VOWS: Sealed with a kiss
Associate Attorneys-at-law at Bingham McCutchen LLP, San Francisco, Ryan Daniel Nassau and Danielle Marie Foreman exchanged vows at Laughing Waters, Ocho Rios, on April 21, 2012.
Ryan and Danielle met while attending Harvard Law School. Despite being in the same classes, it wasn't until they were randomly selected to oppose each other during a moot court exercise that they became acquainted. "We found that we shared many interests such as cooking, travelling, eating and cats. One of the first meals I made for Ryan was jerk chicken, which was so hot it made him cry. He says that's when he knew I was a keeper," shared Danielle.
The couple dated for five years before Ryan decided to pop the question. Ryan secretly followed Danielle while she went to New York to visit her family. After receiving her family's blessings, Ryan conspired with them to help his proposal plans. "I was sent outside to 'help get something from the car' when I noticed a shadowy figure approaching me on the dimly lit street. I was terrified and was about to turn around and run for my life. But then I realised it was Ryan," recalled Danielle. Ryan stood by Danielle's side holding a bouquet of circus roses — the first flower he ever gave her when they started dating — and one of Danielle's favourite stuffed animals — a ring-tailed lemur — in the other. She immediately started crying because she was surprised to see him. He then pointed to the lemur and said, "Somebody missed you, and look, he has an extra ring on his tail." He slowly got down on one knee and asked Danielle to marry him. Without waiting for an answer, Ryan slipped the ring on her finger. Later, when she was less choked up he asked again, just to make sure it was a yes.
The couple were legally married in California on March 2, 2012 at San Francisco City Hall, with Ryan's parents as witnesses. However, it was important that they had thier official ceremony in Jamaica where Danielle grew up. The date set was April 21, 2012 at Laughing Waters, Ocho Rios. They opted for a more intimate, laid-back beach ceremony rather than a traditional wedding. "We wanted our guests to feel free to loosen up their ties, throw on some flip flops and have fun," shared Danielle. The venue was decorated by Danielle's mother Darrilyn Foreman, her aunt Sherrill Crichton, and the couple's wedding planner Charmaine Chin-Loy.
The bride wore a strapless, lace gown by Canadian designer Romona Keveza. Her hair was placed in a chic updo by Candi Crichton and sought after make-up artist Paul March completed her look. She walked up the aisle with her parents Adrian and Darrilyn Foreman to I'm Yours by Jason Mraz, played on the steel pans by the Stella Maris Steel Band. She carried a bouquet of 18 circus roses, while her bridal party carried mango-coloured parasols and wore wristlets of orchids and mango calla lilies. The groom and groomsmen's suits were sourced from Bonobos, while the bridesmaids wore navy blue Wtoo gowns by Walters. The couple exchanged vows under the guidance of Ryan's uncle Steve Hoff. They first exchanged vows which they wrote to each other before reciting traditional vows. During the ceremony Ryan's dad welcomed Danielle to the family. He then expressed how natural it felt for him to ask her to wear the veil that has been passed down for generations in his family — it is over 100 years old.
The reception followed at the same venue which was also decorated by Charmaine Chin-Loy and her team. Before the couple cut the Selena Wong-created cake — half vanilla and half German chocolate cake with a fruity butter cream icing — Ryan's mom spoke and gave a traditional Irish blessing. Dinner was prepared by ace caterer Anna-Kaye Ziadie-Lazarus, who ensured that the menu reflected the couple's culture. After dinner, all fathers present with their daughters were then invited to join the bride and her father for their father-daughter dance to Daughter by Loudon Wainwright III. "It was really special to see all that love; the fathers with baby girls were especially cute!" shared Danielle. Later that evening, the newly-weds were hoisted over the crowd on chairs — a Jewish tradition in which Ryan's family partakes. They then had their first dance to Up on the Roof by The Drifters. At the end of the ceremony, the bridal party and guests lit and released sky lanterns into the night sky over the ocean. The couple honeymooned in Puerto Rico for three nights before going to the Dominican Republic for a week. (Photos: Dwayne Watkins and Steven McFarlane)