A wedding is, for some, a day of quiet reflection and intimacy while for others there is much fanfare that can continue for days. Sharifah Ramsay — daughter of Tracy and Hector Ramsay, and Shorn Barrett — son of Sybil and H Leslie Barrett — successfully merged the two, honouring their nuptials with a few family members and friends in a fabulous two-day celebration, beginning with the ceremony at Mount Zion United Church, and ending the next day with an all-Jamaican brunch and pool party at the Endless Summer villa where the reception was also held. The 40-year-olds now reside in New York, but returned home for their island wedding in St James.
Backtrack to when they met 10 years ago. Fate dealt her cards and Shorn, then employed to Sandals Royal Plantation, met Sharifah, who was vacationing in Jamaica. Immediately smitten, and told her that one day she would be his bride, but she shrugged it off without a second thought. They struck up a conversation and exchanged e-mail addresses before parting ways. A friendship would ensue in the coming years, with them losing touch a few times along the way but Shorn, despite the hurdles they encountered, clung to the hope that Sharifah was indeed meant for him, and would one day see his vision. They would lose touch for an even longer period, but this time it was Sharifah who yearned to make contact. "He just kept popping into my thoughts, so I reached out to him and when I e-mailed, to my surprise, he had just moved to New York and not very far from where I was." That was two years ago, and Shorn was beyond elated to see that his dream of making her his bride was that much closer to becoming a reality. He took it as a sign that they were destined to be together, and immediately commenced pursuit, telling Sharifah, "I am not going to lose sight of you again." Their friendship continued to flourish and in no time they became inseparable.
By the following year, Shorn decided that they had waited long enough to start their life together, and planned a getaway to Las Vegas where he would ask the unsuspecting Sharifah to be his wife. The two had a blast, and after a fun-filled evening, including dinner at Becco — an Italian restaurant — Shorn went down on one knee and proposed. "At that moment I remembered everything, all the signs I got from the universe, all the times he said he was going to marry me and I laughed... then I looked at him and he had tears in his eyes as he said, 'Sharifah, if I lose you this time I will surely die'. I told him that he would never have to," Sharifah shared with Vows.
Fast-forward to the big day, Saturday, March 23, 2013, when they tied the knot on a pleasant afternoon in the resort city of Montego Bay. The groom was dashing in a Sean John suit and Stacy Adams shoes, alongside his groomsmen who wore suits from Jones of New York. The ushers and bridesmaids were equally stylish in Da Vinci dresses as they made their way up the aisle ahead of the bride, who stunned in a bejewelled gown which cascaded to the floor in ruffles by Demetrios, accentuated with strappy silver heels by Steve Madden, and authentic Indian jewellery which the bridal party also wore. Sharifa's hair and that of her bridesmaids was attractively styled by Mearle Green, and complemented with make-up by Loni Jones. She carried a dazzling bouquet of crystal brooches atop white roses; while her bridesmaids' bouquets were composed of birds of paradise, ginger lilies, orange mokara orchids and white dendrobiums. Sharifah and Shorn symbolised their union with a candle ceremony, inviting all
guests to participate, then exchanged red roses to represent undying love and passion.
The Herbert Morrison Technical High School past students' choir sweetened the moments with their passionate delivery of tunes. Laughter resonated throughout the Reverend Egbert Harvey-officiated ceremony and reception, reflecting the couple's penchant for humour and the décor, created by Tai Flora Luxe, perfectly captured their island oasis concept — mixing warm colours and Indian accents with bright and beautiful tropical flowers.
As the sun set, guests were welcomed to the villa by stiltmen who ushered them to the foyer for cocktails courtesy of J Wray and Nephew bar service and Jamaica Observer Food Awards Caterer of the Year Débé Chen. Bung Guh Long steel band performed such hits as Everything I Do and Halo, ahead of the poolside dinner where saxophonist extraordinaire Dean Fraser performed Tarrus Riley's She's Royal and Jamaican folk songs like Brown Skin Gal. After a scrumptious dinner, Sharifah and Shorn cut into their exotic wedding cake created by Alecia Woodbine-James of Signature Cakes & Desserts. Children of the Drums then kick-started the after-party with a riveting set, where the Barretts shared their first dance to John Legend's So High. The evening closed with guests dancing to the selections of Jamaican Wedding DJs Dutch and Vaun and partying with the newly-weds ahead of their departure to Europe for their honeymoon cruise.