All Woman

Vows - An Everlasting Love

Monday, July 23, 2012    

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Courtney Fadlin, lecturer at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts wed Dr Caren Griffith, family physician at Andrews Memorial Seventh-Day Adventist Church on April 8, 2012.

How they met

In September 2010, Courtney was invited to perform at a musical event, which was being held at Caren's church. While leaving the event, she saw Courtney outside and complimented him on his excellent saxophone renditions. Courtney was immediately smitten by her beauty and charisma. He later asked a mutual friend for her contact information. Suspicious of what Courtney's motives were, she told her friend it was okay to give him her BlackBerry PIN only. However, her friend perhaps misunderstood and gave him her cell phone number as well. Much to Caren's surprise, she received a call from Courtney shortly after. There had been many before that Caren was able to chase away successfully and she saw Courtney as being no different. She was wrong! "He was different. He was charming, thoughtful, friendly, a gentleman and an excellent communicator," shared Caren. "Even when he made his touring trips to different parts of the world, distance would not prevent him from talking to me and seeing me too as he ensured we spoke daily on Skype," she added.

Although Caren had long decided that Courtney was 'not her type; in time her opinion of him quickly changed. Courtney opened up and told her of his intentions to pursue a serious relationship with her. She advised him that he would need to talk to her pastor first and then her father. He rose to the challenge and did both, even though her father gave him the run around for some time. Their reports of Courtney were good, so Caren's heart began to soften even more. It was difficult for her to ignore not only his efforts — he often gave her roses, cooked her lunch on Sunday afternoons at work, ensured her safety by waiting for her after work at night then escorted her home. She thought it through, prayed about it and decided to give the relationship the chance it deserved.

The Engagement

One Sunday afternoon in August of 2011, Courtney and Caren spent the afternoon on Hellshire beach. While they were talking and walking along the beach Courtney went down on one knee, held her hand and gave the most touching speech that said he wanted her to be in his life always. He then asked her to marry him. She watched in surprise as he took a black box from his pocket and when he opened it, she saw a beautiful ring. The proposal was accepted and she allowed him to slide it gently on her finger.

The Wedding

The nuptials took place at Andrews Memorial Seventh-day Adventist church which was completely transformed by Allison Dexter of Almade Décor who used candles, flowers and chiffon fabrics of purple, coral and gold to create the look of glamour and elegance that Caren had envisioned. The bride's arrival was heralded by a fanfare of ceremonial trumpets, which was immediately followed by Courtney serenading her with a saxophone rendition of Still in Love by Brian McKnight as she walked towards him. She stunned in a Maggie Sottero Gown by Adeline Marie from Rainbow Bridal boutique in Ontario, Canada. The L'Amour satin gown with its strapless sweetheart neckline and corset back also showcased her hourglass silhouette. It was asymmetrically draped into a side godet accented with beaded embroidery and Swarovski crystals. Jacqui Murray of The Magic Touch salon did her hair and make-up. She walked up the aisle with her father Carlos Griffith while clutching a bouquet of white roses, white calla lilies, lilac roses, yellow roses and pearl gems, courtesy of Gorgeous Flowers.

Her bridesmaids, who preceded her, wore dresses inspired by Marilyn Monroe's infamous white dress in the 1955 film The Seven Year Itch. The original creations by Alfred Sung were brought to life by seamstresses Louise Graham and Grace Williams. A string quartet featuring Peter Ashbourne, Darren Young, Alejandro Gonzales and Ann McNamee played the musical prelude -- Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D — for the bridal procession to make their way up the aisle.

The bridegroom and his groomsmen were nattily attired in wool and cashmere suits by The Abito Sartoriale from The Next Wave boutique in New York. The ceremony was officiated by pastors Dr Patric Rutherford, Samuel Chambers and Henry Harley. They also assisted the couple in performing their unity candle ceremony. This ceremony involved the couple's mothers lighting the candles, which represented the couple as individual beings. The couple then used those candles to light the central candle representing the flame of their new life of love together held together by God.

The couple signed their bridal register while Shaun Hird, head of the national military band, rendered a classical piece on the flute. The bride and groom made a memorable exit from the chapel in a 1957 Ford Thunderbird.

The Reception

The reception followed at Struan Castle Garden, which is nestled in the hills of St Andrew. "The venue created the feel of romance and heaven for me," stated Caren. Allison Dexter and her team from Almade Décor also decorated the reception area. The colours of the wedding were encapsulated in the dining area -- purple and coral were used on the table runners and accents of gold in the Chiavari chairs. Master of ceremonies, Jennifer 'Jenny Jenny' Small kept guests entertained while the couple took their official pictures at Kings House. As a symbol of their love, the couple included a dove release ceremony at their reception where they each held a dove and released them into the air. Chef Lincoln Peterkin of HEART Runaway Bay Hotel created the couple's four tier wedding cake, which stood over two feet high and was designed with a sleek vintage complete with orchids and roses that cascaded down the sides of the cake.

The couple's first dance was to Things I do for Love by Walter Beasley.

The couple's honeymoon was divided between the Spanish Court Hotel, Kingston and the Flamingo Beach Resort in St Maarten, Netherlands Antilles.

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