It was in the early morning of Thursday, September 4, 2008 that, unknown to them, Michael Parmenter and Carline Campbell were to begin the journey that would lead them to exchange vows four years later.
Carline was returning home to Jamaica after her vacation in Connecticut. Her original flight a week earlier had been cancelled as a result of Tropical Storm Gustav that had closed the airports in Jamaica.
Anxious not to miss yet another flight home, she was at the JFK airport in New York at 4 a.m. for her 8 a.m. flight. Not looking forward to the long wait, she gladly accepted a seat on the 6 a.m. connecting flight to Miami.
As destiny had it designed, she was seated next to Michael who was flying to Miami for business. The flight was a mix of courteous glimpses and embarrassed smiles as they caught each other stealing glances. Finally, Michael broke the silence with, "You have spectacular eyes!" Trying to come off as cool without betraying her interest, she responded, "I know, and thank you."
After exchanging numbers and email addresses, they promised to keep in touch.
Michael, an Australian, is a communication technologist, while Carline is a teacher and student at the University of Technology.
Over the next year, their relationship blossomed and, in June of 2009, Michael decided to move from New York to South Africa to assist in the care and management of a home for orphaned, vulnerable and HIV-positive children. It was at that point that Carline knew that she wanted him in her life, so she waited patiently.
The distance between Jamaica and South Africa did not dither the lovebirds. They cemented their love and relationship using all the technologies available, catching up weekly by phone, email, and any means necessary.
In the summer of 2011, Michael visited Jamaica and they had a wonderful vacation. Unknown to her, Michael had already asked her mother Gloria Campbell for her daughter's hand in marriage.
On August 4, 2011, they took a trip to the heart of the Blue Mountains. And in a gazebo with a breathtaking view of the serene mountains, Michael proposed. It was a truly magical moment.
Their fairytale wedding took place on July 18 at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Ocho Rios, St Ann, overlooking the majestic splendour of the Caribbean Sea. The church was beautifully decorated by Terry Campbell and Tracy Vujic.
Her hair styled by Kamesha Walters and nails done by Latoya Case, the bride wore a unique and elegant David's Bridal gown detailed with Swarovski crystals and lace. The maid of honour and bridesmaids wore stunning wine-red David's Bridal-inspired dresses, while the groom and groomsmen looked smart and debonair in their tuxedos sourced at Beautiful Brides and Mr Tux.
The wedding party marched in to Kenny G's Wedding Song. And the bride was escorted down the aisle by her uncle to the sounds of Canon in D Major by Pachelbel, played by Everald Ellington.
The ceremony was officiated by Father Donald Chambers.
The reception took place at Silver Seas Hotel in Ocho Rios. It's rustic charm was further transformed to complement the spectacular view of the ocean by Donna Cason, sister of the groom, and Francine Thomas, cousin of the bride. The four-tier cake baked by Kerry Ann of Sweetest Regard exquisitely conveyed the wedding's red, gold and white colour scheme and was a literal showstopper.
Family and friends travelled from - Australia, Abu Dhabi, Spain, England, Canada and the United States to share in the couple's special day. They choose the theme On The Wings Of Love as appropriately symbolising how they met. They did their first dance to the Jeffrey Osbourne classic.
The bride told Flair, "It is amazing how one can find love in the most unlikely of places. God is truly amazing, and thanks to a tropical storm, Michael will forever be my silver lining."