Tue | May 17, 2022
ISLAND WEDDING

Love under construction – Chung gets full approval and plans ‘destination’ wedding

Published:Tuesday | January 25, 2022 | 12:07 AMKrysta Anderson/Staff Reporter
Mr and Mrs Chung look forward to love, laughter and happily ever after.
Mr and Mrs Chung look forward to love, laughter and happily ever after.
The couple share a loving embrace at the wedding, to the ‘ahs’ of the guests.
The couple share a loving embrace at the wedding, to the ‘ahs’ of the guests.
The newly-weds are joined by their beautiful bridal party.
The newly-weds are joined by their beautiful bridal party.
Mr and Mrs Chung were excited to have the support of the maid of honour and best man.
Mr and Mrs Chung were excited to have the support of the maid of honour and best man.
The gorgeous bride is flanked by her father and mother.
The gorgeous bride is flanked by her father and mother.
Sandwiching the bride and groom are Jeremy’s parents, Anthony and Marcia Goddard.
Sandwiching the bride and groom are Jeremy’s parents, Anthony and Marcia Goddard.
Say goodbye to Miss Atkins, and hello to Mrs Chung.
Say goodbye to Miss Atkins, and hello to Mrs Chung.
It was in the moments of ‘I do’ that the guests discovered these two hearts were now beating as one.
It was in the moments of ‘I do’ that the guests discovered these two hearts were now beating as one.
Mr and Mrs Chung take their royal seats and bask in matrimonial bliss throughout their reception.
Mr and Mrs Chung take their royal seats and bask in matrimonial bliss throughout their reception.
The king and queen of the nuptial ball engage in their first dance as husband and wife to the Luther Vandross classic, ‘Always and Forever’.
The king and queen of the nuptial ball engage in their first dance as husband and wife to the Luther Vandross classic, ‘Always and Forever’.
Mrs Debbie Chung shows off her wedding ring during the wedding ceremony, while her husband, Mr Chung,  looks on in approval.
Mrs Debbie Chung shows off her wedding ring during the wedding ceremony, while her husband, Mr Chung, looks on in approval.
It doesn’t get any better than kissing the one you love overlooking the ocean and a breathtaking sunset.
It doesn’t get any better than kissing the one you love overlooking the ocean and a breathtaking sunset.
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Two hearts beating as one in synchrony and harmony, that’s the love story of Jeremy and Debbie Chung. But it’s never a done deal until you receive full blessing from those closest and dearest to your heart. Older daughter and bridesmaid Danhi took centre stage at her parent’s wedding in Ocho Rios, St Ann, and eloquently made proud remarks of becoming a Chung before her mother. It was a decision made by their younger daughter, Sarai. Chung approved; the couple and family returned home from the United Kingdom and tied the knot in the tropics among loved ones.

Jeremy had proposed to the love of his life a little over a year after their first date, and by then, Sarai was already calling him dad. “Sarai woke up one day in the very early days and started calling me dad. Debbie and I looked at each other, shocked. We spoke about it, and told her that I don’t mind at all; I loved it! I love both girls as my own and continue to treat them as such,” Jeremy recalled to Island Wedding.

But despite his best efforts, Danhi continued to call her mother’s partner who she initially described as ‘...the strange man mommy was dating’, Mr Jeremy. Until one day, everything changed. “One day, I came home from work to see flowers and cupcakes that Danhi had made. She said that from this day forward, she will be calling me dad,” an emotional Jeremy revealed. The girls’ surnames were then legally changed to Chung.

Danhi explained her reasons, declaring that she did what she had to do to protect her mother. But after seeing the chivalry and gallantry from ‘Mr Jeremy’, she, like her mother, began to open her heart too.

“He’s a very good man, my mom is a very good woman, and they deserve each other. My mom is a very miserable woman, but when she’s with Dad, and they’re together, she looks happy and has a bright smile on her face,” she said, adding that for her, it’s all about the little things he does to make her mother’s day, “He buys my mom flowers on a random day, and he makes her tea whenever she isn’t feeling well. I like being at home with my parents. I like the atmosphere they bring; me, my sister and my brother feel loved.”

The lovebirds first met on a site visit in London. Ruth, more affectionately called Debbie, went to view a property and was introduced to Jeremy, “He said hello, and the rest is history,” she shared. Jeremy, who was working hands-on that day, was suited in his typical attire, but it did not matter to Debbie, who zoned in on his knowledge and expertise.

“She found out my role later when she came back to the project to bring me sorrel and saw me suited and booted, working out of the penthouse on the 26th floor as my interim office,” he added.

Jeremy discovered that Debbie was a strong, hard-working, and very family-oriented woman from their first interactions. He later added “loving”, “sensual” and “emotional” to her list of positive attributes. Being an ‘island girl’ was definitely a plus in his books as well. “She is the glue of the relationship and the family, and the voice of reason. Debbie creates a space where I feel relaxed, special, and so loved. She always encourages me in anything I do, and she brings peace to my life.”

While for Debbie, she saw Jeremy as polite, professional and a good Christian man who would take her to church. “Our first date was good. Jeremy was a real gentleman, but I was very nervous,” she said. As time went on, she grew to appreciate his strong, loving, hard-working, passionate and encouraging side.

“Jeremy is very loving towards the girls and I. He loves us, and there’s no doubt about it. And we love him. He inspires me every day. And he is the tower of strength that completes me and allows me to put my guards down, because I don’t need to be strong all by myself any more,” she said.

Helping her to actualise her potential, she realised that he was the one when he began filling the gaps in her life and when she traded in the independent talk of ‘I’ and ‘me’ for partnering jargon like ‘us’ and ‘we’. “He has encouraged and supported me so much that I can’t imagine life without him,” she added.

Recognising that they were on the same page in this book of long and lasting love, Jeremy did the honourable act of asking Debbie to be his wife.

During the time that he wanted to pop the question, COVID-19 arrived, taking his job with it. But he was a tenacious, resourceful and determined man. Taking up odd jobs here and there and spending his savings, he knew that once he landed another job in construction management, he would focus on getting his queen a royal ring. When the diamond store called to say it was finally ready, he set plans in motion to have a rooftop garden proposal. Debbie was afraid of heights, so her Prince Charming provided the perfect distraction.

“When I came home, I had a straight face and told her that I needed to talk to her. She looked worried, and I acted along as if something was wrong,” he explained. Debbie chimed in, “He took me on a rooftop garden, so I was a bit nervous because I don’t like heights, plus, I thought I did something wrong, and he was going to discuss [it] in detail,” but Jeremy proposed, and she cried tears of joy.

After discussing the vision for their wedding, the groom made it his mission to deliver a beautiful wedding for his beautiful bride-to-be. He enlisted the expertise of Tropical Weddings Jamaica and was impressed by the services. Debbie shifted her focus to getting the perfect wedding dress, and following a disappointing search, she got not one, but two dresses custom made by AgyeFrance Design in London.

On December 29, Debbie and Jeremy joined hands and hearts at the Hibiscus Lodge Hotel. Family and friends gathered for a picturesque ceremony overlooking the ocean. The couple glowed and took their effervescent personalities from ceremony to reception. The dinner and dancing which followed saw the newly-weds opening the floor with a romantic waltz to a classic, Always and Forever by Luther Vandross.

“My favourite part was hearing my wife’s song come on, turning around and seeing the smile on her face. The speeches were great, too. Love was definitely oozing from the wedding; so much good vibes,” Mr Chung recounted. And for Mrs Chung, the wedding was better than she could have ever imagined, “It was epic. My best moment was saying my vows to my husband in the presence of all our nearest and dearest.”

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com