Dr Sertina McGregor and Steadman Fuller Jr were wed on July 5 at the University Chapel at UWI, Mona. The setting was Vows perfect: a brilliant blue sky, a beautiful chapel and a gathering of friends, family and special guests elegantly attired for the special event. There was, however, beneath all the lovely adornments, an unassailable truth: this was the celebration of pure love, anointed by the hands of fate and built on the rock of sturdy commitment.
A DAY MARKED BY FATE
McGregor and Fuller had met on July 4, 2004, 10 years and a day before the date of their wedding.
"It's fate. It's all just fate," the beaming bride told Vows.
The couple met as participants of the summer employment programme at Kingston Bookshops where the groom's father, Steadman Fuller, is the managing director and CEO, and his mother, Sonia Fuller, the director of administration. Their friendship quickly developed into a committed romance. There were a few hiccups, including, the bride humorously told us, trying to abide by the strict curfew set by her sternly religious parents, Hillary and Marcia McGregor. Although the course of their love did have the occasional rocky moments, it was the young Steadman who calmly steered the ship through troubled waters.
THE JOYOUS WEDDING
There were no signs of nerves at the wedding, however, as the parents, who had escorted their daughter up the aisle, warmly hugged the groom before placing their daughter's hand in his.
"He's a nice guy. We really do love him," Mrs McGregor later told us.
"He's a very caring person. You can tell they really love each other. They're best friends," Mr McGregor said.
It was a highly charged emotional moment, which saw the father of the bride unable to stem the tide of tears not long after, as he watched his little girl promise herself in marriage.
Silver and purple dominated the décor of the wedding elegantly designed by decorater Michelle Lee. Interlaced purple and white petals embellished the aisle for the bride's walk to the altar. A fitting touch, as purple is the bride's favourite colour. The bride entered the chapel wearing a romantic strapless Kenneth Pool satin gown with crystal beading across the bodice and accenting the hem of the flat-front skirt. Jewelled details were added to the bouquet to complete the regal look. The spirited bride beamed at the fashionable guests while her parents escorted her up the aisle, but saved the brightest smile for her soon-to-be husband when he took her hands in his.
The couple were wed by Reverend Norbert Stephens, who gave a heartening testimony on the pillars of a lasting marriage: communication, compromise, commitment and, not least of all, love. The couple could hardly contain their affection throughout the ceremony, casting tender looks at each other while they exchanged rings and traditional vows before finally saying, "I do". Mr and Mrs Steadman Fuller Jr were then greeted with applause and a shower of bubbles as they joyously made their way out of the chapel.
ON TOP OF THE WORLD
With a gorgeous sunset and the Kingston skyline serving as the brilliant backdrop, guests supped drinks and nibbled delectable hors d'oeuvres at the Jamaica Pegasus' Top of the World terrace area before being ushered into the hotel's Grand Jamaica Suite ballroom for the reception. The room, dotted with white floral arrangements, was bathed in soft purple light, which gave the stately ballroom a calmly regal air.
DJ Richie RAS and MC Mario Guthrie kept guests entertained as they dined on a succulent menu, catered by the Jamaica Pegasus, of cream of pumpkin soup, smoked marlin, baked chicken with honey mustard sauce and grilled fillet of snapper Florentine. All of this was topped off by a decadent serving of banana and mango mousse in fresh mango sauce.
Siblings of the couple gave moving speeches to the bride and groom, with the highlight being Sandi-Kay Fuller Vacca's emotional toast to her younger brother filled with moving anecdotes that attested to the groom's loyalty, industry and boundless compassion. She spoke of the joys of marriage and the occasional sorrows that inevitably occur. And, after instructing her brother to place his hand on top of hers, she humorously noted, "This is the last time you'll ever have the upper hand".
It was, indeed, a sumptuous and laughter-filled affair. But when the lights dimmed, and the lovebirds began their first dance as a married couple, the splendour of the day's affairs gave way to the powerful sentiment that was the hallmark of that special day -- love. As one watched the couple dance to John Legend's All of Me, and listened to the elegant lyrics "I give you all of me, and you give me all of you" sounding through the air, one couldn't help but feel truth of that statement through the eyes of the newly-weds.