Vows - Straight To The Heart
It was a deliberately slow, but rewarding, march towards love for Brian Kong and Candice Newman. The lovebirds, who tied the knot last month in a beautiful wedding ceremony at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel's Starlight Terrace, however finally found their destiny in each other.
"Brian and I met over the telephone in late-2010, through my place of employment at the time. At that time he was residing in the Cayman Islands," Candice shared with Vows. "He was conducting business at my organisation and was having some difficulty getting through; through my mom and his uncle he was given my name and number and contacted me at work. Brian was always so very professional; I was able to really expedite Brian's business he was trying to have done and he was very appreciative."
The two would keep polite, sporadic contact through BlackBerry Messenger; he having returned to Cayman, and she resident in Jamaica. Their face-to-face meeting came in July 2001, when Brian returned to The Rock to serve as best man for his cousin Jason Dear's wedding. Leading up to his visit, Brian -- a collector of aged rums -- figured a 23-year-old bottle of Ron Zacapa Centenario was a suitable 'thank you' for the assistance she had provided months earlier. "He brought this special bottle of rum and met me at Redbones while I was out with my freinds," Candice reminsced. "We hung out for a little and chatted over drinks and the bottle of rum did turn out to be lovely as he had described."
"One bottle of rum turned into a second bottle on his next trip to Jamaica, then some great coffee, as well as four breadfruits and three pears (all these elements would eventually figure as icons in their Clovis Brown-drawn wedding invitation)."
Affection blossomed, and Candice said she realised she found her Prince Charming one September afternoon when Brian said he wanted to see her, even if only for five minutes. He followed through, booking a Friday flight to see the woman he would inevitably call his wife.
Love now found, the pair shuttled back and forth between Cayman and Jamaica to keep the romantic flames alivre.
A courtship ensued for a year before Brian decided he wanted to make her an honest woman.
Seeking and given the blessing of her parents, Brian orchestrated his proposal on bended knee at a patio-hosted breakfast in October 2012 where Candice was caught unawares, though she now recalls finding it a tad bizarre her mother and father would not sit at the table. "I was at the table and had turned back to my left since I was facing my right for a while and was caught totally off guard... there he was kneeling down to my left with the ring in hand. He popped the question and I was at a loss for words."
The proposal saw Brian's father present, too, as Candice told Vows, "it meant the world to him to propose to me in front of my parents as well as his. Unfortunately his mom was unable to be there, so Mr Kong represented and was in on it all morning".
Candice's fairytale wedding -- ably guided by Petals & Promises creative director Kara Anderson -- came on Saturday, March 15. Outfitted in a vintage-chic wedding gown from Allure Bridal that featured rich lace appliqué, with a V-neckline and scalloped details, the bride was a true stunner as she strode to meet her groom -- he dapper in Gianni Uomo sand-hued, slim-double vent suit from Max Brown at the Terra Nova Hotel Terrace-hosted ceremony officiated by Minister Martin Schade.
As her parents, Ueshima Coffee Company general manager Colin Newman and Tina Newman, operator of Café el Centro, and his Caymanian-based parents, University College of the Cayman Islands director Lucille Kong and Tortuga Bakery manager Harold Kong, looked on, the two vowed to celebrate a life together in holy matrimony.
The cocktail reception followed at the hotel's poolside where the newlyweds cut their Vivienne Morrison-Ivey-created three-tiered fruit cake decorated with green gum paste orchids. Their first dance was to Melanie Fiona's You Stop My Heart.
The couple, whose official honeymoon is slated to take place in Barcelona, Spain next year, enjoyed a pre-celebratory stay at Secrets Wild Orchid in Montego Bay.
Photos: Devon Shaw for jamaicaweddingphotos.com