Shannon Carla Byfield and Ricardo Leon Smith share a love that transcends borders. Against the odds the two managed to turn a childhood crush into a long-distance relationship, and eventually into a lasting commitment.
Both had attended Horizon Park Primary School in St Catherine and at the time had no idea that destiny would determine that their paths cross again. Shannon had migrated to Canada and Smith had seemingly forgotten his childhood friend. That is, until the Internet intervened.
"We reconnected on Facebook in 2011. I was still overseas at the time, living in Canada. We had always kind of liked each other but had never really got the chance to pursue those feelings. Once we found each other again we would talk for hours on Skype or on the phone. We were just trying to get to know each other again," Byfield told Vows.
For months their interaction was limited to telephone and online conversations, until one day Byfield decided to plan a long-overdue trip back
"Once we finally saw each other again it was a natural progression; things just sort of fell into place. For the next three weeks it was just all about being together and dating in person," said Byfield.
By the time she was back home in Canada, Smith had already realised that this was the
woman with whom he wanted to spend the rest of his life. He wasted no time in mentioning the M word, popping the question over the phone.
"Even though he had brought up the idea a few times in our conversations before, it was still a little unbelievable, really. When I left Jamaica I never thought he would actually ask me to marry him," said the blushing bride.
With loads of warmth and support from family and friends, they wed on August 8, 2013 at the Willowdene Church of God Seventh-day in St Catherine. She wore a stunning dress by Christina Woo, which she complemented with subtle but beautiful accessories.
"Everything was perfect on the day, I was so happy it's beyond words. I couldn't believe my dream was finally coming true. It was a small, intimate setting, like we'd wanted it to be, and when I saw the look on my mother's face I knew that it was meant to be," Byfield recalled.
The newly-weds followed their nuptials with a reception at Passage Fort in Portmore ahead of a honeymoon at the Hibiscus Lounge in Ocho Rios.