Setting up ‘camp’ in lasting love
Janelle and Matthew say ‘I do’
On January 1, 2022, Matthew Taffe decided that it was the year to give his relationship the upgrade it so rightfully deserved. With the traditional family gathering underway, he handed his girlfriend, Janelle McLean, a personalised calendar for the new year. Each month she flipped through, she began piecing the puzzle of the gift and the night’s event together. And, if those hints weren’t strong enough, Matthew made his intentions known by going on one knee and asking Janelle to marry him. Who would have thought that a chance encounter at a church summer camp over two decades ago would blossom into a love of a lifetime?
“We first met at a church summer camp in the early 2000s. I thought he was cool and cute,” Janelle told Island Wedding. While, for Matthew, he thought she was a nice person who had a cool vibe and was easy to talk to. They remained friends for a year or two but ended up losing touch with each other.
So, what inspired the two to ignite a new flame, one of the romantic and candlelit proportions? Matthew’s persistence. “He tried reaching out to me in 2017 when he saw me post something, but I didn’t pay him any mind,” she said, adding that, by 2018, he began reaching out again. Only, this time, he was doing so on numerous occasions.
“On his last attempt, I decided to meet up so that we could just reacquaint ourselves. We went to Devon House on a Saturday and he asked me out on an official date with him the following Monday to the movies. There we kept talking as if no time had passed,” she revealed. He asked her to be his girlfriend on her birthday in 2019.
Matthew is blown away by how God-fearing, dependable, reserved, caring, and beautiful his beloved is. Although she isn’t a fan of crowds and rarely speaks unless, in response to someone else, he explained that Janelle is reliable when it comes to helping others in their times of need. And she encourages every person she comes in contact with to always do their best and to never wonder what others may think.
“She has taught me so much when it comes to getting to know God, and always does her best to put God first in whatever she is doing. She is so caring that I think she cares too much about those around her and doesn’t focus enough on herself. But she has a smile so radiant that it could light up even the darkest parts of the earth,” he explained.
Janelle continues to be amazed by his understanding, creative, supportive, adventurous, considerate, and compassionate traits. “He’s creative with his surprises. He pushes me to go towards my goals and supports them 100 per cent, allowing me to believe that my goals can be accomplished. He encourages me when I’m at my lowest. And he was very intentional about what he wanted from this relationship and our time with each other. He shows appreciation regularly, takes responsibility, and he’s helpful,” she highlighted.
She knew he was the one for her, confirming it with answered prayers and those who felt and supported the love they shared, months before they even became an item.
Two years into their courtship, Matthew would pop the question that would redefine their relationship forever. After seeking her father’s blessing, “I asked that famous question that has been around for centuries. She said “I will think about it”, then she said, ‘YES’.”
The duo received wedding planning assistance from Yourchoicekreations, alongside the matron of honour, Kashaan Small Trusty. “The process was exciting. At times, I got anxious and nervous about things, and other times, I was pretty calm,” the then bride-to-be told us.
When it came to the dress, Janelle said yes to one from Unions Bridal Boutique. Seeing them just days after her proposal on Instagram, she followed the bridal page. With three or four designs in mind after viewing the website, she went in to try them on and chose one for her big day.
On October 29, 2022, Janelle and Matthew made a new walk in life as husband and wife. The ceremony was held at her church, Calvary Gospel Assembly, while the reception took place at Christar Villas Hotel.
“Our wedding was beautiful, fun, sweet, and unique. The moment I was walking down the aisle to my love and met my father and as we approached him was my favourite moment. He took my hand. This not only confirmed his supportive nature but this made me realise that we were in this together,” the beautiful bride shared.
Mr and Mrs Taffe shared an enchanting first dance as newlyweds to Like I’m Gonna Lose You by Meghan Trainor featuring John Legend.