Vows - Lucky number 7
Love in its truest sense is not based on feelings. Rather, love determines to show thoughtful actions even when there seems to be no reward. — The Love Dare
Tonya Wright and Richard Barnes first crossed paths in 2006, when they shared a psychology class at the University of the West Indies, Mona. His 'shy guy' mystique had her interest piqued from the start.
"I often saw him behind me in class," Wright told Vows. "He appeared reserved, spoke very little and had few interactions. I found this intriguing, and began to wonder who he was. We spoke, but it was very casual. He would compliment me whenever he saw me around campus — which I thought was cute — but he didn't make any advances, which surprised me, because most guys are more aggressive."
It was not long before the coeds were officially introduced by a mutual friend. And while their attraction was immediate, they continued to take things slow while getting to know each other. Regular game and movie nights with friends fanned the flames until the two were virtually joined at the hip, keeping the spark alive through spontaneity.
"We love kind of sneaking away and doing random things, like driving to the country. We both love the arts, so sometimes we'll go to music events, and since I love creative dancing, occasionally I'll drag him out with me to dance shows," said Wright.
In their seventh year of courtship — while they had overcome their share of ups and downs — Wright admits she had started to wonder whether it was truly meant to be. Little did she know that seven was to be her lucky number, and her life would be forever changed, after one seemingly ordinary day in April.
"The proposal totally took me by surprise. I thought he was just stopping by for a typical visit — it is within his character to do things when you least expect it. He began by giving me a speech about his feelings for me and our relationship, which ended with him on one knee. I was shocked, but kept my composure long enough to respond 'Of course!'" Wright gushed.
Seven months later, on November 2, 2013, with the Reverend Dudley Hamilton officiating the ceremony, the love birds said 'I do', on the beach at the Seawind Beach Club in Montego Bay. Wright chose Shelea Frazier's I'm Sure It's You as the perfect soundtrack for her walk up the aisle, with her mother by her side.
"I wanted my husband to know with no uncertainty that I was ready to be his wife. While I was walking up the aisle I felt a sense of peace, though I probably looked like a 'glad-bag', totally overwhelmed with joyful anticipation," Wright recalled.
The simple elegance that came with the natural beauty of the beach also made for an ideal reception venue. The music of a live acoustic band paired perfectly with the setting sun, and Israel and Mariah Houghton's rendition of Adele's Make You Feel My Love saw the newly-weds intertwined in their first dance.
The pair soon settled in for their honeymoon, which featured stays at both Secrets St James, Montego Bay, and Sandals Whitehouse European Village and Spa in Negril. They are now focused on the future together as a unit.
"The sky is the limit for us, marriage is just the beginning. We have to be optimistic because we believe that 'two are better than one'," said Wright.