From left): Michelle's best friend Melissa Wilson, groomsman Stephen Edwards, Mindi Fitz-Henley (Michelle's sister and maid of honour), Kerith Foster (best man/friend), the bridegroom Chris Lawe, bride Michelle, groomsman Anthony Finlayson (known as Ton-E), bridesmaid Melanie Fitz-Henley (the bride's youngest sister) groomsman Craig ‘Serani’ Marsh, bridesmaid Talissa Patterson (the bride's cousin).
Christopher Lawe, branch manager, Sagicor Holborn Branch, proprietor of Michael's Restaurant & Coffee Shop, and son of Michael Lawe, senior branch manager, Sagicor Liguanea Branch and Gloria Lawe (deceased), wed attorney-at-law, Michelle Fitz-Henley daughter of dermatologist Michael Fitz-Henley and educator Maria Fitz-Henley, in a lavish ceremony on Saturday, May 3, at Caymanas Golf & Country Club.
The bride stunned in an Allure Bridals ivory fit and flare lace gown with a chapel train while her finger-tip veil was accented with crystals and lace.
The bridegroom was dapper in a grey Carlton Brown three-piece suit with accents of dark grey piping and buttons with a black paisley tie.
How They Met...
"There were three phases," relate the newly-weds in an exclusive sit-down with Vows. "At piano classes as children (Chris's grand-aunt taught them piano lessons), at high school during sixth form association meetings, the two became fast friends. Indeed, Lawe was the co-founder of St George's and St Andrew's joint sixth-form association.
The third and final meeting, which would lead to the exchange of wedding vows, took place at the event "W", where Lawe recalls: "We were inseparable for the entire night... left the party at 4:00am and then had our first date on a friend's yacht three hours later. I picked her up at 7:00am the same morning.
The thing is", Lawe continued, "I had already planned the day out boating with friends and went to "W" only to drop off something for a friend and leave by 12 midnight the latest. Whilst at "W" I ran into Michelle's best friend Melissa who had been playing devil's advocate for years and who was pleased to announce "You fren is here you kno!" Shortly after she dragged me by the hand to Michelle. Cordialities were exchanged, followed by dancing and conversation in between... an intro to her cousin who was visiting from overseas. Time certainly passes when you're having fun! A cursory glance at my watch indicated that it was 3:30am.
I jokingly accused her of keeping me up all night and threw caution to the wind and suggested she join me in a few hours. That began the first in a series of Yesses. We have, by the way, had a lot more well-thought out dates after that impulsive one. Fact is, we simply became inseparable after that and still do absolutely everything together. We hate being apart for more than a few hours."
Indeed, the jury is still out on the tenure of the courtship. From 'W', which took place last August, to the wedding it was about two months - the relationship in their minds lasted 9-10 years.
"Michelle's entire family were in the thick of things. Dr Fitz-Henley had a conference in Florida and the family joined him for a mini vacay. I was in Jamaica, too bogged down with work to join them! They all went out for dinner one evening at Fontainebleau Miami Beach. Come dessert time I had orchestrated with the restaurant and chefs that as a family of five, her two siblings and parents were served sorbet with one letter in each plate W I L L, then in her plate 'YOU'. Michelle remained oblivious. As planned, however, the WILL plates were put together in front of her above her YOU, plate and the waiter then presented the last plate - MARRY ME. I was kneeling behind the waiter so that as she finished figuring out what was placed in front of her I was on spot, ring in hand, and asked her if I could spend the rest of my life at her side.
All Eyes On Us...
Michelle's most memorable moment was "the look in the eyes of my husband-to-be as we repeated our vows. The world stood still and the only sound I could hear was his voice and that of Pastor Harold McKenzie, who officiated".
Christopher's most memorable... "Even though we took trips abroad to search for the dress and then to fit the dress, then to pick up the dress, I had never seen the dress until Mich was walking up the aisle. I stood in awe as an angel approached. I felt at once like a child and the luckiest man on earth."
A Unique Affair:
"We created a plexi glass decking to appear almost like we were standing on water in the middle of the pool with a view of the golf course as the backdrop.
Our cocktail hour (while we took photos) included a full set complete with a saxophonist, singer, guitarist and drummer who wooed our guests. This helped to alleviate the wait time.
Our after-party did totally TUN UP! Phase 3 (big up Delano Forbes and Laura McDonald aka Big D and Aunty Waawa) had a video crew throughout the entire day following us from as early as when we were getting ready individually. A full crew on spot afforded a full recap video editing. So during the party itself we stopped and had this amazing three- minute video played which showed all the highlights of the day. "
The cocktail area became party central complete with raised DJ booth, dance floor outfitted with trussing and lighted GOBO monogram. The newly-weds, family and friends danced the night away to tunes from DJ Narity and Kamal Bankay. Otis Hamilton was on the mic and guest DJ Tali from New York joined in the fun.
A month-long honeymoon is planned for the month of June — we don't want to ruin the surprise for Michelle.
The bride in the interim is enjoying her wedding gift from her groom — a gorgeous red Audi A4.