A year and a half long distance...
Chantal and Richard tie the knot after first in-person meeting
We’ve often heard of a match made in heaven. But this time around, it was one of God’s very own earthly angels who connect two beautiful souls. Chantal Cogle was introduced to her beloved, Richard Bell, through her pastor. The two entered a long-distance relationship and went on to ring wedding ‘Bells’ almost two years later.
“My husband and I met through my pastor, who is his cousin. She (the pastor) hooked us up via the phone, because he was living in Cayman and I was in Jamaica,” Chantal told Island Wedding.
Although they were acquainted with each other, they really began bonding in 2020 over rough times. “I first thought that this is such a good man, but he has been treated unfairly all his life, and he deserves all the love in the world. It started off as just a friendship, being there for each other, and just grew from there,” she said.
The pair decided to make things official a few months after corresponding over the phone.
Chantal loves just how hard-working, caring, kind, God-fearing and family-oriented Richard is. “It is obvious that he cherishes our relationship, he makes every effort to show me how much our relationship means to him. He has helped me realise that even when I thought I lost my true self, I still had more inside to offer, and I’m capable of being way more than I am,” she said.
Richard, who currently lives in the Cayman Islands, found Chantal to be beautiful, loving, caring, kind and responsible. As a single father, he appreciated what a wonderful mother she was to her daughter. “We would play games together and pray together. In everything, she is present and respectful,” he said.
As a couple, the duo went on their first date to the Sunshine Grill, located at the Suite Restaurant in the Cayman Islands. This was the first time Chantal was seeing the country and she was happy to share in that very lovely dining experience with her partner.
Richard then decided he couldn’t have Chantal returning home empty-handed. Communicating over a long distance for over a year and a half and interacting with her in person gave him enough confirmation that she was the one. So, on her final night with him, before she headed back home, Richard asked the love of his life to be his wife.
“We went out to have dinner at Pepper Bar & Grill in Grand Cayman. I knew that she had to leave to go back to Jamaica. So I surprised her by proposing to her there. She said yes, and I felt so good,” he explained.
The proposal was amazing, Chantal shared, adding, “He went down on one knee, without my knowledge, and to my surprise he popped the question. I never expected it to be on our first trip meeting face-to-face. But he said he knew I was the one, so there was no need to wait. It was absolutely beautiful, in my eyes!”
Becoming her own wedding planner, she engaged in the nuptial process with the help of family and friends, and the support of her partner while he was in the Cayman Islands. For the wedding dress, the bride-to-be said yes to a gorgeous gown from Unions Bridal Boutique.
“I saw Unions Bridal Boutique on Instagram and instantly, I knew they had exactly what I needed, and they sure did! They had a variety of dresses to choose from; and I knew I wanted something simple but gorgeous,” she said enthusiastically.
On December 23, 2022, two days before Christmas, Chantal and Richard merrily said ‘I do’ in a beautiful wedding ceremony at Hunny Bay Resort in Priory, St Ann. With love in the air, the bride made her way up the aisle to marry her soulmate.
“Our wedding was amazing. To this day, our guests are still talking about it,” the bride recounted. “It was all that I dreamed it would be, and more.” As kindred spirits, the groom stated that the big day was incredible. “The wedding was very good, exactly what I was hoping for. The best moment for me was when I finally kissed my wife.”
Both expressed immense joy in sharing their first dance together as husband and wife. “Our songs were Because You Loved Me by Celine Dion and Just The Way You Are by Taurus Riley. We really enjoyed ourselves dancing. I didn’t even know my husband was such a good dancer! It was a magical moment, I felt joy in a different way,” Chantal added.