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No margin for error! Bill takes a bride

Published:Sunday | March 14, 2010 | 12:00 AM
The happy couple Bill and Coleen during the wedding ceremony.

Sacha Walters, Staff Reporter

At the intersection of simplicity and the awesomeness of nature - that's where pollster Bill Johnson wed Coleen Valentine.

The breathtaking view of the sea and mountains which caresses the Firefly property in Galena, St Mary, once home to British playwright and actor Noel Coward, stood witness to the not-too-traditional nuptials on March 16.

Guests were offered coconut water, straight from the husk, to quench their thirst upon arrival. For those who preferred more traditional drinks from the bar, those were also available.

The intimate ceremony saw the groom, his bes tman and groomsmen - all his sons - dressed informally in blazers, slacks, loafers and buttonned-down shirts.

Turquoise hues from the ocean mirrored one colour of the bridesmaids' dresses. The next colour, mirrored from nature, was the fuchsia of bougainvillaea petals which were strewn along the bride's path and at the base of the bamboo poles which demarcated the aisle.

The bride walked down that aisle, unaccompanied, to meet her soon-to-be husband. A tinge of nervousness may have taken her over along her journey, but with the help of guests who encouraged her to smile, Coleen was eventually able to flash a smile towards her groom.

Officiating minister Nydell Carlton Mullings kept the ceremony simple and sweet. The couple signed their register and exchanged kisses.

The reception followed on the property beneath an elegantly decorated tent. Hors d'oeuvres preceded dinner. Lead vocalist Dionne Carthy of Rapture Band entertained guests during the meal.

Candlelit setting

As night fell, candlelight and lanterns provided some illumination. Nature, never to be left out, showed off some of her beautiful fuchsia orchids, bright pink roses and lilies which were strategically placed by human hands in various sections of the location. The venue was decorated by Audia Archibald.

The scrumptious food, catered by Annakay Lazarus and served buffet style, included shallots and Madeira marinated beef tenderloin, pork rubbed with fresh thyme and Scotch bonnet peppers cooked over hot coals, jumbo fried shrimp tumbled in an apricot salsa, tamarind rubbed chicken wings, penne pasta smothered in a creamy white wine and Parmesan sauce with lobster chucks, new potatoes tumbled in sea salt and fresh chopped cilantro, mixed greens with 'fixins' drizzled with a light vinaigrette and traditional Greek salad with an incredibly zesty balsamic dressing.

Venturing away from the traditional, the couple's wedding cake was not presented as a centrepiece. It was served, already sliced, on the dessert table along with other scrumptious offerings like mini cheesecake cups with fresh strawberries, fresh fruit kebabs, mini chocolate fudge brownies with caramel and pecans.

Speeches were brief and casual. The best man opened the floor with his toast and wished the couple the best.

"Here's to a wonderful marriage and many happy days together," said Foye Johnson. Another one of Johnson's sons, Tripp, recited a poem he wrote for the newly-weds.

The groom, with his wife standing by his side, spoke of how he came to live in Jamaica and meet his wife. Johnson thanked everyone for coming and encouraged them to enjoy the rest of the night.

Guests included Foye, Tripp, Carter, Spencer, Pamela and Heidi Johnson; Jennifer, Emma and Frank Lincks; Bonnie and Michael Fraley; Avagail Louis; Keisha Menghani; Laverne Jackson; Akodi Lee; Lillieth Samuels; Homer Valentine; Venice Anderson; Shamone Bailey; Demar Dickson; Dwight Sutherand; Ricardo Valentine; Monica Ladd; Dr Peter and Sandra Phillips.