A Little Spot in Kingston
Love is a curious paradox. It is infamously difficult to find, but can happen almost anywhere -- be it on a grand Parisian boulevard or an obscure little verandah in the country. André Smith and Nicole Hines perhaps weren't looking for love when they started running into each other at their regular eatery. They were students at the University of the West Indies when they met, though they mostly knew each other through mutual friends.
"At that time neither one of us was brave enough to tell each other about our mutual interest, but we shared it with our friends who we always went to lunch with," Smith shares with Vows.
After many months of these lunches, however, with neither of the two taking a step toward the other, their friends decided to get crafty.
"They systematically cancelled," he recounts, "leaving only the both of us to either cancel lunch altogether or to go by ourselves."
Well, it turns out they went. And what should have been a quick lunch at Burger King blossomed into an afternoon conversation that launched the beginning of a 13-year courtship. And so it was that the seeds of love were planted at a little lunch spot in Liguanea, Kingston.
Back Where It All Began
The couple both lived and worked in the United States, but Smith knew that his love's greatest desire was to be wed near her parents. He also knew that it was imperative that he secure her father's permission before he proposed (Hines had said this was a "must").
A friend of theirs was being married in Jamaica, and Smith used the opportunity to orchestrate his heart-felt proposal to the love of his life. The first step was letting her father know his intentions (which took some evasive measures so as not to arouse the suspicion of the rest of the bride's family).
"I told them we went to look at a car," he tells Vows.
It was time to execute the actual proposal, which he planned to take place at a Burger King to commemorate where it all began.
The day after the wedding of their friend, after having planted the idea that they were heading to a send-off brunch for the couple, Smith suggested to his love that they stop at their "regular eating spot" for nostalgic purposes. Little did Hines know that there was already a cameraman planted there to capture the entire event.
Even with all the meticulous planning, when Smith got down on his knee at "their spot," he couldn't speak -- the emotions were too powerful.
"Even though I had an elaborate speech planned in my head, I don't even think one of those sentences left my mouth," he says. "I was so happy to be right there in that moment making the love of my life the happiest person on this earth."
Hines was overcome with joy and tearfully said "yes". After their embrace, the first thing she asked was: "Did you ask my father?"
First Comes Love, Then Marriage, Then a Fairytale Horse-Drawn Carriage
The beautiful couple were wed on Saturday, May 17 at the Mona Chapel at the University of the West Indies. The melody of love was all around them. In fact, Musical Enchantment was the underlying theme for the ceremony. Musicians sang throughout the ceremony, and a trumpet heralded the arrival of the bridal procession. The bride, dressed in a sumptuous gown by Pronovias Bridal, entered a chapel gorgeously decorated by Petals & Promises in royal purple and fuchsia with silver highlights. The groom describes the moment of shaking the father-of-the-bride's hand just before he took her hand, as the most special moment for him on their day. Upon exchanging vows and saying their "I do's", a choir serenaded the newly anointed Mr and Mrs Andre Smith.
And then the trumpets blew once more, heralding the newly-weds. A marching band led husband and wife to their fairytale horse-drawn carriage which whisked them away to their new life of wedded bliss.
Special thanks to Andre Smith and Nicole Hines and wedding co-ordinator Petals & Promises
Writer: Kedon Willis
Photographer: Courtney Chen
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