday that this here scribe fully appreciated the grandeur and beauty of the Dome. But it was the use for which it was employed that had tongues dropping in awe and admiration!
Dears, the Dome was transformed from its usual role of imposing welcoming foyer, to a fabulous chapel, for what proved a truly sensationally fabulous wedding, that was not only all that, it was a study in haute style, passion and high Hollywood glam, that made for a sensational experience for those privileged enough to have witnessed the production as invited guests!
And dears, make no bones about it, this wedding was a production of the finest order, the end result being a celebration of unequalled style, chutzpah, made that much more interesting, as the groom was the wedding planner!
Dears, it's safe to say that after witnessing what was a perfectly and flawlessly produced wedding, the groom has clearly missed his calling as, dears, this was a wedding ceremony of the finest order. Steeped in tradition, but oh so contemporary, cosy and refreshingly charming and exciting, it made all those in attendance happy to have been asked to share in the experience!
And what an experience it proved!
Luvs, we are talking top drawer here and nothing but as, indeed, the wedding planner, and the host resort, pulled out all stops to make it all systems go, and fabulously so!
Luvs, the wedding last weekend was the cementing of the love between a couple who first met each other on the UWI Mona campus when both were in pursuit of their higher education and professional accreditation. Indeed, as the bride tells the story, she first became aware of the groom, as an obnoxious character more given to partying than serious engagements, whose morning wake-up calls across the halls was a form of yodelling that basically woke everybody.
As for the groom, his story is that he first became aware of the bride as one of the campus divas, with a sense of style and confidence that he, along with many others, mistook for snootiness which made her public enemy number one!
It has been said that, indeed, it's a very thin line between love and hate, and this proved to be the case here as the two who without foundation, but on a superficial level formed adversarial opinions of each other, that would soon dissipate as they gave themselves the opportunity to get to know each other.
Well, as they say, the rest is 'their story', as their first encounter led to a date and from there on, Cupid let loose his bow and his arrow found his mark, resulting with love began blossoming in their hearts.
Well, it's the age of social media - the era where for the most part, the young keep their friends and relatives informed on important social and personal developments in their lives. And so, for the friends of this couple their blossoming relationship was played out on Facebook, as was their engagement.
And what an engagement it proved.
Indeed, for those following the couple's updates, it was clear that as far as this couple was concerned, not only had the found an everlasting love in each other, but the execution of that love would be no ordinary matter, and so when the wedding was announced, and the subsequent release of the details, theirs would be a unique unifying experience when it came to the actual wedding!
Well my dears, they most certainly did not disappoint last Saturday!
With the picturesque Breezes Grand Resort and Spa, palatial grounds and wide expanse of the Caribbean Sea and beachfront forming the perfect vista, for the occasion, the writing that was already on the wall portending fabulous things to come, moved into overdrive and culminated in a spectacularly fabulous wedding, reception, dinner and after-party!
Sweet things, scheduled to get under way at half past four, the ceremony got under way pretty much on time, and set to the theme of an Oscar Awards and red-carpet ceremony and celebration, the do got under way under the officiating baton of the chief chaplain of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Bishop Gary Welsh, OD JP, with a musical prelude as a front-runner to the procession by the bridal party, and the procession by the bride herself.
There was the invocation followed by the exchange of marital vows, the exchange of rings, and the signing of the bridal register, during which Randolph Mirander gave a most beautiful rendition of a poem about the beauty of love, that was really a moving testimonial, to the couple.
This was followed by the ceremony of unity, during which the Fforce chaplain used coloured sand as his instrument of demonstration to inform guests and the betrothed of the significance of their commitment and marriage. But it was all done in such good-natured and conversational mode as against a pastoral edict; it made for a beautiful and very relaxed ceremony.
Officialdom out of the way, guests were introduced to the newly-weds - Lecia-Gaye Gordon and her husband, Garfield 'Bucka' Taylor, as Mr and Mrs Garfield Taylor, to hoots and cheers from those in attendance!
