Chester Francis-Jackson, Contributor
Some people go through life searching for that special someone. That person to share their life, build dreams, fulfil their ambitions and, more important, partner with into their golden years.
The discerning make those choices relatively young in their journey, and so spare themselves the trials and travails of journeying alone for any extended period. By deciding on their life's partner early, they go on to infuse and invest their energy, social, financial and intellectual resources to build and sustain a relationship that will stand the test of time and the vagaries of human frailties. Equally important is cementing their bond with love and understanding nurtured through the years.
It can be said that Mark Cole and his beloved Taydeen Oliver belong to the special group of young people who, upon finding each other, decided that indeed they were made for each other. Instead of spending energy and resources playing the field, this couple committed themselves to loving and supporting each other.
Not that their choices were easy. Mark Cole, an executive chef, managed that portfolio responsibility for SuperClubs Breezes Runaway Bay and its neighbouring Hedonism III. This entailed working long and hard hours, getting home late, and leaving the home they shared early. She, as an aesthetician, worked closer to home. This scenario was enough to test their bond and commitment to each other.
But, the couple who met at a bus-stop 18 years ago, while they were both on their way to school, embraced this period as a sacrifice worthy of their long-term love and commitment, and so they soldiered on.
Another test presented itself when Cole took the job as executive chef at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, leaving Oliver all the way in salubrious St Ann. Oliver, however, embraced this move in their best interest.
Well, after 18 years of testing the waters as it were - living together and having a son, Mark Jr, the couple decided to make their union 'official'.
Last Saturday, friends and relatives, joined them at the Ocho Rios Baptist Church where they exchanged nuptials under the officiating baton of the Rev Jonathan Hemmings and the Rev Dawn Sutherland. It was a simply elegant and beautiful ceremony, rich in symbolism, which captured the essence of their love for many years.
The bride, looking absolutely stunning, entered the house of worship to the sounds of the song At Last, causing quite a stir as some guests found the selection a tad amusing.
The officiating reverends expertly marshalled the proceedings in a manner that was solemn, yet light-hearted.
Mr and Mrs Mark Cole emerged from the chapel to resounding cheers and applause from their relatives and friends. With that, the couple was whisked away in a white stretch Mercedes Benz limousine to join their guests much later at the Club House of Jewel Runaway Bay for the reception and party.
It was at the reception party that the newly-weds let it all truly hang out. Following the cocktail prelude that preceded the ceremonial aspects of the reception - the invocation, cutting of the wedding cake, toasts, tossing of the garter and bridal bouquet, the master of ceremonies, Dervan Malcolm, was at his ebullient best. He drew on his repertoire of national figures and personalities to infuse his task with pantomime and this went down well.
Indeed, it was one vary charming wedding. Amid the sips, feasting, dancing and prevailing sense of joie de vivre, there was a flavour of a family reunion as those guesting and/or playing pivotal roles in the ceremony and reception included former staffers, friends and co-workers from Breezes Runaway Bay and Hedonism III, plus friends of long standing. It created a welcoming and inviting atmosphere. A party, if you like, that went on way into the night.
Among those sharing in the celebration were parents of the bride, Mr Clifton Oliver and Ms Elaine Johnson; parents of the groom, Mr Kenneth and Mrs Ivy Cole; the groom's twin brother, Andrew Cole, who acted as coordinator-in-chief, and his wife Nicole Rose-Cole; Dr Patrick Wheatle; Sam and Yvonne James; Kevin Levee; Colonel and Mrs Annemarie Pryce; George and Lyn Holloway; Bryan Sang; Pierre and Sharon Battaglia; Lennox and Fabian Gayle; the elegant Sonia Davis; Gordon and Nadia Edwards; Sam James Jr and his wife, the fab Nina Pfab-James; Joseph Kalynuik and wife, the charming Janice Lugg-Kalynuik; Oliver and Christine Green; Patrick and AnnMarie Bryan; the oh so-fab Suzette Keane; Kirk Crichton; and Nadine Wedderburn, visiting from the Big Apple; plus several others.