And then, it was on to an evening and night of celebration.
Dears, the post-wedding red-carpet cocktail reception followed on the resort's pool deck, with two life-size Oscar cut-outs at the entrance to the reception area, guests entered à la the grand - awards ceremony, paparazzi and all, recording the arrivals and happenings of the celebrities.
Dears, the buzz was well and truly enjoined as friends and relatives of the couple were in full cocktail flight, basking in the afterglow of the ceremony and toasting the new status of the newly-weds when the heavens opened again, having drenched Negril earlier in the afternoon, and a charming drizzle descended from the heavens to bless the proceedings. The drizzle, however, caused an earlier beginning to the gala dinner and awards ceremony, and how!
The gala dinner was taken in the resort's Petite Ballroom, and this was truly another fabulous experience as guests were treated to a fusion of Jamaican and continental cuisine in an atmosphere that reflected the stylised elegance of the occasion. And here with Dr Peter Glegg and the charming Lanna-Gaye Franklyn as 'Presenters', guests and the bridal party were treated to a buffet of witticisms and repartee that made for a funny and amusingly entertaining evening!
Now the beauty of the gala dinner was there really were no speeches, just the exchanges between presenters, as they guided the proceedings that saw a video montage replacing the usual long-winded speeches from family and friends at weddings. But as this was not that kind of a wedding, none of those speeches. But the montage was simply fabulous, as not only did those recorded pushed the envelope, they provided that extra fillip to what was already a bubbling evening! And in-between the montage, video clips.
Naturally, as this was an Oscar take off, there were awards, with the award for Best Supporting Actor going to the groomsmen and the award for Best Supporting Actress going to the bridal party, with the groom picking up the Best Husband Award and bride copping the Best Wife Award.
There were mock thank-you speeches from the supporting cast members, which provided loads of laughter, and the cutting of the cake and the sharing thereof underlined the fabulousness of the occasion. And just when y'all thought an evening of fabulousness had reached its zenith, there was the after-party in the resort's Bay View Lounge that had guests dancing out of their attitudes, profession and unto the soles of their feet to the music of Andrew Henry, and children, it made for a sizzling affair!
Dears, on the scale of fabulousness, this was a tenner, from thought to finish, as not only we are talking panache and style perfect here, we are talking an epic production here and nothing but, of which even the Roman emperors of antiquity would have been not only proud to host, but even to attend!
Dears, not only did it rain champagne, it poured fabulousness and screamed a freshness and fab new approach that will long be remembered for the beautiful composition that it was!
From the satin-draped rotunda to the Oscar red-carpet champagne reception, to the gala dinner and the simply fabulous after-party, we are talking four distinctly differently flavoured events here, and each and every one of them, deserving of an Oscar for Event of the Year!
And indeed, it was definitely a power-outing of the young movers and shakers with among those out sharing in the celebration of the union were Junior Tourism Minister Damion Crawford; former PNP MP Manley Bowen; Basil Waite; parents of the groom, Powell Taylor and Ms Arlene Brown; parents of the bride, Ms Muriel Johnson and Phillip Gordon; the charmingly elegant Mrs Vivienne Deokoro; Ian and Brenda Wong; Chris Nakash and his fab wife, Mrs Zein Issa-Nakash; her twin-sister, the equally fab Muna Issa; the charmingly lovely Julianne Lee Samuels; Mark Berry and his stunning wife, Jenny Berry; the affable Jeevan Khemlani; Everett and Camille Fenton; Simon Sangster; Brett and Lesha Wong; Stephen Pryce; Mr and Mrs Steven Lofters; Terriann Campbell; Phillip Palmer; Tamica Edmond; Trudy-Ann Frith; Delroy Taylor; Roshene Higgins; Romain Branch; Debra Johnson; Techa Taylor; plus a number of others.